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The Strip scene, starring SLS, ‘O’ expansion and Raider helmets

Updated May 12, 2019 - 9:46 pm

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is the Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas and another dance with “Ester Goldberg’s Totally Outrageous Brunch.”

I’m here for the talent, the nosh and the convenient location near my place downtown.

There is news in the room, as the adult-themed brunch has been extended through October. The current schedule is brunch at 1 p.m., show at 2 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. This is positive news for the show conceived by Michael Airington, who also portrays the lead role as the crabby Ester Goldberg. As they say, don’t mess with a redhead.

Around the hotel, the comedy/variety show “Blanc de Blanc” reportedly loading in soon and due for a July 4 opening at the Foundry. Another major title is said to be zeroing in on the property, too. More to be imparted, but SLS is making a concerted effort to be a player in Vegas entertainment.

‘O,’ we have shows

Cirque du Soleil is wading further into the deep end with “O” at Bellagio, its most profitable Strip production over the past 20-plus years. The company plans to expand the show’s schedule to seven days a week by 2020. The new schedule is likely to go into effect in late December. The decision came down Friday. The show is adding at least one performance on Mondays and Tuesdays, which are its current dark nights.

As it is, “O” performs about 470 shows per year and annually moves more tickets than any single production show in the world.

The read here is, “O” already spreads the wealth to other Cirque shows on the Strip. Why not put the schedule to the test to draw more revenue? Officials say that if “O” hits the box-office projections, other shows’ schedules will be reviewed. No plans have been announced yet to update the aquatic spectacle, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see refreshment at the pool by 2020.

Those L.V. Raiders lids

A Raiders helmet up for bid in Friday night’s JDRF Hope Gala at Mandalay Bay was distinctive for its autograph (star receiver Antonio Brown) and its base color (black).

Raiders helmets have been silver, with the famous black crest, since 1963, when Al Davis took over as head coach and general manager. They were black with a white stripe, no logo, in the team’s inaugural 1960 season and ‘61, and black with a gold stripe in ‘62. Raider helmets have never been black-on-black.

So I sent a photo of the signed helmet to Raiders owner Mark Davis, asking if the team is going with black helmets when it moves to Las Vegas in 2020.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t break it,” he said, spinning an old phrase. “The Raider uniform is globally recognized and annually voted the best uniform in the NFL As long as a Davis owns the Raiders, it will stay that way.”

Davis followed up with, “But your black Raiders helmet does look cool.”

I explained the helmet wasn’t mine. I didn’t bid on it. I’ll hold out for the silver.

More JDRF color

The Ellis family of Ellis Island Casino & Brewery fame were honored at the event for JDRF, which raises funds for research and treatment of type 1 diabetes. Gary and Cindy and daughters Christina, Anamarie and Michaela took the stage as a family to accept the honor. The family also donated $50,000 to JDRF during dinner, a figure matched by their good friends Jelindo and Sandee M. Tiberti.

In all, $1.32 million was raised during the three-hour event, emceed by Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie, with performances by Michael Shapiro and Reckless in Vegas and the grooving lounge band Status. The event was produced by the Best Agency of Las Vegas, with the old-Vegas theme spiced by a bevy of models in showgirl outfits.

MGM Resorts International President Bill Hornbuckle highlighted the live auction by posting the highest donation bid for an Australian Labradoodle puppy. The winning bid: $20,000. Woof!

John D on the stump

“Totally Outrageous Brunch” cast member and accomplished impressionist John Di Domenico’s “Fake News: A Trump Story” is streaming on Amazon Prime and worth a spin. The show is a satirical look at the opening of the Trump presidential library, which being built on American Indian land so it can double as a casino. Di Domenico is the star.

“There are no actual books,” Di Domenico says. “They take up a lot of space.”

Di Domenico’s workload, especially for corporate events, has boomed since Trump was elected. He continues to perform as Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Wayne from “Wayne’s World.” But nothing compares to the demand for the president.

“Trump is sucking all the energy out of pop culture,” Di Domenico says. “It’s just unbelievable. I don’t even know how I would start to do a Joe Biden impersonation. It’s all Trump.”

Vinnie’s day? Hellyeah

The late Vinnie Paul was honored Saturday night at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay with an explosive show headlined by his band, Hellyeah, with Sin City Kiss opening. The place was packed and the noise extraordinary, almost shaking the lime right out of the FizzyWater. Paul was honored with his own day, May 11, and an accompanying proclamation extolling his many achievements: 15 million albums sold with his heavy-metal bands, which also included Pantera and Damageplan; and four Grammy Award nominations.

But Paul is also remembered for his great support of live entertainment across Las Vegas — not just hard-rock acts. He loved all variety of live-entertainment talent, and that’s where we became friends.

I was honored to announce his Clark County proclamation from the stage. The response to his honor was deafening. But the band and Paul’s assembled friends and loved ones declined to actually accept on his behalf. The collective explanation: It was Vinnie’s night. It was all about him.

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, @JohnnyKats1on Instagram.

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