Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 | 10:15 a.m.
If this weekend proved anything, it's that nothing brings the celebs together in Las Vegas like a good old-fashioned fight night.
The big Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto match-up went down on Saturday at the MGM Grand and saw thousands of people come town, all hungry for their part of the action-packed pie.
Naturally, members of the A, B and C-list set were among them.
Things got underway on Friday, as Team Pacquiao threw their official pre-fight party at Privé at Planet Hollywood. Resident DJ Jermaine Dupri ensured the group behind the Philippines’ best pound-for-pound fighter kicked off his big weekend in a big way.
Spotted at Saturday night's bout were "Entourage" co-stars Jeremy Piven (who was also there for Friday's weigh-in, then partied at The Bank at the Bellagio afterward) and Kevin Dillon; basketball legend Magic Johnson; recent World Series champion, New York Yankee Derek Jeter; Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants; actors Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell (who were in town filming their new movie, "The Other Guys"), as well as Zack Efron, Joe Pesci (who was spotted dining at Fiamma on fight night), and Mario Lopez (who had dinner at Fiamma on Friday night); music/fashion/vodka tycoon Sean "Diddy" Combs and his modern day Rat Pack member, hip-hopper Tyrese Gibson; famed chef Wolfgang Puck; the always entertaining Mickey Rourke; and socialite/small screen reality TV personality Rob Kardashian (who was also spotted in the VIP at The Bank the night before).
Unsurprisingly, a handful of boxing heavyweights were also there to watch as the Pac Man defeated Cotto, including Shane "Sugar" Mosley, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Andre Berto, Winky Wright, David Haye, Chad Dawson, Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns and actor-boxer Chuck Zito.
Cotto was supposed to throw a post-fight party at Pure, win or lose, but the bloody beating he suffered during the 12-round fight rendered him both a TKO and a no-show.
Comedian Chelsea Handler stopped by, though, after closing the Colosseum stage with her "Chelsea Lately" companion, Chuy Bravo. Handler's Comcast exec boyfriend, Ted Harbert, also popped by, as did actress Mary McCormack; singer Natasha Bedingfeld; and New York Giants Danny Ware, Andre Brown, and Brandon Jacobs.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, celebrated his win with a victory party-concert at Mandalay Bay Events Center. The seemingly tireless fighter even got up onstage to perform alongside his band, Calsada.
Kevin Dillon, on the other hand, headed to the Hard Rock Hotel after the fight, where he did some post-bout gambling on the casino floor before retiring to his room.
"Prison Break" actor Amaury Nolasco also spent his weekend at the Hard Rock, and had a post-fight dinner at Ago with Latin singing sensation Calle 13.
Derek Jeter headed to the Palms after the fight, where he caught dinner at N9NE Steakhouse before moving up to Moon. That wasn’t his final destination for the evening, though: He was later seen over at the Bellagio, partying at The Bank.
Houston Texan Rex Grossman also did some post-fight partying at The Bank on Saturday.
Also at the Bellagio after the fight was Jeremy Piven, who caught dinner at Yellowtail, while Rob Kardashian, ate dinner at the Mirage, at Stack.
Earlier that night, sportscaster Jim Gray hosted a private 50th birthday party at Moon. Among the invited guests were boxing legend Muhammad Ali; CNN personality Larry King; former NBA players Bill Walton, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West; former NFL player Eric Dickerson; former MLB player Joe Morgan; Hall of Fame football coach Don Shula; and comedian Frank Caliendo.
The party started at 7 p.m., before the club opened to the general public at 10 p.m.
Chicago Bear and Palms regular Lance Briggs headed to the club later that night, as did San Francisco 49er Vernon Davis.
Also that night, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce and Privé resident DJ, Grammy Award-winner Jermaine Dupri, partied across the casino floor, at Body English while Diddy and Mayweather kept things -- especially the bottles of Diddy's Ciroc vodka -- poppin' at Encore, at XS.
While the fight didn’t take place until Saturday, there was no shortage of entertainment at MGM Grand on Friday.
Though her blows came in the form of hard-hitting comedy, funny lady Lily Tomlin didn’t pull any punches as she continued her stand at Hollywood Theatre.
