Broadway To Vegas
SHOW REVIEWS CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS GOSSIP NEWS
Copyright: September 26, 1999
By: Laura Deni
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COMPROMISING PHOTOS OF ANDRE
Andre Agassi is madly in love and also the Number One ranked tennis player in the world. This
guy is on a roll.
STEFFI GRAF makes Andre feel
The happy as a clam gent proudly introduced Steffi Graf to those attending his Grand Slam for
Children charity function at the MGM-Grand Hotel. Then he auctioned her off.
In an attempt to raise at least $2 million during the auction part of the event, Andre announced
that - as a duo - he and his new love would have lunch and give an hour's tennis lesson to the
highest bidder anywhere in the United States, anytime during the next year.
Normally shy off the tennis courts and rather uncomfortable as a public speaker, the newly
minted Agassi was an at ease chatter box. "We don't eat before we play so (we'll eat) afterwards.
And, Steffi will do one half the lesson in high heel shoes ... I'm just kidding," he added looking at
the lady, who has given his life new meaning.
"We'll have to arrange this around my schedule. We don't have to worry about her schedule," he
With a gleam in his eye Andre egged on the bidding by promising, "I'll throw in compromising
pictures of both of us!"
When the gavel banged down Andre and Steffi had agreed to provide two tennis
teaching/lunch packages at $120,000 each.
The entire evening raised over $3.9 million with more than $2 million coming from the
Wayne Gretzky took to the stage and said, "They asked me to donate something." He offered one
hour of ice skating lessons, but then confessed "I haven't been on ice skates since I retired." Two
people each paid $70,000 for the opportunity to see if Gretzky can still cut it on ice.
Prince Albert of Monaco phoned and threw in a trip for two to the Palace. It was that kind of an
The entertainment wasn't bad, either. Elton John who said he has been totally redone from the
waist up, did a solo turn. Then he double giged it doing duets with Leann Rimes, Gloria Estefan
and Stevie Wonder. Luther Vandross brought down the house and the awesome Robin Williams
is a frenetic genius. David Foster was the blue ribbon producer/director/musical
As for Andre and Steffi - it looks like Andre's intentions are for the long term. Explained Andre:
"She makes me feel good."
FATHER ALMOST STEALS
MICHAEL FEINSTEIN sly sense of humor,
marvelous musical taste
The stage may have been made to look like a lit New York skyline, but Michael Feinstein
delivered the quintessential Las Vegas performance. He filled the sterile, but acoustically sound
cavernous Art Ham Hall at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and then delivered such an
engaging performance that every person felt an intimate presence.
He proved he's a saloon singer ala Sinatra with his delivery of Marilyn and Alan Bergman lyrics.
In fact, Vinnie Falcone - Sinatra's piano player - was a surprise addition to the Feinstein
While Feinstein has stated he doesn't like playing before large groups - that he prefers a small
intimate room where he can "look into people's eyes." What the late crooner and Feinstein have
in common besides a love of good music, arrangements and musicians, is the ability to convey a
sense of intimacy to a room full of strangers, while having their own party on stage.
It's what made Las Vegas' heyday the "good old days." Seeing Feinstein perform in Las
Vegas is as close as you're going to come to reliving those days.
He's got the best in tuxedo wearing musicians; guitarist Joe Lano, Chris Gordon on bass, Bob
Pierson on winds, percussionist Jack Setta, drummer Al Berk, and Lombardo on
It's too bad so many men have forgotten that a tux ups the sex appeal quotient. Feinstein owns a
dozen, including the perfectly fitting tails Ira Gershwin wore to the opening of Porgy and Bess
in 1935. Feinstein can get into those tails because he stays in shape. When not on the road he
uses a rowing machine three times a week. When not in use he folds it up and stores it under his
He also meditates. It's energy well conserved because on stage it's a blast. The guys have a ball. It
can be rehearsed to the nth, but it comes across as fresh and spontaneous.They don't act like
they're doing the audience a favor by being there or don't know where they are. The impression is
that the stage has been transformed into Feinstein's patio and each member of the audience
is an invited house guest. It's an E-ticket good time and the audience is along for the
A virgin Feinstein showgoer expects good music. What comes as a delightful surprise is his sense
of humor and suburb comedy timing."This isn't what I expected," whispered the lady behind me
to her companion. "He's wonderful"
Yes, he is.
