Fans around the world continue to mourn the loss of Michael Jackson. His sudden and somewhat mysterious passing has left many with questions that may never be answered.
Michael’s Neverland has become Never-Neverland since the memorial service has been scheduled to take place at the Los Angeles Staples Center. Less than 18,000 fans will receive tickets through a lottery to attend the memorial service at Staples or the live simulcast at the Nokia Theatre across the street.
Michael’s brother Jermaine said on "Larry King Live" that many memorial services will be held in different places worldwide. As of this date there has been no confirmation of a final resting place.
Such events often open the doors for the known and unknown, the related and unrelated, to step in with their comments, judgments,and opinions of the man who has become the center of the world’s attention.
In this case the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have both been on the scene, and on television, offering their words to any who might listen. It will be interesting to see just who conducts the memorial service.
Not that it’s necessarily bad, but the Reverend Al always comes up for a cause. So many offering insights into Michael and his rather reclusive life weren’t really close to him. It’s amazing that suddenly they take on the demeanor of a best friend. Everyone has an angle.
Maybe the pressure of his comeback took a toll on Michael but I doubt it after reviewing the tape of his rehearsal, which took place two nights before he died. He appeared energetic and right on target.
Like Elvis Presley’s estate, the Michael Jackson fortune will undoubtedly grow larger in death. Presley continues to earn more than almost any entertainer 30 years after he left this earth, and Michael Jackson’s music immediately took over the top 15 places on the chart following his passing.
As usual there is always a Las Vegas connection to be found. Colony Capital LLC is a private real estate investment firm that just happens to be a major shareholder in the Las Vegas Hilton, as well as owning Neverland. Michael Jackson became part of a joint-venture, which included an affiliate of Colony Capital, in order to keep a grip on Neverland. It would seem Neverland will always be recognized as part of Michael, much like Graceland and Elvis. It’s only a matter of time.
That’s so-called Entertainment
The Waldorf Astoria, in New York City, was the scene of Lance and Eva Posner’s wedding anniversary celebration. Quite the event as family and friends surrounded the wonderful couple with continued good wishes.
After returning from NYC it was business as usual in Las Vegas. I attended the press conference for the latest announcement from Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo. Lance has signed an extended contract (through 2015) at the Monte Carlo and it was good to see his broken foot has mended and he’s back to his magic. It’s hard to believe that Lance has been on the Vegas scene for more than 20 years.
Charo in Concert will open July 10 at the Riviera, and Rick Thomas stars at the Sahara; Carmen Electra, a trained dancer in addition to her obvious talents, does a guest stint at MGM in Crazy Horse Paris for one week beginning July 9.
Holly Madison takes over the lead in "Peepshow" at Planet Hollywood along with Shoshana Bean. Shoshana, an award-winning Broadway performer, takes over the Peep Diva role from Mel B. She is one of the "Peepshow" girls who will NOT show it all – with her voice she doesn’t have to.
The Steve Wyrick Theater at Planet Hollywood came alive with "Lord of the Dance." On the night I attended it was a sold-out performance.
Some of the latest talk around town has been the comeback of Whitney Houston. Rumors insist she will have a room here in Las Vegas. There’s no denying Whitney had a voice unlike many but it’s been a long and trying time for such a talent. However, she has sung at several private events recently and rumor has it she "knocked them out."
A "Good Morning America" mini-concert has been set for September, and her new CD follows. Welcome back, Whitney!
After a courageous bout with cancer, my friend Fred Travalena passed away last week. I can remember how thrilled he was when he received his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Fred was an outstanding impressionist, a great comedian and entertainer, seen regularly on TV in the 70’s, but known most for being such a wonderful man. He did appear here in Vegas on two recent occasions and was hard at work trying to get steady work.
July 2 was a special date for the Las Vegas Hilton. Forty years ago the Hilton, which opened as the International, helped to begin a new era of entertainment and gaming. In celebration of this special date the Hilton is offering players commemorative T-shirts with "Where Were You in 1969?" I don’t think they were addressing yours truly, but who knows?
Barbra Streisand opened the International and was followed by another great – Elvis Presley, who played 837 consecutive sold out performances. What an amazing history that surrounds the Las Vegas Hilton.
They will also salute the 19 employees who are still working there since they opened. Thanks to all who have contributed to such a glorious Las Vegas history.
Rev. Monti wishes you all a great week and hopes you had a wonderful July 4th weekend.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Monti Rock III