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'Mamma Mia' out, 'Lion King' in at Mandalay Bay in Vegas

Dec 9, 2008 5:05 PM

The Full Monti by Monti Rock III |

Theater goers can breathe easy now. Disney productions made the announcement that the Broadway award-winning musical "Lion King" will arrive at Mandalay Bay and replace the highly successful "Mamma Mia" which is closing after six years.

Both speculation and anticipation have surrounded this announcement. We’re glad it’s official. We got to see a sample of what to expect this past weekend as some of the New York cast performed three numbers for the show during a media event at Mandalay Bay.

This will be something to see, a full two hour, 20-minute version which replicates the original Broadway production. Previews begin in April and opening night is May 2. Tickets will be on sale shortly. Definitely a must see!

This Saturday, yours truly will be hosting the Christmas Rock Star Auction to be held in Henderson. You’ll find me at the Second Hand Store & Auction, 650 W. Sunset Road. This is not a "typical" auction.

Items included will be rock star memorabilia and collectibles, sports cars and Harleys, art of all kinds and even a Rolls Royce. Items being offered will be priced from $20 to over $1,000,000. If you’re interested and want to be included call (702) 755-3628. 

Well, O.J.’s trial is over but his tribulations are only beginning. A minimum of nine years in prison (the max is 33) most likely in solitary is what he has in store. Should he break any rules or get into any trouble, it would jeopardize his chances for parole and may add even more jail time.

Is the sentence a little stiff for this crime or did his past influenced the judge’s final decision? It is very difficult to forget what happened 13 years ago.

Last week wasn’t the best week for television viewers. The Britney Spears comeback on "Good Morning America" as well as her MTV performance left me cold. At least she appears to be making an effort to recover and that’s good.

"The Rosie O’Donnell Variety Show" tanked and NBC couldn’t pull the plug fast enough. Rosie O’Donnell, Roseanne Barr, I get them confused. Both are having a hard time trying to return to prime time TV. At least during this year’s Grammy nominations show, John Mayer and B.B. King brought the house down with their version of "Let The Good Times Roll."

Everyone seems to be looking forward to Beyonce’s movie, "Cadillac Records," which is scheduled for release before Christmas. Beyonce is portraying the one and only Etta James. The look may be good, but nobody can match that Etta James’ sound.

"Benjamin Button" is another movie set to be released about the same time. It stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. I was fortunate enough to see the preview of the movie last week and must say it was more than I expected. There may be Oscar talk for both Brad and Cate’s extraordinary performances in one of the best films I’ve seen in years.

Many of the major properties continue to cut back because of the current economy. I was surprised to hear even some housekeeping and front desk positions are being eliminated. With the closing of the Oasis in Mesquite, it makes me wonder if we are facing more troubled times.

Even the popular nightclubs are no longer picking up the tab when invited stars come in. Many of the nightclubs pay stars to provide an attraction and draw crowds. I’ve been told Madonna drew large crowds last weekend and the clubs were full.

 With the holidays upon us Donny and Marie Osmond are doing their Christmas Show at the Flamingo while Bette Midler has even added a couple of Christmas songs to the "Showgirl Must Go On" now playing at Caesar’s.

 Dec. 19 brings Paul Anka to the Orleans as more and more top headliners move from the Strip to the locals casinos. These are the people who need no special effects to entertain. They are the true talents of showbiz.

The Las Vegas Marathon took place last Sunday and it seems to be getting better organized with more athletes competing each year. One of our favorite charities, Opportunity Village which is unique to Las Vegas, is the beneficiary of proceeds from the Marathon.

 Good news for all those fans of Wes Winters. Wes has just returned to Carluccio’s for his Wonderland Christmas Show. All performances have been sold out for the Christmas show, but Wes will be appearing at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino on Jan. 16-18.

Las Vegas residents and visitors who catch the local weather on NBC affiliate Channel 3 know John Fredericks and his beautiful Lab, L. J. (Little Jordan). L.J. has been banned from the set my darlings, supposedly for biting one of the employees. Bad dog, bad dog.

"Menopause the Musical" is in its fourth year still doing great business. "Mystere," the first and arguably best of the "Cirque du Soleil" productions on the Strip is celebrating its 15th year at Treasure Island. This is the show that launched all the Cirque productions.

If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, try the fabulous chili at Shari’s Diner located at 1900 N. Buffalo Dr. The pot roast and the burgers are also top notch.