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 Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Dream of AJ Montgomery
AJ Montgomery lost part of his leg in a vehicle accident but found his dream as a performer in “Le Reve.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly Clinton-Holmes of the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes chats with Kelly Clinton-Holmes, director of the Stirling Club's New Year's Eve entertainment.
Month-by-month entertainment coming in 2019
“True Detective” Season 3, HBO (Jan. 13) Travis Scott, T-Mobile Arena (Feb. 6) Robbie Williams, Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas (March 6, 8, 9, 13, 15 and 16) “Game of Thrones” Season 8, HBO (April) Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas Motor Speedway (May 17-19) “Fiddler on the Roof,” The Smith Center (June 4-9) “The Lion King” (July 19) Psycho Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay (Aug. 16-18) Life is Beautiful, downtown Las Vegas (Sept. 20-22) “Tim Burton @ the Neon Museum” (Oct. 15) “Frozen 2” (Nov. 22) “Star Wars: Episode IX” (Dec. 20)
Lacey Huszcza invites you to find something to love at the Las Vegas Philharmonic
Lacey Huszcza, executive director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic talks about the orchestra's wealth of programming. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gina Marinelli offers La Strega preview
Gina Marinelli used a pop-up New Year’s Eve dinner at Starboard Tack to preview items she’ll feature at her new Summerlin restaurant, La Strega. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Year’s Eve at Sparrow + Wolf
Sparrow + Wolf’s New Year’s Eve party was a sort of official unveiling of its newly renovated space. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Debra Kelleher Of The Stirling Club
Debra Kelleher, DK Hospitality President talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the Stirling Club.
Richard Ditton Of The Stirling Club
Richard Ditton, an investment partner of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
NYE at the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes reports from the reopening of the Stirling Club on New Year's Eve 2018.
Michael Stapleton of the Stirling Club
Michael Stapleton, COO of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
Recap the Countdown on Fremont Street — VIDEO
Nearly 40,000 people packed Fremont Street to enjoy America's Party Downtown. As the tradition stands, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman counted down the clock on the 3rd Street Stage, alongside her husband and former mayor, Oscar Goodman.
New Year's Eve live from the Las Vegas Strip Bellagio Fountains - Video
Reporter Aaron Drawhorn near the Bellagio Fountains as hundreds of thousands gather to celebrate New Year's Eve in Las Vegas
Ryan Reaves describes the flavors in Training Day beer
Ryan Reaves talks about the flavor of Training Day, the new beer from 7Five Brewing that was launched at the PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves describes his new beer
Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves talks about his new beer from 7Five Brewing at a launch party at PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' five biggest NYE concerts
Imagine Dragons at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Lady Gaga at The Park Theater at Park MGM, Maroon 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Bruno Mars at T-Mobile Arena, and Tenacious D at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye @bizutesfaye
New American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
Bellagio Conservatory display is Majestic Holiday Magic
Majestic Holiday Magic at the Bellagio Conservatory
Las Vegas Ready for 2019 NYE Fireworks Show
The city of Las Vegas is ready to celebrate "America's Party" with a new and improved fireworks show that will pay tribute to the Golden Knights.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like