M. Spencer Green / Associated Press
Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 | 6 p.m.
It’s Grammy Awards weekend in Los Angeles, and Super Bowl activities begin to hum in New York, so little wonder that there’s something different that contrasts for Las Vegas.
Think of the classical with the gentle and graceful moves of Nevada Ballet Theater’s 30th Anniversary Black & White Ball, the fourth-annual Laps for Charity at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to kick off race season and the rugged, rough-and-tumble of 2014 USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Add in a show from Dolly Parton in Primm Valley to kick off her new world tour, and it’s that different of a weekend here. Plus, four standup stars — Joy Behar, David Spade, Rich Hall and Jay Mohr — battle against one another, and Vicki Lawrence brings Mama along for her solo dual-character comedy.
Florence Henderson kicks off her Valentine’s 80th birthday with the 30th anniversary of the Black & White Ball. Television’s favorite mom, Carol Brady from “The Brady Bunch,” follows in the ballet shoes of honorees Mitzi Gaynor, Eva Longoria, Marie Osmond, Bette Midler and Priscilla Presley, among others. Mitzi and Marie should be attending Saturday night’s festivities at Aria, as well as “Brady Bunch” co-stars Barry Williams and Christopher Knight.
NBT co-founder and board co-chair Nancy Houssels said: “We have enjoyed 30 wonderful years of honoring pillars of our community, plus, Broadway performers, lauded actresses, dancers, choreographers and other female luminaries. … Florence’s astounding career has touched thousands of lives and encompassed every aspect of the arts and entertainment world.”
Rugby players from 16 nations have been here this week for the 2014 USA Sevens International Tournament, which kicks off three days of matches at Sam Boyd Stadium beginning today. It’s a tough sport that I tried to skip in school because we didn’t play regular soccer. I got banged, bruised and winded — and don’t have any happy memories of it at all! Nonetheless, my acknowledgement of the teams from Fiji to France, from Africa to Australia, and of course Britain.
My eyes instead will be on this year’s first camp for players Saturday and Sunday morning at Sunset Park for this season’s Las Vegas Sin in the Legends Football League. New head coach Tui Suiaunoa, who helped lead rival Los Angeles Temptation to three repeat world championships as assistant head coach and defense coordinator, has moved to our Las Vegas team.
Explosions, though, will really take place with the live MGM Grand Garden Arena version of MTV’s Nitro Circus with motocross star Travis Pastrana leading the pack of high-flying, tumble-and-twist stuntmen. Whatever vehicle has wheels — including wheelchairs and skates — works for the 40 daredevils reckless in their daring-do and “Jackass” pranks from producer Johnny Knoxville.
Slightly less dramatic is the fourth-annual Laps for Charity at LVMS on Sunday. Enthusiasts will drive cars at speeds as fast as 75 mph over the NASCAR track raising money for Speedway Children’s Charities. Last year, more than 800 cars roared the three laps of the 1.5-mile circuit, raising more than $30,000 for local children’s causes.
But it’s the Dolly Parton concert in Primm Valley that’s the one big superstar attraction. Tonight, the 68-year-old country queen and singer-songwriter kicks off her new “Blue Smoke World Tour” in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and then drives here to Primm before departing for New Zealand for her first visit in more than three decades, plus, a return to Australia since her last visit there in 2011.
“We always have such a good time on tour, and I’ve put together a lot of things for this show that I think the fans will love. We hadn’t planned to come back so soon, but we got so much fan mail and such a great reaction, I just thought, ‘Why not?’ ”
Dolly doesn’t just sing; she’s accomplished on guitar, banjo, piano harp and harmonica. As one of the most honored female country performers of all time, she’s had 25 songs hit #1 on the Billboard country charts, along with 41 career Top 10 country albums.
Now it’s time for me to end my “9 to 5” shift (yeah, right) and remember that Dolly’s first hit was “Puppy Love” in 1959. She still “Drives You Crazy” (2009) as a “Working Girl” (1981) and will have a legion traveling I-15 to Primm on Saturday evening. Now I can’t “Put It Off Until Tomorrow” (1982) any longer, as it’s time for the Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, JAN. 24
Carlos Santana returns to House of Blues at Mandalay Bay all weekend.
“Raiding the Rock Vault” returns to LVH.
Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor are at Boulder Station.
Soul Men and Lady Soul are at Cabaret Jazz in Smith Center.
The Sin City Sinners are at Lounge at the Palms.
Jay Mohr is at South Point all weekend.
David Spade is at the Venetian for two nights.
Rich Hall and Jeff Altman are at Laugh Factory at Tropicana all weekend.
Joy Behar is at Orleans Showroom for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets go on sale for Smith Center’s new spring season; Bryan Ferry at Pearl at the Palms on April 12; and Foster the People at the Cosmopolitan on April 18.
The 2014 USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament is at Sam Boyd Stadium all weekend.
MOPAR Midnight Mayhem kicks off its 2014 season at The Strip at LVMS.
The Opportunity Village Starlight Ball is at the Englestad Campus.
Global Game Jam 2014, a 48-hour web designer’s game-athon, is at the International Academy of Design & Technology all weekend.
Jamz: Youth National Championships is at Orleans Arena through Monday.
Tuff–N–Uff Mixed Martial Arts is at the Orleans.
DJ Calvin Harris is at Hakkasan in MGM Grand.
SATURDAY, JAN. 25MUSIC
Dolly Parton is at Primm Valley.
Smash Mouth is at the Cannery.
Franky Perez is at Lounge at the Palms.
The Sax Pack is at Aliante.
Vicki Lawrence and Mama are at Suncoast for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets go on sale for Rob Thomas at Pearl at the Palms on April 4.
NBT’s 30th Anniversary Black & White Ball honors Florence Henderson as Woman of the Year and her 80th birthday at Aria.
Khloe Kardashian hosts a meet-and-greet and autograph session at Kardashian Khaos in the Mirage.
Nitro Circus Live is at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Las Vegas Sin Mini Camp is at Sunset Park for two days.
The EC Twins are at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan.
DJ Vice is at Lavo in Palazzo.
Hyde Bellagio celebrates its second anniversary with a performance by The Sayers Sessions.
SUNDAY, JAN. 26
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Bouchon at the Venetian’s 10th anniversary celebration is hosted by star chef Thomas Keller.
The fourth-annual Laps for Charity benefiting the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities is at LVMS.
Check back right here at Vegas DeLuxe on Sunday for reports and photos and continuing coverage Monday. Have a great weekend!
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.
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