Rita Rudner returns to Turnberry Place in Las Vegas

Rita Rudner’s next show in Las Vegas is something of a homecoming.

Wait, check that. It is a return to basics in fact.

Rudner performs at the Stirling Club in Turnberry Place, where the comedian was once a resident. Rudner and her husband, Martin Bergman, owned a place in the Paradise Road luxury towers for several years before selling in March 2021.

Rudner’s familiarity with the venue and Turnberry community led her to her “One Night Only” show at 8 p.m. on Oct. 28 (tickets are $54 for Stirling Club members and $69 for non-members ; visit thestirlingclub.com for more information) .

Rudner has performed internationally, headlining the London Palladium, Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall. Her Vegas history dates back to the late 1970s, when she played 21 shows a week at the Riviera Comedy Club. She later ran back-to-back headlining engagements at New York-New York, Harrah’s and The Venetian. She most recently appeared at Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort in 2017.

Johnny Kats: You’ve been headlining the Strip for years. Sell ​​us on the Stirling Club show.

Rita Rudner: It’s so pretty. They did a great job with this. I have lots of friends there. I want people who haven’t been to the Stirling Club to come see it. Maybe if they come to see me, they can take a look around the club. If you want a good club, it’s a local club that’s not in a casino, this is the one.

I know you are always busy. What’s on your mind right now?

I do a lot of stand-ups. I just got back from Toronto last night, and then I’m working on a boat for two shows. Then I have two shows in Honolulu. Then I start learning my lines for the play Martin and I wrote and which he is producing and directing at the local Laguna Playhouse. It’s called “Staged”, and we start rehearsals on January 2.

Do you think you will play more regularly in Las Vegas after the Stirling Club concert?

Well, here’s what happened: I had a contract that Wayne Newton and I were going to share Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace. Then they closed the Barge, the precious Barge. So I waited a year, and I waited another year, and I said, ‘You know, there are other things I can do.’ So I just did. We had to move. That’s one of the things the pandemic has taught us is to do the things that we’ve been putting off.

What did you put off?

We’ve always said, “Let’s live at the beach”, so now we live at the beach. It’s really nice, but it was also good in Las Vegas. it was hard to leave.

This show is going to be quite nostalgic for a lot of people who have followed your career here.

I had run into all the casinos with my dog, Bonkers. And that’s another thing I’ve been busy with, writing my memoirs (“My Life in Dog Years”). I’ve been playing in Las Vegas for a long time. Before that, I had quite a career on Broadway as a dancer, singer, and actress. During the pandemic, I’ve decided there’s no better time to start writing than when you can’t leave the house for two years. So that’s what I did.

When is the book due?

October 20 on Amazon. It covers everything. I wrote it over and over again because I was forgetting things. I cover my stand-up career, starting at improv, being an opening act for so many stars. I still have the Righteous Brothers opening act sign at the Hilton. I like to remember all these things.

You played at Riv, the Sands in the beginning, right?

Yes, it was the Riviera, and I remember my first gig at the Sands on the Strip. They wouldn’t let a woman appear alone, you always had to be reserved with a guy because they didn’t want a female comedy headliner. I was going through it all.

I remember when you started out as the main headliner in New York-New York, and the Manhattan Express roller coaster had just been installed and interrupted your set every few minutes. Felix Rappaport had the pillars of the theater filled with sand to calm the rattling.

Oh yeah. It’s in the book (laughs). He looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry I did that.” But when we became a hit, he said, “I’m so glad I did this!” It was the start of a very, very good time. I think it had been six years since I was there. I liked it. What was great about Las Vegas was that I had to stay in one place and the audience flew in.

John Katsilometes’ column airs daily in Section A. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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