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September 26, 2016

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Kid Cudi and Pitbull pack ’em in; ‘One Night’ means one community; Billy Idol wants into new Rat Pack

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Tony Tran

Kid Cudi performs a sold-out show at the Foundry on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at SLS Las Vegas.

Kid Cudi at SLS Las Vegas

Kid Cudi performs a sold-out show at the Foundry on Sunday, March 13, 2016, at SLS Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

Pitbull Returns to Axis

Pitbull returns to Axis on Saturday, March 12, 2016, at Planet Hollywood. Launch slideshow »

The Kats Report Bureau at this writing is in recovery mode, having wound around the scene at Pitbull’s show Saturday night at Axis at Planet Hollywood and Kid Cudi at the Foundry in SLS Las Vegas on Sunday.

Both of those shows were packed, each electrifying and yet another testament to the booking acumen by Live Nation, which is charged with delivering acts to those venues.

Especially impressive was the 1,800 turnout for Kid Cudi, a serious achievement for that hotel and newly renovated venue. Word is that there are more acts to be booked at the Foundry, which is a variable capacity venue (from about 700 up to that 1,800 capacity) that looks and feels like the old Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel.

This is true, especially, in the early days of the Joint. The Foundry can handle most any type of stage show, as Kid Cudi reminded with a set decorated with fake foliage surrounding a living room featuring a sectional sofa.

You nearly forgot where you were, which also was a trait of the Joint, until spilling into the casino. The brass at SLS must have been mighty pleased to see the waves of customers filing out of the Foundry. Now if someone can train these folks to play the games of chance …

More from the scene:

• The “One Night for One Drop” charity show Friday marks the first time Cirque du Soleil has staged a full production in Las Vegas outside one of its resident theaters. The fourth installment benefiting Cirque’s nonprofit, water-conservation organization One Drop Foundation is set for 7:30 p.m. at Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall.

As a result of this temporary move to the Smith Center, Cirque official Jerry Nadal says, “Myron is nervous.” He is referring to Smith Center President Myron Martin, whose facility has hosted only individual scenes from Cirque shows during such events as the “Nevada Sesquicentennial All-Star Concert” two years ago at Reynolds Hall.

But “One Night” is a fully realized show, and Nadal promises, “We’re bringing all of our resources to their venue and using it to its full capacity.” So, look out for aerialists.

“One Night” is drawing again from all of Cirque’s Las Vegas productions and is directed by Cirque artist and dancer Hassan El Hajjami. Recording artist Leona Lewis and “Blackish” star Miles “Baby Boogaloo” Brown are guests performers this year.

‘One Drop’ Rehearsal With Leona Lewis

Launch slideshow »

The Smith Center was sought for this show for its status as a neutral venue. The Cirque theaters are suited for the show, of course, as they are tailored for their respective productions. But there is a universal appeal to Reynolds Hall.

“We are looking for wide appeal, and the Smith Center makes ‘One Night’ more community based than it’s been in the past,” said Nadal, who is VP of Cirque’s resident shows and heads up the “One Night” team every year. “We’re getting people coming to ‘One Night’ specifically because it’s at the Smith Center.”

The monetary goal this year is $7 million, including the charity auction, ticket sales and donations from ticket revenues from all of Cirque’s shows on the Strip this week. Over the past three years, Cirque has raised $17.6 million to aid in water conservation and preservation in impoverished regions.

It’s become a worldwide need, as Lewis noted during the show’s rehearsals at Aria’s Zarkana Theater in January. “This is all about using art to inform and inspire people through the arts to act on this problem,” she said.

“Safe and clean water is a basic human right that we don’t think of much in the West, but the idea of being able to turn on a tap and use clean water is foreign to many people around the world. That’s what makes this show and this organization so important.”

Billy Idol at Chelsea

Billy Idol performs at The Chelsea on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

• Billy Idol is kicking off his residency at House of Blues this week and weekend. During an interview last week, I asked him about being a member of a rock-and-roll version of The Rat Pack.

“We should have that in Vegas,” he said. “Who would be in that group?” Maybe he, Carlos Santana (House of Blues), Elton John and Rod Stewart (both of the Colosseum) and John Fogerty (Venetian Theater), for starters.

“That’s great,” he said. “The holdovers from the old Rat Pack. It’s all different today, this is another era, but to be part of that would be fantastic. … We could definitely come up with their type of mayhem. I love those guys — John Fogerty is one of my heroes. I’ll have to see him when he’s there.”

• The Liberace Foundation has found a space for a sizable segment of the old Liberace Museum collection: the vehicles. Set to open April 7 is Liberace’s Garage, housed at Hollywood Cars Museum at 5115 Dean Martin Drive in Las Vegas. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 pm. daily.

According to a news release issued Wednesday, the collection displayed is to feature the 1961 Rolls Royce Phantom V limousine used in his show at the Las Vegas Hilton and shown in HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra”; crystal-encrusted Roadster he rode onto Radio City Music Hall’s stage; London taxi he used to pick up friends at the Palms Springs, Calif., airport; and 1956 Rolls Royce convertible from which he flew during performances.

Tickets start at $50 and are to benefit the Liberace Foundation and its scholarship program for students in Southern Nevada who are focused on the creative arts. Fun fact about the last UNLV student to receive such a grant: Las Vegas keyboard master Otto Ehling of “Alice — A Steampunk Concert Fantasy,” among other productions.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow Kats on Instagram at Instagram.com/JohnnyKats1.

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