Monthly Archives: July 2018

“Inferno” Snuffed Out at Paris Las Vegas

A highly-touted, fire-fueled production, “Inferno,” has closed at Paris Las Vegas.

The self-described “fire spectacular” closed without warning just days after its final performance on July 15, 2018.

Inferno

“Infermo” was not, apparently, fire. As the kids say. Or used to say, anyway.

“Inferno” lasted just six months at Paris, following in the footsteps of “Marilyn,” which closed at Paris after 15 performances.

Prior to “Marilyn,” “Circus 1903” closed at Paris after just five months.

It feels like Paris is trying to give the “Tropicana curse” a run for its money.

The closure of “Inferno” appears to have come as a surprise even to its producers, as less than a week before it closed, the show published a casting call notice on its Facebook page.

Inferno

The awkward, though.

Johnny Kats of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was the first to share the news “Inferno” had closed.

Kats also shared a statement from Caesars Entertainment, “We were pleased with the six-month run of ‘Inferno,'” at which point we stopped reading because our public relations horseshittery meter exploded.

Despite the mountains of evidence, we are not a moron.

Casinos are “pleased” by shows that sell tickets and make money. You don’t close a show that’s selling tickets and making money. It’s not perturbation theory. Whatever that might actually be.

Kats also shares “Masters of Illusion” at Bally’s will suffer the same fate as “Inferno.” It closes Sep. 3, 2018.

It’s a tumultuous time for shows in Las Vegas, but it’s always been a competitive market.

Back in the day, shows were subsidized by gambling, but that’s rarely the case now. Shows have to make money or they’re out.

Las Vegas remains the entertainment capital of the world, even though shows like “Inferno” sometimes find themselves extinguished.

What, like we weren’t going to get in one more fire pun? Do you know this blog at all?

“Imaginarium” Falls Victim to Tropicana Curse, Set to Close

A magic show featuring David Goldrake, “Imaginarium,” has announced it will close at Tropicana on Sep. 30, 2018.

Lackluster ticket sales sealed the fate of the production show after a little more than a year at Tropicana.

How do we know it wasn’t selling tickets? Because successful shows don’t close in Las Vegas, that’s why.

David Goldrake

Trying to decide if it’s the gaze or hairpiece that make us the most uncomfortable.

A news release about the show’s closure attempted some misdirection, par for the course both because it’s a magic show and it’s Las Vegas. Public relations horseshittery is the law.

The release says, “Award-winning grand illusionist David Goldrake announces today he is planning to open a new show, set to debut to Las Vegas audiences in Spring, 2019.”

Right. In the parlance of Vegas entertainment, “Imaginarium” is on “haitus.”

To Goldrake’s credit, the show lastest 300 shows, according to the release, anything but a sure bet given what’s come to be called the “Tropicana curse.”

Tropicana

No, the Tropicana curse isn’t really a thing. We just like being the first result in Google when people search for that term.

Other shows that have fallen victim to the Tropicana curse include “Cherry Boom Boom,” “Raiding the Rock Vault,” “Mama Mia,” “Purple Reign,” Murray Sawchuck and Brad Garrett’s comedy club.

The performer hit hardest by the curse, though, has to be magician Jan Rouven. Rouven is currently in jail facing federal child porn charges.

While we haven’t seen “Imaginarium,” it appears to be a classic Las Vegas magic “spectacle,” teeming with dramatic hand gestures and lots of “Voila!”

You know, the kind of magic show people aren’t clamoring to see anymore.

Do yourself a favor and catch Penn & Teller at Rio or Mac King at Harrah’s.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 84: Sex Worker Date, Barry Manilow, MGM Resorts PR Nightmare and More

It’s all the Vegas you can shove into your gaping gullet!

We’ve recklessly slapped together another episode of our humble podcast, so buckle up for exclusive rumors, perfunctory news and questionable behavior galore.

On this week’s show, we share details of our evening in the company of a sex worker. It’s rough work, but somebody’s got to do it.

You’ll also get a review of Barry Manilow’s new show at Westgate.

Plus, hear more exclusive scoop than is legally allowed by most federal agencies: Red nightclub changes hands (Wendoh Media is rumored to be taking the reins), Downtown Grand pulls the plug on its Quad project (but a new hotel tower begins construction in September), the owners of Stratosphere buy two Laughlin casinos and the Taxi Authority enforces a dress code sure to thwart those infernal rideshare services—collared shirts.

Red nightclub

Red nightclub on Fremont Street doesn’t look like much, and it’s exactly what it looks like.

We also share juicy rumors, including one about Jennifer Lopez jumping ship at Planet Hollywood for a residency at Park MGM.

