Category Archives: Las Vegas Shows

“Pin Up” to Close at Stratosphere After Four-Year Run

Despite the hotel’s statements to the contrary, it’s been confirmed “Pin Up” will close at Stratosphere on Mar. 4, 2017.

“Pin Up,” a topless revue featuring Claire Sinclair, has been at Stratosphere for four years.

Pin Up Stratosphere

We’d list all the things we like about “Pin Up,” but it’s hard.

The official announcement about the show closing appeared on the “Pin Up” Facebook page, stating, “It is never easy to deliver sad news, even if you know that you will have to face it one day. The entire ‘Pin Up’ production team is saddened to inform you that our 4th year anniversary show on March 4th, 2017 will be our last one. It was incredible for-year run with over 1,000 shows, many wonderful friendships and thousands of fans all over the world. Thanks to all of you, we made the world little sexier.”

We’ve always had a blog crush on Claire Sinclair, so we’re saddened to hear this news, despite the fact rumors had been swirling for some time about the show coming to an end.

We were lucky enough to chat with Claire Sinclair for the Vital Vegas Podcast, so take a listen.

Pin Up Stratosphere

Las Vegas is about to get a little less schwing. Thanks to “Pin Up” for the pic.

While Sinclair’s run in “Pin Up” is at an end, we’ll all be able to keep a collective eye on her via her Instagram account, perhaps the best thing to happen in Las Vegas since the invention of comps.

No official announcement has been made about the show replacing “Pin Up,” but it’s rumored to be “Men of the Strip” from Jeff Timmons, a founding member of 98 Degrees. We hear from a source close to that show it’s not landing at Stratosphere.

An unprecedented number of Las Vegas shows closed during 2016, and we hoped the carnage would end in 2017. Good going, Capitalism.

Shows tend to run their course in Las Vegas, even the ones starring someone as charming as Claire Sinclair, who we are completely open to consoling about “Pin Up” closing. We’re selfless like that.

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“Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream” is the Best Las Vegas Show You Haven’t a Seen Yet

“Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream” may not be the easiest Las Vegas show name to remember, but the show itself is absolutely unforgettable.

This inspired, captivating, idiosyncratic show at Planet Hollywood is nothing short of a revelation. And we’re just getting started with the superlatives.

Xavier Mortimer's Magical Dream

Forget what you know about Las Vegas magic shows. Xavier Mortimer turns all that on its head.

“Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream,” which we’re going to shorten to “Magical Dream” to avoid developing carpal tunnel, sounds like it’s probably a magic show, and it does have a lot of magical elements.

But “Magical Dream” isn’t entirely magic. It’s not entirely anything, other than awe-inspiring.

“Magical Dream” is, ultimately, a Cirque du Soleil-style show, but performed by one guy (Xavier Mortimer) and his co-star (Lauren Metter) who serves as a romantic interest and dance partner.

Xavier Mortimer's Magical Dream

Xavier Mortimer will make you feel like a kid again. And make your kids feel like embryos. Or something.

The Cirque influence isn’t a coincidence. Mortimer was previously a Cirque performer, including a stint in “Michael Jackson One,” and this is the first time a Cirque performer has launched a headlining residency on the Las Vegas Strip.

The breadth of Mortimer’s talent is stunning. The show is equal parts music, dance, juggling, clowning, mime and mentalism. And that doesn’t begin to do it justice. Oh, and Mortimer is also a masterful quick-change artist. Just for kicks.

Xavier Mortimer's Magical Dream

Just when we thought we were over magic shows, Xavier Mortimer and his evil twin pulled us back in.

“Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream” delivers what many shows claim to inspire, but too few actually can: Surprise and wonder.

Each sequence of the show is inventive, meticulously rehearsed and flawlessly performed.

Mortimer is so talented, we’re not entirely convinced audience members fully grasp how difficult his feats actually are.

From close-up magic to levitation, Mortimer’s performance is so effortless, he makes the miraculous look like no big deal.

Xavier Mortimer's Magical Dream

We didn’t forget you, Lauren. How could we?

