Is Planet Aladdin ready to make its first moves towards becoming Planet Hollywood? Montila’s spy network has cited a group looking somewhat like the Village People plus some suits checking out the hotel’s ballroom for use as a concert venue, while the Theater for the Performing Arts is refurbished and construction begins on a 2,200-plus seat theater located behind the existing Steve Wyrick Theatre. What happens to Wyrick’s magical show is anyone’s guess, though knowing Steve as I do, I’ll bet my last pennies he’s already made future plans.
I was listening to the local oldies radio station and Petula Clark was singing her hit, "Downtown," and I said to myself, "Self, how about takin’ a trip downtown to see about all the hoopla coming from the Happiest Mayor in the Universe." "Ovation" at the Lady Luck is a good show and a bargain at $39.95 that includes a buffet. Between bites I was tipped that I should look for a major announcement in 45 days. Wow, news and free food. I also heard that Downtown Gordie Brown might be departing Golden Nugget. Montila’s spy network hints it is a manager asking for more dough and not the baking kind.
The Plaza is still refurbishing its showroom. Hasn’t it gone on forever? Months ago there was an announcement that a Dick Clark-backed oldies show — with the original singers — was to open the room. Now I’m hearing it’ll be a legends-type affair and don’t we have enough them already in town? Fitzgerald’s has entered the girlie show craze with a sexy revue featuring Russians. Isn’t that a contradiction, but I hear the show is marvelous. The Fremont Experience continues to draw folks at night with its visual spectacular. One thing that downtown is missing now is the famed Horseshoe name on the Binion’s marquee. Harrah’s owns the brand and won’t let the new owners of the club use it.
Though your GamingToday columnist wasn’t invited to the opening, Planet Aladdin is serving some items from one of my favorite Hollywood eateries, Pink’s Hot Dogs, at its Zanzibar Café. Beware, it’s pricey for a hot dog no matter the reputation.
I’ve learned the secret to longevity — make sure your friends are young. The latest to join Monti’s inner circle is Jeff Beacher, whose Beacher’s Madhouse at the Hard Rock is one of the craziest and enjoyable shows in town. You never know what’s going to happen and neither does the nearly 30-year-old host. He’s back at the Hard Rock June 5.
In a city that’s seemingly never satisfied with one version of anything, comes the announcement that another Cuban show — this one focusing on music of all kinds popular in the ’50s is headed to the Sahara starting April 21 for four months. "Tropicana Passions — The Roaring ’50s" featuring more than 30 performers and a 23-piece orchestra, played the Las Vegas Hilton Christmas week. I saw it then and it’s a big revue that’s worth your time.
The Rainbow Bar & Grill, a legendary Hollywood rock n’ roll institution, will open across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Owners will be Jerry and Bob Greenberg, who throughout the years have been leaders at major music labels. A landmark on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, the Rainbow Bar & Grill has played an unimaginable role in the music scene for more than 30 years. The original Rainbow is still operated by Mario Maglieri, who has been a central character in rock n’ roll for decades as owner of the Rainbow as well as the Whisky-a-Go-Go.
My heart goes out to the family of KLAS-TV anchor Polly Gonzalez, who died in a single vehicle auto accident. She was a wonderful lady whom I adored. My prayers also got out to Pat Cooper on the passing of his wife, singer Patti Prince Cooper. Both ladies will be sorely missed.
News And Notes: Frankie Valli is back at the Flamingo this weekend with his greatest hits. It’s a must see show”¦ Robert Goulet has been signed to play the role of Georges in the Broadway revival of the Jerry Herman musical "La Cage aux Folles," following the sudden departure of Daniel Davis. Goulet’s last Broadway appearance was in 1996 in the comedy "Moon Over Buffalo."”¦ Steven N. Rosen, senior VP of marketing, has been named interim president of the Flamingo Las Vegas replacing Lorenzo Creighton, "who has resigned to accept another business opportunity," according to a Business Wire release. Though it hasn’t been announced, Creighton will become president of New York New York once the MGM Mirage/Mandalay Bay merger is completed”¦ Music baron Robert F. X. Sillerman, who recently bought Elvis Presley Enterprises, has purchased the British company that owns American Idol and all its franchises”¦ Peter Max will visit The Art of Peter Max Gallery at the Forum Shops from 7-10 p.m. on May 28.