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Monti's Blog - November 2014

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DISCO TEX & HIS SEX-O-LETTES
AKA
SIR MONTI ROCK III IS RETURNING TO THE STAGE,
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MONTI – LICIOUS - 11/24/2014

Anita Mann has always been a friend and supporter of this columnist. She has been revamping and updating her show, Fantasy, at the Luxor, which keeps bringing in sellout, or near-sellout audiences for 15 years.ad guru In addition to the fabulous girls in the show, other terrific performers include the great comic impressionist, E. Cooper. Anita, we all know you're doing something right. You are a great talent, and most of all, you are a great lady.

The Latin Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Arena will be covered in my next column.  If the show is anything like those of the past, we'll have good music along with some of the best dressed people around.

We all know that Pia Zadora is still on crutches but is beginning to perform again at Pia's Place in Piero's. In fact, she’ll be there on weekends this month, in December and on New Year's Eve. Her musical director and accompanist is Vince Falcone, who also works with Bob Anderson. Bob will soon be here performing his Frank Sinatra tribute, beginning in January at the Venetian.

Murray Sawchuck is moving his show to the Sin City Theater at Planet Hollywood. He is known for his stint on America's Got Talent and some guest shots on several TV reality shows. Murray is a magician/illusionist who adds his comedic talents to his shows. The new show opens the first week in December with a red carpet event on December 8th. Poster

Comedy legend Bill Cosby is making headlines again. There are allegations that Cosby sexually abused as many as 15 young women beginning in the in the ‘60s. Comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist during his stand-up act in Philadelphia, and this opened up a can of worms. Bill's appearances on the David Letterman and Queen Latifah TV shows were cancelled because of these discredited allegations of sexual abuse. Unfortunately his Nov. 28 show at Treasure Island has been cancelled (by mutual agreement), also, TV Land has removed him from all of its programming.  One of his accusers is Barbara Bowman, who is now making the rounds on CNN and ABC’s GMA. Bill, now 77, has made no comments regarding the allegations. The worst part of this is that even if he is cleared of these charges, there will always be doubts in the minds of the public.  The social media has treated him as being guilty prior to trial, if any.  In this country, a person is  “innocent until proven guilty”, or has that changed?Monti

Andy Cohen is on quite a roll. His Bravo TV show, "Watch What Happens Live," and his new book, “The Andy Cohen Diaries - A Deep Look At A Shallow Year” are both big hits. His “Housewives” franchise shows are still doing well, especially “The Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Brandi Glanville, Lisa Vanderpump and newcomer Lisa Rinna should make for another, shall we say, "interesting" season.

Deeply in debt, Caesars Palace is working on a bankruptcy plan to restructure and come out swinging. Cutbacks and layoffs that will help reduce costs are in the works, as well as the rumored sale of the Rio. Caesars Palace still has that something that no other hotel/casino offers. When you enter Caesars you KNOW you’re in Las Vegas.

Celebrity chef Carla Pellegrino is back in town after her stay in Miami. Rumor has it that she is looking for a venue for a restaurant in Las Vegas. Carla was executive chef at Rao’s among others. Welcome back, Carla!

Marsha Ratner must be a very proud lady. Her son Brett Ratner is a highly successful movie producer/director. His films include the Rush Hour Franchise, After The Sunset, and his latest hit, Hercules, which has now been released on Blu Ray.  Brett, of course, is busy at work on a new project according to Marsha.

Comedian, magician Mac King has had his contract at Harrah's extended for four more years. His is the longest-running magician act working at the same hotel in Las Vegas and with his new contract; he will have been there for 19 years. That's amazing! Congratulations Mac.

Clint Holmes, a Las Vegas favorite, shared the stage with Kristin Chenoweth before the inaugural sailing of Royal Caribbean's newest luxury cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas. He is now scheduled to be the guest performer with the Million Dollar Quartet for their one night only jam session on Dec 4th at Harrah’s. He also can be seen at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center on the first weekend of every month. Seems like everyone wants Clint - and justifiably so.

Nygel Lythgo, one of the producers of "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" is reportedly looking for a venue to launch a new show.  This new production features popular performers from the above-mentioned shows. Paula Abdul is said to be involved in this new venture.

Show business has lost one of its all-time greats, Mike Nichols, age 83. Mike came into prominence with his, then partner, Elaine May. From there he went to become one of the greatest producer /directors stage and screen.  Who could forget, "The Graduate", or "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", or almost any project in which he was involved? He also helped launch the careers of many of today’s stars, one of whom is Whoopi Goldberg. Our hearts go out to Diane Sawyer and the rest of his family and friends.

We also lost Jimmy Ruffin at age 78. Jimmy was one of Motown's biggest stars in the 1960's and was considered to be one of the most underrated soul singers of his time. His hits include "What Becomes of The Broken Hearted" and "Hold On To My Love" 
RIP- Mike Nichols and Jimmy Ruffin.

The Rev. Monti wishes you a great Thanksgiving Holiday.

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MONTI-LICIOUS - November 17, 2014

Britney Spears is on quite a roll. She was awarded the "Key to the Las Vegas Strip after the tug of war between Mayor Goodman and County Commissioner Sisolak. (They have since made up.) Britney has a new boyfriend, Charles Ebersol, and has had her contract at Planet Hollywood extended. Her show is said to have brought in more than $20 million for the hotel/casino.Even though she does lip sync many of her numbers, it has not kept her from performing for sellout or near sellout audiences. It is not easy to sing live while doing those energetic dance numbers, which with all the movement and special effects it; really hard to notice,

As we've said before, rumors have it that Celine Dion will be back doing her show at the Colosseum sometime in March. She had to take time off to care for ailing husband , Rene, and get over her vocal cord problem. She sells out every night and does not lip sync. Jennifer Lopez' new book "True Love" has her revealing why she thinks her personal relationships do not last long. She feels that the constant intrusion by her entourage made up of hairdressers, cosmeticians, publicists, etc, do not leave her enough personal time to spend with her significant others (husbands, boyfriends, etc.,) This multi-talented Latina is said to have signed a residency contract with Planet Hollywood. Let's face it, she is a star who does it all, sings, dances, acts, writes, and is (like me) a Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Incidentally, ex-husband Marc Anthony has just married model Shannon de Lima.

Debbi Reynolds brought her family into her show last week at the South Point, her daughter Carrie Fisher, her son Todd Fisher and her granddaughter all performed together on stage for the fist time. This show is said to be one of her last live stage shows.Debbie has never stopped performing whether it be stage, guest appearances on TV sitcoms, talk shows, and of course, film. From "Singing in The Rain" to "The Unsinkable Molly Brown", Debbie has always managed to be a first class entertainer who is comfortable singing, dancing and acting. She is what triple threat really means.

The M Resort presented a very unique show last week, "Children of Entertainment Legends" namely Lorna Luft (Judy Garland). Steve March-Torme (Mel Torme), Lena Prima (Louis Prima). Ricci Martin( Dean Martin, and as MC, Anthony Lewis (Jerry Lewis). Show stoppers were Lorna Luft and Steve March-Torme, a man, who should be seen more often. This show should also be taken to places like South Florida, New York, Chicago, and other big cities, and then return to Las Vegas periodically with the above and/or other children of legends.

Legends In Concert begins it annual holiday season show on Nov 30th. Included in this year’s edition are tributes to Elvis, Barbra, Bobby Darin, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. See this great entertainment at the Flamingo.

Andy Cohen, who has become famous with the "Houswives" franchises is all over the TV screens promoting his new book, The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year". He also is host of his smash hit late night show, "Watch What Happens. Live" Andy, be careful so as not to over- kill.

Wendy Williams is a very busy lady these days. She does some standup comedy in Shtick at Las Vegas' Venetian, her daily TV talk show, and she hosted the Soul Train Awards last week at The Orleans Arena. Prior to her TV talk show she had a long running radio show. There have been rumors flying for a long time as to whether she was born a man. Who really cares, it's who she is, not what she may have been.

Fantasy, the long running hit show at the Luxor has celebrated its 15th anniversary on Nov 11th with a party at Rice & Co followed by special performance of the show at 7:30 p.m. Leave it to the gracious and talented producer Anita Mann to keep this show up to date with her great choreography, direction, staging, and casting.

KXNT radio has launched "Dayna and Diaz”, a morning news talk show. Dayna Roselli and Carlos Diaz do the talking while Nate Tannenbaum is the news anchor. KXTN-FM is the only news talk show on FM. I have been a Dayna Roselli fan ever since she started as a newscaster at KLAS-TV Channel 8
John Stuart, creator of "Legends in Concert", has a new project. He and Mark Green have a dinner show, "Island Heat", at 'Treasure Island, The iconic Mr. Stuart is also singer Michael Grimm's manager and always comes up with ways to entertain us. It's good to have the John Stuart touch back on the Strip.

The Rev. Monti, like most of you, is busy working on his Thanksgiving plans and is getting ready for the return of Disco Tex. However he always takes time out to wish you all a great coming holiday season.

Well, getting Thanksgiving getting ready for those turkey dinners. Thanksgiving is here I have so much to be grateful for; discotheques and the sexless, the Monti Rock Show Reality, and I was shot up to John Stuart numbers, a John Stuart from legends in concert; he's cleavages and content legends in concert. 90 has a brand-new short the marauders. John Stuart has always been the gems and we have to love him.

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The Full Monti - November 6, 2014

Halloween brought us a tremendous amount TV exposure, but enough is enough.I’m all for celebrating these holidays, but when TV shows like The Talk and The View allow the hosts to make fools of themselves in ridiculous costumes it’s time to put a halt on the proceedings. Let the children’s shows do their thing, but talented adults forced to act like jackasses is a bit much.

David Filter,and his English Garden Florist staff are doing the flowers for the Wizard of Oz display at Celine Dion’s home. They have created a scarecrow made of flowers and other wonderful displays. Rumor has it that Celine will be back by next March or April. She still is the only one who has filled the Colosseum night after night. Word was that Jennifer Lopez was signing with the Colosseum, but she's going to Planet Hollywood where she and Britney can “fight” it out, as to who will be the more successful.With this type of competition, the audiences will be the winners as they will see these two divas, give their all, in every performance.

My friend Bob Anderson is getting ready for his Frank Sinatra tribute show at the Venetian. Bob will be donning his Sinatra makeup, persona and know-how in order to give you one of, if not THE best show of its kind.

Steve Wynn has announced news that his extravaganza “Show Stoppers,” coming soon to the Wynn Theater, will be a production like no other on the Strip. A cast and crew totaling 95, including 28 top dancers and full orchestra will be performing iconic hits from Broadway hits of the past. There are more than enough Broadway hits to choose from so that possible segment changes can be made after 90 days virtually making it into a new show. Many of the cast members are familiar to Las Vegas audiences, as they have appeared in several local productions; among them, Phantom. Sounds like this is a real Las Vegas type of show, and should be a big hit.

What is happening with Jeff Beacher’s Madhouse at the MGM? He's reportedly spending most of his time in LA at the Roosevelt Hotel. Jeff Beacher’s Madhouse features “little people” performers and draws a lot of celebrity audiences.
Mentalist Gerry McCambridge, who has been performing at the V Theater at Planet Hollywood since May 2009, has written a new book entitled Making The Mentalist. He has performed over 2,400 shows in Las Vegas, making him the longest-running mentalist performer in Vegas history. He is also the creator and operator of the website www.ShowTickets4Locals.com, which has distributed over 1.5 million comps to Las Vegas locals. The book is really good reading, and is now on sale. Pick up a copy.

Lonnie Hammargren, retired Nevada lieutenant, and neurosurgeon, held his annual open house last weekend. His collection of memorabilia consists of items from Hollywood to one of Liberace’s pianos. Over the years, thousands of people have passed through this museum-like house and his admission fee goes to charity. Lonnie is definitely a one-of-kind personality and we hope the event continues for many more years.

Murray Sawchuck ended his 2 1/2 year engagement at the Tropicana last week. A full house was there to see the closing show. In the audience were many magicians, including illusionist Jan Rouven, who will be performing in the Tropicana Theater beginning this month. Murray will be announcing his new venue shortly.

He said, she said - Mayor Goodman and County Commissioner Steve Sisolac are caught in the middle of a preposterous situation. Mayor Goodman, who was scheduled to present the "Key to The Las Vegas Strip" to Britney Spears, has been "disinvited" from doing so and she blames it on Sisolak. This is a foolish Clark County vs City of Las Vegas tug of war. Sisolak claims that Caesars Entertainment made the decision. Making this a jurisdictional-type issue just reaffirms why people tend to lose confidence in politicians. The whole thing is one step away from mud-slinging.

The Rev. Monti wishes you only the best.

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MONTI- LICIOUS - NOV 3, 2014

I went to see “The Naked Magicians” again and this show as directed by Charles Bach has all the makings of a Vegas hit. The close-up illusions, all performed with perfect timing by the three magicians, each with his own unique style, grab the audience and hold them throughout the entire show.

Jaki Baskow, the very successful event planner and talent agent, is expanding Baskow & Associates by the hiring of Steven M. Black as the new CEO of the company. Jaki Baskow will remain with the firm as president. The two running the company should bring it to a much higher level of success and we with them the best of luck.

