Hard Rock shouts Oye Como Va!

Apr 7, 2009 5:05 PM
The Full Monti by Monti Rock III |

The Joint at the Hard Rock will make a big splash on the Las Vegas entertainment scene when Carlos Santana makes that hot spot his venue of choice for all points west of the Mississippi through 2010.

Supernatural Santana opens May 27 and it’s expected his appearance will draw crowds to Las Vegas just like Celine, Elton, Bette and Cher have done for the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Some might think it’s an off-beat booking for Santana but the Hard Rock has just put a lot of money into a revamping of the property.

Maybe this is just a sign of what’s in store. Seems like a good move for everyone, including the Hard Rock. Entertainment of all genres is welcome in Las Vegas and the introduction of a major star right now could be an asset.

You need a scorecard now to keep up with what shows are still playing and those that aren’t. Word has it that another Tropicana staple may be in trouble. According to my inside sources, the Dirk Arthur magic show may shut down in a couple of months. The Trop added "The Soprano’s Last Supper" and "Hypnosis" to spice things up.

And my contacts tell me that "Crazy Girls," which has been at the Riviera for some three decades, could be headed to the Trop. Just rumors, mind you.

The closing of "Folies Bergere" at the Trop reminded me how the legendary show had been a starting point for many entertainers including Lance Burton and Siegfried & Roy. When Barbara Walters’ late father, Lou, first brought the show to Las Vegas from Europe some 50 years ago it included specialty acts along with the topless showgirls and lots of glitz and glamour.

My first time in Vegas was 1967. I was just a kid from New York and seeing the Folies was mind-boggling and truly extraordinary. "Jubilee" at Bally’s gives us a final glimpse of such glamour. The showgirls, beads, beauty and specialty acts Las Vegas was built on is sadly fading away. Make a point to see "Jubilee" show before this piece of history is gone.

Opening night at the Golden Nugget for Gordie Brown was star-studded. Besides yours truly, the celebs included Clint and Kelly Holmes, Larry Edwards and one of our favorite entertainment seniors, Steve Rossi. I was surprised and flattered when Gordie sent a note asking if he could introduce me to the audience.

The "PeepShow" finally opened at Planet Hollywood, but the media has not been allowed to review it yet. Reports from others have been quite good. Also at the Planet, Kato Kaelin of O.J. Simpson fame plays a wedding crasher in "Tony and Tina’s Wedding."

The Rock ‘N Roll Circus at the Hilton is on my must-see list. Some reviewers have lambasted it, but I’ll toss in my opinion after checking out the show. And, if you’re a Neil Diamond fan be sure to catch Jay White at the Riviera.

Elton John makes his final appearance at the Colosseum this month. Your ticket to Elton’s show may be upgraded that very night.

Show West came in and out of town fairly quiet. The highlight was Michael Caine receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. It seems that many of the newcomers have no "staying" power. Michael did.

And so does Shecky Greene, the legendary comedian, who will give one of his rare performances at The Suncoast May 15-17. Greene is considered by many to be the ultimate night club performer and was once the biggest name in Nevada lounge entertainment.

Congrats to George Knapp (CBS, Channel 8 locally), who just received the prestigious Peabody Award for investigative reporting.

Talented photographer Ed Foster will be exhibiting some of his great photos at his show "Shots in the Dark" at the West Charleston Library from April 14-June 2. Around that time (April 19), "Dancing With The Las Vegas Stars," will benefit five non-profit cancer fighting organizations. Among the performers are Brent Barrett (former Phantom star) dancing with Jeanne Bavaro.

Another very worthy cause is Heaven Can Wait Sanctuary’s "Gimme Shelter Benefit Concert." For more info call 702-227-5555.

How about the bidding war for getting customers into the topless clubs and nightclubs? Limo drivers are allegedly getting $100 per person to bring patrons to these clubs. There are rumors the IRS will soon be investigating the tip income of these drivers.