Frank Caliendo kicked off his ten-year residency at Monte Carlo on Friday and a handful of Las Vegas entertainers came out to show their support, including comedians Carrot Top, Terry Fator, George Wallace, and Louie Anderson; perma-tan lounge act Zowie Bowie; Rick Faugno from "Jersey Boys;" and members of the "Fantasy" cast. Boxer "Sugar" Shane Mosley and UFC fighters Frank Mir and Stephan Bonnar also came out for Caliendo’s big night.
Four other, very funny people also entertained Las Vegas audiences this weekend: Kevin James of “King of Queens” and Ray Romano of “Everybody Loves Raymond” joined forces inside the Terry Fator Theatre at The Mirage on Friday and Saturday nights; Chelsea Handler entertained at Caesars Palace on Saturday; and “Saturday Night Live” alum Norm MacDonald took to the stage on Saturday, too, at House of Blues.
The "ding, ding, ding" that signaled the end of the 12th round on Saturday wasn't the only bell heard in Las Vegas this weekend: Slipknot lead singer Corey Taylor married his leading lady, Stephanie Luby, on Friday in a rather untraditional ceremony at the Pearl.
The concert-like nuptials at the Palms were performed in front of 350 of the couple's friends and family, including Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and former Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath.
Navarro and McGrath performed a few of their Camp Freddy songs for the invite-only crowd, and the groom put on a little show, too.
Meanwhile, Camp Freddy bandmate and former Cult bass player, Billy Morrison , performed the whole ceremony (He served as the minister).
Instead of classic wedding music, the couple set the tone for the event using Metallica’s classic, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” as their walk-in track.
Also at the Palms on Friday night was MLB free agent Jermaine Dye, who had dinner at N9NE Steakhouse.
Also in the dining room that night was New York Giant Osi Omenyiora and San Francisco 49er Vernon Davis.
Omenyiora continued his night upstairs, at Moon, which is where magician Criss Angel was also spotted, along with six friends, in the VIP.
Also on Friday, Third Eye Blind performed at Pure at Caesars Palace, while Caesars' Saturday night headliner, Chelsea Handler and her entourage had dinner across the street, at Tao.
Joining the comedienne for dinner at the Venetian was the same, previously-cited entourage that accompanied her to Pure on Saturday: Chuy Bravo, Ted Harbert, Mary McCormack and Natasha Bedingfeld.
After dinner, the group moved the party up a level, to the nightclub, for a few rounds of Grey Goose.
Meanwhile, NeNe Leakes of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" had dinner next door, at Lavo, with her husband and a few friends.
The reality show siren and her hubby had lunch across the casino floor, at Dos Caminos, on both Thursday and Friday.
Also at the Palazzo-Venetian complex this weekend was "Dancing with the Stars" stunner Melissa Rycroft and her fiancé, Tye Strickland.
The soon-to-be-married couple and their future wedding party celebrated their upcoming nuptials with a weekend-long bachelor/bachelorette weekend.
The happy couple checked into one of the Palazzo's luxurious Siena suites on Friday, then got things going with a pair of Broadway-style shows: "Jersey Boys" for the girls and "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular" for the guys.
After the musicals, Strickland and his groomsmen popped by the Palazzo's newest watering hole, Fusion, for a cocktail or two before heading over to Tao.
As the guys headed to Tao, the girls made their way to the Asian hot spot's sister spot, Lavo, where they had a fun-filled dinner in the private dining room before continuing their girls' night at the upper-level nightclub.
Meanwhile, Strickland and the guys had a party of their own, in the VIP at Tao, where they drank Jack Daniels and Coors Light until the lights nearly came on at the end of the night.
The Jack and Jill weekend continued on Saturday with a boys-against-girls poker tournament inside the Venetian's poker room, where both sides nibbled on Sweet Surrender cupcakes between hands.
