Friday, June 12, 2020 / by Ken Couture
When I visited Bellagio one week ago for a pre-opening look at some of the legendary resort’s slightly altered features, Mayfair Supper Club was a big question mark. The innovative dining and entertainment venue that made a roaring debut over New Year’s Eve had built significant buzz before the pandemic temporary halted the party and while MGM Resorts planned on opening it as a restaurant on June 4, officials could not provide specific then about its sleekly designed musical production.
But the Bellagio and No Ceilings Entertainment team worked things out and the show resumed on Thursday night, although it was pared down from the full production. Co-starring singers LaShonda Reese and Steve Judkins are back with bandleader J.F. Thibeault and his powerful, tuned-in ensemble, but the magnificent dancers aren’t yet cleared for takeoff, and the performers are not moving through the plush space and interacting with patrons the way they used to. Still, Mayfair has been one of the most dynamically different new entertainment options to hit the Strip in a while and the socially distant version won’t disappoint. The venue is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m.
With most casinos still waiting on an elusive greenlight from the Gaming Control Board just to put a live band in lounges or bars, it’s almost unfair that Bellagio gets to bring back Mayfair along with the iconic fountain show and the wonderful live pianists at the Petrossian Bar. Other reopened resorts may offer more dining or shopping options, but after one weekend, it appears as if Bellagio is leading the pack when it comes to traditional Vegas entertainment.
Across the street at Harrah’s on the Strip, which opened its doors on Friday, Big Elvis is back … probably. Pete Vallee is one of the Boulevard’s most enduring lounge acts, performing the King’s greatest hits as only he can three days a week for years at Harrah’s Piano Bar. He’s been sharing the energetic space most recently with dueling piano twins Kim and Tamara Pinegar, DJ Rusty’s karaoke and the Saxman Duo, but there is no official confirmation yet of any entertainment returning to the lounge. However, the Review-Journal reported Big Elvis will play at 2, 3 and 5 p.m. on Friday, and since Vallee is a one-man show singing to tracks, it seems like the rules of Phase 2 would suit this show just fine.
Just east of the Strip at the Tuscany, Kenny Davidsen’s Celebrity Piano Bar at the Piazza Lounge made its triumphant return to action recently with a plexiglass wall between the stage and the audience. The Tuscany also reactivated its Copa Room on June 4 with two shows from rock cover outfit Smashing Alice and its robust entertainment calendar is returning to form. But Davidsen’s show, a mainstay in this space for seven years and a fantastic feature for countless guest singers, is the one I’m most excited to see again. It’s set for 8:45 p.m. Friday nights.
And if you want to see something completely new and different, get off the Strip and head over to the Dreamland Drive-In on West Diablo Drive for this weekend’s encore performances of the Drive-In Drag Show. After selling out its first weekend, this live-singing musical spectacle is back for 8 p.m. performances on June 11, 12 and 13 that you’ll watch from your vehicle, hosted by Edie from Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity.”
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