Linq Construction Causing Disruptions on The Strip by Rick Garman.
Now that O'Sheas casino has closed and the parking garage behind it has been imploded, construction has started in earnest on the $500 million Linq project and it is having a major impact on accessibility to the hotels in the area.
Linq is the entertainment complex that will be going into what is now an alley between The Flamingo and Imperial Palace. It will include bars, restaurants, shopping, a new (smaller) version of O'Sheas casino, and the High Roller, which is being billed as the world's tallest observation wheel.
Imperial Palace is the most affected right now, which is not surprising considering the fact that as part of the project the hotel will be remodeled and renamed (to what is still a secret). Vehicles can no longer enter the hotel from The Strip - if you're driving in you need to enter from the rear of the hotel off of Audrie Lane. Pedestrian access has also been limited to an entrance off of Carnaval Court at Harrah's on the north side of Imperial Palace.
The tennis courts at The Flamingo and part of the Imperial Palace have already been demolished and more changes are expected for everything from the south side of Harrah's down through the north end of The Flamingo where Margaritaville is located.
There have already been complaints showing up on some message boards about construction noise from guests staying at the three hotels. If you're planning on visiting, you should be sure to ask for a room on the north side of Harrah's or Imperial Palace and the south side of The Flamingo to avoid as much of it as possible.
Linq is expected to be open by summer of 2013.
Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino Front Drive Closed – Detour Route Map.
There will be additional road closures at Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino for construction of The LINQ. Vehicle traffic will no longer be able to access Imperial Palace from the Las Vegas Boulevard entrances.
A detour route brings all consumer vehicle traffic through the east end of the property closer to valet and self parking, and consumer vehicle traffic may also use the Harrah’s Las Vegas entrance from Las Vegas Boulevard.
A temporary pedestrian entrance for customers will be open from Las Vegas Boulevard on the north side gated area of the property until construction of the new main pedestrian entrance at Harrah’s Carnaval Court is complete. Pedestrians may also use the bridge between Harrah’s Las Vegas and Imperial Palace located at the rear of the properties.
Here is an updated map:
3 Things You Should Know When Hailing Cabs In Vegas.
When it comes to getting around the Vegas Strip, visitors usually choose to stride around on their own over renting a ride. When four wheels are more preferable over two very weary feet, it's simple enough to hail a cab. But, if you're more of a Vegas virgin than an expert, you may not know how keep yourself from being taken for a ride and paying more than you should.
Thankfully, there are a lot of good cab drivers out there willing to let us know what practices we should question. Or, even flat out reject. Drivers like Twitter's @HackingVegas who sent us the three top tips everyone should know about taxis in Vegas:
●Always ask if a driver has change for any bill over $20. Because you know what they say about when you assume something...
●If you feel like you're being ripped off, you can always ask the driver to get a fare quote from dispatch.
●Never let the driver take the tunnel in or out of the airport to The Strip or Downtown.
●No tunnel. It bares stressing again. Perhaps, the two most important words you need to remember, and utter.
Pasta, pizza and peppers preview: 33rd San Gennaro Feast at the Rio.
BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.
Ciao! It’s the annual super-feast of traditional Italian taste treats that runs through the weekend starting Wednesday. Palace Station headliner comedian Louie Anderson and singer Lena Prima serve as grand marshals of the 33rd San Gennaro Feast at the Rio that honors the patron saint of Naples. Call it a “Love Affair With Italy,” but don’t even for a moment think about counting calories.
It’s fun for the family with more than 70 food booths and some 60 carnival rides, plus games, specialty vendors and a 250-foot Slingshot Ride. San Gennaro starts Wednesday when Father Dave Casaleggio blesses the feast at a ceremony with Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Louie and Lena.
Feast is the only word to describe the piles of pasta, pizza and peppers, the crates of calamari, calzones and clams, the loads of lobster and the dishes of dough -- fried Italian-style. Chef Steve Martorano of the Rio is back for a second year serving his famous South Philly cheesesteak and hot, sweet sausages.
Downtown L.V. bustling with ‘Pawn Stars,’ ‘Rick’s Restorations,’ ‘Count’s Kustoms’
BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.
Tourists in ever-growing numbers are discovering downtown delights thanks to the amazing global popularity of three reality TV shows now being filmed there. To take advantage of the demand, a tour bus company is even setting up a new route that will transport visitors to five stops.
With “Pawn Stars,” “Rick’s Restorations” and “Count’s Kustoms” all getting in front of TV cameras, tourists make a bee-line for what’s rapidly becoming a downtown reality TV campus. It all began with Gold & Silver Pawn owners Rick Harrison, Richard Harrison and Corey Harrison and their “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel, now in its sixth hit season.
‘Le Reve — the Dream’ toasts 7th anniversary at the Wynn.
BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of “Le Reve -- the Dream” at the Wynn as it celebrates its 7th anniversary Sunday -- and it will be a summer-long celebration. The water spectacular achieved its 3,000th performance milestone in December.
It was in May 2005 that “Le Reve” arrived under the direction of former Cirque du Soleil whiz Franco Dragone. There’s no disputing that it got off to a rocky start with Steve Wynn and then-wife Elaine Wynn despairing that it was too dark and complicated.
The hotel mogul took charge, and within weeks, his big, beautiful dream came true. Critics hailed the show, staged in the round with its amazing synchronized swimmers and artistic athletes, as “jaw-dropping.” “Dancing With the Stars” professional Maksim Chmerkovskiy was brought in to add his unique choreography.
“Le Reve” has become a must-see,” and the Hotel Concierge Association voted it as “Best Show in Las Vegas” last year. From June 1 through Aug. 31, locals can join in the celebration with tickets at $77 apiece with a valid Nevada ID.
Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas Opens Friday, May 11, 2012.
Today internationally-renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay announced that Gordon Ramsay Steak, his first restaurant in Las Vegas, will open Friday, May 11 at Paris Las Vegas. Gordon Ramsay Steak will offer guests a fresh, high-energy modern steakhouse environment that playfully transports guests from Paris to London.
“The space is bold and innovative, and we’ve put together a strong team who together created a contemporary and fresh menu,” says Chef Ramsay. “I can’t wait to open and start welcoming guests to my very first Vegas-based restaurant.”
David Hoenemeyer, president of Paris Las Vegas, looks forward to welcoming Gordon Ramsay to the resort: “I am incredibly pleased with the restaurant that Gordon Ramsay and his team have created at Gordon Ramsay Steak. The space is one-of-a-kind in its design and energy; my mouth waters simply reading the menu.”
On the evening of May 11, Ramsay will participate in Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit’s Grand Tasting where Gordon Ramsay Steak will serve small bites to thousands of guests from its newly fabricated booth, stylistically representative of the restaurant. Attendees of the event will be treated to a selection of some of Ramsay’s traditional favorites such as the roasted beef Wellington served with potato puree and butter-glazed root vegetables, pan-seared Haddock with Irish potato broth and sticky toffee pudding. This will be Chef Ramsay’s first year participating in the culinary event at Caesars Palace Garden of the Gods pool oasis.
Gordon Ramsay Steak’s menu, carried out by new Executive Chef Kevin Hee, who trained under Chef Ramsay, will showcase Ramsay’s interpretation of traditional American steakhouse dishes with a hint of modern flair intertwined with many contemporary classics. The menu will change seasonally drawing on the best product available at the time giving visitors new tastes upon every return. Diners can choose from starters either “From Sea” or “From Land” with dishes like butter-poached Maine lobster, fried oysters and smoked beef tartare with Guinness-infused mustard seeds. Main courses offer a wide selection of grilled items such as a large range of Wagyu beef, various cuts of dry-aged steaks, veal, Kurobuta double pork chop and an assortment of seafood choices.
The menu will also celebrate the international Michelin-starred chef’s signature dishes by offering selections inspired by his most revered restaurants in England: fish and chips from The Narrow in London and pork belly accented with candied kumquat and braised Swiss chard from Bread Street Kitchen in London.
Jeffrey Frederick, vice president of food and beverage at Paris Las Vegas, has worked very closely with Gordon Ramsay in the development of this restaurant and testifies, “We have all put so much into this project and also had a lot of fun doing it. I am just as excited about the details, like the shellfish presentation, as I am the steaks, which will clearly be the star. I look forward to seeing Gordon Ramsay Steak in full stride.”
