To Sir with loving disdain

Jan 23, 2006 1:14 AM

It’s now Sir Tom Jones. The MGM Grand headliner was among the new knights of the realm named in the New Year’s list of honorees.

Jones, 65, joins a group of previous pop-rock knights including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Elton John and Sir George Martin, the Beatles producer.

I wonder what his old stable mate, Engelbert Humperdinck, who he no longer speaks with, thinks of the honor?

What do you think of the honor? Can you imagine Sir Mick Jagger sitting at the round table with King Arthur and Sir Lancelot? Jagger would probably be passed out under the table with a bong pipe in his lap.

But the Brits have always lacked charisma. That’s why my mind is boggled that Geico would use such a pathetic spokes-creature like that ghastly green lizard, with its simply nauseating Cockney accent, in its TV commercials.

Needless to say, I think our Anglo-Saxon heritage has been highly over-blown.

The trip to "Avenue Q" has been trimmed in hopes of gaining more patrons. Gone is the intermission, two songs and some dialogue. What this does is change the start time from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and makes the show somewhere around 90 minutes. The question remains whether it brings in more business. I hope so because I love the show, but I’m a New Yorker who is gay and loves dirty words!

Things are rolling at the Luxor. "Hairspray" previews start Feb. 6 and this week I got to rub elbows with the cast. Edna and Wilbur Tumblad (Harvey Fierstein and Dick Latessa) were delightful, but my favorite was Velma portrayed by local gal Susan Anton. I’m predicting a big hit as long at Fierstein stays with the show.

Rita Rudner will be honored by the Nevada Ballet Theatre as its "Woman of the Year," at the annual Black & White Ball Saturday at Wynn Las Vegas. Past honorees have included Debbie Reynolds, Chita Rivera, Carol Channing, Celine Dion and most recently, Ann-Margret.

Your columnist Monti Rock III has joined the Sin City Chamber of Commerce and on Feb. 10 at Krave, 4wall entertainment, Adult Superstored and Wayne Bridges, the CEO of Sin City Chamber, are giving a special crowning of Monti Rock III, the great desert Diva. This will launch my book, and documentary plus I’ll have a surprise announcement. The party is dressed to impress. Special guests and surprises to those of you who attend.

The world of television is in town this week with the NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) convention. Including by old pal Geraldo Rivera”¦I knew him as Jerry Rivers. Anyway, he was scheduled to do his television show — "Geraldo At Large" — twice this week from the Riviera’s Le Bistro Theatre. Releases were sent out confirming the deal and then two days later, new releases canceled the tapings. Nobody wants to tell Monti what happened. I do hear he’ll be do something at the Stirling Club with Clint Holmes and Friends including Kelly Clinton. Speaking of Clinton, she’s a real doll. She continues to provide the city with the best karaoke night on Mondays at the Bootlegger Bistro and brings top-notch entertainment into the Stirling Club in her role as entertainment director. She’s also a dynamite performer.

The official call for entries for the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival has been made by Director of Programming Trevor Groth with submissions being accepted through April 21. In addition, for the first time there will be cash prizes to two films: $10,000 to the winner of the Grand Jury Award for feature films and $1,000 for the Grand Jury Award for best short. The films accepted into the festival will be announced in May. All films are required to be submitted online and must be finished in either the 2005 or 2006 calendar year. For additional information visit www.cinevegas.com or call the CineVegas office at 992-7979. Dennis Hopper will continue to serve as chairman of the Creative Advisory Board. He has been dedicated to growing the national presence of the CineVegas Film Festival since he was honored in 2003 with its Marquee Award for his lifetime achievements in the film industry.