Edison Graff/Stardust Fallout
Monday, July 16, 2012 | 5:11 p.m.
- David Cassidy, Jeff Timmons
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It’s an offer only a daydream believer could have envisioned.
David Cassidy is attempting to atone for his regretful appearance at South Point on July 1. According to published reports and from first-hand witnesses of the performance, an evidently addled Cassidy flubbed lyrics as he began a tribute to the late Davy Jones and barked at audience members to “shut up!” as they groaned their displeasure. Dozens of fans walked out, prompting Cassidy to issue a lengthy statement on his official website the next week apologizing for a “far from up to par” performance (the note was taken down Friday).
Cassidy’s explanation was that he mixed medications he was taking to treat a cold and eczema, leading to a show that was, quite literally, a dizzying experience.
Cassidy was not the original choice for the South Point to perform the three shows (the first two went well enough to not merit any apologies) ending July 1. In making his first appearance at the hotel (and his first in Las Vegas since a May 2011 performance at the Orleans), Cassidy was filling dates originally booked by Jones, who died of a heart attack Feb. 29. Cassidy had planned a five-song medley of Jones' songs during his regular stage show but went off the rails on Night No. 3 as he ventured into Monkees territory.
In the aftermath, Cassidy (through his representatives) has offered to perform a benefit show for the charity of the choosing of South Point hotel owner Michael Gaughan.
Ah, if it were only so simple. Initially, South Point officials were not exactly performing cartwheels at the idea of bringing back Cassidy to the hotel. There are justifiable concerns about a repeat of the ill-fated July 1 show, which was 25 to 30 tickets short of a sellout in the 400-seat room.
But it should be noted that the incident was more a PR sideswipe than a financial hit for the resort. South Point Director of Marketing Tom Mitkovits says 20 audience members asked for refunds. Two were granted money back for their tickets. The other 18 have been given tickets to other shows at the showroom, which isn’t exactly a bank-breaking outcome.
Cassidy has offered the benefit show during an open slot in the South Point Showroom schedule. For an idea of how difficult it is to juggle that schedule, the showroom is host to 488 performances this year -- it’s frequently booked multiple times each day (a show by Deana Martin followed by an appearance later by the 1980s-styled novelty band the Spazmatics, for example.
Thus, this year is out of play for Cassidy.
“But we don’t want to rule anything out,” Mitkovits said in an interview last week. “It’s a matter of space and availability.” Gaughan wants the show to be on a weekend, which further limits options for booking dates. After reviewing all options for showroom availability and the overriding issue of how the public would accept such a performance, Gaughan has decided to table the offer for about a year.
“We will revisit it in the middle of next year and see if we can find an open weekend,” Mitkovits said. “We’ll see then if we can find an open weekend for him and try to tie it into a charity.”
That’s a long time to find a date and pick a charity, set a date or even to forget any of this happened. But that isn't likely. Gaughan and the South Point crew have a long memory.