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October 21, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: Wolfgang Puck restaurant destroyed in Dubai; John Fogerty; Penn & Teller


Greg Thilmont

Wolfgang Puck and Eric Klein on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Downtown Summerlin.

Wolfgang Puck in Downtown Summerlin

Wolfgang Puck and Eric Klein on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Downtown Summerlin. Launch slideshow »

Executives at star chef Wolfgang Puck’s Las Vegas restaurants were awakened New Year’s Eve with phone calls from their outpost of Cut steakhouse in the 63-story Address Hotel in Dubai in United Arab Emirates.

Fire had broken out on the 20th floor and quickly exploded upward, sending blazing embers and fiery fascia pieces reigning down on the 10th floor patio of Cut. The Dubai staff was ordered to ensure that all diners and they evacuate immediately.

One of the Dubai managers was on a tour of Wolf’s restaurants here and relieved to learn that employees got to safety, but the restaurant was destroyed.

Wolf’s local partners Tom Kaplan, David Robbins and chef John LaGrone all were in Dubai many times during 2015 for the opening of the restaurant, which here has been named one of the Top Three U.S. steakhouses.

Shania Twain Arrives at Caesars Palace

Shania Twain arrives horseback at Caesars Palace on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Launch slideshow »

HARLEY PARADE: Riding into town on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and accompanied by 50 others on the noisy hogs can be described as the right way to kick-start a residency.

And that’s exactly what legendary musician John Fogerty will do Tuesday in advance of his “Fortunate Son in Concert” eight-show run starting Friday at the Venetian theater.

The singer-songwriter and guitarist of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame will lead the parade to Doge’s Palace entrance bridge of the Venetian, and he’s promised to call me after he checks in to preview the iconic classics from CCR days and his solo hits.

It’s not Shania Twain on horseback, Mariah Carey in a vintage pink auto or Celine Dion in an SUV limousine, but this is certain to be more thunderous.

Penn and Teller 20th Anniversary at The Rio

Penn & Teller's 20th-anniversary performance and celebration at The Rio on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. The magic duo is pictured here with Launch slideshow »

CONGRATULATIONS: To Rio headliner magicians Penn & Teller, who 15 years ago Tuesday opened at the off-Strip property. Said Penn: “It’s the best gig we’ve ever had.” The duo, who have their own Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio, are in a six-year contract renewal that takes them through Dec. 31, 2018.

On Jan. 14, they will mark their 22nd year of performing in Las Vegas. They began at Bally’s in 1993.

And to magician Murray Sawchuck, who announced Sunday his 12-month renewal at Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theater through year’s end.

STUPIDITY AT ITS FINEST! One leading Las Vegas restaurateur reported an almost unbelievable incident over the holiday weekend with a tourist. “It was so incredibly dumb, I thought Ashton Kutcher was hiding behind the wine bottles filming it for ‘Punk’d,’” he told me.

The customer returned the next day after his dinner to complain that his steak tartare had been served raw and as a protest refused to tip his waitress. My friend looked up the customer’s credit card charges, refunded him $19.99 in cash for the steak tartare and another $20 for the tip to embarrass him for what he should have paid the server.

“I was speechless. Just how stupid can it get? Next they’ll complain I’m serving snails when they order escargot!”


Veronica Vain

Veronica Vain stars in “Screwing Wall Street.” Launch slideshow »

Former Wall Street banking researcher Paige Jennings changed her name to Veronica Vain to become a top porn star raking in six-figure deals for her adult-movie career. She’s known for her line, “I’d get naked on ‘Shark Tank’ if they let me.”

The brunette bombshell has flown here for this week’s Consumer Electronics Show and will host entrepreneurs, technology investors and exhibitors at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club. She’ll explain why she left Wall Street for porn in between striptease dances. Veronica returns at the end of the month for the 2016 AVN/Adult Entertainment Expo.

Actress, director, producer and author Illeana Douglas entertained a rapt audience at Barnes & Noble on Rainbow about growing up in a hippie commune, dining out with her movie-star grandfather Melvyn Douglas and her stage and screen career during Sunday’s signing of her book “I Blame Dennis Hopper.”

Former Las Vegas madam Jami Rodman, who made global headlines hiring Olympic athlete Suzy Favor-Hamilton as one of her prostitutes along with other $7,500-a-night call girls, had a huge turnout for her book signing “Las Vegas Madam” at Books or Books on East Sunset.

Cheryl Burke, Mark Ballas Birthdays at Tao Beach

Mark Ballas and Cheryl Burke celebrate their birthdays at Tao Beach on Saturday, May 31, 2014, in the Venetian. Launch slideshow »

“Dancing With the Stars” pro Mark Ballas enjoyed dinner at Tao in the Venetian, while 2015 Miss Universe Pageant judge and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton dined with friends at sister venue Lavo in Palazzo.

Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss attended nearby “Absinthe” and posed for photos post-show with cast members. Luxor headliner comic Carrot Top also recently watched “Absinthe.”

Mexican pro soccer player Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez treated a large party to dinner at Andrea’s in Steve Wynn’s Encore. Javier, who plays forward for German club Bayer Leverkusen, enjoyed a special celebration menu prepared by executive chef Joseph Elevado. Before dinner, he met the cast of “Le Reve — The Dream” before watching the award-winning aquatic production.

“Pawn Stars” stars Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison and Chumlee threw a holiday party for staff and crew in the ballroom at The D Las Vegas.

Heavyweight fighter “King Mo” Lawal checked into The D fresh from his win in Japan as the Rizin Fighting Federation tournament champion. He flew back to the U.S. immediately after the victory to help corner for UFC champion Robbie Lawler in UFC 195 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night.

DJ Tiesto dined at Nove Italiano in the Palms ahead of his NYE gig at Hakkasan in MGM Grand. The family-style meal with his group included reminiscing about his time spent at the Palms hanging out with George Maloof and spinning at Rain before he became a mega-star DJ.

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.

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

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