Donny Osmond Returns to The Strip With Solo Show at Harrah’s Las Vegas

The better half of the former Donny & Marie show is returning to the Las Vegas Strip.

Donny Osmond will do a solo, presumably “multi-year,” residency at Harrah’s Las Vegas starting Aug. 31, 2021.

Donny Osmond

He’s awesome. He’s back. And he’s not drinking coffee or tea.

The Donny & Marie show ran at Flamingo for 11 years, closing on Nov. 16, 2019.

Their show was remarkable for a number of reasons, including the fact the sibling’s original contract was for just six weeks.

Their well-reviewed Flamingo residency was very lucrative. The Osmonds reportedly each earned $1.6 million a year base salary, plus 40% of the box office gross.

While Donny and Marie Osmond made bank during their Flamingo residency, there were ongoing rumors of friction between them. Donny should totally name his next album “Rumors of Friction.”

Donny Las Vegas

Even at Flamingo, the writing was on the wall.

The pair barely performed together onstage, and rarely spoke offstage. Guests who paid for meet-and-greet photos got either Donny or Marie, not both.

As tensions grew, it was clear the duo wanted out, but the money was just too good to bail.

However, all awkward things must come to and end.

Apparently, Harrah’s (owned by Caesars Entertainment) and Donny Osmond are confident there’s still high demand for his talents as a solo artist, and we agree.

Donny Osmond Harrah's

Donny Osmond is one of the few performers who looks better before they’re Photoshopped.

While the banter between Donny and Marie Osmond was a highlight of their show, we’re pretty sure Donny can hold his own and his fans are both legion and extraordinarily passionate.

Osmond has lived an extraordinary life, with 33 gold records to his name. He’s currently working on his 63rd album.

The only lowlights we can see of Donny’s life are: 1) He had to do a residency with Marie, and 2) He and his wife have never had oral sex. (At least that’s what he told Howard Stern.)

Even if Donny Osmond had done nothing else in his professional career, he did this.

The outtakes are even better. Behold the moment when Donny Osmond went from American cultural icon to whatever is even better than being an American cultural icon.

This is just one of the reasons Donny needed to go out on his own in Las Vegas.

He’s genuine and likable and talented and hilarious.

Plus, he won season nine of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Donny Osmond

However cool you think Donny Osmond might be in person, he’s cooler than that.

Tickets for Donny’s show at Harrah’s start at $65, with a bump for VIP meet-and-greet packages. Finally, a meet-and-greet that’s worth the price.

Big props to Donny for his divorce from Marie, and we can’t wait to see what Donny’s got up the sleeve of his technicolor dreamcoat!

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 117: Circa Movers and Shakers, Vegas Gets Weirder and More

You’ll be thrilled and mortified to hear we’ve changed our “every few months” podcasting schedule to “whenever we feel like it,” so get ready for our latest cochleafest.

Related: How is there not a Cochleafest? Seriously.

This marks the second episode where we get all up inside Circa, the newest Las Vegas casino that opened Oct. 28, 2020.

This time, we get interviews from a slew of the people responsible for making Circa a reality, including Jeff Victor, Vice President of Operations for the new resort. Victor was instrumental in the return of Vegas Vickie to Circa, and was the former President of Fremont Street Experience. As an added bonus, David Rosborough, who also holds the title of Vice President of Operations, pops in for a quick word about Circa’s unique culture.

Jeff Victor Circa

Fun fact: While he was President of Fremont Street Experience President, Jeff Victor presided over a renewal ceremony for Vegas Vic and Vegas Vickie.

But wait, there’s more. We also have exclusive interviews with all the players involved in Circa’s five restaurants.

That’s right, we’ve got the teams behind 8 East, Barry’s Downtown Prime, Saginaw’s Deli, Victory Burger & Wings and Project BBQ.

8 East Circa

We were never a pork belly person, but we bao before 8 East at Circa, the best new Las Vegas restaurant of 2020.

