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* Monti's Blog - November 2012
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Read Monti's review in The Las Vegas Weekly Magazine by Rick Lax.
CLUB OWNERS, WEDDINGS, PRODUCERS
MONTI -LICIOUS NOV 25, 2012
The holiday season IS here and there’s a chill in the air. We just had Thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for. I dealt with some intense health issues while trying to make sense of what the media and gossip means to the people of the Valley and what it means to be “the King of All Media.”
Shania Twain arrived riding a horse down Las Vegas Blvd. Her show opens December 1. It should be sexy and magical since she's surely one of the most beautiful women in country music. Speaking of country, Garth Brooks, the King of Country, closed at The Wynn. A big star-studded evening was held. Now, rumor has it that maybe there's something spectacular about to happen at the Wynn Theater.
The Bellagio fountains make it look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go and you don’t get no snow.
To be or not to be? Where to be and where I should not be! Case in point, Monti Rock and his entourage went to Aria’s to witness the new Cirque show called Zarkana. For all of them this was a great experience. Beautifully staged, technically perfect and I recommend it because it went very fast and is appropriate for all ages. For me it was an enlightening experience - and Lord knows I need some enlightenment.
The brouhaha of this past week, for all the myriad of readers of my blog, my columns in the various magazines, etc. is that I do take myself quite seriously, if I do say so myself. I want all my readers to know what’s going on in the Valley.
In other news, we all have been hearing about the Boulevard Theater. First of all, where is the Boulevard Theater? It’s on Las Vegas Blvd. right next to Walgreens and opposite the Monte Carlo. It was once a nightclub and now it’s a theater, a nightclub, a happening place. Magician Tommy Wind will be opening in December. Barbara and Frank, The Concert that Never Was, is there now.
The Twilight Saga with Kristen Stewart and that hunk Robert Pattinson, a good-looking vampire - just like me - took off at the box office and beat out everybody. It has one of the Top 10 weekend opening grosses in Hollywood history.
What we have to understand in the new fabric of Las Vegas is this – shows will come and go, so let’s talk about the new productions. Rock of Ages at the Venetian – did we see Tom Cruise’s movie? Or, did we miss it? Are we interested? Downtown at the Plaza we have Tim Molyneaux' Bite, which moved from Stratosphere to this new venue. Three other shows at that theater are Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Grand Ole Vegas and The Phat Pack. At the Golden Nugget, the jewel in the crown is still Gordie Brown and there’s also the Country Legends show. They are both doing big business.
I am trying to come up with my Top 10 list and I still have to give it to Celine Dion. She is on top. My #1! She fills up that huge room every performance. The Paris has a winner with Jersey Boys, and, of course, we cannot miss the genius of Jubilee! which still holds up with all the feathers, rhinestones, headdresses, sets and colors still intact - and simply dazzling. I am a fan of glitter and titter. Fantasy, the Anita Mann production at the Luxor, is the ultimate adult revue and has a great ticket offering for Nevada residents through the month of December. Here is one of my Top 10 and at a special price, too. Check www.fantasyluxor.com or call702-262-4400 for more information.
Donnie and Marie at the Flamingo voted Best of Las Vegas for show, performers and singers is still, deservedly, a tremendous hit . These two are the ultimate multitalented people in show business.
Another great show is Vegas! The Show at the David Saxe Theater at Planet Hollywood. What do I know? I was a chorus boy, singer, TV star, film actor and there’s no business like show business like no business I know!! Other shows that you must put on your list are Hitzville and Human Nature. These are two outstanding Motown tribute shows, which do that iconic music great justice. Both are truly amazing. Human Nature is leaving Imperial Palace, which is changing its name, and we’ll have to watch for its reopening, possibly at a new theater. Other favorites include Absinthe at Caesars Palace and the John Bentham production of Defending the Caveman, starring Kevin Burke.
What a town!! What tremendous talent all over the city! Some of the greatest musicians I’ve ever encountered and at each show they seem to get better and better. There are some great lounge bands as well. We’ll have to explore some of those offerings in the future. I’m dizzy with all the offerings. It is like going into Baskin Robbins and sampling all of their fare. I’m just amazed
The annual "Merry Christmas Las Vegas" show will be held at The LVH on Dec 8 at 4:00p.m..Entertainer and host, Tony Sacca along with a group of Las Vegas entertainers will be performing in the holiday spirit This presentation helps to support young entertainers through the Youth Foudation for the Performing Arts. Tony Sacca and this group have been invited to the White House four times. Tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased by calling 702-364-8669.
John Fredericks ,former "weather man" at Las Vegas Channel 3 had been diagnosed with cirrhosis and has entered Nathan Adelson Hospice early last week. He was hoping to get a liver transplant but unfortunately passed away last Saturday. Other losses last week include actress Deborah Raffin, boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho and actor Larry Hagman. May they all rest in peace.
So enjoy all the incredible productions Las Vegas has to offer. And remember that The Rev. Monti wishes you only the best and hopes you had a great Thanksgiving Holiday.
