It took about two years to prepare for less than 10 seconds of motorcycle flight on the Strip.
But Travis Pastrana easily stuck the landing — well, three of them — at “Evel Live” on Sunday. He soared over 52 crushed cars of varying makes and 16 Greyhound buses on two ramps on the east side of Planet Hollywood, Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s.
Pastrana then cleared the fountains in front of Caesars Palace, and the guy made it look so easy. He couldn’t have seemed more leisurely if he had been tooling around on an old 10-speed bike.
The made-for-TV event was a winner for Caesars Entertainment, which is bringing a Nitro Circus show (with Pastrana’s creative vision) to Bally’s Jubilee Theater in spring 2019. The 90-minute show is a partnership with Nitro Circus and Base Entertainment. Sunday’s “Evel Live” provided a launching pad for that production on the Strip, but the triple-jump event itself was a major undertaking.
“This is a concept we had talked with the Knievel family about two years ago and have been working since to bring it to fruition,” Caesars Entertainment senior vice president and chief marketing officer Ryan Thompson said Sunday after Pastrana safely cleared his fountains attempt. “We were lucky to find great partners in Nitro Circus who helped us to bring this to life with Travis and the History Channel.”
Thompson referred to Pastrana as “a new icon in Las Vegas,” and after his roaring reception at two venues, it’s hard to argue. Though Pastrana was the central superstar Sunday, he is not to be a regular onstage performer in the Bally’s show. Instead, he’ll use his promotional skills and creative passion to spark interest in the unique Strip theatrical experience.
“I am so psyched about this show,” Pastrana said in a release announcing the show Monday morning. “It’s going to be totally different from anything we’ve done and unlike anything ever staged before in action sports.”
Though the show’s name is yet to be announced, Producers have provided more details about the production since I first wrote of it Thursday, and also since Pastrana promised “a pretty amazing show” on Friday.
The show will feature motocross, BMX and “the best in skate, scooter and Nitro Circus’ infamous contraptions,” according Monday’s news release. Multiple ramps will extend through the theater, to a platform stage and also to the side walls. Video screens are being developed as the old room that was host to “Jubilee” for more than three decades undergoes a multimillion-dollar overhaul.
“For the first time, guests will be able to see these action-sports athletes up close and personal in an intimate setting where the stunts will be all the more impressive,” said Jason Gastwirth of Caesars Entertainment.
“We have been working on this project for several years in order to create a spectacular show that would showcase what Nitro Circus is all about to Las Vegas and to the world,” Nitro Circus President Andy Edwards said. “We are so excited to be finally making that dream a reality.”
The daredevils to star in the show are yet to be announced, as are ticket prices and the show’s schedule. It is presented as an open-ended residency. An energetic showman is to navigate the entire production.Though that person is not named, we can think of one guy who’d be great in that role — if he wants to jump in.