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November 27, 2014

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Cirque, Vegas no longer need Criss Angel’s ready-shoot-aim act

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Scott Doctor

Criss Angel

After a wild weekend in which I seemed to live at The Joint (if you can call what I do “living”), I need to catch up on some notes. So let’s do that now:

The Criss among us

I am so infrequently ahead of the curve on anything that I need to point out the instances when I am, in fact, ahead of the curve. I “Believe” (heh) I was the first to call for the removal of Criss Angel from his grueling production partnership with Cirque du Soleil at the Luxor. This weekend's feud with Perez Hilton (here’s a version of the dustup from Richard Abowitz’s Moveable Buffet blog on the L.A. Times Web site) escalated to the point of idiocy. Of course this is entirely Angel’s doing, which is why Cirque officials have issued an apology for the incident. Angel is chronically prone to such ready-shoot-aim public misadventures, but this is virgin terrain even for him: On one of the busiest weekends I’ve seen in Las Vegas in recent years (including New Year’s Eves), a torrid three-day stretch that featured the opening of the new Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel with The Killers and Paul McCartney playing a pair of wholly entertaining sold-out shows, the gala opening of “Peepshow” starring Mel B and Kelly Monaco and the Miss USA 2009 Pageant at Planet Hollywood, the ever self-absorbed Angel managed to shine the light on himself by taking on Perez Hilton during a performance at the Luxor. Brilliant! Angel’s conduct on and off the stage has achieved little more than tarnish the otherwise sterling Cirque du Soleil brand. He’s a bad actor in every way that matters and a lousy ambassador for our city. I’m with anyone who says that it’s time for Cirque to do some downsizing of its own.

Macca tickets revisited

On Sunday afternoon, about five hours before the doors at The Joint were to open for the McCartney concert, the hotel announced that tickets were being released for a show that had been long listed as a sellout (though not in seven seconds, as was preposterously claimed by McCartney’s PR team). How is that possible? During Sunday’s show, Hard Rock Hotel exec Paul Davis explained that the tickets were made available for two reasons: the McCartney camp didn’t use its full allotment of tickets for its own purposes, and some of the areas on the floor that were set aside for production crews went unused. “It’s fairly common for that to happen,” Davis said.

Also on Sunday, the Hard Rock was as jammed as I’ve ever seen it, with valet and self-parking filling by about 5 p.m. The new hotel parking garage is not yet open, but will be within a month or so. As it was, Sunday's cab line stretched off the hotel property was backed up nearly to the corner of Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue.

Random pluggage …

Let us talk under-the-radar bakeries for a moment: For a good ham and Swiss croissant, cup of coffee and a chance to hang with at least one barista who speaks French or something akin to French, hit Bonjour Euro Bakers on the northeast corner of Flamingo and Rainbow. I was there today and even ran into some out-of-Spandex Cirque performers. Weird spot for a hip spot, but it’s a pretty cool hangout.

Advantage: “Peepshow”

Donald Trump, Robert Earl, Chris “Mr. Big” Noth, and of course Mel B and Kelly Monaco were among those in attendance at the opening of “Peepshow” on Saturday, but one VIP was particularly impressive: tennis legend Boris Becker. He’s spiked the hair, but he looks about the same as he did in his playing career. What else? Oh, I met Susan Anton, who remains very pretty and very tall. She loved the show, especially the opening video clip, which was produced by her husband Jeff Lester’s video production company, Big Picture Studios.

Shecky!

Shecky Greene will be at the Suncoast Showroom from May 15-17. Greene is among the last true lounge legends around and, at age 83, is unconcerned with burning any bridges, professionally or otherwise. If the interview I’ve banked is any indication, he’s just going to let it fly from the stage and damn the collateral damage. Greene hasn’t even formally constructed an “act.” It should be interesting, sort of like watching a kooky uncle vent for 90 minutes.

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