EDINBURGH, Scotland — It’s not all Fringe Fest action this week. Casting the light toward the Vegas homefront:
SJP on the Strip
Actress/fashion entrepreneur Sarah Jessica Parker is making her annual trip to Las Vegas to pop in on her SJP boutique at the at Bellagio from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, and from 11 a.m.to 1 p.m. Monday. Around 6 p.m. Sunday, Parker is to visit Terrene at Aria, which also features her line of ladies’ shoes. No, no men’s shoes as of yet (I persist about this).
Parker will meet fans, and play customer service rep as she helps visitors select their shoes.
“It’s not standing there and taking a photo and signing a shoe, it’s really allowing me to be on the floor and running to the back room and sizing them and fitting them,” Parker said in a recent phone interview. “A particular preference of mine is for people to put their phones down and actually engage. I learn about them, about their lives and where they’re from. We’ve been doing that more and more.”
SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker is near the pool entrance at Bellagio. Terrene is on the second level near north valet at Aria. The events are a first-come, first-served basis, free and open to the public.
That’s fine with Parker, who says her typical customer ranges in age “from 8 to 87.” She has been in partnership with MGM Resorts International since 2015, starting with a pop-up event sponsored by Zappos at The Shops at Crystals. Parker and her business partner, George Malkemus, who is chief executive officer of shoe manufacturer Manolo Blahnik, met with MGM Resorts officials about doing business with the resort company.
“I think that being at the Bellagio, because of the energy associated with that particular property, has just given us an opportunity to kind of meet our customers and have them know us,” Parker says. “I’m on sales, as they say, I’m a ‘shoe dog,’ I’m on the floor, I work it, I love being a part of that exchange.”
Parker has drawn the masses at previous appearances at her store at Bellagio, beginning with the boutique’s launch in 2017. Fans still yearn to chat with Parker about her iconic Carrie Bradswhaw character from “Sex and the City.”
“I mean, every day. Every day I’m being stopped and people are sharing with me, whether it’s on the beach, or the streets of New York or when I travel, or in the airport, and you know, people are always really nice,” she says. “There’s a whole new generation of viewers. It’s a very privileged conversation to have and I still feel very very touched by the kind of affection that people feel for the show, and the characters, and obviously the writing in particular.”
The show’s widespread popularity helped propel SJP to other ventures — such as SJP.
“It’s afforded me wonderful opportunities, and I always welcome those conversations. I can’t always take pictures. I can’t always get on the phone with the relative or friend,” Parker said, “but I’m always really happy to meet people and have that conversation.”
A Sweets’ ‘Flavor’
Longtime “Absinthe” cast member Melody Sweets has unfurled a trifecta of announcements. On Aug. 16, the originator of the Green Fairy role is issuing her new single, “Flavor of the Month,” a burlesque take on the hip-hop hit from Black Sheep. The video release of that songs is Aug. 23, followed by a live performance of “Flavor” at the fittingly themed Chocolate Lounge at Sugar Factory at 8 p.m. Aug. 27.
Sweets’ music lineup is headed up by producer/arrange Mike Williams, with co-producer Eric Plante of “O” on keyboard, bass and sax; and Dave Richardson (horn arrangements), Nathan Tanouye (trombone), Gil Kaupp (trumpet), and Rob Mader (sax), all of Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns, contributing to the single.
Performers from “Absinthe,“ “Chippendales,” Cirque du Soleil, “Crazy Girls,” Lady Gaga’s and Celine Dion’s bands (including the Vegas horn players mentioned); “Magic Mike Live,” “Opium” and the city’s burlesque scene all are involved in the project. Visual artist Robert John Kley directed and shot the video.
Sweets logged more than 3,500 performances in “Absinthe,” and was in the original Las Vegas cast dating to March 2011. She departed the show in October 2017 after a 6½-year run on the Strip. She continues to pursue a venue for her own show with producer Adam Steck of SPI Entertainment.
Franco to the four
Magician Mat Franco is celebrating the fourth anniversary of his headlining show at Linq Hotel this week. The “America’s Got Talent” Season 9 champion also has partnered as the celeb spokesman for The Animal Foundation. Franco is a rescue-pet kind of guy.
“I think it’s interesting that we found our house cat outside, and are currently trapping, neutering and releasing stray cats,” Franco says. “I always grew up with dogs and still have one, but am now bonding with the dog’s best ‘frenemy.’”
Franco welcomed Martin Lawrence and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, with his son, Cameron, to Friday’s show.
‘Dear Amy’ at Cab Jazz
The only Amy Winehouse tribute production authorized and endorsed by her father, Mitch Winehouse, plays Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. “Dear Amy” is fronted by rock/pop vocalist Frankie Jordan and backed by a nine-piece band.
The show is produced by Jordan’s husband, Dion McIntosh, and they have been working for three years to bring the show to Las Vegas.
“The plan has been to get to Vegas and plant the show there as the only place you can see the best Amy tribute in the world,” McIntosh says. “This is a family passion project and being able to share it with the world without having to go on tour is a better fit for a family with three small kids.”
McIntosh e-mailed Winehouse before the first performance of “Dear Amy,” and he was convinced to attend the premiere after watching a video of Jordan in the role. Winehouse took the stage with Jordan in that opening show, performing a duet of “Body and Soul” that he and his daughter used to perform.
Dion recalls it as “a crazy emotional and beautiful moment,” adding, “This weekend is all about showing Vegas how incredible my wife is, and finding the right home for the show.”
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.