Look for Amazing Johnathan to magically appear at the Riviera in the near future. Someone as talented as Johnathan won’t be off-stage for long. I don’t know if Steve Schirippa is still booking acts at the Riv, but if he were, he’d have AJ corralled by now. Incidentally, have you seen the mileage Steve is getting out of his "Soprano" role? Go big gumba!
Speaking of the hit cable series, "Bada Bing," Las Vegas’ version of "The Sopranos," is now at the Ovation Theatre at Desert Passage at the Aladdin and is our town’s only interactive dinner show.
More "Soprano" chatter: Yes, that was Orleans regular veteran rock n’ roller Frankie Valli as a hood on Sunday’s edition of "The Sopranos." Valli, who will appear in three more episodes, told the Associated Press that "being on the set reminded him of his days growing up in Newark, N.J. I’ve certainly been around a lot of that. I never got to know exactly what each guy was doing, but I did know several guys. I mean, they didn’t call me in and say, ”˜Hey, this is what we’re doing this week,’ ya know. There are probably a couple of them in my character." Ironically, Valli first read for the show four years ago.
In the hard to fathom department: Veteran actor Danny Aiello is about to release (April 20) a CD of old-school standards ”” "Over the Rainbow," "All of Me," "Pennies From Heaven" and others ”” and the New York Post Page Six gossip column is already reporting that the MGM Grand is interested in a gig for Danny.
Keeping up with the times, the Palms has opened a new lavish, expanded poker parlor and will be bringing in the "Hollywood Comedy Tour" starring Jeff Richards for monthly performances. The initial performance is Saturday night followed by May 1, June 5 and July 3. Sounds very similar to Jeff Beacher’s Comedy Madhouse at the Joint at the Hard Rock since both feature a rotating cast of little-known comics.
Country singer Glen Campbell, who has made a name for himself on newspaper front pages through the years, performs at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena on April 10.
ABC is the network that passed on the "Cosby Show, "CSI," and "Survivor" and lost out on "The Apprentice," so it was no surprise to me that local TV veteran Robin Leach begged out of his "Life of Luxury" pact with the network to pursue other interests. "They were stifling me and wouldn’t let me do anything. In 53 weeks I did one special when I could have easily done 22." Leach spent the last week on the East Coast meeting with syndicators about two Las Vegas-based shows.
Speaking of Sir Donald Trump’s "The Apprentice," the New York Post is saying that Katrina Campins has loose lips and that Kwame Jackson is the winner of the contest. Mind you, Campins reportedly was making the assertion at a nightclub at 2 a.m.
Ricci Martin gave a standing ovation to Frankie Scinta for his characterization of his dad, Dean, and was howling when Frankie’s brother, Joey, came on stage as Jerry Lewis. Ricci was telling friends he really doesn’t like to see impressions of his father, but this one was special and done with class.
Clint Holmes, on the hotline to me from Florida, says that "Vegaslive!" will be back on board by June with a new behind-the-scenes crew, a new set and a great new location”¦ probably the Wayne New Theatre at the Stardust. By the way, Clint’s Harrahs show is a real must see!
Another must see is the refreshed and updated "Folies Bergere" at the Tropicana. It’s loaded with new numbers, new costumes and great smiling faces.
The late Wilbur Clark and his Desert Inn will always be remembered in the hearts of veteran Las Vegans, so I wanted to let everyone know that his bride, Toni, will be having an 86th birthday bash on May 3 at the Sterling Club.
Marlene Ricci has renewed her contract at the Riviera for another three years. The classy singer heads the entertainment ”” and is the landlord in the Le Bistro Lounge.
Siegfried Fischbacher will accept the Citizen of the Month Award for his partner Roy Horn at the Las Vegas City Council meeting on April 7. By the way, I recently spotted Siegfried dining at Roy’s. Not his partner’s kitchen, but Roy Yamguchi’s upscale Asian/Fusion restaurant.
Check out the Web site of your favorite performers if you want to find out if a Las Vegas stop is scheduled on their tours. Van Halen, for instance, is Mandalay Bay Events Center bound and Phil Collins is coming to the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Dates and prices are yet to come.
In what might be one of the biggest bargains in town, the 14th annual Epicurean Affair will be held poolside at Caesars Palace in the Garden of the Gods on April 15, starting at 7 p.m. For a $100, you’ll be able to taste signature dishes from as many as 70 of our city’s best restaurant and discover why dining in Las Vegas is a main attraction. Also, flair bartenders and signature beverages will be on display along Bar Alley, a mix of ultra lounges and nightclubs. Tickets to the Epicurean Affair, which is open to the public, are available by calling 702-878-9272 or 878-2313.