Manilow Books Vegas Engagement

Barry Manilow has signed a deal to perform an extended run at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel/casino.

Barry Manilow has signed a deal to perform an extended run at the Las Vegas Hilton hotel/casino. The 61-year-old artist will perform five nights a week for 24 weeks through 2005 and into 2006. The 90-minute show premieres Feb. 25 and is called "Manilow: Music and Passion."

Manilow said playing Las Vegas made perfect sense after he made the decision to stop touring. He added the show will include singers, dancers, a large band and new songs. "It won't be static," he said. "It will change every night."

His theater will hold about 1,700 people after renovations. Manilow said he intends to write a Las Vegas theme song, similar to "New York, New York."

Manilow is following in the footsteps of Elvis Presley, who once performed at the Hilton, and other singers like Celine Dion, Elton John and Gloria Estefan who have signed Las Vegas deals.

Asked if he had gotten any tips from Dion about living and performing in Las Vegas, Manilow said no, but "I'll give her a call."

In September, Manilow told Billboard a Vegas-type engagement would "be the perfect compromise" to allow him to continue performing without being on the road for long periods of times.

"I just don't want to do these big tours where they keep me away from my life," he said. "I've decided that I need my life back: to play with my dogs, go to the movies, visit with friends. I need that. I've never been able to sell out arenas before. I always felt that I do better in a small house. I communicate much deeper and much more easily."

The Manilow deal is part of a plan to reinvigorate the aging Hilton. Casino giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. sold the property to a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Colony Capital LLC. earlier this year in a deal worth $280 million.

Rudy Prieto, Las Vegas Hilton chief executive and general manager, said Manilow will help restore the luster to the 3,000-room hotel-casino that was built in 1969.

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