Feinstein is his own best opening act. He's sly. No comedian could add more to the bill than
Feinstein does with his devilish personality. He even does impersonations "only dead people,"
such as a devastatingly funny Paul Lynde and Ethel Merman.
FEINSTEIN was IRA GERSHWIN'S protege. Ira told
him he wrote Someone To Watch Over Me about himself, the week he
married his beloved Leonore
His singing runs the gamut from poignant and romantic to pithy. Instead of
offering his favorite
songs he does a medley of the worst songs ever written by
the world's greatest composers such as
Berlin, Gershwin and Porter. His Reader's Digest version of Oklahoma is priceless. His
selections are heavy on Broadway Of Three I Sing, Baby, the obscure Inside
USA, and Two for the Show, are punctuated by credits to composers, lyricists and
snappy comments about the stars.
He said he "loves verses" and sang several including Laura and the tongue twisting one
on Too Marvelous For Words. He offered selections from his new CD with Maynard
Ferguson Big City Rhythms, which can be summed in two words - buy ... enjoy.
Feinstein received three standing ovations, but it was his father who stole the show. Attending the
performance were Michael's parents and sister. He told the crowd that his father was the best
singer he knew. Michael brought his Dad on stage and the former executive in the meat business
who had sung in a barbershop quartet and with a band, proved his son's accolades with It's
Been a Long Long Time. When son joined father for a counterpoint duet the audience went
crazy. Feinstein finished the performance singing Gershwin's 'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous,
which is an excellent description of the show.
BELAFONTE ILL: SHOWS
Harry Belafonte, 72, seemingly ageless and tireless had the Day-O knocked out of him by the
pesky influenza bug.
Even though he suffers from chronic laryngitis and battled a bout of prostate cancer the actor
turned singer has been on a grueling cross country tour.
Last Tuesday he was to perform in Topeka, Kansas the following night at the Lied Center for the
Performing Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska and then return to Kansas for concerts Friday and Saturday
in Overland Park.
He became ill in Topeka forcing the tour to halt. The dates will be rescheduled.
The legendary performer has been awarded the Albert Einstein Award, the Martin Luther King Jr.
Peace Prize and the Kennedy Center Honor for Excellence. President Clinton awarded him a
Model of Arts in 1994 for his efforts on behalf of arts and humanity. Belafonte was the first
recipient of the Nelson Mandela courage Award.
HAL LINDEN MISTRIAL
Tony Award winning Hal Linden, currently starring as slick lawyer Billy Flynn in
Chicago at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, almost caused a script mistrial.
In the production Roxy Hart asks lawyer Flynn the trial outcome. The crafty lawyer is suppose to
reply that she was found not guilty. What a difference a word makes. Hal forgot not' and for a
moment declared his client guilty. The talented actor caught himself and corrected the
The New York city born actor received his Tony Award for The Rothchilds but began his
career as a saxophone player with Sammy Kaye, Bobby Sherwood and Boyd Raeburn bands. He
was signed to understudy Syndey Chaplin in Bells Are Ringing eventually replacing him
and co-starred with Judy Holliday in New York and in the national tour.
He met Fran, the girl he would marry, when they were doing summer stock in Hyannis Port. At
one point they were required to sit next to each other. Her first impression of her horn blowing
future husband was "his lip looked funny."
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SEX SCANDAL BECOMES THE
TAILOR MADE MAN
Williams Haines was a 1930's matinee idol. His MGM and United Artists films cast him opposite
Mary Pickford, Joan Crawford, and Lon Chainey, to name a few.
