The Society of Seven has been a fixture in Las Vegas since they arrived from Waikiki in 1981. I’m told the Hawaiian variety troupe will soon have a new spot here to entertain their fans after enjoying a long stint at the Flamingo.
I can say that the Society of Seven, featuring Karen and Tony, will soon appear April 10-12 at the Suncoast. Tony and Karen are two of the most wonderful people I’ve met here in Las Vegas. The troupe performs a variety of songs (mostly Broadway showtunes), comedy sketches and celebrity impersonations.
One of the best ever to perform for Society of Seven is Lani Misalucha, who was voted "Best Singer" in the 2008 version of "Best Of Las Vegas" – putting her in the class with super-diva Celine Dion. Well, Lani will be appearing with Earl Turner at the Las Vegas Hilton in the Shimmer Cabaret starting April 14. Las Vegas regulars are familiar with Turner and have always appreciated his singing style, which is so smooth.
Misalucha has been dubbed "Asia’s Nightingale," by MTV and has been acclaimed for her impersonations of Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Toni Braxton, Beyonce Knowles, Shania Twain and Britney Spears. Lani’s three octave voice is always a great experience.
Word is that Lani’s departure from Society of Seven wasn’t an easy one.
Terry Fator’s opening at the Mirage brought out stars, big and not so big, not to mention the media. Richard Stern, President of the MGM-MIRAGE, Don Marandino from the Hilton and Mike Hartzel were just a few noted in attendance.
"America’s Got Talent" has made a real statement with Fator, who has signed a multi-million dollar contract (something like $100 million) with the Mirage. Terry’s act, the puppets, his take-off on the Commodores, and his Sonny and Cher bit with Lou Ferigno, (TV’s Incredible Hulk), all great fun.
The audience also included Jackie Baskow and her crew, Clint and Kelley Holmes, and the ultimate drag diva Frank Marino. By the way, Marino says he’ll be announcing his new show and the venue in a few days.
In addition to the beautiful people, there were some rather unsavory characters that I’ve seen around town dressed very inappropriately, eating and drinking and making slobs of themselves. These supposedly were some of the "club" patrons.
The puppets are your winner.
Last week brought the passing of Altovise Davis, the widow of Sammy Davis, Jr. The funeral service in Los Angeles was attended by many including Robert Goulet’s widow, Vera. Sammy, Altovise, Robert and Vera had been good friends for quite some time.
My good friend Ruth Bowen, a long time agent for many high profile entertainers (notably Aretha Franklin) knew Altovise and Sammy. She told me this is the passing of a great lady. Sammy and I had many occasions together and it was my pleasure to pay honor to him in 2007 as one of many in front of the Riviera Hotel & Casino for the Sammy Davis, Jr. Walk of Stars dedication.
Sammy was always gracious to this performer.
Of course the world was shocked with the tragic passing of Natasha Richardson after a seemingly minor ski accident, proving that no head injury should go unchecked. She and her husband Liam Neeson were in Canada where Liam was filming a new movie. Natasha, like her mother Vanessa Redgrave, was an award winning actress.
The fabulous character actor Ron Silver passed away following his valiant struggle with cancer. Ron’s portrayal of a political operative in "The West Wing" was a perfect match for him. His stint as Valerie Harper’s friend and neighbor on TV’s "Rhoda" showed his great comic talent.
Silver became a strong political advocate in real life and experienced some undeserving attitudes in Hollywood. He’ll be missed for his strength, ability, good humor and honesty.
We’re still waiting for the previews of the "PeepShow" at Planet Hollywood. Jerry Mitchell assures me this show is going to be full of fun and a whole new take on entertainment for Las Vegas.
Planet Hollywood is also featuring Trent Carlini, one of the very best Elvis impersonators we’ve seen, at the Steve Wyrick Theater. "Tony and Tina’s Wedding" continues at Planet Hollywood and is doing good business.
Aaron Sheppard is an artist who created a life size painting of yours truly. Aaron has a show opening April 4 at the Donna Beam Gallery and will definitely be an interesting new attraction for Las Vegas.
Television’s "American Idol" is down to 10 contestants. The audience, both live and television, was treated to a performance by Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis to top off the country music week for Idol. As usual, Underwood is most gracious to the "American Idol" franchise. It’s been a busy five years for Carrie, including her induction into the Grand Old Opry.
Just a thought, but that the addition of a fourth judge on Idol sometimes bores this columnist.
More "live action" on television brought about the exit of Belinda Carlisle on "Dancing with the Stars." Belinda is a former member of the Go-Go’s, who went bye-bye. Who is next?
The Las Vegas Hilton continues to expand its entertainment offerings. "Vintage Vegas" might be the latest show featured. The show is a creation of both Glen Medas, the entertainment director and Michael Chambers, the show’s choreographer and director.
"Vintage Vegas" will feature eight gorgeous ladies and a live band. It’s a 9 p.m. show at the Shimmer Showroom starting April 24. "Vintage Vegas" which is another way of saying "topless."
The Amazing Jonathan has built his own "drive-in" theater at his classic auto warehouse. The decor, giant screen and vintage cars create the complete "drive-in" experience, including a concession stand.
The locals are really getting the royal treatment this month with entertainers the likes of Don Rickles and Clint Holmes this past weekend and Neil Sedaka and The Osmonds next weekend. All great performers who don’t need special effects.
And then there is Tom Jones at the MGM Grand. His new CD, which he co-wrote, is great as is his "new" look – letting his hair go naturally silver gray. What a showman!!!!
For more great gossip, catch the Rev Monti on the radio (KLAV 1230 AM) Saturdays between noon and 2 p.m.