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Pickings slim for Cosmo in 2010

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened this week without a theater or ticketed show.

It has space for one, the public relations folks say, and somewhere down the road we will see a hidden theater space built out once they decide what should be in it.

But it wasn’t an opening-week priority. For now, The Cosmopolitan will go more the way of the Hard Rock Hotel and Palms, chasing its young target demographic with concerts on the pool deck and in its ballroom.

Can’t say I blame them.

Granted, it doesn’t help me find new stuff to write about in this corner. But just as I was disappointed when big ol’ CityCenter opened with only “Viva Elvis,” I understand why concerts and clubs are lapping shows.

Since we’re in the year’s homestretch, let’s look at what came (and often went) in 2010. Pretend you run The Cosmo, and tell me if you would have bought any of these titles (remembering, in fairness, not all of them would think they belong there either).

Let’s start with the ones that charitably could be labeled new ideas, or at least solid twists on old ones:

“Jabbawockeez MÜS.I.C.” — A genuine breakthrough that brought the club crowd to theater seats. Whether it can sustain remains to be seen, but there’s no arguing it would have been a valid option for The Cosmo.

That’s one. Keep going.

“Recycled Percussion” — “Stomp” Lite for the college crowd. Ehh. Maybe.

“Vegas! The Show” — Colorful celebration of the good ol’ days. Skews too old for The Cosmo.

“The Dirty Joke Show” — Three comedians shake up the stand-up format. A modest venture, a modest victory for guys who work cheap.

And then the rest; shows that may be well executed, but ring familiar:

There’s magic, of course. “Triumph” has old guys who look like Siegfried & Roy, a Victorian sci-fi theme adding some promise. Also, “Arian Black: Secrets” and “Steve Dacri: In Your Face.” Alain Nu and Lior Suchard were mentalists, an edgier variation of magic.

Costumed tributes: “Just Imagine,” “The King Lives,” “Liberace — Music and Memories” and two that tried to be rock versions of “Legends.”

Comic impressionists: Frank Caliendo and Greg London.

Budget Cirque: “Dao: The Asian Celebration” and “Sideswipe.”

Topless cabaret: “Striptease” and “Burlesque — The Show.”

Community theater: “Nunsense.”

Show band: “Echoes of the ’60s.”

Good-looking singer working the retro thing: Matt Goss.

So that was 2010. If you were opening The Cosmopolitan, you might have caught yourself saying, “We’ll hang on to your DVD, but we’re really not making any decisions until we fine-tune our, uhm … pizza-by-the-slice place.

“Yeah. We’ll get back to you then.”

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

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