Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2014

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Robin Leach

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Photos: Fore! Michael Jordan’s star-studded golf tournament underway at Shadow Creek
Friday, April 4, 2014
Country singer Jake Owen and sports VIPs including Aaron Rodgers, Ken Griffey Jr., Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Maddux, Jonathan Ogden, Brandi Chastain and John Smoltz join Michael Jordan on the first day of action on the green.
Q+A: From five-star gourmet to street food for Yusho chef Matthias Merges
Friday, April 4, 2014
It all began for chef Matthias Merges desperately wanting to escape his mom’s uninspired regular meals of overcooked liver and onions. He eventually wound up with a 14-year run in charge of the late Charlie Trotter’s global five-star gourmet restaurants.
Strip Scribbles: ‘Pawn Stars’ + tiara; Floyd Mayweather Jr.; world’s Top 100 restaurants; Holly Madison
Thursday, April 3, 2014
A fundraising blitz is underway in Ohio to buy back a tiara — now at Gold & Silver Pawn here — once owned by President William McKinley’s wife, Ida McKinley, who died in 1907. The metal headband is in co-owner and “Pawn Stars” star Rick Harrison’s safe keeping.
Vegas Goes Country with 120 hours of Rascal Flatts, Hayes, Urban, Bryan and ACM Awards
Thursday, April 3, 2014
For the next 100 hours in the Entertainment Capital of the World, it’s nothing but Nashville in Las Vegas highlighted by five hours of CBS coverage of Academy of Country Music coverage from MGM Grand with satellite cut-ins from Mandalay Bay.
Photos: Fearing the worst but rewarded with the best at ‘Zombie Burlesque’
Thursday, April 3, 2014
I was delightfully surprised with one of the most fun, hilarious nights of insanity on the Strip. Taking nothing away from “Absinthe” or “Vegas Nocturne,” “Zombie Burlesque” might just be the best-kept, raucous, rambunctious and rowdy sexy secret in Las Vegas.
Strip Scribbles: Teller’s ‘Tempest’ triumph; Michael Jordan’s golf benefit; George Clooney’s tequila
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Teller hosts his star-studded premiere and celebration Saturday at the new 500-seat tent theater in Symphony Park outside the Smith Center, and even with “The Tempest” being extended from two weeks to one month, people are still fighting for tickets.
Photos: It’s Greased Lightning! Olivia Newton-John arrives for ‘Summer Nights’ run at Flamingo
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Olivia was welcomed by Eileen Moore, regional president of the Flamingo, Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, Las Vegas Host Committee Chairman Oscar Goodman, Chippendales at the Rio hunks and “Jubilee” at Bally’s showgirls and dancers adorned in Pink Lady jackets.
Q+A: Multitalented Brian McKnight wraps his world tour this weekend at Eastside Cannery
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
R&B singer-songwriter, producer and musician Brian McKnight plays eight instruments (piano, guitar, bass, percussion, trombone, tuba, trumpet and flugelhorn). In the past 90 days, he’s performed 25 concerts from San Francisco to Europe to Australia.
Counter Intelligence: Portofino, ‘Chow Masters,’ UNLVino, Hecho en Vegas, Guy Fieri, Taste of Las Vegas
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Hot off the grill! Las Vegas chef Sammy DeMarco has landed a new, original Travel Channel series, “Chow Masters,” that debuts this month and seeks America’s best comfort foods. He’s filming 13 half-hour episodes on a cross-country trek.
Strip Scribbles: ‘Area 52’ film, Elaine Wynn’s $142 million painting and Las Vegas Sin
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Elaine Wynn has never officially confirmed her purchase of the $142 million Francis Bacon three-paneled painting of Lucian Freud studies last fall. However, art insiders say she now owns the valuable 1969 oil on canvas triptych.
Photos: Las Vegas’ Amy Purdy dances — and inspires — on ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Thirty-four-year-old Amy, who once lost her legs down a mountain while snowboarding, was named by the International Olympic Committee as one of the Top 15 most marketable para-athletes in the world. Madonna recently invited her to appear in a music video.
Photos: Buddy Valastro opens Carlo’s Bakery with family, mayor and lobster tails
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Foodies — dating couples, parents, kids and babies — stood (or stretched out on the floor) awaiting the arrival and 6 p.m. opening of celebrity chef Buddy Valastro’s Carlo’s Bakery in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian/Palazzo, the first west of the Mississippi.
