It's Flamingo-go thanks to Don Marrandino

Aug 26, 2008 7:01 PM

The Full Monti by Monti Rock III | Storied history always comes to mind with the mere mention of the Flamingo.

The desert oasis created in the 1940’s by Bugsy Siegel was only the beginning. Can you believe those pink flamingos are still around? I’ve tried coaxing them to my pool but they keep resisting.

I keep returning to the Flamingo for the entertainment, not those darn flamingos. Monti Rock III and the Flamingo go back 10 years when I first moved to Las Vegas. The late Mike Crawley was entertainment director at the time and tried to build a late night television show at the Flamingo which, of course, would star yours truly.

Unfortunately the effort to make me normal failed even after adding Aki as a co-hostess. The featured entertainment back then was the Rockettes with frequent billings that included Forever Plaid.

With the arrival of Flamingo’s President Don Marrandino, a new chapter is being written. Marrandino has made the Flamingo a true variety filled venue for show business enthusiasts, which of course would include me. From Nathan Burton’s afternoon show of magic to the late night "X-Burlesque" the Flamingo has been hitting home runs. And, there’s the upcoming Donny and Marie Osmond show scheduled to open in September.

Recently I caught a new arrival to the Flamingo, the hilarious Vinnie Favorito. Vinnie’s act is effortless and easy. He makes his audience the show. Earlier he was appearing at O’Shea’s downtown and originally started his Las Vegas outing at Binion’s Horseshoe. Vinnie is a prize, performing for a full house and sold out shows seven nights a week. This is one of those not to be missed shows.

On the same night, I caught the 10 p.m. George Wallace show, "I Been Think’n" with guest star Jennifer Holliday. George, another really funny man. always keeps his shows fresh and up to date.

Jennifer, in great voice, looked beautiful. The sound of her voice brought back memories of her Broadway appearance some 27 years ago in "Dream Girls" where I first saw her. Jennifer’s performance can only be enhanced with live music. I wish she would consider that for her next appearance here.

My wonderful friend Liza Minnelli was performing last week at Primm. Tickets were being given away in order to get people to drive from Las Vegas to Primm, a short 30 miles. At the Orleans, Steve Lawrence, without Eydie, sang his heart out. The show was sold out every night, no comps to be had.

Lawrence is still in great voice, but my spies tell me the show was a bit long. Clint Holmes was performing at the Judy Bailey Theater and donated the door receipts to a scholarship fund. Cher’s show at The Colosseum at Caesars completely sold out, but check the Internet for deals on tickets. The deals do exist.

For some 50 years Little Anthony and the Imperials have been performing. Once you heard "Going Out of My Head" you couldn’t get it out of your head. To celebrate their 50th anniversary they will be at the Tropicana on Sept. 27. Tickets are already on sale for the 8 p.m. show. Of all the groups from that era, Little Anthony and the Imperials are amazingly still performing with the original artists.

Jeff McBride, a multi-talented performer who does mime, magic and Kabuki, has opened at Palace Station in the Sound Trax Showroom. He will be performing nightly at 7:30 p.m. (dark Tuesdays).

More news from local television. Jeff Gradney accused of soliciting? And poor Ron Futrell did nothing wrong except hit somebody’s car. He is now doing temporary fill-in news broadcasting on KNXT (840 AM). As they say, here today, gone tomorrow.

And, from the Alternative Corner: Yes, it’s true. Ellen DeGeneres and mate Portia de Rossi tied the knot in a quiet ceremony in Califorrna. My fellow Puerto Rican pal Ricky Martin’s surrogate has given birth to twins, and Clay Aiken is the proud parent of a baby boy.

Roseanne Barr, who just recently ended her stint at the Sahara, is at it again. Roseanne needs to pick on somebody her own size. Throughout her career Roseanne had a television talk show, a cooking show and a successful run as a sitcom queen. Most of us remember her appearance at the baseball game where she defiled "The Star-Spangled Banner."

It seems that in Roseanne’s blog this week she went after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Brad and Angelina have done tremendous humanitarian work, including their New Orleans efforts. Even Angelina’s father Jon Voight came to their defense over remarks made on Roseanne’s blog. Roseanne’s been back-peddling but the damage has already been done. Will she ever learn?

Like so many others, I’ve joined the bloggers. However, I take heed and try to offer up helpful and useful information about Las Vegas. Being with GamingToday for the last nine years, I accept the responsibilities given and take all my journalist’s efforts seriously while trying to add a little flare, fun and some sidebars.

David Saxe, from Planet Hollywood, reportedly turned down Terry Fator, now considered to be $100 million star after winning on "America’s Got Talent" last year.

It’s a little early to get excited but "American Idol" is on the road seeking new talent for their latest edition of the show. Soon your columnist will have a show to deal with finding a young Las Vegas star and I’ll become the Simon Cowell of Las Vegas.

My friend Joanne Downey, who has been a mainstay at the Review-Journal, is leaving her position. Joanne’s genius will shine through and she’ll land on her feet.