Preview of Liberace musical “GLITZ” kicks off a week dedicated to the legendary Vegas entertainer…
Everything old is new again…or so they say. And so it is that a number of longtime Vegas entertainers have confided in me of their desire for the return of Vegas lounges. COOP’S CABARET and HOTSPOT aims to fill that void. The establishment, located off Sahara Avenue at the historic Commercial Center, one-ups the now-defunct Star Lounge. It has a piano bar and a sizable adjacent space dedicated to shows and concerts.
With its whimsical font and pink/aqua color scheme, the Coop’s Cabaret logo evokes a martini-filled evening with Dino and the boys. So far, the proprietors have reportedly lived up to that promise, despite a few growing pains along the way. A license to serve liquor proved to be an obstacle, as did the expertise of a respected chef to operate the kitchen.
Last month, the lounge was fortunate enough to acquire the talents of singing bartender Paul Bradley, who was featured in this VEGAS 411 article about Star Lounge. Any questions about food presentation may have been answered by the addition of Chef Matthew Underwood, who comes to Las Vegas by way of Beverly Hills.
Chef Matthew Underwood
“To Serve Each and Every Guest a Memorable and Highly Satisfying Entertainment and Dining Experience at a Great Value.” That’s the mission statement that owner Chris Cooper is committed to. And that goal was the guiding force when the former Californian decided to resuscitate a space formerly known as The Nevada Room.
Cooper’s experience in the hospitality industry has been quite beneficial behind the scenes. Well-respected musicians, singers, and producers have reported to me that performing at Coop’s has been a very pleasant experience overall.
Respected names like Michelle Johnson, Elyzabeth Diaga, Kelly Vohnn, Lucie May, Rita Lim, Jimmy Hopper, Dan Ellis, and Jimmy Emerson have taken a bold chance by bringing their talents to Coop’s since its opening in January. The gamble appears to be paying off.
Keith Thompson (left) and singer Tony Arias
A weekly brunch cabaret, drag bingo, karaoke, and Latin nights have become part of the mix. Musical mastermind Keith Thompson (Jersey Boys, The Producers) now hosts Keith Thompson’s Piano Party at the fledgling venue every Thursday. Thompson’s recent guests have included Doug Carpenter (BAZ), Mark O’Toole, Giada Valenti, and Philip Fortenberry.
This coming May 15th, Thompson will team up at Coop’s Cabaret with Niki Scalera, Philip Fortenberry, and Broadway star Brent Barrett for a benefit entitled Puttin’ On The Glitz:
“Puttin’ On The Glitz” is an exciting musical benefit concert that celebrates “Mr. Showmanship,” Liberace. The concert will kick off Liberace Legacy Week, which includes Liberace’s birthday celebration and the commemoration of Liberace Avenue, the newly named city street honoring the man that was once Las Vegas’ highest-paid and most revered entertainer and piano man.”
“Puttin’ On The Glitz” will be presented on Monday evening, May 15, at Coops Cabaret & Hot Spot in Commercial Center, an iconic vintage Vegas shopping and dining complex along Liberace Avenue between Joe W. Brown Drive and Maryland Parkway. A 6 p.m. cocktails and hors d’oeuvres/happy hour will be followed at 7 p.m. by a one-hour musical concert which will feature internationally renowned pianist Philip Fortenberry.”
“Fortenberry is known as the Hands of Liberace because of his role as hand and body double for Michael Douglas in the HBO biopic, “Behind the Candelabra,” and powerhouse Broadway vocalists Brent Barrett (“The Phantom,” “Chicago”) and Niki Scalera (“Hairspray,” “Tarzan,” “Cocktail Cabaret”).”
“The event will also showcase a special sneak preview of “GLITZ!,” a brand new Las Vegas entertainment production spectacular created by director Jeff Kutash and premiering the new original theme song written by Thompson, Glitz’s musical director and Composers Showcase founder and host.”
Tickets for “Puttin’ On The Ritz”, which include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres buffet, are available at Coopscabaret.com or by calling 702.998.6534. Proceeds will benefit nonprofits The Composers Showcase of Las Vegas and the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts.