Las Vegas Sun

November 25, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: Shania, Oprah, Veronic, Kerry Simon, ‘Ink Master,’ Booze District


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Grand marshal and Caesars Palace headliner Shania Twain and Santa Claus attend the 2013 Great Santa Run on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in downtown Las Vegas.

Shania Twain: ‘Still the One’ Opening Night

Opening night of Shania Twain's Launch slideshow »

On this hump day, we have a few …


Oprah Winfrey’s TV network cameras will be here Friday at Caesars Palace filming segments with singing superstar Shania Twain, Caesars President Gary Selesner and yours truly. Shania returns tonight to the Colosseum to start the final run of her two-year contract there, with her last shows in December.

I’m hearing that Bally’s singing-impersonator headliner Veronic is buying a home here to become a full-time Las Vegas resident.

A “Celebration of ’80s Rock” will likely be the theme at the fifth-annual Vegas Rocks Magazine Awards on Nov. 23 at the Palms. Van Halen, Toto, Ratt, Poison, L.A. Guns and more are set to be honored and take part in an onstage all-star finale with local heroes Nicolas Cage, Frankie Moreno and Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie.

Planning the three-day New Year’s Eve weekend Evolve Vegas celebration has taken 20 months, but the Las Vegas Gay Visitors Bureau now expects visitors from 30 countries to the Strip hosted by MGM Resorts hotels and with their Dec. 31 countdown at Tropicana’s Havana nightclub. Marking his 25,000th show, The Quad headliner Frank Marino will present a special “Divas” production on the visitors’ final day before the NYE soiree.

Simon Says Fight MSA Benefit

Kerry Simon, second from left, and Bill Murray, right attend the Simon Says Fight MSA benefit at Keep Memory Alive event center Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in downtown Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

KERRY’S VISION: Inspired by courageous celebrity chef Kerry Simon, a major research meeting, “Global MSA Research Roadmap,” will be held here Nov. 1-2 led by Dr. Ryan Walsh of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The advisory committee includes prominent MSA research leaders Dr. Philip Low and Gregor Wenning. Other key MSA researchers from around the globe will attend along with representatives from the National Institutes of Health and pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

It will be the largest-ever gathering of scientists and medical experts to tackle Muscular System Atrophy. Kerry, now facing incredible hardships and discomfort, is confined to a wheelchair and although unable to speak will host the doctors at his restaurant Simon in Palms Place at an opening reception. MSA is regarded as a more aggressive form of Parkinson’s where the brain is unable to send its communications to the body’s muscles, which eventually shut down because of the inability to trigger muscle movement.

“Where are we now?” and “What do we need to cure MSA?” will be the major topics of discussion to produce a detailed plan of developments. Advocates from the MSA community have been invited to attend to set goals for the next three to five years. Kerry and his Las Vegas doctors at the KMA building downtown want “Global MSA Research Roadmap” to benefit MSA patients and caregivers around the world as a springboard to greater awareness, advocacy, research and therapeutic initiatives.

Season 4 of ‘Ink Master’

Walter “Sausage” Frank of Las Vegas competes on Season 4 of “Ink Master” on Spike. Launch slideshow »

TATTOO TRIALS: After five weeks of crazy challenges on Spike’s reality-TV series “Ink Master,” just 12 tattoo artists remain in competition, including Cleen Rock One, owner artist of Chrome Gypsy Tattoo here in Las Vegas. Tuesday’s episode was literally a pain in the ass when the artists were given a 12-hour assignment over two days with six hours for each gluteus maximus to tattoo the backsides of human canvasses.

Cleen Rock won his cheek-to-cheek face off, while rival Robbie Ripoli was sent home after begging — crying — to stay. Next Tuesday, Cleen Rock will be tag-teamed with two other artists to create American traditional tattoos. Here’s the “blame is the name of the game” preview.

