Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bye Bette + Buffet! Hi, Viva Elvis!

Some comings and goings today.

* Bette Midler announced today she's done with the Colosseum after two years. Her last show is Jan. 31. Her statement was peculiar in scrambled backhanded slaps at Las Vegas and inscrutable explanation of her future plans:

"What a fabulous two years this has been, and I thank AEG and Caesars Palace for the best partnership a showgirl could imagine. Who knows? These legs have had such a great run in the desert -- it may be time to haul them to places with more humidity and fewer slot machines. But first I need to finish recording my album of the sexiest new love songs that only a showgirl could sing."

Huh? First, what does that "Who knows?" mean? What is that in response to? Was someone asking her a question? Is it "Who knows, I may end up at the Wynn by Labor Day?" Second, really, she had to observe the humidity and slots? Is this news to her? Was she here THAT much that it grated on her? And, third, when she says, "But first" before the shameless plug for her new album, does that mean she has to record the album BEFORE she vacates the effing-arid den of gambling? Couldn't she have come up with anything more clear and graceful?

* Someone who is always clear and graceful? Richard Abowitz. I'm so sorry to report that Richard's "Movable Buffet" blog on the L.A. Times' website has been halted. This comes a year after my weekly celebrity interview pieces for the L.A. Times were halted because the section I was writing was eliminated. So these are tough times for that newspaper, to be sure, but it did seem that every time the L.A. Times does a significant piece on Las Vegas, those pieces rank high on their most-read lists. Hopefully Vegas-obsessed Los Angelinos will find their fill elsewhere, but the more voices the better and this change is really a shame.

* There's good news, though, too. Cirque du Soleil finally unveiled the name of the new show at Aria. It is -- wait for it -- Viva Elvis. What's that? Oh, yeah. That's right. I broke that two months ago. But, still, they're making a big to-do about it. They posted this utterly idiotic video, too, of the cast shouting the name. Here's hoping their dance movements are in better synch:

Here's an interesting tidbit from my CityCenter tour the other day, though. The directional signage inside Aria just reads "Elvis Theater." Kind of silly of Cirque to go to such lengths to keep a non-secret under wraps to the point of not even having the show's name on the signage, especially when that video seems to show that the cast recorded that moment in June in Graceland.

Also, something that would send Steve Wynn through the roof: Scalpers have already set up shop! Check it out! This is the third entry when you Google "Viva Elvis" right now and tickets haven't even gone on sale yet!


Michael said...

I'm not a Bette fan by any measure, and while probably not the most graceful press release, I thought it sort of fit with how I usually remember her from interviews.

I didn't really read it as a slight to the city, just a reference, while not the most flattering things she mentioned, they weren't exactly false. Just different then saying the land of all you can eat, and sin or something just as irrelevant I guess.

mike_ch said...

She's a singer, they're pretty badly affected by our humidity, and even the talk of humidity simply doesn't prepare you. I find the lack of humidity in Vegas to be the most intolerable part of it. In the winter it dries your sinuses and throat and makes you a static shock magnet, and in the summer it means you're unable to sweat.

In 2007, prior to the economic fall, it was my number one reason to want to leave.

mike_ch said...

And I guess I should mention that in 2007 I was there for two years, so I guess I'm with Bette.

But then again, I'm back home right now and enjoying 96% humidity and moderate coastal temperatures, so I may simply be very, very spoiled.

Bay in TN said...

I'm a huuuuuuuuuuuuge Bette fan, and if she wants to take a break, I will not quibble over the verbiage. I do hope I get back to see her before January 31st, though, and that seems doubtful, given the economy.

I hope Caesar's or someone else with money and taste will cough up enough dough to keep the Divine Miss M in Las Vegas long enough for me to scrape together the pennies to see her again.

Anonymous said...

You'll appreciate the statement if you try to take it less seriously and in the same spirit as her show. It is supposed to be a funny, joke-type, sarcastic farewell letter.

As to your questions, "Who Knows?" is really, "Who Knew?" with regard to "for the best partnership a showgirl could imagine". She imagined a great partnership and it pretty much came true and it was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.

And for "But first" is talking about doing the album before embarking on a new tour. Afterall, a showgirl isn't quite retired after finishing at Caesars. She can continue her act on the road.