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Phantom of the Venetian?

Dec 23, 2003 1:10 AM

Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy holidays to all. It has been a sensational, glorious and festive season of giving and getting. One of my favorite gifts is a CD of "Sunset Boulevard" from a secret admirer who called me the Norma Desmond of Las Vegas columnists. He’s probably right as I am always awaiting my next scene with nobody asking.

"Phantom of the Opera" will find a permanent home at the Venetian in the vacated "big" Guggenheim Museum location if the show producers and hotel brass can work out the details of who was going to pick up the tab to build a theater.

After the C2K fiasco, the hotel bigwigs are very concerned about who owns the entertainment venues. I also hear that the hotel is finally working on buying back the lease to C2K. Isn’t this something they should have done months ago?

Just finishing a week of local shooting was top-rated "CSI," with "Las Vegas" scheduled for next month. It’s really a disgrace that both shows can’t do all their filming in Las Vegas instead of make believe sound stages.

Great news out of Hollywood: its most well known corner ”” Hollywood and Vine ”” may be getting a $200 million facelift that would include a luxury hotel, shops and restaurants, apartments and condominiums. I’m sure the homeless, hookers and derelicts who frequent the corner will love their new digs.

Ashton Kutcher, who loves visiting our city with main squeeze Demi Moore, has blown off MTV by quitting "Punk’d." Kutcher told the Hollywood Reporter that he has a development deal with MTV and will continue to work with the network.

As a veteran of the Hollywood scene, I will give you my odds on the Oscar nominations with my end of the year column next week.

General admission tickets to Tabu’s New Year’s Eve blast are a mere $250. Limited seating is available for extra revenue.

The Planet Hollywood team recently held a three-day conclave at the Aladdin to look
over future plans.

Tony Orlando’s just completed Christmas show at the Orleans was his final gig at the hotel. He’s not on next year’s schedule and neither is country dude Randy Travis.

David Glenn, the Orleans’ entertainment director is on the mend from a serious skiing accident at, reportedly, the same location that took the life of Sonny Bono.

The "Folies Bergere" and the Cirque shows have resumed after their holiday breaks. I hear the tab for all three Cirque shows are about to increase with "O" going up a hefty $25.

The Magic Man, David Copperfield, tries to cash in on the anticipated holiday crowds doing 34 shows in 10 days (Dec. 23-Jan 1.) at the MGM Grand.

The Aladdin’s new headliner, super illusionist Steve Wyrick, also is looking forward to the family trade with a 4 p.m. show this week.

Pink is leading a group writing letters complaining about the care of Siegfried & Roy’s elephant, Gildah. All I can tell you is that when I met the gentle giant, she was a love. Also, Pink should concern herself more about how she looks.

Gianni Russo, who had a few minutes on screen in "The Godfather," has his own orchestra (yuk, yuk,) that will play the Rampart on New Year’s Eve.

Jeff Hobson departs the Sahara’s "World’s Greatest Magic Show" and debuts his one-man show at the Excalibur on Feb. 9, which means that the Catch A Rising Star comics are out of work.

ValCom, a California-based entertainment company, has purchased the Lear Entertainment facility here, which means we might finally get a first-class production studio.

A perfect example of why Las Vegas books don’t take bets on entertainment-related activities happened last week when an Antigua-based bookmaker had to pay out bets to people wagering on the television show, "Survivor." The bets were placed before the series started airing, but after the competition was completed. Was this a classic of insider trading or just a basic security leak? Either way, CBS or the bookies were very happy.

Congratulations to "The Bold and the Beautiful’s" Jeff Trachta for the inspiring Las Vegas Christmas Celebration at the Rio. It’s a very professional, fun offering that shouldn’t be missed.