Sunday, October 28, 2001 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Las Vegan David Cassidy Shows At Rio, 2001 Billboard Music Awards Sing At MGM, Cheval! Is No Bunch Of Horsefeathers, Al Jarreau Jazzes Up Paris, Travel Channel Stays Tuned In Las Vegas, Next-up: Techno-Catering, More...

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Jackie Brett
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David Cassidy of "The Partridge Family" television fame will return to the Rio for three performances, Nov. 22-24, in the Samba Theater. Tickets are $59 plus tax.

By age 21, pop idol Cassidy was the world's highest paid solo live performer and his fan club was the most popular in the world, exceeding those of both the Beatles and Elvis Presley. His musical success garnered multiple Grammy nominations. Eighteen of his recordings reached Gold or Platinum status, with four consecutive multi-platinum releases.

On "The Partridge Family" show alone, Cassidy had seven chart-topping singles, including " I Woke Up In Love This Morning," "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" and "I Think I Love You," which became 1971's best-selling record.

In 1996 when Cassidy took over the starring role in the MGM Grand's $75 million extravaganza "EFX," he moved his family to Las Vegas. After two years in "EFX," he moved to the Rio to star in the semi-autobiographical show "David Cassidy At The Copa" with co-star Sheena Easton.

Pop music sensations 'NSYNC, country music superstar Tim McGraw and hip-hop artist Shaggy are set to perform at the "2001 Billboard Music Awards," at the MGM Grand Garden on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The show will be aired live from 8-10 p.m. ET/PT on FOX. The 12th annual ceremony will honor the No. 1 performers of the year. Ticket prices are $40, $75 and $150, call TicketMaster at 702-474-4000.

'NSYNC is currently climbing the charts with the ballad "Gone," the second release from the band's No. 1 album "Celebrity." The album also features the No. 1 hit "Pop." McGraw's latest offering is "Set This Circus Down" released in April.

Shaggy's current multi-platinum album "Hotshot" is highlighted by the hits "It Wasn't Me" and "Angel."

A new show called "Cheval!" will set up shop for a month in a tent on the grounds south of Bellagio behind the restaurant-nightclub called Seven that was formerly Country Star. The show's 19-city tour will stop in Las Vegas from Nov. 21 to Jan. 6.

"Cheval!" is a show about horses and the word in French means "horse." Show patrons on the way to their seats will meet the cast before the show as they walk through the area where the 17 breeds of horses will be stabled.

Longtime Cirque artist director Gilles Ste-Croix produces the show. The show is under his auspices as Cheval Theatre, but remains a part of Cirque. Tickets are $49-$59 for adults, and $30-$35 for children younger than 12.

Comedian Richard Jeni will take over for Rita Rudner in the Cabaret Theatre at New York-New York, Nov. 12-19, while Rudner hits the 14-city promotional trail for her new comic novel, "Tickled Pink."

Her book is based on a female standup comedienne, Mindy, testing her wings during the 1980s comedy scene in New York City. She says it's part fact and part fiction. Other books she has authored are "Naked Beneath My Clothes" and "Rita Rudner's Guide to Men."

Five-time Grammy award winner, Al Jarreau, will perform at Paris, Nov. 16 and 17. Tickets are $60, call 1-877-374-7469 or 702-946-4567.

Jarreau holds the distinction of being the only singer in history to win best vocalist awards in three different categories: jazz, pop and R&B. Warner Brothers signed him to a recording contract n 1975. His debut was the acclaimed "We Got By," which was followed the next year by the equally impressive "Glow."

One of his career highlights included singing the title tune to the late '80s TV series "Moonlighting" starring Cybill Shepard and Bruce Willies.

In recent years, Jarreau has worked with symphony orchestras, singing the music to Bach pieces as well as several of his own tunes rendered in a classical mode. Plus, he has recorded the music of renowned 20th century composer Lou Harrison with the California Symphony.

Developer Steve Wynn as a guest speaker at the recent World Gaming Congress at The Venetian mentioned his plan for a new huge investment show he'll be putting into his future Le Reve mega-resort. There will be two showcase productions and the following show will be in a 1,500-seat theater.

Wynn has hired Franco Dragone, who directed both of Cirque du Soleil's Las Vegas productions, "O" and "Mystere," to produce the show. The story will be about a remote Himalayan whose children can fly, but only until they are 11 years old. A young man's quest to regain the power of flight will be the show's focus.

Wynn gave a few more revelations about his new resort Le Reve, which is French for "the dream," that he'll be building on the old Desert Inn property. The new development will have a water-theme, 2,455-rooms, a 42-story hotel tower and a multi-acre manmade lake. He said two of the retailers will be Chanel and Christian Dior. The restaurants will focus on the chefs who prepare the meals and the trendy SoHo eatery Balthazar will be the only established venue.

