The Kats! Bureau at this writing is in the blue-hued darkness of Blue Man Group Theater at Luxor. The unmasked Blue Men are working it out onstage, slamming away at the PVC pipes, ahead of their return Thursday night. One Blue Man has handed me a single marshmallow, yet another sign that Vegas is back.
More from the scene.
‘Muzik’ and magic
A new R&B production moving into Westgate’s International Theater. “Love Muzik: The Las Vegas Residency” is building toward a July 3 opening, with dates following July 10-11. Musician and producer De’Miyon Hall, who spent a decade as music director and drummer for Gladys Knight, is backing the concert-styled show.
Hall, a Las Vegas native and founder of The Muzik Firm production company, speaks loftily of a full residency run 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. That schedule would hold until Barry Manilow hauls into the venue in September, and even beyond. Tickets are due to be onsale Friday on Ticketmaster, priced at $85-$100.
At that price point, we should anticipate a top-level music showcase.
Leading the series is Dave Hollister of the R&B band Blackstreet, who recorded the 1996 hit “No Diggity,” featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen. Claude Thomas of Az Yet, who has worked with David Foster, Babyface, Sheila E., and Brian McKnight, is to follow in rotation. Az Yet’s “Last Night” was a top-10 hit in 1996, and the group’s cover of Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group).
Carl Thomas (who had the 1999 hit “I Wish”) and R&B, gospel and soul vocalist Kelly Price are also on board. Price has a 30-year recording career and was featured on several songs on Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” album.
Hall has snared longtime Vegas musician and music director Joe Escriba (late of “Legends in Concert,” and also Terry Bradshaw’s band leader) to head up the backing band.
“We’re making a nice shindig,” Hall says. “This is a well-produced show, top to bottom.”
Viva Las Lavo
We can actively endorse the new Soirée Supper Club hang at Lavo inside the Palazzo. The Sunday night experience is a blend of decadent food and great entertainment. You’ll like figuring out if your busser is actually a violinist (he probably is), and if the cigarettes sold by the cigarette girl are candy (they are).
It was an unexpected treat to recognize, and reconnect with, veteran stage actor and singer Lou De Meis (whom we’ve known since his days in “Shades of Sinatra” and “Joni and Gina’s Wedding”). De Meis served as the night’s maître d and principal singer.
We liked Lou and the cigarette girl happening by the table, and the strolling string player.
We also got a dose of improv from chair-balancer Ruslan Khusinov, who performed the same act he had for years in “Absinthe.” Khusinov has since left that production, and is now heading to “Extravaganza!” at Bally’s. He performed the chair act two times during the dinner show at Lavo.
As I trained my phone on Khusinov in his second act, he looked down toward me, then without warning flipped the bird with both hands and shouted an obscenity about “Absinthe.”
Crazy kid. Khusinov later said he was joking and “Absinthe” is one of his favorite shows. None of the diners (aside from those at my table) seemed to notice. As for how it went over at “Absinthe,” show producer and Spiegelworld founder Ross Mollison texted his response, saying simply, “The show must go on.”
In Record time
Our friends Mark and Jonnie Houston said in March they would not bring On The Record nightclub back to Park MGM until they were confident it could make money. That time has come. OTR returns July 3, operating at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
The club’s Wednesday Industry Nights are planned to return in July, too, date to be announced.
Returning are such popular amenities as the club’s record store, indoor-outdoor party spaces, the ‘63 Bristol Lodekka double-decker bus that doubles as a DJ booth, and the super-secret Vinyl Parlor (hint, if you encounter a door at the wall of cassette tapes, you’re there.) Also back in action, we’re glad to report, are the Houstons, Vegas’ twin towers of nightlife frivolity.
Cool Hang Alert
Keyboard wizard Yahz Chyld’s “Neon Black: Chapter Two” show is set for 8 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.) Friday at the Space. We caught the man whose birth name is Austin Lydell Patterson in March, and were impressed at his range, zeal and many collaborations. Rockie Brown, Nieve Malandra, Savannah Lynx and J.R. Beatbox are some of the familiar names on the bill. You can always count on Yahz to have stylish “stomps,” too. Great shoes game. Find related info at thespacelv.com.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Las Vegas Sands operates the Palazzo.
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.