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April 21, 2014

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Recycled Percussion stepping in for Human Nature at I.P./Linq; Trop undergoing theater overhaul

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Christopher DeVargas

Cover shoot for Las Vegas Magazine featuring Recycled Percussion, March 4, 2011.

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Imperial Palace headliners Human Nature on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" on Monday, April 23, 2012.

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Anya Garnis and Joey Fatone perform in "Dancing With the Stars: Live in Las Vegas" at the Tropicana on Friday, April 13, 2012.

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Jerry Lopez, left and Tony Davich perform with Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns at the Lounge at the Palms Monday, July 16, 2012.

Notes collected after a sweeping of the scene:

• Pending the signing of a contract and the sorting out of a few details, it is a certainty that Recycled Percussion is moving into the Imperial Palace theater soon to be called the Showroom at the Quad, formerly known as Human Nature Theater because its was formerly occupied by Human Nature. Or, soon to be formerly occupied by Human Nature.

Make sense? Maybe not. But know this: Recycled Percussion is headed for the old I.P. showroom.

The last listed date for Human Nature at that showroom is Nov. 25. They are touring Florida beginning Nov. 27, then in December barnstorm through their native Australia. No new Las Vegas venue has been formally announced for the inspired Motown tribute act endorsed by inspired Motown legend Smokey Robinson. But it is safe to say that Recycled Percussion has been in serious talks with producer David Saxe, who is one contract signature away from enacting plans to help the banging foursome rewrite their stage show and move into the I.P./Linq showroom in mid-January. The tentative date is Jan. 12.

Most recently, R.P. performed in “America’s Got Talent Live” at the Palazzo. Before taking on that residency, which ends Saturday, they were headliners at Tropicana Theater. Expect the reported plans for “AGT Live” to return in January to be a reality. As for Tropicana Theater …

• There has not been a regular headliner at Tropicana Theater for several weeks since “Dancing With the Stars – Live!” and R.P. left the venue. But there is activity, as the theater is undergoing an overhaul, a long-expected once-over expected to turn the old showroom into a more theater-style setting. That would boost seating capacity, increasing the room’s ticket-sales potential, but Old Vegas fans might bemoan the absence of character that a theater presents in comparison to table-and-booth seating in a traditional showroom.

The next expected headliner at the Tropicana Theater is the new installment of “Dancing With the Stars – Live!” in March. There is nothing listed in the theater on the Tropicana website. Another development at the Trop is that Ambhar Tequila is no longer sponsoring the lounge where Skye Dee Miles and her band, Skye5, are the featured band at 9:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The lounge is now called, simply, Tropicana Lounge. Same vibe, different name, same great Skye.

• Jerry Lopez, founder of Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns, has been one of the busiest bandleaders in the city during the past few weeks. On Nov. 4, his brother Lenny and he were honored by the Showbiz Society for their “achievement and contribution to the entertainment industry in Las Vegas.” The DNA of Santa Fe, the group Hermanos De Lopez, dates 35 years in Las Vegas. During that period, Jerry Lopez has served as frontman and lead guitarist, and Lenny Lopez has been a vocalist and percussionist. Nov. 4 was thus dubbed Jerry and Lenny Lopez Day by Mayor Carolyn Goodman.

Santa Fe is currently recording a new CD at UNLV and at Jerry Lopez’s home studio. Today at 10:30 p.m., the band is performing a special free show at the Lounge at the Palms as an unofficial kickoff to the Latin Grammy Awards show Thursday night. Many artists in town for the show are friends of Santa Fe’s musicians but rarely in town for a Monday night show at the Lounge. Tonight’s show should be a rocking affair and an important gig for Santa Fe, given the high caliber of audience. You should be there; you know who you are.

• Seated behind me at Saturday night’s Lewis Black show at the Mirage was an unlikely audience member, conservative blogger and web master Ron Futrell, who five nights earlier was called out on Twitter by the state’s foremost political commentator and former Sun political writer Jon Ralston for Futrell’s string of inflammatory tweets through Election Night. One of Ralston’s tweets to Futrell, as the election was called for President Obama: “@RonFutrell Learn some grace, apologize for your idiocy on Twitter in the last 24 hours and go to sleep. Please.”

Futrell can’t stand Obama, that much is obvious, and he would not seem to be anything close to the typical fan of the left-leaning Black. One of Black’s jokes: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Democrats nominated the first black president in American history. The Republicans responded with the whitest man in history. I thought George Bush Jr. was white, but compared to Mitt Romney, George Bush Jr. looks positively Jamaican.”

After the show, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and there stood Futrell, whom I have known for about 15 years, since the days we covered the UNLV hoops beat when Bill Bayno was head coach and Futrell was a sportscaster at Channel 13. Futrell must have noticed the shocked look on my face and said, “I wasn’t sure what I’d think of (Black) because of his politics. But he was funny. I liked it. I laughed.”

And sometimes you do just have to laugh.

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

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