The Shows Will Go on

Entertainment in Las Vegas is like the weather in Florida. If you don’t like what you see, just be patient, because the scene will soon change.

By: Kathy Espin

Entertainment in Las Vegas is like the weather in Florida. If you don’t like what you see, just be patient, because the scene will soon change.

“Storm” blew away at Mandalay Bay, Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance” stomped out of New York-New York, “Melinda, First Lady of Magic” has vanished from the Venetian and “Tease” has twirled its last tassel at the Blue Note at the Aladdin.

Rat Pack Tribute “The Main Event,” Latin revue “Beats of Passion” and Stevie Wonder tribute “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” all opened and closed at the Showroom at the Venetian without even creating a blip on the radar screen. Others have held on, at least for now, by moving to new venues. Bob Anderson, singer and Dean Martin impersonator, has taken his old Las Vegas lounge-style show to the Stardust where a minishowroom has been created for him. Charo has moved her “Cuchi-Cuchi” to the Sahara, replacing the David Cassidy-produced “Rat Pack is Back.” And singing impersonator Andre Philippe Gagnon has set up shop at Paris Las Vegas.

All of the above were former victims, make that veterans, of the Showroom at the Venetian. As existing shows die or reinvent themselves, others crop up to take their places. Following is an overview of some of the entertainment offerings that have opened during the last few months.

Gotta Dance

“Spirit of the Dance” at the Golden Nugget opened almost simultaneously with the closing of “Lord of the Dance.” The show includes classic Irish folk dancing and much more. It is a tribute to a world of dance styles from flamenco to Bob Fosse. Tickets are $45. Call 702-386-8100.

Funny Bones

Rita Rudner’s husband, Martin Bergman, has produced a show with a gory twist called “Boo!” Rudner performs her comedy act in an early show at New York-New York’s Cabaret Theater and “Boo!” takes over later in the evening. The show combines improvisation, skits and other silliness and wraps it in a Halloween theme. Tickets are $29.95, including a ride on the New York-New York roller coaster, the Manhattan Express. Call 702-740-6815.

The Old is New Again

“V The Ultimate Variety Show” has combined some of the Las Vegas Strip’s most popular curtain acts into a fast-paced stage show sans dancing girls. The acts will vary but the recent opening included flying acrobats, comics, Chinese pole climbers and motorcycle daredevils. Tickets range from $22 to $29. Call 702-737-5540.

The Rat Pack

Elvis is in danger of being replaced as the most-impersonated entertainer on the Las Vegas Strip. Since Frank Sinatra’s death, tributes to the Rat Pack and its members have been cropping up like weeds. Unlike dandelions, they seem to die off quickly. Currently, Dean Martin’s son, Ricci, is performing a tribute to his dad in the Riviera’s Le Bistro Theater, and Buddy Hackett’s son, Sandy, plays Joey Bishop in “The Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey & Dean” at the Greek Isles on Convention Center Drive.

Tickets for Ricci Martin are $14.95. Call 702-298-5111. Tickets for “The Tribute” are $45.95 to $57.68. Call 702-737-5540.

Everybody, Let’s Rock

Also in the Riviera’s Le Bistro Theater is “Rock This Town Live” a tribute to a host of ’50s and ’60s rock ‘n’ roll pioneers such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Buddy Holly and, of course, Elvis. Tickets are $25.25 to $36.57.

Call 702-794-9433.

Coming Attractions

While the smaller shows struggle for survival, two big-time offerings are on the horizon. In February, The Mandalay Bay is replacing “Storm” with “Mamma Mia” a hit London and Broadway musical based on the music of ABBA. The most anticipated opening in many years, though, is Celine Dion’s yet-to-be-named show at Caesars Palace set to open in March. Tickets are on sale for $87.50 to $200. Call 702-731-7110.

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