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Entertainment: Liberace lives!

May 27, 2008 7:00 PM

The Full Monti by Monti Rock III | href> Wes Winters will be opening his Liberace Tribute show at Planet Hollywood’s Steve Wyrick Theater this week. I was one of the fortunate ones to see Liberace perform live here in Las Vegas and for my money Winters has the Liberace genre down solid.

It’s a wonderful show performed by a brilliant talent. The entertainment and showmanship is what helped to create the Las Vegas we know and love. I first met Wes during his five-year run at Carluccio’s on East Tropicana. Wes has a great local following which was magnified on his closing night when the song "I’ll Be Seeing You" filled the room where there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

I’ve been a fan of Steve Wyrick since his days at the Lady Luck downtown. Following his outing downtown, Steve went to the Sahara and then to the Aladdin which is now Planet Hollywood. The Steve Wyrick Theater at PH has had a revolving door when it comes to shows. Winters may very well be the attraction the theater deserves.

Past tenants of the Steve Wyrick Theater include Ronn Lucas, Martin Nievera and most recently the "Gazillion Bubble Show," which has popped its last bubble. It’s the ticket brokers that make it all work. David Saxe and the V Theater at the Venetian has it all figured out. He has a well-oiled machine.

Another case in point would be the big venues like the Colosseum with 4,500 seats filled every night for Celine Dion, Sir Elton John, Bette Midler or Cher.

Did I hear a collective sigh of relief following the two hour finale of "American Idol?" We all knew it would be David, but did we think it would be Cook? Say what you will about this show but it’s great to see young people who are making the effort to do something that isn’t destructive.

They show up every week and offer us something better than what we hear about on the news or read in the paper. They must be doing something right based on the millions of calls made by the fans. Congratulations to all the contestants.

I thought Mini-Me, (a Monti Rock look-a-like) was divine, but even better was Paula’s red gown with the full train. Sigh! The finale offered some well- known performers, but Carrie Underwood still shines like the star she is. If no other superstar comes out of the "American Idol" experience, we can always look at Carrie and remember where she started her climb to the top.

We were all surprised to see George Michael, but just couldn’t figure out the sunglasses. It’s a look I guess. And was it just me or did anyone else have a hard time understanding "Praying For Time? With Michael making his comeback in the States after 17 years, I guess there’s hope for us all.

Even before Criss Angel’s "Cirque" show opens at the Luxor he’s fighting with a local columnist. No matter what you think, if you’re an entertainer, a sports figure or a celeb, media is important. Criss, be good to the press. Every time I’ve been in Angel’s connection, the radar says he’s unapproachable.

Back to Cher: The fans love her and the Colosseum show. She’s in great voice and just for the record, does not lip sync. And, Bob Mackie shows us that he still has it as far as great costumes go. He’s the best!

The MGM Grand Arena hosted the "Academy of Country Music Awards." I got a little tired of Reba McIntyre’s twangy voice but then, that’s Reba. By the accolades of the evening, I wouldn’t be surprised if the show remains at the MGM for 2009. Kenny Chesney won Entertainer of the Year, but he should just be gracious and stop complaining.

Wayne Newton, "Mr. Las Vegas," is back at the MGM. He begins the first of a series of performances, at the Hollywood Theater from July 31-Aug. 6. Backed by a 22-piece orchestra, his show will feature country, big band, R&B, and rock.

The World Market Center Las Vegas will be the location for a by invitation only afternoon, June 1, honoring Nevada State Senator Dina Titus, Angie Wallin, executive director of the Nevada Arts Advocates and Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., founder and president emeritus of 100 Black Men of America Inc.

Clint Holmes will act as host for the event. The current economic crunch has caused the cancellation of performing arts events so the call has gone out to keep these programs available for the community. A good cause, no doubt.

It’s been 10 years since Frank Sinatra died and the U.S. Postal Service honored Frank with his own stamp. Frank’s daughter, Tina, was in Las Vegas to unveil the stamp. Tina was once married to Wes Farrell, who produced myself, David Cassidy and Lulu. Wes and Tina were once one of Hollywood’s most beautiful couples.

The Nova jazz group heads up the Las Vegas Hilton’s "Group Therapy Thursdays" at the Tempo Lounge starting at 5:30 p.m. In addition to the sounds of jazz they’re offering up drink specials, giveaways and even blackjack. It’s a new twist, but sounds like it just might be the spot to land before the weekend.

Also at the Hilton is the band Phoenix – billed as the ultimate rock experience. Upcoming shows in the main showroom feature performers such as Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Terry Fator, and the long-running Barry Manilow.

All the 19 RA Sushi locations are donating a significant part of their proceeds from May 25-31 to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee as part of its fourth annual "Nicky’s Week," fundraiser to benefit cancer research.

A must dine: Le Golosita Italian Restaurant in Henderson, which also features a bakery and pizzeria.

Thanks to those involved in my 70th birthday party. It was a most memorable evening.