Gordon Ramsay Steak’s 7,500 square feet, by EDG Interior Architecture + Design, will seat 200 guests throughout the two-story dinning room, chef’s table, private dining rooms, bar and lounge. Separated from the main dining room by the Euro-tunnel design, the lounge will be a truly distinct area from the restaurant. It will have its own food menu offering smaller plates of guest favorites from the main dining room in addition to a menu of classically-inspired cocktails. The wine list for both the dining room and lounge will contain more than 325 labels representing well-known and boutique vineyards around the world. The beer list features 35 large format selections including Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer, the English-inspired Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA and, introduced into the United States from North Yorkshire, England for the first time ever in May 2012 – John Smith’s Ale.
COASTERS KEEPS CORNELL GUNTER'S NAME - TRAGICALLY MURDERED IN LV 22 YEARS AGO.
BELOVED PERFORMER CORNELL GUNTER WHO FOUNDED THE COASTERS TRAGICALLY MURDERED.
Robbers convicted and sent to prison in 1990 for gunning down great showman with Top Ten hits.
It’s been over 22 years since the cowardly robbers happened upon Cornell Gunter who founded The Coasters and was their lead singer killing him stealing his rings and wallet in Las Vegas.
Cornell Gunter’s Coasters kept his name because he was not only beloved by the world for his musical talent and performing but he was known for his charity work and founded the famous musical group.
According to his niece Antoinette Mathieu, “He had just returned from Fresno where he was performing, to his home in Las Vegas and stopped at a gas station. That’s when robbers saw him and shot him to death thus stealing his rings and wallet. It happened on Feb. 26, 1990. I said Oh My God! and cried because he was my uncle and I love him along with his millions of fans throughout the world.
His older sister Shirley Gunter is living in Las Vegas with his niece. She said, “He was in his early late 50s and that’s far too young to die. It was a senseless tragic act. He was a legend for his hit songs and showmanship. We were living in California when it happened and that’s where he was buried.”
Early Clover found out that he was Cornell’s cousin through Cornell’s niece in 1992 and ironically Early is currently the lead singer in Cornell Gunter’s Coasters who perform seven nights a week at 8:30 p.m. along with The Platters Revue and The Marvelettes in the 850-seat Crown Theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
Early said, “There were rumors that he was driving a friend’s car Downtown and there was a hit on the friend and that it was a case of mistaken identity but none of that was true.”
Antoinette said, “He was a giving person and everybody loved him. He worked with numerous charities and did the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon every year at the Sahara. Audiences loved him because he was a great performer and interacted with them. Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral and the crowd was overflowing.”
She continued, “His career at the time was doing fine and he traveled everywhere and the musical group was called Cornell Gunter and the Coasters. We never kept track of the murderers but we imagine they are still in prison.”
Cornell Gunter’s Coasters biggest hits were “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown” and “Poison Ivy.” For show tickets to see these three legendary musical groups call the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Box-Office at (702) 777-7776.
Mizumi, the Premier Japanese Restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas, Now Open.
Mizumi, the premier Japanese restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas, is now open. Helmed by rising star chef, Devin Hashimoto, Mizumi introduces a taste of Japan to the heart of Wynn Las Vegas. Drawing its inspiration from timeless Japanese design motifs, Mizumi captures the sophistication of modern Japan, creating the perfect complement to Chef Hashimoto’s re-imagined and seasonally focused approach to Japanese cuisine.
“The development of Mizumi has truly been one of the most exhilarating culinary experiences of my career to date,” says Hashimoto. “I’m very excited and hope everyone will enjoy my new menu, which features both classic and traditional dishes, along with my spin on contemporary Japanese cuisine, utilizing classical French influences and seasonal ingredients.”
The menu at Mizumi is a reflection of Hashimoto’s mastery of kaiseki, traditional skills and Japanese cooking techniques, learned through studies and travels to Japan. The menu features classic entrées, sushi and sashimi, robatayaki selections prepared over authentic Japanese charcoal grills and teppanyaki offerings.
Chef Hashimoto pays homage to his heritage with unique creations including a 72-hour braised American Wagyu shortrib “kakuni,” with creamy satsuma potatoes, fava bean and shitake ragout and red wine miso sauce, as well as seafood Inaniwa pasta with scallops, king crab, octopus, roasted tomatoes, shiso, lime and uni butter sauce. Other Japanese favorites, such as dobin-mushi soup, with sea bass, shrimp, shimeji mushrooms, yuzu, mitsuba and bonito-kombu dashi, and Okonomiyaki, a traditional Japanese pancake made with shrimp, scallops, cabbage, tonkatsu sauce, creamy mustard, aonori and katsuo, round out the bill of fare.
Mizumi features contemporary interiors designed by Roger Thomas, executive vice president of Wynn Design and Development, setting the perfect stage to showcase Chef Hashimoto’s cuisine. Throughout Mizumi, traditional Noh theater masks, embroidered obi sashes, hand-painted fans and other iconic Japanese design themes pay homage to tradition, while the bold color motif of crimson with gilded accents strike a distinctly modern tone. “Mizumi,” a popular female name in Japan, speaks to the feminine design elements found throughout the newly renovated space.
The floor-to-ceiling windows in the main dining room have been expanded to fuse the elegance of indoor dining with the beauty of coursing waterfalls and tranquil Japanese gardens. Whether seated in Mizumi’s main dining room or the theatrical teppanyaki room, the space offers unimpeded views of a captivating Japanese eco-garden.
The elaborate garden and pond, filled with live koi fish, was meticulously designed with vegetation and rockery characteristic of Japan. Central to this scene is exclusive seating that has truly earned the right to be called the best seat in the house at Wynn Las Vegas—the “Floating Pagoda Table,” situated over the pond in full view of the sparkling waterfall.
Mizumi at Wynn Las Vegas is open for dinner nightly from 5:30 p.m. For reservations, please call (702) 770-DINE. For more information, please visit www.wynnlasvegas.com
“American Storm” male revue to open at the Plaza Hotel & Casino on May 10.
After six years on the Las Vegas Strip, the men of “American Storm” will debut in the Plaza Hotel & Casino’s showroom on Thursday, May 10.
The 70-minute, fully costumed and choreographed production show will run every Thursday through Sunday at 10:30 p.m.
Previously named “Best Male Strip Show” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the men of “American Storm” reveal their sexy side and represent every woman’s fantasy, from a lonely cowboy to the proud men in uniform.
“We are very excited about bringing American Storm to downtown at the Plaza,” said Adam Steck, CEO of SPI Entertainment. “Since the revitalization of downtown, we feel that there is an untapped market of female show goers that are looking for a fun girl’s night out.”
The cast includes Josh Hall, Tony Cress, Tommy Gainer, Terry Cress, Justin Kurtis, and Mike Kelly. Most of the cast originated as the winners of VH1’s “StripSearch” reality show and have been featured on a variety of programs including “EXTRA!,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Rehab Party at the Hard Rock Hotel,” and many others. Both Tony Cress and Josh Hall have been voted “One of the 20 Most Beautiful People in Las Vegas” by JackColton.com. Many of the boys have graced the covers of magazines such as Muscle and Fitness, RX Fitness, and Playgirl.
American Storm is produced by SPI Entertainment, which also produces the hit shows “Thunder From Down Under,” “Human Nature - The Ultimate Celebration of Motown,” “Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas,” “Night School 4 Girls” and “The Australian Bee Gees Show - A Tribute to the Bee Gees.”
Ticket prices start at $29.95 for general admission. Tickets will be available at the Plaza Hotel & Casino box office next to the showroom or by phone at 702-946-8934. For more information about the show, please visit: www.American-Storm.com
Fresh Music Festival Brings Popular R&B Artists to the Orleans Arena June 2.
Celebrating the best in R&B, hip-hop and soul music, the Fresh Music Festival comes to the Orleans Arena on June 2. Doug E. Fresh will be the host of the festival, with headlining performances from Keith Sweat, K-Ci & JoJo, Guy and SWV.
