A new kind of scary music carnival of sorts composed of famous (and infamous) old, but vital hard rockers may be coming to Las Vegas. Apparently, old rockers never really die- they just play on.
Veteran rockers Kiss have reportely announced on the sly plans to bring a reported big-budget, Cirque du Soleil-style stage show to Las Vegas with at least a $40 million to $50 million budget, according to those behind the planned production.
The show, which will purportedly be titled “Kiss: Carnival of Souls,” is being devised by Kiss’ Gene Simmons, a very frequent Las Vegas visitor, and Paul Stanley, with L.A. comic book publisher Radical Publishing and its Singapore-based sister company Storm Lion also involved in putting it together.
Details still are emerging about the show, but according to Barry Levine, co-founder of Radical, it will be an all-encompassing affair.
“It involves every aspect of music, movement, lighting, stage design and special effects,” Levine says via e-mail from Singapore. “Since Kiss is the epitome of theatrical rock, we need to make sure it represents the Kiss brand. The Kiss brand has endured and sustained itself like no other group for the past 35 years.”
No official opening date has been set or even a venue named. Levine says that it will debut in “approximately two years and yes, we do have an idea of where we want it to be, but that will only be revealed once certain requirements are met.”
Promoters who book The Pearl at the Palms, The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel the Las Vegas Hilton and the 7,000-seat theater at Planet Hollywood, though, played it Vegas-style safe to the vest, saying they either were not familiar with the proposed production or that they had not engaged in discussions with the producers.
Levine says he first developed a working relationship with Simmons and Stanley as a photographer for Kiss more than 30 years ago. He says that a production like this has been in the works for some time.
“There have been talks about Kiss creating a Vegas show for the past 20 years,” Levine says, “but the collaboration between Kiss, Radical and Storm Lion seemed to help take it to another level.”
Levine also says Stanley and Simmons will have a strong hand in the development of the show. “Kiss will be hands-on as they have been from day one and they already have an initial concept,” he says.
Levine says he has enlisted the help of Michael Gill, who helms the Vegas-based Gill Theatrical Management. Gill’s firm oversees daily operations of local titles including “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” and he often has served as a go-between for producers seeking to place titles on the Strip.
If the show does come to fruition, Levine says it will be a mix of the new and the old intended to reach an audience that reflects as much.
“I feel that Kiss will be reaching its current demographic from 10- to 60-year-olds,” Levine says. “Will it be tailored to a specific hard-rock audience? No, it will be tailored to a Kiss audience with new music along with classics that we all love.”