Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 | 12:32 p.m.
It’s set to become one of the most unique, wild, wanton and wasted theatrical nightclubs to ever open in Las Vegas. “Uniquely decadent,” as British impresario Simon Hammerstein describes it.
Tonight is the Act’s industry preview ahead of Saturday’s star-studded, red carpet gala opening at the Palazzo. Simon’s even encouraging guests to cross dress as he weds debauchery and decadence in unholy matrimony.
As the final piece of monster shock art was bolted into place Tuesday night, Simon told me: “I am proud, excited and happy. The space has turned out to be gorgeous. We’re on fire, and everybody is excited.
“The decor is up, and it looks like an opera-house nightclub. We’re having our show run-throughs. It’s spectacular, and everybody is impressed.”
Vegas DeLuxe posted a preview tour of the Act on Sept. 18. Some 30 performers who have been brought in from Russia, Germany, Japan, Paris, London and New York will be featured. Many will roam the crowd and onstage as in-between performances to the two main show presentations.
“Some of these are so new, they haven’t yet appeared in our New York and London clubs,” Simon said. “Our MC is Raven O, and all I can say is that he’s from another planet.”
The bawdy ringleader of this circus has been MC at Simon’s the Box nightclub in New York. Raven O often performs in skin-tight leather pants and little else to show off his amazing and tattooed body.
His platinum blonde hair is styled with two devil horn points. “I make people forget the real world and take them on a wild ride of music laughter and sexiness,” he said.
Raven O was in the original Cirque du Soleil cast of “Zumanity” here for its first three years and says he studied classical ballet and once became a stripper in a women’s only club. He toured as a singer with the New York Dolls and was credited as a leader of New York’s punk and post-punk night scenes.
Boy George once commented: “Raven has the voice of an angel. He can croon a jazz classic or blast you with a rock ’n’ roll hit or knock you over with a Broadway show tune.”
The Act is a 9,000-square-foot, multilevel space located on the third level of the Palazzo above its waterfall gardens area. It’s a new variety of nightlife focused on a decadent experience with nightly rituals and audience involvement. It’s an opera house meets speakeasy vibe in various chambers, 12 private balcony boxes, a backstage VIP area and five bars.
Simon plans his next Box/Act venture in Dubai, followed by other global locations. And that art piece that will welcome visitors near the front door?
It’s a life-size sculpture of transgender porn star Buck Angel by controversial British artist Marc Quinn. Buck lived for years as a female model before undergoing hormone replacement therapy to become a man and billed himself as the only male porn star with female anatomy.
“It’s not what’s between your legs that defines you. It’s what people put betwixt your legs that defines you,” the 2007 Transsexual Performer of the Year commented. He was nominated again in 2008 through 2010 and remains the only female-to-male transsexual ever to have won the title.
Summing up, Simon smiled: “It’s a very pleasant piece of art that sets the mood for what’s to come.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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With top accommodations, first-rate entertainment, high-end shopping and a slew of acclaimed chefs, the Palazzo has positioned itself as one of the most luxurious resorts on the Strip.
More than 3,000 all-suite rooms start at 740 square feet and are decorated in a modern, yet classic, Italian style. Each room features a sleeping area, with a king or two queens, and a sunken living room area with floor to ceiling windows.
A cathedral ceiling tops the Palazzo casino, while a second 80-foot dome brings natural light to the property's lobby. The 105,000 square foot casino features more than 2,000 slots and 80 table games but lacks the stale smell of cigarettes, as the property is LEED certified with smoking off limits in most of the Palazzo — including 50 percent of the casino floor.
Dining at the Palazzo is among the best of the Strip, starting with Wolfgang Puck's CUT. Chef Simon To serves up authentic Chinese cuisine at Zine, while Sushisamba combines Brazilian and Peruvian flavors with Japanese techniques. At LAVO, club-goers can dine on Mediterranean dishes before heading upstairs to the bath house-inspired nightclub.