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October 17, 2017

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Holly Madison’s contact with Anita Mann is solid gold; Matt Goss makes waves with new dates at Caesars


Denise Truscello/WireImage/

Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella celebrate her 34th birthday at N9NE Steakhouse on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in the Palms.

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The red carpet for the 2013 "Fantasy" Calendar Release Party included the "Fantasy" girls, producer and choreographer Anita Mann and her family, Jabbawockeez, Thunder From Down Under, Jeff Timmons and Murray Sawchuck at the Luxor on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012.

The Non Sequitur of the Year is already in, and it is this:

“Here is where we get the payoff, where somebody rushes the stage and beats him senseless with a tire iron.”

If you know the context, that quote is hysterical. Feel free to use it, any time, at any show.

With great enthusiasm, we wield the rake:

• Without stating that they are in a formal partnership, Holly Madison has been meeting with Anita Mann to discuss her (Madison’s) plans to produce a burlesque-esque show on the Strip beginning this spring.

Mann is the sharp, focused and highly successful choreographer and producer who has piloted “Fantasy” at the Luxor for better than a decade and also helped turn Terry Bradshaw into a stage star with his one-man show at the Mirage in June and in one-offs across the country since.

Mann also founded the “Solid Gold” dancers. She was a backing dancer in a few Elvis movies (including “Viva Las Vegas”) and was featured in his 1968 comeback special on NBC. What else? Oh, Mann worked with The Jackson 5 on their TV special in 1976-’77, among her many TV and stage credits.

Mann and Madison share a great deal of admiration, personally and professionally, and met Monday to brainstorm Madison’s plans to produce a show reported to be staged at the old Forty Deuce space abutting RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay. The ubiquitous Robin Leach has already publicized this concept, and my money says Holly’s show is headed for that venue.

Madison plans to sing in this show, something I would applaud. Already have, actually.

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Chris Harrison, Matt Goss and his twin brother Luke Goss at Caesars Palace.

• The Gossian Effect was unfurled Tuesday night in Los Angeles, as Matt Goss held a listening party at iHeart Theater for his upcoming release “Life You Imagine.” I had to imagine the frivolity at this event, as my feet were nailed to the streets of VegasVille, but we can report that Goss has announced dates at the Gossy Room at Caesars Palace through the first weekend of June. That’s a total of 28 new dates at our favorite moat-protected stage.

Meantime, the Dean of Debonair (blurb alert!) is dropping a four-song EP titled “I Do” on Feb. 11, with the song list of “I Do,” “Mustang,” “Lovely Las Vegas” (great video for that one) and “There’s Nothing Like This.”

Goss has been working on this album for about three years, collaborating with 14-time Grammy nominee and producer Ron Fair and using a 16-piece horn section and 32 string players. Haven’t heard the final version yet, but everything I have heard about the album is that it’s quite groovy.

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Carlos Santana in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013.

• In a chat this morning, Carlos Santana says he expects to be back at House of Blues in November after his upcoming run of shows Wednesday through Feb. 1 plays out. You may have read and watched coverage of Santana being reunited with his former percussionist Marcus Malone, who was living homeless in the Bay Area and was discovered in a wholly random fashion in December by a San Francisco TV reporter.

The guitar great was clearly moved at that meeting and has since set up Malone in an apartment and bought him a set of bongos. He’ll need them in a couple of months, as Santana is bringing him into Odds On Records & Studio in Henderson to play on a couple of songs on the upcoming “Santana IV” release, which will feature Santana’s famed former bandmates Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Michael Shrieve and Michael Carabello. We’ll be posting a full column from Santana before he returns to the stage.

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Nate Morris of Boyz II Men performs during opening night of Boyz II Men's residency at The Mirage on Friday, March 1, 2013.

• Nate Morris of Boyz II Men at the Mirage is as avid 49ers fan dating to the time when he embraced the team as a kid to tweak a schoolyard bully who loved the Cowboys during his days growing up in Philadelphia. Morris now owns a piece of 49ers history, or pieces of eight, actually.

He snapped up an eight-seat block of stadium chairs at Candlestick Park, which were located in the end zone where Dwight Clark made “The Catch” to beat Dallas in the 1982 NFC Championship Game. The seats were put up for sale by the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department at $750 a pair (though we’re checking to see if those prized seats in “The Catch” end zone were sold at that price) with a limit of eight per customer. The money raised for the seats sale goes to the city’s youth sports programs.

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Tom Cotter performs during "America's Got Talent Live" at the Palazzo on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.

• Tom Cotter says he’s still buoyed by the momentum of his appearance on “America’s Got Talent” in 2012, the show’s seventh season, when he reached the finals but finished second to the reliably well-groomed Olate Dogs. He’s appearing Saturday and Sunday at Suncoast Showroom.

“I have been doing well, still, with booking corporate events,” Cotter said in a phone interview this week. “They don’t make you famous, but they do keep you working, and these are booked about three years out, so I’m still feeling the bonus of being on the show.”

Cotter has been touring the country and performing in clubs and on cruise ships for more than 25 years. He calls his routine the “Four Cs.”

“It’s corporates, cruise ships, colleges and comedy clubs,” Cotter says. “That’s been my life.” He’s versatile enough to retool his act for the diverse audiences who sail the “Four Cs.”

“If you’re playing to a college audience, they don’t want to hear about your family and being a grown up,” he said. “They’re more interested in your drunk roommate or jokes about beer pong. Cruise ships, you need to be squeaky-clean because there are families on these ships. At a corporate gig, you might find that everyone is worried about being fired, and being funny to them is a real challenge.”

• Great meeting: EDC founder Pasquale Rotella and Smith Center Cabaret Jazz headliner Clint Holmes, both of whom were in the audience Sunday night during the roaring set by Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns. I was talking to Rotella when Holmes walked over.

These two had never been introduced, and they chatted briefly and animatedly about the show and living in Vegas (Rotella and his wife, Holly Madison, and daughter, Rainbow, hope to move into their home at the Scotch 80s by the end of March).

Holmes and Rotella seem to have little in common, but Rotella did say something afterward about “creating experiences.” These guys are experts at that, whether it’s for hundreds of thousands of EDC partygoers or a couple hundred discriminate music fans at Cab Jazz.

It was a cool little moment. Someday, they might be guests at each other’s events, and, when that happens, I want to be there.

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