Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 | noon
Time to shake the rake from a week of scene-scaping:
• Nathan Morris is a founding member of Boyz II Men and headed for an extended residency with that vocal group at the Mirage beginning March 1. But he is more than that. He is a 49ers fan since childhood and an acutely astute observer of the NFL, especially Niner games. He called the NFC Championship Game right, saying S.F. should win, but it would be close.
In Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII, Morris says the key matchup will be the Ravens’ linebackers against the 49ers’ tight ends. “If Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs can stay with Delanie Walker and Vernon Davis, it’ll be tough to pass on the Ravens,” Morris says. “(Cornerback) Ed Reed is a concern for our wideouts. We’re going to have to be able to get the passing game going, so we won’t have to rely on (quarterback Colin) Kaepernick to run for 200 yards or put the game on Frank Gore. Their linebackers are pretty good, but they’re playing on adrenaline right now for Lewis (retiring after the game).”
Conversely, says Morris, the Ravens’ deep passing game will give the Niners problems if they can’t put pressure on QB Joe Flacco.
“If we are not able to put pressure on him, it’s going to be a long day. If we can keep him to completing 10-, 15-yard passes, we’ll be OK,” he says. “The problem has been ever since Justin Smith got hurt (torn right biceps in the Patriots game in December), Aldon Smith has been double-teamed. Justin Smith used to get those double teams, and now all the attention has been on Aldon, and he hasn’t been able to put as much pressure on the QBs.”
Morris likes the 49ers -- narrowly.
“It’ll be within a field goal,” he says. “It’s going to come down to whoever can score a defensive or special-teams touchdown, and I think it’s coming down to (49ers kicker) David Akers.”
• 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair also has a Super Bowl prediction. Says the star of the upcoming show "Pin Up" at Stratosphere: "All I know is that there are two teams going to Beyonce's concert."
• There is a point to the giant heart being displayed in the lobby of the Luxor beginning this afternoon. The 13-foot-long, 7-foot-wide, 12-foot-tall replica of an actual functioning heart is to help “Bodies: The Exhibition” celebrate American Heart Month. Complimentary health screenings were to be given to all “Bodies” guests from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the giant heart is on display through the entire month. On Valentine’s Day, “Bodies” will be donating a percentage of that day’s ticket proceeds to the American Heart Association.
The heart is likely the largest human organ replica ever displayed on the Strip. It weighs 600 pounds, giving new meaning to the term “heavy heart.” Thump-thump …
• The “Midnight Skye” drew a healthy crowd at Sin City Theater on Wednesday night. The likes of Lorena Peril, cast members of “Vegas! The Show” and “Rock of Ages” and Zowie Bowie turned out for the late-night showcase starring Skye Dee Miles with six-piece backing band and a trio of costumed dancers. The event was a test drive to see if that performance merits a regular spot, either weekly or monthly, in the club operated by Sin City Comedy proprietor John Padon. What we’ve seen around VegasVille recently are some very cool late-night productions, including Chris Phillips’ big-band show at Windows at Paris Las Vegas in January and the Miles performance.
The Big Question is if these entertainment-industry types will turn up consistently for these shows, which are at once really fun and really late. Everyone says the late shows are an idea worth pursuing, hearkening to the midnight Strip shows from generations ago. At least that concept is being tested, and the shows themselves are terrific. But the support has to be there, and for more than one night. Or, in this case, morning.
• Last August, during a phone conversation with Earth Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White before the great R&B band’s appearance at the Joint, I mentioned that I knew of an EWF tribute project to be headed up by Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns vocalist Tyriq Johnson. White’s response: “It’s good. I’m good with it. You know, we see a lot of that with us, and with other acts, as well. It’s a compliment because it shows that the music is good, and they just love playing those songs.”
Johnson has since pulled together the tribute act Serpentine Fire and found a suitable stage for the show: Veil Showroom at the Silverton. The show is set for 8 p.m. Valentine’s Day. Admission is free, but there is a two-drink minimum as the Silverton venue is made into “Boogie Wonderland.”
• Monti Rock III plays the DJ in the timeless disco classic “Saturday Night Fever” but has not seen the film the whole way through. Typical of MRIII, he has stopped watching when his scenes end. But he will be on hand at 2 p.m. Wednesday for a special screening of the film and to sign autographs. “I’m going to sit through Johnny,” Rock said this week, referring (I believe) to Travolta in the film. “I usually fall asleep.”