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October 25, 2014

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Eight reasons — topped by Paul Shortino — to make it to the Wranglers’ Midnight Circus

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Leila Navidi

Paul Shortino performs with Frankie Moreno during his 100th show at the Stratosphere on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

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Las Vegas Wranglers President Billy Johnson and his wife, Erica, show off their tickets to see Springsteen in Zurich.

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Wranglers netminder Joe Fallon drops the puck to the ice after stopping a shootout attempt by Aces forward Alex Hudson to give Las Vegas a thrilling 5-4 victory on Friday night at the Orleans Arena.

Paul Shortino is still trying to find the notes, as it were, to this instrument we call Twitter. But he is a fast study. Just today, he sent a DM (Direct Message) followed by a WOTFETR (Wide-Open Tweet for Everyone to Read). The latter tweet read, “Hey @JohnnyKats I sent you a private message :-)”

That tweet sent me over to DM, where the gist of the message was to be at the Las Vegas Wranglers-Idaho Steelheads (the hated Idaho Steelheads) at Orleans Arena at midnight tonight. Shortino is the former vocalist of the robust rock bands Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot and also is branded in pop culture as the character Duke Fame from the brilliant satire/rockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap.”

Shortino can sing anything, still, and has been known to unleash “Georgia” during appearances at the Monday night showcases at Tap House and has sung Etta James’ “At Last” several times with Frankie Moreno’s band. Tonight, he’s coming with “Love Hurts,” covering the 1976 Nazareth classic.

When Paul Shortino says to be somewhere, even on a sheet of ice in a Las Vegas hotel-casino at midnight, who can argue? That prompted an exchange with Wranglers President (a man whose vision surpasses even the NHL) Billy Johnson. The result of that back-and-forth was Eight Reasons to Attend Tonight’s Las Vegas Wranglers Midnight Circus (and click here for tickets):

1. Shortino will be singing along with an aerial act performed by Erica Vanlee. Erica is Billy’s high-flying (and, as it happens, only) wife.

2. Jean Sebastian, violinist with Celine Dion’s orchestra, also will be backing the Shortino/Vanlee appearance.

3. The Wranglers are going for their 10th win in a row, and the Steelheads, as previously noted, are hated.

4. Three words: Chuck a Puck.

5. For many of us Americans, Monday is Presidents' Day, which I believe is a way to pay tribute to John Tyler.

6. Three more words: Con Tore Shun. A former cast member in “O” at Bellagio, the Mongolia-born Otgo Waller, will perform a contortion act during the second intermission. She has been featured on a postage stamp in her native country. Her appearance also provides an opening for this hashtag-SheckyKats joke: “Waller? I married ’er!”

7. The Roxy Gunn Project of Las Vegas will perform as the game’s house band. The band has altered the lyrics to such songs as Van Halen’s “Panama” to “Penalty.”

8. The none-too-farfetched concept of free tacos. To the uninitiated, to win free tacos, just root for a lot of goals. To the initiated, never believe that there is no such thing as a free taco, because at Wranglers games such dreams do come true.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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