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Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight shrug off ESPN misfire

Updated September 1, 2022 - 5:23 pm

Could a Las Vegas co-headlining residency be in the offing?

Maybe not. But Dionne Warwick was mistaken for fellow entertainment legend Gladys Knight during ESPN’s U.S. Open telecast on Wednesday night. This all played out during Serena Williams’ second-round U.S. Open victory over second seed Anett Kontaveit from Arthur Ashe Stadium.

As the cameras turned to Warwick in the stands, announcers and fellow pro players Mary Carillo and Chanda Rubin identified Warwick as Gladys Knight. Rubin said, “Got some more stars … ” Carillo cut in with, “Gladys Knight!” with Rubin adding, “Gladys Knight” and Rubin saying, “Hel-lo!” But the shot was clearly of Warwick, seated near courtside.

Both legends shrugged off the incident.

Warwick used humor in her Twitter page Thursday morning, posting “Hi, I’m Gladys Knight… and instead of taking that midnight train to Georgia, I won’t walk on by but will say a little prayer for you.”

Through a rep, Knight said, “Dionne and I have been sisters for a long time and I hope she is as honored to be mistaken for me as I would be her. I’m sure it was an honest mistake. It was a blessing to be in the house to see Serena’s greatness.”

Knight is a longtime Vegas resident and headliner for the past six decades (her brother and original Pip, Bubba Knight, still lives in town). As she noted, Knight was actually at Ashe Stadium on Wednesday and also Tuesday night.

And, for the record, the two have appeared together onstage in Las Vegas, at “Gladys Knight & Friends” at the then-new Sunset Station in August 1997. They also appeared, separately, at Raiders games at Allegiant Stadium in the 2021 season.=

Twitter erupted with complaints soon after the on-air misfire. The original clip from the @Stevies_Wonder Twitter account amassed more than 2.2 million views overnight. “Unacceptable, from both of them,” was the trigger post.

Rubin later explained she had been told Knight was in the crowd, and was looking at Knight and not the monitor when she made the comment.

Warwick, who most recently headlined in March at the Stirling Club in Las Vegas, has been a popular poster on Twitter. Also on Wednesday, she chided gospel artist Earnest Pugh for incorrectly posting that Cissy Houston had died. Cissy is Whitney Houston’s mother and Warwick’s aunt.

As Warwick posted, “My Aunt Cissy is very much alive. This Earnest Pugh needs to get a life and stay out of other peoples lives!” This was just hours before the Knight incident. Pugh, wisely, took the post down.

This really is Super

Super Summer Theatre celebrates its 45th anniversary at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park on Sept. 15. Expert musician, singer and arranger Bill Fayne and performer/producer Joy Demain are wrangling about 30 Las Vegas vocalists for the event.

One of those singers is the good doctor and avid Vegas arts supporter Keith Boman, who has agreed to sing “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” from “Oklahoma.”

Boman sings this song at least once every 55 years.

“I haven’t sung in public at all since I was a senior in high school,” Boman says, “and I sang that song.”

Boman is referring to a performance of “Oklahoma” in his senior year at Clark High School. He was known for that soaring performance, and as the school’s first senior class president in its first graduating class of 1967.

“This is going to be interesting,” Boman says. “I am practicing every day, I’ll tell you that.”

Boman’s name graces Boman Pavilion at The Smith Center. He is a significant benefactor of the venue, where we spotted him at the Composers Showcase last month. He has also been an ongoing supporter of SST, which most recently presented “Mary Poppins” this summer.

The Sept. 15 fundraising event begins at 5 p.m. with a reception, open bar and pass-around snacks. A gourmet barbecue dinner is at 6 p.m., the program runs 7 to 9 p.m. Prices run from $45 for a show ticket to $154 for a VIP ticket to the reception, dinner and a table seat at The Meadow. Info is at beta.purplepass.com. Lyrics to “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” are at rodgersandhammerstein.com.

And we’re dancing on the sand …

Duran Duran is headlining Encore Theater this weekend (second show is Saturday). Coincidentally, or not, Rockstar Bar inside Vegas Golf Center at 6730 Las Vegas Boulevard South hosts hosts Duran Duran tribute act D3 at 10:30 p.m. Friday. The opener is beach-inspired rock trio Surf Monster. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Hit rockstarbarlv.com for info.

Your IAC restart

Italian American Club is back after its annual summertime pause for maintenance. The club reopened Wednesday. On Sunday, Zowie Bowie returns with co-vocalist Jaime Lynch and the ZB Showgirls for a night of throwback music numbers, shtick and imbibing. The lounge still bounces with Nicholas Cole at the keys, with guest spots from Carmen Romano. If it sounds like a vintage Vegas scene, you would be right.

Cool Hang Alert

“The definition showbiz!” is how Cheapshot Showroom and Discotheque manager Amy Saunders descries Clint Carvalho, the iconic performer coming into “Mavericks.” Catch Carvalho and his winged sidekicks, including Neliy (the little green superstar parrot) this month. Neliy is 62 years, and was taught to sing by Judy Garland, and also performed with Elizabeth Taylor over his illustrious career Catch the pics of the bird on Carvalho’s Instagram. He’s shown with Taylor, in what seems a swimming pool in the Vegas’ historic Paradise Palms neighborhood. He’s also shown hanging with Betty White. This bird’s had a life. Go to sevenrooms.com/events/cheapshot for “Mavericks” info and the full Cheapshots schedule.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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