There’s been a lot going at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace all month with Adele.
I’ve talked with the head of the local chapter of IATSE, the union representing the3 5 member or so crew that’s been working on “Weekends with Adele” since January 3rd.
For one thing, the sets and all the elements have been “loaded in” to the Colosseum. That part is done. But Phil Jaynes, president of Local 702, says that hasn’t stopped COVID.
“There’s no question we’ve seen a rise in cases and positive tests,” he said, although just today it looks like Las Vegas reached its peak and may be on the downslide trendwise. I asked Jaynes about that 35 “ish” member crew.
“For Adele’s show, they had maybe six people a day testing positive who had to leave.” That sounds like a lot, but not really. Jaynes assured me that he had plenty of crew to replenish the ones who left. Still, he concedes, the constant turn over is never a good idea. Once crew members have the routine and know what’s going on, it’s hard to educate new ones over night.
IATSE does not include musicians and singers. Adele’s show, according to a local report, includes a 60 member gospel choir. There were supposed to be 100 in the group, but only 60 showed up so it was pared back. It’s unknown at this time how many musicians were involved. (If you know, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
According to the Las Vegas News Journal, there was at least one big set piece— a scene opener a la James Bond that might have meant “Skyfall” was the opening number.
There are plenty of shows up and running in Las Vegas right now, and many more coming including residencies with Rod Stewart and with Sting at the Colosseum. I asked Jaynes if it was normal that Adele’s entire 13 week run had been scrapped instead of just delaying for a couple of weeks. He replied, “A lot of people were very surprised.”
I’m told meetings are taking place at Caesar’s to try and figure out how to go forward. Jaynes told me if the shows are cancelled completely– which doesn’t seem likely given the mess with tickets– it would take “two weeks to load out.”
PS I sent an email today to Adele’s long time publicist, Benny Tarantini, asking when there might be announcement about the rescheduled dates. So far, there’s been no answer.