Justin M. Bowen
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 | 6:50 p.m.
The scene rake has picked up the following:
• Well, this is fairly nutty.
Jerry Lewis’ scheduled show Saturday night at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert Arena, for which he was to be backed by a full orchestra directed by Vincent Falcone, has been canceled. Lewis made the decision to dump the show himself last week. There has been no official announcement rendered as to why the show was spiked, which keeps in line with the absence of information about the show ever being on the books. Never has an appearance by a living legend been so cloaked in secrecy. Lewis’ planned performance was so stealthy, it could have been called: “Phantom — the Primm Spectacular.”
What's especially nutty is, Lewis does great business outside Las Vegas. With Falcone serving as his music director, Lewis nearly sold out the 1,300-seat showroom at FireLake Grand Casino Resort Showroom in Shawnee, Okla., on Friday night. Falcone spent nearly a decade as Frank Sinatra’s music director and reports from the Grand Casino Resort concert that the show was terrific. But in Primm, ticket sales were too sluggish to justify going forward with the show, which is not a surprise since it took a fair amount of drilling into the Primm Valley Resorts website (which was down for most of Tuesday) to even find a listing for the show.
There is no formal plan for Lewis to perform again in Las Vegas, or Primm, or Laughlin, or Mesquite, or Pahrump, or anywhere else in Southern Nevada. Now he is prepping for the world premiere of “The Nutty Professor” musical at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, where it is scheduled to run July 24-Aug. 19. Lewis is directing and hopes to take the show to Broadway.
But as it stands, the last appearance by the 86-year-old Lewis performing on a Las Vegas stage was at the MDA Labor Day Telethon in September 2010. Hopefully that won't stand as his final Vegas appearance, ever.
• Woody Allen might be unwittingly giving business at the Riviera a significant boost. It’s doubtful Allen had the classic Las Vegas hotel-casino in mind when he cast Andrew “Dice” Clay in his next movie, but the under-renovation hotel will nonetheless benefit from the unexpected decision by Allen to recruit the Diceman in his upcoming film due for release in 2013.
At the moment, the film is untitled and its storyline veiled, but those playing the significant roles have been made. The cast is one that could only be assembled for an Allen film. Those billed with Clay include Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, comedian Louis C.K., Michael Emerson, Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, Sally Hawkins and Peter Sarsgaard.
Clay’s next set of dates at Starlite Theater at the Riv are July 26-29 (he’s appearing regularly through the end of the year, hit the Riv website for info). Clay’s career has been buoyed by his role, in which he played himself, in the HBO series “Entourage,” but in the Allen film he will be playing a character of some sort. Clay won’t be playing himself again, for certain, though his character is said to be from Brooklyn. But he has not yet read the script, and filming doesn’t start until later this summer.
In the middle of this career rejuvenation, the 54-year-old Clay has shed some weight, dropping four pant sizes, as he preps for the film and his first Showtime special in 13 years. The performance is being taped in August in Boston at the Wilbur Theater and will air New Year’s Eve at 12:13 a.m.
And to denote the small-worldliness of Las Vegas, one of Clay’s early impressions was of Lewis as, yep, “The Nutty Professor.”