Hairspray debuts at Luxor

Feb 21, 2006 12:41 AM

Broadway’s latest local venture has arrived — "Hairspray" at the Luxor — and unlike the departing "Avenue Q," your humble columnist predicts it will be a smash and have a very successful engagement.

Remember, Monti predicted the demise of the puppet extravaganza at Wynn Las Vegas months ago. "Hairspray" is pure fun and laughter. It’s a trip to a bygone era — Baltimore 1962 — that’s told in dynamic fashion of sensational dancing and trippin’ music.

It’s a must see show with a cast that really will knock your socks off — professional and talented from one end to the other. Of course, as I’ve said time and time again, brokers must sell the show and the PR and marketing have to be top notch to make it work. I believe with Luxor President Felix Rappaport at the helm it’ll happen.

A LeRoy Neiman painting titled "Stardust Reflections" will be unveiled Friday at the Stardust. The painting commemorates 48 years of history at property, which closes early next year to make room for the $4 billion Echelon Place project.

If you want to see more of the great artist’s work, check out his casino/gambling collection of paintings at Caesars Palace. They’re simply breathtaking.

Patrick Hill traveled from the East Coast to get a spot on "America Idol" via the Las Vegas audition. He’s among the 12 males left in the competition when the initial voting is announced on Thursday’s telecast. Believing that our city is good luck for him, Stirling Club entertainment director Kelly Clinton has had him singing at Turnberry Place nightspot while he’s getting some performance advice from singers Denise Clemente and Clint Holmes.

Why is "Avenue Q" closing? Sophisticated, yes; Tony awarding actors, yes; first-class production yes; but why didn’t it work? Las Vegas is not New York. Las Vegas is still not theatre. We are a gaming town. We are Sin City. We shop; we eat; we gamble. Vegas is trying to reinvent itself with culture, theatre, restaurants, shopping and stars. As a transplanted New Yorker living in "Lost Wages," I can say we simply aren’t there yet.

Would you believe that the wonderful Phyllis McGuire has a hit record? She sings on Barry Manilow’s hot new, and number one CD, on the mix of "Sincerely" and "Teach Me Tonight." McGuire also donated $1 million to Larry Ruvo’s Alzheimer’s foundation. Way to go lady!

I hope that all you young and old lovers you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day and I must give my thanks to English Garden Florist — Florist to the Stars for all the flowers and baskets. I want to thank the Sintas for their get well basket to me.

"Mr. Bojangles: The Ultimate Entertainer," a new play about Sammy Davis Jr., debuts this weekend at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. Altovise Davis, (Sammy’s widow) producer and Barrett LaRoda, executive producer, have told Hollywood scribe Army Archerd that they have plans to tour the show nationwide, hopefully including the Kodak theater in Hollywood and then to London and Paris where Sammy was also loved. No mention was made of Las Vegas.

Predictions, Predictions Predictions — the new Las Vegas, I see more hotels; more hotels; more hotels; where are the people coming from? How are all our Japanese guests going to get to Las Vegas now that Japan Air is cutting out their service? How many condos? Is downtown coming back? We know Lady Luck closed for a year; the Bourbon Street imploded; who will emerge as Las Vegas’ new star? Earl Turner, at Sunset Station, will be a smash — I predict. At the Stardust, Jeff Kutash, can’t miss. Where is Havana Nights going to land? To all my readers, run to see Menopause at the Hilton with Paige O’Hare. Thanks to all my well wishers, I am getting better.