A week of highs and lows at Venetian’s C2K

Jul 31, 2001 2:10 AM

Talk about a roller coaster week. My head’s still spinning, I’ve got vertigo, whiplash and a mild dose of dry heaves. Who knows, I might even have a ruptured spleen.

It all started a week ago with the 5,000th performance of Siegfried and Roy at The Mirage. What a marvelous show! And what a wonderful party and tribute that followed.

After the curtain came down, invited guests were brought on stage with cast and crew to celebrate with a huge cake. Of course, there was the expected emotional speeches by Siegfried and Roy, a lot of backslapping, palm pressing and all around congratulatory remarks.

A few days later, Melinda: The First Lady of Magic, celebrated her first anniversary in the C2K showroom at The Venetian. Quite frankly, even if it weren’t her anniversary, she should be celebrating: She’s matured since she’s returned to town, and she’s blossomed into a lovely and compelling performer. Her illusions have matured beyond the camels and cleavage shtick she relied on 10 years ago, and the audiences have rewarded her with warm response and brisk ticket sales.

Sharing the credit for her great show is brother/producer David Saxe, who also produces Showgirls of Magic and is involved in the new Carmen Electra show at the Aladdin. Here’s to another great year!

On the downside, Robert Goulet finally threw in the towel after a short stint, also in the C2K showroom at The Venetian. We saw this coming and had hinted about in this space for a couple of weeks.

My spies told me that prior to the opening of the show, there was a lot of internal hair-pulling and back-stabbing among marketing and public relations people. We all know this time of year is not the ideal time to bring out a new show.

Another problem with the show was that the ticket brokers were not brought in until one week after it had opened. Coupled with a somewhat overpriced ticket, sales were dismal.

Unfortunately, the marketing geniuses didn’t utilize the name game and fame of co-star Paige O’Hara. She has a loyal following in this town and she sings like a Belle.

In a statement, Robert Goulet said, “Too bad, as I feel I am singing and performing better than ever and I had hoped to perform in my own room in this town for years. Oh well, I’m not moving and I hope to find other venues right here.”

Start spreadin’ the good news at New York-New York: Rita Rudner has added a new early show on Saturday. I’ve seen her four or five times and it’s still not enough!

Out at Sunset Station, Louie Louie is doing big business. Coming up is a roast for Burt Black on Aug. 12, in which I’ll be adding my own poignant insights. There will be an accompanying art sale and silent auction benefiting the 18 Society Foundation. It’s a good cause.

Also coming up in August is the opening of the Guggenheim Museum. The opening exhibition is a tribute to the motorcycle, and word is that Lauren Hutton will return to help break the seal on this one.

You may recall that Lauren took a serious spill on a motorcycle here several months ago while filming a promo for the exhibit. She’s nearly fully recovered, although she’s been hobbling around on a little cart with crutches. What a sweet, classy and special woman. I can’t wait to see her.

Speaking of breaking the seal, the MGM just debuted a new restaurant, Nob Hill, the newest endeavor from chef Michael Mina, who also runs the Aqua restaurant in town. Nob Hill, which follows the theme of his alter ego in San Francisco, serves a bunch of Mina specialties including a lobster pot pie and a wonderful salmon, on which I inhaled like a famished feline. There are some great San Francisco treats here, including Ghiradelli chocolate shakes and pies, and that wonderful Peets coffee from Berkeley. Who needs a trip to the Bay Area!

Also at the MGM, La Femme is gaining steam, as if the Crazy Horse revue needs any more heat. I simply love this show. It’s so refreshing to see “real” and unenhanced women. Au naturale is the natural way to go!