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August 21, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Mike Tyson’s latest projects; Shanghai in the desert; and ‘Last Vegas’

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Erik Kabik/ErikKabik.com

The VIP grand opening of “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth — Live on Stage” at MGM Grand on Saturday, April 14, 2012.

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth - Live on Stage

Former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson performs in Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth - Live on Stage Launch slideshow »

Mike Tyson’s tempestuous life story was captured in his tell-all, one-man show "Undisputed Truth." I first reported those exclusive stories back in February 2012, and now I can reveal that two versions of the “confessions” will fight a ratings war this fall.

"Undisputed Truth,” developed by Las Vegas producer Adam Steck with Mike’s wife Kiki, wound up on Broadway with director Spike Lee — and he filmed the unvarnished tale of his life’s highs and lows for broadcast on HBO this November. Mike, a Las Vegas resident, also took the show about his years in prison, drug use, failed marriage and other demons — including the bitten ear of Evander Holyfield — on tour across America this spring.

Simultaneously, Mike will star in a new Fox reality TV series, “Being Mike Tyson.” For the first sneak peek of his rise and fall from fame, click here.

The six-part show will premiere Sept. 22 on Fox while there is local NFL coverage, then move to its regular time slot on the new Fox 1 sports network Sept. 24. Mike Bloom, senior vice president of original programming for Fox Sports, told affiliates this week: “We all know Iron Mike; we all know the stories, but very few people know Michael Gerard Tyson. The honesty and access Mike gave us allowed us to paint a complete picture of an icon that you’ve never seen before. After watching all six episodes, viewers will know a whole new Mike Tyson, and one they never imagined.”

Mike told the Fox Sports 1 family: “I'm very glad to be premiering my first-ever docu-series. Although I have lived my life on the world stage since I got into boxing, I was still apprehensive about doing such an intimate portrayal of myself. It turned out to be an amazingly personal experience for me, looking back at the life I once led via the life that I am so proud to be living now."

The cameras followed Mike as he traveled the country for his "Undisputed Truth" national tour, reflecting on his past and seeking personal closure. He visited the prison in Indianapolis where he was incarcerated and spent unprecedented time with one-time rival Evander Holyfield discussing their true feelings about each other and their memories of “the ear incident."

Cameras rolled during a very special and moving meeting with “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali, and also while Mike discussed parenthood and life. Also documented were visits to Mike's old neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the upstate New York Catskill mountains.

“This is not a look back but instead a look inward and forward," he told Fox Sports. "I don’t have any delusions of glory or grandeur for anything I do these days. People have to realize that ‘Iron Mike’ is dead and I’m doing something else now, and that’s just what it is. I was pretty dark and troubled back then. I made my mistakes, but I’m cool now.”

As if the double TV shows aren’t enough for the recovered fighter, he also confirmed Wednesday that discussions are moving along well for the movie version of his life story that Lee might direct. Mike also revealed that Jamie Foxx, a regular performer and party prince in Las Vegas, has agreed to play him in the film if production starts next year.

Elton John's 'The Million Dollar Piano' at Caesars Palace

Elton John's The Million Dollar Piano at Caesars Palace on Sept. 28, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Elton John's The Million Dollar Piano at Caesars Palace

Elton John's The Million Dollar Piano at Caesars Palace on Sept. 28, 2011. Launch slideshow »

ELTON ALBUM AND CAESARS RETURN: Having fully recovered from an appendicitis operation, Sir Elton John will return to Caesars Palace on Sept. 18. On Sept. 24, the headline entertainer will release his new album, "The Diving Board." Here's a look at the music video of the debut single, “Home Again."

Produced by T. Bone Burnett, the album features 12 new songs written by Elton and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin.

There also are three piano interludes composed by Elton at the keys of that $1 million Yamaha piano onstage at Caesars. My review of his show was posted in September 2011.

Earlier, I reported on Fizz, the lounge and boutique partner David Furnish and he will open at Caesars. I can now confirm that rumors — prompted by the new bubbly boutique — about renewing his Caesars deal for another two years will be made official shortly.

FIRST LOOK: It's now official that the Michael Douglas/Robert DeNiro movie "Last Vegas" is set for a Nov. 1 release. CBS Films released the first poster for the comedy film on Wednesday.

Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Mary Steenburgen also star in the film, which has numerous cameos by Strip performers. Carrot Top from the Luxor flew to Georgia to film his sequences when the production team ran over their Las Vegas deadlines.

"Last Vegas" is the story of four best friends and their return visit to Sin City; it's already been dubbed an old-timer’s "The Hangover."

The only bachelor of the group proposes marriage to his 30-something girlfriend, and the foursome decides to come to Las Vegas to relive their glory days, but just as Las Vegas has changed dramatically over the years, they discover that they have, too.

MICROSOFT MEETING: Three days of the Microsoft SharePoint Conference starting March 6 next year will attract thousands of IT professionals, programmers and executives. The giant computer company skipped this year’s conference but is expecting a huge turnout for next year’s software events at the Venetian. Microsoft plans to make its Office, Yammer and SharePoint executives available to the delegates.

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The Mandarin Bar at Mandarin Oriental.

SHANGHAI DECADENCE: Mandarin Oriental officials have OK’d new weekly Shanghai Nights parties at Mandarin Bar, 23 floors above the Strip. New manager Priscilla Young launches the decadence of 1930s Shanghai starting Sept. 10. It will be transformed into an Asian-styled speakeasy with Oriental lanterns and dramatic red lighting. Decades ago, Shanghai was known as the Las Vegas of Asia.

FASHION DANCER: "So You Think You Can Dance" host Cat Deeley is the cover girl of Vegas Magazine's fall fashion issue. Cat, a three-time Emmy nominated personality, won her first Teen Choice Award this summer. In the new edition of our sister publication, she says: “I don’t really take myself too seriously because I can’t. I’m never going to be that sophisticated woman who’s so put together that her bra and knickers always match. I’ve reached the grand old age of 36, and I’m fully embracing the fact that I’m not perfect, I’m a bit klutzy, my nose bends one way, and I don’t have any boobs. I’m quite fun to hang out with and to go and have cocktails with — and I think perfection is really boring, actually.”

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Adventuredome at Circus Circus in Las Vegas.

CELEBRATIONS: Adventuredome at Circus Circus celebrates its 20th birthday today with Holly Madison, Jabbawockeez and the studly, valiant "Tournament of Kings" performers singing "Happy Birthday" around a tower of 2,000 cupcakes. (Our full story was posted Wednesday.)

Mercurial and always unpredictable rocker Courtney Love is at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel for two shows to kick off the four-night celebration of the club’s first anniversary. (Coverage by Editor at Large John Katsilometes was posted today.)

TONIGHT’S TIPS

Five-time Grammy winning guitarist Buddy Guy has been an invaluable American music treasure for more than 50 years, and he’s in concert at Smith Center with 14-year-old musical genius Quinn Sullivan.

Punk rockers Deerhunter promote their sixth album, "Monomania," at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip with Lonnie Holley.

Rebelution and Matisyahu play Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Fifteen local mixologists battle in a whiskey-cocktail recipe challenge at Hyde Bellagio with guests voting for the one who will win $2,000.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

It’s a rock 'n' roll weekend with the Vegas Rocks Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel — and we’ve got the advance look with Vince Neil, Slaughter and Queensryche. Plus, in our Weekend Celebrity Preview, shows and parties with Peter Frampton, Daughtry, Tommy Lee and a surprise lecture of tennis secrets by Grand Slam champion Jimmy Connors.

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 Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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