Tuesday, July 6, 2010 | 5:17 p.m.
Mindfreak magician Criss Angel began his two-week hiatus from Cirque du Soleil’s Believe with a party at his new palace Serenity over Fourth of July weekend, and magic colleagues Lance Burton and Amazing Johnathan, along with Motley Crue rocker Vince Neil, Luxor headliner comic Carrot Top and artist Godard were among the guests.
But it ended with his mother Dimitra in a hospital. She had passed out three times in two days, and family wanted to have doctors find out why. I was at the house with them three days earlier for this week’s VDLX interviews. She’d undergone open-heart surgery 3 1/2 years ago. Criss was glad he’d decided to stay home these next two weeks rather than go on his usual Cabo San Lucas vacation so that he can visit her daily in the hospital.
He told me that she’s undergoing tests to figure out the problem and that they hope to have answers within 48 hours. “I know she’ll be OK and is getting the best care,” Criss said. All of us here at Vegas DeLuxe extend our best wishes to Dimitra for a full and speedy recovery.
I’m hearing that a group of well-heeled moneymen has decided that it’s time to start buying again in Las Vegas, and they have started discussions to bid on Mandalay Bay or the Las Vegas Hilton. … Our former colleagues at the New York Post Page Six reported that Steve Wynn left town for the Fourth and was seen with a “bombshell blonde” at La Reserve resort in Geneva, Switzerland. I’m betting that was British beauty Andrea Hissom now that they’ve reconciled after a recent and short breakup. … Actor Armand Assante is reportedly planning a one-man play about the life and times of Mafia boss and jailed hoodlum John Gotti and that he’s hoping the deal will be finalized quickly for a Las Vegas hotel this fall.
*Heartthrob actor Gerard Butler joined star chef Daniel Boulud of the Wynn in Monaco, but Las Vegas wasn’t far away, as they’d ordered Sugar Factory’s signature Couture Pops shipped for their visit. Sugar Factory’s two local stores are in The Mirage and Planet Hollywood, with a third opening at the Paris this fall.
*The 3rd Annual Carnival of Cuisine at The Venetian and Palazzo has been set for Aug. 7. More than 20 hotels and restaurants are participating, including five James Beard Award winners: Mario Batali’s B&B Ristorante, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Wolfgang Puck’s Cut and Postrio, Sammy DeMarco’s First Food & Bar, Emeril Lagasse’s Stadium and Table 10, Luciano Pellegrini’s Valentino, plus the chefs of Tao, Lavo and Sushi Samba. Sweet Surrender, Palazzo’s cupcake and candy shop and home of the $750 cupcake, joins this year’s lineup. … The One Step Closer Foundation to make cerebral palsy a thing of the past has its 3rd Annual All-In Poker Tournament at Phil Ivey’s new poker room at Aria on Dec. 11.
*There’s an incredibly generous side to our contributing photographer Erik Kabik that I didn’t know about and deserves recognition. Erik, with Las Vegas-based AmeriFace, works with parents of children with facial difficulties to help build confidence and self-esteem in the children -- and also to educate that true beauty comes from within. He said: “I spend my days asking celebrities to give me a smile, and now I can give a smile back to children born with the common birth defect of cleft lip and palate. I’m proud to support the mission to lift the spirits of children and also bring awareness to the medical and social challenges these young people face.” Well done, good sir!
Among the stars enjoying pub fare and drinks at McFadden’s celebrity green room at The Rio were Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Brad Garrett, Evander Holyfield, Shannon Elizabeth, Montel Williams and David Alan Grier, and Evander even teed off on the digital golf simulator. Matt and Don also hit Steve Martorano’s restaurant there for dinner, while clips of Rounders and Oceans 13 played on the television. Steve served his signature meatballs, and Matt and Don signed the wall hanging: Don wrote “Wonderful meal, I'll be back,” and Matt penned: “Thanks, Steve, you kill it every time.”… Brad Garrett hosted the Ambhar Goddess tequila models backstage after his show at his new Comedy Club at the Tropicana. Last night, the models competed at Jet in The Mirage for the title of ultimate bikini winner. … UFC hero Chuck Liddell and his girlfriend made a 2 a.m. stop at Society Cafe in Steve Wynn’s Encore. … Bachelor girl Vienna Girardi was at Tao Beach in The Venetian near where Mark Salling of Glee hung out, and the two groups ended up dining together at Dos Caminos in the Palazzo, followed by dancing to DJ Skratchy at Lavo. Vienna reportedly has agreed to bare all for an upcoming Playboy.
NBA giant Shaquille O’Neal takes on Penn & Teller after their show at The Rio. The free event will be filmed for broadcast and is open to the public. It’s part of an upcoming episode of ABC’s Shaq Vs that also will film him taking on “Sugar” Shane Mosley in a boxing match here Friday. … James Stephens, Carrie Snow and Pete Gray are at The Improv at Harrah’s through Sunday, and Jackson Perdue and Wendy Hammers are at Riviera Comedy Club through Sunday.
We’ll have Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Criss Angel as he introduces the final new illusions to Believe. Plus, a look at the reopening of Social House at Crystals in MGM’s CityCenter.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.