Jeff Kutash pens deal for new show at Bally’s

Aug 14, 2001 2:00 AM

Jeff Kutash is making a triumphant, sort of, return to Las Vegas. As reported here months ago, Kutash has a new show, “The Main Event,” starring Bob Anderson. It played for a couple of months to appreciative crowds in Atlantic City. Now, Bally’s Las Vegas has signed the show as its ace in the hole in the afternoons.

The Main Event should be ready to open around October. For those who don’t remember, Jeff was the creator, producer and director of the original Splash at the Riviera. He debuted that show in the mid 1980s and it became the instant hit of the Strip. But, over time Splash became waterlogged, Kutash had a falling out with former Riviera owner Meshulam Ricklis, and he left town to pursue more fertile theatrical ventures. He may have found one in The Main Event.

Since the Flamingo jettisoned Men Are From Mars, it has been deluged with a long line of show proposals. The producer of Legends in Concert, Jon Stuart, has approached the hotel with a mega show concert. Stay tuned.

There’s also a hole to be filled at The Rio, which just lost De La Guarda. There’s a possibility it could become another nightclub, but where would they get the customers? There’s been layoffs at The Rio in the casino and in the race and sports book, and the property continues to lose market share. One of the problems is that the powers that be keep trying to redefine the brand of the property. They’ve moved away from what got them here, and it’s killing them.

To illustrate how The Rio is groping, they recently sent out a press release touting its range of entertainment offerings, from Ringo Starr and Penn & Teller to an expanded show in the sky (a whopping 42 times a week!). Now, any property that relies upon a 12-minute, beads-tossing street show is in trouble. The place needs a major attraction to complete its entertainment roster.

The Venetian still needs something to round out its entertainment offerings. “Chicago” is getting ready to open at C2K, but there should be something more. Perhaps something like the “O” or “Mystere” shows at Bellagio and Treasure Island, respectively. The opening of the Guggenheim Museum will help, but The Venetian doesn’t need any more debacles like the recently-departed Robert Goulet show.

Tony Curtis will be joining the cast of “Some Like it Hot,” the classic film that he starred in years ago. This time around, he will be playing the role of the millionaire, originally played by Joe E. Brown. Now that Tony is a year-round resident, he finally has some place to hang out every day!

Over at the Las Vegas Hilton, Sheena Easton has become a big hit! She might sign for another year.

Also at the Hilton, light up the tiki torches because the hotel is also bringing in a popular island group affectionately known as the Hawaiian Scintas. They are the “Hawaiian Society of Seven,” and they will play in The Nightclub for three months. We all know what a launching pad this venue can be (do you remember Christine W, Louie Louie and, of course, the Scintas?), and it wouldn’t be surprising to see this sweet group from sugar cane land reach new heights.

At the MGM Grand, “La Femme” continues to pick up steam. This is a gem of a show and a real throwback to Las Vegas’ great days. It’s so refreshing to see how natural and incredibly beautiful the Crazy Horse dancers truly are.

Also at the MGM, EFX reopens this week with the understudy in the lead role; Rick Springfield is scheduled to return on Aug. 28. Always a leader in headliner entertainment, the MGM will host David Copperfield on Sept. 13, though the Backstreet Boys, who were sold out, had to reschedule their concert from Aug. 17 to Oct. 19.

Finally, if you ever need a great place to feast, check out DiMartinos Italian restaurant or The Tillerman seafood restaurant. The mini DeMartino dynasty features the classic culinary creations of chef Calvin Shiflet. You’ll probably hear more about this talented cuisine artist. He could be the next Wolfgang Puck!