Updated January 29, 2022 - 4:28 pm
The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Robert Irvine’s Public House at the Tropicana. We are on Laugh Factory duty, catching up with Jon Lovitz, back for his recurring residency series at the comedy club.
This is Lovitz’s first appearance in Vegas since the death of his friend and foil Bob Saget, the subject of a barbed musical number Lovitz has used to close the show. We will find out if that bit has been put away, or will live on as a tribute.
More from this scene, and elsewhere.
A Dragon lair
L.A. Comedy Club’s Dragon Room at the Strat has completed its move to the casino floor. The relocated club is next to McCall’s Heartland Grill. I checked the place out Saturday night . It’s pretty, great sight lines, sharp images of such greats as George Carlin and Richard Pryor in the lobby. Bar near the entrance. Has that new-comedy fragrance.
The custom-built showroom adds more than 100 seats, now at a 27o capacity. A dedicated curtain can cut the capacity to 120, depending on the night. Acoustic panels heighten the sound quality.
“With this new space, we had a blank canvas to create the ultimate comedy club for guests and comics to laugh and party,” L.A. Comedy Club producer Joaquin Trujillo said in a statement. “We took the best from all of the locations we have operated over the years and brought them together to create a place where you can not only see incredible comics perform, but also party with your friends.”
The formal opening is Feb. 10, but the club is staging shows now. The club presents three shows nightly, at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Touring comedians headline the 8 p.m. shows. The current roster is Shang from Monday to Feb. 6; JC Currais from Feb. 7-Feb. 13; Mike Merryfield from Feb. 14-Feb. 20; Trixx from Monday, Feb. 21-Feb. 27; Willie Fratto Farrell from Feb. 28-Mar. 6.
James Michael’s “Redneck Comedy Show” is daily at 6 p.m. The daily 10 p.m. show stars Butch Bradley from Thursdays through Mondays, and Bret Ernst on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The proven Broadway writing team of Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor showcase “Angel of Arkansas” at 2 p.m. Sunday at Notoriety Live. The musical is based on the life of Ruth Coker Burks, whose nickname is the show’s title. The story is set in rural Arkansas in 1986, with Coker’s life turned over by the growing AIDS/HIV epidemic. Burks was a caregiver, advocate, activist, pharmacist and undertaker to thousands of young men at the peak of the AIDS crisis.
Ruby Lewis, of “Baz” at Light at Mandalay Bay and “Paramour” on Broadway, plays the lead role. Brent Barrett (“Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” at The Venetian and “Chicago” on Broadway and on tour), Noah Rivera (“Wicked,” “In the Heights,” “Shrek the Musical,” Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons); and Todd DuBail (“Jersey Boys,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Grease” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” head up the stellar cast.
Oberacker and Taylor conceived “Bandstand” in Las Vegas, sending the musical to a 166-performance run at Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, closing in September 2017. The show snared a Tony Award for Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography.
Oberacker and Taylor also wrote “The Sandman,” which debuted at Majestic Repertory Theatre over the holiday season. Oberacker has been performing numbers from “Bruce,” the story of the creation of the movie “Jaws,” at the Composers Showcase of Las Vegas for the past three years or so.
Oberacker, whose regular gig is music director of “Ka” at MGM Grand, says, “It’s sort of become a thing to be able to offer Las Vegas the exclusive first look at our new work, an insider sneak peek before anyone else in the country.”
Philharmonic ED out
Las Vegas Philharmonic has “parted ways,” as a news release informs, Executive Director Anne Berquist, effective immediately. Berquist joined the company in May. No other information available. Spokeswoman Michele Madole says the organization plans to issue a statement this week.
Great Moments in Social Media
Lady Gaga tribute artist Tierney Allen visited Joanne Trattoria in Manhattan over the weekend when she was performing a private event. Allen had wanted to visit the Germanotta family restaurant since it opened in 2012. She left a personal note to Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta. The visit plays out @VegasLadyGaga, and catch Allen’s act in “Legendary Divas” at the Tropicana, opening Feb. 2.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.
