Edison Graff/Stardust Fallout
Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 | 2 a.m.
It’s been a frenzy on the scene lately. Call me Arthur Frenzarelli.
Not one to, how you say, “Sit on it,” we just rake away:
• David Cassidy was pulled over on the Columbia Turnpike near Albany, N.Y., on Wednesday, and the patrolman making the stop was one Tom Jones.
“What’s new, Pussycat?” Cassidy reportedly asked the rookie officer, who had no idea what Cassidy was talking about.
"I did not know who he was or what he meant by that," Jones told the Albany Times-Union.
But for Cassidy, the stop meant bye, bye, bye ... Delilah! He was charged with felony driving while intoxicated, registering a 0.10 percent blood alcohol content, at 12:08 a.m. The 63-year-old Cassidy was released from the Rensselaer County Jail about three hours after his arrest after posting $2,500 bail.
This all happened about 14 months after Cassidy popped his cork to audience members onstage at the South Point during a quasi-tribute to the recently departed Davy Jones of the Monkees. Cassidy was filling dates left open by Jones’ death, but fumbled lyrics (which, for him, is not unusual) and barked “shut up” to the crowd.
Why is this ill-fated performance being revisited? Because soon after that episode, Cassidy offered to headline a “make-good” charity show to mend his relationship with the hotel and anyone who was put off by his professionally bereft performance. At the time, hotel officials said it would be about a year before they could find a spot for Cassidy in the busy showroom, which is home to between 480 and 500 shows annually.
That year has come and gone, Cassidy has never returned, and his latest unfortunate traffic incident has not enhanced his chances to come back to the South Point. But hey, maybe Tom Jones is available …
• On Sunday afternoon I tossed several gold-colored rings the size of life preservers at a 73-year-old juggler wearing a sequined, one-piece costume.
He’s Nino Frediani, who has performed in Las Vegas productions for more than 30 years and in traveling circus shows around the world for a lot longer. He hosted "Unstoppable" for an about-filled audience of 100 at Onyx Theatre. The show was emceed by impeccably coiffed crooner Victor Moea. Frediani appeared between such acts as the magician Zarrin (the same age as Frediani), Maggi Albisani (impressive as Connie Francis) and the diminutively dazzling Judy Garland/Liza Minnelli impressionist Denise Rose.
Frediani is legally blind but sees well enough to spot reluctant audience members to ask to the stage. He cut the lights and juggled glow-in-the-dark balls. He flung clubs, tetherballs, volleyballs and what seemed to be water-polo balls. He tumbled awkwardly up an aisle and, as a screen was lowered to show a highlight clip, dropped to the stage.
He was a highly entertaining, graceful and grateful performer. After the show he singled out individuals to thank for making the show possible. He seemed to have named half the audience, but it was us who should have been thanking him.
• Clint Holmes’ outreach campaign to help fill his set list for his upcoming Cabaret Jazz shows Sept. 6-8 has reached about 200 submissions. Holmes has opened up suggestions on his Twitter account, @ClintholmesLV, and the Smith Center is also asking for requests on its Facebook page. Holmes had earlier joked of receiving the theme from from “I Love Lucy” as one of the requests. Guess which song he’s rehearsing for the show. Yes, that one. Babbaloo!
Holmes is toying with the idea of using such requests in shows beyond his September dates, maybe slipping one in on occasion. It’s a fun practice, especially for a vocalist who can sing just about everything. Never heard him rap, though. Maybe “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” can find its way into the show.
• The latest from the comedy trenches, in elliptical form:
…. The Aces of Comedy series at Mirage has just added one of the country’s top stand-ups, Joe Rogan, to its lineup on Dec. 27. This ties into Rogan’s appearance as commentator for UFC 168, which is Dec. 28 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
… John Pinette, who sold out Orleans Showroom on March 22-23, is back on Oct. 11-12.
… Anthony Cools is bringing an improv comedy show to Cabo Wabo Cantina at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. It’s called the “Party Improv Comedy Show” and it has everything: Party, improv, comedy and show. It’s a 7 p.m. show, Thursdays through Sundays, and tickets are $24.99 plus a two-drink minimum. In the release announcing the show, veteran stand-up Bobby Slayton (who is not in the show but who was in business with Cools a few years ago at the Trop) is quoted as saying, “This is not like any other comedy show in Las Vegas. Unscripted and uncensored, this group of talented performers involves the audience in the fun.” If you know Slayton, you know that doesn’t sound like anything he’d actually say, and of course he did not actually say it. It’s one of those “authorized” quotes, as Slayton explained in a phone conversation Monday afternoon. Slayton is a strong supporter of Cools, saying “He saved my a** at the Trop,” after Slayton attempted to make his own comedy club work where Laugh Factory is today.
• A Las Vegas tribute to Dixie Evans, who lived in Vegas in the latter stages of her life, is set for 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Plaza. “United We Shimmy,” is the event’s title, and also not a bad personal creed. Known as the Marilyn Monroe of the burlesque world, Evans moved to Las Vegas in 2006, the same year she moved Exotic World Burlesque Museum & Striptease Hall of Fame to the city. The collection formerly sat on an abandoned goat farm in Helendale, Calif., on Route 66 between Barstow and Victorville.
Saturday’s Mistress of Ceremonies is Kitten on the Keys. She’ll be joined by Miss Exotic World 2008 Angie Pontani, Miss Exotic World 2009 (and performer at Sapphire Comedy Hour) Kalani Kokonuts, and the first Miss Exotic World 1991 Toni Alessandrini. Also scheduled to appear are (in alphabetical order, and pulling straight from the news release) Ivana Blaize, Cabernet Dance Company, Aya Fontaine, Bizzaro Galore, Kyle Marlett, Erika Moon, Rosalita Nikita, Lou Lou Roxy, Madeline Sinclaire, Jessabelle Thunder and Vegas favorites Vi Vacious and Cha Cha Velour, among others. Money goes to help defray Evans' medical and memorial expenses. Tickets are $20 to $100; hit the TicketFly website to learn and obtain.
The Plaza, renovated in 2011, has a lobby that features marble and inlaid mosaic tiles, chandeliers and a plush front desk that matches the classic Las Vegas feel with a contemporary look.
The hotel has 1,003 rooms and suites that showcase views of the Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas. Amenities include world-class entertainment, a casino floor that offers an array of classic gaming choice, which include 600 slot machines, a 400-seat bingo room, 18 table games and 57,120 square feet of casino space.
Among the dining options is Oscar's Beef * Booze * Broads, a steakhouse opened by former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, which is located in the glittery dome enclosure above the hotel's main entrance.
The Plaza sits at the west end of the Fremont Street Experience on the site of the first train depot and auction site in Las Vegas, dating back to the San Pedro-Los Angeles-Salt Lake Railroad in 1905. The railroad was sold to Union Pacific in 1921 and the depot was demolished in 1970 to make way for the Union Plaza Hotel, built in 1971.
The hotel has been featured or is visible in several movies, including the 1971 James Bond film, "Diamonds are Forever;" the 1989 film "Back to the Future Part II;" the 1995 move "Casino," and the 2000 movie "Pay it Forward."