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Scintas to bring breath of old Vegas to D

In Detroit, The Scintas are synonymous with Joe Vicari’s Andiamo restaurant and showroom. And so it shall be at the D.

The old-school sibling act will settle into the downtown casino with the initial as name starting April 3, just a long dice throw across the casino’s second floor from Vicari’s high-end steakhouse.

“Do you know how many Italians said, ‘I want to get you to Vegas’? Joe Vicari is the one who said it and did it,” Frank Scinta says of Vicari financially backing The Scintas’ very first Las Vegas run in 2000.

The quartet — Frank, Joe, Chrissi and drummer Peter O’Donnell — moved to the Rio the next year. During the decade they moved to the Sahara and then back to the Hilton, before giving up on the tourist corridor to play out of town and to local fans at the Suncoast.

Derek Stevens, the D’s chief executive officer, went to see The Scintas perform in Michigan at Vicari’s urging. He agreed the quartet needed to be part of his remodeled showroom, already home to three other shows (“Marriage Can Be Murder,” “Raack ’N Roll” and comedy-magician Adam London).

The room can seat about 225 to 250 people depending on the configuration, and the staging is limited for a nine-piece ensemble that includes three horns.

“It’ll be tight but it’ll be fun,” Frank says. “It really will be like the old Vegas.”

Not that it may always be that cozy.

“There are plans for a showroom that will dwarf that room,” Frank says.

The Scintas will play five shows a week for three weeks each month, leaving them a week to continue working their strongholds in New York, Ohio and, yes, twice a year, Vicari’s 1,000-seat showroom in Warren, Mich.

I asked Frank if he was contractually required to hang out at the Andiamo bar after the show, but he said it would be volunteer work. In Michigan, “half the audience goes in there and we hang out for the rest of the night.” …

A recent interview with Canadian promoter Michael Cohl suggests the “Spider-Man” Broadway musical still has a Las Vegas future that may arrive sooner than later.

Larry LeBlanc interviewed Cohl for the trade publication Celebrity Access. LeBlanc asked about reports that “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” would go to sports arenas instead of the typical post-Broadway step of assembling a national tour for performing arts centers such as The Smith Center.

“Yes. Not exclusively,” Cohl said of arenas, adding, “We are going to Las Vegas and play in a theater. We are going to go to Germany and play in a theater in Hamburg. We are going to do those kinds of things.”

You can try to parse whether Cohl is speaking of a general plan or specific deal for the Strip. But there’s no arguing the suitability of Las Vegas for a standing production that would have to be scaled down considerably to tour.

In terms of content though, some presenters have balked about whether “Spider-Man” is a “kids show,” or known more for its early, highly publicized troubles than for its current capacity business on Broadway.

And short of building a new venue for the production here, only one available venue is capable of housing it: The Venetian theater that hosted “Phantom,” where the same rigging that hoisted the giant chandelier could be adapted to fly Spidey around the room (Las Vegas-based Fisher Technical Services handled both).

Cohl already has a relationship with The Venetian because his “Rock of Ages” is there in another venue.

By the way, the “Phantom” theater hasn’t been completely fallow ground since the show closed. The limited run by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (continuing on select days April 12 through 27) should be well-sustained by McGraw’s new “Two Lanes of Freedom” album hitting No. 3 on Billboard’s country chart and the single “One of Those Nights” topping Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. …

How deep is your TV dish? The big Keep Memory Alive “Power of Love” gala celebrating the 80th birthdays of Michael Caine and Quincy Jones will be televised, provided you get AXS TV, the former HDNet helmed by entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

So save the $1,500 you might have dropped on a ticket and tune in April 13, provided you get DirectTV Channel 340 or Dish Network Channel 362. …

Cirque du Soleil is a little busy with its own “One Night for One Drop” benefit March 22, but the company loves a challenge. So it’s also doing its annual “Run Away with Cirque du Soleil” benefit Saturday at the Springs Preserve, incorporating it into the One Drop events. Even those who don’t run will find it staffed with Cirque performers, a fun hang on a Saturday morning. …

Finally, two record-setting octogenarian entertainers just keep on going. Don Rickles, a Las Vegas performer since 1959, returns to The Orleans April 13-14, weeks shy of his 87th birthday.

And Tony Bennett, also 86, will again play the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on May 3. Tickets go on sale Friday.

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

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