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Human Nature cancels Las Vegas shows due to COVID-19

Updated June 10, 2020 - 5:20 pm

Human Nature’s residency at Sands Showroom at The Venetian couldn’t survive COVID-19.

The popular, tight-knit vocal ensemble is closing their seven-year residency at the showroom. The quartet of Andrew and Mike Tierney, Phil Burton and Toby Allen had moved their scheduled return to the stage back from June 16, then to Aug. 26. But producers made it official Wednesday that they had performed their final show at The Venetian venue that had been their home since 2013.

“We are very sad that we will not be returning to our amazing Sands Showroom at The Venetian,” Andrew Tierney said in a statement. “The Venetian has been an amazing partner the last seven years and we will miss working with our fantastic band, crew, ushers and executive team who have been supportive of us and our show from day one.”

A statement issued on behalf of the production made it clear the act specified COVID-19 as the reason for the show closing.

Allen, who brings the bass to the lineup, said the group was sad to be leaving the hotel. He added: “Las Vegas has been our home for over a decade and though the world is in the middle of massive change, we are excited about the future and are confident that we will all get through this together and embrace what will become our ‘new normal’ — whatever that may be right now.”

Human Nature’s Motown-driven production is the longest-running residency show ever at The Venetian. Supported by a bona fide Motown legend in Smokey Robinson, the act opened at then-Imperial Palace (now Linq Hotel) in May 2009. To give an idea of the city’s entertainment climate at that time, Human Nature opened at about the same time as “Jersey Boys” opened at Palazzo Theater. The show moved to The Venetian in 2013.

Producer Adam Steck said Tuesday the act is committed to remaining in Las Vegas.

“One-hundred percent, we want to return to stay here,” Steck said. “We continue to pursue options on and off the Strip.” Those options include resort companies on the Strip, and also on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.

Largely an unknown act when opening on the Strip 11 years ago, Human Nature has become ingrained in the Las Vegas entertainment community. They’ve appeared at several charity events, including the annual Ethel M holiday cactus lighting ceremony, AFAN Aids Walk and Mondays Dark performances.

Surviving a fickle entertainment market, the quartet has logged more than 2,000 performances on the Strip, while remaining enormously popular in their native Australia. They’ve been inducted into the Australian Aria Hall of Fame (that country’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards) and received the country’s highest honor The Order of Australia.

The act has been together for more than a quarter-century, and has never subbed out a member onstage or in the studio.

Robinson discovered them during a tour of Australia in the 2000s, and swiftly stamped his name as “presenter” for the residency.

In an interview in 2013, the Motown superstar said, “They came so self-ready, that’s what made them different. What they sang for me in the studio, just to hear them sing like that, was just incredible. With a lot of acts — especially throughout the course of my life — you have to work with them, you have to tweak this and tweak that, but these guys were ready.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

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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