Rock of Ages Las Vegas
Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 | 7:57 p.m.
Robin Leach is winding down from his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy, and many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward again in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. As Robin gets ready to pick up pen, notepad and tape recorder to resume his Strip coverage, we continue today with “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian stars Becca Kotte, Tiffany Engen, Mark Shunock and Justin Mortelliti. Here’s Becca.
Hey, guys! Becca Kotte here. I play the role of “Sherrie” in Las Vegas’ production of “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian. For those of you who have seen the show, you already know the basics: Big songs, big hair, big everything!
Underneath it all, I’m just a goofy girl from Fargo (and still trying to shake that accent). Today, I’m going to take you on a backstage tour of perhaps the “less” glamorous side of live theater. Step into my office!
6:52 p.m.: Signing in! This is how stage management knows we’re here without having to send out a search party — 7:30 p.m. is the latest you are allowed to arrive for an 8 p.m. performance, but I’m usually there sometime before 7 in order to put on my ’80s face.
7:05 p.m.: The transformation into “Sherrie Christian” begins. First stop: Wig prep. In order for all of our own hair to fit under our wigs, and in order to have something to anchor the wigs to our heads, we put our hair up in pin curls, trying to get as flat a surface as possible. That gets covered by a wig cap, which is essentially a head-shaped nylon. Trust me, it’s very stylish.
7:10 p.m.: Makeup! “Rock of Ages” is set in 1987 on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. I use three shades of hot pink, two kinds of glitter and the biggest eyelashes I can find to complete the look.
7:30 p.m.: Wig time! Every cast member is assigned a time leading up to the start of the show to get his or her wigs on. Sherrie’s time is “half hour.” My appointment is quite involved since one of my mic packs (I have a main and a backup) gets attached to my head and fits under my wig.
I promise that it’s not as painful as it sounds. The other pack goes in a pouch in the back of my bra, so if you’ve seen the show and wondered why Sherrie has a mysterious hump on her back, there’s your answer.
7:50 p.m.: Vocal warm-ups. I try to warm up throughout the day as much as possible, but this is an opportunity for Justin Mortelliti (who plays “Drew” in the show) and me to make sure that we’re not only ready to sing the show, but also to connect with each other before we meet onstage. Red Bull in hand, of course.
8 p.m.: It’s go time!!! Suitcase and Slurpee in hand, I’m ready to rock out some ’80s tunes for the next two hours. See you out there!
“Rock of Ages,” which celebrated its 600th show at the Venetian last Friday, plays Tuesdays through Sundays, dark Mondays. Follow Becca on Twitter at @BeccaKotte.
Be sure to check out our other “Rock of Ages” guest columnists Tiffany Engen, Mark Shunock and Justin Mortelliti. On Wednesday, we meet up with Jennifer Aleman, who runs the long-running topless show “Crazy Girls” at the Riviera, and Las Vegas singer Franky Perez.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.