Harlem’s Rao headed to LV

Apr 4, 2006 5:12 AM

Every New Yorker who is anybody must be celebrating today with the word that Rao’s is coming to Caesars Palace. For those who don’t know, Rao’s is a family Italian eatery in Harlem whose clientele is the who’s who of New York. There are always limos and high-priced cars parked outside the tiny place that’s been around for more than 100 years and never had a problem despite its location. And, if you’re nobody, the reservation list is usually about six weeks long. Rao’s will be replacing Terrazza and should open by the end of the year. I can’t wait

In "Hairspray," the musical, we know that Harvey Fierstein is leaving at the end of the month and Mad-TV sketch comedian Paul Vogt has been signed to replace Fierstein as Edna Turnbald starting May 1. Joining Vogt will be Eddie Mecca as Wilbur Turnbald. Mecca is best known as Carmine "The Big Ragoo" Ragusa from the television series Laverne & Shirley. "Hairspray," is a must see for the locals, especially with a $50 ticket for its Sunday matinee.

At the Venetian, "Phantom of the Opera" finally announced the stars that will be playing the roles of The Phantom. Christine and Carlott, will be the double-cast due to the challenging vocal score and performance schedule. Donning the infamous mask are Brent Barrett ("Chicago" and "Annie Get Your Gun") and Tony Award-winner Anthony Crivello, known for his roles on Broadway in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "Les Miserables." Tickets for previews for "Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular," scheduled in the custom-built $40 million theater at the Venetian, are on sale. The premiere period for the 95-minute production, which will include every song from the original, begins in June. For information, call 414-7469 or go to www.Venetian.com or www.phantomlasvegas.com (no prices listed).

For those who haven’t caught "Avenue Q" at the Wynn property, you have until May 28. The tickets are affordable now. "Avenue Q" also opened this week in London. For those of you who have not seen the play, it is a must, it really is, with top notch New York actors. And, for those of you who still want to catch the Scintas, you have four more weeks at the Rio before they move to the Sahara.

Elton John’s 60th birthday was this past Monday. By the way, love the country tune "Turn the Lights Out When You Leave," by Elton John. The video is definitely tops with Terri Hatcher from "Desperate Housewives." Flowers from Elizabeth Taylor, Ozzie Osborne and he is breaking every record at the Coliseum. Barry Manilow’s contract has been extended for one more year.

Rae Arroyo, who brought the Latin sound to Las Vegas and was host of the Latin Connection radio show, passed away last week. She will be missed by all who came to know and love her.

The Surreal Life from VH1 has been in town, Robin Leach being the host, and they were making the people in Surreal Life make a scandalous video, my darlings. If anyone knows about scandalous, it is Monti Rock, III. I am scandalous, notorious, infamous. Well, it seems that according to producers who came to see me, I was going to be a judge, but they thought I was too over the top and I might have stolen the show. In all probability, yes I would have stolen the show. That’s my job!

Now, which of the condo hotels will make it to grand opening? Which deals have gone through? Which deals have gone kaput? What happened to George Clooney’s deal? Is that in limbo as well? What happened to Ivana Trump? Her hair got too big for the building.

These condo builders aren’t faring too well. Be careful what you buy.

Readers, the mob returns to Las Vegas in the Sopranos Last Supper and you get a full course dinner. This is at Krave.

Reba, Reba is coming to the Hilton. She is always fabulous.