‘The Real Magic Mike’ takes it off for HBO Max in December
Sahara Las Vegas is all about muscle and “magic”.
“Magic Mike Live” is back in full swing at the hotel. No small task either. There was some skepticism in VegasVille as to what was going on in that upstairs annex of the hotel, if the show ever returned.
But he was back, ready to rock, with his Friday night premiere. Look for the related reality competition series “The Real Magic Mike” which premieres December 16 on HBO Max. All six episodes were filmed over an eight-week span, including a few COVID interruptions, at the hotel and its posh theater on the second floor.
The series follows 10 guys who have lost their magic and their accompanying mojo, and who want to transform into professional dancers. A champion is indeed crowned and will have the chance to perform with the pros in “MML”. Good luck with that, we say. These guys wear you out just watching them.
The live show is presented in a nifty playground, the new Magic Mike Live Theater. The tiered site is an adult theme park, with actors climbing from its upper tiers and using an aerial platform for a drum solo and scorching water sequence. The theater is similar to the former Body English venue at the Hard Rock Hotel (now Virgin Hotels Las Vegas), but with cleaner site lines.
The show’s numbers are the same as before. There is an inventive use of a fire hose, for example. A great full flip of the scene by one of the guys. An aggressive air routine. A unique application of a New York Yankees hat and jersey. We love the musical elements of the production, the sound of the piano and the guitars coming from the stage. David Terry, in particular, adds top notch vocal chops to what is otherwise a semi-organized heckling.
Hotel owner Alex Meruelo and GM Paul hobson were both in Friday’s raise. The company relies heavily on the “MML” investment, as does the co-producer Channing tatum (it’s his voice over welcoming the audience to the celebrations). Around the horn, Sahara separated a place that we really liked, the Sayers Club, in favor of the Noodle Den restaurant. The noodle shop opens in November.
We were particularly impressed with the Azilo Ultra Lounge, connected to the Azilo Ultra Pool, which also just opened on Friday. It had that new living room smell of vinyl or fresh leather or whatever covered the seats. But the living room is really chic, opening out onto the pool deck, which sits under massive LED screens. It’s not as hip as other pool experiences, where swimming is done in a stadium, but Sahara has a very cool and fancy layout. Add comic always funny and pushing the limits Eddie Griffin, and Sahara offers an attractive range of entertainment options. Ah, and don’t miss it at the Casbar Lounge either.
Newman’s Next Frontier
We’ll call it the LG factor, for the sake of freshness. This is in reference to Lady Gaga fall “by surprise” (I quote mine) on Brian Newman’s “After Dark” show at the Nomad Library.
These events turned out to be epic, in fact part of the Strip lore. Gaga slips in shortly after Newman begins his set at the library. Both have just presented the show “Jazz + Piano” for more than two hours in the corner at the Park Theater. A few Jameson whiskeys in the night, Gaga is called onto the stage (or, rather, just goes up) and turns the performance upside down.
Sometimes Newman keeps his shirt on. But Gaga is there, ready to sing along and undress the trumpeter. She also moves while Newman’s dancing wife, Angie Pontani, performs a striptease.
It’s a time – and it’s become so anticipated – that the hall is full for Newman’s shows that follow “Jazz + Piano”. The next frontier for the Brooklyn-based horn player is reserving the library at full capacity, without the LG factor.
“We know we have to do it on our own, with no introduction, and we’ve been trying to do that since we started in Vegas,” Newman says. “That’s why we’re attracting so many diverse talent, giving people a lot of entertainment for their ticket. “
Newman will get a progress report on his next race, October 14-29. The series takes place at 11:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Gaga’s dates are October 16-31, and almost all of them lead to “After Dark.”
But Newman flies solo on October 14-15-29. These three shows are a barometer for his future in Las Vegas. Luckily, for those who enjoy late-night entertainment on the Strip, Newman’s sales increased in his last round of six shows in August. He sold the last three performances in the 175-seat hall.
With his base group smoking with Alex smith at the piano, Daniel Foose on bass, Steve koryka on saxophone and Nolan Byrd on drums, Newman brings back an agile guitarist Tim stewart (from the Gaga range). Skye Dee Miles and Mikalah gordon will join the regular star singer Jaclyn McSpadden. Pontani and buttercup head to the burlesque acts and expect visits from the strange magician (Murray SawChuck appeared with Newman) and in parallel to reinforce the experience.
Newman’s broadcasts are notoriously long. It’s both a sprint and a distance race. Newman often doesn’t close until 2 a.m. When asked if he could show restraint on his next engagement, Newman laughed and said, “I’m going to keep him cool for four hours. But you know me, I love the tradition of late night shows in Vegas. This is who I am, baby.
Wayne Newton rose to fame during the previous millennium, opening in Vegas in 1959. But he’s just been honored as Artist of the Millennium – the present Millennium – by the Latin Chamber of Commerce. Newton accepted the award Tuesday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
President of the Latin Chamber Peter Guzman presented the award to Newton. He’s a big fan of Mr. Las Vegas. As Newton said in his introduction, “When Peter called me and asked me to be here – he actually called me and Recount me to be here… ”On a more serious note, Newton said,“ It really doesn’t matter how it all ends for me. The only thing that really matters is the hearts and souls we touch along the way. “
Newton is ready for the stage, and is expected to return to the Wayne Newton Theater inside Bugsy’s Cabaret on October 23. We will be there, because we have known the Waynster for the last millennium.
Cool Hang Alert
Yahz chyld and Marie-Ann Abellon play the Rush Lounge at Golden Nugget on Friday night. saturday is Ashley RedSunday is John jones. No cover. Great place to take a break when the blackjack tables get cold.
John Katsilometes column is published daily in section A. His “PodKats! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] To follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @ JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.