Story By: G. H. HARDING
Tony Danza

VEGAS TO SHUTTER --- Sad to say, but Honeymoon in Vegas -- starring our stalwart friend Tony Danza together with the hilarious Rob McClure and the gorgeous and talented Brynn O’Malley -- is set to shutter at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre on April 5. The tuner began previews on November 18, 2014 and officially opened on January 15. At the time of its closing this weekend, the production will have played 66 previews and 93 performances.

Based on the popular 1992 feature film, Vegas tells the story of Jack Singer (McClure), a commitment-phobe who finally proposes to his girlfriend Betsy (O’Malley). The couple heads to Vegas to get hitched, but when the smooth- talking gambler Tommy Korman (Danza) falls head-over-heels for Betsy, he arranges for Jack to lose big in a poker game so that Korman can claim the bride-to-be as his own girlfriend.

You’ve got to give Danza credit; the man’s a virtual magician. He’s tried everything and his track record is certainly one to envy (we loved him best in 2004’s Oscar-winning motion picture, Crash). He was a financial partner in this production, and gave his all in each and every performance.

We saw it, we loved it, we’re sad to see it go.

BOWIE’S LAZARUS --- David Bowie is co-writing Lazarus, a theater production based on his 1976 Nic Roeg film, The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Based on Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel of the same name, the film tells the story of an alien who lands on Earth seeking a way to transport water back to his home planet, which is experiencing a severe drought.

The film marked Bowie’s first starring role as the extraterrestrial, who goes in the film by the exotic interstellar moniker of Thomas Jerome Newton. Also in the film were Rip Torn and a vibrantly alluring Candy Clark.

Early reports say that Bowie will co-write Lazarus with Enda Walsh, who won a Tony Award for the Broadway stage adaptation of 2007’s Once.

The new play will also feature new music from Bowie, as well as new versions of older tunes. Ironically, the 1976 film did not feature any Bowie songs due to contractual obligations. Instead, the film featured music from John Phillips of the Mamas & The Papas, as well as Japanese percussionist-composer Stomu Yamashta. (The movie even featured The Kingston Trio’s version of the immortal song “Try to Remember” from the forever off-Broadway musical THE FANTASTICKS – which recently closed, again.)

Although the play is Bowie’s brainchild, he does not plan to star in it.

I remember well when this movie came out, and Bowie was fast becoming the icon that he remains to this day. I didn’t know what the heck to make of it at the time . . . but I did like it. Roeg’s amazing direction always stands out, from his first film Performance featuring Stones frontman Mick Jagger to his 1980 film Bad Timing starring Art Garfunkel (Roeg clearly has enjoyed casting rock stars in his pictures) … suffice to say, news of this Bowie-helmed theatre production fills me with the need to see the movie once again.

Lazarus is slated for previews later this year.

WITHER MTV? --- Could MTV, which really doesn’t even play videos anymore, disappear? With sister-station Nickelodeon, they’ve been in a double-digit ratings slump for months and their revenue and cultural cachet has certainly languished.

Their parent company Viacom is cutting its NY workforce by 264 employees.

Some media pundits suspect their troubles are far greater than they appear.

MTV’s Van Tofler (always loved that name!) is departing the cable network after 28 years. For better (and worse), he was instrumental in defining MTV’s legendary status. Face it, if you didn’t have a video in the nascent days of the cable TV station, you didn’t exist.

According to PR-pasha David Salidor (who has represented with Debbie Gibson, Madonna, and Run-D.M.C.), “Once you finished the album and chose the singles, the next step was doing the video. Everything, from selecting the right director to doing the storyboards. Jim Yuckich did many of Gibson’s videos and he was a master . . . just a totally creative personality. His vision and experience was terrific, and he worked so well with Deborah.”

Actually, when you consider it all these years later, the more outrageous the video, the better. Artists like Billy Joel said he never thought about the video, (some world argue it blatantly showed). However, other bands like Duran Duran certainly did think about the video . . . and it definitely showed.

MTV had a good run … a very good run, in fact. Do you remember the very first video MTV aired? Yep, it was The Buggles’ “Video Killed The Radio Star.”

CLOSING NOTES --- We've been waiting on a bevy of new albums from the likes of Ringo Starr and Boz Scaggs . . . but they haven't showed up. Artists get charged for the review copies their labels send out . . . Wonder if they're cutting back. Too bad, as I'm hearing the Boz record is spectacular . . .

Look for Frank Shiner to return to The Cutting Room in July. . .

Will be an interesting match-up this Sunday, as HBO airs it's Sinatra doc, while AMC revs up with the last cycle of its Mad Men. Tough choice, yet interesting to note that both these shows are on cable channels. Face it, the heady days of the big three networks are over . . .

Meanwhile, the new live Hall & Oates album is simply terrific. We want to give a shout-out to industry-vet Roy Trakin who did the spectacular liner notes. When Daryl and John get into their early work ("Sara Smile," "Las Vegas Turnaround"), it gets real good. Great album.