Luxe Life Blog
Strip Shows: Springer, The Wayner, Fantasy, DMB and Zowie Bowie
There are a lot of changes coming to the Strip, and with new shows and new stars, producers are waging a war with one another in the never-ending battle for box office supremacy!
We have the full Royal Robin Rundown right here:
Talk show titan Jerry Springer hosts the live version of America’s Got Talent starting Oct. 7 as a Wednesday-through-Sunday 7 p.m. production at Planet Hollywood through Dec. 13. Peepshow will continue at 9 p.m.
I can exclusively confirm that all four top TV winners will be on the live show. Million-dollar country singer champion Kevin Skinner, a former unemployed chicken catcher from Kentucky, will headline! Houston opera singer Barbara Padilla, the runner-up, will be the other headline name. (Deja vu from when Susan Boyle became a YouTube sensation and finishing second in the British version of the hit TV show?)
Also appearing will be third-place finishers junkyard percussionists Recycled Percussion, fourth-place country classics the Texas Tenors and 75-year-old comedienne Grandma Lee. There’s also insider talk that a basketball act that appeared earlier during the TV run but were axed before reaching the finals might be added to the live version here. The spotlight here will be on Barbara because many viewers believed she should have won. Born in Mexico, she twice beat Hodgkin’s lymphoma with aggressive chemo and radiation treatments.
An audience audition element might be added to the live show. Each night, three audience members would be selected as judges to vote on a surprise performance from another audience member who wants to show off their skills. If the judges playing the roles of Sharon Osbourne, David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan give a thumbs up, that winner will go to the head of the line for the next season’s TV show auditions! If they get all the way to the finals, we would have a Planet Hollywood contestant in reach of the $1 million prize.
Mark Oct. 7 on your calendars for the red carpet with Jerry, Sharon, David and Piers all in attendance with the new season winners! As Kevin starts his new career, you have to think about how then-unknown Terry Fator became the show’s first $1 million winner and wound up headlining at The Mirage with a 10-year $100-million contract and is now nightly the top-selling Strip show with standing room only!
No other star in the world knows the history of showbiz in Las Vegas better than Wayne Newton, so it’s appropriate that to celebrate his 50th anniversary, we’re going to get one of the most valuable lessons for which we could ever wish.
Back on April 30, as Wayne wrapped a run of shows at the MGM Hollywood Theater, I called him to find out the exact date he would be celebrating his 50th! Click HERE for that story.
As I reported then, Wayne had to look up the exact date, but because he didn’t know the exact date, no celebration was then set down in ink! However, now I can tell you that in mid October -- probably Oct. 13 -- Wayne will celebrate the anniversary with a new run of shows at the Tropicana. The official word will come at a press conference this week, but we’ve already got the advance details of Trop’s head honcho Alex Yemenidjian’s announcement. It comes about 10 years after Wayne had his last residency on the Strip at the now demolished Stardust!
Wayne starts rehearsals this week after months of secretly planning the new shows. It is going to be a wonderful walk down memory lane as Wayne goes biographical using songs and photographic and video memories that capture the birth and development of our beloved city.
Remember Wayne was just 16 in 1958 when a Vegas booking agent spotted him on a Phoenix TV show. By 1959, Wayne had signed a two-week downtown booking that ran for five years! He had to perform six sets a day back then. This time around at the Trop, it will be one prized show a night. Wayne hit superstardom early, when within two years, he appeared on The Jackie Gleason Show more than 12 times at just 20 years of age!
Our Senior Editor John Katsilometes has an exclusive interview tomorrow to run on Wednesday in tandem with the press conference at the Tropicana, so be sure to read The Kats Report. Wayne will sing his hits through the years to illustrate the ever-changing face of Vegas and its great showbiz history. Nobody can mine the mother lode better than him!
It’s a battle between Fantasy and Peepshow and a war between Michael Cavanaugh and Matt Goss as new changes and a new look are made to shows at the Luxor, which is getting its own new image makeover.
Producers of Fantasy at the Luxor have added former Baywatch beauty Angelica Bridges, lead singer of the sexy and erotic lingerie-clad Strawberry Blonde, to the lineup. The longhaired redheaded Maxim centerfold model who has posed nude starts on Oct. 1, and she will perform topless in direction competition with Holly Madison and Aubrey O’Day in Peepshow. Here is a video of Angelica on YouTube:
Angelica had a recurring role on The Bold & the Beautiful and for two seasons played Lt. Taylor Walsh on Baywatch. Producer Anita Mann also is showcasing Las Vegas resident and singer-pianist Michael Cavanaugh at the Criss Angel Liquidity Lounge in competition with Matt Goss, who has just opened at his own Gossy Lounge in the Palms. Billy Joel handpicked Michael for his Broadway musical Movin’ Out.
Vegas DeLuxe will continue to cover the changes and additions as they are made! Click HERE for John’s story about Stephanie Dianna, Angelica’s predecessor in Fantasy.
Dave Matthews Band
I also can confirm that the Dave Matthews Band is headed for the Strip. Although the official announcement hasn’t been made, they have been booked for the Theater for the Performing Arts in the Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile for nearly a week of December shows and coinciding with the National Finals Rodeo. Click HERE for John’s DMB story last month. This coming weekend, there are two already fully sold-out performances of a show from Vietnam that has attracted 15,000 ticket-buyers. Slowly the TPA is coming back to life!
Zowie Bowie opens @Monte Carlo
Whoever thought you’d find Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil dressed to the nines instead of in torn jeans and a sweaty T-shirt covering Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” with a 15-piece orchestra? That’s exactly what happened last night when Zowie Bowie premiered Zowie Bowie Presents the Vintage Vegas Show in Lance Burton Theatre at the Monte Carlo and won a standing ovation from the celebrity-filled audience.
Our thanks to Ethan Miller of Getty Images for all the hard work and through-the-night editing of these great photos for our photo gallery.
Vince didn’t scream and shout his way through the number as he does when onstage with Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx and Mick Mars. Vince told me: “I was much softer than normal. I enjoyed the experience. I’ve never done anything like that before except in my shower! My first time being a crooner!
“Zowie Bowie are good friends, and when he told me it had been a life-long dream to be on the same show, I quickly said yes to my friends and neighbors here in Vegas. I’m sticking with rock, though, and not becoming a crooner! One time was enough, but I loved doing it. I think it was the most nervous I’ve ever been going onstage.”
Zowie Bowie also got the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin tribute artists from The Rat Pack to join them onstage for a guest spot. Terry Fator had hoped to make a surprise appearance for the premiere but was booked on the Emmy Awards telecast from Los Angeles, so he’ll perform next Sunday with Travis Cloer of Jersey Boys at the Palazzo.
It was a night of cufflinks and cocktails as Las Vegas returned to its classic days in an era of glitter, glamour, gowns and tuxedos in a tribute to when the Rat Pack, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme and Bobby Darin ruled the Strip. Click HERE for our Vegas DeLuxe coverage of the show at its preview last weekend.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter HERE.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter HERE.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter HERE.