Monday, Aug. 5, 2013 | 8 p.m.
Twenty years ago, Sharon Stone starred in “Basic Instinct,” a film that was adult in nature but not truly an “adult” film in the pornographic context.
In that film, Stone played a famous scene (the one in the interrogation chair where she crossed and uncrossed her legs while wearing a quite-short white dress) that was intensely adult in its execution. But again, it was not pornography.
And Stone plays a significant role in the new film “Lovelace,” centered on the wrenching life and career of porn icon Linda Lovelace. Stone portrays Lovelace’s rigid mother, Dorothy Boreman. The story is set in the epicenter of the porn culture, specifically the impact of the porn film “Deep Throat,” but “Lovelace” itself isn’t pornography.
Stone was on the red carpet at Planet Hollywood on Sunday afternoon for the U.S. premiere of “Lovelace” and was asked about pornography. I know she was asked about this because I was the one who asked, “Did you go back and watch ‘Deep Throat’ to prepare for your role?”
Stone’s response: “I’ve never seen ‘Deep Throat.’ I’ve never seen a porno movie.”
That means never. As Stone turned afield to pose for a photo with the film’s star, Amanda Seyfried, I asked, “How is that possible?” But the people I was asking, People magazine’s Mark Gray, US Weekly freelancer Mike Doria and the R-J’s Norm Clarke, were as nonplussed as I was.
Maybe porno exposure, even to research film roles, is on Stone’s bucket list. Who knows? But until we arrive at an answer, let’s instinctively give a raking to this scene:
• One of the most important questions in the evolution of the Huntridge Revival campaign is: How deep is The Killers’ commitment to the project? The band has made a significant contribution, and an even more significant public endorsement, of the revival effort. But what is unanswered is if The Killers will play at the new Huntridge exclusively when performing live dates in Las Vegas. They are expected to be booked there, ideally for its reopening if that ever comes about. But no one in or around the band has said whether the Huntridge will be The Killers’ exclusive Vegas performance home if and when the new theater is finished.
Over the years, The Killers have played such venues as the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, House of Blues at Mandalay Bay, Chelsea at Cosmopolitan and Rain at the Palms (and the since-closed Café Espresso Roma, if you want to go back to the very beginning). If, during the Huntridge revitalization campaign, The Killers were to commit to playing the new theater exclusively, it would be an enormous boost to fundraising efforts. It would be huge. But the only comment back from the band when asked about this likelihood is that the only Vegas date on The Killers’ schedule is during Life Is Beautiful in October. There is nothing planned beyond then, and it’s too early to say what will happen for The Killers at the Huntridge. But the band could be the scale-tipper in what everyone connected to the Huntridge says is not only the best chance to renovate the venue, but the last chance.
• Saturday’s show by Bruno Mars at MGM Grand was one inspired mix of sound, lighting and movement. This was the best of what I’ll call the “non-legacy” shows I’ve seen at Grand Garden Arena, the “legacy” acts being such legends as U2, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones — what music writers would call the “highest pantheon” of rock stars. But for those who are still in their recording, commercial and performing prime, Mars is the best I’ve seen in that arena. His voice (which can hit any register), the backing band (which is super-tight and also dances in a sort of organized chaos way that keeps your attention) and the use of lighting (which was remarkable all night) helps set Mars apart. He had enough left in the tank to party at Tao, too. We need more of his type in town.
• What’s up at the Strat? Glad you asked. Some stuff is going on with Frankie Moreno, which is my way of saying that stuff is to be written about later this week.
But for now, know that David Perrico and Pop Evolution are back Tuesday night and have added Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” to their already roaring and eclectic set list. The Pop Evo shows begin at 10:30 p.m. in Stratosphere Showroom. Tickets are $20, and half of the proceeds go to Las Vegas Academy. As Perrico has joked from the stage, his show is still comp-heavy, and LVA hasn’t seen much in the way of revenue. We’d like that to change, eh?
Also happening in that showroom, Claire Sinclair is dedicating her advanced striptease-to-pasties performance in “Pin Up” to the late Dixie Evans, who died Saturday at age 86. After listening to, and reading, feedback from those who have watched the calendar-flipping, song-and-dance show, Strat officials have allowed Sinclair to take it down to pasties. This would have certainly met Evans’ approval, as she was a pioneer in the art of burlesque and founder of the Burlesque Hall of Fame.
• The Tropicana Lounge is already home to one of our favorites, Skye Dee Miles and her Skye5 band. Boosting the lounge scene there is guitar genius Esteban and his violinist daughter, Teresa Joy. This year, the duo have played Cabaret Jazz at Smith Center and LVH’s Shimmer Cabaret. But unlike the ticketed shows at those venues, this show is no admission as part of the lounge’s “Happy Hour Entertainment” lineup. Esteban and Teresa Joy were to begin their run tonight from 5 to 8:30; they are in that slot through Aug. 23. Skye5 and the “Prime Time Entertainment” lineup follows at 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
• Last week, I recalled a moment at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace when Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips ran into Rod Stewart in the venue’s back hallway. On Sunday, the two met again — in Stewart’s dressing room. Phillips' girlfriend, Lydia Ansel, plays in Stewart’s backing band along with Zowie Bowie’s show at Red Rock Resort, and set up the summit of blond-frocked showmen.
In the first meeting, Stewart said to Z.B., “And who the hell might you be?” Sunday, it was, “Who the hell makes your shirt?” Those are both valid, and unanswered, questions (hashtag-SheckyKats).
• A change is afoot at Sin City Comedy. The nightly comedy-and-burlesque showcase at Sin City Theater on the mezzanine at Planet Hollywood is now known as Sin City Comedy & Burlesque. The change is because not many first-time visitors to the show are aware there is dancing in the lineup. And, as many longtime Vegas entertainment observers will tell you, burlesque is never something you just spring on an audience. Someone could get hurt out there.
• I missed Clint Holmes’ monthly shows at Cabaret Jazz for the first time in a very long spell, at least a year, but have heard excellent reports from his collaboration with vibraphone artist Christian Tamburr. What also piqued interest from this enclave was the attendance Sunday of Jerry Lopez of Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns. There is still a movement afoot to bring that band into Cab Jazz, even for a one-off performance. That would be some kind of cool hang, something a lot of us (including Smith Center President Myron Martin) have been envisioning ever since the club opened.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.
It is virtually impossible to be anywhere in Las Vegas and miss the Stratosphere. It towers 1,149 feet above Las Vegas and is the tallest observation tower in the United States. The casino itself is 55,784 square feet and contains 950 slot machines, 120 game tables and 2,427 hotel rooms.
Of the hotel's 2,427 rooms, 909 were recently remodeled into Stratosphere Select rooms.
The Stratosphere is mostly known for its rides at the top of the tower. The Big Shot, located at the 113th floor, torpedoes riders up 160 feet using compressed air. X-Scream is a teeter-totter perched at the top of the observation deck — if that wasn't scary enough, the coaster arm flings the riders out 27 feet over the edge of the tower. Guests looking for something more sedate can just hang around the 107th floor and simply look at the scenery.