John Katsilometes

The Kats Report: Olivia Newton-John and her daughter Chloe are making sweet music—but will their creative power stay in Vegas?

Family affair: Chloe and Olivia take Vegas.
Garrett Bridwell

Chloe Lattanzi wants Olivia Newton-John to stay in Las Vegas, which is a relevant piece of news if you know that Lattanzi is the singer’s daughter.

“I’ll be just lying in a suite, going, ‘Go to work, Mom!’” Lattanzi says during an interview at Share Nightclub (this location to be explained shortly). “I hope she’s going to be performing here for a long time.”

Donny and Marie Osmond also have an active interest in Newton-John’s longevity on the Strip, as they share the same showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas. About three years ago, the Osmond siblings each personally asked Newton-John to fill in for them when the brother-sister act was away from Las Vegas.

And the folks at Caesars Entertainment originally offered Newton-John an additional year on a contract due to expire in January. The company has expressed hope that a strong summer and fall for ONJ at the Flamingo can lead to an extended residency for her show, Summer Nights. But what about Olivia? Is she eager to remain a Strip headliner?

“I’m kind of torn,” she says. “I’d like to be home more, but you never know. When I think of leaving, I get sad. In my mind, I’m finishing (in January). They wanted me to do two more years. I wanted to do one year, to see how I feel about it. I really do enjoy working here, and Chloe, she loves it.”

Especially on this night. The mother and daughter are having quite an evening and morning of it at Share, the gay nightclub off Wynn Road and Harmon Avenue. It’s close to 2 a.m., and the club’s requisite party momentum is further fueled by the debut of the new single and video, “You Have to Believe,” an EDM mix of Newton-John’s No. 1 hit “Magic,” from the movie Xanadu (celebrating the 35th anniversary of its world premiere). Newton-John’s camp chose Share as a setting for many of the scenes in the video. Olivia’s popularity with the gay community is enormous, even though she’s at a loss to explain why.

“I can tell you that the fans are very loyal, and I think they love the movies and musicals,” Newton-John says. “I’ve had some great songs. I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have had a lot of hits, and they have crossed over to many genres and lifestyles … I’m really grateful they are there.”

Chloe, who has experimented with EDM outside of her mother’s material, adds, “I feel more connected to a gay audience than a straight audience, to be honest. If you’re a bit of an oddball, they like that about you. They get you. They accept you. I feel more comfortable around half-naked gay guys than fully dressed straight guys.”

“Oh, no!” Newton-John calls out, laughing. “I can see the headline now!”

But crucial to the night’s events, and the decision Newton-John makes about her residency on the Strip, is her relationship with Chloe. She is quick to point out that it was Chloe’s idea to use “Magic” as the spine of the new single, and her vision to incorporate such Las Vegas images as the Neon Museum and members of Legends in Concert in the video. She frequently draws Chloe into the conversation with such reminders as, “If it weren’t for Chloe, this song would not have been made.” The idea was sound—the video for “You Have to Believe” reached No. 1 on the iTunes EDM dance charts and No. 3 for all videos within three days of its release.

Chloe is now scanning her mother’s hit catalog for a follow-up. It wasn’t always so cool for her to be an ONJ devotee, but now …

“I’m going to be remaking a few more of her songs, just because I feel that’s an interesting direction,” Chloe says. “There’s so much you can do with her music. She has such beautiful melodies, and there’s a lot to play with.”

Newton-John says she’s drawn to EDM for its “primal” vibe, adding, “I love the beats and how it feels. It makes your body want to move.” She is fascinated by the DJs whose images adorn buildings and who play for 2,000 fans at a time, “just by being a disc jockey.”

Whether this feeling about Vegas nightlife is already turning nostalgic is unclear. Newton-John says, “I really have enjoyed Las Vegas more than I anticipated. Time has flown. I can’t believe I’ve been here this long.” She glances at Chloe, considering what ending her time in Vegas would feel like, and you get the feeling that the daughter in this act really wants to stay. She is just getting started.

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