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Roseanne Barr, Suzanne Somers teaming up on Las Vegas show

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February 19, 2019 By John Katsilometes

When the room went dark, the lightbulb flicked on for Suzanne Somers.

“I’d really love to go back to Las Vegas,” Somers said to her husband/manager, Alan Hamel, about three weeks ago as the couple dropped the lights to go to sleep. “I love life, and I love Vegas.”

Soon, this idea came to involve Roseanne Barr, and an expanded, co-headlining gig in our city.

“I thought about this for a couple of days, and remembered when Roseanne opening for Suzanne in Las Vegas,” Hamel said, recalling the days in the late-1980s when Barr opened for Somers at the Desert Inn (eventually replacing Don Novello’s “Saturday Night Live” character Father Guido Sarducci in that role). “She was hysterically funny. She killed me. She is still really funny.”

Hamel then called Barr with the random idea of a Suzanne & Roseanne double-billing in Vegas.

“She said, ‘I love it!’ ” Hamel said. The Somers and Barr camps are continuing to meet, plan and toss out ideas. This is an early and calculated effort, to put the word out and hope to lure the right alliances in Vegas.

The preliminary template is for two 45-minute sets, and a short show-closing dual appearance by the co-stars. A date, venue deal, even name of the show are not in place. Also left open is who would get top billing.

“Suzanne is far beyond who should open or close a show,” Hamel said. “She used to do a lot of private shows with George Burns, and one night he said, ‘I’ll open and you close. I’m tired and I want to go to bed early.’”

There is a far chasm, of course, between a late-night epiphany, conversational musings and a real “Salt ‘n Sugah” teaming of these two TV icons. Somers, who gained fame first as the mysterious blonde in the T-Bird in “American Graffiti” and also in the original cast of “Three’s Company,” has most recently performed in Las Vegas in 2015. Her spirited one-woman show, “Suzanne Sizzles,” never gained traction at Westgate Cabaret and ran for just five weeks in May-June 2015.

Somers also floated the idea of a return to Las Vegas in 2016, going public with her idea for a new show but never made a deal.

As for Barr, she’s not appeared at all in Las Vegas since ABC cancelled her self-titled sitcom last May after she posted disparaging remarks on Twitter about former President Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. Barr, who later said the sleep-inducing drug Ambien clouded her judgment as she posted about Jarrett, was in deep talks for an appearance in a “Laugh Factory Presents” series at Tropicana Las Vegas. The idea was ditched after Barr’s show was cancelled.

Somers defended Barr in the face of the show’s cancellation (the series has since returned as “The Conners,” with Roseanne’s character killed off). Hamel says he is not worried that Barr’s past conduct might imperil a potential deal, or that she might undercut an ongoing production in Las Vegas.

“Americans are are forgiving people, we don’t hold grudges, something negative happens and it goes away and people have a residual memory of it,” Hamel said. “Roseanne is just funny, and we are interested in the entertainment value of this combination, of Roseanne and Suzanne, and we’re going to see where that takes us.”


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