It might be time to summon Lola (she was a showgirl) and Tony (he always tended bar) from Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” saga.
Manilow is reportedly interested in returning to residency in Las Vegas in 2018, and has been investigating venues on and off the Strip. The superstar hit-maker previously headlined his “Ultimate Hits” production at the showroom at the old Las Vegas Hilton (now Westgate) from 2005-2010. He then moved to Paris Theater for two years, closing in December 2012 as “Jersey Boys” prepped to move into the venue.
Sources familiar with Manilow’s vision for Las Vegas say he is reviewing multiple options, foremost a return to the type of four- or five-night-per-week residency he performed at the Hilton and Paris Las Vegas. The Westgate, especially, is ripe for a superstar-driven production in its International Theater (Westgate officials attended Manilow’s Aug. 5 show at the Forum in Inglewood, California, for what that’s worth).
Manilow is also said to be interested in a major Strip theater “miniresidency,” or extended engagement, the sort Cher, Bruno Mars and Ricky Martin have performed at Park Theater and Celine Dion, Rod Stewart and Elton John have headlined at the Colosseum at CaesarsPalace.
During Manilow’s run in Vegas, Bette Midler, for whom he served as pianist and music director early in his career, also headlined the Colosseum.
Manilow’s current tour closes Oct. 6 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He hosts a series of holiday shows from Dec. 12-17 at McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California. His 2018 schedule is open, aside from four dates in October at London’s O2 Arena. Manilow has also kept his business ties to Vegas intact with a pair of shows at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, in July.
Manilow remains a vibrant performer at age 74 with legions of “Fanilows” filling theaters and arenas nationwide. His introduction to Las Vegas came as opening act for Helen Reddy at the old MGM in January 1976.