For the last few months I’ve been discussing the possible closing of major shows here in Las Vegas. So, I wasn’t completely caught off guard with the announcement by the Tropicana that "Folies Bergere" will perform for the last time March 28.
The Folies was approaching the 50th anniversary at the Trop and plans were in the works to bring back some of the earlier stars of the show. The casino/resort filed bankruptcy last year and had trimmed down their public relations department.
Speaking with Jerry Jackson, the director of Folies, he conveyed his concern about all the cast members being without a job. To all the readers of GamingToday, see "Folies Bergere" before it closes. This is an end of an era for Vegas.
Now we have to wonder what’s the fate of Don Arden’s "Jubilee" at Bally’s? Is the writing on the wall for these production shows? Let’s hope not.
The highlight of last week was the inauguration which turned out to be spectacular. With an estimated two million people in Washington, D.C. for the event it was an amazing sight.
The crowds were orderly and patient while awaiting the arrival of President Obama. That in itself was quite a tribute to the new administration. Our good wishes go to Sen. Ted Kennedy, who suffered a seizure during the event and was rushed to a hospital.
To the fashion police I must say, "Leave Michelle Obama alone." My friend Aretha Franklin sang to the crowd, but it was her hat that caught everyone’s attention. It was a hat like no other and I just bought one for myself.
I guess we’re all entitled to be critical from time to time when it comes to fashion. Her singing was a bit off, but that was caused by the bitter cold weather in D.C. that day. But let’s face it, nobody does it like our Aretha. I still remember that "special" plaid suit Hillary Clinton wore when Bill was first elected. Ghastly, I tell you.
A happy 67th birthday to Steve Wynn. As part of the Encore’s opening, there will be a lavish birthday party featuring Harry Connick, Jr. I would gladly have gone, but unfortunately I was not invited.
Planet Hollywood continues to go through changes and not always for the better. It was good to hear my friend Tom McCartney become Planet Hollywood’s newest President and CEO. Tom was previously with MGM properties for more than 12 years. Sounds like a good match for the job and we wish him the best.
Wayne Brady, the multi-talented star at The Venetian, and now a Grammy nominee, will be adding more singing to his show. He is also currently hosting "Don’t Forget the Lyrics" on Fox TV. This guy does it all – singing, dancing, comedy.
Is it "Havana Nights", "Raw Talent", or "Fuego Havana Nights?" Whatever the name of the show, it was just announced they’ve found a new home at the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino. The production opens in February. This sounds like the perfect venue for this Cuban-flavored delight.
After attending a screening of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," I felt Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Button was Oscar worthy. To my delight he was just nominated for Best Actor and his beautiful wife Angelina Jolie is up for Best Supporting Actress for "Changeling." Maybe beauty and brains do go together.
How about Mickey Rourke getting an Oscar nomination? It’s great to see great actors like Rourke and Robert Downey, Jr. finally getting recognized again after years of self-destruction. True talent always shows through.
Last week Wes Winters had three days at the Suncoast to a sellout of adoring fans. Old friends Bob Anderson will be returning for Feb. 13-14 appearances at The Cannery; Charo will be at South Point on Feb. 6-7.
I was sorry to hear Candi Cazau, director of publicity for the Orleans and Suncoast showrooms, has left Boyd Gaming. Candi and I had an interesting relationship over the years. Boyd Gaming has allegedly laid off about 90 employees this week and rumor has it that there will be more.
Kendall Tenney, news anchor from NBC Ch. 3 in Las Vegas, was one of many to appear at the Hard Rock for the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s 1,000th Wish for area children. This was a special occasion for the Foundation’s latest recipient, Diana from Valley School, who became a "Rock Star" for the day.
Diana performed numbers by Pink. At the end of the "concert," pro motocross racer Carey Hart, the former husband of Pink, presented Diana with a signed guitar. Rumor has it that Pink and Carey are trying to reconcile.
Yours truly will be back hosting the next big Rock Star Auction on Saturday, Feb 7. The auction, which features classic cars, artwork, sports gear, and more, will be held at The Secondhand Store and Auction House, 650 W.Sunset Rd, Henderson. For info, call 755-3628.
Finally, Vegas went Miss America crazy last week at Planet Hollywood with special dinners, appearances, etc. Congrats to Miss America 2009, lovely Katie Stam from Indiana.