|Michael Jackson The Immortal comes to Mandalay Bay in spring 2013.|
These days the music is more rock than Rat Pack, the comedy a bit edgier and the extravaganzas more extravagant than ever, but one thing hasn’t changed: Las Vegas still makes a pretty good claim to the title “Entertainment Capital of the World.” It seems like there’s always something new going on, which is especially good news for repeat visitors, who consistently represent more than 80 percent of the city’s tourists year after year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s annual Visitor Profile Studies. Here’s a sampling of what’s on the calendar for the remainder of 2012.
The Lion Roars: MGM Resorts International is bringing two more Cirque du Soleil spectaculars to Las Vegas with Zarkana taking the stage at Aria in October and Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL set to debut in the spring at Mandalay Bay. Four other Cirque productions, KÀ, Zumanity, “O” and The Beatles LOVE, are still going strong at the MGM Grand, New York-New York, Bellagio and The Mirage, respectively.
Another iconic troupe, Blue Man Group, is coming to MGM’s Monte Carlo in October with a show combining brand-new material with signature pieces that have made them audience favorites.
The Cosmopolitan Rocks Out: Thursdays Live at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Boulevard Pool hosts an eclectic mix of up-and-coming bands along with resident DJ M!keAttack. Upcoming shows include Jane’s Addiction, September 7 (a special Friday show) and The Hives, September 13. Indoors, The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan welcomes Morrissey on November 23.
More Music: If your clients prefer their rock a little less alternative, there are several alternatives, including Rod Stewart and Elton John, who are returning to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Stewart has nine shows on select dates between September 19 and October 7. John debuts his all-new show, The Million Dollar Piano, October 10 with 15 subsequent performances through mid-November.
Latin music superstar Luis Miguel will play at The Colosseum during Mexican Independence Day weekend, September 13-15. And for a touch of old-school-is-hip-again, crooner Tony Bennett holds sway at Caesars on September 1.
For country music fans, Shania Twain does 10 shows at Caesars, December 1-15, while Garth Brooks performs his new one-man show at the intimate Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, with 10 dates remaining between August 17 and November 17.
Comedy: For a good laugh, there is never any shortage of comedians in Las Vegas. For example, Tim Allen, Joan Rivers, David Spade and comedienne-in-residence Rita Rudner will be appearing on various dates at The Venetian through November. Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand presents a weekly lineup of familiar funny folk and talented newcomers, with the Everybody Loves Raymond alumnus himself dropping by to entertain on select Saturday nights and a full week November 26-December 2. Carrot Top presents his unique blend of prop comedy and observational humor six shows a week at MGM’s Luxor.
For family-friendly fun, there’s Terry Fator: Ventriloquism in Concert at The Mirage. Fator, an America’s Got Talent winner, brings to life a cast of characters highlighted by celebrity singing impressions.
A Bit of Broadway: The new downtown Smith Center presents its Broadway Las Vegas Series. Wicked runs August 29-October 7, followed by The Addams Family November 20-25. Next Year’s shows include Anything Goes, West Side Story, Shrek the Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Billy Elliot and Catch Me If You Can.