Las Vegas Sun

January 22, 2019

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Strip Scribbles: NYE fireworks, Bocuse D’Or, call-girl book, Cash tribute, Sinatra

2014 NYE: Strip Fireworks

Tom Donoghue /

Fireworks above the Strip on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, as seen from atop Trump International Tower in Las Vegas.

2014 NYE: Strip Fireworks

Fireworks above the Strip on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, as seen from atop Trump International Tower in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

Seven hotel rooftops overlooking the Strip will be used for America’s Party at midnight Dec. 31 as we welcome the New Year.

Fireworks by Grucci execs will unveil details of their pyrotechnic entertainment extravaganza next Thursday, but we know that, from south to north, the participating hotels are MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, Venetian and Stratosphere.

We’ll learn the 411 at a Fashion Show mall news conference next Thursday.

2014 Ultimo Grand Banquet

The 2014 Ultimo Grand Banquet hosted by star chefs Emeril Lagasse, Buddy Valastro and Daniel Boulud on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, at the Venetian. Launch slideshow »

FIRST FOOD OLYMPICS: For the first time, Las Vegas will host the selection competition for the Bocuse D’Or U.S. team next Thursday as the kick-off to Ultimo Festival.

It’s at the Venetian with the extraordinary culinary talents of Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Josiah Citrin and Gavin Kaysen for dinners, demos, brunches and more. Four American chefs will compete, with only one voted winner of Bocuse to go on to the 2017 Bocuse d’Or “food Olympics” biennial competition in Lyon, France.

I went to Napa Valley to interview Thomas about its prestige, honor and high levels of competition. We’ll have that exclusive interview next week here at Vegas Deluxe.

CALL-GIRL BOOK: Haley Heston’s escort agency here showcased $1,500-a-night call girls, including three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton. I had a lengthy interview with the Las Vegas madam, aka Jami Rodman, who moved here from a small-town Christian family in Oregon.

She’s lifted the curtain on the world’s oldest profession in her new book “Las Vegas Madam: The Escorts, The Clients, The Truth,” which was published officially today. The candid narration of the underground Las Vegas world of sex and hookers is her story of the quest for sexual adventures in Sin City.

It’s a shockingly honest, unforgettable memoir of her 10-year-run building one America’s most elite escort agencies. Jami hosts a book signing here Jan. 2 at Books on Books on East Sunset.

Sinatra Tribute at Wynn

Alicia Keys, a pregnant Chrissy Teigen and John Legend attend the “Sinatra 100” tribute and Grammy concert at Encore Theater on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, at Wynn Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

SINATRA’S 100TH: All weekend, Sirius satellite radio celebrities will mark what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday. The programs are hosted on Channel 71 Siriusly Sinatra by Nancy, Tina and Frank Sinatra Jr. and feature interviews with performers at the Dec. 6 concert at Wynn Las Vegas.

Lady Gaga, Adam Levine, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and John Legend are included on the 72-hour, nonstop broadcast paying tribute to the modern father of our city. The celebration also will include a live broadcast from Patsy’s Italian restaurant in New York hosted by Steve Tyrell with two coast-to-coast toasts to the Chairman of the Board at 3 p.m. ET and PT.

Dennis Bono celebrated the music of Sinatra with “The Songs of Sinatra” at South Point today with James Darren, Pia Zadora, Vincent Falcone, Sonny Charles and Eric Jordan Young sharing stories of how Ol’ Blue Eyes influenced their careers.

CASH TRIBUTE SHOW: Saturday’s tribute to the late Johnny Cash at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel is with incredible Nashville recording artist Doug Allen, who accurately captures the appearance, vocals, speech, mannerisms and spirit of the icon.

Doug and Las Vegas singer Vanessa LeGrand keep Johnny and June Carter Cash’s musical legacy alive with that authentic sound that’s truly uncanny. Our producer friend Seth Yudof brought the production to Las Vegas.

Doug performs his show not just as an avid fan but because of the long-ago friendship between the two and Johnny’s approval. Doug has performed the tribute in more than 80 countries and is a recipient of the Department of Defense’s Certificate of Esteem for entertaining military overseas.

NEW COOKING SHOW: Yet another culinary competition is getting ready to premiere on Bravo. “Recipe for Deception,” set to premiere Jan. 21, is as much about a chef’s ability to lie, distort, cheat and misinform as it about culinary skills.

Host Max Silvestri will guide four chef combatants in each episode through three head-to-head elimination rounds in which they are tasked with creating a stunning dish featuring a main ingredient. The twist is that they have no idea what that ingredient is while they are cooking. Based on “Two Truths and a Lie,” competing chefs ask each other three “yes or no” questions to determine what their mystery component is, and their opponent answers strategically with two truthful answers and one lie.

Two chef judges will grade the chefs on final dishes. Mandalay Bay star chef Rick Moonen will compete in the second episode as a guest star. The season will include a celebrity chef episode Feb. 25 with Coolio, Steve Howey, Lou Diamond Phillips and Alanna Ubach.

Shania, Piff the Magic Dragon and Mr. Piffles

Shania Twain, Piff the Magic Dragon and Mr. Piffles at the Colosseum on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Caesars Palace. Launch slideshow »

DOG MUFFINS: Who better to lead this season to be jolly than our very own ray of sunshine Piff the Magic Dragon? He’s just landed a 10-show run — Dec. 21-30 — of Christmas cheer at Flamingo Las Vegas, and his sidekick Mr. Piffles has agreed to become a red-nose Chihuahua for the new, off-kilter tricks.

Each show will wrap with an auction of Piff’s Magic Muffins to benefit Nevada SPCA’s dog shelter program.

LUXURY CAR RENTALS: Even with Uber, Lyft, taxis and car rental agencies, tourists still want the new, updated and luxurious when they arrive at our McCarran Airport. Starting Jan. 4, Silvercar will start renting Audi A4 sedans using an Uber-style app.

Silvercar, which has 11 airport locations across America, promises to rid travelers of rent-a-car hassles, including the annoying “fill it up” before returning it. Silvercar promises no lines or paperwork and free Wi-Fi, GPS and satellite radio all done at the touch of a button.


Mindy Kaling took a crew of 15 from her “The Mindy Project” to Penn & Teller at the Rio and backstage post-show.

29th Annual Downtown Hoedown

The 29th Annual Downtown Hoedown featuring Tracy Lawrence, Jackson Michelson, Chase Bryant (pictured here), J.T. Hodges, Chris Janson and Montgomery Gentry on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, at Fremont Street Experience. Launch slideshow »

With the 2015 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in town for 10 days, country music is everywhere you turn. Thousands of fans watched the 29th Annual Downtown Hoedown at Fremont Street Experience with a 7-hour lineup of Tracy Lawrence, Jackson Michelson, Chase Bryant, J.T. Hodges, Chris Janson and Montgomery Gentry. Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue said after shooting his photo gallery: “It was a s----kicking time!”

Incredible Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry attended Olivia Newton-John’s resident show at Flamingo.

Brad Garrett dined at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House in MGM Grand, celebrating the restaurant’s 20th anniversary, and enjoyed the banana cream pie so much he ordered four more pies for his fellow comedians and staff at nearby Brad Garrett Comedy Club, where he performed after dinner.

Click here for Tonight’s Tips and Tomorrow’s Tease.

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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