Renaming of Park Theater to Dolby Live at Park MGM Confirmed

As we first reported back in July 2021, MGM Resorts and Dolby Labs officially confirmed Park Theater will be renamed Dolby Live at Park MGM.

The rebrand follows installation of the Dolby Atmos sound system at the theater.

While we are not an audiophile, we do know a little something about aural gratification, and this new sound system, well, sounds awesome.

Dolby spent upwards of $20 for this rendering on Fiverr, so you’d better appreciate it.

Dolby’s Web site says of the new system, “Featuring a fully integrated Dolby Atmos playback system, the entire space has been designed, calibrated and tuned by Dolby engineers specifically for the 5,200-seat theater.”

You haven’t really lived until you’ve been calibrated by a Dolby engineer in Vegas, if you get our drift.

There’s another Dolby-branded theater, Dolby Theater, in Hollywood.

Dolby Atmos systems are also used in hundreds of Dolby theaters, those places people used to go to watch movies prior to the Dark Times.

We hear the theater was renamed so Park Theater (and its owner, MGM Resorts) didn’t have to pay for the new Dolby system.

While any name change requires some time to take hold, the name Dolby Live is much better than another recent change, when the Mandalay Bay Events Center became the awkward and horrible Michelob Ultra Arena.

Raiders Stadium became Allegaint Stadium. That change has been fairly painless.

Everyone’s sort of gotten used to T-Mobile Arena, too.

We haven’t actually been to Park Theater (sorry, Dolby Live) yet, as ticket prices don’t tend to be modest, and it’s weird watching people sing, honestly. Unless it’s Duran Duran, then money is no object.

If you haven’t been to Park MGM since it was Monte Carlo, it’s a great resort, despite a bit of a case of the blands.

Eataly is well worth a visit, and a big selling point of Park MGM is it’s a fully non-smoking resort. Yes, even in the casino, which is weird but wonderful.

The next time you tell a rideshare driver you’re going to Dolby Live at Park MGM, you may get a befuddled look. Give it a minute.

Caesars Ent. Inks $75 Million Deal With Spiegelworld for New Shows

Our friends at Spiegelworld, the folks behind “Absinthe,” “Opium” and “Atomic Saloon,” have finally hit the bigtime thanks to our blog, mostly.

Our non-stop praise of these weird-ass shows has resulted in a $75 million deal between Spiegelworld and Caesars Entertainment.

The deal is for three news shows, one of them relevant to us because it’s in Las Vegas.

The new show is called “DiscoShow,” and apparently $75 million wasn’t enough to cover the price of a space between “disco” and “show,” but we’re excited about it, anyway.

Can’t go wrong with disco! Except for that crappy “Staying Alive” movie, but other than that, can’t go wrong.

“DiscoShow” will open in late 2022 at Linq Hotel. The official name of the hotel is now Linq Hotel + Experience, but that makes us a little vomity, honestly, so we’ll just stick to “Linq Hotel.”

Irrespective of its home, “DiscoShow” looks awesome and Spiegelworld fans (we are them) are likely to have a new must-see show on their hands in 2022. Which is way too long to wait, but we aren’t complaining, probably.

Here’s a look at the “DiscoShow” sizzle reel. The show was workshopped in New York.

“DiscoShow” has been in development for three years, according to the news release.

The venue for “DiscoShow” will apparently be new, called the Spiegelworld Glitterloft. The venue will be built specifically for the production.

We’ve learned the venue will be built in space formerly occupied by the Imperial Palace sports book.

This 2011 photo of the Imperial Palace sports book provides further evidence we’ve been doing this far too long.

Gird your loins, it sounds “immersive,” although the news release manages to avoid using the term.

The release says, “The audience will be invited to step inside the action with the characters who were there at the birth of disco; into their lives; on the streets; at the club; encouraged at every moment to lose themselves in the music and on the dance floor.”

The creative team includes director Steven Hoggett, known for his work on “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child,” which appeared on Broadway and the West End. Which is in London, peasant.

Guaranteed she’s either singing something about: 1) surviving, 2) a last dance, or 3) leaving a cake out in the rain.

As for the other two shows, they’ll be at Caesars Atlantic City (first quarter of 2023) and Caesars New Orleans (2024).

Each of the new shows will happen inside new, custom-built spaces.

All this great news follows on the heels of “Opium” reopening at Cosmopolitan, as well as a new restaurant from Spiegelworld called Superfrico.

It’s awesome, and we’ll be sharing lots of pics and video, of course.

The inspired genius/madman behind all these endeavors, of course, is Ross Mollison. Mollison describes himself as “Impresario Extraordinaire of Spiegelworld,” and while we found that off-putting at first, it’s becoming more accurate by the day.

Mollison is good at a lot of things, including spotting talent, which is one of the reasons he enjoys our blog and podcast so much. Ahem.

Our new favorite portrait of Ross Mollison, and not just because we took it.

