Danny Gans has truly been a Las Vegas headliner for years and he just closed his show after all those years at the Mirage.
His many fans should rest easy because he’s opening at Steve Wynn’s Encore in February. Wynn is still the visionary, always seeming to amaze us. This man has created the landscape of what Las Vegas is today, while Sheldon Adelson keeps on building, building and building.
Adelson’s Venetian is still home to Blue Man Group, Wayne Brady and the masterpiece "Phantom of the Opera," which this columnist has seen more than 10 times. Yes, I’m a bit excessive.
Only a few days remain to catch Bette Midler at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace for this year. She has added extra performances. Cher had to cancel the rest of her season due to those health issues after missing several performances at the Colosseum. She will return in February.
Disney is now coming to Las Vegas. The music of Elton John’s "Lion King" will fill Mandalay Bay. I thought Las Vegas was Disney, it’s just we have a different kind of gaming. Plus, I always thought of myself as Snow White so I’m right at home in the Disney world.
Tim Molyneaux’s show at the Stratosphere, "Bite," has been extended. I’m glad to clarify things.
Bettie Page, the 1950’s pinup queen has died at the age of 85. She was one of the pioneers of women’s lib. Unfortunately, ill-health forced her to retreat from the public eye at an early age, but her photos will live on.
Golden Arches like you’ve never seen before at Viva McDonald’s on the Strip. It’s a high tech McDonald’s, including large screen televisions and it’s quite extraordinary. As if french fries weren’t enough, the asparagus was delicious. This is not the old McDonalds, but truly Viva McDonald’s hi-tech state-of-the-art kitchen. Of course, there’s great McDonald’s coffee.
The Mirage debut of the latest Strip attraction, a multi-million dollar volcano, came off without a hitch. Unfortunately I had to miss the evening’s affair since I was busy at rehearsal getting ready for Lance and Eva Posner’s annual Christmas bash at their Henderson mansion.
I keep trying to write about downtown. So as a reminder, Gordie Brown will open in February at the Golden Nugget. "Caveman" moves to the Excalibur, beginning next week. The Nugget keeps on being the fabulous jewel of downtown.
The Fremont Street Experience is offering up its Christmas show, while the Neonopolis can’t seem to keep tenants from moving in and out. Everyone agrees it’s hard opening a new business in the current climate.
Just spoke to my friend Paige O’Hara who is one of the stars in "Menopause the Musical" at the Hilton. The show has just been extended for another year. Ticket sales are down a bit, but the show continues to do good business.
My year in review has to include some of my Las Vegas favorites and maybe some not so favorites. At the present time the No. 1 show has to be Donny and Marie Osmond at the Flamingo. Another No. 1 for me is comedian Vinny Favorito, also at the Flamingo.
The Best Variety Show is "V" at the David Saxe Theater at Planet Hollywood. The Best All-Time is a draw between "Jubilee" at Bally’s and "Folies" at Tropicana. The Number One Act has to go to Bette Midler and Cher at Caesars’ Colosseum.
My Favorite Restaurant is Yolie’s on Paradise. Best All-Around Hotel Service has to go to the Luxor, as well as the most improved buffet. The worst hotel service award goes to… Oops, I’d better let that one go. They know who they are.
Biggest Comeback of the Year goes to Britney Spears and it was also a tremendous year for Beyonce. Madonna’s concert tour and Bon Jovi’s tour are breaking records. It’s amazing, that in this economy, people still spend on entertainment.
The Golden Globes, the most entertaining of the award shows, has announced its nominations. The late Heath Ledger, Meryl Streep, plus some surprises (Mickey Rourke) are among the nominees. It all goes down on Jan. 11. Then the Oscars will follow in February if there is no actors’ strike. What, again? The Grammy Awards also come the same month as the Oscars.
For yours truly, 2008 was the most triumphant year since arriving in Las Vegas. The success I enjoyed at Disco Ball at the Taj Majal in Atlantic City was for me the greatest reality show of the year. It was standing room only together with standing ovations.
We hope to bring the show to Las Vegas in the near future. Meanwhile, the Rev. Monti still has openings for any Holiday Season Million Dollar Weddings.