July 06, 2010 7:06 AM
by Monti Rock III
What an evening it was when the Las Vegas Hilton hosted the "Daytime Emmy Awards" last week. It was a rare event, and for me one of the most pleasant I’ve experienced in a long time in Las Vegas. May I have the envelope please? And the winner is … Las Vegas Hilton.
With the help of CBS network, the Hilton showroom stage was transformed into a magnificent setting for the glamorous stars. Host Regis Philbin was at his best. Susan Lucci, who is truly ageless, Rachael Ray and Erik Estrada all managed to delight the audience with their live appearances, while Don Rickles and David Letterman were included with others in video spots.
The evening became quite sentimental when Dick Clark (pictured above) was honored for his achievements and the importance to rock ‘n’ roll of his TV classic "American Bandstand." Marie Osmond and Chubby Checker performed live and it was apparent a close relationship exists with Dick Clark and presenter Ryan Seacrest.
In 1973, Dick Clark presented yours truly when I made my debut as Disco Tex. So it seemed only fitting that I attend such a special evening that acknowledged the contributions made by this man. Again, it was a great evening. Glamour, glamour, glamour.
There was a bit of drama after the awards show when Vince Neil regrettably got a DUI. Vince and his Lamborghini made the news. Vince, as you might know, recently opened his Tres Rios Cantina at The Hilton.
Television’s 2010 BET awards were the same night and the show was filled with Michael Jackson tributes. Thank heaven for the DVR. Bad boy Chris Brown’s renditions of Michael Jackson’s songs and dance brought down the house, and eventually brought down Chris, whose sobs became uncontrollable. The lyrics of Michael’s "Man In The Mirror" apparently hit home for Chris.
For me the highlight of the evening was when Patti LaBelle, who always gives her all, closed the show. Throwing off her shoes, she sang Prince’s "Purple Rain" while the audience cheered. Queen Latifah was stunning in her many gowns and the beautiful Alicia Keys showed the world her baby bump and held center stage several times, performing flawlessly.
"Vegas! The Show" at the Saxe Theater in Planet Hollywood was on my agenda this week. And I was able to get to see it Thursday evening. This new production has been hailed as the new show in town. There’s a lot riding on this venture – I’ve been told it’s costing about $1.5 million for the performers and the state of the art sound and lighting. The singers are amazing and the production is definitely "old Vegas." Showgirls in great costumes, singers, dancers, and several variety acts make for a really entertaining show. In an earlier column, I mentioned Las Vegas celeb Tony Sacca has a similar show downtown. And they say there’s no competition here!
Anita Mann, all things "Fantasy" at Luxor, was in town to catch David Saxe’s new show and invited me to join her, which would have been a delight. I’d be interested in her comments for sure. Unfortunately, my schedule couldn’t be changed. Anita and I will have to discuss this latest Las Vegas production at a later time.
Brad Garrett has opened his own comedy club at Tropicana, and from what I saw and heard the night I attended, Brad should become the Trop’s big hit. He’s a great entertainer and funny, funny. Most of us know Brad for his stint on TV’s "Everybody Loves Raymond" in which he showed his talent as a great comic actor. His standup shows him as a younger Don Rickles which, in itself, is an achievement. George Bugatti, who I’ve seen around town singing and playing piano, was a delightful added attraction. Before the show, my partner and I were treated to dinner at Bacio. Two of my favorite dishes, calamari and rigatoni bolognese, were outstanding. I can say the renovation is well underway at the Trop and it’s beginning to take on that Miami’s South Beach look they’re shooting for. Nice change.
Queen Victoria’s Pub at the Riviera was another stop I made last week. Review to follow in my next column.
Economy trials and tribulations be damned! Take advantage of the offers being made! Tickets for Cher’s show at Caesars Colosseum are $50 for Nevada residents. Good seats, too. Also available are special performances at discounted prices for Frank Marino’s "Divas." Contact Imperial Palace for dates, etc.
Yours truly, Monti Rock III, will be performing in concert for one night only, along with the Platters, on July 11 as part of the dinner show at Hennessey’s on Fremont St. Part of the proceeds will be going to Monti’s favorite charity.
The Juvenile Diabetes Relief Foundation, JDRF, is holding its "Rockin’ Vegas" charity show at B.B. King’s Club on July 15. JDRF has been donating huge amounts of money to help find a cure for this dreaded disease.
Living legend Larry King announced his retirement from his nightly CNN interview show. Larry has been doing this for 25 years and is seen worldwide daily. He wants to devote his time to do specials, and more important, to his family. We will miss his show and wish him only the best. A replacement host has not yet been announced.
Hope you had a safe and sane July 4th holiday. And, as always, the Rev. Monti wishes you all a great week.