Friday, December 7, 2007

Here we go again...

For the second time this year, I'm on my way out of town in anticipation of a family death. My uncle, Richard Goldman, who has suffered from pancreatic cancer for about 18 months now, is now in the hospital and has declined all treatments outside of pain relief. Eighteen months means he already beat the odds on this savage disease; only 20 percent survive the first year. But the inevitable seems to be quite near.

As it happened, I was en route to New York on Saturday to surprise the family at our Hannukah party, which annually takes place at Uncle Richard and Aunt Susan's home in the Bronx. I was to return Monday, a very quick jaunt. Instead, it seems I'll be sticking around for longer than planned. The situation seems murky, but it doesn't make much sense to come home until it's over.

Right now, Miles and I still plan on a live show on Tuesday night, even if I have to phone it in and he has to handle the interview in the studio with "...A New Day" and "Le Reve" director Brian Burke. Not sure, however, how I'll get the unedited file to edit and post for the podcast. Keep watch on this space for updates.

Excellent Deals, Great Cause

There's a silent auction going on through Dec. 9 for a long list of pretty cool Vegas-related items and packages at what are, at present, offensively low prices. The auction benefits a charity called Family Promise, an agency that helps homeless Las Vegans get off the streets.

Go here and take a browse at the dozens of items, including a long list of Phantom-related packages, tickets for O, Blue Man Group, Stomp Out Loud and Gordie Brown, massages at Canyon Ranch, Starbucks stuff, art and, of course, "Gay Vegas" by yours truly.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

OK, kids. I bought this as my Vegas-y part of my Hannukah gifts for my 14-year-old niece, who has become fascinated by cooking. So tell me, astute readers, what do you find especially weird about this graphic?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Proof Nobody's Awake at LVRJ.Com

I have loads of complaints about the Review-Journal's website, which is cluttered and ugly and offers virtually no editorial judgment. From one day to the next, it's a challenge to determine what the paper thinks are the most important stories. And so on.

So when I went to the site this evening, I thought the fact that they had posted as "breaking news" the score of a UNLV basketball game was a little strange. But then I saw the score and thought, "Wow, that really IS unusual." See it below:

Pretty wild, right? UNLV kept another college team to just 7 points! Holy moly! How is that even possible? Has that ever happened in the history of college or pro basketball?

Umm, no. They sorta left off a digit.

Yep. 83-78. And THAT is what they call "breaking news." Let's see just long it takes someone over there to notice the screw up. I'm not staying up all night, but if you come here tonight, visit LVRJ.Com and write a comment indicating the time and whether it's still up.

Oh, and to my lunch companion today: I know it's a cheap shot, but I couldn't help it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Silly Stuff From Steve

Miles is gonna kill me, but I can't resist. Click on the pic above and see what I did when I was supposed to be writing about Maria Bartiromo...

I showed you ours...let's see yours! Thanks to Troy for encouraging this waste of time.

Another Wynn-derful Night - 7:05 pm PT!

I've got to interview Maria Bartiromo (aka the Money Honey) in five minutes for a Vegas Magazine cover story due later today and crank a quickie for the Times on the Plaza Hotel name game, so I may not blog much today. But I wanted to remind y'all that the second, better half of my recent Wynn interview will be aired tonight during our live show.

This time out, Wynn discusses the Plaza's design, the details of the deal that wasn't with Bette Midler and what exactly he and Andrew Lloyd Webber have been doing hanging out together.

So, as always, join us in the chat at LVROCKS.COM or wait till Thursday for the podcast.

Next week: A Celine tribute with the show's director and one dancer who has been with "...A New Day" for its entire run.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Danny Gans MUST be coddled!

Here we go again with this silliness. You might recall that back in June, we took aim at the bizarro restrictions placed on subscribers of, a day-of free-tickets service that was scolding its patrons for telling non-members (well, they were telling me, anyhow) what tickets they were getting.

At the time, our heroes in this game was HouseSeatsLV.Com's competitor, VegasSeatFillers.Com, which didn't play such cloak-and-dagger games.

But then VegasSeatFillers.Com changed hands and became ShowTickets4Locals.Com, in part because the earlier domain name was far too honest for the bruisable egos of stars playing to half-empty theaters.

