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September 22, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: Forty-year dream bears wine for Francis Ford Coppola


Tom Donoghue/

Francis Ford Coppola attends the red carpet grand opening of Cirque du Soleil’s “Zarkana” at Aria on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.

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Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Eric Prydz

Paris Welcomes Jersey Boys

Launch slideshow »

Michael Turco

Jennifer Lopez at MGM Grand's Wet Republic

Jennifer Lopez at MGM Grand's Wet Republic on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. Launch slideshow »

3/25/11: Lady Gaga at MGM Grand

Lady Gaga at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 25, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Director Francis Ford Coppola makes a rare visit here this weekend, and it’s momentous in that it marks the culmination of 38 years of tireless work in wine, not celluloid. The acclaimed filmmaker (“The Godfather” trilogy) and his family took on restoring Inglenook Vineyards to produce some of the world’s best wines.

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is flying from New York to prepare an extravagant meal as Francis unveils his 2009 and 2011 vintages, the first under Inglenook in more than 50 years. Jean Georges says he will prepare a seven-course meal to mark the vintage.

In 1941, Inglenook was ranked one of the best Cabernet Sauvignons ever produced. After a decade of decline, the Coppola family began the restoration. The Saturday event, $350 per ticket, kicks off the Bellagio’s 2013 Epicurean Epicenter series in Tuscany Kitchen.

MEGABUCKS DJ WAR CONTINUES: Hotel mogul Steve Wynn has taken EDM one step farther and signed DJ Eric Prydz and his “Black Dice” show to a residency at Surrender and XS, both in the Encore, starting Feb. 9.

“The music I play is something Las Vegas hasn’t really heard yet,” Eric said in a news release. “It’s about putting something new in the city.”

DOUBLE TV: There’s an extraordinary follow-up to our story Wednesday about the galaxy of stars led by Barbra Streisand saluting the 80th birthdays of Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine: The April 13 Keep Memory Alive benefit at MGM Grand Garden Arena will have massive TV exposure.

The star-studded concert will be telecast as a two-hour telethon on the new cable network AXS owned by Ryan Seacrest, Mark Cuban and AEG. Additionally, PBS plans five days of programs to highlight the amazing work and medical breakthroughs of the Downtown Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which KMA funds.

RON WALL IN COURT: Pro poker player Ron Wall is well known downtown because of his 1930s-era pin-striped Italian suits, fedora, spats and a remarkable antique car. On Monday, he’ll be in different surroundings when he’s in court Downtown to obtain justice for a brutal robbery that nearly cost him his life. In 2010, Ron was badly beaten in a hotel room in Primm and robbed of $137,000 in poker winnings. His alleged assailants -- a man and a woman -- were captured but the money never found.

The Las Vegas socialite and philanthropist will be watching his handcuffed attackers in court. Ron says during the 20-minute robbery, he was stabbed and beaten with a lamp and an iron. Ron, who underwent a year of physical therapy after treatment for injuries and fractured bones, said, “I fought with all that I had in me. Otherwise, I knew I would have been killed and dumped in the desert. I stayed conscious until I could get to security for help.” The two suspects face eight felony counts and are held on bail of $2 million each.

LOOKALIKE AND SOUNDALIKE: The “Stars in Concert” show I reported Wednesday that opens March 1 at the new Boulevard Theater has played in Berlin since 1997. Seen by more than 3.3 million, it’s more than 4,550 performances have ranked it in the Top 10 money-grossing German productions.

The show is a lookalike homage to the world’s biggest stars of the past 60 years. Producer Bernhard Kurz isn’t a stranger to Las Vegas; he won a Lifetime Achievement Award here in 2006 and at the Artist Choice Awards here Best Producer in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

SETTING STANDARDS: “Jersey Boys” star Travis Cloer, who plays Frankie Valli in the hit and award-winning musical at the Paris, will shine solo in a Feb. 4 concert of Broadway, jazz, pop and R&B standards at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Travis has put together a six-piece band with musicians from Celine Dion’s Caesars Palace show, his own “Jersey Boys” group and Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns.

This weekend, another great Las Vegas musician, Dave Perrico, presents his 19-piece band Pop Evolution at the Lounge at the Palms with guest artists led by vocalist Savannah Smith, plus, “Fantasy” star Lorena Peril, Laura Shaffer, Mark Verabian, Aja Marie and L.J. Harness.

MORE BEE GEES: “The Australian Bee Gees Show” has extended its contract at the Excalibur through 2015. “We’re proud to bring this top-notch concert experience to Excalibur for two more years,” said Adam Steck, founder and CEO of SPI Entertainment. “ ‘The Australian Bee Gees Show’ is so much more than just a tribute. It’s the live celebration of more than four decades of legendary music.”

OFF-STRIP MAGIC: Illusionist Michael Turco, who made his debut on “America’s Got Talent” and had to leave his headliner show at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops when Nathan Burton arrived there after departing the Flamingo, resurfaces Feb. 15 at Rampart Casino in Summerlin.

WINNING NAME: The $50 million, 41-acre Wet ’N’ Wild water park opening Memorial Day weekend will henceforth be known as Red Rock Bay. Ted Stringer won the most votes for his name nomination. More than 2,300 voted on the five finalists: Raging Rebel, 2nd, then Neon Beach, Mojave Monsoon and Cactus Curl. The finalists received opening-weekend VIP passes and other prizes.


Stars Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez host the red-carpet premiere of their new movie “Parker” at Planet Hollywood.

Award-winning group Los Cadetes de Linares, longest-running norteno group from the original corridos, will be honored with a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars in the 63rd dedication ceremony at Planet Hollywood. Their star will be placed in front of New York-New York.


It’s a weekend clash of the titans as Lady Gaga dives into the Monster Pit of her “Born This Way” tour and chef Gordon Ramsay celebrates his U.K. invasion on The Strip. Plus, the official reopening of Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel.

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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