* Monti's Blog - April 2014
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CLUB OWNERS, WEDDINGS, PRODUCERS
|Monti's Birthday, May 29th!|
MONTI-LICIOUS - APRIL21, 2014
Sunday, May 4 is the date for the showcase performance at the Venetian Room of the very special Bob Anderson tribute to Frank Sinatra. Vince Falcone will be conducting a 32 piece orchestra playing some of the original Sinatra musical arrangements. This will be Bob Anderson as you've never seen him before. You are in for an exciting experience. For more information, check with the Venetian Hotel.
The MTV Movie Award show with host Conan O'Brien was held last week. The show, catering to a mostly young audience, gave a mixture of usual awards as well as some ridiculous ones, among them- the best shirtless award given to the Zac Ephron. Channing Tatum received the Trailblazer award and Mark Wahlberg received the Generation award. In accepting this award Walberg said that he and all of those who have received this award are considered as "old" by this audience.
Conan, as host, was in good form but I am not a fan of his brand of comedy. One of the evening’s highlights was the tasteful tribute to the late Paul Walker, who died as a result of a tragic automobile accident.
Downtown at the D Hotel is the very funny Adam London in his one-year anniversary show. His comedy combined with sleight-of-hand magic is a winner. You can see his show daily at 4 PM. The big news at the D is the reopening of The Scintas, now known as the Frankie Sinatra show. The multitalented Frankie has updated the original Scintas show that now includes more contemporary music, such as, that of Bruno Mars among others. Frankie, and his brother Joe, adopted brother Pete, and Janien Valentine, who has taken over for Chrissy Scinta. Unfortunately Chrissy has been battling a vocal cord problem and is not presently singing.
All was not well behind the scene at Jubilee, as Frank Gatson Jr., choreographer of the new show, is already out. Management claims that it is not unusual for this to happen and that after completion of the changes these people go on to other venues. His great choreography along with contemporary music and fabulous Don Arden's “Samson and Delilah” and Titanic sequences helped to make the show appeal to a new and younger audience as well as the more mature audience that have kept this iconic showgirl show a top attraction more than 30 years.
Human Nature the Motown show celebrated its 1000th performance in Las Vegas last week at the Venetian hotel. This show is, deservedly, one of the top attractions in town. Brought to the United States from Australia by Smokey Robinson. These four young performers bring you an amazing interpretation the Motown sound. They really feel this music and it shows. This anniversary show had a special significance by the appearance of the Motown icon, Smokey Robinson. Human Nature is definitely one of our must-see shows.
Olivia Newton John had a very soft opening last week (I'm still waiting for my invitation) at the Flamingo in the Donny and Marie Showroom. Olivia, will be performing there when Donny and Marie have their off time is reportedly in good voice and physical shape. She's backed by a group of musicians who have been with her for many years. It's good to have this lovely lady back headlining in Las Vegas.
The big fight, in which Manny Pacquia defeated Thomas Bradley at the MGM arena, drew a sellout crowd that included, among others, Mario Lopez, Pamela Anderson, and Lance Armstrong.
William Shakespeare's the Tempest has proven itself to be a tremendous hit at the Smith Center with the combination of the Shakespeare story, wonderful magical illusions, and music by Tom Waits. It's really something to see and hear. Kudos to Teller (of Penn and Teller), Aaron Posner, and master magician Johnny Thompson for giving us this new take on Shakespeare's final piece of work. After its April 27 closing the show moves to California and then on to New York City .Try and catch the show before it closes.
Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel has been hospitalized with pneumonia. Unfortunately he could not give his usual spectacular performance during his show last week at the Mandalay Bay arena. Hopefully he will recover quickly.
Misty Rowe, who was featured in the classic TV show “Hee Haw” for 19 years now producing “Forever Doo Wop”, currently at the Riviera. Ms. Misty who is now 63 years old is busy at work on projects. It's good to see her again.
Dancing With The Stars had some backstage drama brought on by the partners switch last week. Comparisons and jealousies arose, but it all worked out for the best as some of the highest scores of the season were awarded. This season is proving to be one of the best, and so far is still in TV's top 10. On the other hand American Idol, which is becoming a bore, has been losing ratings steadily. Simon, Randy, please come back!
After a 20 year "exile" Joan Rivers returned to NBC's Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Joan, in top form, had Fallon, other guest, Russell Crowe, and the Tonight Show orchestra laughing hysterically. This woman can and does go over the edge without ruffling too many feathers. Her TV shows, Fashion Police and Joan and Melissa are both hits. We love you Joan.
Stephen Colbert has been chosen by CBS to replace David Letterman when he retires in 2015. It seems that so far this has not been a popular choice - just ask Bill O'Reilly. I am not particularly a fan either but let's wait and see. The powers at CBS have kept the network in the number one spot for many, many, seasons so they must know something we don't know.
Is NBC grooming Josh Elliott, who left ABC's Good Morning America, to host The Today show when Matt Lauer leaves? It sure looks that way to us, and then there's Michael Strahan, becoming more and more popular. In addition the show with Kelly Ripa, Michael will be on GMA a few times a week. This former football star has become a real winner in the TV market.
A busy month of May is coming up the local hotel casinos. Comedy giant, Sinbad, will be at the Orleans on May 15th and 16th, veteran performer Ben Vereen is set to appear at the South Coast on May 16 and 17th, and Leslie Gore along with "Little" Peggy March, bring their music to the Suncoast on May 10 and 11th.
Producer, Adam Steck, is bringing back rock star, and actor, Meatloaf, for an additional 21 performance run at Planet Hollywood. This "one man show" has proven to be a big hit.
How about George Clooney reportedly storming out of a meeting with Stephen Wynn over comments that Mr. Wynn allegedly made about Pres. Obama. George has been a strong supporter of Pres. Obama. And then Jermaine Jackson went "diva" on the Celebrity Wife Swap reality show. Jackson, after a "go-round" with Wm. Baldwin's ex, Isabella Hoffman, reportedly stormed out and locked himself in his room, and would not continue filming. Really!!!
The Rev. Monti once again wishes you the very best.
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.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.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.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.
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
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.
ABRACADABRA! EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: MURRAY SAWCHUCK WEDS CHLOE CRAWFOR
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.
“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.
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.
A Meal With Monti
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
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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