The Rock Report: Mariah, Frank and Shania; also, Pesci, DeNiro, Pacino fantastic in The Irishman


Can you believe it? Another year has gone and a brand new one is here – again!

I remember – it was just 20 years ago – that we entered the 2000s and I actually could not really accept it – so used to writing 19__ – and now it is 20 full years later? Do any of you feel the same way? Where did it all go?

This year is the beginning of the third decade of the 2000’s, that I am sure will bring new joys and new life to our worlds and goals. Let’s get out the ball and see what that crystal reveals!

We have Shania Twain who has returned to the Strip! Originally, a few years back, Shania blew them away on her horse – neigh! neigh! – at the Colosseum. She is now at Zappos Theater in Planet Hollywood. She’s outstanding, gorgeous and gives her audience her all! It was a seamless transition from country music to pop super star!

We all missed Mariah Carey and her holiday show at the Colosseum this year. You have to hand it to her for creating the best Christmas song spectacular, “All I Want for Christmas is YOU!” What I like most about Mariah, is she is unique. There is no one else like this special butterfly. She’s beautiful, OMG! This gal has the look, the style, the attitude of a true super star! Come back before next Christmas!

For a change of pace, it’s comedy in the form of a two-man show at Bally’s. Harry Potter’s parody, “Potted Potter!” These two young men have a ball leaping and using references directly from JK Rowlings’ epic series of the Harry Potter books. The audience was howling with laughter! Dan and Jeff, have a lot of energy and made it a fun free-for-all and aimed it at a millennial audience! It is so much fun and currently playing at Bally’s, in the upstairs theater, formerly known as the Windows at Bally’s.

Yes – The Monti Rock Cabaret opened and had a second sensational performance for the holiday season! We had vocals from the talented Pastor Erma Henderson, with her husband, Tony, on the keyboard and David Pellow, owner of English Garden Florist on the drums. Of course, yours truly was entertaining with anecdotes, humor and a little singing. All around, it was a fun and early evening. Yes, I wore my very special Santa Jacket with all the holiday figures on it. Zozo was dressed as a mini me, in a red sequined Santa Paws suit.

You can’t keep a good woman down. Frank Marino has resurrected his Joan Rivers act for a four-day, limited engagement at “Legends” over the Christmas holidays. By the time you read this, who knows? Maybe “Legends” will think about the extra tickets they sell and just sign him for life. Meanwhile, he’s off to Dubai for what we understand is a very, very highpaid gig. It had better be, ‘cause crossdressing isn’t exactly legal in that country. A s s u m i n g Frank makes it back from Dubai, he’ll be touring in Florida during January and then a special show at the Italian American Social Club on Feb. 16.

I discovered something that many locals knew about, but not many in the entertainment world. The Clark County Library District concert series! WOW! At the main east side branch, on West Flamingo Road, near Maryland Parkway, there is a hidden gem! It’s a small amphitheater where everyone can perfectly see and hear the performances. Guess what??? It’s free!

On Dec. 15, my friend, Lu, and I went to see the wonderful Marina V (originally from Russia) and a band that accompanied her vocals. She also played a 120 bass ladies’ red accordion along with her repertoire of standard American holiday songs, but also those from all corners of the world! It was a sensational afternoon of delightful entertainment.

The Clark County Library is not just for books, lectures, art displays, but also concerts! Upcoming in this month, Marina will be playing again at the West Charleston Library on Jan. 25 and the Whitney Library on Jan. 26. Don’t miss her! I was introduced to this marvelous venue by two new friends, Freddy and Mike, a couple whom I met at my local Smith’s. They came to the cabaret and then invited Lu and myself to this concert. Thank you gentlemen!

Upcoming in the library series is the UNLV Jazz Concert Series on Jan. 8 and again on Feb. 12. The Akropolis Reed Quintet on Jan. 10 and 11. One that I simply must catch will be The Soul of Rock and Roll, A New Musical on Jan. 18 and 19, at the East Flamingo Library’s theater!

Thank you, Clark County Library District! And thanks to the Spectrum’s own “Conan the Librarian,” who details many of the CCLV Library’s events in this very magazine.

On the cinema scene, I truly enjoyed the old-fashioned warmth of “Last Christmas.” A classic story. Also, Richard Jewell, the Sam Rockwell and Kathy Bates feature by Clint Eastwood, is another fabulous study of human frailty. It transcends the reviews that fluffed it off.

While it’s mostly true, they trashed the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter. Depicting the reporter (Kathy Scruggs, deceased) as trading sex for a news tip had no basis in fact. The disclaimer that they took literary license with that part of the story, appears at the end of the credits, just after, “No animals were hurt in the making of the movie,” so apparently destroying Scruggs’ reputation was of little concern to Clint Eastwood and Warner Brothers. Most left the theater thinking Scruggs was a whore and lousy reporter. Not true!

The Irishman with Joe Pesci, Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino is beyond a doubt fantastic. The Kennedy Center honored the incomparable Linda Ronstadt, Sally Fields (one of our longest brightest stars) and Earth Wind and Fire. By the way, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice was one of the best biographical films. Linda is afflicted with Parkinson’s disease but her heart is still in her songs.

My New Year resolution includes a hope that I will see a new act, or perhaps revive an older one, that will totally blow me away and that of a new age audience! I also promise I will complete my film, “Grifter With A Heart” in 2020!

I look again at the number 2020 and I keep thinking of one thing, perfect vision! I hope that my visions are perfect for you, my readers, my supporters, my friends. You are my extended family. Take the new and create what you may to make this coming year a memorable one!

Much heartfelt sincerity and love, Monti Rock III and ZoZo, the wonder dog.