Broadway To Vegas
SHOW REVIEWS CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS GOSSIP NEWS
Copyright: November 26, 2000
By: Laura Deni
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ROBERT REDFORD'S LAS VEGAS
The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas is hosting the film festival, Cine Vegas, which starts unspooling the
reels Nov. 28-Dec 3
The stars will be out in full force to help Paris Las Vegas go Hollywood. Sharing the spotlight will
be some of the best films of the most respected film festivals; Toronto, London and Hong Kong.
Director E. Elias Merhige and producer Nicholas Cage will roll em on Tuesday with Shadow
of the Vampire.
On Wednesday it's a favorite of all long time Vegas residents, Electric Horseman with
producer Sydney Pollack, who has made seven movies with Electric Horseman star
Robert Redford, and actor William Brimley in attendance.
When this picture came out in 1979, both Redford and Jane Fonda were at the height of their
stardom; in fact, this movie was so big, it took two studios - Columbia and Universal - to make
Redford plays Sonny Steele, champion rodeo rider turned corporate spokesman - and
perpetual drunk. When he discovers that another corporate asset, a racehorse, is just like
him--dressed like a buffoon and doped up to the gills--he decides to liberate the animal - by riding
him through the Caesars Palace casino.
Fonda is the bright, ambitious, frightened TV reporter whose pursuit of a story pitches
her headlong into love.
WILLIE NELSON'S one line stopped the
It is Willie Nelson's fine performance in a pivotal supporting role that - with one line - stole the
movie - something about the Nelson's character explaining to Sonny Steele his plans for the
evening - that he was going to find a Vegas cocktail waitress who could suck the metal off of a
When I saw the movie they actually had to stop the picture and wait for the laughter to stop then
re-start the screening. That line also raised the wrath of indignation among the local female drink
As for pretty boy Redford - he says he didn't grow up being told he was good looking. "I was a
freckle-faced, ordinary kind of redheaded kid that people make fun of because my hair was so
weird. I never combed my hair - couldn't because I had too many cowlicks. In fact, when I
became an actor, I had this early image of myself as not being acceptable in terms of looks and
While filming The Electric Horseman I interviewed Redford and he talked about once
trying to impress Vegas bigshots.
"I came here when I was a teen-ager right before I went to New York to study acting. That time
in Vegas was one of my most embarrassing experiences. I was suppose to meet this girl here, and
I wheeled into town and went into the hotel to find out where she was, and they said she was out
by the pool. So I went out by the pool and there were all of these fat, middle-age guys lying
around. All of the money guys - lying around the pool getting tan, to make it look as if they did a
lot of swimming, but what grabbed me was that they never went into the water.
ROBERT REDFORD'S first splash in
Vegas was a bad one
The first thing that hit me was, hey, I don't have much money - maybe 25 bucks - but I don't have
to take a back seat to these guys. They're all just lying around, probably have a heart condition.
But I needed some kind of entry, something to make people pay attention to me.
So I got into my swim trunks and thought I'd get on the high board and really dazzle their minds
off with a high dive. So I climbed up and when I felt all eyes on me, I'd go into my move.
"What I didn't know was that the boards in Vegas have a lot of spring. I knew the instant I hit the
thing that I was in trouble. I landed flat on my back. It hurt so much I was crying under the water.
I never wanted to come up and when I did, there was that horrible moment when people look
away - including the girl that I was suppose to meet. I just slunk away."
Redford also had an opinion on Vegas morals.
"As far as Las Vegas being decadent, there is a Babylon quality about it, but that's what it's
suppose to be. But I don't think Las Vegas is any more decadent or corrupt than any other town.
And I think that the decadence in some religions, in some institutions, is much more insidious and
maybe even dangerous. But Las Vegas makes Washington look like a class act in terms of being
paranoid and concerned with its own image."
Redford got his acting start in New York where he lived in a room on the West Side which he
called "a real hellhole." While going to the Pratt Institute of Dramatic Arts he worked two jobs -
one as a janitor and one in a mail room.
The ice skating rink at Rockefeller Plaza became his religious haven.
"I used to go to the skating rink in Rockefeller Plaza just to get a sense of peace - the way some
people might go to church."
In addition to CINE VEGAS showing The Electric Horseman, this Wednesday night will
also have Peter Weller of Robo Cop fame in attendance to present Shadow Hours.
On Thursday Venus Beauty Institute will be run with director Tonie Marshall in
Boesman and Lena, an adaptation of playwright Athol Fugard's classic, will be followed
by The Riff Jon McBride, Nia Pepples and producers Bernie Rollack are
CINE VEGAS will also feature seminars, independent films and numerous exhibits
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JAIL HOUSE ROCK
Kirk Sanders was sentenced to four years' deferred probation and fined $750 by Texas State
District Judge Mark Nancarrow.
