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South Point might be first out of COVID-19 chute

Updated May 8, 2020 - 8:36 am

In a roundabout way, barrel racing factors into the reopening of Las Vegas arenas. South Point executives, barrel racers themselves, are holding fast to plans for July 2-5.

That’s when the arena is booked for the National Barrel Horse Association “Las Vegas Super Show.”

Never been to a barrel race? You’re probably not alone.

“Most of the people who watch barrel racing are friends and family,” says Steve Stallworth, general manager of South Point Arena and Equestrian Center, a guest on this week’s episode of “PodKats!” “Yes, it is open to the public and is free. But we will be monitoring the number of people that get let in depending on what the guidelines are at that time.

“This is provided the casino reopening plan is approved.”

As it is, South Point might be the first hotel-casino out of the chute for any arena events to reopen in Las Vegas. The equestrian center often stages events just for participants. It’s not uncommon to see just a few dozen people inside the 4,600-capacity main arena and 600,000-square-foot facility.

“We are in a little bit different position,” Stallworth says. “We don’t have a lot of ticketed events. The big-ticket events we have are in October, November and December. Other than that, we are an equestrian center that deals with participants … I’m hoping we can open maybe a little quicker and sooner than some of these traditional arenas.”

The schedule intensifies later in the year with the Indian National Finals Rodeo (Oct. 20-24), PBR Velocity Tour bull riding event (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) and World Series of Team Roping (Dec. 5-13).

On Wednesday, Stallworth did have to call off a cutting horse event set for June 5-14, which was to be the first event in the arena’s reopening.

But on Thursday, Clark County announced it would reopen its equestrian parks beginning Friday. Stallworth was thrilled. As he says, “By their nature most of these equestrian events, when you’re on horseback, are very much practicing social distancing.”

Juggling duties

Penn Jillette has joined the influx of stars on the Cameo website. He can juggle. He can play bebop bass. He can spin a yarn about Lou Reed, even.

Jillette is opening the series with a charity effort through Sunday, splitting proceeds between the Caesars Cares employee assistance program and Aid for AIDS of Nevada. The tall, talking member of Penn & Teller will deliver a personalized message for any event but favors Mother’s Day. He says on Instagram, “I’ll even tell your mom you’re an atheist, if you like.”

It’s $75 for any message, a real steal. For love and theft, as someone said.

Pia to the Z

Pia Zadora has released a new album, single and video, all of which are titled “All or Nothing at All.” Zadora has hosted “Pia’s Place” at Piero’s Italian restaurant with former Checkmates great Sonny Charles since 2013.

Zadora texted the “All or Nothing at All” video clip, saying she tried but failed to land Brad Pitt as her co-star.

So Zadora’s husband, retired Las Vegas Metro detective Mike Jeffries, is making his acting debut. He’s the romantic lead. He can model the fedora. And he gets the girl.

“I had to settle for second best,” Zadora joked. “It’s a pandemic thing.”

Judge for yourself on Zadora’s YouTube page, and credit videographer Denise Truscello (masked while practicing social distancing) for making it swing.

Restroom’s a showroom

Vegas singer-songwriter Shawn Eiferman’s in-home performances from his master bathroom have become a thing. They’re now called “Shawn in the John,” and he’s even getting private bookings.

At 3 p.m. Saturday Eiferman is performing on the Southwest Medical Facebook page. Dubbed “Healthy at Home,” the concert of all originals is for staff, patients, or anyone who wants to check in.

Eiferman has booked four corporate shows in the past two weeks. As he says, “I’m digging this gig-from-home thing.”

Virtual Cool Hang Alert

Multifaceted songstress Anne Martinez and keyboard master Dan Ellis are making their first run at the Stageit.com platform at 5 p.m. Saturday with “The Queen of Hearts.” The 30-minute performance is part of The Vegas Room’s cabaret series. Tickets are in the “whatever you can pitch in” price point. Go to the site and click your way into the virtual audience. It’s worth it.

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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