Lawrence to cover Carlin’s show dates

Las Vegas singing legend Steve Lawrence will fill the dates of his late friend and comedy icon George Carlin on Aug. 15-17 at the Orleans, it was learned Thursday.

“An Evening With Steve Lawrence” will include the backing of a 27-piece orchestra.

Carlin died last Sunday of heart failure in Los Angeles. He was 71.

Carlin’s last performance came during his June 12-15 engagement at the Orleans.

Lawrence and his wife, Eydie Gorme, have been Las Vegas favorites for decades. They were chosen to close the legendary Circus Maximus showroom at Caesars Palace in September 2000 and the Stardust showroom on Oct. 28, 2006.

Gorme, who has been battling back problems, is sitting out this one.

Tickets go on sale on Saturday.

Carlin’s passing is being mourned by employees at the Orleans, said publicist Candi Cazau.

“He was so precious. He was just so down to earth. He was an icon and yet he’d drive his car here by himself every time he had a show.

“He was no-muss, no-fuss kind of guy. Every star should take a lesson from him.”

Carlin rarely had any special requests, she said.

“He asked if someone would go grocery shopping for him at Whole Foods. He always wanted healthy food. He was very conscious of his (heart) problem. He went all organic.”

THE ECCENTRIC SIDE

Fellow comedians Carrot Top and Carlin hit it off in the early 1990s, while they were taping an NBC New Year’s Eve show.

“I was backstage rehearsing and he came up and told me he was a fan,” he said.

It meant a lot because Carlin was the first big name comedian to befriend him.

When they ran into each other backstage on occasion, Carrot Top noticed Carlin had an eccentric habit. Every time he went by a soda vending machine backstage at the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand, “he would dig in to check for change,” said Carrot Top.

“I wanted to screw with him, so I left some change one night. I watched him and when he found it, he acted like he had won a million dollars.

“I am absolutely convinced that it was something he had done since his childhood, from growing up poor.”

THE SCENE AND HEARD

A second show has been added Saturday for the final weekend of “Room 776,” the comedy play co-written by Rita Rudner and her husband/manager, Martin Bergman. Sunday is already a sellout at the Little Theater (www.lvlt.org). Saturday’s second show begins at 9:45 p.m. …

Drew Carey is flying out the entire Lon Bronson Band for the “Price is Right” season wrap party this Saturday night in Hollywood. They will be headlining with the Las Vegas female electric string group Phad Strad. Bronson and his band were regulars for “Drew Carey Show” wrap parties since the 1990s. …

KVBC-TV, Channel 3, on Thursday announced the addition of Dan Ball, morning anchor at KPSP in Palm Springs, to the weekend anchor team. He joins Marie Mortera, and Katherine Whaley won the 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. broadcasts….

A new nightclub with an old Vegas vibe is opening today on the 1000 block of East Sahara. The Red Apple will tap into nostalgia of the 1950s and 1960s. Local entertainers are invited to perform on the stage.

MAY I RECOMMEND…

The Fourth of July nightlife scene will be popping with the latest club addition: Christian Audigier the Nightclub, in the Treasure Island space formerly occupied by Tangerine.

Pure Management Group has teamed up with the French designer, who is partnering with Michael Jackson on a new line this fall. The patio, which overlooks the Sirens of T.I. pirate duel, has been expanded and will include a dance area.

SIGHTINGS

Former pro wrestler Ric Flair, hosting a party in the private dining room of N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) on Wednesday. Flair was wearing a T-shirt that had an arrow pointing up at his face saying “Man” and an arrow pointing downward toward the word “Legend.”

THE PUNCH LINE

“Great news for New York City garbage men: They can now wear shorts in the summer. It’s all part of the mayor’s plan to beautify the city.” — David Letterman

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

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