Connie Stevens appears at the Riviera in Las Vegas

Jul 12, 2011 3:07 AM

The soaring cost of food in the valley is beginning to take its toll on the Las Vegas area buffets. Buffets were one of the main attractions around here, but that is now questionable.

Some of the casinos have already increased prices and others are reportedly ready to do the same. Hopefully, not too many and not too much.

Great food is still there, but in many cases, the locals will not be able to go as often as they used to.

Same sex marriages are very much in the news again as New York has now sanctioned them. What is Nevada waiting for? The wedding business in Las Vegas has been on a rapid decline and this could be the way to change all that.

All people should have the right to marry legally, regardless of their sexual orientation. David Saxe is offering free tickets for Vegas! The Show to gay married couples (documentation required) for the month of July.

Remember, I am a licensed reverend in Nevada who performs extraordinary weddings. We used to call them "Million Dollar Weddings." Now, they go for about $100. Recession, recession, recession.

Nothing like spending Fourth of July at the home of Roxanne Miller. Great food, outstanding ambiance and a host of her friends.

We were there to unveil a sneak preview of the new Monti Rock Slot Machine. Soon the public will get an intimate look at the manifestation of slot king guru Ken Baker’s vision.

How were your fireworks and BBQ’s? The weather was strange but for the most part the holiday was very eventful. The hotels outdid themselves – it was truly spectacular.

I stood outside the Flamingo and was mildly disappointed when the fireworks didn’t start on time. But, when the airborne explosions actually happened, it was well worth the wait. We’ve become complacent sometimes because these venues spend a great deal of $$ to make things happen. We witness their unfolding and presume it is an easy thing to accomplish. Logistics is the key and when it all comes together (Hannibal was right) it is breathtaking.

This week we went over to the Suncoast Casino, enjoyed the buffet and saw Clint Holmes. What I witnessed this time was the consummate performer with new material, a new conductor and so much more. Clint is a singer’s singer. His timing, vocal virtuosity and the stunning arrangements were amazing.

Standouts were his Marvin Gaye rendition of "What’s Going On?" and a "West Side Story" medley. Both were superb! In the audience this time we had Lorraine Hunt and Dennis Bono, Earl Turner, Smith Center of Performing Arts CEO Myron Martin and Bill Fayne.

Clint’s 95-year-old mother was also in attendance – and can she belt out a song! Her voice was clear and possessed the confidence exhibited by her son on that stage. He will be opening in New York City in October at the Carlyle to perform a tribute to Bobby Short.

I had a great conversation with Jimmy Emerson. He’s the penultimate comedian, host, producer, director – and all the while in drag! Emerson moves from second banana to assuming the starring role this Wednesday in An Evening at La Cage inside the Four Queens on Fremont Street. I want all of my readers to support this great artist who is deserving of the accolades and this big break.

This past week Rihanna was in town and was almost a sellout! She rocked the after party at Nikki Beach in the Tropicana where she feasted and greeted her fans. This week we also had New Kids on the Block.

Last week at the Riviera the wonderful Connie Stevens opened with John Byner sharing the bill with her. Connie is best remembered for her role on TV’s "Hawaiian Eye" and her films – "Susan Slade," "Parrish" and "Never Too Late." She also recorded several albums and had a successful night club act.

Stevens was married to the infamous Eddie Fisher in the late 1960’s. Her line of skin care products has been a bestseller and she often appears on TV promoting them. Her current act at the Riviera brings back many fond memories. Welcome back, Connie!

Legendary Las Vegas "King of Comedy" Jerry Lewis will be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Red Rock casino. Mr. Lewis will be honored for his extraordinary commitment to the entertainment industry and, of course, for his work with charitable causes, for which he is estimated to have raised over $2 billion. For more information please contact: Trish Williamson at 702-429-1623 or email: [email protected]

The 2011 World Series of Poker (WSOP) is proving to be their biggest yet. The series has already broken 16 world records and hopefully more are to come. To follow the tournament live please visit www.wsop.com.

Downtown has been having a lot of positive action lately. The Fremont Street Experience is a must-see, the Golden Nugget is still the crown jewel, and now the newly refurbished Plaza will soon reopen.

El Cortez remains a major player and the Four Queens is bringing back An Evening at La Cage. And don’t forget that Denny’s restaurant will reportedly open a large venue at Neonopolis very soon.

Another new attraction will be the opening of the farmers’ market Downtown FEED. At least 15 local growers will offer their fresh products every Thursday, beginning July 14, indoors at Azul, located at 7th and Ogden streets, with free parking available at El Cortez. For more info contact [email protected]

Big news is that Jay Bloom is leaving his position at the Mob Museum as well as his affilliation with the showroom at the Tropicana. More on this to follow.

The Rev. Monti again wishes you a great week.