He hopes to begin construction on his $1.87 billion resort in December and open in mid-2004.

TOP OF NEXT COLUMN

When Wayne Newton takes a break in November, Don Rickles will fill in from Nov. 15-18, followed by B.B. King, Nov. 23-25.

Rodney Dangerfield's performances at the MGM Grand's Hollywood Theatre from Nov. 16-28 have been cancelled.

The Las Vegas Hilton Buffet is closed through the end of December for remodeling. When it opens in late December, it will have an all-new look, seating for 450 guests and feature cooking stations.

The Amazing Jonathan has incorporated a Halloween theme into his performances through Oct. 31 at the Theatre Ballroom in the Golden Nugget downtown. Tickets are $35, call 702-386-8100.

The Amazing Johnathan and longtime friend and fellow comedian Kevin James have created ghoulish effects for the show. The stage and showroom have been transformed into a Halloween setting and contain characteristics of an old-time freak show.

Six-foot tall comedienne and actress, Pam Stone, will headline The Improv Comedy Club at Harrah's, Nov. 27-Dec. 2. Tickets are $24.95 plus tax.

Many people were first exposed to Stone's comedic skills through her work on the hit ABC television show "Coach," where she played the women's basketball coach Judy Watkins. Stone has also appeared on "The Drew Carey Show" and the "New Love Boat."

Stone won an American Comedy Award for "Best Female Standup Comic" in 1993, after being nominated five years in a row. Her comedy is a sophisticated blend of insights and satire; delivering punch lines with a twist. She'll share the stage with fellow comedians Greg Otto and open David Gee.

"Splash" at the Riviera will be dark from Dec. 7 through Dec. 24, to allow for work on the production's stage, sets, ice rink, lighting and the show itself. It also allows the entire cast to take a two-week holiday break.

Magician Steve Wyrick will return to his show at the Sahara on Monday, Oct. 29, after taking an unexpected month off for knee surgery. When he returns, he'll be performing one show only at 7 p.m. for three weeks.

Jack's Irish Pub at Palace Station has a happy hour, Monday through Friday, from 5 to 7 p.m. Drinks and appetizers are half priced. Plus you can earn one ticket with every purchase of a Guinness or Harp pint for a drawing to see U2 on Nov. 18. The Wild Cats, who are direct from Dublin, perform Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The Travel Channel is filming a pair of hourlong documentaries in town through Nov. 2. One is "Las Vegas: A Trip Around the World," which spotlights four internationally themed resorts: The Venetian, Paris, Luxor and New York-New York. The other is "Neon Secrets" focusing on the glowing lights that form a part of Las Vegas' readily identifiable image.

Binion's Horseshoe Club, founded by Benny Binion in 1951, is a landmark on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas and it turned 50 this year. One of the city's oldest casinos is well known for its annual World Series of Poker.

For years Binion's Horseshoe Club used to be noted for the $1 million cash display where visitors had their souvenir photos taken with a jumbo horseshoe containing 100 $10,000 bills.

Lawry's The Prime Rib is doing a silent auction for special dinners as a fundraiser. Up for auction are five dinners, four at Lawry's and one in the winner's home. The minimum bid for a Thanksgiving Day dinner for six is $450, with bids closing Nov. 1.

The minimum bid for the private-chef dinner for 10 is $1,000, with bids closing Jan. 2. In between are a Dickens dinner, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve dinners, all for six, with minimum bids ranging from $350 to $550. For information, call 702-893-2223.

Something new to look forward to in the technology arena is wireless devices and terminals for placing drink orders and better managing slot floors. For example, you may be lounging around poolside and want a drink. The cocktail waitress with a wireless device can expedite the drink order and it can be ready by the time she reaches the bar.

InfoGenesis' wireless terminals are being used already at Bally's and the Four Seasons in Las Vegas. The wireless POS (Point-Of-Sale) system can help improve efficiency for food and drink service at banquets. You can be sitting at a banquet table and call in the order and have it taken care of promptly.

Installing a central "access point" for the communication between wireless devices typically costs about $1,000. Each wireless device ranges in cost between $700 to $1,500, depending on various added features. A single access point could cover the area of a restaurant, while a 100,000-square-foot casino floor may need two or three access points.

For the slot department, the devices help to quickly research data on patrons they recognize as frequent guest. This system requires the use of digital cameras with facial recognition technology to identify patrons. The mobility of the wireless terminals allows casino managers to easily move them to busier areas as traffic patterns change.

It's anticipated that this new technology will become commonplace in casinos by 2002 or 2003.

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