The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Luxor on the Las Vegas Strip. The structure is well-known for its pyramid design — and many years ago, hotel officials explored changing the name to the Pyramid — and super-strong pointed light.
But often lost in these distinctions is the resort’s scale. Luxor’s guest-room capacity is 4,407, in the top 10 internationally. You get the point. The place is big.
The purpose of this visit is to acquaint myself with the great Las Vegas street artist Jay James, aka Tiki Jay One, who is painting a mural outside Luxor Theater for the new Cirque show “R.U.N.” James’ graffiti work covers what are customarily blank construction panels concealing work on the theater’s entrance.
The instructor at the Art Institute of Las Vegas began design work about two months ago, and started painting last Sunday. He should be finished this Sunday.
“The whole idea is to try to make it look like it’s an element on the street,” James said Friday morning during a break from the paint cans. “We wanted to use layers, overlapping images, and on the other side of the wall we’ll have mixed media — posters and stencils, graffiti tags, like you would see in the show itself.”
James refers the mural to “graffiti styled” rather than genuine graffiti.
“When you are working on the street, doing urban art, it is very raw and nothing is polished,” James says. “There is a great mystery about graffiti. How did it get there? Did the artist work under pressure? Did he get caught? I don’t consider this graffiti too much — I’m using spray cans, but it’s really simulated street art.”
True. To perform traditional graffiti at Luxor — wow, is that frowned upon. But James’ work matches the gritty vibe of the “R.U.N” industrial-action-adventure story line, and it is a good fit for the pyramid.
Our show of shows
Edie, the emcee of “Zumanity,” is hosting Golden Rainbow’s “Ribbon of Life” show for the ninth straight (as it were) year at 1 p.m. Sunday at Tropicana Theater. Edie, whose legal name is Christopher Kenney, is sharing the stage with Fox 5 anchor Sean McAllister and a host of Vegas entertainers — and we’ll list them momentarily.
But Kenney and his partner, Jamie Morris of “Puppetry of the Penis,” are also developing a new drag production “Faaabulous! The Show,” which runs for four performances Wednesday through June 29 at Ron DeCar’s Event Center. Cast members are such drag luminaries as Vita Summers, Bella Ross, Sandra Santigolf, Dusty Muffin and JuneBug. Crucial to the show’s template, there is no lip-syncing (which is a time-honored drag skill) and no impressions. It’s to be comedy, dancing, singing and sequins.
“It’s a labor of love for us,” Kenney says. “We’re premiering it Sunday, and can’t think of a better way to show an audience what we’re working on.’
Golden Rainbow, in its 33rd year, is titled, “Summer of Love — Celebrating Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary.” Summer of love was actually 1967, but it’s Golden Rainbow. They’ve been running these spectacles for 33 years now. Just go with it.
Clint Holmes, Bronx Wanderers, Tenors of Rock, Murray Sawchuck and the casts of just about every production show in the city are taking part in Sunday’s show. The theater should be filled just with those performing. Tickets are $34.70, plus fees, available on the Golden Rainbow website.
New guard at Stirling Club
Michael Stapleton is no longer GM of Stirling Club at Turnberry Place, with former Red Rock Resort Food and Beverage Manager Tony Angotti stepping in. Stapleton says the move was not a surprise, and has left the property in a positive frame of mind. Stirling Club President Debbie Kelleher declined to delve in to specifics, but was complimentary of Stapleton as she and club owner Richard Ditton made the change just 6 1/2 months after the club’s boffo New Year’s Eva party.
Stirling Club is continuing its $6 million renovation. Well-known Vegas colorist Michael Boychuck of Color at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, is partnering in the Stirling Club salon. That new amenity joins the pool, spa, Starbucks, tennis courts and pickle ball courts, all to be open by the fall.
What Works in Vegas
Comic great Orny Adams headlining Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club.
Adams opened his weekend series Thursday night and just killed. Period. He ran a routine about industrial-strength flashlights that became so farcical the final stretch couldn’t be heard above the laughter.
Adams drew the first standing ovation in the club’s short history (it opened for performance in on May 3), and also the longest post-show meet-and-greet crowd. The whole audience wanted a selfie with this guy.
Now a comedy-club vet with a solid following Adams (who starred as coach Bobby Finstock in the MTV series “Teen Wolf”) was depicted an ego-driven, self-unaware rising comic in Jerry Seinfeld’s 2002 documentary “Comedian.” That was a long time ago. The guy I saw Thursday produced some next-level material. He’s headlining at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday, and 8 p.m. Sunday, right there on Linq Promenade.
Your PodKats! Moment
From the PodKats! vault, I asked Westgate Cabaret headlining magician Jen Kramer if part of her fascination in magic as a kid was to fool grown-up. “This is so interesting, and something I actually wrote about in my college application essay,” said Kramer, who has a theater degree from Yale. “It hasn’t come up in a while. But yes, when you’re a kid, you’re a 10-year-old, and it seems the grown-ups know everything. Your mom and dad know all. But I think there is a really cool feeling about being able to show them something you’ve worked on, and even the all-knowing grown-ups don’t know how it happened.
“For a kid, that’s a really exciting feeling.”
Cool Hang Alert
Column fave Lisa Marie Smith’s LMS band is back at Rush Lounge at Golden Nugget from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday. Smith fronted “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere and was in the cast of “Baz” at Palazzo Theater. LMS (which, as I have deduced, is a reference to all three of Smith’s names) offers blues, swing and rock. No cover for this cool hang.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.