Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 | 6 p.m.
Call this one incredible knockout weekend! Britney Spears is back, legendary Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino makes his Las Vegas premiere, and a new sport, Big Knockout Boxing, also debuts on the Strip.
And let’s not forget the memories of Elvis Presley marking the anniversary of his death are celebrated in town.
The slimmed down, trimmed-down, fabulously fit pop princess (a rundown of her strenuous physical-fitness program was posted Thursday) resumes her run of “Britney: Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood, and it’s important to check her dates because even I’m baffled by her confusing appearance schedule that jumps around.
The debut of Al Pacino is even more befuddling. He’s a serious star, yet is grabbing the spotlight at the Mirage in a showroom that is normally a comedy series when headliner entertainer Terry Fator is away. Will notoriously shy Al crack a couple of jokes in his one-man show about his extraordinary movie career?
I once had to interview Al for legendary New York columnist Earl Wilson, who declined his invitation saying it would be too difficult a conversation. And indeed it turned out to be one of the most difficult of my career. Al insisted on standing in the corner of the room at a downtown Manhattan method-actors studio with his back to me explaining that he didn’t want to go eye-to-eye.
My questions were pretty tame, looking back, yet Al was uncomfortable with everything I asked, hesitating, mumbling and conveying jumbled thoughts in a scattered, convoluted way. I wish that I was there this weekend to watch him charm his way through tales of his amazing theatrical life. He’s grown a lot more comfortable over the years facing people, but he rarely gives interviews, so this will be a fantastic opportunity and insight. Check out Editor at Large John Katsilometes’ column posted Thursday; Kats will be interviewing Al a la “Inside the Actors Studio.”
I’m going to leave Big Knockout Boxing to our Sports colleagues at the Las Vegas Sun, but I’m reliably told that this is a new way to present the illustrious sport. The organizers say you’ll be up close to the power and punches thanks to a new, 17-foot, circular “Pit” where Main Event fighters Gabriel Rosado and Bryan Vera will duke it out live at Mandalay Bay Events Center in the PPV event.
Add shows by Fall Out Boy at the Cosmopolitan, Deep Purple on Fremont Street in a free concert, ZZ Top and Jeff Beck at the Hard Rock Hotel, Fxygen at Brooklyn Bowl and dog-behavioral expert Cesar Millan and Mike Epps at Pearl at the Palms, and you know this is one big knockout weekend.
So with a 10-count at stake, here’s the Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, AUG. 15
Britney Spears returns to Planet Hollywood through Sept. 10.
Fall Out Boy and New Politics are at Boulevard Pool in the Cosmopolitan.
Yes and Syd Arthur are at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Spandex Nation is at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Paula Nelson Band is at Suncoast Showroom.
Brandon Bennett’s “Elvis My Way” is at Sam’s Town Live!
Deep Purple is at 3rd Street Stage downtown.
Nashville Unplugged features Ken Johnson at Club Madrid in Sunset Station.
Franks & Deans is at Backstage Bar & Billiards on Fremont Street.
Lights Out is at South Point all weekend.
“Lipshtick” features Whitney Cummings at the Venetian for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
“Ghost The Musical” is at the Smith Center through Sunday; A+E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy’s review was posted Thursday.
Cesar Millan is at the Pearl.
Red Bull BC One North American Final is at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq Promenade.
Celebrate Elvis Presley memories all weekend with entertainment, food specials, contests, movies and more at Westgate Las Vegas and Sam’s Town.
Tickets go on sale for Diana Krall on Nov. 8, Culture Club on Nov. 22 and Alice Cooper on Nov. 26 all at the Pearl.
Ted Baker London celebrates its grand opening at Palazzo.
DJ Jazzy Jeff is at Palms Pool.
SATURDAY, AUG. 16
ZZ Top and Jeff Beck with guest Tyler Bryant are at the Joint.
Foxygen is at Brooklyn Bowl.
Brandon Bennett’s “Elvis My Way” is at Suncoast Showroom for two days.
Sin City Sinners is at Vinyl.
The Rikk Agnew Band is at Backstage Bar & Billiards.
Dennis Wise is at Santa Fe Station.
The Guess Who is at Eastside Cannery.
Don Rickles is at Orleans Showroom for two nights.
Mike Epps is at the Pearl.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Al Pacino’s “Pacino: One Night Only” is at the Mirage.
BKB is at Mandalay Bay.
Salsa Under the Stars with free salsa lessons hosted by Dana Delgado Dance Studio is at Tivoli Village.
Brody Jenner and William Lifestyle host at Rehab and then Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel.
SUNDAY, AUG. 17
Grouplove, Portugal and The Man are at Brooklyn Bowl.
Thursday guest columnist Tony Sacca’s “Las Vegas Sings for America” fundraiser benefiting Las Vegas’ Young Entertainers is at Santa Fe Station.
Kottonmouth Kings is at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are at Linq Promenade.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Psychic Lisalee is at the Railhead in Boulder Station.
Miss USA Nia Sanchez and Miss Nevada Teen Alexa Taylor host a meet-and-greet at Chinese Laundry in Fashion Show.
Colby O’Donis is at Rehab.
The Diplo-produced Mad Descent Block Party featuring Diplo, Dillon Francis, Grandtheft and more is at Encore Beach Club.
We’re back Sunday with guest columnists Riviera headliner illusionist Jan Rouven and Miracle Mile Shops of Planet Hollywood exec Wendy Albert and reports and photo galleries of the stars at work and play.
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.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas dares to be different. From the hotel’s red reservations desks to fine art found throughout the resort, The Cosmopolitan’s signature style is helping to pave its own path on the Las Vegas Strip.
Upon entering the resort, you’re greeted by pillars of video boards playing video art by Digital Kitchen and David Rockwell Studio exclusively produced for The Cosmopolitan. Just beyond that, you’ll find all your favorite casino games on the resort’s 100,000-square-foot casino floor.
The Cosmopolitan’s rooms standout as the resort’s most unique feature. About 2,220 of The Cosmopolitan’s 2,995 rooms have 6-foot deep terraces that span the length of the room, a first at a modern Strip hotel. Other in-room amenities include soaking tubs, kitchenettes and quirky accessories like artsy coffee table books.
The dining experience at The Cosmopolitan isn’t something you’ll find at other Strip resorts, either. All of The Cosmopolitan’s 13 restaurateurs are new to the Las Vegas market. You’ll find American steakhouse fare in a modern setting at STK, top-notch sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill and the freshest fish flown in from the Mediterranean daily at Estiatorio Milos.
Whether the sun is up or down, Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub is the place to find the party at The Cosmopolitan. The venue is a dayclub/nightclub, complete with a pool and cabanas outside and three different rooms with three different vibes inside.
If nightclubs aren’t your thing, you can grab a drink at one of The Cosmopolitan’s five other bars, like The Chandelier, which is encased in 2 million dripping crystals.