Funny Girl

Moving up the Strip, Rita Rudner takes the stage at the Venetian

It’s the first week in January, and Rita Rudner is engaged in an entertainment-juggling medley. Her day began with an interview with KTLA Channel 5 News in Los Angeles talking about Thanks, a new movie starring Rudner, written and directed by her husband, Martin Bergman, which is making its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. That’s followed by the drive to Palm Springs for the film festivities, and during the drive she does a phone interview with Vegas Seven to discuss her Las Vegas show moving to the Venetian on Jan. 15.

Such is life for the comedian/New York Times best-selling author/actress. On any given day, you can find her writing a play with Bergman, shopping around a sitcom the two wrote together, raising their 8-year-old daughter, Molly, or planning the home they’re building in Dana Point, Calif. On top of that, she collects her signature glamorous dresses (they now fill three closets) and comes up with new material.

She already has a couple of Venetian lines down pat.

“I’m very happy to be at the Venetian, because I have an affinity for Blue Men and gondolas,” she says. And, “Martin has put a picture of my face at every store [at the Grand Canal Shoppes] with a big red line through it. So I’m not allowed in any of the stores.”

Shopping is a common thread in Rudner’s routine, who’s at her best when sharing gender observations and dissecting the interactions of men and women. Her dainty delivery (which stands in stark contrast to the darker punch line) truly distinguishes this comic as one of the smartest on the Strip.

In recent years, Rudner has become a Las Vegas institution. Her show was at New York-New York for six years, followed by four years at Harrah’s. She says the time has flown by, and she’s looking forward to the new digs. “I love it, the theater is beautiful, I have a good parking space and I know how to get inside. So all is well,” she says.

She’s also excited to introduce the “Rita Rudner Ring,” which is included with VIP tickets ($69). Rudner found the flower-shaped ring and received so many compliments she wanted to share it.

“It’s decorative but it’s not too big for daytime and it’s not too small for nighttime,” says the fashionista.

Rudner says that while her routine evolved over the years, one constant remains: the Q&A session in which Rudner invites the audience to ask questions.

“Everyone always wants to know how old I am, where I got my dress and how much I weigh,” she says.

The answers, in order, are, “I’m older than Lady Gaga and younger than Zsa Zsa Gabor. I got my dress on sale. And I don’t know if I’ve ever weighed myself.”