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December 21, 2014

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Mo5aic takes ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to Central Christian; Sin City packs up; Composers Showcase gets Phat

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Mo5aic in church mode at Central Christian Church.

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John Padon of "Sin City Comedy."

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Taylor Hicks attends the "American Idol" Season 11 grand finale at Nokia Theater L.A. Live in L.A. on May 23, 2012.

A raking of the scene has picked up the following:

• The vocal band Mo5aic pulled off a brazen effort at Golden Rainbow’s “Ribbon of Life” production last Sunday with an end-to-end rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” performing the song in its entirety without employing a single instrument. It was the first time the group had performed that song in front of an audience, and the result was stunning. The group appears again in, what for them, is an unusual venue: Central Christian Church in Henderson.

Mo5aic is headlining at church services (if church services can feature a headliner other than the obvious) on Saturday and Sunday. Times are 4:30 and 6 p.m. Saturday and 9, 10:20 and 11:45 a.m. Sunday. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is again the song of choice. Can I get an amen?

• Sin City Comedy closes at V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood on Saturday night. The club is moving to a higher haunt, on the same parcel, across from “Peepshow” theater at Planet Hollywood’s mezzanine level. The headliners for the closing show are the multifaceted John Bizarre (said to be the best baker among stand-ups in the country) and a man who recently referred to himself as “devilishly handsome,” John Padon himself.

Padon, the owner and founder of the comedy showcase, says the new Sin City Theater is still targeted for an August opening. Hopefully mid-August, specifically. He also says there are plans to pay tribute to the late, great monologist Ron Shock with a celebrity fundraising roast of Shock at the club in September. A favorite among his contemporaries and a popular club draw for decades, Shock died of urethral cancer on May 17.

• Composers Showcase again lured a strong, ebullient and in one case (Smith Center official Paul Beard) tearful crowd to Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday night. One nugget imparted during the nearly two-hour Showcase was that the very funny and reliably tuxedoed Phat Pack has booked two shows July 22 at Cabaret Jazz (times are 2:30 and 7 p.m.; ticket prices have not been announced).

The three singing Phat Packers are all soon-to-be-former members of the “Phantom — the Las Vegas Spectacular” cast, hence the play off the word “Phat.” They are, in no particular order: Bruce Ewing (who has spent more than a decade as a member of the forever-young production “Forever Plaid”), Ted Keegan (who has spent a dozen years performing in “Phantom” on Broadway and in Las Vegas) and Randal Keith (a longtime performer in “Les Miserables” who also appeared as King Arthur in “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at Wynn Las Vegas).

Music director Joey Singer, who spent nearly 30 years working with Debbie Reynolds and also was a member of Toni Tennille’s band, backs the trio on piano. Standards, Broadway tunes and — especially — comedy are the act’s forte. At the Showcase, they sang a very distinguished number that swerved into a tribute to Viagra and Cialis.

The next Composers Showcase is set for Aug. 8. Organizer, emcee and co-founder Keith Thompson, music director of “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas, plans a total of three performances before the end of the year at Cabaret Jazz, and Smith Center officials are eager to keep the momentum going, as Wednesday’s show was just 30 seats short of the room’s total capacity of 244 (214 in the house, in other words). Beard, who helped lure the Showcase to Cabaret Jazz, teared up again during Clint Holmes' performance, saying, "He got me again." Beard wept at Holmes' appearance at "Ribbon of Life," too.

The Aug. 8 show is to serve as a send-off for the “Phantom” performers who have helped make the loosely assembled productions great. Many will be seeking work elsewhere when “Phantom” closes Sept. 2. Their artistry will be greatly missed, not only at the Venetian, but also at the Showcase.

• Rare is it that we plug a show not yet seen, but there is very strong buzz about Taylor Hicks’ “Soul Patrol” performances at Bally’s. Hicks opened his scheduled eight-week run at the Jubilee Theater on Tuesday, and I’ve heard from some pretty discriminate entertainment figures in Las Vegas that the fifth-season “American Idol” champion rocks it. It seems a show to see, so we will see it.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWithTheDish.

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