Damn right, you’ll get our takes on all these new offerings, because we are physically incapable of not opining. Get used to it.

We’ll also do a check-in with Ross Mollison, producer of “Absinthe,” as the show navigates these challenging times.

Speaking of challenges, we’ve got the latest on the recent mandates from Governor Steve Sisolak, including venues (including casinos) being restricted to 25% occupancy.

Heads up: For the next three weeks, reservations are required at Las Vegas restaurants. Hey, who needs a vaccine when we’ve got Open Table?

Naturally, we’ve got a metric ass-ton of Las Vegas news, including the skinny about the opening of Tailgate Social at Palace Station, Lucky’s departure from O’Sheas, Donny Osmond’s solo residency at Harrah’s, the cancellation of New Year’s Eve fireworks on The Strip, Shakira’s new light show at Fremont Street Experience and more.

To round out our ode to Circa, our “Listicle of the Week” is “11 Things You Have to Do at Circa,” at least six of which involve Vegas Vickie.

Vegas Vickie

Not just a photo op at Circa, the photo op at Circa.

While you don’t have to listen to our podcast, we promise if you do, 1) you’ll never experience male pattern baldness, 2) an angel will get its wings, 3) guaranteed handpay the next time you visit Las Vegas, even if you don’t play a slot machine.

Actual results may vary.

Here’s the latest drivel, so have at it.

Terry Fator Returns to The Strip for Limited Run at New York-New York

The theater’s not even cold from the announcement “Zumanity” won’t be back, and ventriloquist Terry Fator already has plans to move in.

Fator will bring his new show, “Who’s the Dummy Now?,” to New York-New York for a limited engagement starting Nov. 26, 2020. The show is slated to run through Dec. 31, 2020.

It’s an odd twist Terry Fator would return to a casino owned by MGM Resorts, as he was unceremoniously given the boot by Mirage for lagging ticket sales.

He started at Mirage in March 2009. Prior to that, he did a one-year stint at the Hilton.

Terry Fator

Early ventriloquism was used to manifest spirits. Now, it’s mostly used to remind us there are still people who seem to find ventriloquism entertaining.

We got ahold of an internal communication saying Mirage was exercising its right to end the show because the average occupancy of the show was less than 75 percent of the seating capacity for a consecutive 12-month period.

While details of his deal with New York-New York haven’t been released, it sounds like this is a a space rental deal, referred to in the business a “four-walling.”

Fator, of course, made his move to Vegas after winning the second season of “America’s Got Talent.”

Terry Fator has lived a fairly colorful life offstage, some of it including controversy related to his romantic life. For example, he proposed to one of his wives, Angie, onstage in front of his then-wife, Taylor.

Fator joins a small group of shows returning to their theaters following the pandemic shutdown. Other shows include “Absinthe,” David Copperfield, Jabbawockeez, Carrot Top, Piff the Magic Dragon, “Fantasy,” The Australian Bee Gees, Tape Face, “X Country” and Thunder from Down Under, among others.

Fator will perform Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Tickets start at a pretty reasonable $34.95.

Vital Vegas Podcast Ep. 116: Circa Owners, Vegas Vickie’s Enhancements and More

It’s a celebratory installment of the podcast you probably didn’t even know exists!

In this episode, we continue our victory lap for the walloping we gave Sahara and its baseless lawsuit. We’re pretty sure the gloating will subside by episode 200, should that ever be a thing.

The big “get” in this episode, though, is a pair of interviews with the co-owners of the shiny new Circa Las Vegas.

Derek and Greg Stevens generously share exclusive details about their new downtown Las Vegas casino that’s generated lots of buzz since it opened Oct. 28, 2020.

Derek Stevens slot machine

Circa owner Derek Stevens got to play on his video poker machines during the casino’s employee play dates.

While we’ve had Derek Stevens on the podcast frequently, this is the first in-depth interview we’ve done with his brother Greg Stevens.

