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Rock legend John Mellencamp announces Vegas shows

Updated September 29, 2022 - 5:55 pm

It seems like just yesterday, though it was Friday, I mentioned to a friend that I’d once seen John Mellencamp play at the then Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Still one of my favorite shows in that venue, or anywhere in Las Vegas. He wore jeans, a cheap T-shirt and rocked the house.

Serendipitously, Mellencamp is set to headline again on the Strip.

He makes his Encore Theater debut March 24 and 25 at Wynn Las Vegas. Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. Oct. 7 at Ticketmaster.com.

Mellencamp is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Halls of Fame and has been honored with the John Steinbeck Award, ASCAP Foundation Champion Award, the Woody Guthrie Award and the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. His latest prestigious honor is the Founders Award, the top honor issued by the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers.

The Encore Theater show is presented by AEG Presents, sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. Mellencamp has never partnered with an outside company on one of his tours. Regardless, we expect “Pink Houses,” “Lonely Ol’ Night,” “Paper in Fire” and “Authority Song” in a doubleheader long overdue.

An elevated experience

We had a chance to hang with David Blaine this week at Crossroads Kitchen restaurant at Resorts World. As he gave a taste of his shows set for Friday and Saturday, Blaine gulped down a handful of nails and chewed through a wine glass.

Odd. But hey, the place is vegan.

I actually want to visit Home Depot with Blaine, as he walks down aisles swallowing the inventory. “Ignore my friend — he’s just snacking.”

But Blaine is saving the really big stuff for his production at the Theatre at Resorts World. Without giving away too much of the Big Reveal, in one act he’ll be airborne. Then he won’t be. He’ll be immersed in water, for what seems a long time, and in a way that you can wave at him.

And know that the Blaine show is for the whole family, and you will be part of the proceedings.

Blaine returns Oct. 28 and 29, then Dec. 16 and 17. Though not formally announced, he let it be known he plans to perform at Resorts World through 2023 and into 2024. He’s not planning to be onstage past the age of 52 (Blaine’s 49 now), because that’s how old Houdini was when he died.

Blaine has of course been offered all kinds of residency opportunities in Las Vegas, home to more than 20 magician/illusionist/mentalist headliners. But it was the architecture of the Theatre that sold him on finally committing. You’ll better understand when you see the show. He really works the room, top to bottom.

S&R team reunites

Former members of Siegfried & Roy’s production team reunited Sunday at the Healing Garden in downtown Las Vegas. S&R had donated The Tree of Life oak to the park, which is a remembrance of the Oct. 1 shooting victims. Bette Gaines-Snyder emceed, with a lift from Sandra Shulman, both former dancers who had careers as MGM Resorts International execs.

Stagehand Samantha Sage, Floyd “Sweets” Harrison of the King Charles Troupe of dancers, line captain and dancer Angelo Moio and show GM Todd Dougall were among the 60 or so S&R team members turning up. Those assembled were part of a show that entertained more than 25 million fans from Vegas to Paris, Japan to New York.

Sage had been with S&R dating to 1980, when the duo was a specialty act in “Lido de Paris” at the Stardust.

“It was like, ‘Page the curtain for the elephant!’ And then a cat would be rolled onstage,” Sage said at the microphone. “Oh, my stars.” She was part of the production that toured Tokyo and Osaka.

“I wanted to really observe what it is that Roy was doing, how was he making the magic happen?” Sage said. “And I learned he looks into the eyes and sees the soul of an animal, a sacred being.”

The S&R family still believes it. They hung together to watch the sunset. Unless there is an effort at The Mirage to honor the duo formally (and there has not been), this might have been Siegfried & Roy’s final bow.

No Buffett until ‘23

Jimmy Buffett is finished performing in 2022, a decision that wipes out two upcoming shows at MGM Grand Garden.

Health concerns have prompted Buffett to move his Oct. 8 and 15 Las Vegas performances to March 4 and 11.

Buffett’s team posted on social media: “Due to health issues and brief hospitalization, Jimmy will need to refrain from touring for the rest of the year. On doctor’s orders, he must take this time to recuperate and heal. Jimmy looks forward to getting back on stage next year.”

Buffett’s statement further informs that tickets for the MGM Grand shows will be honored for the new dates. Fans have 30 days to request a refund from the point of purchase.

The MGM shows were two of three that will be rescheduled. His performance at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego has been moved to a date to be announced. Shows at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Oct. 10 and Ford Idaho Center in Nampa have been canceled with no return date.

Cool Hang Alert

Lounge icon and column fave Ronnie Rose is back at the Stirling Club at 8 p.m. Thursday (doors at 7 p.m.). Rose can do it all, having won a bunch of entertainer of the year honors over the past five decades. I actually met him at the Stirling Club about 15 years ago. Been a fan ever since. It’s $25 for members, $35 for non-members; go to TheStirlingClub.com for intel.

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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