Manilow mania (and a wrap) coming to Westgate in Las Vegas

Updated May 24, 2018 - 9:32 am

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is Westgate Superbook, where the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning are battling for the right to play the Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. So strange to report that …

The Superbook is not far from the hotel’s International Theater, where Barry Manilow is rehearsing his residency production opening for previews Thursday night. The race is on to see if the show opens before Barry’s giant visage on the side of the building is finished.

Don’t discount the power of the building wrap. Residencies are made with such artwork. Donny & Marie Osmond are now enjoying their third wrap in 10 years on the side of Flamingo Las Vegas, and they love their looming images.

Coincidentally, shows are opening in both of the theaters in which Manilow performed in Vegas from 2005-2012. The International (formerly Las Vegas Hilton Theater) is one, and Paris Las Vegas is the other. “Marilyn: A New Musical” opens its preview period tonight, with the gala premiere June 1, also Monroe’s birthday.

I hear that employee comps for Manilow are scarce, incidentally, commonly an indication of strong ticket sales. The ticket-buying public is more fickle than it was when Manilow opened at the Hilton 13 years ago. But Manilow still has his fans, and so far they are to party it up at the Copa (Copacabana), the hottest spot north of Havana …

The earth moved

In the middle of a frenetic month of May, Carlos Santana welcomed labor-union pioneer and civil-rights leader Dolores Huerta to his show at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay on May 17. The following afternoon the two met a few media members and supporters at an event at the Foundation Room celebrating the PBS documentary “Dolores.” Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly also presented her a proclamation naming the day Dolores Huerta Day in the county.

Santana serve as executive producer of the of the film, which premiered on PBS in March and is available for purchase at PBS.org.

The film chronicles Huerta’s organization and mobilization of the Agricultural Workers Association (AWA) with the late labor leader Cesar Chavez in 1960, and her time as co-founder of United Farm Workers (UFW).

Santana was an important supporter of the UFW during his early years as an emerging rock star in his hometown of San Francisco.

Huerta recalls the night the two met, and the earth shook. Really.

“Carlos doesn’t remember this, I don’t think, but in 1969 one of our young volunteers put on an event at Fillmore West with Bill Graham,” Huerta said, with Santana seated at her side. “Carlos was the headliner of this concert of the UFW and it was Carlos’s first fundraiser for the UFW.” The “Grape Strike Benefit” show also featured Mike Bloomfield & Friends, Tongue & Groove, Shades of Joy and other hippy-inspired bands of the day.

Santana did rock the place. But he had some help.

“There was an earthquake right in the middle of when Carlos was playing,” Huerta recalled with a smile. “Nobody felt it. The next day, we found out about it on the news, but we didn’t feel it — people were dancing so hard! That was when I first met Carlos.”

Santana had not recalled that moment, but does remember the next day, walking the picket line with Huerta and her legions of UFW followers.

“I grew up with the consciousness revolution in San Francisco,” Santana said. “The real hippies, the bohemians and the beatniks who were the resistance to the war in Vietnam and trying to make change. I am still of that consciousness, and I am still with Dolores.”

Celebrity grooving

Leah Remini reunited with her former “Dancing with the Stars” partner Tony Dovolani during “Chippendales” at the Rio on Saturday night. The Emmy Award-winning actress was celebrating her sister sister Nicole Bella Remini’s birthday, a party that included siblings’ mother, Vicki and a party of friends.

Leah Remini danced twice onstage with Dovolani, who is guest-hosting the show and also choreographed two numbers for his stint in the production. His run with the troupe ends Sunday.

D party inside

Downtown Las Vegas Events Center is hosting viewing parties for every Stanley Cup Final game, except Monday’s opener. The DLVEC party parcel is taken by the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival, which runs downtown from Thursday though Monday. But VGK fans can attend a viewing party in the D Las Vegas ballroom. No admission charge, beverage and food stations furnished, just like the DLVEC parties. Doors area at 3:30 p.m., the dropping of the puck at 5.

Vroom!

The next trend in Strip entertainment might well be motorcycles as entertainment. I hear persistent noise (the open-throttle type) about a “Nitro Circus” show moving to a Caesars Entertainment hotel on the Strip. I’ve already written about the strong possibility of a Cirque du Soliel motorcycle show roaring into Luxor after Criss Angel ends his residency there in October.

Pucks in support

In time for the Stanley Cup Finals: A commemorative set of Golden Knights hockey pucks are being sold by Nikco Sports Memorabilia, with a percentage of the sales going to the Golden Knights Foundation. The team’s charitable organization supports youth sports projects, health and wellness, education, and first responders in the Vegas community.

The four-puck sets honor the Knights’ 51-victory season, their Pacific Division title, and star players Marc-Andre Fleury and William Karlsson. A total of 5,000 sets are being produced at a cost of $99 each. These sets are are approved by the Golden Knights organization, and licensed by the NHL. And, if need be, they are game-ready.

Contact John Katsilometes at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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