Broadway To Vegas
SHOW REVIEWS CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS GOSSIP NEWS
Copyright: September 21, 1998
By: Laura Deni
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Jennifer Flowers, who had an affair with Bill Clinton before Monica Lewinsky became a
household name, sort of got a singing gig in Las Vegas. For weeks newspapers have been printing
"leaks" from Jennifer's camp that she was going to have "a Las Vegas nightclub act." Efforts to
determine which hotel signed her to a contract proved to no avail.
It seems Jennifer did get a gig, performing before an info-commercial trade show, which was
having their annual convention at the MGM-Grand hotel in Las Vegas.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with performing at a convention or trade show. What's
perplexing are agents and pr people who try to bill performing at one of the thousands of trade
shows held in Las Vegas as "starring in Las Vegas." Just because the trade show is held in a
major hotel, doesn't mean the person has "starred" at that hotel. It's almost as confusing as a
Flowers was hired - not by the hotel, but by the Electronic Retailing Association - to sing
rhythm and blues at the awards ceremony Tuesday night.
Clinton's former paramour sang Who's Got the Last Laugh Now? and Why Haven't I
Heard From You? apparently referring to Clinton. The audience giggled and applauded.
Flowers said she moved to Las Vegas about a month ago to pursue her singing career. She said
her dream is to be a "Vegas headliner." She told the audience, "I want to see my name up in those
lights, up on those billboards."
In 1992 Flowers claimed to have had an affair with Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas.
Originally, Clinton vehemently denied that relationship. He back paddled during his deposition in
the Paula Jones case and admitted the affair. Flowers told the press she felt vindicated.
As for her singing career, Flowers explained that her singing, "has always been a God-given
for me. It's like going to a party every single night -- it's something I really enjoy."
The convention offered the infomercial attendees tips on how to move those slicers-and-dicers,
hair removers, exercise machines and anything else that can be hawked over the electronic
It's a billion dollar business.
Convention officials advised consumers not to buy unless the company offers refunds and a
Also, to think twice before you buy --- do you really need the item?
Celebrities attaching their name to a product can bring in the big bucks. Visualize a cigar endorsed
by Monica Lewinsky.
Erik Estrada in his CHIPS days
Hear those cash registers ring.
Stars such as Erik Estrada were on hand touting the products they endorse.
Erik Estrada has been able to re-invent himself several times.
The former star of
became a to-be-taken-seriously major star of a Spanish soap opera.
That epic was filmed in
Mexico City, where Erik enjoyed just too many tacos.
As fate would have it, just when he decided he needed to drop the tonnage, Jorge Hane,
president of National Premiere Supplements (NPS) approached Erik about endorsing the
company's Fat-Fast products for the Latin audience.
Estrada tried and liked the product, lost 20 pounds, and became its spokesperson.
TIMELY PLAY OPENS
Tonight, September 21, is opening night, at the Organic Theatre in Chicago, for Wendy
Wasserstein's play An American Daughter.
The plot line concerns the inspection endured by the nominee for U.S. Surgeon General.
politically partisan play, originally written in 1997 and now strategically revised, takes a sardonic
look at politics, feminism, and the public's right to know.
Should a past indiscretion doom a
Ina Marlowe directs and Judy Blue stars. The play runs through Oct. 25th.
LAW PROTECTS PERFORMERS
Estates who attempt to collect licensing fees from entertainers performing in Nevada are learning
that Nevada has a unique law which protects entertainers from paying such fees.
Sharon Haynes, who stars as Patsy Cline in Memories: A Tribute to Patsy Cline at the
Gold Coast Hotel in Las Vegas - out of necessity- has become somewhat of an expert on that
segment of estate law.
"The attorney, who represents the estate of Patsy Cline, thought we should be paying licensing
to the estate," she told me. "He approached us by letter," related the performer.
"There is a play Always Patsy Cline which is a true play, with total dialogue and directing.
It's a two hour play. They pay licensing fees to the estate," explained Sharon. "Well, that attorney
thought we were a play, too," added Sharon who was born and raised in Tri-City, Tennessee.
In 1995, a show called PATSY! premiered in
Missouri where it played for 27 weeks at the Grand Palace.
