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Pony up: F1 could do more to boost sidelined Strip shows

We should call it the GoF1Me campaign.

A good way for F1 to make it right with shows whose business has been undercut is simple: Cut a check. Or, a few checks. Or fire up some Venmo action.

This is an individual assessment. But F1’s insistence on racing at night has knocked several Las Vegas productions off-schedule. We have a serious concern when producers, such as Spiegelworld’s Ross Mollison, say 50 percent capacity is the standard for success during Las Vegas Grand Prix week.

But F1 is using Vegas entertainers to great effect at its opening event, at T-Mobile Zone at The Sphere and the Winner’s Stage at Bellagio Fountain Club. “Fantasy,” for instance, went dark Thursday and Friday, though producer Anita Mann reports it is because of illness and commitments to her singers.

If ever a cast could be forgiven for calling out, it is this week, with business so meager.

Having performed for 24 years, “Fantasy” has never canceled before this week. But Mann’s cast members are called on to perform at the Bellagio stage, as are Jabbawockeez, on Saturday night. Cirque artists and members of Blue Man Group are in the F1 entertainment schedule as well.

F1 could do well to pay those productions more than just an appearance fee (which I understand lands at the “nice gesture” level of compensation), and really staunch the financial losses for these shows.

I keep hearing how the $1.3 billion F1 is generating is going to be a boon to Vegas’s hospitality community. I’d love to see that claim quantified. Or maybe offer to move the race to daytime in 2024, so all those rich folk from around the world can spill into the night and spend freely.

Probably won’t happen. The Strip view of an F1 race is sexier after sunset.

All said, one of my favorite fun facts about F1 is Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner is married to Geri Halliwell, formerly “Ginger Spice” of the Spice Girls. The Excalibur’s Spice Girls tribute, “Spice Wannabe,” is one of the productions forced off stage by F1.

You can start with the reimbursements, right there.

As if by magic

David Copperfield is among the very few star headliners working a regular schedule through F1. At this writing, all three of his Saturday shows (4 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m.) at his eponymous theater are on the books.

Great Moments in Social Media

F1 superstar Max Verstappen was introduced as the aerial-bathtub act in “Absinthe” on Thursday night. The series champion and favorite in Saturday’s race performed a fantastic routine. He even wore his helmet, until removing it late in the number to reveal he was actually “Bathtub Boy” David O’mer. Funny. But even Gazillionaire couldn’t afford Verstappen.

Cool Hang Alert

Screenings of the 1974 cinematic classic “The Wicker Man” run 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday at The Beverly Theater. Tickets are $10 — What! Kats! You’re talking crazy! Nope, just a 10-spot, a mere pittance. And let Kip Kelly know who sent you.

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 X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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