Thursday, December 1

Q&A: BASE Entertainment’s Ryan McCarthy

Ryan McCarthy is vice president of marketing and sales at BASE Entertainment, a company that has facilitated some of the most successful shows in the history of the Las Vegas Strip and continues to bring new entertainment options to the city all the time. A veteran of the live events industry, he’s managed arenas and convention centers, promoted national tours, and helped grow the UFC into the sports entertainment powerhouse it is today. He’s also helped develop major Vegas residency shows from the likes of Lady Gaga, Aerosmith and Janet Jackson, and after a brief time away, he’s returned to contribute something new to the ongoing evolution of the entertainment capital of the world.

Not everyone understands the impact BASE Entertainment has had on Las Vegas, bringing some of the all-time great shows to the Strip like Jersey Boys, Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular and Absinthe.

You kind of forget about those shows from back in the day and what this company has been able to accomplish over time, all the great shows they’ve provided to Las Vegas. The catalog is so deep.

And very diverse as well. That continues with a trio of shows keeping you busy right now: Magic Mike Live, AMYSTIKA and An Evening with Whitney.

They’re all so different, and you have to market them differently. We have great partners we work with, great producers, cast and crew, and there’s more (new shows) coming. It’s been fascinating to see how the industry continues to evolve itself and produce great shows for people to see in Las Vegas.

Criss Angel’s AMYSTIKA at Planet Hollywood is a unique production for several reasons. What’s it like to work with that special new show?

You know, Criss is Criss, and his creativity and drive to provide entertainment and create memories for the people that come to his shows, all credit goes to him. He’s got such a great marketing mind and outlook to have two shows on the same night in the same theater, which hasn’t been done by a single person before. It’s a testament to him and what his team is able to accomplish. And those two shows are very similar but drastically different. For him to take everything happening in his brain and bring it to life, stories from his childhood and why he wanted to be an entertainer and put those onstage, it’s cool to see this more personal touch (in AMYSTIKA).

An Evening with Whitney is also something new for the Strip, a show built around the music of Whitney Houston using holograms. How has the reception been for this one?

It’s really a tribute to her and to her fans, a show where they can come and enjoy hearing her voice. It really takes people back, and people walk out of there in tears. It’s so nostalgic. The technology is awesome but having it in that theater (at Harrah’s) really offers … the opportunity for people to afford multiple shows in the market and … consume some different entertainment.

What is the best part of your job right now?

When I was an events manager, I was taking care of people when they were at the facility. Somebody had already gotten them there. When I became a marketing person, I’m that guy going out trying to get you to come see the show. What’s so rewarding about this business, that we sometimes forget, is that we have that opportunity to touch people. If this show is the one thing you wanted to see and you got to see it, and I provided that opportunity for you, to see you walk away telling stories just makes us feel good about what we did. At the end of the day, we are helping to create memories that last a lifetime.

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