Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 | 5:21 p.m.
World Series of Poker
The “Wings of Legend” guitar saluting Carlos Santana unveiled today at Mandalay Bay measures 13 feet and also marks the 20th anniversary of House of Blues. Carlos resumes his residency there Thursday through the end of the month, plus, Feb. 1-2 and then again in May.
Dale Evers, a longtime artist and sculptor friend of mine since I started collecting his pieces in the 1990s, created the artwork. He used steel, glass and bronze to make the replica of Santana’s signature PRS guitar.
The unveiling of the guitar has focused the need for instruments at local schools, and Carlos, the Hermes Music Foundation and HOB Foundation plan on donating 200 guitars. One of the recipients, Fremont Middle School, sent its student mariachi band to the unveiling to perform.
“Music reminds you of your own light, reminds you that you are significant and meaningful and that you can also make a difference in the world,” Carlos said at the unveiling. “May this year bring you four things: vision, aspiration, desire with fire and courage.” Our thanks to contributing photographer Erik Kabik for his photo gallery.
WICKED WHISPERS AND RACY RUMORS
* Is the Las Vegas Convention Center about to undergo a makeover and expansion? Inside word is that within two weeks, there’ll be news about the convention halls being modernized and linked to McCarran Airport terminals and becoming its own district.
* In celebration of the late Whitney Houston, Madame Tussauds will immortalize the singer in wax, and not just once. There will be four models from her career unveiled here and in New York, Washington, D.C., and Hollywood next month. It will be the first time in Madame Tussauds’ 200-year history that four wax figures of the same person have been created. It’s taken four months to complete the attractions at a cost of more than $1.2 million.
* What is The Gazillionaire of “Absinthe” in Caesars Palace cooking up with The Amazing Johnathan, who left Bally’s just a few weeks ago? The duo were filming together at Caesars on Tuesday, and a well-placed source told me it’s likely that the magician will be invited to perform guest spots in the adult circus.
* Here’s an incredibly hot video to warm you up after all the brutally cold days we’ve experienced in the past two weeks. The bikini brunette is none other than our own sizzling model beauty Tishara Cousino returning to this month’s web pages of Playboy.
WSOP AT HOME? The excitement of our annual World Series of Poker is coming to your home this spring if you have an XBOX 360. The digital poker game features WSOP/ESPN announcers Lon McEacham and Norman Chad for added realism in providing commentary. “Full House Pro” lets amateur and pro poker fans play around the world in their own tournaments or solo.
FINAL DAYS: We’ve got one week remaining to tour the exhibit “Da Vinci: The Genius” at The Venetian. Nevada residents receive discounts up until its departure Jan. 27. Our coverage of this remarkable exhibit included an interview with director Tom Zaller. I visited three times and uncovered amazing revelations about this extraordinary inventor, artist and architect each time. If you haven’t seen it, go!
MOVING ON UP: It’s no longer a secret that “America Idol” Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks moves his show from The Indigo in Bally’s to Napoleon’s at the Paris starting Monday. Bally’s and Paris President David Hoenemeyer said: “Taylor was playing to sold-out crowds at Bally’s since he opened last year, so it only made sense for him to move to a larger venue next door at the Paris.”
Culinary royal Claudine Pepin, daughter of the famed Jacques Pepin, will be live on Facebook for a discussion about growing up the daughter of a culinary icon, plus, her favorite food memories and failsafe cooking tips. Log onto www.Facebook.com/FoodUVegas for details. She’ll be at Caesars in March for the debut courses of the new Food University with food editor Colman Andrews as a guest speaker. Top chefs, mixologists, fine food purveyors, farmers and cheese experts are the faculty of Food University, which benefits our beloved charity Keep Memory Alive.
Magician Criss Angel and the abs-olutely hard-bodied Thunder From Down Under are getting a salute from Rice & Company in the Luxor where the “Believe” illusionist appears. His vegetarian roll of carrot, cucumber, nori and rice will be on the menu as the CA Roll. The new Thunder Roll of soft-shell crab, tuna, avocado, cucumber and seaweed is added to the menu on Australia Day on Jan. 26.
CURTAIN UP: Hotel mogul Steve Wynn escorts wife Andrea to tonight’s gala opening of her Asian dining nightlife spot Andrea’s at the Encore. A slew of stars is expected; check out our preview posted Tuesday.
Simultaneously in New York, our hometown Tao, Lavo and Marquee nightlife czars open the all-new Marquee in the downtown meatpacking district of Manhattan. That, too, promises to be a glittering celebrity affair.
DJ WARS: Thursday marks the start of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, running through Monday with nightly entertainment from Las Vegas nightclubs. Four of Steve Wynn’s venues -- Tryst, XS, Surrender and Encore Beach Club -- will present a lineup of DJ talent including Afrojack, Avicii and Cedric Gervais. The Tao Group also will have its own re-created nightclub with five nights of star DJs.
The charity Canon 4 Kids raised $427,000 with its customer-appreciation reception and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s celebrity golf tournament. John O’Hurley hosted John Walsh, Alice Cooper, Kevin Sorbo and Danny Masterson, among others, at the Bellagio party.
Dennis Haskins,“Saved By the Bell’s” principal, Mr. Belding, was with chef Kerry Simon at his Palms Place restaurant Simon and then at Shutters in Caesars Palace.
Thirteen Miss America Pageant winners dating back to 1948’s Bebe Sharp and including 2004 “The Amazing Race” star Ericka Dunlap, dined at Vintner Grill in Summerlin. “Fox and Friends” anchor Gretchen Carlson, who was here as the 1989 Miss America, missed out on the reunion luncheon saluting 2012 Miss America Laura Kaeppeler due to TV production schedule conflicts.
It’s the trade-only opening day of the 2013 Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel, but fans can get their first glimpse at Wicked’s Jessica Drake, Stormy Daniels, Samantha Saint, Kaylani Lee and Alektra Blue at their kickoff party at Chateau in the Paris; our 2013 AVN/AEE Royal Robin Rundown was posted Tuesday.
Disney on Ice presents “Dare to Dream” at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Judgment Day and Pinback play Hard Rock Cafe on The Strip.
And NBA bad boy Dennis Rodman signs autographs and memorabilia and poses for photos at TriStar Sports Memorabilia daily through Monday at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.
We’ll have coverage of tonight’s opening of Andrea’s, plus, our third installment of AVN/AEE coverage with internet sex star Taylor Stevens and Sunset Thomas’ tour of the sexpo.
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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