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‘Freestyle Love Supreme’ latest Strip show to shut down

Updated January 5, 2023 - 6:19 pm

“Freestyle Love Supreme” is the latest production show to be undercut in a turbulent Las Vegas entertainment market. The show conceived by Broadway great and production visionary Lin-Manuel Miranda closes Jan. 29 at The Venetian’s Summit Showroom.

A high-velocity mix of improv comedy hip-hop and dance, “FLS” opened Nov. 10. The show will have run for about 2 1/2 months. The engagement had originally been scheduled at least through the end of April.

“FLS” joins “Bat Out of Hell — The Musical” at Paris Las Vegas, “Extravaganza” at Horseshoe (formerly Bally’s), Xavier Mortimer’s magic show at The Strat Theater and “Legends in Concert” at Tropicana among Strip production shows to shut down entering 2023. Mortimer and “Legends” are pursuing new venues for 2023.

The Venetian announced the closing in a statement issued Thursday: “The cast of Freestyle Love Supreme has delighted audiences since November with its witty and light-hearted improv comedy and will conclude its current run on January 29. In the last few months, they’ve quickly stolen our hearts and become part of The Venetian family.”

No formal reason was given, but fewer than 60 tickets have been sold for the Jan. 29 finale, according to the venue’s Ticketmaster seating chart.

The hotel left open a return, saying, “We can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store for this talented group and are hopeful for a return to the mics in The Summit Showroom in the near future.” How such a return would be achieved was not specified, though in these instances a new marketing strategy is among the topics reviewed.

The Venetian specifically thanked Miranda, who co-created the show in 2004, before he developed “Hamilton” and “In The Heights.” Miranda conceived the show along with freestyle hip-hop innovator Anthony Veneziale and director Thomas Kail.

Miranda is to appear in the show 8 p.m. Jan. 12 and Jan. 13, and 7 p.m. Jan 14, though the first two shows are only about half-sold out. Miranda was also onstage Nov. 16-17, just after the show’s premiere. In an interview Nov. 17,

Miranda said he was excited about taking on the challenge of producing a Vegas show.

“It’s an it’s incredible heritage, and the fact that it’s a place where you and your fan base can really find each other is really special,” Miranda said. “That’s what’s really exciting about the promise of Las Vegas. I’m hoping that ‘Freestyle’ can find that space in the same way, and word will spread just from the experience folks have at the show.”

From Fremont to Florida

Gordie Brown is opening for Barry Manilow on Manilow’s upcoming swing through the south. Brown is still headlining at Golden Nugget Showroom, Brown most recently opened for Manilow 25 years ago. The series opens Jan. 13 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and closes Jan. 21 in Charlotte, N.C.

Elvis also connects these two, kinda. Brown performs a great impression of The King. Manilow is set to break Elvis’ record for performances at International Theater at Westgate in September.

Bob’s back

On the topic of classic Vegas entertainment, Bob Anderson headlines South Point Showroom at 7:30 p.m Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Haven’t seen Anderson do his thing since his adventure-filled trip to Carnegie Hall in December 2021, when he performed his Frank Sinatra tribute production.

The shows at South Point are more well-rounded. Anderson invokes several voices (Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin are on his hot list) and sings in his own voice. It’s a unique traipse through time. Anderson is also back at UNLV’s Ham Hall on Feb. 7, a rare star-headlining performance at the university’s Performing Arts Center.

Coop’s opens — for a show

Vegas jazz great Michelle Johnson and master keyboardist Dan Ellis opened Coop’s Cabaret and Hot Spot at Commercial Center on Tuesday afternoon. The venue cleared its Southern Nevada Health District inspection to open this week, clearing a significant hurdle.

Johnson and Ellis delivered a spirited performance, as always. The room was filled to more than 100 music fans, and I do appreciate a cool matinee hang.

I ran into veteran Vegas entertainment pro Roby Turner on my way out. He informed me he was a late call Monday to furnish lighting and sound equipment. The upshot, the show looked cool (especially if you like black draping) and sounded great.

But Kelly Vohnn’s show scheduled for Wednesday and Ruby Lewis’s performance Thursday were canceled because of plumbing issues in the women’s restroom (according to insiders). We’re awaiting a full rescheduling of those shows, to be announced. Elyzabeth Diaga of “Queens of Rock” is up next Jan. 15.

The model at Coop’s is afternoon performances to start, with buffet serving, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Proprietor Chris Cooper is insistent this venue, formerly inhabited by The Nevada Room, will be a prime entertainment hang. A liquor license (to be secured by the end of March), nighttime programming, an uninterrupted schedule and reliable plumbing will get you there.

Tease this …

We’re setting the over-under at 19 1/2 on the number of Kevin Hart performances at Resorts World. Take the over.

Cool Hang Alert

Column fave Tyriq Johnson’s Serpentine Fire tribute to Earth Wind & Fire plays Naughty Ladies Saloon at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur at 8 p.m. Saturday. This is a busy band for a reason, super fun, musically proficient, and well-dressed. Get there.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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