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July 24, 2014

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Wranglers come of age with adult-themed promotion

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Justin M. Bowen

Chris Ferraro comes out of the special prison bar penalty box Friday during “Rod Blagojevich Prison Uniform Night.”

There will be body-checking, yes -- and that’s just in the concourse!

Ba-dum-bum!

The Las Vegas Wranglers, where minor-league hockey meets Bill Veeck under a P.T. Barnum circus tent, have uncorked another inspired promotion. On Tuesday night, the local ECHL squad/sometimes Keystone Kops host the adult-targeted “Over 18 Night” at The Orleans Arena. The fun never stops at The Orleans Arena, which also put on “Disney on Ice: High School Musical,” so again we applaud the venue’s versatility. (Dressed in vastly dissimilar stage attire, “Dancing With the Stars,” Lynyrd Skynyrd and Mr. Olympia have also performed at The Orleans over the years.)

Sashaying through the arena concourse and posing for photos Tuesday will be members of the American Storm male review, who inhabit the V Theater at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood at Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue Across from the Harley Davidson Café and CityCenter, and I’m Making the Title of the V Theater Obnoxiously Long Because I’ve Always Felt It Was Needlessly Wordy. Also lacing it up for this promotion are instructors from the life-altering Stripper-101 course (from V Theater, too, see above). This is where you poll/pole your friends for the best “penalty shot” reference.

Just wondering: What do you have to do to flunk Stripper-101? Choke on a tassel?

Relm at the helm

Anyhow, the chief artistic draw is multimedia DJ Mike Relm, unleashing a series of audio/video mash-ups as a spirited sound bed as the Zamboni methodically resurfaces the ice. Among his many credits, Relm was an instrumental (except, without instruments) contributor to the Blue Man Group’s 2007/2008 arena tour. One thing about Relm: This guy has no problem programming an iPod. Check out his circle-spinning on this YouTube clip.

What this promotion really calls for is cheap booze (hic!), and the dudes abide. For $20, from 7:30 to 9:05 p.m. (those last five minutes are for last call, I guess), an open bar is available to of-age fans with proof of ID - and hopefully a designated driver. The hard stuff offered includes Russian Standard vodka, Crown Royal (“because the Crown is going down”), Tommy Bahama rum, Bombay Sapphire gin (for Oscar nominees) and Patron Silver tequila.

Far-flung promotions have become a Wranglers hallmark – and why not Hallmark greeting card night? Every fan who shows up with a sympathy card for the Alaska Aces is admitted at half-price. The franchise’s chief schemer is team President Billy Johnson, who most recently masterminded “Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Prison Uniform Night” in January and also counts “Dick Cheney Hunting Vest Night” as one of his gold-star promotions. Johnson says the “Over 18 Night” idea was sparked during a spirited conversation with Wranglers majority owner Charles Davenport at McMullan’s Irish Pub, which is just a slap shot west of The Orleans Arena and famous for its Wrangler-esque activity.

“It was Charles Davenport’s idea, from the bar, and a lot of great ideas start in bars and are written on cocktail napkins,” Johnson said during a phone call earlier today. “I once met (former San Francisco Giants general manager) Spec Richardson, who told me that when he made the trade to get Vida Blue from the A’s, he wrote it on a cocktail napkin. He actually had the cocktail napkin framed and hanging in his house.”

Cocktail Napkin Night! The first 1,000 fans who bring McMullan’s cocktail napkins get in free. This stuff is contagious …

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