Thursday, March 17, 2016 | 5:24 p.m.
How appropriate it is on St. Patrick’s Day that Irish dance duke Michael Flatley will make his final U.S. performance in “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games” at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace.
It’s the final show of its current tour. Michael hangs up his dance shoes after a remarkable 20-year run as creator and star of the “Lord of the Dance” franchise.
I’m told that Caesars expects numerous Hollywood celebrities in green flying in for Michael, who will dance the last two routines and the obligatory standing ovation encore.
Even though he might not be dancing onstage again, Michael will continue to produce his touring Irish dance shows worldwide.
St. Patrick's Day Parade at Linq Promenade/Chris Rauschnot @24KMedia
MARCH MADNESS & ST. PATRICK’S DAY: It’s a double celebration today with the 64-team NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament getting underway for March Madness and the feast of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint who brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle.
Ireland has a population of only 4.6 million, whereas 33 million Americans claim Irish ancestry. The world’s tallest observation wheel, our High Roller at the Linq Promenade, will turn green for the night.
Here’s our Royal Robin Rundown of events and parties for both celebrations:
ST. PATRICK’S DAY
Wear your green! Grab a Guinness and toast, “May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live!” Or “May your glass be ever full, may the roof over your head be always strong, and may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead!”
Incidentally, Guinness estimates selling 11 million pints today.
• Rocker and “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant Vince Neil hosts a St. Patrick’s Day rooftop shindig at Beer Park at Paris Las Vegas.
• Las Vegas “funologist” John O’Donnell hosts his St. Patrick’s Day Bash at Crush in MGM Grand leading a line of bagpipers playing traditional Irish tunes.
• Elizabeth Blau’s Honey Salt hosts a four-course St. Patrick’s Day farm-to-table dinner.
• For the biggest bash, it’s O’Shea’s annual Bloq Party at the Linq Hotel and Promenade. Bagpipers, leprechauns and stilt-walkers party to music from Roxy Gunn, The Hooligans and Darby O’Gill and games of beer pong and corn hole.
• The Black Donnellys, Crooked Jacks and Craic Haus play at Ri Ra Irish Pub in Mandalay Place for a 12-hour music marathon.
• Nearby Minus5 Ice Bar celebrates with shamrock-inspired attractions.
• Shake Shack at New York-New York offers chocolate mint custard in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
• Enjoy Guinness & Jameson bacon cheeseburgers and Guinness cheese sauce and bacon topping with fries at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
• Public House at the Venetian serves more than 200 beer selections on its St. Patrick’s Day menu.
We start today with 64 teams, and by midweek we have gone through the Round of 32 to reach the Sweet 16, then next weekend it’s the Elite Eight. The next weekend (April 2), we have the Final Four, with the championship game played April 4.
More than 100 sports books in Nevada let you have a shot at winning $1 million in William Hill’s March Mania parlay card if you go 20-for-20 against the spread.
• Las Vegas showgirls join former Mayor Oscar Goodman to celebrate the start of this year’s NCAA Tournament at Beer Park on Friday afternoon.
• March Madness: Brackets and Beer is at the new Still in the Mirage through April 4.
• March Madness parties nightly at Lagasse’s Stadium and Rockhouse in Palazzo.
• Hoops & Hops is at the Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Dash Berlin headlines Friday and Porter Robinson on Sunday at nearby Marquee, with free admission to Hoops & Hops ticketholders.
• Tournament Madness viewing parties are at the Hard Rock Hotel.
• March Hoopla viewing parties are at Suncoast.
LIBERACE’S CARS: Four unique automobiles owned by showbiz legend Liberace will be among his legendary collection going on show Thursday, April 7, at a museum inside the Hollywood Cars Museum on Dean Martin Drive.
The new experience will feature “Mr. Showmanship’s” 1961 Rolls Royce Phantom V limousine, which was used for his acts at the Las Vegas Hilton and shown in the award-winning HBO film “Behind the Candelabra”; the Liberace Crystal Roadster he rode onto New York’s Radio City Music Hall stage; the London Taxi he used to pick up friends at the Palms Springs Airport near his desert home there; and the 1956 Rolls Royce Convertible he would fly out of during performances.
Additional photos and artifacts from Liberace’s homes also will be on display. Proceeds from the opening-night champagne party will benefit The Liberace Foundation, which has provided more than $6 million in scholarships in the creative and performing arts since 1981. The Liberace Garage opens to the public April 8.
“Liberace’s iconic place in American culture has been etched in stone, and he is the only person recognized by the Library of Congress as being a cultural influence on Las Vegas, the city he defined,” said Jonathan Warren of the foundation in a news release. “He had the vision to preserve his stagecraft and lifestyle assets to share with the world for the benefit of students in the performing and creative arts.”
CONDOLENCES: To family and friends of Frank Sinatra Jr., a longtime regular Las Vegas visitor and performer who died Wednesday at age 72 in a Florida hospital after a cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach. His family released a statement: “The Sinatra family mourns the untimely passing of their son, brother, father, uncle.”
Frank Jr., once kidnapped as a teen in Lake Tahoe in 1963 until his father paid a $240,000 ransom, served as musical director and orchestra conductor for his dad, then became a solo singer performing numerous times here. His last appearance here was at the Smith Center in June. In 1993, he conducted for his father’s final performance at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Pharrell Williams Happy
HAPPINESS: We’ll end today’s column on a happier note and a tip of our hat to Pharrell Williams, who turned his song “Happy” into a chart blockbuster. The World Happiness Report was unveiled showing the USA has moved up two spots from last year to No. 13.
So things are getting brighter here! Denmark, Iceland and Norway hold down the Top Three spots, respectively.
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.