Category Archives: Music

‘Stripper-Mobile’ Putt-Putts Back to Las Vegas

The creator of the “stripper-mobile” plans to bring it back to Las Vegas but officials say they’ll try to enact a permanent ban on the traveling nudie show. 

Larry Beard, the creator of the innovative truck featuring strippers dancing in the back in a lighted Plexiglas box to advertise local strip clubs, said he wants to bring it back after their national “tour” to participate in Las Vegas’ April 30 Pride Parade. 

The truck debuted in November 2009 with dancers from the Deja Vu and Little Darlings strip clubs, but when Clark County commissioners complained, Beard took it off the streets. 

Since then, the truck has gone to New Orleans for the National Football Conference championship game, then to Miami for the Super Bowl. It also spent some time in Tampa Bay and St. Louis. 

“I’d like to run it up and down the road {in Las Vegas} a couple times,” Beard said. “If I get half a chance, you know, I will.” 

Clark County Commission members say they want to rewrite an existing law to keep the “stripper-mobile” off the Sin City streets for good.

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Las Vegas Gay Pride Parade and Festival on April 30

Las Vegas Gay Pride is built around two key events: the Las Vegas Pride Parade, held on Friday, April 30, at 8 pm; and the Las Vegas Pride Festival, which takes place the following day, Saturday, May 1, from noon until 10 pm. Keep in mind, though, that there are a number of smaller gatherings and parties leading up to the big weekend – here’s a full calendar

Las Vegas’ first Gay Pride took place in 1983 – there’s a nice synopsis of the event’s history on the Pride Las Vegas website.

More than 10,000 people attended in 2009. 

Las Vegas performer Frank Marino acts will be the Grand Marshal on Friday during the Gay Pride Parade in downtown Las Vegas.    

The Pride Parade takes place in downtown Las Vegas at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 30. The parade route is along 4th Street from Charleston Blvd. to Ogden Avenue.

In 2009, organizers added a Parade Pre-Party, which takes place on Friday at 5:30 pm in the pedestrianized Fremont Experience section of downtown’s historic Fremont Street. 

The Las Vegas Pride Festival is set at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater at 500 S. Grand Parkway on Sat., May 1 from noon until 10. This action-packed, all-day event always features a slew of notable entertainers. 

Of course, additionally, numerous gay bars as well as gay-popular restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Pride Week. Please check local gay papers and websites, such as Q Vegas and GayLasVegas.com, for details.

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Cirque du Soleil’s New Michael Jackson Show in Las Vegas

Cirque du Soleil has confirmed months of rumors and announced plans to unveil a Michael Jackson-based show in 2011 in Las Vegas. Shows, actually—there will be two of them.

The first, a touring arena show, will debut next fall and get “an extended run” in Las Vegas before the permanent Jackson show opens in late 2012.

Assuming none of the existing shows—KÀ, The Beatles Love, O, Mystère, Zumanity, Believe or Viva Elvis—don’t close between now and then, the incoming MJ spectacle will make the eighth resident Cirque show in Las Vegas.

Cirque is keeping tight-lipped about where the show will be housed, among other facts, but its promised “special lifestyle projects, including a nightclub.”  Rumors say the show will be at Mandalay Bay.

The new show announcement comes less than a year after Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009. 

Michael Jackson’s estate will receive royalties from the projects—but it will also share in half the costs of “creating, developing, building and producing” the shows, too.

The size and scope of the Cirque show will be unprecedented, including larger than life 3-D technology and most likely the largest budget for any Las Vegas show.

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First DJ ‘Throwdown’ in Las Vegas

DJs are firmly entrenched in nearly every entertainment nook and cranny in Las Vegas.  Now they get to show who has the best music blending talent of all in the first ever Las Vegas DJ Awards.

The event is Sunday, April 25 at The Bank nightclub in Las Vegas.  About 40 Djs will duke it out across 12 categories for the title of top turntablist in Sin City, including Best Local Following, Best Female and Sexiest DJ. While there are no cash prizes, winners get trophies and bragging rights for the next 365 or so days.  Doors open at 10:30 p.m., $30 cover, Las Vegas residents free. Vote for your favorites at www.jackcolton.com/lvdjawards

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Mr. Las Vegas’ Last Stand at the Tropicana

If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Wayne Newton, known as “Mr. Las Vegas,” then Saturday is your last chance to see him at the Tropicana. 

Wayne Newton’s show “Once Before I Go” at the Tropicana’s Tiffany Theater ends April 24.  The show is backed by full orchestra and celebrates the iconic performer’s 50-year career entertaining Strip-goers with jokes; banjo, fiddle and guitar skills; and tunes such as “Danke Schoen” and “Great Balls of Fire,” during which he’s been known to play the piano with his toes a la Jerry Lee Lewis. 

