This week I was asked about the fabric of Las Vegas. What makes a truly “Vegas created” star?
When I arrived in Las Vegas 15 years ago, there were many young and talented performers. One of the top entertainers was Clint Holmes, who opened at the Golden Nugget and became a smash. He moved over to Harrah’s and the showroom was named The Clint Holmes Theater.
After a long run and a local TV show with Sheena Easton, he began playing elite cabaret shows in New York and across the country. Clint is now a resident entertainer at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center for Performing Arts.
The Rat Pack, the show that David Cassidy produced was great. It went on to have spin-offs with other casts and other producers. David then went into the show at the Rio with Easton, and then starred in EFX, taking on the role from Michael Crawford.
Las Vegas also gave us the great Danny Gans, who unfortunately died at a very young age. Amid all the success in theater has come failure. Case in point – the greatest show ever produced in Las Vegas, Phantom of the Opera. This Vegas spectacular had one of the most brilliant ensemble casts ever seen here.
Garth Brooks and Reba held forth as the country stars and now we have Shania, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill holding forth.
It is very difficult to succeed in the Las Vegas world of entertainment unless you have very deep pockets along with a fabulous marketing team, excellent advertising and the support of the ticket brokers.
There are very few stars other than Celine Dion or Siegfried and Roy who could fill a large venue on a nightly basis. Not even Bette Midler or Cher could, though they were almost there.
There is a young female singer/impressionist, Veronic, who is one the greatest talents I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve seen her show at Bally’s four times and it just gets better. She dances, sings, does innumerable impressions and has charisma.
Veronic is a star! She’s French-Canadian with AEG and Celine Dion behind her. Again, I say she is the first woman star emerging in a long time. She has appeared on Katie Couric and “Good Morning America.” Veronic should get more TV exposure like the “Tonight Show.” She has also been featured as a special guest with the Million Dollar Quartet at Harrah’s.
This week I had a pleasurable dining experience at a new Japanese restaurant, TAIGA, on E. Sunset Road between Eastern and Pecos.
Remodeling at New York-New York has had its casualties. The 9/11 Memorial has to find a new permanent home for its artifacts as its present location is being replaced by the new arena being built between this hotel and the Monte Carlo.
Last weekend the Rio was home to the annual Star Trek convention. This, most likely, is the largest and most successful “get-together” of its kind in 47 years. Many of its cast members, including those of the original film were on hand for this celebration. Keep “truckin” Trekkers!
Iconic film star,Sharon Stone, in Las Vegas for the premiere of “Lovelace” at Planet Hollywood, recalled memories of her career beginning in Las Vegas when, in 1984, she was featured in a Rock Hudson TV movie.
After many years of small roles, she broke out in the movie, “Basic Instinct.” Then came “Casino ,” which made her a bonafide superstar. In “Lovelace” she plays Linda Lovelace’s dowdy mother, a role that enables her to really act rather than just be seen. Glad to have you back, Sharon!
Anita Mann is at it again, making changes to her hit show, Fantasy, at the Luxor. Jaime Lynch will be taking over as lead singer in the show as Lorena Peril left to tour in Europe in “Grease.” These changes, under the amazing talent of Mann, are what keep the show fresh and leave its audience wanting more.
Burlesque lost one of its brightest stars last week. Legendary performer Dixie Evans died at age 86. Dixie was the Marilyn Monroe of burlesque, a lady she resembled in her shows. She, along with Tempest Storm, were the queens of burlesque.
Dixie founded and operated the Exotic World Burlesque Museum & Striptease Hall of Fame where many Gypsy Rose Lee items can be seen. She was inspirational to many of today’s burlesque performers such as Holly Madison, Melody Sweets, and Claire Sinclair. Dixie was definitely one of a kind.
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].