Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2018

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Strip Scribbles: Scleroderma event raises $300K; ‘All By Myself’ video; Hakkasan takes L.A.


Denise Truscello / WireImage /

Bob Saget, Jay Leno, Bill Bellamy and Ben Folds at the Scleroderma Research Foundation fundraiser at House of Blues on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Mandalay Bay.

Scleroderma Fundraiser at HOB

Bob Saget and Jay Leno at the Scleroderma Research Foundation fundraiser at House of Blues on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Mandalay Bay.

Launch slideshow »

Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine

The first-ever Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine fundraiser in Las Vegas for the Scleroderma Research Foundation with Jay Leno, Bob Saget, Ben Folds, Bill Bellamy and “Top Chef Masters” stars Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken and Rick Moonen (all three star chefs have restaurants at Mandalay Bay) raised $300,000.

Two at-home dinners with the star chefs sold for $25,000 each in an auction bidding battle between Skymall CEO Kevin Weiss and Xceptional Music Co. President Ray McKewon. Ben turned in a provocative and hilarious rap encore with Bob to end the entertainment. Bob and Jay’s comedy routines were uproarious and filled with expected inappropriate and ribald commentary; this was the funniest Jay has ever been.

My pal Saville Kellner, who suffers from the autoimmune and skin disease, says the event was so successful, it will now join the 10-year-old series of fundraisers primarily held in Hollywood and New York. Our thanks to Christopher Rauschnot of 24kMedia on Twitter for his YouTube coverage of the HOB red carpet.

Attendees included Mandalay Bay chief Chuck Bowling, our leader Brian Greenspun and Las Vegas headliners Frankie Moreno of the Stratosphere, cabaret dancer Jennifer Romas and “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace stars The Gazillionaire and his sidekick Penny Pibbets, plus adult-film legend Ron Jeremy.

I sat alongside famed sports agent J.B. Bernstein, who lives here and was excited about moviegoers’ response to his newly released autobiographical film “Million Dollar Arm” starring Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”).

Richard Dunn All By Myself

FOUR MILLION VIEWS: Obviously we weren’t the only ones posting Tuesday Richard Dunn’s incredible Vimeo video tribute to Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” — as of this morning, the iPhone-edited shoot at our McCarran Airport during his overnight stranding had amassed 4 million views.

As predicted, the overnight-sensation video also is running on many U.S. and Canadian happy-talk morning news shows, and Richard has become a much-sought-after radio and TV guest, including on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Maybe Celine will invite him onstage for a duet at Caesars Palace while she’s performing here now until July 5 and again July 29 through Aug. 31. I’m told that it already has been discussed as a possibility.

SLS UNVEILING DELAYED: It’s only a teaser, but as the new SLS Hotel takes shape out of the old Sahara, its new marquee is about to be unveiled by owner Sam Nazarian, who might just give up secrets of what to expect at its Labor Day Weekend opening (Thursday’s unveiling, however, has understandably been postponed due to Sunday’s horrific deaths of two Metro Police officers and a civilian).

We do know that fly-free innovative photographer Steve Shaw is bringing to life designer Philippe Starck’s vision of cutting-edge elevator imagery. He captured unbelievable shots of dancers in mid-air, and you can see a sneak peek at the behind-the-scenes video at the hotel blog’s at

EXPANDING EMPIRE: Our Las Vegas-headquartered Hakkasan Group is expanding yet again. It has just purchased a majority stake in the leading nightlife and event production company in Los Angeles, The H.wood Group, which includes Bootsy Bellows in L.A. and Aspen, Hooray Henry’s, ShoreBar, Blind Dragon and The Nice Guy.

With the additional portfolio, don’t be at all surprised if one of the Las Vegas properties in the lineup, possibly the now-shuttered Pure at Caesars Palace, is converted into a branch of the hot celebrity hangout Bootsy Bellows.

Frankie Moreno Performs at Stratosphere

Frankie Moreno performs in the showroom at the Stratosphere Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 Launch slideshow »

Frankie Moreno

SHOW NO. 500: It’s a magical milestone for singer-songwriter and musician Frankie Moreno when he celebrates his 500th show Thursday night at the Stratosphere. Expect to see a big turnout of Strip headliners saluting one of their own on his awesome achievement.

“Dancing With the Stars” pro dancer Lacey Schwimmer, who has directed and choreographed his dancers, will be on hand to brighten up the celebration. Please read my good colleague Sun Editor at Large John Katsilometes’ Las Vegas Magazine cover story on the crooner and his success story.

FATHER’S DAY VS. SOCCER: World Cup frenzy is about to kick off this weekend, and fathers will be forgiven if they tune into the games from Brazil that will be beamed to viewing parties all over town. At the Hard Rock Cafe, our local team the Las Vegas Legends will give away tickets for their professional indoor soccer camp as part of the first weekend of Rio matches.

In all, 32 teams compete. Brazil plays Croatia in the first game Thursday, with the USA set to take on Ghana on Monday. My old country England does battle Saturday against Italy. The games run through to the finals set for July 13. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first one in 1930, except for 1942 and 1946 due to World War II. Spain reigns as the current champion with its 2010 win in South Africa.


Thievery Corporation plays its second and final night at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq.

T-Pain, Jazz Lazer and Denovo headline at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.

The Monty Python musical “Spamalot” kicks off the 39th Super Summer Theater season at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.


Is competition brewing as the reality TV stars from “Hardcore Pawn” step into the Las Vegas home of our “Pawn Stars”? We have an exclusive interview with the tough-as-nails femme-fatale pawnbroker, plus tattooed beauty Sabina Kelley rehearses with “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere star Claire Sinclair as she readies her weeklong guest run and returns to the burlesque stage.

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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