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Las Vegas producers call out Sisolak in COVID campaign

Updated August 10, 2020 - 10:55 am

Fittingly, Stabile Productions is asking you to sign next to the X.

The company founded by Angela and Matt Stabile, who produce all the revues under the “X” brand, has launched “The Show Must Go On” campaign, an online petition set up to attract Gov. Steve Sisolak’s attention.

“This is to raise awareness and send a message to the governor,” Angela Stabile says. “We need to be accounted for. This is the Entertainment Capital of the World, and we need him to make us a priority.”

The Stabiles hope the site and signatures will encourage the governor to stage a news conference specifying directives for producers and room operators to return to business. They say the campaign will continue until that happens.

The petition is posted at Change.org; search “Stabile Productions.” The original goal was to simply collect 1,500 signatures. The petition passed that mark Sunday morning. Stabile said the effort could rise to 5,000. Then the link will be forwarded to the governor’s office.

The Stabiles are veteran Vegas entertainment figures. The couple produces “X Burlesque” at the Flamingo, “X Country” at Harrah’s and “X Rocks,” late of Bally’s, and also Piff the Magic Dragon at Flamingo.

Angela is an original “Crazy Girls” cast member who has gone on to co-own her own long-running production company. Matt’s father, Joe, managed Jerry Lewis from his split from Dean Martin in 1956 through Joe’s death in 2004.

Las Vegas producer Adam Steck of SPI Entertainment signed and shared the petition on Facebook, with the message: “Our industry has been decimated. How can they allow restaurants, pool parties, lounges and dinner shows to conduct business (in Las Vegas) but small-to-midsized showrooms can’t? We have all of the health & safety protocols in place and ready to go!”

Steck’s company produces Human Nature, which in July closed its seven-year residency at Sands Showroom at The Venetian; Boyz II Men at the Mirage; and Hans Klok, Thunder From Down Under and Australian Bee Gees at Thunderland Showroom at Excalibur. Human Nature has no new venue locked up for 2021. Klok is far from a certainty to return to Excal.

Some Las Vegas producers are pressing the issue elsewhere. Last week, Spiegelworld’s Ross Mollison made the clear message that his “Absinthe” production, and the show’s Spiegeltent, are ready for a good canvassing by state health officials, and the governor himself.

As it is, ticketed shows in showrooms, theaters and arenas (or reinforced tents) are not allowed in the state’s COVID reopening. Producers and resort companies are permitted to sell tickets, and most Ticketmaster listings for Vegas resident shows and headliners resume Sept. 1.

But those dates are just targets, until the state issues specific directives on how entertainment can return.

“All of our shows are coming back,” Stabile said. “But we can’t say that of every show, and that should worry everybody.”

Boxes o’ fun

Live music has been returned to Indigo at Bally’s, and Napoleon’s at Le Boulevard at Paris Las Vegas. Hotel officials describe the scene as “ambient” entertainment. A trip to both lounges Saturday night showed as much. I would compare these spots to hybrid lounges and small food courts.

The venues now offer food, from a lounge menu: A meat, cheese and bread box ($9.99); Nutella, butter and jam box ($7.99); and a snack flight of smoked nuts, snack mix and chips ($9.99).

Indigo has been opened up, its partitions between the lounge and casino taken down. Seating in both venues is spaced, and you wait to be let to a table. The bar is still closed. The artists so far are soloists/duos.

Indigo’s live-entertainment schedule runs Thursdays through Sundays. Napoleon’s is listed at 5 p.m.-1 a.m. daily. all of it subject to the requisite COVID upheaval.

Dolyniuk’s FB festival

Brody Dolyniuk, a member of the Las Vegas Facebook Live All-Stars, is hosting a Zeppelin USA livestream from 4-5:30 p.m. Aug. 24. Find it on Dolyniuk’s Facebook page. The founder of Yellow Brick Road and the Led Zeppelin tribute acts blows it up on the Facebook platform. His “Dark Side of the Moon” Pink Floyd show is still streaming on his page.

Dolyniuk calls it “Dark Side of The Loft,” for the location. Whichever, it’s worth a visit.

Tandem takedown

Multimedia is a minefield, folks.

Those who checked in to my Facebook Live PodKats! interview with Matt Goss on Friday afternoon had to notice an oddity in the livestream: It was abruptly taken down after about 40 minutes. Gossy and I were cruising along when Facebook knocked us off the platform after an incorrect licensing infringement complaint from Sony Entertainment Music as we used a half-minute of Goss footage.

We have since unleashed Reggie the French Bulldog to deal with this.

Really, we are working on returning the video podcast to the RJ page, but we will have the full audio version posted Monday morning on the Kats! index page and also on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Media or wherever you listen to podcasts.

From Huntridge to Kluger

A well-known Vegas rocker, Tony Costanza, the original drummer for metal bands Machine Head and Crowbar, died Tuesday at 52. Friend and former bandmate Afzaal Nasiruddeen posted that Costanza died in his sleep. No further details have been reported.

Costanza was connected to a pair of Vegas icons — one a venue, and one a fellow drummer.

One of Machine Head’s first shows was at the Huntridge Theater on Aug. 29, 1992. And Costanza took lessons from jazz master Irv Kluger, a longtime friend of Buddy Rich who rocked Pogo’s Lounge right up until his death in February 2006 at 84.

Nasiruddeen, former guitarist with the metal band Crisis and Costanza’s onetime bandmate and friend, said in a statement Tuesday: “I cannot relate to this reality of loss yet. I know he had a lot of admirers, and I was one of his biggest. He would have literally taken a bullet for me. That’s the kind of gangster brother he was. Tony died in his sleep this morning so I am sure he was at peace and in no pain.”

Nasiruddeen has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for Costanza’s funeral.

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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