Taking a gamble has always been part of the Broadway scene. Producers have to risk tons of money on the inexact science of making a hit. Actors have to chance their reputations with each new role. And gambling itself has been a plot device in a number of shows, from Dealer's Choice to Three Men on a Horse to Guys and Dolls.
Now the New York Times reports (June 5) gambling and the Great White Way will move even closer together. Steve Wynn, chairman of Mirage Resorts, has hired talent manager Sandy Gallin to help create theatres and cabaret entertainment for Las Vegas. Wynn told the Times, "I don't see anything in New York we can't do as well or better here in Las Vegas. A foresee a time when a hit musical will open in Las Vegas and have a second venue in New York."
Gallin, who has managed Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond and Michael Jackson, and whose company produces the TV series "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer," hopes to effectuate "new and different entertainment." Wynn noted that this would be in response to the changing Vegas scene, with concert tours replacing nightclub acts as people's main choice for an evening out.
To that end, Wynn will build a 1,100-seat, Broadway-style theatre at his new Bellagio Hotel (opening 1999), and a 15,000 concert arena near the Mirage. He also hopes Gallin will oversee smaller, 600-700-seat cabaret venues.
Where will the talent come from? Wynn told the Times, "We're making friends and forming relationships with Broadway people." Among them are Tommy Tune, Rob Marshall and Marvin Hamlisch. -- By David Lefkowitz