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Timeless legend of Liberace bears repeating

Jun 4, 2002 7:57 AM

Last week, the Liberace Museum celebrated its grand opening. This is an exciting and important event for us in Las Vegas. Liberace was a wonderful human being, besides being a marvelous showman who helped create this town, and his absence at the prime of his life has left a void of an entertainer’s entertainer.

Liberace added color to what was once a great Las Vegas scene. He was a collector of fine art and houses, a collector of famous people and restaurants. The grand opening featured the arrival of Siegfried & Roy in one of Liberace’s Rolls Royce specials and cutting the rhinestone encrusted ribbon. Liberace was one of my idols as well as a close friend.

New York-New York christened its new Big Apple Bar last week. What a great place to hang out. Besides great libations and appetizers, the Bar features solid live entertainment on an elevated platform behind the bar.

As usual, the host, Felix Rappaport, the hotel’s head honcho, was cordial and generous. It’s easy to see how some executives arrive at the top.

Over at the Mirage I caught the "soft opening" of Darren Romeo. I was kind of blown away by the grandeur of the production. The ads claim there is magic in his voice, and music in his magic. I’ve got no arguments. The show is slated to open June 6 at 7 p.m., in the Siegfried & Roy Theater at the Mirage.

At the Rio, Greg Thompson’s Showgirls, starring his wonderful wife Sunny, continues to delight audiences. Sunny is absolutely wonderful and does an outstanding Mae West, Britney Spears and Madonna. Sunny is the consummate performer. You’ve got to go and witness this show at the Samba Theater. Soon I’ll join the cast as a special guest star. So get ready for yours truly.

Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan with great songs in Signed, Sealed and Delivered at the Venetian. Have you seen all the great billboards around town? Is this a second coming of”¦who? Chaka Khan. Well, I for one will be there and that date is June 8 at the Venetian, Signed, Sealed and Delivered.

The wonderful Walter Mercado arrived Wednesday with Bill Bakula and his management team. There was a fabulous little dinner party at Michael’s at the Barbary Coast. While there I spotted the great Dan Marino, former quarterback for the Âí­Miami Dolphins. Dan was looking handsome and his charm and graciousness blew me away. There you go, Dan.

Speaking of the Barbary Coast there’s another favorite gourmet restaurant, Drai’s. The Las Vegas menu is filled with wonderful choices that turn eating into a dining experience, part of our culture. The fabulous Aureole at Mandalay Bay, another gourmet choice, Kokomo’s at the Mirage is a favorite and the service is outstanding. Downtown, Hugo’s Cellar at Four Queens has been a long time favorite. It’s all here in Las Vegas. Go, eat, and enjoy! Choices, choices, choices, taste tempters all.

At the Sahara, Charo is picking up steam and business. Steve Wyrick has signed a contract for a tour of Europe, and rumors are circulating that Randee Gerber, owner of Whiskey Sky at Green Valley Ranch, may be moving to the Mirage. A few columns back I wrote about Green Valley Ranch and how I loved this new casino even though it’s out of the way, for locals it has a lot to offer.

The wonderful Bob Hope celebrated his 99th birthday on May 29. Others with the same birthday include Beatrice Lilly and President John Kennedy and of course yours truly. I’m in pretty good company.