Category Archives: Las Vegas Shows

MSG Sphere Arena Details Revealed and It’s Wonderfully Weird

There’s a new, 18,000-seat entertainment venue in the works near the Las Vegas Strip, the MSG Sphere arena, and it’s pretty weird.

The new venue is a partnership between Madison Square Garden Co. and Las Vegas Sands Corp., the company that owns Venetian and Palazzo.

MSG Sphere Arena

Besides concerts, the MSG Sphere will host Carousel. Oh, just watch “Logan’s Run” again.

The arena project was announced back in May 2016, but is only now picking up steam.

According to a story in USA Today, the MSG Sphere will boast some impressive audio technology developed by a German company, Holoplot. The technology is called “beamforming audio,” which sends sound via witchcraft rather than through speakers.

Here’s another look at Sphere.

MSG Sphere Arena Las Vegas

Get used to your mouth being agape, it’s Las Vegas.

The Sphere’s exterior is a dome with 190,000 feet of LED lighting, which translates into about 36 miles of lights.

Inside the dome, guests will enjoy what amounts to a 360-degree IMAX experience, with about 180,000-square-feet (four acres) of high resolution video across the dome’s roof.

Translation: Holy crap.

MSG Sphere Las Vegas arena

Finally, a Las Vegas venue that can legitimately use the word “immersive.”

One of the best things about the MSG Sphere is its developers promise little to no sports will be hosted in the venue. Although, fights are a possibility. Hey, nobody’s perfect.

The unfortunately-named MSG Sphere arena (some people are intolerant, you know) will be located on Sands Ave., between Manhattan St. and Koval Lane.

You have no idea where that is, so here’s a photo we took. Let’s just say we used a very tall monopod and leave it at that.

Sands music venue

The future home of some awesome.

The MSG Sphere breaks ground in 2018 and the new arena is expected to open in 2020.

We can’t wait.

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Criss Angel’s “Mindfreak Live” to Close at Luxor Las Vegas

After a 10-year run that provided a smackdown to his legions of haters, magnificent lunkhead Criss Angel will close his “Mindfreak Live” show at Luxor in 2018.

Criss Angel’s “Mindfreak Live” ends its run, and sometimes strained partnership with Cirque du Soleil, on Oct. 28, 2018, according to reports.

Mindfreak Live

Despite the odds, and a profound lack of personality or talent, Criss Angel survived and, and various times thrived, on the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas Weekly’s Brock Radne was the first to share the surprisingly successful show is closing.

Angel’s show opened as “Believe” in Oct. 2008 to scathing reviews. Sorry, “BeLIEve.” Trust us, the weird “lie” affectation was the least of its problems.

While the removal of Cirque elements improved the show somewhat, production costs and declining ticket sales forced Angel and his team to close “Believe” on April 17, 2016.

A trimmed down “Mindfreak Live” opened May 11, 2016.

The revamped show didn’t exactly win over Criss Angel’s haters, but it allowed the show to continue through the end of his contract with Cirque du Soleil.

Criss Angel

No, we didn’t take this at Madame Tussauds. Criss Angel is just a really odd dude.

We saw “Mindfreak Live” and, beyond the random, pointless shouting of its star, we thought the show was reasonably entertaining. Angel seemed to enjoy himself, and his use of self-deprecating humor was refreshing given the annoying onscreen persona he’d cultivated on
the long-running A&E “Mindfreak” TV show.

“Mindfreak Live” also has one of the most impressive illusions we’ve ever seen in a Las Vegas show, a levitation that’s worth the price of admission. Yes, you know it’s wires, but that doesn’t take away from the sheer WTF of it all.

A 10-year run for a Las Vegas magic show must be deemed an unqualified success.

Criss Angel casino chip

Undeniable.

Back in 2016, it was being reported more than four million guests had attended “Believe” since it opened in 2008.

Because “Mindfreak Live” doesn’t close until late 2018, there’s still time to see it again if you’ve seen it, and to trash talk it if you never will.

In a ridiculously awful interview, Criss Angel has said he’s opening another show following “Mindfreak Live,” at another Las Vegas venue, and the cliche-spewing egomaniac reminds us all why he’s so easy to loathe.

Whether you love Criss Angel or hate him, he pulled off what many considered an impossible feat, a decade-long run on the Las Vegas Strip.

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Las Vegas Strip’s First Spanish Language Show, “Ilusion Mental,” to Open at Planet Hollywood

Well, it’s about time.

Given the 41 million Spanish-speakers in the U.S. alone, and multitudes of Spanish-speaking Las Vegas visitors from other countries, it’s about time The Strip had a Spanish language show.

“Ilusion Mental,” featuring Santiago Michel, opens at Sin City Theater inside Planet Hollywood on Dec. 28, 2017.

Santiago Michel

Santiago Michel knows what you’re thinking, and has alerted the authorities accordingly.

“Ilusion Mental” is, as the name implies, a mentalism show.

Mentalism, or “mind reading,” isn’t for everyone (including this blog) due to the fact mind-reading doesn’t actually exist, but it’s perhaps helpful to think of it as a magic show and everyone loves a Las Vegas magic show.

Besides, Spanish!

Ilusion Mental

If you speak Spanish, you’re freaking out right now.

