Published Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 | 7:26 p.m.
Updated Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 | 10:18 a.m.
On Tuesday night, “Fantasy” celebrated its 10th anniversary and trumpeted the formal debut of featured performer Angelica Bridges. Cake was sliced and served. Dozens of photos were taken. Free champagne was quaffed.
Today, it was announced that Bridges would be temporarily leaving the production.
In the latest ripple in Luxor’s adult revue, which is action-packed both on and off the stage, it was announced today by show producer Anita Mann that Bridges would not be part of the show until further notice. Mann said this evening that child-custody issues surfaced between Bridges and her ex-husband, Sheldon Souray of the Edmonton Oilers, that prevented Bridges from fulfilling her commitment to perform Thursday night. She was present at the Hard Rock Cafe's VIP gala event Thursday night, but her plans to attend the performance of "Fantasy" changed after that event and before the show. The family concerns led her to inform Mann that she would need to leave the production at least temporarily.
Bridges’ cell phone incoming message mailbox was full tonight, but she did leave none-too-cryptic note on her Facebook page that reads: “The ex is threatening to not return the children and keeping them in Canada. I need some help with this. He has gone crazy!!! I feel like I am in a living nightmare.”
Mann says she is giving Bridges time to work through her family upheaval. Bridges is three weeks into a 90-day contractual agreement to perform in “Fantasy.”
“Really, I’m inundated with concerns for Angelica as a person,” Mann said during a phone conversation this evening. “As a mother myself, I’m concerned for her as a mother. It was completely a surprise. … But it will get worked out. She wants to come back and is planning on coming back.”
Mann said Bridges drove back to Los Angeles this afternoon to address custody issues centering on her two daughters, who are ages 6 and 2.
There will be no immediate additions to the cast of “Fantasy,” though Mann said she will continue to “tighten” the production based on her notes from Bridges’ first few appearances. She said just two people in attendance Thursday night said they were disappointed the former “Baywatch” cast member was not onstage, but afterward “these people said they thoroughly enjoyed the show and even sent letters to us to that effect.”
Bridges’ development in the show has been gradual. She sings in three scenes (the lead vocalist role has usually taken in eight numbers), and after ample consideration, her first appearance topless was Tuesday. Picking up most of the singing responsibilities have been cast members Nikki Wambolt and Katie Dix, who have toggled appearances as the show’s lead vocalists.
The show’s longtime featured performer, Las Vegas native Stephanie Dianna (formerly Jordan) departed at the end of September as Bridges was added to the show. Mann and Dianna have produced differing accounts of how Dianna was removed from the production, with Mann saying Dianna was always welcome to continue in an onstage emcee capacity and Dianna saying she was clearly dismissed. Dianna has said she has no desire to return to the show, though she and Mann do plan to have lunch one day next week.
So anything seems possible. This is, after all, “Fantasy.”