Las Vegas Sun

October 17, 2017

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Las Vegas:

Strip Scribbles: XS toy drive, new Clique restaurants, ‘Nutcracker,’ Louie Anderson


L.E. Baskow

Jonathan Moreno takes a spin on a little bicycle as loading continues of toys purchased by Tryst at Wynn and XS at Encore employees at Walmart on West Charleston Boulevard on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. They are contributing to the “16th Annual Chet Buchanan & The Morning Zoo Toy Drive” by buying toys for needy kids.

2014 Tryst and XS Toy Drive

Skye Johnson, 4, pushes a cart full of dolls and toys as Tryst at Wynn and XS at Encore employees contribute to the Launch slideshow »

Watch for employees of XS at Encore to make another remarkable donation to the 15th Annual Chet Buchanan & The Morning Zoo KLUC Toy Drive.

Last year’s donation of toys, more than $195,000, was a record-setting feat that included the largest bike donation and filling 12 semis. In this ninth year of participation, they plan to surpass $200,000 — and $1 million in total donations.

Shopping begins 10 a.m. Thursday, with toy delivery expected about 1:30 p.m. at Chet’s tent atop scaffolding at Nevada Energy at Sahara and Jones.

Even in freezing cold, Chet is there 24/7 encouraging donations for children whose families need assistance during the holidays.

Mercadito at Red Rock Resort

Chocolate shots at Mercadito in Red Rock Resort. Launch slideshow »

THREE CLIQUE RESTAURANTS: Nightlife and hospitality kingpin Andy Masi, who formerly ran Light Group, is expanding again. His new company Clique Hospitality will develop and manage two new restaurants at Green Valley Ranch Resort and assume management of Mercadito at Red Rock Resort.

Bottiglia, an Italian restaurant, and Borracha, a Mexican eatery, are set to open at GVR in April and May, respectively. Mercadito will be rebranded Libre in 2016. Libre is located between Clique restaurants Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar and Salute Trattoria Italiana.

Chef Brian Massie will be at the forefront of Libre in the partnership between Station Casinos and Clique Hospitality. Hayes Swope, general manager of Mercadito, said in a news release:

“We can confirm that Mercadito at Red Rock Resort will close after our New Year’s Eve celebration. We are hopeful that Libre, the new concept by Clique Hospitality, will continue the commitment to creative Mexican cuisine Mercadito helped pioneer and has brought to guests in Las Vegas since 2014.”

NBT’s ‘The Nutcracker’ at Smith Center

Cast members of the Nevada Ballet Theater production of Launch slideshow »

‘NUTCRACKER’ CHANGES: A 40-foot-high dollhouse is under construction as our Nevada Ballet Theatre prepares for its annual presentation of treasured holiday tradition “The Nutcracker.”

Starting today, the larger-than-life set pieces are being built at the Smith Center. The eight-show run features full orchestra including members of Las Vegas Philharmonic and runs Saturday through Dec. 20. NBT has performed this classic production for more than 30 years and in 2012 debuted an all-new version choreographed by Artistic Director James Canfield.

This version of “The Nutcracker” is the first production of its kind built for Reynolds Hall. In addition to the Victorian dollhouse, there will be a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree and doors and grandfather clocks taller than 15 feet, waltzing flowers, flying rocking horse and moonlit snow to create the magical landscape hailed as “the most visually beautiful production ever staged in Reynolds Hall.”

At Fenway

Creature at the Bates Motel

UNIQUE VIDEOS: Las Vegas comedian Louie Anderson will join Las Vegas big-band crooner Brian Evans for the William Shatner concert at Maui Celebrity Series in Hawaii on Dec. 30. Brian filmed “At Fenway” with the “Star Trek” actor, which has logged more than 11 million views on YouTube.

Brian’s latest music video, “Creature at the Bates Motel,” features Luxor comedian Carrot Top and is the first music video to be filmed at the motel, location of the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Psycho.” It hit more than 300,000 views during Halloween.

Brian’s next music video is the Dolly Parton classic “Here You Come Again,” a remake the first time by a male with Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife, Beth. Brian will perform the song for the first time during the concert. The Maui series created by Brian has presented David Spade, Mos Def, Roseanne Barr, Paul Rodriguez, Citizen Cope and more.

CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR: Singer Tarralyn Ramsey, who was the first contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” debuts her “Christmas Spectacular” tonight and continues through Dec. 30 at Tommy Wind Theater near MGM Grand.

In addition to holiday songs, Tarralyn will debut her holiday originals set in a winter wonderland. Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid have raved that “she’s cut from the same cloth as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston” and brought Britney Spears to tears. Tarralyn toured with Mary J. Blige on her “No More Drama Tour.”

TV MAGIC: Las Vegas magicians are all over TV screens in the days leading up to Christmas. Wednesday night’s NBC special “The Illusionists” features Jeff Hobson and Kevin James. Rio headliners Penn & Teller who were grand marshals of the 84th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, star in the CW’s “The Magic of Christmas” on Friday.

It features Jonathan Pendragon, Michael Turco and Michael Grandinetti. NBC will re-broadcast Linq Hotel headliner Mat Franco’s two-hour summer special of his cross-country trip to the Strip after his “America’s Got Talent” win. Penn & Teller also guest star in Mat’s TV production along with Neil Patrick Harris.


Mayor Carolyn Goodman helps Santa turn on the lights of the official 50-foot Las Vegas Christmas Tree at Fremont Street Experience.

Tanya Tucker stands in for the ailing Merle Haggard at Golden Nugget Showroom.

Tarralyn Ramsey opens her “Christmas Spectacular” at Tommy Wind Theater through Dec. 30.

Charles Fleischer and Chase Durousseau headline at the Improv in Harrah’s through Sunday.

Today and Wednesday until 6 p.m., a job fair is underway to staff the new Budweiser Beer Park to open next year at Chateau at Paris Las Vegas with more than 35 beers on tap and more than 100 draft, can and bottled beers.

Glen Templeton headlines Rodeo Vegas at the Mirage for a second night.


Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise turns up as an unexpected guest at the NASCAR Champion’s Week Awards to pay tribute to retiring Jeff Gordon, plus our reviews of Travis Cloer’s Christmas show and Carrot Top’s 10th anniversary insanity.

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

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at

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