We're Valley Boys, me and Frankie

April 08, 2008 7:00 PM
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The Full Monti by Monti Rock III | This week in Las Vegas there’s been much to do about the Four Seasons, Frankie Valli and Jersey Boys. There’s so much to talk about when it comes to Frankie Valli, a friend.

Stories start from Jersey or is it Philadelphia? The show, Jersey Boys, is about the music industry, the triumphs, disillusionment and ultimate survival of the group. Rather than writing a story, they show the truth about how this group got and stayed together.

It is not all comedy, as there is also a dark side. Jersey Boys is a "must-see." Your esteemed columnist has also had a real connection with the recording industry. Bob Crewe produced Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes (aka Monti Rock) recordings along with writing and producing most of the Four Seasons’ hits.

I will be able to review Jersey Boys in its entirety and will include any interesting side stories of the triumphs surrounding this group of artists, who have remained for more than 40 years. Jersey Boys began its run April 4 at the Palazzo.

At Planet Hollywood, Gordie Brown is filling the 10 p.m. slot at the V Theater. Earlier rumors surrounding Gordie led us to believe a showroom was being built for him at the Palazzo. Hey, I’m a Gordie fan and saw him first when he was downtown at the Golden Nugget.

What makes an entertainer connect with the Las Vegas ticket buyers? It seems the entertainer or star has to have some kind of brand name to attract the visitors coming from New York or Chicago. If not, it must be the marketing genius behind these artists that creates ticket sales six months in advance.

Danny Gans has designed his own brand that is known from coast-to-coast. We’ll probably never have quite the same phenomenon created by Siegfred and Roy at the peak of their career. They were the icons of the magic world with tigers, elephants and showgirls. The tragedy that brought the curtain down on their spectacular show will stay close to my heart forever.

We never thought we’d see the day when Las Vegas locals could get a 2-for-1 ticket for any Cirque show. Let’s face it, we have Cirque shows from one end of The Strip to another. If you’re interested, it’s quite possible to get a decent price for one of these shows on show day.

Often the productions are offering specials or seat fillers. You just might cut the cost of a ticket by half or more on the day of the show. You have to wonder if locals can afford a night out with the regular price of show tickets?

Bonnie Saxe, mother of one of our current great producers David Saxe, was the genius behind entertainment’s four-wall deals in Las Vegas. The show or artist rents the four walls (showroom) and becomes responsible for the advertising, stagehands and all that’s involved in the production of the show.

It’s costly and requires deep pockets to make the show work. The V Theater at Planet Hollywood is a successful operation. David Saxe has the genre covered.

With the gas prices continuing to rise, our California neighbors may not be so inclined to make the weekend drive from the Los Angeles area or Palm Springs. That might not be a totally bad thing for Las Vegas traffic on weekends.

I predict the phenomenon created by Celine Dion at Caesars Colosseum will never be matched. Celine’s brand, her international stardom, the entire production which placed Celine right in the middle of another Cirque brought the entire experience to this century.

In certain ways the same holds true for Sir Elton John and the Red Piano. Elton is an international diva, a writer, an entertainer who does tremendous charity work. He’s truly an icon of icons. Bette Midler’s ticket price is still high as I reported after seeing the show. Not to be mean spirited, but the production is vintage Midler. If you’re a Midler fan, you’ll love it. If not, you won’t get it.

The Colosseum also has lined up Cher, who will make her appearance in May. Rumor has it Cher’s tickets are selling 4-to-1 compared to the Divine Miss M. What does that tell us? Cher’s been retiring for the last 10 years, but she’s known for her farewell tours!

Why didn’t I think of that? Monti Rock’s Final Annual World Tour.

Barry Manilow continues to do unbelievable business at the Hilton. Barry’s fan base is filled with screaming women of all ages. He keeps putting out albums of old hits and continues to be strong in the record industry.

I caught the incredible Terry Fator at the Hilton last week. To my surprise Terry has a great voice and a truly unique act. Terry came from television’s "America’s Got Talent" and is another example of that medium’s power.

Word on the street is the new owners of the Sahara will be putting millions into renovation. At the present time Trent Carlini and the Fab Four are in the showroom and the afternoon will soon have a new magic act.

Haven’t heard much about Roseanne Barr. Her name is big, but can she turn that to ticket sales? Rita Rudner still holding strong at Harrah’s. Rita starred at the MGM for almost five years before moving to New York-New York and now Harrah’s. She has a well-oiled production with her husband as manager. Rita survives on pure tenacity and talent.

George Wallace at the Flamingo is funny, current and it’s one of the best 10 p.m. shows in town. Toni Braxton continues at the Flamingo until August.

An afternoon delight, can I say that? Take it from this columnist, the Society of Seven with Lani and Martin Nievera at the Flamingo is a show that shouldn’t be missed. If you hurry, you can catch the Society before they leave on tour. This is one of the shows offering 50 percent off for locals. You won’t be disappointed. I’m sure they’ll find another venue when they return from their tour, they’re that good.

Another of my best bargains can be found downtown. For $12 you can see Rat Pack and enjoy a buffet at the Plaza. Defending the Caveman does shows seven days a week at the Golden Nugget and is packed daily.

Isaac Hayes, who appeared at Texas Station last weekend is truly a great talent. We should be able to see more of him. Who will ever forget the theme from "Shaft," among many others!

Felix Rappaport’s efforts at the Luxor continue to payoff for all of us. Both Carrot Top and Anita Mann’s Fantasy continue doing business. Of course, we’re all waiting for Criss Angel who will blow us away with his new Cirque magic show at the Luxor.

Speaking of Fantasy, there seems to be trouble brewing with the cast. There allegedly was quite a bit of profanity in the show this week. Although not a family show, this type of profane language has no place in such a first rate production. In the final analysis, I’m a fan of good shows.

Have we all watched enough "American Idol"? I’m tired of Simon Cowell, but that’s just me. And, Penn Jillette’s appearances on "Dancing with the Stars" have created a softer Penn, some 50 pounds lighter and sweeter than ever. Most fans of the show are looking forward to seeing Penn live at the Rio with his sidekick Teller.

Believe it or not: Both Madonna and Mariah Carey have recently passed Elvis Presley in record sales. Speaking of Elvis, he would be so proud of his Priscilla on "Dancing with the Stars." What a surprise!

In international news, Beyonce and Jay-Z obtained a marriage license in New York. This wedding (a very private affair) will be takiing place within the next 60 days. Why not in Las Vegas with the Reverend Monti presiding?

Jay-Z is also co-owner of 40-40 club at Palazzo. Also, Spamalot is celebrating their first anniversary at the Wynn.

Hidden on Las Vegas Blvd, opposite the Monte Carlo, is a new favorite of mine – Rosewood Grille. The steaks, service and ambiance are all great.

The Full Monti’s big birthday bash is coming soon. Donations of gift boxes (for redecorating) of all shapes and sizes are appreciated.