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January 17-23, 2002 ARCHIVES
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by Sig Sakowicz
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Orlean's Michael Gaughan's genius booking of Tony Orlando, December 20-23, drew more than 750 per show in a room that hosts 827. Not bad numbers for a show this time of year. Tony opens January 22 at the Golden Nugget for 13 consecutive weeks. His Christmas show was a whopper with The Lefty Band and Kerry doing a masterful voice impression. Santa Claus (Dave Thompson) looked and sounded like the real thing and Tony laced a ribbon on all of the proceedings. When Tony Curtis walked into Orlando's opening night, who do you think went bonkers? Ruth Schroeder, Tony Orlando's mother. Tony Curtis just couldn't get over it... Also at the opening and receiving an outstanding welcome was "Hello Dere" Marty Allen and Steve Rossi, who joined Tony for a tune or two...

Chirp Marlene Ricci is getting the royal Riviera push (promotion) for her January 29 opening in the newly refurbished lounge. It's long overdue for her... Las Vegas resident Tony Curtis will star on stage revising the role he did in the movie "Some Like It Hot," when he goes on tour in Houston and winding up here...

Hot legs are burnin' up the Imperial Theatre stage as Cookie Watkins returned to her role as Tina Turner in the award-winning show "Legends In Concert." Cookie's track record spans two decades developing skills that include classical training in opera, reading and writing music, singing commercial jingles and traveling with her own R&B / Rock band. Catch her incredible tribute to the one and only Tina Turner, along with superstar recreations of Elvis, Liberace, The Temptations, Ritchie Valens, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, twice nightly, except Sundays, at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. in "Legends In Concert" at the Imperial Palace...

Polka enthusiast Mike Mungia tells us that the Polka Grammy nominations include Ed Blazonczyk, Len Gumwika, Brave Combo Danson, Walter Ostranek and Jimmy Sturr. Blazonczyk will be back here April 21...

The real Fifth Dimension helped pack the Imperial Palace over New Years Eve... Bobby Vinton is expected back here at the Orleans March 14 through Saint Patrick's Day... Talk around town is that a major "Strip" hotel will drop it's jazz policy and a major star will shut down their show if box office numbers don't improve by late February.

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