Besides gambling? Why, I’m so glad you asked. As I point out in the new issue of Desert Companion (available in Planet Hollywood’s Desert Passage Miracle Mile shopping mall and other places that host Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchises), there’s quite a bit. For instance, through Oct. 27, you can experience the indoor Vegas panoramas of Angela Bellamy (above) at the Charleston Heights Arts Center (not far from Arizona Charlie’s Decatur). If you’re in Chinatown … or as simply willing to venture a few blocks west from Treasure Island, Venelazzo and Wynncore, the studio series at Las Vegas Little Theatre is presenting Jennifer Haley’s violent, video game-inspired Neighborhood III: Requisition of Doom (Oct. 21-Nov. 6) and Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Dec. 2-18).
The impresario behind the Broadway series at Green Valley Ranch is Andrew Wright. His producing outfit, RagTag Entertainment presents Smokey Joe’s Café at Ovation, Sept. 13-27, followed by Sweeney Todd on Tuesdays in October, with the remainder of the 2011 slate still to be announced. Now through Sept. 17, you can catch Eugene Ionesco’s farcical The Chairs (pictured) at The Box Office, tucked away on Casino Center Drive, a stone’s throw from the iconic White Cross drugstore. Chairs director Ruth Pe Palileo is something of a genius and Vegas is having to vie with Chicago and Cleveland for her talents, which have extended to staging cast-of-dozens extravaganzas at Palace Station and the pirate place. (Apropos of nada, nothing says “public radio” quite like haughty high-fashion chicks in a vineyard, does it?)
Broadway 2, Adelson 0. Cranky old mogul Sheldon Adelson (who’s rumored to have screwed mid-level employees of out of bonuses last year, even though they’d hit their benchmarks) has cut off his nose to spite his face twice over. Mike Weatherford has the gruesome details in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but the bottom line is that MGM Resorts International has landed Blue Man Group, which will take up residency at Monte Carlo. Also profiting from Las Vegas Sands‘ stinginess is Caesars Entertainment, which has stolen Palazzo’s marquee attraction Jersey Boys. The Frankie Valli musical will set up shop at Paris-Las Vegas early next year, Barry Manilow having taken the hex off the showroom.
This is a huge loss for Palazzo and an incredible coup for Gary Loveman. Adelson has just handed him and Jim Murren free money on an engraved silver platter. Letting Jersey Boys walk will leave a gaping vacancy Venelazzo execs will be hard-pressed to fill, especially with Broadway shows currently being steered into Downtown’s Smith Center for the Performing Arts (or, as I think of it in the wake of the Clint Holmes bombshell, “Smithcoast“). Good luck getting your hands on Wicked now, guys.