Classic photos and videos, as well as Newton’s signature “meet and greets” with the audience, add to the fun. Ticket prices range from $69.99–$168.99 VIP; the latter includes a “golden circle” seat, meet and greet with Wayne Newton plus photo taken with Wayne. 

The Tropicana plans to remodel the showroom after his exit, but comedian Paul Rodriguez will have a month’s engagement in the interim starting May 3, with a special Cinco de Mayo show in Spanish. 

Tropicana: 3801 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 800-634-4000.

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Parrothead Revival in Las Vegas

Parrotheads in Las Vegas can breathe a deep sigh of relief- paradise, at long last, is coming!  Jimmy Buffet and his Coral Reefer Band will be serving up a grand buffet with way more then cheeseburgers and margaritas when they take the stage at the MGM Grand Gardens Arena in Las Vegas on Sat., Oct. 23.  

The 63-year-old singer/songwriter is ageless.  On April 24 in Tampa, Florida, Buffet will kick off his “Under the Big Top” tour, which will find the veteran entertainer backing a new live double-album and trekking across over 16 U.S. cities in 2010. 

“Buffet Hotel” was his latest studio release and first since 2006’s “Take the Weather with You,” surfaced late last year.

Tickets for the Las Vegas performance will go on-sale Mon., April 26 through TicketMaster.com  A word to the wise:  Strive to be the first as tickets go quickly.  

Until then, you’ll have to be content to just nibble on sponge cake and watch the sun bake in good ol’ Sin City.

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Lady Antebellum & Miranda Lambert Weekend in Las Vegas

In the fickle music biz, careers many times breeze in and out like the capricious winds. 

Last year the Nashville trio Lady Antebellum, right, – “Lady A” to their fans – didn’t win the one category they were nominated in last year (for Top Vocal Group), but this year it’s a whole new story. They’re the favored front-runner, with seven nominations for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 

Lady Antebellum’s free performance drew a huge crowd to Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas last night.  Some said the show drew upwards to 20,000 people. If so, that would make it the largest non-New Year’s Eve gathering ever on Glitter Gulch and the biggest in the four-year tradition of ACM-related concerts. 

Nominated for seven awards, the group attended last Wednesday’s “American Idol” show and did a post-show taping of their hit “Need You Now.” Their performance will be part of the “Idol Gives Back” show next week. 

Lady Antebellum announced on Friday that their latest, “American Honey,” was the band’s third consecutive No. 1.  Lady Antebellum’s current single, “Need You Now,” is No. 4 on Billboard’s overall Hot 100 song chart, sandwiched between Train and Lady Gaga. 

Miranda Lambert, right, a six-time nominee for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards show, though, will prove tough competition.  She heads an ACM-filled lineup of free concerts tonight at the Fremont Street Experience. Lambert performs from 10:45 to midnight on the Third Street stage. Kicking off the evening from 7-7:30 p.m. at the First Street stage will be Joey + Rory, the Top Vocal Duo nominee. Gloriana, the Top New Vocal Group nominee, plays from 7:45-8:25 p.m., also at the First Street stage. The Randy Rogers Band, nominated for Top Vocal Group, performs from 8:40-9:25 p.m. on the Third Street stage. Luke Bryan, winner of the Top New Solo vocalist award, precedes Lambert, from 9:40-10:30 p.m., performing on the First Street stage. 

If you’re lucky enough to catch Lambert and others tonigt performing live in Las Vegas, it’s a good deal.  The ceremonies at the MGM Grand Garden are a pricey ticket if you don’t have friends at a record label, topping out at $450 for something you can watch free at home. (The 5 p.m. festivities air on CBS, live on the East Coast and tape-delayed on Las Vegas KLAS-TV, Channel 8, at 8 p.m.) 

Most of the ACM stars will stick around Monday in Las Vegas for “Brooks & Dunn — The Last Rodeo,” an all-star tribute concert that will be taped at the MGM for a separate CBS show airing next month. Tickets are $108 to $208 for the 7:30 p.m. show in which the likes of Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and George Strait will salute the venerable duo of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn before they hang it up. 

The ACM Awards ride country music’s ever-growing popularity; what once was a niche genre is getting harder to distinguish from any remaining notions of a separate pop world. 

Last year’s ACM broadcast drew 14.8 million total viewers, a 26 percent gain from the year before. “It’s a happy problem,” says Barry Adelman, a producer and writer for the broadcast. “We’re not trying to fix something that’s dipping, we’re trying to keep something that’s going up, going up even higher.” 

And lest we forget…Garth Brooks isn’t performing at Wynn Las Vegas this weekend. But Steve Wynn did buy him that private jet and the pilot surely knows the route by now. And who would want to leave that guy out of a weekend like this one?

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Keith Emerson and Greg Lake to Perform in Las Vegas?

