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Barry Manilow to extend Las Vegas residency at Westgate

Updated September 17, 2021 - 11:58 am

We have experienced some Manilow by the numbers as the recording superstar reopens at Westgate Las Vegas.

We’ve had the number of verses in “Copacabana” (three). The number of flash mobs performed to the song Wednesday at the hotel’s entrance (two). The number of dancers grooving to that tune (100).

And, most pertinent for “Fanilows,” the number of new shows set for Barry Manilow in 2022 (15). Those dates cover Feb. 10 -12, Feb. 17 – 19, March 3 – 5, April 7 – 9 and April 21 – 23. The dates are onsale for Maniow’s fan club 10 a.m. Monday. Additional onsale info to be announced.

Manilow’s first show at Westgate since pre-pandemic was set for Thursday night. To fire up the fans Wednesday, he rolled up to the porte cochere in a white Westgate limo and hit a big button reading “PUSH.” That lit up his imposing building wrap on the hotel’s central tower.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s really wonderful working here at the Westgate,” said Manilow, who has logged more than 500 performances in two residencies at the hotel, counting his days when it was the Las Vegas Hilton. “I’ve worked everyplace, and I am crazy about this place, crazy about the people who run it, crazy about the audiences who come to see us. I love the showroom we are in. It’s an honor to play the same place that Elvis and Barbra played, and so many talented, talented people have played over the years.”

Barbra is Barbra Steisand, BTW.

Manilow didn’t stay long. It was a work day for him. He ventured back into International Theater to rehearse ahead of Thursday’s relaunch.

An admitted “Fanilow” herself, Westgate President and General Manager Cami Christensen told the assembled crowd of a car she used to take to school each day her high school days in Iowa. It was a 1968 Dodge Dart owned by her friend Jan Jensen (now women’s associate head basketball coach at University of Iowa).

“It was not a cool car. It was old and rusty, and it didn’t have a radio,” Christensen said. “But we were clever. We had our boom box. And on that boom box, we listened to Barry Manilow.”

Christensen’s favorite song was “Ships,” a bit of a different vibe than “Copacabana.” But keep “Ships” on the set list, for the next mob scene.

Kilroy in Ali docs

Longtime Las Vegas casino executive Gene Kilroy is currently featured in the Marcus A. Clarke Netflix documentary “Blood Brothers,” which focuses on Muhammad Ali’s complex relationship with Malcolm X. Kilroy was Ali’s business manager for a dozen years during Ali’s boxing heyday.

Kilroy is also featured extensively on Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “The Life of Muhammad Ali,” premiering Sunda. Kilroy has spun many Ali tales over the years. and he remains a valued resource for those chronicling “The Greatest.”

Something at the Square

Signage is up for S Bar at the old Red Square locale at Mandalay Bay. The nightspot is an SBE venture. “Socializing Soon …” we are promised. This reminds that the first $100 bar tab I ever accrued was at Red Square. I seem to remember that gin was involved, as was in the 1990s.

A new Red scene

“Rated Red,” the Area15 burlesque show we’ve mentioned in the recent past, “opens Oct. 1 at The Portal, according to the entertainment district’s website. The show is open for guests aged 21 and over. Everything about this production, including its official logo, shouts “Rated R.”

From the production’s voice-over: “What does it mean when something is ‘Rated Red?’ It means that it might be a little dangerous, and that it will definitely be more than a little sexy. Being ‘Rated Red’ means being filled with passion and primal stirrings that are too powerful to leave unexpressed. It’s the red rose in the dance of love, but it’s also the red light in the “bad” side of town. It’s both a promise and a warning that incredible thrills lie ahead.”

My buddy and Area15 creative visionary Chris Wink is heading up the project. Keep in mind that when we met Wink, 21 years ago, he was all about the blue. He hit town as founding member of Blue Man Group at Luxor. Times have changed, to put it mildly. As he says, he’s going “full spectrum.”

ZB’s expansion

Zowie Bowie continues the high kicks on Fremont Street Experience every Thursday and Saturday night. But Chris Phillips is working feverishly (for him, anyway, hah) to grow beyond the top-40/dance shows.

Phillips’ big-band show is back at Italian American Club Showroom on Sunday. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m., the show at 8 p.m. Jaime Lynch, Michelle Johnson and Sina Foley are providing the vocal support. Showgirl action from Jen Cloer and Anna Van Sambeck. Phillips’ wife, Jennifer, has created the ZB Showgirls entertainment company.

Phillips’ band is also at M Resort on Sept. 25, then on Sept. 28 plays a monumental matrimonial gig: The wedding of Laugh Factory at the Trop magician Murray Sawchuck and Vegas showgirl Dani Elizabeth at Plaza Showroom. We might commit, too — to a Kats Bureau from that event.

Cool Hang Alert

Vita Corimbi Drew, of “Menopause The Musical” at Harrah’s, performs “Sunday Laughternoon: A Celebration of All Songs Funny,” 1 p.m. (doors), 2 p.m. (show) at The Nevada Room Showroom at Commercial Center. No cover or entertainment charge, reservations strongly suggested at vegasnevadaroom.com.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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