Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 | 4 p.m.
Call it our Las Vegas Grand Slam: Tennis champions Andre Agassi and John McEnroe heat up their rivalry of years gone by; country king Garth Brooks ends his 3-year run at the Wynn; and the long-awaited and much-anticipated Bagatelle opens with a gala night of fun and festivities.
Plus, Jerry Lewis celebrates eight decades in showbiz as the “Twilight” stars jet in to celebrate the end of their vampire saga with “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2” and Mario Lopez and fiancee Courtney Mazza throw a party before their wedding.
Sunday marks the start of the 50-day, Italian-inspired holiday festivities at the Venetian and Palazzo the Strip becomes a Winter Wonderland with outdoor ice-skating rink. Those are some of the weekend highlights in the Entertainment Capital of the World; you’d never know it’s a “quiet” weekend.
There’s a sadness about Garth’s final show Saturday. We hate to say goodbye, so we’ll call it a fond farewell with an invitation to return whenever you wish because he’s brought so much talent to Encore Theater.
Hotel tycoon Steve Wynn marvels at Garth’s stardom: “I’ve never stopped being amazed at his talent. He is to me the rarest of all combinations: incredibly gifted and a man of great character, a wonderful balance of father and superstar.” I’ll be there, and we’ll have that report Sunday. Meantime, check out my chat with Garth last December.
They are the veteran tennis legends who still pack power: Agassi, McEnroe, Jim Courier and Michael Chang compete in the PowerShares Series Tour stop at Mandalay Bay on Saturday. In advance of his trip, McEnroe vowed that it will be a brutal battle.
Bagatelle’s grand opening features Chris Willis, Wynter Gordon and Lucent Dossier and follows successes in New York, L.A. and St. Bart’s. There’s seating for 500 in the indoor and outdoor venue, weekend champagne brunch start next month, and in the spring, the Beach Club opens with a 250-seat outdoor restaurant, a sandy area for volleyball and 18 cabanas. It transforms into a concert venue for more than 3,000.
With the arrival of “Twilight” stars Alex Meraz, Angela Sarafytan and Rami Malek for the final movie, it’s time for us to enter the coven of Strip shenanigans and sink our teeth into the wolf pack we assemble each week known as the Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, NOV. 16
Garth ends his three-year run with four final solo shows, and expect wife Trisha Yearwood to be there as he sheds tears on the last Saturday late-night farewell.
Styx play the Pearl at the Palms for two nights; Guns N’ Roses continue their “Appetite for Democracy” mini residency at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel for two nights; and GNR’s Bumblefoot joins Tony Harnell of TNT’s “Acoustic Show” after the concert at Vinyl with the Birthday Massacre.
Betty Buckley stars in “Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway!” at Cabaret Jazz in Smith Center for the Performing Arts with three shows through Sunday.
Slaughter is at Boulder Station; jazz greats Gerald Albright & Norman Brown storm Santa Fe Station; Christopher Cross sails away at Sunset Station; Loveshack plays Fremont Street Experience in a free concert; and Nashville Unplugged at Green Valley Ranch features Anthony Smith and Eric Paslay.
Rockers Helping Rockers, a benefit for the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund featuring A Sinner’s Confession, Sweetest Morphine, Tarah Grace & The Magnetics, People’s Whiskey and Love Vendetta is at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
And Bill Fayne’s “Showstoppers” has recruited Strip stars to perform the best of Broadway at LVH in a benefit.
Daniel Tosh is at the Mirage for two nights; Judy Tenuta at Palace Station for two nights; Kevin Johnson at Rampart Casino in Summerlin; Owen Benjamin and Ronnie Schell at Harrah’s Improv all weekend; Paul Ogata and Penny Prince at Big Al’s Comedy Club at Orleans all weekend; and John Bizarre at Bonkerz Comedy Club at Primm Valley for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets go on sale for Jackson Browne’s Feb. 15 show at the Pearl; Carrie Underwood’s March 2 concert with Hunter Hayes at Mandalay Bay Events Center; Flogging Molly’s March 16 show at Boulevard Pool in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas; Def Leppard’s nine-show run, “Viva Hysteria,” starting March 22 at the Joint; and Matchbox Twenty’s March 29 concert at the Pearl.
Bagatelle Beach & Supper Club celebrates its grand opening at the Tropicana; the holiday “Glittering Lights” drive-through spectacular is at Las Vegas Motor Speedway through Jan. 6; Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort commemorates 50 years with the “Who’s on Board” art show downtown; and the Bullring and Street Car Super Nationals is at LVMS all weekend.
DJ Diplo is at Surrender in Encore and DJs E-man, Felly Fell and Big Boy are at Haze in Aria.
SATURDAY, NOV. 17
The Eagles are still flying high as the take it easy desperados rock MGM Grand; B.J. Thomas is at Suncoast for two nights; James Darren at Rampart Casino for two nights; “Star Search” winners Sawyer Brown at M Resort; Diego Verdaguer & Amanda Miguel at Texas Station; the Old School Classic Jam with Rose Royce, Rob Base and Shalimar at Riviera; Midtown Men at Eastside Cannery; CTA: California Transit Authority plays the hits of Chicago at South Point for two nights; and Monroy is at FSE.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The Las Vegas Philharmonic: Masterworks II -- An American Portrait is at Reynolds Hall in Smith Center.
Tickets go on sale for Gregg Allman’s Jan. 12 Pearl concert.
The PowerShares championships with tennis legends McEnroe, Agassi, Chang and Jim Courier are at Mandalay Bay.
Tropicana headliner magician Murray Sawchuck continues his “America’s Got Talent Week” with magician Michael Turco.
Char Margolis will look into your future at the Flamingo.
Geico Endurocross is at Orleans Arena and the Color Me Rad 5K charity run is at LVMS.
“Twilight” werewolf Alex Meraz is at “Top Chef Seattle” cheftestant Carla Pellegrino’s Meatball Spot in Town Square. Be sure to enjoy Team Edward vs. Team Jacob meatballs and specialty cocktails, including Vampire’s Kiss, through Dec. 15. Co-stars Angela Sarafyan and Rami Malek host at Tabu Ultra Lounge in MGM Grand.
Rapper Tyga celebrates his birthday at Tao in the Venetian; French Montana performs at Haze; Mario Lopez and Courtney Mazza host “Final Fling Before the Ring” at the Bank in the Bellagio; and Taboo of Black Eyed Peas is at Moon in the Palms.
SUNDAY, NOV. 18
PBS cameras will film “An Evening With Jerry Lewis” at Orleans Showroom for broadcast in March when the veteran comedy actor celebrates his 87th birthday. Jerry has agreed to end the show with a Q+A. Maybe one brave person will ask him to clear up the still-remaining mystery of why his MDA Telethon ended?
The Deftones with Scars on Broadway are at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay; Foreign Beggars at HRC on the Strip; and Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie is at FSE.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
It’s the start of 50 days of holiday festivities at Winter in Venice as it returns to the Venetian and Palazzo through Jan. 6. Attractions include ice-skating sessions, Mannheim Steamroller and parades. This year, Culinary Clash, a master-chef competition, pits resort and restaurant chefs against one other, with appearances by Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Sammy DeMarco, who will help me judge contestants each Friday night through the Dec. 21 finals.
Manufactured Superstars at XS in Encore.
Have a great weekend, and stay safe! Check back here Sunday and Monday for our pre-Thanksgiving wrap-up of all the trimmings.
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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