Monday, Dec. 28, 2015 | 4:58 p.m.
Penn and Teller
Two romances have become must-watch New Year’s Eve events here on the Strip: DJ Calvin Harris and singer Taylor Swift and rapper Nicki Minaj and her fellow rapper beau Meek Mill.
Nicki and Meek fueled engagement and wedding rumors over the weekend in advance of their joint appearance at Drai’s Nightclub atop the Cromwell. The couple tweeted a photograph of a massive diamond ring on her engagement finger, but she said that it was just “a birthday gift.”
But the Internet went into overdrive when she asked fans to vote for a beach or church wedding. It’s his second gift of a diamond sparkler for that finger, and she told Billboard that he wants to give her three rings before they get married. BTW, the beach wedding is handily beating a church wedding.
Meantime, Calvin will be at the wheels of steel for DJ duties on NYE at Omnia Nightclub in Caesars Palace, and rumors are abuzz that Taylor will be at his side for the traditional midnight “Auld Lang Syne” kiss.
BULLET CATCH TURNS 21: Today marks the date 21 years ago that our Rio headliner magicians Penn & Teller first performed the highly dangerous bullet-catch illusion, and they’re still alive without injury to celebrate the anniversary.
Magicians have been injured and killed attempting the trick of a single bullet catch, but Penn & Teller both catch a bullet in their mouths from laser-guided .357 magnums fired simultaneously by the other. Here’s a YouTube video of the duo dicing with danger.
The origin of the bullet catch dates back as far as 1631, and it’s been documented as one of the most dangerous and daring illusions that a magician can attempt. Daredevil escape artist Harry Houdini was said to be too afraid to perform it.
Criss Angel is said to have filmed his mouth-catch version for “Mindfreak,” but A&E would not permit it to be aired for looking “too easy” for others to replicate. Instead, he caught it in a padded glove with Kevlar padding under police supervision.
RETURNING HOME: After two years in Miami where she opened the successful Touche Rooftop Restaurant and Lounge, chef Carla Pellegrino has returned to her beloved hometown of Las Vegas. She won the maximum three-star status for her restaurant from The Miami Herald.
Carla says she missed Las Vegas so much that she wanted to get back to her restaurant Bratalian in Henderson, which she will transform with a makeover before returning to The E11even Group in Miami for another project.
“We had a great two years as partners, and I look forward to returning there with the next challenge,” Carla said.
DJ MINI-RESIDENCY: Rapper Wiz Khalifa, who was just nominated for a Golden Globe and three Grammys for his hit song “See You Again” with Charlie Puth, will launch an exclusive eight-time mini-residency with Tao Group venues in Las Vegas as his DJ alter-ego, DJ Daddy Kat, beginning in 2016.
After success as a performer, Wiz is making waves at the best parties all over the world as the one and only DJ Daddy Kat. The multifaceted artist will kick off his residency at Tao on Friday, with additional dates at Tao that include Friday, Jan. 8, Saturday, Feb. 6, and Friday, March 18.
He’s signed on for eight engagements, with future dates and venues to be announced later.
OUR CONDOLENCES: Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Harlem Globetrotters basketball phenomenon Meadowlark Lemon, who passed away over the weekend at age 83.
He was much admired here in Las Vegas when the team played exhibition games at Orleans Arena, and he was here just last month for Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation fundraiser at Aria.
ARENA NIGHTCLUB: Hyde Bellagio is set to get a younger sister with Hyde Lounge set to open in April at the new Las Vegas Arena behind Monte Carlo and New York-New York. The 18,000-square-foot venue will be the only nightclub in the facility and will offer bottle service, food, plush seating, DJs, VIP-elevator access and skyline views of the Strip.
Two platforms will extend over arena seating for unparalleled viewing. Hyde has similar sports facility lounges at Staples Center in Los Angeles and American Airlines Arena in Miami.
WORLDWIDE NYE CELEBRATIONS: Did you know that NYE will be celebrated in 41 time zones around the world? It starts in about two days and 10 hours in New Zealand and ends in three days and 10 hours in Pago Pago in American Samoa.
This year you can celebrate with a champagne toast each time zone starting at 11 a.m. PT on NYE at Mandalay Bay’s Minus 5 ice-bar lounge and Monte Carlo’s Ice Bar and count down the New Year in a different time zone. More information: Minus5Experience.com.
It’s the last Family Night at Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest where each paid adult-admission ticket gets a free child’s ticket up to age 12. The Magical Forest remains open through Jan. 3.
DJ Dave Fogg is at XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore.
Our fun, fascinating and candid conversation with singer Carly Rae Jepsen as she gets ready for her NYE Weekend of concerts at the Venetian on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. On Wednesday, we’ll have the full Royal Robin Rundown of all the celebrations to bid farewell to 2015 and welcome 2016.
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 Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.