The Kats! Bureau at this writing is McCarran International Airport, for a quick trip to Montreal and the Cirque du Soleil headquarters, also known as “The Mother Ship.” I’m auditioning for “R.U.N,” the new show opening at Luxor in October. Apparently the action-adventure needs a double-agent masquerading as a man-about-town columnist. I kid of course.
More from this scene, and elsewhere:
Wallenda on the wire
A courageous individual and a terrific artist, Lijana Wallenda is returning from a near-fatal accident in 2017 to cross Times Square on a high wire this Sunday. Wallenda and her brother, Nik Wallenda, are performing the tandem act in a special titled, “Highwire Live in Times Square,” airing 8 p.m. Sunday on ABC.
Lijana Wallenda has been a high-wire trainer at “Absinthe” since the show launched in April 2011. Sunday’s walk is her first performance since she and four other artists fell from a wire about 30 feet from the ground while rehearsing a human-pyramid act at Circus Sarasota in Florida on Feb. 8, 2017.
Lijana Wallenda was the most seriously injured, saying in the weeks after, “I broke every bone in my face.” She underwent multiple surgeries and has three plates and 72 screws in her face. She also suffered a lacerated liver and a broken ankle, shoulder and hip.
Wallenda’s recovery since the accident has been remarkable, to be crowned by a walk in which she and her brother walk a tightrope spanning 1,300 feet, and some 25 stories above Times Square.
The Wallenda siblings are seventh-generation artists in the famous Flying Wallendas family of circus artists.
Michael Strahan, co-anchor of “Good Morning America” and host of “The $100,000 Pyramid” and veteran sports broadcaster Erin Andrews are co-hosting the made-for-TV event.
Lijana Wallenda is not contractually allowed to talk on the record about the stunt until after the show airs. Nik Wallenda, who has walked across Niagara Falls on a high wire in 2012 and the Grand Canyon in 2013 in televised events, has been the assigned family spokesman.
“In 1928 my family performed at Madison Square Garden in the City of Dreams for the first time in the USA,” Wallenda said in a statement. “And on June 23, I have the great opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of my own by paying homage to that performance as we return for my most exhilarating feat yet. I am beyond excited to be able to walk with my sister, Lijana, as she overcomes near-death injuries and continues the Wallenda tradition of never giving up.”
Golden Bear visits D&M
Jack Nicklaus and his wife, Barbara, attended the Donny & Marie show on Saturday night. The Nicklaus and Osmond families have been friends for many years, and Marie is a supporter of the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Palm City, Fla.
An Angelil yarn
AEG Live Senior Vice President John Nelson recently told me what an avid fan of comedy was the late Rene Angelil, who engineered the deal that brought his wife, Celine Dion, to Caesars Palace. Angelil especially loved Dom DeLuise, and one night decades ago saw the great comic actor playing blackjack at the old MGM Grand (now Bally’s).
Angelil pulled a $100 bill from his wallet and a Sharpie from his pocket and, between hands, asked DeLuise to sign it. The actor tucked the $100 into his own wallet, pulled out a $1 bill, signed it and handed it back. A pricey autograph and a priceless tale.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter,@JohnnyKats1on Instagram.