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July 30, 2014

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Robin Leach

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Strip Scribbles: Vince Neil’s arena football team expansion; Jeff Dunham’s $100,000 donation
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Las Vegas will get a new Arena Football League expansion team in time for the 2015 season. Rocker Vince Neil, now away on his Motley Crue farewell tour, has won approval from AFL officials and rival team owners to “build a Las Vegas team from scratch.”
Celine Dion looks ahead to 1,000th performance at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Tuesday night’s 200th show added to the 717 shows Celine performed from opening night in 2003 through the wrap of “A New Day …” in 2007, bringing the total to an astounding 917 performances at the venue built for the Canadian chanteuse.
Q+A: After 30 years on the road, Jeff Dunham is ready for a run at Planet Hollywood
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Skeletal doll Achmed the Dead Terrorist frightened Malaysian censors so much that they banned ventriloquist Jeff Dunham from using the puppet on a stick when he was there a few months ago. Fret not here on the Strip in Las Vegas.
Strip Scribbles: ‘Book of Mormon’ to welcome 1 millionth visitor to Smith Center; SLS to open Aug. 23
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Myron Martin, president of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, calculated this morning that sometime during the current run of the Tony Award-winning “The Book of Mormon” through July 6, he will welcome the 1 millionth guest to the Smith Center.
Photos: ‘Jersey Boys’ at Paris attend ‘Jersey Boys’ at AMC Town Square
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Director Clint Eastwood’s new film “Jersey Boys” set for national release Friday received two thumbs’ up at Monday’s screening at AMC Town Square, and the guest audience included four lead cast members and the band of the hit musical at Paris Las Vegas.
Celine Dion, Rene Angelil believed that his recent cancer would lead to his death
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Reliable insiders say Celine put her career on hold to be by Rene’s side throughout his hoped-for recovery, although he believed that the cancer would cause his death. Rene was unable to swallow or eat for a time, and Celine, too, believed that he would die.
Q+A: Fit-at-50 Ian Ziering returns to Chippendales, talks ‘Sharknado 3’
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Stripped bare to the waist wearing just a bowtie and flexing his muscles, actor Ian Ziering doesn’t look anywhere near his age of 50. But, yes, Steve Sanders, who ruled on “Beverly Hills 90210” in the 1990s, has hit the half-century mark.
Strip Scribbles: Cirque du Soleil’s 30th, Frankie Moreno’s 500th and Jeff Civillico’s 2nd
Monday, June 16, 2014
It began with two circus dreamers on June 16 about 30 years ago and grew into the Cirque du Soleil we know today as a global entertainment company with 1,300 performing artists from 50 countries and eight spectaculars on the Strip.
Former Las Vegas headliner Erich Bergen stars in Clint Eastwood’s ‘Jersey Boys’
Monday, June 16, 2014
The story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” at our Paris Las Vegas is one of incredible success and then a breakup in a classic rags-to-riches and back-to-rags tale.
New 2014 Miss USA Nia Sanchez of Nevada responds to attacks
Monday, June 16, 2014
Billionaire Donald Trump, his Miss Nevada USA Pageant director Shanna Moakler and their new 2014 Miss USA Pageant winner, our hometown Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez, have hit back at reports and rumors attempting to tarnish her victory.
Photos: American wins 2014 Tropic Beauty Model Search at MGM Grand
Monday, June 16, 2014
After one year of photo and video submissions and statewide contests, the Model Search came down to 100 final contestants from as far away as Australia, Britain, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, The Philippines, Poland and Slovenia.
Celebrity preview: Ian Ziering + Chippendales, Gavin DeGraw, Rick Springfield, ‘The Book of Mormon’
Friday, June 13, 2014
Dad is a son’s first hero and a daughter’s first love. Glamour girls and heartthrob hunks take on comedy kings and queens this Father’s Day Weekend when $1 billion is spent on gifts for him. It’s only appropriate that the guys have options this weekend.
Q+A: ‘Hardcore Pawn’ star Ashley Gold Broad: ‘I have to have thick skin to work in this industry’
Thursday, June 12, 2014
She’s no 9-to-5 lady. Meet Ashley Gold Broad, the wild woman in the even wilder world of “Hardcore Pawn,” the crazy 50,000-square-foot American Jewelry and Loan business in Detroit that is the top reality TV series on TruTV.
