On New Year’s Eve, Jeff Beacher will make his triumphant return to Las Vegas following a five-year hiatus. Part adult variety show, part nightclub, Beacher’s Madhouse—the former Broadway Theater-turned-Hard Rock Hotel fixture—has become one of Los Angeles’ most enduring hot spots (see unpaid celeb guests Johnny Depp, Kevin Spacey, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Zac Efron). Now Beacher’s back, taking over the former Crazy Horse Paris space in MGM Grand and preparing to raise the curtains on “the largest and most exciting Beacher’s Madhouse of all time.” In other words, let the debauchery begin.
I’m seeing words like “crazy,” “insane,” “outrageous” and “sensory overload” used to describe the new show. What’s the craziest aspect of Beacher’s Madhouse Las Vegas?
We have four flying midget bartenders. They’ll fly around the room and deliver drinks. One comes out of a telephone booth and shoots out of the top like Superman. One comes out of a cannon and shoots across the room, and one comes out of an elephant—the tail shoots up and he shoots out of the ass. The rest of them dance and shoot up together from the bar. It’s pretty intense.
What’s with you and little people?
I had a sidekick that was a little person who did standup with me, and I would tackle him onstage. It turned into where we all just started performing [together] and we started training them, and they’re really talented. Our little people are the best in the world.
Give us a brief history of Beacher’s Madhouse.
We started back in 2002 on Broadway, the Broadway Theater, and lasted until the end of 2003 when we started at the Hard Rock. Our first show ever we sold out 1,400 seats and turned away about 4,000 people. We booked a residency there for the next five years—20 shows on, 20 weeks off. It was a very successful formula for many years, and then Peter Morton sold the hotel. We stayed on for another year, and then I was just kind of bored and wanted to change, so we went on tour. We toured in 81 cities and sold more than 2 million tickets in 5,000- to 10,000-person arenas.
And then you came L.A. How’s it going at the Roosevelt?
We have been open for three years. Most nightclubs in Los Angeles open and close within a year—we’re open going on three years. We just extended our lease another five. It’s the most successful nightclub of this decade in Hollywood.
What’s been the key to your success?
It’s me being there and having a really cool, different product. Everyone just keeps opening the same garbage with the same promoters and the same everything. We just sell on our own, because we’re a popular place that has amazing and fun content.
What role does your celebrity clientele play?
Celebrities are always really important and set the trends around the world. Vegas has become a DJ-driven city, but for me it’s about crowd and audience and having fun, having hot girls and cool people, which doesn’t necessarily mean celebrities, just a cool crowd of people. We’ll always keep coming and paying for that experience, and we’ll pay top dollar for it.
What’s the overall goal of this new show?
Like at Beacher’s Madhouse Los Angeles, it will be the hottest room in Las Vegas, the most sought-after, the most expensive ticket. VIP tickets are $150 and $200. General admission is $75. Tables start at $500 and go up to $2,000, just for the table fee before bottle minimums. [Beacher’s Madhouse] Las Vegas will be open six days a week, with an early show six nights a week, and Wednesday through Sunday we will be open late night.
What might we learn if Harvard did a Jeff Beacher case study?
If you take a look at Harvard case studies, Cirque du Soleil for example, they took the circus and made it this high-end circus, and for them that was a [wide] blue ocean, and that’s why they took off and they never turned back. For us, this is high-end cabaret theater—there’s nothing like it in the world. Will they do a Harvard case study? Yes, 100 percent. And when they do it on me, they’ll say how we started with one small theater and how we [grew to] own 50 theaters around the world, a touring show, television show and movies franchise.
What’s it going to take to succeed again in Las Vegas?
It’s not like we’re opening a [new] nightclub. It’s an 11-year-old brand where people are trained and love having fun. We’ve done altogether 5 million tickets in 10 years. That’s a lot of people. It’s all been live and people experiencing it live and bragging and sharing their live moments with the world. Everything we’ve done with the company the past 10 years and up until today has been for this theater.
You seem to have one foot in nightlife and one in theater. What do you think of the show-club hybrid?
The nightclub business is at an all-time high. There are more nightclubs now than there have ever been, with bigger numbers now than there have ever been. But it’s not my business. We are more in the theater business. What we have nobody else has: It’s a theater/nightclub hybrid. Luckily for me, it’s a total wide-open playing field.