Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Paul Shaffer returned to his special engagement at Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace over the weekend and brought along a very special guest to kick things off on Thursday night: David Letterman. Shaffer’s “former boss” from his days as musical director on Letterman’s iconic late-night talk shows jumped onstage for some reminiscing and storytelling in between songs. Backed by powerhouse band the Shaf-Shifters (assembled and directed by the great David Perrico), Shaffer also invited Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive onstage to perform “Takin’ Care of Business.” Watching with the rest of the audience in the still-fabulous lounge was Kenny Loggins, in town for his own three-show run at Encore Theater. Loggins may have received a recommendation about Shaffer’s show by a certain Weekend Rewind columnist; my concierge services are free but I accept tips.
The NFL hasn’t landed in Las Vegas just yet but the first pro football weekend of the season brought some of the sports stars to our city. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice partied at Tao Nightclub at the Venetian Friday night after dining at Scotch 80 Prime. He bumped into fellow football greats Lawrence Taylor and Eric Dickerson at the Palms’ hot spot, and all three made an appearance at Apex Social Club later.
Since arriving in Las Vegas on August 28 and kicking off The Crown Jewels residency at Park Theater on September 1, Queen and Adam Lambert (and the legendary rock band’s music) have taken over the town. Lambert, Brian May and Roger Taylor found their way to “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace during a night off for what May described as an “outrageously inappropriate” evening of entertainment, naturally. The next night, the stars of the upcoming movie “Bohemian Rhapsody,” including Rami Malek who portrays Freddie Mercury and Gwilym Lee who plays Brian May, caught the Park Theater concert and partied after the show with a VIP reception at Park MGM’s stylish Juniper Cocktail Lounge. I caught The Crown Jewels Friday night and as recommended in yesterday’s Sun, it’s something you don’t want to miss.
Speaking of Park MGM: Los Angeles chef Roy Choi finally released some new details about his planned restaurant at the still-renovating resort. It will be called Best Friend, and Choi describes the concept as “a remixed and remastered collection of the evolution of our Los Angeles — its food, its music, its culture. … It’s Koreatown in a capsule, a portal to the streets of L.A., but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas … VEGAS.” The entrance will be modeled after a liquor store and bodega while the dining room comfortably drenched in natural tones. Best Friend is scheduled to open in December.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan may not have made the trip to Las Vegas to see their Broadway musical “On Your Feet!” at the Smith Center, but they definitely sent their regards. They donated $25,000 to Keep Memory Alive in support of the Major Jose M. Fajardo Patient Services Program, in honor of Gloria’s father who died of multiple sclerosis. The show’s cast presented the check to Larry Ruvo Thursday as the Smith Center’s CEO Myron Martin and Dr. Marwan Sabbagh, director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, looked on.
The Righteous Brothers and Victor Drai will be receiving some important honors at the recently announced sixth annual Casino Entertainment Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel on October 10. Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley were recognized as the first rock and roll act to play the Las Vegas Strip in 1964 at the Sands and will receive the Legend Award at the ceremony inside Vinyl next month. After Hatfield passed in 2003, Medley revived the Righteous Brothers with Bucky Heard and the duo has been performing at Harrah’s since 2016. Drai, who was spotted recently dining at the tiny, terrific Elia Authentic Greek Taverna, will be honored with his own Legend Award recognizing his contributions as a true nightlife icon; he operates Drai’s Nightclub and Beachclub and Drai’s AfterHours at the Cromwell.