Greg Stevens takes us behind-the-scenes with insights into Circa’s innovative ventilation system, beer delivery technology and even the “science of water” used to amp up Circa’s pools.

Fun fact: Circa pumps CO2 into its pools. It helps make the water a little bluer and sparkly. It also aids in maintaining the pH balance.

Circa Greg Stevens

Co-owner Greg Stevens got the star treatment on opening night of Circa.

But wait, there’s more!

This first part of a Circa two-parter has an enlightening conversation with Rick Juleen, V.P. of Business Development for YESCO, the Las Vegas sign company tasked with restoring the iconic Vegas Vickie.

Vegas Vickie is the attention-grabbing centerpiece of Circa, and Juleen talks about how she was overhauled for her return to Fremont Street.

Vegas Vickie

Welcome back, you tall glass of noble gas, you.

We even got some serious scoop, confirmation of Vickie’s rumored “enhancements,” so check it out.

Our next episode will feature conversations with all the folks involved with Circa’s restaurants, as well as a chat with Jeff Victor and David Rosborough, two Vice Presidents of Circa, each of whom have been key figures in the development of this new downtown destination.

In an upcoming episode, we’ll also chat with Alice Little, the sex worker who is suing Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak for refusing to reopen Nevada’s brothels.

Yes, we understand you care more about hearing from a sex worker than Circa executives, but patience is a virtue, freak.

Here’s the latest episode of the Vital Vegas podcast!

“Zumanity” Closes Permanently as Cirque du Soleil Flounders

A longtime Strip show, “Zumanity,” won’t reopen at New York-New York.

Cirque du Soleil shared a Tweet about the permanent closure of “Zumanity,” saying, “Today we applaud Zumanity as the show has taken its final bow and will not be reopening. Heartfelt thank you to our talented cast, crew and staff and the more than seven million guests for taking part in this sensual journey.”

“Zumanity” wasn’t the strongest Cirque offering on the Las Vegas Strip, but many enjoyed the show featuring a sexier side of Cirque.

Zumanity closed

There’s something for everyone in Las Vegas, but “Zumanity” wasn’t for us.

The show opened in Sep. 2003 and had more than 7,700 performances at New York-New York.

The final performance of “Zumanity” was March 14, 2020, just before Las Vegas shows and hotels were shut down due to the pandemic.

Some shows have reopened since then, but no Cirque shows have returned yet.

Cirque du Soleil’s stuggles were apparent prior to the COVID-19 crisis. We called the company’s impending bankruptcy, and heard from insiders “Zumanity” was on the short list of shows (along with “Love” and “Ka”) that might not return due to a number of factors, mainly financial.

Zumanity 69

They can never take this distinction away from “Zumanity.”

Cirque is trying to get out in front of rumors about the potential of other shows closing permanently.

The company’s news release about “Zumanity” said, “Cirque du Soleil and MGM Resorts International have solidified their commitment to the partnership and the four shows remaining in the Cirque du Soleil portfolio. Contract extensions for ‘O’ at Bellagio, The Beatles ‘Love’ at The Mirage, ‘Ka’ at MGM Grand and ‘Michael Jackson One’ at Mandalay Bay have been signed. Additionally, Treasure Island and Cirque du Soleil have recommitted to ‘Mystere’ with a contract extension.”

That’s great to hear, especially for the performers, crews and venues, but if we’ve learned anything during this crisis, it’s that everything is “fluid.” Also, people are really paranoid about running out of toilet paper.

It’s tough to keep all these Cirque shows straight, so feel free to review our One-Minute Guide to All the Cirque Shows in Las Vegas.

Another Cirque-style show, “Le Reve,” closed permanently at Wynn Las Vegas.

How many brisk kicks to the nads can one town take?

Despite Cirque du Soleil’s calm outward demeanor, the Cirque world is pretty much chaos at the moment.

The company had roughly a billion dollars in debt prior to the pandemic, and the entire operation has been shut down for months.