The afternoon continued as the couple took a very conspicuous and PDA-filled gondola ride down the Grand Canal at the Venetian. The bride-to-be later met up with her bridal party at the Canyon Ranch Spa where they pampered themselves with manicures and pedicures while the guys got their game on -- and by that, I mean drinking buckets of beers and eating cheeseburgers, chicken nachos, pesto pizza, wings, BBQ pork sandwiches and cookies while watching the game -- at the Palazzo's sports book, Lagasse’s Stadium.
The groups reconvened later Saturday night for dinner at Dos Caminos, then checked out the dueling pianos at the resort's Salute Lounge before taking in the late showing of "Blue Man Group." After the performance, it was off to First Food and Bar for some late night eats before the crew called it a night.
Saturday afternoon saw Playboy’s Miss December (and Hugh Hefner’s current No. 1 girlfriend), Crystal Harris do an in-store autograph signing at the only Playboy Store on the Strip. The “Girls Next Door” personality signed autographs and greeted fans at the Forum Shops location from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Around that same time, Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell were spotted on location at the Flamingo as crews shot scenes for "The Other Guys."
The cameras were over at the Venetian the day before, and shot inside the Jersey Boys Theater, though neither Wahlberg nor Ferrell were there for that one.
Also on Saturday afternoon, rappers 50 Cent and Diddy did separate in-store appearances at the new Hard Rock Café on the Strip. Fiddy stopped by to sign a few autographs and promote his new album, "Before I Self Destruct," while Diddy popped by with his new band, "Dirty Money."
Later that the day a host of All-Star chefs gathered at the Venetian for one of the city’s biggest foodie and vinophile events of the year, the annual Carnivale du Vin.
Among the A-list collection of culinary heavyweights were chefs Mario Batali; Daniel Boulud; Emeril Lagasse; Michael Mina; Charlie Palmer; Wolfgang Puck; Nancy Silverton; Kerry Simon; Charlie Trotter; and Norman Van Aken.
Rocker-turned restaurateur, Sammy Hagar, was there, too, and did his best to promote his new eatery, Cabo Wabo Cantina, which had its quiet open in the old Trader Vic's space within the Miracle Mile Shops last week.
Stunner Karina Smirnoff also popped by to taste the culinary delights.
The charity event, which was held in support of Lagasse’s namesake non-profit, kicked things off on Friday with a VIP reception at the Palazzo's recently reborn Sports Book, Lagasse’s Stadium.
As the foodies and winos got their fill at the Venetian Saturday night, Jessica Lowndes of the new "90210" cast was next door, at the Palazzo, to ring in her 21st birthday at Lavo.
Her boyfriend, actor Aaron Paul, flew in for the party, as did Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The b-day girl and her b-day partiers had lunch at Dos Caminos on Saturday before having dinner at the Italian-themed eatery and nightspot later that night.
Also at Lavo on Saturday was actress Rosario Dawson and her DJ boyfriend, Mathieu Schreyer.
Lowndes’ weekend continued on Sunday when the group ventured out to try some indoor skydiving before wrapping up the weekend with a dinner at Tao.
The actress was also spotted relaxing with some retail therapy at the Palazzo on Friday as she shopped her way around the resort's luxury Shoppes, and then later took in a performance of "Phantom.”
Another hottie, VH1’s Amber Smith, was also out and about on Saturday night: The “Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew” personality was at Hawaiian Tropic Zone at Planet Hollywood while hip-hopper Fat Joe entertained inside the casino, on the mezzanine level, at Privé.
Former New York Met, Daniel Joseph “Rusty” Staub, was also in town this weekend, and was spotted having dinner on Saturday at Society Café at Encore. Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears also stopped in that night to grab a few drinks with friends.
If this weekend's selection of star sightings left you wanting more, do not despair: Chris Noth, aka "Mr. Big" from "Sex and the City," will be at the Las Vegas Convention Center today, first for the ribbon-cutting grand opening at 9:45 a.m., then at IGT’s booth at 10:30 a.m.
Also expected at the expo is the reining Playmate of the Year, Ida Ljungvist, who will be at Bally Technologies’ booth from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., then reappear for what's being billed as "a special appearance" from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Melissa Arseniuk writes about Las Vegas entertainment and celebrity events. She can be reached at 702-948-7823 or by e-mail at [email protected].