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‘Epic’ challenges face new Plaza show and ‘Absinthe’

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Nathan’s Famous at New York-New York. The hang later tonight will be Coldplay, which has sold out T-Mobile Arena with more than 15,000 tickets sold. I will be canvassing the action at Hyde Lounge in the arena’s nether regions.

Until then, we impart:


A stage show of high intrigue, “One Epic Night,” has debuted this week at the Plaza Showroom. Wednesday night’s formal premiere was a little bumpy – calibrating a clip-on microphone with a showroom sound system is an inexact science. But the show owns some real ambition and talent. Hiring a live band (featuring veteran rockers Stet Howland, Michael T. Ross and Brent Muscat) is evidence enough that producers Frank DiMaggio and Nick Padget of American Dream Concerts with Joe Sanfelippo of Bonkerz are serious about putting on a quality show.

Magicians and hosts Jarrett & Raja – with a consulting boost from magic legend Johnny Thompson, aka The Great Tomsoni — stitch together music numbers from a trio of singers who competed in network TV contest shows. Showcased epic-ally are Megan Ruger of “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent,” Will Champlin of “The Voice,” and James Durbin of “American Idol.” They all have their moments – Ruger ably takes on Heart’s “Alone” and Durbin unleashes Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” while sliding across the stage.

The show plays well to a full room, but the concern obviously is what happens when a crowd of 30 is in the house? The answer from the producers and hotel officials is that “Epic” is something of an epic test. Plaza CEO, or if you will “overlord” Jonathan Jossel put it best after Thursday’s show: “This is a test to see if this type of show can work downtown.”

If it does, it will be a piece of magic as impressive as (spoiler alert) Raja playing the piano after being sliced in half by Jarrett.


Well, the “Absinthe” saga continues to spin freely. On Wednesday, legal counsel for Caesars Entertainment sent a tersely worded e-mail to attorneys representing Spiegelworld, co-producers of “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace.

Clearly, Caesars Entertainment officials are of the opinion that Ross Mollison’s announcement, with Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, that “Absinthe” is moving in November represents an “anticipatory” (or, potential) breach of the licensing agreement between Caesars Entertainment, Mollison’s company and co-producers Base Entertainment.

As announced last month, Mollison plans to move “Absinthe” to the Cosmopolitan after its lease at Roman Plaza expires on Oct. 21 and re-open in November at the ballroom at Rose. Rabbit. Lie.

Base has long argued that the lease automatically extends through October 2018 under what is effectively a five-year agreement. Base and Mollison are thus locked in a legal fight over the future of the show, having battled for more than two years, with Mollison taking issue with ticket revenue distribution, and Base alleging Spiegelworld has exceeded the show’s operating budget.

Though the e-mail sent by Caesars Entertainment is not a legal filing, it has become evident the company lands on the side of Base in the dispute over this proposed move of “Absinthe” to Cosmopolitan.

Until Caesars Entertainment sent its e-mail Wednesday, the only statement made on behalf of the company was by Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner. A big fan of the show, Selesner reminded of his company’s role in drawing fans to the Spiegeltent through its Total Rewards program and stating “a decision to relocate is highly unusual with matters currently unresolved in federal court.”

The case is now moving to state court. It is possible, though remotely, the two sides could settle the dispute out of court. Nobody has ruled out that option. But at the moment, the splashy announcement that “Absinthe” is bolting for Cosmopolitan might have been, at least, premature.


The new TV show “The Weekend In Vegas,” hosted by Flamingo Las Vegas headliner Jeff Civillico, has been thrown off schedule by an insurance issue. Reportedly, the coverage required for the show to be staged and recorded at the Linq has been abruptly canceled by the production company Vegas360, which backed the show originally recorded at that location, “Vegas Good News” but has nothing to do with “The Weekend in Vegas.”

The result is the new show, a partnership with the production company ISE/ARTTEC, will need to secure its own coverage through Linq owner Caesars Entertainment to resume its Thursday recording schedule. That process will take between 30 and 60 days, most likely. This unwelcome development is a halt in momentum for a show that has opened with such strong guests as Olivia Newton-John, Cindy Williams, Flavor Flav and Human Nature.

John Katsilometes’ column runs Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @johnnykats1 on Instagram.

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