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Academy Award-nominated actor Chazz Palminteri didn’t break his stride for even a sip of water as he spoke nonstop for 75 minutes taking on 18 characters for his one-man tour de force “A Bronx Tale” on Monday night at the Mirage. “It would break my concentration if I did. Yes, the mouth and the throat get very dry, but I won’t speak from midnight until I go onstage the next night,” Chazz told me while sipping chamomile tea and honey after the extraordinary performance.
It won him a rousing and lengthy standing ovation and rave reviews from the audience, from former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson to our Keep Memory Alive chief Larry Ruvo. Backstage, Mike told me: “Absolutely incredible. Overpowering. I felt like he knocked me out!” Larry added: “It is pure genius -- totally remarkable and thoroughly enjoyable.”
Actor Robert Davi, who will be presenting his Frank Sinatra songbook show at the theater later this year, also was at dinner with us at Stack. He’s off to New York to appear on Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee’s news programs this weekend when he’ll make the Mirage announcement, but you now know it first!
It’s the second time Mike has seen the show, and he admitted that the first time brought him to tears. Before leaving, Chazz told Mike, “The best of luck with the new show.” Mike promptly replied: “Please come out and see it, we’d love to have you.” "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth -- Live on Stage" debuts Friday, April 13, and continues through April 18 at the Hollywood Theater at MGM Grand. Mike tells me everything is in great shape and ready for his show, and he’s added a band and a knockout singer to the production.
Tonight, Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil will be in the audience. He told me: “This will be the fourth time I’ve seen it. Chazz is remarkable. I love it more every time I see it. His talent to pull this off every night is mind-blowing.” Chazz’s interview with Senior Editor John Katsilometes was posted Monday; enjoy this YouTube video of him answering audience questions.
Chazz had the last word: “In New York, I did eight performances of this a week -- twice on the weekends. Now that was grueling. This run is just seven performances over eight days, so it’s a walk in the park for me, but I always give it my all.” He plans to be back later in the year for another extended run at the Mirage in between TV and movie shoots.
WICKED WHISPERS AND RACY RUMORS
Why do people send photos of themselves naked and in compromising positions via cell? It always comes back to haunt! That’s the genesis of a new sex scandal likely to break open with huge headlines as the photos are part of a bidding war now going on and involving a Las Vegas name. A major Strip headliner will be a surprise at Thursday’s continuing St. Baldrick’s shaved-heads charity fighting children’s cancer at Alexander Dawson School. Two days before the event, 125 youngsters have volunteered to be shorn and have reached $100,000 from donors supporting the worthy cause. Expect an invasion of UFO believers when our National Atomic Testing Museum on East Flamingo opens an Area 51 exhibit as soon as next week.
BRONZE BUST: Mayor Carolyn Goodman gave a thumbs-up of approval to the bronze bust of her husband, former Mayor Oscar Goodman, when it was unveiled at downtown’s Symphony Park on Monday. She paid special attention to his nose and eventually said it was 100 percent accurate. Oscar was honored for his tireless dedication to revitalizing downtown during his 12 years in office.
$300,0000 SHOWGIRL: Madame Tussauds at the Venetian is delivering a $300,000 showgirl figure to producer David Saxe on Wednesday at his Saxe Theater in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile. Oscar’s wax showgirl adds authenticity to “Vegas! the Show” and David will stage it in a special showcase in the main showroom’s entryway in a “dressing room” with a vanity and showgirl outfits.
CONTRACT EXTENSION: “The Bachelor” star Jake Pavelka has proved so popular with the ladies as celebrity guest host at Chippendales at the Rio that his four-week booking has been extended to April 1 for Spring Break.
UNIQUE GAMING TABLE: Long-running Strip headliner Frank Marino becomes the first superstar female impersonator to have his own branded gaming tables. The “Divas Las Vegas”-themed gaming table at Imperial Palace, where he headlines, puts a new spin on betting wheels: Instead of numbers, guests now bet on impersonators from his show.
HOOP, HOOP, HURRAY! March Madness explodes downtown as of today at Fremont Street Experience as fans celebrate college basketball. March Hoops runs through March 28 with the world’s largest NCAA bracket displayed on the 1,500-foot-long Viva Vision screen that will be updated daily. There’s free entertainment every night, with two sexy stage shows -- Hardwood Hotties and Dream Team Divas -- plus, the High Hoops Zone interactive area, where fans test their skills at 20-, 25- and 30-foot hoops.
HOTEL TRANSFORMS: Other than the fact that it’s the first letter of the owner’s name, I don’t know why Fitzgeralds is becoming the D! The full name will actually be D Las Vegas Casino Hotel, and the transformation with extensive renovations will be completed this fall.
Expect it to be a day and night party scene with two-level gaming, sexy dancing dealers and an original Las Vegas vibe. Says Derek Stevens: “The D will elevate the energy of Fremont Street and immerse our guests in a fun and friendly party atmosphere. When guests come to the D, we want them to feel like they own the place.” Now with the D added to LVH and MGM, there’s only 20 letters left for future rebranding. (The W never opened.)
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his shareholders, including actor Robert De Niro and investor Meir Teper, met at Caesars Palace on Monday in their Nobu Hotel project to open this fall. Nobu and Robert toured rooms and suites of what will become the world’s first Nobu Hotel, reviewing furnishings and handpicking design elements for the 180-room hotel-within-a-hotel. They joined Caesars Palace Regional President Gary Selesner to autograph the construction wall at the future site where Nobu Hotel, Restaurant and Lounge. Actor Jamie Kennedy dined at Social House in MGM CityCenter’s Crystals.
Actor Nicolas Cage and his wife Alice dined at Joe’s Stone Crab in the Forum Shops. Dining at STK in the Cosmopolitan in separate groups, “Peepshow” headliner Holly Madison and comedian Pauly Shore. HGTV host Jamie Durie of “Outdoor Room” watched “Le Reve -- the Dream” at the Wynn, and after the show, cast and crew gave him an autographed poster. And the Nightclub & Bar Convention kicked off today with country singer Toby Keith cutting the ribbon.
Hometown hero Ne-Yo hosts his Nightclub & Bar party at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan, where 5,000 revelers hit a new record for attendance early today. Singer Bruno Mars performs at 1 OAK in the Mirage (its NYC parent was named 2012 Nightclub of the Year by the convention). “Avant Garde,” opens at the new Swingers Club in the Plaza. Producer and DJ Dash Berlin is at Lavo in the Palazzo. And Rocky LaPorte, Gene Pompa and Ron Morey headline at the Improv at Harrah’s through Sunday.
Vince Neil gets reads for Friday’s opening of his first strip club Girls, Girls Girls and reveals tour plans, plus comedy is king again at the Mirage with its expanding series “Aces of Comedy.”
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.
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