Category Archives: Theatre and Entertainment

CLASSIC CHER at Monte Carlo

Classic Cher Photo by Andrew Macpherson

SHE’S   BACK!  The new show, Classic Cher, opened last week to a  Las Vegas crowd of 5,000 in the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.

Now she is back in undiminished splendor with astounding Bob Mackie-designed costumes and over-the-top props, including: a glittery gondola, hunky dancers in gladiator mufti, life-size papier-mâché elephant, and ribbon-spinning aerialists.

Big chunks of the set-list from the Dressed to Kill tour also remain intact, including a sequence of “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves,” “Dark Lady,” and “Half-Breed” performed in front of Wild West carnival backdrops, with “Half-Breed” once again sung in a four-foot-long pastel-feathered Native American headdress.

PASSPORT MAGAZINE  SAYS –

If you’re an avid fan, like the dozen-plus Cher-alike drag queens spotted in the opening night crowd, this iteration is a must. The spectacle is scaled for arenas, but because it’s being played in a venue the size of a large Broadway theater, the experience verges on ecstatic sensory overload.

Cher is a powerhouse, and the production heavy razzle-dazzle of “Woman’s World” and “I’ve Found Someone” are guaranteed to thrill fervid fans and novices alike.

Her costumes and hairdos are eye-popping works of wonder: she enters in an afro wig big and round enough to have its own place in the solar system, and later she wears a spangly pink, mons-anchored garment best described as a full-length vajazzle (look it up).

 

Classic Cher is currently scheduled to play the Park Theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on select dates from now through Feb 25 and from May 3-20. The show will also play at the MGM National Harbor Theater on select dates from March 17-26 and August 31-September 10. For further information and updates on additional performances, visit www.cher.com

 

Siegfried and Roys Mantecore Dies

Montecore-siegfried-roy-dead-died

The Las Vegas Journal reports

Mantecore, the tiger responsible — but never blamed — for a near-fatal injury to Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy in 2003, died on March 19.

The white tiger was 17 and died “after a short illness,” according to a press release. Zoologists say 17 is within the lower-end parameter of a normal life expectancy for a tiger.

 

The average lifespan for such a tiger in captivity is 15 to 26 years, according to the San Diego Zoo’s website.

Horn was injured by the 380-pound tiger called Mantecore, whose name is often referred to as Montecore, during a live Siegfried & Roy performance at the Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas in 2003.

Horn, 69, and partner Siegfried Fischbacher, 74, have said they believe Mantecore sensed Horn was having a mini-stroke and was dragging him to safety, rather than attacking him. Animal experts have disputed that theory.

After a two-year review, federal investigators never determined what set off the tiger.

“I will forever believe it was his concern for my safety and well-being that caused him to act as he did on that night long ago,” Horn said in a statement. “We spent many hours together and he never failed to bring me great joy and wonderment. It was my great honor to be beside him at the end. He is now playing with his siblings in white tiger heaven.”

 

Michael Jackson ONE Cirque du Soleil Discount Tickets

Michael Jackson ONE!

~ is the hottest ticket in Las Vegas this month!
Cirque du Soleil prides itself on making each new show bigger and badder than the last. And for this second combination of the spectacle of
Cirque du Soleil with the musical genius of Michael Jackson, this one is
bad all right (which of course means that it’s really really badass).
The first show, the top-grossing Michael Jackson – The Immortal World
Tour is currently touring Europe. In Las Vegas, four new acts of Michael Jackson ONE were previewed to the media as a sneak peek of the new King of Pop-driven show at Mandalay Bay.

An incomparable night of music, acrobatics, artistry and sheer creative genius is yours to explore during Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil at Mandalay Bay.
BestofVegas.com has your tickets at discount prices  and  see what is going to be one of the hottest shows on the Las Vegas Strip. Show starts May 25th.

Tickets on Sale Now

Tickets from $109!

She’s Back! Get in Line for Celine Dion Tickets. Again.

Call me a bad gay – 
but I am sorry, I just don’t get what all the fuss about Celine Dion is all about.

I have never counted her among my all time favorite diva’s. I know I am going to get BOO’s for that!

Last night she returned to the Las Vegas stage at Caesars and they can’t print the tickets fast enough this time round. She is already selling out shows 10 months out!  AND  16 shows have been  added over New Year’s from Dec. 28 through Jan. 22. Is she not going to sleep?

People from around the world, flock to Las Vegas to see her. It’s like when Siegfried and Roy held court at the Mirage. People would fly in from around the globe to see them and plan their trips around when tickets were available.

Celine and manager husband Rene Angelil are already thinking of extending the new three-year contract by two additional years to make it another five-year stay.


