Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson
The producers of illusionist Hans Klok's new show, The Beauty of Magic (Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino's Theater for the Performing Arts) have just performed a neat trick. In the blink of an eye, they've managed to swap one Baywatch babe for an even more famous one. Carmen Electra, who was originally announced to be Klok's assistant in the show, had to back out because of "scheduling conflicts." His new helper is pin-up and tabloid favorite Pamela Anderson, who has described her new magician's assistant/showgirl gig as being a dream come true.

Now playing at the Summerlin Library Theater is Karrol Cobb and Tony Cobb's Robin Hood: The Musical (through June 10), a new take on the classic English tale about Robin of Locksley and his merry men. In the Cobbs' story, Robin is a thief and con man who has no concern for the troubled poor of Nottingham until he meets and falls in love with Maid Marian.

The first offering in the Super Summer Theatre season this year is the epic musical Ragtime (June 13-30), directed by Stage Door Entertainment's artistic director, Terrence R. Williams. Based on E.L. Doctorow's novel set in the early 20th century, Ragtime traces the intertwining lives of a black honky-tonk pianist and his lady love, a European immigrant and his daughter, and an upper-class white family from New Rochelle, all set to a brilliant Tony Award-winning score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens.

The future is looking especially bright lately. It's finally official: Jersey Boys is hitting the Strip! The Tony Award-winning bio-musical will bow in early 2008 at the soon-to-be-opened Palazzo Casino Resort. Jersey Boys, which is usually sold out months in advance on Broadway, tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons using their classic songs, including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," and "Working My Way Back To You." The show's authors, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, director Des McAnuff, choreographer Sergio Trujillo, and the Four Seasons themselves will all be involved with this new Vegas production of their show.

If the impending arrival of the Boys wasn't exciting enough, another big announcement came down from the musical gods recently: Bette Midler is coming to Las Vegas! For two whole years!

Midler is the welcome (if unlikely) successor to Celine Dion, who as planned will leave her perch in Caesar's Palace at the end of this year. Starting in February 2008, the Divine Miss M will take up residence at the Colosseum for two years, playing five shows a week. Midler is of course known to mainstream audiences as an actress in movies such as Beaches and The First Wives Club, and as the singer of hits "The Rose" and "Wind Beneath My Wings." But her most devoted fans also love her boisterous live shows, which always feature a mix of great songs and risque comedy -- and she promises that the Vegas act will be no exception.