Shows come and go

Jul 10, 2007 12:01 AM

This week let’s take time to recap the closings, which shows are doing great business, which are hobbling along and which are hopping from property to property.

At the Orleans, the closing of the Rick Thomas show proves there are two sides to every story. I choose to say that the traffic from the Strip wasn’t in his favor. Rick did so well at the Tropicana, then the Stardust, then the Orleans — it is one of the better afternoon shows Las Vegas had to offer.

Cirque, Cirque, how much Cirque do we need? Last week I wrote about the first anniversary show tribute to "Love," the Beatles musical. Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney and the international press corps.

Yet, how is business? The same holds true for "Zumanity" at New York-New York.

At the Luxor we have Criss Angel in the magic extravaganza intertwining magic and Cirque. I will say it again, it takes discipline, lots of discipline, to do two shows a night. Myself, as a performer and a mega star of the 60s and 70s, with hit records, television and Broadway, I lacked discipline.

Did it hurt my career? It hurt me financially because I couldn’t do long runs. I’m a spontaneous performer. Years ago I marvel at those performers who lacked the talent, but had the discipline. That is a talent by itself.

Now, Cirque is coming in with the Elvis Presley Cirque show. Elvis, Elvis. So, maybe that should put Liberace and Monti Rock in a Cirque show as visual artists of the 60s and 70s.

So, let’s count them. "O" at the Bellagio sold out three months in advance. "Mystere" at Treasure Island still brilliant. "Zumanity" at the New York-New York. What can I say about "Ka" at the MGM Grand? The theater at the MGM Grand and New York-New York are spectacular, but ticket sales are sometimes not as great. Do not shoot the messenger. I am just a columnist.

What is the fate of "The Producers" at the Paris? Business is down. "Spamalot" at Wynn is holding its own. The greatest of all these Broadway-based shows is "The Phantom" at the Venetian. This is the most spectacular theater production! I have seen the show six times and each time I marvel at its greatness, talent and production-wise.

Is it doing the business? Is it doing the business? Well, they cut some of the shows. What does that tell you? I still recommend the show as the Jewel of the Crown.

The countdown for Celine Dion is nearing its end. I have been behind this show for five years. The voice, Dragon, the Coliseum, 4,500 seats. You do the math. She has done consistently the best business Las Vegas has ever seen.

Celine is an international star, from hit records to being a live entertainer. In the wings we have Bette Midler opening in February. Her legacy remains to be seen. Can she consistently draw the crowd Celine Dion drew? She has movies, hit records, she’s edgy, she’s broady, but is she international?

Cher is also coming into the Coliseum. She has a better shot, costumes and all. We know Elton John signed for a couple more years. Still, if you haven’t seen the diva, Celine Dion, this is the time to go see her. She is spectacular.

On new shows, my money will be on Criss Angel at the Luxor. He has a great shot. Why Criss Angel? Edgy, he’s the Mick Jaggar of magic. He is going through a messy divorce right now, but he is a household name with his show on A&E. He also dates some of the best looking women in the media.

Why is "Mama Mia!" the hit of the century consistently? It’s a no-brainer. Can you sing any of the Abba tunes? It is pure entertainment. When people come to Las Vegas, they come to gamble for three days, along with eating, shopping and show stopping. Which show does a tourist want to see? The buzz would be Celine Dion, Barry Manilow at the Hilton and "Mama Mia!" which has done consistent business in the five year run.

I didn’t want to get into the Michael Jackson Las Vegas connection, since I am a fan. Why don’t we leave Michael Jackson alone? We all know that he wasn’t at the BET awards to present Diana Ross, his mentor, with the Lifetime Achievement Award. I choose to say he just didn’t want to go.

This week we have Pamela Anderson’s birthday. Is she back with Tommy Lee? He is a beauty. He always says I’m awesome. You have good taste, Tommy, Pamela and Monty.

Lindsey Lohan did cancel her 21st birthday party at Pure. They gave a low-keyed party with cakes and soda in Malibu. We all know Paris Hilton is out of jail and doing charity work. Please. Brittany Spears is finishing her album and letting her hair grow.

The wonderful, divine Beverly Sills, the great opera star passed away. She will be missed greatly. What a talent, what a sense of humor!

For you Latin lovers, Anna Gabrielle is opening Aug17-18 at the Hilton.

Ira David Sternberg’s Lunch With Ira show has been moved to Saturdays. Don’t miss it.

I forgot to congratulate Lance Burton on 25 years in Las Vegas at the Monte Carlo. He is a pillar of the community and a fine gentleman. Go see him at the Monte Carlo.

Last week I wrote about Leonoid the Magnificent. I saw him on America’s Got Talent. He is a hoot! Does America have talent? Do we need another reality show? He is something to see.

These are my recommendations this week: Aga-Boom at the Steve Wyrick Theater. Why do I like this show? Because it is magical. It really is something totally different. The same is true if you are a Tony Danza fan. Go see him in The Producers.

Again, I want to thank all my supporters and my readers of Gaming Today for standing behind me with all the controversial scandal and mud slinging. I am just an innocent reporter, just a columnist.