Category Archives: Las Vegas Shows

Christina Aguilera’s Las Vegas Residency Is a Lock

Christina Aguilera will start a Las Vegas residency on May 31, 2019 at Zappos Theater inside Planet Hollywood.

The official announcement of the residency was made Jan. 29, 2019, but that’s not when fans knew it was happening.

Christina Aguilera

We like this version of Christina Aguilera more than the flashy one.

One of the more interesting aspects of Aguilera’s residency announcement is the fact vigilant fans caught a post on the singer’s Web site listing her 16 performance dates prior to the official announcement.

The schedule was swiftly removed from the site, but the Internet never forgets and the word was already out in a big way.

Christina Aguilera

Don’t worry, Web intern. Hopefully, you find a gig working for someone relevant next time.

Christina Aguilera’s Las Vegas residency follows on the heels of successful residencies at Planet Hollywood by her fellow pop princesses: Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani.

A planned residency by Britney Spears at Park MGM resort was recently canceled due to family issues.

Fans even caught wind of the show’s artwork.

Christina Aguilera

You go, fans.

Here are her 2019 show dates for Planet Hollywood.

  • May 31
  • June 1, 5, 7, 8, 13, 15, 16
  • Sep. 20, 21, 24, 27, 28
  • Oct. 2, 4, 5

While we’re sure the folks at Caesars Entertainment, owners of Planet Hollywood, and some in the media (“You promised us an exclusive, Xtina!”) are pulling their hair out about somebody on Aguilera’s team jumping the gun, buzz is buzz and the gaff generated as much or more publicity than the actual announcement.

Social media goofs are an ongoing headache for performers. Obsessive fans never miss a thing. Just ask Celine Dion.

Aguilera’s Vegas residency is further evidence, as if we needed more, A-list entertainers no longer see Sin City as a place where careers go to die. For those who do it right, there’s big money to be made in Las Vegas.

Time will tell if Christina Aguilera gets it right.

Our suggestions: 1) Price it right. 2) Make it good (as few backing tracks as possible, please). 3) Don’t overstay your welcome.

Shocker: Celine Dion Could Move to Park MGM

Did the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority just drop a huge entertainment bombshell?

If it’s not a monumental gaff, it seems Celine Dion isn’t done in Las Vegas when her show at Caesars Entertainment ends on June 8, 2019. She’ll jump ship to the competition, Park MGM.

Here’s the premature post to the LVCVA’s Instagram account.

Celine Dion Park MGM

Let’s hope whoever posted this gets a raise, not a pink slip.

Note: The post on Instagram has since been deleted.

A Celine residency at Park MGM hasn’t been officially announced by Celine’s people or Park MGM, but the LVCVA might know something the rest of us don’t.

You’ll recall Britney Spears couldn’t announce her plans for Park MGM until her contract ran out at Planet Hollywood (Caesars Entertainment).

The cancellation of Spears’ residency at Park MGM leaves a gaping hole in the Park Theater schedule, and Dion’s move would send shock waves through the world of Vegas entertainment.

We were the first to share Jennifer Lopez has also been poached by Park MGM.

The pattern has been Park MGM (MGM Resorts) making lavish offers these performers can’t refuse. Britney Spears was going to make $500,000 per show, and Lady Gaga is reportedly making $1 million per show.

Celine

Define “final.”

Celine’s run at Caesars Palace has resulted in the two highest-grossing residencies in Las Vegas history, but it’s entirely possible she’s not done yet.

It’s worth noting Celine attended Lady Gaga’s premiere at Park MGM. It was thought she was merely being supportive of her fellow diva, but if Dion is making the move to Park MGM, lots of pieces of the puzzle fall neatly into place.

It’s also rumored Celine Dion is building a new house in Las Vegas. That doesn’t sound like somebody who’s hanging it up.

At this point, Celine Dion’s move to Park MGM hasn’t been officially confirmed, but if it is, remember you heard it here first.

Thanks to @Celiniacs for pointing us to this scoop.

Update (1/15/19): The LVCVA says their post was a goof. They didn’t go so far as to say Celine won’t be doing another Vegas residency, however.

We’ll take them at their word, but trust and verify (in June 2019).

