Aliante Station will give Station Casinos a ring around the valley of entertainment venues, and for the first time the company will test two-night, twin-casino bookings for some of its concert acts.
Ticket sales begin Saturday for the first round of concerts in Aliante’s Access Showroom, which debuts with Smokey Robinson on Nov. 14-15, three days after the rest of the casino opens.
Some concerts, such as REO Speedwagon on Nov. 22 and Bret Michaels on Nov. 28, will be exclusive to Aliante to give the new 600-seat venue an opening push. Other performers will do one night at Aliante and one at Green Valley Ranch: Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, Godsmack singer Sully Erna and Damn Yankees bandmates Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades. Country legend Merle Haggard will play Aliante and Boulder Station.
"The valley has grown both dimensionally and populationwise," says Judy Alberti, Station vice president of entertainment. A cross-town tour is something Station pondered in the past, but only tested with free blues acts, not ticketed concerts.
Two things caused management to rethink the previous theory that fans would drive from Summerlin to Green Valley if they really wanted to see a certain show. One is the price of gasoline; Aliante in North Las Vegas and Green Valley Ranch in Henderson are a good 23 miles apart.
The other big change is the technology. Both venues have state-of-the-art sound. Touring acts can "plug and play," minimizing load-in time and transferring programmed sound and lighting cues from one digital control board to the other by computer disc.
Each new Station venue is more accomplished than the last, and Access continues the trend. The design is by Montreal-based Scéno-Plus, whose designs include the "Le Reve" theater and new venues planned for the stalled Echelon project on the Strip. Even though it holds 600 people, Access will have three video screens and VIP luxury boxes.
In what has become the Station model, the venue will scale down to lounge size on nonconcert nights, with house bands Envy on Fridays and Yellow Brick Road on Saturdays. Concert bookings eventually will slow to one or two a month, but Alberti says they will remain on the same level of the opening batch. …
An update on The Mentalist, the live act, and "The Mentalist," the CBS television series. Last week, representives of CBS and Warner Bros., the series producer, could not verify by deadline Hooter’s performer Gerry McCambridge’s claim that he is a paid spokesman for the TV series.
After McCambridge objected to last week’s column, they did additional research and now agree that McCambridge was indeed paid by CBS to do promotional interviews for radio stations in different cities. …
Tickets go on sale Friday for The Comedy Festival, which returns to Caesars Palace Nov. 20-22. This year’s fest is officially shorter, but past years really didn’t have a lot to offer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays anyway. The festival also drops its "village" of vendors and free entertainment this year.
Ellen DeGeneres will front another edition of "Ellen’s Really Big Show" for TBS, reprising the variety revue she created for the cable network last year. Jerry Seinfeld returns as a headliner, with Tracy Morgan one of the new bookings announced so far. There are sure to be more. Even though the festival has all year to line up attractions, promoters have a habit of adding a lot of big names at the last minute. …
There’s been debate about the merits of some names so far installed on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. But no one should quibble with Elvis Presley getting a sidewalk star at 11 a.m. Friday in front of the Riviera. Fans footed the $15,000 bill. …
Finally, a note from the Strange Bedfellows department: Donny and Marie Osmond have their media night at the Flamingo Las Vegas this evening. The last time I walked through the casino, I couldn’t help noticing the contrast among all the shows under the Flamingo’s roof. In-house signage for the eternally wholesome Osmonds, side by side with the "X Burlesque" revue and comedian Vinnie Favorito, who is billed as "Completely F’n Crazy."
Family-friendly productions are back, but Osmond-bound parents can be prepared to F’n explain.
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0288.