Rock in Rio, whose headliners have included Beyonce and Justin Timberlake, heads to Las Vegas
Monday, March 31, 2014
Rock in Rio, the multiple-day event in Rio, Lisbon and Madrid billed as the world’s largest music festival, has featured headliners Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Muse and Alice in Chains.
Strip Scribbles: Holly Madison vs. Coco Austin on the Strip? Plus, ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’
Monday, March 31, 2014
Reality TV star Coco Austin (“Ice Loves Coco”) says that her new dance ensemble is a naughty burlesque show with seven vivacious dancers she’s named “Coco & the Vanity Vixens.” She opens in New York on May 12 and is aiming for a Las Vegas home to return to the Strip.
It’s two new ‘Ghost Adventures’ for Las Vegas’ Zak Bagans and crew
Monday, March 31, 2014
Zak Bagans will celebrate his birthday this Saturday when simultaneously the Travel Channel will air his new one-hour documentary special “Netherworld,” which he shot in the catacombs of Paris to show the mysteries and legends under the French capital.
ACM Awards preview: Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, George Strait face off
Monday, March 31, 2014
Executive producers Barry Adelman and R.A Clark and Jack Sussman, CBS exec, said it’s a feud of five made for Las Vegas: “Our two hosts, Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, are up against each other, but then Blake’s wife, Miranda Lambert, could topple both of them.”
Photos: ‘Jubilee’ reopens at Bally’s with new look, costs director $8,500 from his own pocket
Sunday, March 30, 2014
The Samson & Delilah and Titanic showstoppers are still intact, but they’ve been restaged with a high-energy, enthusiastic feel to the rejuvenated production. The Las Vegas legend has been redefined in less than three months!
Q+A: Sir Elton John’s 67th birthday, Fizz grand opening, contract talks, May wedding
Sunday, March 30, 2014
In an exclusive one-on-one interview late Saturday night at Fizz, David Furnish told me: “We will fly to London to get married next month after this run of Caesars shows. It will be a much quieter, smaller ceremony than the party we had in 2005.”
Celebrity preview: Il Divo, Jeff Timmons’ Men of the Strip, Ne-Yo, Wynonna, Elton John and ‘Jubilee!’
Friday, March 28, 2014
The likely clarion call for this weekend is that “everything old is new again.” That’s certainly applicable to the grand reopening of a new look to the three-decade-long-running “Jubilee!” at Bally’s. It’s safe to call it a face-lift and a full makeover — its first in 30-plus years.
2014 CinemaCon photos: It’s a wrap with stars, awards and Drew Barrymore’s new baby (almost!)
Friday, March 28, 2014
Actress Drew Barrymore knew the possibility of having a Las Vegas baby on her trip here for Thursday night’s CinemaCon Awards, where she was named Female Star of the Year. Glowing and radiant in a long vintage dress, Drew is 8 1/2 months pregnant.
Photos: SLS Las Vegas to unveil new pool playground and nightclub Life
Thursday, March 27, 2014
SLS Las Vegas executives are expected to announce details shortly of Life, the property’s new nightlife venue, opening Labor Day Weekend. I’ve learned that it will be a 20,000-square-foot venue sprawled over two levels and features a rooftop pool. ...
Strip Scribbles: ‘Matchmaker’; Celine’s birthday; Paint the Town for AFAN; Elton John, ‘Jubilee!’ return
Thursday, March 27, 2014
“Millionaire Matchmaker” host Patti Stanger and her boyfriend welcome Vegas Dave, the 32-year-old pro-sports bettor. Dave Oancea has more luck betting on football than he does on love. He’s never been able to focus long enough to keep a girlfriend.
Showtime’s ‘Gigolos’ set in Las Vegas is renewed for Season 6
Thursday, March 27, 2014
“ ‘Gigolos’ has been a fantastic contribution to the demographic footprint of the reality vein in our city. With ‘Pawn Stars,’ ‘Restoration’ and ‘Counting Cars’ ... Las Vegas is now a virtual cornucopia of transitory repeating characters and storylines.”
2014 CinemaCon photos: Cameron Diaz, Jon Hamm, Christopher Nolan, ‘Cinderella,’ ‘Spider-Man’
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann started today’s meetings with a preview of their comedy “The Other Woman” during the 20th Century Fox presentation. They were followed by Shailene Woodley (“Divergent”) introducing her movie “The Fault in Our Stars.”