WILLIAM HAINES co-starred with Joan Crawford
in the 1927 MGM film Spring Fever She was a socialist snob. He played the golfer who
knocked her off her pedestal.
He played the self absorbed chap who usually got his ego deflated. Always there was an on
screen love interest with the top Hollywood ladies.
While he caused women to swoon on screen, off-screen he was the sex symbol who scandalized
Hollywood and destroyed his own movie career by living openly with his lover, Jimmy
His sexual lifestyle forced his celluloid retirement in 1935. He became an interior designer
catering to the stars who remained his friends including; Carole Lombard, Joan Crawford, Mrs.
Jack Warner, department store heiress Betsy Bloomingdale. He also was the interior designer for
the U.S. Ambassador's home in London.
The Tailor Made Man written by Claudio Macor is the true story of this most notoriously
gay Hollywood movie star.
DENNIS MATTHEWS as SHIELDS and MATT
WALTON as HAINES
The New York cast for The Tailor Made Man will be headed by Matt Walton as Haines
and Dennis Matthews as Shields. Also featured will be Roger Rathburn (Howard Strickling);
J.M. McDonough (Louis B. Mayer): Kelly Corvese (Victor Darro); Sarah Burns (Marion Davies);
Helen Buck (Carole Lombard); Rick Meese (Roderick); and Franca Barchiesi (Pola Negri). The
production will be designed by Torchlight Theatre Company's resident designer Phil Lea with
choreography by Elizabeth Blake.
Photo By: Carol Rosegg
The production is presented by London's Torchlight Theatre Company, founded twelve years ago
by Macor, getting its inspirational name from the torch lit march in San Francisco for Harvey
Milk. The production begins performances at Centre Stage, NYC on Sept. 30.
POP GOES THE NEW
The 17th season of the New York Pops with founder and musical director Skitch Henderson
downbeats the new season Oct. 8 with Viva Italia! with guest Richard Leech.
New York, New York with Bobby Short and His Orchestra enters the spotlight on Nov.
5. A Holiday Celebration with the Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir is slated for Dec.
Continuing with the season will be Hawaiian Nights, and A Viennese
Valentine. Other popular events at Carnegie Hall include; The Pittsburgh Pops in its Carnegie
Hall debut with Marvin Hamlisch next Feb 1, followed by the Boston Pops lead by conductor
Keith Lockhart and Michael Feinstein, in a series of three Weill Recital Hall concerts, beginning
December 2, 1999.
RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL
The place to be Saturday October 4 is at the gala celebrating the reopening of Radio City Music
Hall. The landmark has been closed for face lift. With or without yours, get gussied up and show
Sting, Rosie O'Donnell, Billy Crystal, the Eurythmics, 98 Degrees, Liza Minnelli and Tom
Brokaw are slated to perform.
Also on board are Raquel Welch, Ann Miller and Christian Slater who first appeared on stage
there as a child when he was part of the annual Christmas production.
The red-carpet opening will also benefit the newly formed Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic
Cancer Research, named in honor of Madison Square Garden chairman Marc Lustgarten, who
succumbed to the disease last August.
BERNEDETTE PETERS AND MARY TYLER MOORE host a benefit dinner for FIDONYC on Monday, October 4 at the W New
York Hotel. Also attending will be Annie Get Your Gun co-star Tom Wopat, Laura Dern,
Alec Baldwin, Michael Cerveris, Michael Rappaport, Montel Williams, Chuck and Ellen
Scarborough, Peter Max and Tom Wyner. Moore and Peters founded FIDONYC to help
New York City Shelter animals. The evening will include a Founders Reception, hosted by Peters
and Moore, followed by a buffet dinner and party. The silent auction includes such items as
Sundance Film Festival package, and tickets to Hollywood film premiers. Tickets $300. $5,000
for a sponsor table of 10 guests. Benefit ticket buyers will receive a Todd Oldman specially design
t-shirt to commemorate the event.