What’s miraculous is that “Magical Dream” takes place in a theater roughly the size of your living room. The Sin City Theater, on Planet Hollywood’s mezzanine level, is intimate to say the least. Mortimer fearlessly performs his illusions just feet away from the front row, and overcomes the challenges of a tiny stage and peculiar sight lines to give audiences a show so good, it’s a crime it hasn’t gotten more buzz.

How good is this show? About halfway through, we wept.

Well, maybe not a full weep, but we welled up. It was a definite well. We welled up because as each sequence unfolded, we realized we were in the presence of something incredibly rare: Sheer creativity.

Some of the sequences in “Magical Dream” feature props and illusions that seem familiar at first. In one case, it’s the diabolo (see below), sometimes called a “Chinese yo-yo.” As the routine progresses, though, you see things you’re fairly sure are impossible. Every sequence defies and surpasses all expectations.

Xavier Mortimer's Magical Dream

Just when you think you know what’s next, you’re Mortified. Which Xavier Mortimer should totally steal to use in his advertising.

“Magical Dream” flies by, running just over an hour long. By the end, you’re left breathless and baffled and in disbelief. Unlike too many Las Vegas shows, this one leaves you wanting more.

If we have any quibbles with the show, it’s the sometimes awkward patter between the vignettes. To his credit, Mortimer says he believes a show isn’t great until it’s been performed 100 times, and he’s constantly striving to make it better, even tweaking the show during the show. While performing in the show. Seriously.

Xavier Mortimer's Magical Dream

Both silly and sublime, “Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream” is an hour-long exercise in whimsy.

“Magical Dream” is family-friendly fare, and tickets are $49 general admission, $69 VIP. Find out more at the show’s official site.

After the show, Mortimer and Metter invite guests to take part in a free meet-and-greet, the perfect opportunity to gush over these gifted performers.

Have we talked up the show too much? Possibly. We love what we love. Here’s the thing. See it, and let us know what you think. Especially if you agree. We love when that happens.

If you’re looking for an ingenious, fresh, spellbinding departure from the average Las Vegas magic show, “Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream” is truly a dream come true.

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 36: “Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream,” Virgil’s Real BBQ, Hugo’s Cellar and More

It’s another girthy installment of the Las Vegas podcast earlier generations would’ve burned at the stake for being a witch. Or something.

In this episode, we gush over our latest favorite Las Vegas show, “Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream” at Planet Hollywood. We also wonder how this enchanting, imaginative show has managed to fly under the radar since it opened in July 2016.

We’re calling “Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream” one of our favorite things of the year, a show that’s part Cirque, part magic, part mentalism, part “How in the holy hell did he do that?”

Xavier Mortimer's Magical Dream

We welled up at the sheer creativity of “Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream.” And we don’t well. We are not a weller.

Naturally, we expel some juicy Vegas rumors, dive headlong into a perfunctory round-up of Sin City news and wrangle another “Listicle of the Week.”

We also provide a shower of pith about the just-opened Virgil’s Real BBQ at Linq promenade and our first visit to a Las Vegas institution, Hugo’s Cellar at Four Queens.

Hugo's Cellar

Remember when classy Vegas restaurants used to prepare salads table side? Neither do we. It’s one of the things that makes Hugo’s Cellar a stand-out.

Hike up your casino nerd pants and get some inside skinny from Rob Baker of Tre Builders, the guy coordinating all the upgrades at The D Las Vegas.

For all that and much, much less, put some Vegas in your ears, already.

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“Country Superstars” to Close at Hooters Las Vegas

In an all-too-familiar refrain, it’s been confirmed the “Country Superstars” tribute show at Hooters Las Vegas is closing.

The show will have its final performance at Hooters on Nov. 22, 2016. According to the show’s Web site, it opened at Hooters on Sep. 1, 2016.

Country Superstars

As country folks say, “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay under the porch.” Whatever that might mean.

Entertainment writer Mike Weatherford of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was the first to catch wind of the untimely demise of “Country Superstars,” and we confirmed the closure with a Hooters rep.

“Country Superstars” promoted itself as a 70-minute show with tributes to some of the biggest names in country music, including Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw and Willie Nelson.

It originally opened on June 21, 2007 at Fitzgerald’s (now The D Las Vegas). Then it ran at Whiskey Pete’s in Primm, Golden Nugget, Planet Hollywood (V Theater) and Bally’s, before its short time at Hooters.

