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Mamma Mia to call Tropicana Casino home

Feb 18, 2014 3:00 AM

Can you Trop this? Mamma Mia producers say, yes.

They held a press conference last week covering the new production coming to the Tropicana this spring.

The show, a success wherever it runs, is a mega-hit and will hopefully be a huge success again at the Tropicana. It had a good run at Mandalay Bay a few years back as well as a recent production at The Smith Center.

The Tropicana theater has been refurbished and is ready to house a long-run show. The last big hit at Trop was the live production of Dancing With the Stars, but there were too many complications to continue running the show.

Reportedly, prior commitments would keep many of the star dancers from appearing and would require constant cast changes.

Latest Criss: The Angelic One, Criss Angel, has assembled a group of local magicians to perform in his “Magic Jam” show at Luxor. Angel has been recovering from shoulder surgery and is hosting this special show until later this spring when he returns to star in his hit, Believe. There is no holding him back; his hit TV show is currently running on Spike TV.

Beatles at 50: It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan television show. That was the night that started the British invasion of the music scene and changed the landscape of rock and roll.

After seeing the record crowd at New York’s Shea Stadium in 1965, promoters’ eyes opened up to the potential of holding concerts in major sports complexes. In the past several weeks Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited on stage and wowed their audiences again. And many other shows celebrated this 50th anniversary.

Golden Nugget: Pawn Shop Live! is getting better all the time. The show is really tight now and they may be moving to a slightly later time slot. It is the very best entertainment, no matter the time. Rumor has it there is a big shake-up at the GN, but thankfully Ron O’Neal is still there in the entertainment division.

Smith Center: Tony, Golden Globe, and Emmy nominee Lainie Kazan will be appearing at Cabaret Jazz on Feb. 28 and March 1. This singer/actress who was Barbra Streisand’s understudy in Funny Girl went on to become a top TV, film and nightclub star.

Cabaret Jazz resident star, Clint Holmes, brought the house down with his “Stop This Train” show here and at NYC’s Hotel Carlyle. Clint is working hard to get this show to Broadway.

Bye, bye: Katie Couric’s TV talk show has been cancelled even though it garnered awards and critical acclaim while Bethenny Frankel’s show just celebrated its 100th show. Katie’s was reportedly the most expensive daytime syndicated talk show. The popular and talented Couric has signed to be the global anchor of Yahoo news.

Get real! What’s with the Real Housewives shows – divorces, battered wives, and criminal investigations. Next thing you know, Honey Boo-Boo will be investigated. Can’t believe the American public still watches this insane attempt at entertainment.

Simply Strip: Holly Madison has reportedly struck a deal to appear in the new Mandalay Bay showroom…Bruno Mars, a smash at the Super Bowl, has a 10 week deal with the Cosmopolitan and singer Adele may be the next diva to appear in Vegas…The Jackson Brothers have a 40-show contract at Planet Hollywood plus the resort has Meat Loaf back.

Bring it B! Britney Spears has become the hottest ticket in Vegas, possibly outselling all the other entertainers on the Strip. She is the new “pop princess” of Las Vegas.

About me: There is a great piece in Strip Magazine about yours truly written by publisher Scott Santos. It captures the essential Monti Rock lll who, incidentally, will be in South Florida in March at the new Disco Mania show.

Farewell, Jay: Leno’s closing show featured the brilliant Billy Crystal leading a celebrity ensemble that included Carol Burnett among others. The late night talk shows are now being taken over by younger performers like Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. Next to go will probably be David Letterman. Who might CBS bring in for their late night time slot?

In mourning: Julia Roberts is devastated by the suicide of her step-sister, Nancy, who left a very unflattering letter blaming Julia for many things. Julia had been trying unsuccessfully to get Nancy into rehab, but the addiction won out in the end. Meanwhile, Julia reportedly has cancelled many upcoming events due to this tragedy.

Magic moments: Johnny Thompson, the magician’s magician, has been nominated for an LA Drama Critics Award as illusion/magic designer for Todd Robbins and Teller’s “Play Dead.” As for Penn and Teller, they will be Grand Marshals for the 2014 AFAN Aids Walk on May 4. Again, our local entertainers are there working hard for worthy charities

Only one Shirley: Arguably the greatest child star of all time, Shirley Temple, died last week at 85. Temple films in the 1930’s saved 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy and she was one of the highest paid stars of her time.

There was a three year period when she was more popular than Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford. Her films with Bill Robinson broke the Hollywood interracial ban on blacks and whites touching one another. Their dance sequences were the first of their kind not cut out of films shown in the South.

Shirley eventually went into the public service arena and later became our Ambassador to Ghana as well as working for the United Nations. Today’s child stars and their parents can learn a lot by following in her footsteps.

Hail Caesar: We also lost another legend with the passing of Sid Caesar at 91. The legendary comedian was the leading comic in the “Golden Age of Television.” His Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour were the best that TV has ever offered.

Caesar worked with stars like Imogene Coca, Nanette Fabray, Carl Reiner, and Howard Morris in some of the funniest sketches ever. In addition to TV, Sid also did several films and stage appearances. He was considered the comedian’s comedian. Our condolences go out to his wife, children, family and friends. His death leaves a big void in the world of comedy.

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].

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