Monday, April 20, 2015 | 6 p.m.
Illusionist Lance Burton is in the finishing stages of his debut film “Billy Topit: Master Magician,” and we have a first look at its poster ahead of the planned black-tie premiere this fall.
Lance’s finished rough print has just gone to Hollywood for eight weeks of color correction and audio mixing. Lance, who ended his headliner run at the Monte Carlo in September 2010, tells me that it’s the story of a Las Vegas magician who performs at children’s birthday parties and persuades the woman of his dreams to become his assistant.
Meantime, local Mob guys are out to make him disappear permanently from a money scam. Billy uses his magic skills to avoid confrontation as long as he can because he wants to concentrate on his magic career and his new girlfriend.
Things get wildly out of control, and Billy the magician has to call on his best friends for help: The Magician, The Ventriloquist, The Jugglers and The Mime are brought in to stage a rescue.
Lance laughs: “These guys are not The A-Team, not even the B-Team, but they’re all Billy’s got.” Lance plans the premiere as a fundraiser for children’s charities in which he’s involved.
ADVENTUROUS WOMEN: If you thought the legal Nevada brothel Sheri’s Ranch in nearby Pahrump was for men only, think again. According to its owners, the sex resort is catching on with adventurous women: “A surprising number of women — straight and gay — are taking the leap behind the mysterious doors of the ranch.”
An article on its official blog, “Brothels Aren’t Just For Men Anymore,” reveals the rising trend in visits to the brothel, the only one of its kind with a hotel onsite for an extended stay. Increased acceptance of the swinger lifestyle among married couples and an increasingly open sexual culture are contributing to the pendulum swing toward the ladies.
“Sheri’s Ranch isn’t just for men. We are for everyone. Anyone can come here to explore their particular fantasy, who they are and what they like,” said Dena, a madam at the Ranch. “The possibilities are endless, and the lives we touch are forever changed.” The female experience, documented in a recent national magazine article by sex therapist Nichi Hodgson, imparts a fascinating look at the sensual activities that await the ladies at the ranch.
Nevada brothels are perhaps more inclined to attract female customers like Nichi because of their good reputation as state- and county-regulated institutions. “I find that my sexual experiences with women are very special and unique,” said Juna, a Sheri’s courtesan. “Being a lady myself, I have a closer understanding of a woman’s sexual needs and desires, and I’m able to fulfill them with a mutual level of connection.”
Sheri’s Ranch is Nevada’s first and only full-service legal sex resort. The ranch was purchased by former Chicago homicide detective Chuck Lee in 2001 and was remodeled into a fantasyland of bungalows and specialty rooms with a variety of themes. With a hotel and restaurant, the staff say they take great care to maintain a resort playground with the clients’ safety, privacy and satisfaction in mind.
‘GIGOLOS’ RETURNS: The new season of Showtime’s “Gigolos” begins filming all over Las Vegas this week. You’ll find me in one of the episodes but certainly not learning how to become one!
“Gigolos” stud Brace Land will be filmed inviting gorgeous dancer Jennifer Romas out on a dinner date after seeing her in her new show “Sexxy” at Westgate Las Vegas.
He beats out all number of other suitors, but fireworks explode when she learns that he’s a gigolo.
NOW CASTING: New episodes of “Late Night Chef Fight” on FYI will be shot here this summer. Although dates and locations haven’t been determined yet, casting is underway for Season 2.
Producers are looking for Las Vegas-based chefs wanting to compete in the underground cooking matchups.
TICKET TROUBLE? As of today, exactly 12 days before the big Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight, no tickets have been handed out yet to anybody.
“There’s no new status about the situation,” I was told by one broker. “Everybody is talking tickets, but nobody knows what’s happening with them.”
RACE FEARS: Our hometown Motley Crue singer Vince Neil flew to Long Beach, Calif., to drive in the Celebrity Grand Prix race, but because he was entertaining there that night, officials wouldn’t let him drive on the track. They said they feared that a crash might prevent him singing.
Instead, he was given the green flag to start the race. His concert went off flawlessly, and drivers Michael Andretti, Chip Canassi and Scott Borchetta were in the audience. Vince’s Arena Football League team the Las Vegas Outlaws play their next game away in Florida against the Jacksonville Sharks on Friday night.
TOP TABLE: XS at Steve Wynn’s Encore has honored “Bar Rescue” star and Nightclub & Bar President Jon Taffer by naming one of its tables after the host of Spike TV’s top-rated show.
“He’s such an innovator in the nightclub and bar industry that last year we honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Now to continue celebrating his growing legacy, we have officially named an upper dance floor table The Jon Taffer Table,” said Jesse Waits, managing partner of XS and Tryst at Wynn. “It is a great honor,” Jon said.
TACO CHARITY: In advance of unveiling his taco creation for May’s Taco for Strength campaign, star chef Rick Moonen stopped by Mercadito at Red Rock Resort for a little one-on-one time with chef/partner Patricio Sandoval and executive chef Juan Puentes. While there, Rick talked about the inspiration for the dish and gave the duo pointers on re-creating it for.
Rick’s taco, the True North Salmon taco with smoked tea, horseradish crema and cucumber-cabbage slaw, will be sold at Mercadito in Las Vegas and Chicago beginning May 1 with proceeds benefiting Share Our Strength.
VUBBA IS NO. 1: Our annual Vegas Uncork’d By Bon Appetit food festival was voted No. 1 in USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards this morning beating out similar feasts in South Beach, Aspen, Napa and Portland.
Vegas Uncork’d starts its 2015 gastronomic fun here Thursday, so the award is a case of perfect timing.
50 YEARS: To mark its 50th anniversary, three generations of the Halvorson family posed with their Papillon Group’s “Golden Helicopter” at Boulder City Aerocenter. The flying machine has been dubbed “Copter 50” in honor of the tour company’s 50th anniversary in Boulder City.
It’s British night at Mark Shunock’s monthly fundraiser “Mondays Dark” at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Spring Jazz Festival starts at UNLV for two nights with the Jazz Ensemble and trumpet player Allen Vizzuti.
Kelly Clinton Holmes hosts her Open Mic party at Bootlegger Bistro.
Claudine Castro entertains at Eastside Cannery.
Built to Spill is at the Bunkhouse downtown.
TOMORROW’ S TEASE
Actress and fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker takes me shopping at Crystals in CityCenter, Food Network star Ben Vaughn pens another guest column, and star chef Julian Serrano opens his stunning Lago at Bellagio.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.