We all were wondering how the “Life IS Beautiful: Festival would do during their big weekend downtown. Each of the three nights had anywhere from 25,000 to 30,000 attendees.Kanye West, along with an array of other artists, brought us a big uplifting event. Kanye was a surprise, as he did not cause any controversy or negativity. He just did his rap thing, which the audience loves. The festival turned out to be such a hit that the producers are already working on the 2015 event. Downtown has a major hit on its hands and that’s good news.

Uber Transportion, the California company has initiated their ride-sharing taxi service in Nevada only to be blocked by the state government. It seems like the usual red tape, licenses, and regulations have to be ironed out. The “discount” taxi service can pick up fares anywhere in the service area, and are operating now that Clark County has lifted the ban set earlier.

The SLS Hotel/Casino, only in operation since September, has named Scott Kreeger as the new president, taking over from Robert Oseland. Oseland is joining Andrew Pascal in the development of the new venue being built on the site of the New Frontier. SLS, under Kreeger, should find its market, and become the success that was planned for it. They should rethink their restaurant and nightclub strategies and, how to draw more people into their casino.

It looks like Axis at Planet Hollywood has won over the Colosseum with the reported signing of Jennifer Lopez for a two-year residency. Dueling Divas, Jennifer and Britney - yes, indeed! Britney will be presented a key to the Strip on her “Britney Day” celebration on this coming Wednesday. Her sell-out shows have helped Planet Hollywood become successful.

Rumor has it that Toby Keith has turned down a lucrative contract with Planet Hollywood. This hotel/casino seems to be very aggressive in hiring super-star talent.

Tony Hsieh and Larry Rudolph are in talks about doing something together. Hsieh has invested $millions in the revitalization of downtown, and Rudolph, who manages Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus, has moved his operations to Las Vegas. Rudolph is in the midst of trying to come up with new strategies to aid the failing record business. He and Hsieh make a fantastic partnership - each with extreme prowess in different areas.

The success of shows, such as Blue Man Group, Jersey Boys, Terry Fator, Boyz ll Men, Human Nature, Divas, Fantasy, Menopause, and Crazy Girls show us the power of good marketing, ticket brokers, and support of the venues, in which they appear.

The good news is that Celine Dion will be returning to the Colosseum. No dates have been set yet, but we are sure that the reopening  of her show will be a big event.

Bethany Frankel is going back to the show where her career began, Real Housewives of New York City. Rumor has it she's getting over $1 million. The very wealthy girl struck out in the talk show arena and is in the middle of a bitter, and long-fought, divorce. In other "reality show news": How about Mama June, allegedly, in a relationship with a convicted child molester? The guy, who reportedly, molested her oldest daughter, and has been pictured with Honey Boo Boo. Honey has been taken away by her father until authorities decide what will be done. TLC has canceled their reality show and all that goes with it. If the allegations are true, Mama June, you sure are a sick one.

Sherri Shepherd has taken on Broadway, and Broadway has embraced the former cohost of The View. Watching The View makes one realize what a good cohost she was, as she knows how to entertain her audience. This actress/comedienne will always come out on top no matter what comes along (two divorces, alimony payments and child custody disputes).

“Raiding The Rock Vault” begins at its new home at the Tropicana on Nov. 7. This show was one of the casualties of the new management of Westgate Las Vegas (formerly the International Hilton, and LVH) they are set to perform in the beautiful new theater at the Tropicana.

Our hearts and prayers are with the Amazing Jonathan who delivered an emotional goodbye to his friends and fans at an entertainment event earlier this month. He is going through serious heart failure and the many complications that go with it and has been given a year to live. Jonathan’s hit show ran for 13 years in Las Vegas.

Steve Wynn has announced that his next big project will be a Broadway- style production featuring a company of 95, with 28 dancers and a 30-piece orchestra. Emmy winning, Marguerite Derricks, has been named choreographer. The music will consist of great Broadway showstoppers, and the musical director is David Loeb. Numbers can be changed every 90 days, thereby virtually making it a new show. It appears we could have a big winner here because it is definitely has what people expect from a Las Vegas show.

Another big winner will be the “Rock In Rio USA”. The 2 week end event coming May 8-9 and May 15-16, will feature rock in one weekend, and pop in the other weekend. Partners MGM, Cirque, and Roberto Medina, will produce this county fare style event every two years on the MGM Village site opposite the Luxor on Las Vegas Blvd. Already booked, are superstars Taylor Swift. Bruno Mars, and John Legend to name a few.  On the site will be a Ferris wheel, a zip line, and many little houses where food, etc. will be available. As said before, Las Vegas has everything, not only gambling,

The Rev. Monti hopes you had a Happy Halloween, and wishes you only 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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