Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Hong Kong, Edinburgh. . . and now CineVegas

Nov 28, 2000 12:55 AM

After taking Six Bridges To Cross in moving to Las Vegas, can you name The All-American who left The Rat Race and the City Across the River to be crowned a sort of King of the City at the CineVegas Film Festival?

If you said the Son of Ali Baba, you’re right. Ditto with Houdini.

The legendary Lobster Man from Mars, Tony Curtis, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award during a black-tie awards gala to close the event Saturday at Paris-Las Vegas.

I’m sure Tony will say, "So this is Paris." Then he’ll do a Double Take at the marvelous facility and thank everyone. You can Count of Monte Cristo on it.

Just call it the Sweet Smell of Success.

The Wild and Wonderful performer, who appeared in more than 100 feature films, now spends his days with lovely wife Jill. He’s an accomplished painter. Some of Curtis’ pieces are available for viewing at -- not a Chamber of Horrors -- an MGM Grand gallery.

The festival opens Tuesday, with more than 60 films to be presented during the week-long celebration of the cinema.

More festival -- Dozens of Hollywood stars will attend CineVegas’ third season, including John Malkovich and Willem Defoe for their screening of Shadow of the Vampire on opening night. The film was produced by Nicholas Cage.

Meanwhile, Clint Holmes and Paige O’Hara are doing a tribute of songs from the movies. And Paige, the Grammy Award winning recording artist from Disney, is still producing and fine-tuning Edwin Drood for a major Vegas property.

Go Fish -- Joel Fishman might be leaving his post as a consultant to Harrah’s properties, including the Rio, in January. Future shows and attractions are up in the air, so keep in tune for the latest.

Things will be great -- The last time downtown Las Vegas was a hotbed for shows was when Petula Clark was singing Downtown in the 1960s. But she only appeared on the Strip at Caesars Palace, the Riviera and the Sahara.

Nevertheless, comedian David Brenner will take up the challenge with his new stand-up show at the Golden Nugget’s Theatre Ballroom. David, who appeared on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show nearly twice as often as I did (158 to 84), is wonderfully funny. If his HBO special, "David Brenner: Back with a Vengeance," is any indication of his stage schtick, the show will entertain. The question is, Will it Sell?

This week -- My wonderful friend Paul Anka, who took me under his wing for a recording session early in my career, appears at The Mirage on Nov. 30 — Dec. 4.

Also opening on Dec. 1 for two nights of entertainment is Susan Anton, in concert at The Stratosphere. Susan has been captivating TV, film, theatre and nightclub audiences for more than two decades. She toured the nation and Vegas as the headliner with The Rockettes. Now, the Pibb Girl -- without a Crew Cut -- appears with a five-piece band in an all-new show. The word is that if her shows do well, she could land a contract at the Stratosphere.

Face-lift -- The press was treated royally when Sam’s Town displayed its $85 million facelift last week. Kenny Loggins was wonderful in the opening of the Sam’s Town Live! Showroom. What a great new venue!

Moses returns -- When Elaine and Steve Wynn entered the showroom, it was as if the Red Sea parted to let the couple make way to their seats. The pair must be the new royalty of Las Vegas.

Stealing second -- My spies report that talent execs from Caesars were at the Hilton eyeballing The Scintas for a possible contract and move to a larger room.

Already making a move was Bill Acosta, who presented the soft opening of his topless review, Lasting Impressions at the Flamingo-Las Vegas last Tuesday. I was impressed with his live band, the costumes, and the bigger than life production.

The Flamingo marathon, as I call it, begins in the afternoon with Breck Wall’s — Bottoms Up, which is always packed, followed by Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, which is picking up steam.

Shopping spree? -- At the Regent-Las Vegas, I saw Michael Gaughan checking out the property. Was he shopping?

Then there’s the New Frontier Hotel, which is, then isn’t, then is, then isn’t switching to a San Francisco theme. Right now, the Bay Area talk is back in vogue. Who knows, they might even get Tony Bennett to reclaim his heart in San Francisco.