The streets of VegasVille are abuzz with the return of Lady Gaga and the imminent departure of a Strip resort president. Follow along:
A GRAND AFFAIR
Lady Gaga returns to Encore Theater Dec. 30. Displaying her vaunted versatility, Gaga will roll with a set of jazz standards, a showcase reminiscent of her appearance in December 2015 in the “Sinatra 100 – An All-Star Grammy Concert” CBS-TV special at the same theater.
That night, Gaga closed a show hosted by Seth MacFarlane that also featured Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks and Celine Dion. She ended the party in a black suit, loosened tie and fedora for a show-stopping cover of “New York, New York.”
The dress code for Dec. 30 is black-tie, and the night is no cheap thrill, with tickets set at $1,000-$1,500 (excluding taxes). To purchase, call the Wynn box office at 702-770-9966 or go to WynnLasVegas.com.
On social media , and in real life, my friends balked at Gaga’s ticket prices. But we must remember these prices are set at what the market will bear.
By comparison: That same night, and again on New Year’s Eve, Bruno Mars’ shows at Park Theater are commanding extravagant prices on the fan-to-fan, Ticketmaster “resale” option. A few tickets are offered at more than $3,700; many are in the $1,000-$1,500 range.
The Gaga show is not the finale of 2016 at Encore Theater, by the way. That falls to “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers,” which closes its run at the hotel New Year’s Eve. Gaga has long been rumored as a potential residency performer at Park Theater, but I’m not feeling it any longer. Probably a U.S. or world tour instead. Sorry to burst your Bublé … I mean, bubble … on that one (wink).
SLS — SCOTT LEAVING SOON
Kreeger was appointed to his position by SLS parent company Stockbridge Capital, in October 2014. Kreeger returned to Las Vegas in September 2014, just after the closing of Revel in Atlantic City. The man Kreeger replaced at SLS, Rob Oseland, left to take an executive position at Alon — and just this week learned that resort’s main investor, James Packer of Crown Resorts, was pulling out of that deal.
Kreeger faced some daunting challenges such as: overseeing niche restaurants including the now-shuttered Ku Noodle that were not right for the hotel’s clientele, and presiding over the opening of the Foundry entertainment venue in place of the well-designed but largely empty Life Nightclub. One of Kreeger’s last duties was welcoming W Las Vegas to the property on Dec. 1; the W is already the dominant brand on the corner of Sahara Avenue and the Strip.
Kreeger says he is “overjoyed” at the move. SLS says it is “actively searching for the resort’s new leader.” They can hope to find someone with Kreeger’s zeal and knowledge of the Las Vegas market
So who books a New Year’s Eve gig at the Fremont Street Experience, then books a gig at Caesars Palace that same night — and sorts out the logistics later?
You have to hand it to our favorite Yes Man, Chris Phillips. The city’s renowned party band will rock the Caesars Ballroom VIP party from 8-10 p.m., then head over to the 3rd Street Stage at FSE to perform at 11 p.m. This tight timing quandary led to an animated conversation Thursday night at the Long Bar at D Las Vegas, as hotel owner Derek Stevens – who booked Phillips on the 3rd Street Stage – peppered Phillips about how he would make both shows.
“A helicopter? Is that what’s happening?” Stevens said. “A police escort? A jet pack?”
“I’ll be on a skateboard!” Phillips shot back. “I’ll ride my 10-speed!”
It has apparently been settled, through a game of rock-paper-scissors, that Caesars would pay for Phillips’ transportation by Metro Police from the hotel to Fremont Street. Call it a gentlemen’s agreement.
A TIP FOR SUNDAY
Look for some expert commentary in Sunday’s Life section from our favorite rock-star columnist, Brandon Flowers. The frontman of The Killers is fired up about Strip resorts charging for parking, as he once worked as a valet at Gold Coast, Aladdin and Caesars Palace. So you can imagine on what side of the issue Flowers falls. Suffice to say he still knows how to park it.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.