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Top Hakkasan Group executive leaves post

Updated January 10, 2021 - 4:09 pm

When Hakkasan Group laid off 1,600 employees in March, Michael Ryan-Southern issued the bad news with a companywide memo. Only the company’s top-level executives, including its president, were spared.

Now, Ryan-Southern himself has left his post.

The company’s president and CFO, Ryan-Southern has reportedly taken another position in the company, according to one of its remaining high-level execs. Hakkasan Group Executive Vice President of Entertainment James Algate said in an email Monday, “We can confirm that Michael Ryan-Southern left Hakkasan at the end of last year for another role within the ownership portfolio.”

Efforts to reach Ryan-Southern for comment have been unsuccessful. He joined the company in November 2018.

Hakkasan Group’s uncertain future became a hot topic over the weekend, as the nightlife company remains dormant because of COVID. But Algate refused to comment on speculation about the company’s plans for 2021.

Hakkasan has holdings include nightlife properties in Mexico, Morocco, the Middle East and India. In Las Vegas, the company has operated such destination nightclubs as Omnia at Caesars Palace and Hakkasan Nightclub at MGM Grand.

The sidelined nightlife giant also operates Wet Republic pool deck, which unveiled its renovation just before the COVID shutdown last February at MGM Grand.

Resorts World wrap

Still holding to my previous name-checks of Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry among the headliners in rotation at The Theater at Resorts World. Merely by her long hold on the Strip, Celine should lead this group of resident stars, who are expected to serve as Resorts World ambassadors along with their resident productions.

Dion would open only when she is able to finish her on-hiatus world tour. The superstar strategy should stretch to the DJ lineup at Zouk nightclub, with top-line headliners heading up a venue to compete with Hakkasan at MGM Grand, XS and Encore at the Wynn, and Omnia at Caesars Palace.

Also, we expect the hotel to hold to its summer 2021 opening. No plans at the moment to move that date. The demand for jobs at the $4.3 billion resort is extraordinarily high, as expected. Property president Scott Sibella and his team are reviewing more than 70,000 applicants for about 6,000 positions.

Roberts revisited

Somehow, some of us felt we’d run into Tanya Roberts sometime in VegasVille. We had — at the 2006 gala opening of the musical “Hairspray” at Luxor. The show’s co-producer Myron Martin checked in Sunday with that reminder, formed as a question, as in, “Do you remember Tanya Roberts from the ‘Hairspray’ opening?” I hadn’t, but Martin found red-carpet pics of Roberts from that night. The premiere was a splashy affair for a show that opened with co-stars Harvey Fierstein, Dick Latessa and Eddie Mekka.

Roberts was the focus of confusing reports of her death Monday night at 65. Media outlets had previously reported Roberts died Sunday night after her partner, Lance O’Brien told CNN he was distraught after saying goodbye to Roberts at her bedside at L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Hospital. He believed then she had passed away, but she was actually in critical condition. No cause and manner of death have been released.

Roberts was cast in the Bond film “A View To A Kill,” opposite Roger Moore. At the time of “Hairspray,” she had a recurring role on “That ’70s Show.”

Righteous kinda brothers

Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers and John Wedemeyer of the duo’s band at Harrah’s perform at Piazza Lounge at Tuscany at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The guys have teamed for some magic online. This is their first live performance. I understand the esteemed Bill Medley, the “other” half of the Righteous Brothers, might be there. That, and the no-cover scene, is forever righteous.

Great Moments In Social Media

We have learned through Instagram that Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds, Aja Volkman and family are building a new house in Las Vegas. Reynolds posted a photo of himself hugging Volkman, who was holding their 16-month old son, Valentine, while peering over a construction fence. Check out Valentine, who is instinctively glancing into the camera.

Reynolds’ feed is great. The video from Dec. 4, which chronicles daughter Gia’s failed attempt at a Spider-Man costume, is also priceless.

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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