The marvelous new year is upon us and even if most of the celebrations have ended, we can still look forward to the many shows offering discounts and two-for-one tickets, along with hopeful anticipation for the future.
Donn Arden’s creation, "Jubilee," at Bally’s will celebrate performance number 17,000 on Jan. 16! With all the fabulous entertainment Las Vegas has to offer, we must acknowledge this is quite an accomplishment. In celebration of this event, Bally’s will sell tickets for $17. I’ve always said Jubilee is a must-see. This is a great time to take advantage of the glitz and glamour brought to life in this true Las Vegas gem.
Kudos to Bally’s for making employment opportunities available to homecoming military. They have reportedly filled 13 positions with these vets. Some of our other big corporations should follow suit since these are the people who gave their all to keep us safe.
Las Vegas is full of characters willing to extend a helping hand, give a pat on the back or a handshake and always a lot of talk, talk, talk. So, even though it can be rare, it’s always refreshing when there’s more than just talk. Case in point ... Anthony Cools is a true gentleman. Anthony was kind enough to lend me one of his digital advertising trucks with my picture on it while it runs up and down the Strip with ads for Badda Bing’s Gentleman’s Club. It’s rare to find such a generous gentleman, and I thank you Anthony Cools.
On the eve of Elvis’ 75th birthday (Jan. 8), there was an Elvis tribute on NBC’s "Dateline." Among the performers was Kelly Clinton (Mrs. Clint Holmes), who has been billing herself as "Kelvis," the only female member of a local Elvis choir. Elvis is only one of the characters in her repertoire. She can currently be seen at the Sterling Club on Saturdays and the Bootlegger on Mondays.
Elvis here, Elvis there, Elvis is everywhere. His 75th birthday has brought out all the impersonators as well as the new shows about him and his legend. He, like Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe, is generating more money after death than before.
Donny Osmond, one of our all-time favorites, is starting his new radio show later this month. He’ll be broadcasting across America on 60 stations.
The media has been invited to a special performance of Society of Seven at the Gold Coast on Jan. 15. Society of Seven has been a favorite of mine ever since their triumphant engagement at the Flamingo. The new addition to the group is lead singer and former "American Idol" contestant Jasmine Trias, who replaces Lani Misalucha. Lani left Society to perform in "Voices" at the Hilton with Earl Turner. Even with Earl’s sudden departure, Lani is doing respectable business.
There have been no definite decisions regarding the Steve Wyrick Theater at Planet Hollywood, but rumor has it they want to transform it into a retail store. It’s a beautiful theater and making a change like that would be a shame. I hear that Steve is trying to raise more money, but then aren’t we all.
Before writing the column, I called David Saxe because he seems to have the success secret at Planet. The business that Mr. Saxe did at the V Theater has yet to be duplicated. At one time he had as many as seven rotating shows.
The eye candy continues to expand at CityCenter with the opening of Eva Longoria Parker’s nightclub, Eve. The new club opened for business Jan. 6 and will only be open Wednesday through Saturday each week. It’s located above Ms. Parker’s new restaurant, Beso. The announcement about the nightclub made a point of tempting locals with specials when it comes to things like cover charges, etc.
Mimmo Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar has opened on Paradise Rd. This new location has banquet rooms, and its dining area can expand to accommodate 480 people. Beautiful atmosphere, top selection of Italian wines, and, of course, fine food make for a great evening of dining and entertainment. Ferraro’s has won many awards over the past years. Executive chef Mimmo Ferraro assures us that traditional favorites like pasta e fagioli and trippa calabrese will be served along with many new items.
"Peep Show" at Planet Hollywood will be dark through Feb. 28. The theater is undergoing sound and lighting system renovations. "Peep Show" will return on March 1 with Holly Madison continuing in the lead.
"Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song" by my friend Jo-Ann Geffen was recently released. The veteran Hollywood talent agent gives us the personal stories behind 101 of your favorite tunes. The Chicken Soup series has been translated into more than 40 languages and can be found in more than 100 countries. And the stories in Jo-Ann’s marvelous book are inspirational and fascinating.
Having returned from my triumphant New Year’s Eve performance in the California Bay Area, I was treated royally by the Wynn properties and enjoyed a fabulous and unique performance by Garth Brooks at Encore. It’s true it was Garth and his guitar, period. Country Western music is not always at the top of my list, but I must say this man is unbelievably talented. We were treated with an appearance by Trisha Yearwood, Garth’s wife, who sang a single song and joined Garth in a duet.
We all remember the room where Garth appears at Encore was built especially for Danny Gans and Steve Wynn spared no expense in creating the perfect performance venue with unmatched acoustics. Garth took advantage of this and never left the stage as he performed for more than two hours. He has a tremendous rapport with the audience, and I expect many fans will return to see Garth more than once since each show will be unique.
VIP or not, when you go to Encore to see Garth, everyone stands in line to enter the theater. The line moved at a good pace and everyone seems to understand the management has gone to great lengths to maintain their $125 ticket prices.
Since we’re covering the Wynn properties, I’m reminded that we were saddened by the rumors that Steve and Elaine were headed for divorce. Rumors turned into reality, and the only thing I can say is when that happens, at least in this case, it’s nice to know everyone comes out smelling like a rose.
The Palms Casino Resort will host "Funny Bones" on Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. It’s a charity event in support of local dog rescue organizations. Sammy Shore, known as comedy royalty, will emcee the event and be joined by several other comics, including the New Mr. Las Vegas, George Wallace, and Bobby Slayton. Tickets are available at the Palms ticket office, or call (702) 944-3200 for more details.
Once again Happy New Year and remember The Rev. Monti wishes you all only the best.
Juicy gossip from Monti Rock III arrives fresh every Tuesday.