Updated May 16, 2021 - 4:27 pm
In poker parlance, Sebastian Maniscalco’s private performances at Wynn Las Vegas in October were a “tell.”
The shows at the resort’s Event Lawn served as a prelude to a full house of star stand-ups announced at Encore Theater. Maniscalco is returning, this time in two ticketed shows June 18-19. His performances kick off a series featuring Demetri Martin (July 16), Nate Bargatze (July 17), Tom Papa (Aug. 6), Jim Gaffigan (Aug. 7) and Jo Koy (Aug. 13-14).
Tickets are on sale 10 a.m. Friday at WynnLasVegas.com/entertainment.
The dates are tacked on to already booked shows from Trevor Noah on July 9-10, and Koy from Sept. 3-5.
Maniscalco is making his third stop at the Wynn, coinciding with Father’s Day weekend. He co-starred in Martin Scorsece’s epic 2019 movie “The Irishman,” and was a solid draw at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace prior to moving to Encore Theater.
Martin is in town on his “I Feel Funny” tour. He co-starred with Kevin Kline in the 2017 feature film “Dean,” and was a contributor for a time on “The Daily Show.” Martin is known for his casual, impassive delivery.
Bargatze has found a groove with his Netflix stand-up specials. He’s opened for Chris Rock and Jimmy Fallon, and has been name-checked by such national pubs as Esquire and Rolling Stone as one of the industry’s brightest, rising stars.
Papa is a two-decade headliner, busy with film and TV projects and as a podcast host, most recently on his “Breaking Bread” show.
Gaffigan is a self-effacing comic, still remembered for his classic stretch about Hot Pockets frozen dishes. He’s also the first comic ever to reach 1 billion streams on the Pandora platform, and is a frequent figure on SiriusXM’s “Comedy Greats” channel.
Koy has strong ties to Vegas from his days as an up-and-coming performer. He performed nearly two decades ago at Catch a Rising Star at MGM Grand (now the Jabbawockeez’ theater). Koy also rented Huntridge Theater for his own headlining show, selling tickets door-to-door to fill the room. Koy also attended UNLV for a time, but dropped out to pursue comedy.
ACM Awards to return
The Academy of Country Music Awards show is reportedly returning to Las Vegas on April 24. The online pub Taste of Country reported over the weekend the show’s plans to return, but nothing has been verified from ACM Awards officials and no site has been specified. The show has traditionally played Las Vegas and was scheduled for MGM Grand in 2020 before relocation to Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
Over the weekend, MGM Resorts officials offered no comment about the show’s possible return.
This year’s event was presented again in Nashville, at a half-dozen famous venues led by the Grand Ole Opry and including Ryman Auditorium, The Bluebird Cafe, Broadway, Riverfront and Station Inn.
Piven, Hammond in DTLV show
Jeremy Piven (the very same Emmy Award-winner from HBO’s “Entourage”) and Darrell Hammond (the ex-“SNL” cast member) head up a comedy lineup at Notoriety at Neonopolis at 9 p.m. June 5. Column fave John Di Domenico is also in the lineup.
Piven headlined at Treasure Island in February 2019. Hammond was actually on the judging panel when Di Domenico won the Laugh Factory’s national Donald Trump impressionist competition in April 2017.
Di Domenico plans to perform his set at Notoriety in his Trump character. “I made a decision to do it as Trump only because there are so many stand-ups, I wanted to break up the show and do something a little more presentation, and not just more stand-up.”
Di Domenico voices the Trump character on Fox’s “Let’s Be Real” puppet-skit show. The final entry of its four-episode run is Thursday night. The show has had so-so ratings, but it is relatively low-budget and thus might be picked up by the network anyway. Regardless, Di Domenico says of this week’s episode, “We’re going out with a bang.”
Veteran Las Vegas producer David Saxe says he has not heard from any of the shows displaced last week by Caesars Entertainment. It would be a natural connection. Caesars has just cut loose a dozen small-capacity shows, and Saxe operates the V Theater complex and Saxe Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.
Instead, and for now, Saxe is planning to bring his signature production “Vegas! The Show”and “Beatleshow” to Saxe Theater; and “Zombie Burlesque,” Marc Savard and The Jets to V Theater. Savard should be back with his comedy/hypnosis show July 24. The other dates are forthcoming.
Rock the ‘27’
The formal title of the rock retrospective we’ve been chronicling at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is “27 — A Musical Adventure.” The show opens for previews Wednesday night at 24 Oxford. The production is a rock ‘n’ rollout of members of “The 27 Club” who died at that age, with Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Robert Johnson, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse represented. The show runs 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays (tickets start at $65, not including fees, available at etix.com or ticketbat.com).
“Virgin is synonymous with music, so we think it’s a great fit,” says co-producer/co-writer Ramy El-Batrawi of Hen Entertainment. The show debuted in March 2020 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, packing the place, and is the first ticketed entertainment offering at what used to be Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel. We’re eager to set foot in the venue again and see what all the fuss is about with this 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.