Friday, June 4, 2010

Does David Saxe Just Make Stuff Up?

Seems like it!

The show-producing wunderkind of V Theater fame has a new one cooking, "Vegas! The Show." It's supposed to go into the former Steve Wyrick Theater. Except that earlier this week, journalists got this baffling email announcement:

We are proud to announce that Saxe Theater has experienced strong advance group sales of tickets to our newest show VEGAS! THE SHOW from both retail and group bookings.

As a result, we will accept reservations only for performance dates June 18, 2010 and later. On that date, the show is scheduled to go from one performance per night to two (revised show times will be 7:00PM and 9:00 PM, seven nights a week). Please change your listings and descriptions to illustrate VEGAS! THE SHOW performances June 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 as SOLD OUT.

Ahh, but wait! The show doesn't actually open until June 18! And they've known that for weeks. So how does it happen that they would write this release of May 28?

Also, who the hell would even believe them? Why would a show nobody's ever seen with people nobody's ever heard of sell out before it even opens? What could they possibly be smoking? I mean, they're "proud to announce" something that makes absolutely no sense and also has the misfortune of being ridiculously false.

To be fair, it looks like this email may have been intended for ticket suppliers, but (a) it went out to the entire email list and (b) that doesn't mean lying is OK.

Isn't it enough that everything I've heard about this thing has me thinking it's a train wreck of Hans Klok or Criss Angel proportions in the making? But to imagine you can invent sold-out shows in order to create buzz or interest? Is he actually insane?

It makes me wonder about this other over-the-top boast in the same e-mail:

At this month's Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority supplier showcase VEGAS! THE SHOW was described as follows: "This must-see "official show" of Las Vegas recreates the greatest moments in Vegas' history."

How can anyone call this show anything if it hasn't even opened yet? Has someone -- who?!? -- gotten a full-dress preview? I'm highly, highly doubting that.

I've got calls out checking on what the Saxe people have to say for themselves. This was something buried in my email and I just spotted it, so I apologize for not addressing it sooner.


Anonymous said...

What is even more intriguing is they started rehearsing and casting the show before it was even written, apparently! They were writing both songs and scripts in the month of May, which is cutting it kind of close to opening. Unless they were rewriting and retooling something that already existed, or padding it out. In any case, it doesn't sound like the producers have their act together. Look at the "official" trailer for it -- it's not even footage from the show itself! Most of the big showroom shows are written and cast several months before they open, not one or two. But it is a small showroom, so maybe it's okay. Something people will see on the spur of the moment, especially if they're comped or get a two for one offer. I'm a little confused about the opening date, too, because I've read in more than one place that it opens on June 11. Maybe the early opening and shows are previews, and the later date is the "official" opening with the big party? A lot of shows do it that way, but they usually identify it that way, the preview shows, then the official opening. Maybe Saxe just didn't identify it that way, for some reason.

One who knows said...

David sax is a liar who terrorizes his employees. So glad this is all starting to come out. What a scourge.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like there is more to the story that you're either not privy to knowing or just want to leave out to sway your story. Isn't that what you freelance writers do? Make your story sound juicy so maybe a real news outlet will care about what you say? I guess that's why they call these blogs, not news articles. Real journalists get the facts and quote their sources. Did you know that the V Theater is undergoing renovations and that the current V Theater shows are playing at the Saxe Theater until June 17th? Those delays were just announced this week. It seems to me that Saxe couldn't possibly open his new show when his other shows are still occupying the space. I wonder why you left out that little tid bit? Your story doesn't sound so juicy now does it?


Anon: I have multiple sources in the cast and company who have now confirmed to me privately that they were told BEFORE May 28 about the delay. Saxe send this out on May 28. These shows were never sold out and they knew when they issued this notice that there were no shows on those dates. The renovation of the V Theater was a fine explanation for why the show isn't opening until June 18, but they chose to go a different route. Nice try.

EC Gladstone said...

You see, Steve, most people in the industry are so accustomed to Vegas "media" simply parrotting whatever they put out, that the thought you'd even question their statement is making heads spin (and btw, your initial question seemed fairly innocent).
Wait until they start accusing you of "threatening with peoples' livelihoods" by criticizing...anything, basically.
I don't have any negative feelings whatsoever regarding David Saxe or his productions (actually, I like Fab Four and Popovich for what they are) but this is making me think of the general sentiment here that producers don't want a reviewer to see the show before the "kinks are worked out." I understand the concept of previews, but they should be extremely limited, and extremely cheap. The minute you start charging people to see something, it should be worth paying for.

Anonymous said...

As a former employee of David Saxe, I know first hand how shady and underhanded he is. I have countless tales of employees that were canned because they spoke out about things like; herding customers into the showroom like cattle in a period of 15 minutes in between shows, overcrowded shows, tickets sold that there were no seats for, safety and fire hazards, and overall disdain by patrons that were never addressed. On a recent Christmas Eve, Saxe deliberately told his Box Office to continue to sell seats when there were none available. He oversold the show by 150-160 tickets, hoping that the patrons would get frustrated waiting for a refund and "walk" so that he could keep their money. Saxe does not care about his employees, customers, or even artists onstage. He is one of those few producers in Las Vegas that did not come across his theater, acts, or wealth because of anything he did himself, it has all been because of taking advantage of others. I have it from a good source that he was elated to "take over" the Steve Wyrick theater, not because he cared so much about adding to the quality of entertainment here in Vegas (which, he doesn't) - but because he carried so much anymosity toward Wyrick for the success he had just paces down the Mall in the Miracle Mile Shops.

JP said...

To the 2nd person named Anonymous,

It seems as though either you are closely connected to the show, or DSP, because how else would you know about the V theater undergoing renovations? Steve didn't write an article about that on his blog until just now, and your comment was written yesterday. You go into this whole thing about Steve making his story juicy just to get it into mainstream press, not checking facts, etc. And yet, everything in his story is pure fact. He isn't naming his sources, but that's probably because they asked him not to.

First off, I don't think Steve would ever expect a story like this to get into the mainstream press. He knows that the people that care about such a story are limited. Secondly, he didn't have to add anything to the story to make it more of a story than it already was/is. David Saxe productions simply put, lied. They lied about having a show sold out for a week of performances, something which any Joe Shmo could find out by walking by the Saxe Theater any night that week and finding that Vegas The Show hasn't opened yet. That's a pretty stupid lie.

What's even more bizarre is that they didn't need to lie. All they had to say was renovations at the V theater are taking longer and our long running shows at the V Theater need a home, so we are pushing back Vegas The Show! for a week. That's all they had to say.

At the end of the day however, no audience member gives a damn. David's shows play to the middle of the crowd. All tourists, looking for a cheaper price point than Cirque or any of the headliners. If he were to put on his posters "Voted #1 Show in Vegas" his crowd would believe it. If people show up and buy tickets, I don't think he cares what the press thinks.

sing with nick said...

I have a little info on this show. Being an impersonator, i was contacted in April, via email,with the opportunity to have a ''Rat Pack'' built around my talents-stage time approx 6 mins. I was told the show would open June 1, however the $$$ was not enough to uproot me from NY state to move to Vegas. I've been looking for a review and to see who got the part i may have had .