Exclusive: Steve Wynn and Bee Gees plot <em>Stayin’ Alive</em> musical for Encore - Las Vegas Weekly

Exclusive: Steve Wynn and Bee Gees plot Stayin’ Alive musical for Encore

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Since Steve Wynn’s project with the Bee Gees is going to draw inevitable comparisons with Jersey Boys, Wynn went with Barry Gibb to see the show at the Palazzo. Shown are Erich Bergen, Jeff Leibow, Gibb, Wynn, Eric Bates and Rick Faugno.
Kirvin Doak Communications

Casino tycoon Steve Wynn is only days away from opening his new $3 billion luxury resort tower Encore on the Strip, and, yet, I have exclusively learned, he’s already finished negotiations with the Bee Gees to deliver a new musical to open on its first anniversary. Talk about advance planning!

“Stayin’ Alive,” which dates back to 1977, is perhaps the most famous of an extraordinary string of hits that the Bee Gees produced back in the late 1970s. Still played today at sports events, dances and nightclubs worldwide, it was the introductory music of John Travolta’s breakout box-office smash Saturday Night Fever.

Leach Blog Photo

Barry Gibb, today.

“Stayin’ Alive” was the second single release from the movie soundtrack, following “How Deep Is Your Love,” and was followed by “Night Fever” two months later. The three songs from the Gibb brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin, born in Britain but brought up in Australia, all reached No. 1 on the charts.

Now despite the fact it’s a top-secret project, Stayin’ Alive is to be a musical of the group’s life, and although it will certainly be denied by all because I shouldn’t reveal these secrets, Steve is masterminding a plan for it to be the major theatrical attraction at Encore to tie in with its first anniversary next December. When Encore opens this Dec. 22., all eyes will be on the giant, new, lavish XS nightclub and the eagerly anticipated arrival of entertainer Danny Gans ,who moves into the neighboring, reconfigured Monty Python Theater in the adjoining Wynn tower this February.

Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive - from YouTube.com

Comparisons between the life story of the Bee Gees and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are inevitable, so it should come as no surprise that Steve took lead singer Barry Gibb and his wife of 38 years, Linda, to see Jersey Boys at the Palazzo just opposite his own towers. They went backstage afterwards to meet the cast, but at that point the Bee Gees musical was still wrapped in confidential privacy.

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Barry Gibb, Steve Wynn and the cast of Jersey Boys.

Members of the Gibb families also had traveled to Las Vegas for the wedding of Samantha Gibb, daughter of Maurice and Yvonne Gibb, to Paul Landon. Yvonne, Samantha’s brother Adam, Barry and Linda attended the ceremony in a wedding chapel at Steve’s hotel. Robin Gibb failed to make the Virgin Atlantic trip at the last minute after getting into a confrontation with security at a London airport.

Barry, Robin and the late Maurice, who died in 2003, began the Bee Gees in 1958, but it wasn’t until they returned to their native England that their major success really started. To this day, Barry still holds the record of six consecutive Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 songs as a writer. He and his wife have five children and five grandchildren, and Michael Jackson is the godfather of his son Michael.

Leach Blog Photo

Steve Wynn.

In the biography Tales From the Brothers Gibb, it’s revealed that Barry, who lives in Miami Beach, Fla., suffered a heart attack in the early 1990s brought on by morphine administered during a back operation. He thought his career had ended because his hands were affected by arthritis, and he admitted that he sometimes wears a glove to play the guitar with a warm hand. Two years ago, he bought the former home of country legends Johnny and June Carter Cash in Tennessee, planning to restore it and turn it into a songwriting retreat. But the home was destroyed by fire last year before the dream materialized.

As a solo artist and including the memorable Grammy Award-winning 1981 duet “Guilty” with Barbra Streisand, Barry has in all scored six bestselling albums and 10 hit singles.

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Barry Gibb in his late-'70s disco heyday.

Following the meetings with Steve Wynn, Barry flew back to Miami excitedly telling friends that the Stayin’ Alive musical deal was on for next December. No word as to whether the Bee Gees themselves will be seen in the show, but they will certainly be heard!

There’s no official comment yet from Steve Wynn, but a friend of the Gibbs’ Web site does confirm the musical of their life story has been written and is planned for production next year.

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