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July 29, 2014

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COMEDY:

‘Caveman’ star to moonlight at Fitzgeralds

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Busy performer Kevin Burke takes the stage at Fitzgerald's 20 minutes after wrapping up Defending the Caveman at Excalibur.

IF YOU GO

Who: Kevin Burke

What: “Defending the Caveman”; 8 p.m. daily, 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; Golden Nugget; $39.95; 386-8100

What: Fitz of Laughter; 9:15 p.m. daily; Fitzgeralds; $29 and $39; 388-2400

Kevin Burke will need jogging shoes this week to juggle a starring role in “Defending the Caveman” with a stand-up comedy act.

Burke performs in “Caveman” at the Golden Nugget until 9:10 p.m. seven nights a week. Beginning Thursday, he’ll finish his “Caveman” performance and run a block down the street to Fitzgeralds, where he will perform the stand-up comedy routine he has honed over the past 30 years.

The comedy show will begin at about 9:15 p.m. with Rolan Whitt warming up the audience for Burke, who should dash onto the small stage in the 150-seat showroom at about 9:30 p.m.

He’ll do both shows every day — and “Caveman” twice a day on weekends. With 16 shows per week, Burke won’t have much time to think about his show closing at the Nugget Jan. 18 to make room for impressionist Gordie Brown. (“Caveman” producer John Bentham says they are close to signing a deal at a Strip venue.)

Fitzgeralds Entertainment Director Gene Sagas is thrilled that Burke is coming to his showroom, where he’ll follow the “Country Superstars Tribute” each night.

“He’s as good a stand-up comic as he is a caveman, maybe better,” Sagas says. “For this little property to catch a superstar like that is really big for us. Between him and ‘Country Superstars,’ we might have to expand our showroom. Some nights we have to turn fans away from the country music tribute.”

Burke came to Sagas’ rescue a few weeks ago when a standup comedy show at the hotel closed unexpectedly and fans were left holding tickets. Burke and a couple of other comedians came by and performed. That was the first time Sagas had seen him perform.

“He got a standing ovation,” Sagas says.

Burke can draw on several years in the circus for his routine and does a mentalist bit and some magic, Bentham says. “He might even breathe fire.”

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