‘Stormy’ night brings out the stars

Apr 23, 2001 6:21 AM

The calm before the Storm soon erupted into a full-blown, Hollywood-style preview with more stars than the Milky Way Galaxy piling into the specially-built theater at Mandalay Bay last Wednesday night.

Among the notables for the opening night bash was Ricky Martin, who not only plowed money into the show, but loaned out his best creative people, including artistic director Jamie King.

Ricky brought his own security force, which formed a tighter knot around the Latino superstar than the President’s Secret Service. When I first saw his entourage, I thought it was Hillary out on a well-deserved date.

Gloria and Emilio Estafen and their family made a warm appearance, and they were very gracious and wonderful and chatted freely about the Las Vegas entertainment scene.

In addition to the A-level celebs, the Storm opening attracted some of the top casino brass, including Richard Sturm from the MGM Grand and Skip Sayre from the Rio.

The show itself is huge, a giant musical extravaganza that encompasses the forces of nature. The cutting edge show is a departure from the old-time variety revue, and is an eclectic combination of MTV, Cique du Soleil and the weather forecast on hallucinogens.

At the same time about half a mile away, the new Bali Hai Country Club golf course celebrated the opening of Wolfgang Puck’s latest gourmet treasure, Cili Restaurant.

Here’s a suggestion to the show planners of the world. Don’t schedule two big openings at the same time! It was chaos fighting the crowds for drinks and hors d’ oeuvres at Cili, then rushing like mad to make the red carpet line at Mandalay.

When the dust settles, check out Cili, where the fare is Balinese and very wonderful. The Tuna Tartare with Wasabi mash potatoes is not to be missed, and the views of the lush golf course, waterfalls and other amenities is breathtaking.

Congratulations to Dick Feeney’s show Viva Las Vegas at the Stratosphere, which celebrated 10 consecutive years as the afternoon show in town. All the former cast members showed up and were looking great with all of their face-lifts.

Over at the Sahara, The Rat Pack is Back has just brought back Hiram Kasten to do Joey Bishop. Hiram was the original Joey over at the Desert Inn, but he left town to take a shot at a sitcom in L.A. He really adds an element of humor to this show, and is very enjoyable to watch.

It’s sad to report that the Legends of Comedy will be closing at the Frontier at the end of this month. It’s a shame because Bill Kirchenbauer has put together a marvelous show, but it needs to be in a nice room on prime time. Rumor has it that Kenny Kerr will also close out at the Frontier and possibly head back downtown to the Plaza. He’s made the trip back and forth so many times he could need a taxi’s license. What’s up with the Frontier? I guess it’s back to 10× craps or the mechanical bull at Gilley’s.

Everybody, hide your libidos! You better watch out, you better not cry, Madonna is coming to town! The Material Girl makes an appearance as part of her first tour in seven years. She will light it up at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stay tuned for details.