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Long-running strip show hopes No. 6 is the charm

Updated August 3, 2022 - 3:13 am

Impress your friends, or not, by answering the following Vegas trivia question: “Which Las Vegas production has set six reopening dates, but has not yet reopened?”

Answer: “Vegas! The Show” at Saxe Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

The latest schedule shuffle shows the David Saxe Production is to restart Aug. 12. The production is to initially run 7 p.m. daily (dark Sundays), trudging to its original two-show-per-night rotation.

For those playing VTS Bingo, the show’s false-start dates have been May 4, May 19, May 27, June 10, July 1 and last Wednesday. It might move again, too, conditional on general progress in the theater.

“It’s been tough,” Saxe said Tuesday afternoon. “Getting the tech crew together has been challenging, especially for a show like this that is pretty aggressive and has a lot of moving parts.”

But if anyone can get this craft off the ground, it is Saxe, a uni-focused product of the Vegas entertainment culture. “We’ll get there,” he says. “I’m working as hard as I can on it.”

So don’t expect a crash landing similar to Evel Knievel’s jump over the Caesars Palace fountains. That scene is actually in the show.

A key sticking point has been a music director to replace Pat Caddick, who expertly created the original VTS band along with Jerry Lopez. Saxe is not yet ready to confirm the new MD. The musicians originally dropped from 11 to 7, but now there are 10 planned for the return.

The full, live band, we should remind, is a key component in the show’s success. This is not an addition-by-subtraction issue. You need those players.

The show is Saxe’s vision of classic Las Vegas entertainment over more than a half-century. As such, “VTS” is the cornerstone of the Saxe operation. The show opened in August 2010 and has presented an array of Broadway-caliber singers, actors and dancers.

Along with “Zombie Burlesque,” “VTS” was the last show to cease performing before the state-mandated COVID shutdown of hotel-casinos on March 18, 2020.

“Zombie” has returned, and in June surpassed 200 shows since coming back from the pandemic. Since then, Saxe’s attention has been entirely on getting “VTS” back onstage. We’ll see it again Aug. 12 … If not later.

‘Boombox’ stirs

“Boombox — A Residency on Shuffle” checked in to remind us the show will perform its rescheduled series at Westgate beginning Aug. 31-Sept. 4. The production continues on Sept. 28-Oct. 2, with shows running 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Tickets are cost-friendly, starting at $29 (not including fees). Go to ticketmaster.com for more on “Boom” time.

A celebration of hip-hop hits spanning the 1980s through the 200s, “Boombox” was originally moving to a May 2022 opening, but was rescheduled for this month. This was to maximize the show’s viability after some sort of market research.

In the interim, Treach of Naughty By Nature has pulled out of the production, as its new dates created scheduling conflicts. Those conflicts will run through the entire series, so, no Treach ever in “Boombox” (you might remember the confusing original announcement that Naughty By Nature was to be in the show, which co-founder Vin Rock quickly corrected in a terse Instagram post).

The updated show will co-star CeeLo Green, Tone Lōc, Kid ‘N Play, J.J. Fad, and Thea Austin of SNAP. The artists will collaborate on each other’s hits. This all sounds similar to last year’s “After Party” at The Venetian’s Summit Showroom, co-starring Joey Fatone of ‘N Sync, Nick Carter and AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys.

We loved that show’s party vibe. There is an audience for this concept, this month, or in May, probably anytime.

A real commitment

“Bridesmaids: The Unauthorized Movie Musical Parody,” is due to open at The Venue at the Orleans this month. Previews start Aug. 19, the premiere set for Sept. 22.

The time between those dates is the “engagement” period.

“Bridesmaids” is presented by Lynn Shore Entertainment and Ivory Star Productions, and as you might deduce is based on the 2011 feature film. The show will start at 9:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, adding Sundays on Sept. 25. Valerie Witherspoon, who is wicked-talented, wrote the show and heads up the all-female cast. She says, “I’ve always been attracted to movies and storylines about strong female characters, and I love that this musical parody is a love story to friendships.”

The show drops into the schedule with Adam London’s “Laughternoon” magic show, the “Marriage Can be Murder” dinner show, and “Friends: A Musical Parody.” For info, go to orleanscasino.com (where I was just reminded of the dandy Bourbon Street Lounge, a very Cool Hang that needs some detailed listings, kids).

Blow the roof off

Thursday’s storm was indeed a lid-lifter for the Italian American Club, which lost a piece of the roof in its Showroom, and also its air-conditioning unit.

That thing weighed 5 tons, making it the heaviest lift in Vegas since “Fuerza Bruta” played the ExCal parking lot.

But really, this was just a temporary setback for the contractors at IAC. The restaurant is unscathed, and repair work in the Showroom should be complete enough for the next performance, which is Aug. 10, starring the singing sensation Dondino. Doors (with roof) at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30, show at 8 p.m.

And, as IAC General Manager Benny Spano emphasizes, displaced performers who had been booked (or were about to be) at The Vegas Room and The Nevada Room can seek a stage at IAC. The Showroom and Lounge both have wind in their sails. As it were.

Cool Hang Alert

Bailey Callahan, a country singer who writes catchy tunes and “loves mermaids” (true) holds forth at Gilley’s at Treasure Island at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9 p.m. Thursday. Callahan’s self-titled EP reached No. 43 on the iTunes charts, and she plays some 300 dates per year, special guest of such top country artists as Luke Combs, Hunter Hayes and Eric Church. No cover at Gilley’s, where the mechanical bull remains active.

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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