And we dive headlong into MGM Resorts’ recent public relations nightmare. Bottom line: WTF were they thinking?

There’s news about Canter’s Tivoli Village closing, three Mario Batali restaurants in Las Vegas closing at once (July 22), a rumored soft opening for the new Wynn Plaza (Oct. 11) and more.

B&B Las Vegas

Las Vegas Sands Corp. made a clear statement about Mario Batali by showing his three restaurants the door. Eataly is still in the works at Park MGM, however.

The rousing climax to this week’s episode is a listicle of “10 Things You Should Do On Your Next Visit to Las Vegas.” Use our list to save time, but definitely not money, to make your Sin City experience utterly unforgettable.

Take a listen and Las Vegas is your oyster. Although, with slightly less salinity. Just listen, already.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is a Certified Strip Stand-Out

One hallmark of a remarkable dining experience in Las Vegas is the memory of it lingers. Given we’re still thinking about Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab long after our visit, it more than qualifies.

And we aren’t even a seafood person.

Joe's Seafood Las Vegas

If you’re not salivating by the time you finish this story, we have failed miserably.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab has been a fixture at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace since 2004.

It’s rumored the restaurant is one of the most profitable in all of Las Vegas, and it’s easy to see why. Hint: It’s the awesome.

Joe's Las Vegas

Start in the bar. In Las Vegas, it’s the law.

From Joe’s elevated but unpretentious atmosphere to its stellar cocktails and mind-blowing entrees, this restaurant is a must-try.

Once you try it, expect to discover your latest dining addiction in Las Vegas. As if you didn’t have enough places to love, already.

Let’s kick things off with an amazing cocktail, one our waiter (more about him in a minute) said is about the only signature drink offered.

Most of the cocktail menu consists of classics, but the South Beach Peach cocktail is an original and joins our roster of world-class panty-droppers.

Joe's Las Vegas

“Pantry-droppers” should be shared by consenting adults, so no need to get indignant.

There’s a wide selection of appetizers as you might expect, with a decidedly seafood bent, including fried calamari ($15.95), oysters Rockefeller ($18.95), charred octopus ($17.95) and jumbo shrimp cocktail ($18.95).

We really need to just skip listing the prices, because it’s Vegas, and money is no object! Translation: Our friend paid. Moving on.

Joe's Seafood Las Vegas

Kusshi (Japanese for “precious”) oysters were priced at “market,” so good luck with that.

The menu at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab holds one delight after another, so let’s just dive into the goodness.

Joe’s is known for its crab, and the Alaskan king crab got rave reviews from the seafood-lovers in our party.

Joe's Seafood Alaskan king crab

It’s all fun and games until somebody puts an eye out.

Joe’s has a guy who cracks, cuts and trims the crab legs for you, so don’t worry about breaking a nail.

Crab shucker

There’s probably a name for this gig. Crab sheller? Shucker? Enabler? Oh, just eat.

Let’s just say every entree and every side was spectacular in quality, quantity and presentation.

The Filet Oscar ($49.95) made one of our dining companions swoon. Literally.

Joe's Seafood Las Vegas

This food has not been styled. This is just how it looks. In real life.

There were three highlights of our evening at Joe’s. You’ve seen the first, it was the South Beach Peach. Plural.

Second, we had one of the best steaks we’ve ever had in Las Vegas, and we’ve been to just about every steakhouse in town. The bone-in filet mignon ($58.95) is in the “Bone-In Signature Prime Steaks” portion of the menu, and has probably ruined us for any other filet mignon, ever.

Joe's bone-in filet

Behold, 16 succulent ounces of paid vacation for your taste receptors.

A third highlight of our evening was meeting John Lucas. We’d call John a server, but that’s like calling Michelangelo a “proficient doodler.”

Lucas’ whip-smart banter and exhaustive knowledge of the menu helped make a great meal into an utterly unforgettable evening on the town.

John Lucas Joe's Seafood

John needs his own TV series. Please get on that, Hollywood producers.

Lucas deftly orchestrated delivery and removal of plates and glasses, timing courses masterfully and shepherding others on the team at Joe’s in a way that was a wonder to watch.

Our only observation would be the masterful orchestration of the waitstaff wouldn’t be necessary if the booths weren’t so small. Then again, the food’s so good, elbow room be damned.

Joe's Las Vegas

Casual dress, lively vibe, no loud music. We would like to kiss you deeply on the mouth, Joe’s.

As so often happens during a restaurant outing in Las Vegas, self-restraint flies out the window at Joe’s, but you’ll want to show a little because at this restaurant, desserts aren’t just understudies, they’re superstars in their own right.

And we aren’t even a pie person.

First up, some kind of pie with berries. They appear blue.

