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December 18, 2014

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LVH books a classic-rock act, and it ain’t ‘Rock Vault’; Brad Garrett turns to animation and stand-up after sitcom cancellation

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun

John Payne and Robin McAuley, right, goof around after performing with other band members during song rehearsal for “Raiding the Rock Vault” in the LVH Theater at LVH on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.

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Paul Shortino performs with other band members during song rehearsal for "Raiding the Rock Vault" in the LVH Theater at LVH on Wednesday.

At this moment, The Kats Report bureau is Fortuna coffee and wine bar, just across from what used to be Quarks at LVH. A restaurant and bar themed for Star Trek, Quarks is remembered for some of the most obnoxious drink served in Vegas — the James Tea Kirk, Mind Meld and Harry Mudd among them — and for the best use of Feringis-as-waiters of any Las Vegas eatery.

I see here at LVH that the theater is in for a busy weekend with Led ZepAgain (Led Zeppelin tribute act) booked tonight and “Raiding the Rock Vault” on Saturday.

Interesting. I’d heard “Rock Vault” was moving to Fridays. I heard this from guys in the “Rock Vault” band, actually. So I wonder why we’re bringing in a Led Zep tribute act to LVH on a Friday when you have a sit-down, classic-rock musical playing the theater already.

The explanation from the hotel: This booking is for the filming of a documentary about tribute bands by Warner Bros., and that project is focusing on a variety of venues. Producers wanted some performance shots in a full theater and sought LVH for this one-off performance. The "Vault" crew is to return to a regular schedule after Led ZepAgain hauls out.

With that cleared up, let’s get to some raking.

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Brad Garrett onstage during his Comedy Club VIP Grand Opening at MGM Grand on Thursday, March 29, 2012.

• Brad Garrett’s latest sitcom, ABC’s “How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)” was cancelled this week. The series’ run was seven episodes beginning April 3. The show’s lead-in was the top-rated sitcom “Modern Family,” but the show could not sustain its strong premiere ratings, when it drew nearly 8.5 million viewers.

Garrett says he will miss the cast and crew and is never finished trying to return to a hit show after his nine-year run in “Everybody Loves Raymond.” He also fell short with the short-lived “’Til Death.”

Garrett has two animated-film roles coming up. He is back as the voice of Bloat in the sequel to “Finding Nemo,” titled “Finding Dory,” which he says he’ll start recording “shortly.” Also, he’s in the cast of voices for the new Disney animated film “Planes,” due for release May 24.

Garrett is still appearing monthly at his comedy club at MGM Grand and is back onstage Monday through May 26, joined by Carl “Cop Walk” Labove and Rob Magnotti. “Cop Walk” is an inside joke, in reference to one of the great bits performed on Vegas comedy stages. Labove is at once hilarious and not properly rigged up.

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Michael Grimm.

• Michael Grimm, who ascended to the Season 5 championship of “America’s Got Talent” from such Vegas venues as Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort, is now out of Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort. Station Casinos reps confirmed that scheduling reality today. No formal reason given, but his final show at Rocks is Saturday night. Grimm is reportedly working on a new production show called “Michael Grimm — Fairy Tale,” which is to be centered on his life and career.

He’s also established his own independent record label, Fairy Tale Records, and is working on a new CD, titled “Fairy Tales.” He has a date set at Aliante on May 22.

It all sounds very well organized. But to be honest, Grimm’s career path has been more mystery than fairy tale ever since he won “AGT.” Grimm has long said he’s not a dogged pursuer of fame and fortune, and that’s probably a good thing for him as he tries to find a home for this “Fairy Tale” production. The entertainment scene in VegasVille is not always a fairy-tale story, my friend.

• A comment in this extensive Los Angeles Times story about “Behind the Candelabra”, airing May 26 on HBO, is sure to perk attention at LVH. That’s where the theater scenes were shot and where the movie’s cast stayed for a time. Matt Damon, who plays principal character Scott Thorson, was not complimentary of the accommodations.

From the story: “Filming on location in recession-era Sin City also enhanced everyone's appreciation for the absurd. ‘The hotel was so understaffed because I think they were bank-owned. You could get your room cleaned or you could take the 'green option,' and they would give you a $5 paper token to go play the slot machines,’ Damon recalls with a laugh.”

Hey, let’s cut the snark. You can still have a great time at LVH. I would invite Damon to catch a show any time in the theater where Liberace once performed. “Raiding the Rock Vault,” or even “Led ZepAgain,” never disappoint.

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

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