It was a fitting tribute to King of Pop

Jul 14, 2009 5:02 PM
The Full Monti by Monti Rock III | The Michael Jackson memorial service held at Staples Center in Los Angeles and viewed by millions around the world on television and in local theaters was unparalleled. My hat is off to Kenny Ortega for creating such a dignified event and for including the contributions of such stars as Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, Brooke Shields, Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie and Usher. It was a true memorial service with beautiful music and personal recollections offered by Michael’s friends and family. Especially touching was Michael’s daughter and a fitting farewell to the man Berry Gordy called the greatest entertainer of all time.

Of course many in Las Vegas felt a strong connection with Michael since he and his children spent considerable time here, and their outings and shopping sprees were well documented by the local media. Michael’s father, Joe Jackson, has been a long time resident of Vegas while Michael’s mother, Katharine, lives at the family compound in Encino, California.

Some of Michael’s closest friends, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Diana Ross, who was his mentor and muse, chose not to attend the memorial service. It was reported they simply were too grief stricken.

July 4 has never been one of the biggest celebrations for Las Vegas. Maybe it’s the heat or the fear of fireworks and wind but this year Vegas was provided with an unplanned event that could have ended with a huge bang. It was the Steve Wyrick mishap at Planet Hollywood, where things went awry, making it the biggest Fourth of July event to be found. Fortunately the member of Steve’s stunt crew, reportedly his stunt double, was not seriously hurt and everyone was breathing a sigh of relief as the helicopter landed with Wyrick on board. It was a perfect addition to a reality show. Actually, the whole thing brought back memories of "A&E’s Mindfreak" with Criss Angel.

Speaking of Criss Angel, and despite the fact we don’t hear much from him these days, his show, "Believe," is still doing quite well at the Luxor, but the excitement of the week was the opening of "Menopause the Musical." That absolutely shines and bubbles with laughs. Opening night for the show gave all of us a chance to meet the entire cast plus the show’s writer and producer. The theater at the Luxor seems to be the perfect venue for the show and "Menopause the Musical" could be a long running hit.

When "Peepshow" opened at Planet Hollywood we understood the lead roles would be changing every few months, so when it was announced that former Playboy bunny Aubrey O’Day would be joining the show in the fall we weren’t surprised. Regular readers know I’ve written about "Peepshow" many times and have asked, what does Holly Madison bring to the show? Got it: a beautiful body, a beautiful body, a beautiful body. Enough said.

Carmen Electra opened in "Crazy Horse Paris" for one week. The full house crowd applauded with excitement for the two specialty numbers in which she appeared. Of course, Carmen was her sultry, sexy, erotic self.

The Italian American Club will be celebrating their 50th anniversary on July 18. Doors will open at 6:30 and the evening will include fabulous food, music and even surprise gifts. Check out the Italian American Club at 2333 East Sahara for the special event.

Gossip, gossip, gossip … Is it true Terry Fator, who recently signed a $100 million dollar contract with The Mirage, will soon be getting a divorce? Ah, the price of fame.

Drew Carey and the "Improv All Stars" will appear at The Mirage, Aug. 28-29. Drew has been a Las Vegas regular over the years but this sounds like a new venture since it’s billed as a laugh fest that is unscripted and unrehearsed. By the way, tickets are already on sale.

Good guy and entertainment headliner Justin Timberlake is hosting the Shriners Hospital for Children Open at TPC in Summerlin in October. We’ll keep you posted on this but it should become a regular stop for the pros since this year there will be more than 130 PGA players participating. The purse for the event is in excess of $4 million. In addition to the tournament that will be held Oct. 12-18 there will be a pro-am on Wednesday, Oct. 14. To order tickets or to volunteer call (702) 873-1010. This could draw a lot of well-known golf enthusiasts to TPC, and October is the perfect time of year for golf here in the desert.

While attending a wedding last week for Marvin and Linda Lashever, I caught up with several friends. Guests included Jeannie Bavaro, Jake Baskow, Linda November, Marty Schroeck who is the music arranger for the Four Seasons, Mr. and Mrs. Sammy Shore and my old friend Tony Orlando.

Tony lives and performs in Branson, Missouri, with engagements all across the country as well as Las Vegas. He’s always working. We laughed about being part of what was called the Four Horsemen of Puerto Rico. That was Geraldo Rivera, Jose Feliciano, Joseph Montanez (aka Monti Rock III) and, of course, Tony Orlando.

Did I say wedding? Why wasn’t I asked to perform the ceremony? I was so busy visiting with friends I forgot to address that question.

This year UNLV honorees reportedly will be Liberace, Lorraine Hunt, Siegfried and Roy, and Bernice Fisher.

Once again, the Rev Monti wishes you a great week.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Monti Rock