Category Archives: Las Vegas Shows

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.

“Friends” Parody on Its Way to The D Las Vegas

A parody of the long-running sitcom “Friends” is slated to open at The D Las Vegas in Oct. 2018.

The show, “Friends: The Unauthorized Musical Parody,” has put out a casting call for Sep. 14-15, 2018.

Rehearsals are set to start Sep. 24, and the plan is for the show to start previews Oct. 18, with a media opening Oct. 25.

Friends parody

We’re looking forward to this despite not being a musical theater person. Any more. Long story.

The “Friends” TV show had a 10-year run, from Sep. 1994 to May 2004.

The off-Broadway version of the “Friends” parody opened in Dec. 2017 and ended July 22, 2018. The show clocked 213 performances.

Here’s a video with some behind-the-scenes scoop about the off-Broadway incarnation of the show.

The show was written by Bob and Tobly McSmith. The team has a history of creating spoofs, including “Bayside! The Saved by the Bell Musical” and “90210! The Musical.”

“Friends: The Unauthorized Musical Parody” is described thusly, “It’s a seemingly typical day at New York’s only coffee shop, Central Perk, until an unexpected runaway bride with beautiful
hair enters the picture and kicks the whole gang out of second gear.”

Friends parody

Before they landed on “Friends,” the working titles of the TV show included “Insomnia Cafe,” “Friends Like Us” and “Six of One.” Naming things is hard.

The “Friends” parody casting call sheds some light on rarely-shared aspects of stage productions in Las Vegas.

The notice says, “local talent encouraged, as performers will not be relocated if cast.” The show is not a union production.

Performers will be paid $300 a week for rehearsals and $100-150 per performance, with six shows a week.

Auditioners are asked to bring in a “16-32 bar cut of a ’90s pop/rock song.” Then, in all caps, “Please don’t sing the theme song or ‘Smelly Cat,’ Gunther will tell you to leave immediately if that happens.”

Those vying for a part in the show are also asked to “be prepared to tell a quick funny story or joke or monologue.”

We are a huge fan of “Friends,” so our fingers are crossed for this take on the series, despite the spotty history of spoofs in Las Vegas.

“50 Shades: The Smash Hit Parody” had a solid run (Feb. 2015 to Sep. 2017) at Bally’s, but “Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody” at Golden Nugget got spanked hard.

Another parody, “Pawn Shop Live,” also at Golden Nugget, tanked.

In fact, “Spoofical the Musical” never even opened at all.

Still, let’s hope “Friends: The Unauthorized Musical Parody” defies the odds and takes the “oof” out of spoof. Or something.

Rumor: Jimmy Kimmel Comedy Club in the Works for Linq

We live to scoop, and this is a juicy one if it comes to fruition.

Word is Caesars Entertainment is working on a deal to bring a Jimmy Kimmel comedy club to the Las Vegas Strip.

A reliable source says the deal hasn’t been finalized yet, but the comedy club would be at the Linq resort.

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel is narcoleptic, an excuse he’s sure to use when he attends meetings with Caesars Entertainment executives.

Jimmy Kimmel, of course, is the affable host of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Kimmel is a Las Vegas native who got his start in the entertainment business during high school by hosting a show on UNLV’s college station, KUNV.

The Linq has a vacancy in its showroom due to the recent, and abrupt, departure of its “Divas Las Vegas” show amidst some glorious drama. Mat Franco’s magic show is currently the only show in the Linq’s theater.

We’ll keep an eye on this one, but don’t be surprised if there’s some comedy in the future of the Linq resort, along with its new zipline and the upcoming Kind Heaven attraction.

Update (10/3/18): Our story has been confirmed by Jimmy Kimmel and Caesars Entertainment. The Jimmy Kimmel Comedy Club is set to open in spring 2019 at Linq promenade, across from Brooklyn Bowl. The 8,000-square-foot “expandable showroom” will seat up to 300 guests.  The club will be open seven nights a week.

Magician Hans Klok Set to Make Las Vegas Comeback

Dutch magician Hans Klok will return to Las Vegas with a new show in 2019, according to rumors.

Word has it Klok, whose real name is Johannes Franciscus Catharinus “Hans” Klok (say that five times, fast), will star in a show at Excalibur.

It’s believed the show will be a tribute to Houdini.

Hans Klok

Hans Klok is also an actor, but magic is his mane gig.

Klok has toured extensively in Europe with shows named “The Houdini Experience” and “The New Houdini,” so our money’s on one of those for the name of his Excalibur show.

Here’s an interview with Klok about The Houdini Experience.

We first heard rumblings Hans Klok would return to Vegas back in June, and it appears those rumors will come to fruition.

Apparently, Klok will peform in the Thunder Theater at Excalibur, the space currently occupied by Thunder From Down Under.

Hans Klok

Expect Hans Klok’s show to include some world-class smoldering gazes.

Hans Klok has a long and interesting history in Las Vegas.

He first performed on The Strip in 1994 in a TV show, “The World’s Greatest Magic,” broadcast live from Caesars Palace.

In 2007, Klok really made his mark in Sin City with a show at Planet Hollywood which co-starred Pamela Anderson, “The Beauty of Magic.” The show ran for six months.

Hans Klok once started a rumor he’d been intimate with Pamela Anderson as a “publicity ploy.” How was that a “ploy”? Siegfried and Roy are Klok’s favorite magicians, if you get our drift. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Magicians are having a bit of a tough time in Las Vegas at the moment—”Imaginarium” at Tropicana (closes Sep. 30) and “Masters of Illusion” at Bally’s (closes Sep. 3) are just two of the recent casualties—so Klok and MGM Resorts (owners of Excalibur) will be showing some temerity with this production. Doubly so because we’re only about 20 percent sure we know what “temerity” even means.

While news of a Hans Klok show at Excalibur hasn’t been confirmed, look forward to an official announcement soon.

“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.


“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.


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.”


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.