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Cirque’s ‘Apple’ spices Life is Beautiful; ‘Boom’ lowered at Westgate

Updated September 17, 2022 - 10:01 am

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is on the cusp — cusp, I tell you! — of the Life is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas. Home, in other words, about a mile from the core of the 18-block festival footprint.

We are encouraged that Cirque du Soleil has scrambled back to the festival. Cirque has contributed to every LiB festival since the event debuted in 2013. This year, Cirque-owned Blue Man Group is represented by Adrian Passarelli, a drummer in BMG and also Alessia Cara’s drummer. Cara plays at 7:55 p.m. Saturday at the Bacardi Stage.

BMG is also scheduled to make two appearances with artists during the event. These are being kept secret, to maximize suspense, which (ideally) would give BMG a needed promotional boost.

On Sunday, cast members of “Mad Apple” at New York-New York are performing among the crowd on Fremont Street from 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. The characters who put on the production’s pre-show entertainment will perform between 7th and 9th streets. “Mad Apple” is Cirque’s newest show, so this is the cast’s first taste of LiB.


We mean, “Boombox: The Residency on Shuffle.” The retro hip-hop/rap revival is shuffling out of Westgate’s International Theater. All performances scheduled from Sept. 28-Dec. 18 have been spiked. A show rep says the show is “temporarily postponed,” while Ticketmaster lists the 25 remaining shows as “canceled.”

The official word from the production: “We regret any inconvenience this may cause and are looking forward to announcing the show’s dynamic return to the property soon.”

The opener was dynamic, for sure, with Cee Lo Green, Kid ‘n Play, Thea Austin of Snap, Tone Lōc and J.J. Fad grooving for a crowd of about 800.

But there was more paper in that room than in the Dunder Mifflin warehouse. Reportedly, about 600 tickets were issued through seat-filling sites, with 150 invited guests, and less than 50 tickets actually sold. Even fewer tickets were purchased for subsequent shows. International Theater was seated for 1,600. So there is work to do, promotion-wise and even wisdom-wise, to bring “Boombox” back.

Whatever happens, those headliners deserve a shot at real success. Maybe we will see “Boombox” again on opening night — or re-opening, in this case. Check back after the holidays.

‘Atomic’ crew goes to the doc

“Kickin’ A**: The Untold Story of Atomic Saloon Show” was screened Thursday night at Atomic Saloon at The Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes. The documentary charts the show’s development from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2019, continuing through its opening at The Venetian the following September.

The series runs in six installments on beginning Thursday on Spiegelworld’s YouTube channel.

Veteran director, editor and screenwriter Eric Chausse finished the project in 45 minutes. That’s actually far ahead of schedule by Spiegelworld standards.

The night was a warm reunion of many members of the Speigelworld family who brought the show to the stage. The impresario Ross Mollison was on hand, dressed for the occasion, wearing his Opium Ski Lodge hat. The terrific Petra Massey, her voice halting, said, “All there is to say, it really has been … A massive honor to do this show, through everything we’ve been through, especially in the last couple of years, which has been really (expletive) intense.”

It was a night to stop the clock and applaud the “Atomic” team. And, also, to remind anyone who is seeking Gazillionaire-gold standard production shows to get to Spiegelworld. The company’s shows are selling below pre-COVID numbers, and it has nothing to do with quality.

This is a citywide issue for smaller-scale shows in the entertainment capital of the world. There is serious competition, even over-saturation, among ticketed shows (and major sporting events) in the current marketplace. That is a different conversation for a different time, but it is a thing.

Luke in the chutes

Luke Bryan has been announced among the “Opening Act” stars at this year’s National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Theatre at Resorts World headliner is opening the show Dec. 2, the event’s second night. The entertainers perform amid pyro, lasers, an interactive stage and full-arena LED production effects.

This is Bryan’s crowd, no doubt, and it is not his first rodeo (as it were). He’ll be ending his scheduled run at Resorts World during the NFR. We’re hopeful the appearance forecasts an extension of Bryan’s Strip residency in 2023.

Gogh for it

Immersive Van Gogh celebrated its one-year anniversary at Lighthouse ArtSpace Las Vegas at The Shops at Crystals on Thursday. The attraction has been extended through January. Beginning Nov. 19, the space launches “The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter’s Tale” holiday exhibit. Tickets to all of hit are at vangoghvegas.com and immersive-nutcracker.com.

The latest Celine buzz …

We are now feeling a first-quarter 2023 return to the stage for Celine Dion. That means, by April. We are continuing to adjust the expectations for her status. But we still feel it’s Resorts World first, then tour.

Cool Hang Alert

“A Night To Remember,” a celebration of Elvis, The Platters, Little Richard, the Ladies of Motown and The Krew R&B ensemble plays Italian American Club Showroom on Sunday night. Doors at 6 p.m. dinner 6:30-7 p.m. showtime is 8 p.m. It’s a lotta tributes, and also a lotta pasta. Go to iacvegas.com or all 702.457.3866 for info.

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.