Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 6:01 p.m.
A star-studded celebrity lineup will honor singer Gloria Estefan and her music producer husband Emilio Estefan at the Keep Memory Alive Power of Love Gala on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Quincy Jones, last year’s honoree alongside Sir Michael Caine, kicks off the entertainment, and I’ll MC in a night that includes Rita Moreno, Andy Garcia, Ricky Martin, Queen Latifah, Jon Secada, Jordin Sparks and Emilio’s new discovery, Fantine.
Gloria was critically injured in a tour bus accident in 1990 that took a year of medical rehab to get her back to normal. She was inspired to write a new song, “Coming Out of the Dark,” which helped her focus on charitable causes, including one on spinal cord research for children. Her father suffered a fatal neurological disease from when he served as a soldier in Vietnam.
Stars including actor George Clooney, illusionists Siegfried & Roy, singers Kenny Loggins and Sammy Hagar, magician David Copperfield and chefs Emeril Lagasse and Michael Mina have contributed auction items.
Other items for bidding include a trip to the late Steve Irwin’s Australian zoo with his widow, Terry; the sideline private owners suite at a San Diego Chargers home game; a songwriting and recording session with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds; plus being in the heart of this year’s Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco with chef Joel Robuchon.
Tickets are still available at KeepMemoryAlive.org.
HAKKASAN TURNS 1: It’s difficult to believe that it was exactly 12 months ago that mega-club Hakkasan opened at MGM Grand, and what a monumental year it has been. Bingo Players were due to headline tonight on the first of the weekend-long celebration parties, but DJ Steve Aoki will step in for Maarten Hoogstraten, who is waiting the birth of his first child any moment now.
Congratulations to Steve, who has become our town’s newest residency and is decorating a new spread he’s built in Seven Hills. The four days of festivities feature Above & Beyond, Calvin Harris, Rev Run and Ruckus, Tiesto and Questlove on the wheels of steel.
Hakkasan restaurant with its Cantonese cuisine here is now one of 11 worldwide. Playboy ranked the nightclub as No. 1 in the world, and Jon Taffer’s Nightlife & Bar group recognized it was Nightclub of the Year.
SUPREME ASIAN CHEF: Regional competitions in March whittled down 40 Asian culinary contestants from all over the country to a final four who will compete Saturday at Caesars Palace to find the best of the best. One will be crowned America’s Supreme Asian Chef.
Two East Coast chefs will compete against two West Coast chefs until one wins the title. “Good Morning America” cookbook author Diane Henderiks from “The Chew” will host, and the judges are Las Vegas restaurateur Jet Tila and our favorite “Top Chef” cheftestant Shirley Chung, who finished third in the most recent season.
100+ VOICES: Former “Bold and the Beautiful” star Jeff Tracta, who has 100+ hilarious spot-on impressions of everybody from Bruno Mars to Andrea Bocelli to Elton John headlines a one-night showcase at LVH tonight. Home Free, Season 4 winners of NBC’s “The Sing Off,” open.
Jeff uses state-of-the-art 3-D filming to transform him physically for his amazing impressions of The Black Eyed Peas and the cast of “Family Guy.” I’ve seen Jeff at work, and he truly is today’s master of comedy and vocal impressions. The showcase has been organized for casino entertainment directors here and around the country and world.
SAYING FAREWELL: Comedian George Wallace will mark his 10th anniversary at the Flamingo on Saturday by saying farewell and ending his run. He’s just returned from entertaining overseas troops. He the only black performer to have entertained for so long on the Strip.
He originally came here for a 30-day run that was extended to a first year and then every year since. He will continue to live here but is moving to New York and L.A. for radio and TV opportunities. “I’m going to enjoy my life but also continue to make people laugh. We will see what lies in store for me.”
SPECIAL DATES: “Fantasy” dancer Chloe Crawford celebrates her birthday tonight at Beacher’s Madhouse in MGM Grand as part of an AFAN benefit. Chloe, who is married to magician Murray Sawchuck, will first play magician’s assistant for him as he gets ready to celebrate this weekend’s second anniversary at Tropicana. Chloe will perform her own magic act as it moves onto its third year. Sunday’s red carpet anniversary show also will feature top bird manipulator Mondre.
Newlyweds actress Pamela Anderson and producer, husband and poker player Rick Salomon, celebrating their second trip to the altar and a second honeymoon in Las Vegas, dined at Nove Italiano in the Palms. While partying here the previous night, they dined at Lavo in Palazzo, so we know they’re favorite type of cuisine!
DJ Diplo had double duty standing in for the mending DJ Avicii with capacity crowds following him from Encore Beach Club to Surrender.
TV personality Star Jones and actress Holly Robinson Peete, Vanessa B. Calloway and Loretta Devine were in a group of 20 at the 50th birthday dinner for actress Lela Rochon at Andrea’s in Steve Wynn’s Encore. Afterward, DJ Lil Jon entertained the party group at next-door Surrender.
Academy Award winner Adrien Brody dined at Social House in Crystals at CityCenter.
“Survivor” host Jeff Probst and actor Geoff Stults were part of a bachelor party at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. in the Cosmopolitan.
Actor Mekhi Phifer with his wife Reshelet celebrating his brother-in-law’s birthday at Haze in Aria.
Veronic returns to “Veronic Voices” at Bally’s, with an official opening-night party Friday night.
The Las Vegas Foodie Fest featuring 50 food trucks on the Lot opposite the Luxor is through Sunday.
Laura Taylor headlines at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center.
Easton Corbin, Leah Turner and Joel Crouse are at Santa Fe Station for 102.7 The Coyote’s Fan Jam 10.
O.A.R. is at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq.
Phil Johnson and Matt Gubser headline at Bonkerz Comedy Club at Rampart.
Our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview includes the Keep Memory Alive Gala, Veronic, Hakkasan, Britney Spears, Eric Church and much, much more.
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.
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.