The real life courtroom drama turned into a lyrical
It seems Sanders, 33, admitted he tried to sell Elvis Presley's leather motorcycle jacket, which
authorities stated was stolen by Robert Louis Rodgers in February 1998 from a museum near
Graceland in Memphis.
In a court room drama which read like a montage of lyrics from Presley's hit songs, Rodgers was
referred to as the accused Big Boss Man with the pair getting all shook up when Dallas police
hauled Rodgers off to the jail house rock, finding him a new place to dwell. But Rodgers
jumped bail and the case got put on indefinite hold with an official notation "Waiting For
Finally they located the dude and with a straight face defense attorney Reed Prospere said: "They
told us it was now or never as we wanted to avoid a blue Christmas."
If Sanders successfully completes probation, his record won't reflect a conviction.
He was free to leave right away because he had previously completed the required jail book-in
Not breaking character attorney Prospere stated - "He, like Elvis has left the building," and then
explained that Sanders, "just wanted to serve his hunka hunka probation."
All of that Elvis stuff - and there sure seems to be a lot of it - may not be worth as much as
Sanders had hoped. Presley's Army uniform, complete with a paint stain where the singer/soldier
leaned against a freshly painted window, failed to sell at a London auction. Auctioneers expected
the dress jacket to fetch about $35,000, but the highest bid was a meager $10,000. The auction
house said that there is just too much Elvis memorabilia on the market.
JULIO IGLESIAS is the highest
entertainer in Europe according to EuroBusiness. The crooner is pegged at raking in $38
million a year, more than Elton John or Luciano Pavarotti. In their
game of - who has the most
- poor Julio came in second - with total career earnings only $480
million. Paul McCartney has earned more.
IS YOU HAVE TO ASK THE PRICE YOU CAN'T
MGM Grand has newly opened its annex, The
Mansion. Each of this $200 million Tuscan antique filled palazzo's garden villas has a private
pool, located in a private enclosed garden. White gloved butlers cater to every whim. The chow
isn't bad, either. The Asian cuisine chef was the Hong Kong turnover ceremony official cook.
There are private screening rooms, conference rooms, grand piano, billiard table, a Great Hall
for high tea. and always open spas. To find it you travel down an unmarked street to an
unmarked hallway when you pass through an unmarked gate into an unmarked elevator, where
employers who have been taught not to repeat what they see or hear are suppose to wait on you
hand and foot. All of the whims are free if you're a mega million dollar high roller who is comped.
Otherwise, all of the white glove treatment will set you back $12,000 a day.
PAUL McCARTNEY is
due to perform "Twist and Shout" at the G&P Foundation benefit for cancer research at the
Marriott Marquis, NYC on Nov. 30.
KAREN MASON Appears at 9th
Annual Rally in support of World AIDS Day at Judson Memorial Church, NYC on Dec.
ART AND ABOUT
an exhibition of
visionary works from the last 25 years. The exhibition which was designed by Robert Wilson
continues at the Guggenheim Museum NYC through January 17.
EDWARD STEICHEN a full
retrospective of a photographic master - back when The Style was style - continues at the
Whitney Museum, NYC through Feb. 4
100 YEARS OF CALIFORNIA IN ART can be viewed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through Feb. 25.
The Made in California display incorporates painting, sculpture, prints, photography, murals,
books, postcards, furniture, posters, film, design, fashion, textiles, video and music.
JESSICA LANGE getting rave London
Harold Pinter's dark 1960 comedy set in London has opened in London at the Comedy Theater
getting rave reviews.
The production stars Michael Gambon, Jessica Lange, Douglas Hodge, and
The British producer, Robert Fox, indicates that the production will be Broadway
That will mark the Broadway return for Sir Michael Gambon - knighted by Prince Charles in
The actor last appeared on the Great White Way in the 1996 production of
MEN by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy
Roberts, is getting its first East Coast staging, at the American Stage Company in Teaneck, NJ.
Scheduled to run through Dec. 10 the show then hits the road. A romantic comedy, Men
looks at the troubled marriage of Tom and Lucy. The couple fight infidelity with infidelity
until Tom, in order to end his wife's affair, assumes a fictional identity and moves in with Lucy's
lover. The musical, based on Dorris Dorre's German film of the same name, had its world
premiere at Sacramento, California's B Street Theatre last June.
Joel Bishoff directs with choreography by Tony Stevens. The design team for Men
includes: Tony winner Ken Billington on lighting, Sets by David Potts, Paul Adams in charge of
sound and Jennifer von Mayrhauser heading up costumes.
Starring in the show, produced by Jonathan Pollard, Bernie Kukoff, Tony Converse and Denna
Hammerstein are; Jordan Leeds, Marylee Graffo, Tom Zemon, Larry Raben and Andrea Chamberlain. The production is also set to open at the Arts Center in Broward County, FL for
a January-February run before an off Broadway opening in the spring.
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
tour begins March 3 at Chicago's Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre. Robert
Stigwood and Jon B. Platt will produce the tour, which is booked through July 2002 in San
Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Boston, Washington DC and Detroit, MI.
