Advertisement

The Vegas Room is the city’s next Cool Hang

Bookmark this
June 23, 2020 By John Katsilometes

We have run into an assortment of characters over the years at the Commercial Center of Las Vegas. But never Mr. Bojangles.

That changed over the weekend at The Vegas Room, where Eric Jordan Young and Philip Fortenberry performed a spirited cabaret show for a couple of dozen dinner diners.

The shows on Friday and Saturday nights were akin to a parlor hang of friends and family. It was such a throwback vibe it could have played out in black and white, except for Young’s lemon-yellow suit.

“I wore it to ward off the virus,” he called out. “Is it working?”

It worked for this crowd, which included Young’s parents, Alice and Sam; fantastic Vegas headliner Earl Turner; the ever-amazing Janien Valentine and wonderful vocalist Amanda King, who co-headlined the brunch show with Patrick Hogan on Sunday.

The Vegas Room is designed for locals, or locals who bring along a lucky out-of-towner. It’s not a place featured in an LVCVA commercial blitz. It’s not so easy to find, even for longtime Vegas residents: Drive into the Commercial Center, veer right, past Lotus of Siam, head toward New Orleans Square and the now-closed Las Vegas Lounge, and find the now-closed Korean restaurant space with the red door at the entrance.

If you arrive at The Green Door, you are way off. Throw it into reverse!

The Vegas Room had barely launched when COVID arrived to shut down the show. The venue is under the stewardship of executive chef David James Robinson, president Tom Michel, GM Sean Stephenson and director of entertainment Brent Barrett. You can arrive at 6:30 p.m. for a full, three-course dinner or 7:30 p.m. for light bites (hit thevegasroom.com for reservations and info).

The dinner courses (including beef stroganoff and vegan options) are served before and after the show, but not during. Drinks are at the bar. It’s a Manhattan-style, duck-in place certain to draw a discriminate crowd. And you have to be great to play this room. The talent booked by Barrett, a onetime Phantom in “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular,” is among the city’s best.

Young has appeared in “Starlight Express” at the Las Vegas Hilton, “Vegas! The Show” at Saxe Theater, “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian and in “The Cocktail Cabaret” at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. Friday and Saturday it’s Anne Martinez (“Bite,” “Baz” and “Alice”). Randal Keith of “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “Phantom,” and “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” is in July 3-4. King and Hogan are the rotating brunch headliners, together and Hogan solo, through July.

Young sampled Burt Bacharach, Barry Manilow and Sammy Davis Jr. in two sets split by an intermission. Jordan is especially built to perform “Mr. Bojangles,” having toured in a Davis tribute show, and also showcased a in a blazing one-man show, “Shakin’” at Planet Hollywood.

Young and Fortenberry filled this space with warm songs and good energy. As the front man said at the end, “I’m so appreciative. It’s great to see human beings again.” He heard them, too. A standing O, one of many in this burgeoning Cool Hang.

Thunder strikes

The Thunder From Down Under pay-per-view, live stream from The Space on Saturday night was the proverbial round-tripper.

“It was a home run!” SPI Entertainment CEO Adam Steck reports, after the first such “closed” show for a male revue in Vegas. The full-bodied production played to an empty room, but was a hit online. This format could extend even past the show’s reopening at Thunderland Showroom at Excalibur.

Steck is hoping its scheduled July 15 return holds, but in any case is contemplating occasional PPV live streams from inside the venue. I’ve been saying throughout the COVID shutdown that online performances have become a viable option for some performers. I hadn’t anticipated male revues, exactly, but Thunder proves otherwise.

Anne then some

Returning to the subject of Martinez, she is finishing a song and accompanying video, “No Time To Die,” firing up a metal-anthem project with Jeff Tortora on drums, Jason Davis on guitar, David Warner on strings and Tom Nieves on bass. This ensemble had not worked together until this month. They killed it; look for the video to be released in a couple of weeks.

Martinez is also hosting the next “Late Night Magic” show at 9 p.m. (doors) and 10 p .m. (show) July 3 at Notoriety at Neonopolis. Headlining is our friend John Shaw, the famed side-act artist from Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum.

Shaw, rhymes with “saw,” is not for the meek. He handles the power drill the same way Jimi Hendrix wielded the Fender Stratocaster. This show has everything, aside from nuance.

High temp

I walked into the main entrance of Westgate Las Vegas on Monday afternoon after a long walk from self-parking. My temperature read just a little higher than 100 degrees.

“It’s 109 outside,” I explained. “That has to be the reason.”

So I was asked to stand to the side for a couple of minutes. We retested. I had dropped to 97. The staffer at the entrance said, “You are cured!” If it were only that simple.

Duel is on

To quote my friend Lenny Lopez, “Piano!” Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns fans know what I’m talkin’ about.

We are actually talking about the return of dueling pianos to the Bar at Times Square at New York-New York. Sarah Hester Ross, Chris Nelson, Joey Riedel, Scott Ellis, Adam Brown, Matt Newbold and Eric Meany rotate nightly, with sets running from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Tip: Get all liquored up and shout, “Piano Man!” They love that … . But a real tip: Please tip. It’s protocol.


Advertisement

Recent Articles

2020 Best Of Las Vegas Winners Announced

2020 Best Of Las Vegas Winners Announced

in Casino News, Downtown News, Best Of News, News

In spite of the pandemic of 2020, Best of Las Vegas has experienced the largest number of businesses competing and the largest number of nominations received. In fact, nearly double compared to the 2019 contest.

January 31, 2021

JK Nelson Law provides affordable, high-quality legal service

JK Nelson Law provides affordable, high-quality legal service

in Sponsored Content, News

JK Nelson Law considers itself a diverse practice, and apparently, its clients do, too.

January 19, 2021 By JK Nelson Law

Brimhall Eye gives patients peace of mind

Brimhall Eye gives patients peace of mind

in Sponsored Content, News

There are many ways to give back, but the surgical ophthalmologists at Brimhall Eye Center know that in addition to volunteering in the community, giving patients peace of mind with their vision is a gift that will last a lifetime.

January 19, 2021 By Brimhall Eye Center

Barx Parx extends exceptional service to grooming

Barx Parx extends exceptional service to grooming

in Sponsored Content, News

Barx Parx dedicated 2020 to opening a full-service luxury grooming department to make Barx Parx truly a one stop shop for all dog owners in the Las Vegas Valley.

January 19, 2021 By Barx Parx

Advertisement

Must Read Articles

Gun Blast Vegas provides pleasant and informative experience

Gun Blast Vegas provides pleasant and informative experience

in Sponsored Content, News

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced shooter, Gun Blast has you covered.

January 5, 2021 By Gun Blast Vegas

BC Dam Tacos serving up the best in Boulder City

BC Dam Tacos serving up the best in Boulder City

in Food, Sponsored Content, Best Of News

Nestled in an industrial section of charming Boulder City is a decked-out taco truck that has become a destination for foodies far and wide.

November 30, 2020 By BC Dam Tacos

Sinkhole threatens Las Vegas landmark

Sinkhole threatens Las Vegas landmark

in Food, News

Lindo Michoacan’s flagship location has survived a lot in its 30 years, but this calamity nearly sank it.

December 4, 2020 By Heidi Knapp Rinella

Henderson to get 2nd In-N-Out restaurant

Henderson to get 2nd In-N-Out restaurant

in Food, News

A fast-growing area of western Henderson will receive a popular fast-food restaurant when In-N-Out opens its second location in the city, likely in 2021.

December 4, 2020 By Marvin Clemons

Advertisement