Maybe yes, maybe no.  The duo from the classic rock group Emerson, Lake and Palmer has planned their “Unplugged Tour” for the Las Vegas Hilton for April 24.  But, hold on… to date, the group has had a very rocky start and have cancelled their prior U.S. shows due, as they say, to “musical and technical reasons.”  Keep your fingers crossed- and toes!

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It happened: American Idol contestants invaded Las Vegas!

What Las Vegas Backstage Access reported yesterday, came true:  Season 9 “American Idol” finalists were spirited quietly away on an overnight trip to Las Vegas.  

On Friday the finalists arrived and took in Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva Elvis” show and then they took over the stage on Saturday for a critique and mentoring by Adam Lambert, Season 8 “Idol” runner-up. 

Lambert flew in from Vancouver to meet the contestants, who rehearsed Elvis hits such as “Viva Las Vegas.” Lambert told them not to be afraid to jump out of character. 

Season 9 finalist Crystal Bowersox was standoffish at the Friday meetup, eating by herself at the Aria buffet as other fellow contestants ate together. 

No photos were released of the “Viva Elvis” event and security personnel went so far as to temporarily confiscate cell phones for most of their three-hour stay in the Elvis theater at Aria. 

The “Idol” contingent left about 6 p.m. on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, across town at Sam Boyd Stadium, Season 8 winner Kris Allen tweaked Lambert during Pet-a-Palooza, which drew an estimated 28,000 happy four-legged beast owners {also reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access yesterday}.

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Academy of Country Music Awards Brings Oodles of Celebs to Las Vegas

Brooks & Dunn, Lady Antebellum, Randy Houser, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire and Montgomery Gentry are just some of the many country music stars planning to participate in the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards In Las Vegas starting on April 18. 

Honoring country music’s top talent and the industry’s hottest emerging talent, to be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 18 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. In addition, the Academy will tape an all-star concert special, ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn – The Last Rodeo at the same location on Monday, April 19, to air at a later date on the CBS Television Network. Both shows are produced for television by Dick Clark Productions.

The list of events includes the ACM Concerts at Fremont Street Experience, the ACM Chairman’s Ride, a special USO performance, All-Star Jam and more. 

Some details are as follows, with timing information to be released later: 

Friday & Saturday, April 16 & 17

ACM Concerts at Fremont Street Experience – For the 4th year in a row, the Academy of Country Music presents concerts at Fremont Street Experience! Featuring headlining performances by Lady Antebellum on Friday and Miranda Lambert on Saturday, these free and open-to-the-public concerts start at 6:30pm on two stages in downtown Las Vegas.  For the 2nd year in a row, winners in each of the newcomer categories Top New Solo Vocalist, Top New Vocal Group and Top New Vocal Duo will have the chance to perform at Fremont Street Experience during these concerts. 

Saturday, April 17 

ACM Chairman’s Ride – This event has grown from its inception and for the second year will be an invitation-only event for artists and industry VIPs to experience a scenic ride through the gorgeous Nevada landscape. ACM/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award honorees of 2010, Montgomery Gentry, will host the ride for the 6th time this year. The event benefits ACM Lifting Lives. Event details and timing will be made available only to invited, registered participants.

USO Concert in Partnership with ACM Lifting Lives™ – For the first time ever, ACM Lifting Lives (the Academy’s charitable arm) is partnering with the USO to bring a free, private concert to the service men and women of Nellis Air Force Base just outside of Las Vegas, NV. USO tour veterans Montgomery Gentry and Randy Houser are scheduled to perform for the crowd. The event will be open to all military ID holders and media credentialed specifically for this event. 

Sunday, April 18 

45th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS – Hosted by Reba McEntire for a record 12th time and featuring the hottest performances by today’s superstars of country, the Awards will once again take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

ACM All-Star Jam – This raucous, no-holds-barred jam features impromptu performances from the artists who participate in the Awards. Past performers have included Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Evans, Jack Ingram, Jewel, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Montgomery Gentry, James Otto, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Dwight Yoakam and more. 

Monday, April 19

ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn – The Last Rodeo – Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn, the best-selling duo in the history of country music, will receive the Academy’s Milestone Award in recognition of their 20-year, record-breaking career during this tribute concert special. They will be honored for holding the record for the most wins of any artist in the Academy’s history with 26 awards in total, including three Entertainer of the Year awards. They will also be honored for holding the record for most Top Vocal Duo wins, with 15 awards, eight of which are consecutive from 2000-2007. Artists already scheduled to perform at the taping include superstars Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Details on special elements of the show and more performers that will be added will be announced at a later date. Tickets are still available for this show, which benefits ACM Lifting Lives and will air at a later date on CBS Television Network from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. For information on tickets visit www.Ticketmaster.com

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Alicia Keys Rescues Unemployed

Alicia Keys is tackling the unemployment epidemic, one fan at a time.  On April 6 the neo-soul singer-songwriter-philanthropist proudly announced she is partnering with the jobs Web site www.Monster.com to launch her Web site IAAS.com (I Am a Super Woman) and have it fully operational with all the bells and whistles in July. 