Strip Scribbles: Aid for officers; Drai’s After Hours back June 19; Amazing Johnathan wedding pics
Thursday, June 12, 2014
“Jersey Boys” at the Paris star Travis Cloer has confirmed that his castmates in the hit musical are the first Strip entertainers to sign up for producer John Simpson’s fundraiser concert for the families of slain Las Vegas Metro Police Officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck.
Rene Angelil recovers from surgery, steps aside as wife Celine Dion’s manager
Thursday, June 12, 2014
“Celine was remarkable in her devotion to him,” I was told. Rene’s battle against cancer might also explain their decision recently to sell their homes in Canada and Florida and maintain their Lake Las Vegas estate as their only residence.
Strip Scribbles: Scleroderma event raises $300K; ‘All By Myself’ video; Hakkasan takes L.A.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
The first-ever Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine fundraiser in Las Vegas for the Scleroderma Research Foundation with Jay Leno, Bob Saget, Ben Folds, Bill Bellamy and “Top Chef Masters” stars Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken and Rick Moonen raised $300,000.
Review: Energetic ‘Book of Mormon’ wins ovation at Smith Center; LDS Church buys program ads
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
The youthful, full-of-energy cast is perfect in its portrayals of Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda to find recruits for the church among impoverished villagers fighting AIDS and other bodily illnesses too uncomfortable to write here.
Photos: Tropic Beauty Model Search hopefuls arrive at D Las Vegas, SlotZilla
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
It’s five days of nonstop photo shoots, judging and parties for the 100 glamour girls here from all over the world for the pageant that wraps Saturday night at Hakkasan in MGM Grand with the finals and the crowning.
Strip Scribbles: Celine Dion viral video; Miss USA Nia Sanchez; Guy Fieri and Giada
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Canadian tourist and Celine Dion fan Richard Dunn wound up all by himself in our McCarran Airport overnight Friday after missing two return flights and waiting for a Saturday morning departure. So how do you pass a lonely night?
The Amazing Johnathan weds Anastasia Synn at A Special Memory Chapel in Las Vegas
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Guests included fellow magicians David Copperfield, Penn & Teller and Jeff McBride, with his wife Abigail, comedy hypnotist Anthony Cools, sexy singers Elise Furr and Stephanie Jordan and a varied assortment of Las Vegas zombies.
Preview: Hit musical ‘The Book of Mormon’ brings its mission to the Smith Center
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
The words “heresy” and “blasphemy” are not likely to be shouted from the Smith Center for the Performing Arts seats toward the stage tonight for the first night of the nearly monthlong run (June 10-July 6) of the Tony Award-winning musical “The Book of Mormon.”
Strip Scribbles: Jeff Civillico’s anniversary; keynote speaker Nicole Richie; Police Officers Fund aid
Monday, June 9, 2014
Comedy juggler headliner Jeff Civillico celebrates his second-anniversary show at the Quad this Saturday, and he’ll unveil two pieces. The first involves strapping a GoPro camera to his head, which projects his perspective to the audience in real time.
Guns N’ Roses to tour, expand Hard Rock Hotel residency amid KISS rumors of off-Strip run?
Monday, June 9, 2014
Over the weekend, Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage joined comedian Andrew Dice Clay to watch Guns N’ Roses’ closing shows of their “An Evening of Destruction: No Trickery!” run at the Joint. I’m reliably told that business at the box office has been ...
Miss USA Nia Sanchez of Nevada: ‘It’s going to be a great year — this is all a wonderful dream’
Monday, June 9, 2014
Billionaire Miss USA Pageant owner Donald Trump may well have yanked his contest from Las Vegas after a six-year run, but stunning 24-year-old Nia Sanchez of Henderson brings the tiara and the title of Miss USA back to our city.
Shanna Moakler says of new Miss USA Nia Sanchez: ‘It was a magical night — Nia made Nevada proud’
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Shanna, who won Miss USA in 1995, said: “This is awesome. I am in tears. Nia truly deserves the win. She is one in a million and proof that you can overcome all the odds to win something very special if you believe. She will be a wonderful Miss USA.”
