Las Vegas Sun

November 19, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: Amy Purdy on ‘DWTS,’ Matt Lauer and Piff the Magic Dragon at Rose. Rabbit. Lie.


Adam Taylor / ABC

Derek Hough and Amy Purdy of Las Vegas compete on Season 18 of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday, April 21, 2014.

Las Vegas’ Amy Purdy on ‘DWTS’

Tom Bergeron, Amy Purdy of Las Vegas and Derek Hough on Season 18 of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday, May 19, 2014. Launch slideshow »

It was another extraordinary night on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” for amputee Amy Purdy and pro partner Derek Hough, both from Las Vegas.

Amy lost her legs below the knee after being diagnosed with bacterial meningitis shortly after her 19th birthday. The duo danced a fast jive complete with a cartwheel to The Isley Brothers’ “Shout” on the “Party Anthems Night” in a “Wedding Crashers” spoof.

The couple received 38 points out of 40 from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and guest Redfoo of LMFAO.

“The Price Is Right” host Drew Carey and pro partner Cheryl Burke were eliminated. Next week, Amy and Derek tackle “Latin Week” with guest judge Ricky Martin, who incidentally is scheduled to appear at Saturday’s Keep Memory Alive gala honoring Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan at MGM Grand.

It’s a remarkable achievement that Amy, who has been called a “real-life superhero” by the judges, has gotten so far in the competition. She won a bronze in snowboarding at the Sochi Para-Olympics.

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"Today" co-hosts Matt Lauer and Ann Curry appear during a segment of the NBC show in New York in July 2011.

SMALL WORLD: NBC’s “Today” show host Matt Lauer called me Monday upon returning from a vacation in Jumby Bay, Antigua. It turns out that his family and he stayed for a week in my old house there that I sold when I moved to Las Vegas.

I hired Matt for a nightly TV series we launched titled “Preview: The Next Seven Days.” Unfortunately, it was ahead of its time, and it was canceled after eight weeks, but Matt wound up getting hired at NBC.

We’ve remained friends, and he was here two weeks ago staying at the Wynn when he interviewed Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish in advance of their wedding in London this month.

COOL COMEDY: The 26-year tradition of Cool Comedy-Hot Cuisine in New York, L.A. and San Francisco now comes here for the first time June 5 at Mandalay Bay’s House of Blues with Jay Leno, Bob Saget and our star chefs Rick Moonen, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. They all donate their time, and no contributions are used to pay travel or production costs.

It’s all to support the Scleroderma Research Foundation, which funds work to find a cure and better treatments for people living with the hardening skin of the disease that attacks limbs, then lungs and kidneys. Other stars are expected to join the event organized by Las Vegas resident Saville Kellner, who is battling the disease and wants to help others.

Chef Susan from Border Grill at Mandalay Bay (a second location opens this summer at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace) has served on the Board of Directors for the past 25 years since her friend Sharon Monsky, who died from the disease, launched the foundation. Go to for more information.

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Criss Angel, Mr. Piffles and Piff the Magic Dragon at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. in the Cosmopolitan.

MORE MADNESS: It’s breakfast at Piffany’s! Madcap magician Piff the Magic Dragon, who stars in “Vegas Nocturne” at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. in the Cosmopolitan, is opening a breakfast joint there.

Because of his schedule, it will be open for one hour nightly starting at midnight, and customers will have to bid for the one lonely croissant that he will serve. He tells me that it will be a pure croissant without any stuffing or sauces and that the bidding has to hit $1,000 or more for him to serve it for breakfast!

SUPPER SONGS: Rock and roll legend Paul Shortino from Quiet Riot has launched the “Sing for Your Supper” event at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip. First he surprised restaurant and bar patrons with a performance and then encouraged them to unleash their own inner rock star.

Guests had the opportunity to select their favorite songs and perform in front of the restaurant’s patrons. When they completed it without error, Paul picked up their dinner entree tab. Paul, who appears nightly in “Raiding the Rock Vault” at LVH, will host the monthly events.

EXCELLENCE: More than 300 prominent Nevada residents will join to honor 150 nominees in 34 categories tonight at Springs Preserve to benefit St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. The “people’s choice” voting covers executives in gaming, hospitality, entertainment, leisure, the arts and real estate.

Congratulations to former Gov. Bob Miller, who will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Pioneer Award will go to entertainer Wayne Newton and the Humanitarian Award to philanthropist and Station Casinos’ Victoria Fertitta. Jim Rogers, former chancellor of Nevada’s Higher Education system, will be recognized with the Spirit of Education Award, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gets the Leadership Award. Journalists Nina Radetich, Dayna Roselli and Denise Valdez host the event.

Third Anniversary of ‘Absinthe’

The Gazillionaire and Penny Pibbets of “Absinthe” celebrates its third anniversary Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at Caesars Palace. Launch slideshow »


Gorgeous singer and dancer Melody Sweets (The Green Fairy) of “Absinthe” at Caesars has a one-night-only guest performance singing “My Boy Elvis” with “Million Dollar Quartet” in the finale at Harrah’s.

Downstairs at the Improv, Sal Richards, Mike Burton and Traci Skene open a six-night run.

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay celebrates Earth Day with its annual Party for the Planet. Guests taking part in an eco-scavenger hunt will receive discount tickets to the aquarium.

DJs Eric D-Lux and D-Miles spin at the Lost Angels party at Hyde Bellagio.


Our interview with the original celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck as he predicts the next big food craze and plots a new Spago for Summerlin. As “Ink Master” dwindles, we check on Walter “Sausage” Frank from Club Tattoo in Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

Ten-time, five-division world champion and WBC welterweight world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. hosts an international media conference call for his May 3 bout against Marcos Maidana at MGM Grand. On Thursday, we’ll have a preview of his Showtime special airing Saturday in which I took a “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” look at “Money Mayweather’s” Las Vegas homes and bling.

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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