Monthly Archives: March 2010

Burlesque Queen Dita Von Teese’s New Las Vegas Tease: Going Topless!

Burlesque Queen Dita Von Teese has always teased about taking it off, but not really doing it- and that’s proved, for many, the charm of her act.  But tonight at her Las Vegas premeire opening she has a brand new trick up her bare sleeve, taking her act up a notch or two: going topless!

The petite porcelain powerhouse, fashion icon, author and entrepreneur, who once dated Marilyn Manson – and once even danced for dollars at the topless gentlemen’s club Crazy Horse Club here in Sin City – is reportedly really excited about her premiere tonight in Crazy Horse Paris at the MGM Grand. 

Providing the audience her first totally topless unveiling, Von Teese will  perform three sexy, saucy and sassy new numbers on the cabaret stage there for a limited run through April 7. 

Dita was the first guest star in the history of the famous French cabaret, and she will feature new performance numbers that she developed especially for her sold-out performances in the French capital last year. 

She will debut “Lazy,” a routine that features her and the magnificent Crazy Horse dancers. Her “Le Bain Noir” will be a new take on her famous bathtub show that she first performed here in 2007. Dita also promises a new “Teese’ing’ version of the iconic Crazy Horse number “Teasing.”

Showtime is 8 p.m.

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Magician David Copperfield gets day in court

UPDATE:  April 20, 2010 –  Lacey Carroll, David Copperfield’s accuser, has dropped her lawsuit.  Reasons not provided.

A 2011 trial date has been set in the lawsuit against magician David Copperfield, a frequent MGM Grand entertainer in Las Vegas, and throughout the world as well.

A federal judge has set a May 2011 trial date for a civil lawsuit filed by a model who claims she was raped by celebrity magician David Copperfield on his private Caribbean island in 2007. 

U.S. District Judge John Coughenour lifted a stay that has held up the lawsuit pending the outcome of a two-year federal criminal investigation, which ended in January without charges being filed. 

Coughenour also rejected a motion by the lawyers for Lacey Carroll, the 23-year-old 2010 Miss Washington runner-up, seeking a court order to prevent the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office from returning evidence gathered in the criminal case to Copperfield. They argued that the material was relevant to the lawsuit and worried that Copperfield, one of the wealthiest entertainers in the world, would remove the material to his island or destroy it. 

The judge said there was no evidence that would happen, and pointed out that Carroll’s attorneys can still obtain the material through the normal discovery process. Coughenour said Copperfield knows that Carroll wants to review the evidence — some of it seized in FBI searches of his Las Vegas warehouse and MGM Grand Hotel theater in 2007 — and is obliged to preserve it.

Coughenour also noted that nothing is stopping Carroll from subpoenaing the evidence from the prosecutor, although that move could be challenged either by Copperfield or the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

The lawsuit was filed last July, just before the expiration of a two-year statute of limitations. 

Carroll had claimed that she met Copperfield at a performance in the Tri-Cities area and that the 53-year-old entertainer invited her to his $50 million private island, where she claims he raped her. 

The case took a twist when Carroll was charged in January with prostitution and lying to police. She is accused of trying to solicit a 31-year-old Bellevue businessman for $2,000 for sex, after going with him to a hotel room. 

When he refused, according to a police investigation, Carroll told staff at the hotel that the man had assaulted her. Carroll and the man each called police. 

She later refused to cooperate with the investigation, telling detectives she was worried that the Bellevue incident might affect her lawsuit and the Copperfield investigation. 

Carroll has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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Las Vegas Chefs Battle for Best Chef of the Year honors at James Beard Awards

Three Las Vegas chefs are battling for the coveted title of Best Chef of the Year Southwest in the 2010 James Beard Awards, and several other Strip chefs are represented in the Oscars of the food industry, as well. 

The finalists were announced last week in New Orleans, and the winners will be announced May 3 at New York’s Lincoln Center. 

The three Best Chefs of the Southwest finalists are the off-Strip Saipan Chutima from Lotus of Siam, Claude Le Tohic from Joël Robuchon at MGM and Rick Moonen from RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay. 

Michael Mina from MGM, Mandalay Bay, Bellagio and Aria is recognized twice in the prestigious awards: His RN74 in San Francisco is nominated for Best New Restaurant, and his self-named restaurant, also in the City by the Bay, is nominated for Outstanding Service, competing against Robuchon’s restaurant at MGM Grand.

Robuchon’s MGM pastry chef Kamel Guechuda is up for the Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year. 

Chef Tom Colicchio, well known to foodies here for his Craft at MGM and as host of Bravo’s Top Chef, is nominated as Outstanding Chef of the Year for his original Craft in Manhattan. 

Two other New York chefs with outposts in Las Vegas will also battle in the Outstanding Restaurant Award category: Mario Batali, who has restaurants at The Venetian and Palazzo, has been nominated for his Babbo in New York City and Daniel Boulud from the Wynn for his Daniel in Manhattan. 

