The latest round of location changes seems like a chess match between competing venues…
And….we’re off! Like a giant chess board, this drag show is moving here, that burlesque production has popped up over there, and two groups of muscle guys just can’t keep their shirts on no matter where they land. Such is the Sin City entertainment game in March 2023, and two competing venues are moving their pieces around the board.
You may have caught my recent announcement that FAAABULOUS! The Show was moving from downtown’s NOTORIETY LIVE to off-Strip MODERN SHOWROOMS at Alexis Park Resort. But even before FAAABULOUS has its scheduled reopening on March 9th, NOTORIETY has filled the void with a new production entitled DIVA ROYALE. A “celebrity impersonation drag queen” show, DIVA ROYALE premieres on March 10th. Queen takes Pawn.
A few readers contacted me last week, confused that NOTORIETY was now hosting two separate male revues simultaneously. Enquiring minds wanted to know why long-running AUSSIE HEAT would suddenly be competing with upstart HUNK-O-MANIA at the same time, on the same nights, AND under the same roof. Something had to give.
Sure enough, MODERN SHOWROOMS operator Pete Housley confirmed this weekend that AUSSIE HEAT would be joining the Alexis Park Resort line-up sometime in April. Housley stated that the long-running male revue will perform Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 pm in the aptly-named “Pegasus Showroom.” It’s worth noting that, as of this writing, AUSSIE HEAT remains on the NOTORIETY schedule. Expect that to change in the next few days. Knight captures Rook.
NOTORIETY is known for its broad palette of music, magic, comedy, short-term residencies, and special events programming. Until recently, owner Ken Henderson has avoided anything beyond a “soft R” rating. That may change with the addition of RED VELVET BURLESQUE, an eighteen-and-over production that bills itself as “the ultimate burlesque and variety experience in Las Vegas.”
RED VELVET promises “some of the most intricate and exotic burlesque, variety, and cabaret acts you’ll ever see.” It premieres March 18th and will run Fridays and Saturdays at 6 pm.
RED VELVET BURLESQUE seems quite similar in nature to BURLESQ, the longest-running show at Alexis Park Resort. Now in its third year, BURLESQ is hosted by award-winning comedian Sean E. Cooper. The topless revue offers a modern take on the classic showgirl productions of yesteryear, featuring variety acts and dance numbers that are updated often. BURLESQ performs Friday through Sunday at 9 pm. Queen faces Queen. Check.
Both NOTORIETY LIVE and MODERN SHOWROOMS are multi-room venues that operate similarly to V THEATERS at Planet Hollywood. That is, a variety of productions play on each stage with a tight turnaround between performances. This type of scheduling can be cost-efficient and quite successful if done correctly.
Ken Henderson (right) recognizes the contributions of singer Michael Shapiro at the NOTORIETY GIVES launch
NOTORIETY has a number of things to recommend it, including two massive, well-equipped bars, pleasantly efficient staffers, high-tech Renkus-Heinz sound, and the ability to host events in its gorgeous Chandelier Room. A former Galaxy Theaters multiplex, NOTORIETY boasts a grand kitchen and several auditoriums waiting to eventually come online.
Being inside the quirky NEONOPOLIS complex (450 East Fremont Street) is both a blessing and a curse. Thousands of visitors walk by every day, providing the ability to encourage same-day ticket sales. Unfortunately, being downtown comes with annoying parking fees. Also, the third-floor location is a bit tricky for newbies. But as Ken Henderson is fond of saying, “Once you find us, you’ll never forget where we are.”
ALEXIS PARK RESORT boasts two performance spaces – Pegasus Showroom and Athena Showlounge. The Pegasus reflects a classic-Vegas style with intimate seating and VIP booths. It was recently renovated to include upgraded seats, new flooring, and improved video presentations.
Pete Housley (center, glasses) and Alexis Park show casts at the launch of Athena Showlounge last August
Athena Showlounge is larger and was purpose-built to handle the growing demands of long-running hits like ALL SHOOK UP and ALL MOTOWN. Athena was designed to offer the welcoming style of a traditional show lounge, albeit within a grand showroom format. An all-new sound system and video backdrops are cleverly utilized in such productions as WONDERLAND (full review here). Four VIP spaces add luxury to the experience.
Jonathan Scott’s VEGAS NONSTOP podcast moves to Modern Showrooms this week
While NOTORIETY hosts numerous single-night events and short-term residencies, the programming at Alexis Park is less broad and more static. Housley has noted on social media that more shows will be added in the near future, and Jonathan Scott’s VEGAS NONSTOP podcast will begin broadcasting from Modern Showrooms this week.
Alexis Park Resort is easy to find at 375 E. Harmon Avenue, just behind Planet Hollywood Resort and adjacent to Virgin Hotels. There is ample free parking, Alexis Gardens Restaurant, and the Pegasus Bar and Grill.
With two former NOTORIETY shows heading to MODERN SHOWROOMS and Don Barnhart choosing Downtown Grand over Alexis Park for his comedy club, it seems as though venue operators might be at each others’ throats. But as I stated when covering the relocation of FAAABULOUS, “it can be a win-win for both theater owners and producers to mix things up and test the waters with different demographics.”
LATE NIGHT MAGIC performed at NOTORIETY prior to its two-year ALEXIS PARK run
What matters most is that audiences can enjoy their favorite shows in a place that’s comfortable and convenient. The constant shuffling might seem like a cutthroat game, but ultimately it’s the performers and ticket buyers who benefit the most.
So which royal pieces are left standing in the showroom chess game? I’ll call it a…STALEMATE. Carry on, ladies and gents.