Bernie Yuman, who managed Siegfried and Roy and was involved with Gordie Brown’s career, is now part of the new Emilio and Gloria Estefan hit musical “On Your Feet” that just opened on Broadway to unanimous rave reviews.
This show tells Gloria’s story, including her beginnings with the Miami Sound Machine in Miami in the ‘70s , their success and then her near fatal accident, which left her paralyzed for a time. She luckily recovered to go on to becoming one of the top performers of this era and the show is one of the biggest musicals to hit Broadway.
When I came back to Las Vegas in the ‘90s Bernie was riding high enough to ignore me, Disco Tex, though I was recommended to him by the late Frank Lieberman, who was a top publicist and also worked with Siegfried and Roy.
The musical about Disco Tex is still in the works in NYC. This is the story of a Bronx-born Puerto Rican who became one of the most flamboyant artists of the ‘70s. The meteoric rise from a top hair stylist to the Johnny Carson school of talk shows, and then on to hit records and featured roles in several movies. One of those roles was as the nightclub DJ in “Saturday Night Fever,” which was included in the top 100 films of all time by the Library of Congress.
On Sunday my entourage and I went to see the closing of “Nunsense,” the show about five nuns trying to find funds for the funerals of a few of their recently deceased peers. This was one of the many wonderful productions being performed in different national and international venues. The great Kaye Ballard starred in an early version. It just didn’t draw in its run at Treasure Island, mostly due to the lack of proper marketing.
SNL for Trump
Donald Trump garnered some of the highest ratings of all “Saturday Night Live” shows. The Donald would make a great carnival barker, but not the leader of our great country. His talent lies in garnering attention along with some great financial successes. Other than that he should “stick to his day job.”
Yes, I did watch the CMA Awards on ABC. Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert were there to entertain us, but it was Justin Timberlake who stole the show. His duet with country music’s Chris Stapleton was the show’s fantastic highlight.
Justin, a native of Memphis, is an amazing performer who can sing just about any type of music – jazz, pop, R&B, rock and roll. At the CMAs he proved a master of country music as well. To see him in concert is something else. Stapleton showed us what country blues really is. They were showstoppers. Light comedic touches by and about Blake, Miranda, Gwen, and Adam Levine were included in this, one of the best of country music shows.
SLS adds a W
SLS has turned one of it towers over to Starwood Hotels and renamed it The W. This will be a hotel within a hotel with its own pool and a special lobby that will be named the “Living Room.” The remaining three towers will remain as they are. SLS is in the midst of changes in its restaurants and theater.
All in all things are looking better for this beautiful under-performing hotel/casino at the north end of the Strip. Many of us can still remember when the Sahara with its Congo Room club was one of “the” hotel/casinos on the Strip. The musical Saturday Night Fever played in their main showroom.
Benefit a hit
One thing for sure is there is no limit to the number of benefit shows we have in Las Vegas. The most recent at the Pavilion Ballroom in the Rio was to benefit the Las Vegas Academy. The show featured performers like Jack Jones, Clint Holmes, Bob Anderson, Frank Scinta, Pia Zadora, and many more. Jack performed songs from his just released Frank Sinatra tribute album.
At last, Dirk!
Finally got to see Dirk Arthur’s “Wild Magic” show at the Westgate. His work with his tigers and a panther is something to see. The show is backed by dancers and the big cats are entertaining from start to finish. It is extremely well staged, produced and fast paced with Dirk constantly on stage during the entire performance. This is definitely one of the better shows of this genre and a show to be seen.
For you lovers of Chinese food, Mr. Chow is finally coming to Las Vegas. He plans to be open at Caesars Palace before the coming holidays. Dining at Mr. Chow’s is like being part of a work of art. The whole experience is a meeting of east and west. Mr. Chow is a must.
Odds & Ends
Rumors are flying that Mariah Carey and billionaire James Packer are ready to tie the knot. She has reportedly moved into his fabulous house. We’ll be seeing Mariah back at the Colosseum in February.
• The latest on the set of “Dancing With The Stars” involves Tamar Baxter, Val Chmerkovskiy’s partner. She was hospitalized due to exhaustion after the dress rehearsal of the show last week but was released just in time to appear in the final sequence. Like an old Hollywood movie, she arrived, got dressed and with no time to apply full makeup, went on and won the praises of the judges and audience.
• Jennifer Lopez will be hosting The American Music Awards this Saturday. J-Lo is in the midst of rehearsing for her residency show at Planet Hollywood, beginning Jan. 2. Those who have seen some of the bits and pieces are raving. It is being touted as “the” show to see. That’s no surprise as J-Lo is a fantastic talent whose brand of singing, dancing and performing is probably the best in the business.
• A $2 million party for Kris Jenner’s birthday was thrown at The Lot in West Hollywood, a black tie affair with a “Great Gatsby” theme. Guests included Ryan Seacrest, Harry Hamlin, Lisa Rinna, John Legend along with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Caitlyn Jenner, who couldn’t attend, appeared in a video, toasting her former spouse from a bubble bath. (How sweet!)
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].