More than a Cameo at the Westgate
March 29, 2016 3:00 AM
by Monti Rock III
Westgate Cabaret has given Cameo a residency. Cameo was a trend setting funk band that had a strong influence on many of the R&B groups of the 70’s and 80’s as well as many hip hop bands that followed.
The Westgate has had its share of productions that didn’t quite make it. Dirk Arthur’s show is closing and won’t be back until the summer. Suzanne Somers closed her show soon after opening. Suzanne had one of the best one-woman shows in Las Vegas, but the timing was wrong and it did not draw.
The Elvis Experience didn’t make it either. Purple Reign, The Prince Tribute Show is a hit and has been running for quite some time. Let’s hope Twisted Vegas (which opened in February) and Cameo will have success here at the Westgate. Good marketing is a must for these shows to succeed.
The Righteous Brothers are back! Bill Medley and Bucky Heard are in residency at Harrah’s now through June 11. Among their biggest hits are “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Unchained Melody” and the Grammy winning “The Time of My Life” theme from “Dirty Dancing.”
I met them (Medley and Bobby Hatfield) along with Timi Yuro back in the day when I performed at The Red Velvet on the famed Sunset Strip during the 1960’s. At that time I was the big attraction from NYC, a gay man with no act but filling the clubs wherever I worked.
Inside Frank Jr.
I spoke with Frank Sinatra Jr.’s road manager who saw him as a lonely, intelligent man who never quite came out of the shadow of his father. He, at one point, stepped away from his career to manage his father, and did a stint as Frank Sr.’s musical director and conductor.
Junior resumed his career with tribute shows featuring his father’s favorite music and was on tour at the time of his death. It was not easy growing up in an atmosphere in which you could never really come into your own. There are exceptions such as Judy Garland’s daughter, Lisa Minnelli.
March 17 was the night Michael Flatley, creator of “Lord of The Dance,” retired from performing. His show at the Colosseum featured some of the best Irish dancers in the business. An overweight Michael did not come on stage until nearly the end of the show. At one point he had about 30 companies performing at one time. His genius will surely be missed, especially in the dance world.
A Rock Q&A
For the last few weeks I’ve been working on yet another show about my music, my TV appearances, and about my 50 years in show business, from celebrity hair dresser to recording artist, film actor, TV/nightclub performer and now a successful columnist. I plan to tour with a “Q&A” show where I will get to know my fans and they will get to know me.
Freaking on Chloe
It has now been confirmed that Chloe Crawford, ex-wife of magician Murray Sawchuck, will be co-starring with Criss Angel in his new “Mindfreak Live” show. This show will replace his present show, “Believe” at the Luxor. Chloe went from magician’s assistant to showgirl to touring in Angel’s magic show and now co-star in the new venture. “Mindfreak Live” begins mid-May.
Now at bat
Last Friday was the much anticipated opening of the film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Will this $250 million investment be the monster hit they’re hoping for? I say it better be. We’ll be watching this one over the next few weeks.
Odds & Ends
• Lorena Peril, after completing a production in Mexico, is returning to “Fantasy” as the singer in the show on April 11. Lorena had toured as Sandy in “Grease” and was also in “Vegas! The Show.”
• Philip Panzica, who was in court opting for a plea deal for doing that thing (with a young woman he just met) in the High Roller, was murdered during a carjack situation, while coming out of a Houston night spot. What started in Vegas ended tragically in Houston.
• The Las Vegas entertainment community and magicians are in dismay about what has happened to Jan Rouven, who has been charged with allegedly viewing and distributing child pornography.
His show at the Tropicana was immediately cancelled as well as all other connections between between Rouven and the hotel.
Bottom line is he can never get work in this country again after being placed on the sex offender list as a pervert, something he will carry for the rest of his life. Las Vegas loves scandals but draws the line with sex offenders, especially those that involve minors.
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you only the best.
Monti Rock, who starred with John Travolta in the classic Saturday Night Fever, is a legend, performer, GamingToday entertainment columnist and marketing expert. Contact Monti at MontiRock@GamingToday.com.