Producer Adam Steck’s company, SPI Entertainment, is known not only for ushering in some of the Strip’s most popular and unique shows—including male revue Thunder From Down Under and a headlining residency from Boyz II Men—but also managing some of the busiest showrooms in town. Until recently, Steck’s focus was on the Thunderland Showroom at Excalibur, also home to The Mac King Comedy Magic show, but this year SPI also partnered with The STRAT on the north end of the Strip to program its classic Vegas theater.
Business has been booming for you in 2021 with lots of new projects, but has your original show, Thunder From Down Under, recovered well after last year’s temporary shutdown?
Not only has the audience come back, they’ve come back in droves. We had a record summer. We’ve never done this kind of business in our 20-year history in Las Vegas. It’s like the floodgates are open. All the bachelorette parties that couldn’t happen (during the last year), they’re making up for that. Girls 18 to 80 are coming back, letting their hair down and coming to see the show that’s been successful for so many years.
The recent addition of Mac King to that room at Excalibur seems like a natural fit given his long success on the Strip and family-friendly appeal.
Mac King is a legend. He’s been around town as long as me, so when I was asked if we could put this deal together and do the King at the castle, I thought it was a no-brainer. There are very few shows that can play in the afternoon with a brand like that.
How did this new partnership with The STRAT come to be, and how did you go about curating the new shows in that theater?
I never stopped working (during the pandemic). I’m always plotting and planning how to expand, what shows can go where. This property just finished this $100 million renovation and it looks really good and has a great energy. The building is iconic, it has Top of the World, one of the coolest restaurants in town, and the showroom itself is phenomenal. For years, they only had one show there and I said I’d like to maximize the real estate and make the property stickier, so when people go there, they have multiple entertainment options. We set out to have shows at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and now those spots are all filled.
In addition to the ongoing MJ Live tribute show, you’ve added magic with Xavier Mortimer, mentalism with Banachek, a party dance show called iLuminate, and you have Sammy Hagar’s residency coming online later this month.
I’m a rocker; classic rock is my jam, I love all kinds of music but I grew up in classic rock. Sammy is a legend, from his band Montrose back in the day to Van Halen, one of the biggest bands of all time, and after that he had the Circle, which is also very successful. To have the opportunity to work with Sammy at The STRAT is unbelievable. He loves the room, he could have picked any place in town but he just loves the vibe there, and the whole idea is to bring his Cabo experience to Las Vegas. The showroom is going to be transformed into his club down there in Cabo.
What are some of the keys to success in entertainment on the Strip?
We have the history in Las Vegas to know what generally works. A show that might work in New York or off-Broadway or some other place might come in thinking it’s going to kick butt, and most of the time it doesn’t. Twenty-plus years of doing what we do, being on the ground in Las Vegas and being able to wear different hats and have different roles, it’s been quite amazing.
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