Did you catch the Trump Miss USA pageant last week? I did. Nice to see Planet Hollywood as the host and Miss Connecticut taking the title, though I felt bad for Miss Utah making that faux pas (I’m not sure it cost her the contest).
But the Jonas Brothers! What is that? Giuliana (Rancic) from the E! What is that? It brought a lot of moolah to our economy so whoever all these people are it’s a good thing.
My friends Jim and Rose Perine’s son, Kelly, made a pilot with the Jonas Brothers band, which was cut but went to video. One of the Jonas boys appears in the PBS Special of the 25th Anniversary of Les Miserables appearing as Marius. I might try out for “Jeopardy” because my memory hasn’t left me yet!
Also at Planet Hollywood, Marshall Sylver, hypnotist, illusionist and marketing genius, has reportedly closed his show – or is it only a temporary thing as the release says? Marshall will end up somewhere else – you can bet on that. He reportedly claims this was only a showcase as this venue was not right for his show.
The LVH, formerly the Hilton, had a shake-up this week. Rich Little has closed after a long run; Esteban also closed, and in the big room we have Raiding The Rock Vault, which is still going on forever. Rumor has it one of the Rat Pack shows is about to pull the plug. But, the Rock does not speculate!!
The Venetian has surprised us by bringing Broadway here again. Although not always successful, they had a fantastic run with one of the greatest productions of Phantom of the Opera. But Vegas just can’t support it. Now they are bringing us Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
This is one of my favorite Australian movies, which I saw a few times in the early ‘90s. I even bought the DVD. The musical, which was a smash in Australia and Europe, was only mildly successful on Broadway in 2011. It is a costume designers’ dream come true, boasting more than 500 costumes.
Thinking of the new show Kinky Boots, which won all the Tony Awards, coming to the Smith Center when they begin touring, so we continue to see a tradition sustained. You can see Priscilla every Tuesday-Thursday at 8 p.m.
Do you remember Avenue Q and Spamalot (Flopalot)? Both excellent Broadway productions, well put together, but just not supported for extended stays. Even the grand old Sahara brought us Saturday Night Fever (remember, I was in the movie!) and it didn’t make it either. The production featured my character (the DJ) but they didn’t respect Rock III and so, it closed.
It’s not good to disrespect or “dis” the Queen.
Speaking of queens, we now have the $Million babies, and among them is the daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, a miracle child who came a month early. This baby will be worth beaucoup bucks if we know her mother’s marketing skills.
Kanye wants to maintain privacy for his child and reportedly will not allow pictures to be shown to the public. He also would like to move to France, where the press is less aggressive, but is Kim ready to give up her family empire? Her 15 minutes of fame has lasted a little longer than we imagined.
What exactly is she famous for doing? Oh well, you work it, girl – whatever it is!!
My spies spotted two major stars of different shows holding hands and canoodling (a word that covers a multitude of sins) while their spouses were out of town. I caught ya!
I recently officiated a wedding at the estate of Bill Voelkner for Mike Licata and Jennifer Lee. It was an auspicious affair with music, caterers, bands, 60-70 guests. With Rock aboard, love was in the air.
One of the funniest guys on the planet, D.L. Hughley, was at The Orleans. D.L. was current, topical, and able to tell a funny tale – even mentioning that for a black man he didn’t have much rhythm and therefore didn’t last long on “Dancing With the Stars.”
I hope he comes back often because the setting at Orleans is a perfect venue for his brand of comedy and he was well received. He will mess with the audience so if you don’t want him to pick on you, don’t sit in the front row. His ad libs were hysterical.
The great singer/showman Earl Turner appeared “unplugged” during a recent concert at the Suncoast Hotel/Casino. With guitar, a highly skilled band and two terrific backup singers, he showed us another side to his many musical talents and stylings.
I was transfixed, having never seen him perform this way before. Turner was thoughtful and reverential. He paid homage to some great music and singers. They were to videotape the second night’s performance and I hope a CD, DVD or something comes out of this. Earl’s son, Aaron, is currently a contestant on the television reality show “So You Think You Can Dance?” Check it out and maybe you can cast a vote for him.
Fantasy show headliner Lorena Peril will be leaving the show this fall, having taken the Sandy role in a global tour of “Grease.” Lorena, who sounds as good as she looks, will be a hard act to follow. Producer Anita Mann is in the process of selecting the new headliner and will announce Peril’s successor in the coming months. After 13 years, Anita has managed to keep this one of the best showgirl productions in Las Vegas.
Another Vegas thrill ride? One of the new non-gaming attractions in the works is the “Polarcoaster.” Plans have reportedly been submitted to the FAA to build the 650-foot thrill ride at the Tropicana. This might be a little tricky because of its proximity to McCarran Airport.
This ride would spiral around a tower similar to the Stratosphere, and would include dining, retail and an observation deck. Glass elevators will be available for those who’d rather not take the coaster to the top.
Huge losses: Show biz greats Esther Williams at 91 and James Gandolfini at 51 have died. Esther , who passed away June 6, was thought of as “Doris Day, underwater.” Beneath that beautiful face and body was, most importantly, a beautiful lady. Esther was one of MGM’s biggest box office draws of all time. We can never forget her and those wonderful Technicolor spectacles.
Gandolfini, who died last week, is best remembered for his iconic role on HBO’s “The Sopranos.” His portrayal of Tony Soprano garnered him three Emmys and he was considered by his peers as one of the really great actors of our time. He also did some indelible character parts in several films. He always said he favored those types of roles that enabled him to show his versatility.
As always, the Rev. Monti wishes you all the best.
Monti Rock, who starred with John Travolta in the classic Saturday Night Fever, is a legend, performer, GamingToday entertainment columnist and marketing expert. Contact Monti at [email protected].