Phantom of the Opera lurking in the wings

Jun 25, 2001 1:25 AM

The original and most successful American musical, Phantom of the Opera, is being courted by several Vegas casinos. My early congratulations to whichever resort lands this timeless production.

At this point, I can’t pinpoint where Phantom will land, but the Nederlander family of Broadway is spending big bucks at The Venetian. So a Phantom among the canals would be a possibility. Stay tuned.

Speaking of The Venetian, the resort is working toward bringing back the Broadway musical, Chicago. Stay tuned for updates. On July 2, The Venetian will present an evening with Robert Goulet co-starring the lovely and talented Paige O’Hara at the hotel’s C2K. This summer, impressionist supreme, Andre-Philippe Gagnon, will be on vacation and the incomparable Mr. Goulet will be filling up the showroom. Also, The Venetian has a new club on the horizon, Lotus.

La Femme’s strong start at the MGM Grand was not an accident. There’s a solid market for the upscale adult revue so expect to see other properties leap on the bandwagon in the near future. The word is that Moulin Rouge and Lido are being courted by Strip hotels. As carnivores, we welcome more undulating flesh!

Also standing a good chance to make it to the Vegas stage is “Tommy, The Musical.”

The American Superstars show at the Stratosphere has been a consistent winner since its inception. They continue their winning ways as they welcome the exciting Naomi Rodriguez who performs as Christine Aguilera.

With all due respect to Christine, Naomi is fantastic - she might make plenty of people forget her famous alter ego. Not only is she breathtaking, she’s talented and compelling as she performs live - no canned lip-sync - many of Christine’s hits.

Sam’s Town may have the last laugh with its latest bold entry in the entertainment arena: Russell Simmons (Def Comedy Jam, In Living Color) brings his comedy to Sam’s Town Live on July 7. Also to appear are Mike Epps, Ricky Harris, and Melanie Comarcho.

For all you rock and roll fans, on Wednesday Martha Reeves and the Vendellas, The Platters, and The Coasters will perform at the Cabaret inside New York-New York. This special show is presented as Rita Rudner takes a rare night off.

A mother’s work is never done: Rae Arroyo - host of the Latin Connection heard on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. on 91.5 - has a son, Rick, who is blossoming into the next big, sexy, Latin heart throb. Watch your back, Ricky Martin!

Last Tuesday night at the Paris Hotel and Casino, the BET first annual awards show was magnificent. All of your mega-hip-hop-singers and producers were present, including Destiny’s Child, which will be playing in Las Vegas this summer.

Among the attendees were the Supremes (without diva Diana Ross), and C.P. Combs, who was without diva, Jennifer Lopez.

Most important, BET paid tribute to Whitney Houston with its first Lifetime Achievement Award. Whitney was fabulous and gracious with her award; she even thanked her husband Bobby Brown (for what, nobody knows!) But making the evening was Luther Andross and the sensational Christine Aguilera, who did a great tribute to Whitney.