Reba to ‘reside’ at the Hilton!

Dec 6, 2005 1:35 AM

Welcome Reba! We’ll be celebrating the rodeo all year long now that the Hilton has signed the beautiful and talented Reba McEntire to an exclusive contract. The country and western goddess debuts May 3 with dates in June, July and August. I’d bet my new cowboy hat that she’ll be headlining when the NFR rolls into town next year. I might even lease a Bronco in her honor.

The abrupt closing of my great friend Frankie Valli at the Luxor was really sad. Frankie explained that it was a business decision and nothing more.

Where Frankie really did business was at The Orleans. He claims he wanted more dates there, but they wouldn’t give it to him so he moved to the Flamingo.

The Flamingo, which was going through its own internal problems, couldn’t get the marketing strategy together, so he bailed from that property.

I believe Frankie’s side of the story, though I’m not sure it’s the whole truth. I think his ego played a role and he wanted to play the Strip again and that’s why he left Orleans. The Flamingo was a case of unfulfilled promises and the Luxor didn’t have enough bottoms in the seats.

I hear Frankie could have returned to The Orleans, but that he made one demand too many and the deal fell through. Ironically, On Broadway, the show "Jersey Boys," about the life of Valli and the Four Seasons, is a smash with millions of dollars in advanced sales. This would be perfect for Las Vegas. It would be a Four Seasons meets "Mama Mia!" How’s that for a no-brainer.

Speaking of Orleans, I went to see Neal Sedaka play there. His show, about his life with 14 of his own songs, opened in Albany last week. Neal is one of the true writers of music, recording star. So he and Valli fit into the same mold. The Orleans has the perfect showroom to showcase their talents and draw big audiences.

Over at the Flamingo, the wonderful Wayne Newton has opened his Christmas (or is that holiday?) show. We all love Wayne Newton. But we don’t come to hear him sing, we come to see the true legend of Las Vegas. He is the entertainer’s entertainer!

The Luxor with "Hairspray" due to open in February with Harvey Finestein and Susan Anton together for the first time. A bit of creative casting, darlings.

The Venetian has the "Phantom of the Opera" with a state of the art theatre being built for this production. Plus The Venetian has the restaurant and nightclub, Tao, which is a smash hit. So when we think about hotels, we think of entertainment and what attracts the tourist and for you locals to get your two for one’s because this is the slowest time in Las Vegas.

I was honored this week by being chosen to participate with Southwest Title to play Santa Claus for Opportunity Village. This is a lifetime fantasy of mine to play Santa. I get goose bumps thinking about those white whiskers.

Two major openings this week at the Wynn properties: La Reve gave a wonderful press party for their new CD of the music of the Le Circ show. This party was a winner in every way; it was fun despite all the bottom feeding fringe media types, but this party had some of the most interesting mix of guests, one did not want to leave. I have to say La Reve has improved immensely.

Also at the Wynn, at the Clue Lure, a mix party was also kinda fun. But we all had dinner again at the buffet and I would recommend it highly. We have to thank Adena Shandell, the PR manager, for making the press feel welcome.

Pat Morita’s passing this week was sad but a celebration of his life. Pat was always kind to Monti Rock. Steve Rossi said some nice things, but the stand out was Ralph Macchio, his co-star in The Karate Kid. May he rest in peace.

John Stewart says his show, Ovation, may be opening at the Plaza for Christmas. Charo was at the Riverside Resort for a whole week and it was a complete sellout. She does very well on the river.

The matriarch of the Zick family, Mildred, is at the Nathan Adelson hospice surrounded by her close friends and family. We offer our prayers.