Construction may keep tourists away

But what about the little guy?

It’s a question you hear a lot in the political arena. Now it’s time to catch up on shows that may be gone before you even knew they were here. But there are a thousand stories in the topless city, like the one about the hypnotist walled off from his potential audience. …

It’s hard enough to find the Harmon Theater from inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. You have to go outdoors to a sidewalk to get back in. Now it’s no picnic from the outside either. Harmon Avenue is under construction in front of the club — blocking the usual valet and taxi stand — and barricades on Las Vegas Boulevard herd pedestrians right past the building.

Great time to open a new show at the theater, as producer Ray Wolf did with the “Naughty Boys Hypnosis Show” recently. “We’re going to hold out and do the best we can,” he says. “We did a show with 13 people, believe it or not.”

That is pretty amazing. Figure that in most hypnosis shows, that’s about how many people would step up to volunteer. Could give new meaning to Penn Jillette’s description of hypnotism as “the audience entertaining each other.” Hope there were lap dances for all. …

In late June, this column asked, “Is the Tropicana turning into the Riviera?” Since then, the property did let the number of shows (six, plus TV tapings of “Let’s Make a Deal”) get way out of balance to the 1,876 room count (with many of those off-line for remodeling).

Now producer Anthony Cools says he and hotel management agreed to close two productions before Wayne Newton arrives Oct. 14 for a six-month run as main-showroom headliner (see related story above). The Beatles tribute “Penny Lane” already is gone and impressionist Rich Natole closes Sunday in the Bobby Slayton Room.

The status of comedian Slayton was undetermined at this writing, but it sounded as though he might be ready to move as well. Producer Cools says Slayton is “an amazing talent and a great individual and deserves to have success in this town.”

Producer Maggie Cupp says “The Soprano’s Last Supper” and “Hypnosis Unleashed” are staying put in a different space at the Tropicana. Magician Dirk Arthur will probably move from 7 to 6 p.m. before Newton at 8:30 p.m. …

At the Greek Isles, scary-looking fire guy Antonio Restivo says his “Ignite” revue will close Tuesday. He was given notice a new promoter will book titles for the little casino that changed hands last month after a foreclosure. Italian magician Antonio Casanova already slipped in last weekend, with an Interstate 15 billboard but nary a listings notice for our Neon showguide.

A YouTube promotional video calls Casanova “the only magician who performs the water torture cell every night.”

Casanova, meet Scarlett!

The video also touts the Merlin Awards, which are handed out by a frizzy-haired Marty Allen look-alike named Tony Hassini.

Casanova, meet every other magician in town!

“The Evocative Illusionist” is described as a pianist and opera singer, which does leave some room for originality. The video shows him floating up from a grand piano and playing it in midair. We’ll give him that — unless Emerson, Lake & Palmer stage a comeback on the Strip. …

At the Las Vegas Hilton, advertising for “Voices” in the Shimmer Showroom has removed mention of Earl Turner; the show is now fully in the hands of co-star Lani Misalucha. Turner was to return this week after a cruise-ship booking. But after deliberating issues he didn’t want to make public, co-producer Angelo Giordano says “a tough decision” was made to not have him back.

“Voices” has been reformatted for Misalucha to continue as a solo act for a month or so. But the title will remain plural, because of a plan to book guest stars such as Sally Kellerman in two-week stretches.

Roommate attraction “Sin City Bad Girls” is holding tight, even though band members from the production no longer linger afterward to play as the free lounge act Sin City Heat, says co-producer Glenn Medas. …

If you held off long enough to read about some bigger stuff, Hilton marketing executive Rick White says management is “unbelievably pleased” with the just-concluded “Sgt. Pepper Live.” White’s hands are a bit tied when talking about return plans; any decisions on Barry Manilow jumping ship to Paris Las Vegas next year still haven’t been made public.

White did suggest the Cheap Trick “Pepper” has the potential to be more than a once-or-twice a year occasion. My suggestion to him: Since the phenomenal Joan Osborne had only two songs as a “Pepper” guest star, put her in Shimmer for after-party sets. Back me up on this, please. …

By October of 1989, Guns N’ Roses had conquered the rock world when they stole the headlines from the Rolling Stones in concerts at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. In Las Vegas, excitement was building for the opening of The Mirage.

Now, guitarist Slash is hosting a Mirage 20th anniversary celebration at the hotel pool on Oct. 2, with billed friends including Adam Levine, Courtney Love, Tommy Lee, Joe Perry, Rob Zombie and Pussycat Doll singer Nicole Scherzinger.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

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