The ‘Evel’ jump that never happened; Hart celebrates on Strip

Updated July 8, 2018 - 5:00 pm

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Cafe Americano at Caesars Palace, remarkable for its B.F.E. (Best Freakin’ Ever) burger, round-the-clock hours and occasional Gazillionaire sightings.

Later, Travis Pastrana will be leaping over the hotel’s fountains facing the Strip on Roman Plaza as part of “Evel Live” on History. We spent some time together on Thursday to talk about his made-for-TV event, and also of the upcoming Nitro Circus production at Bally’s Jubilee Theater beginning in the spring.

When Pastrana talks about flying motorcycles, his eyes flash and his face lights up. He’s a born showman who understands Vegas grandeur (he’s to wear party boots and a cape for the event).

Evel Knievel would approve. So would Liberace.

More from this scene and elsewhere.

Evel intent

The Nitro Circus show scheduled for Bally’s is not the first time a Knievel-inspired event has been designed for the stage. David Saxe attempted to develop a live tribute to Knievel’s 1967 Caesars Palace jump about five years ago for “Vegas! The Show” at Saxe Theater.

The theater dimensions were a concern. Another problem: The crowd would not be aware that a costumed motorcyclist was about to leap over their heads.

“Jumping from stage right to left wouldn’t have been impressive enough, so I really wanted him to come from the back of the theater and jump over the audience, landing on the stage,” Saxe recalled Sunday. “The problem was that the audience wouldn’t have turned around or seen enough of the jump.”

Instead, footage of Knievel’s violent landing is played as the show’s Elton John character performs, “Rocket Man.”

Hart pumps at 39

Kevin Hart made short work of Drai’s Live at The Cromwell on Friday after his show at MGM Grand Garden. Hart, star of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” celebrated his 39th birthday in quite public fashion.

The hot-selling stand-up star partied with his wife, Eniko, and several friends. Trey Songz, a buddy of Hart’s, performed “Na Na” and “Bottoms Up” from the rooftop terrace.

Those reported to be swaying in the scene included Plastic Cup Boyz (Joey Wells, Spank Horton, Na’im Lynn); French actor and singer Patrick Bruel; NBA players Chris Paul, LaMarcus Aldridge, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Rudy Gay, Quincy Pondexter, Dion Waiters; and Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly, who performed “E.I.”

Hart wound up onstage, of course, in full flourish, performing a quick post-show set. Every time Hart hits town, he makes it count.

Beast & bout champ at Chateau

Chateau Nightclub at Paris Las Vegas hosted Raiders running back Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch on Friday night, then resident bad man and UFC champ Daniel Cormier on Saturday night.

Lynch was hosting a fundraiser for the Fam 1st Family Foundation, which he co-founded with former Raider Joshua Johnson. The organization provides mentors for underprivileged youth, focusing on education, literacy and self-esteem.

Cormier hit the scene Saturday after his first-round knockout of Stipe Miocic to win the UFC heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena. He imbibed on Veuve Cliquot as cocktail servers paraded the requisite “GOAT” signs in his honor.

Marino on mute

In a development I never thought I’d ever see in VegasVille, Frank Marino is not talking to the media.

The legendary Strip entertainer and expert self-promoter has been instructed to keep quiet by his legal counsel, Mark Tratos of Las Vegas.

The dispute between the star of the now-closed “Divas Las Vegas” and Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada ongoing, and the incident is also under investigation by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Palms up for UFC

UFC President Dana White was at Scotch 80 Prime at the Palms on Thursday night after the UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Pearl Concert Theater. White was at a table of eight; also on the scene was UFC co-founder Art Davie and former champs Chuck Liddell and BJ Penn (dining together), and Tito Ortiz with a party of four.

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

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