Doug E. Fresh, known as the first “human beat box” in the rap world, achieved success in 1984 with his classic hip-hop single “The Show/La Di Da Di.” Since then, he has released more than 15 singles and starred in numerous movies, including “Brown Sugar,” “The Sixth Man” and “Ghostbusters II.”
Keith Sweat burst onto the R&B/soul scene in 1987 with his No. 1 Billboard R&B single “I Want Her,” from his debut album “Make It Last Forever.” Since then, Sweat has released 10 albums, including the 2011 release “’Til the Morning.” In 1997, Sweat won an American Music Award for “Favorite Male R&B/Soul Artist.”
Grammy®-nominated K-Ci & JoJo consists of brothers Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey and Joel “JoJo” Hailey. The duo’s first two singles, “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” and “How Could You,” reached the top 20 of the Billboard R&B charts. In 1998, they released their massive hit “All My Life,” which reached No. 1 on five charts, including Billboard’s Hot 100 and three international charts.
R&B group Guy released their first single, “Groove Me,” in 1988 and have released a series of hit R&B singles since, including “I Like” and “Piece of My Love.” In 1989, the single “My Fantasy” from the “Do The Right Thing” movie soundtrack reached the top of the Billboard R&B charts. The members of Guy are Aaron Hall and Damion Hall.
One of the most successful R&B groups of the 90s, SWV had a series of hit singles with “Weak,” “Right Here/Human Nature,” “I’m So Into You” and “You’re the One.” In 1994, SWV won a Grammy® Award for “Best New Artist.” In December 2011, the group released the single “Co-Sign” off their upcoming studio album, “I Missed Us,” which is set for release in April. The members of SWV are Cheryl “Coko” Clemens, Tamara “Taj” Johnson-George and Leanne “Lelee” Lyons.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available starting at $30 and can be purchased by calling the Orleans Arena Box Office at 702.284.7777, or by visiting www.orleansarena.com
$5M CADILLACS & CASH SUPER SWIPE GIVEAWAY AT STATION CASINOS AND THE FIESTAS.
Station Casinos will give away $5 million in cash, Cadillacs and prizes during the “Cadillacs & Cash Super Swipe Giveaway” to be held May 4-28. This exciting promotion ties as the largest in company history, and is the second of its kind in 2012, with the “$5 Million Car-A-Day Giveaway” held back in February. The first $5 million promotion launched in 2011.
The promotion gives Boarding Pass members two ways to win each day. With the first, members swipe their cards at any Boarding Pass kiosk at Station Casinos or Fiesta properties (Aliante Station, Boulder Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Green Valley Ranch resort, Palace Station, Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station and Texas Station). After swiping, the guest will randomly win a prize ranging from free slot play and dining credits, to a Cadillac or $10,000 cash. Every guest is guaranteed to win a prize and may play every day of the promotional period.
The other part of the promotion involves playing to win entries for a chance to win a Cadillac and a $500 cash prize. Members of Boarding Pass will get one entry for every 50 slot points earned at any Station Casinos or Fiesta location. Additional entries may be earned by playing table games, live poker, bingo, and with select race and sports wagers. Entries are good all month long and must be activated by swiping rewards cards at Boarding Pass kiosks by 8 p.m.
Drawings for “Cadillacs & Cash Super Swipe Giveaway” will be held daily, beginning May 4, at 8:15 p.m. in each casino. Five winners per location receive a $500 cash prize and among the winners at all properties, one will be chosen to win a Cadillac. Vehicle winners will be able to choose from four select Cadillac models: the CT sedan, CT coupe or SRX. There will be a total of 50 wins each day across Southern Nevada. When the promotion is completed, there will be a total of 1,250 wins guaranteed. Winners do not have to be present at the drawing, but prizes must be claimed within 24 hours. Winners who are present will receive a “Be There Bonus” worth $500.
This promotion is especially nostalgic as the company’s founder, Frank Fertitta Jr., created the original “Car A Day in May” promotion as part of his commitment to reward several winners by giving one car to a customer each day of that month. The company, now run by his sons, expanded Fertitta’s legacy by reviving this idea and expanding it last year to a promotion worth millions of dollars and an opportunity for guests to win a car a day at multiple properties.
The contest eligibility period for members of the free Boarding Pass rewards program begins on May 4. Full contest details are available at www.stationcasinos.com
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The 12 Most Underrated Las Vegas Restaurants:
Saw Blades, Swords And Chains, Oh My!
Sleek, stylish, verging on couture and probably something you’d see in the crowd at a chic, post-goth nightclub, the costumed dancers of Jan Rouven’s Illusions are your first glimpse into the world of the German-born magician’s impressive production at the Riviera, but they’re only one aspect. Every detail in Illusions—from infectious Adele and Katy Perry remixes that form a contemporary musical backdrop, to moody lighting and artful dance interludes—is modern. Then, of course, there is Rouven himself. Effortless, charming and likeable, the illusionist is easily, and rightfully, the star of the night, commanding the rapt attention of the audience in the intimate Starlite Theatre with little effort from the moment he steps onto the twinkling stage.
It’s easy to see why Rouven keeps that attention beyond his personality, though: the magician’s tricks all share an undercurrent of danger that will have you on the edge of your seat. During Blades of Doom, two, enormous saw blades come careening towards a handcuffed Rouven, enclosed in a pyramid-shaped box and awaiting certain death, before he emerges unscathed, from somewhere offstage, beneath a flowing robe. Despite the thrill that courses through the audience during the more dangerous parts of the show, Rouven shines brightest when he’s interacting with the audience and involving willing members of the crowd in a trick. In one of our favorite moments of audience participation—a twist on Russian roulette involving hidden knives—Rouven asks a participant from the audience to rely on his own intuition, deciding whether or not the paper bag Rouven is about to smash his hand down on contains an upturned blade beneath it or not. To add to the suspense, Rouven enlists a separate audience member to mix up the bags, including the bag containing the blade, as Rouven and his intuitive audience member face the crowd and chat. It’s a trick that will leave you scratching your head with amazement in one of many, “How did he do that?” moments of the night.
Other favorite moments include Rouven’s eerily accurate prediction-in-a-box trick and his Houdini-esque water tank trick, which invites the audience to hold their breath along with a chained Rouven as he attempts to escape from a watery prison, chained to the bottom of a tank of water.
Whether you’ve seen every magic show in Vegas twice or none at all, Illusions will give you a new appreciation of modern magic and possibly, a favorite, new celebrity.
Illusions Starring Jan Rouven | Thur.-Tue. (dark Wed.), 7 p.m. | $49, $69 & $99 VIP | Starlite Theatre, Riviera | 702-794-9433
From Janis To Lady Gaga.
When you get home, do you want to tell your friends and family that you saw a show in Las Vegas, or do you want to tell them that you saw five of music’s greatest artists all in one night? At Legends in Concert, you’ll hear—and see—amazing tributes to the stars of pop, rock and classic American standards all performed live with full production numbers that will have you singing and dancing along.
Originating from a radio celebrity look-alike contest, Legends in Concert premiered at the Imperial Palace May 5, 1983 for a six–week trial run that turned into a permanent gig, until a couple of years ago when it moved to sister property Harrah’s.
Three Keys To Legends’ Success
From Brian Brigner, COO of On Stage Entertainment, which produces Legends in Concert:
“Originally, to be in the Legends show, you had to be dead. We only paid tribute to acts that had passed away. In 1989, the company started to pay tribute to acts that were currently popular in the day, and so it’s really evolved to the point where we not only have Elvis and Liberace and Michael Jackson, who have passed on, but you can definitely see Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. …We really can have something from five different eras or niches of music in one night.”
“I think everyone has seen a bad Elvis or a bad Marilyn Monroe, whether it’s at a wedding or a party or a Halloween contest. That’s part of the mindset going in [to our show]. But these people study for hundreds and hundreds of hours perfecting their craft. The makeup, the time to draw their face, do all the shading, the wigs they buy and utilize in the set. Many of our acts have tens of thousands of dollars invested in their costumes, so it really is an art form. You have to look it, you have to sing it and you have to have the moves and the mannerisms [of the real singer]. You have to have the triple threat with us.”
