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September 2, 2014

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New Stratosphere show to have a Lacey look; no takers for Jerry Lewis’ one-man show idea

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Steve Marcus

Lacey Schwimmer, Joey Fatone Anya Garnis and Carson Kressley arrive for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Frankie Moreno at the Stratosphere

Frankie Moreno performs at the Stratosphere on Thursday, April 5, 2012. Launch slideshow »
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Frankie Moreno and Claire Sinclair at the Stratosphere.

A few items raked from the scene:

• The new production at the Stratosphere starring Claire Sinclair, powered by a live band and replete with live dancers, owns some star power offstage, too. The show’s choreographer is “Dancing With the Stars” pro Lacey Schwimmer.

A cast member of “Dancing With the Stars: Live in Las Vegas” at the Tropicana, Schwimmer might also design the costumes in the production. On Tuesday, she is to appear with Frankie Moreno on “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC in a number she designed to Moreno’s “Tangerine Honey” and his cover of Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Rockin’ My Life Away.”

The idea for the 1940s calendar girl fashioned show (backed by the hotel financially, artistically and in every other manner) was initially Moreno’s. The as-yet-unnamed production is soon auditioning vocalists, as one female vocalist is needed to sing through the performance.

In a bit of an ironic twist, Sinclair formally signed her contract with the Stratosphere not at that hotel, but at MGM Grand, just before the final performance of “Crazy Horse Paris” as Strat exec Matt Mascali looked on with a grin fixed on his face. It was in “Crazy Horse” that Sinclair first appeared on a Vegas stage, two years ago when she was just 19.

• A few readers (and, I suspect, nonreaders) of this column have asked why Sinclair’s name never surfaced as a replacement for her friend Holly Madison in “Peepshow.” Simple: Sinclair was never asked about “Peepshow,” which is seeking an “interim” Bo Peep between Madison’s scheduled Oct. 21 departure and the Dec. 3 arrival of Coco Austin. This performer will not necessarily be a star but will fill the role opposite Peep Diva Cheaza until the famously buxom Coco is stirred into the mix.

• On the topic of fallout, “Bite” is said to be opening in early November at the Plaza. Producer Tim Molyneux was spotted at the hotel’s showroom Wednesday. “Bite” is closing despite doing some solid business during its seven-year run at the Stratosphere, and it seems a move made chiefly to change the hotel’s image into a more classically themed property. Topless vampires shaking and shimmying to rock music was not an ideal fit in that schematic.

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Jerry Lewis receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nevada Broadcasters Association at Red Rock Resort on Aug. 20, 2011.

• Jerry Lewis is finally making a return to the stage in Las Vegas, performing at the Orleans on Nov. 18 for a PBS special. This, after a couple of aborted efforts to bring Lewis back to a Vegas venue over the past year. One of those attempts was public: Lewis was booked to perform a single show at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena in July, but that show was shelved in the face of scant marketing and sagging ticket sales (one report is the hotel moved fewer than 100 tickets to a show headlined by the legendary Lewis and conducted by former Frank Sinatra music director Vince Falcone).

Less prominent was the effort by Las Vegas producer Adam Steck to stage a one-man show hosted by Lewis at several Strip properties. The performance envisioned by Steck was to bring Lewis out solo, possibly with a small collection of musicians, and allow him to tell his remarkable life story to musical and video accompaniment. The show found no takers, or maybe it’s best to say, it has yet to find a taker. If Mike Tyson can do it …

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

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