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From Frankie to Falco: Travis Cloer takes on Meat Loaf musical

An effective way to move off the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons vibe is to play “Bat Out of Hell.”

“They’re pretty much on opposite ends of the spectrum,” Travis Cloer says. “That’s why I’m excited to do this. I’m very excited to use a different part of my voice, and to grow and continue to develop and let people see me in a new light.”

Cloer is cast in the lead role in the upcoming “Bat Out of Hell — The Musical” opening Sept. 27 at Paris Theater (performing eight shows a week at 7 p.m., dark Mondays, with two shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays).

Jim Steinman wrote all the songs, the balance of which are from Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” trilogy. The show is set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan, which has been renamed Obsidian, and follows a Peter Pan/Romeo and Juliet story arc.

Cloer, of course, is best-known in Vegas for his long run in “Jersey Boys,” from the show’s opening era at Palazzo Theater in April 2008 through its closing in September 2016 at Paris Theater.

Including his touring run, Cloer performed as Valli in more then 2,500 performances, more than any other actor.

Taking a different tack, Cloer’s “BOOH” character, Falco, is the domineering father of the beautiful Raven, who has fallen for Strat, the leader of The Lost, a subculture of misfits in Obsidian. Cloer says, “My character is pretty much in charge of this dystopian world.”

This would be a departure from the Valli character, who was in charge of the Four Seasons.

“It’s fun to stretch because people have of course associated me with Frankie Valli, and ‘Jersey Boys,’ for a very healthy chunk of my career. “Cloer says. “And I’m very proud of that. I don’t want to say that it, you know, kind of pigeon-holed me, but it definitely let people think of me in a very specific light.”

As is the case when residency shows close, most of the “Jersey Boys” cast dispersed. Cloer and his wife, Jennifer, stayed in Vegas. Jennifer herself is a performer, cast over the years in “Sirens at TI,” “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood and, along with her hubby, the short-lived “Marilyn” musical, also at Paris Theater. Jennifer still dances in ZB Showgirls performances for Bowie Bowie’s stage show.

The Cloers have resisted the temptation to bolt from Vegas and restart their lives elsewhere.

“I’m not gonna lie and say that, you know, those thoughts of going to different pastures haven’t crossed our heads,” Cloer says. “You know, that’s kind of the nature of our business. You’re a gypsy, you go where you think your possibilities are the greatest, and you maximize those opportunities. But when ‘Jersey Boys’ closed here, we wanted to see what else the city had to offer, and we felt this this great pull from this community.”

That community includes several Las Vegas performers who survived the “BOOH” auditions a few weeks ago. Anne Martinez (Sloan, playing opposite Cloer’s Falco), Alize Cruz (Raven), Waverly Jade (Kwaidan), Laura Wright (Scherzzo), James Simpson (Astroganger, an off-stage swing), Kle Kulman (Goddesilla, off-stage swing) are all based in Vegas.

Cloer again feels at home with this roster.

“I’m psyched. I was in the auditions with a lot of familiar faces,” the performer says. “The first time I walked into the callback audition, I was like, “Oh, my God, look at all these people who are not only my friends, but that I admire artistically and vocally. Just the caliber of the people in the audition. What a great pool to choose from. I’m excited to play opposite Anne Martinez and do some serious singing together.”

‘Love’ to ‘23

“Love” will perform at the Mirage through 2023, Cirque du Soleil confirmed Friday afternoon. The show runs 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

“Love” celebrated its 16th anniversary in June.

The partnership between Cirque and The Beatles is brilliantly conceived, with an in-the-round stage and dazzling projections. The music, remastered by Giles Martin, son of original Beatles producer George Martin is of course peerless. But given all that appeal, the show has drawn inconsistent audiences since the pandemic reopening, often less than 50 percent of the room sold.

But “Love” has received some love from upper management from Cirque, MGM Resorts International and also incoming property owner Hard Rock Hotel.

“ ‘The Beatles Love’ is one of the most beloved and successful production shows on the Las Vegas Strip,” Cirque du Soleil President of Resident Show Division Eric Grilly says. “We were thrilled to announce the extension to our cast and crew.”

MGM Resorts and HRH will work to keep the show running through the property’s transition into 2024. It will then be left to Hard Rock officials and Cirque brass to work a new contract. There has been no word from either side whether the rock retrospective will, in fact, rock the Hard Rock.

Gaga show

From the London Telegraph, on Lady Gaga’s “Chromatica Ball” tour performance Thursday night in Stockholm.

“Opening a set with a trio of your greatest hits is a demonstration of supreme confidence, particularly so if you do it constrained in a costume that resembled Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men as re-imagined by alien artist HR Geiger. By the time Gaga had ripped through Bad Romance, Just Dance and Poker Face in quick succession the 36,000 strong audience at Stockholm’s Friends Arena were in a state somewhere between ecstatic surrender and complete confusion.”

Ecstatic Surrender, great band name. Complete Confusion, good band name. This was a from a five-star (out of five) review, mind you, so Gaga is so far tearing it up.

Cool Hang Alert

Stylish, top-40/funk/R&B vocalist Mecca Martini and her NdaMixx Band finishes a two-night set at The Shag Room at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Chic environment, no cover. Get to know her.

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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