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Friday, April 4, 2014 | 6 p.m.
If country music and its superstars are not your cup of tea, then you’ve got a cornucopia of comedians and illusionist Teller’s extraordinary magical version of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” as alternatives. If you love Nashville sounds, then you are in heaven this weekend.
The magic of Rio headliner magician Teller, the poetry of Shakespeare, the music of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan and the dance movements of Pilobolus, they all come together for the incredibly reimagined magical adaption of The Bard’s last play “The Tempest” in a 500-seat tented theater at Symphony Park downtown.
It’s the first world premiere of a dramatic production in Las Vegas thanks to our Smith Center for the Performing Arts joining with Harvard’s American Repertory Theater. Audiences will experience Prospero’s wizardry as never before in the production already described as “startling and phenomenal.”
Teller describes it as a world of trickery and amazement that animates spirits and monsters. He admits, “The emotions that interest me most in theater are fear and laughter. Thrilling and scary and funny are my specialties, so that’s reflected in this production.”
If you want only funny, there are comedians aplenty in town vying for attention against the dominant country music and spooky Shakespeare endeavors. We have Ray Romano and Kevin James, Andrew Dice Clay, Tom Green, D.L. Hughley, Willie Farrell and Shayma Tash all competing for laughs.
However, you simply can’t escape the cowboy boots, jeans and Stetsons among the glittering gowns and stunning suits on parade all weekend. The Week Vegas Goes Country is in full swing with the biggest-ever turnout of country music’s megastars young and old as the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards sparkles on the Strip.
The big-time 50th celebration moves next year to AT&T Stadium outside Dallas in Arlington, home to the Dallas Cowboys. However, it’s only for one year, and ACM execs promise to be back for #51, possibly in the new stadium under construction near New York-New York and Monte Carlo.
Hunter Hayes, who kicked off the celebrations Thursday night in the shadows of the Linq’s new High Roller observation wheel, also is part of the awards on Sunday at MGM Grand Garden Arena. His performance of “Invisible” will tie into the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign.
The Band Perry opens the CBS telecast with an action-packed choreographed performance of their new single “Chainsaw” (think synchronized WMDs in the hands of scantily clad showgirls). Miranda Lambert and George Strait will duet on the Merle Haggard tribute medley ( “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” and “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down”), with Garth Brooks making a Crystal Milestone Award presentation to country legend Merle.
Florida Georgia Line and co-host Luke Bryan will perform together on “This Is How We Roll” with the incredible BMX skills of Nitro Circus Action Sports stars at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Other performers include Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Toby Keith, Justin Moore, Kip Moore, Blake Shelton (back as co-host with Luke), Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum with Stevie Nicks.
The country excitement continues into Monday night with the all-star “ACM Presents: Salute to the Troops” hosted by “NCIS Los Angeles” stars LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell. We’ll have a preview of the show and its stars here on Monday.
Now it’s time for us to put on our Stetsons for some boot-scootin’ boogie with this week’s Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, APRIL 4
George Clinton and T-Pain headline the private 13th Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational Celebration Gala hosted by Justin Willman at Aria in CityCenter.
Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas is solo at Pearl at the Palms.
First Friday with Sheryl Crow and guests Charlie Worsham and Sabriel headline the Feed the Children and Opportunity Village benefit concert at Container Park downtown.
Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban headline the ACM Party For a Cause Festival at the Linq for two days.
Country Music Weekend with three stages at Fremont Street Experience features Lo Cash Cowboys, Rowdy Cowboys, Fairchild and Sam Riddle all weekend.
The Kingston Trio is at South Point all weekend.
Maggie Rose is at Silverton.
Nashville Unplugged with Brian McComas and guest host Travis Howard features Kyle Jacobs at Club Madrid at Sunset Station.
Schoolboy Q is at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
Ray Romano and Kevin James are at the Mirage and again on Sunday.
D.L. Hughley is at the Orleans for two nights.
Andrew Dice Clay is at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel all weekend, with Tom Green as the late show.
Willie Farrell and Shayma Tash are at Riviera Comedy Club all weekend.
Dean Napolitano and Jeremy Wieand are at Bonkerz Comedy Club’s new location at Silver Sevens.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The 13th Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational at Shadow Creek Golf Course features Anthony Anderson, Brian Baumgartner, Roger Clemens, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey Jr., Jesse Metcalfe, Aaron Rogers, Dara Torres and more, with the winners presentation Sunday.
The National Association of Broadcasters convention gets underway with the emphasis on social media and content for traditional television to iWatches and portable tablets.
Jugglers, comics, puppeteers and clowns celebrate “The Fool” at First Friday throughout the downtown Arts District.
The Sixth Annual Spring Wine Fest at Golden Nugget all weekend features eight events and more than 120 vineyard owners and master sommeliers.
The Throw Down at Sam’s Town features Rashad Ganaway vs. Victor Castro as the main event.
Tickets go on sale for Greg Allman’s concert June 21 at the Pearl.
The Rock Star Beer Festival Gone Country Edition features Jerrod Niemann and Leah Turner at Paradise Beach in the Hard Rock Hotel.
SATURDAY, APRIL 5
ACM Fan Jam featuring Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge, Justin Moore, Kip Moore and more is at Mandalay Bay Events Center for two nights.
Meat Loaf in “Rocktellz & Cocktails” has his final Saturday night and Tuesday performance at Planet Hollywood before returning in May.
Brian McKnight wraps the current leg of his world tour at Eastside Cannery — our Q+A with the R&B star was posted Wednesday.
Frankie Scinta unveils his revamped Scintas show at the D Las Vegas.
Galactic and Robert Randolph and The Family Band are at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq for two nights.
Gary Lewis & The Playboys are at Suncoast.
The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is at Sam’s Town.
Nashville Unplugged features Ty Herndon at Sunset Station.
Blackberry Smoke and Delta Saints are at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.
Las Vegas Philharmonic creates a swinging sound for Pop Series: “Love Vintage Las Vegas Style” at Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center. Anita Hall is the guest vocalist and Steve Moretti the guest drummer.
NBC’s “The Voice” contestant Ryan White Maloney reunites with The Busker Kings at Cabo Wabo Cantina in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Teller presents the world premiere of his “The Tempest” at the Smith Center.
Darius Rucker hosts the 2014 ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic at TPC Las Vegas featuring Frankie Ballard, Charles Kelley, Scotty McCreery and more.
The 2014 Epicurean Epicenter Series Wine Pairing Dinner is at Le Cirque in Bellagio.
Final tryouts for the Las Vegas Sin of Legends Football League is at Charlie Frias Park.
The Las Vegas Chocolate Festival at Crystals in CityCenter features world champion chocolatiers Jean-Marie Auboine, Jean-Philippe Maury and Stephane Treand.
Iggy Azalea is at Tao in the Venetian.
Marquee Dayclub celebrates its season grand opening with Kaskade at the Cosmopolitan.
Wet Republic Dayclub celebrates its season grand opening weekend with Dada Life at MGM Grand.
SUNDAY, APRIL 6
The 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards co-hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan is at MGM Grand Garden Arena and airs on CBS.
Jarabe de Palo is at the Railhead at Boulder Station.
Calvin Harris continues the season grand opening weekend celebrations at Wet Republic.
Check back to Vegas DeLuxe all weekend long for our reports and photos of ACM events and then Sunday for our red-carpet pre-show preview of the 2014 ACMs. On Monday, we’ll have the full wrap-up from backstage and behind-the-scenes and a preview of the troops salute.
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.
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