This little adventure was Friday Feb. 4th and Saturday the 5th. Short 'n sweet seems to be the game plan these days. Friday, I spent most of the day at the COSMO. My website, pre sign up for their 'Identity Card' fell victum to their computer gremlins which also might explain why many of those first night guests reservations didn't 'take' either...awww NEW PROPERTY START UP PROBLEMS. Not a problem for me however...got my card and started to look around. If you walk to COSMO via the Strip from BELLAGIO, you enter the casino. If you cab over as I did, you enter from the opposite side and Registration is the first thing you see. (the Identity Card counter is in that area also...) You might have seen pictures of the Lobby's 'lit video columns' that surround the Registration area. These guys light up with various images. Depending on the occasion, time of year (Autum leaves, Spring flowers, artsy images etc.) they display graphics both moving and still. It was Chinese New Year and you've all seen these very busy, intricately carved ivory pieces YES?... that's how the columns were decorated while I was there. White backgrounds, red patterns of floral, branches, leaves and...RABBITS. You didn't notice at first, but when you looked close...the branches and leaves moved in the 'breeze' and the rabbit's noses and ears would wiggle. Very subtle and VERY COOL! Ahead of you is the casino. I didn't think it was very big compared to other Strip properties. Mostly slots and the other regular games but very little video poker. I played around the dollar Double Bonus machines...everything was the normal 9/6 Strip pay schedules but... I donated three hundred bucks anyway to get my Identity Card off the ground and...came away empty handed at the end of the day. I explored all 4 floors, found the 'secret pizza joint' on the 3d floor but was still too FULL from RIO's World Buffet to eat a slice...(looked real good though!) There's cozy little seating areas scattered around each floor as well as the outside terraces along with pool tables, ping pong and some old vintage pinball machines. Each floor has it's variety of shops and restaurants...it's open and airy but also looks a bit empty. The 4 story 'shaft' that frames in the CHANDELIER BAR is topped with a stain glass ceiling and that's really the main source of light that illuminates all the floors as you travel up 'n down via the escalators. The effect is good, but doesn't provide a lot of light...it's kinda dark through out all the floors. Having the different levels to explore is different compared to other properties where everything is laid out over one ground floor area. COSMO is all shiny and new! It's easy to navigate, full of friendly employees and and fun stuff but... not enough to get me back just to play. I would like to try their buffet and until further notice...most of their restaurants are open late which offers me more options for 'eats' after my Shows! (and i still gotta get a slice of pizza) When I heard CHER's last Show was coming up, I GOT A TICKET! If it would be as big a deal as her opening night was, I wanted in on some of the bye-bye FUN! I've mentioned before about her opening night... The 'bling', the cloths, the hair, the shoes...all the 'glitz' and parading ...AND THAT WAS JUST THE GUYS! Her final Show didn't disappoint. I'd gone over early to watch all the Pre Show fans. I was meeting some friends of mine from the Bay Area and sat down in the Colosseum Casino video poker area. Ya see...There was so much going on, I guess I was pretty distracted when I sat down at that dollar Double Bonus machine... Drag Queens to the left of me, CHER impersonators to the right...I wasn't payin' much attention to the game. I put in a hundred and hit DEAL. 4 JACKS pop up and I think..."THAT'S A GOOD $250.00 START!" I cashed out the TITO and put it away. (don't know why I do that, I just do. Future insurance I guess...) I didn't even look at it. I continued to play with another bill. Time to move over to the Colosseum and find my friends but first...to the CASH machine...I've got 2 TITO. One small, one LARGE. I cash the little one first, then the $250. Ticket goes in...read,read,read, blink,blink,blink...and I pull out the $25...?...$150.00?...HUH??? Long story short (er...) I found a floor manager, reported the alleged error. He was great...took lots of info, asked if I was going to the Show and where to meet him afterwords. He needed to check the computer upstairs before he could address my issue. After the Show, there he was, with 4 sheets of 'print out' in hand. The VP machine showed my hit/pay...