MONTI–LICIOUS - JUNE 29 2015
Electric Daisy Carnival Friday through Sunday, June 19-21, hosted about 135,000 people each of the three days. Medical calls, some with hospitalization required, arrests, and even a death, and a massive traffic jam on Interstate 15 were all part of the scene.
The intense heat over the weekend didn’t help nor did it keep people away. However, something has got to be done to help alleviate the traffic problem capped by a four-hour gridlock on Monday morning’s exit.
There were also complaints about the price of drinks, food and other items being sold at event. In addition there may be some complications coming up regarding the future of EDC in Las Vegas as there are reported tax changes that will have a definite effect on this event.
The wonderful Larry Hart was found dead in his Regency Towers condo last week. His mother, Toni Hart, the family matriarch died last year. The Hart Mansion, a Las Vegas landmark, was recently put up for sale. The asking price is $3.5 million. Larry was a renowned songwriter and colorful Las Vegas character. The mansion was used in films, including Casino. It's home to the “Grand Party Room,” where weddings, proms and bar/bat mitzvahs and other such events were held. May Larry rest in peace.
The June 21 "Conversations With Norm” at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center had as its guests, Bob Anderson, Vince Falcone and Pia Zadora telling stories about Frank Sinatra. Bob’s tribute show to Sinatra has been extended through the end of the year and there are many stories to tell.
Pia talks about her memories of Sinatra at the beginning of her career. Vince Falcone was one of Sinatra’s musical conductor / director in his later years (always in Las Vegas) and has also backed Pia in her weekend shows at Piero’s. My connection to the Sinatra family goes back to the 1970s when I was a top hairdresser and did Nancy’s hair and to Wes Farrell, my record producer. Wes, at that time was married to Tina Sinatra. It was a sort of "six degrees of separation.” At this time the Sinatra family is reportedly at odds with everyone who they consider as profiting from Sinatra’s famel including Bob Anderson. Really now!
Then off to the Colosseum to see Reba with Brooks & Dunn. The opening night show was preceded by a great little party for the media and then we were escorted into the showroom. The show has many videos, no major costume changes, but it is what true country music fans want - just plain country music. Both Reba and Brooks and Dunn did what they are noted for - great singing. Yours truly even tried my hand in country music when I recorded “Achy Breaky Heart” about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, it was not a hit, nor a door-opener for my “career” in country music.
The tragedy of the massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church will never be forgotten. Services were restored on Sunday, June 21, and a huge crowd of about 400 people packed into the oldest African-American house of worship in the South. Security officers were everywhere, just in case. It is a terrible state of affairs when even churches are not safe. Enough has been said about the alleged shooter, it’s time to recognize the victims and tell their stories. Too much publicity is given to perpetrators, thereby glorifying them and their deeds.
“Suzanne Sizzles” will be taking the summer off and will return to the Westgate in September. This great little show with more aggressive marketing to draw people in should make it big. It’s difficult for a single hotel/casino to compete with the conglomerates, who can publicize their shows in so many venues. Suzanne was a major attraction at the Hilton hit in the '80s and with the proper marketing she could once again be one of the most popular performers here in Las Vegas.
There is a lot of activity set for the Strip in September and October. Latin heartthrob Enrique Iglesias will be performing at the Colosseum on Sept 13th and 14th. Another Latino megastar, Pit Bull, is bringing his show “Globalization” to the Axis Theater at Planet Hollywood from Sept 23rd –October 7th. Pop, rap and salsa galore!
October 9th and 10th mark the return of Janet Jackson to the Strip, also at the Axis Theater, as part of her new tour promoting a new album and a just released single. Fans and celebrities are eagerly awaiting this wonderfully talented young lady. Could she be another diva considering a Las Vegas residency in the not too far future. She would be a great addition to our town.
Other coming attractions include Rich Little at the Tropicana from July 14th-23rd and the Bacon Bros. (Kevin and Michael) will be at the Orleans Showroom on Aug 1st and 2nd. This will be their only West Coast appearance this year.
The B.B. King family has now hired an independent lawyer to review the events surrounding the death of the fabulous music icon. Benjamin Crump, who recently represented the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown families is now investigating the families allegations regarding King’s former manager and her assistant. As I said before-money, money, money. Just in – the court has just decided in favor of the ex manager and her assistant. I’m sure this will not the last of this farce
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you only the best.
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you the best.
MONTI-LICIOUS - JUNE 22, 2015
Sad news – Kirk Kerkorian, a true “rags to riches” gentleman billionaire died at age 98 in his California home. He is survived by two daughters and three grandchildren. An eighth grade dropout, who during WWII made and saved a lot of money by delivering planes to the RAF, succeeded in becoming a billionaire by buying and selling stakes in Hollywood studios, automobile companies, airlines, and Nevada hotel/casinos. But as a young man, he and his family moved around quite a bit to avoid paying rent for several places after losing their farm. His Vegas history began when he bought the Flamingo and built the International (now The Westgate).