The show features Santiago Michel, a 24-year-old, charismatic performer who has performed in more than 10 countries.

Here’s a look at Michel in action.

The 65-minute show is family-friendly and takes place Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $49.99.

Find out more about Santiago Michel at his official site. Welcome to Las Vegas, Santiago.

Fun fact: Las Vegas is a Spanish term meaning, “I hope you brought your morning after pill.”

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Lady Gaga Residency at Park MGM Theater Is a Done Deal

MGM Resorts has snagged another bona fide superstar for its Park Theater at Park MGM (currently Monte Carlo). We have it on good authority Lady Gaga has been signed for a 50-show residency.

Expect an official announcement of the deal this week.

The dollars involved, of course, will be staggering. Our source shares that the deal for 50 shows will pay Lady Gaga a whopping (wait for it) $100 million. (Recent reports say 74 shows.)

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga will soon bring her special brand of WTF to the Las Vegas Strip.

Park Theater is set to be a major player in the Las Vegas live entertainment scene. Bruno Mars has a series of shows lined up for Dec. 2017 and Feb. 2018.

Cher, too, is scheduled for a residency of 18 shows through May 2018.

Rumors have circulated since June 2017 that Lady Gaga would be one of the new residencies at Park Theater, but now we’re hearing it’s a fait accompli.

There have also been rumors about Justin Timberlake joining the list of musical luminaries at Park MGM, but it doesn’t appear that’s in the cards at the moment.

We have heard Timberlake will perform two mammoth shows at the T-Mobile Arena in April 2018.

Stay tuned for the official confirmation of Lady Gaga’s residency at Park Theater.

Competition for big name talent among the major Las Vegas music venues is reaching new heights, so expect ticket prices to do the same.

Update (12/181/7): The Las Vegas Review-Journal has confirmed our story, although it claims there will be 36 shows. The numbers provided ($400,000 per show) does not take into account the agreed-upon extension or compensation from deal points like merchandise.

Update (12/19/17): Our story has been confirmed officially by MGM Resorts and Lady Gaga herself. Her Park MGM residency starts in Dec. 2018. The residency will span two years and further details will be announced in the coming months, according to a news release. Variety sets the number of shows at 74 and confirms our $100 million figure for the run.

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“Circus 1903” Rumored to Be Closing at Paris

The curtain is about to fall on a memorable show at Paris Las Vegas. We’re hearing the final performance of “Circus 1903” will be Jan. 7, 2018.

Circus 1903

Don’t be sad, guys. Do what we do. Get hammered.

“Circus 1903” had all the makings of a successful Las Vegas show.

Interchangeable (but quality) variety acts, check.

Visual spectacle, check.

No real plot to follow (visitors often don’t speak English, hence the popularity of Cirque shows in Vegas), check.

No annoying clowns, check.

There was even a unique twist: Life-size elephant puppets from the folks behind “War Horse” on Broadway.

Circus 1903

Time to pack your trunk, Queenie.

Despite our glowing review, it appears time is running out for “Paris 1903.”

The show opened at Paris Las Vegas on July 25, 2017.

As we’ve said before, successful shows don’t close on the Las Vegas Strip, so it’s likely ticket sales for “Circus 1903” couldn’t keep up with the costs of such a lavish production with dozens of cast and crew members.

Circus 1903

The cost of tights alone must have been through the roof. And those were just for the men.

There’s no word on what might replace “Circus 1903.” The theater had been vacant since the departure of “Jersey Boys” in Sep. 2016.

“Circus 1903” is overflowing with great talent, so we hope the show finds a new life elsewhere.

Expect an official announcement of the show’s closure soon.

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Barry Manilow Reportedly Set for Westgate Residency

Barry Manilow, a singer and songwriter with more hits than a defective Top Dollar slot machine, could be headed back to Las Vegas for a residency, this time at Westgate.

A tipster says Manilow could begin his next run in Las Vegas in April 2018.

Barry Manilow

Hey, he earned that money, he can spend it any way he wants.

Barry Manilow’s last residency in Vegas was a two-year stint at Paris. That’s where we saw his show, and it was great, with one sing-along favorite after another.

Should Manilow return to Westgate as rumored, it would be familiar territory for the 74-year-old pop music legend. He performed there from 2005-2010, back when the resort was the Las Vegas Hilton.

It’s likely Manilow struck a sweet financial deal with Westgate, but a residency’s a win-win. While Manilow’s deep catalogue of hits has multi-generational appeal, he tends to draw audiences who are the perfect demographic for a casino―a more mature customer with ample disposable income.

Barry Manilow Oscar Goodman

Former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Barry Manilow at some kind of thing back in 2010. We are a better photographer than we are a rememberer.

While there’s been no official announcement of the deal with Westgate, Manilow’s team and Westgate executives have left lots of clues about the residency. Manilow’s husband and manager, Garry Kief, hasn’t been shy about sharing Las Vegas visits in social media, and Westgate reps were spotted at a Manilow show in California in August.

Barry Manilow is a great fit for Las Vegas and Westgate, and the city should welcome him back with open arms.

Manilow has a reputation for being a genuinely nice person, unaffected by fame and decades on the charts.

You can keep Mariah, we’ll take Manilow any day.

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