Celebrity preview: Billy Joel, CeeLo, Lionel Richie, Kid Rock, Ryan Lochte, Miss USA and burlesque
Friday, June 6, 2014
It’s music of all sounds for all people this weekend, which is why poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said decades ago, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” So without any more “notes” to interrupt, let’s play our own Royal Robin Rundown.
Strip Scribbles: Celine Dion, Ryan Lochte, Shirley Chung, Amazing Johnathan and Sami Ladeki
Thursday, June 5, 2014
It was Celine Dion’s very own crazy idea for a stunt photograph, and it turned out to be a first. All four of the superstars performing at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace — Shania Twain, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Celine — agreed to a unique photo shoot for People.
Will the Cosmopolitan be Las Vegas’ comeback kid with new owners Blackstone?
Thursday, June 5, 2014
“Las Vegas is really coming back,” I was told. “The Cosmopolitan was an important timing opportunity.” Blackstone is the largest real-estate private-equity firm in the world today with $272 billion in assets under management as of April 17.
Photos: Hershey’s Chocolate World opens at New York-New York; Goodman enjoys ‘kiss-a-tini’
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
It didn’t take more than a few seconds for former Mayor Oscar Goodman, with his showgirls on hand for him, to find a new use for Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses at Tuesday morning’s opening of Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York-New York.
Photos: Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez begins preparations for 2014 Miss USA Pageant
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Pretty as a picture! Filming has started in Baton Rouge, La., for the 51 contestants of the 2014 Miss USA Pageant on Sunday, and our Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez is looking pretty as can be in first photos from the Mississippi River city.
Strip Scribbles: The Amazing Johnathan to wed? Plus, Celine, Ne-Yo and Mark Shunock
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Congratulations seem to be in order for edgy comedy magician The Amazing Johnathan, who is planning a Saturday wedding here to performance artist Anastasia. They have been dating for several years. Expect a very wacky white wedding.
Opening-night fun at Giada: TV star chef’s first restaurant is a big winner at the Cromwell
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The verdict is in on the Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis’ beautiful new restaurant Giada at the just-opened Cromwell at center Strip. I was among the first diners Tuesday night, and I joined in the raves for the food, presentation, service and ambiance.
Strip Scribbles: By command of Britain’s future king, a royal performance for Penn & Teller
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
It’s an invitation one doesn’t turn down. Otherwise, it could be off with their heads! Who knew Britain’s Prince Charles was a fan of Penn & Teller? The two magicians have accepted the Royal Family’s invitation to perform at Windsor Castle on June 23.
Twain attends Backstreet Boys, Lavigne concert; Lavigne returns favor, watches Twain’s show
Monday, June 2, 2014
Caesars Palace resident headliner Shania Twain welcomed fellow Canadian musician Avril Lavigne to her show Sunday night at the Colosseum. It was Avril returning the favor, as Shania was at The Backstreet Boys and Avril concert Friday night at Axis in Planet Hollywood.
Celebrity preview: Backstreet Boys, Aloe Blacc, Jamie Lynn Spears, The Fray, MIA and Daniel Tosh
Friday, May 30, 2014
Just as there’s music for all tastes this weekend in the Entertainment Capital of the World, there’s comedy of all kinds with laughs guaranteed from Daniel Tosh at the Mirage to long-touring Paula Poundstone at the Orleans.
Q+A: Paula Poundstone talks lonely life on the road, ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ Brad Pitt and drooling
Friday, May 30, 2014
Paula Poundstone is a proud mom of three kids and is currently taking dance lessons. She tries to keep her comedy gigs to weekend dates so that she’s home during the week, and that’s her schedule tonight and Saturday at Orleans Showroom.
Robin Leach in Macau: Venetian headliners Celine Dion and Manny Pacquiao
Thursday, May 29, 2014
No sooner do I step off the long flight from Las Vegas to Macau than I discover that Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian resort here has scored a double knockout with none other than Caesars Palace headliner Celine Dion and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.
