As the great Brian Setzer once promised, “We’re gonna rock this town, rock it inside out.”
The Stray Cats co-founder and frontman could have been singing about anywhere — Detroit, Nashville, even Chico, Calif. But his forecast is for Las Vegas, specifically Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend, running April 19-23 at The Orleans.
For the first time in a decade, the three-piece rockabilly trailblazers who ruled FM radio and MTV in the early 1980s is reuniting for a live performance. Stray Cats are to close an all-star bill at 7 p.m. April 21, preceded by Duane Eddy (famous for the “Peter Gunn” theme and “Rebel Rouser”) at 3:30 p.m. and rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis at 5 p.m.
Tickets are available to see that lineup at the outdoor Car Show Stage. The full event schedule, released today, and ticket information is on the VLV website.
Stray Cats, who cashed in on “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut,” “(She’s) Sexy + 17” and “I Won’t Stand in Your Way” in their hit-making heyday, most recently performed live at Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, Calif. on July 22, 2008.
Setzer and fellow Stray Cats original members Lee Rocker and “Slim” Jim Phantom have all headlined Rockabilly weekend in previous years, but never collectively. Setzer has performed with his Brian Setzer Orchestra at Vegas venues over the years, including Pearl at the Palms in December 2014 and at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay last June.
The 58-year-old Setzer has hinted at a Stray Cats reunion, telling the Ocean County Register in December 2016, “We’re a special band, we really have good chemistry. I don’t know when we’ll do it, but hopefully before I lose my pompadour.”
And if these guys are interested in extending this reunion, a five-show spree at a Strip theater would sure hit the spot.
What of Brad?
Our buddy Brad Garrett, who is as funny off-stage as on , has been cast in the second season of the Showtime series “I’m Dying Up Here.” The series explores the oft-cutthroat world of comedy on the Sunset Strip in the 1970s. Jim Carrey is executive producer.
Garrett plays the legendary comic Roy Martin, who partners with comedy club maven Goldie Herschlag (played by Oscar-winner Melissa Leo, honored in 2011 as Best Supporting Actress in “The Fighter”). Martin tutors the young comics attempting to leap to fame in Goldie’s star-making comedy club.
The series’ second season premieres May 6.
In the meantime, Garrett is appearing almost every weekend through April at his eponymous comedy club at MGM Grand’s Underground. As he often jokes, “I’m next door to the pretzel shop and across from Häagen-Dazs. This is what happens when your ex-wife takes all your ‘Raymond’ money.”
Doin’ it nightly
A cast member from a long-ago production on the Strip is taking issue with the contention that “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace is the only Las Vegas show ever to perform 14 times per week, with no scheduled days off.
“Absinthe” announced Monday that it will begin that ambitious run May 14.
But venerable stage performer Carolyn Freeman recalls “Flower Drum Song,” the Vegas version of the Broadway musical and feature film, which ran at Thunderbird hotel-casino from 1961-’63.
As Freeman says, “We did 14 shows for approximately 2 ½ years. It wasn’t easy, but it was successful and I danced every minute of it.” She recalls the show taking a six-month break from the Strip — only to perform an extended run at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.
Also, two adult revues in the Stabile Productions family also set nightly schedules. “X Burlesque” at Bugsy’s Cabaret at Flamingo Las Vegas and sister production “X Country” at Harrah’s are both staged nightly. Those are single shows per night, no dark nights, but they do take select nights off for Matt and Angela Stabile’s annual Halloween and Christmas parties, and are also dark on New Year’s Eve.
Mizuya moniker modified
Mizuya is a fine term for a sushi restaurant, but it’s never conjured images of rocking, live music. That has changed, as the lounge connected to the raw-fish emporium at Mandalay Bay switched to Rhythm & Riffs this month.
The anchor show remains Nashville Unplugged, at 8 p.m. Fridays and hosted by Nashville singer/songwriter Aaron Benward. No cover charge, and no cover tunes, in this all-original music experience.
And this …
On the topic of names, Rose. Rabbit. Lie. Showroom is likely to be renamed as “Opium” moves in for a March 10 premiere. Spiegelworld Ballroom is among the names being kicked around. A personal favorite, House of Howie, has evidently been rejected.
Going to a go-go
Tommy Shaw, Lawrence Gowan and Todd Sucherman of Styx checked out the Rolling Stones Exhibitionism attraction at Palazzo on Tuesday. They are all, predictably, huge Stones fans. “Renegades in the Fast Lane,” featuring Styx and Don Felder of the Eagles, continues Wednesday night and through the weekend at The Venetian Theater.