Curtain Up: ‘Postmodern Jukebox Hideaway,’ ‘Celestia,’ Madonna and more


Bryan Steffy for The Mirage

Ariana Savalas stars in “Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox Hideaway” at the Mirage.

“Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox Hideaway” has a long name and after catching the show this week, I’m hoping it has a really long run at the 1 OAK Nightclub inside the Mirage. This thoroughly enjoyable live music affair makes good on its promise to turn the club into a Roaring ’20s speakeasy, but it’s also another innovative example of what can be done with live entertainment in an unexpected venue on the Strip. PMJ opened at 1 OAK on April 18 and plays Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Matt Goss, who currently plays here at 8 p.m. Sundays, first brought his cabaret-style show to 1 OAK in December 2017. On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday starting at 10:30 p.m., the 16,000-square-foot space reverts to its true club form, operated by MGM Resorts and Hakkasan Group and playing mostly open-format and hip-hop (Ludacris will be there for Memorial Day weekend). 1 OAK is one of several club spaces on the Strip that could accommodate some form of additional musical performance or live entertainment built around its limited nightclub schedule, but finding the right fit is essential.

PMJ is that perfect fit. Founded by Bradlee in 2009 and built on more than a billion YouTube views and a constantly touring show, the Postmodern Jukebox brand reimagines contemporary songs in various bygone musical styles. Imagine a Motown girls’ group version of Celine Dion’s “Titanic” theme “My Heart Will Go On,” or a swinging ragtime take on Gloria Gaynor’s disco epic “I Will Survive.” You’ll hear both and many more at the “Hideaway” Vegas residency version of PMJ, backed by a fiery five-piece band and three dancers including “So You Think You Can Dance” finalist, tap talent Aaron Turner (yes, son of lounge legend Earl Turner). A quartet of vocalists are currently lead by PMJ All-Star Ariana Savalas, daughter of Telly Savalas, who effortlessly applies vintage style to Sisqo’s “Thong Song,” Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Ginuwine’s “Pony” while splashing ample humor and naughtiness into the show. She’s set to lead the cast through June 22. The multi-talented Rogelio Douglas Jr., Nicci Claspell and Jaclyn McSpadden make the most of their turns in the spotlight, putting some truly refreshing spin on Bon Jovi, Radiohead and Imagine Dragons. There’s a ton of talent on this small stage so I advise you catch it while you can; part of the PMJ thing is rotating different performers through its shows.

“Celestia,” an all-new production originally planned to open in January inside the 200,000-square-foot tent located along the Strip at the STRAT, will debut with preview shows starting Saturday, May 11. The cast of more than two dozen includes acrobats, dancers, aerialists, musicians, contortionists, the legendary Wheel of Death act, hand-balancing father-daughter duo Sergey and Sasha from “America’s Got Talent” and the Sandou Trio Russian Bar from the film “The Greatest Showman.” The 70-minute, all-ages show is set to play eight times weekly, at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and is under the command of Intrigue Shows and new executive producer Brian Burke, who has worked on Pitbull’s Planet Hollywood show, “Le Reve” at Wynn and Celine Dion’s “A New Day” at Caesars Palace. The director is Allegra Libonati, the aerial and acrobatic choreographer is John Brady, the choreographer is Ron Todorowski, the lighting designer is Tom Sutherland, the composer is Michael Brennan and the vocal producer is AnnMarie Milazzo. A grand opening for “Celestia” is set for June 5.

Fresh off a buzzy performance at last week’s Billboard Music Awards right here in Las Vegas at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Madonna announced several parts of her upcoming Madame X Tour on Monday, and the Colosseum at Caesars Palace is part of that plan. The Material Girl will release her 14th studio album, also dubbed “Madame X,” on June 14 and will drop the third of five preview singles, “Crave,” this Friday, May 10. As for the Live Nation-produced tour, it’s set to kick off September 12 at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York and will feature multiple nights in each city it visits, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and Miami. The Colosseum dates are expected soon but plan on catching Madonna at Caesars sometime in the fall, and don’t be surprised if she comes back to Vegas for a proper residency once the tour is finished.

Diana Ross has added six more dates to her “Diamond Diana” engagement at Encore Theater. Tickets go on sale May 10 for the new shows on August 14, 16, 17, 21, 23 and 24, all at 8 p.m. at the Wynn Las Vegas venue. She’s also on the books for six shows there in June.

Blue Man Group will hold its fifth-annual Grant a Gift Autism Foundation benefit performance on June 9 at 4 p.m. at the Luxor. The sensory-friendly show is suitable for children, adults and families affected by the autism spectrum disorder with less direct audience interaction, and BMG is donating $20 from every $36 ticket sold to the foundation. Guests are encouraged to arrive early at 3 p.m. for a pre-show activity drum circle, and limited sponsorship packages are also available. For more information, click here.

A new drag brunch debuts this weekend at Paris Las Vegas. Chateau Nightclub & Rooftop unveils the Stars-N-Stilettos brunch show featuring celebrity female impersonations of Cher, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and more at 11 a.m. on May 12 and again on May 18. Brunch packages begin at $39.99 and upgrades includes bottomless mimosas and meet-and-greets with the entertainers; find more info at chateaunights.com. As mentioned on this week’s Sun on the Strip podcast, this type of show seems to be catching on in Vegas these days. You’ve still got the drag brunch at Señor Frog’s at Treasure Island Friday through Sunday plus the ongoing “Esther Goldberg’s Totally Outrageous Brunch,” a variety show with definite drag elements, Saturday and Sunday in the Sayers Club at SLS. And coming to the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay starting July 27 is Drag Queen Cuisine, a dinner show in the B Side lounge starring Toni James, Derrick Barry, Kalani Kokonuts, Briana Douglas and more. All hail the queens!





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