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An off-Strip way to trek to ‘Space’ at Area15

Updated June 21, 2022 - 5:11 pm

Alan Greenberg surveys all the encircling stars and planets, then asks an unexpected question, “What’s your sign?”

Pisces is the answer, and there, projected brilliantly on a nearby wall, is the Pisces constellation. All the signs are represented, and a lot more is out there (like Pluto) in “Space: A Journey to the Moon and Beyond.”

The galactically embracing attraction has opened at Illuminarium’s new fortress at Area15.

The developers of Illuminarium have unearthed a universally unifying subject, that being the universe, in its first Vegas installation (hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; tickets start at $29 for adults, $24 for kids ages 3-12, and $26.50 for ages 65 and over; go to illuminarium.com/lasvegas/space for info).

Greenberg is CEO of Illuminarium Experiences. He knows media trends, as former publisher of Esquire magazine. He is also founder of Greenberg News Networks and Travel Holdings, and co-founder of the for-profit educational enterprise Avenues: The World School.

Greenberg is an entrepreneur who not only thinks out of the box, but out of the solar system. He says “Space” will run until the end of the year. Or, as someone once said, to infinity and beyond.

“This has been an 18-month production. We have recruited the best CGI artists in the world to make this as realistic as possible, to feel like you’ve gone into space,” Greenberg said during a pre-opening “Space” voyage on a recent Wednesday morning. “We have a universal subject, one of the most timeless subjects in the vernacular of society. We want kids, grandparents, everyone to have a chance of fulfilling a dream of wondering what is beyond the atmosphere.”

The “Space” show is in step musically. “Walking on the Moon” by the Police and “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra are in the soundscape. Of the latter standard, Greenberg said, “I’ll bet you’ve heard that one before in Las Vegas.” Yes, but only in lounges and showrooms. Never as we actually check out Saturn.

On this walking (or sometimes sitting) tour of the universe, you blast off and trek to the moon, fly through the nebula, and listen in on actual chatter from the 12 astronauts who have walked on the moon. You feel poofs of dust as you step across across the surface of the moon’s surface.

You also visit a space colony, and catch a spin on the lunar module (impress your friends by knowing Carrot Top’s late father, Larry, helped design that craft in his 30-year career with NASA). At the center of the venue sits a 23-foot replica of the NASA/Grumman Apollo Lunar Module, which was flown between lunar orbit and the moon’s surface during the United States Apollo Program.

This is how you understand the primitive technology available to the NASA program in the 1960s and ‘70s, and how bold these early missions to the moon were.

A 21-and-over hang is also offered in “Space: After Dark,” the swanky cocktail and small-bites spot in the main venue and the smaller, adjacent venue at the entrance. The smaller room shows images of night markets in Tokyo, floral gardens of France, and a crystal-cavern effect. That adventure (being presented as an effective date night) runs from 8 p.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays.

Future Illuminarium installations include “Wild,” an African safari; and “O’Keeffe: One Hundred Flowers,” a splashy sampling of the modernist painter’s best-known pieces.

But for now, “Space” is taking up the space.

“We feel this is a Disney-esque experience,” Greenberg says. “This is an archive of man’s attempts and accomplishments in space. That’s something everybody can appreciate and understand.”

Who Was Where

L.A. Lakers legend, and L.A. Dodgers and L.A. Sparks investor, Magic Johnson and Raiders owner Mark Davis, dining Monday at Freddie Glusman’s Piero’s Italian restaurant.

Business or pleasure? “It’s always pleasure with Magic,” Davis said Tuesday. “I’ve known him since the early 1980s, if not longer.”

Rock it

The Calling, Dishwalla and 10,000 Maniacs return to the Downtown Rocks series at Fremont Street Experience. The show starts 7 p.m. Saturday at 1st Street Stage.

Cool Hang Alert

The indefatigable classic-rock cover band Original Chaos plays 3rd Street Stage on the Fremont Street Experience from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, the Pepsi Stage at New York-New York at 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Saturday, and Level Up at MGM Grand from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday. They create a maelstrom! A maelstrom, I tell you! No cover, and no excuses for not seeing these guys.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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