Q+A: Marty Allen celebrates 92nd birthday, reflects on his 70 years of comedy
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Marty admits that he was a comedy cutup in high school in Pittsburgh and during his time with the U.S. Army Air Corps stationed in Italy during World War II. It was there that he became a sergeant and earned a medal for bravery for his heroism during a fire.
Q+A: So what is Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson’s favorite cupcake flavor?
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Everybody from Tom Cruise to Oprah Winfrey and Blake Lively to Ryan Seacrest is abuzz about Sprinkles, the fresh-baked cupcakes sold across America in 14 locations. And now it’s here in Las Vegas for the first time at the Linq.
Strip Scribbles: ‘Modern Family’ films at Mandalay Bay; ‘Ink Master’ results
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Two Las Vegas tattoo artists were declared safe on Tuesday night’s episode of “Ink Master” on Spike’s hit reality-TV contest where they are vying for a $100,000 grand prize, bragging rights and a cover feature in Inked Magazine.
2014 CinemaCon Day 2: Angelina Jolie, ‘Unbroken,’ ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Oscar-winning actress and producer/director Angelina Jolie previewed her Universal Pictures film “Unbroken,” the remarkable life story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during Word War II.
Teller wins copycat lawsuit against European entertainer; Nathan Burton vs. Murray Sawchuck?
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Rio headliner magician Teller went after Belgian-born Gerard Dogge — an appropriate last name under the circumstances — for posting his copycat “The Rose and Her Shadow” illusion on YouTube with an offer to sell the instructions for $3,000.
Photos: Red Bull base jumpers leap from atop 541-foot Eiffel Tower at the Paris
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
It was a hold-your-breath moment Tuesday night when two Red Bull base jumpers leapt from the top of the 541-foot Eiffel Tower at the Paris to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the original Tour Eiffel in the French capital.
Photos: Donny and Marie Osmond, Jerry Seinfeld, Terry Fator toast George Wallace’s 10th anniversary
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Las Vegas celebrities Terry Fator from the Mirage, Frankie Scinta from the D Las Vegas downtown and Murray Sawchuck from the Tropicana joined George Wallace onstage during his comedy set. Jerry walked onstage to interrupt George and Terry.
Strip Scribbles: NeNe Leakes in ‘Zumanity’; Celine vs. Muppets; Shirley Chung; and Nick Cannon
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes will play the erotic and sexy role of the Mistress of Sensuality in the adult show “Zumanity” by Cirque du Soleil at New York-New York in a 10-show engagement twice nightly from June 27 to July 1.
Jon Taffer kicks off Nightclub & Bar Show with mayor, Adam Carolla; Tryst, Hakkasan host parties tonight
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The three-day trade show serves nearly 40,000 global nightlife operators, managers and industry enthusiasts responsible for some $20 billion in annual beverage sales at more than 200,000 establishments. The main exhibit hall is packed with more than 600 booths.
2014 CinemaCon photos: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Will Arnett on Night 1 at Caesars
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Mark Wahlberg, dressed casually in a black T-shirt and blue jeans, told delegates that it was amazing to work with director Michael Bay on the franchise. He then introduced his co-stars Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor, who were with Mark’s 10-year-old daughter Ella.
Photos: Cirque du Soleil’s ‘One Night for One Drop’ at Mandalay Bay raises $6 million
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
“It was an amazing night,” Las Vegas-based Jerry Nadal, senior VP of resident shows worldwide, told me. “We set a very high bar with the first ‘One Drop’ show last year (in “O” theater at Bellagio), and we surpassed it. Everybody was ecstatic with its success.”
Strip Scribbles: Gloria Estefan, Criss Angel, Robosaurus, Carlo’s Bakery, ‘Pawn Stars,’ gay dayclub Xposed!
Monday, March 24, 2014
More headline names are being added to the Keep Memory Alive tribute to Gloria Estefan, but I’ve learned exclusively that Carole King, Jordin Sparks, Rita Moreno, Fantine, Ricky Martin and Jon Secada will all perform duets with Gloria at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Photos: Holly Madison loves Sprinkles cupcakes and her new 1923 Bourbon & Burlesque
Monday, March 24, 2014
The newly redheaded reality TV star performed the official opening ceremony at Sprinkles in the Linq on Friday. Her first order of duty was to withdraw a cupcake from the 24-hour Cupcake ATM. It can serve 600 assorted cupcakes a day.
