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July 16, 2019

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Buzz out of the Park Theater: Lady Gaga joining Justin Timberlake in headliner lineup

Grammy Awards Show

Matt Sayles / Invision / AP

Lady Gaga performs a tribute to David Bowie at the 58th annual Grammy Awards on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, in Los Angeles.

Justin Timberlake at MGM Grand

Justin Timberlake performs at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Tony Bennett + Lady Gaga at Axis at Planet Hollywood

Tony Bennett performs classic jazz standards from their album “Cheek to Cheek” on Friday, April 10, 2015, at Axis at Planet Hollywood.
Launch slideshow »
The Kats Report Podcast

Dana Carvey, Penn Jillette

Dana Carvey reprises many of his famous "Saturday Night Live" characters, resurrects Johnny Carson and George H.W. Bush, introduces his new Charlie Sheen impression, and hints at a one-man show in Vegas. Penn Jillette talks of the development of "Penn & Teller" at the Rio as the duo serve again as grand marshals for the AFAN Aids Walk at World Market Center.

The Kats Report Bureau at this writing was shortly to be ensconced at the Plaza for the latest Oscar Goodman Dinner Series talk as the one-time hizzoner of Las Vegas recounts “The Seized Rolls-Royce: A Tale of Little Nicky.”

This is in reference to Nicodemo “Little Nicky” Scarfo, one of Goodman’s nefarious clients and a reputed Philadelphia mob overlord. Reportedly, Goodman would talk of “Little Nicky and the mob, murder, dancing nude in the Four Seasons fountain and the payoff of a Rolls-Royce.”

Sounds like the makings of a new Cirque show.

Onward:

• The information posted Tuesday by my colleague Ubiquitous Robin Leach noting that Justin Timberlake is being reeled in as one of the resident headliners at the Park Theater at Monte Carlo seems accurate.

Entertainment figures in the city have been buzzing about this possibility for months (I had referred to early talk of Timberlake at that theater back in December). Timberlake on the Strip is an obvious fit given his enormous drawing power and onstage versatility. He can carry big-band numbers and contemporary R&B and rock songs with ease, and he has consistently sold out his previous performances at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

But Timberlake is, or would be, just the start of a lineup of superstar residency at the Park Theater. I’m hearing that Lady Gaga also has been set to appear in residency at the Park Theater. Gaga also is a frequent Las Vegas performer who has shown range as a pop-arena headliner and music-hall chanteuse in her appearances with Tony Bennett at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan. She also soared in her show-closing “New York, New York” performance at “Sinatra at 100: An All-Star Grammy Concert” CBS special recorded at Encore Theater in December.

Keep in mind, no specific headliner at the Park Theater has been formally confirmed by MGM Resorts officials. A company spokeswoman said Thursday, “At this moment, it is all speculation as we are not ready to make any announcements regarding talent for the Park Theater.”

But I return to what MGM Resorts Chairman Jim Murren said to me when I asked him if the headliners at the Park Theater would reflect the star power at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace and Axis at Planet Hollywood. Murran nodded and said, “These are A-plus-plus acts. We’ll have multiple headliners in there for residency periods.” As for the “who” of it all, we are closing in.

• The screening for Penn Jillette’s new film, “Director’s Cut,” is set for 11 p.m. next Thursday at Brenden Theaters at the Palms as part of the Las Vegas Film Festival. Directed by Adam Rifkin, the project was financed through an online FundAnything campaign that raised more than $1.1 million. The plot synopsis from the LVFF website: “'Director’s Cut' is an insane, genre-bending, cinematic sleight-of-hand trick about a cineaste stalker who kidnaps his favorite actress and forces her to star in his amateur movie.” No, it is not a documentary ….

• The Righteous Brothers, featuring Bill Medley and his new singing partner Bucky Heard, are burning it up at Harrah’s. The duo have added 20 weeks to their residency at the showroom they share with “Million Dollar Quartet.” The show will be dark June 15-28 but resumes with its Wednesday-through-Friday schedule later this summer, and the new dates carry the show through the end of the year.

Medley and Heard have been moving around the scene pretty freely, with Medley watching Brad Garrett’s set May 23 at Garrett’s comedy club at MGM Grand, and both appearing at the Composers’ Showcase of Las Vegas on May 25. On Wednesday, Medley welcomed choreographer and producer Anita Mann (who has helmed “Fantasy” at Luxor for 16 years) to Harrah’s.

As Medley recounted, Mann was a backing dancer for The Righteous Brothers when they appeared on the great TV series “Shindig!” in 1964. Everyone appeared on “Shindig” in those days — including The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, James Brown, The Supremes and Sonny & Cher. Appropriately, The Righteous Brothers packed Harrah’s on Wednesday. It was quite the shindig, upper and lower.

• I don’t mind sharing this particularly entertaining text exchange with “50 Shades! The Parody” star Maren Wade. I’d not seen Wade and the new cast of the show at Windows Showroom at Bally’s and was setting up a visit when Wade directed: “Just go directly to the showroom around 9:20-ish and ask for Mario.”

Me: “Mario? Mario Andretti?”

Maren: “Yep, that’s him. He retired from racing to manage the Windows Showroom.”

A few moments passed, and Wade added:

“Confession: I had to Google the name to see who you were talking about.”

Fittingly, the ever-entertaining Wade is author of the “Confessions of a Showgirl” column in sister pub Las Vegas Weekly. I edit the column, and that exchange typifies our working relationship …

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

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