Monday, Aug. 3, 2015 | 2:02 p.m.
The Kats Report this week focuses on “Million Dollar Quartet,” the musical at Harrah’s that is celebrating its 1,000th performance Tuesday night. We met the cast in January 2013 during their first full rehearsal.
Since that initial assembly of the band and actors, we’ve grown quite fond of the crew that delivers the story of the night of Dec. 4, 1956, when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins met and jammed at Sam Phillips’ Sun Records in Memphis.
The 1,000th show will be highlighted by a performance of the vocal group Village Blend of Opportunity Village, who will sing “Blue Suede Shoes” with the cast.
Let’s drop the needle on this slice o’ vinyl:
19: Pounds of Layrite Pomade smeared into the hair of the male actors.
286: Pounds of confetti dropped on the audience during the show-closing fantasy jam by the four principal performers.
25 cents: The cost of a gallon of gas (according to Lewis) in 1956.
8: Cast members onstage during the show at Harrah’s.
2,500: Shows performed by original cast member Rob Lyons, who plays Carl Perkins, dating to his debut in Chicago in 2007.
25: Guest performers with whom Lyons has performed during that stretch (including the real Jerry Lee Lewis).
2: Pairs of blue suede shoes worn by Lyons in his run as Perkins (they are uber-durable and handmade).
3,000: Guitar picks used just by those playing Perkins in Las Vegas.
3,000: Shots of Glenfiddich whisky taken back by Lyons.
22: Months since Lyons and I made a pact to return the word “groovy” into the lexicon of English communication (this during a hang with Pia Zadora at Piero’s).
120: Guitar strings replaced in the Las Vegas production.
7: Guest stars who have joined the cast at the end of the show at Harrah’s (Taylor Hicks, Veronic DiCaire, Frankie Moreno, Holly Madison, Melody Sweets, Clint Holmes and Zadora make up that list).
2,000: Herbal cigarettes smoked onstage.
1,000: Sun contracts written for Cash that are angrily torn up by Phillips.
1,000: Scarves Elvis has passed to audience members.
16,000: AAA batteries used in the Las Vegas show.
248: Keys broken on the piano played by the Lewis character.
4: Band-Aids used by the cast (yes, just four, remarkably).
1: Photo taken of the four during the session.
1: Framed photo hanging in the studio of the late, great Jim Belk, the Las Vegas production’s original drummer.
Just as distinctive as it's famous neighbors Caesar's Palace and The Venetian, Harrah's Las Vegas has been entertaining guests since 1973. The 87,700-square foot casino is filled with 1,520 slot machines and 107 gaming tables. Outside the casino, guests are able to experience fun in a street-fair atmosphere at the Carnival Court, an outdoor lounge with live entertainment (including the bartenders), food stands and outdoor shops.
At Harrah's comedy is King, and that has never been more apparent then the comedy acts of Rita Rudner, the Mac King Comedy Magic Show and the Improv Comedy Club. After the show, guests are more than welcome to laugh at their friends at The Piano Bar, famous for its dueling pianos and karaoke. Most recently, Harrah's added tribute show "Legends in Concert" to its list of entertainment.
Restaurants like Ming's offers Asian cuisine, while Ruth's Chris Steak House offers guests fine steaks and fresh seafood. Toby Keith's I Love This Bar is a country-themed bar with a restaurant, live music and the occasional appearance from Keith himself.