Queen with Adam Lambert preps ‘Crown Jewels’ for Las Vegas Strip

Updated May 7, 2018 - 10:56 am

Nearly a decade ago, the surviving members of Queen joined Adam Lambert on the eighth season of “American Idol.” Lambert was a contestant on that 2009 show, and eventual winner Kris Allen also joined the band in a performance of “We Are the Champions.”

Allen might have won that season’s “Idol” championship, but Lambert has claimed the crown. The powerhouse frontman has become the band’s permanent singer, and Queen with Adam Lambert has played more than 250 shows.

They’ll notch another 10 this fall at Park Theater at Park MGM (the former Monte Carlo) with “The Crown Jewels,” an extended engagement set for Sept. 1-22. Sept. 8 is the 14th anniversary of Queen Day, declared by then-Mayor Oscar Goodman in 2004. Tickets range from $79-$350 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at ticketmaster.com.

I had written of this booking in February, having been blown away by Queen’s sold-out performance at T-Mobile Arena in June.

“Crown Jewels” is a cheeky reference to the band’s haul of hits covering the 1970s and ’80s. In a statement announcing the show, guitar great Brian May said, “We’re ready to take on the ultimate challenge … to dazzle Vegas!!” From drummer Roger Taylor, “I am looking forward to rocking the Strip… (with) the audaciously and phenomenally talented Adam Lambert.”

From Lambert: “I’m so excited to help share ‘The Crown Jewels’ with the Strip. You’ll be humming them all night!”

The point is, expect such Queen classics as “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Hammer to Fall,” “Somebody to Love” and “Under Pressure.”

The Queen series drops into Park Theater three months before the premiere of Lady Gaga’s residency in December; Aerosmith originally was targeting a fall run after the Queen spree, but internal band issues have pushed that project to at least the first quarter of 2019. Britney Spears is also expected to return to the Strip, at Park Theater, next year.

‘Absinthe’ chugs along

The offbeat, tented circus show that opened in April 2011 has turned into a juggernaut on the Strip.

“Absinthe” celebrates its seventh anniversary Monday night with “Gazillionaire’s Gala of Gluttony,” a dinner production of all existing acts in the show, and eight new numbers at Caesars Palace.

We’ll also experience acts from sister Spiegelworld production “Opium” at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

On May 14, “Absinthe” takes on a wildly ambitious schedule by expanding to two shows per night, every day of the year. Spiegelworld founder Ross Mollison said the show is hotter than ever, selling between 6,000 and 6,500 tickets per week in its current schedule.

Tickets sales are expected to vault to about 9,000 a week when the new shows and dates are added.

These are important box office stats, should Caesars Palace want to move “Absinthe” into a larger venue with any hotel renovation, such as building out Roman Plaza where the Spiegeltent sits. Just musing about the future here …

Cool Hang Alert

A fizzy water toast to Frankie Moreno, who closes an unprecedented 10-show run at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on May 15. Moreno entered his latest series at Cab Jazz with the noble, and also insane, idea of performing new songs written solely for that week’s show. He’ll hit 100 tunes Tuesday, finishing the work that morning.

Any hits in this group?

“I like them all,” said Moreno, who might record the best of the best this summer. As for executing this idea start to finish, he said, “I’ll never try that crazy (stuff) again.”

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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