MONTI ROCK lll PERFORMER COLUMNIST MARKETING EXPERT
THE FULL MONTI NOV 17, 2012
Zarkana, Zarkana, Zarkana!!! The newest Cirque show opened Friday to a media blitz from all over the world including the “bottom feeders” (and you know who you are). This show replaces my favorite show, which was Viva Elvis. At the opening we had the usual media darlings, names I hardly remember except Taylor Hicks, Criss Angel, Carrot Top, and so on and so on and so on. The show is spectacular, the sets, technology are brilliant and a feast to the senses. With seven Cirque shows there is something for everyone from Mystere to O to Zumanity to Love to Criss Angel’s Believe. Believe started as a Cirque show but it was re-worked, revamped and the illusions were updated and made even more spectacular and I refer to him as “the Mick Jagger of Magic”. Some of the higher up P R offices say that Mr. Rock was a “no show” at the opening – Ha! Ha! I am a celebrity columnist and people do read the gossip of Mr. Rock. Don’t knock the Rock because I have a rock in my sock!! The Emperor has new clothes but in order for you to see them he must be invited. If invited, he will come. He enjoys being seen, and without a doubt has the cutest entourage in town.
A couple of months ago I discussed the opening of the new Michael Jackson show, A Cirque production, at The Mandalay Bay. We’re all getting ready for the phenomenon that is the Michael Jackson legacy with all the brouhaha of the Jackson Clan, the Brothers, LaToya, etc. etc., it should be quite interesting to say the least. I am a fan of a great show and I am a fan of a greater show. I know the bar is high but I know a good thing when I see it. Enough Said!!
This past weekend the Joe Williams Foundation Benefit Concert starring Clint Holmes, Earl Turner, Sammy Shore, Pea Zadora , to name a few was fantastic. My friend Ed Foster helped produce this show for the Joe Williams Foundation. It was great to see Ben Vereen doing a surprise "cameo" because here is a guy who is legend and lights a spark when he hits the stage.
I also went to see the Cuban legend, David de Alba at the Onyx Theatre and he performed to a full house as he did his loving tribute to Judy Garland. He doesn’t use canned music and as you suspend reality you think you’re watching “the lady” herself. I was able to talk with Jimmy Emerson who is subbing for Frank Marino while Frank is on a two-week vacation from Divas. Jimmy assures me that he is working on a new show, the theme is about comedy, drag, and is funny, funny, funny. It is about time that those queens don’t take themselves so seriously. Oh, I’m sorry, a faux pas, I do take myself quite seriously and that’s a drag.
Retraction, retraction, retraction. Tommy Wind is beginning his resideny at The Boulevard Theatre on the Strip on Nov 24 with his magic. Some of his people took exception to something I said in a past article and I want to remind them that any publicity is good publicity if I say so myself. Tommy Wind is an up and coming young magical talent and should be supported because this is a difficult business at best and a real b*@C& if the media isn’t supportive. I want folks to succeed and this is my hope for this talented young gentleman.
THe above mentioned Boulevard Theater will be ultimately hosting 5 ticketed shows daily. Barbra & Frank-The Concert That NeverWs occupies the 3:00pm spot and Tommy Wind will be doing his thing at 5:00pm. Later shows will feature productions that are new to the area. The theater is located on the Strip opposite the Monte Carlo.
As noted in an earlier columns, the fabulous Bob Anderson will be appearing at Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz from Nov 23 -Nov 25. This entertainer's entertainer is one of the best singers around and is not to be missed.
'Recycled Percussion is slated to move into the Showroom at the Quad (soon to be renovated Imperial Palace Theater). Target date is Jan 12. Human Nature will be closing at the Imperial Palace Nov 25. Also being refurbished is the Tropicana Theater, which reportedly will once again be home to Dancing With Their Stars-Live beginning in March.
Caesars Palace gave Shania Twain quite the welcome last week. Shania, on horse-back, led a 20 horse riding procession onto a red carpet in front of the fountains at Caesars. The 2-year residency contract with Shania was reportedly in the works for the past ten years. The shows at the Colosseum will begin Dec 1. We wish her much success with this "comeback" mega-show.
Terry Fator has signed a multi-year deal with The Mirage, extending his stay through 2016. He has already done more than 3 years of sold-out performances.
The Plaza Hotel/Casino has a new show , the Grand Ole Vegas Revue. This show is full of songs, dances, and comedy, suitable for all ages and has a special price of $24.00 per ticket.
Over at the Luxor, Fantasy had its calendar release party and Anita Mann, producer, director, friend, looked fabulous. I love you Anita.
Golden Rainbow continues its great work with its second annual Holiday Lights and Decorations program running from Nov 2 until Dec 7. This program is being presented by a partnership with Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Donated lights, etc. are distributed to families affected by HIV/Aids. For more information please contact www.goldenrainbow.org or call 702-384-2899. C’mon hotels, casinos, get these benefits going! There are a lot of needy people and worthy charities here in Las Vegas.
There is new drama with the “generals” and their ladies. This ain’t nothing but soap opera. Once it is determined that there were no national secrets exchanged then James Bond becomes the only old lover that we care about.
Aren’t you glad that the elections are over? Hope that you watched those long lines of enthusiastic citizens waiting to express their preferences. I hope you participated in the democratic process. Remember, no vote is B*#@h.
As usual Rev. Monti wishes you health, wealth, wisdom and a great Thanksgiving Holiday.