“The Naked Magicians” Will Get Fully Frontal at MGM Grand

A new show is headed for MGM Grand, and it’s about as Vegas as you can get.

“The Naked Magicians,” quite simply, perform magic naked.

The only downside is they’re dudes. All due respect.

Australian magicians, and extraordinarily brave souls, Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne will perform at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club inside MGM Grand starting Feb. 13, 2019.

It’s the duo’s first Las Vegas residency, but they’ve performed in more than 200 cities.

Naked Magicians Las Vegas

If only these guys could come up with a marketing hook.

In a news release, Christopher Wayne says, “It’s kind of crazy because magic is the second-oldest profession and we couldn’t believe no one had combined the two things that everyone loves: magic and nudity.”

Define “no one,” magic boy. It’s Vegas!

Ever hear of “Showgirls of Magic”? It had a decent run at Hotel San Remo, now called Hooters.

And let’s not forget the sheer awesomeness of “Centerfolds of Magic” which ran at the Plaza for 15 minutes. (Three weeks, actually, but who’s counting?)

History lapses aside, “The Naked Magicians” has potential, and we’d see it despite our longstanding loyalty to “Puppetry of the Penis,” mainly because the cast was on our podcast.

We’re definitely looking forward to seeing “The Naked Magicians” perform the classic cups and balls.

Oh, like you didn’t know we’d make that joke.

Tickets for “The Naked Magicians” start at $55. This is a 21-or-older only show. See more at the show’s official Web site.

Britney Spears Pulls the Plug on Park MGM Residency

We broke the story Britney Spears would do a residency at Park Theater following her successful run at Planet Hollywood, but even we didn’t see this coming.

Spears announced she’s canceling her “Domination” residency at Park MGM, presumably due to her father’s illness.

Technically, Spears is claiming the residency is just on hold “until further notice.” The residency was scheduled to start Feb. 13, 2019.

Britney Spears Las Vegas

You know what it means when there’s a red line through something.

When we first learned the string of shows would be canceled, we suspected it might be a case of bailing due to lackluster ticket sales.

Slow ticket sales were reported widely, and it appeared Spears and MGM Resorts may have over-estimated her ability to draw audiences following her stint at Planet Hollywood.

That 248-show run surprised everyone by selling more than 900,000 tickets and pulling in $137 million.

The “I’m dedicating my focus and energy to care for my family” line is, of course, a cliche used by celebrities to step away from their gigs, often taking advantage of outs in their contracts in order to save face as well as avoiding steep penalties for not fulfulling their contractual obligations.

The other feeble go-to excuse when ticket sales are flagging is “exhaustion.” Looking at you, Salt-N-Pepa.

We began to set our skepticism aside with Britney Spears, however, when we learned more about the seriousness of her father’s medical condition. He’s expected to recover.

Spears relationship with her father is a complicated one, to say the least. Her assets have been supervised by her father since her breakdown in 2008. He makes $130,000 a year as her conservator, and Spears can’t make legal or financial decisions without her father’s approval.

Beyond the medical element, we’ve received reliable information her ticket sales weren’t as abysmal as reported. While not as brisk as sales for Lady Gaga and Aerosmith, those are new residencies, so it’s not a fair comparison.

It’s possible Spears will be on the hook for millions in costs related to the cancellation of “Domination.”

At this point, we’re split on whether Britney Spears will return to fulfill her residency commitment at Park MGM.

Cancellations of this type have a huge ripple effect on those involved with the production and the resort involved, as well as surrounding businesses.

Spears had a $500,000-per-show guarantee (even more than Celine Dion makes) for her upcoming Park Theater residency, so even one of the best-paid female artists in the world would find it hard to walk away from that.

“Celestia” to Open in Tent Outside Stratosphere

“Absinthe” did it at Caesars Palace. A show called Fuerza Bruta is doing it at Excalibur in February.

“Celestia,” a new Cirque-style show coming to The Strat will do it, too.

What do all these shows have in common? They take place in tents.

Celestia Las Vegas

“Celestia” is a variant of Celeste which means “heavenly” or “of the sky” in Latin. Hey, not every photo caption has to be hilarious.

