Heat Wave

Is it just me or have casinos cut back on staff? Seems it takes forever for a change person to appear after you've hit the Change button. Drink servers may or may not race by every 20 minutes or longer, than take another 20 to bring your drink. And forget about it if you have to do any business at the Cashier's Cage, especially if it's a Thursday or Friday when many people get paid and all want to cash their checks at the casino. Wouldn't be a problem, but when's the last time you saw every cashier's windows open. You're lucky if any of them are staffed.

I could accept all of this if I didn't see the reports each month on how much profit our joints are making. C'mon guys, we're the ones who keep you in business and allow you to keep growing, so maybe you could do something for us for a change other than offering chintzy gifts worth about 10 bucks and which have cost most of us at least $200 gambling to get.

As you have probably seen by reading my column over the years, I have a love/hate relationship with our hotel-casinos, mostly on the hate side when I see gouging taking place. On the other hand, they allow us a place to enjoy ourselves, have fun, see great entertainment and offer dining that ranges from very pricey to downright inexpensive. So it's all in the way you look at it, but as more multi-billion-dollar properties are built, I wonder how much longer the middle class will be able to afford a trip to the most exciting city in the world. Thank God for our locals joints. Okay, now that I've got my weekly spouting off out of the way, let's see what's happening in town.

Sorry about this, but I just found out. The 2007 Super Summer Theatre begins performances of "110 in the Shade" on today, July 11. Yeah, I know, not much time for you to read this, take a shower and get there for opening night, but the good news is that performances are skedded every Wednesday through Saturday through July 28. The production is set in the midst of a heat wave (do we need to be reminded?) in 1930s Texas. Lizzie Curry, a woman looking for love, is on the verge of becoming a hopeless old maid. Her wit, intellect and skills as a homemaker can't make up for the fact that she can't find true love. Even the town sheriff, whom she secretly fancies, won't take a chance. However, when a charismatic rainmaker named Starbuck enters the town and her family's lives, Lizzie's world is turned upside down. Hey, what more could you ask for?

"110 in the Shade" is the second of four musicals to light up Spring Mountain Ranch, located only 10 miles west of 215 on Charleston Boulevard. Additional plays this summer include "Jesus Christ Superstar" in August and JAZZ Festival and "Johnny Guitar" in September. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. This is a great place to just throw down a blanket or bring/rent a chair, enjoy a picnic dinner or indulge in something from the concession stand and enjoy the outdoors before settling in under the stars. Very romantic and you get to hear and see excellent entertainment. Tickets for the entire season are on sale now, and would you believe they're only $10 per performance ($15 at the gate)? You can buy them in advance online at unlvtickets.com or at Prestige Travel at Lake Mead and Rampart. For more info click on to supersummertheatre.com.


Hey, listen up. I like this. This summer the 20 millionth patron will experience a Cirque du Soleil production here. To celebrate, Cirque du Soleil has joined with Ticketmaster to offer specially priced tickets and a chance to win a trip around the world to see other Cirque du Soleil shows. Through Sept. 30 a limited number of specially priced tickets will be available on www.ticketmaster.com for select Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas. During this time, all ticket buyers who purchase Cirque du Soleil tickets may enter a Summer of Cirque du Soleil Sweepstakes.

One lucky ticket buyer will be randomly selected to receive a Summer of Cirque du Soleil Grand Prize package including:
• Airfare for two to see a Cirque du Soleil touring production anywhere in the world
• A five-night hotel stay in that city
• VIP Tapis Rouge Experience including a Cirque du Soleil gift bag
• An invitation for two to the Luxor/Criss Angel 2008 Las Vegas Gala including airfare for two from the winner's resident city anywhere in the U.S. and a two-night hotel stay

The specially priced tickets can be purchased on www.ticketmaster.com/summerofcirque, where you also will find sweepstakes information, rules and eligibility.


Here's some good news for fans of illusionist Criss Angel. The first headliner to team up with Cirque du Soleil has signed a 10-year contract at the Luxor, with a five-year option that could extend it to 15. Unless, of course, he disappears before then.


Always nice to know that someone other than my mother reads my column. Chuck Greene of Pahoa, Hawaii, writes me back, saying: "Lenny, you gave me the greatest Father's Day by running my letter in your column on June 17, 2007 in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Sunday morning I am reading the paper and I always read the Travel section for your column and I had already known about the new dolphin as I read about it on AOL. Then when I got further down the column I saw the ALOHA and said to my wife, 'Guess what?' Then the kids started calling, saying 'Happy Father's Day, DAD and we read your column in the newspaper' and they thought their dad did a good job.

"Tonight my wife and I went to a political dinner and there were people there that saw my name tag and asked if I was the one that wrote the column in Sunday's newspaper. I didn't know so many people read that column every Sunday. Thank you, Lenny. I have a birthday coming up December 10 and I told my wife I would like to celebrate my 70th at Main Street Station so maybe if our timing matches we could meet each other. Aloha."

Hey, if you're going to be a hit, where better than Hawaii? Thanks, Chuck and yes, if I'm in town, would love to get together with you and your wife. You know where to find me. Be well and an Aloha to all the good people of Hawaii -- especially those who read my column.

Good luck and I'll see you on the Strip. And don't forget to check out www.valleyblogs.com.

If you have a question or a Las Vegas experience you would like to share with my readers, please e-mail me at lennylv@cox.net. Please include your full name and the city or town where you live.