I took a day off from poker yesterday (except for a bit of razz on Stars). Instead I went out with a friend who had managed to get free seats to see Danny Gans at the Mirage from http://showtickets4locals.com/. The tickets are usually $110 each, so this was a great score. (It's not easy. I've tried a few times, but as soon as the email goes out that Gans tickets are up for grabs, their phone lines clog up.) Early next year Gans is leaving the Mirage and will start performing at the Encore. My hunch is that free tickets won't be offered anymore at that point, so I really wanted to see him on the cheap while I still could.
It's a good show. He is as talented as everybody says. The show must have a fair amount of change and flexibility, because I've heard of other bits and impressions that he does that weren't on display last night. My favorite parts were (1) George Burns doing a cover of M.C. Hammer's "Can't Touch This," (2) Bill Clinton doing a naughtily customized version of Gloria Gainor's "I Will Survive," (3) an excellent recreation of "Carnac the Magnificent," with current events-based jokes just like Carson would do if he were still alive and on the air, (4) recitals of famous movie scenes, including "Forrest Gump," "Rocky," and "Scent of a Woman," and (5) a funny series of impersonations of pop music stars whose lyrics are basically unintelligible. My only complaint was that the whole thing was too loud. (Does that sound like a grumpy old man, or what? Next thing you know, I'll be yelling at the neighbor kids to keep off of my lawn.)
Before the show we ate at one of the Mirage's new restaurants, "BLT Burger" (thus making the whole thing not exactly free, and surely fulfilling one of the hotel's hopes for how people getting free tickets will behave). I had recently read VegasRex's impression of the place, and thought it sounded worth a try. It was. I had their signature piece, the BLT Burger. Usually I ask restaurants to skip whatever special sauce they want to put on a burger, because, well, plain ol' ketchup is better. But I decided to be adventurous (yeah, this is my idea of "adventurous"--tells you a lot about how pathetic my life is, doesn't it?) and let them sauce away as they would. And I was glad I did--one of the rare times that I found something I liked even better than ketchup. Overall, I thought it was the best burger I've ever had. My friend, not so much. Her impression was basically, "Meh." But then again, she had warned me as we set out that she was in a foul mood and was pretty much going to hate everything about the evening, so you have to take that into consideration.
Have to say, though, that the fries were way unworthy of the $6 additional price. She had the skinny fries, I the fat fries, and neither were particularly good. You get better at "In and Out Burger." My friend's black-and-white shake, though, was quite tasty, and may have justified its $6 charge.
Oh, and their music was way too loud, too. Seriously, my friend and I tried talking a couple of times, and then basically gave up and sat there staring at each other, because conversation involved a frustrating amount of "What did you say?" and "I can't hear you." Why do restaurants do this? Doesn't everybody find this as maddening as we did?