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Righteous Brother Bill Medley sings again before hitting 80

Updated August 25, 2020 - 5:09 pm

Rock ’n’ roll legend Bill Medley puts it best: “This not working is not working.”

Medley is a Righteous Brother in every which way and an adept phrase-turner. He is also a man who likes to sing in public. For months, Medley has been antsy to return to work of any kind after his show with singing partner Bucky Heard at Harrah’s went dark in March.

Those two and their backing band are finally back onstage in September to begin a new streaming partnership between The Space and BroadwayWorld.com. The Righteous Brothers’ premiere is Sept. 9, followed by streamed performances Sept. 16, 23 and 30. The shows post to BroadwayWorld.com and TheSpace.com. Pay-per-view tickets ($20-$30) for September events will go on sale Friday on The Space website.

Mark Shunock, founder of The Space and the city’s emcee-at-large, will host the informally staged shows.

“I am honored to have Bill Medley bring his music and stories to The Space,” Shunock said Monday.Having the chance to sit down with him in this intimate livestream series is a rare opportunity and something I look forward to. So many surprises in store.”

The series runs through the virtual Mondays Dark seventh anniversary on Dec. 7. Such Vegas favorites as Bronx Wanderers (Sept. 11), Travis Cloer and Christian Hoff (Sept. 18), Anne Martinez and Lisa Marie Smith (Sept. 19), Michael Cavanaugh (Sept. 25), Ruby Lewis (Oct. 23) and Clint Holmes (Nov. 6) are scheduled.

The Las Vegas Philharmonic is scheduled for performances Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 22 and Nov. 5. Broadway star John Lloyd Young of the “Jersey Boys” feature film (Oct. 3) and Carrie St. Louis of “Rock of Ages” (Oct. 2) have also been booked. Tenors of Rock and Constantine Maroulis (“Rock of Ages”) are also in the series, but no dates have been announced. Mondays Dark will also stream across The Space and Broadway World platforms.

Medley, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with partner Bobby Hatfield, has been in residency in Las Vegas since 2015. The original Righteous Brothers were early rock ’n’ roll pioneers, performing as the support act on the Beatles’ first U.S. tour.

“It was a flat-out, different world,” Medley said. “Bobby and I being with the Beatles on a plane was very cool. But it was a lot of one-nighters in those days. We always showed up just wasted from the travel; we were so tired. Not to complain — it’s just that it’s so much easier today. The travel is easier. The sound and technical systems are so much better.”

Medley, who turns 80 in September, is from an analog world. He is not so interested in digital streaming production. The rock star for six-plus decades really just wants to sing and spin tales.

“I’m not an electronics guy, and I’m not interested in trying to reinvent a wheel I know nothing about,” Medley said. “Without working, without being able to go to the audience, this is one way to bring the audience to us. That’s what I’m excited about.”

Stirling return

Michael Boychuck’s Salon at Stirling Club at Turnberry Place opened Tuesday, part of the spa annex’s ongoing revitalization. The Stirling Club’s Starbucks is also open.

“It’s been going great, and the whole place is just beautiful,” says Boychuck, who has yet to reopen his famed Color salon at the Forum Shops at Caesars. “Business is still pretty tight on the Strip. We’ll wait until it’s loosened up a little before reopening.”

Boychuck told Medium magazine his five tips for having fabulous hair. One was, “Be kind to your hair. Do not use metal-teeth brushes or hard plastic brushes because they pull and tear your hair.” Brushes? This is where we offer we have not taken a brush to our own hair since the 1990s. For real. But I’d trust Boychuck.

Weight no more

RJ Owens, well-known as the rotund Bebe Francois in “Mystere,” has lost nearly 70 pounds since the end of July, when he underwent gastric sleeve surgery. This is the procedure in which two-thirds of the stomach is removed.

Is he still able to play Bebe Francois, but skinny? “I am, but that is all up to Cirque,” Owens says. “I jokingly call it career suicide.”

Our Mirage moment

The Mirage reopens Thursday. This brings to mind a classic Vegas stretch from “Aces in Comedy” series headliner Ray Romano: “Where else in the world can you get a yo-yo while gambling? You never know when a high roller is gonna snap!” Romano once said from the stage. “Hey! I just dropped $10,000 here! Who do I have to know to get a yo-yo? I wanna walk the dog here!”

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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