$150.00 The cash machine showed the insert of a $150.00 ticket and pay out of $150.00. It all added up EXCEPT...I hit a $250. quad on a MAX BET game and....then I thought, hmmmm This ol' (3 YEARS YOUNGER THAN CHER) brain started to think back... ...put in 100, hit deal.............................HIT DEAL!?!...BINGO! I hit DEAL NOT MAX BET! I won FIFTY BUCKS not 250 and my TITO was correct. MY, MY, MY. BACK TO THE SHOW... Prior to going in, there was something to see EVERYWHERE! On the steps of the Colosseum...a drag queen was touching up make-up for any one who needed his/her blush, lipstick refreshed. A tall young woman (and it WAS a woman...) in Black 'n White striped tights and GIANT-KISS style platform boots, slowly walked back and forth...tossing the curls of her bright red wig from side to side. An even taller drag queen in a tight cocktail dress and platinum blond wig paced impatiently while waiting for his/her date to show up. EVERYWHERE you looked, some sort of Show was going on. The gay SAILORS in their dress whites... The don't ask/don't tell MARINES in their parade uniforms... CHER look-a-likes and wanna-be types... Most of us straight folks were pretty dressed up too... I had on my black suit, black silk shirt and black dress boots...Much to my disappointment, not once did someone come up to me and ask..."can you tell me where the Restroom/Buffet is?" (it's happened before...and I could tell 'em too, lol) Once inside, I settled into my Rear Orch 5, RowE, aisle seat and continued to enjoy all the Pre-Show...SHOW. I sat with a gay couple, his sister and her husband (this row was only 5 seats across) The CHER impersonators were all down front, many of which have been to most of her Shows and write the tickets off as a business expense. As the GALAXY OF STARS projected on the Colosseum stage curtain and walls slowly drifted you through CHER's space...IT WAS SHOWTIME! The music came UP, the lights went DOWN, and the place just EXPLODED!!! EVERYONE ON THEIR FEET...all eyes focused on the upper, right wall of the Colosseum where CHER's EVEL KNIVEL DEATH MACHINE was poised for it's decent to the stage. The spot light struck it's spot...the draped curtain pulls up...AND THERE SHE IS...ALL IN GOLD, and starts singing... I HAVE CLIMBED...HIGHEST MOUNTAIN... I HAVE RUN...THROUGH THE FIELDS, ONLY TO BE WITH YOU... ONLY TO BEEE... WITH YOU (and it starts...for the last time) It's such a great opening, and she looks so good...CHER fan or not, you couldn't help but to be moved. After her opening number, she greets her audience. Talk, talk, talk, funny, funny, funny... high5, high5, high5 the front row fans. She yapped longer than other nights I've seen her. Telling little short stories, talking about the Teamsters who get her into her Death Mobile and the way they grab their crotches... Talked about how over the years how some audience members look...dead in their seats. Sitting there looking like they'd rather be anywhere else (mostly the men...) Guess that's one reason she'll probably go back out on tour where the crowds are made up more of TOTAL CHER FANS rather than Colossuem visitors who just add her Show to the list of all their other Las Vegas activities. The Show was basically the same as I've seen before. A couple Shows back, she added/deleted a couple scenes and this last night...she took a break mid way through to thank her band, dancers, singers, stage crew and her manager. She mixed up some of the scene order this time...A 'Zoot Suit' number which had been toward the end of the last Show I saw, was now at the top. Other small differences but most folks were seeing the Show for their first time so they didn't notice a thing. THEY WERE JUST HAVING A GREAT TIME! I learned after the fact, that the RIO puts up CHER and ELTON in the PLAZZO SUITES when they spend the night in town. From my rooms, I look right down on it and never knew they were in there. WOULD HAVE BEEN FUN TO HAVE GONE OVER AND SAID HELLO HUH...lol. The Show went too fast and before you knew it, there she was in her black leather G-String singing 'TURN BACK TIME' and it was almost over. She does ANOTHER (one of 17) quick costume changes and returns for the encore...BELIEVE...takes her final bow and walks off stage. Folks stayed on their feet for quite a while, but when the light came up, it was over and CHER would wake up in her Malibu California home, ready to start planning her next big adventure. It was a fun trip. I have to admit...it's getting harder and harder these days to keep me entertained for the full week trips I used to do. These quick, little trips seem to fit the bill much better...I don't gamble as much any more and 'new' entertainment has to be planned more carefully. I'm not bored yet, it's just that my attitude is evolving. The quick trips I've made over the last few months to see DYLAN, JOHN MELENCAMP, VAN MORRISON, DONALD FAGEN-MIKE McDONALD-BOZ SCAGGS, THE BLACK CROWES have taken the place of any 'new' Shows that just aren't around these days. Still...I smile when I hear an excited SCREAM! coming from somewhere out in the casino...Some first time visitor has just hit their first jack pot, even if it's only fifty bucks...for them it's VEGAS and they're EXCITED! The roar of cheers around a hot Craps Table, the lights of the Strip at night...all still entertain me AND... there's some new stuff coming up! I'll go in next month for CELINE's new, music of the Hollywood movies Show which I hope is fun... BLUE MAN GROUP is moving to the Monte Carlo, The Light Group may be buying the RIO... 'LeRaf's TRIUMPH is still awaiting their BIG Locomotive Illusion at the LVHilton...i wanna see that... The 'Wayner's Casa de Shenandoah should be open by the end of this year and that might be worth checking out...'daddy' ELTON will likely be back at the Colosseum at some point along with Rod Stewart and Shania Twain is rumored to be close to signing a residency there too so.....THERE'S LOTS COMING UP! For now....THAT'S ALL FOLKS, over 'n out and SEE YA ON THE BOARD!