By George, Vegas New Year off to hot start

Jan 13, 2009 5:06 PM
The Full Monti by Monti Rock III |

Las Vegas likes to kick off the New Year with entertainment and megastars.

Neil Diamond appeared at the MGM Grand Arena for one night, Barry Manilow continues his successful run at the Las Vegas Hilton, B.B. King did a one night only at Primm Valley Casino and Elton John starts his engagement at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace next month after the fantastic Bette Midler closes.

Looks like a pretty good line up for the first week of a new year. Las Vegas veterans Bob Anderson and Charo are coming to the Cannery and South Point respectively for February engagements.

After seeing the Kennedy Center Honors recently where tribute was given to George Jones by Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson and Randy Travis we’d better make mention that George will be appearing at the Silverton on Jan. 23-24. It’s obvious George is appreciated by more than country western entertainers.

By the way, if you haven’t been to the Silverton recently you’ll be surprised by all the new additions including covered parking.

The beginning of this year has seen announcements of the MGM condos at CityCenter Harmon – only there just may not be any upper floor condos. And downtown Mayor Oscar Goodman is talking about the Gangster Museum and how business is not as usual with the economy.

Do we need a new museum to attract tourists downtown?

Adam Speck, the producer and entrepreneur who came to Las Vegas and gave us "Thunder from Down Under," (which by the way is still selling out) also brought us Louie Anderson and psychic Sylvia Brown. Both are doing respectable business at the Excalibur.

Producer John Bentham and star Kevin Burke, who brought "Defending the Caveman" to Las Vegas, has seen the show move to the Excalibur from The Golden Nugget. Things are going well. Kevin sometimes does double duty as a comic at Fitzgerald’s downtown.

Rumor has it that there are big rumblings surrounding Criss Angel and the show "Believe" at Luxor. Supposedly some of the workers received pink slips and earlier I wrote the show may undergo a re-vamp. Maybe someone is stepping into the unbelievable $100 million production. Again, rumors.

Next week I look forward to reporting about my stay as a guest of the Encore. It’s a sleep-over with lunch, dinner and a full tour of the property. Not to worry, we’ll cover all of the fabulous Encore.

The awards season started with The Peoples Choice, a long yawn I might add with the exception of the wonderful Carrie Underwood. To me she’s the true star from "American Idol" and always most gracious concerning the producers of that hit show. She sang Tuesday night with only a piano and was magnificent.

Of course I was taken by her beautiful lime green gown, too.

More rumors are surrounding my cousin J-Lo and Mark Anthony. Is it splitsville? Let’s hope for the best. And all the talk about the "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" just affirms my original opinion that both Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett may have Academy Awards in their future.

Another real hit for the movie industry has been the Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson movie, "Marley and Me," which has broken all box office records. Also, Josh Duhamel and Fergie will be tying the knot. I do miss the TV show "Las Vegas."

It’s a little too early to make a formal announcement regarding one of my favorite Las Vegas shows, "Fuego-Raw Talent." The production will move to a new location but the ink isn’t dry on the deal. This show was earlier called "Havana Nights" and started at the Stardust. These were true Cuban entertainers, dancers, singers and reminded me of my Puerto Rican heritage. They’ll land some place else in the next couple of weeks. The show is that good.

"Mystere" at the Mirage will soon celebrate its l5th anniversary. My invitation just arrived. It will give the media a chance to see just exactly why both "O" and "Mystere" hold up so strongly. Both shows, which I’ve seen more than a few times, are what "Cirque du’Soleil" is all about.

Not all the Cirque shows are high on my list. I’m not a particular fan of "Zumanity" but then, what do I know? I’m just an entertainer’s entertainer. Meanwhile, Anita Mann’s creation "Fantasy" continues to do capacity crowds at the Luxor. Stephanie Jordan and Sean Cooper star.

Steve Wyrick has taken a couple of weeks off from his show at the Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood, while Penn & Teller tell me they’re doing respectable business at the Rio. Sounds like our tried and true entertainment scene is holding up quite well.

The Barbara Walters interview with Patrick Swayze showed that pancreatic cancer is no simple thing. Patrick is admittedly still smoking and claiming it can’t hurt him at this stage.

Also dealing with health issues is my good friend Mimi Hines, who is still undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Happily, she is recovering nicely and we speak every day.

I’m waiting with anticipation to see Terry Fator’s opening at the Mirage in February. "Peep Show," starring Mel B and Kelly Monaco, opens at Planet Hollywood in April. Tickets are now on sale.

What’s happening at the Stratosphere with Tim Molyneaux and the show "Bite?" Tim has two more shows in the offing and still has "All In," the poker show.

Every Saturday and Sunday I’m at the Rock Star Auction House (650 W. Sunset Road, phone: 755-3628) selling off my paintings. This week I found the original poster of "Saturday Night Fever" which I gave as a gift to Lance and Eva Posner.

There will be a big auction this Saturday featuring luxury and fantasy autos, as well as info on the Bioflame Green Energy Fireplace.

Please allow John Travolta and his family to grieve privately. Let’s face it, his religious beliefs did not help kill his beloved son, Jett. Fellow scientologists Tom Cruise and Priscilla Presley, among others are giving the family as much support as possible.

I can’t stress this enough. Please continue to keep in touch. Your e-mails, questions and gossip is interesting to me and always remains confidential. I do answer my e-mails and you can also catch me on YouTube.

Finally, I am looking for a writer for my book. If you read the column and you’re interested, please let me know.

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