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November 20, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert lead 2014 ACM Awards nods with 7 apiece


Steve Marcus

Tim McGraw performs during the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival in MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.

2013 ACM Awards at MGM Grand

Luke Bryan holds his awards for Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year at the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand on Sunday, April 7, 2013. Launch slideshow »

ACM Awards

ACM Fan Jam

Venetian headliner Tim McGraw and country princess Miranda Lambert lead with seven nominations for the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards to be presented on CBS on April 6 from MGM Grand Garden Arena, and all the major country kings and queens will be on the Strip for the awards.

Keith Urban, who will host the outdoor, two-day ACM Party for a Cause at the Linq, earned six nominations, and Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, Lee Brice and Kacey Musgraves followed with five. Florida Georgia Line and Lady Antebellum were nominated for four awards this morning.

The 3-hour telecast will be hosted by Blake and reigning Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan, who received three nominations, including his second consecutive for Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. Fan voting begins March 24 for the four-day weekend Vegas goes country.

The nominees include Star of the Desert Arena at Primm Valley Casino Resorts and the Colosseum in Caesars Palace as Casino Arena of the Year in the medium-capacity category.

Mandalay Bay hosts ACM Fan Jam with Florida Georgia Line on April 6. A 2-hour CBS special will be recorded at MGM Grand on April 7 for broadcast this year.


Accusations are flying fast and furious about the mass Grammy Awards wedding ceremony that included Las Vegas magician Seth Grabel and Tammy Shaw, publisher of Las Vegas Woman Magazine. The duo were engaged on a Caribbean beach last year after she ended a two-year relationship with Las Vegas liquor party promoter Michael Politz.

Michael says that only 2 months before the Queen Latifah-officiated nuptials of more than 30 couples, she emailed him wanting to resume their romance and borrow $2,000. He showed the emails to friends and TMZ and said he tried to stop her marriage. As of Tuesday night, he was still tweeting and messaging his angry and hurt feelings about Sunday’s televised betrothals.

Are Los Angeles “models” being offered lowball $250 cash payments to turn up on the arms of certain Las Vegas nightclub DJs? They do get travel and overnight hotel expenses paid, but to sit with a birthday-party star until 3 a.m. for that paltry sum seems cheap.


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Jillian Mueller portrays Alex Owens in "Flashdance: The Musical."

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Kelly Felthous (Gloria), Dequina Moore (Kiki) and Katie Webber (Tess) in "Flashdance: The Musical."

BOUNDLESS ENERGY: Caesars Palace headliner Celine Dion’s technical crew had better race down to Smith Center to see how tenacious actress-dancer Jillian Mueller revels in the water-spout and shooting-water showers to close out the first act of the touring musical “Flashdance” there through Sunday.

It’s one of theater’s magic moments and had the staid, suited audience on its feet for a standing ovation, thunderous applause and cheers. Back to the 1980s age of MTV certainly triggered emotions for the crowd who loved Tuesday’s opening-night energy from the dancing performers.

Jillian and co-stars Corey Mach, Alison Ewing and Gina Claire Mason wowed the crowd, and Dequina Moore was so loved, she may very well have to stay on the Strip in her own headliner show. Kudos to Jillian, who you must see before the company leaves town. She’s a bright-shining terrific talent in this musical version of the film that starred Jennifer Beals. It’s a must-see, super-charged choreographed marvel. Bravo to the entire ensemble!

MAGIC SECRETS: Rio headliner magician Teller, the silent one, has begun revealing secrets of the magic he’s building into his new production of “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare opening under a tent in Smith Center’s Symphony Park on April 6 pre-Broadway.

Expect to see an empty table covered by a cloth and then removed to reveal a feast that will turn from great food into “hideous, horrible food,” with red wine turning into red sand. He won’t disclose yet what happens to the roast turkey but says the terrific magic will be simultaneously thrilling, scary and funny.

Rx Boiler Room Fan Appreciation Party

Chris Phillips, Rick Moonen and guests at Rx Boiler Room’s Fan Appreciation Party on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Mandalay Place. Launch slideshow »


Congratulations to star chef Rick Moonen (RM Seafood and Rx Boiler Room in Mandalay Bay) on becoming one of the nation’s 20 leading culinary experts to be chosen for the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon panel to promote sustainable seafood in 2014. Rick told me: “This is the ultimate shrine to education on sustainable seafood, and I’m excited to be part of the culinary task force.”

Las Vegas radio host Dennis Bono told me that the only time he’s ever won a raffle was the night he got “fairly smashed” on Mateus wine after performing several years ago at the Chicago Playboy Club. “I had to go on to a charity event and bought some raffle tickets. Believe it or not, it’s the only time I ever won anything. What did I win? Six more bottles of the same wine!”

“Iron Chef” winner Kerry Simon has partnered with Sky Combat Ace to offer three incredible over-the-top Las Vegas vacation visitor packages that are truly over the top. All involve dinner at his restaurant Simon and sushi-rolling secrets in Palms Place, but the 3,000-foot-high open cockpit plane flight above the Strip is the sky-high highlight. Participants may choose from Sky Combat Ace’s fleet of 24 planes.

The 3,000-foot-high flight is $799 per couple; the aerobatic barrel roll, hammerhead and loop flight is $650 per person; and the ultimate aerial thrill ride with former F-16 fighter pilot Richard Coe at $20,599 includes a 24-hour stay in Phil Maloof’s private 29,000-square-foot, 59th-floor rooftop condominium before Kerry presents a gourmet meal.

‘Britney: Piece of Me’ Opening Night

Opening night of Britney Spears’ “Britney: Piece of Me” on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at The Axis in Planet Hollywood.

Launch slideshow »


Britney Spears resumes the second run of her residency show “Britney: Piece of Me” at the Axis in Planet Hollywood.

“Flashdance: The Musical” continues at Smith Center through Sunday.

DJ Grime spins at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore.

The Hood is at Insert Coin(s).

And The Stafford Brothers are at Light in Mandalay Bay.


After more than 30 years, the long-running “Jubilee!” at Bally’s shutters its doors to be reimagined for a spring reopening. We have a preview of the last performance, plus, the results for Las Vegas cheftestant Shirley Chung on Bravo’s “Top Chef” on Maui.

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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