“Opium” takes off with a restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip
Come get the captain. Stay for the pasta. Or vice versa.
Spiegelworld does a lot in Las Vegas, but doesn’t do it twice. The company’s zeal for exploration at the Cosmopolitan with the twin hospitality experience of “Opium” and Superfrico. The show celebrated its grand reopening on Thursday evening.
This was the company’s second such event, following an unveiling last month. If there’s a third, we’ll be there too, as long as Harry M. Howie is here.
We know the show very well, or we have, since its opening in March 2018, the replacement of “Vegas Nocturne”, which lasted six months ending in June 2014. An interplanetary farce aboard the OPM 73 spacecraft, ” Opium “had just started running in the dark in early 2020 when it was taken off the scene. Some of the popular characters at the Opium Theater ended up complementing the Spiegelworld shows that beat “Opium” on stage.
– John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) October 29, 2021
Asher Treleaven, known as the aforementioned Captain Kunton; and Grace Lusk like Lieutenant Karen are among the stars of “Opium” who have helped “Absinthe” fill two companies and put on 14 shows a week at Caesars Palace.
“Opium” managed to work in a relatively small space. The Opium Theater does not allow large aerial performances simply because the ceiling is lower than the Absinthe Spiegeltent and the Atomic Saloon Show at the Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes. But even as a more, shall we say, founded production, “Opium” uses nasty comedy writing to keep the show consistently entertaining.
– John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) October 29, 2021
The Captain’s introduction to his act “Sexy Diablo”, includes a message to the fans for whom the act is directed, “If you’re a woman like a man, or a man like a woman…” Brett Alters Chiptells Rob the Robot (Eli Weinberg) his romantic experience culminated with “lip to cheek” which sends the sexual references into space.
Rear Admiral Todd (Brett Loudermilk) cut her fuchsia-colored hair, but her sword-swallowing routine is still very effective. Leeloo’s The balloon contortion routine is deemed impressive enough to lead the company’s marketing blitz. We’ve got some new, manic, plate spinning Gypsy wood like Nurse Chardonnay, a comedic and inventive banana-spitting act from Jonathan Taylor and Ann Goldman of Daredevlil Chicken. Denis lock The shiny bubble number, interpreted in a classic pinstripe suit, is shiny. It is also the only act that is not presented as a segment of outer space.
founder of Spiegelworld Ross mollison The talent for international recruiting is again evident in the Pedal & Metal Risley Act, for which Mollison traveled to Ethiopia on a scouting trip. The two perform a risley act, in which one member flips the other at high speed while lying on his back. Similar to many “Opium” acts, you wonder about the learning curve of this one as it must have failed multiple times to be performed so expertly now.
The set of “Opium” makes a great production, tight and awesome and funny. But the adjacent restaurant offers something different from Spiegelworld. The food at Superfrico is excellent, the decor matches the “Opium” design perfectly – in terms of aesthetics and attitude.
Guests arrive at separate locations when they reach the Cosmopolitan’s second-level “Opium” Annex. The Artery Dining Room is home to what the company calls “American Psychedelic Italian” cuisine. The Studio is the dining room and the bar where the artists were installed during the Rose. Rabbit. Lie. days. Ski Lodge is the design of the cocktail bar, yes, like a ski lodge. Enjoy this wintry spot when it’s 100 years outside.
The Bottle-O at the edge of the theater offers the collection of mixed and bottled cocktail bottles. We ask for mocktails, or at least a specific FizzyWater entry in this menu. This program is led by a James Beard Award winning mixologist Leo Robitschek and the GM Greisy Pacton restaurant. Behind the scenes, longtime Vegas entertainment pros Allegra Libonati and Shannan Calcutt worked to blend culinary and entertainment experiences, while “Opium” artists perform around the restaurant and apart from the theater.
I had already called Superfrico a pizzeria. It presents an excellent pizza, run by a man so skilled at designing the pies that he is known as “International Pizza Czar”, Anthony Falco. But it’s more than that.
The team has designed great dishes of pasta, steak, seafood, small plates and desserts. The chicken parm is very good. Bistecca alla Fiornita, the 40-ounce Creekstone tomahawk, is what we’ll call a “destination” dish.
The art around the room is a bonus, but adds to the overall experience. Artistic advisor Heather Harmon directs the effort, keeping the fundamentals of the company circus. More than 20 original works decorate the walls, highlighted by Adehla lee Psycho Pop Party, a color-splashed acrylic that is the first painting commissioned for Superfrico. Tiza’s paranormal activity can be found in the Purple Lodge, the entrance to the place. Morgan phillips (aka The Sucklord) created 20 action figures based on “Opium” characters.
Among these early figures is Harry M. Howie himself. The show effectively took place without his continued participation, as it took off for other companies in Los Angeles. But was back Thursday night, smiling at what has been achieved.
Spiegelworld satirized the traditional circus in “Absinthe” and gave the Wild West once again in “Atomic”. But the revived “Opium” is the company’s moonlight. May he always play among the stars.
Cool Hang Alert
The Moonshiners, The formidable Gatsby-themed Vegas cover band of the Top 40 perform at the Star Piano Cocktail Lounge at 10 p.m. Saturday. This is the former Sonny’s Saloon dive bar at 3449 S. Sammy Davis Jr. Drive. There is a costume party. There are prizes. There will be grooving. Go to starloungelv.com for more details.
John Katsilometes column is published daily in section A. His “PodKats! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] To follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @ JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.