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Mars, .Paak bringing ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’ to the Strip

Bruno Mars was expected to overhaul his production at Dolby Live in 2022. He’s doing that, and more, with an entire new show, firing up the funk with Silk Sonic and partner Anderson .Paak.

“An Evening With Silk Sonic” is taking over the former Park Theater beginning Feb. 25 and 26, continuing on for select dates March 2-31 and again April 2. Though more dates are expected this year, the shows are billed as an extended engagement and not a residency (these descriptions for superstar engagements typically fall to the artists themselves).

On Twitter, Mars called the show “The sexiest party of the year!”

While not expressly applying that vernacular, MGM Resorts International Vice President of Entertainment Chris Baldizan said the company is expanding its promotion of the show across the resort.

“We’re excited about the upcoming Silk Sonic shows and the energy this talented, Grammy-nominated duo will bring to the stage,” Baldizan said in a statement, obliquely referring to the upcoming Grammy Awards telecast set for April 3 at the MGM Grand Garden. “We’re honored Bruno Mars has called Dolby Live home for the last five years and look forward to this new entertainment experience he and Anderson .Paak will create for their fans. We are working on some really fun plans for the resort so we can all do a little time travel back to the ’70s.”

Tickets start at $125 (without fees) and are on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at ticketmaster.com. Ticket holders will be required to pouch their phones or leave them behind and adhere to the state’s indoor mask mandate but are not required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination status.

Independently, Mars has headlined at Park MGM since December 2016. He and Usher performed from the Dolby Live stage on Dec. 30, with Mars announcing that night that Usher, too, will perform a series at Park MGM. Expect that new production to launch this summer. Usher finished his lavishly produced and well-received series at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on New Year’s Day.

Such recurring Dolby Live headliners as Lady Gaga, Aerosmith and Cher have not announced dates for 2022 but are expected to return. Comic Katt Williams (Friday and Saturday), country superstar Garth Brooks (Feb. 4-5) are booked, but the theater’s schedule from May through the end of the year is still open.

Silk Sonic debuted “Leave the Door Open” nearly a year to the date of the act’s premiere on the Strip. The song spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 18 weeks in the top 10. The song’s video, directed by Mars and Florent Déchard, won best R&B video and best editing at the 2021 MTV Music Video Awards.

The release was followed by the social media campaign #LetSilkSonicThrive, which earned the duo a debut live performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards show. The performance also was powered by a tribute to the late Little Richard.

The shows will focus on Silk Sonic releases, but with just a single album to pick from, expect other selections from both artists. We’re anticipating a revival of the joyous “I Took Your Phones Away,” an underground single from Mars. Hear it only inside Dolby Live.

Wayne on schedule

Keeping track of Mr. Las Vegas in the midst of schedule shuffling. Wayne Newton is on track to return to his self-named theater at Flamingo at 7 p.m. Monday. His “Up Close and Personal” autobiographical show has not performed since March 2020. Newton is bringing back music director and drummer Marc Atkinson, keyboardist Mariano Longo and bassist Danny DeMorales.

Rivera’s ‘Fantasy’ promotion

We’ve long said that Mariah Rivera is someone to watch for on the entertainment scene. The “Fantasy” at Luxor cast member and company manager has been promoted to the show’s co-producer. Rivera joins Beverly Jeanne, the production’s original co-producer, working with creator, producer and director Anita Mann.

It’s a significant move, rife with new responsibilities, as Rivera will direct the show’s social media planning and cast appearances; oversee the entire “Fantasy” merchandise line; and also continue to perform nightly in the topless revue.

“Mariah brings immeasurable contributions to the ‘Fantasy’ family. Not just in her tremendous work ethic, but in how she inspires and motivates the entire cast and crew,” Mann said in a statement. “It is my most sincere honor to promote and reward her hard work and leadership, which have been instrumental in our continued success.”

Rivera is looking forward to a career in entertainment beyond performing. I’d bet on it.

Cool Hang Alert

A biggie. Column fave Sarah Hester Ross is launching her second residency at Notoriety Live on Feb. 10. “Viral Live With Sarah Hester Ross” assembles viral sensations at 9 p.m. every other Thursday through March 24.

The TikTok star with 1.8 million followers has lined up such online sensations as Tom McGovern, celebrated Donald Trump impersonator John Di Domenico; Toiley T. Paper; Matt Donnelly, aka The Mind Noodler; Morgan Jay; Elisabeth Wykert; Austin Archer; Cearra OSullivan ; Gwenna Laithland, Brian Moller, Christina Balonek, Scott D Henry , Charlie Quinn Starling and Playboy Manbaby’s Robbie Pfeffer. Tickets are up now, starting at $35, go to sarahhesterross.com/shows.

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.