Talent-rich production is tribute to city
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s "Vegas! The Show" at the David Saxe Theater in the Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood. I love the show… but more than that, I embrace it! David Saxe, the creator and producer, brings talent to the stage both in song and dance that is currently unmatched on the Las Vegas stage. Director and choreographer Tiger Martina guides all these skilled performers to give us the best in entertainment.
"Vegas! The Show" is a musical history of sorts, chronicling the stars who helped create the entertainment capital that rose from the desert. As an entertainer myself, I’m amazed at the amount of talent in this show. It features six outstanding vocalists in addition to beautiful dancers, specialty acts and a band led by Jerry Lopez that never misses a beat. It’s fast-paced and delightful.
Before the show, the young energetic producer appeared on stage decked out in a tuxedo but adding that he was a bit uncomfortable in such attire. He spoke in an emotional manner about the efforts of bringing this extravaganza to life. He introduced the audience to his family, which included his wife, his sisters and his mother, Bonnie Saxe. Bonnie is known as the queen of the four-wall productions.
In my opinion, it would take someone like David to create this show. He was born in Las Vegas where his mother was one of the stars of the "Folies Bergere" and his father was a bandleader. This show is an expensive undertaking and quite ambitious when you consider the number of performers and the quality of talent. Who better to bring this show to life than a true Las Vegas native like David Saxe?
Even opening night for the press and invited guests was a home run. Robin Leach, Mike Weatherford and a bevy of photographers and entertainers were part of the scene before and after the performance. In addition to the open bar and hors d’oeuvres, there was a fantastic offering of candy like I’ve never seen before. What a great promotional idea that was. A table filled with candies of all flavors on several tiers together with a decorated bag for guests to fill. The entire evening was a treat.
Let’s make "Vegas! The Show" a blazing success. Buy those tickets! Fill those seats! You won’t be disappointed.
Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about the Mob Museum downtown and the Mob Experience at The Tropicana. Steve Schirripa has joined the Mob Experience. He is doing a series of commercials for the upcoming event. Most people know Steve from his character Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri on "The Sopranos," but I first met him when he was with the Riviera. He was very kind to me – but alas, I wasn’t ready for prime time.
Las Vegas showman Art Vargas brings "Vintage Vegas Live" to the Rampart Casino Aug. 20-22. The show features backup singers and a band that helps Art create familiar sounds for the over-30 crowd to enjoy.
The Riviera was on my schedule for openings last week and it was Greg London’s show "The ICONS of London." Greg (pictured at right with Monti) is an impressionist at the center of a variety show featuring a live band, backup singers and dancers. Greg is an entertainer reminiscent of the late Danny Gans, and I predict Greg London is someone to watch.
Mark your calendars! On Sept. 10, Monti Rock III will be opening at the Rio All Suites Crown Theater in a fabulous new venture presented by Tom Biscardi. As host of the show I’ll be doing what I do best!
After a valiant battle with lung cancer, my friend, award winning actress Patricia Neal, has died. Courageous Patricia overcame incredible personal tragedies including the death of her 7-year-old son, a nervous breakdown at the end of her affair with Gary Cooper and three massive strokes. I met the extraordinary actress in London in 1974 when we spent an evening dining at Morton’s with her daughter, Tessa Dahl, actor Peter Sellers and others. Tessa took me to their country estate where she delighted in showing off her mother’s treasures. Dear friend, Patricia, rest in peace.
What’s happening at Greenspun Media? Howard Lefkowitz has now joined the ranks of former Greenspun execs and employees. The company seems to be getting smaller and smaller, probably a result of the print media situation in general.
It was a late-night dinner with my publicist Trish Williamson, Joan Brant and Tom Biscardi at Border Grill at Mandalay Bay and it was delightful. The service was splendid and menu features such as green corn tamales, chicken, strip steak, and chile rellenos were all part of our evening and enjoyed right along with the desserts.
The takeover of Planet Hollywood by Harrah’s Entertainment should not affect the red carpet movie premieres. Last week was the Las Vegas premiere of "The Expendables," starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Stratham, Dolph Lundgren and Eric Roberts – with cameos by Bruce Willis and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. There will probably be two other major premieres in Las Vegas this year, one at Halloween and one for the holiday season.
Las Vegas favorite, Clint Holmes, was honored in New York by the Friars Club. Freddie Roman, one of the most underrated comedians in the business, was emcee. For those of you who have seen Freddie perform, you know how funny he can be. Holmes’ wife, Kelly Clinton, was one of the performers that evening.
"Bite," the sexy vampire show at Stratosphere, celebrated its 6th-year anniversary on, appropriately enough, Friday the 13th. Their opening just happened to be on Friday the 13th back in 2004!
Another mainstay in Las Vegas is "Menopause," which recently celebrated its 200th performance. Who says there is no longevity in our business!
As always, the Rev. Monti wishes you all a great week.