Luxe Life Blog
Strip Scribbles: Cirque’s ‘Zarkana’; Las Vegas Sin tryouts; Criss Angel
Following up on my story about Cirque du Soleil’s incredible new show “Zarkana” moving to the Strip, it took 65 trailer trucks to load it out of its New York home at Radio City Music Hall. But it was completed four days ahead of schedule, and the fleet is on its way here. The first truck with cast costumes will arrive here today.
The loud-out of “Viva Elvis” at Aria is done, and “Zarkana” rigging has begun. I’m told that everybody involved is relieved that they’re on or ahead of schedule in the time-crunch swap. “Zarkana” previews start Nov. 1, and the show begins with the Nov. 9 premiere.
Having seen it in New York last month, I can say it’s a visually stunning, modern acrobatic spectacular combining rock, opera and circus arts. It’s played limited runs in the Kremlin theater in Moscow, Radio City and Spain’s Madrid Arena before the full-time residency here.
“Zarkana” is the story of a magician, Zark, who is on a quest to regain magical powers and find lost love. His journey starts in an abandoned theater of diverse, off-beat characters and incomparable world athletes; 75 artists transport audiences to a fantastical world trying to discover what is real and imaginary.
MAGICIANS CHALLENGE: Meantime, Cirque’s real magic show, “Believe,” at the Luxor with headliner Criss Angel, won a unique contest against Flamingo headliner and fellow magician Nathan Burton. The friendly rivals challenged each other on Criss’s Internet TV series “Uncensored,” which has racked up more than 300,000 viewers each episode. Criss and Nathan each took an equal amount of sleep-inducing medication to see who could stay away longer. At stake: The loser had to pay the winner $10,000.
Nathan told me: “We felt that this was a unique and incredibly difficult challenge. Criss has never taken any kind of sleep aid. I know how powerful they can be, so I thought for sure I would have an advantage. We wanted this to be a safe and legit challenge, so the competition took place at a prominent brain and spine surgeon’s office, Dr. Derek Duke. Under Dr. Duke’s supervision, Criss and I took the sleep enhancer.
“We then did various tasks to make staying awake difficult, such as laying down in completely pitch-black rooms and closing our eyes for long periods of time. Three hours into the challenge, while Criss and I were laying completely motionless, I dozed off for just a few seconds. Dr. Duke declared Criss the winner, and I will cough up the $10,000 for him to donate to his charity foundation!”
‘ILLUSIONISTS’ MEGA TOUR: Las Vegas-based magicians are winning raves on “The Illusionists” tour that had successful runs in Australia and Asia and has just wrapped in South America and Mexico. Jeff McBride, who hosts another of his four-hour Wonderground magic parties Thursday at the Olive in Henderson, stars on the tour as the Shaman.
Here’s a YouTube video of the sensational “Illusionists” show at Sheldon Adelson’s Marina Bay Sands Venetian in Singapore; it’s extraordinary success and incredible reactions there have prompted speculation about a move here.
LAS VEGAS SIN TRYOUTS: The Lingerie Football League’s Las Vegas Sin coach Jeremiah Captain is determined to have his team win it all this coming season. He sent me first photos of the practices and tryouts and added: “We are really building something special on the field already this season way before it starts.” The new coach plans to start mini-camp training next month after making final player selections but has the team practicing once weekly now with key returners Nikki Johnson, Cassandra Strickland and Danika Bruce.
Nikki won weekend raves from sportscasters across North America when she played for the Regina Rage and took out opponent Davine Burton of the new team the Toronto Triumph. In Nikki’s five games of the new Canada season before heading home here, she’s completed 41 of 73 passes for 384 yards, 12 touchdowns and 1 interception. She got the Sportscasters Salute of the Year with the play here in this YouTube video. Our thanks to photographer Chaska Werner for his photo gallery of the Las Vegas Sin.
VINCE NEIL’S GRIT: Hometown rebel rocker Vince Neil is now in a walking boot to complete the remaining September dates of the Motley Crue and KISS tour. He had two broken bones in his left foot at the end of an Ohio concert and was examined in Toronto. Just one night after getting the boot cast in Toronto, he continued with his after-party plans and although limping even joined the Motley Crue cover band Crued for two songs.
BRRRRR: Husband-and-wife singers Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton Holmes are braving the chill to fulfill a longtime dream of visiting Greenland and Reykjavik, Iceland. They’re taking a luxury cruise to the mountainous island nation located between Great Britain and North America after traveling to New England’s East Coast and past Northern Canada. Clint will entertain nightly while on the cruise.
It’s a regulars Monday night with Kelly Clinton’s open-mic night at Bootlegger Bistro.
Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns are at the Lounge in the Palms.
DJ Steve Aoki spins at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore.
Hundreds of models invade Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage for a champagne party with DJ Que.
Burn the wedding dress! Barbecue the wedding album! Send the wedding ring sky-high in a balloon! The incredible story of Las Vegas divorce celebrations. Plus, “Zumanity” celebrates its ninth anniversary and our private and exclusive tour of the bizarre and eccentric nightclub the Act opening at the Palazzo.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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