Daily Archives: February 20, 2009

Munich Symphony Orchestra Takes Las Vegas Center Stage

Hanibal the Cannibal Lechter (Anthony Hopkins) enjoyed listening to their good vibrations as he dined in “The Silence of the Lambs” movie.   Now, safely tucked away in your chair, you too can hear the Munich Symphony Orchestra – they’ve recorded music for more than 500 movies – under the direction of guest conductor and pianist Phillippe Entremont when they perform an all-Beethoven program at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Sunday, February 22, at Artemus Ham Hall on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus.   $45 to $90 ticket prices. 702-895-2787.

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‘Legends in Concert’ Las Vegas Show Upgraded After 26 Years

legendsTomorrow, February 21, the third longest-running show in Las Vegas, behind only “Follies Bergere” (closing this March) and “Jubilee!” gives its last performance in its longtime home at the Imperial Palace on The Strip.  It reopens on Monday, February 23 at Harrah’s Las Vegas, sharing the main showroom with comedian Rita Rudner (prior Las Vegas Backstage Access blog article).

“Legends in Concert” is marking the move to make some long-delayed upgrades and relaunch their show that’s somewhat become a victim of its own success.

When original producer-director John Stuart introduced the show to the Strip in May 1983, it was quite the in place to go.  Departed Las Vegas greats such as Bobby Darin returned and shared stage time with other ill-fated stars who never made it to the Sands.  Buddy Holly and Janis Joplin were part of the opening-week lineup.

But now, costumed impersonators- or “tribute artists” as they are affectionately called- are so widely accepted and a staple of entertainment, that few blink an eye when a new artist enters the fray.  Tributes to everyone from John Denver to Ozzy Osbourne are a regular staple of off-Strip local casinos, as well as tribal-owned casinos around the country.  And lately, the official versions of classic rock bands such as Journey and Styx have blurred the faux line even more by pulling in singers from the tribute circuit.

With so many look-alike and now sound-alike acts in Las Vegas and around the country, it’s been hard for “Legends” to maintain its authenticity and dominance.  What makes Elvis One better than Elvis Five?

Answering the challenge, the new “Legends” at Harrah’s has been reinvented and will feature a new accompanying video to put each act into the context of its original times.  And the format is trying harder to blend the “modular” approach that allowed acts to easily be swapped in an out and provide a refreshed audience experience over time. 

The show also has grown bolder about exploring its fanciful and alluring premise, letting some of its acts – and their underlying new visual technology – appear together and thus magnify the illusions.  One Christmas themed episode re-created the famous “Little Drummer Boy” duet between Bing Crosby and David Bowie.

Has “Legends in Concert” truly experienced a New Age rebirth?

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Rap Producer Marion ‘Suge’ Knight Pleads Guilty in Las Vegas

Rap producer Marion “Suge” Knight has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery on  February 17 for beating a woman in a Las Vegas parking lot last year. sugeknight

Knight entered the plea in Las Vegas Justice Court in a deal that dismissed two felony drug charges and one felony coercion charge. The plea deal came a day after Knight was treated in an Arizona hospital for facial injuries suffered during a fight following the NBA All-Star Game. Knight was not charged in the incident.

Las Vegas police arrested Knight in August. Officers said they saw the 43-year-old co-founder of Death Row Records striking Melissa Isaac while holding a knife in a parking lot near the Las Vegas Strip. 

Isaac, who identified herself to police as Knight’s girlfriend, was not stabbed, and was treated and released for her injuries. Knight was found to be carrying Ecstasy and hydrocodone, police said. Knight was facing mandatory probation and up to four years in a Nevada state prison on each of the drug charges. 

Knight’s attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, have said they had evidence that would have defended Knight against the charges. 

Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman ordered Knight to receive counseling and pay a $340 fine. He was ordered to report back to court in August for a status check.

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Suds Gush at Sin City Brewing Company in Las Vegas

Economy got you down?  Well, head down to the Flamingo in Las Vegas come this March and you will have a new place to drown your sorrows.  

The Sin City Brewing Company has plans to open its second Las Vegas location inside the Flamingo.   (The brewery’s original location is inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas.) 

The new Las Vegas-based microbrewery will be located near the hotel’s guest entrance and valet area and have an outdoor patio area adjacent to the Flamingo’s 15-acre pool and wildlife complex.

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Snow Skiing in Las Vegas?

Yes, it’s true.  Granted, it’s not the Vail or Aspen Colorado variety, but Las Vegas usually receives a good sprinkling of the white fluffy stuff each year, showing it off on the nearby snow-capped Charleston Peaks. snow

In the last couple of months, snow has made a rare appearance, sprinkling its way down to the Las Vegas valley floor for days, snarling traffic for hours for some, and providing a new photo op for others.   And for one day the local schools were even closed. 

The only developed ski facility in Southern Nevada is the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort in Las Vegas, which lies in the Spring Mountain National Recreations Area, located about 45 minutes from downtown Las Vegas.  Skiers can ski all day and then either stay there at the Charleston Hotel and Resort, or the Mount Charleston Lodge, or just choose to head back to Las Vegas to take in a Las Vegas show or try their luck on the gaming tables and slots. 

In addition to its café and bar, the 8,300-foot-level recreation area base boasts a sports shop, equipment rentals, and instruction for skiers and snowboarders.  The ski area offers two double chair lifts and many ski trails from the top of the lifts at nearly 9,400 feet.  Compared to many ski venues, the price for lift tickets is a steal of a bargain:  All day lift tickets are $50; for senior citizen and children the cost is $30. 

For an added adventure treat, Las Vegas Carriages provides a horse-drawn sled ride through the pines in the crisp winter air.  The rides load up from behind the Mount Charleston Lodge on weekends and last about 20 minutes.  Cost is $25 for adults and $15 for children (702-596-6715).

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