MONTI-LICIOUS November 9, 2012
Happy Days are here again! People who need people! Streisand, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with her sister, Roslyn Kind, and her 45-year-old son, Jason Gould.The 70-year-old diva did not disappoint. They’ve been shooting her concerts for an always on-going special, her sister has a new career thanks to Barbra and it is about time that the rumors of family rivalries die.
We’ve been talking about hurricane Sandy’s devastation and its impact on the people there. My brother, other family members, friends, and so many people need help. Please donate to the Red Cross who will put your money to good use helping families get back on their feet, and get their lives back in order and on track.
At the Onyx Theater we have dueling divas – first there's Kenny Kerr, to me he’s Don Rickles in a dress. One night he does not show up for the performance, came in the next week with new songs and new direction. Not bad. And let us not forget David De Alba, the Cuban chanteuse who performed a one-day only Judy Garland Tribute on November 11. I recommend everyone go see this striking performance of one who portrays Judy Garland from an aspect of great respect and devotion when he next appears.
At the Riviera, The Society of Seven closed. They will find another venue, I’m sure of it because these are wonderful, spirited, and talented performers who bring a great deal of panache to the stage. Talk about “to big to fail,” they are too good to remain on the sidelines. Look for them soon at a venue near you.
Can it be? Can it be? Can it be true that the Boulevard Theater at the Fashion Show Mall is going to be the new home for Tommy Wind and his dream of being a major magician in this town? And the week after I will be opening my new magic act (LOL) and tell myself and my audience that I will be disappearing before their very eyes. I guess we all have aspirations.
At the Aria we now have the new Cirque show called Zarkana, which opened to mixed reviews but needs more than just great costumes and great choreography. Cirque, Cirque, Cirque, my hat goes off to my favorite magician, Criss Angel, who has reworked, and fine-tuned his show Believe at the Luxor. The man knows his brand and he has a good singing voice, too. Now rumor has it that a certain show is in trouble – which one? I was sworn to secrecy. Donnie and Marie are still doing full houses at the Flamingo; Donnie has a new radio show and Marie has a new TV show. It is all so show business! It only goes to prove that “ there’s no business like show business.”
Country music superstar Garth Brooks has completed his residency at the Wynn. Not to worry - Shania Twain is coming to town for her new residency at the Colosseum. There will be a welcoming event on the Stripon, November 14 prior to her December opening. Let's hope this talented and beautiful lady will be as successful in her new show as she was in the past. And country star Tim McGraw and his gorgeous wife, Faith Hill open at the Venetian in December as well. These talented performers helped country music crossover to all audiences.
Brady mom, Florence Henderson did a show at Cabaret Jazz benefiting AFAN. She gave up shooting a final scene TV's 30 Rock final show so as to do this show. She began performing in Las Vegas in 1967 but gave up the live shows in order to star in one of TV’s most successful sitcoms. As usual the show biz family is always there to help those in need. For those seriously affected by Hurricane Sandy, Lady Gaga donated $1million to the Red Cross, and Hard Rock Hotel/AEG are conducting a "text-to donate" campaign from now to Nov 24. All attendees to the Guns n Roses performances can donate $10.00 by texting "RED CROSS" to 90999. AEG and Hard Rock will match donations up to $5000.00. Let's hope that other performers and casinos will follow suit.
How about the channel changes for some of our TV favorites. CBS affiliate Channel 8 will be home to Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune next September. as does Dr. Phil in September, 2014. Ellen DeGeneres then moves to channel 5. Who has the next move????
Have you spotted your bird yet for Thanksgiving? It seems hard to believe that the stores have already decorated for Christmas. Talk about business schizophrenia – you have to wear several holiday hats when you go to the stores now as we wind down from Halloween and try to get the candy out of our teeth, getting the bird and fixings ready for Thanksgiving and finding, wrapping, and hiding those wonderful gifts that will bring joy to our family members. Where has this year gone?
Election day has come and gone, I hope you exercised your right to vote because this is the true basis for our democracy. Now the real work begins as we try to solve the issues facing this nation. Latinos and women were a strong force in re-electing President Obama. Challenge those who were elected because they represent us all and where is bi-partisanship? Let’s see more of that. Insist upon it!
What’s on your bucket list? Have you made one lately? Do you think that you’re too old, or, that those circumstances prevent you from realizing your dreams? Well, never think it’s too late. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Take small steps but take some steps. Life’s a journey and I’m glad that you’ve decided to take a part of yours with the Rev. Monti. Have a terrific week!
MONTI - LICIOUS NOV 3 , 2012
Dueling Divas Hotels! What is the status of the old Hilton, now the LVH?It's been in some kind of receivership and is now aligned with the Tropicana. The old Hilton and the Tropicana is like a merger – the casino and the gaming will be one in the same. It will be good for people who earn points and the entertainers from Dancing with the Stars will stay at the Tropicana.
At this writing, Carla and Bacio’s restaurant are no longer together and she’s about to open The Meat Ball restaurant at Town Center. Carla has had a long career as a glamor celebrity chef with reality shows, reality shows, reality shows. Now they will keep the brand name and the menu and on Facebook she thanked all of her followers. What is going to be the brand at the Tropicana? They have tried everything. There was Wayne Newton for a while, then Gladys Knight with a mic that went out and so did Bubba.
