59°F
weather icon Clear

Stray Cats reunion, ‘Sexxy’ extension shake up the Las Vegas scene

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend at The Orleans. The event is sold out, like all the way, Daddy-O. The highlight event of the weekend for this attendee is Saturday’s rock ‘n’ roll shindig featuring Duane Eddy, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Stray Cats.

I’m particularly interested the Stray Cats’ reunion, which along with ZZ Top at The Venetian Theater, is a weekend pairing of great rock ‘n’ roll trios in VegasVille. Stray Cats originals Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom have been quiet for almost a decade; the band’s most recently ticketed show was July 22, 2008 at Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, Calif.

As band leader and renowned promoter of the pompadour Setzer said in announcing the gig, ‘There’s something magic about a Stray Cats show, Viva Las Vegas is the perfect event to experience that.” We expect a healthy dose of hits, including “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut,” “(She’s) Sexy + 17” and “I Won’t Stand in Your Way.”

The Stray Cats’ reunion has actually extended the scope of a documentary titled “Rockabilly Weekends,” and the film series “Modern Burlesque.” The upcoming projects are from executive producer Louie Comella and Big Brand Films.

Comella has been charting the growth of the event and chronicling founder Tom Ingram. The film notes Viva Las Vegas, celebrating its 21st event, is the city’s longest-running music festival. Originally, “Rockabilly Weekends” was finished after VLV’s 20th anniversary in 2017. But when Stray Cats were announced for this year’s event, Comella returned to town for more footage.

As the producer says, “While music is the most import part of Viva Las Vegas, the event brings together several cultures that aren’t really represented in mainstream media.”

True. VLV has always represented a closely-knit culture. Setzer’s high-hair look, poodle skirts, Betty Page bangs, rolled-up jeans and trash-couture attire is evident throughout the Orleans casino. Outside, a fleet of vintage-1950s vehicles — and none manufactured after 1963 — are really razzing our berries.

You can find a lot of ’50s slang on the Internet, incidentally. It’s all copacetic.

Four more for ‘Sexxy’

“Sexxy” creator, producer and star Jennifer Romas, who is one of these superhero types, has signed a contract extension at Westgate Las Vegas. It’s a doozy, too, a four-year deal running through 2022.

Thus, Romas has notched a rare achievement in a city where even a two-year extension is impressive.

Romas met the Westgate Las Vegas officials at the ribbon-cutting of the new ownership in July 2014, and pitched her idea to Westgate owner David Siegel after the ceremony. In November of that year, Siegel gave Romas the go-ahead for the new show. In January 2015, Romas launched a show that has since notched more than 700 performances in Westgate Cabaret.

A true underdog production and a family venture (Jen’s mom, Judi, is at every show and tends to such duties as costume repair and candle placement) “Sexxy” is now the longest-running show at the hotel.

Prior to developing “Sexxy,” Romas danced in the Kristine W and the Sting show at Shimmer Cabaret at Las Vegas Hilton (the same venue where “Sexxy” is staged today), and was later a featured performer with her then-husband Mario Ferreira in the daredevil acrobatic act Sexy & Dangerous in “Monster Circus” at what is now International Theater. The duo also appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2008, reaching the top 10 (losing a chance at the semifinals to trash-drumming act Recycled Percussion, which also went on to some success in Las Vegas).

Romas has since recovered from two serious knee injuries from a 2013 fall during “iCandy Burlesque” at Saxe Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. She bounced back to take on the featured dancer role in Purple Reign at Westgate when she met Siegel and his team.

“The first actual sit-down with the execs from the Westgate was around Thanksgiving in 2014, and I thought of putting some acts from ‘America’s Got Talent’ in the room, because of my connections there,” Romas said during an appearance on my “Kats! On the Radio” KUNV interview show. “And they said, ‘Let’s put together a girlie show.’ I said ‘OK!’ I want home that night and wrote down some words: ‘Tease, skin, seduction, sexy,’ and ‘Sexxy’ became my idea for the title. The show has just evolved from there.”

The Priest is the beast

A personal call out to Judas Priest, playing it loud and proud Saturday night at Las Rageous at Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. I summon the venerable rockers because people sometimes ask me, “What is the loudest show you have attended in Las Vegas?”

The answer is twofold. One is Hellyeah at Foundry at SLS Las Vegas in 2016, with my buds Vinnie Paul on drums and Christian Brady on guitar. The other is Judas Priest during “VH1 Rock Honors” at Mandalay Bay Events Center in May 2006. The one moment that stands out is when the wailing vocalist Rob Halford rumbled to the stage on his Harley Davidson and threw open the bike’s throttle.

The roar shook the entire building, and also whistled through my noggin. Great show, though with Kiss, Def Leppard and Queen (with Paul Rodgers on vocals) also in the lineup.

