Even before Wayne Newton was known as Mr. Las Vegas, he was the original actor in town.
Newton built a subsequent downtown, at the Fremont Hotel. It took a few years, at a time, before the social media buzz could be reached in minutes. But from 1959 to 1963, Newton and his brother Jerry launched it at the Carnival Lounge for six shows a night, six nights a week, 46 weeks a year.
Finally, the budding star of the duo achieved headlining status in chic Flamingo on the Strip. It was in November 1963, right after Newton released his classic “Danke Schoen”.
Remarkably, Newton is set to celebrate its 58th opening anniversary at the Flamingo in the brand new Wayne Newton Theater inside Bugsy’s Cabaret. The Vegas legend is putting his autobiographical show “Up Close and Personal” back on stage on October 23, 25, 27 and 30. Tickets start at $ 79 (excluding fees) and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.
“I can’t wait to be back on stage, in front of the fans, and playing again,” Newton said in a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon. “I’m on a stage that’s about three times the size of before (at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace), which gives me the opportunity to play more instruments, have more musicians on stage and change things more often. “
Newton is also on stage through November and December, ending this series of dates on January 1. The race is presented as a limited engagement, but an expansion remains in play.
Newton shares the room with the adult magazine “X Burlesque” from Stabile Productions. Piff the Magic Dragon, who had previously performed in the hall, moved on to Flamingo Showroom, where he changes his schedule with “Ru Paul’s Drag Race Live”. As of May 2019, Bugsy’s went by the name “X Burlesque” when portraying this show and Piff when he was on stage.
Along with his showroom debut in the early 1960s, Newton was the headliner of Flamingo Showroom in 2006 and 2007. He eventually moved into the barge, before COVID hit and instigated Caesars. to permanently close the place.
But Newton has always been in the company’s plans.
“Wayne Newton is a true Las Vegas icon and a valued member of the Caesars Entertainment family,” Caesars Entertainment president Jason Gastwirth said in a statement. “The embodiment of showmanship, Wayne offers each audience his love of music and stories from his remarkable career. We are proud that ‘Mr. Las Vegas will continue to entertain our guests, now at Flamingo. “
Newton is recovering from surgery resulting from a back injury on his Montana estate in August. For his live performance, he will be supported by a live band (keyboards, bass, drums and maybe an additional guitarist / banjo player), and will select songs from a rotation of around 20 songs. In previous shows at Caesars Palace he performed “Danke Schoen”, “Daddy Don’t You Walk so Fast”, “Red Roses for a Blue Lady”, “At This Moment”, “The Letter”, “Summer Wind “and” Years. “
Highlights from the video include priceless moments with Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and a wonderful duet with Glen Campbell, among many other favorite moments from Newton’s Vault. The show’s rudder is Newton’s narration of these highlights from the video and his Q&A with the audience. He usually has a counterpart on stage, unbilled but quite familiar to Newton’s friends.
During the COVID hiatus, Newton had the chance to observe the Vegas entertainment scene. A lot has changed since his arrival, to put it mildly.
“We go through this every 10 years or so, where we have a new evolution of Las Vegas,” Newton said. “When you watch all the national TV shows that come to Las Vegas, the headliners that we have, shows like ‘AGT Live’ coming up and the sports that we have with the Raiders and the Golden Knights, that ‘ is really amazing.
“We’ve been saying it’s been the entertainment capital of the world for years, and it really is, more than ever.”
Aside from his back pain, Newton says he’s healthy thanks to COVID and has been vaccinated. He was originally a key figure in the Caesars mask campaign in June 2020, when entertainment began to reopen in Las Vegas.
Newton says that for his appointments at Flamingo, he leaves health and safety protocols to the company that owns the hotel. He’s just ready to sing along and tell his story.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Newton said. “I’ve been gone for so long, I’m ready to really push the boundaries of this new show.”
John Katsilometes’ column is published daily in section A. His “PodKats! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] To follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @ JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.