The Las Vegas entertainment community continues to be shaken by fears of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cirque du Soleil is scaling back its schedule for all of its residency shows on the Strip from two performances a night to one. The new schedule starts Sunday and runs at least through April 12.
This draw-down includes “O” at Bellagio, the company’s top-selling production that moved to two shows a night, seven nights a week last December.
Cirque’s updated schedule: “O” is to run 7 p.m. daily; “Ka” at MGM Grand from 7 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday; “Love” at The Mirage from 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays; “Michael Jackson One” at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays; “Mystere” at Treasure Island at 7 p.m. Saturdays through Wednesdays; and “Zumanity” at New York-New York at 9:30 p.m. Fridays through Tuesdays.
Cirque artists and staff were to be informed of the move during a companywide meeting Thursday afternoon.
Cirque also expanded the cancellation of touring shows “Ovo” in San Francisco and “Paw Patrol Live” in France. Wednesday, the company announced a series of cancellations and postponements among its international productions.
More changes for shows
— David Copperfield is running his normal schedule at MGM Grand, saying Thursday, “It’s all good, but we’ll see.” A major Disney fan, he opened the conversation with a sad, “Disneyland closed.”
— Lionel Richie’s long-anticipated return to the Strip this Friday and Saturday at Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas has been postponed, new dates to be announced. Richie is a longtime Las Vegas Strip favorite who headlined at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood from 2016-2018.
— Boyz II Men, Bill Maher and Matt Goss have been canceled this weekend at the Mirage.
Boyz II Men, a recurring headliner in Mirage Theater, were to perform 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Maher, a star in the theater’s Aces of Comedy series, was to be onstage at 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Goss, the Sunday headliner at 1 Oak Nightclub, was to perform his usual show at 8 p.m. Sunday.
— Spiegelworld productions “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, “Atomic Saloon Show” at The Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes, and “Opium” at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas are all being performed as scheduled. As company founder Ross Mollison said Thursday, “The best three shows in Las Vegas are onstage tonight. I’m not clicking my heels, but we feel Las Vegas is a resilient city and we live in a resilient country.”
— The Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend, set for April 9-12 at Orleans and Gold Coast, has been called off until 2021. It was to be the popular event’s 23rd year in Las Vegas.
Event producer Tom Ingram had halted ticket sales to the event on Wednesday. He posted Thursday on the event’s website: “I am sure that this is not a surprise to you. This is the last thing we wanted to do but we all know it is for the best. We decided not to postpone until later in the year because we do not know when it would be safe to postpone the event until, or if the date would be convenient to everyone, especially as other rockin’ weekenders are in the calendar later in the year.”
— Superstar Dionne Warwick canceled her shows at Cleopatra’s Barge last Thursday through Sunday, and again this weekend. She’s not due back at Caesars until March 26.
— Il Volo’s show scheduled for Sunday at the Pearl at the Palms has been canceled. The Italian pop-opera group has spiked its entire North American tour.
— In the for-what-it’s-worth file, Rod Stewart reportedly packed the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Wednesday night. “Reportedly,” thanks largely to Plaza CEO Jonathan Jossel’s Twitter post from stage left, 18 seconds of Stewart singing “Forever Young”: “The world may be ending but @rodstewart can still sing, I tell ya.”
— Jossel also said he is reviewing plans for the popular Stirrin’ Dirt Casino Battle Royale demolition derby at Plaza’s Core Arena from March 26-28. The event draws 2,200 fans, and visitors have nearly sold out the hotel.
“We’ll see where this is next week, and if it hasn’t improved we’ll likely cancel,” Jossel said “But for right now, it’s on.”
— “The Rat Pack is Back,” the long-running production at Tuscany Suites, is halting shows through April 13. The show typically sells out, but drew 25 to The Copa Room on Wednesday. The show has been a hit in several Las Vegas venues, beginning with the old Desert Inn, for more than 20 years. Producer Dick Feeney says more than 60 percent of the show’s audience is from overseas.
Corporate casualties continue as David Perrico’s Pop Strings ensemble lost seven bookings in the matter of 12 hours between midday Wednesday and Thursday. These dates include a pair of performances on May 7.
The strangest non-coronavirus cancellation goes to the Windjammers yacht rock band. Rain seeped into Rocks Lounge and wiped out the band’s Thursday show. Specifically, water got into the show’s lighting rig, rendering the unit inoperable. Yes, a yacht rock band was washed out. The schedule at Rocks is to resume with ’80s cover band the Spazmatics.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.