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December 18, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: ‘Book of Mormon’ to welcome 1 millionth visitor to Smith Center; SLS to open Aug. 23

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Joan Marcus

Monica L. Patton, David Larsen and Cody Jamison Strand in the second national tour of the nine-time Tony Award-winning “The Book of Mormon” now at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts through July 6, 2014.

Broadway Season 3 at The Smith Center

“Wicked” is part of Broadway Season 3 at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Las Vegas. Alison Luff is pictured here as Elphaba. Launch slideshow »

It is an extraordinary achievement within two short years.

Myron Martin, president of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, calculated this morning that sometime during the current run of the nine-time Tony Award-winning musical “The Book of Mormon” through July 6, he will welcome the 1 millionth guest to the Smith Center.

The beautiful performing arts center took some two decades to create and bring to fruition, but this major milestone will be achieved within just two years.

“We dreamed big,” said Myron, “and the community’s overwhelming support inspires us to keep reaching.”

Additionally, more than 120,000 students and teachers have attended student art education matinees. Check out TheSmithCenter.com/Moments to submit stories and photos of your memorable visits to be chosen for thank-you gifts.

SLS Las Vegas

An artist’s rendering of SLS Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

AHEAD OF SCHEDULE: The Labor Day Weekend premiere of the SLS Las Vegas hotel and casino has been moved up to now open one week ahead of schedule at midnight Aug. 23.

President Rob Oseland switched on the lights this morning to announce the new premiere date and start the official countdown on the huge marquee to the opening with room and dining reservations underway.

The property on the site of the former Sahara at the Strip’s north end broke ground in February 2013 and when opened will be the newest resort in nearly five years after the boutique property the Cromwell.

L.A.’S YELLOWTAIL: Celebrity chef Akira Back confirmed this morning our earlier reports that he will open a branch of his star-studded Yellowtail sushi and sashimi restaurant from Bellagio on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Strip this fall.

It’s a partnership with Light Group and California’s Lore Group and takes over the space of the restaurant Mirabelle.

NYE 2009: Christina Aguilera @Tao, Nicole Richie @Lavo

Christina Aguilera hosts New Year's Eve at Tao in The Venetian on Dec. 31, 2009. Launch slideshow »

CELEBRITY LICENSING: The three-day global Licensing Expo kicked off today at Mandalay Bay with opening keynotes from DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and reality TV star and fashion designer Nicole Richie, plus guest appearances by Kathy Ireland and Bella Twins from “Total Divas.”

On Wednesday, off-road race champions B.J. Baldwin and Rob MacCachren join NASCAR and NHRA drag racers there, plus mixed martial artists from the Brazilian national wrestling team. Also being unveiled, the next generation of superheroes with the new TV action drama “Gunblade” from director Koichi Sakamoto (“Power Rangers”).

ITALIAN SURPRISE: It’s a small-world coincidence. Las Vegas restaurateur Elizabeth Blau is vacationing in Sicily and was given an English-language bookmark in her hotel. To her — and my — total surprise was the following quote: “Work is something that Italians add to their love of food and wine, not something that comes before pasta and prosecco.”

She sent me a photo of it in an email today. It was something I’d written last July here at Vegas DeLuxe on my annual visit to Tuscany. Who knew somebody there would be reading this daily column and turn a casual throwaway line into a bookmark?

STAR SURVEILLANCE

Reality TV stars from “Mob Wives,” including controversial cast member Renee Graziano, were spotted at the Hard Rock Hotel during breaks from filming new episodes for the next new season.

Wayne Newton's Once Before I Go: Red Carpet

Cheryl Burke and Wayne Newton at the grand opening of his Once Before I Go at the Tropicana on Oct. 28, 2009. Launch slideshow »

Wayne Newton has special surprises in store for Chicago before he throws out the first pitch in Friday’s Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates game at Wrigley Field.

Actress and ESPN record-breaking poker star Tiffany Michelle and “American Idol” Season 6 runner-up Blake Lewis (the beat-boxer was second to Jordin Sparks) were together at “Absinthe” in Caesars Palace. After meeting the cast, they used Twitter for photos and said, “Never laughed so hard, and I haven’t laughed that much in a long time.”

South African actor Adhir Kalyan (Timmy on “Rules of Engagement”) enjoyed the four-pasta special dinner with friends at Carmine’s in the Forum Shops of Caesars Palace.

TONIGHT’S TIPS

Celine Dion celebrates the 200th show of her current residency at Caesars.

The Linq at center Strip hosts its first Bloq Party with Magic and Soja headlining at Brooklyn Bowl.

Tommy Savitt, Don Barnhart and Jennifer Murphy headline at the Improv at Harrah’s through Sunday.

Machete, AK1200 Munkey and Clutch are at Beauty Bar downtown.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

Glamour photos as tattooed bombshell beauty Sabina Kelley is all ready to step from the shadows for her guest-starring role in “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere, plus a report from Celine’s 200th show.

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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