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February 20, 2017

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Mark Shunock makes The Space for ‘Mondays Dark’

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Denise Truscello / WireImage / DeniseTruscello.net

Mark Shunock and James Mulligan during the second anniversary of “Mondays Dark” at the Joint on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, in the Hard Rock Hotel.

The Kats Report Bureau mobile unit (hey, who you callin’ “unit?”) over the past 4½ days or so has unearthed the following:

• Mark Shunock is ready for the next phase of "Mondays Dark," at least in terms of the “where” of it all. He has secured space at a place he’ll call The Space, a 9,000-square-foot multipurpose events center off Polaris and Harmon avenues at 3460 Cavaretta Court (take Polaris north, just past Harmon, and the building is on the left). An open house at The Space is set for 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday. The first "Mondays Dark" event set for The Space is January.

Meantime, Shunock is characteristically drafting a blueprint for what he envisions for The Space, which is to mix charity with entertainment in the building’s assorted spaces.

The main room is to be a 300-to-400 seat entertainment venue. There will be a black-box theater, a podcast room/recording studio and a pair of rehearsal spaces. Events staged at The Space are to be generated by Shunock’s fundraising strategy: Among the partnerships he is offering is a $1,000 membership, in which the donor receives a permanent seat named for him or her, along with no-charge use of The Space for a night.

If a performer in a Strip show, for instance, wants to use The Space for a one-off showcase for an original production, a $1,000 donation makes it all happen. This is a bona fide opportunity when entertainers are consistently required to lease spaces for these types of shows, and Shunock has offered 100 of those packages. Nearly 50 have been filled.

Other fundraising offers are 100 named seats for $500, 20 packages at $5,000 which includes the seats, a night of access to The Space and a VIP show starring Shunock, Travis Cloer, Chris Lash and Eric Jordan Young; and 20 $5,000 packages with everything mentioned previously along with presenting-sponsorship status.

Mixed into this effort is the formal departure of Shunock and his wife, Cheryl Daro, from Intrigue at Wynn Las Vegas. Shunock was originally charged with developing the entertainment program at the former Tryst, but soon after opening night (or even, during), officials decided to go with a DJ-celebrity approach instead of the live-entertainment format favored by Shunock. Expect some of those performers originally signed at Intrigue — including LouLou D’Vil and The Baron of the Universe — to stage performances at The Space.

The grand opening is a way off, maybe in October, but there will be public events and performances planned long before then. It’s Shunock’s way.

• A person affected by the closing of Frankie Moreno’s show at Planet Hollywood?

Frank Marino.

“Every night, I am getting people coming into my show, saying, ‘I wanted to see you before you closed!’” says Marino, the venerable host of “Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas” and a Strip mainstay for more than 30 years.

The confusion over the similarly named stars has been an ongoing, and often comedic, issue for years. Moreno has often said he has fans mistakenly claiming they bought gowns he has worn through the years during “Evening at La Cage,” and has sometimes told his audiences, “If you’re looking for the guy who impersonates Joan Rivers, you’re in the wrong place.”

Incidentally, Moreno’s hunt for a new venue to return to the stage in Vegas is ongoing and those working with him are optimistic he’ll find a suitable venue soon. He is back at Cabaret Jazz on Aug. 12.

• How did Britney Spears factor into UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night?

Simple: Amanda Nunes, who notched a first-round submission win over Miesha Tate in the first round of their UFC bantamweight title bout, trains at Xcycle of Las Vegas (this is what you learn when hanging out at Xcycle). The connection to Spears is: Jen Barnet is a co-owner of Xcycle and was once Spears’ makeup artist. And, Barnet’s beau is Larry Rudolph, who is Spears’ manager.

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

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