Las Vegas Sun

November 18, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: Criss Angel’s shoulder surgery; ‘Top Chef’ Shirley Chung’s double dilemma


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Criss Angel, with fiancee Sandra Gonzalez, 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.

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Criss Angel 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.

It’s the one magic trick Criss Angel can’t pull off by himself. In advance of next month’s surgery, his MRI examinations revealed three serious tears in his right shoulder and bicep and an unexpected, unknown tear in his left shoulder. He has to have one very special magician’s assistant to pull him through this ordeal, which has worsened as a result of his straightjacket escapes.

Kobe Bryant’s L.A. Lakers and L.A. Dodgers sports medicine surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache will start his own form of magic with a Jan. 7 pre-op session, with Criss’ surgery Jan. 8.

Criss told me at his surprise birthday party Wednesday night that he’ll return to Las Vegas on Jan. 11 and start his physical rehab. Eleven days later, he will be permitted to start directing final rehearsals of his new show “Magic Jamz” that opens Feb. 4 at the Luxor.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun — not the surgery, but the show!” he laughed. “I have no choice but to have the torn shoulder operations.”

Criss, who celebrates his 46th birthday today, was surprised by Nathan Burton, Banachek, Gordie Brown, Flavor Flav, Three 6 Mafia, plus, yours truly at a party organized by his agent, Dave Barham.

Coincidentally, Bally’s headliner Veronic DiCaire attended her surprise birthday party Wednesday night at Carmine’s inside Forum Shops at Caesars Palace with a group of 22 friends. Veronic allowed herself a birthday treat of Carmine’s famous cheesecake and bread pudding for dessert.

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Las Vegas chef Shirley Chung on Bravo’s “Top Chef” in New Orleans on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013.

A VICTORY FALL: Las Vegas celebrity chef Shirley Chung looked destined for double trouble on Wednesday night’s episode of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in New Orleans, but she recovered from both and won a new Toyota. Last week, she won $10,000 and immunity.

This week, she was first knocked to the floor when musician Questlove gave the chefs a drumstick contest, and they wound up in a crazed melee grabbing the plates simultaneously. Shirley was picked up by fellow chef Nick Elmi, who then as last to choose wound up with quail legs while Shirley got the duck legs.

Onto the Elimination Challenge where Shirley and her seven remaining rivals had to cook for 500 hungry first-year LSU students, it was another struggle over eight ovens. Our former Guy Savoy and Jose Andres chef wound up with a wood-fired pizza oven. That’s a tough stove to use for roast beef, potato puree and fire-roasted tomato salsa, but the students loved it, saying it was the best meal they’d ever eaten.

Judges Emeril Lagasse and Tom Colicchio agreed, and she was declared the winner of a Toyota Rav4, which is now en route to her home here. One episode remains now before the finals, and we’ll have a preview of what Shirley faces here next week.

WEDDING BLISS: Before walking down the aisle, “The Real Housewives of D.C.” star Michaele Salahi, known for crashing a White House party, decided on a day of pampering by Michael Boychuck’s stylists at his Color salon in Caesars Palace. His makeup and hair team flew to San Francisco for her marriage to Journey musician Neal Schon.

The couple promised the hair guru that they’ll be back to see him in Las Vegas when their honeymoon ends. And yes, of course, it was filmed for the reality TV series. Michael is now getting ready to work his magic with Paris Hilton when she arrives here for New Year’s Eve DJ duties at Hyde Bellagio.

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Rio magician headliners Penn & Teller donate blood on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013.

BLOOD DRIVE: For 13 consecutive years, Rio magician headliners Penn & Teller have held a blood drive to raise awareness of the need for donations during the holiday season. Penn was first to donate to United Blood Services for the “13 Bloody Days of Christmas” campaign.

POOL SEASON: Santa hasn’t arrived yet, and the fireworks for NYE haven’t been fired, but Wet Republic at MGM Grand is already getting set for its Season 7 of daytime parties. Auditions for dozens of its stunning 2014 bikini-clad candidates to fight for one of the most-sought-after summer jobs will test at LAX in Luxor and Pure in Caesars from Jan 14-23.

Wolf of Wall Street

‘WALL STREET’ VOICE: I’m not on the cutting-room floor! Thanks to all my Twitter followers and email friends who caught preview screenings of Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film “Wolf of Wall Street” by director Martin Scorsese for letting me know you see and hear me loud and clear at the start of the film.

I turn up in a second clip from my old “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” shows in this torrid tale of Wall Street boiler-room, stock-sale shenanigans. Critics are saying it’s Martin’s best flick since “Goodfellas.”


Jerry Lewis regales with tales of his storied career as a legendary entertainer in a one-night-only show at South Point.

Nevada Ballet Theater presents its final weekend of “The Nutcracker” at Smith Center.

DJ Five spins at Tao in the Venetian.

The four-day basketball Holiday Hoops Classic gets underway at South Point Events Center.

And the Las Vegas Challenge basketball tournament runs for two days at Orleans Arena.


More on Britney Spears’ E! Entertainment special airing Sunday, and the slimmed-down, trimmed-down Royal Robin Rundown in our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview puts the spotlight on Las Vegas Christmas entertainers, the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl and Hulk Hogan.

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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