Julie Jacobson / AP
Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 | 4:53 p.m.
MGM Resorts execs plan a permanent home for the makeshift 9/11 memorial that’s been forced out by the new $100 million facelift to its 47-story New York-New York. For the past 16 years, the duplicate Empire State building and the Manhattan harbor fire boat have dominated the property. Demolition for the makeover has already caused the removal of the shrine of Fire Department T-shirts, cards and notes.
MGM says the memorial’s marker plaques are safe at the hotel while nearly 6,000 artifacts are being held safely at UNLV, which used to be rotated in the display case at the Statue of Liberty model. The site is being transformed into a park and plaza modeled after New York’s Madison Square that will lead to the new sports and concert arena being built behind New York-New York and Monte Carlo. MGM execs promise to work with our Valley’s First Responders to locate a permanent memorial for the artifacts.
CELINE’S NEW ALBUM: Superstar singer Celine Dion, who resumed her residency Tuesday night at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace, performed a sneak preview of her new English-language album title track “Loved Me Back to Life” on a weekend visit to her hometown in Quebec.
There’s confusion I haven’t been able to unravel since I returned from Europe as to what Celine record might be released Thursday, but she did chat about it with talk-show host Katie Couric for her show Thursday. It’s definite that the new album is set for release Oct. 21 after its original title was changed from “Water and a Flame” after complaints by its songwriter. Listen and watch the recording sessions at CelineDion.com/ca/new-album. Las Vegas photographer Denise Truscello captured some of the Florida recording sessions for the album artwork.
CONGRATULATIONS: Amazon, which gave 4.5 stars out of 5 to my friend Carole Mallory’s love story “Picasso’s Ghost,” has now named it the No. 1 bestseller on Kindle. A former actress, Carole has been a longtime friend of more than two decades, and her remarkable journey of love and romance with the artist’s son is great summer reading. She now teaches writing at university courses in Philadelphia, where I caught up with her last weekend.
CAR COLLECTOR’S PARADE: More than 70 valuable collector vehicles will parade along the Strip on Sept. 25 in the sixth-annual Barrett-Jackson road rally that kicks off its three-day auction for car collectors. Hundreds of high-priced vehicles will cross the block Sept. 26-28 for auto enthusiasts from around the world. The parade is from Convention Center down the Strip to Mandalay Bay.
ROCK STARS: The celebration of classic rock that is the theme of this year’s fourth-annual Vegas Rocks Awards at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Aug. 25 is growing with more performers and presenters. The event also marks the ninth anniversary of Vegas Rocks Magazine.
Legendary artists include Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer), Jon Anderson (Yes), Zakk Wylde and Laura Wylde, with Geoff Tate’s Queensryche opening the show. Also being honored: Slaughter and Rudy Sarzo of Quiet Riot. The red-carpet night produced by publishing queen Sally Steele ends with an all-star jam with Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Simon Wright (AC/DC), James Kottak (Scorpions) and more. Porn king Ron Jeremy promises to attend, too.
BURLESQUE NIGHTCLUB: Hollywood burlesque mastermind Ivan Kane had a successful one-year run of his club show Forty Deuce at Mandalay Bay, but now it’s grown in size and impact and jumped to Atlantic City. His new venue Royal Jelly at the new casino hotel Revel has been dubbed the world’s top burlesque nightclub, and it might well return here in its new incarnation. It’s certainly unlike anything he’s previously imagined or produced.
“It’s not just 20-minute shows. It’s the original, entire burlesque nightclub,” he said proudly while I was there last weekend. Ivan’s nightclub in the round features a circular flying catwalk designed by Cirque du Soleil that glides down over the bar. It permits the Royal Jelly girls to dance onto the stage and hang from it during the exotic erotic numbers. A DJ spins music on a revolving stage that also features the stocking-clad, high-heeled beauties who go topless, only wearing tiny pasties.
His six dancers perform with a live jazz band, which is replaced daily at 2 a.m. with an after-hours rock band for the dancers to become video vixens under a snowstorm of confetti. Says Ivan: “It’s in your face. It’s highly charged. The atmosphere is designed to push the envelope of decadence, asexuality and voyeurism.” The dancers offer burlesque lessons every weekend.
Million Dollar Quartet
Bally’s headliner Veronic DiCaire joined the cast of “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s as a guest performer. She performed an impression of June Carter Cash and sang “Jackson” with Ben Hale, who portrays Johnny Cash.
It was a unique, one-night-only performance and the first time a guest was invited to sit in with the Las Vegas cast for an onstage jam session. In Chicago and New York, “MDQ” has rocked out with guests Melissa Etheridge, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lesley Gore and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Breathe Carolina partied at the Act in Palazzo with Boys Like Girls and drummer vocalist Brandon Saller of Atreyu and performed their hit “Blackout.” Brandon was with members of his new band Hell or High Water enjoying a night on the town after a performance downtown.
The beloved musical “Les Miserables” opens at Smith Center with new staging and scenery for eight performances through Sunday; our Q+A with director Laurence Connor was posted today.
Summer theater continues at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park with “Legally Blonde: the Musical” opening tonight and playing nightly through Aug. 24.
The preliminary Junior and Mega Crew divisions of the USA and World Hip-Hop Championships get underway at Red Rock Resort before moving to the Orleans for the weekend finals. Our Q+A with Sharna Burgess, head judge and a pro dancer on “Dancing With the Stars,” was posted Tuesday.
Delegates to the Official Star Trek Convention invade the Rio to set up for the four-day meeting of Klingons and other space creatures starting Thursday.
It’s never too early to plan your wedding in Las Vegas, and the superstitious brides wanting lifelong good luck have booked ceremonies for 11/12/13. We take a look at the eye-popping, rich-and-famous luxuries of Crystals, plus, the anniversary celebrations of PBR Rock Bar.
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.
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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.