He made big investments in iconic Hollywood studios, such as United Artists, Columbia Pictures and MGM, his largest venture. His business exploits were followed closely by the financial bigwigs of the world. In spite of all his $ billions he remained very unassuming and a “regular guy”. He drove to many events in his own car rather than chauffeured limos, had no bodyguards to speak of, and was friendly and king to all who came in contact with him.
He, reportedly, will be buried next to his late sister Rose. He definitely was one of a kind. Our condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.
Lou Ruvo’s Power of Love , Keep Memory Alive event was, as always, a smash at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. A 60-piece orchestra accompanied entertainers, such as host Andrea Bocelli, Robin Thicke, George Benson, Gloria Estefan, Martina McBride AND Celine Dion. Also on hand were Sharon Stone, Steve Schirripa, Quincy Jones and Michael Caine. The finale, a Celine Dion-Andrea Bocelli duet brought the house down. Celine flew in from Boston, where her husband Rene was undergoing surgery as part of an aggressive cancer treatment.
Several million dollars were raised. Las Vegas events like this always raise huge amounts for worthy causes.
Donald Trump for President, Ha-ha, but not funny. Although he is great with money, he, in my opinion, is definitely not a people person. His comments on Mexico and the immigration problem won’t help him in the Latin community, that’s for sure. I can go on and on and as the Huntington Post so aptly stated about him-“God Help Us All”.
The Electric Daisy Carnival was held this past weekend at the Las Vegas Speedway. The three-day event draws thousands and brings $$$ to the local economy. You think “America’s Got Talent”??? This is where much of that talent can be found.
Celebrity audience members seen at he Suzanne Somers show at the Westgate included Holly Madison with her entourage, Josh Strickland, Tom Recine and English Garden Florist's David Filter.
Holly Madison reports in her memoir that Hugh Hefner, among other things, was a manipulator who pitted Holly and Kendra Wilkinson against each other for a long period of time.
She also alleges that Hefner had offered her a Quaalude at their first meeting, but she made it plain she was not into drugs. She says she has no loyalty to Hef and has not spoken to him in about 4 years. On the other hand, where would Holly Madison be without Hugh Hefner?
Last we week we noted that Brian Williams will no longer anchor NBC Evening News. This week it was announced that he will remain at NBC as part of the MSNBC staff and will probably handle “breaking news”. This is quite a comedown for the once top rated news anchor. Obviously a job is a job.
On Your Feet,” the upcoming Emilio and Gloria Estefan show directed by Broadway’s Jerry Mitchell, had a great opening for its Chicago tryout. The show, which never did get to open at the Tropicana, is opening on Broadway in November. It's expected to light up the Broadway sky with a great story along with music to make you dance in the aisles.
Many of us remember the tragic bus accident that almost ended the career of Gloria Estefan. Luckily for us she recovered and went forward with her fabulous career.
Another Latina, Rita Moreno, “stopped” the Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC by coming down off her float and dancing in the street. There is no stopping this ball of fire.
The late Steve Rossi’s widow Karma, his assistant Christine and attorney Matthew Manucci have filed a lawsuit against Dr.Stephen Dubin and The Dubin Wellness center. The complaint alleges that Dubin’s negligence caused Rossi to die “a premature and painful death”. The claim also alleges that Dubin gave Rossi medical advice and treatment before being licensed again in Nevada and the complaint also alleges that this treatment was given, knowing it would yield no benefit and never ordered any blood-work or tests related to his stage 4 cancer.
A doctor not properly licensed treating a patient? Did Dr. Dubin go to medical school with the doctor who was treating Joan Rivers? Perhaps we should all take the time to check our doctor’s credentials
On the movie front, Jurassic World had the highest grossing weekend of any film opening in history – over $120 million in the USA and $524.1 million worldwide. The right publicity and marketing does help.
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you the best.
MONTI - LICIOUS JUNE 14, 2015
The crowd really went wild at Belmont Park on June 6 when Victor Espinoza aboard American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown.This was the first Triple Crown win since 1978. American Pharoah is a special horse with a special disposition for a thoroughbred as he loves to be around people and loves to be pet. The Las Vegas sports books also were part of this loud celebration. American Pharoah’s win is another step in the rebirth of horseracing in the U.S.A.
Condolences to Westgate’s David Siegel on the loss of his 18 year old daughter Victoria. David has so much on his plate now as he is in the midst of making more changes at the resort.
Paragon Gaming has taken over operations at this 3000-room hotel/casino. Paragon has been able to transfer many reservations from the now closed Riviera, so things are off to a good start. New employees are being added, many from the Riviera. A big name in the main showroom would really help along with Suzanne Somers in the former Shimmer Cabaret.
