Friday, March 25, 2016 | 12:01 a.m.
The Kats Report Bureau at this writing is the International Bar at Westgate Las Vegas, where the flat screens are beaming the NCAA Tournament, and the entertainment option of the night is Cameo at Westgate Cabaret.
Cameo frontman Larry Blackmon was a guest of mine a couple of weeks ago on “The Kats Report” radio show I host on KUNV 91.5-FM. I asked him the obvious: Why the red codpiece?
Blackmon’s answer: When he was being outfitted for the “Word Up” video, he was dressed in black spandex — “As usual,” as he bemoaned. After slipping into that famed one-piece, he was handed a box and peeked inside.
“Then I shut the box really fast,” Blackmon said. “Inside was this red cup. I said, ‘I’m not wearing this!’ But they talked me into it, and it has become famous around the world. I am asked about it all the time.”
The 60-year-old Blackmon still wears that gear onstage at Westgate in the Cameo funk-a-thon in the Cabaret. The band has been going strong for just under 40 years, and it is a great dance and music experience that brings to mind Morris Day & The Time. And, coincidentally enough, Blackmon and Day are longtime friends. Maybe we’ll see a pop-in from Day, or at least Jason Tenner of “Purple Rein,” who presides over the other Westgate dance party.
Let’s groove elsewhere:
• On the topic of what is and is not happening at Westgate, Dirk Arthur has closed his show “Wild Illusions” effective Monday. You might have seen evidence of this reality on my Twitter feed, which also is something of a wild illusion.
No reason for the closing was given, though there was a mention in the formal news release announcing the show’s closing that the teeming-with-kitties production would be back during the summer.
Without providing details, Arthur says he’s in talks to be back in the theater in June. Fair enough. We’ll also be back at the theater in June. See how many cats are in the house.
Meantime, the only show being staged at Westgate’s International Theater is “Twisted Vegas.” That spoof show is carrying the team, at the moment, but that big room hosting just one show can’t last long. Check back in June, if not earlier.
• The magic team of Jarrett & Raja, aka The Magic and Piano Guys, are to appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” on April 22. You might remember this affable duo from their appearance on “America’s Got Talent” in 2013 when they made the semifinals by making an entire orchestra appear onstage (this happened in reverse at Palazzo Theater when “Frank: The Man, The Music” closed in November).
J&R also have appeared on “Wizard Wars” with Penn & Teller and “Masters of Illusion” on the CW. They were in the lineup of the “America’s Got Talent Live” show at Palazzo three years ago and are among the Las Vegas-based entertainers looking for a room to establish a full residency. As we’ve been reminded lately, there is no shortage of rooms or entertainers seeking such in this city.
• On that topic, “Alice: A Steampunk Rock Concert” played its most recent date Wednesday night at Brooklyn Bowl. The latest change in the production is in the form of the backing band — it has been replaced almost entirely since the performance in February.
David Perrico, hired by founder Anne Martinez as the production’s music director two years ago, split with the show and took most of the musicians with him. This was the result of a dispute over rehearsals and how (or, if) the band should be used in such run-throughs. Suffice to say — and we’ll say it — Perrico and Martinez were fine with this outcome (and more on Perrico’s projects in a moment).
The new music of “Alice” is Aaron Fuller, the guitarist husband of co-vocalist Ashley Fuller. The reassembled band played the Wednesday show expertly, and the turnout of more than 350 at Brooklyn Bowl was the strongest showing yet for “Alice.” The next move is a familiar two-step for the show: Book a date and lure investors. That happens April 5. The goal for Martinez, and of this wildly talented and dedicated cast, is to get a real run on the Strip.
• “Jukebox” will have one.
The new production being rehearsed by Human Nature for a March 29 opening at Sands Showroom at the Venetian will feature an actual jukebox onstage. A ticket-holder will be summoned to the stage and be allowed to select a number, live, during the performance.
Another update to the show, which has shed its exclusively Motown theme, is the addition of a pair of ballroom dancers: Jami Jones and David Oliveri, who moved to Las Vegas to perform in “Le Reve — the Dream ” at Wynn Las Vegas.
• Returning to an aforementioned subject ...
Perrico is returning Pop Strings to Lounge at the Palms on Saturday night, and that band is set to perform at the Park during the opening night of T-Mobile Arena (his stage time is 7:30-9 p.m.). The band’s April 9 show at the Palms is to feature guest vocalist Melody Sweets of “Absinthe.” Perrico is looking to add more guests in these shows at the Palms.
• Looking at the landscape at Tropicana in the wake of Jan Rouven’s “New Illusions” closing after he was arrested on child-porn charges: Magic-themed productions are already poking around Tropicana Theater, and Laugh Factory operator Harry Basil is opening up options to return magic into that club.
Previously, Laugh Factory was not permitted to stage magic as Rouven’s show was in production. But now, as long as there is a comedic element, entertainers of just about any variety can be booked into Laugh Factory. The most recent magic headliner, Murray Sawchuck, left the hotel as Rouven opened in November 2014.
And, look out for a possible Andrew Dice Clay booking into Trop Theater. He is looking for a one-night, big-fly show to fill that room as his Showtime series, “Dice,” approaches (no air date has been announced). The six-episode series centers on the Dice character as a comedy superstar attempting to revive his career in Las Vegas.