BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
LAS VEGAS IS ‘ON HOLD’
Over the years, Las Vegas has had to conquer many challenges, but the Coronavirus pandemic is by far the most overwhelming. In just one week, the city went from being a fun party town to having to close shows, resorts, restaurants, etc. The closures are too numerous to list and will be executed at short intervals until there is an “all clear.” For that reason, this week’s column will focus on headliners booked later this year hoping we’ll be over the hump. Sad to say two high profile shows debuting their headlining residencies on April 1, the Jonas Brothers at Park MGM and Kelly Clarkson at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, have been postponed. Through March 31, Caesars Entertainment venues company-wide have suspended performance.
SARAH BRIGHTMAN’S TOUR WILL VISIT THE VENETIAN: The world’s most successful and best-selling soprano, Sarah Brightman, will bring her “HYMN: Sarah Brightman In Concert” tour, which is visiting five continents, to The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian® for three dates Oct. 7, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49.95. Enhancing her world of enchantment, Brightman has partnered with Swarovski creating elaborate costumes and tiaras composed of more than 600,000 Swarovski crystals. They have also collaborated on a merchandise signature line for fans to purchase on Brightman’s website. The collection bearing Brightman’s signature features a line of jewelry pieces including stackable bracelets, floral brooch and dragonfly pendant, sparkling paperweight, key fobs, and pens. Brightman will incorporate many pieces into her HYMN tour costumes. Brightman recently released her 15th full-length album, “HYMN,” and “HYMN: Sarah Brightman In Concert” DVD, Blu Ray, Deluxe CD/DVD and CD/BR Special Editions, which marks her first new studio recording and film since releasing the international chart-topper “Dreamchaser” in 2013. Brightman returned to the recording studio in 2016 to begin working on “HYMN” with longtime producer/collaborator Frank Peterson who notably helmed production on eight recordings by the artist. The spiritually themed “HYMN” is an inspirational collection of orchestrated, choir-based songs recorded over the past two years in Hamburg, Miami, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, and Budapest. The album closes with a new rendition of Brightman’s signature smash duet with Andrea Bocelli, “Time To Say Goodbye,” singing lyrics she wrote herself and sang in English for the first time. Recognized for her three-octave range, Brightman is known for her iconic star turn in “The Phantom of the Opera,” whose soundtrack has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
ENRIQUE IGLESIAS-RICKY MARTIN CO-HEADLINE ARENA TOUR: For the first time ever, Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum global superstars Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin are hitting the road together. Both artists have built unstoppable solo careers with dozens of No.1 songs and millions of albums sold between them and are now joining forces for a live North American concert tour this fall. Their Las Vegas stop will be Saturday, Sept. 26 at MGM Grand Garden Arena at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $59.95. Latin music’s newest sensation Sebastián Yatra will join the outing as special guest. Yatra made his mark on Latin pop with the album “Fantasia,” which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin pop album chart. He received a 2020 Grammy Nomination for “Best Latin Pop Album” along with two Latin American Music Awards and four Latin Grammy Awards nominations. For decades, Iglesias and Martin have created some of pop music’s most memorable songs. Iglesias gained devoted fans with songs including “Hero,” “Escape,” “Bailando,” “Tonight,” and more recently “Subeme La Radio” and “Duele El Corazon” with a new album to be released later this year. Martin’s solo career exploded with “The Cup of Life” and “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” followed by “She Bangs,” “Vente Pa’ Ca,” and his most recent “Tiburones” from his upcoming 2020 studio album.
THE BEACH BOYS WILL PARTY AT THE PALMS IN NOVEMBER: The Beach Boys, who are synonymous with the California lifestyle, mark more than a half century of making music and have become an American icon to fans around the world. They will pull into town to perform at the Pearl Theater inside the Palms on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.95. The Beach Boys have sold more than 100 million records worldwide and received more than 33 RIAA Platinum and Gold record awards. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers were also honored at the 2001 Grammy Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award. With more than five decades of touring under their belts, the group has performed more concerts than any major rock band in history. Since lead-singer man Mike Love penned the lyrics to The Beach Boys’ first hit, “Surfin’” in 1961, dozens of the band’s songs have become eternal anthems.
THE COSMOPOLITAN WILL WELCOME JHENÉ AIKO: Neo-soul singer and songwriter Jhené Aiko will return to The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan on Saturday, May 30 for a stop on her 2020 “The Magic Hour Tour.” Opening performers will be special guests Queen Naija and Ann Marie. Tickets start at $42.50 with reserved seating starting at $62.50. The Grammy-nominated songstress with her feathery, dreamy voice has been at the forefront of R&B for more than two decades. Her self-coined “new-generation R&B” sound has been featured in collaborations with artists including Gyrl, B2K, Drake and Kanye West. Aiko has released two solo studio albums, “Souled Out” and “Trip,” and her third album titled “Chilombo” is set to debut this month.
GARY OWEN WILL BRING LAUGHS TO THE PALMS: Comedian Gary Owen, who has been entertaining American audiences for more than a decade, is set to return by popular demand to the Pearl Theater inside the Palms on Saturday, July 11 at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $29.95. Owen was proclaimed by “Ebony” magazine as Black America’s “Favorite White Comedian.” Audiences can now see Owen in his fourth Showtime comedy special, “Gary Owen: #DoinWhatIDo,” which premiered on Sept. 7, 2019. This is the follow-up to his three previous Showtime specials titled “I Got My Associates,” which came out in fall 2018, and “I Agree with Myself” and “True Story,” which both aired on Showtime in 2015. Owen has been successful as a comic actor starting in 2003 on the small and big screens. Up next, he will appear in Universal 1440 Entertainment’s “Sudden Death.” In 2016, he starred opposite Mike Epps and Mike Tyson in the comedy “Meet The Blacks” and in 2014, he starred in the Universal comedy “Ride Along” with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.
