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Las Vegas Strip headliner Mat Franco makes time disappear

Mat Franco has proven it can take a long time to make something work, even for a short time.

His latest act took two years to develop. As he says, “It’s two years of work crammed into 50 seconds.”

That’s magic, turning years into seconds. Franco this week installed this new act best described as futuristic routine, and a departure from his usual onstage banter. Franco says the staging shows a what a human being would look like, live, in 3D form. The number closes what is effectively the first half of the show.

Franco was the first magician to win “America’s Got Talent,” in the show’s ninth season in 2015. Shortly after, he opened his “Magic Reinvented” residency at The Linq Hotel.

Franco tweeted about the routine Monday, saying, “After about 50-100 more shows, it should hopefully be pretty solid. I am in love with the process.”

Mondays are stacked!

Stacked, I tell you! This week was a tough call between the Mondays Dark philanthropic party at The Space benefiting Brad Garrett’s Maximum Hope Foundation, and Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns show at Copa Room next to Bootlegger Bistro. Kelly Clinton-Holmes hosted her usual open-mic night at the Bootlegger’s restaurant (and Ashley Fuller, who headlines Tuesday nights at Tuscany’s Piazza lounge, especially rocked the room with Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You”).

The Mondays Dark theme was arena rock, with such powerhouse singers as Tenors of Rock, Mark Boals of Raiding the Rock Vault, Franky Perez and the ever-rocking Stephanies (Sanchez and Calvert). Garrett’s post-game report is he was blown away by the talent. More impressive work by event founder Mark Shunock in assembling this collection of artists, and by music director Kenny Davidsen for his ever-stellar range behind the keyboard. Sorry to have missed it.

Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns tore up Copa Room, yet again, in a show that somehow gets better every week. Frankie Moreno and his guitarist, Alec Zeilon, took the stage for “Wishing Well.” Johnny Johnson of Boyz II Men also clambered up to join his brother, vocalist Tyriq Johnson, in a show-closing jam.

The evening’s all-stars were Tony Davich, who turned in his usual soaring performance with Santa Fe and then appeared at The Space; and Calvert, who followed her appearance at Mondays Dark to make it to Clinton-Holmes’ show. The next Monday frontier is the rare trifecta of Santa Fe, Mondays Dark and Clinton-Holmes in the same night. It’s on the calendar.

Pete’s an Ace

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson makes his Mirage Aces of Comedy debut at 10 p.m. Aug. 25. Tickets start at $39.99 (minus fees) and are on sale now.

This is not Davidson’s first Vegas booking; he was set to headline during Life is Beautiful last September but was a late drop for what organizers termed a “scheduling conflict.” He joins such top stand-ups as George Lopez, Jay Leno, Ron White, Bill Maher, Jim Jefferies, Daniel Tosh, Ray Romano and David Spade in the Aces series.

Mo’Nique to close at SLS

Mo’Nique Does Vegas,” Michael Blackson and Faizon Love are closing out their respective performances at The Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas. Tommy T. Presents, which produces the shows, said the company is closing out its contractual agreements at the venue after Mo’Nique’s show at 8 p.m. July 27.

This move has no effect on Eddie Griffin’s schedule at The Sayers Club. He will continue to hold down the Mondays-through-Wednesdays slot.

In a statement, SLS says it plans to deliver “an exciting and unexpected entertainment lineup” as the hotel continues its renovation and re-branding efforts to Sahara this fall. I have heard of one intriguing live-music act angling for Griffin’s off nights that would fit neatly with the Sahara brand.

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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