The 10 shows and performers we’re looking forward to seeing again once this crisis is over
I would love to say that I’m counting down the days until the coronavirus pandemic is in the rear-view mirror, but since the pandemic and our subsequent social distancing measures will stretch out indefinitely, there aren’t any tangible days to count. Though, I suppose I could say that I can’t wait until this is all over. You may have already inferred that the future of Las Vegas entertainment is uncertain. The next few weeks—and, possibly, months—in Las Vegas may remain dark (in entertainment lingo, not existentially). But we are anxiously awaiting the time in which our beloved entertainers return. Looking ahead to that moment, here are 10 entertainers we’re looking forward to seeing post-pandemic.
1. Absinthe, Caesars Palace Inarguably, laughter helps heal all maladies. We can’t wait to see how The Gazillionaire and his sidekick Wanda Widdles use the pandemic as comedic fodder. You may think, too soon? No. It’s never too soon for Gaz.
2. Barry Manilow, Westgate Las Vegas Music brings communities together. And nothing says community like a massive singalong. With Barry Manilow, that’s exactly what you’ll get when he returns to Vegas. And, even though you’re probably super cool, don’t pretend like you don’t know his biggest hits. You do.
3. Carrot Top, Luxor Scott Thompson, aka Carrot Top, always turns current events into creative, hilarious props. We can only imagine what the Top is working on right now in his shed. He’s probably already thought of types of personal protective equipment for rednecks and replacements for toilet paper.
4. Extravaganza—The Vegas Spectacular, Bally’s A sister show to WOW—The Vegas Spectacular, this captivating variety show was barely open a week before it had to shut down in the midst of the pandemic. Filled with acrobats, aerialists, showgirls and dancers, Extravaganza is definitely going to be worth a visit once Vegas is back in action.
5. Jabbawockeez, MGM Grand One week, the dance troupe celebrated its 10th anniversary in Las Vegas, and debuted its revamp Timeless. The next week, coronavirus closed the show’s doors. If you’ve never seen the Jabbawockeez, you’d probably be surprised to know there’s always a larger concept behind their choreography—they don’t just dance around ideas. When you eventually see the show, the crew will likely leave you with some uplifting sentiments.
6. Jen Kramer, Westgate Las Vegas She’s the only female magician with a Vegas residency. But being a female magician isn’t what made her a success, it’s her cerebral form of magic. She’s not flashy and she doesn’t use pyrotechnics or exotic animals in her show; she uses her mind. Her form of magic turns what seems impossible into reality. And, magically, her show might turn our current reality into something bearable.
7. Kelly Clarkson, Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Who needs to feel stronger? Who’s ready to walk a little taller? Okay, maybe we’re not there yet. But when Kelly Clarkson finally debuts her Vegas show Invincible (at the time of this writing, her shows have been pushed back to July), her energy and anthemic repertoire are things Vegas audiences are going to need once this pandemic ends.
8. Lady Gaga, Park Theater at Park MGM The larger-than-life performer cancelled all of her Vegas shows indefinitely. But she promises to return—next year. It’s sad to accept. When she decides to return, however, we’ll be there dancing in the aisle until the usher warns us to stop. But even then we might keep dancing.
9. Mat Franco, The Linq How often do you think you’ve got a magician figured out? We all know magic isn’t real. But Mat Franco has a better question: “Why do you even care?” And he’s right. Magic isn’t about trying to figure out how a magician is trying to screw with your mind—it’s about entertainment. When this crisis ends, there’s a lot we’ll have to ponder and figure out in the future. But in the moments in which we’re being entertained, let’s enjoy them and allow our minds to wander. And, I assure you, Mat Franco will have your mind doing a lot of wandering.
10. Carlos Santana, House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Think of Carlos Santana and you might recall the story of how the famed guitarist tripped so hard at Woodstock, that he thought his guitar was a snake. I’m not saying you should get blasted into oblivion (though, if you want to, that’s your prerogative), but what we should all remember are the feelings of unity and companionship associated with Woodstock. Considering those feelings, Santana is basically a walking Woodstock, fully embracing the festival’s values and conjuring a similar vibe during his concerts. It would be a great way for people to reconnect with each other after spending so much time apart.
Click here to subscribe today for free to Las Vegas Magazine's digital edition. Shortly after you sign up for your subscription, you will receive the "Lost Issue" of Las Vegas Magazine, published right before the shutdown.