Stars come out
for Barry debut

Mar 1, 2005 2:59 AM

Not since Streisand and Elvis has the Las Vegas Hilton garnered such attention as it did the other night from Barry Manilow’s sensational gala opening and perfect schmooze-a-thon party. It was old Vegas personified and I have to toast Montila’s wine cup to everyone involved at the Hilton for a wonderful and delightful evening.

Barry — could I tell you stories about him — has never been better. The show has all the "necessary" Las Vegas production without taking anything away from the man and his music, the elements people pay good money to see.

And, Barry delivers the music they want to hear. He’s professional from start to finish; glib, sincere and honest. The show is called music and passion. Well, Barry has the music and there’s no doubt the audience has the passion. Barry, by the way, will be commuting to his Palms Springs home via private jet after his nightly shows. He’s real serious about not being on tour and wants to sleep in his own bed at night!

The after-show soiree had its usual share of hangers-on — especially some local so-called press that put on their usual eating frenzy — but there were some real celebrity-types, though The Patch left me off the list he printed in his column. I got to look at, rub elbows with, kissy-kissy and even talk with, the likes of Elaine and Steve Wynn, Steve Guttenberg, Frank Marino, David Brenner and his fiancée Tai Babilonia (she just returned from Lake Placid and the 25th anniversary of the Winter Olympics), Vera and Robert Goulet, the Aussie Angels, musical genius Artie Butler, Clint Holmes, Lance Burton, Mimi Hines, David Foster, Robin Leach, Adrian Zmed, Ron Dante, Kimberly Locke, Monica Mancini, Gordie Brown, Karen and Frank Lieberman, Kelly Clinton, Bill Fayne, Matt Dusk, Shelby Lynne, and famed songwriters Desmond Childs and Marty Panzer. Barry walked the after-show shindig with an entourage that would have made Michael Jackson proud.

Marino has been a darling helping me get ready for my Discovery Channel nip-n-tuck. It’s happening the beginning of April. Brenner insists I don’t need one while Holmes says I could use all the help I can get. I know he was kidding; I hope he was kidding.

The biggest surprise of the evening was Sir Elton John walking the red carpet. I was just in front of him and I thought the cheers from the spectators were for me. Oh well, there’s hope. I did have a film crew following me as they were shooting footage for the docu-drama about my life. Wait until you see this one. It’ll be the ultimate roller coaster ride for you. It has been for me and it’s not over though it probably should have been a few times.

A Sunset Strip (Los Angeles) centerpiece of the 1970s rock scene — the Rainbow Bar & Grill — is coming to Las Vegas. A local version will open this summer on Paradise across from the Hard Rock with rock legends Bob and Jerry Greenberg on board to bring reality to the venue that will have a rock/biker theme. The Rainbow was next door to the famed Roxy and down the street from the infamous Whiskey a Go-Go. Believe me, it was a rock tradition and hangout.

If the fans’ reaction to Engelbert Humperdinck’s tell-all book is any indication, the baseball players involved with the steroid accusations have no worries about their fans responses. In his autobiography, "Engelbert: What’s In A Name?" Enge, as he’s known to friends, lets it all hang out discussing his insecurities, continual drinking, pain his caused his family, arrest for cocaine possession and his excessive sexual escapades with women despite being married. None of it seems to matter as he sells his local Orleans engagements; still gets love letters on his official Web site and women he bedded locally are still around. Since these women live in a fantasy world when it relates to the singer, I’m wondering if they wish they were part of the book, too.

News & Notes: Leroy Neiman will unveil his Las Vegas centennial poster at a press event — open to the public — at the Fashion Show mall at 11 a.m. on April 1”¦ Clint Holmes performs at the Citizens of Distinction Luncheon at the Stardust on March 18.