Zumanity closed

Sometimes, photo captions write themselves.

Cirque du Soleil lost $10 million in 2017, $71 million in 2018 and $80 million in 2019. “R.U.N.” opened at Luxor in 2019 at a cost of about $62 million, the show closed after just five months.

Cirque filed for bankruptcy in June 2020. COVID-19 provided some cover for the company’s rumored mismanagement, but insiders saw the writing on the wall long before the pandemic.

We’ve heard Cirque doesn’t want to reopen its shows while the mask mandate is in place, and there’s no end in sight for those protocols.

The hope is Cirque can come back full force at some point, and performers, many who have bailed on Las Vegas, can be lured back.

The fact is Vegas isn’t really Vegas without Cirque. These iconic shows have become synonymous with Vegas and its claim to the title of “Entertainment Capital of the World.”

Our best goes out to the cast members, crew members and fans of “Zumanity.”

Enough of the circus, we want our Cirque back.

Lucky the Leprechaun Calls It Quits at O’Sheas Casino

Lucky the Leprechaun has seen things, and now the iconic Vegas party animal has announced his departure from O’Sheas Casino and Linq Hotel.

Lucky’s real name is Brian Thomas, and Thomas has been a driver of Strip revelry for a decade, at the original O’Sheas Casino and its newer iteration at Linq.

Lucky quits O'Sheas

Many a liver has tapped out thanks to Lucky.

The diminutive Thomas (he’s four-feet, one inch tall) has legions of fans, thousands of whom have experienced his shot-pouring first hand over the years.

We got to know Brian Thomas during our stint in marketing at Caesars Entertainment, so it’s bittersweet to hear he’s moving on.

Lucky quits O'Sheas

Not the worst gig in the world.

It’s ironic Thomas is departing his O’Sheas gig in the middle of a pandemic. He was far ahead of the curve in his dislike of shaking hands due to the potential of catching a bug from visitors coming to Vegas from around the globe.

Lucky was fist-bumping before fist-bumping was a thing.

Thomas started at O’Sheas in 2006. The beloved Strip casino closed at noon on April 30, 2012 to make way for the Linq Hotel.

As mascot for O’Sheas, Brian Thomas was hit especially hard by the closure of the casino, and fans were thrilled to hear he’d be back at the new iteration.

Lucky quits O'Sheas Linq

The closure of the original O’Sheas was heart-breaking, especially for Brian Thomas, the heart of O’Sheas.

The Lucky magic rubbed off on the new O’Sheas, as it is reportedly the most profitable part of the Linq casino.

Thomas is moving on to other opportunities, apparently, although specifics haven’t been shared yet.

Thomas has moonlighted in TV, film and commercials, and when we reached out to him for this article, he was officiating a wedding.

Lucky quits O'Sheas

Small guy, huge fanbase.

He’s also been spotted hosting pool parties at Flamingo and working the crowd at Carnaval Court at Harrah’s.

A highlight of Lucky’s career? In 2009, he received the Key to the City from then-Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Funny, but a St. Paddy’s Day photo op with Holly Madison would’ve been our pick. That was 2011. Yes, we’ve been doing this a long time.

Holly Madison Lucky

They didn’t call him Lucky for nothing.

Another fun Lucky fact: Brian Thomas isn’t Irish, he’s Lebanese.

It’s hard to overstate the impact Brian Thomas has had on Las Vegas. He’s a symbol not just of a popular casino, but of the town itself.

Given how many stories he’s inspired, and how many selfies he’s been in, Thomas has achieved a form of Las Vegas immortality reserved for such luminaries as Wayne Newton and Elvis.

We wish Brian Thomas all the best in his endeavors.

O'Sheas Lucky

Virtual hugs, Brian.

It’s unknown if Caesars Entertainment will try to find another actor to play Lucky. Good luck with that.

For a little guy, Lucky’s are some big shoes to fill.