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‘Legends’ leaving Imperial Palace

Legends in Concert" is moving right next door, but it's still a significant move after 25 years at the Imperial Palace.

"It will be a very sad night" on Dec. 13, says Brian Brigner, chief operating officer for producer On Stage Entertainment. But it will be happy two nights later, when "Legends" opens its holiday edition at Harrah's Las Vegas.

While the seating capacity of the two rooms is almost a wash -- about 600 seats -- Brigner says he embraced the chance "to go to Harrah's namesake property, which is a nice branded calling card."

"Legends" stands to boost activity in the showroom now used by Rita Rudner for about 130 dates per year. The celebrity impersonation revue will run 51 weeks per year, with nine to 12 shows each week, depending on Rudner's schedule.

In January, "Legends" plans to add a new set by "American Idol" production designer Andy Walmsley, who also has done Las Vegas work for The Scintas and "V -- The Ultimate Variety Show."

"I want there to be some 'wow' factor that people don't anticipate," Brigner says, and it will be easier to relaunch "Legends" in a new location.

Nobody still believes the Imperial Palace will soon vanish in the current economy. But less than a year ago, when Brigner says he started talks about the move, the IP operated under constant rumors that it would be demolished or remodeled beyond recognition. Harrah's still offers "some good security" in a multiyear deal, he says.

Harrah's management isn't ready to say what will replace the revue at the Imperial Palace. But the answer needs to be impressive since "Legends" was very nearly the casino's entire identity, including "dealertainers" in celebrity costumes at the tables. ...

The Comedy Festival is staying the course for a third year at Caesars Palace this weekend, having anticipated at least some of the bad economy by slimming down to three days and eliminating a "village" of vendors.

There are still signs of stress, or at least an overabundance of competing choices. John Oliver, the British comedian from "The Daily Show," has to go up against Jerry Seinfeld and Tracy Morgan on Saturday night, which may explain why his Web site routes you to a half-price ticket offer.

Bargain-seekers also can look for the TBS LOL Lounge, a webcast of stand-up comedians that's free to the live audience in the Emperor's Ballroom today through Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

And on Friday and Saturday, the "Seinfeld Campus Tour" bus stops in front of Caesars, offering a mobile museum of memorabilia from the TV classic from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ...

Barry Manilow audiences today through Saturday might get an early sampling of "The Greatest Songs of the Eighties," which arrives in stores Monday. It continues Manilow's series of decade-by-decade covers with remakes of Journey's "Open Arms," Chicago's "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" and an "Islands In The Stream" duet with Reba McEntire.

Then again, Manilow recently did retitle his Las Vegas show "Ultimate Manilow: The Hits," implying that he's only doing his own hits from now on. Guess you have to go to find out. ...

"Viva Las Vegas" has closed at the Plaza downtown. The venerable afternoon revue may well resurface, given that it has played somewhere in town since 1991.

Producer Dick Feeney gave the show the summer off, then tried to drop the ticket price down to a "free for a drink" promotion in October, but it wasn't enough. ...

"The Real Deal," The Venetian's new play-along poker show, is moving its one evening performance from 8 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays (the others remain at 5 p.m.). The new time assures there will be no conflict with host comedian Vinnie Favorito's own show at the Flamingo and allows a "late-night feel," as the press release describes it, with Favorito more in the uncensored realm of his own act.

"Deal" also was quick to remedy some overoptimistic pricing, which included a price tier without the chance to play along on hand-held consoles. Now, everyone who buys a $45 ticket gets to play along. ...

Comedian Sammy Shore signs his new book, "The Man Who Made Elvis Laugh," at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Barnes & Noble store at 8915 W. Charleston Blvd. ...

Steve Dacri is really defying the economy this time. It sounded bold last spring when the close-up magic veteran offered a $300 dinner show at the Six Tables restaurant out in the suburbs, but it ran for six months there.

Dacri still has enough faith in the stock portfolios of high-end customers to open a new version, "Intimate Illusions," on Dec. 26 in the more tourist-friendly Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons. It will still cost $300 plus tax, and still play to groups no larger than 30.

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

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