In the case of “Celestia,” it’s a 200,000-square-foot state-of-the-art tent. Which, in the parlance of entertainment venues, is one bigass tent.

We’ve gotten question about the tent outside Stratosphere for several weeks, and you sort of can’t miss it.

Celestia tent

If you said this is a unique tent, you’d have a point.

“Celestia,” which opens January 30, 2019, is an all-new international production featuring 32 performers. (Update: The opening date has been pushed back to┬áMarch 30, 2019.)

The 90-minute show will feature acrobatics, aerialists, contortionists, dance, fire, silks acts and magic.

“Celestia” comes from Sasha Ivanov, former music director for Cirque du Soleil’s show, “Kooza.”

The new show boasts other entertainment heavy-hitters as well. The Technical Director of Acrobatic Elements is Juan Carlos Valencia who worked for more than 25 years for companies like The Royal London Circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.

Celestia tent

“Celestia,” coming to the Strat’s north wing.

The choreographer of “Celestia” is Bonnie Story. Her work has been showcased on shows like Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and three Disney Channel “High School Musical” films.

We hear the production has some serious financial backing, and may go on the road following its open-ended run in Las Vegas.

The show’s Web site was recently updated to show one of those “Wheel of Death” things, easily the most harrowing part of the dearly-departed “Zarkana,” formerly at Aria.

Celestia

Oh, and there’s some sort of oxen. We told you it’s “Cirque-inspired.”

It’s an interesting time to open a Cirque-style show, actually. Reports are many of the Strip’s six Cirque du Soleil shows are at half capacity most nights.

Note: It’s seven Cirque shows on The Strip if you count “Blue Man Group,” owned by Cirque, or eight if you count “Le Reve,” which has no affiliation with Cirque other than absolutely being a Cirque show.

Check out our One Minute Guide to All the Cirque Shows in Las Vegas.

Keep in mind “Mystere,” Cirque’s longest-running show in Las Vegas, opened in December 1993, a quarter century ago.

A big benefit of hosting a show in a tent, rather than a traditional theater, is the costs are comparatively low. “Celestia” has what’s known as a “four-wall” deal with Stratosphere. The producers front all the costs, but also get to keep the profits (other than paying The Strat for use of the vacant lot).

The Strat casino

Told you they call it The Strat now.

“Celestia,” like its Cirque counterparts, will also benefit from the fact such productions don’t rely heavily on a story, so foreign visitors don’t need to know English to enjoy the show.

Tickets are on sale and run $29 to $89. There are also tickets for $69. We’ll be getting the $69 tickets, because we’re 12.

Here’s to new things in Las Vegas, especially ones with attractive, bendy people in them. Just saying.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 90: Stuff Your Face With Vegas

It’s time for a new installment of the Las Vegas podcast that’s nearly as annoying as being issued a W2-G form.

We kick off the show with an irredeemable holiday poem, “A Very Pappy Christmas.”

There’s also an interview with chef James Trees, owner of Esther’s Kitchen. The downtown restaurant has gotten great buzz, and listening to the chef it’s fairly clear why.

Esther's Kitchen

The flatware at Esther’s Kitchen is from the Dunes. ‘Nuff said.

You won’t want to miss our “12 Days of Las Vegas Christmas,” or our perfunctory round-up of Las Vegas news.

Bond at Cosmo will be Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails in 2019, “Totally Twisted Brunch” is coming to SLS, investors are working to bring Major League Baseball to Las Vegas, Salt and Pepa are on hiatus at Paris, Palms is making moves in nightlife, target dates for Resorts World and The Drew are pushed back, same for Criss Angel’s new show at Planet Hollywood, “Fuerza Bruta” comes to Excalibur, Sadelle’s opens at Bellagio in December, 322 Pizza Bar opens on Fremont and Rob Lowe brings “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” to Planet Hollywood in April.

We pop into Bellagio’s Conservatory, too, because podcasts are the perfect vehicle to share something so visually stunning.

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas 2018

It’s not Christmas until the Bellagio Conservatory says it is.

Just for good measure, we also review Holsteins at Cosmopolitan, as well as the cookies in the casino’s completely awesome high limit lounge.

It’s all the Vegas you can stomach, so let out your belt a notch and take a listen.