A quick look at 2000’s winners and losers

Dec 26, 2000 9:56 AM

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe New Year’s! With a brand new year ahead, I’m looking forward to a 2001 space odyssey. But first, let’s recall how we got here.

In 2000, there’s no doubt that Siegfried & Roy continue to reign supreme at the box office. But there’s also no doubt that "O" at the Bellagio is the show of the century. Artistically, it is beyond anything else on the Strip.

Nevertheless, there are some shining gems worthy of accolades. One of them is Midnight Fantasy at Luxor. Don’t be deterred by the topless revue: this is a classic Vegas style show with first rate variety acts and comedians.

On the flip side, one of the duds of the year was Notre Dame, the French soufflé that collapsed. Maybe the producers will finally realize the Strip ain’t the Great White Way.

This begs the question, is Las Vegas ready for theater? Culture? Another case in point is the show Grease, which played the MGM Grand. When they let the show go, they said it was technical difficulties. Right. How technical is punching tickets?

Looking ahead, Mandalay Bay is hitching all of its wagons to a more Latin review, an original show called Storm. My spies tell me Storm is kind of a Latin review, dance, variety show. We’re all waiting, but my prediction the show will be a winner in 2001.

At The Sahara Hotel we have that gem of a musical, The Rat Pack. Again, it was out, it was in, and it was out again! But, straight from David Cassidy we reported it would survive. And it will. Count on it!

Production shows notwithstanding, Vegas still needs it headliners! This is a wonderful town for star power. When Shirley Bassey opened at the MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theater, it was standing room only! Tina Turner at the MGM Grand Arena always sold out and forced extra shows.

Speaking of the MGM, Rita Rudner is their hit of the year! And don’t think Tommy Tune’s exit will spell the demise of EFX. A new incarnation begins with Rick Springfield. It won’t be the same show, but neither was Tommy’s the same as David Cassidy’s or Michael Crawford’s.

The new Aladdin and its Theater for the Performing Arts scored big with Prince or the artist with no name. Now Gladys Knight is opening on New Year’s Eve and she will duplicate that effort. We do love her dearly: she’s the First Lady of Las Vegas.

Sightings. I was having a very quiet dinner at the Bellagio with a bunch of rap artists and producers, when lo and behold there was Tracey Allman of the Tracey Allman (HBO) Show; She was taking pictures with her fans, signing autographs. I went up to her and said, "Tracey, I’m a reporter from GamingToday, what are you doing in Las Vegas?" She was gracious, fun, but wouldn’t commit. I’ll keep digging and report soon!

The big news is Bob Anderson at the Stardust – he’s doing big business! His co-star is Carol Siskind. Carol’s a stand up comedian, actress, writer who has unbound talent. Keep an eye on her. I know I am! This winning combination at the Stardust is a must see for you folks, who are looking for the best in entertainment!