“[Part of our longevity] is the ability to keep memories alive for people. They see our Elvis and they say, ‘That brought back so many memories. I saw Elvis in 1971 in Omaha.’ Or, ‘I saw Elvis at the International (now the LVH).’ They all have a story and they can relive those memories but they can also create new ones because they bring another family member, a child, and say, ‘Hey, kids, this is the music that I grew up with.’”
Then & Now
Legends in Concert’s lineup rotates about every three months.
Original Lineup—May 5, 1983
5 Real Deals
Celebrities who have visited Legends in Concert
Larry the Cable Guy (for his History channel program “Only In America with Larry the Cable Guy”)
Ellen DeGeneres (who pretended to be an impersonator of herself, and aired the audience’s reaction on her talk show)
“We have an approach to our business in that we never have them do anything that the real star wouldn’t do [or] say,” Brigner explains. “So it’s truly a portrayal of the real star. We do it as if the act is sitting there right in the front row.”
By The Numbers
17 - The number of countries where Legends in Concert has performed.
6 Million - About how many people have seen Legends in Concert in Las Vegas in more than 17,000 performances
100 - The percentage of live vocals you’ll hear at Legends in Concert. That’s right, every tribute artist looks and sounds like the real thing!
1,000 - The number of video and audio auditions the show receives each year. Only 2% ever make it to the stage.
Legends In Concert | Sun.-Fri., 7 & 9:30 p.m. (dark Sat.) | From $49.95 | Main Showroom, Harrah’s | 702-369-5111
Chuck Rounds' Las Vegas Entertainment News
May...It's another perfect month in Las Vegas. The weather is great.
Entertainment is plentiful. School is almost out. The summer season is upon
us, and the pool party schedule is active until September. This is a crucial
time for productions to get a strong foothold into the entertainment world and
establish themselves for the very busy fall season. The summer will generally
determine what shows are going to be staying around for a while and which ones
will be closing forever. This May is going to be an interesting month for a lot
of reasons. May is always an odd transitional month...the weather is changing as
frequently as the shows...the only thing that we can really count on is that we
know that by the end of the month, things will start getting hot.
May brings out the best in Las Vegas entertainment.
A lot of shows are moving around right now...Blue Man Group is leaving the
Venetian and going to the Monte Carlo...Jabbawockeez will begin performing its
show "MÜS.I.C." in an 800-seat tent in the parking lot of the resort beginning
the first week in June through September. In spring 2013, Jabbawockeez will make
a permanent move to Luxor Hotel and Casino into a brand new, state-of-the-art
theater with custom-designed staging and a completely new show with a style that
only Jabbawockeez can deliver.
Tommy Wind will be moving his musical magic show, "Impact," from the Wolf
theater in the Clarion into a showroom on the Strip, and a new show from China
will be moving into the old Debbie Reynolds theatre at the end of the month at
Legendary comedian and impressionist Rich Little is returning to the Las Vegas
stage with his one-man show, "Jimmy Stewart & Friends." Featuring more than 25
celebrity icon voices, including Cary Grant, George Burns, Ronald Reagan,
Catherine Hepburn and John Wayne, among others, "Jimmy Stewart & Friends" will
take you on an adventure through the life of the famed Jimmy Stewart. "Jimmy
Stewart & Friends" will premiere Monday, April 30 at the Shimmer Cabaret inside
the LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.
The 33rd Annual San Gennaro Feast will take place May 9-13, 2012, in the
northeast parking lot at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. The
festival is the biggest Italian Feast in town is now even bigger. The Annual San
Gennaro Feast is now a festival that is held twice a year and held in honor of
the Saint San Gennaro. The festival features a wide variety of ethnic food
vendors, live national acts hourly on the main stage, hosted by Tony Sacca, who
has been part of the event for more than 25 years. And of course, there are
amusement rides and games fun for the whole family. The festival is one of the
most popular festivals for locals and visitors from all over the world. Each
festival expects to out-do the last...and the food is wonderful.
Helldorado Days, this May 17th - 20th, is an outdoor community event celebrating
Las Vegas's tribute to the Wild West and produced by the Benevolent and
Protective Order of the Elks Lodge No.1468. Helldorado Days which began in 1935,
is the longest running civic event in the history of Las Vegas, originally
created as a means to encourage tourism to the city upon completion of the
Boulder Dam. With over 40,000 people in attendance, Helldorado Days offers a
4-day pro rodeo, a parade, carnival, treasure hunt for gold, whiskerino contest,
golf tournament, poker tournament, art show and auction, trail ride, exhibits
and food. For 4 days Downtown Las Vegas is transformed into Helldorado Days as
the event takes over several vacant downtown blocks and builds a rodeo arena and
carnival from the ground up. Helldorado Days is a non-profit community event.
The members of Elks Lodge No. 1468 are committed to assisting children and
veterans in need and have given back over $75,000 in 2009
and over $4 million to the community since 1935.
May brings out some of the best people to kick off the summer season, and the
offerings are huge...
The second week has...
Sweet Honey in The Rock
The Smith Center May 9
Palms Casino May 11
Cannery Casino May 11
MGM May 11
Boulder Station May 11
Blues and Brews Festival
Henderson Pavilion May 12
Devil Dash Race
Bootleg Canyon Park May 12
Jazz in the Park - Spyro Gyra
Clark County Government Center Amphitheater May 12
Green Valley Ranch May 12
Las Vegas Philharmonic Masterworks V
The Smith Center May 12
LVH May 12
Muay Thai: Schilling vs. Marcus 2
Hard Rock May 12
Hard Rock May 12
Snow Patrol w/special guest(s) - Ed Sheenan
The Cosmopolitan May 12
Wynonna & the Big Noise
Cannery Casino May 12
ABBA The Concert
Eastside Cannery May 13
El Chavo del 8 Animado
LVH May 13
The Smith Center May 13
Hard Rock May 13
33rd Annual San Gennaro Feast
Rio May 9 - 13
Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appétit
Various Hotels May 10 - 13
Alan Safier as George Burns in Say Goodnight Gracie
The Smith Center May 11 - 12
Riviera May 11 - 13
James Gavin's Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project
The Smith Center May 11 - 12
South Point Casino May 11 - 13
Orleans Hotel May 11 - 12
Art Festival of Henderson
Henderson Events Plaza May 12 - 13
Suncoast Hotel May 12 - 13
Las Vegas Gun Show
Sport Center of Las Vegas May 12 - 13
The third week includes...
Sunset Station May 18
Cannery Casino May 18
Buddy Guy with Quinn Sullivan
The Smith Center May 19
Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Buffalo Bill's May 19
Don Carlos & Friends
Hard Rock May 19
Golden Boy Presents Lamont Peterson vs. Amir Khan
Mandalay Bay May 19
Jazz in the Park - Trombone Shorty
Clark County Government Center Amphitheater May 19
Men of Soul Tour
Cannery Casino May 19
Santa Fe Station May 19
LVH May 19
Billboard Music Awards 2012
MGM May 20
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Smith Center May 20
PSY by Seven Fingers
The Smith Center May 15 - 16
Dita Von Teese "Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray!" Variety Show
Mandalay Bay May 17 - 19
Helldorado Days 2012
Las Vegas Boulevard & 7th Street from Stewart Avenue to Mesquite Avenue May 17 -
Palms Casino May 17 - 20
Las Vegas 51s Baseball
Cashman Center May 17 - 24
The Smith Center May 18 - 19
Las Vegas Car Stars - Knight Rider Festival
Fremont Street Experience May 18 - 19
Las Vegas Coin, Currency, Jewelry & Stamp Expo
Imperial Palace May 18 - 20
Mirage May 18 - 19
South Point Hotel May 18 - 19
Super Summer Theatre - A Grand Night for Singing
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park May 18 - 19
The Phantom of the Opera
Henderson Pavilion May 18 - 19
Tahiti Taurua Nui I Las Vegas
Orleans Hotel May 19 - 20
The last week of May will have...