STREET OF BOOZE: A new Booze District is to be launched 15 minutes from the Strip in Henderson starting with four local beer breweries, winemaking school, restaurant and Las Vegas distillery. It will be the first of its kind in the Southwest with the manufacturers connecting the community through the spirit of spirits.

Expansions later will include a chocolatier, cupcake, brining and cold brew coffee manufacturers. An official tour and event company will represent the new Booze District in arranging tours of the breweries as they craft brews. Their slogan: “Where the Business of Spirits Meets the Spirit of Business.”

‘Thrift Hunters’ on Spike TV

Bryan Goodman and Jason T. Smith of Las Vegas star in Spike TV’s Launch slideshow »

‘THRIFT HUNTERS’ RETURNS: Thrifting gurus Jason T. Smith and Bryan Goodman, who are headquartered here in Las Vegas, are back with Season 2 of their Spike reality-TV series “Thrift Hunters” that premieres Saturday after the Season 5 premiere of companion show “Auction Hunters.”

Jason and Bryan are back on the road targeting the biggest and best garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets across the country, holding their mantra to always “buy low and sell high.” When their shopping haul ends, the real drama begins as they put their strategically purchased items up for auction. With the demands for rare items in constant cycle and new trends evolving by the minute, there are no guaranteed scores anymore for the dynamic duo.

CHRISTMAS CHEER: Venetian headliners Human Nature have produced their first holiday album, and the 15 seasonal favorites, including “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” with Smokey Robinson, “Sleigh Ride” with CNN’s Headline News anchor Robin Meade and “Amazing Grace with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, are accompanied by a portfolio of six music videos. One of those is a Claymation of “White Christmas.”

1,000th Show for Human Nature

Human Nature, with Tim Allen, center, celebrates 1,000 shows in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 12, 2014, in the Venetian. Launch slideshow »

The album and video will be released next Tuesday. Lead singer Andrew Tierney said: “These are definitely the most-loved Christmas songs of all time, but there are some surprises, too. Over the years, we’ve collected a repertoire of holiday songs, so we’ve chosen some of our favorites and some that people may not be too familiar.”

CANDID CONFESSIONS? Six entertainers you think you know will surprise with awe-inspiring stories and confessions at a one-night-only, intimate evening Oct. 21. Producer-designer Andy Walmsley has recruited former Supremes singer Mary Wilson, veteran comedian Marty Allen, magician The Amazing Johnathan, show producer Jeff Kutash, Cristina Jones of Cirque du Soleil’s “O” at Bellagio and former showgirl Shelle Renee.

During “EntSpeaks,” they’ll walk on the bare stage of the downtown Inspire Theater with just a microphone to speak frankly about their lives, experiences and battles and end with a Q+A. If it works, Andy will roll out the concept to Los Angeles and New York.

Gordon Ramsay Hosts Brunch at Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill

Gordon Ramsay hosts Sunday brunch at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. Launch slideshow »

RIDING THE HIGH ROLLER: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay dropped in unannounced Tuesday on his restaurants here and was so impressed with his “Hell’s Kitchen” winner Scott Cummings at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace that Gordon took him for drinks on the High Roller at Linq Promenade.


Shania Twain returns to the Colosseum to start the last two sets of her “Still the One” shows before ending her two-year contract Dec. 13.

Britney Spears resumes her residency “Britney: Piece of Me” at Axis at Planet Hollywood through Nov. 8.

“Wicked” returns to the Smith Center for a run from tonight through Nov. 9. My Q+A with “Wicked” star and longtime friend Kim Zimmer (“Guiding Light”) was posted this afternoon.

The Wednesdays Downtown Street Fair returns with food trucks and cocktail contests on Fremont Street through the end of the month after a summer hiatus.

Maps & Atlases, Finch and Weatherbox rock Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.


The four-day street party festival with musicians, parades and fireworks marks the official opening of the Downtown Summerlin shopping center, and we have a preview of the restaurants and entertainment attractions. Plus, the sexy “X Rocks” girls celebrate their first anniversary at the Rio.

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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