weather icon Clear

Fireworks show (almost) sparks mayor’s NYE memories

From the streets of VegasVille, where the current mayor recalls (with some assistance from the former mayor) spending a New Year’s Eve with cast members of a famous Broadway musical.


Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman was among the dignitaries Thursday announcing the seven hotels that will launch the “America’s Party” fireworks show on New Year’s Eve. I asked her how she and her husband, Oscar Goodman, celebrated their first New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.

The query sparked a six-minute recounting of the Goodmans’ first few New Year’s Eves, with Mayor Goodman calling Oscar’s cellphone to check facts.

“We were here in 1964-65, and we had just moved into Paradise Palms apartments on East Sahara. I was working at the Riviera in advertising, marketing and publicity and Oscar was working for (District Attorney) Ted Marshall in the DA’s office. It was probably pretty low-key. We went to dinner. But a couple of years later, we had Jack Gilford over. Remember him? Maybe not. He was in the show … oh gosh, what was it? The Forum. The musical. At Caesars. Now I can’t remember the name.

“I’ll call Oscar. I rely on him for all the names (dials) … Oscar! We had one of the stars of the Forum show for dinner at the Palms on New Year’s Eve. Remember that? Who was it? It was a great time … (pause). Forum! (Pause) It was a funny thing? ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum!’ Jack Gilford and Zero Mostel! Thank you!”


Getting back to the real fireworks, the lucky seven hotels involved with this year’s fireworks spectacular are: MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, the Venetian and Stratosphere. The rooftop of the Rio is the command center for officials from Fireworks by Grucci, the company that produces the annual pyrotechnic event.

The show begins 10 seconds before midnight. Themed “Vegas Rocks,” the production is a tribute to the great entertainers and Las Vegas headliners who passed away in 2016. The set list: “Auld Lang Syne” by Salsoul Orchestra; “All Night Long” byLionel Richie, who headlines at Axis theater at Planet Hollywood; “Hoedown” by Emerson Lake & Palmer (in honor of the late Greg Lake); “Shining Star” by frequent Vegas performers Earth, Wind & Fire; “That’s My Kind of Night” by Route 91 Harvest headliner Luke Bryan; “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie, “LV Las Vegas” by Clint Holmes of Palazzo Theater; “These Are Special Times” by Celine Dion of the Colosseum at Caesars; and “Let’s Go Crazy” by the dearly beloved, and since departed, Prince.

The Goodmans will once more spend New Year’s Eve with thousands of revelers at the Fremont Street Experience, the party running from 6 p.m.-3 a.m. “We’ll see what that will bring us. It’s always a party,” said Goodman, who won’t be at Caesars. For her, a funny thing, already, has happened at the Forum.


On the topic of holiday fireworks …

As anticipated, and actually hoped-for, Nevada Ballet Theatre Artistic Director James Canfield is indeed assuming the role of Drosselmeyer in “The Nutcracker” at The Smith Center. Canfield is performing 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. This is the third straight year Canfield has swept into this unbilled performance.

Also, if you do have the chance, check out the “Nutcracker Wonderland” scene at Troesh Studio Theater in Boman Pavilion, next to Reynolds Hall. There is carolling and storytelling by community figures who can read out loud (I did that last Sunday and Holmes is in for Friday’s event). It’s a nice, new addition to “The Nutcracker” experience.


I ride the Las Vegas Monorail. Have we talked of this? I use it quite a bit, especially for events at MGM Grand Garden. Hop on at SLS Las Vegas or Westgate, cruise in, cruise out, and avoid the parking knot at the big green resort.

Anyhow, on New Year’s Eve, the Monorail is offering a party at its Third Rail Lounge at the Las Vegas Convention Center Station. The event runs from 8 p.m.-1 a.m., with unlimited beer and wine and hors d’oeuvres offered. Taj and DJ Livinh are the entertainment, and guests will be provided a travel cup to enjoy specialty cocktails at each of the Monorail’s refill stations. This is the kind of improvement the Monorail needs to entice more local passengers, right?

The cost is $175 per person or $300 per couple; go to lvmonorail.com/nye2017 for info.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.