Hard Rock May 24
Treasure Island May 25
Mirage May 25
The Cosmopolitan May 25
Texas Station May 25
¡Q'VIVA! THE CHOSEN LIVE
Mandalay Bay May 26
Arabian Nights 25
Paris May 26
E'CASANOVA "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet": A Tribute to Michael Jackson
Texas Station May 26
Jazz in the Park - Jeff Golub
Clark County Government Center Amphitheater May 26
KOOL Summer of Fun Kick Off Festival & Car Show
Cannery Casino May 26
Buffalo Bill's May 26
Rock of Vegas Summer Concert: Vince Neil
Fremont Street Experience May 26
Caesars Palace May 26
Sin City Rollergirls
Riviera Hotel May 26
Taste of Home Cooking School
Cashman Center May 26
M Resort May 26
MGM May 26
Young the Giant
The Cosmopolitan May 26
The Cosmopolitan May 27
The Beach Boys
Red Rock May 27
MGM May 27
Venetian Resort May 21 - 27
The Smith Center May 22 - 27
An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live - Yesterday, Today &
Mandalay Bay May 23 - June 3
The Smith Center May 24 - 27
Drew Carey's Improv-a-ganza
MGM May 24, 2012 - May 27
1st Annual BBQ and Music Festival
Henderson Pavilion May 25 - 26
Orleans Hotel and Casino May 25 - 27
Venetian Resort May 25 - 26
Hard Rock May 25 - 26
South Point May 25 - 27
Laughter & Memories of Sinatra with Tom Dreesen
Suncoast Hotel May 26 - 27
Mirage May 26 - 27
And the first week in June brings:
The Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater Five Year Anniversary Concert
The Smith Center May 29
Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times
Henderson Pavilion June 1
Hard Rock June 1
Stanley Clarke Band
Santa Fe Station June 1
Cannery Casino June 1
The Ultimate Fighter Finale
Palms Casino June 1
Blood Sweat & Tears, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night
Cannery Casino June 2
Fresh Music Festival
Orleans Hotel June 2
Jazz in the Park - 480 East
Clark County Government Center Amphitheater June 2
King Of The Cage
Eastside Cannery June 2
Riviera May 30 - June 3
Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend
Orleans Hotel May 31 - June 3
MGM May 31 - June 13
National Barrel Horse Association Professional's Choice Las Vegas Super Show
South Point May 31 - June 3
The Smith Center June 1 - 2
South Point Casino June 1 - 3
LVH June 1 - 2
The Mirage June 1 - 2
Las Vegas 51s Baseball
Cashman Center June 2 - 5
For dates and times, be sure to log onto the Las Vegas Online Entertainment
Guide: ( www.lvol.com
I Go Shows ( www.Igoshows.com
) is, of course, the place to read the reviews of
all of the shows that are in town so that you can be better informed as to what
you should expect from a certain production. The reviews are updated as needed
to give you the knowledge you need to spend your entertainment dollars better.
You can always view the current newsletter here:
You can contact Chuck through the Feedback Form on the following page:
Entertainment Icon Mitzi Gaynor Brings “Razzle Dazzle: My Life Behind the Sequins” to Sam’s Town Live! June 16.
Following her return to Las Vegas last fall, legendary entertainer Mitzi Gaynor will perform one night only at Sam’s Town Live! on Saturday, June 16.
The award-winning star of classic musicals “South Pacific,” “Les Girls,” “Anything Goes” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” will appear in “Razzle Dazzle: My Life Behind the Sequins,” a 90-minute musical memoir with stories, songs and video footage culled from her six-decade television, concert and film career.
Already a star on stage, Gaynor made her motion picture debut in 1950 and went on to star in numerous films. Gaynor was nominated for a Golden Globe® award for “Best Actress in a Musical” for her role as Ensign Nellie Forbush in “South Pacific.”
Gaynor ventured into television in 1967 with the first of many specials, “The Mitzi Gaynor Christmas Show.” Throughout the next 10 years, she continued to star in a number of television specials, blending song, dance and comedy with such guest stars as Bob Hope, George Hamilton and Suzanne Pleshette. The specials were honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with 18 Emmy® nominations and seven Emmy® awards, including the 2010 award for “Outstanding Entertainment/Program Special” for her PBS musical documentary, “Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years.”
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are priced from $30, plus tax and fees, and can be purchased at any Coast Casino Box Office, by calling 702.284.7777, or by visiting www.samstownlv.com
. Discounts are available for B Connected members for in-person sales only.
Red Lives Again! Brian Hoffman’s Red Skelton Tribute Show.
BY: D.W. Grant from www.accessvegas.com
Seeing this show is like blowing the dust off an old favorite photo album, bringing back the thrill of rediscovery. Brian Hoffman brings Red Skelton back to Vegas in a valuable rediscovery of the late great movie, radio, and TV comedian. Even if you never knew Red Skelton you’ll find you have a new friend by the end of the evening.
Recreate a celebrity, imitate their mannerisms and mimic their voice, Brian Hoffman does all of that very well. He’s nailed Red’s smile, the way he swung his arms and hips, and that disarming warning giggle just before he’s about to drop a funny bomb on you. He turns the hat upside down when he switches characters in the midst of the same joke, and flips his red hair forward when introducing you to Gertrud and Heathcliff, but there’s more. Brian Hoffman seems to have captured Red’s heart, and is more than willing to hand it to his audience.
The stage at the Westin Hotel is small and the room intimate. So when a single spot light hits the actor it looks like he’s standing in one of those glossy black and white celebrity performance photos you see in some vintage Vegas casino. When Red speaks you’re drawn into the glossy photo with him, becoming one of those frozen laughing faces, but coming alive with Red for just this show.
Dressed in a plain 3-piece suit and black bow tie Brian tells Red’s jokes sometimes flat and sometimes sharp. He looks expectantly out at his audience after each offering, as Red did, and waits for a response. He’s worked hard introducing the joke, aimed it your funny bone, and finally tossed it into your lap. If you don’t laugh he’s disappointed, of course, and he’ll stare at the audience for just long enough and then deliver a comeback joke to get you going again. It’s the comedian’s game of “fetch” with his audience and Brian Hoffman does it well.
After the opening stand up set he introduces a couple of Red’s pantomime classics like “The Old Man and The Little Boy, ” “Bacon Sizzling in the Pan,” and the iconic drunken “Guzzler’s Gin Program” sketch. Then Red’s characters come out. First is Gertrude and Heathcliff, then Junior The Mean Widdle Kid (I dood it) , and Clem Kaddiddilehopper. After the classic character sketches Brian gets serious and hands you Red’s patriotism in Red’s famous “Pledge of Allegiance” soliloquy. Each is true to character and a welcome friend, but someone’s missing. Has Brian forgotten our favorite homeless tramp?
More of this article is here:
Plan to Remodel, Rename, and Reopen Sahara Moves Forward by Rick Garman.
The company that owns the shuttered Sahara hotel on the north end of The Strip has moved several steps closer to their dream of remodeling the hotel and reopening it under a new name - 300 million steps, to be specific.
SBE, the company headed by nightlife and hotel impresario Sam Nazarian, has announced that they have secured $300 million in financing that will allow them to start the process of turning the Sahara into the SLS Las Vegas. When complete in 2014, the SLS will aim to be a "boutique" resort that focuses on luxury but will remain accessible to all audiences.
The plan is to gut the bulk of the property and redo it. Two of the existing hotel towers will be stripped down to the concrete and will get all new interiors and exteriors. A third tower will be rehabbed on the inside and a fourth, low-rise building will be torn down. The SLS will have about 1,600 rooms when it is complete, several hundred fewer than when it was the Sahara.
The rest of the building will get a similar extreme makeover. The roller coaster and NASCAR related attractions are gone and the casino, lobby, pool, and other public areas will be completely redone not only with new decor but with a revised layout.
New nightclubs, lounges, and restaurants will be added with the latter being overseen by Jose Andres, the James Beard Award winning chef whose China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan has garnered major attention. The specifics about what types of restaurants and clubs will be included have not been announced yet but will may include Vegas versions of SBE's popular restaurants in other cities including Bazaar, a Spanish restaurant in Beverly Hills from Andres; the famed Gladstones seafood restaurant located on the beach near Malibu; Katsuya, which is a Japanese/sushi restaurant with eight locations in California, Texas, and Florida; and Mercato di Vetro, an Italian restaurant in West Hollywood.
