Tuesday, May 14, 2013 | 4:35 p.m.
TNA Impact Wrestling
The Real Housewives of Israel
Championship wrestlers Hulk Hogan and Kenny King plan to bring TNA Impact Wrestling to The Orleans Arena. Hulk will present a TNA championship belt to former Mayor Oscar Goodman, now serving as host chairman of our Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Oscar will welcome Mark Weber from Impact Wrestling and Andre Filosi from The Orleans to welcome the event. Spike TV broadcasts the professional wrestling matches every Thursday, and here is the May 9 show posted on YouTube.
In advance of the announcement Wednesday morning, we’ve learned that the first Las Vegas taping will be June 29.
ISRAEL REALITY TV SHOW: Before Meshulam Riklis became the Wall Street billionaire who bought the Riviera, he was a math student in Ohio who went on to become a junior stock analyst in Minneapolis. He built his fortune from nothing and is credited as the originator of junk bonds and leveraged buyouts.
After divorcing his first wife, Rik, then 53, wed actress Pia Zadora from 1977 to 1993 and bankrolled the 23-year-old’s singing career. He financed the movie “Butterfly” for her to star, and the press junket and premiere were at the Riviera. The couple lived at Pickfair Manor once owned by legends Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford and demolished it to build a larger home.
He is still revered in business circles here and loved by a legion of showgirls he romanced and wooed with lavish gifts. Now 89, he’s married for a third time to Tali Sinai — 40 years his junior — and the duo are appearing on “The Real Housewives of Israel” from Tel Aviv.
Rik is as feisty as ever, saying that he became a millionaire out of nothing and wed Tali, an Israeli dancer, because she wanted his money, and he wanted her heart and soul for his life. He admits that there was a rise-and-fall story, but he’s the richest and happiest man in the world.
LAST RUN: Audiences at the musical “Billy Elliott,” premiering at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts tonight for eight shows, will see four young lads in the title role. Ben Cook, Drew Minard, Noah Parets and Mitchell Tobin perform two shows apiece here, plus, Las Vegas marks the end of Ben’s run with the show because he’s grown too old and tall for the role.
The original casting was for boys 4-foot-10 who could dance and were ages 10 to 12. Ben is now 15 and 5-foot-6! Sir Elton John created the music for the show created from the movie, which premiered in 2000 with the story of a working-class son of a coal miner who wanted to dance. In 2008, the Broadway production won 10 Tony Awards and, although shuttered stateside, still plays in London.
MORIMOTO DESIGNS: Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto tells me upon his return to New York after the weekend’s 2013 Vegas Uncorked events that he begins work on the designs of his new Mirage restaurant. “I have good ideas in my mind already of what we want to achieve on the Strip,” he told me. “Now to get it turned from dreams to designs to reality.
“We want to finish that and apply for the permits this year so after construction we can open early next year.” He’s taking over the existing Japonais space at The Mirage.
WYNN HAT TRICK: For the third consecutive year, Steve Wynn’s “Le Reve — The Dream,” which recently celebrated its eighth anniversary, has been voted Best Production Show by the Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association. Steve’s GM of Entertainment Operations Rick Gray said: “To be recognized for the third year in a row is an extraordinary compliment. It is a true testament to our cast and crew for their dedication and commitment.”
Described by Time Magazine as the Best Musical of the Decade, “Billy Elliott” opens tonight and plays eight shows through Sunday, including matinees on the weekend.
Shania Twain resumes her residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. After she’s caught her breath from opening night, she’ll sit with me for a one-on-one that we’ll post Thursday.
Rondell Sheridan, Todd Sawyer and Gary Cannon headline at Harrah’s Improv through Sunday.
Hyde Bellagio hosts the Lost Angels industry party with DJ Eric D-Lux at the wheels of steel.
And Madame Tussauds at The Venetian unveils a wax figure of Marvel superhero Thor.
We wrap our three-part interview with former Mayor Oscar as he checks off the wins and losses of his 12 years in City Hall and reveals what he’d like written on his epitaph. We start our report of the war among nightclub promoters that’s exploded as the results of arrests of pimps posing as party planners. Plus, a sneak preview of the new episode of “Model Employee” filmed at Mandalay Bay.
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 VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
The Orleans Arena, a Boyd Gaming facility located just west of the Las Vegas Strip, is one of the nation’s leading mid-sized arenas, and was recently ranked No. 1 in the United States and No. 5 internationally among venues of similar size by Venues Today Magazine.
The Arena hosts more than 200 events each year, including concerts by top names like Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Van Halen, Brooks & Dunn, Black Eyed Peas, Akon and Rihanna; family favorites like The Harlem Globetrotters and Circus Spectacular; and a wide variety of sporting events, including NCAA basketball tournaments, the West Coast Conference and Western Athletic Conference Basketball Championships, mixed martial arts with Superior Cage Combat, and major motorsports events.
The arena serves as home to the Las Vegas Wranglers professional ECHL hockey team, the Las Vegas Legends professional indoor soccer team, and the Lingerie Football League’s Las Vegas Sin. Stay connected to the Orleans Arena on Facebook (www.facebook.com/orleansarena) and on Twitter (@orleansarena).
True to its namesake, The Orleans gives visitors a year-round Mardi Gras feeling with a New Orleans French Quarter environment.
Located just a short way from the center of gambling on the Strip, The Orleans offers a collection of attractions that helps to draw in a mix of locals and visitors.
In addition to the 1,885 hotel rooms and 134,000-square foot casino, the property has a 70-lane bowling center, an 18-screen movie theater, an 850-seat showroom and a 9,500-seat arena, home to the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team.
The hotel also has 14 dining options, including Canal Street, The Prime Rib Loft, Koji Sushi Bar & China Bistro and Big Al’s Oyster Bar.