TEXAS STATION FEATURES LADIES OF THE 80S: “The Ladies of the 80s” show at Texas Station in the Dallas Events Center on Saturday, July 11 will feature international pop superstars Taylor Dayne, Jody Watley and Lisa Lisa. Tickets for the 8 p.m. performance start at $25. Taylor Dayne’s career spanning three decades began with her groundbreaking 1987 debut single “Tell it to My Heart,” which turned her into an overnight international star. She followed the smash hit with 17 Top-20 singles, including “Love Will Lead You Back Prove Your Love” and “I’ll always Love You.” Dayne has sold more than 75 million albums and singles worldwide, earned three Grammy nominations, an American Music Award, multiple New York Music Awards, New York Music Hall of Fame honors and ranked as the Number 18 Female Dance artist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. Grammy-winning pop artist Jody Watley was listed in 2018 as one of the Top 25 Dance Artists of All Time and Top 60 Hot 100 Female Artists of All Time by Billboard Magazine. The Chicago native in 1987 was the Grammy winner for “Best New Artist.” American singer Watley is also a songwriter, record producer, and artist whose music crosses genres including pop, R&B, jazz, dance, and electronic soul. Pioneers of freestyle music, Lisa Lisa and her band Cult Jam were one of the first groups to rise from New York City in the 1980s. Their hits include the Gold certified “I Wonder If I Take You Home,” and “Can You Feel the Beat,” the Gold certified “All Cried Out,” “Head to Toe,” “Lost in Emotion,” “Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star,” “Let the Beat Hit Em,” “Skip To My Lu” and “Can’t Wait” featuring rapper Pitbull. Lisa’s first two albums, “Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force” and “Spanish Fly,” both went platinum. She is acknowledged as the originator of Latin Hip-Hop / Freestyle genre. With six top-selling albums and more than 20 million records sold worldwide, this international superstar and leader of one of the biggest dance-pop/R&B groups ever is still blessing stages across the country.
COMEDIAN SINBAD RETURNS TO GREEN VALLEY RANCH: Comedy legend Sinbad will make a return visit to the Grand Events Center inside Green Valley Ranch on Friday, July 3 at 8 p.m. Sinbad arrived on the comedy scene with a “hit’em in the face” style of comedy which has kept audiences laughing over the past two decades. Tickets start at $25. The actor-comedian freely admits that he doesn’t know any jokes, except for the ones that his dad told him “back in the day.” His comedy is about stories with the basis of his humor coming from everyone he meets, everything he sees, and everything he does. Ranked by Comedy Central as one of the top 100 standup comedians of all time, Sinbad has built a loyal following taking audiences’ painful trials or embarrassing life tribulations, throwing them back in their faces, and causing a hysterical uproar. He can also make it sound profound without being profane. No mistake, he’s not any kind of choirboy, but by being a preacher’s son he decided to keep his comedy clean after his father attended one of his early performances.
SMITH CENTER NAMES NINE BROADWAY SHOWS FOR UPCOMING SEASON: The Smith Center’s Broadway Las Vegas Series has nine shows lined up with a collective 31 Tony Awards®, including two for “Best Musical,” 14 Drama Desk Awards, and two Grammy® Awards for the 2020-2021 season. The season will begin this summer and include “My Fair Lady,” “Hamilton,” “A Christmas Story,” “The Musical, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life And Times Of The Temptations,” 2019’s Best Musical Tony Award®-winner “Hadestown,” Tony Award®-winning musical “The Cher Show,” “Tootsie,” and Disney’s new musical “Frozen.” The season will end in summer 2021 with Academy Award®-winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork, “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
LATE NIGHT SOCCER GAME PLANNED: Las Vegas Lights FC has a home match set for Saturday, July 11 and it will be a “Midnight Match.” The set up against Orange County SC will kick-off at 11 p.m. with a special midnight celebration at halftime. The original concept of “midnight” sporting events started with the former Las Vegas Wranglers professional hockey team which produced the successful tradition locally years ago. Lights FC is re-starting the local tradition and bringing it for the first time ever to professional soccer. Season ticket holders wishing not to attend due to the late start time may exchange their ticket for any other home match as part of the “No Ticket Left Behind” program.
UFC INTERNATIONAL FIGHT WEEK™ WILL TAKE OVER LAS VEGAS: The 9th Annual UFC International Fight Week™ will take place in Las Vegas Tuesday-Sunday, July 7-12. The week-long series of events will be headlined by UFC® 252, presented by Modelo, the 2020 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and a two-day interactive UFC Fan Experience®. The 2020 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Thursday, July 9 at The Pearl at the Palms. The prestigious event will honor specific achievements and contributions to UFC and the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, as well as recognize the global brand’s inaugural Forrest Griffin Community Award recipient. On Friday and Saturday, July 10 and 11, fans will be able to take part in a fully interactive and easily accessible free, two-day UFC Fan Experience at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. The experience will feature meet and greets, autograph sessions, and partner activations providing unparalleled access to UFC champions, Hall of Famers, top-ranked contenders, and other UFC personalities. In addition, fans will be able to enjoy the open workouts, weigh-ins, press conferences and live entertainment of a traditional Fight Week leading to the schedule’s culminating event, UFC® 252, on Saturday, July 11 at T-Mobile Arena.