SUSAN SARADON, QUINCY JONES AND ED BRADLEY are honored on Monday, September 27 by receiving the Amnesty
International's Media Spotlight Awards at Chelsea Piers, NYC. Christine Lahti and Patrick
Stewart will host.
WARREN BEATTY will be honored
by the Southern California Americans for Democratic Action on September 29, when he receives the
group's annual Eleanor Roosevelt Award at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY
ROBERT GOULET has filed a
lawsuit in Clark County (Las Vegas) District Court against Bellagio Productions LLC of Newport
Beach, Calif. and its chief executive officer Dr., Howard Mango, alleging that they failed to
compensate him for canceled engagements of his performance as Don Quixote in Mango's
productions of Man of La Mancha. Bellagio Productions (no connection to the hotel)
contracted Goulet to perform July 27-Aug 1, 1999 in Cerritos, CA. Goulet performed one show,
was compensated $50,000, but the rest were canceled without notice. The suit states that the
defendants agreed to pay Goulet $100,000 for the canceled shows, compensation due in full by
August 20, 1999.
SOUTH PARK won't be the basis
for a slot machine in Nevada casinos. IGT dropped plans to add the slot machine based on the
animated TV series after the Nevada Gaming Control Board let it be known that the changes for
getting the thing approved were slim to none. "They told us that they thought it was a vulgar,
obscene and off-color game," said Brian McKay, senior vice president and general counsel of
IGT. The manufacturer still hopes to sell it to casinos in Mississippi and New Jersey.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
presented by the Frog & Peach Theatre Company, NYC.
TED ZURKOWSKI, EARLE HYMAN and
LYNNEA BENSON star in Much Ado About Nothing Photo By: Dave
This production marks the fifth season of presenting free Shakespeare on New York's Upper
West Side at The Theatre at the West-Park Church. Tony and Emmy nominee Earle Hyman stars
as Leonato with company co-founders Lynnea Benson and Ted Zurkowski as Beatrice and
Other cast members include; Joe Corey, Tom Fenaughty, Matthew Freeman, Timothy Gore, Ted
Joseph, Tom Knutson, Jason Kuschner, Vivien Landau, Robert Lehrer, Andrea Leigh, Nicole
Raphael, John Steinfels, Brian Taylor, Jennifer Winingder, and Michael Kearney Wright. Sets by
Eric Lemire, costumes by Bengal, and lights by Jeanne Palomino.
Much Ado About Nothing is a delightful game of disguises, deception and discovery - a
romantic comedy where every player is fooled until the end. Directed by Josephine Gallarello.
Performances begin Thursday, September 30.
SPACE written and directed by Tina
Landau has its West Coast premiere at the Mark Taper Forum beginning tonight, Sept. 26.
WHAT MAKES IT GREAT
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with National Public Radio's Robert Kapilow and the St. Lawrence
String Quartet, Wednesday, September 29 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, CA.
AMADEUS starring David Suchet,
Michael Sheen and Cindy Katz in an exclusive West Coast engagement begins October 5 at the
Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles.
A CHORUS LINE The Palace
Theater at Myrtle Beach, SC October 5-10
THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE
DAVID HYDE PIERCE
UCLA Freud Playhouse as part of the Reprise! Broadway Best in Concert series.
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart; Music By Richard Rogers; Book By George Abbott, directed by
Arthur Allen Seidelman.
The production stars the delightfully versatile
David Hyde Pierce
who was fabulous as co-emcee for this year's Emmy Awards.
As part of Frazier he helped
established that show as a gold standard for boob tube sitcoms.
UNCLE VANYA by Anton Chekov,
adapted by Vanessa Burnham; Directed By Michael Langham and Helen Burns. The 100th
anniversary of this powerful masterpiece is being celebrated with its engagement at the Geffen
Playhouse, Los Angeles. September 28-October 31.
