Saturday, June 25, 2016 | 8:48 p.m.
The Kats Report Bureau at this writing is Sully’s Bar at Bally’s, just off the hotel’s Flamingo Road entrance. A great place to hang for a bit before hustling across the street to Cromwell, because if your destination is Cromwell, I suggest parking in the Paris-Bally’s garage and walking across Flamingo to that hotel.
But tonight, I am heading in the other direction, to Planet Hollywood. The attempt to park over there was thwarted — thwarted, I tell you! — by a full valet and a garage that is so rife with parking horrors, it should be a Halloween attraction.
If you happen to be parked higher than the fifth floor on a weekend night, lease out your home. You’ll be in there for a while. Otherwise, it’s a great property, with plentiful shopping and some of the best entertainment in the city. So, it’s worth the effort. But expect an effort.
• The wagering opportunities for NHL games at T-Mobile Arena once the Las Vegas franchise begins play in 2017 have been specified. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman commented about wagering on the team during Thursday’s formal announcement that the league’s Board of Governors had unanimously approved an expansion team for Las Vegas. Bettman said NHL games were not as “susceptible” to wagering as NFL or NBA games.
Which means there will be no live betting stations inside T-Mobile Arena, though the arena exists on the Strip and is co-owned by MGM Resorts. But you can legally wager on the Las Vegas team from any MGM Resorts sports book (or any sports book in the city), and also from apps on your smartphone. Handily, MGM Resorts is in the trial stages of its own betting app, called playMGM, which is similar to those operated by William Hill, Cantor Gaming and Station Casinos. The trial should be completed within a month or two, then be ready to go live.
What this means is, you can indeed bet on the Las Vegas NHL team inside T-Mobile — from any online application — even if manned wagering stations are not set up in the venue. How this affects the atmosphere inside the arena remains to be seen. It might be a little like pulling for your home NBA or NHL team even if you have players on your fantasy league team playing against your own team.
My motto: Bet head, root heart. As a 49ers fan, I’ve made some painful money with this betting … application.
• On the topic of venues of significance, one of the city’s storied theaters is sitting dark with no activity announced. The old Elvis showroom, today known as the International Theater at Westgate Las Vegas, has been inactive since Jason Tenner’s Purple Rain tribute to Prince moved back into the Westgate Cabaret a few weeks ago. Tenner’s show was hit with a wave of ticket requests in the aftermath of Prince’s death, and performed in the big room until the tide inevitably rolled back.
At the moment, the entertainment lineup at Westgate is all ensconced in the Cabaret: Jennifer Romas’ “Sexxy” adult show — and added to that cast is the ever-fiery April Leopardi of “Alice” and Murray Sawchuck’s magic spectacular — famed funk band Cameo, and Purple Rain. There is no formal, official plan with what comes next in the theater where Barbra Streisand, Elvis, Liberace, Wayne Newton, Liza Minnelli and Barry Manilow have headlined since it opened in 1969.
• Melody Sweets is firing up another of her solo shows in July. This information was imparted from the stage by the esteemed Jonny Porkpie during the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s Miss Exotic World competition at the Orleans Showroom this month.
The Green Fairy in “Absinthe,” Sweets has set July 30, again at midnight, for her latest misadventure in the “Absinthe” Spiegeltent. These performances are requisitely rollicking, full of such fun and daring performers as high-wire artist Liana Wallenda, Mr. Gorgeous (and his famed cannon) and the peerless Dirty Martini. Expect a live and lively band and some unscheduled, and even unplanned, developments.
More details are to follow, but catch this show if you can. It’s a whole thing, bordering on epic.
• Returning to the topic of Bally’s, the show targeted for the old Jubilee Theater is looking auditioning for performers. Or, rather, contestants.
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” with host Chris Harrison, is seeking to fill its lineup of contestants with auditions set at the hotel from 2 to 7 p.m. July 7-9, July 11-15, July 18-22 and July 25-29. Tapings of the show are to be held July 15-Sept. 1, twice daily at 11:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. (for information, hit the Bally’s website). The show premieres in syndication on Sept. 12.
• A new comedy room, or a new title for an existing comedy room, is in place at Stratosphere. Called “The Stool,” the showcase was to begin midnight today (Saturday, if you are reading this Sunday or beyond) and serve as a forum for professional comics to test-drive new material.
The venue is at the Strat’s retail promenade, the shows are weekly and admission is free. The show, produced and hosted by Vegas comic Steven Roberts-Sanders, was originally staged at Arts Square Theater in the Arts District in 2015. The format is a mix of scheduled comics and open mic, and is the only performance of its kind in the city. We’ll check it out, if not tonight but soon and from the audience. We leave the experimental material to this column. …
• Blind item time: We don’t do many of these, but a well-known Strip headliner is going to make some significant career changes later this summer and early this fall, and the venue in which this headliner performs going to take on a new look and name. Be aware of this. Be very aware.