The SLS Vegas will be a sister to the SLS hotels in Beverly Hills and in South Beach Miami, the latter of which will be opening this month. If they are any indication of what the Vegas hotel will be like, expect lots of clean, sleek, modern lines with retro-mod furnishings and luxurious appointments.
Those looking for a blast-from-the-past version of the Sahara will most likely be disappointed. There is virtually nothing left of the old hotel except the walls. Everything else was sold at auction after the hotel closed in 2011 after nearly 60 years in business.
The project is being designed by Gensler Architects, who oversaw the design of CityCenter.
If everything goes as planned, construction should start in earnest by summer 2012 and should be ready for its first customers by mid-2014.
Meet the fabulous drag queens of Drink & Drag.
BY: Andrea Domanick/Las Vegas Sun.
Drink & Drag, Las Vegas’ first and only drag queen bowling alley and gaming lounge, celebrated its grand opening last week at Neonopolis.
The 22,000-square-foot venue boasts a staff of 24 full-time drag queens, and they mean business: Each lovely lady has her own vanity in the dressing room, overseen by drag mother Desarae Penda’vis, who helps keep the staff looking sharp and in top form throughout their daylong shifts.
Drink & Drag also has two full-time costume designers on hand to produce fabulous new sartorial creations for Drink & Drag theme nights like “White Wedding Wednesdays” and “Hollywood Night.”
Drink and Drag offers bowling, drag queens on Fremont Street.
BY: Caitlin McGarry/Las Vegas Review Journal.
Desarae Penda'vis stared intently into the mirror atop her vanity table, pursing her lips as she carefully traced her mouth with dark pencil.
MAC eyeshadow palettes, wigs and bottles of Aqua Net were strewn across dressing room back stage at Fremont Street's newest attraction, Drink and Drag, which tonight celebrates its grand opening at Neonopolis.
Penda'vis was painting her face on a Wednesday afternoon in preparation for her shift as a bartender and as one of 24 female impersonators at Krave Entertainment's latest venture, which fills 22,000-square-feet on the second floor of the downtown mixed-use development. The same company owns 7 -year-old Krave, the gay nightclub at Planet Hollywood.
More from The LVRJ here:
Las Vegas Top Ten Values: May 2012.
Since 1983 the Las Vegas Advisor has provided hundreds of thousands of Las Vegas visitors with a monthly list of the best bargains in town.
1. Room Rates - the D et al. - - $29 and up
Similar to the situation with show-ticket prices, rates at the most opulent casinos are going up, while lower-tier properties continue to sell rooms at bargain levels.
2. Steak Dinner - Ellis Island - 24 hours - $7.95
The Ellis Island steak dinner is served in the Café, and consists of a filet-cut sirloin, soup or salad, potato, vegetable, and a beer. This special is available around the clock.
3. $1,000 Rebate - Riviera - Daily - Free
New to the list is a monster loss rebate for players at the Riviera. This is the biggest rebate of its kind we’ve ever seen; the deal would be a number-one selection if it wasn’t restricted to new club members only.
4. Station Buffets - Station Casinos - All locations - Daily - $4.99-$13.99
Station Casinos continues to offer the best price-to-quality buffet deal in town: $4.99 for breakfast, $6.99 for lunch, and $9.99 for dinner and Sunday brunch at Palace, Boulder, Texas, Sunset, Santa Fe, and Aliante Stations, and $5.99, $7.99, and $13.99 at Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock (you must show a Boarding Pass card). This deal takes on an even greater significance with the revamping of the Boarding Pass’ rewards schedule.
5. All Stage Pass - Caesars Palace - Daily - $99
Caesars Entertainment’s All Stage Pass entitles you to see as many shows as you can in 48 hours for $99; there are 20 to choose from and if you manage to attend two in the afternoons and two in the evenings, you’ll pay less than $13 apiece per ticket.
6. Oysters - Forum Shops PJ Clarkes - 2:45-6 pm - $1
You can get freshly shucked oysters on the half shell for just a dollar every day of the week at P.J. Clarke’s in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. These are high-quality oysters served with an impressive set-up of lemon, cocktail sauce, horseradish, and a vinegar-and-shallot mignonette, and there’s no limit on how many you can order. During happy hour, a draft Sam Adams, Blue Moon, or Coors Light is only $3. That’s a dozen oysters and two drafts for $18—go ahead!
7. Shrimp Cocktail - Skyline - 24 hours - $1.49
The shrimp cocktail at Skyline (#7) is served at the main bar.
8. Beer - Casino Royale - Daily - $1
Michelobs and frozen margaritas are $1 and a Coors Light draft is 75¢ at Casino Royale.
9. Lunch Special - Cosmopolitan, The - Mon.-Fri. - $20.12
The lunch special at Cosmopolitan is a three-course meal in Estiatorio Milos that runs from noon to 2:30 pm, Monday-Friday.
10. Ham & Eggs - Irenes - 24 hours - $7.95
The ham & eggs breakfast at the non-casino Irene’s bar is served 24/7 for $7.95. The ham is so big it requires its own plate, and it easily feeds two or makes for a good take-out snack. Irene’s is located at 5480 Spring Mountain Road.
New York-New York theater the Broadway debuts with Irish, ABBA shows.
BY: Robin Leach/Las Vegas Sun.
A new performance venue carved out of and converted from Rita Rudner’s original Las Vegas comedy venue opens tonight at New York-New York. Producers are hoping that the luck of the Irish will prove true with the debut production “Spirit of the Dance” with Dublin’s Irish Tenors as guest stars. In two weeks, the ABBA show “Dancing Queen” will be added to the lineup.
The new intimate theater -- the Broadway -- is the brainchild of British producer David King of Spirit Productions. David has amassed a history of successful shows in many popular tourist destinations and currently has more than 20 hit shows in various parts of the world.
“It’s incredibly exciting for me to bring my hit shows to Las Vegas and open them in a brand new venue at New York-New York. I love its feel and know it will provide our audiences with a new, up close and personal experience,” he said.
Rich Little invokes spirit of old Hollywood with new one-man show at LVH.
BY: Andrea Domanick/Las Vegas Sun.
Acclaimed comedian and impressionist Rich Little is known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” but it’s precisely 27 that he showcases during his new one-man show, “Jimmy Stewart and Friends,” which opened April 30 at the LVH.
The act centers on Little’s interpretations of the late Jimmy Stewart, whom Little describes as “a great friend,” as well as impressions of Stewart’s close friends and colleagues musing on their relationships with the legendary actor.
“It’s really more of a play, a tribute, rather than me performing,” the 73-year-old Little says of the show, which tells the story of Stewart’s life and career through the chronological reflection of the other characters. For example, Little begins with Stewart’s early Hollywood cohorts like Henry Fonda and Humphrey Bogart, and eventually transitions into late-career companions like Andy Rooney and former President Ronald Reagan.
Returning To Central.
When we spent the night recently in the beautiful Augustus Tower at Caesars Palace, we ventured to Michel Richard's Central.
Central used to be the Augustus Cafe. Augustus Cafe had decent middle-of-the-road casino coffee shop food at reasonable and competitive Vegas coffee shop prices. We expected the same thing when we walked into Central. We didn't quite get what we were expecting.
The new bar doesn't have any walls and gives Central a more spacious feel than Augustus Cafe. With that, the seating inside is very similar to what was there before. When eating at a cafe, we'll often just get a burger or breakfast depending on the time of day. This time happened to be lunch so we opted for a burger.
Shades Of Sinatra Does The Chairman Proud.
The long shadow of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack still hangs over the Vegas entertainment scene. Impressionists and Rat Packer recreationists, still dot the showroom landscape and Wynn casino's Sinatra restaurant is a virtual shrine.
Shades of Sinatra playing at the Wolf Theater in the Clarion travels a different route. It's more an interpretation of Sinatra's work. Three guys and a doll, a simple stage and a whole lot of tunes.
A short video before the curtain goes up, helps explains that with over 1,700 recorded songs, a full career as an actor and just living La Vida Sinatra all created a multi-faceted star. So, this show covers a number of the shades of the man.
