Big Elvis in the Cook E. Jar; Hyde Lounge; Garrett Comedy Club Moving to MGM
Comments on Las Vegas from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk: Read more at www.accessvegass.com
Two Great Complimentary Shows – Sometimes we get so used to some of the regular, complimentary things to see and do that we overlook the fact that our readership is growing and Las Vegas always has first-timers! Hence, a couple of long-running performers worth seeing on your next visit:
Big Elvis – Big Elvis performs all the hits of the King of Rock & Roll, as well as other popular tunes in the genres of rock, country, gospel, R&B and pop spanning six decades of music. He interacts with his audience, invites them to participate in his show and performs requests, including both popular and obscure songs.
Showtimes: Monday through Friday; 3, 5 and 6:30 p.m. in Bill’s Lounge. Pricing: Complimentary.
Cook E. Jarr – Cook E. Jarr’s show is a mixture of booming, booty-shaking music and plentiful patter from the motor mouth musician, punctuated by the Cookster’s dog barks, imitation engine-revving (which comes in handy during ‘Born to Be Wild’) and other trademark sound effects. While Jarr sings along to pre-recorded tracks of funky hits old and new, red and blue lights revolve, police car style atop speakers pumping out a nonstop beat. A strobe light fires up at random intervals, while a mirrored disco ball twirls overhead.
I’ve seen Cook E. Jarr since his days at The Continental (now Terribles) in the early 90′s and he’s still putting on a great show.
Showtimes: Saturday and Sunday; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Bill’s Lounge Pricing: Complimentary.
More news courtesy of www.accessvegas.com – the place to go for the latest Vegas info
Hyde Lounge Bellagio is the first nightlife venture in Las Vegas by renowned hospitality leader sbe and visionary design icon Philippe Starck with Gulla Jonsdottir of G+ Design. Boasting a seamless 12,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor space and floor-to-ceiling windows, Hyde features an expansive terrace that showcases Las Vegas’ most celebrated landmark, the Fountains of Bellagio.
The mystery of Hyde Lounge Bellagio begins with an opulent Italian villa lost centuries ago, filled with the worldly treasures of a famed Renaissance artist and complemented by Italian marbles, reclaimed woods, lavish chandeliers and towering glass doors that led to a secluded Tuscan Garden. Rediscovered as Hyde Lounge Bellagio, the villa has been artfully brought back to life by Starck and Jonsdottir.
Hyde Lounge Bellagio will introduce an exclusive early-evening experience from 5 to 11 p.m. highlighted by an award-winning mixology program and a menu of intriguing small plates. When the clock strikes 11 p.m., the 12,000-square-foot venue will transform into Vegas’ hottest nightlife venue.
By John Katsilometes
Want the latest entertainment scoop from Vegas? Go to www.lasvegassun.com where John Katsilometes reigns supreme.
Brad Garrett is opening the next incarnation of his eponymous comedy club April Fools’ weekend. It’s a tall order for a man who stands 6-foot-8; a grand plan at a hotel named thusly. It’s funny, but it’s also business for a man who is still trying to turn his comedic dream into a profitable reality.
“I approach this like a business, but I am passionate about it,” Garrett says as he plans to close Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at the Trop on Dec. 12 and start construction on his new 265-seat comedy club of the same name at MGM Grand. “I learned a lot from the Trop, and I honestly have the utmost respect for the Tropicana and its employees for allowing us to launch our club in Las Vegas. This was strictly a business move.”
Garrett typically sold out at about 300 the Trop when he headlined (and drew about 100 to 110 when he didn’t), so it makes sense that he will perform the first set of shows at the new club at MGM. The first night is a VIP/media night, though some tickets could be made available to the public, featuring his buddies Ray Romano and Dom Irrera. It is a strong lineup to uncork the club, if strength can be measured in guffaws.
Irrera has headlined at Garrett’s club at the Trop, but Romano has only performed in unscheduled walk-on appearances since the venue opened in June 2010. Romano has a deal with MGM Resorts, as part of the “Aces of Comedy” series at the Mirage. When you are in such a partnership, you’re sort of expected to perform at the hotel that pays you to perform.
But as Garrett himself is leasing comedy space at an MGM Resorts hotel — the company’s biggest — Romano can work a full set and still headline at the Mirage (his 2012 schedule, when he’ll co-headline with Kevin James, is expected to be announced this week). That was not an option when Garrett was at the Trop.
The wide reach of MGM Resorts, which owns all the hotels that surround the Trop except for Hooters, is a crucial reason Garrett has decided to uproot his club and build anew across Tropicana Avenue.
“We have seven properties selling tickets as opposed to one,” Garrett says. “It’s the law of averages. I am at one of the best properties in the city, one of the biggest, and I can sell at Mandalay Bay, Luxor, those guys who are playing at the Mirage can drop in.”
Garrett is not eager to change course again.
“This is for the long run,” he says. “We have a multi-year deal with MGM, and I have a 22-year history with them. It’s like a coming home party.”
One of Garrett’s first jobs in Vegas was at Bally’s, when he was booked by Richard Sturm, now MGM Resorts president of sports and entertainment. Garrett also has a long history with MGM Grand President Scott Sibella, who signed him to perform when Sibella was president of the Mirage. That was before Garrett started building his club at the Trop, which snuffed out any planned performances for him at the Mirage.
In a statement issued Monday, Sibella said, “We welcome Brad’s return to the MGM Resorts family. Brad’s tremendous reputation in the entertainment industry, along with his audience appeal worldwide, will no doubt contribute to the Comedy Club’s long-term success. We look forward to hosting one of today’s most popular comedians in a new entertainment venue unique to MGM Grand.”
I’ve misstated the location of the club previously — it’s actually at the Excalibur (not really)! No, Garrett’s club is being built along Star Lane Shops, the MGM Grand’s retail walkway that leads to the hotel lobby and registration area from the parking garage and Monorail drop-off point. Or, as you enter the hotel from the main entrance and valet, make a very hard right.
Huge foot traffic there is the point.
“They’re revamping the entire space. It’s going to be an entertainment row,” Garrett says. “It’s going to look like an old 1930s speakeasy.”
The club will be the first nonretail space along Star Lane. WESTAR Architects has devised the club’s design. Remarkably, Garrett says he has invested five times as much in this club — which is under the same four-wall agreement as his arrangement with Tropicana — as his original, richly appointed Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club. “But financially, the upside is 500 times that.”
Garrett says his talks with MGM Resorts officials “happened very quick and were very, very last-minute” and that he made the decision swiftly. Already, he says, other resort towns have approached him and asked about the concept’s long-term viability.
“What I would love to do is franchise it back east,” he says. Also in development is a teleplay Garrett has written, an autobiographic sort of project, that he says has drawn some interest.
But before any of that, there is this new club and new venture/adventure at MGM Grand. Of the new Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club set to open just before April Fools’ Day, the comic businessman says, “It’s a no-brainer.”
Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWithTheDish.