Vanessa Williams to perform at Paris Las Vegas

Jan 17, 2001 3:24 AM

Vanessa Williams has distinguished her career with remarkable success in music, film and television, and now she graces Las Vegas with an appearance at Paris Las Vegas, Friday-Sunday.

Williams will perform in the Theater des Arts at 9:00 p.m. each night. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased at the Paris Box Office.

A native of Millwood, New York, Williams is the daughter of two music teachers who encouraged her pursuit of a career in entertainment. She majored in musical theater at Syracuse University and in 1983, won the Miss America title.

Even though she had to give up her title after her photos surfaced in a men’s magazine, Williams has since been honored with two NAACP Image Awards, nine Grammy Award nominations and a number of New York Music Awards.

She has also become a compelling film presence, landing solid roles with such co-stars as Arnold Schwarznegger in "Eraser."

Her musical accomplishments began with her first release in 1988 of The Right Stuff, which became a pop and R&B smash. In 1991, Williams released the multi-million seller, The Comfort Zone, which featured the hit single "Save the Best for Last," which topped the pop, adult contemporary and R&B charts for five straight weeks and reached No. 1 around the world.

Williams performed her first-ever concert tour in 1997, co-headlining with Luther Vandross in 25 cities across the U.S., and finishing with a solo tour throughout Japan and Southeast Asia, as well as ongoing American engagements.

She has recently contributed to several unique musical projects, including Ain’t Nothin’ But a She Thing, an all-female concept record on which she collaborates with Me’shell N’dege O’cello; People, a release celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations; and Harolyn Blackwell Sings Leonard Bernstein”¦A Simple Song, on which she covers songs from the composer’s classic "West Side Story."

Williams also has received widespread acclaim for her television performances, which include the mini-series "The Jackson’s: An American Dream," the television movies "Stompin’ at the Savoy," "The Boy Who Loved Christmas" and the Emmy-winning special, "Motown Returns to the Apollo."

Second City group wants to colonize Las Vegas


The Flamingo Hotel hosted a press conference last week to promote Chicago-based Second City Theater Group, which blows in from the Windy City in March. Andrew Alexander and Len Stuart, co-owners of Second City, said they hope to make Las Vegas another franchise — a Third City, if you will.

I don’t know if Las Vegas needs to be a "third" city to anyone. It’s like being called the country’s "third coast." It has all the excitement of "third wheel." Remember, two’s company and three’s a crowd!

They also said they plan to open an improvisational school here for comedians. They said the local crop of comics can learn and aspire toward previous Second City alumni such as Joan Rivers, Martin Short, John Candy, John & Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, to name a few.

Now, those are impressive names, but what about comics like Shecky Greene, Bill Cosby, Don Rickles, Joey Bishop, Roseanne, Johnny Carson, Pat Cooper, Alan King, Buddy Hackett, Johnny Carson — all legendary comics who cut their collective teeth here. A school for comics? Las Vegas is the principal’s office of comedy!

In any event, Second City should put on a good show when they open at the Flamingo. Tickets will be $24. No need to bring an apple for the teacher.

It’s sad to report that Forever Plaid with its five-year-run at the Flamingo still cannot find a new home here in Las Vegas. It’s an excellent and entertaining show. Don’t those count for anything?

Also at the Flamingo, Men Are From Mars and Women are from Venus has been re-written and re-worked, and as a result, has picked up steam in the ticket category. Good to see the gender gap closing.

Good news to report that David Cassidy’s "The Rat Pack is Back" has received an extension through April at the Sahara. The show was set to close next month. They’re still negotiating a longer contract extension, but if it doesn’t happen, let’s hope another property picks up the ”˜Pack.

There’s just a few days left to see David Cassidy’s At the Copa at the Rio. If you haven’t seen the show, get your tickets before it fades to black.

My spies tell me that Kenny Kerr might be going into the Frontier Showroom. I am a big fan of Kenny’s and he deserves another room. If a show like Bottoms Up can land a room, Kenny definitely should be under the lights.

If you are an Elvis fan, the Frontier has a fabulous show, "The King in Concert" starring Tim Welch as the King. The routine has a great interpretation of Elvis’ Hawaiian gig.

Television is coming to town ”” hide the women and children!

Live with Regis is coming to the Rio the week of Jan. 15, and Jennifer Lopez will appear ”” I hope with a new dress ”” to promote her new salsa-style nightclub that opens here in a few weeks.

Talking about the Latin craze, a good best bet is Rick Arroyo and his Latin percussion ensemble on Monday nights at the Coral Reef Lounge at the Mandalay Bay. It’s the happening place to mambo the night away.

If you’ve got a cast-iron stomach, you can catch Howard Stern at the Hard Rock, where he is going to broadcast his radio and TV shows. Howard will be on the air on Sunday after the Super Bowl.

Last week, we celebrated Elvis’ birthday with a look-alike contest at the Silverton. There were 38 contestants and a few stand-out performances. The winner was Gary Gaines who had a lot of charisma, youth and vitality, just like a young Elvis.

It’s hard to believe that Elvis died nearly 25 years ago. Over that time span the number of impersonators in this country has gone from about 200 to nearly 30,000. Obviously, his endearing memory lives on!

Riders in the Sky descend on the Suncoast

For a dose of pure country-and-western entertainment, check out Riders In The Sky: The Best In Western Music, January 19-21, in the showroom at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino. Show times are 7 p.m.; tickets $19.95, $22.95 and $25.95 plus taxes.

Some call it cowboy music and some call it folk music. Call it what you like, the bottom line is this: Riders In The Sky delivers pure Western-style entertainment.

When these crazy yodelin’ cowboys step up to the microphone, the magic begins, punctuated by the romantic, comical and whimsical world of the singing cowboy.

Riders In The Sky has been bringing its own special brand of Western entertainment to fans around the world for over 20 years. Moreover, they’ve starred in three television series and dozens of albums.

The Riders’ act centers around the expert musicianship of Ranger Doug (Idol of American Youth), Woody Paul (King of the Cowboy Fiddlers) and Too Slim (Insert Title of Your Choice Here). The three combine refreshing acoustical music and a wide musical repertoire with outrageous comedy. Their music is augmented by the robust accordion stylings of Joey (The Cowpolka King).