Broadway icon Andrew Lloyd Webber plans to open his sequel to "Phantom of the Opera" in London in late 2009 or early 2010.
It will be rich with illusions and set in Coney Island, Lloyd Webber said Saturday in an interview before the Joe Calzaghe-Bernard Hopkins fight at the Thomas & Mack Center.
He's been in town checking on his Las Vegas version of "Phantom" and mentoring the six "American Idol" finalists for Tuesday's episode. They taped the segments at The Venetian. The "Phantom" sequel will be based on the novel "The Phantom of Manhattan" by Frederick Forsyth, who will collaborate.
SIMON SAVES FACE
"American Idol" judge Simon Cowell received the loudest boos during pre-fight introductions.
Earlier, in the VIP area, I asked Cowell, who doesn't pull any punches on "Idol," whether he was a boxing fan.
"I love boxing," he said. He took up the sport during his teen years in England.
"I was a boxer until I got vain," he said.
A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
Give Calzaghe's fans points for being better behaved than the hooligan element that booed and whistled during the U.S. national anthem at the Ricky Hatton-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight in December at the MGM Grand.
Given the hard feelings, there was some question whether Tom Jones, who sang the British national anthem for Hatton, would be booed by American fight fans when he sang the Welsh national anthem Saturday.
An hour before the fight, I asked Jones about the December incident. "That was bad news," Jones said.
But it was immediately clear that U.S. fans weren't holding a grudge against Jones. The Welsh superstar received the loudest cheers during the introductions.
When it was time for the U.S. anthem, performed by R&B crooner Ray J, Brandy's little brother, Calzaghe's backers displayed none of the disrespect that came from Hatton's following.
British fans will tell you that incident was fueled by the disrespect Mayweather directed at Hatton.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Mike Tyson, who now lives in suburban Henderson, told me he's revisiting the idea of putting together a tour of exhibition fights in Europe.
"I'm considering that," said the ex-champ, who appears to have put on 15 to 20 pounds since he retired.
Camera-shy Whitney Houston, at the fight with daughter Bobbi Kristina, 15. ... At 40/40 Club (Palazzo) on Saturday: Newlyweds Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles, hosting a party at 40/40 Club (Palazzo) on Saturday. ... Actress Carmen Electra and University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino, at Pure nightclub (Caesars Palace) on Saturday. ... At Tao Las Vegas (The Venetian) on Saturday: Mary J. Blige, Chris Tucker, Jeremy Piven, Dwyane Wade, and Kristen Cavallari. ... At Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce nightclub (Mandalay Bay) on Saturday: Broadway icon Ben Vereen, Phil Hellmuth, Scott Ian, Lars Ulrich, and Wayne Brady. ... At Strip House restaurant (Planet Hollywood Resort) on Saturday: Calzaghe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Jones, Bruce Willis, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Cowell. ... Willie McGinist, at Blush (Wynn).
THE PUNCH LINE
"That's not a particularly big earthquake; for us in L.A., a 5.2 is like when Nicole Richie's stomach growls." -- Jimmy Kimmel, on the earthquake that rattled the Midwest.