"In doing research to see what the guidelines are for that type of thing we learned the difference
between licensing for a play, an impersonation and a tribute.
"I do a tribute," she emphasized indicating that she speaks in the third person, not first person
during the performance. Instead of saying - I recorded this song in l963. It's - When this song
was recorded in 1963.
It's a subtle, but seriously legal difference.
"Even a play has now won in court," she continued about a lawsuit that won a ruling upholding
non-payment of a licensing fee.
"There was a traveling play called A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline. It was a play that was
very similar to Always Patsy Cline. They are both true plays with scripted characters.
"The estate approached that play to pay drama licensing fees, the same licensing fee that
Always Patsy Cline paid. The producer refused. The result was a lawsuit.
"They took it to Birmingham (Alabama) court first and then to the court of appeals in Atlanta,
(Georgia). That court ruled they were within their First Amendment rights, that they had a right to
to even do a full blown play, and not have to pay a special licensing fee for the use of the
character or the name.
Legends in Concert
In Nevada it's much clearer than in other states," she continued. "In some other states, if you just
use a person's name the estate can come in and say, we want part of the action.
"They have a law in Nevada that was made so specific because of the Legends in Concert
show," she said referring to the brilliant impersonation show created and produced by John
Legends has true impersonators, actually singing or performing with live musicians. Stuart prides
himself on hiring top notch, talented performers who deliver an absorbing performance.
"They do total impersonations," elaborated Sharon. "They do a delivery saying - I recorded this in
1960. That's the difference," she repeated, referring to the first person versus third person
"The stars in Legends are coming out saying - This was my biggest hit record. They are, in
essence, pretending to be these people during that time on stage. They take on the total
personification of the character.
"They were challenged by a lot of estates, who wanted Stuart to pay licensing fees. So, John
Stuart spent much, much money - I think he said over $30,000 doing lobbying, because that is the
main stay of every show he's got," she said referring to the impersonation production shows. "He
got Nevada to pass a law."
That law can be found in Nevada Revised Statutes, under Miscellaneous Trade Regulations
597.790. The subsection which applies to live entertainment is found in section (b).
597.790. Existence And Term of Right; Written Consent Required For Commercial
1. There is a right of publicity in the name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness of every
person. The right endures for a term consisting of the life of the person and 50 years after his
death, regardless of whether the person commercially exploits the right during his lifetime.
2. Any commercial use by another of the name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness of a
person requires the written consent of that person or like success in interest UNLESS
(capitalization is ours):
(b) The use is an attempt to portray, imitate, simulate or impersonate a person in a
"Nevada law is the most unique because the state deals so much with entertainment,"elaborated
"Other states, which are not so entertainment oriented, have not had the need to
have laws that are so specific," she reasoned.
"We haven't heard from the attorney for Patsy Cline's estate in months," she added. "We did
checks and comparisons to see what the law allowed," reiterated Sharon, who has been doing her
Patsy Cline tribute for nine years.
Sharon recalled a performance that will always stand out - the time Patsy's daughter, Julie,
attended a show.
"She told me after the show, You sang my mother's stuff more beautifully than anyone `I've
ever heard.' She was only two-and-a-half when her momma died."
"She said she had seen the
movie Sweet Dreams which starred Jessica Lang. She said, I knew Jessica Lang from
other movie roles. I was very familiar with her as an actress. She did a wonderful job, but I
couldn't imagine her being my mom. But, I didn't know you, Sharon, until tonight and you
looked and sounded so much like her.'"
"So, for the first time I had the sensation of knowing what it must have felt like to be in one of her
shows,'" recalled Sharon, in her gentle, southern drawl.
Sharon, who is divorced and raised two
grown sons alone, softly added, "For Julie to say that to me was the most honorable moment of
my whole tribute."
Sharon Haynes in Memories: A Tribute to Patsy Cline performs Saturday, September 26,
at the Alabama Theatre in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Then she returns to Las Vegas September 30 -
November 15 at the Gold Coast Hotel, where her tribute show is headquartered.
