Category Archives: Las Vegas Shows

Caesars Entertainment Cancels $100 Million Kind Heaven Project, Per Rumor

We’ll keep this quick and awkward: Kind Heaven has suffered the unkindest of cuts.

Our sources say Caesars Entertainment has informed key employees Kind Heaven, a $100 million attraction slated for the Linq casino, is officially canceled.

Kind Heaven

So many questions will now go unanswered.

It’s likely the demise of Kind Heaven, should our information be confirmed, is fallout from the announced merger between Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts.

The looming merger has called into question a number of pending projects, and Kind Heaven was considered a risky endeavor from day one.

If you’re unfamiliar with Kind Heaven, here’s the skinny: Kind Heaven was an Asian-themed walk-through attraction with music festival roots.

Oh, and there were supposed to be holographic fighting monkeys. No, really.

Kind Heaven Las Vegas

Think “Blade Runner,” but with more pickpockets. Long story.

The attraction was slated to open in the summer of 2019. So, now-ish. As far as we know, no demolition or construction of any kind has happened related to Kind Heaven.

Here’s more about the former Kind Heaven.

The project was touted as the brainchild of noted oddball Perry Farrell, founder of the Lollapalooza music festival.

As recently as Aug. 1, 2019, Farrell was still talking up Kind Heaven, apparently unaware the plug has reportedly been pulled on the project.

While it would’ve been fun to see Kind Heaven come to fruition, it seemed a trainwreck waiting to happen.

Kind Heaven Las Vegas

There are so many bummed out monks right about now.

Caesars Entertainment has a lot on its plate at the moment, including a consolidation likely to result in a fair amount of corporate employees being laid off as the merger moves forward, so risky investments of time or resources seem best avoided for now.

The holographic monkeys will just have to find other gigs.

On a related note, another casualty of the Eldorado merger is the demise of “Nitro Circus,” announced for Bally’s Las Vegas. The show is rumored to be seeking another venue, but don’t hold your breath.

Caveat Emptor: Your Tape Face May Not Be THE Tape Face

We enjoyed the “Tape Face” show at Harrah’s Las Vegas a lot.

Tape Face came to prominence on “America’s Got Talent,” and his Las Vegas show is inventive, funny and highly recommended.

That’s not an unconditional recommendation given recent revelations, though.

Tape Face

The Tape Face show is a little mime, a little clown, a little audience interaction, a little oven mitt and a lot of offbeat.

We recently learned the Tape Face you’re seeing onstage at Harrah’s may not be the actual Tape Face.

See, the Tape Face who made a splash on “America’s Got Talent” is named Sam Wills.

Now, we hear there’s another Tape Face, referred to by the production as “T2.” An understudy, you might say. Although, that may not be quite the right word for it. Not a “back-up.” Double, maybe? Stand-in?

No matter what you call it, it’s another Tape Face.

When we first heard about this “Face swap” from reviewer Alex Belfield, we thought it sounded very shady. You don’t just get to replace a performer with a similar performer without letting your audience know.

Tape Face, however, or someone Tweeting on behalf of Tape Face (who knows at this point?), had a different take on what it all means and why it’s not shady.

Tape Face asserts Tape Face isn’t a performer, per se. It’s a character. He Tweets, “You do know that Tape Face is a character, yeah? I am sure if Seinfeld was a character who wore a costume with the right training and direction you could absolutely present his comedy. That’s called
acting.”

We sort of get what he’s going for. He wants Tape Face to be Blue Man Group. Lots of people play the blue man in Blue Man Group, and cast members are often swapped out without the show suffering and nobody feels deceived.

“There is no such thing as a true Tape Face as I believe that we all have a version of Tape Face in us. We are all weird,” Tape Face Tweets.

Tape Face

Not all weird is created equal.

We’re still pretty firmly in the camp that Tape Face isn’t considered a generic character, it’s the guy who was on “America’s Got Talent,” and it’s the guy we saw crush it at Harrah’s. Not another guy with tape on his mouth who knows the routines.

Tape Face respectfully disagrees. “I will have to disagree with you. As a brand, the choice was made to go on ‘AGT’ to advertise the show. Whilst an audience ‘discovers’ the show on a platform, in reality it’s been developed over 15 years to be exactly what it is. A show performed by a character.”

Tape Face goes on to say, “If the performance was bad the audience wouldn’t be happy. It’s one of the reasons we keep the show to my standards and our other Tape Face continues to receive standing ovations from Vegas crowds.”

