Mamma Mia, Hairspray and other dry goods!

Jul 30, 2002 12:21 AM

Shortly after we predicted Mamma Mia! would replace Storm at Mandalay Bay, it was announced that Mamma Mia! would open next February at Mandalay Bay. It’s nice to nail one every now and then!

Actually, Mamma Mia! will be a great addition to the city’s lineup of production shows. The Broadway extravaganza has wowed audiences since it debuted, and I’ve every reason to expect the same will happen here.

Speaking of Broadway, I just returned from the Big Apple, which incidentally remains rotten to the core, where I was scouting other shows that would be good candidates for Las Vegas. I found one in Hairspray, and don’t be surprised if this resurrected camp classic finds its way to, appropriately, Sin City. Although Divine isn’t part of the show, it was still brilliant and exhilarating.

It’s good to see that Kenny Kerr is returning to the stage at the Blue Note. Somewhat of a Don Rickles in drag, Kenny is a great performer and should be lighting it up nightly.

It will also be good to see Bill Acosta return to action at The Orleans.

Congratulations to Darren Romeo, the Siegfried & Roy prodigy, who won the Entertainer of the Year 2002 award, bestowed by the International Magicians Society. As I pointed out in this column, Darren has a much more polished act than his previous afternoon encounter, and you can see the handiwork of his mentors, Siegfried & Roy. With a little more work and grand scale illusions, Master Darren may be ready for an evening gig.

With all the great shows appearing nightly around town, it’s easy to ignore the afternoon scene. But that would be a mistake, as there are great shows before the sun sets. Among them are The Soul of Magic starring Victor and Diamond at the New Frontier, which also features Daytripper and Rock and Roll Legends.

Lord of the Dance ended its fantastic run at New York-New York in style, thanks in part to the hotel’s chief, Felix Rappaport. This gracious and classy gentleman gave a closing night party that was first-class, first cabin all the way. Each cast member was presented with a New York-New York leather jacket, and probably left with great memories. I know I did.

Congratulations to the Rio for signing the Scintas to a contract extension. Their show continues to be great and blends well with the Rio’s mix of entertainment options. Also at the Rio, diners will soon be able to select from five new and exciting restaurants. Some of them are far from the mainstream so get your palate ready for some action!

It seems that Jaylo’s soon to be ex will continue dancing. All the way to the bank, that is. That brings up Jaylo and Afleck, a new duo. I doubt it’s the same Aflack duck, though!

The star of one of the newest reality shows, Anna Nicole Smith, may have a smaller part than first anticipated. Unless she can reduce some of her larger body parts. She ought to try the Raw Truth, which is famous for turning celebs onto the joys and pleasures of healthy eating.

With so many new shows hitting Las Vegas, let’s not forget what got us here. Shows like Folies Bergere at the Tropicana and Jubilee at Bally’s are part of our history and a nice link with the "Old Las Vegas." We may not be able to maintain all the old hotels and casinos in town, but at least we can keep the older shows running.

Perhaps in the genre of the old time Vegas show is Greg Thompson’s Showgirls at the Rio, starring the beautiful Sunny. This show continues to attract large and appreciative crowds, and I’m excited about my special appearance scheduled for Friday, Aug. 16.

With the approaching premier of Walter Mercado’s show at Caesars Palace for Univision television, you have to love the exciting entertainment scene in Las Vegas.