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High-flying Vegas outfit Spiegelworld takes on Atlantic City

Updated June 29, 2023 - 9:31 pm

Spiegelworld is getting the jump on Atlantic City, conceptually and in fact.

“The Hook” and its adjacent Superfrico restaurant opens for previews Friday night at Caesars Atlantic City. This is Spiegelworld’s first new production since “Atomic Saloon Show” premiered at The Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes in September 2019.

”Absinthe” at Caesars Palace remains the company’s cornerstone, flagship and leading revenue generator, with the recently reconceived and rewritten “OPM” and Superfrico combo paired at the Cosmopolitan.

Multi-skilled Spiegelworld founder Ross Mollison has a keen eye for architecture and is an adroit recruiter. He’s shown those talents in A.C., pulling a cast from nine countries in four continents to fill “The Hook.”

The production is written and directed by Spiegelworld favorite Cal McCrystal (who also wrote “Atomic” and re-conceived “OPM” at the Cosmopolitan). Expect raunchy comedy, a variety of side acts and a rotating collection of talented artists.

The show takes place at Warner Theatre, inside the Caesars property and built in 1929. The 460-seat theater is encircled by several cocktail bars and the new Superfrico restaurant.

“We’ve spent the past 15 years creating a new form of live entertainment and using this new art form to completely revolutionize all the elements of hospitality — food, drink, art, architecture — that other producers reduce to window dressing,” Mollison says. “‘The Hook’ is the zenith of this model for creating life-changing experiences, and Atlantic City is the perfect place to open it: a goldmine of untapped potential a mere two hours from Broadway.”

“The Hook” is billed as the entertainment flagship of Caesars Entertainment’s $430 million investment in its Atlantic City resorts. Separately, in October 2021, Caesars and Spiegelworld announced a $75 million partnership in three new projects — “The Hook,” “DiscoShow” at Linq Hotel and another at Caesars New Orleans.

Mollison has said “The Hook” itself costs $40 million, more than half that originally specified $75 million cost for all three shows. But we are holding to that figure until someone confirms otherwise.

“DiscoShow” at Linq’s Glitterloft venue is in the hotel’s former sports book, with its multilevel, stadium-styled design dating to its Imperial Palace days. The comedy-disco revival is expected to open in the summer of 2024.

Before then, “Box Box” is to play the “OPM”-Superfrico space at the Cosmopolitan in November, coinciding with the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix. The show was workshopped in April in Nipton, California, Spiegelworld’s 80-acre “Circus Town” parcel at the Nevada-California border along Route 164.

Also in April, I toured the under-development Warner Theatre on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. There is clearly nothing like “The Hook”-Superfrico combination anywhere near the resort town. This is entirely unlike the hyper-competitive Las Vegas entertainment market.

Mollison, the self-dubbed “impresario extraordinaire,” has this turf to himself.

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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