Producer hopes shows will go on

Producer David King says he learned enough about Las Vegas in the past year to put together “a business course on how to open a show in Las Vegas and what to do if you get kicked out of your venue: Follow these six rules.”

“I’m not sure what those six are,” he adds, “but I think I can write them after all of this.”

That might be too specific a syllabus for undergrads, but a familiar conundrum does emerge from the latest show closings: Move fast or your show loses all its traction. But move too fast, and you might jump from the frying pan into the fire.

King is the British producer who oversees a cottage industry of modest titles, which have done very well for him in less-crowded, older-audience markets such as Branson, Mo.

Last year, King leased out a former club inside New York-New York and installed three titles (“Broadway Celebration,” “Dancing Queen” and “Shades of Temptation”).

“Just when you thought everything was fine, along come the bulldozers and whack you from behind,” King says with a laugh.

The shows will close July 21 because the venue will be absorbed into a remodeling project, part of the larger retail/outdoor plaza that eventually will connect New York-New York to the Monte Carlo.

“We’re sad to be going. Things were going well there,” King says. MGM Resorts was a great partner and the hotel an ideal location for the shows, which were at least breaking even, he adds.

But what now? Ideally, King would like to lock up a new venue and reopen the very next day, both to keep his casts intact and to sustain momentum with those who sell his tickets.

“We’re now well established with most of the major players,” King says. “My biggest concern from a business point of view is if there was any gap at all, that good will and those connections we’ve built up will just fly out the window.”

But on the other hand, “You’ve got to balance the urgency to try to replace the venue with the common-sense business acumen that we’ve got to get the right situation and the right deal,” he says. “The overriding issue is to make sure you’re in the right place with the right partners.”

The main thing King has on his side? He’s still open. The battle will be much tougher for “iCandy The Show,” which closed June 1 at the Saxe Theater.

Theater landlord David Saxe says he didn’t pull the plug, even though Silver Entertainment, the contracted production entity, wasn’t all current on its bills.

“They were making efforts,” Saxe says.

But Nannette Barbera, who created and staged the show, posted on Facebook that the “ruins and devastation” left by the closing are forcing her to liquidate $250,000 worth of costumes and props and sell “the brand iCandy.”

“The entertainment chapter of my life has come to an end,” she writes. “(A)fter 50 years of a fabulous career in entertainment it’s time to say goodbye, this last show crippled my company, myself and family … it’s over!!!”

John Stuart, who was also involved in producing the venture, paints it a bit differently.

“If we find a home for the show, then she’s not going to liquidate anything that has to do with ‘iCandy,” he says, just materials from past productions in other markets.

The problem with this one seemed fairly obvious when it launched late last summer. It wasn’t technically a topless show, but had to compete with them in a 10 p.m. time slot.

Stuart agrees the show “just wasn’t climbing,” and needs an earlier time slot.

He acknowledges cast members are still owed two weeks worth of pay and says he is working to see that they are paid. “I, John Stuart, will see that everyone is taken care of.” …

Two other shows have departed the LVH’s Shimmer Cabaret as part of a schedule shuffle there. “Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show” had its last call last week. Management wants to have the room go dark on Tuesdays, the one night this “Pack” was in residence (presumably to preserve its Las Vegas connection as a mark of authenticity for out-of-town bookings).

And Esteban, the king of home-shopping flamenco guitar, will play his last Shimmer notes June 28, having opted not to move into an afternoon time slot. …

Friends of Anthony Del Valle, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s theater critic for nearly a decade, will gather at 3 p.m. Saturday for a celebration of his life at the Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff Drive.

The memorial for the writer, reviewer and “Theater Chat” columnist who died last month is hosted by the Little Theatre and organized by friends who say it must include coffee and cookies, because Del Valle was known for conducting his theater chats over coffee. …

Three years ago I did a column about classic-country crooner Ray Price, who was almost 84 and still on the road after a victory over colon cancer.

