Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009 | 2 a.m.
If You Go
- Who: Ronn Lucas
- When: 7 p.m. Thursday
- Where: South Point
- Tickets: $20; 797-8055
Beyond the Sun
After headlining at various locations in Las Vegas for eight years ventriloquist Ronn Lucas decided it was time to get out of town for a while.
He found himself 6,500 miles away, in London, performing in a play.
“I played a ventriloquist,” says Lucas, who will perform Thursday at South Point.
The role was not a stretch for the 55-year-old entertainer who began his career performing at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church in his native El Paso, Texas, before landing in Las Vegas.
Before flying a quarter of the way around the world last year, Lucas performed at the Excalibur, the Luxor, the Steve Wyrick Theater at Miracle Mile, and the Rio, his home for almost five years.
“Quite honestly, I had to leave Vegas when I did,” Lucas says. “I couldn’t get the deal I wanted. The Excalibur treated me well but the producer and I couldn’t come to terms. I’m glad it worked out the way it did. After being in Vegas for eight years working six days a week, I was worn out.”
In London he was in the cast of “Cinderella” at the Wimbledon Theatre. The play is part of the “pantomime” Christmas season, which includes several children’s stories performed in venues across the city. The plays are offbeat versions of the original — often with men and women changing roles.
Lucas spent three months in the spoof, which was held over.
“We’re negotiating to do it again,” he says. “I love acting. I’m thinking about a stage play in New York.”
He will do “panto” again if he can find the time.
When the play closed in January he came back to the United States and began working on television deals. He did a pilot for a network that isn’t up and running yet but says he doesn’t want to talk about the projects lest someone steal the ideas.
“You’d laugh if you just heard the title of one of them,” he says. “I’m shooting two more, hopefully one of them in Las Vegas.”
While he’s working on the TV shows he’s keeping up his chops with the occasional corporate show and other engagements, including the South Point show, which will repeat Sept. 24, Oct. 1 and Oct. 8. He has a couple of new characters, including a robot that is a research assistant for sex researchers Masters and Johnson.
“It’s a chance to come back to Vegas and experiment,” he says. “I have a lot of new material, plus a lot of old material people haven’t seen in a long time.”
Located South of the Strip, South Point is a hot spot frequented by locals. The hotel-casino is decorated in a Pacific Coast feel, with golds, reds and browns, mixing an island feel with the ambiance of Southern California.
Guests rooms feature 42-inch flat screen TVs, iPod docking stations and plush linens. Outside, the property features landscaped gardens, a hospitality to entertain poolside and a sand volleyball court.
When it comes to gaming, the South Point has more than 120,000 square feet of casino games, as well as a separate race books and sports books, a bingo and poker room. South Point also has some family friendly features, like a 64-lane bowling center, an arcade and a 16-screen movie theater.
Dining options range from an upscale meal at Michael's Gourmet to ice cream at Kate's Korner. The 24-hour Coronado Cafe is the perfect spot for a late-night craving, which include six midnight to 6 a.m. "graveyard" specials. Other restaurants include the Big Sur Oyster Bar, Don Vito's, Garden Buffet, Seattle's Best Coffee House and the Del Mar Deli.
One of South Points more unique features is the Equestrian Center and Arena, a first for Vegas. The Equestrian Center holds a variety of events, from college basketball to Championship Bull Riding.