The Full Monti by Monti Rock III | My friend Ira David Sternberg from the Hilton invited me to be a guest on his show, Lunchtime with Ira, last week. How could I refuse?
Ira is responsible for naming my column The Full Monti. This is my fourth appearance on Ira's show and we never run out of subjects to cover in our conversations. We talked about what makes a good columnist.
Ira knows I take this journalist thing quite seriously. We also discussed gossip, gossip, gossip. What is it really? I was dressed jungle elegant in my usual leopard attire with layers upon layers of leopard.
• As part of the grand opening for the new Palazzo, this week is dedicated to the VIP highrollers and strictly special invitations. The lovely Diana Ross will be providing entertainment for the guests. Must be the over-30 crowd they're expecting.
The Palazzo restaurants will also be doing a tasting of their fares for the guests. For fear of suddenly being uninvited at a later date, I'll skip the affair. I just don't want to be included with some of the bottom feeders, who just go to openings and eat my profits. Enough said.
Mr. Adelson has a lot riding on the Palazzo and I sometimes take his side when it comes to the local media. Other columnists are stirring up, or making up, conversations about Mr. Adelson and another titan, Steve Wynn. From downtown's anchor the Golden Nugget to the Mirage, his masterpiece Bellagio and his latest Wynn, Steve Wynn along with Adelson and Kerkorian are visionaries and true entrepreneurs of Las Vegas. We salute them.
• With the turmoil of a possible big sale at Harrah's, is it business as usual? There's a new show opening at Harrah's called HATS. I'll report more once I've had a chance to check out the show. Not sure, but it sounds like another Menopause the Musical. My friend Paige O’Hara, the star of that show at the Hilton and the voice of Belle for Disney, is recording a new album.
I hardly know how she manages the time for a new recording, Menopause the Musical does 10 shows each week. The Hilton is offering a one night spectacular in celebration of the Chinese New Year. It's advertised as Asian beauty meets modern technology and has become a global sensation.
• Here we go with the rumors. Is Michael Jackson at the Palms? My contacts won't confirm, but apparently all of Michael's ideas about having a show here have gone kaput. What a sensation that would be! Jackson is one of the all time greatest entertainers. Almost every event I attend I see Michael's father, Joe. I think another call to the Palms from yours truly may be in the future.
• Rita Rudner has had an incredible run in Las Vegas and I'm pleased to know Rita is a fan of Monti Rock III. Rita had a reading of a play called 776 at a little theater last week. It's a show that was written by her and husband, Martin Bergman. The big news about Rita is that she's celebrating performance No. 2,001, which she'll be taping at Harrah's for PBS television.
• In the drama department we have to look at the Sahara. What's happening to the Temptations Tribute show? There was an injunction of copyright laws and the show was pulled. Is a move in the future for The Amazing Johnathan and what about Trent Carlini? David Saxe will get involved with changing and re-tooling the shows. David already has the Fab Four. The new owners of the Sahara are putting millions of dollars into refurbishing what was once a major Strip hotel and casino. It's like keeping up with the Jones. If you get too far behind you can never catch up.
• That brings us to The Tropicana, another once outstanding Strip location. The Trop still has the Folies Bergere and the show holds its own here in Las Vegas. The Folies is one of the great shows to survive 30 years in this market, unlike some of the upper management and public relations people at the Tropicana.
• Another long running, but well worth it show, is at Bally's. Jubilee is Las Vegas. Don Arden is one of the great master producers of our time. Also be sure to catch The Producers at Paris before it closes in Feb. 9.
• Remember the show Nudes on Ice? Bill Moore is the producer and wants to bring the show back to Las Vegas. Bill also produces for my friend Charo, who is currently performing in Puerto Rico. Charo will be doing a guest appearance on Dancing with the Stars when she returns. We know Charo has the moves but she probably will be playing her Flamenco guitar, which by the way, if you've never seen her perform is a great show in itself.
• Johnny Thompson is one of the great master magicians of our time. Johnny has been a mentor to the likes of Lance Burton and helping Criss Angel realize his dreams at the Luxor. When I wrote last week about Angel and another Cirque show it came across a little harsh. Cirque is great! There just seems to be so many of them. KA at the MGM, Zumanity at New York-NewYork and the masterpieces of Mystere at the Mirage and "O" at Bellagio seems like a lot of Cirque productions to me.
• Big productions have a place here in Las Vegas but our entertainment kudos came from performers like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Shecky Greene, Louis and Keely and of course Celine Dion... See the difference? That's why you have to hand it to Toni Braxton at the Flamingo and Barry Manilow at the Hilton. There is a fan base here for these performances.
• For months and months we've been talking about the arrival of The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler. The Coliseum is being revamped with a new stage and new splendor. Bette promises her new show in February will have big surprises – only the way she can deliver them. Live star performers. There's nothing like it.
• Let's hope the writer's strike in Los Angeles will be settled soon. The Academy Awards and the Grammys are both on the horizon. The loss of some $200 million is beginning to affect a lot of people. Word is out that George Clooney may be trying to help settle this. The fact that the Directors Guild just settled should also help.
• What a week this was in Las Vegas. We had Hillary Clinton, Obama, Obama, Obama. Hillary and Obama had a peaceful sit-down with John Edwards for their prime time debate. Everyone was calm and in control.
• And then there was the verbal spanking given to O.J. Simpson during his court appearance regarding bail. O.J. didn't have quite his usual appearance that day. After putting up bail, he was whisked off in a white Mercedes, and is now back in Florida.
• It's back! It's back! Last night's show of American Idol, or is it sometimes American Idiot, created more calls in one hour than I've had in a long time. I heard from friends as far east as New York. They all said it was my clone that was singing My Brother's Song, adorned in white cape and feathered hat. It's always great hearing from friends and we had some good laughs. Like it or not, American Idol is the top reality show on television. Simon, Paula, Randy and even Ryan Seacrest all joined in the fun with Monti's clone. I should have been there!
• Las Vegas' own Tony Sacca will receive a Star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. A mainstay in Las Vegas for over 27 years (wow!), he is also host and producer of an award winning TV show from Las Vegas. Sacca is also involved in many civic and humanitarian activities.
• Last , but not least, The Reverend Monti is here to help you tie the knot – Million Dollar Weddings by yours truly.