Curtain Up: Drive-In Drag on tour, blues with the Homebound Bender and more Vegas showbiz news

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Eugene Dela Cruz/One Seven Agency

Christopher Kenney as Edie performs during a Drive-In Drag show at Fresh Wata’s Dreamland Drive-In.

Thu, Sep 10, 2020 (2 a.m.)

The Dreamland Drive-In, the makeshift live events venue at do-it-all production house FreshWata Studios, hosted another curious new pandemic-era show at the end of August with “Salvage City,” an innovative dinner variety show directed by Bret Pfister from the former “Miss Behave Game Show” and featuring several performers from various Strip shows. But the Dreamland event that started it all in the springtime, the Drive-In Drag Show, has hit the road and will be performing a series of shows this weekend in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray, Utah. The “world’s first all-live-singing drive-in drag extravaganza” was co-created by Vegas entertainer Christopher Kenney, aka Edie in Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity.” There are no shows currently scheduled at the Vegas venue but plans are in the works for Halloween and Christmas-themed events.

You don’t have to be without your blues. The 7th annual Big Blues Bender has been rescheduled for September 9-12, 2021, at Westgate Las Vegas, but the Homebound Bender kicks off today at 6 p.m. on YouTube and runs through Sunday. The free broadcast will feature a selection of performances from past Bender faves today and Friday, the entire 2018 festival on Saturday and plenty of music from Tab Benoit & Friends on Sunday. The weekend virtual event is raising money to benefit the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund and more info about that cause can be found at blues.org.

Also officially postponed: The seventh annual Rise Up Gala to benefit Vegas rockstars Imagine Dragons’ Tyler Robinson Foundation, originally planned for October 10 at Wynn Las Vegas, has been pushed to 2021. The one-night-only experience assisting the foundation’s mission to help children battling pediatric cancer will be back when it’s possible and TRF supporters are encouraged to visit trf.org to learn about its latest initiatives and contribute.

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The Bronx Wanderers

The Space kicked off its series of Righteous Brothers livestream shows this week but that’s not the only Strip act taking advantage of the virtual capabilities of this off-Strip venue. The Bronx Wanderers, the band that was sharing Harrah’s Showroom with the Righteous Brothers pre-pandemic, will perform a pay-per-view livestream concert at 6 p.m. Friday, with tickets priced at $20 available at thespacelv.com or events.broadwayworld.com. Also coming up: more from the Righteous Brothers on September 16, 23 and 30, Christian Hoff and Travis Cloer on September 18, Anne Martinez and Lisa Marie Smith on September 19 and the Las Vegas Philharmonic on September 24.

The District at Green Valley Ranch will host a free drive-in concert from local party band 80s Station at 7 p.m. Saturday in the center’s north parking lot behind REI. Guests are required to remain in their vehicles in socially distant parking spaces and no walk-ins, motorcycles, vans, buses or tall vehicles are allowed. Minivans are okay. Space is limited and reservations are required at facebook.com/thedistrictgvr.

Rasar Amani, the dynamic frontman of local hip-hop band The Lique, will perform on Instagram Live for The Vinyl Say – A Virtual Pop Up at 6 p.m. Sunday. Previously a monthly event held by downtown bookstore the Writer’s Block and creative community The Lucy, this edition of The Vinyl Say will see Amani explore 2 Pac’s album “Me Against the World” with music, conversation and special guests on the Writer’s Block’s IG channel @thewritersblocklv.

Several local performers from Cirque du Soleil shows and other productions will be participating in a broadcast of a reading of “Alvie: A Nouveau Cirque Play” created by author and director Gabriella Giocomo to benefit HopeLink of Southern Nevada. Giocomo is development director at the award-winning local theatre company A Public Fit, which is producing the free virtual event on YouTube September 17-20. The 13-member volunteer cast includes actors, acrobats, aerialists, singers and other Las Vegas performers and the link will be posted on HopeLink’s Facebook page at 4 a.m. September 17, available through September 20 at midnight. Anyone interested in donating to the 29-year-old nonprofit organization serving Southern Nevada with housing, food, medical, employment, shelter, utility and low-income child, family, senior and homeless assistance programs can visit link2hope.org.

Westgate Las Vegas headlining comedian George Wallace is slated to participate the inaugural CaliZona Vegas Festival set to launch in October, a virtual cultural event designed by entrepreneur Ronald McCrory to showcase the African and Black diaspora experience through entertainment. Wallace is set to portray himself in a staging of the comedy play “Pinocchio is a Liar – The Nightmare,” an imagined presidential debate between Donald Trump and Barack Obama. The festival will be available to stream on Amazon Fire and Roku with a tentative date set for October 22.

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