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Siegfried happy, ‘in disbelief’ after exhaustive ‘20/20’ special

The season premiere of ABC’s “20/20” special reached millions over the weekend, including two particularly interested viewers in Las Vegas.

Siegfried & Roy watched the special at their Little Bavaria compound via an ABC streaming service on Friday night (the show aired in Las Vegas on Saturday, pushed back for Vegas Golden Knights coverage).

The duo said they were pleased, and also emotional, at the exhaustive re-telling of their lives up through the night in October 2003 that Roy was nearly killed by Mantecore and continuing through to their time today with fans at the Mirage’s Secret Garden.

“I am happy,” Siegfried said Monday. “I am in disbelief, beyond belief, after watching all of it.”

Lynette Chappell, the so-called “Evil Queen” in the Siegfried & Roy fiefdom, says she was somewhat shaken by the two-hour special, which served as “20/20’s” season premiere.

“What I hadn’t realized or prepared for was how far back they went in telling the story,” Chappell said in a phone chat on Monday afternoon. “I became very emotional during as I watched some of the footage of the accident. It seemed like the clock stopped that night.”

Chappell helped ABC producers connect with Las Vegas contacts, and build what was originally a “Good Morning America” segment into a fully realized retelling of the duo’s entire careers. At one point, Siegfried is asked if the show could be made today, given the and public’s resistance to using wild animals as entertainment.

Siegfried says simply, “No. To say, ‘Look, we have white tigers,’ No, because it is a different world now. No question about it.”

Up next is the long-developing biopic, with famed German director Bully Herbig and UFA Fiction teaming with S&R on the project. Siegfried himself has been reviewing the script, buoyed by the renewed interest from the “20/20” special.

And, the duo’s legacy lives on in Las Vegas, at the Secret Garden at the Mirage. If you time your visit right, you can catch Siegfried himself, performing coin tricks, still working his magic.


Matt Goss celebrated his 51st birthday with a performance and post-party at 1Oak Nightclub and Rhumbar at the Mirage on Sunday night. Debbie Gibson and Robin Antin were among those on the scene. Gossy put on an especially rocking performance, and is in the room on Sundays at least through December. …

On the topic of Antin, she is moving forward with her “Pussycat Dolls 2.0” (working title for now) revival in a Vegas venue. The soon-to-be vacated “Magic Mike Live” venue at Hard Rock Hotel/Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and 1 Oak, which is due for an overhaul, are two options. …

Meeka Onstead finished her dancing career in “X Burlesque” at Flamingo Las Vegas after 17 years. She will continue as a choreographer, but it is certainly the end of an era for an “X” original. …

“Sex Tips” at Paris Las Vegas has moved its 11 p.m. Saturday show to 5 p.m. The late Saturday show was an innovative concept. It was also a fairly drunken concept, with imbibing visitors keeping the cast on its toes. The late-night show turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. …

A billionaire who tried to learn to play the guitar but never mastered the instrument: Tilman Fertitta. He knows his limits. Nonetheless, Fertitta’s Golden Nugget is a rock ‘n’ roll haven with classic-rock cover band Rock This Town starring Harry Shahoian headlining Rush Lounge. …

Of great interest in this space are the ongoing auditions for the Gazillionaire character in “Absinthe.” The Gaz is nothing less than the most important (fictional) figure in the Spiegelworld universe. …

Cool Hang Alert

Giada Valenti, a spirited pop-opera songstress from Venice who has moved to Las Vegas, returns to Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at 8 p.m. Thursday. Giada has been featured on PBS and is a favorite around town. She offers world-class vocals, great stories, and a backing band of Pablo Gadda, Bob Sachs, Dave Richardson, Jakubu Griffin and Krista Solars. Frankie Scinta, born to perform, is special guest. Tickets start at $35; worth every penny. Go to the SmithCenter.com for info and ducats.

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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