Wayne Newton, the veteran entertainer known as Mr. Las Vegas, is returning to the Flamingo Hotel and Casino after opening there 58 years ago.
The 79-year-old Newton recently posted on his Twitter feed that he is headed back to the stage at one of the area’s legacy resorts.
I am thrilled to announce that starting Saturday, October 23rd, I’ll be back performing at Flamingo Las Vegas,” he tweeted. “I can’t wait, and I hope to see you there!”
The longtime performer is scheduled to appear in the Wayne Newton Theater at Bugsy’s Cabaret inside the Flamingo. His “Up Close and Personal” show is set for Oct. 23, 25, 27, and 30. Tickets, which start at $82, are available at ticketmaster.com.
Newton began to build a following in Las Vegas by appearing at the Fremont Casino in downtown Las Vegas from 1959 to 1963, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter John Katsilometes.
In November 1963, not long after Newton recorded his hit song, “Danke Schoen,” he and his brother, Jerry, began performing at the Flamingo.
Newton told Katsilometes that Las Vegas has changed a lot over the years, yet remains the world’s entertainment capital.
“We go through this every 10 years or so, where we have a new evolution of Las Vegas,” he said. “When you look at all the national TV shows that are coming to Las Vegas, the headliners we have, shows like ‘AGT Live’ coming in, and the sports that we have with the Raiders and Golden Knights, it’s really incredible.”
Newton Co-Owns Aladdin Resort
Newton’s experience as a casino co-owner recently was part of an eight-episode podcast about organized crime’s influence decades ago in Las Vegas. Titled Mobbed Up: The Fight For Las Vegas, the podcast is a collaboration between the Las Vegas Review-Journal and The Mob Museum. It is hosted by veteran journalist Jeff German.
As the podcast points out, Newton was involved in a dispute with NBC talk show host Johnny Carson over an attempt by each to purchase the Aladdin Casino in 1980. The Aladdin was on the east side of the Strip where the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino now stands.
Newton and former Riviera Casino executive Ed Torres ended up purchasing the previously Mob-connected Aladdin for $85 million. Torres later bought Newton out.
In 1980, NBC alleged Newton had ties to the Gambino crime family, one of the New York Mafia’s Five Families. Newton denied the allegations. Nevada gaming regulators did not uncover evidence of connections, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Newton won a $19 million defamation judgment against NBC, according to news reports. On appeal, a court determined the NBC report was inaccurate, but done without malice, an important standard in such media lawsuits. Newton received no cash settlement.
“It was not about money. It was about clearing my name,” Newton said. “And I did.”
The Flamingo, where Newton is appearing this month, has a storied history dating to the years after World War II.
Gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel opened the resort in June 1946 south of downtown Las Vegas on the desert highway to Southern California. That then-barren portion of the highway, now known at the Strip, is packed these days with hotel-casinos.
The Flamingo is still at the same location on the east side of the Strip, though none of the original buildings remain.
Bugsy’s Cabaret at the Flamingo, where Newton will be performing, is named for the mobster.
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