Joe's Seafood blueberry pie

We tried taking a bite and nearly lost our hand. People are very passionate about pie.

Then we had what can only be described as an orgasm on a plate. Check out Joe’s banana cream pie ($9.95).

Joe's Seafood banana cream pie

We’re fairly sure the banana cream pie at Joe’s could bring about world peace.

Just wow. We’ve always sort of hated the texture of pie, but that dislike ended the moment we took a bite of the banana cream pie. We may go back just to have it again.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab more than exceeded all our expectations, and as we said, our meal has crossed our mind innumerable times since our visit.

The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is about the only shopping mall worthy of Joe’s.

Forum Shops Las Vegas

Hey, we have to throw a little love to Pinterest every once in awhile. More than 160,000 people visit our boards each month. It’s not bragging if it’s true.

Learn more about Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, and check out the full menu, on the restaurant’s official site.

If you give Joe’s a try, let us know if you enjoyed it as much as we did, although we’re fairly sure that’s not possible.

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 83: Gondolas, Joe’s Seafood, Exclusive News and Glorious Drama

It’s another action-packed episode of the Vital Vegas Podcast, and we can’t apologize enough.

In this episode, we take in one of the quintessential Las Vegas experiences, the gondolas at Venetian.

Venetian Las Vegas gondola

Behold, one of the best aphrodisiacs in Las Vegas.

We’ve got all the latest on some glorious drama, the demise and investigation of “Divas Las Vegas” at Linq. It’s juicy.

There’s also a slew of news you won’t find anywhere else, including a bungee jump coming to Stratosphere, the general counsel of Wynn Resorts getting the boot, a casino expansion at Golden Gate, plus lots of news and rumors about restaurants opening, closing and filling our gullet with untold delights.

Don’t miss our review of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab at Forum Shops.

Joe's Seafood Las Vegas

It’s Joe’s. It’s time to eat some art.

The show is bursting with perfunctory stories about all the latest things going on in Sin City, of course, from the death of “The Voice, Neon Dreams” to the delay of “A Mob Story” at Plaza and “Menopause the Musical” celebrating its 5,000th hot flash at Harrah’s.

Get your fill of all the WTF you’ve come to expect from the 11th best Las Vegas podcast! Your results may vary.

You Could Soon Bungee Jump Off Stratosphere

We hate to spoil the surprise, but we’re hearing Stratosphere will soon add bungee jumping to its list of adrenaline-pumping thrill attractions.

Guests of the Strat can already do one of the most harrowing experiences in Las Vegas, the SkyJump.

SkyJump involves an open-air leap from 829 feet above The Strip.

Stratosphere Skyjump

Yeah, no. We are not a heights person.

Still, legions of Vegas visitors make their way to the Stratosphere’s collection of thrill rides.

Aside from SkyJump, there’s X-Scream (the gliding over the edge one), Insanity (the spinning over the edge one) and Big Shot (the straight up and down one).

These attractions are wildly successful and profitable, and Stratosphere wisely adds new rides to the mix to keep things fresh for repeat customers.

Next up, according to rumors, Stratosphere will offer a bungee jump!

To get an idea of what the experience could be like, if the rumor pans out, one need look no further than Macau Tower.

People be kray.

We hear the ticket price for the Strat’s bungee attraction could be as much as $300. The Macau Tower bungee jump costs more than $400 U.S.

From our four minutes of research on the topic, it seems Macau Tower holds the record for being the highest commercial bungee jump at 764 feet. That record-holding bungee jump opened in 2006.

Another is planned for the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge. When that opens in August 2018, it will be the highest at 853 feet.

Stratosphere

The Strat is just happy to see you.

Should Stratosphere’s attraction jump from 829 feet, it’ll be the highest in the world. Because Vegas, baby.

Bungee (sometimes spelled “bungy”) jumping from a tower comes with some technical and safety challenges. “Guide cables” are used to keep the jumper from bouncing into the hotel tower, for example.

The SkyJump at Stratosphere uses a “fan descender” to slow the rate of descent, and we trust a similar device will be used with the bungee attraction. Read more.

It’s unknown if the bungee jump will replace or augment SkyJump, but Macau Tower boasts both a SkyJump and bungee jump.

A new attraction wouldn’t be the first time anyone’s bungee jumped off the Stratosphere. During taping of the “Real World/Road Rules Challenge 2000” reality series, contestants bungee jumped off the Strat from a height of 660 feet. On the show, the bungee jump challenge was dubbed “Stratos-Fear,” which wouldn’t be a bad name for the attraction.

Everything’s bigger and bouncier in Las Vegas, so don’t be surprised if Stratosphere announces a new bungee jump attraction soon.