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gaypalmsprings
10-08-2008, 06:57 AM
Billy Joel will open new Agua Caliente entertainment venue

By Debra Gruszecki • The Desert Sun • October 8, 2008

RANCHO MIRAGE — Billy Joel, the legendary “Piano Man,'' will help kick off The Show, the new $76 million entertainment venue at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa that's set to open on Feb. 12.

Joel, who burst onto the rock scene in the 1970s, has been at the forefront of the music industry with his signature piano-playing, soulful voice and “Uptown” guy style.

With more than 30 Top 40 hits since 1972, Billy Joel's singing career has also been “The River of Dreams'' for fans who long ago dubbed the Grammy-winning, platinum-clad singer, “The Entertainer.”

David Fendrick, chief operating officer for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, which owns and operates the property, called the booking a celebratory and symbolic feat.

“Our venue will stand apart from anything else,'' he said. “It's one thing to build a top-notch facility, but it won't mean anything if you don't put world-class entertainers on the stage.”

“We're doing both,'' he said.

Billy Joel will perform before a VIP audience on grand opening night in the 2,002-seat venue, Fendrick said.

Ticket-holders for the opening night performance can expect to see Joel — who is commanding ticket prices for a headline act at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., in January ranging from $250 to $1,813 — perform on a baby grand piano set on a turntable.

A limited number of tickets will be available for the Feb. 12 grand opening act, Fendrick said.

Seat availability and pricing has not yet been set.

The season lineup is also a work in progress, Fendrick said.

He noted that Joel will set the stage for a spectrum of A-rated, Las Vegas-styled acts that are likely to follow, such as Chicago, Tony Bennett and Jay Leno.

“Offers have gone out to Tom Jones and the Blue Man Group,'' Fendrick said, noting: “Nothing is off limits.”

Potential acts could range from Jewel and Kathy Griffin to Duffy and Nine Inch Nails. Live sporting events are also planned, and will include mixed martial arts and boxing.

The announcement was made Tuesday in the unfinished venue.

Rob Donnels, executive director of construction, said the interior will be sawdust free by Dec. 8.

Designed by Delawie Wilkes Rodrigues Barker, The Show's architectural amenities and design will rival other entertainment venues in Southern California, Donnels said.

“It compares to a lot of different houses in Vegas,'' he said. “Theatrical construction design it most resembles is that of The Pearl Concert Theater at The Palms Casino, which has 2,500 seats.”

Wood-paneled ceiling tiles, pebble-rock lined flooring, punched geometric openings in the main foyer, swirling staircases and natural colors will abound.

“The house will be largely black to call attention to the stage,'' Donnels said, but five colors will be carried in the seating. “The rendering shows a great deal of green, a color chosen to emulate the desert in bloom.”

There will be no bad seat in the house, he said.

Sound-absorbing materials have been incorporated into nearly every component of the 70-foot-high venue, from its seat design to balcony construction in the tiered venue, Donnels said.

Interior finish work, orchestrated by The PENTA Building Group, who is serving as the general contractor, will include the installation of premium lighting, large-format projection screens and tiered seating.

The venue is also equipped with tiered, box seats in 12 private suites — all featuring a private bar, restroom and catering area.

It will also offer an “assisted listening” system, so the hearing impaired can experience excellence in entertainment at The Show.

Fendrick said the completion of the venue will be the final round in the more than $300 million construction project to build the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa.

“It will make us a full resort,'' he said.

bmack86
10-08-2008, 08:14 AM
First show's on my birthday.

CalmerThanYou
10-08-2008, 08:23 AM
That place is GREAT to get completely retarded hammered. Last time i was there i won $250, it was great!