As an "entertainment news" columnist looking for exciting scoops every week, it’s usually the entertainers themselves, the shows or maybe just the showrooms and beautiful hotels that are the subject.
Recent events remind us that entertainers are regular people subject to the highs and lows faced by many. And so, we send our condolences and sympathy to Marie Osmond and her family over the loss of Marie’s 18-year-old son Michael Blosil.
The word "family" is almost synonymous with Osmond. Their popularity, energy, personalities and laughter managed to keep all of us smiling for a long time and now our thoughts and prayers are with the Osmonds in this difficult time.
News of his financial problems took second place for Wayne Newton while he was in St. Louis at the hospital where his daughter was recovering from a coma brought about by complications from her pregnancy. He can breathe a sigh of relief now and get back to work at the Tropicana where his show, "Once Before I Go," is supposed to continue. His contract has not as yet been renewed.
There was a surprise at the Tropicana last week when Dirk Arthur’s show was reportedly canceled. I always felt that Dirk’s show was the heir apparent when it came to exotic animal acts because of those beautiful tigers. Hopefully, Dirk and his cats will find a new location soon.
Last Friday, I returned to ARIA in CityCenter to see "Viva Elvis" again. After seeing the show for the fourth time, I still say I love it! This time, I just wanted to see it as a regular patron, no media hoopla, no special seats. This show looks and sounds great from any part of this beautiful new theater.
Latest news from my friend Charo is that she’s back at work. She’s on tour right now but is releasing a new CD and said her reality show is a reality.
Another friend, Bob Anderson, was recently trying to seal a deal with another hotel here in Vegas, but at the last minute the deal fell through. For right now, Bob will keep his appearances at the Cannery North and the Rampart in Summerlin. We love you, Bob!
As a longtime fan of television’s No. 1 show, "American Idol," I must report I turned it off. It’s become a snooze.
The "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno is back on the air and Sarah Palin has already made a guest appearance. In case you didn’t catch the show, she was pretty good as a stand-up comedian. One thing is for sure, this lady is not shy. Sarah Palin as Tina Fey in "Legends in Concert?" I don’t think so but she might surprise everyone. And what about the rumor that Conan O’Brien may stop in Las Vegas as part of his proposed national tour? His exit agreement with NBC does not allow him to appear on TV, and this would be a great way to stay in the public’s eye.
Station Casinos has been busy revamping its entertainment scene, adding weekly shows to its lineup. Palace Station will present "Rock ‘n’ Roll 2 Soul" beginning March 12. Featured are the original Coasters, Mary Williams of the Shirelles and Elvis tribute artist Jonathon Von Brana among others. Bonkerz has been renamed The Palace Showroom. Other Station locations are also adding to their lineups.
Last week, Barry Manilow opened his new show at The Paris. From what I hear, he has nothing to worry about. Setting his new show in a theater rather than an arena-style venue makes his performance a mixture of songwriter’s concert and Broadway review. And the high-tech visuals add a further dimension to the production. The media opening will be next month, so there will be more to come on Barry’s latest venture.
At Hooters, the "X-Men" has been canceled to make room for an Elvis tribute show.
Thursday, March 4 was the third anniversary of "X-Burlesque" at the Flamingo. Additional numbers, additional choreography and new costumes make for a newly-extended show.
Terry Jenkins, Director of Entertainment for Boyd Gaming, provided the showroom and all that goes with it at the Suncoast so that friends of Bill Fayne could produce a benefit show for their pal. Bill is on the mend, which is good news, but his friends wanted to provide financial help. What a show it was, too. Clint Holmes and wife Kelly Clinton were hosts and the talent lineup was amazing.
Bill Fayne has been Clint’s musical director for years and they have been friends since college. Bill is well known in the entertainment industry for his great musicianship, and more recently as one of the tenors in "Las Vegas Tenors." It’s easy to rally around someone like Bill Fayne who is talented and genuine. Again, a shout-out to Terry Jenkins and Boyd Gaming. You’re a true gentleman, Terry. All of the proceeds from this sold out show are going to Bill to help with his mortgage and soaring medical expenses.
Kudos to Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar! They are featuring a special "Opportunitini" cocktail through April 1 and 100 percent of the proceeds from this speciality drink will benefit Opportunity Village. We would like to see more of this kind of philanthropy from the many fine clubs around town.
Rick Belcastro’s Badda Bing Gentlemen’s Club now has a great new billboard vehicle running up and down The Strip. Badda Bing is a beautiful multi-level club that will be the future home of the Chapel of Lust, where yours truly, the Rev. Monti, hopes to perform wedding ceremonies.
Watch for Monti’s take on the Oscars and Oscar fashions coming next week. Talk about the "Fashion Police," wait and check to see what Monti has to say.
Rev. Monti, once again, wishes you all a great week.