Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 | 2 a.m.
It’s hard to imagine there could be a bigger week in Vegas entertainment news at Luxor. On October 15, the cast and crew of “Fantasy” celebrated its milestone 20th anniversary with the debut of the show’s 2020 calendar, “Vision of Beauty,” a star-studded gold carpet welcome and pre-show reception in the Velvet Room and a special performance that brought past performers in the sizzling female revue back onstage during the final number. In attendance: producer and choreographer Anita Mann, producer and director Louis J. Horvitz, Carrot Top, cast members from “Friends! The Musical Parody” and “Thunder From Down Under” and Luxor President and COO Cliff Atkinson.
On October 17, Carrot Top’s five-year contract renewal was announced at the close of his Thursday night performance when MGM Resorts executives surprised him onstage and announced that his residency in the Atrium Showroom (which he shares with “Fantasy”) will become the longest running comedy show in MGM Resorts history as he continues to entertain into 2025. “Carrot Top has been entertaining crowds at Luxor since 2005 and we are very excited that Luxor will continue to be his home for many more years,” said MGM Resorts’ President of Entertainment & Sports George Kliavkoff. “Visitors come to Las Vegas from all around the world to let their hair down, escape and have a few laughs. Carrot Top’s show delivers on all of that.”
On October 18, Blue Man Group Las Vegas celebrated 25 years of the beloved television show “Friends” with a special performance full of surprises throughout the show. The Blue Men transformed the TV show’s Central Perk coffeehouse couch in signature paint-splattering fashion earlier in the week and put it on display in front of the Blue Man Theater. Actor James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther on “Friends,” joined the Blue Men onstage and the TV theme song “I’ll Be There For You” was played during the performance.
And as I reported here at LasVegasSun.com on Wednesday, October 22 brought the first look at Cirque du Soleil’s potentially game-changing new production show “R.U.N,” which premieres tonight at 7 p.m. in the renovated R.U.N Theater. Here’s an interesting extra about this new show and venue: Plenty of Strip productions claim to present an immersive experience but few will be doing it like “R.U.N.” The fun begins way before you take your seat as the winding hallways leading from super-cool casino marquee to the theater have been transformed into a gritty, graffiti-strewn back-alley landscape that depicts the fictionalized version of Vegas in which the show is set. The space is awash in murals and artwork created by prominent Montreal street artist Fluke and his team at ASHOP Productions and there are several fun activations to entertain audience members as they make their way to the stylish club bar. When you go to “R.U.N,” you might plan to arrive early to explore this venue before the show.
Keep Memory Alive will honor Neil Diamond at the 24th annual Power of Love gala on March 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Always one of the biggest and buzziest social and charitable events of the year, Power of Love generates the majority of annual funding for the services, care and resources provided to patients fighting neurocognitive diseases by the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Diamond announced his retirement from touring last year after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and is scheduled to appear at the 2020 event, which will include dinner, live and silent auctions and the presentation of the KMA Caregiver Hero Award.
One of my all-time favorite residency shows is bringing something new to the Strip. Boyz II Men returns to the Mirage on October 25 and the legendary vocal group will be rolling out new meet-and-greet packages at the Terry Fator Theatre that will get the talented trio even closer to their fans. The silver package starts at $100 and includes a personal photo and exclusive access to the private sound check prior to the show; the gold package ($150) adds a VIP T-shirt and photo frame to those offerings; and the platinum package ($200) includes everything in those packages plus a personalized meet-and-greet T-shirt, autographed program and a 6-by-8-inch print of the personal photo with Boyz II Men. More info is available at mgmresorts.com/mirage.
Speaking of the Terry Fator Theatre at the Mirage, 11-time Grammy winner and frequent Boyz II Men collaborator Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds will perform a series of concerts there on December 27-29 and January 17-19. Tickets went on sale earlier this week and are also available at mgmresorts.com/mirage.
In other special engagement announcements, singer and songwriter Bryan Adams will bring his “Shine A Light” tour to Las Vegas at Wynn’s Encore Theater next year, April 22-25, and country-pop superstar Keith Urban will return to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, which he re-opened in September, for a 12-show run spanning the majority of 2020, with concerts in January, April, July, August and November. Dubbed “Keith Urban Live,” the shows will be customized for the Colosseum using the venue’s updated general admission capability on the main floor, which pretty much makes this a headlining residency.
There are some interesting rumors flying around regarding possible shows that could land at the Paris Theater in the coming months. Nothing is solid enough to report on yet but some familiar TV faces will take over the Paris Las Vegas venue next month. ABC morning talk show “Live with Kelly and Ryan” with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest will produce four shows from the Paris Theater November 18-21 and Vegas entertainment and nightlife offerings will take a starring role in these episodes. Before that, “America’s Got Talent Live!” starring recent champion Kodi Lee will play four shows at the Paris, November 7-10. And in 2020, the 25th anniversary tour of “Riverdance” will play a five-show limited engagement in the 1,400-seat theater May 22-24.
Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club already has ongoing residencies from Luenell and Vicki Barbolak and the Linq Promenade hot spot is adding 15 shows with touring comedian and podcast host Ian Bagg. The hockey-loving finalist from “Last Comic Standing” will perform November 14 and December 5 and 19 before returning for more in 2020.