Not all fireworks displays were in the sky

July 10, 2001 1:08 AM


   As you would expect, the Fourth of July had a lot of fireworks, but not all of it was bursting in air. I hope your fingers are still intact.

   They may be missing some digits over at The Venetian’s C2K, where Andre-Philippe took a plane back to Canada after his closing night. They say he may be back this September, but that remains to be seen. In this day and age, you leave your seat, expect to find someone else sitting there when you return. Stay tuned.

   At the same venue, Melinda is holding her own. She’s doing quite nicely as a born-again Gidget. Not that the cleavage thing doesn’t sell, like in her old act. But maybe Ms. Saxe has finally grown up. (Yikes!)

   Speaking of grown-ups, Robert Goulet and Paige O’Hara had their soft opening at The Venetian last week. Robert was in splendid form, his voice still resonates, and Paige was divine as always.

   The audience, however, was a strange mix. Maybe they stumbled in looking for the fireworks display. In any case, the producers of the show should market it carefully, and don’t forget the brokers. They are very critical to a show like this one.

   Congratulations to the Stratosphere for opening their new tower, pool deck, restaurants and other amenities that’s part of their $75 million expansion. They also threw a great party on the Fourth, everything was superb, and everyone was there, except I didn’t have a chance to meet the Head Honcho, Carl Icahn. He must be quite a mover and shaker as he grows his gaming empire with the Stratosphere, two Arizona Charlie’s and the Sands in Atlantic City. Maybe he can move a few bucks in this direction.

   Another opening that I’m looking forward to is the Palms. Have you seen the project at Arville and Flamingo? It’s really coming along nicely and, if everything goes as planned, it should be the happening place to be when it opens. George Maloof is the honcho here and I’m trying to finagle a ride in his hot air balloon. Stay tuned.

   Another opening worth noting is the new ESPN Zone, which is scheduled to open in a couple of weeks at New York-New York. The sports theme restaurant, bar, activity center and broadcast studio will be a couch potato’s dream come true.

   Incidentally, did you see that crazy pinstripe shirt they hung on Miss Liberty, heralding the opening of the Zone? GamingToday was the only newspaper in town that got out of bed early enough to get a picture for its front page. Nice going, Sleepy!

   No one is snoozing in the revamped Storm at Mandalay Bay. The show dropped the narration, and that seems to have helped put the focus where it belonged, on the dynamic Mary Jo Coyle. The red-head is a firecracker who, appropriately enough, portrays “Fire.” She even elicits a standing ovation from the audience.

   There was also an explosion at the Hard Rock Hotel when John Leguiziam, the Puerto Rican firecracker, brought his one-man show to a sold out audience. He’s also lighting up the Silver Screen in the hit movie, Moulin Rouge, in which he portrays the famous artist, Taoulouse Lautrec.

   There should be some acts movin’ on up in the weeks ahead. Hypnotist Justin Tranz, who currently performs at the Flamingo’s O’Shea, is on the verge of signing a multi-­­million dollar contract. His show is a blend of Svengali and Redd Foxx ”” it’s at once outrageous and hilarious.

   Jeff Kutash has finished a nice run of his new show, The Main Event, in Atlantic City, and is now shopping it in Las Vegas. If there is any intelligence quotient remaining with the city’s entertainment directors, they will make a deal for the show.

   Another deal that is about to close is the Carmen Electra Show at the Aladdin. Expect an announcement very soon.

   Finally, the MGM Grand will host a free concert for British TV superstar Jane McDonald on Monday night. It will take place in the EFX Theater, and will be video taped for airing on BBC television later in the year. Tickets are free and on a first come, first serve basis.

   If you Yanks have never heard of Jane McDonald, she has the distinction of being the first recording artist to hit Number 1 on the charts without a prior record release. She did it with her first album. If you can’t make the concert, check out her video release, Jane McDonald in Concert.