Vegas Legends: Dita Von Teese, Donny Osmond, U2, Wayne Newton, The Beatles LOVE, Awakening

Horseshoe Casino Horseshoe Casino Harrah's Casino Harrah's Casino U2 at the Sphere, Las Vegas, Nevada Flamingo Casino Flamingo Casino The Mirage Wynn Wynn
Legends of Las Vegas, live on stage

Chapters:   Achtung Baby Live  •  The GA Line  •  Zoo Station at the Venetian  •  Sphere Experience and Postcard from Earth  •  Vegas Legends  •  Venetian and Tao Beach  •  Vegas, Baby!  •  Acrobat

“Here’s the mark that a lot of people miss nowadays. Producers missed. They leave out the heart and soul. And that’s what I learned from Sammy Davis, Jr., from Frank Sinatra, is when you went to go see those shows, you got to know them.”
Donny Osmond

“All the stars aligned — figuratively and literally — to make this unparalleled weekend happen.”
Mattopia Jones
(comment made to the Times over a pint of Guinness at the Tilted Kilt on Restaurant Row in Las Vegas; the Kilt chain started with this location, so it’s also a Vegas legend)

Classic Vegas

Here it is, 11 February U2024. I’m preparing for my (astounding) seventh trip to Las Vegas in less than five months. Before the advent of Sphere, my last visit to Vegas was in 2018. Yes. To see U2. The eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour at T-Mobile Arena. Prior to that, it was all the way back in 2007 (without U2).

Even so, that first Sphere trip seems so long ago now. Arriving 28 September U2023. I was so young. So care free. And I recall so fondly the astonishment I felt as the Uber driver took me from the airport to Treasure Island. All those (now digital) billboards promoting all the entertainment at the ready.

Donny Osmond.



Rich Little.

“Holy crap! He’s still alive?” I excitedly asked the driver.

Then I had to explain who Rich Little is.

Wayne Newton.

Katy Perry.

Lady Gaga.

So much phenomenal talent.

Plus, the new kids at the shiny, wholly illuminated new venue, U2 at Sphere.

So many legendary performers all in walking distance of each other.

And, of course, there’s that other legend — the legend in his own mind — the punk from the north of Arvada, Mattopia Jones.

This extended weekend is not only a plunge into Vegas culture, it’s a deep dive into Vegas couture.

Forget the Kitsch

The expectation was this weekend of legendary extravagance would be a tour through classic Las Vegas kitsch.

Instead, it turned into a thoroughly entertaining — even inspirational — series of experiences that brought Vegas back into focus as an entertainment empire.

Thinking about the incredible, durable careers of Donny and Wayne in particular, it was interesting to consider their similarities. Both shows were written by the stars and both shows were essentially a career restrospective. And both told of their highs and lows.

But I couldn’t help but think, while they certainly had their peaks and relative valleys, those valleys were still higher than what most people experience as peaks. Washed up? Career over? Well, we all go through that. Precious few of us run into the likes of a Jack Benny or a Andrew Lloyd Webber to jumpstart flagging careers.

Dita Von Teese
Dita Las Vegas: A Jubilant Revue

Jubilee Theater at Horseshoe
15 February 2024

Clever show title, said sincerely.

Looking back, I think my impressions of Dita were unfairly marred by her associations with Marilyn Manson.

Donny Osmond

Harrah’s Showroom at Harrah’s
16 February 2024

Clever show title, said facetiously.

U2:UV – Achtung Baby Live

Sphere at Venetian
18 February U2024

It’s part of an extended post-Valentine’s Day romantic weekend with the love of my life, “my band.” A mènage á cinq. Maybe we’ll visit the Elvis Chapel after the show.

Wayne Newton
Wayne: Up Close & Personal

Bugsy’s Cabaret at Flamingo
19 February 2024

I love the fact the show’s at a theatre called Bugsy’s. And I’m amused the show starts at 19:00. Wayne, born 3 April 1942, is currently 81. So the early show time kinda makes me think it’s equivalent to the old school early buffet dinner.

Cirque Du Soleil
The Beatles LOVE

LOVE Theatre at The Mirage
29 February 2024

Refreshed for its 10th anniversary back in 2016, LOVE still shines on as an energetic tribute to the Beatles.

U2:UV – Achtung Baby Live

Sphere at Venetian
1-2 March U2024

A wild ride at Sphere that culminates with a filmed show, #39 on 1 March, and a doozie of a finale, #40 on 2 March.


Awakening Theater at Wynn
3 March 2024

Loaded with stock characters and theme park-caliber dialogue, it’s still worth seeing for the incredible stagecraft.

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The Stories of Surrender one-man theatrical stage show was conceived as a promotional book tour for Bono’s phenomenal “MEmoir” and the tour expanded into an extended series of shows on Broadway.

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