Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Show is UP: The Vegas Juniors

Here's this week's episode of "The Strip," a sorta double episode pairing up a Louis Prima Jr chat I did but never aired in September with a completely fascinating conversation with Sandy Hackett. No, really. The folks in the live chat on Saturday barely talked, they were so intrigued by the interview. You know it's going well when the source, in this case Hackett, exclaims, "My GOD you've done your research." Click on the date below to make the show play or right-click to save it and listen at your leisure. You can subscribe, too, (it's free!) in iTunes or in Zune.

Dec. 29: The Vegas Juniors...

...with Louis Prima Jr and Sandy Hackett

Nowadays if you’re the offspring of an iconic celebrity, you can get work regardless of your talent as the subject of a reality TV show or by providing vacuous interviews on red carpets. But some of those who were born famous actually spend their lives trying to both make their own mark on the world and protect the legacies of their parents. In this episode, we’ll hear from two men who have done just that, Louis Prima Jr and Sandy Hackett. Prima continues to try to rescue the dying Vegas lounge act that his father made so great and Hackett is a comic and musician in his own right whose Rat Pack production at the Sahara bounces off of his own family history with Frank, Dino, Sammy and Joey. Both have struggled with and enjoyed perks from their famous names and both speak openly about that mixed blessing as well as their fascinating Vegas histories.

In Banter: The Aria buffet, Phil Ruffin’s Bellagio play, the Build It Bigger on CityCenter, Forbes on Adelson and Ruffin, the MGM Mirage Xmas Day outage and more.

Links to stuff discussed:

Get tickets for Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show at the Sahara
Louis Prima Jr’s website
Sandy Hackett’s website
The site for Casino de Quebec
Wikipedia on Mary Healy and Peter Lind Hayes
HowStuffWorks on Discovery Channel’s Build It Bigger shows on Veer and Aria
Doug Elfman’s baffling Viva Elvis piece claiming there aren’t Elvis impersonators in the show
Forbes Magazine’s pieces on Sheldon Adelson and Phil Ruffin
VegasHappensHere.Com’s coverage of the Christmas Day outage at the main IT center of MGM Mirage
John L Smith’s column about Jim Murren’s baseball lie
Norm Clarke’s reporting on the legal tussle between the Rat Pack shows


Anonymous said...

elvis and cirque? i'm not so sure cirque has been able to produce a good tribute show. if you want to see a music show on the strip, check out Fab Four Live at V Theater - definitely the best Beatles tribute show out there!!

Action Amar said...

Happy New Year Steve! Just listened to your latest podcast. I could not agree with you more with respect to the Aria buffet. I was in Las Vegas for the week of Christmas (12-20 to 12-26) and was very excited to check out the buffet. The food was not bad, but from my past experiences the quality at Wynn and Bellagio is much better. I'm surprised that MGM/Mirage did not put more into this buffet considering City Center and Aria are suppose to be the companys premire properties.

Overall I did think City Center was impressive. MGM/Mirage has dethemed so many of their properties (i.e. Luxor, NYNY) and attempted to bring in modern/contemporary architecture/design/vibe. In my opinion this has not worked. But I have to give them credit with Aria and CC. They built a modern/contemporary property from the ground up and it looks pretty good.

One thing that confuses me is when Jim Murren stated he doesn't expect locals to check out Aria but he does think they will come to see the rest of CC. Although I'm not from LV I'm confused by what he said. I talked to several locals from LV who had come to check out Aria. The only thing in Vadara for a visitor is Silk Road, Veer is condo towers that are not yet opened (again - what is there to see there). To see all the art I don't believe one can do so without going into Aria as they have that parymid/cactus display on the second floor amongst other things.

Thanks for the great podcasts! I hope you and Miles have a terrific time in Canada.


Action Amar