I give you Las Vegas 'from my eyes only'

Mar 25, 2008 6:22 PM

The Full Monti by Monti Rock III |

This week’s column addresses the many Las Vegas shows caught up in openings, closings, moving and media, media, media. Just another form of perpetual motion in the entertainment capital.

Your wonderful columnist, humble as ever, decided to venture out to review shows, showrooms, acts and even restaurants so my readers can get a full view of a week in the life of The Full Monti.

My old friend Lou Christie was appearing at the Suncoast. I couldn’t pass up the chance to see this man, who was once a full blown teenage heartthrob. Even yours truly didn’t have that claim to fame.

Lou had many hits back in the day. He still sounds and looks great, while again becoming a favorite of those who were teenagers when his hit Lightnin’ Strikes was on the Top 10 list. I also caught Jimmy Hopper at Planet Hollywood’s Trader Vic’s. Yes, Hopper keeps you hopping from room to room. Hopping Hopper will be at the Suncoast later this month.

I was treated to a great evening at the Flamingo where Toni Braxton is appearing. The show had a brief sound problem at the beginning but the dancers are superb and the show is polished. Toni will be at the Flamingo until August so treat yourself to a night on the town where it all started... the Las Vegas Flamingo.

Others on the move in town include Ronn Lucas who is taking his afternoon act to the Excalibur and the wonderful Gordie Browne who has left the Venetian and will be appearing at the V Theater in Planet Hollywood. Nathan Burton is headed to the Flamingo to fill the afternoon when the Society of Seven leaves to go on tour.

 The showrooms at Paris and Rio are empty and sources tell me a lot of employees were dismissed. Roseanne Barr is at the Sahara, but can she draw a crowd? Seems the top shows in town remain Bette Midler at Caesars Colosseum, Elton John at Caesars and Barry Manilow at the Hilton.

The first anniversary at the Flamingo for "X" Burlesque takes place this week. This show used to star the late Pudgy who was known as the Queen of Tease. Like most of the burlesque shows I knew years ago, the comic and specialty act were always an integral part of the burlesque show.

Case in point: Anita Mann’s show Fantasy at the Luxor stars Stefanie Jordan with comic relief by the fabulous Sean Cooper. While the scantily clad girls may be the main attraction of a burlesque show, the comic and specialty acts provide the true burlesque factor.

If you’ve seen Crazy Horse at the MGM Grand it’s clear to see the French have a handle on the burlesque show. After all, they have a 200-year history of ooh la la! C’est magnifique! As a young boy in Paris, I went to see the original Crazy Horse because they had such strange acts. Now those same acts are called specialty acts. The original Crazy Horse transformed each girl in the show into a star and usually became the toast of the town in Paris.

Folies Bergere at the Tropicana, Jubilee at Bally’s and many other shows were brought to Las Vegas straight from Paris. I remember when I first arrived in town in the ’60’s, one of the all time popular T&A shows was Bill Moore’s Nudes on Ice. Where have all the nudes gone? Let’s bring that show back. After all, everything old is new again, or is it nude again?

For months I’ve been talking about the arrival of the Broadway hit, Jersey Boys. As mentioned before, Frankie Valli, a long time friend of mine has survived show business for more than 40 years. Frankie and the Four Seasons created a unique sound that remains to this date.

While the group continued to refine their craft, they ultimately ended up with the creation of a Broadway show, Jersey Boys. Bob Crewe produced both Frankie and yours truly (aka Disco Tex and the Sex-o-Lettes). Both Frankie and I reached the Top 10 in the ’70’s. Just in case you don’t remember, my recordings were Get Dancin’ and I Want to Dance With You.

I probably don’t have to name Four Seasons’ recordings, do I? So they took one avenue and I took a different one that led me to movies, television, scandal and sometimes bad behavior because I was searching for fun.

Oh well! Can’t say I didn’t have some fun either. When the Jersey Boys production opens at Palazzo in April, it may likely enjoy the same run as Mamma Mia which is headed for a sixth year at Mandalay Bay.

In light of the current economics we’re all looking for value for our dollar. As a reminder to Las Vegas residents, don’t forget that many of the shows offer two-for-one tickets. Even Cirque has gone to two for the price of one.

With a little effort you can find half-price tickets from legitimate brokers on The Strip. Don’t forget to check the Internet for possible bargains. I’m not sure many locals are interested in paying the higher prices for some of the shows. So with very little effort you can probably search out some special deals. I love a good bargain.

April 1 brings a new concept magic show at the Sahara, The Brett Daniels Magic Show. This show (performances at 3 p.m.) combines a murder-mystery plot with sleight of hand magic. Sounds interesting!

 This year’s Love of Joe Williams Scholarship Fund will be held at The South Point on Sunday April 6 at 2 p.m. Stars include Bob Anderson, Marlena Shaw, Pete Barbutti and musical conductor Vince Falcone. Joe Williams was one of the greatest jazz singers of our time. For tickets, call 702-797-8055.

 After closing for some construction problems, the Cat House at The Luxor has reopened to the delight of the night people. This club is a great addition to the already fabulous nightclub scene here in Las Vegas.

With the arrival of spring I know that my regular readers are asking about my annual birthday celebration. This year offers a unique chance for many of my fans. It’s going to be a big surprise. Stay tuned.

To say I can breathe easier following the results of my recent blood test, would be to put it mildly. Like so many others I was tentative, but relieved to know the test for HIV was negative. A second blood test has been recommended for the hepatitis. I pray that others may be so fortunate. This, of course, does not interfere with my Rev. Monti Million Dollar Weddings.