Las Vegas is gearing up for the countdown to Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday with planned tributes and pre-orders of ’Ol Blue Eyes’ favorite, Jack Daniel’s.
All things Sinatra will be celebrated across the country on Dec. 12, 2015.
His former music companies — Universal Music Group, Capitol Records and Reprise (which became Warner Bros.) — have centennial marketing campaigns going.
The makers of Jack Daniel’s whiskey are preparing for a global launch of Sinatra Select, which will go for $150.
The legendary crooner, a Las Vegas fixture, was buried with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, a roll of dimes and a pack of Camel cigarettes with a Zippo lighter.
After he died at age 82 on May 14, 1998, the marquee lights on the Strip were dimmed — the ultimate tribute from the city that he helped make cool.
Odds are good that will likely happen again on his 100th.
One of the most ambitious projects is being put together by backers of veteran Las Vegas crooner Bob Anderson and Sinatra’s former musical director, Vincent Falcone.
They are planning a May 4 open-to-the-public showcase at The Venetian with a 32-piece band, with hopes of taking the show on tour to top theaters and a Las Vegas venue.
“It’s going to be a must-see show that’s capable of going on Broadway,” said Anderson, a longtime Las Vegas headliner who said he’s been working on the project for 2½ years.
Anderson has hired two-time Oscar-nominated makeup artist Kazuhiro Tsuji, who got one of his nominations for aging Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and did Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln.”
“He turns me into Frank Sinatra,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be the quintessential Sinatra experience. I want to do it before Cirque Sinatra comes in.”
“It’s going to be something this town hasn’t seen in 25 years,” said Falcone, who worked for Sinatra in the 1970s and ’80s.
GATSON OUT AT ‘JUBILEE’
Beyonce’s main man Frank Gatson Jr. is no longer working on the makeover of “Jubilee” at Bally’s.
Jason Gastwirth, Caesars Entertainment senior vice president of marketing and entertainment, told the Review-Journal’s Mike Weatherford that Gatson “has moved on to other projects.”
Gatson, Beyonce’s creative director for years, was brought in last fall to energize the topless revue that hadn’t undergone changes in two decades.
With the changes came rumblings of friction and issues. After a two-month hiatus, the show reopened two weeks ago to mixed reviews.
Gastwirth told Weatherford, “everybody I talk to seems to like the show.”
TAKING THE PLUNGE
Flamingo headliner Olivia Newton-John was atop the Stratosphere on Thursday to witness her husband, “Amazon” John Easterling, take on the 855-foot SkyJump attraction to mark his 62nd birthday.
The jump group included Newton-John’s publicist, Michael Caprio, longtime publicist of the Rio-headlining Chippendales.
After the jump, they celebrated at Level 107 Lounge. Earlier, they had a picnic at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Easterling, who owns an herb company, has traveled to the Amazon about 300 times. They were married on a Peruvian mountaintop in traditional Incan garb in 2008.
Jim Rogers, operator of KSNV-TV, Channel 3, spent his first Final Four at home after attending the men’s NCAA Tournament for decades. Rogers, 74, went public in January that he was dealing with a reoccurrence of cancer but had been given his doctor’s OK to attend the tournament. ...
Billionaire Philip Anschutz, whose entertainment juggernaut AEG produces residency shows at Caesars Palace and the Hard Rock Hotel, is being mentioned as a potential buyer of the Denver Post. The 74-year-old Denver entrepreneur owns pieces of the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Kings, the Colorado Springs Gazette, other newspapers, the Broadmoor hotel and briefly owned the San Francisco Examiner.
At the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight at MGM Grand Garden on Saturday: Film legend Jack Nicholson, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and Hollywood director Peter Berg, who was hanging around Pacquiao’s dressing room. Also, O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro, sitting next to fight promoter Bob Arum. ... ESPN football analyst Merril Hoge, dining at Crush (MGM Grand) on Thursday. ... British actor Alex Pettyfer, celebrating his 24th birthday with a boys-night-out at “Zarkana” (Aria) on Friday. They dined at Crush. Pettyfer, who starred in “Magic Mike,” was engaged to Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough, Lisa Marie’s daughter. ... Boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez, catching lunch Thursday at the Pan Asian Express in the MGM Grand. ... Toby Keith, dining at Martorano’s (Rio) on Tuesday.
THE PUNCH LINE
“CNN announced that Anthony Bourdain’s show is taking over Piers Morgan’s time slot. Anthony is a culinary expert who loves good food. His show is the highest-rated series on CNN. But let’s be honest. The highest-rated series on CNN is like being the least drunk Australian.” — Craig Ferguson
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or email@example.com. Find more at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter.