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Monti's Blog - April 2014

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MONTI - LICIOUS   4/14/14

The much-anticipated production of William Shakespeare's The Tempest co-directed by Teller (of Penn &Teller fame) opened at The Smith Center last week to unanimous critical acclaim.Poster The story of the magician Prospero is filled with magic and illusions by Teller (of Penn and Teller) and the music of Tom Waits.

Much of the magic must be credited to the great Johnny Thompson. The story of a father and daughter is the epitome of many modern dysfunctional families - Willie was a genius after all. Told with the aid of fabulous feats of magic and illusions, this spectacular production is something to see. The cast is packed with talented performers and the show hopefully will be Broadway bound. Unfortunately, you only have until April 27 to see this Teller extravaganza.

All was not fun at the ACM awards last week. It was reported that there was backstage friction over dressing rooms, temper tantrums, etc. that unfortunately go with the territory.Monti All of this added up to a very entertaining show, filled with performances by established country stars and many newcomers. As predicted, George Strait was named entertainer of the year - he won his first 25 years ago. Miranda Lambert won female singer for the 5th time. With their wonderful comedic timing, co-hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan helped keep the show running at a fast and energetic pace.

Keep May 4 open for a great one-night only showcase performance at the Venetian. Bob Anderson accompanied by Vince Falcone and a full orchestra will perform their Sinatra inspired show.Monti This is Bob Anderson, a fantastic singer and impressionist, as you've never seen him before.

It looks like the Jimmy Emerson's version of "Bottoms Up" is ready to go. They are close to finding a new venue for this production, which would be a wonderful addition to our entertainment scene.

Legendary star Mickey Rooney has died at the age of 93.  There was never a more talented performer whose career ran for 80 years. Mickey starred in movies, TV, and the stage. He is most remembered for his starring role in 20 Andy Hardy films, and his movies co-starring Judy Garland. This precocious little man was married eight times, most notably to the ravishing Ava Gardner, and dated the gorgeous Lana Turner. "Whata guy, whataGuy"!!!!

Another showbiz loss was that of John Pinette, the rotund comic, who passed away at age 50. His Chinese Buffet DVD is hilarious. John did several HBO specials and was a guest on several TV sitcoms, notably the final episode of the classic Jerry Seinfeld series.

Another celebrity chef comes to the Strip. Guy Fieri (host of TV's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) is opening his first Las Vegas restaurant. Vegas Kitchen and Bar officially opens on April 17 and will feature his award-winning burger as well as has twist on traditional dishes.

Kirstie Alley is back with Jennie Craig. Kirstie, who had lost 75 pounds, has fallen off the wagon and regained about 25 pounds. She has decided to get back on track after seeing herself in her popular TV series. This beautiful woman has been fighting weight problems for some time, and hopefully, she will keep her weight down after this session.

Las Vegas favorite George Wallace won his case against the Bellagio for the injury sustained while doing a private party at the hotel. A $1.3 million was awarded to the very popular comedian who just celebrated a 10 year run at the Flamingo, George, though happy with the win, was critical of the jury choice, and of one of the attorneys, who he thought was being disrespectful.  He has just announced the closing of his long running hit show on April 27. With  a new book out, 2 new films, and working on future TV projects, this talented gentleman will be very busy.

Although I am not a gun enthusiast, this weeks tragic stabbing incident at a Pennsylvania school shows us that it is the perpetrator and not the weapon that is at fault. Family members of these young people have a got to be aware of what is going on.  Any signs of emotional problems should be questioned and checked so as to avoid these tragedies. The same holds true for the military. The Ft. Hood shootings should have never happened.  Any signs of abnormal stress should be immediately looked into. We are living in very precarious times, dangerous weapons are too easy to obtain, and we have to be aware of everything going on around us.

The Rev, Monti wishes you only the best.

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MONTI-LICIOUS - 4/6/14

The new revamped and updated production of Don Arden's classic Jubilee opened last week. Highlights of the show are still the Samson and Delilah and the Titanic sequences. The show is new enhanced with contemporary music and dance. Wonderful choreography, dancers and singers, music, staging and sets and, of course, the beautiful showgirls in magnificent costumes bring the show to a new high. Don Arden would be proud of this production that shows us what Las Vegas entertainment was, and still is. In the audience were stars like Queen Latifahas and writers and columnists in full force. An after-show reception followed at Drai's. Bottom line is that Jubilee is definitely a must-see.

The High Roller at the Linq is open and doing great business. The wheel is 550' high, making it the second tallest freestanding structure in Las Vegas.The first couple to get engaged on the High Roller was another highlight of the initial ride. This, along with the restaurants and shops, will be one of the biggest attractions on the Strip. The only drawback is that the wheel is still moving as passengers enter and exit, which may be difficult for seniors and children.

Roslyn Kind, singer and half sister of Barbara Streisand, performed at Cabaret Jazz last weekend.This girl has a beautiful voice but living under the shadow of Barbra has been a hindrance to her becoming a big star. The same can be said about Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland and sister of Liza Minnelli. Liza got out from under Judy's shadow and became a superstar in her own right.

Cabaret Jazz and The Smith Center book many great performers, among them are Barbara Cook and Patty Lupone, and Mary Wilson.

Auditions for the musical "Rocky" are in full swing here in Las Vegas. This will be a stage version of the Sylvester Stallone movie. They are reportedly looking for more investors.

Mama Mia opens at the Tropicana Theater this month. This long-running Broadway hit should bring a lot of people to this iconic hotel/casino. Santana is reportedly in talks with the hotel about having his own room in the former Nikki Beach area. This, also, would be good for the hotel as well as this great performer.

Norm Clarke has a new interview show entitled "Conversations with Norm”. In its debut at Cabaret Jazz, he had Terry Fator as his first guest. Terry told about his ordeals as the son of a mentally deranged father, whose violent nature terrified Terry, his
mother, and the other children. Terry has not been in contact with his father for the last ten years. He just celebrated his 5th year at the Mirage. Norm knows how to ask the right questions to get his guests to talk.

The Jacksons show at Planet Holly wood will end its current run at Planet Hollywood on April 27. Adam Steck, the producer, is looking for another show to partner with The Jacksons when Meatloaf's show closes.  Production costs would be shared as originally planned.  It seems that the cost of running shows at the Planet Hollywood is too costly for these types of shows unless they are partnered, to share the costs.

Clint Holmes and Bill Fayne worked together again for Clint's April show "New York, Old Friend" at Cabaret Jazz. Bill was musical director for Clint's long running show at Harrah's.

Teller's production of The Tempest opened last week at the new tent theater in Symphony Park at Smith Center.  Audience reaction has been great for the magic filled interpretation of the William Shakespeare classic. It has already been extended from 2 weeks to one month.

Back in the day, the Riviera ran as many as 9 shows at one time. Celebrating more than 55 years of non-stop entertainment they will be presenting 6 shows by early May. Now running are Norbert Aleman's Crazy Girls, Jan Rouven's Illusions, and Pawn Shop Live. Coming this week are Men, The Experience, Forever Doo Wop, and Forever Motor City.  Entertainment is really back on the north end of the strip.

Men, The Experience is an action-packed 75 minutes, performed by some of the sexiest men in Las Vegas, (However they forgot to call me). Secret agents, gangsters, soldiers, and cowboys will leave you wanting more.

Forever Doo Wop and Forever Motor City bring you to the music America grew up to. They are a tribute to American Music Royalty. Forever Motor City brings you the iconic Motown sound while Forever Doo Wop is comprised by a series of vignettes and mini-concerts spanning all genres of Doo Wop music.

The Rev.Monti once again wishes you the best.

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monti@montirock.com

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ABRACADABRA! EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: MURRAY SAWCHUCK WEDS CHLOE CRAWFOR

Monti


monti

Murray Sawchuck and Chloe Crawford wed in Las Vegas on Friday, July 20, 2012. Monte Rock III officiated, Doug Leferovich served as best man, and Ashton Nicole was the bridesmaid.

When magician Murray Sawchuck and his beautiful stage assistant Chloe Louise Crawford tied the knot in a secret surprise wedding Friday night, it was truly a magical affair. The groom and bride have known each other for five years in traveling the world with his magic act and now as headliner at the new Tropicana.

“We finally decided to tie the knot,” the “America’s Got Talent” semifinalist told me exclusively. A small group of close friends, Las Vegas magicians and family, including her parents who flew over from England, witnessed the ceremony in the intimacy of the lush garden of hishome in the Lakes in Summerlin.

