Staying alive in NYC for 'Fever' at 40

Staying alive in NYC for 'Fever' at 40

December 19, 2017 3:00 AM
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I am writing this very special column from my NYC hotel suite shortly before participating in a very special show. Mr. Monti Rock III was called from Italy by producer/promoter Gianluca Mech, and signed to be at the 40th anniversary celebration of “Saturday Night Fever.”

In my cameo role as DJ in the iconic movie I spun records for the disco crowd at the 2001 Odyssey Disco located in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Mech, a self-proclaimed “Fever” freak, wanted to have a special celebration for the film’s 40th anniversary. 

So for one night he took over a Chinese restaurant that sits on the site of the real-life 2001 Odyssey at 64th Street and 8th Ave. in Bay Ridge, and spent $200,000 to transform it into an exact replica of the disco in the movie, including that amazing dance floor where Tony Manero (John Travolta) and other young people performed the ritual of their Saturday night obsession with being the best disco dancers in their special world.

Mech, 48, was only eight years old when he saw this film in his native Italy, but it changed his life – as well as mine! When Giancarlo flew to Las Vegas to formally present me with the contract to return to the role of DJ Monti I was thrilled. 

Originally the character’s name was Bernie, but when I saw the script I told the director no one with the name Bernie would be a DJ at a hot disco club. Thus, Monti became Monti!

It is an eerie feeling going back 40 years to those days when disco ruled. Those swirling globes, flashing lights and polyester suits – especially the white one worn by Travolta – were totally in vogue.

Many careers blossomed from this film. Travolta became a super star and The Bee Gees though already hot but became furnaces and all the songs in the film became chart busters! 

After SNF I became the great Disco-Tex of Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes with “Get Dancin’” and “I Wanna Dance Wit Choo.”

Reliving the past is glorious! Mech even had Dolce and Gabbana make him a Travolta-type suit at a price tag of $5,000 – except he let the bell bottoms go, that was just too much, and had the legs tapered. 

And I wore my glittering sunglasses and rhinestone encrusted beanie – suited in black, chains on my neck, dashing scarf flung over my shoulders – I am once again the original Monti DJ. It was a night to remember always. Thank you, Gianluca!

Soccer comes up Aces

Las Vegas has really become an all-around sports town. The San Antonio Stars of the WNBA are now officially the Las Vegas Aces. A female sports team of our very own! We have ice hockey, football (coming in 2020), soccer, now we need a major league baseball team. Are you ready for that? I sure am, I grew up not far from Yankee Stadium and as a kid used to watch games from the bleachers.

Inferno, a new production show, will open at Paris Las Vegas Jan. 24. I am so happy new blood and ideas will be unfolding on our stages. Joe Labero, illusionist and Merlin Award winner, and The Fuel Girls, with dazzling fire feats, will be in this show. Fire away!

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be presenting “The Voice: Neon Dreams” this spring. It will feature a number of all-star vocalists from the Emmy-winning reality TV show “The Voice,” including Alisan Porter, Chris Mann, Mary Sarah, Matthew Schuler and Matt McAndrew.

As the “holi-daze” envelop our lives and we’re ready to drop from shopping, decorating, sending cards and more, remember, you really do not have to take it upon yourself to cook for guests and family. Give yourself a present – dine out at one of our myriad restaurants that have special menus this time of year.

Sleigh it to me, baby!

Monti Rock III and Zozo the Wonder Dog