We totally get that the T2 performance could be as good as the original. Our issue is really with transparency. While Tape Face says the show makes it known the performer onstage might not be Sam Wills, we couldn’t find a mention of that fact on any of the ticket sites we researched. Not even once, anywhere.

The official Harrah’s site is careful to say “Tape Face is the creation of New Zealand comedian Sam Wills,” without specifying he’s the Tape Face in the show.

Tape Face did confirm some performances where a substitution (our word, not his) would occur at Harrah’s.

Tape Face

Pretty sure every Vegas headliner would love to have a clone.

It’s also worth noting Tape Face and his people haven’t exactly hidden the fact there’s a T2. Here’s a Tweet from March 2019.

Tape Face Tweet

Question: How does someone who doesn’t follow Tape Face on Twitter know all this?

Given what we know, we aren’t entirely sure what to think about all this.

We can’t really get onboard with Tape Face’s assertion people just magically know this “character” is a brand and not an individual performer.

If the show’s good, the show’s good, but even if that’s the case, we feel like it’s the responsibility of the performer, the production and the venue to clearly communicate to customers who’s going to be onstage.

A “Tape Face, starring…” credit would work. Or maybe the show should be called “Tape Faces.”

As a practical matter, when we recommend a show, we really need to know which show we’re recommending.

The bottom line: Know before you go, and before you buy, verify. Yes, we just made that up.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Bait-and-switch or non-issue?

Entertainment Rumors Abound at SLS Las Vegas

SLS Resort is undergoing a major renovation, and from some of the rumblings we hear, changes won’t just take the form of new restaurants and a revamped casino floor.

We hear the successful male revue, “Magic Mike Live,” currently at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, will be making a move to SLS Las Vegas in 2020. Word is the show will close at Hard Rock in November 2019.

This is surprising as it’s been reported “Magic Mike Live” would stay on at Hard Rock after the resort transitions to Virgin Hotel.

Magic Mike Live

It’s like we’re looking in a mirror.

Chatter at SLS leads us to believe the resort will make a significant investment (rumored to be in the neighborhood of $10 million) to customize a theater space to showcase “Magic Mike Live.”

Another rumor has it longtime Strip fixture Frank Marino, of “Diva’s Las Vegas,” was eyeing SLS for a residency.

Marino’s “Divas Las Vegas” closed under a cloud of controversy at Linq casino after we reported some shady dealings related to solicitation of charitable contributions which never made it to the charity, among other alleged transgressions. Read more.

The ethical questions plaguing Marino have apparently made it tough for him to find a venue for his show on The Strip. Insiders tell us he was turned down by Westgate, Strat, Mirage and others.

Diva

We figured Frank Marino might throw in the towel, but never doubt a diva.

Update (5/26/19): It’s now sounding like Frank Marino will end up at Hooters. Hey, entertainment news in Las Vegas is fluid. So to speak.

There are also rumors about two existing shows at SLS, comedians Eddie Griffin and Mo’Nique. We hear both these shows will be shown the door, despite them selling well. Experience tells us this could be an effort to tweak the demographics at SLS, but that’s a really awkward subject, so we’ll just move on.

None of the rumors shared here have been announced or confirmed, but don’t be surprised if official announcements are made soon.

SLS Las Vegas is well worth a visit. You’ll want to check out the casino renovation, and make sure to try Cleo restaurant while you still can.

Update (6/3/19): Here’s some fresh scoop! We’re hearing SLS will be renamed (wait for it) Sahara Hotel & Casino. It has been long rumored the hotel would get the name Grand Sahara Resort, but management reconsidered because they thought it might be confused with Grand Sienna Resort, a Reno resort, also owned by Alex Meruelo.

Downtown Grand to Open New Showroom, The Spare Room

Downtown Grand is getting into the comedy game with the opening a new showroom dubbed The Spare Room.

The new showroom hasn’t officially been announced yet, but give it a minute.

Downtown Grand

You can find Downtown Grand downtown. Hence, why were are considered a Las Vegas expert.

The new showroom will be located in the former Mob Bar space, just across the street from the Mob Museum.

For the showroom launch, The Spare Room will feature two shows, “Hypnomania” and “Delirious.”

“Hypnomania,” a comedy-hypnosis show featuring 20-year comedy veteran Don Barnhart, runs at 7:00 p.m.

“Delirious,” with traditional stand-up comedy, happens at 9:00 p.m.

The showroom will be open Wednesday through Sunday.

The Spare Room will have a full bar, thankfully, and a capacity of around 100 people.

