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October 22, 2014

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Spiegelworld takes the Cosmopolitan to court over ‘Vegas Nocturne’

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Jenna Dosch

Mario Lopez attends “Vegas Nocturne” at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. in the Cosmopolitan on Friday, April 11, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Final Cantos of ‘Vegas Nocturne’

The final cantos of “Vegas Nocturne” at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. on Saturday, July 12, 2014, in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

The Hot List With Emily Ratajkowski at Rose. Rabbit. Lie.

Conde Nast Traveler EVP and Publishing Director Bill Wackermann, Conde Nast Traveler Editor in Chief Pilar Guzman, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas CEO John Unwin and Emily Ratajkowski attend the Hot List party at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

On the night “Vegas Nocturne” closed at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Spiegelworld founder and self-styled impresario Ross Mollison raised a champagne glass and proclaimed, “ ‘Vegas Nocturne’ is a hit!”

Since that night on July 12, the show has not been heard from — until today. And it is in court rather than onstage.

Mollison’s production company Spiegelworld has sued the Cosmopolitan, with which it formerly partnered the widely applauded production “Vegas Nocturne.”

Announced today via PR Newswire is that Spiegelworld is suing the hotel for allegedly sabotaging “Vegas Nocturne,” failing to pay agreed-upon severance to employees of the production and attempting to block the show from moving to a competing venue. The total cost of serverance payments, travel costs and insurance for employees is claimed to be $500,000, the suit states.

The show opened on New Year’s Eve at the dinner club, lounge and entertainment nightspot Rose. Rabbit. Lie. Mollison did not immediately return a request for comment.

Officials with the Cosmopolitan responded to a request for a response with this statement: “While it is typically the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ policy not to comment on pending litigation, the plaintiff’s lawsuit is entirely without merit. We will vigorously defend our position and expect to prevail.”

In a news release, Mollison was quoted as saying: “The Cosmopolitan has repeatedly failed to act in good faith, choosing instead to violate the terms of our contract.”

The suit was filed in Clark County District Court today. It also claims the hotel has kept show property (including costumes, props and staging) belonging to “Vegas Nocturne” and Spiegelworld and “failing to prevent the misappropriation of show funds that were wrongfully used to pay for a contractor’s personal activities, including visits to strip clubs.” This person was reportedly a food-and-beverage contractor.

The complaint goes on to allege that the Cosmopolitan’s management company, Nevada Property 1 LLC, violated terms of its agreements with Spiegelworld. These include the early termination of “Vegas Nocturne.”

Noted in the document is the allegation that the hotel mishandled the roll-out of the show, rejecting opportunities by the production company to invite celebrities to the show, butting the number of invitations issued to Spiegelworld and leaving as many as 500 seats in the theater unfilled for the media opening. Also specified in the suit is the hotel's $3.4 million marketing and PR expenditure for the show but a meager advance-ticket sales figure of $11,000 for opening night.

Spiegelworld is asking the court to force the hotel to “perform under the terms of the contracts and cease attempts to block ‘Vegas Nocturne’ from moving to a new venue.” How the Cosmopolitan has allegedly prevented such a relocation of the show is not specified.

The Blackstone Group, the Cosmopolitan’s new owner, is not named in the lawsuit. That group bought the hotel form Deutsche Bank on May 15.

Spiegelworld also produces the hit production “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace.

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

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