New holiday production show planned for Wynn Las Vegas

Pass the candy canes and egg nog, folks. The temperature might be one-hundred-whatever, but Wynn Las Vegas is summoning the holidays.

The resort is busy casting a new Christmas-themed production to perform this holiday season. The wintry spectacular is to be directed by Phil McKinley and choreographed by Marguerite Derricks. Auditions for singers and dancers, male and female, were held Saturday in Los Angeles. Another casting call was today at The Rock Center for Dance in Las Vegas.

McKinley and Derricks are both veterans of the Wynn Las Vegas creative team who helped develop “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” at Encore Theater. The yet-untitled show is seeking dancers able to perform in multiple styles, with in-line skating skills a plus, but not required.

The in-line skills are reportedly for a simulated ice-skating number being considered, though many of my entertainer friends speculated the show might be a return to “Starlight Express,” which it isn’t.

Piano skills are a plus, also not required. Six singers — three male and three female — are being sought. Ample stage presence and the capacity to sing Broadway, pop and country numbers are required. The show is also expected to borrow from the costumes used in “Showstoppers.”

If the show is a success, the hope is it will be an ongoing, seasonal production. A gift that keeps giving, in other words.

Ross as ‘Lizard’

Jeff Ross will appear in a co-headlining show with Dave Attell at The Mirage’s “Aces of Comedy” series on Saturday night. The two will be in tandem, onstage through out. It’s a mix of their own stand-up acts, verbal parrying with each other and improv with the audience.

Ross’ initiation in Vegas was at the now-closed Improv at Harrah’s.

“It was my first 30-minute special on Comedy Central, ‘Lounge Lizards,’ and I had very little experience,” Ross recalls, summoning the Comedy Central stand-up series in which he first appeared in 1996. “I had played only Atlantic City casinos, nothing in Vegas, and I bought a used dinner jacket and had it tailored. It was a total Rat Pack look.”

Ross was hooked on the town from then on.

“My obvious tie-in was with Don Rickles, and comics in that era,” says Ross, known as “The Roastmaster General” for his Comedy Central and Friars Club roasts. “I just feel the whole city is built around people like me.”

A ‘Hangover’ in process

Hoping for a staggering (heh) success at its Venetian attraction, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas has opened The Hangover Bar. This is a replica of a scene from “The Hangover” in which Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug perform their rooftop toast that launched that film and the rest of the franchise’s shenanigans.

The design borrows from the roof of Caesars Palace (yes, at Venetian), including an LED backdrop of the Strip and Vegas skyline. The bar offers specialty drinks inspired by the movie, including including the Wolf Pack (a shot of Jägermeister), the Buttery Nipple (buttershots liqueur, Irish cream), the Royal Flush (peach schnapps, Jägermeister, cranberry juice), and the 3 Leg Monkey (root beer vodka, Crown Royal and Coke).

“The Hangover Experience” already features the film’s hotel suite and wedding chapel, as well as figures of Alan (portrayed by Zach Galifianakis), Phil (played by Bradley Cooper) and Mike Tyson (played by the real Mike Tyson).

Sculpture at Mandarin

Amid all the tributes to the Vegas Golden Knights is this: A sculpture at the entrance of Mandarin Oriental. You need to drive to the hotel’s valet to see it, but the piece is right there and was designed by Mandarin Floral Creative Director Fernando Guzman. The work is created with 20 hockey sticks placed around the team’s crest. The piece is temporary — a way to celebrate and congratulate the team.

By the Numbers

$680,000: The largest jackpot ever awarded by Derek Stevens, co-owner of the D Las Vegas, before Tuesday’s $1.4 million jackpot at his Golden Gate. The $680,000 prize was handed out on New Year’s Day 2017, on a Buffalo Grand slot machine.

Stevens said he learned of Tuesday morning’s giant payout through a “jackpot text” he routinely receives when someone wins a substantial payout. “This text had a lot of exclamation points,” Stevens, an operator on Fremont Street since 2008, said Wednesday. “It was really exciting, actually. I’ve been waiting 10 years to give one of these out.”

The winner was a woman from Wisconsin playing a Scientific Games’ Million Degrees slot machine.

“She was wearing a D Las Vegas sweatshirt, and when I walked up she shouted my name and hugged me,” Stevens said. “To hit at that property, in the morning — wow. I loved it.”

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

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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