What: “Angel of Arkansas”
Where: Notoriety Live
When: 2 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $50-$100, plus fees, at notorietylive.com
Ruby Lewis in the lead role of Ruth. Lewis. Starred on Broadway as the leading lady in Cirque’s “Paramour,” in “Baz,” and she created the role of Marilyn Monroe in the musical “Marilyn” at the Paris Theatre. She’s also played several other biographical roles including Betty Hutton and Peggy Lee in “Lights Out: Nat King Cole” at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Brent Barrett, a Broadway powerhouse who has starred in many Broadway musicals including “Chicago,” “Annie Get Your Gun” (opposite the legendary Reba McEntire), “Grand Hotel,” “Candide” and “West Side Story.” Barrett originated the role of the Phantom in the premiere of “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” at the Venetian, and he received an Olivier nomination for his performance in the London company of “Kiss Me, Kate.”
Noah Rivera has appeared in the Broadway companies of “Wicked,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights,” and originated the role of the White Rabbit in “Shrek the Musical.” He is also an official singing member of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, touring and performing world-wide with the great Frankie Valli himself.
Todd DuBail appeared in the Las Vegas production of “Jersey Boys” and the national tours of “Jersey Boys,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Grease” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” His extensive regional theatre credits include Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast,” Sam in “Mamma Mia,” Rooster in “Annie” and Corny Collins in “Hairspray.”
Daz Weller hails from Australia and is the artistic director of the Vegas Theatre Company. He originated the role of Julian Assange in the Sydney and London premieres of “Stainless Steel Rat” and the role of Ray Dooley in the Sydney premiere of “Beauty Queen of Leenane.” He recently originated the role of Dr. Copelius in the American premiere of “The Sandman” at the Majestic Repertory Theatre.
Devin L. Roberts appeared on Broadway, on national tour and in Las Vegas in Disney’s “The Lion King.” Other New York credits include “Cabin in the Sky,” at City Center Theatre and “Venice” at the Public Theater. He has danced with the Philadelphia Dance Company and appeared on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Phillip Officer originated the role of The Geek in the Broadway musical “Side Show.” He is an award-winning, renowned cabaret artist who has performed in legendary venues including Carnegie Hall and the Oak Room in the Algonquin Hotel.
Luke Striffler toured the United Kingdom in both “Hairspray”and “Avenue Q.” His film and television credits include “East-Enders,” “The Morning After,” and as a semi finalist on “Britain’s Got Talent.”
Christopher Lash has appeared in several national tour and international productions of “Million Dollar Quartet” as Jerry Lee Lewis. He is also one of the premiere musical directors in Las Vegas, having conducted “Jersey Boys” at the Paris Theatre and “Baz” at the Palazzo Theatre as well as serving as resident musical director for the University of Nevada Las Vegas Theatre Department.
Paul Johnson is a familiar leading man on the Las Vegas Strip, having appeared in “The Atomic Saloon Show,” “Raiding The Rock Vault,” “Rock of Ages,” “Peepshow” and “Baz.”
Steffan Scrogan recently originated the role of Albert Strauss in the American premiere of “The Sandman” at the Majestic Repertory Theatre. He has appeared as Saint Jimmy in “American Idiot” and Toby in “Sweeney Todd.”
Paul Bradley has appeared regionally as Coalhouse Walker in “Ragtime,” Adam in “Children of Eden” and Jim in “Big River.” He is the lead singer of the band “for Balter”.
JeShaun Jackson is a unique gender-bending talent who has toured nationally in “Church Girls.” He created the role of Ritchie in “Ritchie and Blanche” at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and appeared regionally in “Working” and “Smokey Joe’s Café.”
Additionally, the crucial role of The Doctor, which is voiced from offstage, will be performed by Annette Houlihan Verdolino, a Las Vegas leading lady who recently originated the role of Fraulein Kaeseschweiss in the American premiere of “The Sandman” at the Majestic Repertory Theatre. She has appeared as Mrs. Lovett in “Sweeney Todd” and on the Las Vegas Strip and national tour in the long running “Menopause the Musical.” She is an alum of some of the most legendary avant garde stages of New York’s fringe, cabaret and experimental scene as well as performing in London and internationally as a renown Burlesque emcee.