Daily Archives: January 16, 2009

Barack Obama Moves to Las Vegas

Barack Obama is now a permanent part of the Las Vegas experience.  On January 15 Madame Tussuad’s unveiled their Barack Obama wax sculpture at five locations, including their museum at the Venetian in Las Vegas.  The highly detailed sculpture shows the president-elect smiling with his arms casually crossed.

The artists at Madame Tussuad’s were prepared to update their presidential exhibit regardless of who won the election.  Clay molds were designed for both Senator McCain and then-Senator Obama.  Unlike most real-person sculptures that require meticulous measurements, photographs and video were used to create the best representation of both men. 

Obama’s arrival didn’t mean the end of President Bush.  While it’s true that at the Amsterdam Madame Tussuad’s, George W. Bush was left on the sidewalk surrounded by luggage, in most cases, the current president’s image will be carefully preserved in the museum archives.

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President-Elect Barack Obama’s Inauguration Train Leaves With Las Vegan Aboard

On Saturday, January 17 a history-making train will depart the Philadelphia station with President-Elect Barack Obama about for his inauguration in Washington D.C..  But this time, it’s different:  Guests being referred to as “ordinary Americans” will be riding along with Obama.  These are the folks who wouldn’t be able to pay the costs of attending an inauguration- but they are the exact same folks who made the inauguration of Barack Obama possible. 

Invitations to the expense-paid event went out nationwide and one of those invitations was sent to Las Vegas resident Rosa Mendoza.               

Mendoza, a teacher and Vice Chair of the Nevada Hispanic Democratic Caucus, helped organize Nevada Latino support of Obama from the beginning of the 2008 presidential campaign.  During her years as a single mother, working as a waitress while she earned her college degree, Mendoza believed in the possibilities for her and for her daughter in the “Land of Opportunity”.    And in candidate Obama, Mendoza found someone who had lived her life and understood her world.                                     

So in September 2008 when Mendoza had the chance to introduce then Senator Obama to 12,000 cheering supporters at Cashman Field, she told her story and invited the Nevada voters to choose Obama as the 44th President of the United States.  

When Barack Obama takes his oath of office on January 20, becoming the first black president of the United States, Rosa Mendoza will be there front and center- a witness to the history in making she helped create.

Rosa Mendoza never dreamed her actions would lead to selecting a dress for the presidential inaugural ball.

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Folies Bergere Show Ends 49-Year Las Vegas Run

For the past 49 years the “Folies Bergere” revue at the Tropicana in Las Vegas entertained and delighted visitors and residents alike.   Since opening on Christmas Day in 1959, the show was an immediate hit and soon became an iconic entertainment symbol- the feathered showgirls embodying the style and very spirit of Las Vegas.  

On March 28 Folies Bergere will go dark- forever. folies

The cast, which are direct employees of the Tropicana’s in-house production, were notified after their January 14 performance, before their current contract was set to expire on January 24.

No Las Vegas show is likely to surpass the Folies Bergere phenomenal track record.  “Lido” closed in 1991 after 32 years; “Jubilee!” which opened in 1981, would have to stay open until 2031 to surpass the record.

The Tropicana show will reportedly be replaced by another production, but hotel management are mum, saying they don’t have a signed contract and so aren’t ready to announce the new headliner.

The Tropicana’s parent company is feverishly trying to reorganize and restructure their $3 billion in debt.

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Morph Into President-Elect Barack Obama

In our Las Vegas Backstage Access blog posts we’ve given you information on how to register your new inaugural dress on-line to prevent the embarrassment of being seen wearing the same one as other women.  And we’ve given you the inside scoop on where all the Las Vegas inauguration parties will be.  But don’t just stop there. 

Now, you can top it all off and be morphed into Shepard Fairey’s iconic style print of President-elect Barack Obama with your own mug.  Just surf on over to http://obamiconme.pastemagazine.com  (no .www) and upload your beaming photo, choose the word you’d like to have  placed underneath it, and – Viola! – you’ll be visually transformed immediately and effortlessly into Barack.  You can e-mail your work of art to all your family and friends.  Or just place in their gallery.

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What’s A Woman to Wear to the President’s Inaugural Balls?

What’s a woman to do?  The 44th President of the United States walks into the inaugural ball and across the room – she’s there, another guest is wearing your dress and she’ll be introduced to the first couple before you!dress  Oh no!

Or worse yet, imagine you are the First Lady, on the arm of the Commander-in-Chief, and as you make your grand entrance, you see three other women wearing the same red Oscar de la Renta gown.  Unlike Laura Bush at the 2006 inaugural ball, most of us wouldn’t have a spare evening dress waiting in the limo, or the grace to carry off a quick change for such an obvious reason. 

To avoid this embarrassing faux pas moment on the dance floor, your best bet is to register your inaugural gown at http://www.dressregistry.com.    Whether you’re going to the Washington D.C. bashes or going to the Palazzo in Las Vegas, this website allows woman to upload an image of their personal selection for evening attire as well as the event they will be attending. 

Considering the time spent to find the perfect dress, it’s worth it to take a few minutes to ensure that you’ll be the only designer disco diva at THE party of the year!

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Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival Kicks Off January 17

The eighth annual Jewish Film Festival starts on January 17 and runs through January 25 at the Adelson School jewishPerforming Arts Center, 9700 Hillpointe Road; January 22 and 29 at Cinemark’s Century South Point 16, inside the South Point, 9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South; and Feb 1 at the Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St. Complete festival schedule of events: www.desertspce.org/film_festival/index.html, the festival official Web site.

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Mobsters Are THE Las Vegas Art?

Some mobsters are peacefully decomposing in corn fields; others are unwillingly lending their frames to help mobstersupport the Hoover Dam.   But for Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, an ex-mob lawyer, those resting places are merely a mobster purgatory.   If the mayor has his way – and he usually does get his way – the City of Las Vegas will reincarnate the good ol’ trigger-finger-boys for their last stand- right into the annals of true Las Vegas history- or should I say folklore?

Mayor Goodman, in his last term of office, is definitely not a lame – or whacked – duck, rather he is fighting like a possessed madman on an energy drink I.V. to establish the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (translated: Las Vegas Mob Museum). 

oscargoodmanAnd it doesn’t matter one iota to headstrong Goodman when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and others, like Newt Gingrich, recently said his idea is a shining example of a pork barrel project gone very bad- and one that should definitely not be part of Obama’s economic stimulus package.

Hizzoner fervently counters, saying the museum will attract 250,000 visitors a year to Las Vegas, adding, “Nobody’s going to come to downtown Las Vegas to look at paintings.  They’re not going to look at watercolors.  They’re not going to look at porcelain. They’re not going to look at miniature trains.”

Goodman steadfastly believes that Las Vegas and a mob museum marriage is a natural fit.

Perhaps, yes.  Perhaps, no.  But, regardless, it will be a tough upward climb to sell the idea in a sour economy if the $50 million mob museum project opens in 2010, as planned.   Since 2001 the project has only coughed up $3.6 million- and that was composed only of federal grants, and from matching state and local money. 

If you don’t believe there are enough “silent” mobsters still kicking around in Las Vegas that are rich enough to build their own museum, just wait until you see who digs deep in their pockets when the museum fundraisers kick off  later this year.

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