Suzanne Somers Sizzles in Las Vegas Review - Beginning a one year residency at the Westgate Hotel


I was excited to go back to the place where I'd seen two of the most amazing shows I've seen in my lifetime. Opening a one year residency, billed as `Suzanne Somers Sizzles - A sexy intimate Show with the great American songbook',  Suzanne wowed the guest with a fun flirty show, and lots of beautiful dresses,  showing off those all so famous legs. 



Suzanne Somers  cavorted in dresses ranging from naughty black leather to `oh-so-saucy' leopard print.  She sang with ease, and cavorted about the stage having fun and reminiscing about her days on Threes Company, the ill advised stint on Dancing with the Stars, and even joking about the essence of `Estrogen'.  Of course everyone there was well aware of the Stars long praised  work in the health and fitness industry.



Suzanne's  show was performed in the cabaret theatre, at the Westgate Hotel.  The Westgate Hotel, formerly the Hilton International,  is most famous for hosting Elvis Presley in his historical comeback and a series of sold out performances during  the early 1970's.  The Hilton International is also the place where  our evenings chanteuse Suzanne, made her last Las Vegas  appearance,  in the Mega Production The Bal Du Moulin Rouge, choreographed and directed by Walter Painter.  The Moulin Rouge show was the last big Las Vegas production mounted with original music, original couture costumes, live orchestra, and nude Showgirls.



 I saw Elvis at the Hilton in 1971 and it remains today the single most amazing show I've ever seen in my life. At the time, in my early twenties with my wife pregnant, we arrived the night of Elvis' show, only to find out we did not have reservations. `They'  took pity on us as I explained how we'd driven up from LA just for the Elvis show. My wife was very Pregnant with our second daughter, and no doubt that helped our case immensely. We got in :)   I'll never forget when he sang the song, Suspicious Minds, before it had been released.



 I saw The Bal Du Moulin Rouge at the Hilton in 1983, when my friend Janet Boyd was performing as a nude Showgirl.  Janet was one of the most Iconic Showgirls in Las Vegas' history, and danced there for 29 years. She danced in the Moulin Rouge show with Suzanne and I was delighted at the coincidence here.   The photo here, with Janet and Suzanne,  is from the Company Christmas Party, held at the Elephant Bar, with none other than Tanya the Elephant.




Back then the Hilton, or the International, as it was variously called, was the biggest and most spectacular showroom in existence.  Built by  Kirk Kerkorian, at a cost of sixty-million dollars, the Showroom seated 2,200.   In 1983, as the guest of Janet Boyd,  I was there with artist Julian Ritter, who had painted the renowned Silver Slipper Collection . The Silver Slipper Collection is a series of 28 original oil paintings of Clowns, Showgirls, and Nudes that Julian had painted between 1950 through 1968. At the time the collection was owned by Howard Hughes and hung at the Silver Slipper Casino. The occasion of being in Las Vegas with Julian Ritter was that  I had commissioned Julian to paint what is now  known as ` The Las Vegas Fantasy', with four nude Showgirls, and myself as a Clown. Janet, who had modeled for Julian for years, would be modeling for Julian with two other Showgirls from the Moulin Rouge Show and one other from the Follies Bergeré.





During her `Sizzling' performance, Suzanne explained that she wanted to create an atmosphere that would bring back the class and style of the Rat Pack playing, back in the day, at the Sands. Indeed the patrons were delighted with individual  tables right up against the stage, and at one point Suzanne coming down stairs from the stage and crooning to some of the happy and surprised guest. It was indeed an elegant setting for sharing cocktails with friends and listen to some good music. From a Beautiful Blonde no less.





The Westgate will rely on past history with the installation of a new 28,000 square foot exhibit space, premiering  the first-ever permanent Graceland exhibition outside of Graceland.  Also, the International Showroom has been aptly renamed, as the Elvis Presley International Showroom.   The property had definitely been struggling in previous years. It was acquired by Westgate Resorts mid 2014, and David Siegel, CEO of Westgate has vowed to bring back the property to its former glory when it was known as `The International'.  New features will include a new Serenity Spa & Health Club, The Edge Steakhouse, along with in-room improvements, renovated pool, and cabanas areas.



There was a wonderful Article in Splash Magazine by Diane R. Davis, about the Elvis Exhibition. I must confess as a devoted Elvis fan I did partake of the exhibit and even bought myself a coffee mug in the gift shop. Now I get to have coffee every morning with Elvis



Suzanne Somer's show brought back a lot of great memories in a Hotel that can boast of great performances  and a great history. Her show was slick, well produced, and highly entertaining. Its no wonder she is a former Entertainer of the Year.  



`Suzanne Somers Sizzles', shows at various dates and times, check with the Westgate Hotel for Reservations.   I have recently relocated to Las Vegas, and will be focusing future Articles for Splash Magazine on current shows and performers, as well as the History and Art of Las Vegas.  Please watch for my newest Articles and let me know what you think.  I do appreciate your Comments and feedback. 

Select Photography by Greg Autry


Artwork by Julian Ritter used with permission.

Julian Ritter Estate retains all copyrights on original art.



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