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Las Vegas headliners salute AFAN at Black & White Party

Updated August 11, 2019 - 3:29 pm

As we say, never have black and white been so colorful.

The Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) Black & White Party returned to the Joint at Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday night. The event marked the 33rd edition of the benefit event, and also the final time the party will be held at Hard Rock Hotel before it is overhauled as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

The event was expected to draw upward of 3,000 attendees, with the night’s take hovering around $85,000 (final numbers are being sorted out). AFAN President Glenn Alai said beforehand, “This is set up as one of the best in many, many years, and we’re happy to be back here at the Hard Rock. The goals are to raise money for AFAN, and just to have a lot of fun.”

So simple. Funds were cleaned from ticket sales, auction items and sponsorships. The event played better inside the Joint than it did last year, where it was held at an uncomfortably hot and blustery Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay.

Always a colorful scene in its black-and-white theme, entertainment was provided by such Vegas artists and acts as Human Nature at The Venetian; and performers from “Celestia” at the Strat; “Chippendales,” “Little Miss Nasty” and “Wow — The Vegas Spectacular” at the Rio; “Legends in Concert” at Tropicana; “Tenors of Rock” at Planet Hollywood; Jennifer Romas’ of “Sexxy” at Westgate; “Magic Mike Live” at Hard Rock Hotel; and DJ Axis.

“America’s Got Talent” finalist Daniel Emmet, who headlines a six-show series at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Place beginning Aug. 25-26, performed at the VIP event. Cheryl Daro, who produces shows at The Space (which she founded with her hubby, Mark Shunock) passionately covered Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable,” at the VIP party.

Officials say there is no decision yet on where to stage next year’s event, but this was a fitting event to close the Black & White run at Hard Rock.

More notes from around the scene:

An order to go

Murray SawChuck of Laugh Factory at Tropicana was on hand. Sawchuck is featured in the fourth episode of the current season of “GLOW,” which premiered on Netflix on Friday. Sawchuck plays a room-service waiter and magician at the fictional Fan-Tan Hotel-Casino. Sawchuck, assuming the role of magician Steve Mills, was assigned four tricks and dialogue. He took this to mean he was to perform the tricks and talk in a single take. But that’s not how TV works, with stops and starts to fine-tune each scene.

Nonetheless, Sawchuck learned the lines and sequences before taping and asked, “Can’t we just shoot the whole scene in one take and one shot with all the tricks?” Producers were fine with that, and recorded Sawchuck’s performance scene in a single shot …

‘Legends’ abound

Judging the performances at the event, the “Legends” cast taking over Sept. 11 will effectively show off the company’s versatility. Nellie Norris as Cyndi Lauper, and Fernando Castro as Freddie Mercury are joining Elvis in the upgraded show. All were given time to shine Saturday night, and will join current “Legends” cast members John Anthony as Rod Stewart, Nair Cardozo as Adele, and Tino Ibach as Stevie Wonder. The show also features showgirls, which today is rare in VegasVille …

Pop goes Emmet

Pop-opera vocalist Emmet blew some minds with his two performances of “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (in Spanish), “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman,” and “Perfect Symphony” (in English and Italian). Also, the video of Emmet’s bottled-water drink-off with Marie Osmond a couple of weeks ago has garnered nearly 80 million views on Facebook. The two recorded the clip on July 27 at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa (spoiler alert: Marie wins) …

The X man

Xavier Mortimer of Bally’s Windows Showroom ran the room. He’s returning to taping in the “Downtown Las Vegas Reality Show” TV project in September. Mortimer, Melody Sweets, Mike Hammer and Mateo Amieva are all cast in the show, which is set on and around Fremont Street and funded by the Fremont Street Experience. Filming is scheduled to finish on Halloween, and the show ready to debut on an on-demand service to be determined by New Year’s Eve. The timing coincides with the FSE’s plans to unveil the renovated Viva Vision canopy video show …

Human Nature has finished the updates to its show, “Human Nature Sings Motown & More,” at Venetian’s Sands Showroom. The guys are making a big national TV appearance within a couple of weeks. Stay tuned, as they used to say …

Cool Hang Alert

Penny Wiggins and I made a half-lap around the scene before being separated by someone in a balloon ball gown. But not before Wiggins told me she is planning her “Birthday Party Comedy Extravaganza” at 9:30 pm. Wednesday at Local Industry Tavern (LIT) at Las Vegas Golf Center, 6730 Las Vegas Blvd. South (find the tavern just a pitching wedge from the driving range).

Geechy Guy, Patrice DeVeaux, Garrett Hall and Justin Berkman perform. There is no cover charge (but a two-drink minimum) and, for you confectionery fans, cake and snacks.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. 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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