It’s good –
no great –
theater

Apr 11, 2006 3:10 AM

Theater, theater, theater — New York sends its best to Las Vegas!

At The Venetian, the incredible, marvelous, spectacular and brilliant Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera is scheduled to open June 1. Think of it: One of Broadway’s most dynamic and endearing productions, surrounded by man-made canals and a wax museum. This is the smash Las Vegas has been waiting for.

Speaking of The Venetian, it has that terrific restaurant, Tao, where you can "tune in" to the Karmic vibrations of the Big Buddha. My friend Mark Packerd owns Tao. I’ve known him since he was 16 years old and even worked as his host. Mark’s going to handle my birthday party. I guess I’ll never starve. At least my charkas won’t be lacking.

Remember Matt Dusk, the crooner from Tim and Tom’s dotcom reality show at the Golden Nugget? Barry Manilow’s team is now managing Matt. But, anyway, the Golden Nugget is closing its showroom for renovations but Tony Bennett is still their headliner.

Gordie Brown, the actor, impressionist — he’s kind of like Danny Gans with comedy — is moving to The Venetian. (Have you seen the new Danny Gans all pumped up? Barry Bonds has nothing on Danny.)

Let’s not forget The Scintas, my darling friends who are closing at the Rio on May 3, but will be opening at the Sahara later. David Saxe is the director/producer of the new Scintas show. It’s a nice addition for the Sahara, which has the Platters, the Amazing Jonathan, Buck Wild, and the fabulous House of Lords restaurant.

What’s happening at Sunset Station with Earl Turner? Earl Turner, who is back, is doing an admirable job. Please run and see him. He’s that good.

And for those who love Clint Holmes, remember he’s closing in October at Harrah’s and will be starring in a play about his life.

On the horizon, The Producers are coming, but where and when is a mystery. My guess is Paris Las Vegas.

On Sunday, Elton John wraps up at Caesars Palace, where he keeps breaking attendance records. Of course, Celine will return, as will Seinfeld.

Where is Britney Spears? As we know, she used to hang around at the Palms. Maybe she’s a better mother than many think.

We’re all waiting for the CineVegas film festival in June. Stars will shine and I’ll be there, elbow-to-elbow with them.

Have we been watching American Idol? Mandisa is gone. She got the boot because she couldn’t negotiate Weight Watchers, and she couldn’t sing country music. Who are we rooting for? Ryan Seacrest looks better since he raked in $15 million.

Let’s not forget the wonderful Reba starting at the Hilton in May. This is her town now. She’s going to hit the stage and take our breath away. I can’t wait.

To all my loyal readers, my birthday is May 29. There will be my annual 60th birthday bash, but it will be a roast this year. They’re killing the pig as we speak.

I want to give a big mention to Jeff Kutach whose show is Headlights and Tailpipes at the Stardust. Jeff and I go back 30 years. When I was Discotex with my Sex-o-lettes, Jeff had the Electric Circus. He was one of the creators and director of Splash at the Riviera. He brought in the hip hop era to the Vegas stage. Jeff needs this hit. Let’s support him.

If you haven’t seen it, one of my favorite shows, Hairspray, is playing at the Luxor. Harvey Fierstein has two more weeks in the show. The Tony Award-winner is worth the price of admission.

Also at the Luxor, Anita Mann’s Fantasy will get your blood percolating (if that’s what you want). It’s a T&A show that has variety, class and good fun. I love you, Anita. She keeps retooling and redoing the show. It’s not an easy task to continuously make those half-naked goddesses look appealing. Just like too much sugar can lead to diabetes.

Summer theater is kicking off with the Woodsy Owl Day on May 20. You’ll get to meet and greet the Woodsy Owl at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. Woodsy will be joined by his friends McGruff the Crime Dog, Mohave Max and the mascots from NASCAR and the Las Vegas Gladiators. It’s a must do.

Let’s not forget at the Krave the show right now is the Soprano’s Last Supper. It features a cast of 20 and a big band, too. For $100, you get a four-course dinner, wine and a show. That’s pretty good. Joe Mottelia is the bandleader. The Last Supper of the Sopranos — what a way to go!