I always wondered when Vegas would go totally Branson.
Not in terms of a Yakov Smirnoff theater on the Strip or the return of Kirby VanBurch (Who’s that, you ask? You haven’t been to the Ozarks lately.)
But it always seemed just a matter of time before someone would try a breakfast show, an institution in the Missouri resort town where titles such as “Amazing Pets” dazzle ’em over doughnuts.
On Saturday, producer and theater operator David Saxe will try it here. Sorta, kind of. “Breakfast with Bugsy” is not out to sell an actual ticket. It’s a promotional add-on that comes with a ticket sale for any other title in either the V Theater or the Saxe Theater, both inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.
“It’s almost like a mini ‘V’ show,” Saxe says of the revue hosted by a comedian in the guise of Bugsy Siegel, offering “fun facts” about Las Vegas between variety acts.
The venture is billed as “no catch.” But because that sounds too good to be true, promotional materials explain there will be an “infomercial” element and chances to buy tickets for other shows and attractions.
“It’s really a marketing thing so we can market and cross-market our other shows and other tour operators,” he says. “But there really is no catch. It really is a free show.”
Saxe figures he moves about 40,000 people per week through his two theaters, so he should be able to field 400 or more each morning through the value-added approach, without selling or giving away tickets independently. …
“X Burlesque” threw its annual party last week to show off a few new numbers. No earth-shaking changes, though you will either snicker or applaud the new “Slumdog Millionaire” belly dancing sequence, depending on your mood or level of intoxication.
The topless revue is guaranteed another two years at the Flamingo, with a contract extension through 2013. The dancers also will “daylight” by teaching “X Burlesque University” classes at 3 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. It’s $35 to learn how to work the pole. …
Friends of Dorothy, and fans of Las Vegas-based performer Paige O’Hara, can take the Yellow Brick Road over the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge to see O’Hara play Judy Garland in “Judy The Musical — Gumm to Garland,” running Tuesday through April 24 at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Ariz.
It’s a workshop production telling Garland’s story through flashbacks. “There’s a strong possibility it will go to Las Vegas next,” O’Hara says, as a second shakedown step toward a targeted residency in San Francisco.
“The big help for me is I grew up singing along with her,” O’Hara says of Garland. She returns home to rejoin “Menopause The Musical” next month. …
Young Playboy Playmate Claire Sinclair returns for a week’s guest stint in “MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris” Wednesday through April 27. It was unofficially announced on that source of all information — E! cable’s “Holly’s World” — that the retro-styled Sinclair is the new Playmate of the Year. But it’s less clear if the announcement will be made official in time to promote it for the live shows. …
Did somebody get in trouble? After Sunday’s column about the new show “Absinthe” and the drinking environment it creates, co-producer Scott Zeiger issued a statement Tuesday claiming he “mistakenly stated that (Zeiger’s) Base Entertainment participated in revenue from alcohol sales at ‘Absinthe.’ Base Entertainment does not participate in any such revenues.”
Zeiger had previously made it clear that the liquor license and bar staff both belonged to Caesars Palace. But just as clearly, he said drink sales were “all in the pot and part of our venture” as an ancillary revenue stream.
Another producer had noted in the same column it was always a no-no to share in liquor profits if you’re not the license holder. Sounds like that’s still the case. So if you’re a show producer, the surest way to compete with nightclubs is to get your own liquor license. …
Finally, the next James Bond movie isn’t due until November of next year, but Vegas is in the throes of 007-mania. If you time it for a week such as this one when both Celine Dion and Gladys Knight are in town, you can hear four — count ’em, four — Bond movie themes.
Make that five if you count the iconic instrumental that paves the way at Caesars Palace for Dion’s medley of “Goldfinger,” “Nobody Does it Better” and “Live and Let Die.”
Over at the Tropicana, Knight’s partial version of “Licence to Kill” is of course authentic. But sadly, it’s one of the least-remembered Bond movies and songs.
Does Sheena Easton still live here? We need to throw in some “For Your Eyes Only.”
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.