Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 | 1:30 p.m.
Paula Abdul celebrated the grand opening of her high-energy “Forever Your Girl” headlining show at Flamingo Las Vegas Thursday night. Among those in attendance were fellow Vegas stars Wayne Newton, Penn Jillette and Mat Franco, as well as comedian Kathy Griffin, dancer and TV personality Frankie Grande, celeb stylist Jen Atkin and socialite philanthropist Kathy Hilton. I landed some face time with Abdul on Friday and our emotional interview will be available soon here at LasVegasSun.com so stay tuned.
I spent my Saturday afternoon at the second edition of the USA Today Wine & Food Experience at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on the Strip across from Sahara Las Vegas, sampling scrumptious cuisine from some of the best restaurants on and off the Strip and checking out food and drink demos by sommeliers and chefs. My favorite bites were the tuna “pizza” from the Palms’ Greene St. Kitchen and the spicy chicken thigh slider from Park MGM’s Crack Shack, but the meatballs from MGM Grand’s new Italian eatery Ambra were pretty great, too. The future of this outdoor event is anyone’s guess as the site is part of Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin’s purchase of Circus Circus from MGM Resorts International, a deal expected to close at the end of the year. Next up for the festival grounds is this weekend’s Day N Vegas hip-hop music festival.
Shania Twain caught one of the very first performances of Cirque du Soleil’s new action show “R.U.N” Saturday night at Luxor and the country-pop superstar stuck around after the excitement died down to take a photo with the cast and crew and snag some swag: a commemorative T-shirt and sweatshirt. “R.U.N” officially opened Thursday night at Luxor and Twain opens her second Las Vegas Strip residency December 6 at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater.
Also on Saturday, during the final performance of Journey’s first residency run at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, band founder and guitarist Neal Schon welcomed blues axeman Joe Bonamassa to the stage to play along with “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” and an extended guitar solo duel. Bonamassa returned the favor the following night at the Colosseum during his own headlining show when Schon returned to the stage to add some extra riffage to B.B. King’s “Nobody Loves Me But My Mother.” Only in Vegas, people.
David Copperfield attended Saturday night’s “Brian Newman After Dark” late-night jazz performance at the NoMad Restaurant at Park MGM and the legendary illusionist picked a good night to go out. Newman’s unpredictable musical bash continues to generate buzz out of Park MGM. Not only did Lady Gaga swing through yet again to sing a few songs after her “Jazz & Piano” residency show at Park Theater, she also sang a duet with R&B princess Ashanti, performing a spicy version of Ashanti’s first hit, “Foolish.” Also at Park MGM, rapper Ja Rule popped into On the Record on Saturday to catch DJ White Shadow’s set and survey the dance floor action from two tables in the main room.
Author and celebrity cook Ayesha Curry, wife of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, attended “Magic Mike Live” at the Hard Rock Hotel Saturday night with a large group of family and friends. Curry was likely in town for business, too, as it was just announced her restaurant collaboration with chef Michael Mina, International Smoke, will be taking over the MGM Grand space of Mina’s Pub 1842 in December.
On Sunday night, Jonathan Marchessault celebrated his Vegas Golden Knights’ victory at home over Anaheim by visiting the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian and taking in “Atomic Saloon Show” from a VIP booth. Marchy took a post-show pic with host Madame Boozy Skunkton and The Mayor.