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December 21, 2014

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Celebrity preview: Garth Brooks, Justin Timberlake, Thirty Seconds to Mars, ‘Evita’ and John Legend

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John Shearer / AP

Justin Timberlake accepts the award for Favorite Album, Soul/R&B for “The 20/20 Experience” at the American Music Awards at Nokia Theater L.A. Live on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.

Garth Brooks @The Wynn

Garth Brooks. Launch slideshow »

No Black Friday here — we are shining bright. Thanksgiving has passed, and the shopping insanity signals that we’re onto Chanukah and Christmas.

Country king Garth Brooks says farewell to Las Vegas after his more than three year run of solo shows at Steve Wynn’s Encore Theater. However, the amazing singer is leaving town on a mighty high note. How do you top a live, two-hour CBS broadcast (9 to 11 p.m. ET live and tape delayed on the West Coast) and the release of a monster CD/DVD collection of his Las Vegas performances and hits?

Garth, who promises that he’ll resume touring next year, said that he will perform country classics and show how the legendary stars from that genre influenced his own greatest hits. During his three years at Wynn, I’ve chatted with Garth several times about the show and his life.

Said Garth: “It’s the soundtrack of my life. Growing up the last of six kids, music was the life blood of our family, and, as you can imagine, Mom, Dad and each kid had his or her own favorite stuff, and it all funneled down to me.”

My pal Jack Sussman, executive VP of CBS’ Specials & Events, said: “Garth will give the audience a rare opportunity to not only hear his classic hits, but also how the music influences from the country, rock and pop worlds set him on the road to become the biggest-selling solo artist in history.”

So as we say a fond farewell to Garth — temporarily, we hope — we now say hello to bubbly blonde Jenny McCarthy. What would Barbara Walters have to say about her “The View” co-host hosting salty tongued comedy queens at Vinyl in our Hard Rock Hotel?

The vivacious blonde bombshell who has graced the covers and center-spread of Playboy, has a new gig in Sin City hosting the scandalous new comedy show “Dirty, Sexy, Funny” with comediennes Rachel Feinstein, Tiffany Haddish, Tammy Pescatelli and Lynne Koplitz. Jenny says her mission is to shed light on what it’s like to be a woman by putting everything out in the open.

Jenny McCarthy at Andrea's and Encore Beach Club

Jenny McCarthy at Andrea's in Encore on Friday, March 29, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Jenny takes on comedy competition from Bill Cosby, Jim Gaffigan and Ralphie May on this holiday weekend, while Grammy Award-winning superstars Justin Timberlake — here for two nights at MGM Grand Garden Arena — and John Legend at Pearl at the Palms are our music headliners.

It truly is the opening of the season to be merry and bright with twinkling lights and sparkling ornaments, and nobody does it better than our Opportunity Village with its Magical Forest and celebrity-decorated trees. Check out the one from big supporters Rio headliner magicians Penn & Teller.

Tonight, the tree-lighting ceremony, marking the 22nd anniversary, with Mayor Carolyn Goodman celebrates the holiday season. She’ll flip the switch that will illuminate nearly 3 million lights decorating the forest, and Jamie Lynch of “Fantasy” at Luxor has a special performance planned.

This year, there are several new experiences, including Rudolph’s Raceway and the Magical Midway featuring Blastin’ Bear’s Shootin’ Shack, Lucky Ducky and the Holiday Wreath Ring Toss. Visitors also will enjoy the popular Forest Express Passenger Train, Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel and the Snowflake Mountain Slide.

Next weekend, it’s O.V.’s Great Santa Run downtown with Caesars Palace headliner Shania Twain as grand marshal, and I’ll be there co-hosting as we all hope to maintain our world record of the most Santas running against groups in Liverpool, Ireland, Australia and Japan.

So let’s pull our switch and light up this week’s bright edition of the Royal Robin Rundown:

2010 Justin Timberlake & Friends

Justin Timberlake & Friends featuring Sir Elton John, Diddy and Dirty Money, Christina Aguilera, Salt-n-Pepa, T-Pain, Lady Antebellum, Selena Gomez and Free Sol at Theater for the Performing Arts in Planet Hollywood on Oct. 23, 2010. Launch slideshow »

FRIDAY, NOV. 29

MUSIC

Justin Timberlake is at MGM Grand for two nights, and he bring sexy back on Aug. 8, as well.

