Take me to lunch, you can headline in Vegas

Oct 23, 2012 3:00 AM

I have been a big fan of Steve Wyrick ever since he opened at Lady Luck Casino and took me to lunch. It’s not easy for anyone taking me to lunch! Anyway, from the Lady Luck he was a headliner at the Sahara, where they built him a special showroom.

Wyrick then went on to the Aladdin (now Planet Hollywood) at the Miracle Mile. That was followed by his show at the Hilton (now LVH). He’s ready to perform again with a stupendous show that includes new magic and a new “brand.” Do not count him out. He’s Steve Wyrick and we want him back!! I want him back.

Bite, the musical, is definitely moving to the Plaza. They will have their closing night on Halloween at the Stratosphere and then there will be another opening, another show. Which one of these shows will close? One is burlesque and the other is magic. 

While all this is going on, Frankie Moreno holds forth as the new King of the Stratosphere.

Madonna was incredible at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. She really gave her all – where does that energy come from? It was better and less offensive than some of her past shows, but where were her celebrity followers? Elton John and Madonna don’t see eye to eye – they are the Dueling Divas. 

Elton is having a four-day birthday party for his partner David with possible guest stars Cher, Lady Gaga and others. Madonna gave a birthday party for her daughter and I gave a party for my two twin sons (sure!) Dick and Rick, aspiring playwrights or could they be musical stars. As Fats Waller used to say – “one never knows, do one?”

Greg Thompson, who produced Skin Tight and Show Girls with his wife Sonny had me as a guest star at their show for one night at the Rio. Greg has been producing Sonny in a production about Marilyn Monroe. She looks like Marilyn, and now they are coming here looking for the right venue.

Las Vegas has been to me a very interesting fabric with mobs, evidenced from a very rich history and exhibits like the Mob Experience and Mob Museum in the old library downtown. We keep hearing about Virginia Hill and her relationship with Bugsy Siegel.

It wasn’t only about the mob but more about those Damon Runyon-esque cast of characters who made the place come alive. There was Sinatra, The Rat Pack, The Gay Pack (more about them later), Marlene Dietrich and so many other memorable people.

Now they are talking to me about “the Icons of Vegas.” I have been lucky enough to have been around and survived hirings, firings, blacklisting and back stabbings. The reason: I am a columnist people read and believe. They trust me to bring them the truth and nothing but.

Streisand at MGM Grand Garden Arena is almost sold out. Barbra went back to Brooklyn and wowed them – they call her Fabulosa now.

I have been lunching all month at El Segundo Sol at The Fashion Show Mall. Unbelievable Latin meals with fabulous quesadillas, margaritas and fabulous-looking pizza. Their slogan is “Lettuce Entertain You” and it is my newest guilty pleasure. 

The late Joe Williams was one of the best male jazz/standards/blues singers ever, though he was never really appreciated in Las Vegas. He worked all over the world with the Count Basie orchestra and sang with some of the best female singers of his day, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. 

This year the Joe Williams Scholarship Fund Concert will be held on Sunday, Nov. 11 at Artemus Ham Hall on the campus of UNLV. Featured performers will be Clint Holmes, Earl Turner, The Cunninghams, Pete Barbutti, Sammy Shore and some surprise guests, Tickets are $20 and all proceeds go to providing scholarships for students in the UNLV Jazz program chosen the best college jazz band in the nation by Downbeat Magazine in 2011.

Anchors away! What is it about all these TV news people marrying each other. The latest is Channel 3 newscasters Jim Snyder and Jessica Moore saying they will tie the knot in the near future. They are two of the most likeable and talented media people in our area.

The Spinners were in town at The M Resort and performed before a sold-out crowd at their Pavilion. What a dreamily enticing stroll down Memory Lane as they performed all their old hits with tight harmonies and choreography that reminded us of the good old days. These guys were smooth.

We saw another clever young comedian named Godfrey at the Riviera who was extremely funny. What can I say? He does accents and his humor is topical and on point. He captures some of the folks currently in the news at their funniest. Don’t miss him when he returns to Vegas.

Human Nature is off for a week or so going on tour to the Far East. These boys from “Down Under” sing Motown songs so well you think you’re standing on a street corner in Detroit. It is awesome. 

I would love to see them along with the cast from Hitzville perform together because this is some of the greatest music and polished musicians in Vegas. Is it true that Human Nature may be moving to the Venetian? Wherever they go, they are worth the trip.

Three sad deaths this past week with Alex Karras, a true gentle giant of Webster fame and the movies Blazing Saddles and Victor-Victoria; Gary Collins, who was good but couldn’t quite replace Burt Parks on the Miss America show and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. 

I think The Voice is emerging as one of my favorite shows. There’s real talent on that stage. Though I don’t always agree with the judges, it’s still an enjoyable experience. I think I’m in love with Blake Shelton, who is a real engaging man, mentor and coach.

The Rev. Monti once again wishes you all a great week.

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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