“We are ready for the opening,” Rene told LAS VEGAS SUN  after the final rehearsal. “This is now it. Both Celine and I are very happy it is all together and ready. Celine says it is the perfect show for the fans, and I know they will love all the music and the special effects. She really excels singing live. She is outstanding and feels she is at the peak of her career. I believe people will want to see this spectacular again and again.”

WOW –  that’s all I can say!

Wanted: Cirque Consultants for Broadways Spider-Man

A rash of horrific accidents in front of audiences during previews  has turned an already troubled $60 million Broadway production into a full-scale catastrophe-in-the-making.

One stunt double broke both wrists; another broke a toe; an ensemble member fell more than 20 feet into the orchestra pit when his cable detached from his harness; and a lead actress quit on December 30, a month after enduring a concussion when smacked in the head by equipment.


It’s Broadways most expensive show ever and  one that is generating  pretty awful buzz.. It had what seemed to be a perfect recips;  Julie Taymor of Lion King fame, music by U2’s Bono and The Edge—but it has its share of struggles.

Las Vegas writer Steve Friess says , “A handful of  horrible accidents have happened here in Las Vegas. The 2003 tiger attack that maimed illusionist Roy Horn and ended the Siegfried & Roy show is the most famous, but there’s also the 2007 Zumanity case, when performers flying in the air on a long piece of white silk fabric fell and suffered critical injuries. Also, a half-ton prop in O fell on a Bellagio electrician, paralyzing him from the waist down.


Horrible incidents, all. But that’s a handful over the course of a decade spread across thousands of performances involving thousands of performers. Spider-Man has had as many in a month.


Executives at Cirque du Soleil and the equally death-defying Le Rêve won’t let their safety experts talk right now because they don’t want to appear to be insulting or judging the Spider-Man team.


That restraint is as classy as it is frustrating. This is Vegas’ moment to say to New York: We know how to do something you don’t. We make it look easy, but it’s really not. Lord knows, New York elitists have been sneering at the level of talent and quality of musicals on the Strip for decades.”

Read more at Las Vegas Weekly.  

$1 Billion for Madonna to Play Caesars Palace? Seriously?

MTV reports Madonna has been offered $1 billion for a five-year Las Vegas residency.

Seriously??

How much money do these celebrities need to make? And how high will ticket prices go, before we say enough is enough? It’s ridiculous that ticket prices are 5  times as expensive as they were 20 years ago.  Yet, our wages, for MOST of us, have not even doubled or tripled in the last 20 years.

But regardless of what we make, the singer could follow the footsteps of acts such as Celine Dion , Elton John and Cher who relocated to the gambling capital of America to performing nightly shows in Sin City.
 
Celine’s five-year residency drew nearly three million people to 717 performances, but it’s thought Madge would surpass that. Ticket prices would be expected to be  $150-$300.

Barbra Streisand has rejected a whopping $100 million, three year deal from Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.  Is any performer really  worth  $1 Billion? 

It could all be a rumor who knows. But if the deal goes ahead, Madonna would become the third highest paid female entertainer in the world, behind Oprah Winfrey and American homemaking entrepreneur Martha Stewart.

Is she worth it?  We’ll see……

Best Gay Las Vegas

Frank Marino and his Divas Las Vegas Show

Frank Marino 
is perhaps the most well-known female impersonator of the last century!   Dubbed Ms. Las Vegas for his longtime starring role as Joan Rivers in the Las Vegas drag revue Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas, playing at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino.

Famous for his lavish on-stage wardrobe (much of which was designed by Bob Mackie, who has also done fashions for Rivers), Marino has received two Las Vegas Walk of Fame stars   as well as having a street named after him when Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman honored his hard work and commitment to the Las Vegas performance world with “Frank Marino Day” on February 1, 2005.

Marino has been playing Joan Rivers in Las Vegas drag shows since 1985 and holds the  record for the longest continuous performance run at a single casino in Las Vegas when he played Rivers for more than 20 years at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in the long-running drag show An Evening at La Cage.

 He actually now holds the record as the longest-active and longest-running headliner on the Strip. He has appeared both as his Joan Rivers persona and as himself in several movies and TV shows. Once sued by Rivers for $5,000,000 (US) in the 1990s. The pair have since reconciled and have even appeared on TV shows together.

This 75 minute energetic show  features an all star cast of superstar female impersonators who not only recreate but almost uncannily duplicate the likeness of stars ranging from Britney Spears to Cher and Diana Ross to Beyoncé even Madonna and Dolly Parton have been known to stop by.
 
