Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: Riviera to reopen Versailles Theater, Britney Spears date and possible hotel shuffle


Steve Marcus

An exterior view of the Riviera on Monday, July 15, 2013.


Gossip that the new management team at the Riviera plans to reopen the legendary Versailles Theater tops off a wild wagonload of Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors this thrilling Thursday.

The Versailles has been shut now for more than two years after a run of the “Russian Ice” show and a “Fab Four Mania” salute to The Beatles ended. I remember it best as the incredible home of the spectacular show “Splash” created by Jeff Kutash.

To say it fell on hard times be an understatement, but I have been reliably told that work has begun on an expensive makeover, and the refurbishing will be completed by year’s end. Inside word is that it will reopen with an anchor show to display the new Riviera at its best.

I first reported the new Paragon Gaming management team of Scott Menke and Diane Bennett when I hinted that they also planned to revamp the hotel’s dining venues. Now I’ve heard that Las Vegas restaurateur and consultant Elizabeth Blau, who introduced many fine-food attractions to the Wynn before opening her Honey Salt with husband chef Kim Canteenwalla in Summerlin, is onboard, too, for the new-look Riv.

Now for more WW&RR:

* Which Las Vegas show producer and theater owner faces a $200,000 court lien because of another producer who fled at night when he ran out of funds to continue his show?

2012 NYE: Red Hot Chili Peppers at Cosmopolitan

The Red Hot Chili Peppers perform at The Chelsea in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Launch slideshow »

* Which hotel tycoon is seriously wanting a second major Strip hotel to acquire after his mega-bucks offer to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was rejected; meantime, has James Packer purchased Cosmopolitan?

* In trying to unravel the mysteries of the Britney Spears announcement set for Sept. 16 or 17, the buzz is on that hotel employees have been asked to keep the date open to attend a major Strip promotional event.

* Grammy-nominated DJ Kaskade will return to Steve Wynn’s Encore for a residency at XS, debuting Oct. 11 and including Halloween and New Year’s Eve.

*Country king Clay Walker has been tapped to sing the national anthem when the first collector vehicle crosses the auction block Sept. 26 at the Barrett-Jackson auction at Mandalay Bay. The night before, Clay performs at the company’s opening-night party at Mandalay Bay Beach.

* Rehearsals for the new “Dancing Queen” show taking over Peepshow Theater at Planet Hollywood began Wednesday. Producer David King tells me that he has doubled the size of the cast at its New York-New York theater home, and scenery and onstage surprises will move in Monday before the first show Sept. 13.

Straight No Chaser

* Don’t be surprised to see Sir Elton John making a trek from his upcoming run at Caesars Palace over to the Palms during the Sept. 26-28 weekend to check up on a cappella group Straight No Chaser. Elton, a big supporter, teamed up with the group along with Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins, Seal, Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz and Dolly Parton for their new album, “Under the Influence.”

NEW COSMO CLUB: Cosmopolitan execs describe their new venue Rose.Rabbit.Lie opening in December as a modern twist on clubs of yesteryear and a rebirth of the social club. It will “blur the lines” between a restaurant, bar, club and show.

“The idea of a modern social club is inspired by the spirit of Johnny Carson, Desi Arnaz and Circus Maximus — the past that still captures a romantic piece of real estate in our minds. It’s personal and intimate one moment, grandiose and inclusive the next. Guests are surrounded by the evening and become part of the experience the moment they arrive,” said John Unwin, Cosmo CEO.

10 Millionth Eiffel Tower Visitor

Martin Layton and his fiancee Sarah, who are to be married Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, are treated to a surprise when Martin purchased the 10 millionth ticket to the Eiffel Tower Experience at Paris Las Vegas on Thursday Sept. 5, 2013. The couple enjoyed a serenade by Taylor Hicks and the cast of Launch slideshow »

'America's Got Talent Live' at the Palazzo

The Olate Dogs perform during Launch slideshow »

MARRIAGE WIN: Congratulations to the British couple who came here on their first-ever visit to get married Friday and wound up today being the 10 millionth visitors to Eiffel Tower Experience at the Paris. President David Hoenemeyer presented them with a trip to the French capital. It will obviously be their honeymoon! Hotel execs unleashed 5,000 balloons over the Strip to mark the celebrations.

‘AGT’ FINAL 12: Las Vegas strongmen the KriStef Brothers were given the thumb’s up Wednesday to continue as one of the final 12 acts on “America’s Got Talent.” Next week, they’ll perform again at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and if they’re voted winners again, they will be final contestants in two weeks. This week’s NBC telecasts not only won the ratings war, but also racked up the highest votes from viewers ever registered.

Next Wednesday, Mirage headliner and Season 2 winner Terry Fator and the Olate Dogs ,who won last year and headlined Palazzo shows, will be guest stars and encourage their Las Vegas neighbors.

RING GIRL: “Fantasy” new leading lady at the Luxor Jaime Lynch will strut her stuff as one of the three ring girls for Sept. 14’s highly anticipated boxing showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez at MGM Grand. The gorgeous bombshell will be seen worldwide on Showtime’s PPV broadcast.

“As a lifelong boxing fan, I am so excited to experience the amazing intensity of the boxing atmosphere,” she said. “I have followed these fighters throughout their careers, and it is difficult to make a prediction on who will win because they are both unbelievably talented.”

WHITE PARTY: “Pawn Stars” favorite Austin “Chumlee” Russell was the only celebrity who didn’t turn up in white for the all-white party at STK in the Cosmopolitan on Labor Day. Lacey Schwimmer, Zak Bagans, “Jersey Boys” Deven May and Jeff Leibow, Anthony Cools and Zowie Bowie all wore the requested color.

The party hosted by Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno matched anything similarly pulled off by Diddy in the Hamptons or Malibu. Models, performers and violinists, all in white, entertained the crowd as executive chef Stephen Hopcraft, in his whites, served taste treats from a white-themed menu.


Fitz & The Tantrums are at Boulevard Pool in the Cosmopolitan.

It’s opening night for Super Summer Theater’s Season 38 with the Mel Brooks musical “The Producers” at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.

“Top Chef” host and judge Tom Collichio shows off his new Heritage Steak at the Mirage.

Emeril Lagasse presents the start of the NFL season with a viewing party for the Super Bowl champions Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos at Lagasse’s Stadium in Palazzo.


It’s a clash of comedy kings and queens as Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher do battle against Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho, plus, the Backstreet Boys are at Mandalay Bay.

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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