The Gloria Estefan reported residency never happened and the South Beach décor didn't really "knock 'em dead.” These two hotels, the brand, the glorious Tropicana once run by the mob (and don’t forget that this was the home of the Mob Experience) and THe LVH (the house that Elvis built) are searching for a new persona. Let's hope it works as these two historic hotel/casinos helped to make Las Vegas the entertainment capital of the world.
In other news of Las Vegas, I reported that Neon Museum opened downtown at 770 Las Vegas Blvd. with all the signs of the history of Las Vegas. The history of Vegas is not in these signs but rather the history is in the museums, the Mob Experience at the Tropicana and the opening of the Mob Museum downtown.
I had a great experience this week with Jim Rose regarding the "Icons of Vegas," and with Brian Paco Alvarez, who was the curator of the Liberace Museum and Foundation. He’d love to do something that would bring the Liberace experience back to Vegas and I am available to make this one of Las Vegas’ great attractions. It ran for 35 years and should be able to come back again. If they need a fundraiser, I am available. Getting back to Jim Rose, who is the Video Special News Bureau with the LVCVA, did a great job with the “Icons of Vegas” talking about my arrival year back in ’68 with me and a gentleman named Evil Knievel, who was about to jump the foundation and somehow he missed, broke 40 bones, jumped into history for the failure and they hired Mr. Rock to jump the audience. Both of us missed on arrival. Oh, the history of Las Vegas.
Neon Museum opened to the public last week. Many of this museum's items come from the above-mentioned Liberace Museum. Las Vegas has many historic pieces and should celebrate them in a museum-styled venue.
Cirque du Soleil is bringing its next production, Zarkana, to City Center's Aria this month. This production has been highly successful with its run at New York's Radio City Music Hall. This production is replacing the recently closed Viva Elvis. Once again we ask - how many Cirques are too many for Las Vegas?
The premise of Zarkana is a break from building shows around the music of the Jacksons, Elvis and The Beatles, and is reportedly concentrating on choreography and acrobatics. From its magnificently designed costumes to the incredible visuals used in the production, this modern circus will leave you breathless.
Harrah's is bringing in a new show next year called "Million Dollar Quartet" which is about the behind the scenes personality of the likes of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash. The producers are looking for a younger audience who will appreciate the modern take on these music legends and make this as successful as Jersey Boys. Harrah's is also reportedly keeping its 29 year old hit show, Legends in Concert.
More bad news for The Palms. UFC President Dana White is reportedly cutting his ties with the Palms. It seems that his credit line was reportedly cut in half and in retaliation no future UFC events would be held at the hotel/casino. White is a "high roller" and big tipper and will surely be missed at the blackjack tables.
As you know, Halloween is here and all the parties and the moving of Bite to the Plaza and all the goings on at the Stratosphere with new shows, old shows, new people and old jokes. Barbra Streisand was a complete SELL OUT!! Welcome back to Vegas, Babs! (Only her close friends call her that – close but jealous friends that is!) The show was a smash and she proved that she still has "IT". Her son, Jason was also a well-received hit, the critics calling him a smooth crooner. The big surprise was that her sister, Roslyn Kind, was also in the show. Roslyn proved once again that she too has an amazing voice, and also, dispels some of the rumors that Barbra allegedly does not care about her sister.
Saw Vegas! The Show again and this is still an amazing show. Some of the best voices on The Strip, and the choreography is astounding. As you sit in the David Saxe Theater and watch this show unfold, you know that you are in the presence of one of the most gifted casts in town. The range, the variety, the spectacle make this one of the best bangs for your buck that you can find in town and the energy is infectious. Not to mention that they do two shows a night, which is unusual.
One of the funniest guys in town who is performing to sold out audiences every night is Vinnie Favorito at the Flamingo. He’s Mr. 8 p.m. Vinnie performs that “in your face” kind of humor and is hysterical. He has an uncanny memory and involves the audience in the act in a way that leaves you rubbing your sides and howling. The guy is brilliant and your dollar is well spent when you go to see him. Catch him nightly in Bugsy's Cabaret.
I’ve got to catch my breath. Being a columnist and seeing as many shows and trying as many eateries can make one weary. I find that this is the excitement that is Vegas and contributes to the vibrancy and energy of this town. As we make the rounds, be sure to say hello as I am accessible and want to get to know as many of you as I can. If you see or hear anything interesting as you sample from the “smorgasbord” that is the heart and soul of this town, let me know. I’d love to share,
Iconic New York City club owner Steve Paul died last week at age 71. His club, The Scene, was one of the "in" hangouts for people like Sammy Davis Jr. and Liza Minnelli. Yours truly entertained there as well as the likes of Jimi Hendrix and The Doors. RIP Steve.
A new variety club has opened at the Palazzo. Simon Hammerstein, grandson of Oscar Hammerstein, is behind this bold new venue. It combines the best of musical theater, variety acts, and circus skills. Performers are scattered throughout and at times interact with the patrons. The show is definitely geared toward the young and open-minded. It has been described as edgy late-night theater.
Our hearts and prayers are with our families and friends on the East Coast. Hurricane Sandy has proven that she can make the history books. She’s broken every disaster record and it will be weeks before things are restored to normal. This is a catastrophe of epic proportions. Seeing this unfold, I now know what that means. A great deal of cooperation and donations will be needed to restore cities back East.
