Sin City has been changing and that means that some things which once dominated the Strip no longer resonate with visitors.
Las Vegas once hosted mostly kitschy retro performers. Even in the days when Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack prowled the Las Vegas Strip, they were considered adult acts, not really modern or hip in the young people sense of the word.
That era gave way to the “only in Las Vegas” era of headliners. Yes, Siegfried and Roy, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Wayne Newton, and even Carrot Top were big stars on the Strip, it’s hard to imagine their acts working on a large scale in another setting.
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Las Vegas was a bit like a theme park where you enjoy certain entertainment because of the setting. Big-name magicians and hokey comedians seemed larger than life before actual stars decided to take over the Las Vegas Strip. The same might be said of big Broadway-style production shows.
Sure, they’re a spectacle and were once a major draw, but why go see a show about the music of Meat Loaf when Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Garth Brooks might all be performing just down the road?
Big-name residencies have raided the bar on the Las Vegas Strip and that has meant the end of the showgirl — the last Vegas showgirl show, ‘Jubilee!’ at Bally’s, closed in 2016 after 35 years — and, now it looks like the end of the road might be near for big-ticket Broadway-style production shows.
“In the last quarter of 2022, five Las Vegas Strip shows failed to cross the threshold into 2023. ‘Bat Out of Hell: The Musical’ at Paris Las Vegas, Criss Angel’s ‘Amystika’ at Planet Hollywood, ‘Extravaganza’ at Horseshoe, ‘Legends in Concert’ at the Tropicana, and Xavier Mortimer’s magic show at The Strat all took an involuntary final curtain call.,” Casino.org reported.
That’s three shows that failed at properties owned by Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Free Report and one at Bally’s-owned (BALY) – Get Free Report Tropicana.
Despite that, The Venetian plans to try again by bringing “Tony Award-winning global sensation” ‘SIX’ to The Palazzo Theatre inside The Venetian Resort Las Vegas on March 21, 2023, for a “strictly limited seven-week engagement,” according to a press release.
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It’s important to note that calling it a “strictly limited seven-week engagement” accomplishes two things. First, it creates a sense of urgency around buying tickets. Second, it provides cover for if the show fails. If “Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell” was presented as a seven-week engagement, it would not have closed early, it simply would have performed the originally announced number of shows.
In reality, it’s highly unlikely that The Venetian does not hope that demand forces a longer run. “SIX,” is a bit of a historical farce where the “six wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix 500 years of historical heartbreak into a euphoric celebration of 21st-century girl power,” the casino giant shared in a press release.
The show has performed well all around the world.
“With record-breaking productions around the world — including London’s West End, a U.K. tour, Broadway, and two North American tours (Aragon and Boleyn) –‘SIX’ quickly became a global sensation thanks to its catchy, concert feel and viral online fan base affectionately known as ‘the Queendom.’ The “SIX: Live On Opening Night’ Broadway album debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard cast album charts and surpassed 6 million streams in its first month and has now been streamed over 23 million times,” according to the press release.
“SIX” will play eight performances each week of the limited engagement—Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 8:30 p.m., Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., and Sunday at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
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Las Vegas has generally become a place where people pay to see shows that they can’t see anywhere else. Many of the Strip’s big-name headliners no longer tour meaning that to see them you have to come to Las Vegas.
With multiple productions touring in the U.S., “SIX” may not seem all that special given that it’s probably coming to your local big city theater at some point this year. That may explain why even big-name shows from celebrated creators have been struggling on the Las Vegas Strip.
“’Awakening,’” the new $120M production at the Wynn, is playing to half-full weekend houses. And even celebrated ‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda couldn’t keep ‘Freestyle Love Supreme’ open for two months at the Venetian’s 700-seat Summit Showroom last year,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.