And now, we dance.
Spiegelworld, which arrived in Vegas a decade ago as a plucky underdog production troupe, has plans for a new show at Linq Hotel’s Glitterloft, inside the former Imperial Palace sports book.
“DiscoShow” is that vehicle. The production was formerly titled “We Are Here,” designed by Nile Rodgers of the ’70s disco band Chic, and Olivier Award-winner Steven Hoggett of the “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” The show’s opening target is New Year’s Eve 2022.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) August 5, 2018
“DiscoShow” is the fourth Spiegelworld production to run in Las Vegas, joining flagship “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, the recently reopened “Opium” at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and “Atomic Saloon Show” at Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian.
The new show is part of a $75 million theater-production partnership between Caesars Entertainment and Spiegelworld. The companies are working together over the next two years on developing new shows for Caesars Atlantic City and Caesars Palace in New Orleans.
Caesars Entertainment President and CEO Anthony Carano and Spiegelworld founder and “impresario” Ross Mollison announced the partnership at a press event Thursday at Caesars Palace’s Beijing Noodle No. 9. Carano said the company was eager to build on the success of “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace. “
“We’ve had an unbelievable relationship for over a decade, here at Caesars Palace,” Carano said. “Ross’s hit show ‘Absinthe’ has played to more than 2 1/2 million fans, sellout after sellout, night after night in the city of entertainment.
“It’s a special feat … It’s a monumental day for Caesars Entertainment.”
Mollison said he was “sitting at home in Brooklyn with three closed shows” early in the pandemic when he took a call from Caesars Entertainment executive Gary Selesner, inviting the producer to meet with the company’s new owners from Eldorado Resorts.
“It was not a call I was expecting to take,” Mollison said. That meeting was held at Beijing Noodle, a reason why Thursday’s announcement was staged there.
“DiscoShow” will incorporate five walls of LED, the cast and audience surrounded by advanced video mapping in an upscale nightclub. The venue is tall (originally in a stadium design), covering two levels, ideal for a club-themed production.
In its infancy as “We Are Here,” “DiscoShow” showcased at La MaMa (renamed The GlitterLoft for a weekend) in New York City’s East Village in August 2018. In that showcase, the fictional character Åke Blomqvist (based on an actual, Finnish dance teacher) performed a comic tutorial through such dances as “The Hustle.”
Several Caesars Entertainment execs, including Selesner and the company’s president of entertainment, Jason Gastwirth, made the trip and grooved it up.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) August 5, 2018
“I knew then it would be a hit,” Mollison said.
The producer announced plans for the show in June 2018. He introduced the Blomqvist character during the opening of “Atomic Saloon Show” in September 2019.
He also said “Absinthe” was on the 20-yard line of the Strip, on a piece of concrete nobody wanted.
“Then we built the tent, and it became a hit from there.” Mollison said. “If that was the 20-yard-line, this is the 22-yard line. I don’t know if that’s a football term. But I’m looking forward to going to the Raiders soon.”
After “DiscoShow” launches, Spiegelworld will move toward opening a yet-to-be-titled show at Caesars Atlantic City, at a new venue that will use the facade of Warner Theater on the Boardwalk, built in 1929. That show is due to open in the first quarter of 2023. The news release announcing the A.C. plans says, “Spiegelworld’s arrival in Atlantic City will help to reaffirm the city’s reputation as an entertainment destination for the entire East Coast and beyond.”
Then it’s on to Caesars Palace New Orleans for another show to premiere in 2024. Both productions will be new Spiegelworld titles, so such already announced shows as the new “Vegas Nocturne” and “Heroes” are not being planned.
Mollison also said he “hasn’t worked out” how food and beverage would work in any of the new shows, as he’s just premiered a food-and-entertainment combo with Superfrico and “Opium” at the Cosmopolitan.
Though Spiegelworld is expanding its reach and growing as a company, it has resisted a corporate tenor and maintained its sharp wit. The Gazillionaire of “Absinthe” showed up Thursday, late, just as the assembled execs were about to toast, saying, “Sorry, I was sleeping in the car … Let’s raise a glass to Ross, and to this guy, who looks like a mannequin who has been turned into a human who makes big decisons.”
Carano had to laugh. It’s the Spiegelworld way.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates the Venetian.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.