'The Producers' pursuing Danza

Producer Mel Brooks has confirmed he's in talks with Tony Danza to bring him to the Las Vegas version of "The Producers."

"We're working on him," Brooks told Steve Friess of thestrippodcast.com.

Danza, who recently played Max Bialystock in "The Producers" on Broadway, would take over for Brad Oscar, Brooks indicated.

"Brad would be leaving. Tony would take over, and Tony would set the town on its ear," said Brooks. "He's a Vegas guy. He could've been a Vegas singer and dancer. He could've been a Vegas prize fighter. He could've been a Vegas emcee. He could've been part of the Rat Pack. He just belongs in Las Vegas.

"If we can get Tony Danza to do it, I think it would literally be fabulous."

Even with Danza's name appeal, Brooks didn't sound optimistic that the show was going to last more than a year at Paris Las Vegas, where it opened in January.

"I think it'll run through the year. I think it'll stay until January 1."

And if Danza leaves, "we'd have to get a new star and maybe go on into '08."


Frank Trigg defended fellow UFC star Chuck Liddell on Tuesday, saying that Liddell was a tee-totaller on the nights they were out last week.

Trigg, asked in a radio interview Tuesday to respond to an item in Monday's column that raised questions about Liddell's training habits, said the dethroned champ "goes out at night" to relax and because "every club" pays him to show up.

It was reported here that Liddell was in nightclubs four nights in a row, from Sunday to Wednesday. Turns out it was five nights in a row. Trigg said he was with Liddell on Thursday at Tryst (Wynn).

"I was out with him two nights, and I guarantee you 100 percent, he was not drinking," Trigg told "The Wise Guys" on Fox Sports Radio 1460. Liddell left at midnight on one of the nights, added Trigg.

Liddell had held the UFC's light heavyweight division title for 3 1/2 years (seven fights) before losing by a first-round knockout Saturday at the hands of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Officials at several top clubs contacted on Tuesday denied they pay Liddell to make red carpet appearances and hang out as a VIP.


Lindsay Lohan re-entered rehab Tuesday, casting doubt that her 21st birthday party will take place as scheduled. According to reports, Lohan's decision to go back to rehab for the second time in six months came after she continued to party after her DUI arrest on Friday. Photos showed her sleeping in her SUV early Monday after being seen partying at a Roosevelt Hotel hotspot. "We can't comment other than to say that we think the world of Lindsay, and we wish her the best," Pure spokeswoman Kate Turner said Tuesday. Pure reportedly was paying Lohan about $250,000 to appear. ...

For the second year in a row, the Flamingo pool will be the setting for the 17th annual Epicurean Affair on Thursday. Tickets: $125 per person or $1,000 for a package of 10 in advance or $150 per person at the door. Call 733-3333.


"American Idol" producers Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe, with Bernie Yuman and KVBC-TV, Channel 3's Alica Jacobs, dining at SW Steakhouse (Wynn) on Monday night. ... Liza Minnelli, heaping plenty of praise on local choreographer Ron Lewis during her "gypsy" show early Monday at Luxor. ... Kanye West and Oscar-nominated actor Ken Watanabe, in separate parties at Celine Dion's show (Caesars Palace) on Sunday. ... Ian Ziering of "Dancing with the Stars," partying at Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce (Mandalay Bay) on Monday night. ... Jackson and Floyd Mayweather Jr., partying together at Jet (Mirage) on Monday.


"At a charity auction yesterday someone paid $350,000 to be kissed by George Clooney. I had no idea Ryan Seacrest had that kind of money." -- Jay Leno

Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.