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A smashing report from Cirque/Elvis show at CityCenter

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Elvis Presley impersonator Jesse Garon holds a mask with the face of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman. These masks doubled as fans.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Someone familiar with the production of the Elvis show at CityCenter’s Aria resort recently described a scene early in the performance: A classically clad Elvis impressionist walks onstage and is summarily crushed by a giant blue suede shoe.

No ambiguity there.

I stress that I’ve not seen this scene, so I can’t say with 100-percent certainty that it is actually being rehearsed or even planned, and no one involved with the production (including Cirque du Soleil and MGM Mirage officials) is eager to confirm any details about the show at this early point of development. But it has been reported that there will be no specific, rote impersonation of Elvis in the show by anyone in the cast -- the snuffed-out Elvis being an exception, of course.

As the official Cirque du Soleil Web site says of the show, set to open in December: “The production pays tribute to Elvis' music and life, fusing dance and acrobatics, live music and iconic tracks, nostalgia and modernity, high technology and raw emotion. In short, the show will be in Elvis' image: powerful, sexy, whimsical and truly unique.”

Indeed, nothing says “whimsy” like smashing the traditional Elvis impersonator and everything he stands for. Just the thought of it makes me laugh, but the idea is not so funny to one of the nation’s busiest Elvis impressionist, Jesse Garon. When I called Garon last week and described the crushing-of-the-impersonator scene, there was a long pause on the other end. Then he said, “Uh, wow. Wow. What do I think of that? That’s a very, very good question. I’ve had people ask me if he’s alive or dead, but nothing like this. I can’t even think right now … but maybe that’s why they haven’t called me for a job interview.”

Taking his name from Elvis’ twin brother, who died at birth, Garon is the “official” Elvis for all of Mayor Oscar Goodman’s appearances requiring an Elvis effect, including the renewal of the marriage vows of Goodman and wife Carolyn on Sept. 9 on Fremont Street. Gathering his bearings, Garon said, “This is a direct-result assault on us. Elvis Presley Enterprises has had it out for us for years (or at least since Robert F.X. Sillerman took control of Presley’s estate) … Elvis would roll over in his grave if he knew what corporate America is doing to these guys paying tribute. It would totally sicken him.”

Maybe. What was the line? “You can knock me down, step in my face ...”

“We’re complying … we’re complying”

What’s great about the video of CNN’s Dana Bash and Ted Barrett’s pursuit of John “Hotfoot” Ensign, aside from Ensign's impression of Nathan Thurm (check out the comparison videos), is how much territory the junior senator from Nevada is able to cover in roughly two minutes. A priceless moment unfolds at the 2:20 mark as Ensign cuts a corner while nimbly explaining, “We will cooperate with any inquiries …,” and hanging out against the wall are a couple of homies, talkin’ nonsense and whatnot. This is after Ensign shakes free of his Senate office, but before he hits the light at the crosswalk, where unsuspecting pedestrians are left to wonder, “What the hell is going on here?” Given this pace, I’ll bet Ensign can walk 18 in two hours, easily.

Ensign the Pursued ... - from YouTube.com

... Nathan Thurm on the hot seat - from YouTube.com

Fantasy goes formal

Angelica Bridges was finally formally announced today as the replacement for Stephanie Dianna (long "Jordan") in Fantasy, which can be verified by the fact that Bridges’ opening night was Thursday and she was onstage though the weekend. There was talk of her going fully topless, but she went with pasties for her opener, and producer Anita Mann says a final decision on this vital production effect has not been made. There is a big difference, philosophically and even artistically, in pasties vs. no pasties. Bridges’ premiere party is Oct. 13 at the Luxor. We’ll be on the case then, promise.

Favre license plate.

Marie Osmond arrives at the 14th annual Andre Agassi Foundation for Education's Grand Slam for Children benefit at Wynn Las Vegas.

Marie Osmond arrives at the 14th annual Andre Agassi Foundation for Education's Grand Slam for Children benefit at Wynn Las Vegas.

Quick tosses

It’s been a while since we’ve run a vanity plate in the Blogitorium, but coinciding with the Vikings’ victory over the Packers last night, a plate discovered today at UMC: FAVRE. … If UNLV head football coach Mike Sanford does not survive the full season, a member of the family will still be employed as a college coach. His son Mike is an assistant coach at Yale. … A long-anticipated PR merger has come to fruition: Ken Langdon and Steve Flynn have merged operations as LangdonFlynn Communications. That was announced Saturday. Curvaceous entertainers (Holly Madison) and attractions (Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch) are among their clients. … Something you might not know about Marie Osmond: Worth following on Twitter (@marieosmond). … The Mr. Spock of Neonopolis, Rohit Joshi, continues to talk of how picky "Trekkies" are about Star Trek's culture and legacy. But he keeps referring to them as that -- "Trekkies" -- instead of the preferred "Trekkers." This needs to be straightened out before the Star Trek Experience finally opens at JoshiLand (see my colleague Sam Skolnik's story here for the latest). I don't know what to think about this project anymore -- Joshi seems about as stable as a Jenga puzzle. I hope, for downtown's sake, he finally gets Neonopolis off the ground. ... Recession Road Trip author Christina Davidson, who touched down in VegasVille last month during her cross-country online project for Atlantic magazine, was involved in a minor car accident Monday in Seattle. It was minor in that she doesn’t appear to be seriously injured, but the Toyota Prius she was driving was rendered inoperable in a four-car crash on an I-5 on-ramp. Fittingly, Davidson was about to check in on a group of homeless people who are residents of a place they call “Nickelsville,” and the smashed Prius on this remarkable trek was No. 5. Davidson is now heading back toward D.C., but it’s still a long and winding road. We’ll check back in a few, once she’s on the mend and forging ahead in Prius No. 6, called “James,” as in “Home, James.”

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.

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