They've been working together for seven years and their teamwork is obvious. They've constructed a group that plays to their different strengths and applied them to Frank's long career path. You get the young version of Sinatra, Ryan Baker, a former Sinatra impersonator; Larry Liso, the drinky, flirty Italian paisano; and the Boss, Carmine Mandia, the older watchdog keeping the younger fellas in check. The addition of a chanteuse, Lisa Smith, adds a female foil for the Mad Men era doll/dame banter and she brings a loungy growl jazz-lift to counter the traditional Sinatra song rhythms.
Another Thumbs Up For Caesars Palace's Augustus Tower.
It's been about four years since this VegasChatter writer has stayed at Caesars Palace. That's by choice. Given the opportunity to stay at any Caesars Entertainment property in Vegas for free with our Total Rewards membership, we've chosen elsewhere. We're not very fond of the size and layout of Caesars Palace. It's big and not the easiest place to quickly navigate. We decided, however, to give Caesars Palace a chance this week. It's been a while and a lot has changed.
We reserved a Forum Tower room online, but when checking in (at 9:30 a.m.) we were asked if we'd like an Augustus Tower room. We heard the rooms were really nice so we jumped at the chance.
Dare we say that it was so nice it didn't feel like a Caesars property? The room is huge with a modern design. Unlike the Flamingo's GO rooms (which we like), the colors in the Augustus tower room were tasteful and muted. One of our favorite features in the room were the Qua Spa toiletries in the bathroom.
Surf's Up At Planet Hollywood This Summer With 'Surf The Musical'
The Beach Boys may not be bringing Good Vibrations to Bally's, but they are headed to Planet Hollywood. Kinda.
Surf The Musical is hoping to lure all the pretty mamas, California girls, and more to PH this summer. The stage production is promising to put "the genius of The Beach Boys' music front and center":
A fabulous company of sun-tanned dancers and singers will rock the audience with the legendary hit songs of America's band, as they tell a carefree story of good vibrations set in the nostalgic, happy times of the 1960s' Southern California beach community.
Even if you don't consider listening to Beach Boys tunes fun, fun, fun, you still might want to check the show out as it's by the same person that brought Rock of Ages to Broadway, Kristin Hanggi. (Begin drawing parallels here about the increasing likelihood that ROA is coming to the Venetian.)
Surf The Musical will make a splash beginning June 11 with a soft preview. It's aiming to make big waves with a July 17 VIP opening.
Performances will be Friday through Wednesday. Showtimes will be all over the place, ranging from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. depending on the day of the week. See which one works for you by visiting www.surfthemusical.com
. Tickets will begin at $70.40 and top out at $158.40, including tax and fees.
Catfish Alley Serves Up Southern Cooking At, Um, The Hawaiian Marketplace
VegasChatter enjoys reporting on the the strong Hawaiian Island influence in Las Vegas.
If you've visited an ABC Store or the California Hotel, you've experienced a little of the strong, local aloha spirit. So, if you call your business Hawaiian Marketplace and place yourself slap-bang on The Strip, you'd think the Ninth Island influence would be overwhelming. Well, it isn't.
Located across the street from CityCenter and Crystals, this mall inlet on Las Vegas Boulevard is probably the place you've hurried through, trying to escape the folks hawking dresses, toys, t-shirts, etc, while avoiding the lines for the tiny Tix4Tonight stand and wondering about the very loud cover band jamming in the background.
We found barely trace of true Hawaii on our visit. Instead, discovering a sort of makeshift tropical motif. Even less than Margaritaville. There may be more, but we continued our habit of rushing through the area. But, on our speed walk we did find a worthy newcomer to the neighborhood that we think you might you enjoy. Southern-style fast food at Catfish Alley.
Las Vegas Monorail gets OK to exit bankruptcy.
BY: Tim O'Reiley/Las Vegas Review Journal.
The Las Vegas Monorail Corp. on Wednesday received a green light to exit Chapter 11 proceedings as U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Bruce Markell found that its reorganization plan had a good chance of working.
In November, Markell shot down the previous edition after deciding that it was based on what amounted to wishful thinking, including unproven ridership projections plus too little cash flow to pay off debt and the cost of equipment upgrades and replacements.
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Dining pick of the week: Chi-Town Dogs.
Dining pick of the week: Tea Time Café.
Dining pick of the week: Yummy House.
Upstairs at O'Sheas, a place for beginnings.
BY: Mike Weatherford/Las Vegas Review Journal.
They hide in plain site, or maybe they just hide. That's why we don't miss them so much when they're gone.
They are the ghost venues of the Strip, the shadowy performance spaces in unexplored corners of casinos, which beckon the show-business hopefuls of Las Vegas.
When O'Sheas closed Monday, a downstairs throng actually got a little misty-eyed at the loss of the tiny casino, which thrived in recent years as a college-bar oasis of cheap beer on a stretch of the Strip known more for $11 cocktails.
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Cantor Gaming debuts new sports book at the Palms.
BY: Chris Sieroty/Las Vegas Review Journal.
Cantor Gaming on Friday opened its sixth owned-and-operated race and sports book in Las Vegas, a luxury facility at the Palms.
The high-end Palms venue is also the first Cantor sports book to include a poker room - a marriage that makes financial sense, Cantor Gaming President and CEO Lee Amaitis said.
"We saw a direct correlation between people who play poker and people who play sports," Amaitis said. "I though the opportunity for us to acquire the poker business of the Palms fit into this beautiful environment. We are going to jumpstart a new wave of how people want to play poker."
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Wolfgang Puck credited with starting Vegas’ food affair 20 years ago.
BY: Ron Sylvester/Las Vegas Sun.
Wolfgang Puck remembered how empty his Spago restaurant seemed when he opened it in the brand new Forum Shops in 1992.
For three weeks, it was anything but a hit.
"I used to have to drink to go to sleep," the award-winning chef joked Thursday at a lunch to commemorate his two decades in Caesars Palace. "I thought it was the biggest mistake of my life, coming to Las Vegas."
Jackie Gaughan, El Cortez integral parts of downtown Las Vegas’ rebirth.
BY: Erin Ryan/Las Vegas Sun.
Jackie Gaughan won’t fold. Twice a day, he stays in every hand he’s dealt at a poker table at the El Cortez, the downtown casino he has nurtured and championed for five decades. His “baby.” At 91, he loses more than he wins. But once upon a time, Gaughan owned a third of downtown Las Vegas, from resorts to real estate. He’s celebrated as a gaming innovator, a bookmaker who loved wild prop bets and revolutionized customer promotions. Yet most of the stories you hear are about his kindness, whether you’re talking to a cocktail waitress or Steve Wynn.
In a business known for sharks and gangsters, Gaughan gave everyone a fair shake. Maybe that’s why he was drawn to downtown’s electric, welcome-all-comers landscape. Even when it lost its luster (Mayor Carolyn Goodman compared the late-’90s atmosphere to the “rotted core of an apple” in her recent State of the City address), when investors and visitors fled to the Strip, he didn’t give up on the place where Vegas started.
Family Tradition: Zeffirino combines the best of old and new worlds.
BY: Brock Radke/Las Vegas Magazine.
As Resort Themes go, The Venetian’s offers a somewhat regal experience through its grand décor and ornate setting. The culinary equivalent of this feeling—perhaps a food-focused microcosm of this sprawling, elaborate retreat—can be found at one of its steadiest restaurants, Zeffirino.
Zeffirino Belloni opened the first Zeffirino restaurant in 1939 in Genova, Italy. Today, his son Gian Paolo Belloni continues the family traditions and customs with restaurants all over the world, including the Las Vegas version that opened with The Venetian in 1999. More than a decade later, this old-world institution, located in the dramatic Grand Canal Shoppes, still excels in supreme hospitality, an elegant environment and authentic,
From its quaint lower level bar and lounge area, Zeffirino appears to be a much more casual hangout. But the second story thrills, with the balcony views of The Venetian’s indoor canals and an extensive wine selection of more than 600 bottles from large and boutique estates. This is one of the most magnificent fine dining lunchtime destinations on the Strip, where one can indulge in imported salami, prosciutto and other cold cuts and cheeses, and Zeffirino’s classic lasagna all’Emiliana, a decadent version with meat sauce, tomato and rich béchamel.
