Tuesday, April 30, 2013 | 6 p.m.
The Rolling Stones at Echoplex
The Rolling Stones’ “50 and Counting” tour with its May 11 concert at MGM Grand Garden Arena is one of the decade’s most eagerly awaited events, and the veteran British rockers warmed up for it with a surprise set at Echoplex in L.A. over the weekend.
I’ve managed to obtain performance photos and a video of the show. Their set list, which gives us a taste of what to expect May 11, included “You Got Me Rocking,” “Respectable,” “She’s So Cold,” “Live With Me,” “Street Fighting Man,” “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” “Little Queenie,” “Just My Imagination,” “Miss You,” “Love in Vain,” “Midnight Rambler,” “Start Me Up,” “Brown Sugar” and closing with perennial favorite “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”
OLIVIA’S RETURN: Our thoughts and prayers are with Olivia Newton-John and her 69-year-old sister Rona, who is bravely battling cancer. I learned sadly that Rona is now in a hospice, and Olivia, who postponed her upcoming Flamingo residency, is helping care for her. Olivia has told close friends that she’ll let time heal on her decision as to when she will agree to a new start date in Donny & Marie Osmond’s showroom when they’re away.
Meantime, Flamingo execs are drawing up a list of stars who can come in for short weekend-long appearances until Olivia’s return, but I am assured that nobody has yet been decided upon or approached. Incidentally, the last time Donny & Marie played Atlantic City, it was a one-week sellout. When I was there last weekend, I was told that they will return there this summer, but this time it’s already a three-week sellout. Donny & Marie will take their entire Las Vegas cast, musicians and crew with them.
WICKED WHISPERS & RACY RUMORS
Which striking model stayed in which off-Strip hotel and woke to find herself covered in bug bites? An emergency doctor’s visit confirmed the ugly and deplorable health problem. Check out BedBugRegistry.com for all hotels across America that have reported problems. It’s startling to see how many hotels in Nevada, Utah and Arizona are affected.
Contrary to rumors posted elsewhere, that was not Britney Spears and manager Larry Rudolph at Hakkasan Las Vegas celebrations at MGM Grand. In fact, it was Britney’s female impersonator Derrick Barry, who has appeared on “America’s Got Talent” and “The Next Best Thing.” Derrick, who wore an expensive gold lame designer dress to the opening party, stars in Frank Marino’s “Divas Las Vegas” at The Quad. He and I chatted at Hakkasan, and he told me that he can’t wait for Britney to start her run at Planet Hollywood because it will boost his visibility, too.
Just asking politely who is in the running to replace Coco Austin when the reality TV star leaves “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood and returns after July 31 to her New Jersey home? I asked Holly Madison if she would consider rejoining, and she demurred a complete answer but hinted that it wasn’t likely to happen.
Meantime, Holly did reveal that she will make a zip-line entrance at the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for opening day June 21. Her baby daddy, EDC chief Pasquale Rotella, said all 345,000 tickets are sold out for the 17th annual, three-day event.
WHITE CASTLE RULES: More than 30 food trucks and vendors were featured at the Las Vegas Foodie Fest at Silverton Casino Lodge from Friday through Sunday benefiting our food bank Three Square, and it was all about White Castle. On the first night, the line was closed by 9:30 (2 1/2 hours before closing time), and the wait was nearly 2 hours. It was reportedly worse the remaining two days. Time to bite the mini burger and open a White Castle in Las Vegas.
Some trucks and vendors have been featured on The Food Network, The History Channel, The Cooking Channel and The Travel Channel, including Seoul Sausage, Nonna’s Kitchenette, Fukuburger, Tornado Potato, The Lobster Lady From Maine, Jogasaki Burrito, Fist of Fusion and Fluff Ice. Ordered: items from Tornado Potato (one wrapped around spicy sausage), Fists of Fusion (pulled pork and short rib tacos and grilled cheese) and shave ice (watermelon and blueberry). All were great. Sure, there were long lines and waits, but patience is a virtue, and it was nice to be off the Strip for an evening. Come back soon, Foodie Fest. With more than one White Castle booth?!
BEST B-BOY SEARCH: Red Bull BC One heads here May 18 to search for the best b-boy to compete in the Houston National Finals Aug. 17. The free, all-ages event is at 8 p.m. at Fremont Street Experience with host Cros1 and Neguin, Floor Rock (Rock Skittles) and Teknyc (Skill Methodz Crew) as judges.
Among the 15 competitors: local b-boy dancers MIG 187, Maynard, Prinz Harry and Roland Blintz battling rivals from San Diego, Phoenix, Honolulu, L.A. and Vancouver. Our dancers have good odds in their favor to win here and again in Houston before going on to the November World Finals in Seoul, South Korea.
GREAT GUITARS: Guitars designed as art pieces in all shapes, sizes and colors were snapped up at “Artists for Autism” that star chef Charlie Palmer organized for the nonprofit Autism Community. One hundred artists were given 100 guitars and allowed to let their imaginations run wild. There were neon guitars, painted guitars, cutout guitars, one that housed a cactus garden and another carved from a palm tree.
They were placed on display at the Keep Memory Alive events center at The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. I bought a guitar shaped and painted as a burlesque cabaret torch singer, and chefs Barry Dakake and Andre Rochat, both from the Palms, served taste treats as generous bidders purchased the entire guitar collection.
It’s the hospitality industry first-anniversary party at 1OAK in The Mirage with DJ Luminox.
Chris Tomlin plays Henderson Pavilion.
Charles Fleischer and Brett Walker headline Harrah’s Improv through Sunday.
Tickets go on sale for a cappella stars Straight No Chaser when their North American fall tour “Under the Influence” stops at Pearl at the Palms from Sept. 26-28.
Sushi Roku at The Forum Shops of Caesars Palace unveils its Summer Break menu and cocktails.
An intimate photo gallery of Holly at home with Pasquale and their newborn daughter Rainbow Aurora, plus, an interview with 2009 Penthouse Pet of the Year Taya Parker and a photo preview of her new, hot show “Centerfolds of Magic” opening at the Plaza. And, Counter Intelligence with a preview of next week’s Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.