Around the Strip with Brock Radke: Janelle Monáe, Wanda Sykes and more
The Future is Now
It’s hard to discern what’s most impressive about Janelle Monáe. Is it her singular brand of futuristic dance-soul-funk-rock? Or is it the ease with which she seems to have crafted a separate, acclaimed career as an actress?
She won the AAFCA Breakout Performance Award and the Black Film Critics Circle Rising Star Award in recognition of her striking performances in Moonlight and Hidden Figures, and Monáe has most recently appeared (appropriately) as an android in an episode of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. The role aligns perfectly with her new album Sexy Computer, described by Rolling Stone as “artful, ambitious, determined, joys and inspiring.”
Get ready to admire all the awesome aspects of Monáe when she takes the stage at the Pearl at the Palms on June 26.
Absolutely No Nonsense
Take it from Wanda Sykes: Leave that Twitter alone. The Emmy Award-winning comedian was a behind-the-scenes part of the revival of Roseanne Barr’s ’90s sitcom Roseanne, but Sykes quit the show before Barr was fired after an infamous, controversial tweet. “It’s crazy when you deal with people. They’re one way to your face and then on social media, they turn into crazy people,” Sykes recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For me, if I have something to say, I’ll say it to your face absolutely!” Sykes quickly moved on to other projects, including producing the game show Face Value, filming her next stand-up special and embarking on a tour that stops at Treasure Island on June 29.
Even superheroes need to party sometimes, and when they’re not saving the world they like to spend time in Las Vegas. The Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman, visited Drai’s Nightclub at The Cromwell recently to catch a performance from the king of Southern hip-hop, Tip “T.I.” Harris. Also in the crowd was boxer Terence Crawford, who defeated Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title at MGM Grand Garden Arena earlier that night.
You know him from America’s Got Talent and Penn & Teller: Fool Us, as well as his own show at the Flamingo, but Piff the Magic Dragon is a well-established citizen of the city. He recently found a fun way to give back with Piff’s Ping Pong Pifftacular, a star-studded tournament and fundraiser for Mission High School in downtown Las Vegas. Among the participating entertainers at the Flamingo’s Beach Club were “X” Burlesque producers Matt and Angela Stabile, comedian John Caparulo and the members of Tenors of Rock.
How do you know when you’ve got the hottest new restaurant in the city? When the greatest expansion team in the history of major league sports decides to celebrate its historic season at your place. The Palms’ Scotch 80 Prime chef Barry S. Dakake welcomed the Vegas Golden Knights for a team dinner after the club’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Several players moved on to catch blink-182 in concert at the Pearl followed by a nightcap at the all-new rooftop lounge Apex Social Club.
Brock Radke is an award-winning entertainment reporter who has been covering the city since 2000, and interviews key movers and shakers on his All The Vegas podcast, available at allthevegas.com.