The other day, ShowTickets4Locals.Com went over to the dark side to "protect" the Mirage headliner Danny Gans. They may have been dwelling there for a while, but we just learned of it now. In normal notifications of ticket availability, the service includes a discreet, polite and seemingly optional paragraph about how showgoers are supposed to behave. Here's the one off the Fashionistas free-ticket notice:

"Please do not print this email and bring it to the box office. Once your ticket is confirmed with our operators, your name will be given to the box office directly. Valid ID required to receive your tickets. Please just let the box office know that you are on the guest list and do not let paying customers know you are receiving free tickets."

See that? Reasonable requests, asked reasonably. A little unrealistic, but whatever.

The Danny Gans ticket offers, however, included that paragraph but also included this, in these colors:


-Call the Mirage Box Office;
-Go to the Box Office before 7:00 PM;
-Go to the Box Office after 7:30 PM;
-Reserve tickets and do not show up.


If you do not pick up your tickets by 7:30pm they will be released for sale to the public.

Only call 671-0049 now to reserve your free tickets for tonight's show. If our lines are busy, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CALL THE MIRAGE OR BOX OFFICE DIRECTLY.

Wow. It's especially weird because when you go to the ShowTickets4Locals.Com site, Danny is right out front, so it's not like they're hiding from ANYONE that they give away Her Highness' seats.

In addition, this additional sentence was added -- hastily, it seems, based on the misspelling -- to the boilerplate quoted before:
If you breat the above rules you WILL be deleted from our system. If you are a Premium Member, you will not be entitled to a refund.

What I don't get is, what's the big deal? When you go to New York City to see shows, you're aware that some people around you had coupons, some people got comps, some people got group rates, some people were there at an appointed time to get specially discounted seats. Same goes for airlines; you must know that there are a silly list of reasons why your seat could cost twice that of the guy next to you.

And we're in Vegas! Even if it's less true than it once was, everyone already knows that comps are currency in this town. Some people are smarter, luckier or more savvy than others; they listen to shows like FiveHundy and "The Strip," they read sites like RateVegas and VegasTripping, they subscribe to the Las Vegas Advisor and the Las Vegas list-servs. They've done their homework, they're aware of how to find the good deals, they grab them and they enjoy.

Is someone who paid a full price going to be mad? I doubt that. Will they not buy their tickets next time in advance and wait for an online freebie instead? They might, but there's no way to predict that the shows they're here to see will be offered for free on the nights they want to see them, so it's their loss if they try that. And if they're not locals, this one's not for them anyhow.
Tourists can grasp the notion that living through the miserable heat of a Vegas summer and dodging slobs sucking on Eiffel Tower margaritas all year round ought to be worth something.

No, this is entirely about image. The Danny Gans crew clearly gave a stern talking-to to the ShowTickets4Locals.Com folks, indicating that Gans doesn't like having the perception that he can't fill a room without some help. And I honestly don't know if he can or can't, but this is the slowest time of the year, so there's especially little shame in it right now.

The irony is that all of these warnings and threats have done more to tarnish Gans' image than bragging to some eavesdropper that you're getting to see the show gratis. Consider this comment from one listener/reader who forwarded me the email: "
Can you believe this? F*ck Danny Gans. No other artist or show has all these warnings. Next it will be 'Don't look into Mr. Gans' eyes.' "

Ya think?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Mamma Mia! Review

I'm amazed that I've never opined in anything published online about "Mamma Mia!" but Bay's comments from the "4 Worst Ideas" piece and a couple of emails made me think it might make good sense to post this entry from my guidebook, "Gay Vegas." Buy the book for all your gay Vegas-loving pals for Xmas by clicking here.

Mamma Mia!
At Mandalay Bay
Sun-Thurs 7:30 pm, Sat 6 and 10 pm
Price: Tickets start at $49.50


What could be more queer than a ditzy musical scored to ABBA music in which a gaggle of well-toned shirtless studs actually undress the lead male character on stage and slip him into a skimpy spandex wet suit while singing “Lay All Your Love On Me”? There's a story in here somewhere -- something about a young girl trying to figure out who her father is -- but even in that effort a gay surprise awaits her. The only off-key note when one of the female lead’s friends, a likely candidate for lesbianism, instead ends up turning all girly-girl in swooning over the man's-man of male leads.