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Male revues return to Vegas with ‘Aussie Heat’

Updated October 5, 2020 - 11:32 am

Having experienced some COVID interruptus in July, “Aussie Heat” finally relaunched Mosaic on the Strip theater Saturday night.

The male revue was given the green light by the state of Nevada to perform under the most recent pandemic reopening directives issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak last week. The show is thus the first production performed for a paying audience on the Strip, or anywhere in the city, since live-entertainment venues were shut down in March.

The guys wore face shields throughout, and clothing intermittently. This was no “ambient” experience, either. A total 84 ticket holders reserved seats online. There was no menu, but the beefcake was served.

“We did everything the governor’s mandate asked, including the 25-foot clearance, 6 feet between tables, we backed the cast up 5 feet off the edge of the stage,” room operator Dean Coleman of SRP Productions said Sunday. “The show was fantastic. We had to remind the crowd not to get too handsy, which is common in this type of show. But we were able to put on an experience that was safe and followed all the rules.”

The venue’s plans to reopen were thwarted on July 9, just after an “Aussie Heat” rehearsal. On that afternoon, a Clark County licensing agent arrived, flashing a badge and a smile and with an explanation that Coleman had a few hurdles to clear before reopening. The venue operator has worked with the Nevada Safety Consulting and Training Section (SCATS) for operating approval.

Mosaic, for the uninitiated, sits across from Park MGM and just north of Showcase theaters that were formerly the Tommy Wind Theater, and before that the Boulevard Theater, sharing a Strip mall parking lot with Walgreens. They can seat 250 under the “Nevada Guidance For Safe Gatherings” orders posted online after Sisolak’s relaxing of restrictions Tuesday. Coleman says Mosaic will play to a maximum of 190.

Though it won’t be mistaken for, say, Tropicana Theater just to the south, Mosaic’s first show is scaled along with such male revues as “Chippendales,” “Thunder From Down Under” and “Magic Mike Live.” It’s a bona fide show intended to play to an audience that shows up to watch guys strip to choreographed numbers. Those interested in reserving seats can hit mosaiconthestrip.com. No walk-ups allowed in.

“This was a real show, but the guys and everyone in the audience had masks,” Coleman said. “Fortunately, the guys have the talent to make it work.”

The venue is loading its full schedule Thursday, beginning with a “Queens of Rock” tribute starring Elyzabeth Diaga at 7; “Piano Men: A Tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John” starring Kyle Martin at 8:30; and the gents from “Heat” at 10:30 p.m.

“It’s been a long process,” Coleman said. “Basically, you have to follow the governor’s mandate. I carry it with me, all the time.”

It is to laugh

Another live-entertainment project halted by protocol concerns, Don Barnhart’s Delirious Comedy Club, reopens with shows at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Oct. 15. Barnhart, among the comics to appear, is operating out of a Downtown Grand banquet room, with headlining comics such as Kathleen Dunbar, Derek Richards, Brandon James and Guy Fessenden.

Barnhart had attempted to bring back the club to the former Mob Bar venue, but the state Gaming Control Board had other ideas. Barnhart has reset the club’s seating plot for about 50 audience members and installed the 25-foot “Comedy Moat” for social distancing.

“I don’t know what to call this, the re-reopening or what,” Barnhart said. “But we are bringing laughter back, with social-distancing safety protocols in place.” The comics are allowed to perform without masks, but audience members need to wear them whenever not consuming the bar’s products. This is going to be a unique test for comics, who are used to working a crowd based on unmasked facial expressions.

Piero’s is back

Owner Freddie Glusman and the foodie owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, Mark Davis, shared a booth Saturday night at Piero’s Italian restaurant’s return to business. The old-Vegas joint is among Davis’ favorites. He actually pulled out a portable light to read the newspaper, right at the table. A man after my own heart.

Of magic and Mint

A groovy little show I was led to just before the shutdown, James Dimmare’s “Martinis & Magic” is back at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Mint on West Sahara Avenue (the venue is about four cartwheels from Golden Steer). Dimarre is an expert close-up operator and illusionist, and the show runs every Saturday. Extended plans are to add an 8:30 p.m. performance, depending on business.

Dimarre can sell tickets up to the Mint’s 250 capacity, but he won’t. He’s not going more than 35. “That’s safe and respectable,” he says. The night I caught the show, 70 folks were in the room.

It’s the type of show that can be resurrected in reopening, and Dimarre promises the return of the hula girl, too, appropriately masked, naturally.

Notoriety bubbles up

Anne Martinez’s Red Penny Arcade is bringing the ambience at Notoriety at Neonopolis from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. Fridays. This weekend, Ken Henderson booked column faves Krystal Goddard and Ryan Kelsey for their debut in the venue. Goddard is a popular vocalist, mostly country, around the city. Kelsey is known primarily as a dancer in “Chippendales,” and before that, the sarong’d, Polynesian groover in “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere. But Kelsey is a fine guitarist, too. Catch them when you can.

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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