Amid the seismic shifts in “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, the show’s Green Fairy is performing her first off-Strip solo show. Melody Sweets has dialed up “The Sweets’ Spot,” Oct. 11 at Cabaret Jazz. Having performed a series of burlesque-themed solo shows at the Spiegeltent at Caesars Palace, Sweets says she’ll perform a series of sultry (sultry, I tell you!) musical numbers from her own selection of originals and well-placed covers.
The timing of the show is just 10 days before “Absinthe” is set to close at Caesars Palace for its expected move to Cosmopolitan’s Rose. Rabbit. Lie. ballroom. Sweets is among the few remaining cast members in the production, which opened in March 2011 at Roman Plaza.
For the show at Smith Center, Sweets will be bringing in her requisite crew of backing dancers and variety acts, though likely tempered a bit for the Cabaret Jazz venue. Of particular interest is her choice in music director, Lon Bronson, with whom she has recorded a remake of Alice Cooper’s “Is It My Body” at 11th Street Records in Downtown Las Vegas.
It’s a somewhat gritty and unvarnished presentation, reminding of the sax played by the esteemed Andrew Friedlander.
ON THE SMITH CENTER AND HORNS
David Perrico, a verified trumpet ace and great arranger of musical notes, brings his Pop Strings crew back to Cabaret Jazz at 8 p.m. Sept. 16. The night is a tribute to Sting, absent the tantric yoga.
The vocal lineup for this show is simply the ridiculous, with Rockie Brown joining Perrico mainstays Naomi Mauro and Eric Sean. The latter two are with Perrico again as he returns to the Lounge at the Palms at 11 p.m. Saturday and again Sept. 24.
Of particular interest is if the new Station Casinos hierarchy, which is to take over operation of the hotel this weekend, will continue its live-music lineup – which has featured Pop Strings for a year – in the Lounge. The hope, here, is the new crew will keep that act in place. It’s terrific.
HOW ABOUT AN ENCORE AT CAB JAZZ?
Frankie Moreno (who happens to eschew encores) is returning to his unannounced theme productions for his Tuesday night performances; two weeks ago he opted for an Elvis revival. Moreno has been performing past the two-hour mark in these shows, eclipsing 2 hours, 30 minutes last week. The scene is beginning to feel something like Moreno’s shows at Rush Lounge at Golden Nugget years back, though (slightly) more organized and (marginally) more disciplined.
Friday night is Zowie Bowie’s official, formal, re-opening premiere extravaganza at Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort. Z.B. left the venue eight months ago, pursuing his new big-band show “Vegas … Straight Up” at South Point’s Grandview Lounge. But he is back with the dance-party production he performed at Rocks Lounge for nearly 10 years, having returned last week to a pretty healthy crowd of groovers, scenesters and longtime cohorts. I’ve always marveled at how the legally named Chris Phillips and his dazzling sidekick Nieve Malandra generate energy and business in that room. By the way, nice move by the staff to draw back the black curtain that blocked the view of the stage from the casino. The room feels a lot more open, because it is, by removing that Vader-like shroud.
Also to be noted in the return of Zowie Bowie: For the first time at Rocks Lounge, there is a cover charge for a Z.B. performance at Red Rock— $10 at the door, $5 if you have a Station Casinos Boarding Pass rewards card. But it might be a good investment: Sometimes, Phillips uncorks a $12 performance.
THE TEXAS TENORS
The Texas Tenors, known for their top-four run on “America’s Got Talent” in 2009, hit Windows Showroom on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7:30 (tickets are $49.50 and $69.50, absent fees).
The Tenors are the highest-ranking group in the history of the series, a cross-over crew that borrows from Bruno Mars, Frank Sinatra, Alabama and the Righteous Brothers. The trio boasts diverse underpinnings: J.C. Fisher specializes in country, Marcus Collins in pop, and John Hagen is a trained opera singer. Nothing like this, at the moment, on the Strip.
AN EPIC NIGHT OUT
If you were to ask, “Where might I find an epic night?” the unanticipated answer is, “The Plaza Showroom.”
Epic is the order of the scene as “One Epic Night” opens this week at the room that is the current home to the Scintas and formerly hosted Louie Anderson. Designed as a rollout of performers from some of network TV’s most popular contest shows. Among them: Megan Ruger of “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent,” Will Champlin of “The Voice,” “The Piano Guys” magicians Jarrett & Raja of “AGT,” and James Durbing of “American Idol.”
“One Epic Night” is actually many epic nights, running 7 p.m. Saturdays through Wednesdays through Jan. 4 (4 p.m. matinees are slotted for select Saturdays). The show was created by Nick Padgett’s American Dream Concerts and produced by Joe Sanfellipo under his Bonkerz Comedy Production title. Sanfellipo has moved his Bonkers comedy shows around to a few hotels, including the old Las Vegas Hilton Shimmer Cabaret, SLS (in the Sayers Club for a time last year), Palace Station, Treasure Island and also a makeshift club at the Plaza.
And for the rule on how we classify “Epic” in VegasVille: There are four levels of events in this city, starting with “Event,” then ramping up to “A Thing,” to “A Whole Thing” and, finally, “Epic.” You might start with an Event that turns into A Thing, for example, or A Whole Thing that accelerates to Epic (Moreno’s pop-up Stifler shows are an example). But rarely does anything start as Epic, so “One Epic Night” has set a high bar to clear, folks. We’re counting on Jarrett & Raja to rise to the occasion.
John Katsilometes’ column runs Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter.