Tag Archives: shows

A Bronx Tale Spins in Las Vegas

Chazz Palminteri was sitting on the front stoop of his parents’ apartment block, minding his own business, when shots were fired during a fight over a nearby parking space. A man was murdered right in front of him, and young Palminteri’s life changed forever.

Palminteri used the shocking event as an inspiration and wrote a screenplay called A Bronx Tale about his growing up in world filled with crime, gambling and gangsters. In 1993, the play was made into a movie, directed by and starring Robert De Niro.

Now an Academy Award-nominated actor himself, Palminteri revisits his checkered past in his one-man version of A Bronx Tale at the Venetian Showroom in Las Vegas.

The production sees Palminteri retrace his steps and navigate the rough streets of ’60s-era New York, as he is forced to choose between the law-abiding life of his father and the lifestyle of a local mobster.

Palminteri premiered his production at the Venetian last year, and he brings it back for a second 11-night running now through May 9. 8 p.m., $45.75, dark April 30 and May 7.

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Cirque du Soleil’s New Michael Jackson Show in Las Vegas

Cirque du Soleil has confirmed months of rumors and announced plans to unveil a Michael Jackson-based show in 2011 in Las Vegas. Shows, actually—there will be two of them.

The first, a touring arena show, will debut next fall and get “an extended run” in Las Vegas before the permanent Jackson show opens in late 2012.

Assuming none of the existing shows—KÀ, The Beatles Love, O, Mystère, Zumanity, Believe or Viva Elvis—don’t close between now and then, the incoming MJ spectacle will make the eighth resident Cirque show in Las Vegas.

Cirque is keeping tight-lipped about where the show will be housed, among other facts, but its promised “special lifestyle projects, including a nightclub.”  Rumors say the show will be at Mandalay Bay.

The new show announcement comes less than a year after Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009. 

Michael Jackson’s estate will receive royalties from the projects—but it will also share in half the costs of “creating, developing, building and producing” the shows, too.

The size and scope of the Cirque show will be unprecedented, including larger than life 3-D technology and most likely the largest budget for any Las Vegas show.

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Michelle “Bombshell” McGee Bumps & Grinds in Las Vegas Tonight

Though Jesse James’ alleged mistress was just dropped from a recent Miami, Florida performance gig, and many other gigs as well because of public outrage over her planned appearances, Michelle “Bombshell” McGee has apparently found a much more “friendly” topless place to literally hang out– Las Vegas!  

On April 23 at midnight, she is set to make her first Las Vegas appearance, signing autographs, posing for photos, and dancing topless at Déjà vu Showgirls club in Las Vegas. 

According to the Déjà vu advertising and marketing director director Larry Beard, the club is taking advantage and riding on to her popularity right now. McGee will be paid $5,000 by the club, apart from the tips she will get.

There will also be a large group of tattoo enthusiasts attending.

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Stealthy Server Hands Wayne Newton Legal Papers in Las Vegas

Mr. Las Vegas is good, but apparently doesn’t have the skill set to be as sly as a fox.  On Saturday, Newton, who has avoided several process serving attempts in the past, including a convoy of moving vans showing up at his home to claim property to pay alleged debts {previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access}, this time was not lucky.  

The legal serving company, reportedly, came up with a novel way to get their foot in the door during Newton’s show at the Tropicana. The process server paid $149.99 for the VIP package to gain entrance to a meet-and-greet session.  He just patiently waited in line to schmooze with Newton, finally greeting him with the words, “Mr. Newton, Las Vegas love you.”  With 20 or so applauding, the process server said, “You are served!” and handed Newton the legal documents, then raced out of the casino, with security guards in hot purist.  They raced through the halls but didn’t catch him. 

Today, Newton’s publicist, Trish McCrone – like any good publicist – is disavowing the incident occurred, merely saying Newton never saw the legal writ or has any idea what it is, saying she thought it just something to autograph. 

The serving company was carry out the clandestine mission on behalf of O. Burton Smith, whose wide-ranging empire of NASCAR tracks includes the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.    Smith contends that Newton is delinquent on a $3.35 million loan and, not receiving payment, then filed suit Feb. 9 in Clark County District Court against Newton, his wife, Kathleen McCrone Newton, their company, Desert Eagle LLC and Newton’s Living Trust. 

Smith seeks immediate foreclosure on the Newton’s 38-acre Casa de Shenandoah ranch in Las Vegas, which the Newtons had put up as a guarantee, alone with their Fokker F28 MK 1000 private jet. 

While unsavory situations on many fronts continue to haunt Newton, he may also soon lose his Las Vegas gig at the Tropicana.   

Jack Wishna, who handled the Tropicana contract for Newton, has confirmed the show, “Once Before I Go,” ends April 24, barring any extension by Alex Yemenidjian, chairman of the Tropicana and godfather of Newton’s daughter, Lauren, who turns eight next month. 