Let’s Do Brunch.
Sin City locks down the weekend tradition with impressive options.
By Kiko Miyasato/Las Vegas magazine.
While “linner” or “dunch” (lunch and dinner) have yet to make their way into our vernacular, there is one portmanteau that’s been around since the late 1800s: brunch. Yes, the late-morning, early afternoon meal combines our favorite breakfast foods with lunch (and sometime dinner) options to create a noteworthy nosh spread over a few hours of socializing with family and friends. And, much to our delight, brunch wouldn’t be brunch without mimosas and Bloody Marys. So in honor of this tradition, some notable Vegas restaurants are offering their own versions of brunch, and the menus are nothing short of outstanding. We’ve rounded up some of the city’s top spots to chillax and have one fantabulous brunch
Expanding His Palette.
Anthony Cools’ nights as a comic hypnotist are only part of the picture.
By Jack Houston/Las Vegas Magazine.
If Anthony Cools had his way, he’d do everything himself. “It irks me that other people are in control of my destiny,” he said one day while hamming it up during a photo shoot.
For an hour and a half each night, Cools transforms into the self-proclaimed King of Sociability, a comic-hypnotist whose unique ability to coax audience volunteers into compromising positions has made him a perennial draw at Paris Las Vegas since he opened there in April 2005. If you’re under his spell long enough, you might find yourself simulating intercourse with a chair or receiving a handshake that sends a quivering orgasm through your body.
But for the other 1,350 minutes of the day, his pursuits couldn’t be further from his antics on that Paris stage. You see, Cools learned long ago the importance of being his own boss. His father, a manager of Safeway grocery stores in western Canada, near Calgary, Alberta, where Cools grew up, imparted that wisdom to him when he was just a kid.
Move over, Garduno’s—ONE Group to open Heraea at the Palms.
The restaurant and sports lounge will replace the Mexican staple by the end of the year.
It’s pronounced “ha-ray-uh”, spelled Heraea and located at the Palms right where you currently find Mexican staple Garduño’s. The new restaurant and sports lounge will open as a partnership between the Palms and New York hospitality company ONE Group, the same folks behind STK at the Cosmopolitan and the upcoming Bagatelle Beach and Nightclub, slated for a Memorial Day Weekend opening at the Tropicana.
But rather than focus on steaks or party brunches, Heraea will combine sports bar tech with exciting dining and a DJ-fueled soundtrack.
“We create sexy spaces that are all about great hospitality and having fun,” said Celeste Fierro, senior vice president of the ONE Group, via release. “Heraea will be a place for everyone to hang out, see a game, flirt and enjoy a great meal.”
The new space is scheduled to open by the end of the year.
Design your own burger at Wildburger.
BY: Jim Begley/Las Vegas Weekly.
If you live near a Wildfire Casino—and odds are you do—then you have a new dining option. The recently unveiled Wildburger, which has replaced the Denny’s-esque Dante’s at all three locations, offers more variety than your standard casino fare with its handcrafted burger menu.
The restaurant feels a little like a Choose Your Own Adventure. Start with a beef, turkey, chicken or veggie burger ($6-$7). Pick your bun and trimmings. And that’s not all! Toppings ($1 apiece) include cheeses like Gruyère and Maytag blue, plus bacon, chili and fried eggs. There’s more! You also get a side (the onion strings are addictive) and signature sauces (don’t miss garlic ketchup). That’s actually it.
Furthering Wildburger’s goal that you “Eat Meat,” the menu offers other methods to increase your carnivorous quotient. A breakfast option, the Wildburger Signature Breakfast Bowl, layers home fries, hamburger, cheddar, ham and eggs in an iron pot ($8). You can supplement your foot-long grilled hot dog with a wrapping of bacon ($6), or even get meat in your salad—the cheeseburger salad ($8), of course.
Wildburger’s not just about the meat. An eclectic 26-beer selection ranges from lowbrow (Hamm’s—from the land of sky blue waters!) to local Tenaya Creek microbrews. For dessert, you can have made-from-scratch Ding Dongs or deep-fried Twinkies ($5 each)—exactly the sort of ending a wild adventure deserves.
Hot, crispy, juicy love at Pho Saigon 8.
BY: Erin Ryan/Las Vegas Weekly.
Asian food culture can’t deny its love affair with egg rolls, let alone the desperate cravings of the rest of the world. Across regions and borders there are many delicious variations, but Vietnamese cha gio elevates the fried, savory pocket beyond a mere appetizer or takeout afterthought.
At Pho Saigon 8, the dish is No. 1 on the menu for a reason. Served sizzling, four golden rolls are garnished with green lettuce and piles of herbaceous roughage (cilantro and mint) and pickled vegetables (carrot and daikon radish). This is not for show. It’s true that the rolls—intensely crisp layers of rice paper encasing minced shrimp and pork, vermicelli noodles and morsels of wood ear mushroom and carrot—are tasty without embellishment, but they are meant to be swaddled in lettuce with the herbs and veggies and flecked with hot sriracha pepper sauce (thanks, Thailand!) and the sticky sweetness of hoisin (thanks, China!).
Once you’ve turned the plate’s contents into a burrito of sorts, you dip it in nuoc cham, the vinegar, sugar and garlic seeping into all the right places. It may also seep down your wrists and arms, but the mess is worth bites that roll (appropriately) from fresh to fried and back, with every kind of satisfying crunch. At $6.54, this is cheap-eats royalty.
PHO SAIGON 8
9905 S. Eastern Ave., 629-3100. Daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
5650 W. Spring Mountain Road, 248-6663. Daily, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Artisan Hotel Boutique Hosts "Dining In The Dark" On June 7.
New Dining Event Brings a "Sensual Sensory Exploration of Food" to Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada (April 28, 2012) - Las Vegas will soon be introduced to a new dining experience, The Eclipse Dark Dining Experience(TM) which will take place at Mood Restaurant at the Artisan Hotel Boutique on June 7, 2012 at 6:30pm.
Darnell Lester, Jr., managing partner of Vegas Squared Media Group and event creator characterizes The Eclipse Dark Dining Experience as "a weekly two hour full adventure for our guests' senses sans sight that will allow them to freely experience food in a new and provocative way by focusing on tastes, textures, and aromas." According to Lester, Jr., guests will be led into a dimly lit, ambient music-filled room and served a three-course prixe-fixe "blind" menu showcasing local fine dining restaurants and their talented chefs.
Guests may choose one of four menus - Vermelha(meat-centric), Azul(seafood-centric), Verde(veggie-centric), and Branca(chef's mix) but are not prive to the dish's actual ingredients until after dinner. Lester, Jr. said keeping guests "in the dark" about the ingredients removes preconceived notions of how the meal will taste allowing them to experience the meal for what it is and not for what their eyes perceive it to be.
“We felt that the Artisan is a perfect location for this type of event,” notes Michael Crandall, director of business affairs for The Siegel Group. “The hotel’s atmosphere is dark, sexy and moody, so even before guests enter into the restaurant, the tone for the night will be set from the minute they walk in our front door. “
The Eclipse Dark Dining Experience's premier is set for June 7, 2012 at Mood Restuarant located inside The Artisan Hotel. Reservations may be placed by visiting WWW.TASTEINTHEDARK.COM
Del Frisco's Is A Hidden Steak Gem.
t's been pretty boring lately on the steak front. Old Homestead opened and we were excited but after countless uninspiring reviews, we decided to stay away from our New York City favorite. Oscar's opened downtown and, similar to Old Homestead, reviews haven't been great. (Although, one person seemed to like the beef.) We've stayed away. Gordon Ramsay Steakhouse just opened and all we know is that he's on TV and looks like an older version of Bo Burnham.
Still, we always crave steak. There's nothing new and exciting so what are we to do to fill our craving? Return to Carne Vino? Nah, we need something different. We took our first visit to a national steak temple (chain), Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse.
Chain restaurants are never exciting, but with new options in Vegas dwindling for steak we had to try the Las Vegas location of Del Frisco's (DF for the cool kids). The New York City location always turns out a decent steak, so we figured that we'd have a similar experience in Vegas. DF was so good, we returned a week later for another adventure!