The recently passed Labor Day weekend in Las Vegas was big, loud and exciting. The Strip was packed and the tourists were all over the place.
There was rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and magic galore. Caught the new show at the Linq, starring magician Mat Franco, last year’s winner of “America’s Got Talent.” It remains to be seen whether he achieves the same success as Terry Fator.
The show is called “Mat Franco Magic Reinvented Nightly.” He has a great personality and interacts well with the audience with his intriguing, close-up magic. Though only 26 years old, he performs like an “old pro.” The show would be even better if there were some illusions rather than all basic magic but Mat is there to entertain.
Greg Thompson has been producing big shows for the past 30 years with Showgirls as one of his biggest hits. Now, Greg is returning to the Vegas scene this fall. He and his wife Sunny are producing a large-scale outdoor extravaganza in the streets of downtown Summerlin. They wanted me in the show but I no longer perform.
In an email to me, Greg said he didn’t return to Las Vegas after the successes at Rio, Harrah’s and Binion’s downtown in the mid-90s. Explanation: “I couldn’t get Monti Rock III to come out of retirement six nights a week! One show and done!”
Not only is Britney Spears reportedly ready to extend her contract for her show at the Axis Theater in Planet Hollywood, she is also rumored to be the half time entertainment at this year’s Super Bowl. Other Strip news is that Lionel Ritchie reportedly will be beginning a residency in our town beginning April 23, 2016. This fall/winter entertainment line-up looks like a winner (can’t wait for J-Lo to open).
Cooling on Caitlyn
Caitlyn Jenner has the “I Am Cait” reality show, which is geared to the transgender, transsexual world. Ratings are just so-so but surely will increase as celebrity friends and fans show their support. Frank Marino reportedly wants to meet and greet Caitlyn when she arrives in Las Vegas.
Downtown is still having its problems even though the Mob Museum, the Neon Museum and the Art District are doing respectable business. The Grand now has a new general manager and that hopefully may help this property.
The new season of TV talk shows has begun with the return of Whoopi Goldberg, Raven Simone and Michelle Collins on “The View” with some co-host changes and additions. Joy Behar is back along with new co-hosts Candace Cameron Bure and Paula Faris. Joy still has that touch that creates laughs and controversy for the show.
Ellen, Steve Harvey, Meredith Vieira and Wendy Williams are back. “The Talk” returns this week.
More about these shows and some others will follow next week. The big question is how will Stephen Colbert do on late-night network TV? Can he fill the void left by David Letterman? We have to wait and see if he can compete with the two Jimmys.
I did get to see Colbert’s opening night show and was not impressed by the host. However, George Clooney, his first showbiz guest, was good, as usual. The band stole last night’s show and the gospel inspired finale featuring Mavis Staples was a late night wake-up call that really sizzled.
In my opinion
Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, saying as an Apostolic Christian she is opposed. The Supreme Court and the State of Kentucky allow such marriages and she should not take it upon herself to not follow this law. If her religion gets in the way of her chosen profession I believe she will have to decide to follow the rules or leave her job. I personally feel jailing her was going a bit too far.
A special brother
This week my brother David Montanez passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was a musician who played vibes in his own band. My real name is Joseph Montanez (Joey from the Bronx), the youngest of six children. The middle children, David and his twin, our sister Ruth, both died of stomach cancer. Though David and I were not close, there was a strong connection between us and his passing leaves a large void in my life. David, may you rest in peace.
Please don’t forget to visit my websites: [email protected] and/or weddingsbymontirock.
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you only the best and wishes our Jewish friends a Happy New Year.
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].