It’s not easy running away to the circus, or running away from Cirque. Take it from Xavier Mortimer.
Nonetheless, the star of “Magical Dream” at The Magic Attic at Bally’s, has surpassed 1,000 shows at two venues on the Strip. He hit that mark Wednesday night at Bally’s, in a fund-raising performance benefiting Opportunity Village.
Mortimer opened at Sin City Theater at Planet Hollywood in June 2016, and moved to the Bally’s venue last February as “Criss Angel Mindfreak” opened at that hotel and forced all magic shows across the mezzanine at the resort to relocate.
Mortimer’s show has always been either a huge risk or leap of faith, depending on how much you value a choice role in a Cirque du Soleil show. That’s where Mortimer was cast in “Michael Jackson One” when he fled the safe haven of Cirque and opened his autobiographical magic production.
Thus, Mortimer remains the first, and only, artist to move from Cirque to a headlining residency on the Strip. But as he conceded Wednesday, the move wasn’t easy. Six months into his run at Bally’s, Mortimer actually called a Cirque official and asked to return to the company.
“I was told, ‘You have to hang on, you would make a mistake to come back,’ ” Mortimer says. “I understood. You cannot go backward. You need to lean forward.”
Mortimer has steadied his whimsical showcase, and he has produced a hit. He sold out three straight weeks from Dec. 15 through Sunday, a run snapped only when the CES crowd (not which does scant business for production shows) hit town. Trained in mime along with magic, Mortimer continues to lean forward, no matter how strong the wind.
The future of the shows moving out of The Showroom at the D is still being sorted out, but “Marriage Can Be Murder” will continue to perform at the hotel’s Detroit Ballroom for at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The show closed at the showroom Sunday, but ticket demands allowed for the additional presentations this weekend.
The feeling here is that show will wind up at Buca di Beppo at Bally’s. A pair of other productions, “Friends The Musical Parody” and “Laughternoon” starring Adam London, have not been formally signed, but a read of the the D leaves is they are bound for Paris.
Noteworthy at Notoriety
An impressive lineup of Vegas performers is heading up the “Rhythm of Hope” St. Jude’s Ranch for Children benefit show at 2 p.m. Sunday at Notoriety, the new top-floor entertainment annex at Neonopolis. Clint Holmes, Michael Shapiro’s Reckless in Vegas, Kelly Clinton-Holmes with Elisa Fiorillo, and Zowie Bowie perform in the show’s main section.
Smokey Robinson backing vocalist Serena Henry performs the opening set, and Ben Carey’s Strip T’s head up the after-party. Tickets start at $50, with VIP packages offered starting at $75. Go to givesmart.com for info. St. Jude’s has provided a community for children and young adults up to the age of 25 who have suffered from abuse and neglect. The organization was founded 53 years ago.
Bronx ‘n’ Roll
If everything goes according to plan (cough), Bronx Wanderers will indeed be signed at Harrah’s Showroom, ideally opening in the first week of February. The energetic, family rock ‘n’ roll act is set to snap up some of the 8 p.m. dates left open as “Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel The Concert” closed last month, and also the 6 p.m. openings when Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley and Bucky Heard are on the road.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.