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October 21, 2020

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‘Baz’ backs up its opening at Palazzo; ‘Showstoppers’ invokes Danny and Sandy

Opening Night of ‘Baz’

Denise Truscello / WireImage /

Constantine Rousouli performs during opening night of “For the Record: Baz” at Light on Friday, June 26, 2015, in Mandalay Bay.

Opening Night of ‘Baz’

Olivia Harris and James Byous perform during opening night of “For the Record: Baz” at Light on Friday, June 26, 2015, in Mandalay Bay. Launch slideshow »

We begin with a great quote from Tala Marie, the lone remaining original member of Matt Goss’s dance troupe The Dirty Virgins at the Gossy Room in Caesars Palace.

Marie is leaving the act because her hubby, Jim Yancey, and she are expecting their first child Nov. 3.

“I can no longer be called a Dirty Virgin,” Marie says.


• “Baz: Star Crossed Love” caused a ripple in the scene Tuesday with the abrupt announcement that its long-anticipated return to the stage at Palazzo Theater on June 25 had been postponed. This statement from a spokeswoman at the Venetian/Palazzo:

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, the scheduled premiere of “Baz: Star Crossed Love” in Palazzo Theater on Saturday, June 25, has been postponed. Guests who have purchased tickets for canceled shows will be issued a full refund at point of purchase.”

This touched off speculation, mixed with anxiety, that the popular For the Record production might be in dire straits. But the production continues through rehearsals in an inventively redesigned theater build to its specifications.

On Tuesday afternoon, hours after the announcement of the postponement, the cast performed a full run-through (its first) for hotel execs. My sense is the show needs to ensure that it is technically ready for the stage.

Unchanged are plans for Clint Holmes’ “Between the Lines” show set for a July 16 opening.

‘Showstoppers’ at Wynn

“Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” at Wynn Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

‘Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers’ Press Conference

Director Philip William McKinley, Andrea Wynn, Steve Wynn and choreographer Marguerite Derricks attend the press conference for “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” in Encore Theater on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, in Wynn Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

• On the topic of what is long-awaited, quite some time ago — January of 2015, actually — I mentioned the number “You’re the One That I Want” from the film version of “Grease” being added to “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers.”

That number is indeed being added to the show, effective this week, along with “New York, New York.” Those two numbers represent a little more of a contemporary move by the show as it updates an always-fluid show order.

Nicole Kaplan will portray Sandy, and Andrew Ragone will play Danny — nifty casting, again, from the production — in the “Grease” number. Proven belter Rachel Tyler is to sing “New York, New York.”

“The beauty of ‘Showstoppers’ is that there are so many wonderful numbers that from time to time we can add and freshen the show,” said Steve Wynn in a statement. Wynn had promised at the show’s inception in November 2014 that the production would slide in numbers periodically, and that has been the case.

• A booking to be excited about: Eric Idle and John Cleese in “Together Again At Last … For the Very First Time” set for Nov. 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. at Venetian Theater.

Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. The effort and even title reminds of the recent pairing of Steve Martin and Martin Short, “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” in March at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace.

Lest we forget, Idle does have a history in Las Vegas — and we speak of stage affiliation — as he co-produced “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Encore Theater from 2007-2008.

As Wynn said at the time, the show was an effort to bring some wit to the Las Vegas stage, but the show eventually gave way to Danny Gans, and later Garth Brooks, before Wynn developed “Showstoppers.”

Meantime, Venetian Theater has hit a groove of strong headliners in the years since “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” closed in 2012. John Fogerty, Diana Ross and Steven Tyler (July 2) have found a cozy home in that theater.

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