The KATS! Bureau at this writing is Bootlegger Bistro on Las Vegas Boulevard South, a few hundred meters south of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. We’re right on the bar here, fizzy water at the ready.
This is a pre-show update before I duck into the Bootlegger’s Copa Room a few doors down for the opening of a four-show series by the Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns in the freshly refurbished venue.
This is yet another litmus test for live entertainment in the city, pairing a terrific band with a storied history in Las Vegas dating more than 40 years with a regally appointed showroom in a well-known restaurant.
The start time for these Monday shows — 7:30 p.m., comparatively early for this band — has some longtime Santa Fe fans worried. No matter. The band is adjusting the clock in an attempt to appeal to an audience beyond the loyal night owls. I predict success. But then, I am biased.
More from this scene as the barkeep pours another Pellegrino:
Giada to be lauded
Restaurateur, author, TV star and noted philanthropist Giada De Laurentiis has been selected as Nevada Ballet Theatre’s Woman of the Year for its 34th Annual Black & White Ball. The event is set for Jan. 27 at Wynn Las Vegas.
De Laurentiis, who has won a Daytime Emmy Award for her Food Network show and opened her eponymous restaurant overlooking the Strip at The Cromwell in 2104, will open a second Vegas restaurant — Pronto by Giada — early next year at Caesars Palace.
“Las Vegas has quickly become my second home; I care about the city, its people and the impact that being a female culinary leader here has on the future of the industry,” De Laurentiis said in a statement. “I am honored to have been selected as Woman of the Year, joining the ranks of other trailblazers, and will continue my mission of creating inspiring culinary creations and ambitions of others.”
Debbie Reynolds, Celine Dion, Ann-Margret, Bette Midler, Marie Osmond, Eva Longoria, Mitzi Gaynor, Florence Henderson, Debbie Allen, Priscilla Presley, Olivia Newton-John and Vanessa Williams are among those previously honored by NBT.
De Laurentiis is a member of entertainment royalty, as the granddaughter of the great film producer Dino De Laurentiis, who produced more than 600 movies, among them the Federico Fellini-directed “La Strada and “Nights of Cabiria,” along with “Serpico,” the remake of “King Kong” and “Dune.”
“Hailing from a performing arts family, Giada De Laurentiis is a strong female leader and educator who has earned worldwide acclaim for her culinary artistry,” said Nancy Houssels,NBT co-founder and board co-chair, also in a statement. “As a non-profit performing arts organization, we champion artistic achievements of all kinds, as they play a key role in shaping our culture, while inspiring future generations to cultivate their own artistic talents, in whatever form that takes.”
From Metallica to Minnelli, the Smith Center for the Performing Arts has something for everyone.
Metallica was unleashed Sunday night, with ex-Vegas resident and Yellow Brick Road founder Brody Dolyniuk leading the “Symphonic Rock Show” at Reynolds Hall. Dolyniuk and the assembled musicians soared through Queen, Elton John, Electric Light Orchestra, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Rush and ended with a Led Zeppelin medley topped with “Enter Sandman” by Metallica.
The orchestra was driven by conductor Lon Bronson, with violin visionary Nina DiGregorio and her Bella Electric Strings lineup in the mix. Early in the performance, Dolyniuk asked, “Is it too loud for you?” and laughed as the crowd shot back, “Noooo!”
I’ll take it as an inside joke. About a decade ago, Dolyniuk pulled YBR out of Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort after being asked to drop the decibel level (seems the racket was shaking the pasta dishes at Terra Rossa restaurant).
There are no bookings, yet, for Dolyniuk at the Smith Center, but he always puts on a raging show and still has multitudes of fans in VegasVille.
The Minnelli reference is for Liza — with a Z. She returns to Reynolds Hall as a special guest of master pianist and arranger Michael Feinstein on March 30. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday.
Minnelli last played Reynolds Hall in April 2016. This performance is a blend of songs, stories and vintage video footage.
Probably no lasers, though. Dolyniuk packed those up Sunday night.