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Strip venue shuts down without warning; 3 shows closing

Updated July 2, 2022 - 2:29 pm

A success story during the pandemic reopening has closed, with no warning and no fanfare.

Mosaic on the Strip, home to three ongoing productions, shut down this week. Venue operator Dean Coleman of SPR & Promotions informed producers of “M.J. The Evolution,” Elyzabeth Diaga’s “Queens of Rock,” and the “Lady Like” burlesque revue on Wednesday they would need to haul out at once.

The venue was to cease operations in September, as the owners of the parcel reportedly plan to raze the building for a retail concept. Coleman said Thursday the property’s master leaseholder, Adventure International, has communicated those plans. The shows had been performing under that September timeline.

But this week’s closing arrived ignominiously, and without warning. Coleman said he detected the smell of burning wires backstage Monday. He reasoned there would need to be at least an intensive infrastructural review of the venue, and possibly repair or replace the wiring.

At that point, he said, it made more sense to simply close the room than pause, renovate and reopen.

“I wasn’t going to pay the money, first and foremost,” Coleman said. “Secondly, to get the work certified by the fire department and tracking what it was would have been a very time-consuming process.”

Coleman is confident “M.J. The Evolution” — the best-selling show at Mosaic up to its closing — will find a suitor. The production is fronted by able Jackson tribute artist Michael Firestone, endorsed by members of the Jackson family and employs a dance team and three performers representing Jackson through the years.

“Queens” is likely to look for a new Vegas venue while filling road dates. “Lady Like,” which has performed for just a month, is also seeking a room.

In a statement, the show’s producers said, “Creative Productions has always planned a limited engagement in this venue to showcase ‘Lady Like’ and shall be accelerating its move to another venue.”

Mosaic on the Strip has been slotted behind the strip mall anchored by Walgreen’s across the Strip from Park MGM.

Over the years, the club has operated as Metz, Utopia, Empire Ballroom, Boulevard Theater and Tommy Wind Theater. Coleman’s company took over in late 2019, opening in February 2020, just before COVID. The room seated about 500 for production shows.

Coleman was able to stage shows at limited capacity in October 2020, with “Queens of Rock,” Kyle Martin’s “Piano Man” tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John, and the “Aussie Heat” male revue. “M.J. The Evolution” opened months later. Diaga’s show had just returned from hiatus.

There were also loose plans to revive “A Mob Story,” late of the Plaza, at Mosaic (the signs were up, but the show was never on sale). Such productions as the “Little Miss Nasty” dance revue were in talks to open but never materialized.

Since its run at Mosaic, “Aussie Heat” has relocated to Notoriety Live. “Piano Man” is due to open next week at V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

Coleman’s company oversees more than 20 touring shows. He’s focusing on “M.J.,” with guitar great Christian Brady, who also performed in the “Queens” and “Piano Man” bands. Coleman is cutting about 20 minutes from the show and — wait for it — adding a hologram figure.

“My plan has been to have a show here and tour another show through Europe,” Coleman said. “I was planning to showcase it here next year, but now might do it in October.”

As for the other productions he’s provided a short-term home, Coleman said, “We are sad to close our doors today, but the way the market is, it is tough. I hope for the best for a lot of shows in Las Vegas.”

The Baz tour

Baz Luhrmann made an appearance at International Theater at Westgate Las Vegas during pre-production for “Elvis.”

It was part of Luhrmann’s one-venue tour of Las Vegas. He took in a Barry Manilow show at Westgate during his trip.

“Barry was kind enough to take me around and show me the whole stage, so I could soft of map it in my mind,” Luhrmann told Rachel Smith on her “Lights, Camera, Vegas” BeondTV show. The film’s actual shooting was enacted in Australia, but Luhrmann took notes of the stage’s details. Smith interviewed him on split-screen from the International stage.

“It’s a dead replica of that stage,” Luhrmann said of what he was able to dupe for the movie. “Back in the day, there were not all of these destination hotels. This was the first one.”

Cool Hang Alert

Keeping with the Westgate vibe … NPerson, the artistic and matrimonial tandem of Brandon Godfrey and Sean Stewart Godfrey of Soul of Motown, are at International Bar from 8 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays. The venue is just off the hotel’s main entrance. Grooving and gratuities encouraged. No cover. And catch the couple’s main show at Westgate Cabaret, which is still selling hot! Hot, I tell you!

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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