Tao is Vegas’ latest hot spot

Oct 10, 2005 2:53 AM

Back from New York, I went right back to openings, media events and faxes, all telling me what I had missed.

I hear the opening of TAO Restaurant at The Venetian was a smash! The nightclub portion, TAO Asian Bistro, is also a total success. Mac Packard, the owner, is an old friend of mine who once hired me as his host in Florida at Canaestelle’s, the restaurant at the Waterways. He also owns Harley-Davidson Cafe on Las Vegas Boulevard and he’s doing great. I, obviously, will never starve to death.

Also this week I went to the first anniversary of Fastinistas, the show at Krave. Krave is the alternative nightclub at the Aladdin and is really something of a marvel when you see a show like this one. What I mean by this, it is supposed to be erotic and sexy, and maybe even topless. This time I tried to stay and make some sense of it all. What I got out of it was that the producers have very deep pockets.

Also at Krave, the Men From Russia who performed their last show, will be working the Suncoast. They could have a hit on their hands in Summerlin. Stay tuned.

My wonderful friend, Duke Morgan, the voice that is Las Vegas, was abruptly let go from KJUL FM radio, which announced this week that it is going country. Country? As in country and western?

Well, it seems that there was no warning for the DJs. They came in and the station managers said good-bye. We are going to do a rally to protest. Monti Rock, III and his friends will support Duke. He is one of the staples of Las Vegas radio.

How about Phyllis McGuire being honored at UNLV? Again, Phyllis is part of the Duke Morgan milieu that supports charity events and does so much for the Las Vegas community. Phyllis of the McGuire sisters is one of the real icons and class acts of Las Vegas. For all my readers, let’s protest KJUL for not being nice. Stay tuned.

This week I went back to see Avenue Q at Wynn Las Vegas. The show is top-grade talent. The theater is marvelous. I want you all to go see this show, which brings New York theater to our wonderful Las Vegas. Also at the Wynn property, LaReve. Franco Dragon created this show and has really fine-tuned it and shortened it a bit and we have to marvel at it. I also recommend the buffet at Wynn. This is one of the most divine treats in the valley.

With all the hoolala on the Agassi event, we know Andre Agassi’s event, the 10th Annual Grand Slam for Kids, is a worthy cause. We all know Barbara Streisand was the surprise hit of the season and she sparkled, no matter what the other so-called goofy gossip colmnists said.

In the same instant, a few weeks ago, Aretha Franklin, who was at the MGM Garden Arena, gave a short performance. I hear from her agent that this was due to her high blood pressure and she almost died. Aretha has ballooned to an incredible weight.

At the Luxor, new headliner acts include Andrew Dice Clay, Carrot Top, Hairspray, Fantasy. I hear there are to be more shows to hit the Luxor. From their lounges to their restaurants, the MGM, their parent company, is going all out.

As I said in a previous column, New York-New York has improved Zumanity immensely, and let’s not forget that Rita Rudner is doing a bang up business there as well.

Rumors swirl around the Harrah’s casinos: Which top acts have gotten the axe? Most of the contracts are up early next year and if they don’t take the four-wall deals, they are out. Penn and Teller have signed for more years. Along with their movie, The Aristocrats, and the HBO special, they have international staying power.

In my Top 10 list two weeks ago, I forgot, oh, how I forgot. I want to give an honorable mention to Barry Manilow for bringing his show to the Hilton and selling out every night.

Barry and I go back a long time to New York and I want to make sure I acknowledge his presence in the Las Vegas fabric. To the Hilton, Ira David Sternberg and his wife just returned from two weeks of vacationing in Italy, I thank them for everything.

What is up with Pamela Anderson looking to buy a nightclub or buying into a nightclub? First, she was going to be part of Scores, the nightclub from New York, but I hear she has solid backing to have her own nightclub.

Speaking of clubs and cleavage, whatever happened to the Paris Hilton Club at Planet Hollywood? The poor darling broke up with her fiance, Paris. It was just one Paris too many. However, she is gorgeous and rich. She is a media darling and we do love her.

We have to give credit to Jeff Bleacher at the Hard Rock for his Mad House show. Talk about an appropriate name!