John Padon rescues ‘Catch’ in opener

April 03, 2001 9:56 AM
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The opening of Catch a Falling Star — oops, that’s Rising Star — at the Excalibur, almost fell flat on its face when the headliner, Carolyn Rhea, couldn’t make the opening because she was stranded between flights. Next time, she’ll remember to fly National.

Luckily, John Padon, who has the unenviable task of hosting the Midnight Fantasy topless revue, stepped in at the eleventh hour to save the show. John is an accomplished comedian, but don’t expect him to give up his chicks in favor of schticks any time soon.

While at the opening — which these days usually mean feeding frenzy for the media — the Mandalay powers that be assured me that Storm is being revamped, re-composed and will be ready to go in a week.

You can tell when a big movie is being shot in town — streets are blocked off for hours at a time and traffic grinds to a halt. That was the case last weekend as Oceans 11 began filming here.

Another annoyance with such a high-profile movie is all the Hollywood wanna be’s who scramble for the chance to be an extra in the movie.

Let me tell you about being a movie extra. First, you’re herded around like cattle; you are segregated from the regular cast and crew like you’re some sort of diseased rodent; you can speak only when spoken to; and you spend long stretches (hours at a time) sitting around hoping to be called to serve as “background action.”

Of course, it’s not all bad. If you do make it into a scene, there’s a chance you will be able to see an actual movie star, who won’t make eye contract with you for fear of encouraging you to speak. Movie extras of the world, get a life!

Ignore those rumors spread by gossip columnists that Jerry Lewis and The Orleans may part company. Absurd! Jerry is a demanding artist and consummate professional, but he is as sweet and charming as ever. Trust me on this one.

I’m looking forward to the fabulous KC & the Sunshine Band, which will be performing May 5 at the House of Blues. KC will showcase a new album, as well as a new trim physique. He must have bought one of those Ab machines. Whatever it was it sure worked. I hate him.

At the MGM, David Copperfield performs his new Portal show through April 11. If you haven’t seen David’s show, it’s not to be missed.

Also at the MGM Grand, the Crazy Horse revue had a bidding war and Hall Communications won out as its P.R. mouthpiece.

This week Bob Anderson takes over the NightClub at the Las Vegas Hilton for three weeks. Then it’s on to Atlantic City to perform in his new show, The Main Event, which is produced by Jeff Kutash.

Kutash, as you recall, was the creator of Splash. He’s working with Artie Butler, one of the greatest composers around, to get his show into one of the Vegas hotels.

The Springfest III Lineup of Performers benefiting Las Vegas Charter School of the Deaf, will be held May 12. It will be showcasing such local talent as Clint Holmes, Paige O’Hara, Bill Acosta, the Scintas, Peter Breck from Big Valley and many, many more.

Tito Puente, Jr. has a new single out called “Dance Dance”, and is doing a tribute to his father the great master of Salsa.

Lord of the Dance, which is a big, hit in Biloxi and here in Vegas, unfortunately had to close its franchise in Hawaii. I went to see a new act called When Fate Steps at American Superstars at the Stratosphere, with Michael Colby. He does a very interesting interpretation of Ricky Martin. He’s almost on the button and entertaining to watch. He even looks like him (cough cough) living out his La Vida Loca.

At Bally’s, the talented Steve Connely who does an Elvis Presley afternoon show, really puts a lot of soul into his performance. The King would be proud.

Copperfield no illusion

Master magician and illusionist David Copperfield will return with his latest stage production show, PORTAL at MGM Grand’s intimate 740-seat Hollywood Theatre, Thursday through Wednesday.

Tickets are now on sale at all MGM Grand ticketing outlets or can be purchased by phone at (702) 891-7777 or (800) 929-1111. The show schedule is as follows: Thur., April 5 through Wed., April 11 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Three shows are scheduled on Sat., April 7 and Sun., April 8 at 3 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

For evening performances ticket prices are $97 inclusive and the 3 p.m. matinee shows are $77.90 inclusive.

David Copperfield, whom the New York Times called “our era’s giant of magic,” is touting PORTAL as his most spectacular stage show ever.

“David Copperfield’s show is a true spectacular of sight, sound and imagination,” said Richard Sturm, President and COO of MGM MIRAGE Entertainment and Sports. “Watching David perform is the definitive magic experience in Las Vegas, and we are proud to have him return to the MGM Grand,” added Sturm.

Beyond anything that has ever been attempted in magic or theatre, Copperfield charts new territory…literally. During each performance Copperfield transports himself from the stage to the other side of the planet; whether it be to Hoover Dam or the beaches of Hawaii.

Because the concept is so hard to believe, it is important that Copperfield take proof. Items are randomly collected from audience members: clothing, distinctive mementos, and signed and dated Polaroid photographs of the audience. All of these items are selected in addition to a lucky audience member who joins him for the journey of a lifetime. Together, they vanish on a platform suspended over the heads of the audience! Within seconds, travel is complete and they are seen on a live satellite uplink at their chosen destination…unbelievably wearing the items of clothes, carrying the personal mementos and holding the signed photograph. The audience members can see themselves in the photograph on the other side of the planet.

Copperfield’s astounding encore for the evening is a groundbreaking illusion where 13 members of the audience, chosen at random, vanish in a fiery blast. Some reappear miles away. Some don’t come back at all. From beginning to end, Copperfields PORTAL offers audience members a mind-boggling, spellbinding experience that will keep them on the edge of their seats.

Copperfield’s PORTAL also features intimate, “unplugged” segments including his masterful sleight-of-hand, as well as his brand new jaw-dropping effect involving each member of the audience and the moon — in an act of intergalactic, interactive illusion.

