Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil merger at Mandalay Bay

May 3, 2011 6:00 AM

The recent press conference at Mandalay Bay was an introduction to the Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil merger.

Although the complete experience isn’t scheduled to open until 2013, we saw glimpses of their vision for this endeavor. It will include their version of NeverLand filled with Jackson memorabilia, a museum and a store. This complete experience will hopefully be a permanent feature.

In the meantime, the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour will open at Mandalay Bay on Dec. 3. This columnist was intrigued with the production value of Cirque du Soleil and the Jackson estate joining forces to bring another Cirque show to Las Vegas.

This is an incredible Las Vegas crew that seemingly has captured the true essence of Michael and Las Vegas.

He was an extraordinary entertainer, musician and recording artist, who felt the world had turned its back on him.

Jackson endured his share of sadness with infamous accusations and reported drug abuse. Like many brilliant people he’s worth more now than ever before monetarily. It looks like this new Jackson/Soleil production will be brilliant.

The Las Vegas wedding of the century with casino/hotel mogul Steve Wynn and British bride Andrea Hissom took place Saturday in front of 250 or 500 or 1,000 guests (we’ve heard all three numbers). It’s our own version of royalty.

Sadly, my invitation must have been lost in the mail and I did not attend.

The beautiful Wynn and Encore hotels were undoubtedly polished to perfection, which is normal, awaiting the arrival of invited guests, which included Clint Eastwood, Steve’s best man.

With the imminent closing of the Sahara we were pleased to hear Rick Thomas has found a new home at the Riviera, in the newly named Rick Thomas Theater. John Stuart, Rick’s producer, is taking over most of the Riviera venues and is bringing entertainment back to the north end of the Strip.

In the Riv’s Starlite (formerly Versailles) Theater, Mary Wilson will appear June 22-July 3 and Rich Little will be there for three weeks from May 25-June 12.

Steve Wyrick is reportedly in talks with the Las Vegas Hilton for a long term engagement, and Liza Minnelli will be in the big showroom Oct 7-8. Let’s face it, Liza and Las Vegas are made for each other.

The Tropicana held a great media/VIP event for Gladys Knight this week. In the crowd was Ira David Sternberg and his wife, my friend Jodi Rocco from What’s On Magazine, and Gabrielle Reisler and Mark Mayer of Gaming Today fame.

Gladys on stage was gracious, looked marvelous and sounded wonderful. The opening of her show, The Mic and The Light, was perfect. The band and backup singers complete the package, which includes a great gospel segment. It makes for a great night of classic old-style Las Vegas entertainment.

Most readers know Gladys calls Las Vegas home both on the stage and off. She’s been part of the Las Vegas community for some time and with the opening of her new Theater at the Tropicana, she’s offering 50 tickets each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night for Clark County School District teachers. That’s a gift from a gracious lady. Teachers should contact their school’s principal for tickets.

Jason Feinberg from FOX 5 television will emcee the 9th Annual Friends of The Shade Tree "Girls Night Out" this Thursday, May 5, at the Marquee Nightclub in the Cosmopolitan. The evening starts at 6 p.m. and features live entertainment, a silent auction and lots of other gifts.

Shade Tree is a shelter for women, children and their pets. It is unique in many ways, but including pets is most unusual. For details or donations go to www.friendsoftheshadetree.net.

Hope you had a chance to experience the once-in-a-lifetime Bluegrass and Comedy with Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers at the Mirage last week. Steve’s first banjo album won a Grammy in 2010 and his second album, Rare Bird Alert, was just released on Rounder Records. The Terry Fator Theater was full of music and laughs.

Station Casinos has just released their entertainment schedule for the balance of 2011. What a lineup! Toby Keith at Red Rock Station, Merle Haggard at Sunset Station, Al Jarreau at Aliante Station and the Doobie Brothers also at Sunset Station are only a few on the schedule. Check www.stationcasinos.com for dates and a full list of entertainment.

While at one of the Station casinos be sure to check out the Grand Cafe Coffee Shops. We visited the Red Rock Grand Cafe this week and enjoyed their good food, great service, and general ambiance. Station Casinos have got a winner on their hands with the Grand Cafe.

Last week marked the long-awaited opening of Tivoli Village, the $700 million shopping, eating, and office complex located in Boca Park in Summerlin.

Brio Tuscan, which opened its doors last Thursday, is only one of the fine restaurants to be found in this beautiful complex that features magnificent architecture as well as unique shops.

This week Monti Rock III and his crew start taping their reality show, What’s the Point? It’s a reality show starring yours truly and a cast of characters – some I like and some I don’t.

What’s the point? It will cover my generosity, bitchiness and creativity. Most people don’t understand how hard it is to create this brand every day.

Of course, preparations are underway for my Annual 70th Birthday Bash where gifts are gladly accepted and my charities and I thank you all. This year guests will be greeted by certain entertainment stars and society well-knowns who have touched my life over the last 30 years.

Regular readers understand I know everyone who is anyone. Coming soon – the announcement of my new wedding chapel.

It continues to be good to be Monti Rock III. As always Rev Monti wishes you a great week!