SALUTES THE LADIES
My Favorite Broadway - The Leading Ladies a glitzy, star-studded salute to the brilliant
leading ladies that have made Broadway glitter and shine, takes place Sept. 28 at Carnegie Hall.
The line-up of stars is show stopping.
Julie Andrews, Barbara Cook, Jennifer Holliday, Dorothy Louden, Marin Mazzie, Audra
McDonald, Liza Minnelli, Rosie O'Donnell, Faith Prince, and Chita Rivera will participate.
The Leading Ladies, is the first of an anticipated series of star-studded salutes to the
Great White Way.
Andrews will serve as one of the hosts. Her appearance will mark her first return to the stage
since she under went a vocal cord operation last summer. However, she will not be singing.
Others in the line-up will perform hit numbers from Broadway musicals.
The Sept. 28 concert will be taped for public television's Great Performances. A CD and a
video will also be produced.
Ticket prices ranged from $50 to $250 with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the
AIDS-related charities AmFAR and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The show will be directed by Scott Ellis. Co-producers are Jeff Rowland and Tony Adams in
conjunction with Metropolitan Entertainment Group and Continental Airlines.
TONY AWARDS WINS
The 1997 Tony Awards which aired on CBS with Rosie O'Donnell as host, walked off with the
Emmy for Best Variety, Music or Comedy special during the 50th anniversary presentation of the
Emmy Awards last Sunday night.
Picking up her first Emmy, Camryn Manheim, winning a best supporting actress Emmy for
The Practice worked with Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner and later
his protege' Michael Mayer, who cast her in seven productions.
To get a lead, though, Manheim
had to write her own show. Her one woman show Wake Up, I'm Fat, filled with fat
survival rules such as "always remember horizontal on the beach" - was a 1993 Off-Broadway
Rachael York and Rex Smith join the cast of The Scarlet Pimpernel beginning Oct. 10,
taking over the roles created by Christine Andreas and Terrence Mann.
York co-starred last year in Victor/Victoria and Smith had a long running role on the TV
soap, As The World Turns. He previously starred on Broadway in The Pirates of
The sister of political commentator Arianna Huffington, has penned a one-woman show
Conversations With The Goddesses.
The production opens October 3 at Urban Stages, 46 Walker
Agapi Stassinopoulos also stars in the show, which examines the humanity of the Greek
goddesses, and how their spirits can guide and enlighten us today.
A native of Athens, Agapi portrays heroines from both ancient and modern literature in bringing
the goddesses to life.
Contemporary jazz pianist and conductor David Benoit and his Orchestra make a rare Las Vegas
appearance Tuesday, October 6th for two performances at the Riviera Hotel.
His shows will contain numbers from his album The Best of David Benoit 1987-1995 and
a medley of theme songs from films and television programs.
Foremost among his recordings are Freedom at Midnight, and Every Step of the
Way, which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Jazz-Fusion category.
In addition to producing records, Benoit's arranging skills have been in demand on numerous
high-profile projects including the Grammy-nominated GRP All-Star Band, Disney's new
Cinderella soundtrack, and the RCA Victor all-star recording The Songs of West Side
Story. Benoit also played piano on Kenny Loggins' best selling children's project
Welcome to Pooh Corner.
JUBILEE a concert performance
of the musical comedy - the only collaboration between
Moss Hart and Cole Porter, will be given October 10 at Carnegie Hall to benefit the Gay Men's
Health Crisis, an AIDS advocacy group. The cast will include Bea Arthur, Tyne Daly and Michael
FOURTH ANNUAL ANDRE AGASSI GRAND SLAM FOR
CHILDREN CONCERT at the MGM-Grand in Las Vegas boasts
a superstar lineup that has signed on to appear September 26th.
Mick Fleetwood, Amy Grant, Dennis Miller, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, and Robin Williams
will take center stage. David Foster, the 14-time Grammy Award winning producer, arranger and
composer will again serve as musical director, conducing the one-hundred piece orchestra.
Along with the star-studded concert, the extraordinary event features a black-tie dinner with
silent and live auctions featuring nearly 50 items up for bid.
Some of the silent auction items include memorabilia and concert tickets donated by Celine Dion,
Elton John, Dennis Rodman, and Tiger Woods as well as non-speaking appearances on the
Drew Carey Show, and NBC's Friends.
