weather icon Mostly Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Katy Perry hits 50th show at Resorts World, hints to extension

Updated April 8, 2023 - 8:07 pm

We can always say we date to Katy Perry’s “Mr. Maskie” era in Las Vegas.

It was early in the run as Perry’s “Play” found its footing (and, masking) at Resorts World Theatre in December 2021. After a few performances, the COVID-inspired Mr. Maskie was swapped out for the giant animatronic rat named Ratso, voiced by Broadway icon Harvey Fierstein.

The rat character vapes and cracks wise during the show’s acoustic set. Some ample of Ratso’s shtick, “There’s only one way you can leave Vegas with a small fortune … Arrive with a big one!”

Ratso once again joined Perry’s spinning mushrooms, dancing toothbrushes, towering toilet and giant rocking horses in her 50th show Friday night.

Perry referred to the 50-show benchmark from the stage, saying she was “halfway-ish,” through “Play’s” tenure at Resorts World. There are 20 dates left on the 2023 calendar. Look for news of an extension for “Play,” this year.

This show has delivered artistically and commercially. Perry’s “Play” ground was built during the pandemic, and survived a COVID surge to become a hit for concert promoter AEG Presents. Perry’s sales are as robust as ever. Friday and Saturday performances were sold out.

Perry’s show is also a statistical spectacle. She uses 11 set pieces, including a giant, Special K-style cereal box a bathtub that weighs 6,500 pounds. Twenty-four stagehands move those backdrops. Her eight costume take just 2 1/2 minutes each. She employs a dozen backing dancers, dressed as soldiers carrying pocket combs and crayons, and seven backing musicians.

Perry’s show has held an important spot in Resorts World’s opening, and also in the Theatre’s early rotation of headliners. The 37-year-old international star once said that once she shuts down “Play,” she’d likely tour, leaving open the option of coming back.

But probably not with this show. Perry inferred as much in August.

“Maybe I will leave Vegas, but I will always want to come back to do a show,” Perry said during a chat at the MAGIC Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. “It will not always be ‘Play,’ because I grow creatively and I want to change, so it could be a whole other show.”

Some of “Play,” could be saved, though. I’m thinking, the Ratso Comedy Club, with an unseen drummer ready with the rim shots.

Shecky at 97

Comedy legend and convivial curmudgeon Shecky Greene turned 97 on Saturday. He celebrated with a small gathering of friends and well-wishers at Lucky Penny at Green Valley Ranch.

This was quite a wide-ranging crew: UNLV Runnin’ Rebel legend Larry Johnson, longtime Las Vegas casino executive and onetime Muhammad Ali business manager Gene Kilroy (who brought Johnson, a friend of his), venerable comic Pete Barbutti and omnipresent entertainment photographer Ed Foster were among the attendees.

Greene was a lounge mainstay at Tropicana and later Riviera during the golden era of both resorts. Greene is still sharp, and has a great singing voice. He lit up the title with an impromptu rendition of “Happy Birthday to Me!”

Barbutti, who appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” more than 60 times, talked of opening for Nat King Cole at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe in the mid-60s. Greene was headlining across the street at Harvey’s. Greene saw Barbutti and Cole at Harrah’s, and invited both to his performance.

Barbutti was an unknown comic (lowercase) at the time, and an endorsement from Greene could be a great boost. Greene quickly introduced Cole from the stage, but waited several minutes before pointing out Barbutti. Greene finally said, “Sitting with Nat Cole is a young comic I just saw, I liked him so much that, after I introduce him, every time I tell a joke, you’re going to look at him to see he’s laughing to make sure I am actually funny.”

Greene then grabbed Barbutti by the collar and pulled him to the stage, seating him behind the mic. That’s where Barbutti sat, through the entire set, and a friendship was born.

“I was insane,” Greene said during lunch, pointing at himself for emphasis. “A lot of young comics can’t believe I’ve made it this long. But I’m still here, and there’s not many of us left from those days.”

A venue to keep an eye on …

The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan, which over the years has presented many topline headliners, including The Killers, Billy Idol, John Legend, Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars. I’m interested to see if that trend continues as MGM Resorts International has taken over the resort.

The company operates several headlining venues on the Strip, especially Dolby Live at Park MGM, with its series of resident superstars. Maroon 5 and Mars are headlining there now. How the Chelsea, a bangin’ 3,000-seat venue, will be filled in the MGM portfolio is a market trend to track.

Cool Hang Alert

The Mike Jones Trio, starring the piano virtuoso we call “Jonesy,” plays Maxan Jazz from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday night. this trio is stacked, with Daniel Platzman of Imagine Dragons on drums and the great Steve Flora on bass. Jones’ regular gig is supplying the music for the Penn & Teller show at the Rio — catch him with Penn Jillette on stand-up bass, pre-show — and he is fantastic. No cover but a $25-per-person F&B charge for this one. Go to maxanjazz.com for reservations.

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.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.