Yemenidjian has previously announced he has plans for a new Tropicana showroom.

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Elvis Presley Comes Back to Las Vegas

And you thought he was…dead?  Pshaw!  Elvis performed his last show in Las Vegas and now is back to his old Sin City haunts, if only in spirit.  But his show will, hopefully, run forever. 

Viva Elvis premiered on Feb. 19 and is the seventh Cirque du Soleil show on the Las Vegas Strip. It is one of the centerpieces of the new $8.5 billion MGM Mirage CityCenter, located in a new theater in the Aria Hotel and Casino. 

Viva Elvis features all of his greatest hits set to music and embellished with spectacular sets and effects, dancing and acrobatics. It positively fills the eyes-all the time steering clear of the somber and darker sides of Elvis, thanks to the untiring efforts of Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley Enterprises to protect the Elvis legacy. 

This is a spectacularly beautiful show and it is one of only two Cirque shows in Las Vegas to employ a proscenium stage rather than using a theater-in-the-round setup. 

There are other singers, but the only male voice belongs to The King himself. The evening opens witha huge video-jukebox. On the screen is Elvis singing Blue Suede Shoes. It’s light, fun and immediately gets the audience in the mood for more of his music. Don’t Be Cruel is next, followed by Junior Clay, the only actor in the show. He is Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker. He comes out to explain that Elvis had a twin brother who died at birth and Elvis missed his twin his entire life. Thus he introduces the next number, One Night– a love song, more shouted than sung and is very effective. But here, for some reason, it’s used to portray brotherly love. 

Two acrobats do their schtick on a large wire guitar suspended upstage center. As they’re doing their acrobatics, there’s a woman sitting at an old upright piano softly playing and singing the song. No argument that Elvis missed his twin. And no argument that these two guys on the guitar are really good at what they do. The only argument is against taking such a passionate number and doing this to it. 

The next scene goes back to Elvis’ childhood in Tupelo, MS. Old photos are projected on the screen as the townsfolk carrying umbrellas come out on the stage and perform All Shook Up as a gospel tune. And the woman singing the song actually changes the lyrics to say “I’m itchin’ like a woman on fuzzy tree.”

The spectacle is a grand and joyous event that will stick in your mind for a long time — a terrific celebration of Elvis’ music. The dancing and acrobatics are lavish and exuberant. The on-stage band is exellent. And the production values are incomparable. It’s just plain fun to watch with wonderful sets, colorful costumes and captivating special effects. 

Yes, the show is a bit pricey in a struggling Las Vegas economy, tickets ranging from $114 to $200, but well worth the price if you can afford it.  Shows are at 7 and 9:30 p.m., Fridays though Tuesdays.  702-531-2031. 

Long live The King!

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It’s Official: Singer Wayne Newton is Back Entertaining on the Las Vegas Strip

As scooped by Las Vegas Backstage Access on Sept. 17, it’s official now:  Singer Wayne Newton is being welcomed back to perform on the Las Vegas Strip at the Tropicana Hotel-Casino and celebrate his 50-year iconic career. WayneNewtonb

Officials for the Tropicana Las Vegas hotel-casino said that the 67-year-old “Danke Schoen” crooner plans start a limited run next month. 

The show will be titled “Once Before I Go,” and is being promoted as a look back at Newton’s career and life story. 

Newton said in a statement that the show is exciting and artistically challenging, and “the kind of show I’ve always wanted to do.” 

In addition to performances at various Las Vegas casinos during his illustrious career, Newton toured Australia in 2006 and also recently appeared on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

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Miley Cyrus vs. Britney Spears in Las Vegas This Weekend

With professional boxing being such a huge draw in Las Vegas, why not try celebrity sing-offs to help Las Vegas’ choking economy?  That’s what will happen on September 26 as pint-size pop culture icon Miley Cyrus goes up against the sometimes notorious, but always colorful – and aging – pop star Britney Spears. MileyBritney

Singer and actress Miley Cyrus, whose “Party in the U.S.A” recently jumped to a number two ranking on the Billboard Hot 100 after her risqué pole dancing performance at the Teen Choice Awards, might just be up for a good challenge as she performs on the same night, down the street at Thomas & Mack. 

Offering cheap $25 tickets as her “Welcome Back to School Mania Special,”  you can’t fault the Hannah Montana star for at least giving it her all to try to pack ‘em in.   And who knows, maybe she’ll be sporting ever more mature makeup and be seen with either beau Liam Hemsworth  or Carter Jenkins walking her down the Strip? 

As of this writing, tickets are still available online at UNLVTickets.com, by phone (702-739-FANS) and at UNLV ticket outlets.

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