After Cassidy misses plug-in, gets plug pulled

Dec 5, 2000 6:37 AM

In an extremely busy week, last week’s announcement that The Rio was pulling the plug on David Cassidy’s show At The Copa was shocking.

For weeks, I’ve reported that Mr. Partridge felt optimistic that the show, which he wrote and produced, could last through 2001, when his contract expires. However, my spies reported that he wanted to reduce the show schedule to five days a week.

The Rio said no, and the Copa will close Jan. 21.

Top brass as Harrah’s Casinos, which operates The Rio, invited selected media to lunch to explain the situation, noting that David remains a welcome part of the Harrah’s family and will perform 30 concerts at various Harrah’s properties across the nation to fulfill the contract.

Cassidy’s other produced show, The Rat Pack at the Sahara, continues to do brisk business. The show welcomes Steve Lippia to the cast on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, The Rio is negotiating to bring in either impressionist André-Philippe, who stars at The Venetian, or The Scintas, who were supposed to be moving to the big room at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Rumor mill – Guess who’s scheduled to replace Tommy Tune in EFX come January? A little voice told me it would be Rick Springfield. More on this later.

Dueling D’s -- It’s no longer just Celine Dion searching for a new Las Vegas residence. David Brenner, who stars in his Real Life Comedy show in the Theatre Ballroom at the Golden Nugget through Jan. 27, is also looking to move here.

Brenner could be the one to ignite the downtown night scene with his comedy wit and anecdotal stories. And by moving here, he’ll be able to continue performing corporate dates or TV specials.

Cinema success – CineVegas proved to be another success, with a record number of tickets sold, following a black-tie gala that honored Tony Curtis.

A cachet of international reporters and paparazzi made the event festive. Let’s hope the board can bring on board some big heavyweights sponsors such as Disney, MGM and Paramount to secure more big-time stars next year.

Something for everybody -- The retooled version of Midnight Fantasy at Luxor will be the surprise hit on the year -- a surefire hit! Anita Mann, its producer and director, has the best topless revue in Las Vegas, but it’s a show with something for everybody.

Along with a set of the sexiest dancers in town (who really know how to dance), the show is no longer an all-female cast. Along with headline singer Charity Sullivan LaFontaine, they have added New Mexican comic John Padon, formerly the comedian in The History of Sex and Skintight; plus impressionist Sean Cooper, who recently completed a three-year run on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

Padon is also an Emmy Award-winning writer from The Wonder Years. Cooper brings down the house with his voice and dance skills, but who he impersonates I’m not giving away!

The show is held in the remodeled 350-seat Pharaoh’s Theatre, the same room Bill Acosta vacated to move to the Flamingo. Bill’s new show is equally spectacular.

Pink slip -- After being reprimanded by hotel execs for "making false news," I can now follow up and name the show that will replace Forever Plaid at the Flamingo.

Coming in from Chicago will be a new company from the Second City improv comedy troupe. These are the folks who brought to the world many of the original "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" on NBC’s Saturday Night Live some 25 years ago.

On campus -- UNLV will hold its Broadway Christmas presentation on Sunday, Dec. 10. Stars including John Raitt, Clint Holmes, Paige O’Hara and her husband Michael Piotek, and Roz Ryan, among others, will sing selections from Rent, EFX and Les Miserables.

Giddy-up -- We in Las Vegas, with our many eclectic tastes, will be treated to a week of Country with the PRCA National Finals Rodeo in town at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Along with the Miss Rodeo Pageant, stars performing this week include Lorrie Morgan, Rodney Carrington, Tanya Tucker (my favorite!), Clint Black, Brooks and Dunn, Jeff Foxworthy, and many more.

Flip-flop -- And now, a minor clarification. Last week, Susan Anton filled the showroom at the Stratosphere while American Superstars took a few days off. Some observers thought the message was that Susan landed a long-term contract in the process. Not yet! It was the longtime Donny Moore and Mark Callas Superstars’ production that received the renewal, including a new deal for their new Ricky Martin impersonator, Michael Colby. (He’s hot!).

This week -- Wednesday is the scheduled opening of Terrible Herbst Hotel-Casino. Then that night, the sold-out Billboard Music Awards 2000 will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena at 5 p.m., when the real Ricky Martin will perform.

Prince arrives to a sold-out show at the Aladdin at 9 p.m. Saturday. Grab his poster soon before the airport throws them all away!