As ever, the Rev. Monti wishes you a wonderful week.
MONTI ROCK lll - Performer - Marketing Expert - Columnist. Contact: email@example.com
MONTI -LICIOUS OCT 27, 2012
We’re all getting ready for Halloween. Take out your mask. All the scary things are up and running, just check out the papers. In the meantime we are also getting ready for Thanksgiving. There’s a lot to be thankful for and grateful that your columnist is still ALIVE!
There are still some tickets available at the MGM Grand Arena for Barbra Streisand’s one night only show. Her son, Jason, will be performing with her in the show and according to Barbra; his voice is "like butta".
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Beal got married and Demi Moore is suing Ashton Kucher for millions of dollars. You never date, marry and dump an older woman and expect to get off Scott free. It just ain’t happening. In court all week, we have Britney Spears being sued by an ex-stalker manager (ha ha) and this week Lindsay Lohan had an “intervention” with her family. Is this is joke? Oh well, intervention may be too strong a concept.
The Blue Man Group is at the Monte Carlo and Nathan Burton, the comedy magician, has moved to the Saxe Theater. Also in the works for Nathan is a reality show.
But the big news this week is that Mr. Rock, the columnist, is being interviewed by the Review Journal as one of the “Icons of Vegas.” Who knew? Who cares? We all do!!!
In the reality shows of Las Vegas, we have the elite housewives, the high rollers, and others. At a recent lunch, I met the star of Gigolos, which has been extended by Showtime Cable TV for two more seasons. The big news is that there possibly could be a spin off.
Son Mark of the DiMartino family dynasty will be opening a Pizza Buddha restaurant in Henderson. It is a new concept with good pizza, good music, and good feelings.
As I said before in this column, I am still waiting for the show about Michael Jackson at the Mandalay Bay. I just got my invite to the Shania Twain show at the Colosseum – this should be good. When is Rock of Ages going to open? We know that Soul to Soul with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw is opening at the Venetian. You still have a chance to see Garth Brooks before he departs from the Wynn.
The Latin Grammy Awards will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on November 15. The fabulous Mambo Legends Orchestra featuring Johnny "Dandy" Rodriguez has been nominated in the Tropical Field category. The unforgettable sounds of the late Tito Puente, and the late Machito, are featured with updated arrangements of the originals, so dancers, get ready. Incidentally, the 20-piece orchestra has just returned from an engagement in Moscow.
As shows come and go I am looking forward to CeeLo Green opening his “Loberace” at Planet Hollywood. He promises to bring us a true “extravaganza.” I would, too, but I don’t have enough hairpieces. Between all the stuff for the holidays and shows coming to Vegas the recommendation is America’s Got Talent Live at the Palazzo, Paige O’Hara, still starring in Menopause the Musical at the Luxor and Criss Angel, The Rock Star of Magic, also at the Luxor.
Stripburger in the Fashion Show Mall is a great eatery. We went there for dinner recently and truly enjoyed the guacamole and fresh chips as a beginning followed by four delicious hamburgers prepared to taste. There was a stunning cheeseburger with blue cheese, a veggie burger with all the fresh accompaniments, an old fashioned burger and one with mushrooms, sautéed onions and cheddar. The real treats were the extra-thick, strawberry milkshakes with chunks of strawberries. We ended the meal with a chocolate cake that was divine. Stripburger is associated with El Segundo Sol and these are a couple of my new guilty pleasures. The portions are adequate and satisfying on so many levels. If you’re on the strip, check this eatery in the Fashion Show Mall.
November 25 and 26 you’ll find Melissa Manchester at Sun Coast as well as Rita Coolidge October 27 and 28. These are two powerhouse ladies with different musical styles but both have had long and productive careers
The Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation is holding its 19th Annual Profiles of Courage Gala on Saturday, Nov 17. at the Bellagio. This wonderful group will be honoring the children they serve and supporters of the foundation. All proceeds benefit NCCF's Project ARK, the psychological, emotional, and financial support services for families of children suffering from cancer and life threatening illnesses, as well as several programs for adults touched with cancer. For tickets and other information please contact them at www.nvccf.org or 702-735-8434.
Carla Pellegrino is non-stop-like the Eveready Battery. She just ended her relationship with the Tropicana and is already about to open her latest concept restaurant, The Meatball Spot, in Town Square. Featured on the menu will be meatball dishes, pizzas, salads, and a gelato bar. Mojitos, sangria, and cocktail floats are also being featured. A DJ will entertain for late nights on weekends. House - Made sauces include Pesto, Garlic Parmesan, Spicy Meat Sauce, etc., etc., etc. Sounds like a fun place with food under the direction of Carla herself. We wish her the best of luck on this latest venture.
Anthony Cools is at it again. His newest venture is called Strip Comedy. It will begin its run at The Lounge at Palms Casino Resort. This wild and dirty show follows two teams of improve actors going head-to-head in comedic games where nothing is off limits. Host and creator Kopy Kopatich has been on the Las Vegas comedy scene for the past ten years, coming from Wisconsin where he began performing while in high school. For more information call 702-944-3200.
That’s what I like about Vegas – the variety of styles, tastes and the depth and quality of the performances. You can’t get bored around here.
As always, the Rev. Monti wishes you all a fabulous week!
