Santana’s future in Vegas uncertain

Carlos Santana will wrap up his Hard Rock Hotel residency on May 1, capping it at the original commitment of two years.

In past interviews, the guitar legend had said he was hopeful of an extension because he was buying a house in the Las Vegas area, even though he was admittedly doing that as a Marin County, Calif., tax exile.

Tickets initially priced from $79 to nearly $300 seemed a little ambitious for Santana’s Hard Rock “Trip through the Hits.” Almost from the outset, I heard anecdotes from individual audience members whose seats were upgraded from less-expensive tickets.

Still, hope came last fall with the big promotion for Santana’s “Guitar Heaven” album of classic-rock duets. September’s launch included a performance on “Dancing With the Stars,” and the album got off to a strong start: 60,000 sales the first week and a debut at No. 5 on Billboard’s album chart.

But it now hovers around the 130 position on Billboard, and mixed reviews included it being named one of the year’s worst albums by Entertainment Weekly.

Santana married Cindy Blackman two weeks ago in Hawaii. He has become one of the city’s top celebrity citizens, raising money for Three Square and Andre Agassi’s charter school, among other causes. That alone is enough to hope another casino will offer him a gig while he’s in town.

The final Hard Rock shows are Wednesday through Jan. 16 and April 20-May 1. …

Mexican wrestling done with a self-aware, hipster’s touch is a Los Angeles phenomenon that’s tested the irony level in Las Vegas a few times in the past few years.

The latest and possibly biggest commitment so far comes to the Crown Theatre at the Rio on Jan. 7. “Lucha Las Vegas” promises wrestling, circus acts, acrobats and “beautiful, scantly clad seductresses.”

It’s co-produced by Masked Republic, a front-runner in all things lucha. The undercard includes little people and the main event promises lucha legend LA Park and younger star Hijo De Rey Misterio.

The promoters hope to make it a regular event. …

Josh Strickland — the “accidental” co-star of “Peepshow” after his face time with Holly Madison on E! cable’s “Holly’s World” — heads to New York Jan. 7 to be part of “Sir Tim Rice & Friends,” a salute to the lyricist that’s part of the annual New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend.

Just to be clear, it’s not because Rice is a loyal fan of “Holly’s World.” At least, not that we know of. It’s because Strickland starred in Disney’s Broadway musical of “Tarzan,” for which Rice gave him words to sing. …

Antonio Restivo, an “America’s Got Talent” contestant last fall and a nightly bad guy in the Excalibur’s “Tournament of Kings,” wants to break the world’s record for fire-breathing. Sounds reasonable.

In a Jan. 11 attempt that, so far at least, won’t be open to the public, Restivo will try to set a new record in the Guinness category officially known as “Highest Flame Blown by a Fire Breather.” The current record is 23 feet, 7 inches, just in case you planned on setting it yourself between now and then.

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

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