Mollison said, “What drives us is combining genre-defying live entertainment, integrated dining, outstanding beverage programs and specially commissioned art to create an intimate, immersive, surprising total night out which is unique to each city. We want to create shows with Las Vegas, Atlantic City and New Orleans that will first and foremost
excite locals and be something they are proud to show off to visitors.”

Curse you, Ross Mollison, for trying to slide an “immersive” by us.

On the art side, Mollison isn’t kidding. He says the art at Superfrico cost in the neighborhood of $30 million.

Suffice to say, whatever Mollison is selling or shoveling, we’re buying or diving headlong into.

Unlike some, if Mollison says he’s going to do something, he actually makes it happen.

We finally get to dust off our boogie shoes.

When it opened “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace in 2006, Spiegelworld turned the world of Vegas entertainment on its head (literally, in some of the variety acts) and the momentum keeps on building.

There’s no cookie-cutter formula with these shows, and Superfrico at Cosmo is testament to the fact Spiegelworld isn’t just an entertainment company.

It’s exciting to hear there’s so much more originality, talent, bawdy humor and epic quantities of face-palming WTF still to come.

Marriott Yanks Fontainebleau From Web Site, Everything is Ruined

Marriott has quietly, and agonizingly, removed the JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd. hotel from its Web site.

JW Marriott Las Vegas Blvd., of course, was to be the name of the cursed Fontainebleau project. The project was also called The Drew for a minute.

Gird your loins, here’s the link.

If you own a sad trombone, now’s the time to pucker up.

We can only conclude from the unceremonious removal of the hotel from its Web site that Marriott is out at Fontainebleau, or whatever name it has today.

This is painful news given the decades of drama around this abandoned project.

Fontainebleau Las Vegas

Just when we thought this photo could be retired.

Prospects of opening Fontainebleau were rejuvinated with a sale to Koch Real Estate Investments in Feb. 2021.

If Mariott is, indeed, out as the hotel partner at Fontainebleau (yes, we’re calling it that again), it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

As we’ve shared, there are signs of life at Fontainebleau, and Koch has deep pockets, so whatever Marriott’s moves signal, it could end up being a mole hill rather than a mountain.

Fontainebleau wrap

Fugly is as fugly does.

Neither Koch nor Marriott have made any official statements about the status of the relationship, or lack thereof.

The deceased Marriott Web page said the hotel would open in October 2023. Which seemed a little too specific given all the uncertainty around the condition of the hotel.

Construction was halted back in 2009. The resort was 70 percent complete.

Missed it by that much.

More to come.

Update (10/14/21): Our friends at Channel 8 got confirmation from Marriott, they’re out. A Marriott rep said, “Marriott recently reached an amicable settlement with the hotel’s owner that has resulted in Marriott exiting the project.”

Via Focaccia Sandwich Shop Headed for Ellis Island

Reasonably priced, hearty fare is one of the big draws of Ellis Island, and now the off-Strip casino is getting another tasty offering, Via Focaccia sandwich shop.

Via Focaccia opens Oct. 20, 2021.

Via Focaccia Ellis Island

In Roman times, focaccia was called “panis focacius.” Just as we do today, Romans enjoyed a large panis.

Via Focaccia comes from chef Ismaele Romano.

Romano’s previous gigs includes Good Pie in the Arts District and Eataly at Park MGM.

He also worked at Contento Pizzeria at Jerry’s Nugget, easily one of the worst casinos in the world, although Romano probably couldn’t have helped that dump even with masterful cooking.

Worth noting: Romano was named World Sandwich Champion of the 2021 International Pizza Expo. Let’s just say there’s some serious competition for that title at the Pizza Expo.

Romano will now bring his talents to bear on Ellis Island.

The chef says the Via Focaccia menu will focus on fresh, Italian ingredients and traditional preparations, with many of the dishes inspired by Sunday meals with his family in Italy.

As the name of the place implies, all the sandwiches will be served on fresh focaccia made daily on-site.

Via Focaccia replaces Julio’s Tacos & Grill.

Via Focaccia Ellis Island

You can just pick the healthy stuff off.

Our most recent interaction with focaccia is the bread served at Al Solito Posto from chef James Trees. His focaccia is better than sex, so Romano has his work cut out for him. Not just regular sex, by the way. The free kind. With another person, the way nature intended.

We haven’t been drinking, you’ve been drinking.

Anyway, here’s a big blurb from the news release about the new spot at Ellis Island: “The Via Focaccia menu offers small bites like the Arancini Siciliani and Patata alla Romana with crispy fingerling potatoes tossed with rosemary, garlic and parmesan; salads including a Mixed Green and Chef’s Antipasto; and the star of the show, signature artisan sandwiches including the San Giovanni with soppressata, spicy cheese, arugula and sweet pepper spread; the Parma with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, arugula, shaved parm and balsamic dressing; the Genovese with fresh mozzarella, roasted eggplant, roasted tomato, basil pesto aioli and arugula; and the Americano with in-house slow roasted turkey, Vermont cheddar, Front Yard bacon, avocado and garlic aoli.”

