Ticket discounters take it to the streets

Call it Red Shirts versus Yellow Shirts.

The war among ticket discounters took color-coded sides Monday when the Greenspun Corp. opened a branch of Vegas Tix 4Less on the sidewalk in front of the Showcase mall. The company’s chief rival, Tix 4 Tonight, lost a protest of the location to the Clark County Commission, but did not take defeat lying down.

Instead, the company hit the sidewalk. Two red-shirted people walked back and forth along the sidewalk in front of the new rival, bearing yellow umbrellas and sandwich boards that read: “Don’t be fooled — You’re looking for Tix 4 Tonight.”

The sandwich boards listed shows Tix 4 Tonight claims as exclusives, including “Jersey Boys,” “The Lion King” and Cirque du Soleil. The competition’s top titles on Tuesday afternoon were “Le Reve,” Lance Burton, Amazing Johnathan, Vinnie Favorito and “Menopause the Musical.”

On Tuesday, the passing red shirts drew haughty sniffs and eye-rolling from the yellow shirts staffing Tix 4Less. And neither side seemed to draw as much attention as an angel-winged Hawkgirl, who didn’t appear to be selling anything but her own photo op.

However, since the operation began, board-walkers said they have drawn the notice of lawyers, who challenged their right to walk between the Adidas store and the new outlet. Apparently, this one will be settled somewhere other than the sidewalk.

“We’re going to continue to take the high road, protect the brand and the values on a long-term basis,” said Howard Lefkowitz, president of Vegas.com, which operates the outlet as one of the five discount satellites to its full-price outlets.

The two rivals seem to be moving closer together in offering partial discounts. Tix 4 Tonight, which came to town with a half-price policy, on Tuesday listed “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” at $73 to $109, versus the official prices of $76-$165.

“Our goal is to have the shows manage their own inventory,” Lefkowitz says. “Nothing would make us happier than to be out of the discount business in a few years as full-price inventories come back,” he added.

“What you don’t want in Las Vegas is (a situation) where you can’t actually buy a full-priced ticket. … If you make it easy for consumers, then you’re kind of shooting Las Vegas entertainment in the head.”

But as I walked from the Showcase to Harmon Avenue, I passed three discount outlets. For the tourist who bypassed advance sales and is now on the sidewalk, how much easier can it get? …

Marie Osmond needs more time off, after returning to her Flamingo show with brother Donny too soon after the funeral of her son. The show has been canceled this week and set to return Tuesday. …

Two Saturday events have only nominal connections to the show scene, but should be fun for those who find themselves downtown.

Saturday morning brings Cirque du Soleil’s annual 5K run, this time benefiting the Springs Preserve and originating there. Registration is at 7 a.m. for the 8:30 a.m. race. Then you can head downtown to Fremont Street and the Knight Rider Festival, the second annual celebration of David Hasselhoff’s finest hour. …

The Stage Door Theatre at Town Square is officially closed, probably the result of being in too good of a location. Nestled amid the shopping center’s booming party bars, the venue originally hoped to nab tourists and locals alike with the interactive comedy “Shear Madness.”

When that title closed after three months, operator Terrence Williams tried several creative options, all of which would apparently work just as well in a less-expensive location that’s not surrounded by 20-somethings sucking down pricey drinks. …

Finally, almost everyone who worked in ’70s-era Las Vegas knows Jimmy Mulidore, jazzman and former musical director at the Las Vegas Hilton. Now 72, Mulidore packs his reeds and flute to the Roma Grill, 9570 S. Eastern Ave., for “Jimmy Mulidore’s Jazz Party” on Saturday.

Serious jazz buffs have seen once-thriving sessions at public library auditoriums dry up with budget challenges. And older jazz fans find it hard to stay out late enough to support a bar/club format. If Mulidore’s “dinner jazz” at 7:30 p.m. proves to be a workable middle ground, he wants to continue it.

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

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