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Latest unlikely Vegas headliner? Bill O’Reilly

Jaunty ’80s Christmas music on one side of the street and ye olde Bill O’Reilly on the other? Just another holiday – er, sorry Bill – Christmas in Vegas taking shape now.

O’Reilly bumps Larry King one spot down on the list of Unlikely Vegas Headliners when he plays the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Dec. 7, during the National Finals Rodeo (Coincidence? You be the judge).

O’Reilly is co-billed with Fox-y comedian Dennis Miller here, so no Jon Stewart debate this time. And some of their material will have no choice but to be fresh; it will have to respond to whether the elections make this show a victory lap or “four more years of fighting Socialists.” …

How long will Las Vegas love them dogs? The producer of “America’s Got Talent Live” plans to bring the Olate Dogs and other winner’s of this fall’s talent show back to the Palazzo next year.

The show opening Wednesday at the Palazzo runs through Nov. 17 before taking a break so Mannheim Steamroller – the musical Christmas factory of electronic pop and lasers – can do its thing there for six weeks starting Nov. 20.

But “Talent” executive producer Matthew Gaven says his show plans to return Jan. 7 and run all the way to July, when the NBC competition starts up again. That would be 35 weeks of not forgetting all about those cute little doggies once “Dancing With the Stars” comes back Monday.

The Mannheim Steamroller is not to be confused with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which also pumps up Christmas Classics and barnstorms the country every winter. Mannheim is the prog-rock lighter version, and the sit-down will be in addition to the usual touring company. …

Tucked away in the fine print for a news release about “America’s Got Talent Live” opening at the Palazzo: The cast includes Recycled Percussion. Didn’t they compete on the show three years ago? And don’t they have a show at the Tropicana?

Yes and no.

The “junk rock” quartet that hammers on trash cans did get a wallop of national fame on “Talent” in 2009, and moved to Las Vegas for the long run. But on Sunday, the drums fell silent at the Tropicana, where the group has held on since late 2010, through several roommates and changes of direction there.

The Trop is finally moving ahead with an oft-postponed remodeling of its vintage showroom. The facelift to the retro digs that date back to 1973 have been discussed since “Folies Bergere” closed in March 2009.

In a statement, the Trop thanks Recycled for its tenure, and says the hotel “now look(s) forward to the exciting transformation” of the showroom, without going into specifics about what will be done to it. However, they plan to be finished in time for the live spinoff of “Dancing With the Stars” to return in March.

David Saxe came on board as Recycled’s producer late in the going, and says the “Talent” gig is a placeholder. He says the Recycled gang wasn’t getting a clear signal on how welcome they would be at the Trop next year, so the drum-beaters will likely relaunch in one of the two venues Saxe operates at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort. …

Indigo is Taylor Hicks’ new favorite color. The “American Idol” signed on to keep performing in the Bally’s lounge, returning Oct. 17-Nov. 12, and Dec. 3-16, and more next year. Hicks also will perform at other Caesars Entertainment venues around the country, making it good fortune indeed that he happened to meet Bally’s President David Hoenemeyer at last winter’s Bowl Championship Series title game in New Orleans. …

Nicky “The Buzzard” Shane is a stand-up who performs in tattered, post-Lehman Bros. suit and does countless benefits for homeless relief. On Friday, 10 bucks will get you into a 10 p.m. benefit for St. Jude’s Ranch in the Wolf Theater at the Clarion. …

A full obituary of lounge legend Norman Kaye ran in Tuesday’s paper, but it has since been announced that services will be at noon Monday at Palm Northwest Mortuary, 6701 N. Jones Blvd. Kaye was the last surviving member of the Mary Kaye Trio, which set the lounges of ’50s-era Vegas on the right course.

The city lost another hardworking pro, Alonzo Smalls, to colon cancer on Aug. 27. The South Carolina native sang with the Checkmates, Sonny Turner and the Imperials, and spent four years as part of Beary Hobbs’ Drifters in a package of Coasters/Drifters/Platters music at the Sahara.

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

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