Daily Archives: September 24, 2009

It’s Official: Singer Wayne Newton is Back Entertaining on the Las Vegas Strip

As scooped by Las Vegas Backstage Access on Sept. 17, it’s official now:  Singer Wayne Newton is being welcomed back to perform on the Las Vegas Strip at the Tropicana Hotel-Casino and celebrate his 50-year iconic career. WayneNewtonb

Officials for the Tropicana Las Vegas hotel-casino said that the 67-year-old “Danke Schoen” crooner plans start a limited run next month. 

The show will be titled “Once Before I Go,” and is being promoted as a look back at Newton’s career and life story. 

Newton said in a statement that the show is exciting and artistically challenging, and “the kind of show I’ve always wanted to do.” 

In addition to performances at various Las Vegas casinos during his illustrious career, Newton toured Australia in 2006 and also recently appeared on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

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Las Vegas Group Posts $10,000 Pot Smokin’ Contest

A Las Vegas group wants to legalize marijuana and they’re offering a unique challenge that could make someone $10,000 richer.  That can buy a whole lot of pot for the lucky winner.potsmoking

The group says it will write a check to anyone who can prove drinking alcohol is safer than smoking marijuana. Marijuana advocates say their goal is to legalize and regulate marijuana. 

With this $10,000 challenge, the group says it hopes to educate the public and show that drinking alcohol is more dangerous than smoking pot. 

“We are confident that will not need to pay out this $10,000,” said David Schwartz, Marijuana Policy Project of Nevada. At a news conference yesterday, the group said using marijuana is safer than drinking alcohol and hopes their challenge will prove it. 

In order to win the payola you must disprove three points: First, that alcohol is significantly more toxic than marijuana. Second, that the health effects from long term alcohol cause more deaths each year than from long term marijuana use. And finally, that violent crime committed by people under the influence of alcohol is more prevalent than violent crime committed by people under the influence of marijuana. 

“It’s been on the ballot twice before and in the last round – in 2006 – it garnered 44 percent of the vote which is a record vote. And in the future if we go through the initiative process, we think it will do quite well,” Schwartz said. 

But while the group might believe smoking marijuana is safer than drinking alcohol, a local drug and alcohol counselor says the dangers and consequences are actually very similar. Erin Kinard says both lead to addiction, both are a gateway to more serious drugs and both can cause people to become violent. 

Click here to take the challenge- if you dare!

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Liza Minnelli to Film Tony Award-Winning Special in Las Vegas on September 30

“Liza’s at the Palace” will be filmed in the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Wednesday, September 30 and Thursday, October 1, 2009. All of the material performed during her New York engagement will be included in the filming. The program will capture many of her greatest hits and also be an affectionate tribute to her godmother, the late Kay Thompson, who was a groundbreaking singer-dancer, songwriter, vocal arranger and musical director/vocal coach at MGM Studios. LizaMinnelli

As reported by BroadwayWorld.com and now confirmed by PBS, celebrating the one year anniversary of Liza Minnelli’s Tony Award-winning performance “Liza’s at the Palace,” American Public Television (ATP) will distribute the long-awaited special in December, 2009 and it will also be released on DVD in early 2010 by MPI Home Video. 

Minnelli’s unanimously acclaimed Broadway performances were sold out for five weeks in December last year and fans around the world have been eagerly anticipating news of this  broadcast. 

The television event will be directed by Matthew Diamond and executive produced by JoAnn Young, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.  In addition to the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event, Minnelli received a 2009 Drama Desk Award for her performances at the Palace. 

Now in her fifth decade as an internationally celebrated entertainer, she has won every major show business honor including an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and four Tony Awards, making her part of a select group of performers who have won the entertainment industry’s top four achievement awards. 

She will be joined in the Las Vegas filming by her Broadway co-star and musical director, the legendary pianist, singer and composer Billy Stritch. Her quartet of dynamic singer/dancers, Cortes Alexander, Jim Caruso, Johnny Rodgers and Tiger Martina will recreate their roles as the Williams Brothers, which included the young Andy Williams and his talented siblings. 

The show will again be directed by Ron Lewis, the award-winning choreographer and director. Musical conductor/drummer is Michael Berkowitz, a well-known conductor of pop orchestras all over the world. 

JoAnn Young has written and/or produced more than 50 television specials including documentaries and musical performances. 

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are the executive producers.  Together their film and television projects have won six Academy Awards, five Golden Globes, 11 Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Peabody Awards. For television, their movies have amassed 69 Emmy nominations. 

Tickets are now available at any MGM Grand box office and all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations. Tickets also are available for purchase online at www.mgmgrand.com and www.ticketmaster.com.

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John Varvatos Celebrates Grand Opening of his new Bowery NYC Store in Las Vegas Tonight with Performance by Cheap Trick

True legends of epic proportions will come together tonight, Thursday, Sept. 24, in Las Vegas as John Varvatos, right, JohnVarvatosand hard rockers Cheap Trick join forces and team up to celebrate the opening of John Varvatos Bowery NYC at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.  Action kicks off at 7 p.m.. 

Fresh off a recent tour promoting their newest record, “The Latest,” Cheap Trick, comprised of Bun E. Carlos, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Robin Zander, will perform at the boutique’s grand opening celebration.

Varvatos’ new 3,000 square-foot Hard Rock boutique is where fashion and music can live and groove together.  The store features a stage with top-of-the-line gear for planned events like the opening party, as well as for impromptu jam sessions from visiting rockers, stars and shoppers alike.  

In addition to offering all three John Varvatos brands (Collection, Star USA and Converse), the new store is the exclusive Nevada dealer of James Trussart guitars.  Made from custom shaped metals, these high-end guitars have landed in the hands of well-known collectors such as Billy Gibbons of ZZ-Top, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, and Rick Neilson of Cheap Trick. 

If you’d like an article reviewing the venue, interviews with the talent, or professional photography for your publication, please fill out a comment to this post and Las Vegas Backstage Access will get back to you later today.

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The Road to ‘Fame’ Stops in Las Vegas Tonight

Tonight, Thursday, Sept 24, at 6 p.m. there will be a special “Fame” movie screening and red carpet at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  

Confirmed talent includes Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Debbie Allen.  Portraying a dance teacher in the original, Allen graduates to Principal Simms in the current film.       Additional cast planning on attending are Kristy Flores (Rosie), Walter Perez (Victor), Asher Book (Marco), Paul McGill (Kevin), Paul Iacono (Neil), Kay Panabaker (Jenny), Kherington Payne (Alice) along with director Kevin Tanchareon. 

A retelling of the original Oscar-winning hit film, “Fame” follows a talented group of dancers, singers, actors and artists for four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. 

If you’d like an article, interviews or professional photography with these stars for your publication, please fill out a comment to this post and Las Vegas Backstage Access will get back to you later today.

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