How about the cancellation of the Jerry Lewis show that hardly anyone knew about. There was very little advance publicity as Jerry was reportedly set to perform at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm. The show has been a smash wherever it played, but this engagement was axed at the last minute.
Some say ticket sales were so poor they decided to scrap the booking. Jerry can now concentrate on putting the finishing touches to his stage musical, The Nutty Professor, which he hopes to bring to Broadway. Jerry, stay healthy and keep us laughing!
What’s happening with all the newscasters? For the last two months there have been big shakeups.
Remember, first it was Dayna Roselli, and now Gary Waddell, who has been at KLAS for 32 years, is “retiring.” What fate will befall Paula Francis? Gary has been the face and voice of Vegas – he’s also in the television Hall of Fame and has fallen victim to the formulation of new teams to see who takes over the news. I think the push is for younger, maybe prettier people for the news? I’m just saying!
I was on the phone with Adam Steck, the great producer who brought Mike Tyson’s debut to the Las Vegas stage in The Undisputed Truth. He did an outstanding job with this presentation. Spike Lee reportedly has taken over as director/producer of the London production overseas.
The other day I saw Tyson and his interview with Andy Cohen on Bravo in a show called “Watch What Happens.” We’ll wait to see what happens on Bravo.
The Smith Center brought us the remarkable Stephen Sondheim, A Life in the Theater. We know he’s been lyricist for West Side Story and Company, among others. Company is now at the former Hilton, LVH. At the age of 82, he’s one of our great lyricists and I am a fan of all his shows.
At one time I auditioned for Company (not really). The concert performance of that show was outstanding. Bill Fayne as the musical director did a fabulous job putting it together. And for those of us who love Sondheim and his music, it was a joy to watch. The local performers and musicians were on their game.
The production has flare, interesting staging with a couch or a table set up on either side of the stage as needed. Sondheim is slow with plot exposition but once you get through that, this was a charming concert. I hope they do more concert performances in the future.
One of the highlights was the opening act performed by deaf/hearing impaired/hearing students “signing” to the song One Voice. Charities need to be identified in the program along with pertinent contact information. Also appearing at Smith Center was k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang. This gal can really sing and has proven to be one of the best of Tony Bennett’s duet partners.
I was riveted to my TV set watching Piers Morgan interview controversial actor Robert Blake, who was acquitted in the murder of his wife Bonnie in criminal court but held liable in civil court. We don’t as yet have a clue as to his wife’s killer.
I had a long relationship with him and his wife who were both very kind to me. A great actor in such films as In Cold Blood and a child performer in the Our Gang series in the 1930’s, he also gave an exceptional performance as a Mexican kid in the John Huston classic Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
Blake is one of our great actors, but Hollywood is a very fickle place. It is easy to go from the top to the bottom in the blink of an eye. Because of the murder, he was considered box office poison. His Hollywood “friends” all but disappeared.
Given the opportunity, he could do at least what Mickey Rourke did in “The Wrestler.” In his new autobiography, he is clever enough to make the book all about him and avoid the subject of the murder.
Gerri Granger, who was Sammy Davis’ opening act for several years and a frequent guest on the Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin television shows, flew in from New York to help me finish my autobiography called The King of the Fairies – The Times and Life of the One and Only Monti Rock III.
This week my staff and I plan to see Surf, which uses the Beach Boys music as a backdrop for a boy/girl musical. I will give you a complete review next week. We are looking forward to seeing Pia Zadora, who is making her comeback at Smith Center Cabaret/Jazz. She performs July 27 at 8 p.m. and July 28 at 7 p.m. Now, this is a voice you haven’t heard in years. She opened for Frank Sinatra here on the Strip a “few” years ago as some of you may remember.
Il Divo performed at the Colosseum last weekend as did the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin. I was anxious to see this Diva work her magic on the Colosseum stage and perhaps she can wiggle a temporary/periodic residency there if only to keep the voice alive.
Other acts who appeared last week were The Temptations at the Orleans and Lynda Carter (TV’s Wonder Woman) at the Suncoast. Lynda had a blossoming singing career before she landed the TV series that made her a television legend.
Criss Angel presented his Live Broadcast party Bash last weekend for an invitation only audience. Among the performers were Nathan Burton, Devlin, Fantasy Girls, Criss’ Angels, Banachek and others. Criss works well with his cast and crew in his show Believe.
This teamwork results in the remarkably entertaining show at the Luxor. Criss is definitely a one-of-a-kind showman and gentleman.
Last week marked the passing of one of Hollywood’s greats, Ernest Borgnine, described as a pussy cat in the body of a pit bull.
Ernest gave us almost 70 years of memorable performances. He could play the toughest of tough guys as well as soft, sentimental characters such as his Oscar winning role as Marty.
At age 95, he lost his battle with kidney failure. Ernest, you will be missed.
Why can’t the cable/satellite organizations come to terms with the companies that furnish our programming? Dish and DirecTV are dropping or have dropped certain channels from the lineups due to contract negotiations. The viewing public is leaning more and more to the Internet and these disputes will undoubtedly push more people toward dropping TV services.
It’s time this industry (and the airlines, too) starts to mend relations with their patrons and delivers the services they are being paid to do.
As always, the Rev. Monti wishes you all a fabulous week! I’ll have more insights next time.