Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 | 6 p.m.
It’s a knockout-punch weekend: First, to finally find out who’s the boss with the fourth fight between Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao and Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez, and, secondly, with country stars who have moved Nashville to Las Vegas en masse.
The invasion of thousands of cowboys and cowgirls for the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo means a host of entertainers topped off Monday night with the live Fox broadcast of the American Country Awards from Mandalay Bay.
Other music gems include Journey, who began their travels in 1973, at Planet Hollywood, and our hometown Clint Holmes’ holiday season show at Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
This is the weekend that Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, teamed with humor-pundit Dennis Miller, chose for a talkative night, at the Colosseum in Caesar Palace, of what’s right and wrong with America.
I encourage you to support two important causes this weekend. First, Las Vegas resident Mike Tyson returns from hosting “The View” in New York to host with comedian Eddie Griffin his Mike Tyson Cares Foundation benefit for Shade Tree at Tabu in MGM Grand on Saturday.
Then on Sunday, more than 20 chefs and restaurateurs will crowd onto the Brooklyn Bridge at New York-New York for a Hurricane Sandy Red Cross benefit to assist their hospitality industry colleagues.
Check out our rundown of NFR weekend entertainment posted Thursday, with everybody from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s debut at the Venetian, Shania Twain’s residency at Caesars and Merle Haggard downtown at Golden Nugget. An update: the Academy of Country Music presents David Nail tonight, Aaron Watson on Saturday and Chris Janson on Sunday at Fan Fest.
Now to wrangle and wrestle our regular entertainment listing we steer into place each weekend as the Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, DEC. 7
ZZ Top at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.
Journey at Planet Hollywood.
Clint “Holmes for the Holidays” at Smith Center all weekend.
City of Lights Barbershop Chorus at Smith Center.
Cletus & Mexican Sweat at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
And my pal Rick Michael’s Salute to Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin’s Rat Pack at the Cannery for two nights.
Dat Phan, Leslie Ann Thompson and Peter Banachowski at Harrah’s Improv all weekend.
Todd Rexx at L.A. Comedy Club in Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina at Miracle Mile Shops all weekend.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller are at the Colosseum.
Join chef Mario Batali as chief judge and me as MC for the Venetian’s Culinary Clash.
Tickets go on sale for “Anything Goes” playing Feb. 5-10 and “West Side Story” Feb. 26- March 3 at Smith Center.
Mike Tyson Cares Foundation has a fundraiser for Shade Tree shelter at Tabu.
This month’s First Friday downtown is a Winter Wonderland and features a mini-exhibit of “Da Vinci: the Genius.”
The Las Vegas Wranglers play the Idaho Steelheads at Orleans Arena.
And the Four Seasons Hotel at Mandalay Bay launches its global interactive website Taste.
SATURDAY, DEC. 8
Tony Sacca’s 27th Annual “Merry Christmas Las Vegas” TV special is at LVH.
Steve Connolly: The Spirit of the King is at M Resort.
The Las Vegas Philharmonic Pops II “A Very Vegas Holiday” is at Reynolds Hall in Smith Center.
The Whammy is at Vinyl.
And it’s a tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel at Suncoast Showroom.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
King of the Cage mixed martial arts action at Eastside Cannery.
Pinup princess Pamela Anderson at the Ronald McDonald House to help start the incredible 310-mile journey Cirque du Soleil performer Jesus “Half Animal” Villa will make on spring-loaded stilts to L.A. for his sixth Guinness World Record.
The first book signing of food critics Al Mancini, John Curtas and Max Jacobson’s third “Eating Las Vegas: the 50 Essential Restaurants” is at the farmers market at Tivoli Village from 10 a.m. to noon.
It’s Pacquiao-Marquez 4 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, plus, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson will be showcasing his new boxing promotions company at the fight in support of his boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. and NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson host a meet-and-greet at Tristar Sports Memorabilia at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops.
The Wranglers vs. Stockton Thunder at Orleans Arena.
Tickets go on sale for Stone Sour and Papa Roach’s Feb. 15 concert at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Silverton Casino Lodge brings in an underwater Santa for the holidays who will pose for guests in the aquarium for two afternoons each weekend until Dec. 23
Santa Jaws and Kris Kringle make a special “Shipwrecked” appearance at Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay for two afternoons each weekend through Dec. 24.
Nelly hosts an after-fight party at Tao in the Venetian.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi hosts an after-fight party at Tabu.
Miss Universe Leila Lopes and 2012 Miss Universe Pageant contestants host a kick-off party at Pure in Caesars.
Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas hosts and spins at Moon in the Palms.
Playmate Tiffany Selby hosts a “Babes and Buckles” bash at Crazy Horse III.
And XXX starlet Nikki Benz previews next month’s AVN invasion of porn princesses with a birthday party at Haze in Aria.
SUNDAY, DEC. 9
Broadway singing star and “Star Search” winner Linda Eder performs at the first-ever concert and holiday celebration in Symphony Park at Smith Center.
Diego’s Umbrella is at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
And Thrillbilly Deluxe is at Vinyl.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Miss Universe contestants host and take part in a painting event at Planet Hollywood with “Design & Wine,” a local painting studio, where final art pieces will be auctioned to benefit Cure 4 the Kids.
Chefs with roots in New York City and Las Vegas have inspired “Start Spreadin’ the News,” a food-and-wine extravaganza with Francois Payard, Scott Conant and Joel Robuchon as part of the weekend Hurricane Sandy benefits at New York-New York.
Fremont Street Experience welcomes the holidays with the annual Grand Menorah Lighting with Mayor Carolyn Goodman followed by the next day’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The Final Table of the World Poker Tour’s Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Classic with the Royal Flush Girls is filmed for Fox Sports at Bellagio.
Mirage headliner Terry Fator and wife Taylor Makakoa serve as honorary chairs at the annual luncheon Heaven Can Wait.
Touro University hosts the “Season of Lights” luncheon and silent auction benefiting the Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities.
And the Las Vegas Legends play Toros Mexico at Orleans Arena.
We’ll post entertainment, Miss Universe and NFR reports and photos this weekend, so check back often. Then on Monday, a startling, candid interview with country singer LeAnn Rimes, who is part of Monday’s American Country Awards and has dates here this month.
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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