Wednesday, April 4, 2012 | 2:55 p.m.
More arts and entertainment
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With only 363 days remaining, planning and pre-production has begun on next year’s Academy of Country Music Awards and the Week Vegas Goes Country. That’s two days after the curtain came down on Sunday’s giant ratings winner. “It takes a full year going into the next one,” an ACM exec told me. “It’s one of the largest logistical nightmares in the television year.”
My esteemed colleague Senior Editor John Katsilometes has confirmed that the ACMs will remain here in 2013 and 2014 and then move to Dallas for its 50th anniversary in 2015. ACM head honcho Bob Romeo assures that it’s a one-time visit. (Now I know what Miranda Lambert was trying to explain to me last week about how she’s from the Texas city.) The ACMs return here in 2016.
How ACM execs and Dick Clark Productions TV producers will top this year’s second show -- the tribute to Lionel Richie -- is beyond me. That was a once-in-a-lifetime concert with Marc Anthony, Darius Rucker, Big & Rich, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Sara Evans Martina McBride, the Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Jennifer Nettles, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers, Rascal Flatts and daughter Nicole Richie that won’t ever be repeated. We’ll have a preview of the country stars and Lionel next week in advance of the 2-hour CBS special April 13.
VINCE NEIL HEADLINES: Motley Crue singer Vince Neil is giving Las Vegas an advance look at the giant summer KISS and Motley Crue tour when he performs solo in a free concert to kick off Memorial Day Weekend at Fremont Street Experience on May 26. Other stars in the summer series Rock of Vegas, featuring 1980s artists, include Dennis De Young (Styx), John Payne (Asia) and “Celebrity Apprentice” contestants Bret Michaels (Poison) on Aug. 4 and Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) on Sept. 1.
Vince flew out today to Florida amid furor over his decision not to visit the Palms again after a brouhaha erupted on Twitter after he was told that booths at Little Buddha were for parties of four -- and he was only three. “They were empty anyway,” he told me. “I offered to buy a magnum of champagne, which cost more than what a fourth guest would eat, but the manager refused. We ate at the bar, paid the bill and then while playing at the Mint Lounge were told by security to leave. None of it made sense. Thus, my tweets and then all the other tweets from former Palms employees and customers in support of me.” Vince returns for the grand opening of his new strip club Girls, Girls, Girls on April 13 -- a G-string’s throw from the Palms.
‘GIGOLOS’ TALENT HUNT: Season 3 of Showtime’s “Gigolos” is set to film here in May and June, and casting agents are now looking for women or couples who want to go on a date with the bedroom boys. Contact Garren James at firstname.lastname@example.org for details about the docu-series that spotlights five top male escorts here. Producers say the show is explicit but tasteful and respectful, with an expectation of nudity and filming sexual activity.
DASHING DOZEN: Congrats to friends and Las Vegas VIPs Penn Jillette, our Rio magic headliner; Rick Harrison from “Pawn Stars”; chef Barry Dakake from N9NE Steakhouse; Dr. Jeffrey Cummings of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health; Mandalay Bay President Chuck Bowling; and Fox 5 news anchor Jason Feinberg being named among the 2012 Vegas Dozen at Saks 5th Avenue on April 18 as a fundraiser for UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute.
NOT STREET LEGAL: Dream Racing, a new Ferrari racing experience, opened this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway started by two former pro racecar drivers. It’s the only place here to drive a race-tuned Ferrari 430 GT that is not street legal. T.J. Lavin, BMX rider and host of MTV’s “The Challenge,” NASCAR pit reporter Jamie Little and “Extra” TV reporter Adrianna Costa were among the first drivers. The new attraction includes five high-speed laps around the track, instruction from pro drivers, use of a racing suit and a helmet and transportation between Crystals at CityCenter and Dream Racing for an all-inclusive fee of $499.
Hometown high-speed driver Danny George make his debut in the Formula Drifting motorsports arena competing for the crown in this weekend’s first round of the Formula DRIFT 2012 Pro Championship on the Long Beach, Calif., street course. Danny, 30, was chosen by judges to take part in the race; drivers normally must earn enough points in the pro-amateur series to earn a license.
SPACE CELEBRATION: The cast of “Absinthe” celebrated its first anniversary and 500th show, and the Gazillionaire and his eccentric family of performers surprised the audience with an alien invasion. Guests were given spacesuits to wear for the festivities. Taste treats were provided by chef Michel Richard’s Central, with a “phallic naughty parts” Gazillionaire ice sculpture. Pick Your Poison Bake Shop presented the cast with absinthe-flavored cupcakes on a confectionary tower of decadence and deliciousness.
IMPROV COMEDY JUDGE: The girls swept the floor with the guys when the six finalists of the “Up Yours” online comedy contest appeared at Harrah’s Improv on Sunday night. I was one of the judges, and we unanimously agreed that the three women easily out-laughed the three men. Maybe it was the bald vs. the beautiful? While each of the six who now all call Las Vegas home approached sex jokes from different viewpoints, the win went to Karen Morgan, the final performer, with her routine about looking for a husband with a vasectomy already in place.
The runner-up was Leslie Thompson, a tall, self-described Detroit lesbian who was unbelievably candid and funny about Mary Kay and Jenny Craig for her diet and makeup choices. Karen won $25,000 in bookings at Harrah’s showrooms in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. Meantime, John Caponera, Kenny Jane and Katsy Chappell headline there through Sunday.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning book that became the soul-stirring song-and-dance “The Color Purple” has eight performances at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday night. 2007 Playboy Playmate of the Year Sara Underwood hosts at LAX in the Luxor. The Digital Madness Festival is at Henderson Pavilion. And Insert Coin(s) celebrates its first anniversary with Brand Nubian.
Mirage headliner Terry Fator gets ready to celebrate his third anniversary and reveals just what it takes to do a one-man show with seven dummies -- his ventriloquist dolls! Plus, a preview of pinup queen Bettie Page’s world premiere of her film “Reveals All” at the Orleans this weekend -- and a mandatory lookalike contest.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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