Britney Spears’ “Piece Of Me” at Planet Hollywood was sold out as predicted.
I was a witness to the evening from the VIP reception at the London Club, featuring red carpet visits by Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Adam Lambert and lots of local celebrities.
I was watching the red carpet to see if I recognized anyone else. It’s definitely a generational thing as fans are about 20 to 35. Planet Hollywood must know something about attracting a younger audience.
Britney looks marvelous with spectacular staging, lighting, choreography and dancers. I loved the backdrop video presentations. However, it was a little disconcerting to hear her invite the audience to stand and dance during the show when some of us wanted to see the show from our seats.
Maybe a designated “no standing” seating area might help. The show, with 23 songs and many costume changes, was, for the most part, visually special. The reported lip-syncing didn’t bother me since you really couldn’t detect it behind the microphone she was wearing.
Gone are the great days of Ann-Margret, who helped write the book on this type of show.
As for Miley, she opened Jeff Beacher’s Madhouse at the MGM. She then went on to NYC for the New Year’s Eve extravaganza.
This year we’ve seen the demise of the Housewives of Las Vegas reality show, the failure of the CeeLo Green “Loberace” show, (will he head to the Riviera?), the passing of the fabulous Eydie Gorme, and the loss of the proposed Wayne Newton Museum. We’ve also seen the “return” to Channel 3 of Alicia Jacobs, who does celebrity stories, so to speak.
2014 also marks the beginning of the “new” Frank Marino, who is recuperating from major cosmetic surgery and getting ready to return shortly to his hit show, Divas Las Vegas.
Don Arden’s Jubilee, the mother of showgirl shows, is dark for now and will reopen soon with new choreography, costumes, music and a reportedly renovated theater. All this is aimed at attracting a new and younger audience.
Criss Angel had shoulder surgery and will be hosting a special magicians’ show until he returns to his regular gig this spring. We wish him a full and early recovery.
Celine Dion is back (thankfully) at the Colosseum, her home away from home. This woman is amazing as she fills the house for each performance with her fantastic show. Celine and her musicians reflect talent at its very best.
The Tropicana is bringing back the hit show “Mama Mia” to its refurbished theater for a hopefully long and successful run. This show is not new to Las Vegas but has always attracted a large audience.
The Cosmopolitan finally opened its Chelsea Theater with the extraordinary Bruno Mars set for several appearances. The Marquee Day and Night club, with its novel approach should prove to be a big success.
Jon Secada gave us a glimpse of his new show, produced and directed by Kenny Ortega and Travis Payne. Las Vegas needs a Latin-themed show and this one surely fits the bill. Great staging, lighting and choreography, music and the talented Jon Secada are a perfect fit to fill this void.
Downtown entertainment is headed by Gordie Brown at the Golden Nugget and The Scintas at the D, among others. Coming to the Golden Nugget is the highly anticipated afternoon show, Pawn Stars-Live.
Reality show hosts Jennifer Lopez and Adam Levine each came in as winners with Adam being named People Magazine’s sexiest man alive and Jennifer performing at the American Music Awards. Her Celia Cruz tribute even made the TV set dance along with her.
David Saxe, Adam Steck, and John Bentham will keep on bringing in the hits as they have in the past. These young and talented producers know Las Vegas and give us what we want in entertainment,
Anita Mann’s Fantasy will still lead the way for the topless shows along with Norbert Aleman’s Crazy Girls. Matt and Angela Stabile follow with their Burlesque shows. Something for everybody in our town.
Cirque shows will continue to dominate the Strip, but with some much needed safety upgrades. Certain sequences have been replaced by less dangerous acts due to two incidents. Ka, Zumanity, Love, Zarkana, O. Michael Jackson – One, Believe and their first Las Vegas hit, Mystere, are there for all the fans of the Cirque brand of entertainment.
My New Year resolutions include being less mean-spirited and even cruel. That said, I will keep expressing my personal opinion as a columnist. Let’s face it, I’ve been in show business for 50 years so I do tend to know what’s good and what’s not so good.
I always look back fondly at my role in Saturday Night Fever, a once in a lifetime movie success that has stood the test of time. It made me what I am – a legend in my own mind.
Bottom line is to be able to wish everyone a happy, healthy and very prosperous 2014.
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].