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Barry Manilow ‘having a great time’ in NYC, despite reports

If nothing else, a report out of New York about Barry Manilow is unique because it refers to bonbon abuse.

The New York Post’s Page Six reported Monday that Manilow’s run at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre has been a “flop” because of sagging ticket sales, and that Manilow and his husband/manager Garry Kief are fighting daily behind the scenes.

Kief, Manilow’s manager since 1980 and his husband since 2014, slapped back at the Post’s account of disarray in the production.

“It’s a great nonstop show of hits, it usually runs a couple hours, Barry sounds fantastic, audiences are crazy and we are going to gross over $4 million,” Kief, who also brokered Manilow’s residency deal at Westgate’s International Theater, said in an e-mail message. “Pretty (darn) good for only 17 shows, and beyond expectations.”

Kief added, “We’re having a lot of fun and a great time, though we miss our Westgate family and Las Vegas. It’ll be good to be home.”

Citing a source close to the production, the Post posted that Kief convinced Manilow to take on a three-week run when Manilow sought to perform only about 10 dates. The publication also reports that Manilow might actually lose money in the run because he relies on gate receipts to offset production costs, while Kief makes money because of his guaranteed salary as manager.

Manilow is due back at Westgate on Sept. 19. Oddly enough, I’m seeing his closing show in New York on Saturday night, from the “No Bonbon Zone.”

Gossy giving

Matt Goss was honored for his charitable good works during his raucous 10th-anniversary show at 1 Oak Nightclub at the Mirage on Sunday night. British Academy of Film and Television Arts board member Sandro Monetti presented Goss with a commendation from the United Nations Associations, and a Royal Society of St. of America and the Royal Society of St. George Medal. Goss has been especially involved in the Susan G. Komen foundation’s battle against breast cancer.

The crowd was filled with several of Goss’s longtime friends and supporters. He welcomed his brother, Luke; longtime friend and recording star Debbie Gibson; Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin; Piero’s Restaurant mainstay Pia Zadora; Caesars Palace Cleopatra’s Barge headliner (as of Aug. 25) Daniel Emmet with vocalist Heidi Webster; Laugh Factory at Tropicana magician Murray Sawchuck; Jerry Lewis’ widow, Sam Lewis with her daughter, Danielle Roberts, and son-in-law, Jason Roberts.

The mayor’s call

The mayors Goodman (Oscar and Carolyn) have never seen a Spiegelworld show in Las Vegas. But their London counterpart, Sadiq Khan dropped into the Spiegeltent for “Atomic Saloon Show” at Edinburgh Festival Fringe on Thursday night. Apparently, he heard about “Atomic’s” acrobatic, shirtless mayor character.

Sadly, Khan was not inspired to join the cast after (or, during) the performance.

Oh, Sarah …

We’ll say it, if no one else has: It is a show to die for.

Comic firebrand and ace musician Sarah Hester Ross is debuting the game show/music production “Pianos to the Death” at 8 p.m. at The Space. It’s an audience-participation experience, where three musicians perform for the crowd, which judges their performances. Those who don’t make the cut are cut from the cast. The deaths are not real, but the rules are.

Ross, Jeff Celentano and Robert Ryan are the death-defying musicians. Cheryl Daro produces and Darren Weller directs.


After Goss’s show, Antin told me she is working on a “Pussycat Dolls” reunion production, and has her eye on none other than the old Body English (and current “Club Dominia” for “Magic Mike Live”) nightclub at Hard Rock Hotel/Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. …

Hearing that audiences were blown away by Frankie Jordan’s tribute to Amy Winehouse at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s show was sold out and Sunday’s almost; that is the latest production said to be interested in 1 Oak Nightclub in the near future, further indication that Goss won’t be there past this year. …

On that topic, Gossy called out to Caesars Entertainment President of Entertainment Jason Gastwirth, who attended Goss’ anniversary show. No MGM Resorts officials on hand; the exec who booked Goss, Chris Baldizan, was attending the Country Music Awards Board of Directors meeting in Nashville on Sunday. …

“Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel in The Concert” celebrated its 100th show at Harrah’s Showroom Thursday night. Cast members in the mix include Eddie Clendening (guitar and vocals); Matt Codina (guitar); Bill Morey (bass); Cole Maxwell (drums); Colte Julian (piano and music director); Geno Henderson (guitar); and Jackie Wiatrowski, Tymara Walker and Fana Hughes (vocals). Look for a guest star to join a performance in the coming weeks. …

A couple at Goss’ 10th-anniversary show told me they got their tickets through seat-filling broker House Seats, which I found surprising given the show was an anniversary event. I asked what other shows they had seen lately on House Seats. The response: “You name it.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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