The Rumor Mill – Part (Fill In A Numeral): Will Bette Play Vegas?
(Thanks Kimberly)

Las Vegas Rumor Control
Will Monorail Run To Airport?
Rick Garman,

Rumor: Pick a big-name celebrity, any big-name celebrity, and there has probably been a rumor recently that he or she was considering a long-term deal to perform in their own showrooms in Las Vegas, patterned after the success of Celine Dion and Barry Manilow. Among those mentioned: Barbra Striesand, Bette Midler, Madonna, Britney Spears, Rod Stewart, Cher and Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton.

Fact: It’s easy to see where the Barbra rumors came from. Her recent surprise performance at former flame Andre Agassi’s annual benefit concert spurred all sorts of gossip, but the likelihood of her doing a long-term gig is almost zero. Don’t be surprised to see an upcoming New Year’s Eve concert announcement, though.

An extended Bette Midler gig, on the other hand, seems to be much closer to reality. Harrah’s is actively and aggressively attempting to revamp its image as an entertainment standard-bearer, hoping to take the Celine model at its Caesars Palace and extend it to Harrah’s, the Rio, Paris and the Flamingo.

Could last week’s announcement about the impending closure of “We Will Rock You” at Paris have anything to do with the courting of the Divine Miss M? My guess is yes, but it’s only a guess at this point.

That Harrah’s revamp is also at the center of rumors about Wayne Newton, who recently lost his showroom at Stardust but may be taking over Clint Holmes’ showroom after the latter’s contract expires early next year.

One person you won’t see at a Harrah’s property anytime soon in Rod Stewart, who recently lost a lawsuit to the company over a canceled concert at the Rio. But the former rocker, now crooner, has apparently been considering a Vegas run, especially since his new albums of standards seem to fit the demographic quite well.

What of one-name wonders Madonna, Britney and Cher? All three have reportedly been in Vegas recently, and all three have reportedly been approached by various hotels to do a Celine-style gig, or at the very least an Elton-style gig. The difference? Celine does 200 shows a year while Elton does about 75. The odds? I wouldn’t bet on any of them, but I’m not going to bet against it, either.

The bottom line is this: these are all just rumors. So far.

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