Monday, March 3, 2014 | 6 p.m.
I apologize for spoiling a super-surprise, but I can confirm that my earlier story about Holly Madison opening her own burlesque club at Mandalay Bay will be officially confirmed this week by MGM executives and her partners at Minus 5 Ice Lounge. Construction at the former Ivan Kane Forty Deuces nightclub is underway, and Holly’s new nightspot should be open by May or June.
I’ve never seen Holly more radiant under the cloche-style hat she wore to shave my colleague John Katsilometes’ head at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation children’s cancer fundraiser at New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday afternoon. But it got me thinking because I’ve never seen Holly up close with a large hat covering all of her blonde hair.
And that’s the second surprise! I’ve learned that when the burlesque club announcement is made, we’ll get the first look at Holly as a redhead a la legendary actress, singer and dancer Rita Hayworth.
The platinum blonde has gone, and the new fiery redheaded look is in hiding under her hat and a wig until a super layout in OK Magazine and the big burlesque announcement reveals the new look. After her 8-hour hair transformation at Michael Boychuck’s salon Color in Caesars Palace, she went off to shoot the magazine spread.
It’s all supposed to be top secret, and again I’m sorry for spoiling the surprise. But as Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday used to say in “Dragnet”: “Just my job. All we want is the facts, ma’am.”
JERRY LEWIS SALUTE: Producer John Simpson holds his first planning meeting tonight with a core team of Las Vegas entertainers who all want to salute entertainment legend Jerry Lewis on his upcoming birthday. It will be held at Oscar’s Beef, Booze and Broads in the Plaza downtown.
“Las Vegas headliners from one end of the Strip to the other will unite on the same stage to perform their own interpretations of Jerry’s most famous routines spanning his 80 years of stardom on radio, television and in movies,” John told me: “It will be a one-time live performance honoring a Las Vegas and Hollywood legend.”
WICKED WHISPERS & RACY RUMORS
Is the Miss Universe Organization in top-level secret discussions for its Miss USA Pageant to return to Las Vegas this June?
What TV project are unlikely onscreen partners Wayne Newton and Billy Ray Cyrus cooking up?
TV chef Ben Vaughan will present a pop-up dinner with six Las Vegas chefs when he hits in April to find unknown chefs and restaurants worthy of his new TV show about unrecognized chefs with star potential. The chefs he’s hunting down across the country will all eventually compete in November at the World Food Championships to be held downtown on Fremont Street for the finale TV special.
CONGRATULATIONS! Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips has given his electric violinist girlfriend Lydia Ansel a diamond ring — but it’s a promise ring, not yet an engagement ring, and to date she’s wearing it on her right hand. He recently met her Dallas parents who gave the blessing to their romance.
Congratulations also to Playboy beauty Claire Sinclair, who today celebrates the first anniversary of her sexy burlesque show “Pin Up” at Stratosphere.
A who’s who of Las Vegas entertainers turned up to wish Frankie Scinta “Happy Birthday” in a sold-out crowd at his downtown D Las Vegas showroom.
SECOND MAX BENEFIT: A second Chefs to the Max benefit dinner that will donate 100 percent of proceeds to food critic Max Jacobson’s recovery will be held March 13 at Tacos & Tequila in Luxor. (The first star chefs feast Jan. 19 at chef Rick Moonen’s nearby Rx Boiler Room in Mandalay Bay raised more than $275,000 to help defray medical costs since a pre-Christmas accident when he was mowed down and sustained severe brain trauma.
Max has begun to come out of a 2-month coma and has spoken a few words and recognized visitors. The Viva! Max dinner by chef Saul Ortiz, recently on the Food Network’s “Chopped,” will be a three-course Mexican meal with Reposado margaritas and a mariachi band.
‘THE VOICE’ PARTY: Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina at Miracle Mile Shops in Planet Hollywood will host a viewing party tonight for NBC’s “The Voice” contestants Ryan Whyte Maloney and Las Vegas singer-songwriter Austin Ellis, with both giving a 1-hour performance after the screening.
Ryan is no stranger to Cabo Wabo, drawing crowds when he performs weekly with The Busker Kings. Austin makes his debut on series, where the mentors were Adam Levine, Usher, Blake Shelton and Shakira. He also performs at Cabo Wabo on Tuesday.
$1 MILLION LOSS: Former UNLV student Justin McBride, who became a champion rodeo rider before retiring for a singing career, was back in the saddle again Sunday, as a $1 million prize lured him back in the bullring at the big contest The American, where $2 million was paid out in the richest one-day rodeo in the history of the sport.
J.B. Mauney won $100,000 in the bull-riding discipline, but Justin failed to score, not even making it into the first round. The overall winner was 21-year-old bareback bull rider Richmond Champion — now there’s an appropriate name — who rode away with the $1 million prize.
PANCAKE CHALLENGE: Rio headliner stars are challenging other Las Vegas entertainers to a charity pancake contest at the newly opened Hash House a Go Go. Penn & Teller are playing for Opportunity Village with their Penncakes and Teller honey orange juice pancake with yogurt; the Chippendales have a mint chocolate chip original flapjack playing for American Cancer Society; and “X Rocks” has a rich red Rockstar flapjack playing for Kerry Simon’s Fight MSA.
All will be on the menu at the four Hash House locations in Las Vegas until March 31, and the pancake that sells the most by the end of the month will be declared the winner, with $1 from each of the three celebrity pancakes donated to their respective charities.
COUNTRY CONFUSION: I may have confused with an item here last week. I accurately reported that Florida Georgia Line are hosts at the fourth-annual ACM Fan Jam at Mandalay Bay on April 6, but in noting that Brad Paisley hosted last year’s, I made it appear as if he will also host with FGL.
Not so — sorry for the confusion — but it will still be an all-star turnout with a bash that will continue well into the night after the CBS awards telecast ends with Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton returning as co-hosts at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“The Voice” contestants Ryan Whyte Maloney and Austin Ellis are at Cabo Wabo Cantina.
The Kyle Busch Monster Energy NASCAR #54 show car will go on display at Stratosphere.
Ian Bagg and Mike Merryfield headline at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand through Sunday.
The masked Mari Gras Stop Light Party is at Foundation Room in House of Blues at Mandalay Bay.
And “X Rocks” switches to an all-week run of 10 p.m. at the Rio.
Nightclub czar Victor Drai takes us on a construction tour of his new rooftop dayclub and nightclub at The Cromwell. Plus, seeing double with the Atherton twins from my old hometown in Britain who have joined “Zarkana” at Aria, and stunning photos of new 2014 Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez as she prepares for the 2014 Miss USA Pageant in June.
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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