The attack on Mars: “I took your phones” and a sample of Celine

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The best song you haven’t heard is “I Take Your Phones Away” by Bruno March.

It’s the pop superstar’s next big hit, or could be, if he ever records it. But you probably won’t be able to listen to this song unless you are at one of the great Mars listening nights at the Park Theater.

Mars opened its first show since early 2020 on Friday, expressing gratitude for performing in front of a live audience. “We did the math, and it’s been 16 months since we went on stage. Said Mars. Then he added that the night was particularly special because…

“I took your phones! I took your phones! It’s an actual song, or a snippet of a song. Mars created this song in 2019, when he initially requested that all phones and smartwatches be “bagged” for his concerts (my phone was locked, but my watch stayed on).

The crowd of 5,200 laughed and cheered, as Mars said anyone holding a cell phone was unable to dance properly.

Mars also ventured into keyboards and performed a few songs he didn’t write, but which helped fuel his passion for music. “I forget you” by Cee Lo Green was one, with Mars and the audience singing the original, secular lyrics. “I never thought that a whole audience would shout that at me,” Mars said with a laugh.

He then introduced in “My Heart Will Go On”, the Celine Dion classic from “Titanic”. He stopped after a few lines, but the crowd howled. Mars therefore moved from keyboards to center stage and performed the full number, his Hooligans replacing him. Mars joked that no one (including Celine) would hear this version because the phones were turned off.

Mars has performed the song at least once before, over the weekend after initially locking the phones. But this is the first time it’s played during the Strip’s COVID reopening. We tried to glean Dion’s comment on this unexpected tribute. We’ll check, if she does.

Fator’s fate

The first 10 minutes of that of Terry Fator show in New York-New York are quite breathtaking. I alternated whether to specify how this performance opens and not spoil the moment yet. It’s a vocal, ventriloquist spectacle that even those who don’t dig the models (or rather the numbers) will find amazing.

Headlining the Strip since opening at the Mirage in 2008, Fator is scheduled to end his series at the former Zumanity Theater on July 25. Expect him to walk through the casino to the Liberty Loft, the upstairs venue that overlooks the hotel’s sports betting. From this position, the bookmaker reads like reading the Nasdaq on Wall Street.

Artists and potential headliners have been kicking the tires out of this venue over the past half-dozen years. Its previous seating capacity was around 300. The only major event I attended was the ‘One Night For One Drop’ pre-party in 2017, which showed its potential for inspired renovation as a theater.

‘Sexxy’ at the pier

Jen Romas hits the beach and rides waves and makes waves and other aquatic metaphors with its ‘Sexxy’ offshoot. Romas et son beau, personal trainer and host of adult events Rico Bozant, were booked at 1212 Santa Monica Sunday night. The venue is a two-story restaurant with an after-hours lounge and private event space.

Romas and Bozant have announced that they will appear together in at least one issue of the new ‘Sexxy’ show at the Westgate Cabaret. The heads-up surfaced in the social media posts of an erotic issue from the Stirling Club pool deck, with the message: “Who’s coming to see us at Westgate?” I will check “Yes” to start.

Neither Romas nor Westgate officials have yet specified the format for the return of “Sexxy”. We should have a final word on dates, prices and format by the end of the week. But it’s expected to be a smaller-scale production returning to Westgate Stadium. The show typically took place with eight cast members, before COVID.

Now Romas performs in Santa Monica with Bozant, and also aerials Patricia bouchebel (“Tournament of Kings” at Excalibur) and Jessica delgado (end of Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at The Cosmopolitan).

During COVID, Romas previously performed “Sexxy” at Dreamland Drive-In at Fresh Wata Studios in Las Vegas, and is continuing the show’s weekend residency at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club. This show is set to continue after Westgate production reopens, with Anne Martinez continuing as lead singer and Nathalie Brown (from “Vegas! The Show”) and Rockie Brown (from Elvis Velvet and his writing partnership with Jason tanzer) pick up swing assignments.

“Sexxy” has been a unique Las Vegas success story since Romas opened the show in January 2015. We can’t wait to see the next iteration.

Cool Hang Alert

America’s Got Talent Season 5 Champion Michel grimm continues his residency from Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Piazza Lounge at Tuscany Suites. Grimm has just released his latest single, his cover of “America The Beautiful”, and he’s gorgeous.

John Katsilometes’ column is published daily in section A. His “PodKats! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] To pursue @johnnykats on Twitter, @ JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.



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