Garth Brooks presents a two-hour CBS broadcast from Encore Theater in Wynn.

“Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of The Magi’s Gold” is at Smith Center all weekend.

COMEDY

Jenny McCarthy debuts “Dirty, Sexy, Funny” at Vinyl for two nights and host an after-party Saturday night at nearby Body English in the Hard Rock Hotel.

Bill Cosby is at Treasure Island.

Jim Gaffigan is at the Mirage for two nights.

Ralphie May is at South Point all weekend.

OF SPECIAL NOTE

The 13th Annual Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational comes to an end at Orleans Arena.

“Evita” continues at Smith Center all weekend.

'The Nutcracker' 2012

Steven Goforth and Alissa Dale perform as the Snow Prince and Winter Fairy during a dress rehearsal for Nevada Ballet Theater's Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

Nevada Ballet Theater's "The Nutcracker" is an annual holiday favorite in Las Vegas.

Nevada Ballet Theater and Discovery Children’s Museum partner for the monthlong “All Things Nutcracker” at Discovery Children’s Museum.

The South Point Shootout is at South Point for two days.

SATURDAY, NOV. 30

Shania Twain: ‘Still the One’ Opening Night

Opening night of Shania Twain's Launch slideshow »

MUSIC

Marking her first anniversary at the Colosseum in Caesars, Shania Twain returns through Dec. 14.

X107.5’s Holiday Havoc 2013 featuring Thirty Seconds to Mars with special guests hometown heroes Panic! At the Disco and Parade of Lights, plus, Pepper is at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.

John Legend with guest Tamar Braxton is at Pearl at the Palms.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “The Lost Christmas Eve” is at Orleans Arena.

“An Evening of Pop and Doo Wop” with The Crystals, Danny and The Juniors and Shirley Alston Reeves is at Suncoast.

Suicidal Tendencies is at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.

Defeat the Label presents After Romeo at Fashion Show mall.

Barry Black (“The Voice”) is at Lounge in the Palms with a free concert.

'The Ultimate Fighter 16' Finale

Roy Nelson salutes the crowd after knocking out Mike Mitrione during their bout at Launch slideshow »

OF SPECIAL NOTE

“The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate Finale” is at Mandalay Bay Events Center. The main event features Gray Maynard vs. Nate Diaz.

SUNDAY, DEC. 1

MUSIC

The Showbiz Society hosts a fundraiser for longtime Las Vegas singer Denise Clemente featuring performances by Pia Zadora, Dondino, Ronnie Rose, Tony Sacca and more at in Boulder Station’s Showroom.

Lenny Williams is at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.

Hellbound Glory is at Vinyl.

OF SPECIAL NOTE

Michael and Jenna Morton’s new restaurant Crush has a soft opening at MGM Grand.

The 2013 Soul Train Awards, recorded at Orleans Arena with Jennifer Hudson, Toni Braxton and more, airs on BET, which has an all-access video of the backstage rehearsals and artist interviews.

AFAN commemorates World AIDS Day with events taking place at The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada and UNLV throughout the day.

Las Vegas local Chris Baughman is the co-star of MSNBC’s new series “Slave Hunter: Freeing Victims of Human Trafficking.”

PARTY PATROL

Dizzy Wright is at Body English.

Andrea Bocelli at MGM Grand on Nov. 24, 2012

Andrea Bocelli's Launch slideshow »

MONDAY’S TEASE

Our candid, intimate, emotional and revealing interview with the world’s most popular classical singer, Andrea Bocelli, as he prepares for next weekend’s concert at MGM Grand Garden Arena. He talks about Celine Dion, Britney Spears, his part-time move to America and why with everything he has accomplished he went back to college to get a second degree presented to him just two months ago.

TUESDAY’S TEASE

Live coverage on Twitter of Britney Spears’ arrival spectacular at Planet Hollywood, followed by interviews, photos and videos.

LATER NEXT WEEK

On Thursday, I’ll handle the NASCAR Champions Week driver introductions as they roar along the Strip. The four-day Venetian culinary spectacular with Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Buddy Valasco and a team of Italian chefs led by Tuscany’s singing butcher gets underway.

Beyonce pulls into MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday, and Saturday morning Shania Twain is the grand marshal of Opportunity Village’s Great Santa Run.

We’ll be at every one of the events with tweets, reports, photos and videos, so get ready for what could be the most jam-packed entertainment week in Las Vegas history.

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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