Answers are now being sought in the death of Harry Morton. Published reports indicate authorities are looking into Morton’s recent medical procedure, while also indicating no illegal drugs were found at the scene.
TMZ is reporting, through law-enforcement sources, that no illegal drugs were found at the scene of Morton’s death Saturday afternoon at his Beverly Hills home. A member of the Morton family restaurant empire and founder of Pink Taco at Hard Rock Hotel, Morton was just 38 years old.
The celebrity website went on to report that only “a couple prescription drugs” were found. The story also notes that officials are investigating Morton’s recent septoplasty, which is a surgery to straight the septum for improved airflow. If performed incorrectly, the procedure could lead to fatal brain damage. But Morton reportedly did not complain of ill effects after that surgery.
The Morton family has strong ties to Las Vegas. Harry Morton’s uncle, Michael Morton, co-founded N9NE Group and is a partner in MB Steak at Hard Rock Hotel. He and his wife, Jenna Morton, are successful entrepreneurs in the city, operating La Cave at Wynn Las Vegas, Crush at MGM Grand and La Comida in Downtown Las Vegas.
Peter Morton, Harry’s father, founded Hard Rock Cafe in 1971 and also founded Hard Rock Hotel in 1995 and operated the property until it was purchased by Morgans Hotel Group in 2006. Arnie Morton, Peter’s father and Harry’s grandfather, founded Morton’s Steakhouse in 1978.
Cirque dives in
Cirque du Soleil is developing a second aquatic resident production show, and, no, it’s not on the Strip.
Las Vegas’s predominant production company is working with Grupo Vidanta, a leading developer of resorts and a top theater designer, on a 600-seat venue in a new resort in Puerto Vallarta. The production is set to open in 2021.
Cirque and GV have collaborated on the successful dinner-theater show “Joya” in Riveira Maya, which last week celebrated its fifth anniversary. This is the first announced Cirque residency show since “R.U.N” bowed at Luxor on Oct. 25.
Paula Abdul introduced Toni Braxton at Sunday night’s American Music Awards show at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It was a pairing of past and present Flamingo Showroom headliners: Braxton performed at the venue from 2006-08; Abdul returns Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday nights.
Klok for the holidays
Hans Klok, The Flash of magicians (he’s billed as the fastest in the world), has opened his holiday show at Thunder Showroom at Excalibur. The production runs through Dec. 30 and adds holiday themed tricks, music, treats and more to Klok’s usual showcase. It’s an all-ages, 7 p.m. show at the 425-seat venue.
Lopez tests the waters
Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns co-founder and column fave Jerry Lopez is putting together a yacht rock project to be called Windjammers. Lopez had originally assembled the band for corporate shows and the cruise-line circuit (he’s close with Royal Caribbean International entertainment chief Nick Weir of Las Vegas).
But when Station Casinos execs heard of this concept and that Lopez was behind it, they signed the act, sight unseen. So it is that Windjammers are headlining Thursday nights at Rock’s Lounge at Red Rock Resort for 2020. The band’s debut is Dec. 26.
This is a refreshing development. Something I’d not known about Lopez: He is a serious yacht rock fan (which is why Christoper Cross of “Sailing” and “Ride Like The Wind” fame once sat in with Santa Fe at the Lounge at the Palms). Expect a healthy sampling of Toto, Little River Band, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins and (of course) Cross. Dress for the high high seas.
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, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram