The bright lights of Vegas were shining just as brightly as I sat out an hour-long wind delay to board my Chicago bound United flight. After all, the city had relieved me of my budgeted $500 in gambling money in record time.
While there, I saw “Spamalot” at the Wynn Hotel, featuring John O’Hurley as King Arthur. (O’Hurley will be better-known to many as Elaine’s boss J. Peterman on “Seinfeld,” for which he won a SAG Award.)
The entire play is based on the Monty Python troupe’s well-known brand of humor and featured book and lyrics by Eric Idle, with Music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle. Outstanding amongst the cast was Erica Ash as the Lady of the Lake and the voice of John Cleese as God was a nice touch. The entire performance, especially viewed from the front-row, was entertaining and definitely worth the money.
The next day, I attended a read-through of An American Hamlet by the local Cockroach Players. The play is written by the founder of the Chicago Screenwriters Group, Dan Decker, who is mounting the production now.
Last, but not least, on the occasion of my 40th anniversary, I took my spouse to see Tom Jones, front-row, at the MGM Grand. We were also in the front row, and this allowed me to display the LIFE magazine (from 1968) that I had carried from Illinois to Nevada in the hopes of getting Tom Jones’ autograph. I was put off by security, and told that maybe he would sign it if he caught sight of me with it. Therefore, I enlisted the help of four young women seated directly behind us, who had left their husbands home in L.A. and come to Vegas determined to have some good cheesy fun! They had brought thongs to launch at the 67 (nearly 68) year old entertainer.
I kept “dancing” my copy of Jane Fonda as “Barbarella” (the LIFE magazine cover) about, in the hopes of catching Tom’s eye and attention. The girls kept launching underwear, and I kept using the magazine as a tool to snake the skivvies back, handing them back to the quartet with the instructions: “Relaunch!” Which they did. Again and again. Finally, Tom noticed our side of the stage and picked up one thong and asked, “What is this? An eye-patch?”
As the show neared its finale, the girls and I began dancing in the far-right aisle. I was still dancing “with” Jane (Fonda) in hand, and, as the curtain was going down on the performers, Mr. Jones looked directly at me and mouthed the words, “What is that?” I held up a pen. And he immediately disappeared. So much for being a loyal fan who has seen the man at least 6 times over the years.
A good time was had by all.
Upon arriving back in Chicago, I discovered a vagrant sleeping in the condo lobby. This was somewhat disturbing, as I was a woman, alone, at midnight on a Tuesday night.
This morning, I awakened to the news that ATA has declared bankruptcy. My tickets to Cancun on Saturday are on ATA, which has fired all 2,200 employees and, no doubt, left some travelers stranded at their destinations of choice. Frenzied searching has turned up tickets that are 3 times more expensive on American, but at least the trip is still “on.”
I’ll try to post from the beach, but you never know.