Friday, June 28, 2002 | 9:27 a.m.
Joe Delaney's column appears on Thursdays and Fridays. Reach him at [email protected] or (702) 259-4066.
Belated bests, Lance Burton, personal manager Peter Reveen and all concerned at Monte Carlo ... Burton was feted backstage between shows Friday on his sixth anniversary at the hotel, and was wished best wishes for the next seven years ... We were there at the start of the 1980s when Burton made his debut as a featured act in the Tropicana's "Folies Bergere."
Old-timers will remember Burton in a tux, standing by a lamp post, performing incredible acts of prestidigitation utilizing cigarettes, cards, scarves and birds, sans dialogue ... This act had won the young man top international awards ... We were there in 1992 for the debut of the "new" complete Lance Burton, starring in his own production show at Hacienda.
The Hacienda was slated to come down and the Monte Carlo was in its planning stages ... Four years later on June 21, 1996, the first day of spring, we were there when Burton premiered his spectacular new production at the Monte Carlo ... Like Siegfried & Roy before him, Burton had gone from a featured act to his own show and on to a spectacular production in a new hotel in his own theater.
Burton and Siegfried & Roy also have in common their participation in good causes, local, national and worldwide ... Siegfried & Roy's magnificent work with endangered species has been well-documented ... In this column, we wish to discuss the offstage good works of Burton, particularly those areas where our efforts have been in common.
Since Burton opened at the Monte Carlo, he has devoted half his income from merchandise profits to charities helping children and disadvantaged individuals ... As a longtime board member of Variety, the children's charity, I can attest to the generous contributions of time and money by Burton, Reveen, and Burton's publicist, Wayne Bernath.
The Zelzah Shrine Temple, noted for its work with children, and Variety are two of their prime concentrations, with Burton recording public service announcements for both on radio and television and hosting Christmas and other parties for children serviced by both organizations ... He has also been active with Habitat for Humanity, among many others.
Working with the Starlight Foundation, Burton did a benefit performance for 900 local school children which resulted in a donation of $50,000 by Kellogg's cereals ... This is only the tip of the iceberg ... Whenever you see Wayne Newton, Clint Holmes, Bob Anderson, the Scintas, and other Vegas stars coming together for a good cause, Burton will be with them ... Count on it.
In Thursday's column, we referred to the 12 entertainment options at the Riviera and the six at The Rio, adding that both hotels provided proper venues for various artists and productions, contrasting this with the deplorable conditions, working and financial, at The Venetian ... We have kudos as well for Peter Vent on his accomplishments at the New Frontier.
Working with short funds and great ingenuity, he has made the converted space, whatever it was, into a viable showroom, giving performers and producers an outlet not otherwise available ... There are usually five shows daily, starting at 2 p.m. with the "Soul of Magic," starring Victor and Diamond plus special guest, comedy magician Ray Shank.
"Rock and Roll Legends" is performed at 4 and 7 p.m., with "Daytripper," a Beatles tribute at 5:30 ... The 9 p.m. slot was filled until recently by "Thunder From Down Under" ... It will be replaced early in July with a similar production entitled "Men" ... Vent believes in very reasonable prices usually with drinks included; very basic, very successful.
The Performing Arts Society of Nevada presents its newest Brown Bag Concert, "Broadway Meets the Movies," with vocals by baritone Gary Oakes, tenor Lou Garcia, and song stylist Bonnie Graham, accompanied by Joe Fernandez at the piano, 2:30 p.m. Saturday (Winchester Center) ... The Sun Summer Camp Fund needs you, please ... See you next Thursday.