MONTI -LICIOUS OCT 20, 2012
Halloween!! Trick or Treat. Scare Me. Frighten Me. Boo! Boo! It is official. Bite, the musical, is definitely moving to the Plaza. They will have their closing night on Halloween at The Stratosphere and then there will be another opening, another show, and which one of these shows will close? One is Burlesque and the other is Magic. While all this is going on, Frankie Moreno holds forth as the new King of the Stratosphere.
Madonna was incredible at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. She really gave her all - where does that energy come from? Her show was better and less offensive than some of her past shows but where were her celebrity followers? Elton John and Madonna don’t see eye to eye – they are the Dueling Divas. Elton is having a four-day birthday party for his partner David with possible guest stars Cher, Lady Gaga and others. Madonna gave a bitrthday party for her daughter and I gave a party for my two twin sons (sure!!!)Dick and Rick ,aspiring playwrights or could they be musical stars. As Fats Waller used to say - "one never knows, do one?"
On the phone with Greg Thompson, who produced Skin Tight and Show Girls with his wife Sonny Thompson. I was a guest star at their show for one night at The Rio. Greg Thompson has been producing Sonny in a production about Marilyn Monroe. She looks like Marilyn and now they are coming here looking for the right venue.
One of the most wonderful phone calls was from Steve Wyrick – I’ll always be a fan of his since he opened at Lady Luck Casino and took me to lunch. From there he was a headliner at the Sahara, where they built him a special showroom, and on to the Aladdin (now Plant Hollywood) at the Miracle Mile. That was followed by his show at the Hilton. He told me that he is ready to perform again with a stupendous show that includes new magic and a new “brand” and not to count him out. He’s Steve Wyrick and we want him back!! I want him back.
Las Vegas has been to me a very interesting fabric with mobs, a very rich history, and exhibits like the Mob Experience and the Mob Museum in the old library downtown. We keep hearing about Virginia Hill and her relationship with Bugsy Siegel. It wasn’t only about the mob but more about those Damon Runyon-esque cast of characters who made the place come alive. There was Sinatra, The Rat Pack, The Gay Pack (more about them later), Marlene Dietrich and so many other colorful and memorable people. Now they are talking to me about “the Icons of Vegas.” I have been lucky enough to have been around and survived hirings, firings, blacklisting and back stabbings – all because I am a columnist that people read and believe. They trust me to bring them the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me, darlings.
Do we all have our tickets to Barbra at The Grand Arena, where she's almost sold out? She went back to Brooklyn and wowed them- they call her Fabulosa now. So she’s Fabulosa and I’m Fabuloso, which makes us the Fab Twins – Fab Daughters by different mothers.
First, there was Donny and Marie. Now we have Donny and Susan (Boyle). It seems the two became friends and have recorded a duet for her new album. She appeared with Donny on Dancing With the Stars - looking like a deer in the headlights, poor dear - and shared the stage with him at his Flamingo show last week. Donny is a polished and fine singer, and in my opinion "out-sang" Susan by far. This lady needs help with her stage presence.
Where I have been lunching all month is El Segundo Sol at The Fashion Show Mall. Unbelievable, Latin meals, with fabulous quesadillas, margaritas, and fabulous looking pizza. Their slogan is “Lettuce Entertain You” and it is my newest guilty pleasure.
The Late Joe Willams was one of the best male jazz/standards/blues singer ever, though he was never really appreciated in Las Vegas. He worked all over the world with the Count Basie orchestra and sang with some of the best female singers of his day, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn.
This year the Joe Williams Scholarship Fund Concert will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2012 at Artemus Hall on the campus of UNLV. Featured performers will be Clint Holmes, Earl Turner, The Cunninghams, Pete Barbuatti, Sammy Shore and some surprise guests, Tickets are $20.00 and all proceeds go to providing scholarships for students in the UNLV Jazz program whose band was chosen the best college jazz band in the nation by Downbeat Magazine in 2011. For more information and tickets please call 702-895-2787.
Las Vegas newscasters Jim Snyder and Jessica Moore have made it official that they will tie the knot in the near future. They are two of the most likeable and talented media people in our area.
The Spinners were in town at The M Resort and performed before a sold-out crowd at their Pavilion. What a dreamily enticing stroll down Memory Lane as they performed all their old hits with tight harmonies and choreography that reminded us of the good old days. The guys were smooth and as show business veterans they brought on a performance that was worthy of that long walk thru the bottom bowels of the casino.
We saw another clever young comedian named Godfrey at the Riviera who was extremely funny. What can I say? He does accents and his humor is topical and on point and you laugh your a#* off because he captures some of the folks currently in the news at their funniest. Don’t miss him when he returns to Vegas.
Human Nature is off for a week or so going on tour to the Far East. These boys from “Down Under” sing Motown songs so well that you think you’re standing on a street corner in Detroit. It is awesome. I would love to see them along with the cast from Hitzville perform together because this is some of the greatest music and polished musicians in Vegas. Is it true that Human Nature may be moving to the Venetian? Wherever they go, they are worth the trip.
Three sad deaths this past week with Alex Karras, a true gentle giant of Webster fame and the movies Blazing Saddles and Victor-Victoria; Gary Collins, who was good but couldn’t quite replace Burt Parks on the Miss America show and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.