THE SPITFIRE GRILL a new
musical premiering at New Jersey's George Street Playhouse. This production, which officially
opens on Nov. 29, has created a buzz that has caught the ear of New York theatre producers.
Based on Lee David Zlotoff's movie, Grill is directed by artistic director David Saint. The
title is the name of a restaurant, where the no-nonsense owner, Hannah, played by Tony nominee
Beth Fowler, and a former women's prison inmate, Percy played by Garrett Long, trying to start
over develop a friendship and a contest.
The Spitfire Grill is a collaboration with lyrics by Fred Alley and music by James Valcq.
The duo also adapted the book. The cast also includes Janet Metz and Susan Mansur.
Sets by Michael Anania; Costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and Howell Binkley in charge of
stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in a new version of A Musical Christmas Carol, at the
Ryman Auditorium, Nashville.
Farr, best known for his role as the cross-dressing soldier on TV's M*A*S*H, has extensive
stage credits including; replacing Nathan Lane as Nathan Detroit in the most recent Broadway
revival of Guys and Dolls, and also appeared in The Will Rogers Follies, My Fair
Lady, The Odd Couple and Moon Over Buffalo.
Mac Pirkle directs the production which continues through December 24
CHRISTIANE NOLL December 2 with
Doug LaBrecque and Michael Maguire and the New London Symphony in
New London, CT.
CLEO LAINE spent Thanksgiving
in England thankful for all of the fans that have been giving her standing ovations. This week it's
November 26 - Hoddesdon - Broxbourne Centre; December 1- Newcastle-under-Lyme - New
Vic Theatre December 2 -Walthamstow.
DIXIE CHICKS in the spotlight at
the Compaq Center, Houston, TX on December 1.
LARRY GATLIN working off the
Thanksgiving calories by performing in Greensburg, PA at the Palace Theatre on December 1 followed
the next night by a show in Hagerstown, MD at the Maryland Theatre.
JUDY COLLINS center stage in
Englewood, NJ at the John Harms Center on December 2.
A SAWYER BROWN CHRISTMAS
November 27-28 at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, NYC.
DJANGO REINHARDT (first ever) FESTIVAL November 29-December 2 at Birdland, NYC. The festival features Bireli Lagrene,
Jimmy Rosenberg, Babik Reinhardt, Regina Carter, Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, Jon Burr and
LOLITA DAVIDOVICH, SARAH JONES & ANN
MAGNUSON into The Vagina Monologues November 28-December
17. Westside Theatre, NYC.
BILLY CONNOLLY Westbeck
Theatre, NYC November 28-December 16.
BOBBY SHORT holds court at the
Cafe Carlyle, NYC through December 31.
STEVIE HOLLAND will play an angel who inspires
Leonardo da Vinci
presents Songs of Inspiration and Love celebrating the release of Do You Ever
Dream her new CD co-written by Holland and the award-winning composer Gary
William Friedman. Back by a four-piece band and backup singers, tunes from the CD as well as
songs by Kenny Loggins, Carole King, James Taylor, Harold Arlen and Kurt Weill will be
Holland is a critically acclaimed cabaret performer who came from a family background
that includes pioneer Lutheran ministers in the Midwest and an uncle who was Fred Astaires'
musical director in the USO.
The performer grew up in Westchester County, NY, the daughter of a saxophone-playing father
and opera-singing mother. Stevie went on to study music and theater at New York University.
She is also a lyricist with several composers and makes her solo CD debut in collaboration with
her husband, composer Gary William Friedman (The Me Nobody Knows, Electric Company,
Stevie will also be performing in the musical The Last Supper, to be produced
Off-Broadway in the Spring. She will star as the Angel who inspires Leonardo da Vinci to
complete the most challenging assignment of his career - the painting of the famous mural. This
original and inventive musical has music by Friedman and a libretto by Thomas Mitz. Holland has
recorded the song Visions from the new musical on her CD Do You Ever
Dream? Presented by the guy who brought the Beatles to the U.S., concert promoter Sid
Bernstein - presenting Stevie Holland In Concert Merkin Concert Hall, NYC Wednesday, November
THIS AND THAT
REBECCA DeMORNEY who is
currently starring in The Closer at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, has found the
time to do something besides star in a play. In real life the actress is expecting her second child
with boyfriend Patrick O'Neal. The new scene stealer is expected in April. Meanwhile the
production Closer by Patrick Marber is in its last two weeks and also stars Christopher
Evan Welch, Randle Mell and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
RED BUTTONS who just wrapped
up an engagement at the Suncoast Resort in Las Vegas, recalled that in 1941 Jose Ferrer plucked
him out of Burlesque for his first Broadway show, The Admiral Had a Wife. The show
was suppose to open on December 8, 1941, but it never did. The show was a farce comedy about
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Next Column: December 3, 2000
Copyright: November 26, 2000. All Rights Reserved.
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