Meanwhile Marino – in his role as the show’s emcee and star – changes between every act bringing an international whirlwind of couture to the stage with each spectacular entrance!

Showtime is 10PM  nightly, dark on Fridays.  Buy  Tickets Online  !

Stop by the Frank Marino  site and get a sneak peak of the show !

Best of Gay Las Vegas

KA – Cirque du Soleils Biggest, Most Expensive, Most Elaborate Production to Date!

The MGM Grand was once the biggest hotel in the world and its been home to some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry!

It is  currently home to KA, the most technically advanced, biggest and most expensive ($165 MILLION)  Cirque Du Soleil show in its history. The show opened in Las Vegas in 2005 and will operate  thru 2015. More than 1 million people have seen the extraordinary Ka by Cirque du Soleil as it celebrated its fifth anniversary at MGM Grand this year.

This show is jaw-dropping and eye-popping at times! One cannot deny the grandeur and spectacle that this multi-million dollar extravaganza gives to its audience.  Photographs do not even do the show justice. 

As soon as you walk into the auditorium, you witness the massiveness of this production. 1900  seats  and each seat in the KÀ Theatre has two speakers built into its headrest which allows sound effects to be targeted, manipulated and customized to any of 16 seating zones.

Plus, you see the huge  “post and beam” apparatus, that is several stories tall and  is magnificently lit and designed, is something to behold. During the pre-show alone, approximately 120 fireballs are discharged. These fireballs measure 30 feet in height and reach temperatures of 1200° Fahrenheit.

KA  itself, transcends place and time, with a theatrical landscape, scenic elements and costumes inspired by an array of diverse cultures. 

 Brought to life by 80 artists from around the world, KA is a gravity-defying production featuring a powerfully emotive soundtrack that enhances the innovative blend of acrobatic feats, Capoeira dance, puppetry, pyrotechnics (119 pyrotechnic devices are fired throughout the show), projections and martial arts. It is an epic saga of Imperial Twins — a boy and a girl — who embark on an adventurous journey to fulfill their destinies.

KA is  a  BIG  show. It’s a fantastic spectacle of artistry and acrobatics. I have to say that the show was nearly excellent.  My only complaint is sometimes the storyline becomes a bit drawn out  perhaps. But from an artistic standpoint, the color and design of the show was amazing fun and great to see in motion. Yes, videos don’t do the production justice. (But you can get a  sneak peak of KA online ). You have to see it live. It is probably one of the most elaborate shows, I have ever seen in my life.

There is no stage, as you would normally think of one. At the heart of the production is state of the art technology, that  provides two giant sized platforms  which seemingly hover over a fiery void. Platforms that can be either completely vertical or horizontal, that incorporate state of the art laser video projections  which interact with the cast providing life like ripples in water or rocks that seem to knock and hit a performer.

Designed by TISFOON , the stage can tilt through 100 degrees and rotate a continuous 360 degrees while artists are performing on it!  It is like nothing you have ever seen.

Called The Sand Cliff Deck, it measures 25×50 feet with a six-foot depth and is supported and controlled by an inverted gantry crane. It weighs 150-tons and rises 70-ft. at the rate of 2-ft/second from the depths of a two-story basement. The Sand Cliff Deck is capable of tilting up to 100-degrees at 2-degrees/sec.

The “stage” platform is a sand-covered beach at one point, until it tilts and the sand and performers slide off into the void. At another, it is a vertical wall on which the good guys flee while evil archers pepper them with arrows that thunk into the surface offering handholds and obstacles. At yet another, the stage area becomes a sort of gigantic thicket of grass in which the performers flit among enormous 16 foot bugs and 80 foot long snakes.

When you consider that Cirque du Soleil was founded by two past street performers, it’s quite amazing to see where they have gone as a company. Part mimes, part gymnasts, part magicians and 100% entertainers, the Cirque du Soleil performers, and the spectacles that they put on around the world, are visually stunning.

There are currently  SEVEN  different
Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas shows;  

KA at MGM Grand  ;  
Mystere  at Treasure Island
Viva Elvis at Aria  ;
Zumanity  at New York New York ;  
“O”  at  Bellagio ;
 Criss Angel Believe  at Luxor 
Beatles LOVE at Mirage

The Cirque du Soleil tickets for the Las Vegas shows range in price from $60-$150 for adults, and there are discounted Cirque du Soleil tickets for children for KÁ. There are ways to find discount Las Vegas show tickets, generally as part of a Las Vegas vacation package.

You can also buy Cirque du Soleil tickets at the respective casino box office for your show of choice, but if you wait until you get there, the show might already be sold out. PLAN AHEAD!

