Friday, May 14, 2021 | 2 a.m.
The first event in the renovated Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is set for May 22 and it’s sold out, but it’s not a rock concert like the ones you saw when the venue was known as the Joint. Top Rank’s fight night features a clash between two champions, Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor, and it’s the first of four boxing events planned at Virgin through June. But non-sports live entertainment will arrive at the new off-Strip resort even earlier when “27,” a unique musical tribute, opens at 24 Oxford on May 19. Produced by HEN Entertainment’s Ramy El-Batrawi and James Dalessandro, the original production focuses on the music and cultural contributions of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Robert Johnson, icons who all died at the age of 27. It’s primed for five shows a week at 8 p.m. in the versatile former Vinyl space and tickets are on sale at 27show.com.
There were almost too many concert and event announcements this week to keep track of … almost. Barry Manilow pushed the return of his Vegas residency show to the Westgate International Theater to September 16 and now has 18 dates stretching into December. Justin Bieber rescheduled his tour to 2022 and will now land at T-Mobile Arena on February 20. Country artist Cody Jinks will hit the stage at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan on December 3, rockers Halestorm and Evanescence play there on November 12 and punk outfit Rise Against visits the same place on August 20. Comedian Mike Epps will perform at the Venetian Theatre over Labor Day weekend on September 4 and 5. Blues-rock fave Joe Bonamassa returns to Park Theater on August 6. Grown-up pop stars Debbie Gibson and Joey McIntyre added a fourth show to their recently announced run at the Sands Showroom at the Venetian and are now on the docket for August 26-29. Mandalay Bay announced the return of its annual Concerts on the Beach series, kicking off with Sublime with Rome, Mystic Roots and Hirie on July 4. Banda MS adds to the Latin acts storming the city for Mexican Independence Day weekend with a concert on September 11 at Mandalay’s Michelob Ultra Arena. Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons will help restart the Smith Center’s programming with a show on October 8 in Reynolds Hall. Phish is back on the Strip for Halloween, at MGM Grand Garden Arena October 28-31. And the iHeartRadio Music Festival will return to T-Mobile Arena on September 17 and 18, the same weekend the Life Is Beautiful festival is planned to make its comeback in downtown Las Vegas.
Vegas headliner extraordinaire Frank Marino is back as Joan Rivers in “Legends In Concert” at the Tropicana on May 27, but his “Diva-Licious Brunch” show is also back at DW Bistro this weekend with performances on Saturday and Sunday. The party starts early at 10 a.m. and tickets, if there are any left, will be found at dwbistro.com.
Elsewhere this weekend: the Nevada Room continues this week’s proper opening with Ruby Lewis in the piano bar bistro Friday and Saturday before skipping over to the Vegas Room for the Sunday brunch show; the Special EFX All Stars perform Saturday at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater as part of the Jazz in the Park series; indie rockers Desert Bloom play the Space tonight; and the inimitable Frankie Scinta returns to the Italian American Club for a Sunday dinner show.
Singer Skye Dee Miles is staying busy all over town. She presents Stormy Mondays at the new Level One bar and lounge on Main Street, which this week features the super-smooth sounds of Ken Young. She’s singing at the Nomad Bar at Park MGM Thursdays in May and maintaining her “Bourbon & Blues” Wednesday night event and Cork & Thorn. And Miles just added Saturday nights at the comfy Shag Room lobby bar at Virgin Las Vegas, giving you another reason to go check out the revamped resort if you haven’t made it there yet.
Area15 is suddenly a live entertainment haven as well as an immersive art experience. “Draganza: A Fierce Variety show” is performed at 9 p.m. Fridays featuring fabulous queens Alexis Mateo, Coco Montrese, Kahanna Montrese and more, and coming up on May 22 is a concert from experimental electronica act Soul In The Machine.
If you’re still into virtual entertainment and not quite ready to leave the cozy confines of your vehicle, the new season of Encore Drive-In Nights kicks off May 22 with a new concert performance from Bon Jovi, available at select drive-in theaters around the world including our own West Wind Las Vegas Drive-In on West Carey Avenue. Next up is Florida Georgia Line on June 12. For tickets, visit encorenights.com.