Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 | 6 p.m.
Five-time Grammy Award winner and Caesars Palace headliner Celine Dion will host the 15th annual “Home for the Holidays” special on CBS to air Wednesday, Dec. 18. Las Vegas-raised Ne-Yo duets on her new album “Loved Me Back to Life” and will appear with the French-Canadian songbird.
Celine, inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame last week, will perform songs from the album on the special. The moving TV special, which also will star Chris Young, will tell inspirational stories about children adopted from foster care.
Vegas DeLuxe has learned that while raising awareness for the important social issue, Celine will introduce another Las Vegas family. When Tammy Gerber volunteered at a summer camp that brought together separated foster children, she had no idea that her husband Jason and she would quickly become the proud parents of a sibling group of three.
“I noticed Josh, Kyla and Skyler right away and fell in love with them. They were 12, 9 and 8 and had been separated in foster care,” said Tammy. Her husband added: “When my wife called me on the last night of camp and told me about Kyla and her brothers, I couldn’t imagine them living without one another.”
“The day we were adopted was a dream come true,” said Kyla. “We came to camp that summer because we were always separated. And little did we know that our mom was right there next to us,” said Josh. Their heart-tugging story is featured on Celine’s new TV special.
Celine, who returns to resume her Caesars residency in the Colosseum on Dec. 30, is somehow finding time in her busy schedule to launch her first watch collection for QVC. She commented about her new line of Quintessential Timepieces ($99-$249): “I have always admired watches and what they symbolize, so it’s a natural fit. Watches are a reminder that time is one of the most precious gifts we have.”
MARATHON CELEBRITIES: Rockers All-American Rejects performed at the start-line festivities of Sunday’s Zappos.com Rock ’N’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and gave a shout-out to Alison Sweeney (“The Biggest Loser”), Teley Molzanh (“The Bachelor”), Andrea Barber (“Full House”) and NASCAR driver German Quiroga as they ran past the stage. A record number of 34,000 runners registered for the three marathon races.
Two hundred of them flew from another Rock ’N’ Roll Marathon in San Antonio the same morning to arrive in time to do it all over again in our nighttime race. The night before, I MC’d the runners’ pasta bulk-up party in the Mirage and my pal Dennis Haskins, who played Mr. Belding on “Saved by the Bell,” hosted a party at the Venetian for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation that benefitted from the marathon.
TOUGH-LOVE CHEF: Celebrity chef Steve Martorano (Cafe Matorano at the Rio) is about to open a restaurant in Paris Las Vegas and is known and loved for his candid comments and opinions. When he took over NBC’s “Today” with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, he didn’t hold back there, either.
The segment for a traditional Italian Thanksgiving feast turned into crazy fun, especially when Kathie failed to ring out the water from the day old bread, and instead of crumbs going into the meatballs it was one soggy lump. Steve was outspoken but still a gentleman as Kathie was gently reprimanded and caught on camera pulling grim faces. Details are under wraps for the moment, but Steve is filming his own new TV series and working back-to-back 14-hour days in the studio.
TELLER’S ‘PLAY DEAD’: Even before the new thriller “Play Dead” premieres this week at Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, co-author and Rio headliner magician Teller has been told that its run has been extended through February. I flew there last week to watch him direct the early previews with my carnival sideshow pal Todd Robbins, who plays the lead role.
The scary show began as a developmental experiment at the Rio two years ago and was reworked for an off-Broadway run. With rats, flying bats and spilled blood, it’s a frightening experience, especially with the screams of my seatmates. Now it’s set up in Hollywood in hopes of it being turned into a horror-thriller feature. Alan Rickman already wants to tackle the lead role in a West End version. Las Vegas’ own Johnny Thompson created the magic for the play dealing with the most atrocious of death crimes.
BODYPAINTING: “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere beauty Claire Sinclair will be featured in her birthday suit along with her nearly naked Playboy Playmate girlfriends on Tuesday night’s episode of SyFy’s “Naked Vegas” (Channel 45 here on Cox). “Naked Vegas” follows the exploits of a team of bodypainting artists called upon to execute unusual challenges.
MODEL BEAUTY: Stunning spokesmodel Jessa Hinton hosted the official opening of Reviv spa at MGM Grand. Reviv offers IV treatments and energy-enhancing booster shots for visitors who have partied too hard and gone without proper sleep while drinking and dancing in our Strip nightclubs.
Jessa, who moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to further her entertainment career, told me that her designer line of bikinis and swimwear fashions is now on sale coast to coast. The doctors at Reviv told me they will open their next salon in Europe as a result of so many overseas tourists discovering their Strip facility.
“Rock of Ages” star Mark Shunock launches “Mondays Dark” at Body English in the Hard Rock Hotel with Dot-Marie Jones (“Glee”), Travis Cloer (“Jersey Boys”), Paul Shortino (“Raiding the Rock Vault”) and more.
The Blues with Keb Mo and Shemekia Copeland are at Smith Center.
Dash Berlin and Tekkno Flamenko spin at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan.
DJ Brenmar is at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore.
Rival magicians Criss Angel and David Blaine duel with competing TV shows. Segments of David’s show were filmed with Robert De Niro and Nobu Matsuhisa at Caesars Palace, and Criss filmed his spikes illusion on Fremont Street. Plus, a delightfully candid interview with young “Awkward” star Jillian Rose Reed.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.