Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 | 4:57 p.m.
A new Hollywood children’s movie to be filmed here for most of December will give Las Vegas and Nevada filming a shot in the arm and prove that Tinseltown can shoot features on and off the Strip.
“Pop Star Puppy” also will show off our local actors and extras as producer-director Andrew Van Slee says the SAG- and AFTRA-budgeted independent production will hire only Las Vegas talent. Barbara Lauren is the casting director for the auditions being held this month.
Shooting is set to start Dec. 4 with 15 main characters, of which five will be kids ages 8 to 16. It’s the story of a young boy who adopts a dog that turns out to have an amazing ability to sing. Just before the dog’s expected big win on a TV talent show, “Total Pop Star,” two goons intent on sabotaging his canine career abduct him.
“Austin” is an Army brat given a new pet dog by his father who is shipped off to Afghanistan for a tour of duty after moving to Las Vegas. Dino the dog not only sings, but also talks and becomes an overnight superstar dognapped by sinister sidekicks who are brought down by Austin’s teenage friends.
The abduction plot “fails” just in time for Dino to star in the final competition, but another surprise awaits when the judges and contestants discover that it’s a counterfeit dog. Can the kids rescue the day for a second time? We’ll have to await the movie’s release for the answer to that one.
RARE PERFORMANCES: For the first time in more than 50 years, video from former Las Vegas headliner Edie Adams’ ABC shows “Here’s Edie” and “The Edie Adams Show” is set for release in the U.S. and internationally. I’d reported this previously but can now confirm a Nov. 19 release date, with Amazon taking pre-orders of the DVD and digital sets as of today.
The four-disc box set runs a staggering total of 12 hours with rare performance footage of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Getz, Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman and Al Hirt when they performed on the Strip with the Muriel Cigar commercials cutie.
Singers include Johnny Mathis, Bobby Darin and Sammy Davis Jr. with comedians Bob Hope, Rowan & Martin, Buddy Hackett and Dick Shawn and British magician Terry Thomas, who co-starred with Edie in the classic 1963 movie “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.” Additional guests on the DVDs include Andre Previn, Laurindo Almeida, Spike Jones, Peter Falk, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Sir Michael Redgrave.
After the sudden death of her husband Ernie Kovacs, Edie dedicated herself to the preservation of his shows and also the videotapes of her 21 specials recorded from 1962-1964. This epic entertainment package comes with a 16-page booklet with rare family photos and an essay by her son, Joshua Mills.
The shows were taped in studio and on location in Las Vegas hotels and one entirely in the Nevada desert. The TV collection gives fans what they had been waiting for but never knew existed for more than half a century. Josh tells me he’s hoping to unveil highlights from the series with a special Las Vegas premiere screening in time for the holidays.
SHIRLEY’S ‘TOP CHEF’ DRAMA: Las Vegas chef Shirley Chung continues her “Top Chef” journey tonight in New Orleans when Bravo’s hit series presents the “Campfires, Cream Cheese and Countryside” episode with a farm-fresh challenge. Louisiana chef John Besh, who has revitalized its culinary legacy, has his nine restaurants’ chefs judging.
John, who has appeared on the Food Network, “Iron Chef” and “Top Chef Masters,” introduces the cheftestants to one of his favorite farms where they have to make a dish out of his prized creole tomatoes. Says Shirley: “It’s like down on the farm at home in Northern China where I was born with our little rice field and the piglets. “
But as the Elimination Challenge farm-to-table theory continues, she has a real drama to overcome. Shirley has to start over after burning her first batch of blueberries and steamed custard. Will she be able to save the day?
In last week’s episode with “Glee’s” Lea Michele, Shirley was partnered with Louis Maldonada on a safe team making a Halloween party meal of “severed thumb” from braised quinoa and onions in phyllo dough with potato puree and “worm salad” made from hand-cut noodles and fresh daikon radish. Tonight’s recipe will certainly look and taste a lot better, so hopefully Shirley continues her journey.
Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil and Luxor headliner comedian Carrot Top held court in their secret-society Gold Club chandeliered section of Vince’s new Tatuado, Eat, Drink, Party restaurant and lounge at Circus Circus. Vince told me that third Gold Club member actor Nicolas Cage was away filming in Abu Dhabi, so they will fly there for their next meeting just before his Dec. 5 show at Orleans Arena with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper, Dee Snider and Rob Zombie. Carrot Top and he went onto Skype to share the VIP opening with Nic.
Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden partied at Crazy Horse III Gentlemen’s Club early this morning with friends, but no sign of twerking gal pal Miley Cyrus, who he’s been spotted with recently. The femme-fatale dancers showed off their own scandalous wrecking-ball dance moves for the rocker and his pals while they sipped vodka cocktails at a center-stage VIP table.
Newly separated Bruce Jenner was spotted dining sans any Kardashians on Tuesday night at Andrea’s in Steve Wynn’s Encore. In a group of 23, Bruce et al shared executive chef Joseph Elevado’s hamachi, a shellfish tower, A5 Kobe beef, a sushi and sashimi platter, sea bass, special cucumber roll, shrimp tempura spicy tuna roll, smashed potatoes and vegan chicken lettuce cups.
Las Vegas masked magician Jeff McBride has returned home from China, where he was the first magician to ever receive a standing ovation from the prestigious Beijing Magic Convention in its entire history. Jeff next heads for three “McBride Magic Experience” shows in Bulgaria before returning for his Wonderground shows on Nov. 21 in Henderson. His December calendar is filled with performances through New Year’s on various Pacific cruises.
Legendary rocker Rod Stewart returns to the Colosseum in Caesars Palace through Nov. 24 with hits of his five-decade-long career and a slew of soccer balls kicked out high in the audience for his “Hot Legs” and “Maggie May” numbers.
Carlos Santana is back with his greatest-hits show at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay through Nov. 17.
Comedian Andrew Dice Clay returns to Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel through Sunday.
Pianist Bill Fayne presents Classic Broadway Music with George DeMott, Lisa Smith, Ron Smith and Zipporah Peddle at Bootlegger Bistro.
The World Food Championships has its welcoming party with our Las Vegas Weekly colleagues downtown at Golden Nugget.
One Night for One Drop
Nero is at Surrender in Encore.
And Tyga is at Body English in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Our first look at the new “desert-themed” Cirque du Soleil One Night for One Drop second fundraising spectacular with more than 200 artists and guest performers set for Michael Jackson One Theater at Mandalay Bay next March 21 celebrating World Water Day. To remind you of the first concert, check out contributing photographer Tom Donoghue’s photo gallery posted in March 23.
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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