Fires force Lionel Richie to cancel performance at Planet Hollywood

Lionel Richie halted his “All the Hits” show at Axis theater Wednesday night so he could help his family evacuate from the wildfires racing through the Los Angeles and Ventura counties in Southern California.

“Due to the devastating California wildfires, and helping family evacuate to a safer place, I unfortunately have to cancel my show tonight. I look forward to returning to the stage this weekend and performing for my fans,” Richie said in a statement Wednesday morning. He later tweeted that message on his personal account.

Richie is due back onstage Friday and Saturday nights, and also Dec. 13, 15 and 16.

On Saturday, he received a Kennedy Center Honor in Washington D.C., along with rap star LL Cool J, choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, television trailblazer Norman Lear and recording and Broadway pioneer Gloria Estefan.

It takes 10, baby

Marie Osmond is going to have to shelve her “nine” joke.

It’s a small price to pay for entering the 10th year of a residency on the Strip.

Renowned siblings Donny & Marie Osmond have re-upped to perform at the theater named for them at Flamingo Las Vegas through 2018. The duo opened at the hotel in September 2008, a six-week run that soon became open-ended.

There is buzz around the Donny & Marie Showroom that the duo has actually agreed to a two-year commitment, through 2019, though no announcement verifying that news has been forthcoming.

Upon signing for a ninth year in 2016, Marie joked, “They asked if I wanted to stay another year, and I said, “Nein!” in German. But they heard the number, so here we are.”

Looming over the Strip in the form of a giant building wrap on the Strip side of the Flamingo, Donny & Marie have performed more than 1,300 shows. They are off now, having ended their 2017 schedule on Nov. 25, and will return Jan. 16.

What of the Village?

MGM Resorts officials are still reviewing options for how to use The Village, site of the Route 91 Harvest festival and the Oct. 1 shootings. MGM Resorts owns the 15-acre parcel. Route 91 was staged in a partnership with national concert promoter Live Nation.

Answering a question about the future of the site, MGM Resorts Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Debra DeShong said, “We will make decisions regarding the future of the Village after careful consideration and at the appropriate time.”

Live Nation Live Music President Brian O’Connell, who organized and promoted the annual event, has not said if his company plans to return Route 91 — or a variation — to the Strip. Another site that would be available for such a mass festival is the 40-acre Las Vegas Resorts Grounds on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and the Strip.

May’s death

Famed stand-up comic Ralphie May died of natural causes on Oct. 6 in Las Vegas, says the Clark County Coroner’s office.

The 45-year-old May, a headliner at Harrah’s, died from hypertensive cardiovascular disease, according to a statement from Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg. “The manner of his death was natural,” Fudenberg said in a statement. “We extend our sincere condolences to Mr. May’s family and friends.”

JLY at The Space

Tony Award-winner John Lloyd Young, who portrayed Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” on Broadway and in the Clint Eastwood-directed feature film, is approaching a sellout over two nights at The Space. Young headlines at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and about two dozen tickets remain for both shows.

The Space proprietor Mark Shunock says, “We had a Tony Award winner, Alice Ripley, open The Space in January, and a Tony Award winner closing the year. We’re stoked.”

Shunock is also nearing a 1,600-seat sellout for the fourth anniversary of Mondays Dark on Dec. 18 at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. Shunock will announce 43 charities that have benefited from the Monday night performances, with a lineup filled with those who have performed over the years at Vinyl at the Hard Rock and The Space.

Mel B’s Strip appearances

Former Spice Girl Mel B (legal name of Melanie Brown) has been spotted several times recently at Paris Las Vegas’s Anthony Cools Showroom. The person doing the spotting is Cools himself.

Mel B has seen Cools’ hypnosis show three times in the past couple of weeks, including Tuesday night. The two also met for lunch Wednesday.

Mel B is known to be interested in bringing a stage version of her autobiography to the Strip, and Cools leases the Paris venue from the hotel (“Sex Tips For a Straight Woman From a Gay Man” is the room’s anchor show). She has a compelling story to tell, having filed for divorce from Stephen Belafonte, her husband of 10 years, alleging abuse at the hands of the film producer and director. She’s also reportedly working an book about her troubled past.

Mel B was also at Mike Tyson’s “Undisputed Truth: Round 2” show at MGM Grand’s Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club on Nov. 20, meeting up with Tyson and SPI Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Adam Steck — who produces “Sex Tips” at the Cools room — afterward.

A judge on “America’s Got Talent,” Mel B has a history of headlining on the Strip. She was cast as the original co-star of “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood, playing Peep Diva to Kelly Monaco’s Bo Peep when the show opened in the spring of 2009.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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