Monday, Nov. 4, 2013 | 6 p.m.
On this first day of the workweek, we have a few …
WICKED WHISPERS & RACY RUMORS
Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit, the annual feast of great chefs, fantastic food and wondrous wines, has been renewed for two more years with sponsorship from our Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The Grand Tasting at Caesars Palace is always a much-anticipated main event.
Inside word is that Japonais at the Mirage will shut in April ready for the transformation into Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s new Asian restaurant that will open next August, setting up a battle of the three top Japanese chefs in America. More on that clash of culinary champions on Tuesday.
TV STARS: Our Boyz II Men at the Mirage headliner Shawn Stockman will join Jewel and Ben Folds as judges with host Nick Lachey on NBC’s “The Sing-Off” premiering Dec. 9.
It’s a “hit the rights notes or go home” a cappella show without backup bands or safety nets and no lip-synching. The last group standing wins an Epic Records/Sony Music recording contract. “That’s something to sing about,” said Shawn when I visited backstage over the weekend.
Fellow Mirage headliner Terry Fator was on the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” today promoting his show and new live-concert DVD set for release in February.
“American Idol” Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks, who headlines at our Paris Las Vegas, makes his TV acting debut on NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” this Wednesday. He’ll play a judge alongside Ashanti and Season 2 “Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken on “American Diva,” a singing contest, for the episode “Dissonant Voices.”
CONFIRMED! Planet Hollywood officials today confirmed my weeks-ago Wicked Whisper that the new film “Homefront” with Jason Statham, Kate Bosworth, James Franco and Winona Ryder will have its Las Vegas premiere Nov. 20, one week before its national release.
Sylvester Stallone, who wrote “Homefront,” will join the cast and director for the world-premiere gala. The action movie is the story of a widowed ex-Drug Enforcement Agency agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter, but runs across one of the largest meth labs in the country and fights to force the drug dealers out.
NEW HOME: “Rock of Ages” star Mark Shunock has found a new home for his monthly series of 12 local-charity fundraisers after the Act in Palazzo shuttered just 48 hours before his planned launch. Mark will now host “Mondays Dark” at Body English in the Hard Rock Hotel on the third Monday of each month.
Dot-Marie Jones (“Glee”), Travis Cloer (“Jersey Boys”) and cast members from “Rock of Ages” will join forces for 90 minutes of entertainment. Mark aims to raise $10,000 each month for charity, with a $100,000+ tally over the next 12 months. Opportunity Village is the first beneficiary.
CONGRATULATIONS! Our Las Vegas-based femme-fatale fighter from the Philippines Ana “Hurricane” Julaton defeated her Mexican opponent Perla Hernandez in a 10-round bout in Yucatan over the weekend. While training here at Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s gym, she’d told me, “Defeat is not an option.”
She lived up to her word. Ana broke Perla’s seven-fight winning streak and now has a record of 13-4-1. When does female boxing come to Las Vegas?
BAJA 1000: Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren, Troy Herbst and B.J. Baldwin are among the entries from 40 states and 25 countries in the Baja 1000 finale for the 40th year of SCORE desert racing. It’s actually the 46th annual Baja, the granddaddy of all desert races starting Nov. 13 on a rugged 883-mile course in Ensenada. Eighty-seven of the racers have combined for 288 class wins in this legendary race.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, who has four restaurants in Las Vegas, will be honored for excellence and superior achievements at the Silver State Awards I’m hosting with Dayna Roselli and Nina Radetich on Dec. 13 at the Venetian Showroom. It’s a fundraiser for the Nevada Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation.
Celebrity makeup artist Rain Hannah is conducting a three-day workshop Nov. 11 and again Jan. 29 at LVH for aspiring makeup artists. Rain says anyone can be a star and ready for the red carpet and paparazzi in less than four hours.
Play begins in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event November Nine Final Table at the Penn & Teller Theater in the Rio. ESPN covers the event on a 15-minute delay basis, and be sure to check out our Las Vegas Sun Sports colleague Case Keefer’s live blog.
The final two players compete for mega-bucks play Tuesday to determine the winner of the big payday and the amazing $500,000 WSOP champion’s diamond-and-gold bracelet. Good luck to November Nine’s Jay Farber, who is a VIP host at Hakkasan at MGM Grand.
Ian Bagg headlines at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand through Sunday.
DJ Vice is at Marquee’s Industry Night in the Cosmopolitan.
DJ Diplo is at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore.
The Vegas Valley Book Festival presents author Jeff Kinney (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”) at the historic downtown 5th Street School.
An exclusive sneak preview of Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil’s new restaurant, lounge and bar bus Eat, Drink, Party, Tatuado at Circus Circus, plus, Criss Angel’s preparations to levitate his friend NBA star and amateur magician Shaquille O’Neal.
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.