Las Vegas Sun

September 23, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: Penn & Teller’s 40th anniversary; Britney Spears; San Gennaro Feast



Jim Rees, Penn Jillette, Teller and Dan Walsh at the opening of Hash House a Go Go on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, at the Rio.

Penn and Teller 20th Anniversary at The Rio

Penn & Teller's 20th-anniversary performance and celebration at The Rio on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. The magic duo is pictured here with Launch slideshow »

Congratulations to Rio headliner magicians Penn & Teller as they celebrated their 40th anniversary of working together as comedy magicians over the weekend.

Now they’re getting ready for their first-ever tour of my old home country next month and take their Las Vegas magic show to Manchester, Birmingham and London in Great Britain.

On a quick transatlantic round trip over the weekend, they appeared on a whirlwind of London TV and radio shows to promote the tour. Their two nights each in the North of England are already sold out, and the five-night run at the Hammersmith Apollo with 4,000 seats is nearly sold out six weeks in advance.

They performed their first show together at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in August 1975 originally as a trio with Weir Chrisimer, who quit showbiz in 1981, leaving Penn & Teller to work as a duo.

Britney Spears Arrives at Planet Hollywood

Britney Spears arrives at Planet Hollywood on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Launch slideshow »

BRITNEY’S EXTENSION: Better late than never! Readers of Vegas DeLuxe will remember that on April 24, I reported that talks had begun to extend pop princess Britney Spears’ residency “Britney: Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood for another year of shows beyond her current two-year contract.

I also reported that cast and crew had been told they could go ahead with accommodation rentals and purchases through December 2016. Over the weekend, everybody else started reporting it as exclusive news two weeks after the fact. The extension was firmed up as 30 new dates were penned into the current schedule, taking Britney from October through December and into February, with this summer’s shows in August and September sold out.

The run is so successful that Britney has joined with the driver service Uber in California to offer a #NightontheTown service for fans here. Uber provides a limo ride from California to here, with tickets to Britney’s show and suites at Planet Hollywood. I checked out the jam-packed audience Saturday, and fans were raving, with everyone I spoke with saying they’d be back for return visits.

San Gennaro Feast at the Rio

Violin player Sandor Beke entertains the crowds near the food booths during the San Gennaro Feast at the Rio on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011. Launch slideshow »

POINTLESS VIOLENCE: Why do the stupid actions of a selfish few have to wreck the peaceful and happy enjoyment of others? The normally quiet and safe San Gennaro Feast turned into a melee over the weekend with security and police having to battle a rebel teenage crowd throwing rocks, pulling knives and causing havoc running wild through the carnival attractions area.

Nightlife guru Joe Vargas witnessed the fights and lent his cell phone to help kids locate their parents lost in the fight. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook exploded with messages from youngsters condemning the havoc and that police and security was overwhelmed by the mass of troublemakers.


Hot off the grill!

You normally never see those Too Hot Tamales, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milligan, in full makeup, stylish hair, fake eyelashes and sexy designer vintage ball gowns, yet that’s what they were styled and dressed in for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority glamour shot for their Border Grill opening this summer at Forum Shops of Caesars Palace.

Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse

A Spencer-cut ribeye steak is displayed at the new Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse, 440 S. Rampart Blvd., at Tivoli Village on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Chef Akira Back in Indonesia

Chef Akira Back opens his new restaurant in Jakarta, Indonesia. Launch slideshow »

Echo & Rig chef and owner Sam Marvin will have the largest 24/7 indoor-outdoor seated cafe in the new Bally’s Bazaar with his Pizza Cirque. Different ovens will make California, Italian, New York and Chicago pizzas and feature one of the largest “round your neck” beer glasses in the world.

Gordon Ramsay’s new fish-and-chips venue is being designed to go into the Linq.

Star chef Akira Back (Yellowtail at Bellagio, Kumi at Mandalay Bay) emailed me to advise that he has opened his Japanese restaurant in Jakarta as part of his Asian expansion plans.

Las Vegas chef Carla Pellegrino, who still has her restaurant Bratalian in Henderson, officially opened her restaurant Touche in Miami over the weekend.