Monti Rock III, the 1970s icon, disco legend and licensed marriage minister, officiated the ceremony, which included the couple exchanging rings that had been selected by “Pawn Stars” stars at their Gold & Silver Pawn, where Murray serves as a regular expert on the top-rated History Channel show.

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..Criss&monti..

Also, a shout out to Mr. Criss Angel. You are a star and you made this columnist a fan! Your generosity and kindness will never be forgotten! Jersey Boys at Paris is wowing the crowds. Check out the Sugar Factory while you are there - a chocolate aroma world that's decadently divine.

The Rev. Monti once again wishes you only the best.

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A Meal With Monti
By Monti Rock III

 

 

Siena Deli

 

 
 

As a gossip columnist, committed foodie and theater critic, I spend the better part of my work week covering all the fabulous shows, clubs, restaurant openings and special events on The Strip—’tis good to be Monti Rock.

Come Saturday and Sunday, what I enjoy most is kicking back in my own neighborhood...Yes, Vegas does have neighborhoods.

One of my favorite haunts has been a Las Vegas fixture for over a quarter century, Siena Italian. Owners Antonio Accornero and Giancarlo Bomparola have created a truly authentic Italian Trattoria experience and recently relocated it to a new, urban-chic site, which includes not only a restaurant, bar and lounge with indoor and al fresco seating, but soon, an Italian Marketplace complete with a bakery, deli and coffee bar.

Trained in Milan, Italy, Chef Giancarlo works the kitchen while Antonio, with his infinite Italian charm, works the front of the house. For starters, you must have the Tortino di Riso—rice cakes, Parmesan cheese and mushrooms in truffle oil—to die for!

Going on to salad, my favorite is Mele E Noci—baby greens, roasted walnuts, apple and Gorgonzola tossed with champagne vinaigrette—heavenly!

The main event, new to the menu this month, Misto Pesce Griglia—fresh scampi, calamari, tuna, jumbo scallops and salmon simmered in lemon juice and olive oil and served with fresh seasonal vegetables—died and gone to heaven for!

And for the encore (I'm sure you’ve had this before, but not this good), Tiramisu—Chef Giancarlo’s family recipe—certain to assure Giancarlo sainthood!

Siena also features live entertainment in the bar and lounge Wed. and Sat. with Sinatra-style crooner Larry Liso. Siena Authentic Italian

Trattoria | Daily, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; half-price Happy Hour specials in the bar and lounge, daily, 3:30-7:30 p.m. | 9500 W. Sahara Ave. | 702-360-3358

PRESS RELEASE:

Monti Rock III will be honored during entertainment consumers’ exchange inc’s spring 2012 awards luncheon

DATE OF EVENT: 1:00pm, March 31, 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada

Entertainment Consumers’ Exchange will enshrine Monti Rock III into the Fans Entertainment Hall of Fame during their Spring 2012 Awards Luncheon Event. He will also be honored with the Excellence in Entertainment Sweet Louie Living Legend Award. The event will take place staring 1:00 PM on March 31, 2012. at Double Play Restaurant, 9495 S Las Vegas Blvd, (Las Vegas Blvd & Richmar one/ block north of the South Point Resort Casino)

Several other outstanding entertainers will be honored with Excellence in Entertainment Awards. The Shades of Sinatra will be honored with the Tribute Show of the Year. Jim D’Arrigo will receive the Saxophonist of the Year Award and Pascale Elia is to be honored with the Horizon Award for new or emerging star of tomorrow. Jazzin’ Jeanne Brei will emcee the event.

About Entertainment Consumers’ Exchange Inc.

Entertainment Consumers’ Exchange Inc is a 501c7 non-profit association for fans and their favorites in entertainment. The recently celebrated their 10th anniversary as an organization.

About Fans’ Entertainment Hall of Fame:

Fans Entertainment Hall of Fame is about giving the Fans, Audience, consumers those who pay to support their favorites in entertainment a chance to participate in the selection process of selecting who will be in this Hall of Fame. Last year t heir had their first extended display during the month of November at Studio 810 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Zee Matulonis, President of Entertainment Consumers’ Exchange Inc.

 
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