The departure of “Country Superstars” at Hooters brings our tally of Las Vegas shows that have closed in 2016 to a whopping 26.

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Curtain to Fall On Tropicana’s “Band of Magicians”

We knew “Band of Magicians” wouldn’t last long at Tropicana, but we didn’t think it would only last three weeks.

The doomed show, billed as featuring the “world’s first magic supergroup,” is about to do a vanishing act after becoming yet another victim of the Tropicana Curse.

Band of Magicians

In this illusion, the performers predicted what audience members would say. We predicted “Band of Magicians” would close by the end of 2016. Voila?

According to Johnny Kats at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the four members of the “Band of Magicians” cast have already been notified the show will be going dark.

We anticipate an official announcement will be forthcoming soon, including something about the show seeking another venue in Las Vegas. Because for failed Las Vegas shows, that’s the law.

While “Band of Magicians” was almost entirely forgettable, it did have strengths. The performers are technically talented magicians, and extremely likable and funny.

Band of Magicians

If “Band of Magicians” was on your bucket list, we have some bad news.

The show, though, largely featured close-up magic projected on screens. “Band of Magicians” lacked the spectacle Las Vegas visitors have come to expect from performers like David Copperfield and Criss Angel.

Penn & Teller at Rio and Mac King at Harrah’s have made the most of patter and charm, but they’ve been at this awhile, and it’s not easy.

Band of Magicians

If we wanted to watch magic on a screen, we’d buy video of a Doug Henning special on Ebay. Oh, just move on, millennials.

The economics of producing a Las Vegas show were also in effect at Tropicana. Despite “Band of Magicians” being produced on a shoestring budget, union and other costs meant the show had to sell a substantial number of tickets to survive.

We wish all the “Band of Magicians” performers well in their future endeavors, of course. No one wants to be added to our list of Las Vegas shows that have closed in 2016. “Band of Magicians” brings our running total to a jaw-dropping 25.

Band of Magicians

Given they’re young, attractive and talented, we suspect they’ll land on their feet. Bastards.

We’re thinking 25 closed Las Vegas shows in a year is plenty. We need a moment to catch our breath.

In Vegas, though, only the strong survive. “The Purge” means stronger shows, with solid marketing, have a better shot at the limited pool of show-goers. It’s painful to see the herd thinned, but the survivors have a better chance of success.

What’s worked in the past in Vegas—played-out magic, cheesy lounge acts and topless revues—seem to be fading away. Big name residencies are killing it. We can’t wait to see what’s next.

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Coed Adult Show “53X” to Close at Paris Las Vegas

It’s a tough time to be a Las Vegas show. The coed adult show, “53X,” will close at Paris Las Vegas on Nov. 20, 2016.

“53X” joins a brutally long list of Las Vegas shows that have closed in 2016.

The good news is the closing of “53X” provides an excellent excuse to look at a photo of super hot people, several of whom could probably benefit from the eating of a sandwich.

53X at Paris closed

Even dramatic cost-cutting measures like not providing male performers with shirts couldn’t save “53X.”

It’s important to try and ferret out a reason “53x” closed, of course. (Props to Johnny Kats at the Las Vegas Review-Journal for the scoop.)

Could it be the kind of show? A topless revue, “Cherry Boom Boom” recently closed at Tropicana.

Was it the fact “53X” tried to appeal to both men and women? A coed strip club, Olympic Garden, and its show “Men of Olympic Garden,” recently closed downtown.

Perhaps it was the location of the show? “Jersey Boys” recently closed at Paris Las Vegas as well.

Could it be people aren’t thrilled about a show with numbers in the title? “One Epic Night” was dead on arrival at Plaza.

Could it be the name of the show itself? “53X” was inspired by how the word “SEX” appeared on early pager displays. “Spoofical” had a weird name, and that one closed at Planet Hollywood.

Oh, what are we doing? Those fanciful reasons aren’t it. There’s something all closed Las Vegas shows have in common: They don’t sell enough tickets. We probably should’ve just skipped to that part.

The world of Las Vegas shows has experienced a purge in 2016, so perhaps the bleeding will stop in 2017. Maybe Las Vegas shows will find some equilibrium, some balance and stability.

Which would be incredibly boring, but it could happen.

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