The live auction will boast exciting items such as a dinner in San Francisco hosted by Robin
Williams, a private recording session with country superstar Tim McGraw, a day of golf with the
legendary Arnold Palmer, and Bill Cosby's custom designed Infiniti Q45.
Legendary entertainer Harry Belafonte was recently inducted into The Cancer Research and
Treatment Fund's Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame.
The ceremony took place at the Pierre Hotel in New
He was honored for his successful battle with prostate cancer.
The Cancer Research and
Treatment Fund, Inc. is a non-profit group of physicians, nurses and other medical professionals
dedicated to research for the treatment of cancer and other blood diseases.
CREDIT CARD EARNS
Seventeen Las Vegas casinos have jumped aboard a new credit card rebate promotion, in an
attempt to woo repeat customers to Las Vegas.
In a joint venture Wilmington, Del. based First USA bank and Consumer Rewards International,
of Las Vegas, introduced the Las Vegas Visa credit card.
Cardholders will receive certificates for 1 percent of their purchases. Those certificates can be
cashed at the casino where they applied for the credit card.
The certificates can also be used to pay Las Vegas Visa bills run up from a Las Vegas
Jeffrey Bleaman, president of Consumer Rewards stated, "For tourists, it's a great way to come
back to Las Vegas and offset your expenses."
Beaman also indicated that he's attempting to convince merchants to increase rebates to 3 to 5
percent. Budget Rent a Car, for example, offers a 3 percent rebate.
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HAVE A NICE LIFE the three
character show written by radio personality Rob Bartlett
begins performances October 1 at the Eugene O'Neill Theater.
KATHIE LEE GIFFORD who last
performed at Rainbow & Stars in 1991, set the house record at that
time for ticket sales. That record still stands.The terminally chirpy talk show co-host may try to
break her own record. She'll return to the glamorous nightclub for seven performances Oct 6-10.
CYBILL SHEPHERD opens
tomorrow, September 22, at Rainbow & Stars.
PER OLOV ENQUIST one of
Sweden's most famous writers, is the author of The Night of the
Tribades which has been translated into twenty languages. The play has had more than a
hundred productions, and is revived in a new production directed by Marco Capalbo, at The
Salon, on East 91st in NYC. Performances begin on Wednesday, September 23. Enquist's latest
Bildmakarna, was recently produced at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm under
the direction of Ingmar Bergman, and will be brought to BAM in early 1999.
FROG & PEACH THEATRE CO
will present Shakespeare's The Taming of The Shrew, as it
begins its fourth season of presenting free Shakespeare at The Theatre at the West-Park Church,
165 West 86th Street, NYC. Josephine Gallarello will direct the production. Lynnea Benson is
featured as Katherina and Jason Kuschner as Petruchio. Frog & Peach Theatre Company,
co-founded by Ted Zurkowski and Lynnea Benson - both Actors Studio alumni, is dedicated to
staging Shakespeare's plays for free.
SCOTT COULTER the 1998
MAC Award winning vocalist and 1997 Bistro Award Winner, opens
tonight, September 21, at New York's Don't Tell Mama with a new show, that will focus on aspects of
city life and living. Scott's new show teams him with his Bistro-winning cohort Richard
Oberacker on piano. Coulter and Oberacker won the Back Stage Bistro Award for their
revue Get Your Tickets Now!
THIS AND THAT
KEELY SMITH on Tuesday,
September 22, receives her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The
next night Keely performs a tribute to her late husband, Louis Prima, at The House of Blues in
ROGER DALTREY who will star
as Scrooge in the Madison Square Garden production of A Christmas Carol is trying to
interest investors in a new Broadway musical he'd like to mount next year. He calls the musical a
love story, based on a classic tale.
SANDY GALLIN new
entertainment director for Mirage Resorts, reportedly considering turning Las
Vegas hotel Treasure Island's 9,000 square-foot game arcade into a cabaret theater which would
seat 500. The cabaret would offer a mix of Broadway-type entertainment.
Next column: September 28, 1998
Copyright: September 21, 1998. All Rights reserved.
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