Guest column: Ben Vaughn’s chicken salad on the grapevine in Cobleskill, N.Y.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Ben Vaughn is an undercover sleuth, but he also is a charming chef with a hit series on the Food Network, so he’s forgiven for exposing exclusives. Ben was here in Las Vegas last fall judging alongside me at the debut World Food Championships.
Photos: Victor Drai, Giada and fireworks welcome Drai’s atop the Cromwell
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Nightlife impresario Victor Drai wanted a laid-back Memorial Day Weekend opening for his new 65,000-square-foot palace in the sky atop the new Cromwell boutique hotel. Instead, it became a celebration to outblast the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve.
Q+A: Fashion designer Allison Leach’s Cromwell creations are among many in Las Vegas
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Ask for directions at the High Roller in the Linq, and you’ll pay more attention to the representative’s wardrobe than his answers. Over at Guy Fieri’s new restaurant at the Quad, your server may have you stuttering over her designer denim duds.
Strip Scribbles: The Hot List; XS shatters record; Hip-Hop Championships; Star Surveillance
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Conde Nast Editor in Chief Pilar Guzman told me: “The Cosmopolitan is not on the Hot 100 because it’s more than a year old, but the fact we are throwing our party here tells you what we think of it. It’s definitely one of our favorites.”
New Cosmopolitan owners reveal plans for their recently acquired Strip hotel
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
“We believe that gaming revenues can increase there very quickly by 50 percent,“ I was told. “We have portfolio positions with other leisure travel properties that can be very beneficial to the future of the Cosmopolitan.”
Shania Twain returns to her Kids Can Clubhouse in NLV: ‘It’s such a great success; I feel like celebrating’
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
For the first time since she launched her Shania Kids Can Foundation Clubhouse eight months ago at a North Las Vegas elementary school, Shania Twain returned Tuesday for a report-card checkup and was ecstatic to hear the passing grades.
Strip Scribbles: Women fighting women in lingerie MMA championships
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
“I wanted my first event to be really memorable,” ex-LFL star Michelle Blanchard said. “Some people have a problem with women fighting other women. And some people have a problem with women looking sexy. Put the two together, and some people’s heads explode!”
Celebrity preview: Cher, Bruno Mars, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Nicki Minaj, Rixton, world’s top DJs
Friday, May 23, 2014
There are more multimillionaire headliner DJs spinning in our beach clubs, dayclubs and nightclubs for the next 96 hours than there are big-time Hollywood and sports entertainers, and that’s something that could only happen in Las Vegas.
Photos: 2014 Miss USA Pageant begins for Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez
Friday, May 23, 2014
Two busy weeks of last-minute packing, fittings, charity events, meetings and prepping come to an end with tonight’s send-off for gorgeous 2014 Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez. After the Deuce Lounge party in Aria, she flies out this Memorial Day Weekend to Baton Rouge.
Strip Scribbles: Shania Twain, Murray Sawchuck, Epicurean Affair, Bobby Flay and ‘Rat Rods’
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Las Vegas schoolchildren will be presenting their end-of-year report cards to superstar Shania Twain next week. Last fall, I interviewed Shania after her charitable foundation Shania Kids Can donated funds and furniture to needy elementary school students.
Photos: Giada De Laurentiis receives Key to the Strip at Cromwell ribbon cutting
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Food Network celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis was presented with a Key to the Las Vegas Strip on Wednesday afternoon. It was a quiet ceremony by Clark County Commissioners as Giada continues to work to open her first restaurant, Giada, on June 3.
Toasting to eight years in Las Vegas, Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips says, ‘There’s no end in sight’
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Eternally tan and bleach blond Chris Phillips celebrates Zowie Bowie’s eighth anniversary in Las Vegas on Friday night at Red Rock Resort. “We’re just getting started,” he laughed. “I’m staying here for the rest of my life.”
Photos: Sabina Kelley is ready to take it off, show off her tattoos in ‘Pin Up’
Thursday, May 22, 2014
“The last time I danced topless was in 1999, and now 15 years later here I am again stripping down to pasties and a G-string. Isn’t that crazy?” laughed tattooed beauty Sabina Kelley, now 36 and about to guest star in “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere.

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