2014 VUBBA: Grand Tasting

Chef Jin Yuan Li prepares noodles for the crowd at the Grand Tasting during the Uncork'd annual event from Caesars Garden of the Gods Pool on Friday, May 9, 2014. Launch slideshow »
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The autographed chef’s jacket at the 2014 Vegas Uncork’d Grand Tasting on Friday, May 9, 2014, at Caesars Palace.

CHEFS’ GENEROSITY: The world-famous chefs of Vegas Uncork’d proved their generous support of their industry colleagues during their fabulous four-day festival of food and wine. Each one of the kings and queens of cuisine signed chefs jackets as a one-of-a-kind collector’s item that are now up for auction to raise funds to assist the bills of “Iron Chef” winner Kerry Simon and critically injured Las Vegas food writer Max Jacobson.

Kerry, who returned from several weeks of stem-cell treatments at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in time for Vegas Uncork’d, resumes his rehab therapy battling Multiple System Atrophy at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health downtown. Max, who was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver while in a pedestrian crossing on Christmas Eve, was transferred to a Denver physical rehab facility two weeks ago.

Among those signing: Gordon Ramsay, Giada De Laurentiis, Mario Batali, Nobu Matsuhisa, Buddy Valastro, Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon, Julian Serrano, Michael Mina and numerous others.

It’s easy to bid. Use your cell phone and text ChefCoat to 68494 with the dollar amount. The starting price was $500 and has increased in $100 increments. Bidding runs until Sunday, May 18, at midnight. Money raised will assist Max’s recovery bills and support Kerry’s new medical research center for MSA, for which there is no known cure or treatment.


Michael Sam and Vito Cammisano at Tao

Michael Sam and Vito Cammisano at Tao on Saturday, May 10, 2014, in the Venetian. Launch slideshow »
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Michael Sam, right, and friends party at Marquee Dayclub on Sunday, May 11, 2014, at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

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Olivia Newton-John and Frank Marino.

Newly drafted NFL defensive end Michael Sam continued his weekend of celebrating Sunday at Marquee Dayclub after an exciting night at Tao in the Venetian that our esteemed Senior Editor Don Chareunsy reported Sunday. Sam, who was drafted in Round 7 by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, and his friends, including beaufriend Vito Cammisano, took to the pool scene to soak up the sun. The group enjoyed a lobster club sandwich and cheesy Cajun nachos listening to the sounds of DJ Lema.

“Divas Las Vegas” at the Quad star Frank Marino met Olivia Newton-John after her Flamingo show and told her “I Honestly Love You,” so much so that he asked if she would mind if he added a female ONJ impersonator to his cast of “Divas.” Waiting word on her OK!

Afterward, Olivia had a romantic late-night dinner with hubby John Easterling at a window table overlooking the glowing skyline at Nove Italiano in the Palms.

Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar

Guy Fieri arrives at the Quad on Friday, April 4, 2014, to introduce his first Las Vegas restaurant, Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, set to open this month. Launch slideshow »

Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame dined at Guy Fieri’s new Vegas Kitchen & Bar at the Quad and enjoyed tequila drunken tacos and bourbon BBQ sauce pork on a pretzel bun.

Johnny Knoxville and Sarah Hyland high-fived each other at separate tables at Beacher’s Madhouse in MGM Grand.

Australian actress and model Nicky Whelan celebrated her birthday at Tao with author Colet Abedi enjoying spicy tuna rolls and Moscow Mules.


Michael Malone and Mark Sweet and his hypnosis show headline at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club in MGM Grand through Sunday.

More than 200 Jerry Lewis photos go on display in his “Painted Pictures” exhibition at UNLV’s Barrick Museum.


We’ll have the dance-floor results and photographs of Las Vegas’ Amy Purdy’s semifinal scoring on “Dancing With the Stars,” plus a tour of the stunning All-Star Feast chefs buffet at Aria, Michael Mina’s pig roast and Joel Robuchon’s cooking demo as part of Vegas Uncork’d.

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

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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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