Las Vegas Sun

April 17, 2014

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Columnist Joe Delaney: A textbook lesson on Burton’s career

LANCE BURTON has reappeared in his Monte Carlo state-of-the-art, custom-designed, London West End-styled Lance Burton Theatre. ... Burton is booked in the Monte Carlo through 2009, a long-term first. ... For the benefit of the 50,000- to 60,000 newcomers a year to our fair city, a little Burton historical background is in order.

The young Kentuckian was the featured act for a number of years in a previous edition of the Tropicana's "Les Folies Bergere." ... His forte was prestidigitation and he did 12 minutes of incredible hand manipulation, no dialogue, dressed in tails, already an international award-winner.

Next came a 1991 mini-production show at the Hacienda with comedian-juggler Michael Goudeau as his special guest, plus a bevy of beautiful assistants. ... The show kept improving and expanding with Burton adding illusions and special effects.

Burton talks

Most important, at the Hacienda, Lance developed an easy, quite humorous, conversational style, which added to his immense ability at the various magical arts. ... The Monte Carlo built a $27 million theatre for Lance and in June, 1996, he began a 13-year engagement, one for the Guinness World Book of Records, at least for Las Vegas. ... Goudeau continues as special guest.

Still in his mid-30s, Burton has a yearly NBC television special, plus copious coverage on various network and cable TV programs. ... It should be noted that he is also very active, financially and personally, in local community affairs, especially as regards disadvantaged children in Shriners hospitals and through Variety Club, locally.

Burton is also an active contributor to local public radio and television. ... Another factor is his ability to work with children, now a major segment of each performance.

A new Sinatra?

Steve Lippia is being touted as the "new" Sinatra, and represented by two people who should know: Tino Barzie, once associated with Old Blue Eyes and personal manager of Frank Sinatra Jr. for 17 years, plus musical director Vincent Falcone who was the senior Sinatra's conductor-arranger for a full decade. ... Barzie now serves as Lippia's personal manager.

Lippia is slated to open at the Rio on Oct. 31. ... We can attest to his vocal resemblance to Francis Albert Sinatra, a feature which doesn't come off simply as an impression, it seems natural.

Speaking of the Rio, we're waiting to hear more about the new William Morris Agency consultant arrangement there. ... With the Rio's upcoming association with Harrah's, will Danny Gans still be part of the Rio's future plans? ... Nobody's talking at the moment, but our bet is that Danny Gans' future in Las Vegas is all but set right now.

Oktoberfests

Our favorite Oktoberfest each year takes place at the German-American Club in North Las Vegas. ... They do it right. ... This year, it is set for today through Sunday. ... Oktoberfest at the Gordon Biersch Brewery started in mid-September and continues through Oct. 31. ... Whilst there, be sure to try their Wiesenhelles beer.

Sunset Station hosts the LV National BBQ today through Sunday, an event which also includes top young bands from this area each evening. ... Night Ranger is there on Saturday.

Good jazz: Friday belongs to Pogo's, although the Mike Greene Trio is worth the trip to the Santa Fe Hotel, Thursday through Saturday evenings; likewise, The Jazz Organ-ization, there Sundays at noon. ... Sundays, 5:30-9:30 p.m., it's Marv Koral's All-Stars, LV's finest, at Carollo's Restaurant. ... Mondays, it's Don Menza & Friends at the Riviera.

Baseball bits

We're rooting for the Chicago Cubs to be the National League wild-card team. ... It would also be wonderful if Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire wound up in a tie for season's home runs. ... Baseball is still this columnist's favorite pro sport, and this has been its best year in much too long. ... Don't tell us sports aren't great entertainment. ... See you next Friday.

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