Timothy Hollingsworth, former Venetian chef for Thomas Keller Brasserie and now at Thomas’ French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., has been nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

In other Las Vegas chef news, Todd English from Bellagio and Aria was nominated for Best TV Special for Food Trip With Todd English, as was The Venetian and Palazzo’s Emeril Lagasse who will go head-to-head with English in the TV category for Emeril’s Culinary Adventures: Napa

And architect and designer David Rockwell, who has masterminded numerous Las Vegas restaurants, Crystals at MGM’s CityCenter and the show Peepshow at Planet Hollywood, will be inducted into the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

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Many Living in Las Vegas Want to Leave

A new survey released by the University of Las Vegas (UNLV) reveals that 40 percent of the residents living in Las Vegas would rather leave if the opportunity presents itself. 

The $62,000 survey revealed an especially irksome city resident trait:  People not usually talking to their neighbors.

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Paris Hilton has No Takers for TV Show

The Simple Life is not simple anymore for Paris Hilton. 

Paris Hilton`s latest idea of making a new reality show on her personal life has found no takers among TV executives pitched from many channels.  It appears that television brass doesn’t care about her, leading many to say her audience appeal is vanishing at warp speed. 

Pop socialite, Hilton heiress and consummate Las Vegas partier, once being the center of tabloid action with millions of fans, had been planning a new reality television show to revive her sagging career, covering her engagement and wedding to current boyfriend Doug Reinhardt. 

In the past, the 29-year-old has found a modicum of success as a porn star, subject of a homemade sex tape, and in several reality shows. But the pop tart has failed miserably in legitimate movies- her name in the credits usually guarantees that a film won’t be taken seriously. 

Of course, the current rekindling of former BFFs Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie just might do the trick.  After a long absence, the duo was recently spotted last week seriously chatting up some scheme at Victoria’s Secret 15th Swimsuit Anniversary in Beverly Hills. 

Other viable options for Hilton could be to continue to seek out and walk red carpets – for a reduced fee – or do infomercials- IF execs see the products would benefit from her endorsements.  

Could Paris Hilton morph into the female incarnate of deceased supreme huckster Billy Mays?

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Tiger Woods Ex-Mistress, Porn Star Ready to Really Spill the Beans?

Tiger’s return to golf  in the Masters Tournament on April 8 will not similarly mark his return to relationship graces.  

Joslyn James, the jilted ex-mistress to Woods and ex-porn star/model, has been of late releasing a torrent of nasty Tiger Woods text messages dating from last October.    Having a three-year affair with Woods, she has told ESPN affiliate KWWN 1100 last Friday that she even put her porn career on hold for the golf star!

“He wanted me to quit porn … and I stopped.” James said.  She reportedly met him at a Las Vegas nightclub and had sex with him that night.  She has refused to identify the club. 

But she has confirmed she would be soon releasing a torrent of even racier sexting messages. 

And Tiger’s troubles don’t end there.   Far from it.

Tiger Woods’ wife, the Swedish beauty Elin Nordegren is apparently on the warpath, again, and this time she may have Tiger’s head. She is reportedly consulting again with divorce lawyers over his decision to return to golf. 

Elin, 30, is said to be “furious” at Tiger’s comeback, because he is spending up to 16 hours a day practicing and not working on rebuilding their relationship, according to the UK’s Daily Mirror.

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Lots of Las Vegas Casinos for Sale

If so, maybe now’s your time– IF you have the scratch!  

With Las Vegas continuing to face a stiff economic recession – primarily based on a sharply declining gambling economy where fewer players are wagering less money and staggering, near nation-leading unemployment – it’s significantly reduced a majority of Las Vegas-based company revenues and their ability to refinance their debt.   

Caught up in the financial maelstrom are Station Casinos owners, and brothers, Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta.  Station, which mainly runs casinos targeted toward residents of the Las Vegas area and has been struggling with managing debt ever since it finished going private in November 2007,  are now embarked on a quick mission to sell their 14 casinos in Las Vegas while keeping a minority 46 percent stake in four others. 

Their plan was disclosed last Thursday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the Las Vegas-based casino operator calls for mortgage lenders holding debt to become the new majority owners of the Red Rock Casino Resort Spa, Palace Station, Boulder Station and Sunset Station. Station Casinos Inc. said the outstanding debt secured by the four casinos was $1.8 billion. 

Palace Station and Red Rock are the company’s two largest properties, with more than 1,800 hotel rooms combined. 

Station said the reorganization plan was filed with a federal bankruptcy court in Reno, Nev., where the privately held company’s case was originally filed last July. 

Under the new proposed plan, the Fertitta brothers will pay $85.6 million in cash for a 50 percent stake in the four casinos, and then sell a 4 percent share to Colony Capital LLC. 

The Fertittas would continue to manage the properties under a long-term deal, according to the plan. 

The casinos to be sold include Santa Fe Station, Texas Station, Fiesta casinos in two Las Vegas suburbs, and 50 percent stakes in Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa Casino and Aliante Station, among other properties. Seven of the properties do not have hotel rooms. 

The company said it hopes a judge will approve its plan by this summer so the casino operator can emerge from bankruptcy before the end of the year. 

Marc Falcone, chief financial officer for Fertitta Gaming, said the Fertittas would also try to buy the assets to be sold. 

As would be expected, rivals backed with significant financial resources are entering the Las Vegas casino feeding frenzy, aggressively pursuing the acquisition of the diminished valued assets.

One such rival, Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corporation, reiterated its interest in buying all of Station’s casinos.

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