Updated August 18, 2022 - 7:19 am
We can only hope that Maroon 5 is as welcoming as Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg for a Shaq pop-up performance.
This is in reference to The Event, Shaquille O’Neal’s Shaq Foundation gala returning to MGM Grand Garden on Oct. 1. During last year’s premiere, O’Neal joined Clarkson on “Since U Been Gone.” He rapped with Snoop on “Nuthin But a ‘G’ Thang” to close it out.
We might see Shaq up again, for “Moves Like Jagger,” “Memories,” or “Sugar” when the show returns Oct. 1.
“If the great Adam Levine wants me to come onstage and sing a Maroon 5 song, I’m definitely coming onstage,” O’Neal said in an interview last week in his Summerlin office. “I definitely want to come onstage.” He is not planning to invoke his DJ Diesel alter-ego, who headlines at Encore Beach Club.
Comic actor John Mulaney and country-crossover star Maren Morris are also among the early headliners for the show at MGM Grand. Tickets to the concert portion of The Event run from $50 to $250, on sale at 10 a.m. Pacific time Friday at axs.com. Additional details about the organization are at shaqfoundation.org.
Last year’s event raised $3 million for Boys & Girls Clubs and Communities in Schools. The funds were split between Shaq’s two home cities, Las Vegas and Atlanta.
A sizeable chunk of that money funded the Shaq Courts at Doolittle in central Las Vegas, three weeks after The Event was held.
O’Neal is just getting warmed up. He says, “We’re doing a big project in Las Vegas, a facility that will serve children.” The Pro Basketball Hall of Famer says he has a timeline, but that details will be forthcoming.
“I don’t want to get into trouble by blabbing too much,” he offered.
O’Neal is selling his 4,824-square-foot estate near Sunset Park. He put the property on the market in May, priced at $3 million. He’s moving to a new residence, but not out of need.
“My desired location will be Red Rock. That, or MacDonald Ranch,” O’Neal said. “There’s one I’m looking at, that I know I don’t need, but it’s right on the top of the mountain. It’s calling my name. I don’t need it, but I’m spoiled. I listen to my mom, who’s always said to save, invest. If I want to invest and live at Red Rock, I’m gonna sell and do that.”
O’Neal might be looking down on a Las Vegas NBA franchise, one day. He has consistently endorsed the idea of the NBA moving a team or expanding into Las Vegas. Occasionally, the 7-foot-1-inch hoops legend refers to “we” as those who could make that happen. That might or might not be a subconscious slip.
“Certain people are working on it. I wish I can say, ‘Yes, it’s gonna happen,’ or, ‘No, it’s not gonna happen,’ ” O’Neal said. “But I believe it’s going to happen. I would love to be involved.”
These are not just hoop dreams. Shaq knows NBA business.
“Really, what I am looking at is how the NBA operates, and the demographic certainly fits,” O’Neal said. “I think Vegas could definitely sustain an NBA team.”
Residency for Princess Di exhibit
“Princess Diana: A Tribute Exhibition” has announced Sept. 2 as it opening at The Shops at Crystals, adjacent to Aria. GA tickets start at $29, with $21 rates for kids, $25 for students, seniors, military and Nevada residents (go to DianaLasVegas.com for info).
The 10,000-square-foot exhibit shows off more than 700 Diana-related items. Among them are authentic gowns and fashions, artist installations, historic royal textiles and a collection of correspondence, gifts and personal items of Diana and the royal family. The exhibition contains 12 curated rooms, highlighted by “Wedding of the Century,” “Fashion Icon” and “Royal Obsession.” We will see if that last display is a forecast for business.
A flourish at the end
As they say in tennis, The Nevada Room is leaving nothing on the court. The noble project at the Commercial Center closes after Saturday’s show hosted by Tony Arias. But it is leaving with an impressive lineup. Kelly Clinton’s “Sit In” Thursday is totally sold out, with special guests Clint Holmes, Earl Turner, Bubba Knight (of Gladys Knight and the Pips), Mac King, Sonny Charles and Elisa Fiorillo scheduled to appear.
For Arias’s finale, Rich Little, Michelle Johnson and Pete Barbutti are among the more than a dozen guest stars. There is sadness in the closing. The Nevada Room and adjacent Vegas Room were a study in trial-and-error, trudging through COVID and providing scores of entertainers a place to play. That’s how we’ll remember it.
I predict …
Another “Housekeeper to Headliner” show from Lorena Peril of “Fantasy” November at Italian American Club. And, a Latin-themed show effectively titled, “Latin Divas,” which should have strong support.
Who is killing it?
Anne Martinez as guest vocalist with Reckless in Vegas at Sahara Theater this month. She’s back Thursday and Friday. Martinez is also co-lead in the upcoming “Bat Out Of Hell — The Musical” at Paris Theater. Martinez is back with the band Thursday, Friday and Aug. 25, the latter with the full horn section of Isaac Tubb, Kevin Mullinax and Rob Stone. Then Niki Scalera, also amazing, comes in Sept. 1. Get there for either, or both, or all of it.
Cool Hang Alert
Column fave Jassen Allen is among the artists in rotation at Mermaid Lounge Live at Silverton. Tony Venniro is Friday, Patrick Dodd on Saturday, with Allen returning Aug. 26. Shows run 8 p.m.-11 p.m., no cover, and remember to pose for a mermaid selfie.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.