Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 | 6 p.m.
With just six days left until Christmas, our town has gone into almost sleep mode. The cowboys have left town. The casino floors are quiet. There are plenty of empty tables in our restaurants, and the VIP booths at our nightclubs are wide open.
It’s the quietest entertainment weekend of the year as tourists stay away in droves and locals are frantically finishing shopping and wrapping chores. Make the most of the peace because next weekend it all explodes again in preparation for New Year’s Eve madness with more than 325,000 visitors expected.
However, there are some gems, albeit much less than normal, to unearth for your entertainment pleasure.
First up is the Saturday premiere of “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” at his Encore Theater in Wynn Las Vegas. The 35 singers and dancers joined by the 31-piece orchestra will have audiences singing along and dancing in the aisles. Check out my interview with the hotel tycoon posted Thursday.
Then are holiday specials that deserve attention, with Tony Orlando all weekend at South Point and Brian Setzer at the Palms on Saturday. Please don’t forget the final five performances of Nevada Ballet Theater’s “The Nutcracker” at the Smith Center and “Human Nature Christmas and More” with Robin Meade at the Venetian.
I’ve no doubt that Michael McDonald at Eastside Cannery and Martin Nievera at Suncoast will add classic carols to their concerts, too.
Music fans have a choice with War breaking out at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq Promenade and the Finnish metal band Him at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.
My pick, though, would be for Frankie Moreno’s final show at the Stratosphere after nearly 600 performances during his three-year headliner tenure. He’s off to pursue new songwriting and performing opportunities across the country. Au revoir, and champagne wishes for success! As Frankie departs, comedy magician Murray Sawchuck arrives to start his residency at Planet Hollywood after a nearly three-year run at Tropicana.
Comedy fans have the late Richard Pryor’s daughter Rain Pryor and her younger brother Mason Pryor opening for her as they record a new comedy CD at L.A. Comedy Club in Bally’s.
But for something completely different, as Monty Python would say, let’s chill with “Moments of Love on Ice” on Saturday with Olympic skating champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who were rivals on “Dancing With the Stars” this year post-Sochi Olympics (Meryl won with pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy).
Olympic champions Evan Lysacek and Brian Boitano also headline in this romance-themed show in which the figure skating stars perform to love-inspired music performed live by O.A.R. Olympic (and “DWTS”) champion Kristi Yamaguchi hosts this (n) ice production at Mandalay Bay with three-time U.S. champion Michael Weiss.
Also performing: Elvis Stojko, Tanith Belbin + Ben Agosto, Kimmie Meissner, Alissa Czisny and Ryan Bradley.
Leave it to foul-mouthed and petite Penny Pibbets from “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace to ensure that the weekend isn’t profanity free. She’s premiering her TV talk show shock format comedy hour at Art Square downtown, and expect frenzied fireworks from her funny and filthy sock-puppet sidekicks because no subject will be off-limits.
Penny will play through Tuesday and again Dec, 29-30 and Jan, 5-6 in the frantic hope that her solo stardom fantasies come true. I’m told that her “Absinthe” boss, The Gazillionaire, will be there Sunday to lob a few bombs of his own to add to the confusion and heap scorn on her.
If North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un won his hacking against Sony and caused “The Interview’s” cancellation, I can assure him that Penny would be a one-woman wrecking squad in his nation. Don’t mess with her if North Korea and “The Interview” are in her sights.
So without further ado before she finds reason to unleash on me, let’s unwrap this holiday-weekend edition of the Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, DEC. 19:
War is at Brooklyn Bowl.
Him is at HOB.
Tony Orlando’s Christmas show is at South Point all weekend.
Nashville Unplugged features Clay Mills at Sunset Station.
Rain Pryor and Mason Pryor are at L.A. Comedy Club through Sunday.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets are on sale for Widespread Panic performing March 27 and 28 at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Iggy Azalea’s “Great Escape Tour” with Nick Jonas, Tinashe and DJ Wizz Kidd at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 25.
Final weekend performances of “The Nutcracker” are at the Smith Center through Sunday.
Holiday Hoops College Basketball is at South Point Arena through Monday.
The Rocky Mountain Gun Show is at South Point Exhibit Hall all weekend.
Lil Jon is at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore.
Michael Woods begins his exclusive residency at Life Nightclub at SLS Las Vegas.
SATURDAY, DEC. 20
“Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers” premieres at Encore Theater.
The Brian Setzer Orchestra, with guests The Record Company, performs “Christmas Rocks Extravaganza” at the Palms.
Frankie Moreno’s final performance is at the Stratosphere.
Michael McDonald is at Eastside Cannery.
French Montana and Jeremih are at Brooklyn Bowl.
The Ten Tenors perform a program of holiday classics, Motown, jazz and gospel at Orleans Showroom.
Martin Nievera, the concert king of the Philippines, is at Suncoast Showroom for two nights.
Murray Sawchuck begins his residency at Sin City Theater in Planet Hollywood.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
“Unforgettable Moments of Love On Ice” is at Mandalay Bay.
Jingle Bell Ball featuring local musicians and acoustic percussive duo Almost Normal, guitarist Sasha Sirota and more, plus a silent auction, is at Fremont Country Club benefiting the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Showcase Basketball is at MGM Grand.
The Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl between Utah and Colorado State is at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Ghostbar Dayclub throws its Ugly Sweater Christmas Party at the Palms.
SUNDAY, DEC. 21
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Holiday festivities continue at Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest with the annual Menorah lighting ceremony for Hanukkah.
“The Penny Pibbets Show” directed by Shannan Calcutt of Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity” is at Art Square Theater.
We’ll be back Sunday with a wrap of the weekend. Then next week before our Christmas break, we’ll have a review of “Steve Wynn’s Showstoppers,” an exclusive preview of a new, late-night sexy cabaret lounge and a Q+A with Las Vegas cancer survivor Helen Neville as she gets ready to undertake the fourth and longest final leg of her run around the perimeter of the United States.
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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It is virtually impossible to be anywhere in Las Vegas and miss the Stratosphere. It towers 1,149 feet above Las Vegas and is the tallest observation tower in the United States. The casino itself is 55,784 square feet and contains 950 slot machines, 120 game tables and 2,427 hotel rooms.
Of the hotel's 2,427 rooms, 909 were recently remodeled into Stratosphere Select rooms.
The Stratosphere is mostly known for its rides at the top of the tower. The Big Shot, located at the 113th floor, torpedoes riders up 160 feet using compressed air. X-Scream is a teeter-totter perched at the top of the observation deck — if that wasn't scary enough, the coaster arm flings the riders out 27 feet over the edge of the tower. Guests looking for something more sedate can just hang around the 107th floor and simply look at the scenery.
With world-class dining, shopping, spas, golf and entertainment, there's no shortage of things to do at Wynn. The resort’s aquatic acrobatic show, “Le Reve—The Dream,” a creation by Cirque Du Soleil veteran Franco Dragone and Steve Wynn, will leave guests wanting more with its breathtaking performances that conjure an imaginary world. The Wynn Esplanade offers a unique shopping experience with stores including Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta and many more. Tryst is its signature nightclub, offering a secluded lagoon inside the club and spacious dance floor. Blush, the Wynn’s ultra lounge, draws swanky party-goers. Tryst, Wynn’s signature nightclub, is situated along a private lagoon under a 90-foot waterfall and plays host to some of the world’s most renown DJs.