Saturday, July 29, 2017|2 a.m.
. When it opened in the middle of 2015 at Light Club at Mandalay Bay, Baz was a bright, fresh, various musical production on the Las Vegas Strip, aiming to make its mark in a tempestuous live entertainment landscape. Now, as the program commemorates its first anniversary as Baz– Star Crossed Love in a more natural home at the Palazzo Theatre, it’s that much closer to making to making that mark.
“Vegas has actually been a wild flight for us,” states Shane Scheel, executive producer and co-creator at For The Record, the Los Angeles-based live entertainment company behind Baz. “Dealing with the Cirque du Soleil [team] at Light provided us what we called our Vegas workshop and it was an amazing experience to put that together, then to have everyone at Venetian [and Palazzo] come see it and fall for it and think we can do it even much better, that has been a reward for us to continue to explore the program.
“To have it running for a year there is surreal due to the fact that Vegas is a wild city to produce in. There’s a great deal of competition, and our goal was produce something very different. Every day that’s how we think.”
For The Record’s programs– called a “unique postmodern cabaret” by Vanity Fair– celebrate the work of well-known and famous film directors like Quentin Tarantino, John Hughes, Martin Scorsese, and in Las Vegas, Baz Luhrmann. Baz is centered on the love stories in Luhrmann’s movies Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, set to a contemporary pop music soundtrack including tunes like Prince’s “When Doves Cry” and Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” The show has been hailed for generally strong vocal efficiencies from its ensemble cast and its ability to surround its audience with noise and action.
“When we set out to the Palazzo, we were truly able to take the area and craft it into something that matches the show. Light was a fun play ground however it wasn’t developed for the show,” Scheel states. “The Palazzo Theatre was developed for the For The Record experience, to bring the action off the screen and into people’s laps, and their minds and hearts, so you can become completely immersed in these films and stories and, most significantly, the soundtracks.”
Accompanying the anniversary of the program is the return of its original star, Ruby Lewis, who plays Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan. Lewis, who’s likewise worked in film and television on Girl Satisfies World, Masters of Sex, Desperate Homemakers and more, just covered a year-long run as the lead in the Broadway debut of Cirque’s Paramour, a function that was born from her operate in the very first variation of Baz.
“It sort of fell into my lap due to my connection through Baz with Cirque du Soleil’s theatrical [group],” Lewis states. (Cirque was included with Baz at Light but is not included with the Palazzo production.) “Paramour was an entirely various beast. The artistic process was absolutely natural, very various from what I was utilized to, which is setting up a program in a couple weeks. We took our time constructing the program, and it was my first time on this grand scale where I got to be such a huge part of the procedure and have a lot input.”
Constructing the Concubine character around her strengths was a perfect circumstance for Lewis, and she states it altered the method she approaches her performances now– including repeating her function in Baz. “It’s not that my efficiency has actually been bashful, however as you experience more, it colors your performance,” she states. “I feel like I have the ability to go a little deeper which it feels more comfy in this function for me now. And I’ve really been munching at the bit after I saw it open [at Palazzo] and the area is so stunning, and the way the program has been reimagined is so vibrant and interesting.”
Baz has actually come a long way, Scheel explains, and it’s since of a serious dedication from everybody included.
“We have actually done shows in a lot of various type of locations, from a bar in East Hollywood to a 2,000-seat theater at South by Southwest,” he says. “We could not do Baz without the commitment of many people, from designers and actors taking a chance and heading out to Vegas, to everybody from the president of the casino on down to the innovative group [at Palazzo] It’s been extremely exciting to see how they have actually sort of combined the program into the entire hotel, not just [marketing it] to visitors however envisioning how the program matches the opulence and love of the general experience at the home.”
Baz– Star Crossed Love carries out Tuesdays through Sundays at 7 p.m. in the Palazzo Theatre. Tickets start at $59.50 and more info can be found at venetian.com.