Broadway To Vegas


Copyright: August 15, 1999
By: Laura Deni


RICKY MARTIN loves junk food
Sometimes what you really need is to wrap your mouth around comfort food. The kind of stuff that makes you feel good. Granted, one man's soul food is another man's heart attack, but we're not talking nutritional balance. We're touting the benefits of the emotional well being that only gotta have it foods can supply.

Even glamorous stars, who live on a carrot stick a day, have times when they treat themselves to feel good foods. When the famous are in distress what pig out foods placate their problems?

RICKY MARTIN prefers Doritos, Snickers and Twix bars. JULIO IGLESIAS, JR, who performs August 26 at Studio 54 inside the MGM-Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, can't get enough of either McDonalds or Burger King hamburgers. CHERYL TIEGS is another hamburger lover who wants a side of french fries and onion rings. KATE WINSLET prefers sausages and gravy.

LAUREN HOLLY likes potato chips, cheese and crackers and keeps Twizzlers in her dressing room. CHER, who wraps her tour at the MGM-Grand Aug. 27-28, eats bar-b-que potato chips and M&M chocolate candies. CONNIE STEVENS can't get enough of red licorice.

Taking comfort in ice cream are MACAULAY CULKIN and his wife RACHEL MINER who dig into ice cream sundaes. REBECCA ROMIJN-STAMONS wraps her tongue around Haagen-Dazs Cappuccino Commotion, Dawson's Creek star KATIE HOLMES dives into Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia while SAUNDRA BULLOCK takes solace in any flavor.

DAISY FUENTES after a hand cramping autograph session would enjoy a sip of champagne Photo By; Laura Deni
BRITTANY MURPHY eats raw cake batter with a glass of skim milk. BRITNEY SPEARS wants an Oreo milkshake and mashed potatoes while STEPHANIE SEYMOUR prefers apple pie with her ice cream. Any kind of pie makes BRAD PITT happy.

Touched By An Angel star ROMA DOWNEY finds heavenly pleasure in a couple of Guinness Stout while DAISY FUENTES enjoys La Grande Dame Rose Champagne. In the same mind set is BRIDGET FONDA who goes for Beluga caviar.

DYLAND MC DERMOTT chows down on a chicken salad sandwich with mustard, pasta with goat cheese and chocolate chip cookies. Also a chocolate chip cookie fan is ANNETTE BENING who first enjoys pasta and chicken.

MARIAH CAREY goes for chicken tacos while JENNIFER GREY is into lox and cream cheese. BETTE MIDLER, who brings in the year 2000 by performing in Las Vegas, finds cheer in eating potato salad made from her mother's recipe.

LORIANNE CROOK will take comfort in any kind of lasagna. RAY ROMANO wants pizza. PAULA ABDUL reaches for the macaroni and cheese. Another Dawson's Creek star, MICHELLE WILLIAMS, needs her peanut butter.

LUTHER VANDROSS named after a box of macaroni
LAURA SAN GIACOMA has to have cheese.

Then there is LUTHER VANDROSS. His middle name is RONZONI - his mother named him after the only kind of macaroni she could keep down while pregnant with him. Luther, who has been known to enjoy most foods, really delights in the soul food of waffles and chicken sausages.

Most men would follow DIANE SAWYER anywhere but when it comes to her taste in comfort food ELVIS would head up her food fan club. Diane concocts a bacon, peanut butter, chili sauce and mayonnaise sandwich.


What happens to a judge who is removed from the bench for controversial behavior? He gets his own radio talk show.

Richard "Deacon" Jones, a former Douglas County, Nebraska judge who was bounced from the bench last year, has landed a gig with KFAB radio in Omaha beginning Aug. 23. The opinionated Jones will host a 7-9 p.m. weekday gab fest.

The Nebraska Supreme Court determined that Jones had violated judicial codes of conduct because of foul language, abusive temper and an ongoing vendetta against a fellow Judge, Jane Prochaska. The charges against Jones included setting off firecrackers in Judge Mark Ashford's office, used offensive terms when discussing Prochaska to other judges, hindering the functioning of court business by signing court documents with false names such as "Adolf Hitler," "Snow White" and "Mickey Mouse" and setting bail in amounts such as a "zillion pengos."

KFAB Program Director Kent Pavelka indicated he thinks Jones' sense of humor will translate well to radio. Perhaps the station intends to pay him in pengos with a check signed by Mickey Mouse.


Elvis Presley is dead according to official reports, although he seems to be cited everywhere. Monday, August 16th , is the anniversary of when the King of Rock and Roll departed this earth.

It's as good an excuse as any for a party.

From his birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi to his resting place in Memphis there has been a week-long frenzy of memorializing and remembering the entertainer who changed the course of music.

For nearly a decade Presley reigned supreme in Las Vegas, starring at the Las Vegas Hilton. He was even enshrined in bronze. A statue of swivel hips is on permanent display inside the main entrance.

Noted for his movements almost as much as his voice Presley understood his attraction."I'm not kiddin' myself," he had said. "My voice alone is just an ordinary voice. What people come to see is how I use it. If I stand still while I'm singing, I'm dead, man. I might as well go back to drivin' a truck."

Back in his fighting weight days Presley could actually deliver the karate chops that he choreographed into his performances. In March, 1973 he demonstrated that he didn't need all of those bodyguards that kept a watchful eye on his Vegas shows.

It was the midnight show at the Hilton Hotel, before 1,750 fans. Presely and his bass guitarist, Jerry Scheff, also a karate expert, immobilized and knocked to the stage floor four men who had climbed on stage.

The four men, Roberto Alexander McKenzie, his brother Kenneth McKenzie, Jr., Marcello Jose Flias and Mario Manuel Martinez said they had climbed on stage to shake Elvis' hand. Presley took the move as a threat and an invasion of his act. Presley and Scheff executed a few but effective chops and punches.

The four men were then set upon by hotel security guards who were routinely stationed in the wings and at he edge of the stage. The four were arrested on drunk charges. Neither Elvis nor Scheff were injured and neither pressed charges.

That particular engagement wasn't a good one for Presley and the beginning of his downward health and performance spiral. The previous week Elvis spent the night in Sunrise Hospital with a throat ailment. He left the hospital to do the following evening's dinner show. Again becoming ill, his physician was called and Presley returned to the hospital unable to perform the midnight show. He died August 16, 1977 thus enabling his fans to elevate him to a larger than life persona.

He's the focus of a new exhibit at Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, its first devoted to a Single artist. There are over 100 artifacts - many on display for the first time. Included are; his high school diploma, Army dress uniform and fatigues, draft card, a shirt Presley wore in Jailhouse Rock, his Gibson 3-200 guitar, a jacket he wore on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the suit he wore when he met President Nixon.

Over 700,000 visitors a year pay homage to Presley at Graceland, his home for most of his life and now his eternal resting place - he's buried on the grounds - where there are also three restaurants, and shops devoted to selling everything Elvis.


GWYNETH PALTROW causing an uproar
Oscar Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow has turned the almost jaded Williamstown, Mass. theatre town into a star struck, ticket buying frenzy. The glamorous movie star has taken to the stage, starring in As You Like It. As if she alone isn't enough to make a person venture out on a hot August night, she has two talented, solid co-stars in Mark Linn-Baker and Lea DeLaria, that make this a triple threat production.

If you could only see one show in August this should have been the production to eyeball. If you don't already have your tickets, too bad for you. It's a sold out smash.

Paltrow plays Rosaline with Mark Linn-Baker as Touchstone and the bawdy Lea DeLaria is Audrey. Barry Edelstein directs.

Why doesn't A&E come in, tape this show, and the backstage antics, do interviews and then turn it into one of their fabulous presentations?


Another Oscar winner who has returned to the footlights is F. Murray Abraham. He picked a small 99 seat off-Broadway ArcLight Theatre. Abraham co-stars with Joyce Van Patten in It's My Party (And I'll Die If I Want To). The production is directed by Jeannie Berlin, daughter of Elaine May.

The plot line centers around a man who is certain that he has 111 minutes left to live.

It's been 30 years since Abraham was in an off-Broadway production. Of course, that was The Fantasticks, which turned itself into an institution. Now in its 40th year The Fantasticks can be enjoyed at the Sullivan Street Playhouse.

For Abraham's starring role in an off-Broadway show he's raking in the off-Broadway big bucks - that's $300.00 a week.

