It’s farewell to Clint

Oct 2, 2006 3:36 AM

After six years of headlining in his own theater at Harrah’s, the curtain came down for good on Clint Holmes last weekend and with it our city’s finest and classiest entertainer. All I can say about Clint Holmes is he gave it all he had — great voice; total humanitarian. To me he is a friend. Harrah’s has totally changed headliners at their properties going from previous to signing new ones to four-wall deals. Rita Rudner has opened at Harrah’s for a reasonable $49 ticket or for $89 you can get to meet the stars and receive a gift. Wayne Newton joins the fray Nov. 22-Dec. 31, and then will continue to alternate with Rita.

Let me be the first to pass along some great news to my friend, Luxor President Felix Rappaport. A few weeks back when Liza Minnelli didn’t show for a local gala AIDS benefit, there were concerns that the same would happen for her upcoming weekend engagement at the Luxor. Well, it seems all the worrying is for naught at the 59-year-old prima donna is currently filming an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent that will air in November. Minnelli, I hear, plays a former beauty queen — you got to be kidding — whose daughter, an aspiring beauty queen, was found murdered on Halloween night. The Luxor will be a gay and happening place when Liza performs to SRO adoring fans!

Newton’s arrival at Harrah’s was ballyhooed in a release by the hotel in which its president, Don Marrandino, said "Voices like Bing Crosby, Mel Torme and Wayne Newton have long been associated with warm memories of this special time of year." This may have been true years ago, but if you have heard Newton sing during his recent engagements at the Stardust or Las Vegas Hilton, you know his voice leaves a lot to be desired.

The Riviera is for sale. Or is it sold? What is the status? We don’t know. I went to the closing of "Splash." I spoke to Jeff Kutash, who is lives in Palm Springs. It is the end of an era. But the Riviera still has Frank Marino and "La Cage" and "Crazy Girls" and the "American Song." To this columnist, "Splash," the "Folies Bergere" and Jubilee," which just celebrated its 25th birthday with special guest Vivica Fox, is what Vegas was all about. Showgirls, chorus boys and specialty acts. Great costumes and brilliant entertainment. It’s the spectacle of it all. This is what we expect when we come to Las Vegas. The Stardust is coming to an end with Steve and Eydie. Now we have the mega resorts, mega hotels, mega, mega. Everything is bigger and greater. Can we save the history of Las Vegas?

The wonderful Shirley MacLaine has been in town staying with Phyllis McGuire. Dennis Rodman has been running around town in midriff. The Palms is showing off its million dollar suites and recording studio, and they unveil the new Playboy Club on Friday night. Quincy Jones is recording with Celine Dion for the first time.

The Golden Nugget — the original brainstorm of Steve Wynn is refurbishing the showroom to make it state of the art. Producer, Jon Conway has a new show called "Cover Girls." This is a topless show. They are saying maybe topless, maybe not topless. With a 600-seat theater, the other show will be called "Strictly Ballroom." Let’s not forget the Golden Nugget opened in the 1980s with Frank Sinatra. Well, we have to remember the rebuilding of downtown with the Lady Luck being refurbished, the Plaza getting "Shag With a Twist." We have to marvel at the great changes Las Vegas is going through.

Over at the Rio, since the Scintas left, they have been trying to fill the room and who is opening but Jeff Trachta, a one-man show with a cast of thousands. Jeff was here two years ago in the Christmas show. Let’s not forget Manilow at the Hilton ready to step up to the plate. Sunset Station has Zowie Bowie, who brings the noise and the fun to Sunset Station Thursday nights. Friday I am being honored at Krave with a big story by Envy Magazine with Frank Marino. Just got the scoop that may surprise a few folks ”¦ Tony Danza has separated from his wife of 20 years and is getting a divorce.