How does semiretirement suit Larry King?
After CNN’s longtime broadcaster takes a timeout from a phone interview to tend to some family logistics, he tells us.
“I’m too old for this,” King says of coordinating baseball camps and sleepovers. “I raised three kids, who are 51, 49 and 43. Then I meet a young girl and (now I have) a 12-year-old and an 11-year-old. I’m the age of a grandfather (77), and I have to be a father, and I can’t deal with whose play date is what and who’s sleeping where and what time is the game.”
So King is getting out of the house and touring live to do a show that has been talked about for more than a decade. He says his show at The Mirage on Saturday is more evolved than a benefit he performed at Wynn Las Vegas in 2009.
“This is a Broadway kind of a show. This is an act with backdrops and video. It’s much more formed. In the past I would just get up and tell stories,” he says. The content overlaps with his book of famous-people anecdotes, “Truth Be Told.”
King’s nephew is Scott Zeiger, the show producer of Las Vegas titles “Peepshow,” “Absinthe” and “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular.”
“Scott saw me speak at a convention” years ago, then arranged a showcase for theater owners, who were impressed enough to back a show either on Broadway or on tour. “The problem was I had a CNN show to do every night,” he says. “Nothing happened until I did my semiretirement,” yielding his CNN hour to Piers Morgan late last year.
“The withdrawal part is tough. Especially for a big story,” he says. “When you get a thing like the shooting of Osama bin Laden, you want to go to work.”
King’s singing wife Shawn — with whom he reconciled after an announced divorce — opens Saturday’s show. …
Gregory Popovich’s “Comedy Pet Theater” returns to the V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood on June 16, just in time for the summer family trade that is strong for his trained dogs and cats. Popovich will be there at least six months, after a long break that gave him time to take the show on the road.
“Aussie Improv Comedy,” which has held down the 4 p.m. time slot since February, will wrap up sketch comedy there on Tuesday. …
We thought Jackie Evancho would headline here first, but 10-year-old piano prodigy Ethan Bortnick will beat her to a Las Vegas stage, playing the Las Vegas Hilton on July 22 and 23. You may have seen him on Oprah, Jay Leno or in his own PBS special, playing almost any song imaginable by ear. …
The Jabbawockeez face an uncertain Las Vegas future after November, if you recall recent news that the Blue Man Group will move from The Venetian to the Monte Carlo in late 2012 (at some point booting the Jabbas from the Monte Carlo to do some theater renovations).
But for this summer, national TV exposure on “The Bachelorette” and “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew” should help the troupe sustain two more weekly shows in its schedule: now seven in five days (Thursdays through Mondays). …
Organized people like to plan ahead, like maybe knowing on Thursday what they might want to do Sunday. Therefore, a heads up that most of the Broadway musical performers on the Strip will join impressionists Rich Little and Gordie Brown for the “NF Hope Concert” at 1:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Hilton.
Sunday’s column will go into more detail about “Jersey Boys” co-star Jeff Leibow organizing the event because his young daughter has neurofibromatosis.
Not all benefit organizations have to have grim, serious names, though. The topless “Fantasy” has announced an ongoing commitment to support the Save the Ta-Tas Foundation fighting breast cancer. The cast heads to Hollywood to take part in a Wednesday benefit. …
Mainstream jazz buffs may remember the saxophone team-up of New York ace Richie Cole with Las Vegas’ own Jimmy Mulidore at the Rio back in the ’90s. On Friday the two will reunite on a different stretch of Flamingo Road: Ichabod’s Lounge, 3330 E. Flamingo Road.
The 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. sets are a warm-up for the two joining trumpeter Randy Brecker in San Diego on June 18.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.