Broadway To Vegas


Copyright May 24, 1998
By: Laura Deni


Currently playing at the Minskoff Theatre The Scarlet Pimpernel is based on the popular novels by Baroness Orczy. The Scarlet Pimpernel is the classic story of romance and adventure.

From the guillotines of Paris to the Royal Palaces of London, the elusive Pimpernel rescues innocent victims from the clutches of the Reign of Terror and crusades for justice during the tumultuous French Revolution.

One of literature's original super-heroes, The Scarlet Pimpernel must maintain his hidden identity, even to his love, the worldly Marguerite, who may have some secrets of her own.

With the book and lyrics by Nan Knighton and music by Frank Wildhorn, the music is some of the best on Broadway.

The score has already yielded its own Top 40 Adult Contemporary Hit with You Are My Home, a duet recorded by Peabo Bryson and Linda Eder.

Unlike most musicals that have been opening on Broadway, this production has some lovely songs which are almost memorable. Shows like this should produce songs that become classics. Unfortunately, today's radio formats and play lists no longer provide enough airplay to permit one song to elevate a show into a box office hit

What the audience does remember are the incredible costumes. With a fantasy hued palate of parfait colors Jane Greenwood has created costumes that deserve a showing of their own. They are a wonderment for the visual senses.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is brought to life on stage by exceptional talents. Christine Andreas is Marguerite, Terrence Mann portrays Chaugvelin with Douglas Sills making his Broadway debut as Percy/The Scarlet Pimpernel.

This production should have been a run away hit. Unfortunately, the production has experienced a tenuous box office.

Hopefully the summer theater crowds will give this marvelous production an extended stay.


The Outer Critics Circle Awards, considered the precursor to the Tony Awards, will be handed out Friday night at Sardi's. Under the helm of Marjorie Gunner the festivities begin after the final curtain call, with stars racing to Sardi's to eat, make merry and pick up their awards. It's a fun evening with everyone managing to leave before the sun comes up.


THE BACON BROTHERS Kevin and Michael
Emerging Artists and Talent in Music, a band festival and music industry conference showcased 170 acts, representing pop, hip hop, R&B and rock style bands in 12 different venues across Las Vegas, in three nights of showcasing talent that operate independently of a major record label.

That qualified those up-and-coming Bacon Brothers - that's actor Kevin and his brother, Michael to strut their stuff before recording executives and the general public. The Bacon Brothers and their six-piece band performed two shows in the Railhead Saloon of Boulder Station Casino, where they introduced their first CD, out on the Bluxo label. Titled Forosoco, that stands for "folk, rock, soul and country."

Tickets went for $l5 and $20. Director of EAT'M is Sue Shifrin-Cassidy, a songwriter and wife of David Cassidy.


Circus Circus Enterprises is wailin' the blues.

Godfather of Soul James Brown, Natalie Cole, Jim Belushi, guitar icon Les Paul, Jeff "Skunk" The House of Blues is that jumpin' joint where the Godfather of Soul James Brown, Natalie Cole, Jim Belushi, guitar icon Les Paul, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, formerly of the Doobie Brothers; guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, rockabilly guitar legend Dave Edmunds, Slash, formerly of Guns-n-Roses; and Steven Stills of Crosby, Stills & Nash like to hang out.

A branch will open in Las Vegas, located in the $950 million, 3,700 room Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The newest Circus Circus venture is set to open in the first quarter of l999.

The House of Blues will feature a live music venue accommodating 2,000 people and a 600-seat restaurant. Additionally, an entire floor of the 43 story resort will be dedicated to House of Blues themed guest rooms. House of Blues Entertainment, Inc. operates six live music restaurant venues throughout the United States.

The York Theatre Company holds it's annual gala benefit Monday, June 8, to present the 9th Annual Oscar Hammerstein Award to Peter Stone, the four-time Tony Award winning librettist of Woman of the Year; The Will Rogers Follies; 1776 and last year's Tony Award winning musical,Titanic. The Award commemorates lifetime achievement in the musical theatre.

Tony Roberts is host of the ceremony.

Among those scheduled to participate are Lauren Bacall, Betty Buckley, Dee Hoty, Larry Gatlin, Denny Dillon, Marilyn Cooper, Harry Goz and cast members of Titanic and 1776.

Past Recipients of this award include Harold Prince, Jerry Herman, Cy Coleman, Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz.

The Award will be presented to Peter Stone by the Award's first recipient Stephen Sondheim.

Matthew Broderick, who starred on Broadway in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and now stars opposite a special effect in Godzilla, celebrated his first wedding anniversary to Sarah Jessica Parker, who isn't a dog in real life, but played one on Broadway.

Matthew says nobody told him the first anniversary was 'paper' so he bought his bride some expensive earrings. She presented him with an expensive, antique moneyclip, invoking O. Henry in remarking that she's glad she didn't cut off her earlobes so she could buy him the moneyclip.


If you're married, a couple or just two friends, business colleagues or strangers who'd like to call yourself a couple, so you can get some free tickets, you're opportunity is at hand.

Providing, of course, thou doth not protest too much the location of the seats.

A caveat; your names must begin with the letters "R&J'. If so, you can receive a free ticket to the off-Broadway show of the same name at the John Houseman Theater.

The show, which just won the Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding special achievement is now the longest running production of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet to play off-Broadway. In mid-June it will surpass a 1923 production that played on Broadway at the Henry Miller Theater. Hence, the celebration.


David Cassidy, the star of the EFX spectacular at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas suffered a coughing fit on stage forcing his understudy to take over.

In New York, Liam Neeson who stars as Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss, had no understudy to fall back on when he was felled by a chest infection. The performances at the Broadhurst Theater were canceled until Liam's doctor gave him permission to get back on stage.

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which calls itself London's top visitor attraction, is leasing 28,000 square feet at the soon to open Venetian hotel in Las Vegas.

Madame Tussaud said it will open a new and entirely different wax museum.

Already being molded - Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones.


LEE MERRIWEATHER makes her off-Broadway debut May 29th as part of Grandma Sylvia's Funeral at the So-Ho Playhouse.

MICHAEL CRAWFORD the original star of The Phantom of the Opera performed before 5,000 enthusiastic fans during his Saturday engagement at the MGM-Grand. Tickets were $40 to $100.

PAUL ANKA has switched stages. Anka, who doesn't know how to put on a bad show, spent years headlining at Bally's hotel, Las Vegas. The man who wrote My Way for Sinatra is doing it his way with a new deal at the Mirage, where he opens June 2nd.

THE 21st ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF NEW ONE ACT PLAYS presented the by Ensemble Studio Theatre as Marathon 98 continues with premieres from playwrights Shel Silverstein, Elizabeth Diggs, Prince Gomolvilas and Jennifer Mattern through May 3lst. The festival then runs through June 14 at E.S.T. at 549 West 53nd St.


ROSIE O'DONNELL who will again host the Tony Awards, brought her two children with her to Las Vegas when she performed this past week-end at Caesars Palace. The TV talk show hostess, who has singlehandedly done more to promote Broadway than anyone since the days of Ed Sullivan, spent last Friday taking her son, Parker, to the MGM Grand Theme park where she stood in line just like any tourist.

Next column June 1, 1998
Copyright: May 24,1998. All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Original Photographs from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
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Laura Deni