Las Vegas Sun

January 17, 2018

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Strip Scribbles: Criss Angel’s ‘Believe’ finale on Spike; Fizz at Caesars opens; record toy drive


Cashman Photography

Criss Angel, with Maestro and Nathan Burton, celebrates the fifth anniversary of his Cirque du Soleil show “Believe” at the Luxor on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, at a party at Rx Boiler Room in Mandalay Place.

Criss Angel

Criss Angel

After 10 extraordinary one-hour specials with 120 illusions and demonstrations, Luxor headliner magician Criss Angel brings his Season 1 of “Believe” on Spike to an incredible and emotional finale tonight.

Incredible because he attempts to perform the largest-scale appearance of his entire career by vanishing a cruise ship while on a break from Las Vegas down in Cabo San Lucas.

Emotional because after his New York straightjacket demonstration where he hung upside down pulled by a heavy metal weight, he wound up in a hospital, and his own TV cameras recorded him getting examined by doctors.

Criss will undergo surgery for the wrecked shoulder next month, and he will be out of “Believe” at Luxor until April while recuperating. However, he will host a new show in February and March that will feature other magicians. He promises the full details right after Christmas.

While on a working vacation in Cabo, Criss attempts to perform the largest-scale appearance of his entire career.

“It was a very difficult and demanding schedule. No magician in history has ever done what we just did the past few months. It was emotionally, mentally and physically draining,” he told me. “I’m just thankful to the great team I have around me that allowed us to bring back magic to a weekly TV audience. Our passion comes from our love for the art of magic.”

Tonight, Criss also swallows a woman’s ring with water and moments later poolside at the Luxor pulls it from his mouth encased in ice, and at a Cabo hotel, he has a man in the crowd climb into a trash can in full view of cameras and everyone and seconds later makes him appear high up on the hotel’s balcony.

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Fizz at Caesars Palace.

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A rendering of Fizz at Caesars Palace.

FIZZ POPS OPEN: It might be described as a high-end champagne lounge, but it feels and looks far more like the bars in the homes that husband-and-husband Sir Elton John and David Furnish own around the world. That’s because the new bubbly bar Fizz complete with a DJ booth steps from the Colosseum at Caesars Palace is decorated with many of their paintings and accessories.

The David Bailey snake photographs and celebrity portraits offer a peek into their million-dollar collections. The $3.2 million makeover has birthed a boite — a super-luxurious, 2,750-square-foot boutique bar. It is a piece of art unto itself with the warm hues of champagne, cognac, copper and ivory. The top floor of the petite two-story space features a private VIP party room.

Downstairs, it’s a sophisticated bar for socializing, sit-up tall tables for cocktails and mega-sized banquet booths for enjoying their private chef’s caviar, charcuterie, Thai lobster roll and other taste treats. They’ve insisted that nobody take photos because the decorations are solely their private property.

I received a tour just before Shania Twain checked out Fizz to sample the Fizz Noir, and I’ve never seen anything as beautifully intimate. I won’t reveal the secrets of how the stars get in and out of the place undisturbed. The grand opening is set for early spring when Sir Elton returns to the Colosseum for his next run of “The Million-Dollar Piano” shows starting March 29.

XS and Tryst's 2011 Holiday Toy Drive

XS and Tryst's 2011 holiday toy drive raised more than $171,000, a new record. Launch slideshow »

DONATION RECORD: Staff at Steve Wynn’s XS and Tryst nightclubs go shopping at Wal-Mart on Wednesday morning to make a remarkable donation to DJ Chet Buchanan’s annual KLUC Morning Zoo Toy Drive for needy children in Southern Nevada. Last year’s donation of toys set a record of more than $173,000.

This year’s donation is already set to top last year’s gifts, says Managing Partner Jesse Waits. The total of donations in the last seven years of has surpassed $500,000. Chet can be found braving the cold on raised scaffolding at Nevada Energy at 6226 W. Sahara.

POKER UPDATE: Among the star poker players KO’d from the World Poker Tour event being filmed for Fox Sports at Bellagio were Antonio Esfandieri, Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu. WPT champions are still in contention, among them Scotty Nguyen, Will Fallian, Ravi Raghavan, Mohsin Charania, along with WPT’s Mike Sexton, Jean-Robert Bellande and Dan O’Brien. It will all come down to the Final 9 table Wednesday battling for the $1.1 million prize.

‘Veronic Voices’ Premiere at Bally’s

Remon Boulerice, Veronic Dicaire, Rene Angelil and Celine Dion arrive at the Launch slideshow »

MORE ‘VOICES’: Confirming out previous reports, “Veronic Voices” starring Veronic DiCaire at Bally’s has been extended through 2014. Veronic is at Bally’s through Jan. 18, then tours Canada before returning in the spring through year’s end. She will appear most weekends with an occasional break; full dates are to be released in January.

GINGERBREAD GIANT: Flora Aghababyan, Steve Wynn’s chief cake designer, created a 3-foot gingerbread replica of the signature bronze building surrounded by the boutiques in his Wynn and Encore Esplanades. The entirely edible masterpiece was handcrafted from 4,500 gingerbread tiles, rolled fondant and sugar, weighs more than 295 pounds, took 21 days to construct and is on display at the Buffet throughout the holidays.

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Circus Couture’s “Possession(s)” on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.

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Circus Couture’s “Possession(s)” on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.

CIRCUS COUTURE: Acrobat Erica Linz, president and co-founder of the annual fundraiser Circus Couture, balanced atop Kyle DesChamp and Pierre-Luc Sylvain during “Possession(s)” at the Hard Rock Hotel. The annual event that raises funds for childhood cancer treatment brought in more than $100,000 for Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada and St. Baldrick’s Foundation.


Mirage headliner Terry Fator performs his all-new Country Christmas show through Dec. 26.

Still shrouded in mystery, the Nashville-based, nine-anonymous-member funk and R&B band Here Come the Mummies perform at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.

The motorcycle club “Sons of Anarchy” has a Season 6 finale party at the D Las Vegas.

Scott Record, Steven Kravitz and Alysia Wood are at the Improv at Harrah’s through Sunday.

DJ Time with SKAM artist Panic City are at Lavo in Palazzo.

The Lost Angels party is at Hyde Bellagio.


The 2013 American Country Awards are at Mandalay Bay Events Center and air on Fox.

Willie Nelson and Family start a two-night run at Golden Nugget, and older son Lukas Nelson opens with a rare solo acoustic set.


A poignant, emotional and highly charged story of a heroic star chef’s battle to bring courage and hope to others. Also, we’ll have a rap of the ACAs and a preview of the kick-it-up-a-notch Emeril Lagasse Culinary Clash weekend at the Venetian.

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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