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December 17, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Al Pacino to headline at Mirage, plus L.A. Kings, ‘Kinky Boots,’ Vans Warped Tour

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Joseph Donato / Cashman Photography

Al Pacino with Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson One” cast members on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Mandalay Bay.

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Actor Al Pacino smiles as he arrives for the world premiere of Tristar's "88 Minutes" on April 17, 2008, at Planet Hollywood.

Legendary Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino will be up close and personal in a unique one-man show at the Mirage on Aug. 16. His “One Night Only” show celebrates his career that began off-Broadway in the 1960s, and he promises to show never-before-seen clips and answer audience questions.

Al has starred in more than 40 films, including “The Godfather” trilogy, “Serpico,” “Scarface” and “Scent of a Woman.” He is an eight-time Academy Award nominee and one of the rare winners of acting’s triple crown: the Oscar, Tony and Emmy.

Al has two Lifetime Achievement Awards, plus the 2012 National Medal of Arts presented by President Obama. A VIP package at $500 includes premium seating and an after-show meet-and-greet.

I find this intimate appearance quite extraordinary for the notoriously shy superstar. The late New York Post showbiz columnist Earl Wilson once asked me to interview Al on his behalf, and to this day it remains the strangest of my 50-year career.

Al said he’d agree to the Q+A, but only if he could stand in the corner of the room facing the wall — not me. I agreed, and we had a fascinating, eyeless interview. We haven’t crossed paths since, but now that he’s coming to the Strip, this time I’ll look him right in the face!

Gladys Knight's A Mic and a Light at Tropicana

Gladys Knight's A Mic and a Light at the Tropicana on April 26, 2011. Launch slideshow »

SAD FATE: Just as our hometown songstress Gladys Knight was to make her Broadway summer run debut in “After Midnight,” producers this morning announced that they will shut it June 29 after Patti LaBelle’s final performance.

The $7 million production closes at a loss because unions wouldn’t permit it to shut down temporarily over the Fourth of July while Gladys began rehearsals. The New York Times is reporting that “Honeymoon in Vegas” will replace it this fall.

STANLEY CUP SHOWOFF: Twenty members of the victorious Los Angeles Kings are bringing the Stanley Cup to MGM Grand tonight, and they’ll carry it, safely under guard, into Michael and Jenna Morton’s new restaurant Crush and then to nearby Beacher’s Madhouse. theater nightclub.

L.A. Kings Win Stanley Cup

New York Rangers left wing Benoit Pouliot looks down after losing to the Los Angeles Kings during overtime in Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final series Friday, June 13, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) Launch slideshow »

The NHL champions are here for the weekend in advance of Tuesday’s NHL Awards at the Wynn. In addition to the Stanley Cup, hockey’s 18 most prized trophies, including the Hart Memorial Trophy, Calder Memorial Trophy and Vezina Trophy, will be on display at MGM all weekend as of 1 p.m Friday.

The NBC Sports Network broadcast Tuesday will include hockey fans Cuba Gooding Jr., Michael J. Fox, Susan Sarandon, Kevin Connolly, Whoopi Goldberg and James Lipton. Luxor headliners the Jabbawockeez will make a special appearance on the show with host George Stroumboulopoulos and current and former NHL stars and legends.

2014 Vans Warped Tour

Fans headbang to the band Born of Osiris during the Las Vegas stop of the Vans Warped Tour Thursday, June 19, 2014. Launch slideshow »

GOING GREEN: It will be a cooler experience this year as the indie-talent Vans Warped Tour opens at the UNLV Intramural Fields on Maryland Parkway today. The new location gives attendees a full grass environment instead of blacktops from past years.

It’s the 20th anniversary tour for the all-day music festival that will showcase nearly 90 bands with punk, rock, metal and hip-hop music, including Echosmith, Secrets, The Ghost Inside and Nick Santino.

MORE GREENERY: It’s 100-plus degrees outdoors in these early summer days, but at the Bellagio Conservatory & Gardens, it’s kept at a cool 69 degrees, and the new summer botanical gardens display begins today. More than 80,000 fresh flowers, including hydrangeas, sunflowers and bougainvillea, are on display until Sept. 7.

An oversized tree house has been built for the New England-style setting with life-sized horses, larger-than-life birds and overhead kites fluttering. There are harp and saxophone performances nightly at 5, and those colorful canaries and finches flying through the greenhouse just might be real.

‘KINKY’ BOOTS CASTING: When the Tony-winning smash-hit musical “Kinky Boots” opens here Sept. 4 at the Smith Center, the cast will include Kyle Taylor Parker, Steven Booth and Lindsay Nicole Chambers. The show directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell (“Peepshow”) unites four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein on the book and Grammy and Tony winner Cyndi Lauper for the score.

Other cast members include Joe Coots, Craig Waletzko, Darius Harper and Ricky Schroeder. All will be here mid-August with Harvey and Cyndi for national tour rehearsals and its 10-day Las Vegas kickoff. “Kinky Boots” won six 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography.

Circus Is Back in Las Vegas

Mariko Iwasa, a clown with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, performs at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign Wednesday, June 18, 2014. The circus performs at Thomas & Mack Center Thursday through Sunday. Launch slideshow »

CIRCUS WEEK: Tourists at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign has an added treat Wednesday evening when two majestic Asian elephants from Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus showed up with ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson for a promotional stunt feasting on the red carpet with fresh local foods.

Members of the circus’s Clown Alley entertained wide-eyed tourists. It was all to celebrate tonight’s opening at the Thomas & Mack Center through Sunday.

TONIGHT’S TIPS

Congratulations to Double Helix at Town Square on its third-anniversary celebration tonight.

William Shatner opens his world at Hollywood Theater at MGM Grand tonight through Saturday; check back Friday for my Q+A with him.

The Vans Warped Tour is at UNLV Intramural Fields.

Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus starts its weekend run at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Bassrush Massive is at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq.

Emmy-nominated Lon Bronson and his 14-piece band play great music at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center.

Carissa Leigh headlines the Back in the Saddle concert series at Santa Fe Station.

Magician Jeff McBride presents three shows at the Wonderground in Green Valley with “America’s Got Talent” magician Smoothini, mentalist Joe Atmore and Scandals with Melanie Kranmer, Bizarro and Mondre.

2013 EDC Photos by Denise Truscello

Holly Madison at the 2013 Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, June 23, 2013. Launch slideshow »

TOMORROW’S TEASE

All the music action might be under the night sky at the Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but the Strip still has its own attractions with a huge lineup of DJ parties. We’ve got the full listing, plus in our Royal Robin Rundown everybody from Rita Coolidge to Andrew Dice Clay and Mythbusters to a reggae festival.

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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