If your name is Cher, it’s a good summer in Las Vegas. Everyone else had to work a little harder.
The $4 gas didn’t keep Cher fans from buying those $250 tickets. She sold out two of her first three August shows and came within 331 tickets of selling out the third, grossing $1.89 million. Bette Midler also did impressive business in the same Colosseum with the same ticket prices, but sold out only one of five shows July 15-20, according to industry trade bible Billboard.
The Star of the Desert Arena at Primm, on the other hand, is giving away 500 tickets to all of its concerts for the rest of the year. The list includes Hootie & The Blowfish on Saturday and upcoming dates by Bill Cosby, Brian Wilson and Al Green.
“My goal is to get them down here (to the state line),” says David Krause, head of marketing and entertainment. “I’m trying to get people to understand we’re not as far away as people think,” he says.
The free tickets are released on a staggered basis instead of all at once, and Krause says they aren’t all nosebleed seats. A four-ticket limit, combined with routing the offer through Ticketmaster’s Web site, attempts to keep ticket resellers at bay. Tickets can be picked up only on the day of the show.
The offer was first extended for Liza Minnelli last weekend. Krause says it helped boost her attendance to 3,800, which pleased both the casino and the entertainer’s camp. Arena officials expect to top the 4,000 mark for Hootie.
Krause, by the way, is the same guy who initiated a Hootie-branded lounge at the Silverton when he worked there. He says he will discuss similar ideas with the band this weekend. “I’ve got a lot of real estate out here.” …
“This is sort of the opposite of Criss Angel,” Tobias Beckwith, manager of magician Jeff McBride, says of his client’s new venture, “Magic at the Edge.”
Audiences for the show which opens Friday at Palace Station won’t see Cirque du Soleil production value, but will see “a man with a lot of skill and theatricality,” Beckwith says. “There’s not a lot of really close-up magic in this town.”
McBride has done his distinctive act, which includes exotic masks and elements of Kabuki theater, at the bygone Caesars Magical Empire. That venue, which closed to make way for Pure nightclub, took its inspiration from the Magic Castle nightclub in Hollywood. In the same tradition, McBride and his investors also plan to keep the magic going in the cozy Sound Trax lounge after the formal show, with a hybrid club format called “Wonderground” on Fridays and Saturdays.
McBride has a three-month contract with options to extend, though Station Casinos’ long-term plans for the space may result in the demise of the lounge. …
David Saxe, producer of “V — The Ultimate Variety Show,” remembers watching ventriloquist Terry Fator’s promotional video and opting not to offer him a job in the revue.
“I thought he was good, but I didn’t think a guy with puppets represented the show,” he says.
Ah well, you can’t call ’em all. But Saxe is making reparations by hiring the first winner of “America’s Got Talent,” Bianca Ryan, to sing in “V” Monday through Aug. 31. The singer turns 14 the day after her engagement wraps, and so wasn’t quite in the same position as second-season winner Fator to capitalize on her TV fame. …
Bruce Ewing, the “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” cast member who crusades for Family Promise of Las Vegas, has organized another artistic endeavor on behalf of the relief effort for homeless families.
This time, performers from shows on the Strip stage “Listen to My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman” on Sept. 6 at the Community Lutheran Church. Call 245-0992 for ticket information.
The same basic group of creative show folk, who network through Keith Thompson’s series of late-night composer’s showcases, stage a concert version of a new musical version of “Dracula” on Oct. 18 and 19 at the College of Southern Nevada.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0288.