Bob Anderson takes spot in LV Hilton’s NightClub

The Las Vegas Hilton will welcome popular singer- impressionist Bob Anderson to the NightClub starting in April for one show nightly at 8:00 p.m.

Critically acclaimed and lauded by tourists and locals alike, Anderson boasts an impressive resume that includes tributes to the Rat Pack and a salute to some of the greatest names in show business including Bobby Darin, Tom Jones and Tony Bennett. People Magazine called him “America’s greatest singing impressionist” and talk show legend Johnny Carson said “Bob Anderson will knock you out of your seats.”

Anderson will be accompanied by a six-piece band, conducted by legendary pianist and former Frank Sinatra band leader Vinnie Falcone. Anderson’s 90-minute show will take audiences on a musical journey of the last 50 years with all-new tributes and medleys ranging from jazz to pop to rock-and-roll.

Anderson is scheduled to perform beginning Tuesday through April 22. Shows will be at 8:00 p.m. each night (dark Monday) and tickets are $28.

Elvis Stylist, Trent Carlini, will star as the Dream King in the Hilton NightClub April 24 through May 6 and beginning May 8, the Las Vegas Hilton will welcome back The Fab Four, the ultimate tribute to The Beatles.

Osmond Brothers perform at Boulder’s Railhead

The Osmond Brothers, Wayne, Merrill and Jay, will continue the trio’s Back on The Road Again tour at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday at The Railhead at Boulder Station Tickets are $35, $30, $25 and $19.95, plus tax.

The Osmond Brothers kicked off the new tour during Summer 2000 and it will take them across the United States and into the United Kingdom.

Aside from their pop music fame, which brought the Osmond family 47 gold and platinum records, the Osmond Brothers had several country music hits during the 1980s and were honored with a Country Music Award for best new country music group. Their latest release, Gospel Favorites By The Osmonds, demonstrates a versatility in musical genres ranging from their early years with barbershop, on to pop, rock & roll, country and gospel.

“We have plans to tour the United States, Canada and especially the United Kingdom. It has been a long time since we have toured,” lead singer Merrill Osmond said.

For the past 10 years, the brothers have performed their award winning show in Branson, Mo., at the Osmond Family Theater with brother Jimmy.

“It’s time to go back on the road and see our loyal fans. The new show consists of some of our greatest hits like “Crazy Horse” and is more of a rock-and-roll show,” said bass singer Wayne Osmond.

Catch A Rising Star comedy returns to Vegas

“Catch a Rising Star” comedy club returned to the Las Vegas Strip last week with a new club at the Excalibur Hotel/Casino.

Catch a Rising Star will present two shows nightly at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. in a 300-plus seat showroom in Excalibur’s Medieval Village on the second level. Tickets are $16.95.

Catch a Rising Star brings live entertainment featuring popular comedy headliners and a musical host, who performs for the audience during seating and emcees the shows. Each week has an opening night with a brand new lineup of nationally known comics and seasoned professionals.

Renowned for decades as the launching pad of national entertainment talent, Catch a Rising Star has repeatedly been recognized as the Tourist’s Top Choice Award for “Best Comedy.”

Now in its 29th year, Catch a Rising Star has hosted great comedy in Las Vegas for 12 years. The new Catch comedy club at Excalibur Hotel/Casino joins other “Catch clubs” in Princeton, N.J. and Reno, Nev.

“Catch” previously operated a club at the MGM Grand hotel.

Upcoming shows will feature Pat Goodwin and Barry Friedman (April 9-15); Ken Rogerson and Ron Kenney (April 16-22); and Steve White and Rich Brown (April 23-29).

Moody Blues play Paris

The Moody Blues are the kind of group that makes a “comeback” every few years, when in fact they never really left. Now, the Moody Blues will bring all their memories to the Paris Theater on Thursday-Sunday at 9 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased at the Paris Box Office.

Since the 1960s, the band has been purveying its lush, mystical sound with little deviance from its original form.

What started out as just another ’60s British R&B act today remains possibly the last bastion of classic British melodic rock: the Moody Blues. In 1966 the band ventured into more lavish soundscapes and went on to log a string of hits including “Question” and “Tuesday Afternoon.” Days of Future Passed (1967) was a breakthrough — it may have been rock’s first “concept album,” and it featured a full symphony orchestra as well as the Mellotron, a pre-sampler keyboard that played back tapes of real instruments.

In 1973 the group reached the UK’s Top-10 with a re-entry for their 1967 hit “Nights in White Satin”. (A further reissue made it a hit again in 1979.) To date, the song still holds top position on lists of ’60s classics.

Although the band took a four-year sabbatical during the mid-seventies to pursue solo ventures, they re-grouped to record Octave in 1978. The album very quickly moved into the charts, proving that their fans had remained loyal despite their absence and many radical changes on the pop music scene.

Throughout the ’90s the Moody Blues have carved a niche performing with symphony orchestras.

Hiroshima brings fusion to Fiesta

Hiroshima, the group that galvanized the music world with its unique East-meets-West approach to jazz in the late ’70s, will appear at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Friday, at Roxy’s at the Fiesta Casino Hotel. Tickets, $24.50, plus tax, are available from tickets.com.

The group has always kept its eye on a distinctive One World philosophy which seamlessly blends Asian and North American culture to reflect both cultural and spiritual connections. This year marks 20 years since the band’s unique combination of distinctly Japanese elements: Jane Kuramoto’s classical-flavored koto, Johnny Mori’s booming taiko drum, with funky pop, urban and jazz sensibilities — first hit the instrumental music charts, and 25 years since saxophonist and East L.A. native Dan Kuramoto first formed the ensemble.

“We’ve always stood apart from other i