I think The Voice is emerging as one of my favorite shows. There’s real talent on that stage, and though I don’t always agree with the judges, it's still an enjoyable experience. I think I’m in love with Blake Shelton, who is a real, engaging man and a helluva mentor and coach.
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you all a great week.
MONTI ROCK lll: PERFORMER, COLUMNIST, and MARKETING EXPERT.
MONTI – LICIOUS - October 13, 2012
My favorite columnist in Las Vegas, Norm Clarke, married the beautiful Cara Roberts this past Saturday Oct 6 at The Smith Center’s Courtyard. The bride and groom looked marvelous, as did the two bridesmaids, two groomsmen and best man. Norm and Cara’s puppies, Rumor and Scandal, walked down the aisle with the flower girls, Scandal wearing a darling wedding dress. Former mayor Oscar Goodman officiated. Reception was held at the Cabaret Jazz Theater with special performances by Clint and Kelly Holmes. It was a marvelous affair. Some of the guests were Elaine Wynn, Tony Curtis’ widow, Myron and Dana Martin, Felix and Louis Rappaport and the fabulous JoAnne Downy, who was a marketing powerhouse at the Review Journal. There were 100 guests who were treated to music, food, and a wonderful evening. I wish them luck.
This week Cee Lo Green stars in Cee Lo’s Magic Moments, being taped at Planet Hollywood. He calls himself “Loberace,” the most fabulous straight man ever. But of course he is known for his characteristically different voice, his iconic good looks, and quirky sense of humor. He’s planning to come to Planet Hollywood in February and we all wait with baited breath to see what he brings to the entertainment table.
This week we also celebrated 50 years of the Bond films. Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Jane Seymour, Jill St John, the very sexy Daniel Craig, the incomparable beauty of Halle Berry, the whimsical Pierce Bronson and dashing Roger Moore. My favorite villain was the divine Miss Grace Jones, though I’m partial to short, fat, Asian men with iron-rimmed hats.
The new Vanity Fair has excerpts from the book The Family War for His Millions written by Randall Sullivan about the clan of Michael Jackson. In this book he writes about the alleged internal greed among family members that Michael did not mention in his will. The estate could reach $3 billion. Janet allegedly didn’t want her brother buried still owing her $40K for his casket and LaToya Jackson and her boyfriend allegedly took all the bags of money out of Michael's mansion where he died. Allegations are flying all over the place. They are still suing AEG for wrongful death and are trying to fire the current executors, and, of course, they are fighting the will. Will the drama ever end???
The new Michael Jackson theatrical piece arrives in Vegas at the Mandalay Bay. We’re excited about this new residency.
John Theiss is bringing in his BABYLON KNIGHTS TOURS beginning 21 Oct. This is a new concept in entertainment; for details and information please see the attachments.
The great event at The Riviera was the 25 Years of Crazy Girls. There was food, cake, drinks, presents, the media out in full force, a mayoral declaration of October 4 as "Crazy Girls Day in Vegas." Those lovely, limber ladies dressed all alike in slinky little dresses and long blonde wigs worked the room before the show. The Riviera has The Society of Seven, Andrew Dice Clay, The Comedy Club, the magic of Jan Rouvens, and they are about to embark on a refurbishing of the property. That end of The Strip needs a new facelift and a reason to bring the crowds down to the northern end of the strip.
What is happening to Jonathan Segal and his opening of a new club at The Tropicana? It’s to be housed at the old Nicki Beach location. It remains to be seen, but I am patient. It is a beautiful property. The whites, pinks, and Art Nouveau décor should make for a stunning venue. Also, Dancing with the Stars is returning. Can’t wait! At the Luxor, we have Fantasy with Cleo, the new star, and wife of Murray the Celebrity Magician, who is also an English bombshell. Have at it girl!!
This is National Hispanic Month. If you are so inclined and don’t have anything else better to do, take me, your favorite Puerto Rican, to lunch or dinner this month. I’m available (for a moderate fee) for translations and adding authentic ambience to your soirees. Every party should have one and I’ll do you proud.
This a reminder for you not to miss the David de Alba TRIBUTE TO JUDY GARLAND SHOW on Nov 11 at the Onyx Theater in Las Vegas. David IS Judy once he begins singing those magic songs all done live (no lip-synching.) Please see attachment,
Jim Mueller is bringing his Winter Dance Party to the Showroom at South Point October 12-14. This is the official tribute to The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly. That plane crash was indeed "the day the music died."
Murray (SawChuk) the Magician and company has been extended until 2013. Murray has the only act currently at the Tropicana. Murray, Lefty, and Chloe will keep us entertained for at least the rest of the fall season. Incidentally, Chloe is also featured in Anita Mann's Fantasy at the Luxor. That's what we call "moonlighting" at its best.
Donny and Marie, and now Donny and Susan (Boyle, that is). It seems that Susan Boyle and Donny Osmond have been good friends ever since he found out that he is one of her favorites. What it "Boyles" down to is that she will appear with him on Wednesday Oct 17 at the Donny and Marie show at the Flamingo, Donny also sings with duets with her on her new album. Is Las Vegas ready for Ms. Boyle and is Ms. Boyle ready for Las Vegas??????
