I went to see Celine Dion at the Colosseum for the “umpteenth” time and this transcendent performer never disappoints.
Complete with the 31-piece orchestra, singers, visuals, all those beautiful gowns and most of all that voice – this is definitely a show like no other. Celine is what a performer should be – poised, confident, and audience friendly.
This diva begins one of her songs from the center of the huge Colosseum at Caesars Palace, making physical contact as she walks down the aisle to the stage. The duet with herself with the help of holograms is something to see and hear. This show is an experience like no other in Las Vegas.
Another pleasant experience was at a major dinner party at the Wynn with Marsha Ratner and her two younger children. Then came a luncheon at Carmine’s in The Forum Shops followed by another dinner party at Andre’s.
Marsha, a famous Miami socialite, is also the mother of Brett Ratner, director/producer of films such as “Tower Heist” and the three “Rush Hour” films. Marsha, who moved from Miami Beach to Beverly Hills, has many stories to tell along with a great sense of humor. I like being considered a friend.
The Britney Spears debut is still being talked about. We now realize she is the forerunner of things to come in Vegas. Las Vegas is looking for ways to draw a new and younger audience in addition to the stalwarts who keep coming back.
So you have Britney, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and maybe Lady Gaga filling these huge venues. They, for the most part, are in production shows that require more than just singing. Except for the first few rows, can you really detect who is singing live and who is lip-syncing? Does it really matter?
Audiences hear the artist singing and now they can see him/her cavorting all over the large stages. Either way, today’s “lyrics” are drowned out by the blaring music backing them. Celine Dion is one of the few who can and does sing live for an entire show.
Yours truly gave a small luncheon for Marci Weiss and some of the “ladies who lunch” at El Segundo Sol, the Mexican restaurant at Fashion Show Mall. Marci has been my friend over 40 years and is presently a casino host at Arizona Charlie’s. We had lots of laughs and a very good time.
Going back over the pages of my Las Vegas in the late ‘60s, I recall the fabulous shows featuring the likes of Liberace, Redd Foxx, Elvis, Barbra Streisand, the Rat Pack, Lena Horne, and the movie stars who tried their hand at performing live. I loved the so-called mob people who dressed up in suits and gowns to see these stars at The Riviera, Sahara, Hilton, etc. Unfortunately, that is an era that is gone – but it’s not forgotten.
I’m looking at the Linq, the biggest Ferris wheel in the world, built on the Strip, and the construction of the new sports/entertainment complex coming to the area between New York-New York and the Monte Carlo. The new Vegas is reinventing itself so as to draw younger demographics.
The DJs, the nightclubs, the Sapphire and the Paradise gentlemen clubs are where the money is. I look back and marvel that I’m still here observing and reporting the last of the old and the birth of the new.
Scott Santos celebrates the issue anniversary of his STRIPLV Magazine at Club Paradise this Wednesday. It’s the only locally-based international publication that explores the sexier side of Vegas. Scott, the publisher, is also a renowned photographer.
HBO’s “Beyond The Candelabra” has spurred new interest in Liberace. They just had an event at The Cosmopolitan, Dressing the Glitter Man, which highlights his costumes and designers. Here’s hoping they find a permanent home for the Liberace Museum. Lee deserves this recognition as he was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, names in the history of Las Vegas entertainment.
The CES show at the Las Vegas Convention Center featured their wares last week. Some of the items for this year’s consumers are a large, curved-screen ultra HDTV, ultra-slim tablets, 3-D printers, smart home technology, which enables one to control all of the electrical items in our homes, and a glimpse of solar-powered hybrid autos – the list goes on. It is unbelievable what is here and what will come in the world of electronics.
Back on the local scene is Rita Rudner, who will be returning to the Sands showroom at The Venetian beginning Jan. 19 and running through May 26. Rita is known for her trademark clever observations, sharp timing and soft-spoken humor. Call 702-414-9000 or visit www.venetian.com for performance dates and tickets.
Also back for 2014 is Bill Maher who has performances scheduled for March and October. Bill is the master of funny political talk and has a long history on TV. For tickets call 702-944-3200 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Dancing Queen’s closing at the showroom at Planet Hollywood has opened the door for the return of Meat Loaf for 24 dates beginning in Feb. PH will be a busy place with the Jacksons reportedly part of a rotating group of acts being brought to us by Adam Steck.
Our good friend, Clint Holmes, is on a roll. This Las Vegas favorite is taking New York by storm, having just been named best Celebrity Male Vocalist by Broadwayworld.com. Holmes appears regularly at the Cafe Carlyle with additional appearances at Birdland and Feinstein’s in addition to his monthly stint at Cabaret Jazz here in Las Vegas. Clint hopes to bring his show, “Just Another Man,” to Broadway.
Other news: Penn and Teller were nominated for an award in Great Britain (BAFTA) for their documentary film, “Tim’s Vermeer”…Golden Rainbow will be receiving some much needed support from the Cirque midweek event, “Exposure” at the Light Nightclub on Jan 19. GR provides housing and direct assistance to people living in Southern Nevada who suffer from HIV/AIDS. For more info please visit [email protected]
The Rev. Monti wishes you health, happiness, and success in 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].