  Regardless of how you get your tickets for a Cirque du Soleil show, or what show you see,  you’ll be glad you did! 

Best Gay Las Vegas  

LE REVE at Wynn Las Vegas is a Must – See Show!

WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU MIX   BEAUTIFUL  MALE SWIMMERS  
         WITH  BUSBY BERKELEY AND  1,000,000  GALLONS OF WATER?

A Cirque du Soleil style show  called  LE  REVE !

Created by DRAGONE, presented exclusively at Wynn Las Vegas.

Franco Dragone worked with Cirque du Soleil for 15 years,  putting his personal stamp on the Cirque brand, redefining the notion of circus, founding the artistic soul of the Company, and creating some of the most beloved and highly regarded shows in all of modern theatre. The first of these shows, appropriately enough, was called Le Cirque Reinvente (The Circus Reinvented, 1987), and it was followed by La Magie Continue (1989), Nouvelle Experience (1990), Saltimbanco (1992), Mystère (1993), Alegria (1994), Quidam (1996), ‘O’ (1998), and La Nouba (1999).

In 2000, having created multiple spectacularly successful shows back-to-back, Dragone did what many would have thought the unthinkable; he left Cirque du Soleil. It was time to go on his own, he wanted to grow artistically without any limitations.    The result is  Le Reve!  Imagine if  Busby Berkeley were alive today and had an unlimited budget.

The proof that Dragone’s name could stand on it’s own was affirmed when Steve Wynn hand-picked him to create the flagship show for his new resort, Wynn Las Vegas. On the heels of Wynn’s request, Celine Dion approached him to create a permanent show in Las Vegas that fused her world of music with Dragone’s artistic genius of theatre.

Today, the new company, DRAGONE, has launched two of the largest productions in the history of the Las Vegas Strip: Celine Dion’s A New Day, at Caesars Palace, and Le Rêve, at Wynn Las Vegas. Millions more people have now seen Dragone’s visionary productions and experienced a style of theatre that, in an age of blunt messages and blatant marketing, invites the audience to think—and, even more than that, to dream.

BEAUTIFUL AND BREATHTAKING

Wynn Las Vegas and DRAGONE have redefined the traditional theatrical experience with “Le Rêve” (The Dream), the evocative aqua spectacle in-the-round. It is an acrobatic, aquatic show featuring  amazing sculptured bodies, thrills, haunting music, a beautiful theater, and spectacular dazzling effects.  The show features an ambitious blend of aerial acrobatics, provocative choreography and outrageous antics from the colorful characters. “Le Rêve” is a unique entertainment experience with elaborate effects and powerful performances that conjure an imaginary world, at once intensely beautiful and breathtaking. It is our  favorite show in Las Vegas!

The international cast of more than 90 athletes (mostly male,stunningly fit,  wearing very little clothing and also wet from head to toe) and entertainers captures the imagination with their strength and agility. From a thrilling high-dive to synchronized swimmers doing the tango in red high heels, “Le Rêve” is captivating from beginning to end. Throughout the show, comedy and dance interweave with sexy athleticism for an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping experience. It’s like a beautiful vivid technicolor dream…..but your eyes are wide open!

Speaking of the athletes and their scultped bodies, artisitic director Brian Burke says, “It’s a brand new show every performance, so you learn how many times the performers can do those things per week and what the injuries are like. In this show, there are a lot of shoulder things because there’s a lot of hanging. We worked with the music composer Benoit Jutras with the music. I also worked on integrating the ballroom part of the show with Maksim Aleksandrovich from Dancing With The Stars so we did that together. [Production Designer] Michael Crete put a lot of elements like the flowers that you see and the fans. I’m really in charge of directing any new element that comes in with that design. I’ve gotten to work with the world’s best designers, plus working with the videos, the timing of the show, the pacing of the show and the story that we have.

A lot of people in the beginning had been in O, but a lot of people have actually not done a show like this before. We actually find a lot of people who have been to the Olympics, or are pre-Olympics, or didn’t qualify. Most people actually don’t train to do a show like that so we train the performers to do a lot of it here. So they have a talent like ballroom dancing or they are an aerial artist or they’re an acrobat and we train them to do the act and the other disciplines and that’s why it takes a long time.

Obviously, we hire based on the specialties. We have to find people in the States that could be technically qualified and then they are trained for about six months. We have 91 performers in the show but not every tableau has 91 people, so we do a rotation. We have a rule that nobody can do more than four major cues in a show because we found that we were having too many injuries. It also keeps the artists interested in doing the show because every night they come in and do a different show or they can learn a solo. For an artist, it’s a great show to be in because we’re always evolving the show and they never come in and do just one thing.

