Last weekend was spent with friends from Beverly Hills – Jodi and Franck Vialy with their son Franck. They had a beautiful suite of rooms at the new Aria Hotel in CityCenter. We spent two days walking around, enjoying the fountains and statues. With everything new and fresh at CityCenter, it was like being a tourist in my own surroundings. There was a sense that CityCenter definitely has a future and that maybe it’s just the beginning. Just another sign that the economy is making a turn for the better.
The visit started on a high note with dinner at Bradley Ogden’s in Caesars followed by an evening with the Divine Miss M in "The Showgirl Must Go On" at the Colosseum where we all said farewell to Bette. No, we didn’t actually spend time with Bette, we just saw her show again. All in all it was an enjoyable and fabulous weekend.
While rumors continue about Bette Midler going to one of the Wynn properties, I think she needs some rest and recuperation. Rumor has it that most of her props were quickly removed from the property. Did they have a "fire sale?"
The Vialys and Monti Rock III have been friends for several years, but Jodi has just recently become Monti’s personal jeweler. I may be known for many things, jewelry not being the least of my passions.
Looking forward to a return trip to Aria to catch "Viva Elvis," the latest Cirque show, when it finally opens on Feb. 19. In my opinion, this will be the last Cirque show for a very long time. My original introduction to "Viva Elvis" at the Aria has been tweaked and reworked and hopefully will re-open with a "live" Elvis, which was missing in the preview.
What’s happening at the Sahara? For weeks I’ve written there was trouble and now the Sahara is closing all the showrooms on the second floor and the ones that remain will be crowded into Rick Thomas’ showroom. The "Rat Pack" show will now be at 5 p.m.!
Rush Limbaugh was one of the judges in the latest Miss America Pageant, which was held at Planet Hollywood. Miss America Pageant … ho hum. Rush Limbaugh … really?
Regarding Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s is taking over the management and the new tower has just opened. Wasn’t there a bankruptcy somewhere in there?
Not only in Las Vegas, but all across the country there’s been chatter about Senator Harry Reid’s best friend, President Obama. Oops! Mr. Obama did it again, telling people to stay away from Las Vegas during hard times. Don’t we just love our Mayor Oscar Goodman for his passion when it comes to Las Vegas? Oscar always gets our vote. He claims he will not be on hand to greet President Obama on his next visit to Las Vegas.
And what about the dirt Andrew Young is spouting on as many television shows as he can get on while promoting his book on John Edwards? Young and his wife made an appearance on "The View," where Barbara Walters managed some pointed questions and ended by asking if Young was living a back-stabbing political game. Barbara mentioned Young was betraying a nation by writing this book and talking about "the sex tape" he’s holding. Per Barbara, "I hope this book earns you enough money because you’re going to need it." The whole thing makes us ask if anyone could ever trust this guy.
In writing this column, I sometimes feel like a broken record when it comes to shows I like. For example, I’m rooting for Frank Marino’s "Divas" at the Imperial Palace and the "Singing Naked Boys" at the Onyx Theater because it’s the smaller shows that are the true meat and potatoes of entertainment.
In my travels around Las Vegas, I feel the economy is turning around. The shows are doing better business, rooms are getting booked and conventions are coming back. There’s excitement and optimism in the air.
Is it true that Mike Tyson might do "Dancing With the Stars?" No, no no!
Dr. Conrad Murray, physician to the late, great Michael Jackson, has surrendered to the local authorities and is now awaiting formal charges. Should he shoulder the guilt, or is he the fall guy in this drug-related death?
My friend Bob Anderson will arrive in Las Vegas next week to appear at the Cannery North. At the Hilton, Lani Misalucha in "Voices" is still holding strong, but the Hilton hasn’t found a replacement for Barry Manilow, who’s moving to the Strip and will open in March at Paris. Cheap Trick would be my choice to replace Manilow. The right fit, but just a suggestion.
And what about Andrew Dice Clay bringing his raunchy brand of comedy to the Shimmer Theater at the Hilton? His shows will be at 11 p.m. At this writing, negotiations are on to bring Celine back to the Colosseum in 2011. She will supposedly break the news on "Oprah" Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Tickets went on sale Jan. 30 for Lionel Richie’s two performances at Caesars Colosseum. He’ll appear March 26 and 27.
It seems the Orleans and the Suncoast are becoming the places where former Vegas Strip headliners are finding steady work as rotating stars in residence. The lineup includes Clint Holmes and the Scintas at Suncoast, Engelbert Humperdinck and the great Don Rickles at Orleans and South Point is where you can periodically see Tony Orlando and Sheena Easton. The locals now have the opportunity to see some of their favorites at prices they can afford.
The "Chippendales" will be celebrating their 3,000 performance on Feb. 11 at the Rio All Suite Hotel. Special gifts are planned for the ladies that evening. I wonder what these gifts may be like?
It was just announced that Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall and Bar-B-Que will open at Treasure Island on April 16. Gilley’s was a honky tonk that originated in Pasadena, Texas, and was the setting for the John Travolta smash hit "Urban Cowboy." The Treasure Island version will be open for lunch and dinner. Besides the well-known barbeque, they’re once again featuring Gilley’s infamous mechanical bull.
The day after the "Grammy Awards" were on television, Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie started work on "We Are the World – 25 Years Later" with about a hundred stars adding their voices in an effort to raise money for Haiti’s recovery.
Now all the questions start about the money raised for the Haiti recovery. Is it getting to the right place? Millions and millions of dollars have been donated or pledged. My hat’s off to John Travolta, who personally flew his own jet to Haiti to deliver food, medicine and doctors. He also made sure that these supplies got to the right people and places. John, always the gentleman.
"American Idol" – I miss you Paula – but the show is still entertaining. Let’s see how Ellen DeGeneres does. I don’t see it, myself. Fantasia, one of the earlier winners of "American Idol," is broke and crying. Wait a minute. Didn’t she do "The Color Purple" on Broadway? Didn’t she have a reality show on VH1? Fantasia, you have to learn how to save when times are good.
And speaking of "AI," Carrie Underwood, one of the true genuine stars from the talent show, will soon be seen on the silver screen. She’s landed a role in the inspirational film "Soul Surfer," which is based on the life of champion surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost an arm in a shark attack.
Monti Rock III, who’s involved with local charities, says, "Let’s not forget our own!" The homeless problem here is devastating, the unemployment is beyond belief and Las Vegas has the highest home foreclosure rate in the nation. Let’s concentrate some of our charity on the local economy.
As always the Rev. Monti wishes you all a great week.
Juicy gossip from Monti Rock III arrives fresh every Tuesday.