Italian is our culinary sweet spot, so we actually recognized a couple of those words, thank you very much.

Via Focaccia Ellis Island

Do not use your slot machine as a table, slot techs are busy enough as it is.

It sounds like doughnuts will also be on the menu, from Carl’s Donuts, described as “one of the city’s most beloved doughnut shops,” despite the fact we’ve never heard of it.

Doughnut flavors will include Tiramisu, Lemon Curd, Nutella and seasonal flavors.

It’s worth noting our band in high school was named Seasonal Flavors. After it broke up, two band members went on to create another group, The Fingerling Potatoes. Fingerling’s first studio album, What the Focaccia, was a disappointment.

Oh, like you’re still reading. We know how you are.

Via Focaccia will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 10: p.m. with breakfast served from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Seriously, though, what kind of weirdo is eating breakfast in a casino? Sleep in, you’re on vacation. It’s sandwiches.

We love the food at Front Yard at Ellis Island, and the barbeque is some of the best in Las Vegas, so we trust Via Focaccia will deliver some delicious facefuls of drunchies as well, for not a lot of bread.

Do you know this blog at all?

Magician David Blaine Rumored to Be Eyeing Residency at Resorts World

Magician and “endurance artist” David Blaine is rumored to be nearing a deal to perform at Resorts World on the Las Vegas Strip.

While Las Vegas has long been a mecca for magicians, we haven’t heard of David Blaine, arguably one of the most famous magicians in the world, doing a stage show until now.

A source familiar with the deal says David Blaine is about ready to ink an agreement with AEG Presents, the company responsible for programming in The Theater at Resorts World and other venues.

Opinions vary widely about David Blaine, but nobody disagrees he’s got a handle on grabbing headlines.

David Blaine—think Criss Angel, but with charisma—made a pop culture splash with his 1997 TV special, “David Blaine: Street Magic.”

His mellow demeanor while entertaining bamboozled pedestrians made him a hot commodity.

As popular as he’s been as a magician, Blaine’s claim to fame has been in the realm of stunts.

He was buried alive in 1999, frozen in a block of ice in 2000, hoisted on a pillar in 2002, locked in a Plexiglas case for 44 days in 2003, submersed in a sphere in 2006, shackled to a rotating gyroscope in 2006, did a “Dive of Death” in 2008, faced Tesla coils in 2012 and floated 24,000 feet up using 51 helium-filled balloons in 2020.

In other words, dude be kray.

Seriously, how is David Blaine still alive?

Blaine’s low-key patter wouldn’t seem a natural fit for a Vegas residency, as Vegas magic shows tend to be over-the-top extravaganza’s, so it’ll be interesting to see how Blaine and his producers integrate stunts and close-up magic into his Resorts World show should the rumors pan out.

David Blaine would be a big “get” for Resorts World and would help soften the blow of having bailed on the bidding war for Adele. Caesars Palace is rumored to have prevailed.

Few details are available about David Blaine’s rumored residency, but our source heard the news straight from the horse’s mouth, so watch for an official announcement soon.

Rumor: “MJ Live” to Close at The Strat by End of 2021

A popular Michael Jackson tribute show, “MJ Live,” is rumored to be closing at The Strat by the end of the year.

This, despite word the show’s ticket sales are strong.

Typically, financially successful shows don’t close in Las Vegas, so the smart money’s on “draaama,” although, no details are available at the moment.

Once and for all, it’s “c’mon,” not “shamone.”

“MJ Live” stars Jalles Franca and features eight back-up dancers and a live band.

The show features about 20 Michael Jackson hits, including “Thriller,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Human Nature,” “Man in the Mirror,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” and a medley of Jackson 5 songs.

Yeah, we’re listing Michael Jackson songs because we don’t have much else to report on this story, so these words are filler for the search engines.

“MJ Live” opened at The Strat on March 30, 2015.

The show is produced by Dick Feeney, a longtime entertainment industry executive we wish we had the phone number for so we could some juicy gossip about WTF is going on with this show. Feeney also produces “The Rat Pack is Back” at the Tuscany.

We haven’t heard back from The Strat to confirm the closure of “MJ Live” yet.

Given the success of “MJ Live” for so many years, we trust the production will have no difficulty finding a new theater.

Michael Jackson shows like “MJ Live” and “Michael Jackson One” have always been a little awkward in our book given the explosive allegations against Michael Jackson. The documentary “Leaving Neverland” was especially damning.

Still, Las Vegas audiences have a history of being able to compartmentalize artists and their personal behavior.

Frank Sinatra was beloved despite being a jerk, for example.

While we feel for the performers and crew of “MJ Live,” we’re O.K. with fewer homages to a creepy dude who gave the world great music, but also inspired a collective and enduring cringe.