Tony Award nominee Ronstadt incited a furor in a Las Vegas casino theatre after she dedicated a rendition of the song "Desperado" to Michael Moore, the documentary filmmaker behind the controversial movie "Fahrenheit 9/11." According to Reuters, the singer's tribute to Moore—whose film criticizes the Bush administration's actions during and after the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Iraq—caused the audience to toss drinks, rip down posters and demand refunds. One quarter the 4,500 concertgoers left the auditorium at the Aladdin Casino.
A statement issued by the Aladdin said that afterwards Ronstadt was "escorted out of the hotel" just after her performance and said the performer would "not be welcomed back." Ronstadt was not allowed to return to her suite in the hotel.
"Fahrenheit 9/11" has become an unexpected box office smash and a lightning rod for political debate. The movie was originally to be distributed by Disney, but the studio balked when it realized the hot-button content of the flick. The Weinstein brothers of Miramax eventually secured rights and distributed the movie, which has succeeded in making Moore something of a liberal folk hero.
Aladdin President Bill Timmins told The Associated Press that Ronstadt's political comments ``spoiled a wonderful evening for our guests and we had to do something about it.... As long as I'm here, she's not going to play.''
Ronstadt's political affiliation go back to the 1970s, when she dated the Jerry Brown, then the liberal governor of California. Rondstadt was Tony-nominated for her performance in the 1981 Broadway staging of The Pirates of Penzance.