Friday, March 23, 2012 | 2:12 a.m.
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As the weather finally turns warmer and pool season really begins with a sexy splash, it’s a return ticket back to the Strip for several stars this weekend.
“The Girls Next Door” and “Kendra” star Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett handles the official opening party for Wet Republic at MGM Grand; raspy-voiced rocker Rod Stewart brings his “Hot Legs” to resume his residency at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace -- which has been silenced by Celine Dion’s throat problems --and three “Entourage” stars launch Backstage Pass at the Hard Rock Hotel.
It’s also the weekend that RPM Nightclub closes at the Tropicana after the briefest of runs, while the sensual Azure Luxury Pool opens again for the summer at the Palazzo.
Our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the 90th birthday of legendary comedian Marty Allen. He’ll receive the key to the city from Mayor Carolyn Goodman on Saturday and then hits the stage at Louie Anderson’s comedy club at Palace Station to prove that he’s still going strong like the Energizer Bunny.
It’s a pleasure-packed weekend of music and comedy, plus high-speed thrills and chills with racecars and monster trucks in the Mint 400 race in Jean and the Monster World Finals at Sam Boyd Stadium today and Saturday.
Mix in the sake and spirits for UNLVino’s 38th annual tasting, and you’ll say “cheers,” as it’s time to raise our glasses and “Sip for a Scholarship” with a toast to this week’s Royal Robin Rundown.
FRIDAY, MARCH 23
Lonestar is at Silverton Casino Lodge, Five Finger Death Punch, Soulfly and Windowpane are at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, the Lettermen are at South Point all weekend, and Ani DiFranco is at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
LOL with Carlos Mencia at Treasure Island, Seth Myers at the Mirage, Dov Davidoff at Empire Comedy in the Paris for two nights, former Monte Carlo headliner Frank Caliendo at the Venetian all weekend and Lisa Landry at Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile all weekend.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Excalibur and Luxor President Renee West will be honored at “Sake Fever” at the Mirage pool for UNLVino weekend presented by Larry Ruvo’s Southern Wine and Spirits.. Tickets go on sale for Earth, Wind and Fire’s Aug. 3 performance at the Joint and for the June 10 performance by Broadway, film, TV and music star Idina Menzel (Tony winner for “Wicked”) at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. And the Mint 400 is in full swing for two days at the Golden Nugget and in Jean.
Tinie Tempah hosts and performs at Tao in the Venetian, nearby Azure opens for the 2012 season at the Palazzo, and Royal House in the Royal Resort near the Convention Center hosts the weekend-long Pastel Project celebrating music, art and food.
SATURDAY, MARCH 24
Rod Stewart returns with his hits, his band and those beautiful blonde leggy ladies to the Colosseum, Salt-N-Pepa are at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm, and the Las Vegas Tenors perform popera at Cannery.
Legendary comedian Marty Allen is at Palace Station for two nights, Kevin Hart is at Mandalay Bay Events Center, and Don Rickles serves up savage sarcasm at the Orleans for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Marty Allen receives a key to the city for his 90th birthday at Palace Station. Tickets go on sale for comedian Russell Peters’ “Notorious World Tour 2012” on May 26 at the Colosseum and for Grace Potter & the Nocturnals’ April 20 show at Green Valley Ranch (this date was added due to overwhelming demand for the April 13 concert at Aliante Station). UNLVino’s “Grand Tasting” is at Bally’s. And Run Away With Cirque De Soleil: a One Drop World Water Day Event 5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Walk is at Springs Preserve.
Kevin Hart hosts his official after-party at RPM, which also is the club’s farewell. Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett hosts at Wet Republic. Jermaine Dupri is guest DJ at Tryst in the Wynn. “Entourage” stars Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly and Kevin Dillon are at Vanity in the Hard Rock Hotel to launch the Backstage Pass rewards club. Linkin Park’s Joe Hahn spins at Haze in Aria. Paul Wall celebrates his birthday at Gallery Nightclub in Planet Hollywood. And reality TV star Malika Haqq (E!’s “Khloe & Lamar”) hosts at Tabu Ultra Lounge in MGM Grand.
SUNDAY, MARCH 25
Romeo Santos performs at the Joint, male a cappella group Straight No Chaser is at Smith Center, and Whitechapel is at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The Mrs. Nevada United States Pageant crowns its winner at Crown in the Rio -- this pageant is not to be confused with the recent Mrs. Nevada America Pageant at Suncoast.
Hyper Crush celebrates its CD release party at the Bank in the Bellagio.
We’ll have coverage throughout the weekend, so check back often. On Monday, our conversations with mother and daughter reality TV stars Joan and Melissa Rivers ahead of the Tuesday finale of “Joan Knows Best” filmed here that includes a naughty girls night out on the Strip.
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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