The Purple Rain show and the Elvis Exhibit are also there. With the proper marketing this place can happen once again.
In case you don't know it, I am still a Broadway Theater junkie so I always watch the Tony' Awards Show. This year, past winners, Kristen Chenoweth, and, Allen Cummings, cohosted the show but Kristin seemed to get the “short end of the stick”. She should have done more and he, less.
Some gay issues were covered in the winning musical “Fun Home”. Helen Mirren, looking as elegant as anyone could look, won as best performer by a leading actress in a play and Kelli O’Hara won as best leading actress on a musical. Alex Sharp surprisingly won over Bradley Cooper for best leading actor in a play and Michael Cerveris won for best leading actor in a musical.
The three-hour show does however become a little boring and should be cut by at least 1/2 hour. The fashion winners of the evening were Helen Mirren and Bernadette Peters.
Seeing the fantastic Chita Rivera strut her stuff was a standout. Chita,and the late Gwen Verdon were 2 or the best dancers and all around performers ever to light up a Broadway stage. Another highlight was the hilarious banter between presenters Larry David and Jason Alexander.
Jason Alexander has taken over the lead in Larry David’s Broadway hit, “Fish In The Dark” to rave reviews. Let’ face it , it’s not easy to follow Larry David but Jason pulled it off.
Bob Anderson’s great tribute show to Frank Sinatra has been extended to run through mid December and as I’ve said before , this show is a must see. Bob stays completely in character until the very end of the show when he sings a number in his own voice and style.
The Keep Memory of Love event has, as of this writing, stars galore attending including Suzanne Somers, Gloria Estefan, Sharon Stone, Quincy Jones, and more. Host Andrea Bocelli has a duet with Celine Dion.
Celine is set to fly in from Boston where husband Rene is having throat surgery and then fly directly back after the performance. This event is quite the fundraiser.
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is partnering with the Nevada Blind Children Foundation for a pizza-making class to benefit visually impaired students. This will be held on June 24th at Gramaldi’s S. Rainbow location. For more information please visit: www.grimaldispizzeria.com.
We recently had a great pizza dinner at the S. Rampart location thanks to Marla Gold and her staff.
Best of luck to Seth Schorr, as Chairmen or the Downtown Grand, a new position.
Pia Zadora is taking the summer off at Peiro’s to travel and to work on new projects. She will be back on Sept 11 for her weekend shows.
David de Alba does his tribute to Judy Garland on June 21st at The Onyx Theater. His approach, also with no lip-synching has been a favorite for many years.
Criss Angel will be touring beginning June 23 with a new concept in magic shows. Teleportation technology will have him and some of his cast performing simultaneously in 2 different places. Criss says his goal is to redefine magic and he usually succeeds in whatever he strives to do.
Penn & Teller are bringing their brand of comedy and magic back to Broadway this summer. They will be performing July 7-Aug i6 at the Marquis Theater, the same theater as the upcoming Gloria/Emilio Estefan musical.
Jim Bailey, the iconic tribute artist, passed away last week at the age of 77. His impressions of Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland and Peggy Lee were just a few of his great ones. RIP Jim Bailey.
It’s now official that Brian Williams will not be returning to anchor the NBC evening news, as Lester Holt, one of NBC’s best journalists, is taking over that spot. Lester has also been a standout as host of the weekend Today show and Dateline. NBC has made a good choice.
Other TV news is that The View has announced that Raven Symone (and her special hair) is now a permanent cohost with Whoopi, Nicole Wallace and Rosie Perez. Most of us remember Raven as the youngest child on The Cosby Show. The View has made many changes lately and there is definitely a new enthusiasm, which was missing until recently.
Smith’s Center Cabaret Jazz has landed this years Tony Award winner Annaleigh Asfhord. She will be there June 27 and 28. The show covers standout hits of Judy Garland, Donna Summer and music of Stephen Sondheim.
The touring company of the mega-hit Book of Mormon show is returning to Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center from Sept 18-Oct 22. This show has been hailed as one of the best-ever Broadway musicals.
For more information and tickets call 702-749-2000.
The Gloria and Emilio Estefan musical “On Your Feet”, directed by Jerry Mitchell, is opening on Broadway in November after a June/July tryout run in Chicago. The story is based on the life of Gloria and should surely bring their style of Latin music into the mainstream. With the ever-increasing Latino audience this show should be a blockbuster. A media blast has already begun to publicize the show. Take note producers, this is the way too market a show. Too many good shows go down the drain because of little or inferior marketing.
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you the best.
MONTI-LICIOUS - JUNE 8, 2015
I want to begin by thanking Eileen De Rocco for my birthday dinner at Ferraro’s and to Jim McGlasson for the dinner at Habib’s. It’s nice of people you work with to show their appreciation of what you do.
