Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 | 6:01 p.m.
Preliminary party plans are underway to celebrate entertainment legend Jerry Lewis’ March 16 birthday. Jerry turns 88, and Strip performers are discussing a tribute show for the comedy icon with producer John Simpson.
Three celebrities are spearheading the efforts for a gala at a downtown hotel property. VIPs attending would be entertained with a mixture of the old-time variety shows Jerry used to do with updated versions of his best skits peppered with nostalgic videos and photos.
MRS. NEVADA AMERICA: Call it a cougar contest alert! Sixteen of the most glamorous married women in the state will compete at the 2014 Mrs. Nevada America Pageant on Sunday at Sam’s Town organized by director Jackie McKenna of McKenna Models & Talent Agency. Each lady will represent a local charity for which she has been an active campaigner and fundraiser.
The judges include Las Vegas PR princess Jennifer Bradley, fashion king Joey Galon (Lifetime’s “24-Hour Catwalk”) and magician Seth Grabel’s new wife Tammy, as last year’s winner Ruth Gray (wife of The Linq’s Jon Gray) crowns the new winner. Contestants include Christina Groff, who represents Golden Rainbow, and Lauren Eldik, representing the Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada.
Robin Leach interviews Kerry Simon
KERRY SIMON BENEFIT: We still have tickets for sale for the Kerry Simon celebrity chef and star rockers fundraiser for his battle against MSA next Thursday. Go to KeepMemoryAlive.org for ticket information and show details at the downtown Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Meantime, we have a new YouTube video of my recent interview with the brave “Iron Chef” winner who will return to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to continue stem-cell clinical trials right after the benefit.
STIFFED AGAIN?! After months of Las Vegas chefs and restaurants donating time, travel, expenses and dinners at James Beard events in New York, our culinary winners got the short shrift from the 2014 James Beard Awards announced Wednesday, with just three nominees among the semifinalists. Mitsuo Endo of Raku was among 20 chefs nominated for Best Chef in the West, and Picasso in Bellagio owner Julian Serrano was nominated for Outstanding Wine Program and Outstanding Chef.
The 20 semifinalists in each category will be whittled down to final nominations in Chicago on March 19 ahead of the awards in New York on May 2.
Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan
TROOPS SALUTE: Country music’s biggest names have banded together with Dick Clark Productions and the Academy of Country Music for an all-star concert salute to the troops at MGM Grand on April 7. The two-hour special to be taped for broadcast Tuesday, May 20, on CBS will feature performances by Merle Haggard, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry, plus, others to be announced closer to ACM Week here.
The 49th ACM Awards hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan is a three-hour broadcast on CBS on April 6 from MGM Grand Garden Arena with live remotes from ACM Fan Jam simultaneously at Mandalay Bay. Here’s a “Bluke” YouTube teaser.
CONGRATULATIONS! A commemorative guitar-shaped cake was wheeled onstage Wednesday night at Harrah’s to celebrate the first anniversary of “Million Dollar Quartet,” the story of the one legendary night that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins met at Sun Records Studio for an unexpected jam session.
Actor Marc Donovan, who plays studio owner Sam Phillips, thanked the audience during its standing ovation for their support. Celebrity fans and past guest performers include Nicolas Cage, Deborah Gibson, Holly Madison, Taylor Hicks, Pia Zadora, Frankie Moreno and Veronic DiCaire.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame stars The Jacksons — brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon — launch their “Rocktellz & Cocktails” at Planet Hollywood.
The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales trot into South Point Arena for a party with free beer and food vendors.
Parade of Lights plays Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Bob Meddels and Talon Saucerman headline Bonkerz Comedy Club at Rampart.
Franky Perez presents his new project The Dirty at Fizz in Caesars Palace.
More than 15 magic acts are set for Jeff McBride’s three Wonderground shows at The Olive in Green Valley, including Bizzaro, Bijan and Buster Balloon, who gets inside a 6-foot whoopee cushion that he inflates around him.
DJ Five is at Tao in the Venetian.
DJ Danny Avila is at Hakkasan in MGM Grand.
DJ Dave Fogg is at Tryst in Wynn.
Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann are on the main card of UFC 170 at Mandalay Bay Events Center; their press conference is today, and the official weigh-in is Friday before Saturday’s explosion. Plus, our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview covers everyone and everything from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s near ending of their Venetian residency and the incredible and breathtaking music-and-dance spectacular Shen Yun bringing to life 5,000 years of civilization at the Smith Center.
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.
Just as distinctive as it's famous neighbors Caesar's Palace and The Venetian, Harrah's Las Vegas has been entertaining guests since 1973. The 87,700-square foot casino is filled with 1,520 slot machines and 107 gaming tables. Outside the casino, guests are able to experience fun in a street-fair atmosphere at the Carnival Court, an outdoor lounge with live entertainment (including the bartenders), food stands and outdoor shops.
At Harrah's comedy is King, and that has never been more apparent then the comedy acts of Rita Rudner, the Mac King Comedy Magic Show and the Improv Comedy Club. After the show, guests are more than welcome to laugh at their friends at The Piano Bar, famous for its dueling pianos and karaoke. Most recently, Harrah's added tribute show "Legends in Concert" to its list of entertainment.
Restaurants like Ming's offers Asian cuisine, while Ruth's Chris Steak House offers guests fine steaks and fresh seafood. Toby Keith's I Love This Bar is a country-themed bar with a restaurant, live music and the occasional appearance from Keith himself.
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.