‘Jukebox’ plays on

Human Nature has clocked two years of its “Jukebox” show, marking that anniversary tonight. Well-choreographed groovers and singers Andrew and Mike Tierney, Toby Allen and Phil Burton opened in May 2009 at the then-Imperial Palace (now Linq). The act moved to Sands Showroom a The Venetian in 2013.

Human Nature is signed to perform at the hotel through March 2019; by the end of that term, the Aussie quartet will have spent a decade on the Strip. As Burton says, “It’s so strange to think of it that way. When we first came to Vegas, we didn’t know how it was going to be. We had no idea, and on opening night we sold nine tickets. Nine, total. We papered the room to fill seats.”

This group is tight, too. Human Nature has never subbed out a member in its 28-year history.

Saturday Knights Fever!

Vegas Golden Knights fever has spread to the Australian Bee Gees show at Excalibur. The words to the Bee Gees hit “Night Fever” are being retooled as “Knights Fever,” and producer Adam Steck of SPI Entertainment is flashing Golden Knights logos on the show’s projection screens during the number.

Cool Hang Alert

So many hangs … But at 6 p.m. Sunday at Brooklyn Bowl it’s “Rock for the Ride” concert for the Police Unity Tour features the band Silversage, Michael Grimm and Femmes of Rock. Police Unity Tour raises funds for the families of police officers killed in the line of duty.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Uncork’d launches wiith bubbles and a blade
Dozens of chefs representing some of the Strip’s top restaurants gathered Thursday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to launch the 2019 edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bunky the Clown at the clown convention
Bob "Bunky the Clown" Gretton talks about his life as a clown and the Clown Convention which was in Las Vegas at Texas Station this week. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Frying soft-shell crab at Lola’s in Las Vegas
At Lola’s: A Louisiana Kitchen in Las Vegas, soft-shell crab is breaded and fried and served either as an appetizer, po’boy or platter. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
The Stove in Henderson makes Pecan Pie Pancakes
At The Stove in Henderson, chef/partner Antonio Nunez stacks buttermilk pancakes with pecans and dulce de leche and tops them pie crust crumbs. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vinnie Paul remembered at Count's Vamp'd
The late rocker's favorite table at one of his favorite clubs in Las Vegas. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
4DX movie experience at Red Rock
4DX movie experience during a demo reel at Red Rock. (Christopher Lawrence/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What To Do On May The 4th
There are plenty of events going on May the 4th this year around Las Vegas. Celebrate Star Wars and Comic Book Day all at once. The Rogue Toys, the 501st, Rebel Legion and Millennium Fandom Bar are all hosting fun events to help celebrate your geek-dom. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Water Sports Introduces New Attraction At Lake Las Vegas
Las Vegas Water Sports will debut its new aqua park attraction at Lake Las Vegas Days this weekend. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Making the Space Invader at Greene St. Kitchen in Las Vegas
Lysa Huerta, pastry cook at Greene St. Kitchen at the Palms in Las Vegas, starts with angel food cake, Fruity Pebbles ice cream and strawberry sorbet to create a space creature engulfed in flashing lights and swirling mists. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Pools
The M, Park MGM and NoMad are just a few great pools in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jose Andres explains Iberico pork
(Al Mancini/Las Vega Review-Journal)
Inside Life is Beautiful
Craig Asher Nyman explains how Life is Beautiful festival is booked and talks about this year's line-up. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America Pops Up In Vegas
Tattoo'd America, a new pop-up attraction on the Linq Promenade, had their grand opening Friday. The attraction is dedicate to the culture of tattoos. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Jose Andres gets key to the Strip
Chef Jose Andres was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip and a proclamation declaring April 26 Jose Andres Day in Clark County by County Commissioner Tick Segerblom on Friday. The ceremony took place at his restaurant Bazaar Meat in the SLS Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sadelle’s in Las Vegas makes a grilled cheese with an inverted bagel
Michael Vargas, executive sous chef at Sadelle’s at Bellagio in Las Vegas, inverts an everything bagel and grills it with Swiss, cheddar and Muenster cheeses to make the Inverted Bagel Grilled Cheese. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita
Learn how to make China Poblano's Salt Air Margarita (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Prime rib is carved tableside at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Las Vegas
Dave Simmons, executive chef of Lawry’s The Prime in Las Vegas, which plans special cuts for National Prime Rib Day, demonstrates the restaurant’s service from rolling tableside carving carts. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Celine Dion’s lounge gig a boon to Las Vegas act

Celine Dion performed “Because You Loved Me,” “Ashes,” Beauty and the Beast” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Her arrival drew a roar from the 300 VIPs in attendance, who were not informed of the night’s entertainment.