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November 18, 2017

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Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors: Criss Angel, Miss America Pageant, Nobu and Bagatelle Beach


Tom Donoghue/

Guy Laliberte and Criss Angel arrive on the blue carpet for Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” at Hyde Bellagio on Friday, March 22, 2013.

2013 Miss America Pageant: The Big Night

The 2013 Miss America Pageant at PH Live in Planet Hollywood on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Ribbon Cutting

The Nobu Hotel and Restaurant ribbon-cutting opening with chef Nobu Matsuhisa and business partner and actor Robert De Niro in Caesars Palace on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors on this day:

Incredible illusionist Criss Angel’s new Spike TV series -- still untitled -- will debut at the end of October to mark the fifth anniversary of his Cirque du Soleil show “Believe” at the Luxor. It also will coincide with the 87th anniversary of escape artist magician Harry Houdini’s death in Detroit in 1926.

Criss will create a new opening for the Cirque show as he begins the second half of his 10-year contract. He also is finalizing a “revolutionary levitation,” which has taken nearly two decades to perfect where he will levitate many people from the audience simultaneously to float with him. Pre-production has been completed on the locations, and more than 100 demonstrations Criss will show in the 11-hour Spike specials and filming gets under way by month’s end.

MISS AMERICA: Atlantic City officials gave the formal go-ahead Monday to pay the Miss America Organization $7.3 million spread over three years to keep the beauty pageant there. The first $2.5 million subsidizes the Sept. 15 pageant now that it has left its Las Vegas home of six years at Planet Hollywood.

OLIVIA AND ‘X’: The Olivia Newton-John residency we exclusively reported last week has been moved up and will now start at the Flamingo by the end of June or early July. … The neighboring hot, sexy “X Burlesque” celebrates its 11th anniversary April 24 and a new three-year contract extension.

NOBU AT CAESARS: As Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa gets ready to formally open his new luxurious and exclusive Nobu Caesars Palace hotel with business partner Robert De Niro on April 28, I’ve learned that he’s also opening two of the world’s smallest restaurants as part of his ever-expanding empire.

A wealthy real-estate builder developer was so tired of being unable to get reservations at Nobu’s two Manhattan restaurants that he built his own 12-seat restaurant in his newest New York City skyscraper so that Nobu or his chefs can serve the menu items for the tycoon and his friends. The same thing is now happening on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, where Nobu has accepted an investor’s invitation to open a 20-person restaurant there.

ELISE DUGUAY: Is Caesars Palace headliner Celine Dion behind fellow French-Canadian songbird Elise Duguay coming to the Strip this summer with her own show? The singers have worked together for 25 years since touring in 1987. She has been Celine’s backup singer at The Colosseum since 1994, and now with Celine and manager husband Rene Angelil’s blessing, she’s getting her own shot at stardom.

CHESS MOVE: I am hearing three rumors from very reliable sources involving the same location, but as yet the items are not connected. Although one move could protect or attack another. First, I ask if a Strip star has decided not to return with a new run of shows although given an extension. Then I ask if an existing show will be slimmed down in scope and size for the fall when its current headline star departs.

Then I ask if a major rock star will arrive for a surprisingly different kind of a residency that is really up-close to his audience. Talking about having drinks with a megastar as the first part of a series. None of them could be related, but it’s all too close for comfort to not posture they could be. On a somewhat-related performer front, I’m told her act may be a little difficult to do if an unexpected surprise delivery from the stork is on the way, albeit many months from now.

‘BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE’: Bravo has given the green-light go to an award-winning production team to shoot reality-doc “Best Night of My Life” here. Cameras in one episode will lift the veil on how nightlife really works on the Strip and cover next weekend’s grand opening of the new beach parties at Bagatelle Beach.

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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