Wayne Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah finally opened to the public last Friday. The tours range in admission price from $35-$95, depending on which of the several available packages you choose.
Casa de Shenandoah is located just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip and has been Newton’s sanctuary for more than four decades. It features natural artesian ponds, waterfalls, towering oak trees, champion Arabian horses, exotic pets like a capuchin monkey, “Charlie” the penguin, wallabies, peacocks and more.
Newton first sang as a teenager at the Fremont Hotel in 1959. The tour will show off his personal collection of rare automobiles, including cars formerly owned by Johnny Cash and Steve McQueen and a lifetime of memorabilia, including gifts from friends such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Jack Benny.
More to come about this next week.
This week marked the passing of several celebrities – namely rock ‘n’ roll chef Kerry Simon, actress/comedian Judy Carne, actor Martin Milner and former child star Dickie Moore.
Simon went from a Chicago pizza restaurant to positions in Europe and the Far East, Miami and finally Las Vegas. He was known for his long, shaggy dark hair, along with his great food, all of which drew a large musical clientele. He cut his hair when he found out he had multiple system atrophy. In spite of that, he continued to raise support for other diseases. His friends surrounded him to the end and that says a lot as to what kind of person Kerry was. He left us much too soon at only 60 years of age.
Carne, the “Sock it to me” girl on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In,” died in England at age 76. She had a tumultuous marriage to Burt Reynolds, a one-night stand with Steve McQueen, and several drug-related brushes with the law. A failed marriage to Robert Bergmann ended after a car accident in which she was seriously injured. She sued him for medical expenses and won a rather small settlement. Her later years were not happy ones.
Baby-faced Milner was best known for his roles as a motorcycle cop on TV’s “Adam-12” and co-star on “Route 66.” He was 83.
Moore, one of Hollywood’s first child stars, died at age 89. Dickie went from “Our Gang” comedies in the ‘30s to co-star with Shirley Temple and then a starring role in “Oliver Twist.” He then became a publicity agent and later married Jane Powell.
Burton on film
The premiere of the Lance Burton film “Billy Topit Master Magician” will be held in Las Vegas this Thursday. Lance’s Las Vegas career began as a featured performer in Folies Bergere for nine years. He went on with his own show at the Hacienda for five years and then on to the Monte Carlo for 14 years in the Lance Burton Theater, the first on the Strip named for a performer.
Burton then retired and has resurfaced as a filmmaker. He is involved in all aspects of the project including the funding of the film. All funds from the film’s premiere and limited run will go to three of Lance’s favorite charities.
Murray Sawchuck and wife Chloe have decided to call it quits after three and a half years of marriage. Chloe was, until very recently, one of Anita Mann’s Fantasy Girls and Murray’s on-stage assistant. She is working on becoming a top magician in her own right. The divorce is amicable and they hope to stay good friends.
Britney for 2
Britney Spears has extended her contract for another two years at Planet Hollywood. Her show has been a hit since it opened and she is one of the highest paid entertainers in Las Vegas. A few European performances are reportedly on the horizon during her time off. Britney is also reportedly slated for the half-time show at the Super Bowl.
Beginning in January, Jennifer Lopez will be sharing the Axis Theater with Britney in her own show, which is said to be spectacular – exactly what we always get from this multi-talented superstar. We will also have Janet Jackson and Lionel Ritchie as semi-resident performers this season. What a lineup!
49 and woe
What was billed as Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s final fight turned out be a disappointment at the box office. Ticket sales lagged and two tickets were offered as part of a room package at MGM properties. Receipts of $13,395 were well below the usual turnout. Floyd stepped down as he retained his champion status.
No longer a Secret
Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is still going strong. Four tiger cubs born there to parents Svengali and Indira were the first to be introduced at the Mirage in five years. One of them. Liberty, is a pure white female. Siegfried & Roy’s love for the big cats is as strong as ever.
Sense for Westgate
More “Nunsense” is coming to Las Vegas again, as the hit musical returns next month. Arthur Karsarjian is bringing the Jay Harvey production of the show to the Westgate beginning Oct. 19. This show has kept audiences in stitches whenever and wherever it has been seen. The Westgate should prove a good venue for this production.
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you only 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].