Steve Lawrence has told Steve Wynn that he’s all-in for a Frank Sinatra 100th birthday tribute on Dec. 12, 2015.
“Lawrence came up the idea earlier this month,” Wynn said. “We had dinner. He’s said, ‘Let’s do something. Count me in.’ ”
It’s a perfect collaboration from so many perspectives: Lawrence and late wife Edyie Gorme opened for Sinatra for years; Wynn, after buying and polishing the Golden Nugget, booked Sinatra there and at the Atlantic City Golden Nugget in the 1980s.
“I would love to have a soiree,” the Wynn Resorts chief executive said. “We could use the Encore Theater,” former home of Garth Brooks.
Wynn hasn’t been in contact with the Sinatra family yet, but the relationship has been strong because of a long stewardship of Sinatra’s legacy.
When Wynn opened Encore, the 2,034-room sister property to Wynn Las Vegas in December 2008, his showcase restaurant, Sinatra, featured Sinatra’s Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in “From Here to Eternity,” plus a Grammy and an Emmy, all on loan from the family.
There’s a huge historical connection: Wynn Las Vegas, which opened nine years ago today, was built on the former Desert Inn site.
Sinatra made his Las Vegas debut at the Desert Inn on Sept. 4, 1951. At the time, his career had bottomed out, and he was in the midst of a divorce from Nancy Barbuto after a highly publicized romance with actress Ava Gardner.
“I remember Frank telling me his career was in the toilet,” Wynn recalled.
Then came the comeback. Two and a half years after his start in Las Vegas, Sinatra won the second of his three Oscars for his portrayal of diminutive Private Angelo in a drama set in Pearl Harbor shortly before the Japanese attack.
During the Wynn interview last week, he said the day he arrived at his office with the Oscar, Grammy and Emmy, he started playing a Sinatra CD, lit up a cigar and called Lawrence.
“Guess what I got?” said Wynn, conspiratorially.
Stars come out for charity
On hand to support the Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala on Saturday at the MGM Grand: Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia, Christopher Meloni, Dermot Mulroney, Kenny “Baby Face” Edmonds, Steve Schirripa, Sandra Lee and Siegfried &Roy.
Among the highlights: Gloria Estefan, who was one of the honorees, with husband Emilio, singing “Natural Woman” with Carole King, accompanied by Estefan’s daughter, Emily, on the bass guitar.
Broadway icon Rita Moreno opened by reprising her role as Anita in “West Side Story.” She sang “Somewhere.”
The beachside lunch-with-George Clooney auction item reportedly went for $250,000. It included Clooney, his tequila business partner Rande Gerber and Gerber’s wife, Cindy Crawford.
And, no, Wynn, who attended, was not among the bidders.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Complimentary tickets for Bob Anderson’s one-night-only May 4 Sinatra tribute, mentioned here earlier this month, are available on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 702-414-9000. The ambitious theatrical production, titled “Frank the Man the Music,” will be at 7 p.m. at The Venetian Theatre. It’s a showcase event that Anderson and his backers hope to turn into a Las Vegas residency and tour.
New parents Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, celebrating Hakkasan’s one-year anniversary on Saturday with family and friends. The group included her brother, Todd Stefani, and hairstylist Danilo. They also were celebrating the addition of Gwen Stefani to NBC’s “The Voice” as a judge, replacing a pregnant Christina Aguilera. … Supermodel Tyra Banks, riding the High Roller at The Linq on Saturday before taking in Britney Spears’ show at Planet Hollywood Resort. Also at Spears’ show: actress Dakota Fanning, who is in town filming a movie. … Cast members of Bravo’s new reality series, “Vanderpump Rules,” partied at Hyde Bellagio on Saturday. The group included Jax Taylor and girlfriend Carmen Dickman, Tom Sandoval and girlfriend Ariana Madix, and Tom Schwartz. Earlier they dined at Sensi.
THE PUNCH LINE
“Police in Canada were called after a bear got its head stuck in a jar and then walked down the street. Animal control immediately removed the jar and said, ‘Oh, sorry we didn’t recognize you, Mayor Ford.’ ” — Jimmy Fallon
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.