Look out, Las Vegas. “Sharknado Live” is circling the Strip.
A stage version of the aggressively campy SyFy film series will open next year at a Caesars Entertainment resort, the production’s co-producers announced Sunday at The Linq Hotel after the premiere screening of “Sharknado 5: Global Swarming.”
The announcement was unleashed just minutes after the final credits rolled at Mat Franco Theater. Before hearing this news, those who filed into the theater barely had a moment to process the latest “Sharknado” plot twists – such as co-stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid kissing the ring of Pope Fabio as spinning sharks descended on the Vatican, and the Queen of England (portrayed by Charo).
Thus far, the creative crew of “Sharknado Live” is wading in shallow waters. Details about the production are scant, though the show will be staged in an existing Caesars Entertainment venue – I’d wager on Harrah’s – beginning next year. This project is to be a full-scale musical, likely to be framed as satire of the film series, which itself is a spoof of disaster movies.
How this double-satire will play out will be a source of curiosity on the Strip in coming months. An early suggestion for the writers: Start working on jokes about jumping the shark, right now. “Jump the shark,” a term for when a movie or TV show runs out of ideas, has already been applied to “Sharknado Live” on social media posts, along with unflattering comparisons to “Duck Commander Musical.”
That production opened and closed within five weeks at the Rio, suffering as the ratings for the TV show had begun to tailspin.
“Sharknado” thus far has proven unsinkable, with a sixth installment of the film series also announced after Sunday’s “Sharknado 5” release. There is ample opportunity for dazzling graphics, drop-in guest appearances (Caesars Entertainment has a deep bench of star resident headliners) and exaggerated humor.
And the firepower of the production team is undeniable. “Sharknado Live” is backed by Caesars Entertainment, The Asylum film company (which developed the “Sharknado” franchise) Royal Oak Management (a group of live-entertainment investors), Panacea Entertainment (which has dozens of top-level entertainment clients analso produced Donny & Marie’s show at the Flamingo until 2011) and Bernie Yuman’s SAY Entertainment empire.
Yuman has a long history on the Strip dating to his long run with Siegfried & Roy, signing them for their ground-breaking contract at The Mirage in 1989. Yuman is currently the producer of “On Your Feet!” the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Yuman joined Caesars Entertainment Vice President of Entertainment Jason Gastwirth, Panacea Entertainment’s Eric Gardner, and Asylum’s David Rimaldi, David Latt and David Garber for Sunday’s post-show announcement.
“This will be a multisensory show full of music, humor and intrigue,” Garber said. “We have watched this niche sci-fi film explode into a worldwide social media phenomenon and annual TV event with many families watching together.”
So “Sharknado Live” is … (wait for it) … fin for the entire family (boom).
Round 2 for Tyson
Expect a Sept. 7 launch of Mike Tyson’s sequel to “Undisputed Truth” at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand. Just some buttoning-up of the contract remains. Tyson is recovering from back surgery he had last month, but is recovering nicely and prepped for a return to the stage. The show is a production of Adam Steck’s SPI Entertainment, co-written by Tyson and his wife, Kiki Tyson.
The Center of attention
Pia Zadora said it best: “All my career, I have been turning lemons into lemonade,” she told a jammed crowd at Sand Dollar Lounge late Sunday night. The event was a fundraiser for the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, commonly known as The Center.
The night of partying and live music from Rustyn Vaughn Lee was prompted by a homophobic Facebook post by Zadora’s sound man and longtime assistant “Video Dave” Bancroft, leveled last month against the Sand Dollar — a live-music haven catering to all demographics since 1976. Bancroft apologized, blaming his late-night rant on an evening of drinking, and Zadora released him from her camp.
The facility took in $10,400 for the Center’s wellness programs through a combination of auction items, merchandise sales and bar receipts.
“I am here with you,” said Zadora, a Golden Globe winner who headlines at Pia’s Place at Piero’s Italian Cuisine (her shows resume Sept. 1). “I’m here tonight, tomorrow, and wherever and whenever you need me.”