Show goes on for local productions

Treading water has been the Strip’s de facto slogan for a while now, so it’s not a huge surprise for two, maybe three shows to be proud to stay put a little longer.

At the Tropicana, Gladys Knight will sing in the vintage showroom at least through the fall, thanks in part to the return of Reycled Percussion as an afternoon show Oct. 4. The two are linked because both want roommates to share union stagehand costs.

Recycled and a Beatles tribute were caught in the crossfire between the Tropicana and producer Jay Bloom, who booked them before he was ousted from both the showroom and the hotel’s troubled Mob Experience. Back-and-forth lawsuits resulted between Bloom, the hotel and creditors.

Recycled wanted back in at the Tropicana, and found help from well-regarded local producer Adam Steck. Like Knight’s team, Steck didn’t want to be the lone tenant. So, voila, the two shows again paired. Knight returned last week, reversing an earlier decision to call it quits after Labor Day. Recycled will do six shows per week at 4 p.m., and add two evening performances on weeks when Knight is on the road.

Over at the Monte Carlo, hip-hop dance troupe Jabbawockeez will hold tight until an unspecified date next spring. The masked dancers have faced an uncertain future ever since a long-term plan was announced for Blue Man Group to move in late next year, after remodeling the former Lance Burton Theatre. Apparently, that won’t take more than six or seven months.

Meanwhile, producers of “Absinthe” were still hoping to announce good news by week’s end for the warped circus’ future after Sunday. That’s when it will be forced to close in its current format, because of a six-month limited-use permit for its tentlike structure in front of Caesars Palace.

The producers’ goal is to come back with a more permanent, code-compliant version of the current Spiegeltent, without losing all the stained-glass, old-world charm of the current one. …

As it unfolded in the finale of “America’s Got Talent,” the winner was also the person who had obvious potential for a future on the Strip: Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., the young Sinatra-styled crooner whose voice is in fun contrast to a skin tone and dreadlocks more typical of a Bob Marley tribute.

“I got interested in the Rat Pack music playing basketball actually. It’s the way I used to trash talk to people. Instead of trash talking them or putting them down I would sing Frank Sinatra to them,” Murphy told reporters in a conference call this week.

Another finalist with Vegas appeal was Team iLuminate. Their visual spectacle of wireless technology easily could be part of a show, if not a long-form production like Jabbawockeez.

Unlike second-season winner Terry Fator, however, there is no evidence of anyone getting a head start on bringing either act to town.

“Talent” viewers — and even contestants — may not understand that Vegas is no longer a place where a casino boss watches TV, picks up the phone and says, “Hire that guy!” Most will wait for an outside producer to come in with a proposal.

An interesting side note: Last season’s winner, Las Vegas-based Michael Grimm, opted for his current tour with Stevie Nicks (visiting the Hard Rock Hotel on Oct. 15) instead of a limited-term Las Vegas residency. …

“Nashville Unplugged” has been a bit of a sleeper since it debuted in the summer of 2009. But the attempt to bring Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe scene to Las Vegas found its intended audience with the local singer-songwriter community.

The showcase is expanding “The Story Behind the Song” across town, following each Friday in its current home of Green Valley Ranch Resort with a second night at Santa Fe Station. The first is Friday and Saturday, featuring Keith Anderson and Chad Warrix at both the Ovation and Chrome showrooms. …

Finally, it was George Burns’ long-stated goal to play the London Palladium on his 100th birthday. He did live to be 100, but alas, wasn’t healthy enough to pull off the gig.

Harrah’s Las Vegas headliner Mac King has only had to wait roughly half that long. On Monday he is set to take part in “Palladium Magic,” celebrating the centennial of the art form in that venue.

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

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