Has Zumanity lost its drag queen?

May 18, 2004 12:39 AM

"Zumanity," the Cirque du Soleil show at New York-New York, which has been continually retooled, reworked and fine-tuned since it opened at the hotel, maybe losing it’s drag queen hostess, Joey Arias. Despite recent stories and interviews with Arias claiming how much he loves the show and living in Las Vegas, I’m hearing the New York cabaret performer has not put his signature on the dotted line of his latest contract offer. Someone named Raven has been handling the show on Thursdays, though I still feel that Las Vegas veteran drag queen Kenny Kerr would be the perfect fit for the spot.

Gordie Brown, Lake Tahoe and Reno’s equivalent of Danny Gans, has been signed to a year-long pact at the Golden Nugget. Brown opens Memorial Day weekend after his manager, Bernie Yuman, was unable to get a deal for him at a hotel along the heart of the Strip. Brown couldn’t play at a MGM Mirage hotel due to a contract agreement with Gans that no other impressionist can perform in their properties.

The Sahara Hotel hierarchy, judging from their representative’s scathing telephone calls, didn’t like my description of the production of "Saturday Night Fever" heading to the hotel. Well, this is cult film in which I played myself. I saw it on Broadway and Chicago and was offered roles in both productions. As I wrote, it is the road show or national touring company and I stand by my words.

Eighteen-year-old NBA rookie-of-the-year LeBron James was recently making the Las Vegas rounds and I’m wondering how many times he was asked for his ID followed by an autograph request?

Jessica Simpson’s just announced summer concert tour does not include a Las Vegas date though she was included in the VHI Diva presentation this year.

Monty Hall is recreating his "Let’s Make A Deal" television show in Indian casinos across the country. I heard it’s the same show that bombed at the Sahara in the early 70s. Believe it or not, there are about 75 Indian casinos booking name entertainment this year with more on the way.

Congratulations to Bradley Ogden for according to USA Today "breaking the traditional East Coast/West Coast dominance" at the 14th annual James Beard Foundation awards as the Caesars Palace restaurant bearing his name was named best new restaurant in the United States. Southwest chef honors went to Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino at The Venetian.

Billboard magazine, the bible of the music industry, reports the Elton John has added 15 more appearances at Caesars Palace. His next Colosseum dates are July 23 to Aug. 8 and he’ll return Oct. 12 — 31. Billboard also reported that John’s "Red Piano" engagement has grossed $14.5 million from 19 sellouts. It also says that resident performer Celine Dion has grossed $26.8 million from 48 sellouts so far this year.

Congratulations to one of magic’s best and funniest, Harrah’s afternoon headliner Mac King, on being named "Magician of the Year by the famed Los Angeles Magic Castle, Academy of Magical Arts.

Heaven Can Wait, a Nevada non-profit organization that gives homeless dogs and cats a second chance at life, is looking for celebrities to be members of an honorary committee for their first major fundraiser on Sept. 9 The contact is Nicole Datt-Roberts at 702/227-5555. Of course, I’ve already called.

A celebration of Patrick Phillip Maes, longtime partner of Breck Wall, who passed away May 1, will be held May 28 from 5 to 7 p.m. at 4618 Carriage Lane. Please RSVP to 735-0093. Maes and Wall from more than 40 years produced show in Las Vegas and Reno including the lone-running "Bottoms Up."

The Joe Williams Annual Scholarship Fund Concert takes place Tuesday, May 25, from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Orleans showroom. Scheduled to appear are Bill Acosta, Pete Barbutti, Vinnie Falcone and Clint Homes, among others. Call 365-7075 for ticket information.

We’ll be able to follow the happenings of Golden Nugget owners Tim Poster and Tom Breitling starting in June when their "reality" series debuts in June. Even though some of the scenes I saw were show a number of times, I think this could be some interesting television. But do we need another local reality show? Talent agent Jakie Baskow is the latest to join the band wagon. I’m so excited I got cold shivers and hot flashes!

Larry Edwards post "La Cage" days (he was Tina Turner) haven’t been too bad. He’s knocking them dead in "Miss Congeniality 2," appeared on the "Tonight with Jay Leno," and has been booked for an endless amount of personal appearance. Congratulations to one nice guy.

The audiences were certainly different, but Jay Leno and Howard Stern sure packed Paris and the Hard Rock, respectively. And both bought the Las Vegas name to the forefront with publicity you couldn’t afford to buy. I only wish that the Leno staff would have booked Clint Holmes to show the best performer the city has to offer today. By the way, happy belated 58th birthday to Clint.

The Scintas have a new star in the family. Mama Scinta is now performing a couple of a time a week in the Rio’s "Tony and Tina’s Wedding." The other night’s she attends her family’s performances.