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September 18, 2014

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Proposal at Hard Rock, separation at Cosmo and dalliance with Wendy Williams at Venetian

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Vegas Nocturne” at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at the Cosmopolitan.

The Kats Report Bureau has been an uncommonly mobile unit today, starting with Rehab Pool at the Hard Rock Hotel and winding up at the Cosmopolitan.

Rehab was a celebratory experience, as I’m helping judge the Ultimate Bikini Contest. This is a charity event, evidently, as some of the ticket sales will be spent on sufficient clothing for some of these ladies.

I joke, of course. But wow, one girl walked onstage with an outfit that looks like what happens when you drape a shoestring around your neck. Not a complaint; merely an observation.

The day was capped by a marriage proposal right there on our stage. Joining Mark Shunock of “Rock of Ages” and me on the judging panel over the summerlong competition has been Brittany Kosmala, founder of Las Vegas swimwear company Bellina Rebelle. Just as we took our seats for the second round of judging, her boyfriend of 2 1/2 years, James Hoch, surfaced from the great beyond of the pool party and took a knee.

James produced a diamond roughly the size of a molar and asked Bellina for her hand in marriage. She said yes, and the partying in and around the pool intensified.

The contest continues next month, and the finals are in September. The champion receives a check for $25,000. But already, here on July 12, 2014, we have a winner. Congrats to these kids. It was something else.

Onward:

• The most definitive evidence yet that “Vegas Nocturne” is leaving has spilled out of the show over the past several days. Tonight is to be the final performance, which is why we are at the Cosmo now. The Impresario, Ross Mollison, who is founder of show producer Spiegelworld, is on the property. I’m told that there will be something of a post-show event involving the cast. I’ve said it before: Mollison doesn’t readily give up on his vision for productions or for anything else.

There is a post-mortem to be written about the struggles of “V.N.” at the Cosmopolitan, but the feeling at this moment for those of us who enjoy supreme talent and live entertainment is one of distress. I’m reminded mostly of the closing of “Avenue Q” and “Monty Python’s Spamalot” several years ago. They were a pair of sharp, witty and expertly performed productions that also were expensive and played to niche audiences. “Vegas Nocturne” is as talented a show on the Strip. All we know is the cast has been told that (well, sort of) by Mollison, and there is vague talk of a new venue. More later, but with apologies to Sean & John, we’re not yet ready to play “Taps.”

• Wendy Williams played to a full house Friday night to open the Lipshtick all-women comedy series at Sands Showroom in the Venetian. At one moment in the show, she gulped from a glass of champagne and, as she was about to deliver a joke, belched.

The crowd erupted. They loved it. This was a rare moment on the Strip where a showroom headliner is, literally, cheered for whatever comes out of her mouth. Williams herself asserted that she is not a standup comic, and the appearance at the Venetian was to cross off an entry on her bucket list. It’d be fascinating to see her spend some real time on a standup career. She is a formidable, confident and often genuinely inspired comedienne. But her delivery also was frequently raw, as she continually got lost in the middle of stories and glanced down at the digital clock on the lip of the stage that informed her how much time she had left. “Oh! I got 20 minutes!” she said and later counted again at the 8-minute mark.

Williams did perform an expertly executed dismantling of an audience member who insisted on cutting into her story about caring for her elderly grandmother. When the woman shouted about caring for her own 93-year-old mother every day, Williams sashayed to the edge of the stage and said (and I am paraphrasing here) it is great that you care for your mother, and it’s obvious that you don’t get out much and you decided to get drunk and come to the Venetian to watch me perform. Now, not paraphrasing, “Now shut up and stop interrupting me! This is a one-off, and I need to get all my jokes in!”

I’ve seen veteran comics falter when dealing with hecklers, but not Williams. As she finished her set, at the moment she thanked her crowd, the clock at her feet read 2:45. I’d like to see her again and filling out that last three minutes. We’ll even supply the champagne.

• On the topic of Lipshtick, Kelly Clinton-Holmes is performing in the series this weekend. She’s going to serve as host, in a similar fashion to how she introduced Whitney Cummings for the series’ announcement at the Sands Showroom in May. In a traditional three-comic, club lineup, Clinton-Holmes will navigate the intros of Heather McDonald (a frequent panelist on “Chelsea Lately”) with Iliza Schlesinger (Season 6 champion of “Last Comic Standing”). Kelly’s husband, Clint, appeared at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday (and look for my upcoming piece about his wonderful performance) and recorded at Capitol Records on Thursday.

What’s it mean? The Clintons are hot! Hot, I tell you!

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

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