Preview: Star-studded CinemaCon unveils summer blockbusters, interactive big-screen technology
Monday, March 24, 2014
It all starts today in Celine Dion’s Colosseum theater at Caesars Palace with Paramount Pictures hosting Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor and director Michael Bay in a screening of their summer blockbuster “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
Star-studded Nightclub & Bar Show kicks off with parties, parties and more parties
Monday, March 24, 2014
“Bar Rescue” star Jon Taffer will welcome delegates with opening remarks at the Las Vegas Convention Center and hosts a kickoff party with three-time Grammy winner Ludacris at the Bud Light Hotel, which has been transformed from our Hard Rock Hotel.
Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors: Rocker roofied, guest dies in pool incident — this must stop!
Monday, March 24, 2014
Violent prostitutes and drug dealers with quiet, turn-a-blind-eye cooperation from bartenders and club hosts are giving our hotel executives nightmares, and it’s about time a real effort was made to run them out of town.
Photos: Cirque du Soleil looks ahead to third ‘One Night for One Drop’ benefit
Monday, March 24, 2014
I MC’d the first “One Drop” onstage auction. Criss Angel placed a winning bid of $80,000 for a week with 30 guests at Guy Laliberte’s Hawaii estate; a high-tech racecar watch raised $150,000; and two lovely ladies battled to $100,000 for Lady Kenilworth jewelry.
Celebrity preview: Lady Antebellum, comedy kings, Afrojack, Krewella, Cake, ‘One Night for One Drop’
Friday, March 21, 2014
Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte has made clean water his mission with his One Drop organization, and tonight for one night only, 100 artists from his acrobatic circus company will perform the second-annual “One Night for One Drop” spectacular at Mandalay Bay.
Strip Scribbles: Australian Bee Gees, ‘Absinthe’ milestones; Merle Haggard tribute; CinemaCon stars
Thursday, March 20, 2014
The Gazillionaire and his sidekick Penny Pibbets along with burlesque singer Melody Sweets and balloon tap dancer Angel Porrino celebrated their 1,500th “Absinthe” performance at Caesars Palace on Wednesday night.
‘The Amazing Race’ producers to host casting call in Las Vegas on Saturday
Thursday, March 20, 2014
There will be six hours of continuous contestant interviews starting at 9 a.m. at Team Ford located at US 95 and Ann Road. Each team will have one minute in front of a camera to explain and demonstrate why they should be the next team to take on the challenges.
Star Surveillance: Sabina Kelley, Kody Brown, Joey Fatone, Vinnie Paul and Bobby Brown
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
International pinup model and Oxygen Network’s “Best Ink” judge Sabina Kelley took her adorable daughter Grace Lynn to dinner at D.Vino Italian Restaurant in Monte Carlo, and the duo made for a pretty set of photographs.
Strip Scribbles: ‘One Night for One Drop,’ Darius Rucker and Rusty Maples
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Cirque founder Guy Laliberte will lead a parade of stars along the blue carpet, including Frances Fisher, Siegfried & Roy, The Tenors, Boyz II Men, Blues Traveler, Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky, Holly Madison, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Mary Wilson, Susan Feniger and more.
Jerry Lewis and Quincy Jones to be honored at Classic Film Festival; Marty Allen to turn 92
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Legendary actor, comedian and Las Vegas resident Jerry Lewis will be honored with a Hollywood Boulevard hand-and-footprint concrete ceremony as part of the fifth year of the Classic Film Festival marking Turner Classic Movies’ 20th anniversary on April 12.
Photos: Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens debuts gorgeous spring display
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
It’s officially spring, and the horticulturalists at the spectacular Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens have made it official, too, with flowers in full bloom. Surrounded by tulips, daffodils and lilies, there’s a 45-foot-tall cherry blossom tree with a wooden stage nestled in its branches for nightly music performances. Guests will wonder at the...
In L.V.: Jordan Belfort, Hunter Hayes, Capt. Richard Phillips, Jimmy Kimmel, One Republic
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Disgraced Wall Street banker Jordan Belfort, whose story inspired Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated film “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, will be a keynote speaker for Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America at Caesars Palace on April 8.
Strip Scribbles: From Strip to U.S. Senate for Brian Evans? Plus, learn how to twerk
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
In his debut pitch Monday for supporters in Hawaii, Brian Evans said that he’s seeking the position as a tribute to his mother who died after knee surgery. Brian, who commuted regularly to Las Vegas from Hawaii, where he has lived for a decade, isn’t hiding his past.

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