‘Rock Vault’ closes abruptly at Westgate after Tropicana raids it

The Tropicana has raided the “Rock Vault” along with Riviera magician Jan Rouven, which has led to the abrupt departure of the classic rock revue “Raiding the Rock Vault” at Westgate Las Vegas.

“Our last show was last night apparently,” “Raiding the Rock Vault” producer Harry Cowell said Wednesday afternoon, a day after signing a deal to move his show to the Tropicana starting Nov. 1. “I didn’t find that out until today. We’re literally vacating as we speak now. Very sad, but that’s the way it is.”

The Trop’s remodeled theater welcomes “Raiding the Rock Vault” on Nov. 1 and magician Jan Rouven’s “The New Illusions” on Nov. 28. Both shows have been running elsewhere for more than a year; Rouven at the Riviera and “Rock” at the Westgate Las Vegas (the former Las Vegas Hilton).

The theater has been dormant since the abrupt exit of “Mamma Mia!” in August, only three months into what was supposed to be an indefinite run.

Both of the new tenants said they did not know when Tropicana president Alex Yemenidjian came to scout them.

Rouven says Yemenidjian and the Tropicana’s chief marketing officer, Fred Harmon, bought their own tickets to come see his show at the Riviera, then called to talk about moving.

“It’s the first time in my life I was not going somewhere and asking and dropping a video. It’s the first time someone else came. It’s a good feeling,” Rouven said Wednesday.

“We went and saw both shows,” Harmon confirmed Wednesday. “We reached out to them the week after ‘Mamma Mia!’ announced they were leaving,” he added in a statement significant for noting the Trop did not initiate the abrupt departure of the Broadway hit after having invited it back to town.

Show producers will tell you it’s far better to be wanted than to have to convince a property to host your show, a good sign of support for both titles.

“We were impressed with both and tried to see how we could get both. I thought it was a long shot but it worked,” Harmon said in an email.

Rouven has been in the Riviera’s Starlite Theatre since March of 2012, after first establishing himself at the Clarion. There was talk of Rouven moving downstairs into the Riviera’s historic Versailles showroom once it was remodeled, but Rouven says talks got serious about three months too late, once the Tropicana had made overtures.

Rouven’s manager Frank Alfter adds that he had been asking about a downstairs move “for two years now, but things happen for a reason. The Tropicana just came out of the blue.”

Rouven is “at the right age (34) and he has to make the next career step,” Alfter says. “Nobody would realize if we moved from Room A to Room B” at the Riv. “In the outer world there would be no change. People wouldn’t realize it’s a much bigger show now.”

The larger Tropicana stage, which hosted “Folies Bergere” for 49 years, means “we have to basically double the production value,” Alfter says.

Rouven wraps things at the Riviera Nov. 17 before resuming his 7 p.m. time slot at the Trop.

“Rock Vault” will have a month’s head start in the 9 p.m. slot starting Nov. 1. It’s defection from the Westgate is arguably more of a surprise, though the hotel changed hands in June.

“Vault” opened at what was then the Las Vegas Hotel in March 2013 as a rent-paying tenant. But when the classic-rock tribute reconvened for a second year in January, the business arrangement was newly categorized as more of a partnership between the hotel and show producer Cowell, complete with noticeably more electronic billboards around town.

Cowell said Westgate’s chief executive David Siegel liked the show, to the point of offering to buy it and rename it “Westgate Rocks.” But Cowell said he wanted to preserve his brand, and is developing a spin-off, “Raiding the Country Vault.”

That said, “We never quite knew where we stood” with the new owners, and the Trop offered not just a location on the Strip, but a two-show roommate situation which will allow “Vault” to split production and crew costs with Rouven.

“Their ideas and my ideas obviously didn’t seem to work,” Cowell said Wednesday. “We’ve got a lot of friends in this hotel, a lot of friends who really looked after us. … It’s a bit of a sad ending, but a great future.”

The Westgate has announced no plans for its big theater, but has a Neil Diamond tribute by Rob Garrett opening today in the smaller Shimmer Cabaret and the Prince tribute ‘Purple Reign’ opening in Shimmer Oct. 1.

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

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like