David Copperfield is a throwback to the old Las Vegas performance days when a headliner came into town and worked seven-days-a-week, doing two-shows-a-night for two to three or even sometimes four weeks at a time. When the world’s most renowned magician returns to the MGM Grand, Dec. 24 — Jan. 5, he will do 48 performances in 14 days. I’m predicting he’ll sell-out every one of the theatre’s 740-seats as he has done his last few appearances and he’ll walk away with a wheel barrel full of cash since he has a four-wall deal with the hotel.
Wow, E! Network’s joining Wayne Newton in his nationwide search for the next Las Vegas superstar in a new 10-part reality drama, “The Entertainer,” set to debut in January on E! Entertainment Television. How original is that — a Las Vegas version of “American Idol” with our “Midnight Idol” being the host.
And, some more great news is that the winner may be given the opportunity to become a featured performer in Newton’s award-winning Las Vegas show! Golly! The question for the winner is how many performances will Newton be doing at the Stardust next year? Working on the reality series, plus dates outside of Las Vegas, may cut into his Stardust appearances, which rumors persist would make things easier for the Boyd Gaming team as they — again rumors — want to cut back on his schedule. If you went to a recent Newton performance, you’d understand why.
As first reported on these pages, the official teaming of Cirque du Soleil and the Beatles for a production at The Mirage premiering in May 2006 has been made official. As with most Cirque productions, “The Boys” (only a working title) is a work in progress, though I can report it won’t include Beatle impersonators, but there will be acrobats and dancing. Cirque executives are telling me that they plan on bringing the lyrics to life and to create characters from them. Also, the stage will be a theater-in-the-round, so backstage will be under the stage.
It’s obvious that Barrick Gaming wants to become a major player in the downtown market. The “Vintage” party they threw last week was first class in every aspect. Especially classy was the boss greeting every guest arriving on the hotel’s pool deck.
The Aladdin returns to the network television spotlight when it hosts the 2004 Radio Music Awards Monday night on NBC. Elton John and Usher are the main headliners and Janet Jackson is receiving the Radio Legend Award. Also, look out for some surprises from the Planet Hollywood contingent that is now settled in at the property.
The “X” show finally makes it back to the Strip — well sort of — on Oct. 30, when it opens at the V Theatre inside Desert Passage and not at the Aladdin, as you have possibly read elsewhere.
Singer Brian McKnight, who appeared last weekend at Texas Station, still has aspirations to be a television host despite his disastrous stint as co-host of “Vegas Live!” with Sheena Easton. And, what is more amazing, the show’s executive producer Rick Garson, even though it never drew any ratings on a local cable station, still insists there’s a national syndication deal that will be completed sometime in early 2005. If it is, it will be reality television at its worst.
Another tell-all book has hit the stands and I can’t put it down. Tatum O’Neal’s “A Paper Life” has become the new inspiration for me to make sure I tell you every single detail in my upcoming autobiography as she depicts her father Ryan O’Neal as an abusive jerk, rips her ex-husband, tennis star John McEnroe, claims a 17-year-old Michael Jackson tried to seduce her when she was 12, and describes taking part in an opium-fueled orgy with actress Melanie Griffith. I can relate to the last incident, but I don’t recall if O’Neal or Griffith were ever around.
Odds and Ends: Beating the perennial favorites — princess, witches, vampires and monsters — Spider Man is the number one Halloween costume this year except in some local clubs where my likeness is leading the pack ”¦ The Imperial Palace is holding its first Scary-Okee Halloween Karaoke Party at the Karaoke Club inside Tequila Joe’s on Oct. 30 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m ”¦ Already a scary character during his shows, the Amazing Jonathan’s Riviera performances Oct. 24-27 and Oct. 29-31 will take on a Halloween theme ”¦ A new gallery featuring the art of Peter Max opens Friday in the Forum Shops expansion ”¦ Hawaii superstar Frank De Lima brings his zany humor to the California Hotel & Casino’s Ohana room on Nov. 6 ”¦ The Cast, an organization that assists entertainers in need, is honoring Rich Little on Monday at the Greek Isles.