‘Forbidden Vegas’ set to close

Apr 19, 2005 2:07 AM

Sean "P. Diddy" Combs no-show last Friday to accept a proclamation from Mayor Oscar Goodman for Diddy Day was another farce. A press event was cancelled three hours before its scheduled time though the mayor’s office "signed off" on a statement around 10 a.m. Montila’s spy network was told that Mr. Diddy was in Miami and simply didn’t catch a private plane. However, a Reuters news story said he was in New York celebrating a major record deal. The fact remains that Diddy was using the press function for his benefit and was supposedly making a major announcement at it. Who cares?

What’s happening at the Westin? The hotel abruptly canceled several dining specials and show specials. Now, we’ve learned, that the show "Forbidden Vegas" will be shut down by the end of the month. The word is that owners want to massage the place into a "convention" hotel. Is that another name for nondescript?

Rumors have swirled for weeks that "Downtown" Gordie Brown was departing the Golden Nugget over money issues with Matt Dusk possibly replacing him, though I can’t figure out why. It’s official as of May 24, which completes a year-long engagement. Naturally he’ll drop the "downtown" moniker. I’m predicting that his name will be on another marquee sooner than later with the Hilton possibly his first stop before he finds a permanent home. Speaking of the Hilton, has the second place finisher on Wayne Newton’s reality TV show, The Entertainer, let the proverbial cat out of the bag when he told a Boston Herald gossip columnist that he will be opening for Newton at the Hilton in June? Dave Russo broke the rules of the production company when he let it slip he’ll join Newton. There was no comment from any side at the deadline.

The winner of the contest, Delisco, has a $1 million contract to perform at the Hilton, which a spokesman says will happen later this year. My reliable sources claim that Delisco will not receive a check for total amount as the deal includes that he pays for advertising, publicity and other costs. There’s also the possibility he will join Newton’s show.

With money being the issue, The Amazing Jonathan has departed the Riviera and will become the 10 p.m. attraction at the Sahara starting May 6. In an e-mail to the Riviera he blamed "Crazy Girls" and "An Evening at La Cage" producer Norbert Aleman, who also happens to be his landlord, for the departure. Aleman recently signed a new showroom lease with the hotel and doubled Jonathan’s rent, according to the comedy magician. He also said that the increase was due to the fact than his show has been outdrawing "La Cage" making Aleman a very unhappy person. Jonathan’s e-mail thanked the hotel for a "great year" and said he "really had a blast" and was "sad about leaving what we thought would be our home for a long time." Aleman claims that he made a deal (verbal) with Jonathan in January, but he came back seeking a new arrangement. He said that a "deal’s a deal," adding, "Nothing personal, but he’s crazy."

The "Las Vegas Centennial Collection" of CDs, a partnership between the city and EMI Music Marketing, will recall legendary entertainment moments that will mean something different to each of us. For those old enough it will rekindle fond memories of a special bygone era; for those younger, it will give them the opportunity to experience the live performances of our city’s icons. Five of the albums, to be released April 26, will carry the title "Live From Las Vegas" and feature concerts by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Louis Prima and Keely Smith, and Nancy Wilson. The three others are "Wayne Newton: Mr. Las Vegas" and two compilation sets. An Elvis Presley CD will be released on May 10. Mayor Oscar Goodman will make introductory comments on each release. The Mayor said that each of the albums "captures a piece of our city’s history. The listener will be able to feel the electricity that the performers brought to their respective audiences. After all, it was these stars that helped make Las Vegas what it is today with their big orchestras."

Highlights include a totally unreleased 1986 Sinatra show at the Golden Nugget; Dean Martin at the Sands that has never been available and a Wayne Newton performance from 1964 at the Crescendo club in Los Angeles because a local set couldn’t be found.

Longtime local residents Buddy Greco and his wife, Lezlie Anders, are officially making the move to Palm Desert. According to the Los Angeles Times, the pair have put their 2.5-acre Destiny Ranch on the market for $1.4 million and are purchasing a Palm Desert home for $600,000. The ranch comes with "a small zoo," Anders told the Times. There are five dogs and 18 other animals, including burros and goats.