We have a full-time training staff and a training room and every six months they have to do a strength test and if they don’t qualify they have to be taken out of the show. We’ve created a physical test that they have to be able to do to maintain so that they know they can carry people in the air. A lot of our performers… some of harnessed in and some are just free grip. Strength is key. Before you do anything, you have to climb a rope, you have to do leg bends… there’s a strength regimen that you have to go through to pass the audition first and then we see you dance and move and improv. If you’re not strong enough, you just can’t maintain it.”

Since it’s opening in 2005, the show continues to be tweaked and chaged all the time.  The gorgeous theater  originally help 2087 seats. It  has been redesigned into an intimate showplace and  reduced to only 1606, with no seat more than twelve rows from the stage. The theater itself was repainted in warmer tones and given new, roomier seats and more plush surroundings. On top of all this they have created what they call a Champagne Circle where 100  guests sit in custom chairs sipping Perrier Jouet  champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, gourmet chocolate truffles, generously-scaled lounge seating, and video monitors which provide behind-the-scenes glimpses preparations in the locker rooms before the show, underwater and up-close imagery of the action during the show. PLUS, VIP package holders will experience the prestige of exclusive opportunities at Wynn Las Vegas with a “Privileged Access” pass for dining and entertainment on the day of the performance.

This V.I.P. treatment is worth the additional bucks.  I have seen the show from each of the three sections. There are no bad seats. And each seat gives you different vantage points, so it’s like seeing a new show everytime.

Ticket prices are $99 (Splash Zone- first two rows, I loved it here, you are SO CLOSE to the performers!),
 $129 (Premium Seating) and $179 (VIP IndulgencePackage), plus service change and tax.
The show schedule is 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
The show is dark (no performances) on  Wednesdays and Thursdays.
For more information  visit ENCORE LAS VEGAS  or call 702-770-WYNN.
You can also  call (702) 770-LGBT (5428) to speak to our dedicated LGBT concierge professionals
 to help you buy show tickets and more.

GET A  SNEAK PEAK  OF  LE  REVE  ON  YOUTUBE

The most beautiful, the most breathtaking show,   you will ever see!  Le  Reve is a masterpiece!

The Best of Gay Las Vegas

The Cabaret Showroom at the Liberace Museum with Philip Fortenberry

 

The Liberace Museum was founded April 15, 1979, by the legendary entertainer Liberace. The Museum features “Mr. Showmanship’s” dazzling jewelry, rare antiques, unsurpassed wardrobe, unique and historical pianos and his custom car collection. It is a  MUST SEE!

The non-profit Museum supports the mission of The Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts which has funded scholarships since 1976. The scholarship program has touched the lives of more than 2,700 students.

The Cabaret Showroom inside the Museum property not only serves as a showcase for Liberace’s famous mirrored Baldwin nine-foot grand piano, but also serves as home to several afternoon and evening shows by local entertainers. The venue is also available to aspiring students of the performing arts.

Recently, Broadway veteran and concert pianist Philip Fortenberry  whose critically acclaimed one-man offering, Liberace and Me, has been moving and delighting crowds at the Cabaret for the past year, and plays  three times each week.

As the theatre community of Las Vegas has begun to grow in the last few years, many performers who find themselves homesick for the nurturing artistic environment of the Cabaret rooms of New York and other cities. Artists have begun to discover that the Cabaret at the Liberace Museum is a jewel of a performance venue just moments from the Strip, but well away from the allure of casinos and tourist traffic that dictate the kind of performances that are possible, even allowed to occur on such commercial properties.

Starting with a monthly Composers Showcase which began three years ago as the brain child of Jersey Boys conductor Keith Thompson and his collaborator, Le Reve conductor Michael Brennan, a late-night after-theater subculture began to emerge. Composers would gather with performers in tow and share their latest or most entertaining new works.

As performers from the various Las Vegas production shows and Broadway imports discovered the charm and intimacy of the venue through the Composers Showcase, they became interested in the Cabaret as a place to mount their own shows and charity benefits. Erich Bergen, one of the stars of Jersey Boys, took the lead and presented himself in three sold-out performances to benefit the Museum this past winter. This sparked even more interest from others who wished to offer performer showcases and similar Cabaret shows.

The Cabaret Showroom at the Liberace Museum provides an intimate, alternative venue for performers who find themselves in Las Vegas, wanting to spread their artistic wings and share their gifts and talents.

Philip Fortenberry
Visit  Liberace  Cabaret  for a listing of  day and evening shows.

The Best of Gay Las Vegas