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Thank you for your interest. Laura Deni P.O. Box 60538 Las Vegas, NV 89160


LANCE BURTON will host a magic show Aug. 22 at the Monte Carlo Hotel, Las Vegas, to benefit the Zelzah Shrine Temple of Las Vegas. Funds raised will help the Shriners assist area children who are in need of medical care. Appearing with Burton is hypnotist Peter Reveen, magicians The Pendragons, comic-magician Fielding West, and Canadian magician Greg Frewin. Tickets $20.

JUDITH IVEY stars in Voices In The Dark at the LongacreTheater, NY.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC starring Richard Chamberlain opens Aug. 27 at the Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis with performances through Sept.5

TITANIC opens Aug. 24 Fox Theatre, St. Louis. Performances run through September 5.

RENEGADE COMEDY THEATRE in Deluth, Minnesota, before moving out of their Holiday Center digs, will stage one last production, Ian Taylor's Tarantara, Tarantara, a historical and hysterical look at the famous theatrical team of Gilbert and Sullivan. The production opens Aug. 19 and continues through Aug. 29. All of their comic operas are featured, including The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, and Trial By Jury. The Renegade players will give it their all in the swan song performance of their existence on the Holiday Center ground floor. The theater company is being displaced by an Office Depot retail store.

SOCCER PLAYER ACTS Richard Lester, who kicked the ball around for the New York Cosmos, has taken to the footlights of the American Theatre of Actors, NYC. He's part of the cast of Pearldivers. In its first fully staged production, directed by David Hayden, the cast also includes; Tom Delahanty, Calvin Gladen, Sean Heeny, Kevin Lee, and Michael Worth. Set in London's East End, a squalid squat is the home of Ally - an Irish Sociopath; The Prof - an English book thief who's unhappy with his sexuality; and Terry and Ronny - lifelong friends who crossed over from Ireland together and are content to make a living as Pearldiviers (Casual Dishwashers). Pearldivers is the second part of a Tricolour Travellers Trilogy, examining the myth of home as seen through the eyes of the Irish.

A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN the George Abbott, Arthur Schwartz and Dorothy Fields' 1951 musical based on Betty Smith's popular novel about a troubled Irish family at the Royal Palm Festival dinner Theater, Boca Raton, Florida through Sept. 12.

LIVE SAX ACTS begins its New York Theatre Premiere Aug. 24 at DTW Bessie Schonberg Theater. The show is created and performed by award winners David Dorfman and Dan Froot. The production is the opening attraction for dance Theater Workshop's Carnival series. Live Sax Acts presents some of the complexities of friendship, the trials and tribulations of competing male egos, as well as testing the boundaries, expectations and taboos. Chicago native David Dorfman has been honored with four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Los Angeles based Dan Froot is an award winning composer, dancer, saxophonist and performing artist.

DUKE ELLINGTON TRIBUTE Aug. 21 Planting Fields Arboretum, Oyster Bay, NY. Event features Clark Terry, Al Grey, Marian McParland, Yvette Glover, Savion Glover, and The Pratt Brothers Band.


starring B.B. King, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Tower of Power and Indigenous Aug. 21 at the Joe Louis Arena, Detroit.

WYONNA on stage at The Palace Theater of Myrtle Beach, S.C. Aug. 20

BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Aug. 20-22.

TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas Aug. 21

LYLE LOVETT Aug. 19 at the Portland, Ore. Meadows.

NEIL DIAMOND Aug. 19-20 Rose Garden, Vancouver.

RAY ROMANO performs at the Desert Inn, Las Vegas Aug. 20-21.


CAN'T REPLACE THEM the producers of Death of a Salesman have wisely determined. Thus, when stars Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Franz take a well deserved week off beginning Aug. 31 the Tony Award winning show will go dark until the stars return September 7.

TICKETS GO ON SALE Aug 23 for Dame Edna: The Royal Tour.Show opens at the Booth Theatre, NYC Sept. 15.

CONTACT a dance play by Susan Stroman and John Weidman in a limited engagement Sept. 9-Nov28 at Lincoln Center, NYC. Tickets now available.

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Next Column: August 22, 1999
Copyright: August 15, 1999. All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Photographs or graphics from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, reprinted, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
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Laura Deni

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