Gay pride! Hey, I busted that closet

Sep 18, 2012 3:00 AM

Gay Pride Week was fabulous! I can say that with more authority than anyone, having been out of the closet long before it was celebrated.

Joan Rivers’ gold lame cape lined with the rainbow symbol of Gay Pride was a knockout! Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin were there to lend their support for this humanitarian cause.

The term gay “came out” of the Stonewall Riots in July 1969, which brought everyone out of their back closets. To me, gay is just another word for the renaissance. I remember it as a wonderful trend setting era – although, even the gays did not like me. I symbolized complete sexuality of all kinds…not just men, but women, too!

Everyone thinks he or she is the first to proclaim their version of sexuality. Just look at Anderson Cooper. We all knew he was gay, but he kept it inside his shell. Hats off to him because he finally hatched out of that prison egg. Then there is the “family man” Neil Patrick Harris, his partner and their adorable twin boy and girl.

And, of course, Elton (no need for last names or titles bestowed upon him by the Queen herself) plus thousands more who feel they are in the front of the line. Me? I have been in a monogamous relationship with my partner for over 34 years – that’s longer than most Hollywood heterosexual relationships/marriages.

Tongues wag too freely sometimes. Enough said.

What is happening at the Stratosphere? Bite will be closing on Oct. 31 (I guess Halloween is perfect timing). Shows like this that have had continual financial success for over 11 years need to be sustained.

I spoke to Tim Molyneaux, the producer of Bite, and he told me the hotel is going full blast with Frankie Moreno, the great new singer. But how could these two shows compete? They are totally different in content and style. Bite can absolutely find another home for its production – think of the phenomenon of the Twilight films and books – and the public is drinking the blood out of these tales of vampires and zombies. The show should go on with rotating guest stars –  Carmen Electra, Elvira, and of course, the Rock Man himself, yours truly!

At the LVH, who knows the status of the entertainment line-up with the change in staff management? Rick White, one of my good friends whom I respect and adore for his terrific knowledge of the entertainment industry, is a true master of marketing! He tried once to get me a room at the Hilton. I’d like to know his take on all this.

Vegas CineFest returns for a fourth year Oct. 3-7. This year the festival will screen more than 145 films at the Palms Casino and Resort. Their mission is to discover, foster and support independent artists in film, theater and music.

David Saxe is, as usual, still kicking butt with V: The Ultimate Variety Show, celebrating 10 years on the Strip. This is what the title suggests and features an ingenious collection of specialty acts from comedy and magic to acrobats. On Sept. 20 he opens Legwarmers, a 1980s musical. 

This show is filled with your favorite ‘80s hits intertwined with a storyline straight out of a John Hughes film. It’s part comedy, part love story and, most of all, fun. David, with 12 shows running at Planet Hollywood, is Las Vegas’ most prolific producer.

Still, we need something new, unique and exciting! I keep reporting because I have my finger on the pulse – but the heartbeat seems to remain weak.

The biggest restaurant news in town is Jonathan Segal, who is about to open Bagatelle at the Tropicana. The Palms recently closed Buddha. (to make room for a new venue?). Maybe they know something that has escaped me? I thought Nikki Beach was quite lovely at Tropicana – but sand got in its eyes. Bagatelle, by the way, has an opening slated for the Halloween season. Trick or Treat?

I had lunch with John Theiss, an old friend in Las Vegas and head of VIP Services for Bagatelle. He was anticipating a great success story for this new venture.

Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace has opened with more than 500 items from nine open kitchens and seats up to 600 diners. This beautiful restaurant creates the atmosphere of a Roman feast and overlooks the Garden of the Gods pool. They have a team of talented chefs who are committed to quality and taste. This will surely be another big hit for Caesars.

Sadly, we lost Dorothy McGuire this past week. The McGuire Sisters were a Las Vegas staple and had chart-busters with “Sincerely” and “Mr. Sandman.” Arthur Godfrey presented them to the American TV public, and the youngest McGuire, Phyllis, became a Las Vegas legend along with being one of the richest women in the entertainment industry.

Phyllis still resides in town and rumor has it she is about to write her autobiography, which will tell all. Do tell! This should be an interesting read for everyone. Speaking of Phyllis, what happened with the Mob Museum and the Mob Experience at the Tropicana? Are we still interested in these old time gangsters?

More fun is coming with the HBO original film about Liberace – Behind the Candelabra. Now there’s a figure who made sequin history. Lee is still in my act and we all still adore that crinkly, engaging smile. Debbie Reynolds plays his slot machine-loving mother. Talk about casting, I wanted that role for myself!

Maybe they will resurrect the Liberace Museum and Carluccio’s Tivoli Gardens. Old time Las Vegans like us really miss that delicious Italian food that was started by Liberace, who by the way was also a gourmet cook!

To all my Jewish friends and followers, here’s wishing you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

Monti Rock, who starred with John Travolta is the classic Saturday Night Fever, is a legend, performer, GamingToday entertainment columnist and marketing expert. Contact Monti at [email protected]

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