A toast to the distaff artists

Feb 12, 2002 4:08 AM

As Chinese New Year’s celebrates the Year of the Horse, let’s turn our attention locally and celebrate the Year of the Filly ”” show biz’s fantastic femmes, who help keep Las Vegas as the Entertainment Capital of the World.

It seems like now more than ever, female entertainers are finding a greater share of the spotlight. So, let’s toast the distaff artists and hope to see more of them!

My all-time favorite, Ann Margret, arrives in April to star in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. With Ann back in town, it will be like the Great Old Days again.

The word is out that Keely Smith is looking for a room. She was a mainstay in those great days, with her late/great husband Louis Prima backed by Sam Butera & The Witnesses. She still has it, as reflected in her Grammy nomination for Keely Sings Sinatra.

At The Venetian, the First Lady of Magic, Melinda, is doing a bang up business. At the same venue, Charo is churning her own excitement in Bravo! This has to be the camp show of the season.

Gladys Knight is at the Flamingo, and hasn’t missed a syncopated beat, even without her Pips.

Let’s tip our leopard-skin hat to Marlene Ricci, who is four-walling at the Riviera. Don’t miss this superb songstress with the incredible voice and enchanting heart-shaped face. What an angel!

Dionne Warwick has thankfully returned to The Orleans Showroom after a five-year absence, and sweet Lady Marmalade herself, Patti LaBelle, is gracing the stage at the Paris.

Sheena Easton is packing them into the Hilton, and don’t forget that Caesars Palace is building a new showroom for Celine Dion.

Debbie Reynolds is back in town, and playing to sold-out houses at The Orleans. Can you believe Debbie still has that bobbysoxer glow in her eye?

Rita Rudner is making everyone laugh at New York-New York in her very own Cabaret showroom. When will the TV geeks get wise and make Rita the next Seinfeld?

At the San Remo, those pendulous Showgirls of Magic are making audiences appear, and the Crazy Girls revue at the Riviera is now in its 15th year and there’s not a stretch mark in sight.

And, ooh-la-la at the MGM, we have from the original Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris the ultimate treat, La Femme, a true celebration of femininity.

Recalling our Frontier roots, Honky Tonk Angels at the Gold Coast brings us sweet country and western sounds we all know and love.

In the big arenas, we have Britney Spears, Madonna, and Tina Turner wowing the audiences. And, one of the greatest stars that I personally ever saw was the incredible Goldfinger herself, Shirley Bassey.

Finally, word is out that a certain big comedienne and star viper, is looking for a venue that will feature only women””it will be called “Ladies Night Out.” Stay tuned.

So, as we begin the Year of the Filly, let’s hear it for the femmes!