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Chris Brown set to launch Strip residency

Updated May 22, 2022 - 7:49 am

Chris Brown is all about the news and the grooves.

The reliably controversial, undeniably talented performer is now a Strip resident headliner. Brown’s series at Drai’s Nightclub at the Cromwell starts June 11. Additional shows of his residency are to be announced at a later date.

Brown is in a multiyear deal agreement with the rooftop nightclub, where he was among the first superstar headliners at Drai’s Live beginning in 2015. The 33-year-old R&B artist is the first Drai’s performer to star in a custom production show, taking on a two-level stage, bringing him closer to the club crowd. He plans to perform fan favorites over his 15-year career, peppered with “Go Crazy,” “Iffy,” and “No Guidance.”

Brown will also sample from his upcoming release, “Breezy,” due June 24.

While Brown is expected to pack the house, he also frequently surfaces on celeb gossip sites. This week he congratulated his ex-girlfriend Rihanna and A$AP Rocky on their first child, a boy. He posted an image reading “Congratulations” on his Instagram Story feed, with a red heart, pregnant woman and praying hands.

The baby was born May 13, his name not yet announced.

Cynics in the social media universe thought Brown might have been sarcastic in his message, given his tumultuous past with Rihanna. Earlier this month, A$AP Rocky seemed to use his new song, “D.M.B,” to call out Brown for his much-publicized punching of Rihanna in 2009. But we shall take Brown at his word, or his IG feed, in this case.

Undaunted through all of it, Drai’s Vice President of Entertainment Dustin Drai is eager to stage the Brown spectacle.

“Chris Brown helped define Drai’s Live and what has become an unmatched lineup of residency performers on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Drai, son of nightlife icon and Drai’s founder, Victor Drai. “He’s one of the most dynamic live performers today and we’re thrilled to welcome him back with a production that’s set to deliver an unprecedented fan experience.”

Tiësto’s NFT move

Tiësto will premiere his exclusive NFT during EDC, launching his Genesis NFT project “EAGLE.” This is the first phase and intro to the Resorts World headliner’s digital roadmap, alongside his Musical Freedom imprint. Go to lgnd.art/asset/tiesto-all-access-eagle for the EDC exclusive, available through 2 p.m. May 27.

Holders of the NFT for EDC are offered VIP priority access to Tiësto’s forthcoming Genesis NFT, “EAGLE,” a preview of unreleased music, including “Repeat It” from Musical Freedom, along with other exclusive offers.

Arts companies converge

One of the most ambitious programs in Nevada Ballet Theatre’s 50-year history is ongoing this weekend. “Carmina Barana” is bolstered — bolstered, I tell you! — by 40 members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the 60-member Las Vegas Master Singers, under the direction of the Philharmonic’s Donato Cabrera.

Also scheduled is a performance of George Blanchine’s “Who Cares?” presented to the music of George Gershwin.

The series was to have opened at 7:30 p.m. Friday, with remaining performance times at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. This is the first time NBT has performed with both the Philharmonic and the Master Singers, and the show closes out its 50th season. Only “The Nutcracker” rivals the scale of this program.

From NBT Artistic Director Roy Kaiser, “We could not be more thrilled to close this historic anniversary season with a ballet that brings together brilliant choreography and beautiful music in such an extraordinary way.”

Do you like puppets?

The future of Las Vegas entertainment is a puppet show at an off-Strip resort with no gaming.

Perhaps we are being strident. But “Wonderland,” a family friendly musical production opens 5 p.m. May 28 at Alexis Park, continuing May 29 and 30 in its first run. The show is bound for the hotel’s renovated Athena Showroom, which is in the hotel’s Modern Showrooms collection of productions.

An adaptation of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the musical premiered in Las Vegas last year at The Space. The residency version runs 65 minutes, 20 longer than what has previously performed. The show features “Alice” characters the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Red Queen and Cheshire Cat.

The show is created by Derek Lux of DLUX Entertainment, in partnership with Pete Housley’s Admit VIP. The “mini” version of show has toured performing arts centers across the country.

“Wonderland” is to be joined by a yet-to-be-officially announced “Sex and the City ” parody, also opening May 28. Don Barnhart’s Jokesters Comedy Club has reopened Thursday night. The Elvis production “All Shook Up,” “Late Night Magic,” “All Motown,” “The Big Little Variety Show” and “BurlesQ” also rotate at Alexis Park.

Cool Hang Alert

Jerry Lopez’s fabulous yacht-rock band, The Windjammers, returns to Chrome Showroom at Santa Fe Station at 7 p.m. Thursday. As the great Christopher Cross once said, “Ride, ride like the wind, to be free again …” And no there is no cover.

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.