A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING,/font>
one night only October 2 at Pepperdine University, CA.
HELLO DOLLY continues through
October 31 at the Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee-on-Delaware.
BETTY BUCKLEY who performs
in Las Vegas next February 8 is currently starring in Camino Real Hartford Stage, Conn.
through October 10.
LORNA LUFF wraps up her
Vegas engagement at Bally's Hotel this evening, Sunday, September 26
CELINE DION performs Civic
Auditorium Arena, Omaha, NB September 29. Tickets $29 to $59.
GEORGE SHEARING DUO Oct.
1, Folly Theater, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets $30.
MERLE HAGGARD October 2,
Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas. Tickets in the upscale range of $100 and $130, includes a copy
of Haggard's double CD. The three-hour concert includes "surprise guest artists." That would be
Jewel, Dwight Yokum and Connie Smith.
performs Sept 30 at the UCLA Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles.
BLOOMSBURG FAIR, PENN. kicked off yesterday, running through October 2. On September 25 it's Bullmania
at noon followed by Vince Gill performing at night. Point of Grace and Mark Lowry entertain on
September 27. Debbie Reynolds and Williams and Ree do the same on September 27. On Tuesday, September 28,
it's Joey McIntyre followed on September 28 by The Beach Boys. Alabama takes the stage on September
30. On Friday Oct. 1st there's horse pulling in the morning and afternoon with red-neck comedian
Jeff Foxworthy in the evening. Trisha Yearwood closes out the fair with her Saturday Oct. 2
THIS AND THAT
TOM JONES had booked Tony
Orlando's son, John, as his opening act for this week's show at Harvey's Casino in Council Bluffs,
Iowa. The performance would have been the 27-year-old's debut. Tony Orlando was responsible
for Jones' career taking off and Tom was returning the favor. But, no show this week. The gig
was canceled, then rescheduled, canceled again and now rescheduled for December.
MICHAEL DOUGLAS AND CATHERINE ZETA JONES celebrated their joint birthdays this past weekend at One 31 in NYC. He
turned 55. She tipped over into 30 which is cause for celebration on several counts. When she
was an infant Catherine wasn't expected to survive. A virus hindered her breathing requiring a
tracheotomy. She still carries the one-and-half-inch long scar. The actress adamantly refuses to
permit make up artists to pancake over the scar. She lets the small scar show out of respect. If she
didn't have it, she wouldn't be alive.
WOMEN IN COMEDY FESTIVAL
Janeane Garofalo, Phyllis Diller, Paula Poundstone, Joy Behar, Andrea Martin and other female
laugh makers have teamed up for the first Marshall's Women in comedy Festival. Performances
are in various Los Angeles clubs Oct 7-10 before the humorous lot does the same in New York
PROPOSALS Neil Simon's latest
comedy, directed by Michael Bennett, had its regional premiere at the North Star Theatre,
Mandeville, LA. The story line is a portrait of a family in the midst of its final visit to a beloved
CRAIG BIERKO signed to star in
Broadway bound revival of The Music Man. Susan Stroman directs.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS will rename
two streets on its movie lot after Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. Charlie Dick who was wed to
Cline and Hanks' daughter, Jett Williams were presented with replicas of the street signs.
GORDON MUNFORD who died
in Las Vegas on September 18 at age 70 was remembered in a memorial service on Saturday. He was
musical conductor and arranger for more than 65 musicals, from off-Broadway's Little
Mary Sunshire to the Tony award winning 1776.He was a vocal coach to numerous
stars including Lauren Bacall for her Tony award winning performance in Applause, and
Richard Burton in his Tony winning role in Camelot. He arranged and conducted pops
concerts for more than 75 symphony orchestras including Baltimore, Cleveland, Dallas and
Denver. He is survived by his wife, Gail Munford.
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Next Column: October 4, 1999
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