Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2019

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Mirage hires top manager to build new entertainment lineup

In a move designed to alter the type of entertainment now seen in Las Vegas, Stephen Wynn, chairman of Mirage Resorts Inc., announced the appointment Wednesday of Sandy Gallin, a top talent manager, to join his company and start new theaters, arenas and cabarets.

Wynn, who helped transform modern-day casinos into legitimate businesses with entertainment suitable for families, said he had hired Gallin to create theatrical shows that will eventually end up on Broadway.

"I don't see anything in New York we can't do as well or better here in Las Vegas," said Wynn. "We will have relationships with creative people in New York and London. I foresee a time when a hit musical will open in Las Vegas and have a second venue in New York."

Gallin, 57, a talent manager for more than 30 years, now oversees the careers of performers such as Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey. Over the years he has also handled Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg and Richard Pryor. Gallin's company, Gallin-Morey Associates, also produced films like "Father of the Bride" and "Fly Away Home," as well as the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Gallin said he would spend the bulk of his time in Las Vegas but would still serve in a consulting role with his management company, which will be run by his long-time partner, Jim Morey, who was named chairman. Gallin said he would continue his management relationship with some of his most important clients "as long as they'll have me."

But the bulk of Gallin's time will be spent developing what he termed "new and different entertainment for Las Vegas, attracting people who normally don't work in Las Vegas." He declined to name entertainers, but Wynn cited such director-performers as Tommy Tune, Rob Marshall, the co-director and choreographer of the current revival of "Cabaret," and Marvin Hamlisch, the composer.

"We're making friends and forming relationships with Broadway people," Wynn said.

Wynn said that entertainment in Las Vegas was destined to undergo enormous changes in the next few years. He said concert tours, in which performers play in 20,000-seat arenas, have substantially replaced traditional night club acts that were developed in Las Vegas with such performers as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Sammy Davis Jr.

At the same time, he said, lavishly-produced shows like the ones featuring the live animal act of Siegfried and Roy, who perform twice nightly at the Mirage and bring in $50 million in yearly revenue, has underlined the need for theatrical-style spectacles. Wynn said he was building an 1,100-seat Broadway-style theater at his new 3,000-room Bellagio Hotel, which opens next year, as well as a 15,000-seat concert arena near the Mirage.

Wynn said he also expected Gallin to oversee the creation of several smaller cabarets, with capacities of 600 to 700 seats, including one at his Treasure Island resort in Las Vegas. "The cabaret has been reduced to virtually minute proportions and there's no reason we can't revive it," said Wynn, who is also opening Beau Rivage, a $600 million, 1,780-room resort on the Mississippi Gulf Coast next year.