Tuesday, April 9, 2013 | 1:58 p.m.
Edgy illusionists Penn & Teller were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their unique brand of magic. Located just steps away from Harry Houdini’s star near The Magic Castle, it’s the 2,494th star.
The Rio headliners had an all-star turnout in Hollywood, with rival MGM Grand magician David Copperfield, “South Park” creator Trey Parker, Penn’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” pals Lisa Rinna and husband Harry Hamlin, singer-actress Lainie Kazan and porn legend Ron Jeremy, making his first appearance since a recent hospital scare, in attendance.
In addition to their recently announced six-year Rio contract extension to 2018, the daring duo is up to their tricks with new projects. They are planning a new magic TV series, “Smoke and Mirrors,” which is described as “an at-home night in their living room.”
They also are now amid editing a film festival project about dark Dutch painter Johannees Vermeer and an American inventor and scientist’s experiments. Johannees’ painting “Girl With a Pearl Earring” inspired the 2003 film starring Scarlett Johansson.
Penn is still competing on “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” for Donald Trump on NBC in the hope of winning donations for our Opportunity Village; NBA star Dennis Rodman was the latest to be fired by The Donald on Sunday night.
Over the weekend, Penn also participated in this year’s Opportunity Village Celebrity Poker Tournament, which attracted 200 players, including his “Apprentice” co-star Omarosa and “Dexter” star David Zayas. I played red carpet host and MC to kick off the event.
Penn’s wife Emily Jillette was eliminated at No. 12, and Omarosa made it to the final four tables. An avid player who prefers to remain anonymous was the first-place winner for a seat at this summer’s World Series of Poker. The player has promised to donate 20 percent of any WSOP winnings to Opportunity Village.
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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Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.