Enjoying all of the Vegas shows, Australian Bee Gees takes us back

Enjoying all of the Vegas shows, Australian Bee Gees takes us back

January 31, 2017 3:00 AM


This week, I viewed shows that have laughter and survive!

I called producer Adam Steck, who is one of the successful producers with multi shows on the Strip. Saw the Australian Bee Gees again at the Excalibur. The Bee Gees were the soundtrack from my career film highlight, “Saturday Night Fever.”

Seeing this group also from Australia, was a magnificent treat and a walk down memory lane for yours truly. This show has a special communication with the audience and gives a repertoire of songs from other great groups.

Also on my contact list was Alan Glist, the producer of the long running fabulous hit, Menopause. Now, he is producing this wonderful, happy-go-lucky show, The Bronx Wanderers.

Not only are the songs fabulous – but the talent that is on that stage is some of the best this columnist has seen in a very long time! It has tightened up and improved to the point of superlative.

The take on Bohemian Rhapsody was phenomenal and the entire theater was a sellout! The audience could not help themselves from singing along, dancing in the aisles and working with this group of unparalleled entertainers. As a side bar – I was greeted by Mr. Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, who has a show that is playing at Bally’s Windows Showroom.

There is also another fun show, Fifty Shades of Gray – The Parody. Bally’s seems to be ultra hot for talent and great shows. Sadly, I still miss Jubilee and those gorgeous showgirls!

Fixing SLS

Located on the site of the old Sahara and attached to the new W, the resort has new management, a new president in hopes of making this hotel work. It had one of the greatest Vegas openings ever, but then there was a period of scandal.

The SLS could be great again (just like America!) if they get the locals to come and also restore the position of casino host. Every hotel and resort needs a casino/hotel host to manage the everyday happenings at the property.

The restaurants seem to be doing well despite the upscale stores having left the premises and no buffet. The Sahara was known for its affordable and varied buffet – every hotel needs a buffet to induce traffic into the hotel and gaming areas.

People dig La La

The People’s Choice Awards turned into a “La La Land” tsunami. This week I went to see its predecessor – on its 65th anniversary – “Singin’ In The Rain!” Wow! What else can one say when you see the original on the big screen?

One of the stars, Debbie Reynolds, who made this film at only 19 years old, was given a tribute along with her daughter, Carrie Fisher. The entertainment community and audiences world-wide will miss the talents of these two women greatly.

I did see the HBO special on Debbie and Carrie – sometimes the cameras should stop shooting and pause – when something is being shot for eternity. It should be carefully orchestrated even if it is a documentary. This was filmed prior to the tragedy and it could have been a distinct part of Debbie and Carrie’s legacy.

Up for Oscar

Here’s my Academy Award predictions: best picture, “La La Land,” and Emma Stone best female lead. A lot of people were snubbed, actors who deserved to be nominated, but the academy is a tight group. One of my favorite films of the year (saw it twice) was “Florence Foster Jenkins” starring Meryl Streep. This film was magnificent.

I see a tie between Denzel Washington (“Fences”) and Ryan Gosling (“La La Land”) for best actor. Mel Gibson as director of “Hacksaw Ridge” was terrific in managing to get the full body of the blood and guts of war aligned with one man’s struggle with his ethics. His direction created a masterpiece.

For animated feature I am tied between “Moana” and “Zootopia.” For best supporting actress I am really spot on with Viola Davis for “Fences.” Director will most likely be Damian Chazelle of “La La Land.” “Fences” will probably coast through for adapted screenplay.

The original “Fences,” written by the great August Wilson, gave me the chills as I watched a reenactment of life for the Afro American community back in the 1950’s. It was like watching “Death of A Salesman” by Arthur Miller, only done with the torment of the central character portrayed by Mr. Washington, who also directed “Fences.”

Awards season is always a treasured and significant time for saluting those icons and talents in the film industry. On a side note, the biggest snub was a great film – “Birth of A Nation.” I was dismayed at the Academy’s omission in its nominees of this special and deeply moving film.

Scintas light it up

I keep talking about the Scintas because they continue to reinvent themselves and remain current. Case in point – this past week the showroom power went out at the Plaza, and Frankie Scinta took out his non-electric banjo, and the female lead sang a cappella.

This talented group was able to keep the audience entertained because they are true performers and not just electric computer programmed entertainers.

Mamma Pia!

Pia Zadora is the epitome of surviving in a town that is known for forgetting who really made this city what it is. Pia started out becoming famous from her role as one of Tevya’s daughter’s, the youngest, in “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway with the great, late Zero Mostel.

She made her start on the great white way (Broadway), opened for Frank Sinatra, married Meshulam Riklis who owned the Riviera here – and that’s from a lady who came from Queens, N.Y. She is a lifelong  artist, talent, actor and great lady.

Finally: We have a new President, gorgeous first lady, a new start in government and in our own lives.