Comedy fans will be able to find tickets at the official Downtown Grand Web site once they go on sale.

Downtown Grand has faced some challenges in the past due to its location, but the resort has recently perked up with the beginning of construction of a new hotel tower.

Downtown Grand construction

Downtown Grand’s new hotel tower is coming along nicely.

If you’re checking out the new showroom at Downtown Grand, we recommend making it dinner and a show by stopping in either at Pizza Rock or Triple George, a few steps away.

Update (6/20/19): Our scoop has been officially confirmed, of course. Learn more at the official site.

Cirque du Soleil’s “R.U.N.” to Open at Luxor

Cirque du Soleil has announced a new production, “R.U.N.,” is set to debut at Luxor on Oct. 24, 2019.

“R.U.N.” is described as a “live action thriller,” featuring “live action performance, cutting-edge technology and multimedia to explore the world of stunts.”

We should say the show’s official name is actually “R.U.N,” but that missing period was driving us nuts, so we fixed it.

RUN Cirque Las Vegas

Shout-out to our OCD brethren! And, yes, we’re not obsessing about whether OCD should have periods in it.

It’s worth noting the name of the show can be read as “Are you in?” The show’s observation, not ours.

“R.U.N.” is being billed as a departure from the typical Cirque show. For starters, the production won’t have any acrobats.

In addition, the show was written by Robert Rodriguez, director of quirky feature films like “El Mariachi,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “Spy Kids.” Read more.

Imagine that, a Cirque show with a script!

RUN Cirque Luxor

This isn’t the first time we’ve gotten the jitters because someone skipped a period.

Don’t worry, we don’t suspect “R.U.N.” will be too bogged down by story. Here’s the logline from the news release: “The show will follow two clans in an adrenaline-filled adventure where a striking bride leads a series of fast-paced chases, combat and stunts through the fictional dark underground of Las Vegas.”

This is the 10th collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and MGM Resorts, owners of Luxor.

“R.U.N.” will take up residence in the theater formerly occupied by Criss Angel. When “R.U.N.” was announced, Angel wasted no time throwing some shade at Cirque on Instagram.

Criss Angel

It’s entirely possible asshat Criss Angel believes he invented fire.

We have no idea what that’s about (although Criss Angel might not love the fact he was shown the door at Luxor following flagging ticket sales), but an account that appears to be the official Instagram account for “R.U.N.” chimed in with some thoughts of their own.

RUN shade

Emphasis on “own.”

Entertaining and gloriously awkward!

Drama aside, “R.U.N” has all the makings of a Vegas spectacle, which has become increasingly rare with the high cost of over-the-top production values and large casts.

The show will run just 75 minutes, light even by Las Vegas standards.

Tickets for “R.U.N.” will start at $69, because that’s the best ticket price, ever, if you get our drift. Find out more at the official “R.U.N.” Web site.

Many of the existing Cirque shows in Las Vegas are awesome, but we’re ready for a little less conversation (not to mention creepy clowns) and a little more action.

Don’t miss our one-minute guide to all the Cirque shows in Las Vegas.

“Fuerza Bruta” Tanks, Closes After a Month at Excalibur

After a month’s run at Excalibur, “Fuerza Bruta” is pulling up stakes and closing.

“Fuerza Bruta,” performed in a tent outside Excalibur, translates as “brute force.”

The show opened March 7, 2019. Its final performance is April 7, 2019. It was slated to run six months. What’s the Spanish word for “awkward.”

Fuerza Bruta

Everyone who’s OK with not having seen this show, raise your hand.

A release announcing the show’s debut, said it “breaks free of the confines of spoken language and theatrical convention to transport audiences to a parallel reality where emotion takes control.”

How many red flags do you need in one sentence?

Oh, and there were no seats.

Yeah, the writing was on the tent.

Ticket sales were abysmal for the show, but to its credit, most of the people we’ve heard from enjoyed it. There just weren’t enough of them.

The show says it “has been seen by more than six million spectators in more than 34 countries and 58 cities since its launch in 2003.”

Those places, obviously, aren’t Las Vegas.

“Fuerza Bruta” will now give it go at MGM Cotai in Macau, where a show based largely upon movement, with no discernible plot, should fare much better. Just look at the Chinese box office numbers for the “Transformers” movies.

Eyes now turn to another circus-style show in a tent, “Celestia,” at The Strat. That show’s debut has been pushed back several times, and while there are deep pockets behind the production, it remains to be seen if “Celestia” can succeed where “Fuerza Bruta” failed.