Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010 | 11:06 a.m.
Hip-hop dance goes mainstream as Strip entertainment starting Oct. 7 when the all-male modern-dance crew Jabbawockeez, disguised by white masks and gloves, start a headline run at the Monte Carlo after recent sold-out dates at MGM Grand.
MGM Resorts International this morning confirmed the rumors that the hip-hop heroes, who won Season 1 of America's Best Dance Crew, have signed contracts for 9:30 p.m. performances of their MÜS.I.C. on Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Jabbawockeez are taking the time slot previously held by comedy impressionist Frank Caliendo, who now moves to the primetime 7:30 p.m. slot that until Saturday starred master magician Lance Burton, who has semi-retired after 31 years of Las Vegas appearances.
An unconfirmed rumor is that the theater will be renamed, changing from the Lance Burton Theater to the Frank Caliendo Theater.
Established in 2003 in San Diego, Jabbawockeez is the brainchild of the "3 Musky" Joe Larot, Kevin Brewer and Phil Tayag, who wanted to showcase freestyle dance. Jabbawockeez now call Las Vegas home.
Just where does that unusual name originate? British poet Lewis Carroll, who wrote a poem about a mythical dragon called Jabberwocky, which was referenced in the crew's show at MGM Grand. In 2004, their lineup expanded to 11 members, and they began competing in L.A. area auditions, finally winning recognition on Season 2 of NBC's America's Got Talent in 2007 (which, coincidentally, was won by The Mirage headliner Terry Fator).
They were eliminated in the Las Vegas callback episode after decreasing to six members because of illness and injuries. Crew member Gary "Gee One" Kendall died from pneumonia and meningitis in December 2007, just before the group began auditions for Season 1 of ABDC.
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