Hilton playbill keeps growing

May 8, 2006 3:06 AM

Reba, Reba, Reba is opening at the Hilton. She will be alternating with Barry Manilow in a blockbuster one-two punch.

At her reception, she was very gracious to the media. Her band is to die for. If you like country, and if you like the television show, Reba, she has a fan base that was all there in person and making her feel welcome. She dressed in simple black satin pants and beaded top. She was onstage for 90 minutes and did an encore.

Also at the Hilton a mixed bag of shows. "Menopause" is adding more shows; "Dragapella" has closed. What happened here? I say the latter was too hip for the room. Or for the audiences. You have to understand Vegas is about show business, name stars.

What grabs the public’s interest? I hear they are adding a production called "The X Show" or something like that, but every producer has been in line pitching, pitching and pitching shows. What the Hilton is looking for is a live, wonderful band, like when they had Christine W or Louie, Louie.

But, at this point they have Manilow breaking all records. Plus we have "Menopause" starring Paige O’Hara, who celebrates her 50th birthday this week. And now, we have Reba. The Hilton has quickly evolved into the main squeeze of shows. There’s something for everyone.

Why all the secrecy surrounding the Beatles musical called "Love?" This is the show that is earmarked for the old Siegfried and Roy showroom at The Mirage. As I said last week, expect to see some diva feathers flying over the marquee.

What I’m driving at is this: some shows are made for the Vegas genre. Others are not. Take the shows at Wynn — "Le Reve" has been improved by adding a popular flavor while "Avenue Q" is closing on the 28th. I feel the problem with "Avenue Q" was the marketing. It was a clever, clever musical, but really it belongs in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.

Some shows or even headliners need to make adjustments when they hit the Strip. Celine Dion did. Now, there’s talk about Cher taking over for Celine. That might be the biggest change.

Also, look at what else is happening around town. The Scintas closed at the Rio and had a party in the Wine Cellar where they gave away wine and were sent off with gifts and speeches. They will be opening at the Sahara later this month.

The news at the Stardust is that the Jeff Kutash show, "Tailpipes and Taillights," is working. From the old "Brady Bunch," Barry has been doing a lot of guest appearances and remember, he was in love with Florence. Wasn’t she 90 then?

And what is up with Paris and the football player and the Greek god and Nicole Ritchie. Paris, seems to have a knack for getting her hooks into these younger guys.

And let’s not forget Heather Locklear and Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen and Richard Sambora and David Spade. I mean, Vegas has become a playground for the tabloid crowd.

The best news is CineVegas, which is our very own film festival. The date is May 20 at Lake Las Vegas.

And let’s not forget last week, "The Price is Right" came to Bally’s. It’s an afternoon game show performed on stage with Todd Henton.

Let’s not forget that "La Femme" is still doing great at the MGM and about to celebrate its anniversary. What a classy production, made so by the pure beauty of its dancers. And not a silicone baggie in sight.

Remember Monti’s 60th Birthday Bash at Hogs and Heifers on May 25. You are all invited to hear and see Monti Rock sing "Stand By Your Man, If You Can." Helen Reddy tried to record it first she couldn’t come close to yours truly.

Love yourself. Wish me happy birthday!