Wyrick theater’s future still unclear

Everyone seems to think Steve Wyrick’s theater is history — except Wyrick.

A small drama unfolded last week when Wyrick’s "Real Magic" show and theater closed abruptly at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. That was followed by a lawsuit from a former tenant producer, and that in turn was followed by a news release from Wyrick saying the theater will reopen by year’s end.

A statement issued by Wyrick’s Los Angeles publicist, Sandy Friedman, describes the theater as "temporarily dark," saying it is "expected to reopen and resume full operation before the end of the month.

"The unannounced closure was due to unexpected circumstances. Our goal and intent is to retain our current staff and continue to provide live entertainment," the statement says.

Asked Monday to clarify whether the statement means Wyrick would reopen his magic show or if another title would go into the theater, Friedman said that was "to be determined," as Wyrick worked to "reorganize his investors."

Theater manager Melanie Buckley sent a memo to ticket vendors apologizing for the abrupt closing. "It’s unfortunate that the partners of the theater have disparaging views on the future direction of the theater," the memo stated. Could she have meant "disparate"?

Producer Bill Caron pulled his package tribute to the Platters, Coasters and Marvelettes two days before Wyrick’s show closed. Caron’s National Concerts quickly sued Wyrick in Clark County District Court, alleging Wyrick’s theater management failed to bill and collect revenues from tickets sold by outside brokers, and did not account for all revenues and expenses.

The suit claims Wyrick’s company "acknowledged that it should have paid at least $23,000," but did not have the funds. Caron also seeks the return of a $50,000 deposit.

"We feel we really have been taken advantage of," Caron said Monday.

Wyrick also has been sued by HT Rest Vegas, which operates the Hawaiian Tropic Zone restaurant and nightclub in the same mall. A November suit filed in U.S. District Court alleges Wyrick owes $89,430 after Wyrick breached a co-promotional agreement, failing to buy back most of 3,000 tickets the restaurant attempted to sell for his show for one year. …

"Ice: The Show from Russia" melted quietly into the night at the Riviera. The show closed Thanksgiving weekend after a respectable 21/2-year run. That leaves the struggling Riviera with no main showroom attraction, though it still has four ongoing titles elsewhere on the property, plus Andrew Dice Clay and "Rockstar the Tribute" sharing the former "La Cage" showroom.

"Ice," staged by former Cirque du Soleil choreographer Debra Brown, competed with the Imperial Palace’s "Matsuri" as a budget alternative to Cirque; both probably suffered when the real Cirque began widely discounting. The closing of "Ice" stands to strengthen "Matsuri," and producer Megan Hart Belk reports that "after a bumpy couple of months, we are actually seeing a healthy increase in our numbers."

The Japanese revue is adding evening performances in hopes of attracting the pre-Christmas influx of Asian visitors, while Human Nature and "Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas" take vacations. There is a half-price offer for locals who might be looking for family fun during Christmas break. …

If Jerry Seinfeld can perform on the Strip, why not his "Seinfeld" co-star Jason Alexander? There’s talk that the actor, who has displayed his musical-variety chops in shows such as "The Producers," is said to be down for a limited run at Planet Hollywood next spring. …

Those who explore the outer frontiers of digital cable may have seen "Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes?" on TV One. J. Reid, a 26-year-old stand-up comedian whose local work includes "Sin City Comedy" at the V Theater, has won the show’s fourth season.

He bested another Las Vegan, D’ Lai, in the Luxor-filmed competition that drew nearly 30,000 text and online voters. …

The fun little sideshow update "Freaks" has closed at O’Sheas, after nine months in the little 130-seat theater. …

When Bette Midler leaves Caesars Palace at the end of January, I guess we can forget about Elton John bringing back "The Red Piano" show. A California law office has announced the neon letters that spelled out "Elton" above the stage are up for sale. …

Did Garth Brooks launch an "unplugged" trend on the Strip? The Venetian Showroom has a one-night booking Jan. 30 for "Open Wings — Broken Strings," which launches an acoustic tour featuring Eddie Kowalczyk of Live, Art Alexakis of Everclear and Leigh Nash of Sixpence None The Richer. …

Elvis Presley apparently isn’t personified by an actor in his own tribute show, "Viva Elvis," which starts ticketed previews Friday at Aria. For that you’d have to go to Chicago — or soon, to Broadway — to see "Million Dollar Quartet."

The musical that would seem to have Las Vegas potential is slated for a Broadway debut in April, after previews commencing March 13. It dramatizes the fabled 1956 recording session with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins.

The Elvis character gets a laugh by declaring, "I ain’t never gonna play that Vegas again."

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


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