Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011 | 5:39 p.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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Wynn and Encore
Director Brett Ratner has persuaded his mogul pal Steve Wynn to loan him a Picasso painting for his new film Tower Heist. The film, which stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Judd Hirsch, Casey Affleck and Tea Leoni, is set as a big pre-Thanksgiving release in November.
The plot centers on a Bernie Madoff-inspired Ponzi scheme where swindled staff defrauded by a Wall Street banker get revenge robbing his luxurious penthouse. The disgruntled gang not only get the painting, valued in the multi-millions, but also a rare Steve McQueen-styled 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, similar to the one the action hero used in director Peter Yates’ Bullitt.
Brett has been a friend of the hotel casino mogul since he shot two outrageous rooftop TV spots of Steve for the opening of his Wynn and Encore hotels. He posted this photo from the movie set of the painting and the car on his own Web site and commented: “Steve Wynn’s Picasso La Reve looks great in my film … thank u Steve!!” So does Steve McQueen’s 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso!
*Market Cafe Vdara is opening at Vdara on March 1, offering guests a grocery and gourmet coffee bar with sandwiches, pastries, Panini sandwiches, crepes, frozen yogurt and salads. Meantime, I’m sad to report that star Chef Martin Heierling’s Silk Road will be closing March 8. The restaurant’s 27 employees will have the opportunity to shift to Vdara’s pool, Market Cafe Vdara or other positions at the company.
*Star chef Rick Moonen has added Anthony Fusco as chef de cuisine at his RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay. He formerly worked for Tom Colicchio at Gramercy Tavern in New York and then was chosen by Bobby Flay to help open Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace. Anthony moved on to Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace and then opened Donald Trump’s DJT here at Trump International Hotel. Bobby, BTW, painted the eyes on a lion at the traditional Chinese New Year lion dance on Sunday at Caesars Palace to honor the ancient tradition of waking the spirits.
*It’s the week that Las Vegas goes country when the Academy of Country Music has its 46th annual awards broadcast live from MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3. The two nights before the ACM Awards, country stars Ronnie Dunn and Sara Evans headline free concerts downtown at Fremont Street Experience. Sara performs April 1 -- and that’s no joke -- and Ronnie is on April 2. It’s the fifth consecutive year the Academy of Country Music has presented the free concerts.
Wicked whispers & racy rumors
Sports writers are making headlines over a possible under-age scandal involving New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who watched Super Bowl XLV at Republic Kitchen and Bar in Henderson. DeadSpin.com has been trumpeting an exclusive story about Mark and a teenage girl and has promised to post photos, although the girl’s lawyers have threatened legal action. No sooner does ABC’s The Bachelor devote an episode in Las Vegas than its sister program The Bachelorette begins planning a one-on-one high-end dating sequence to be shot here, too, in the new season. Before a brief European tour, Glee kicks off its U.S. leg at Mandalay Bay on May 21. Lea Michele, Cory Monteith Dianna Agron, Heather Morris, Kevin McHale and Darren Criss are part of the tour.
*Singer Joe McIntyre and producer-songwriter Emanuel Kiriakou performed the first of four shows titled One Too Many at Midnight at the Palms. The shows are each Saturday this month. Joe and Emanuel riff back and forth with NKOTB, Taylor Swift and Ke$ha songs. Fans turned out in full force, and 50 of them met the musicians before the show in a meet-and-greet at The Studio at the Palms.
*Harrah’s comedy-magician headliner Mac King was featured on PBS’ Nova yesterday in an episode titled How Does the Brain Work? Mac performed his goldfish trick to teach the show’s host, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, how psychology affects the perception of magic tricks. Visit the show’s Web site to view the episode online.
Tonight’s the night celebrity Chef Steve Martorano appears on Joan Rivers’ show on The WE Network with her daughter Melissa to break their longtime tradition of only ordering takeout. Instead, Steve from Cafe Martorano at The Rio will teach the ladies how to prepare their first-ever home-cooked meal. Guy Torry, Larry Brown and Lachlan Patterson are at The Improv at Harrah’s through Sunday. Fishbone perform at the Hard Rock Cafe on The Strip in a stop on their 26th anniversary tour. Tattoo king Mario Barth hosts his Inked Out party at his tattoo salon and ultra lounge Inked at The Mirage. And Jessica Chavez hosts the Bang Party at Moon at the Palms.
Jersey Shore star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is just one of the stars heading to Las Vegas for this year’s MTV Spring Break headquartered at the Palms, plus we’ll meet up with the cast of The Real World shooting Season 25(!) at the Hard Rock Hotel.
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.
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