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April 23, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Olivia Newton-John at Flamingo, Bobby Flay’s burger joint, Penn on ‘Rachael vs. Guy’

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Bullfrog & Baum

Bobby Flay.

Olivia Newton-John

Grease

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta

From separate reliable sources, I can confirm that singer Olivia Newton-John will be opening her show this spring at the Flamingo on dates when resident headliners Donny & Marie Osmond are away, as was previously reported here at Vegas DeLuxe last year.

Olivia, 65, delayed her Las Vegas show plans when she nursed at bedside her older sister Rona, who suffered brain cancer before she died.

A four-time Grammy winner and honored by the Queen of England with an Order of the British Empire, Olivia further delayed the proposed run by opening her Cancer & Wellness Center in Victoria, Australia.

The plan is for the Australian pop queen to start in April once Donny & Marie have finalized their hiatus dates. It will be a high-energy spectacular show with a backup band for Olivia to perform her string of hits.

And a Wicked Whisper & Racy Rumor: Don’t be surprised to see her “Grease” and “Two of a Kind” co-star John Travolta on opening-night celebrations.

John teamed with Olivia again in November 2012 to make a Christmas charity album as a fundraiser for her cancer center.

BOBBY’S BURGERS: TV celebrity chef Bobby Flay flew back to Las Vegas today to host the opening of his Bobby’s Burger Palace and margarita to-go bar and restaurant here at noon Wednesday on the Strip in front of Mandarin Oriental.

Bobby told me: “I’m really excited to open BBP in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is one of my favorite cities, and it’s such an important food city. This city has a sophisticated palate, and people here take dining very seriously, even when it comes to their burgers.

“The menu at BBP is about celebrating the regional flavors of America. When you travel across the country, every region has their own specialty flavors, their own regional touch that they add to their food. Those are the true American flavors that have inspired the menu here. One of the best features about the menu here at BBP is that we do what I like to call ‘crunchification.’ You can top any burger on the menu with a layer of crispy potato chips at no cost. We set the chips on top of the melted cheese, and it gives the burger a nice texture and delicious bite.”

Bobby’s Las Vegas outpost is the 18th location of the nationwide chain, but the first with a margarita bar and the first to feature his newly revamped and expanded menu of signature burgers, including the just-unveiled Vegas Burger, made with white American cheese, Fresno red chiles and BBQ potato chips.

Also offered is the BBP Burger of the Month, which in February will be the Canadian Burger with white cheddar cheese, Canadian bacon and maple mustard sauce. All burgers may be prepared with certified Angus beef or ground turkey, and a whole chicken breast option also is available.

The restaurant has 146 seats with a fiery red, bold yellow and vibrant green 54-seat counter and an outdoor patio for al-fresco dining. The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling feature walls from a mosaic of wood, bamboo and tri-colored glass tiles with photos of farm-fresh ingredients.

PENN’S WINGS: Rio headliner magician Penn Jillette had a secret trick for victory on Monday night’s “Rachael vs. Guy” on the Food Network. The contestants were welcomed to a sports arena to prepare game-day foods, and Penn used cornstarch to dust his chicken to make them crispy and absorb his hot sauce.

2014 NBT Woman of the Year Florence Henderson

Barry Williams, Florence Henderson and Christopher Knight attend Nevada Ballet Theater’s 30th anniversary Black & White Ball honoring Henderson on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, in Aria. Launch slideshow »

Comedienne Judy Gold, who MC’d Florence Henderson’s Woman of the Year tribute here Saturday at Aria for Nevada Ballet Theater, was sent home because she put too many plum preserves on her teriyaki wings.

Florence scored with her sweet and sticky wings. The second challenge was cooking elevated stadium food where Penn made the team’s nacho dish and helped shuck Florence’s corn. On next week’s episode, Penn, who is playing to donate a $50,000 prize to our beloved charity Opportunity Village, has to cook from a food cart on the Coney Island boardwalk.

Flashdance

‘FLASHDANCE’: It has been 30 years since Jennifer Beals scorched the boards with her sexy routines in “Flashdance,” and now the ’80s are back with crimped hair, neon eye shadow and Day-Glo in the pop-culture phenomenon’s musical opening tonight and continuing through Sunday at Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Touring stars Jillian Mueller and Corey Mach lead the electrifying dancing in the tale of a Pittsburgh steel welder who dances in bars at night with dreams of stardom. This show has all the hit songs from the movie (“Flashdance,” “Maniac”), plus, 16 numbers written for the tour.

2014 Year of the Horse at Bellagio

2014 Year of the Horse at Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Launch slideshow »

SEVEN HORSES: To celebrate Chinese New Year, horticulturalists at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens unveiled a stunning Year of the Horse display this morning. The bold centerpiece features seven life-size horses on a lush three-tier mountain, while a majestic gold stallion rears at the mountaintop; the total number of eight represents good fortune.

At the entrance, an 18-foot custom-made Chinese money tree symbolizes good fortune and nobility. The lucky tree flourishes with 384 oversized gold-leafed coins on its branches as mounds of I-Ching coins, a traditional Chinese symbol for money, surround its base. The Las Vegas-based Beijing Trio performs traditional folk and pop music with Chinese instruments each evening through March 1.

TONIGHT’S TIPS

“Flashdance: the Musical” opens at Smith Center for a six-night run.

DJs Cyberkid and Shift spin at Pure in Caesars Palace.

DJ Crooked is at Hyde Bellagio.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

A fascinating and candid interview with Las Vegas pinup model Sabina Kelley and all those tattoos she displays hosting “Best Ink”, plus, a journey to Maui to preview the finals of “Top Chef” with our former Venetian, Caesars Palace and Cosmopolitan cheftestant Shirley Chung.

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.

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