Curtain Up: Resorts World, Smokey Robinson, Lizzo and more Vegas showbiz news

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John nelson, the executive of AEG Presents who helped lead Celine Dionunprecedentedly successful Las Vegas residences recalled an interesting story during a preview tour of the Theater at Resorts World Tuesday. It was the day that AEG, Resorts World and Dion announced that their new show would not open on November 5 as planned, and visiting the brand new venue which is now due to host its first Carrie Underwood show on December 1 was somewhat bittersweet.

Nelson helped develop Dion’s long run at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, then moved on to another role for AEG’s Concerts West division, where he continues to oversee Dion’s world tour plans. He told a story of those early days of the Colosseum, how Dion’s late husband and manager, René Angélil, recorded rehearsals for his new “A New Day” concert residency and turned the footage into a bit of a movie, without live audience. The first time Dion had to postpone a show because she was ill, probably in 2003 or 2004, Angelil asked if the film should be played for audiences instead.

That didn’t happen then and nothing like it will happen now, as Dion is being treated for severe muscle spasms. The cast and crew of his new Resorts World production are staying in Las Vegas rehearsing, even without a show date on the calendar. Nelson and AEG Senior Vice President Bobby reynolds said during Tuesday’s tour that they would like to cook up some sort of new opening gig or show to replace Dion’s canceled dates in November, but that is unlikely to happen. It is, after all, a vibrant 5,000 seat venue that requires a lot of preparation and marketing and a lot more time to deliver a great experience. And after strolling through the Theater at Resorts World, it’s clear that every time the place opens, it’s going to be a spectacular occasion.

In other news from the Strip residence and headliner, Wayne Newton announced late last week via social media that a back injury would prevent him from restarting his “Up Close and Personal” show at Flamingo’s Bugsy’s Cabaret on October 23 as scheduled. There are no dates currently listed on the Flamingo website. Bruno Mars added December dates, including New Years Eve, to their residency at the renamed Dolby Live theater at Park MGM. It will play on December 17, 18, 30 and 31 and these tickets are available from Friday October 22. Rod stewart extended its residency at the Colosseum into its 11th year in 2022, with tickets for new shows scheduled for May 13-21 and September 23-October 1 on sale this Saturday, October 23. And Barry manilow will transform his residency show at the Westgate International Theater into a holiday show “A Very Barry Christmas” on December 2, 3 and 4.

More announcements of new shows this week: Lizzo will return to Vegas for New Years Eve. The Grammy-winning singer and rapper will close the year at Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas for one night only and tickets are on sale on Fridays; Robinson smoke, fresh out of a performance and honored at this year’s Power of Love Gala at Resorts World, will be back on the Strip for at least two nights in 2022. The Motown legend will play the Venetian theatere March 11 and 12; and Jason Isbell and Unit 400 will perform at the Theater at Virgin on March 6.

The quirky, naughty, quite pleasant ”Zombie Burlesque”Is about to return to the stage at the Theater V at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops this week on October 21. The 75-minute comedy-musical-slapstick production was one of the last shows on the Strip to shut down when pandemic circumstances set in last March and aimed for an hourly reopening of the 8 p.m. shows every night except Sunday.

New entertainment options continue this week at StarBase, where “Unleashed!” from Las Vegas, drag superstar Edie made her debut on October 16. Actor Bret Ernst, who could recognize from “Cobra Kai” will perform with a special guest Kris tinkle October 28 at 7 p.m. For more information, visit starbaselv.com.

The epic of Cirque du Soleil “O”Turned 23 and caused a sensation in Bellagio on October 15th. Since its debut when the complex opened in 1998, “O” has performed in front of more than 17 million people around the world. It reopened on July 1 after last year’s entertainment shutdown and continues with performances at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

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