“It’s kind of up to other forces, but I’m going to stay as long as I can still do it and do it good,” he said then.

The singer was to perform at the Silverton this weekend, but was sidelined by severe dehydration related to treatment for pancreatic cancer that was discovered last year.

The Silverton’s press release says the hotel is “in the process of scheduling an alternate date.” And if Price proves indestructible enough to make good on it, we should all be impressed enough to show up.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at or 702-383-0288.

Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas art exhibit
Artists from Cirque du Soleil contribute art to Las Vegas gallery exhibit
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with blooming jasmine tea
Red Plate on the Las Vegas Strip serves a cocktail made with jasmine tea
Benny the Ice Skating Dog
Benny is a Las Vegas Labrador who was rescued by former pro skater Cheryl Del Sanyo, and trained to ice skate. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Nevada State Museum
The Nevada State Museum of Las Vegas, located at the Springs Preserve, covers all eras of the state, from prehistoric to today.
Throw a better dinner party
Cash appears at Baseball Winter Meetings
Lights FC mascot Cash plays the electronic drums at the EZ Inflatables’ booth on Tuesday at the Baseball Winter Meetings trade show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
5 albums to soundtrack your holiday gatherings in style
1. Various Artists, “Holidays Rule," with Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Calexico and more. 2. Various Artists, “We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year," with Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Chuck Billy and others. 3. Various Artists, “Christmas on Death Row," featuring Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg to name but a few. 4. Bright Eyes, “A Christmas Album.” 5. Various Artists, "The Motown Christmas Album." (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
WinterFest in Henderson.
Miss Rodeo America Fashion Show
The 28 women contestants of Miss Rodeo America compete in a fashion show at the Tropicana on Dec. 7, 2018.
Tournament Of Kings Holiday Show
Wizards and warriors are ready for the holidays at Excalibur's Tournament of Kings Holiday Dinner Show.
Take a dive with the Silverton mermaids
A visit to the Silverton Casino Hotel is not complete without taking in the popular, and very unique, mermaid show.
Cowboys and western aficionados can buy virtually anything at Cowboy Christmas
Vegas Golden Knights Christmas Display
In the Las Vegas Valley, the chances of getting a white Christmas are slim. But this year, you can have a “Knight” Christmas. A Henderson resident has a Christmas lights display that is synchronized to the entrance music for the Golden Knights. GG Misa’s Knights light show is played every 30 minutes from 5 to 10 nightly. His light show consists of two songs: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and the entrance music, “Le Castle Vania,” from the movie “John Wick.” The display is located at 730 Bollons Island St. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Reivew-Journal)
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez is Just in Time For Repeal Day And Christmas
Holiday Hooch At El Cortez Is Just In Time For Repeal Day And Christmas. Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal
TV's LGBT superheroes
Green Valley Ranch's Winter's Village
The Mob Museum
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Quick Chat With Criss Angel
James D. Gish and Susan Anton rehearse
Susan Anton will be special guest at James D. Gish’s holiday concerts Dec. 7 at Summerlin Library and Dec. 9 at Clark County Library. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Winter Wonderland
"Majestic Holiday Magic" at the Bellagio Conservatory.
Underwater Santa At The Silverton
Santa takes a dive Sunday, December 2, at the Silverton Casino Hotel. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Cowabunga Bay Christmas Town
Las Vegas Natural History Museum
Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which opened in 1991, has exhibits of mechanical dinosaurs and taxidermied animals, along with live snakes, fish and sharks. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Magical Forest Lights
Cirque Du Soleil Performers Team Up For New Show "Kinekt"
Through dance, acrobatics and aerial arts, “Kinekt” tells a story all too familiar to modern families: how to maintain a human connection in the digital age. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ethel M Holiday Cactus Garden
The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas
The Pinball Hall of Fame was created by Tim Arnold and opened in 2006. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jump! The Ultimate Dog Show at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas
Trainer Lou “Mack” McCammon guides several rescue dogs through a series of tricks and jumps two shows a day weekends through December at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like