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‘The Cocktail Cabaret’ stirs it up (again) at Caesars Palace


Once seemed destined to partner with Napoleon, “The Cocktail Cabaret” is back with Cleopatra.

Toggling between themed venues, the inventive stage show returns at 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. The show had closed at the Barge on Oct. 13, after running about 10 months.

Co-producer, arranger and director Keith Thompson and Caesars Entertainment officials had been reviewing a run at Napoleon’s piano bar at Paris Las Vegas. Abruptly, those plans were scuttled and the show returned to Cleopatra’s Barge to the remainder of this year, fulfilling its original contract.

“We emphasized how important it was to have a venue and a place to perform, soon, because we were risking losing our artists,” Thompson said in a phone chat today. “We know that, at the very least, we will run through the end of the year, then we’ll see what happens.”

“The Cocktail Cabaret” is a swirling, original showcase that blends such numbers as “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Viva Las Vegas,” “Diamonds are Forever” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The show is set to run 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays through Dec. 29; tickets start at $39 and are on sale at Caesars Entertainment box offices or the show’s official website.

Among the show’s original lineup, Daniel Emmet ascended to the finals of “America’s Got Talent” (Emmet, who is in the recording studio and booking road dates, is not in the show’s updated lineup.)

The show’s rotating cast is currently anchored by Broadway-caliber performers Niki Scalera (“Hairspray,” “Tarzan,” “Footloose”), Eric Jordan Young (“Rock of Ages,” “Vegas! The Show,” “Ragtime,” “Chicago,” “Seussical the Musical,” “Look of Love,” “Dreamgirls”) and Maren Wade (“America’s Got Talent,” “Confessions of a Showgirl,” “Pin Up,” “50 Shades! The Parody”).

Master pianist Philip Fortenberry (“Behind the Candelabra”) leads the roster of musicians featuring drummer Don Meoli (“Jersey Boys”), bassist Josh Jones (“Million Dollar Quartet”) and saxophonist Eric Tewalt (Celine Dion’s orchestra).

Such guest stars as rising vocalist James D. Gish, Travis Cloer (late of “Jersey Boys”). Ron Remke (“Vegas the Show,” “Baz”), Brent Barrett (“Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” and “Chicago”); Savannah Smith (The Moonshiners) and veteran comic Tony Arias will also move in and out of the production.

The show is the combined creation of Thompson and Fortenberry in their PK Entertainment production company. Similar in vibe and presentation to the sensational Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, the show is targeting a specific Las Vegas entertainment audience. As Thompson says, “We’re the show to see before dinner, or before you go out on the town.”

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09 Nov 2018


By John Katsilometes
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