Frankie Moreno's 3 minutes on Dancing With The Stars was seen by millions of people. This appearance along with dancing and staging by Lacy Schwimmer can only help sales of his new albulm as well as increase his popularity here in Vegas. DWTS performances can really put those performers out there.
The D, (formerly Fitzgeralds) held its special grand opening event last week. Mayor Goodman, celebs, hors d'eurves , and the Detroit version of Coney Island hot dogs. The new owners have put about $60 million in refurbishing and upgrading. Another step in the rejuvenation of Downtown,
The Rev. Monti once again wishes everyone a great week.
MONTI ROCK; THE LEGEND, PERFORMER, COLUMNIST, MARKETING EXPERT.
MONTI - LICIOUS OCT 7, 2012
Are we all getting ready for Halloween? Is that your real clothes or your costumes? Thanksgiving is around the corner, too! Ethel M starts its holiday wonderland display very shortly - do not miss this - its sugar heaven!
Where did the summer go? Although at 95 degrees, the rest of the nation would say we are still in summer... The real referees are back!!! NFL fans and players can now rejoice.
Maybe we should have the above-mentioned referees on the set of American Idol. Niki, control yourself. The "F" word does not belong here. Be a lady!!! It seemed like neither Keith nor Randy could get you to, how shall I put it, shut up. A little tension among the judges creates excitement, this thing between you and Mariah went too far. Besides which, FYI, yours truly is the real "f-----g highness",
Hurry, hurry-if you want to see the great Garth Brooks at the Wynn. This country superstar will be closing his show on Nov 17 in order to reportedly prepare for a big tour and a new album. He his been performing at the Wynn for the past 3 years.
Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger - OMG -why write a book and put your family through your mistakes? That man's ego is bigger than all my careers - it’s worldwide! Barbra Streisand at the MGM - seats are almost sold out - the ones at $104/ticket are totally sold out now. She's going back to Brooklyn, but it's not the same Brooklyn. Now, she says her son, Jason Gould (who has a voice like"butta") will be singing on tour with her and doing a duet album. What took her so long??? Whatever happened to Roslyn Kind, her sister, who is also a great singer? Another dysfunctional family? What would it have taken for Babs to be gracious and recognize that Roslyn also was blessed with a great voice? Family matters and family issues seem to be the beast in this one.
I have been watching "Vegas," the semi-fictional show about the former Sheriff of Las Vegas, Ralph Lamb, who is indeed, to this very day, one of LV's most colorful characters. Dennis Quaid portraying Ralph Lamb is a slam-dunk. Michael Chiklis (The Shield) also stars in this well-tuned drama that boasts a fantastic cast. In fact, in my eyes, Michael steals the show. He portrays evil personified. This is my new guilty pleasure and my TV is now set for it on Tuesday nights.
Last week, the great Jaki Baskow produced Keith Urban's appearance at Caesar's Palace at a private function. Also last week at Caesar's, Matt Goss celebrated his 44th birthday. To me, Kenny Kerr is Don Rickles with a dress! This great impersonator is now performing at the Onyx Theater every other Saturday. Go see him and you'll laugh your ass off!
Lindsay - Lindsay - Lindsay - did I mention her last name is Lohan? Since her location shoot in New York City the crime rate in LA has gone down, while that in NYC is rising. A one-woman prison movie!!! Paris Hilton and her boyfriend had an altercation that resulted in some arrests....ahhh! Will the police blotter ever stop processing these names?
Jon Theiss and his Babylon Tours will be the new VIP Service Manager at Bagatelle. When will the Tropicana open the envelope as to the opening date of that Bagatelle venue???
My friend, Frankie Valli, is performing a one-man show on Broadway, while his Jersey Boys- which is the biggest franchise currently in production - is wowing them on the Broadway boards with theater-goers still flocking in to see this megahit!
OK, reality can be in Vegas. But how many reality shows do we really need? We had the Elite show, and the Las Vegas Housewives (do they really clean house?) and gigolos, pawn stars, and porn stars and more porn stars. The franchise of the Housewives group - NY, NJ, Atlanta, Miami, LA, Orange County - and Honey Boo-Boo - boo boo on you you - got a raise? Boo Hoo for you - whoooo! Snooki had a baby we can call Baby Snooks (you have to be older to understand this one - it was a Fannie Brice character from vaudeville - early 1930s).
We went to Buffalo Bill's in Primm last week to see one of the funniest comedians in show business, Sinbad. His show is a two-hour romp full of stories, reflections and reminiscences that had the audience in tears from laughing. He has a unique style, fast-paced and non-stop. Best of all it is a clean show that never resorts to obscenities or four-letter words to get a laugh. Sinbad's handling of a drunk heckler was something to see. All in all one of the most memorable experiences I've had in a long time.
We also got to the L.A.Comedy Club at Planet Hollywood. Comic Mark Patrick headlined that night and was much better than we expected. Hopefully he will move to a larger venue that will enable him to really show his stuff. This guy is funny!
It's coming soon - yes - it's that time again! After my near duet with death, I have risen and revived my Monti Rock Christmas, this year with more sincere and gratefulness than ever before. I understand the spirit of the holidays and I appreciate it more than ever.
Until next week, the Very Reverend Monti Rock III sends you all his very best.
Monti Rock lll The Legend, Performer, Columnist, Marketing Expert - Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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