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New COVID rules halt The Venetian’s ‘This Is Christmas’

Updated November 25, 2020 - 2:08 pm

The “Christmas miracle,” as Pat Caddick calls it, is being delayed until 2021.

“This Is Christmas,” which was to be the first new production show on the Strip to open during the COVID pandemic, won’t open after all.

The holiday musical had been set to open Friday at The Venetian Theatre.

“We’ve built a great show, and we’re going to put it up next year if I have my say,” said Caddick, the veteran Vegas producer and music director who created the production. “This particular show is meant to be a Christmas show, and I’m already talking to the hotel about a contract next year. It’s assembled and paid for.”

Caddick said the show was 98 percent complete, with final rehearsals set for this week, when Gov. Steve Sisolak announced on Sunday restrictions of 50 or fewer for public gatherings.

“This Is Christmas” was planning to play to 250 in the theater’s lower seating sections.

“We did all the writing, the hiring, the orchestrating, the lighting, all of that in four weeks,” said Caddick, most recently music supervisor of “Baz” at Palazzo Theater and “Vegas! The Show” at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. “Other than hitting the brick wall on Sunday night, we pulled off a Christmas miracle. If the miracle isn’t to be this year, it will be next year. I can’t look at it any other way.”

Eric Jordan Young (“Vegas! The Show,” “Rock of Ages,” “Baz”) had been hired as director, choreographer and one of the headline performers. He had worked through the month on the project, and had split with the Christmas show at The Vegas Room to focus on the Venetian production.

“It’s such a disappointment, honestly, we had created something quite special and unique,” Jordan Young said. “This was going to be an enjoyable evening with some great talent. Really one of those things where we were going to pull off something in short period of time that would make a beautiful evening.”

The singing lineup was impressive, co-starring vocalists Randal Keith (“Le Miserables,” “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular”), Laura Wright (“Vegas! The Show,” “Fantasy” at Luxor and “American Idol”), Jaclyn McSpadden (“Baz,” “Postmodern Jukebox”), Lou Gazzara (“Vegas! The Show” and “American Idol”), and touring duo Ben Stone and Jasmine Trias (also of “American Idol”). Song selections included “O Holy Night,” “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” and “White Christmas.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian and Palazzo.

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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