Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 | 2:46 p.m.
Superstar entertainer Barry Manilow, on the eve of starting his second and current final year of his contract at the Paris, isn't thinking twice about renewing it. “I am having the best time here in Vegas,” he told me happily backstage. “I’m here to stay. In fact, I can say I’m here forever! I couldn’t be happier about working at the Paris.”
Barry, who flew to Norway this morning to play and sing at the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo on Saturday, says he's past thinking about contract renewals. “I love the Vegas audiences we have been having this first year. I love the Paris. I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “This is my home. They have been wonderful to us, and the audiences, too. It’s the happiest I’ve ever been.
“I’ll stay as long as we both want each other here. I’m not going anywhere else. It’s a great relationship for both of us. In fact, the time will come when I want to give up touring altogether, and this is my second home away from Palm Springs.”
Barry, who is ecstatic over his latest Grammy Award nomination, added: “This first year on The Strip has been phenomenal. I couldn’t be happier. We’ve had great shows, and we’ve continually updated them. I was told before we started that Vegas audiences could be tough, but I have found them to be the very best. They have shown us such love and support.
“They’ve also been generous with their contributions to our musical instrument program that’s enabled us to give so many instruments away to schools in the Vegas valley during these tough budget cutbacks on funding music programs. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken music classes in school.
“I’m never going to forget that, and that’s why I help out with it as much as I can for the new youngsters coming up. It’s been wonderful to have the schoolchildren onstage with me during our holiday shows.”
Barry ended his first year’s run Sunday night. After his Scandinavian trip, he has a week’s run in Florida, and then returns to the Paris to start his second year, with January and February shows that include Valentine’s Day weekend.
“We’ve got a long run ahead of us in Vegas, and we’re looking forward to that. It’s really been marvelous to be on The Strip, and I’m sincerely hoping we will enjoy that for many years to come,” he concluded.
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