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Cool hang alert: What to see and get excited about in the Las Vegas entertainment scene

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Katsilometes
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John Katsilometes at KNPR on July 22, 2022.

After the wedding of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in a Las Vegas chapel, you’ve gotta wonder if that kinda thing—where the stars get married in Vegas—is coming back.

I mean, they’ve got millions—why get married for a C-note on Las Vegas Boulevard. That’s just one of the stories from the Entertainment Capital of the World.

John Katsilometes, entertainment columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is with us for that and more.

On the Bennifer wedding:

It was 20 years in the making, but Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck finally tied the knot at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.

“For generations, [Las Vegas weddings have] been for movie stars especially, famous people generally, to get married in Las Vegas,” Katsilometes, known as Kats, said. “I think, you know, what better way to throw your fans a little bit of a knuckleball in a kind of a kitschy way with a sense of humor.”

In addition to being the so-called Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas is marketing itself as the Wedding Capital of the World, so weddings like these, where big-time celebrities are getting married next to less-famous weddings, only helps that image.

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“I thought it was more effective for them to get married at The Little White Chapel or a place like that than to go out to a place like Venetian or Bellagio and do it there,” he said.

On Adele’s planned return:

Pop star Adele, if you don’t remember, planned a Las Vegas residency, and canceled one day before it was set to start. Now, Kats reports she’ll be back in November for a 24-show engagement, but more could be added on.

“Now the big asterisk in this whole thing,” he said. “For those of us who've had the unique experience of following Adele's plans, is nothing happens until her team approves it. It is not up to Live Nation at the end, it's not up to Caesars Entertainment, it's not up to Ticketmaster, or anybody else. It's Adele and her team and process is you present options to her and you wait for her to approve or change or wait. This isn't how it works with everybody.”

He said about 80 to 90% of original ticketholders did not request a refund.

On a new Meat Loaf musical:

Bat Out Of Hell, named for the Meat Loaf album, is opening as a new musical at the Paris later this year. It’ll star Travis Cloer (Jersey Boys) and feature Anne Martinez (Baz, Sexxy After Dark).

Kats called the theater a little “star-crossed”: Since Jersey Boys left, it’s cycled through I Love The ‘90s, Circus 1903, Inferno, Marilyn the Musical, etc.

“Las Vegas fans and especially fans of the musical Jersey Boys know all about Travis clover. He's a great musical theater performer,” he said of its star.

“There's a number of ways you can use this material, but the source material is unique in the hard rock culture because it does naturally lend itself to kind of a musical theater adaptation.”

On Adam Lambert’s Las Vegas engagement:

Lambert is performing in October at Encore Theater, with a three-show limited engagement on Halloween weekend called “Witch Hunt.”

“A themed show is very specific,” he said, “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it, but he is certainly the guy to do it. … Other than what they've announced, I don't know, because it's specific to Las Vegas, is custom for Las Vegas what he's doing, but he's going to perform in costume and have a ‘witching hour’ and a Halloween theme … it'd be a big costume party. That's what he's asking for.”

On Ghost Bar’s return to the Palms:

Ghost Bar was a famous celebrity hangout for years, and then the Palms was closed and sold. But the new owners are bringing the rooftop indoor-outdoor lounge back next month.

“If you’re reopening a hotel-casino, folks, don’t overthink things,” Kats said. They’re also bringing in local entertainer Skye Dee Miles to perform on weekends as Midnight Skye. “That is going to draw a lot of locals, that's going to draw a lot of local entertainers, a lot of locals who are seeing stars, a lot of people who might not want to go into the club anyway will want to go see Skye.”

On the ACA move to Texas:

The Academy of Country Music Awards are moving to Frisco, Texas, it was announced this week. It’s in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, one of the fastest-growing areas in the country and home to the Cowboys’ training facility, where the awards will be held.

“I think we'll be fine. The city will not be brought to its knees because the ACAs are in Dallas. But it is an example, we got to be careful about protecting what we have here. You know, the PBR has already left Las Vegas. Professional Bull Riders event, which is very popular,” Kats said.

Listen to the full interview above for more.

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John Katsilometes, entertainment columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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John Katsilometes