Tuesday, March 17, 2015 | 6 p.m.
Congratulations to Mirage headline entertainer and ventriloquist impressionist Terry Fator, who celebrated his sixth year at the Mirage on Monday night with the debut of the doll Rusty the Robot.
It’s the resort’s new prototype robot designed to do the jobs of all employees, and he’s able to sing virtually any song in any voice, from The Tin Man and Elvis Presley to Bruno Mars and Garth Brooks — he’s a voice to be reckoned with!
Rusty joins Terry’s lovable cast of characters including Winston the Impersonating Turtle, Vikki “The Cougar,” country legend Walter T. Airedale, Duggie Scott Walker, Julius, Emma Taylor, the world’s greatest Elvis impersonator Maynard Tompkins and Wrex the Crash Test Dummy.
In addition to performing songs by Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Tony Bennett, LMFAO, Toby Keith and Roy Orbison, Terry throws in a little old school doo wop and songs from his new CD “It Starts Tonight,” including “Live” and “Heroes.”
ITALY CELEBRATES: It’s not only the Irish who are celebrating today; it’s also Italy’s birthday. March 17, 1861, was the date Italy was unified and ever since has been the birthday of the nation we know today.
To celebrate, the Venetian and Palazzo commissioned the pastry stars of “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro’s Carlo’s Bakery, which is celebrating its first anniversary this month, to bake a special cake. They created a whimsical masterpiece that pays tribute to the romantic Italian gondoliers of Venice and the vessels here that wind through the Grand Canal Shops and the Doge’s Palace entrance at the resorts on the Strip.
Here’s a time-lapse YouTube video of the creation of this spectacular cake. Carlo’s Bakery, setting of the TLC show “Cake Boss,” opened its first store west of the Mississippi River one year ago at the Venetian.
Guests get a close-up view of the Carlo’s Bakery team in action as they bake and decorate from morning to night daily on the Strip.
PRICE MADNESS: March Madness begins today, and the frenzy can really be felt at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq Promenade. Fans wanting to stay in the main viewing area all day will be charged $185 per person for all-you-can-drink Coors Light and a chicken wings and French fries buffet. In the lower level Basketbowl, it’s $2,595 a day, and the upper-level Basketbowl is $4,995 a day.
There’s a Roxy Room Ultimate Man Cave with dual bottles of Dom Perignon and Grey Goose, plus all-you-can-drink beers, a buffet and a mini arcade during timeouts for foosball, beer pong and pop-a-shot basketball for $7,795 a day.
MISS MINT: Amy Scott of Solana Beach, Calif., was crowned 2015 Miss Mint 400 and now follows in the high heels of previous winners “Wonder Woman” Lynda Carter and “Wheel of Fortune’s” Vanna White.
In addition to her crown, Amy won $5,000, a professional photo shoot valued at $10,000, and she will be a featured guest at multiple Mint 400 promotional events during the year.
BASKETBALL CHORUS: To echo the iconic “What Happens Here Stays Here” campaign, Las Vegas enlisted the help of the crowd at the Boise State vs. Wyoming college basketball game during the Mountain West Conference championships to show that even on a Jumbotron, what happens here truly does stay here.
Led by OK TV personality and Chippendales at the Rio host and dancer Jaymes Vaughn and two stunning showgirls, during a first-quarter timeout, the crowd strategically placed black bars over their faces as they cuddled up next to their neighbor and evaded the ever-probing game-time kiss cam.
Singer,-songwriter, former “American Idol” host and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was with friends at Citizen’s Kitchen & Bar in Mandalay Bay where one member of his group failed while taking part in Citizen’s Ultimate Slider Challenge (24 sliders in 24 minutes). Steven led the group in cheering him on with the song Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”
Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman crunched numbers during a business dinner at Crush in MGM Grand.
Superstar Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson watched Barry Black’s show at Club Madrid in Sunset Station.
Reality-TV stars Melissa Rycroft-Strickland and Tye Strickland were at Tao in the Venetian.
Joe Jonas and friends dined at Brand Steakhouse in Monte Carlo and enjoyed crispy calamari, crab cakes, rock shrimp, steak and lobster.
Olympic figure-skating champion and new Las Vegas resident Oksana Baiul dined with friends at DB Brasserie in the Venetian before watching Whitney Cummings in her Lipshtick show at the resort.
UFC star Nick Diaz partied at Encore Beach Club.
Actor and racecar driver Patrick Dempsey dined at La Comida downtown. His racing team was here for the Mint 400.
Texas chef Tim Love (“Top Chef Masters,” “Iron Chef”) was at Marquee Dayclub for the music of Audien.
TV chef Robert Irvine was at his Food Network colleague Giada De Laurentiis’ hotspot Giada at the Cromwell and posed for a photo in the kitchen with her chefs.
The Tony Award-winning musical “Newsies” opens its eight-show run at the Smith Center.
Singer-songwriter and musician Frankie Moreno begins his residency at nearby Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center.
Sandro Locolano, Joel Lindley and Henry Phillips headline at the Improv in Harrah’s through Sunday.
Slaves, Goldboot and Amarionette are at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Sir Elton John returns to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace through April 14; looking back at 60 years of memories at the Riviera as it plans its closing, we discover Michael Jackson putting his imprint on the casino resort; and Food Network host Ben Vaughn pens a guest column about social media and food.
Robin Leach 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.
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.