Unfortunately I’m dealng with the fact that my brother. David Montanez s fighting a losing battle with cancer. Happy times are always seem to topped by tragedy. All our prayers are with you my brother.
Right now I’m working on 3 different projects, the first of which is the film about the life and times of Monti Rocklll, then a play about Disco Tex (that’s me) and its creator, Bob Crewe. and a new record in the process of being finished and released.
David Saxe still continues to do well here as well as with his shows on cruise shops. Without his shows, where would Miracle Mile be?
The Westgate , as I’ve said before has a big hit in the Suzanne Somers show, “Susan Sizzles”. She is what a night club/lounge performer should be. This show is not to be missed! The Elvis Graceland exhibit is also a good draw but what the hotel lacks is a big name show in the big showroom. It takes a lot to bring people to this side of town. The last
superstar to appear there is Barry Manilow. A ‘”Dancing With The Stars –Live would also draw.
Matt Goss opens his new weekly residency at Caesars Gossy Room on June 23rd. This multi-platinum artist will perform 4 nights a week (Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
He is now associated with Bernie Yuman, who has managed, among others, Sigfried and Roy. Matt is supported by a 9 piece band and sexy dancers. He also continue to appear at Washington’s Kennedy Center and the Royal Albert Hall in London. For more information and tickets call 1-888-574-33851 or visit www.axs.com keyword “Matt Goss”.
Frankie Moreno has had his contract at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center extended through Sept. His current contract ends June 9 and he begins his Tuesday nights residency in July.He and his big orchestra pay tribute to a different artist each week. All the songs are performed without sheet music by musicians who memorize the particular artist’s music. In addition Frankie has played in the Frank Sinatra tribute concerts at Carnegie Hall in NYC and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and has recently toured in Europe.
So many changes are happening in town topped by the return of Celine to the Colosseum this summer and to the new Reba/Brooks and Dunn show. The new arenas that are under construction are the outdoor concert venues. We may even get a light rail subway system in the future to help alleviate the gridlocks, especially on the Strip. and we’ll have strictly supervised Uber taxi service.
Our politicians would like to reduce the non-taxable slot/video poker winnings from $1200.00 to $600.00. This would create a burden on seniors and fixed income players as it would increase their gross income and thereby increase their Medicare premiums. The increased revenue would be offset by reduced playing and could even affect tourism.
Where are the shows like Phantom, Hunchback of Notre Dame,and Les Miserables that thrilled audiences along with music and story lines. There are 7 Cirque shows, but none can compare with Siegfried and Roy. We had the incomparable Danny Gans. Luckily we have Bob Anderson in his Frank Sinatra Tribute show.
The singing stars and comedians of the 80’s and 90’s can be seen at local’s casinos, as the big Strip showrooms are now reserved almost exclusively for today’ recording stars like Mariah Carey of Britney Spears,
the Flamingo gives us great entertainment with Donny and Marie and Olivia Newton John.
David Copperfield and Criss Angel top the many other magic acts around town, but they don’t compare to these two, however Jan Rouvens is in the running.
Las Vegas, in addition to gambling, shopping, and gourmet dining is also becoming an amusement park of sorts. The Linq Observation Wheel, the new malls filled with fast food restaurants , the arenas, and the outdoor concert venues are filling any space left. But these changes are what the public wants and we have to appeal to all age groups. However, big casinos and superstar headliners are what made Las Vegas and we should not forget this. Production shows are one thing, but seeing a star really perform is what counts.
The nightclub scene is also in for some changes. In order to make better use of their facilities they are now doing daytime or early activities. Many of our younger people do not want to wait until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. to begin their evenings “entertainment”. We have to keep the “kids” happy.
Gay clubs, gay hotels, gay travel agencies are also focusing on Las Vegas. Our local businesses have finally realized how much revenue the gay community has to spend, so why not spend it here???? Gay clubs, gay weddings, gay travel agencies and all types of businesses that cater to the gay population are here to stay!
By now, most everyone has scene the debut of Caitlin (formerly Bruce) Jenner in the current Vanity Fair magazine. I thoroughly admire and support what this person has done. She now can live freely without constantly trying to hide what she truly believes she is. The reality show about this should hopefully inform us of what these transgender people have to go through in order to be understood and accepted by the general public who know so little about this as well as the gay, bisexual and transsexual community.
“Failure Is An Option” Tom Rubin’s one man comedy show can be seen June 18-20 at Ron DeCar’s Event Center. Rubin has had dual careers as a Beverly hills entertainment attorney and comedian. In his shows he comically dismantles self-help concepts-he is truly the anti-Tony Robbins.
What’s really “cooking” at the Food Channel? Celebrity chef and restauranteur Bobby Flay and actress Stephanie March are in the middle of what looks like a bitter divorce. Cheating, pre-nuptual agreements, etc., etc,. A great recipe for some great gossip. Bottom line-money, money, money!
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you the best.