Keys is specifically looking for a full-time “head blogger,” and she’s taking applications through May 1. 

So, if you’re in Las Vegas this Saturday, April 9, don’t forget to stop by Keys’ Freedom Tour at Mandalay Bay Event Center, with plenty of resumes in hand– she just may snatch yours blowing in the stiff unemployment wind as she’s singing her message-laden songs. 

Failing this, you need to wait until Keyes is in Portugal to start the European leg of her tour.

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Jay-Z, Beyonce, Champagne & Dining Mix to Revive Slumping Las Vegas

Las Vegas is definitely showing signs of perking up and bouncing back if popping champagne corks and dining on haute cuisine is any indication. 

What city needs Big Brother and trillion-dollar bailouts when you’re lucky enough just to have Jay-Z and wife, Beyonce, grace your presence?

Jay-Z and Beyonce battled preganancy rumors like true rock stars last weekend — by hitting up Las Vegas with gusto. After Jigga rocked out at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms alongside Young Jeezy and Trey Songz, he joined B at the hotel’s Mint High Roller gaming lounge around 4 a.m. 

Music mogul Jay-Z was also celebrity host and a big part of the crowd draw at Tao nightclub last Saturday night with Beyoncé. 

A colossal 3.9-gallon bottle of Ace of Spades champagne is now for sale at the Tao nightclub in the Venetian for $100,000, thanks to the big price boost that comes with Jay-Z’s autograph on the bottle Saturday. 

The bottle, known as a Nebuchadnezzar in the bottle family – only two in the world -holds five times the amount of bubbly that comes in a double magnum, but is only half of the king of champagne bottles, the 30-liter Melchizedek. 

Jay-Z featured the champagne in his 2006 video “Show Me What You Got” after Cristal boss Frédéric Rouzaud made some disparaging remarks about the music mogul’s fondness for Cristal. Jay-Z led a boycott of Cristal and switched his allegiance. 

The mega-club Tao, which opened in September, 2005, announced it had a monster night that didn’t include champagne imbibing last Saturday– a record 1,400 dinner covers on the restaurant side and more than 7,000 people going through the nightclub, another record. 

Then, further down the Strip at CityCenter, the Light Group nightclub Haze at Aria was the scene of an epic champagne-buying spree last Saturday night. A photo of the high roller’s receipt for $182,000-plus turned up on an Aria casino host’s Twitter site. 

According to the casino host, the big spender ordered super-sized bottles: one each of Cristal, Moet Chandon, Dom Perignon and an unidentified brand of vodka. 

He left a $30,000 tip on top of the automatic 20 percent gratuity. 

The man made the purchase after asking for an entire section of the nightclub. Told he would have to “buy big” for that to happen, he ordered the four bottles, which appear much larger than magnums.  A magnum holds two bottles, a Jeroboam four bottles and a Methuselah eight bottles.

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A-List Musicians Join Virtuoso Michael Legrand at MGM Grand in Las Vegas

Michael Legrand is a virtuoso musician with few equals.  The three-time Academy Award winner and five-time Grammy winner started his lifelong dedication to music at the ripe age of 11, where he began his study at the Paris Conservatoire. 

Legrand has composed more than 200 film and television scores for directors, including Jean-Luc Godard, Richard Brooks, Clint Eastwood and Robert Altman, and has recorded more than 100 albums with international music celebrities. 

On March 27 he will be blending his magic for his 50th Anniversary Concert Tribute at 8 p.m. in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

Legrand will conduct a 66-piece orchestra and be showcasing the evening’s entertainers:  George Benson, Melissa Manchester, Jerry Lewis, Dionne Warwick, Andy Williams, Patti Page, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Steve Lawrence. 

Actors Jon Voight and Jennifer O’Neill will host the gala, which will air at a later undetermined date as a made-for-TV concert special. 

Perhaps the biggest news is the rumored surprise appearance by Sting.

Tickets range from $62.50 to $150 (plus fees); www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com   For more concert details:  www.MGMLegend.com

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Chillin’ with Las Vegas Dinosaurs

Tomorrow, 200-million-year-old knock-off dinosaurs will be roaring and grazing in Las Vegas.    Amazingly, they won’t be looking for tasty prey by lounging in Las Vegas nightclubs.  

Internationally renowned designers have worked with scientists to create 15 life-size dinosaurs and present them in a live stadium show, Walking with Dinosaurs.  The show follows the dinosaurs’ domination of life on earth, including showcasing the supreme terror of the ancient terrain, Tyrannosaurus Rex, fighting for survival and supremacy.  

Viewers watch the curious beasts walk and hear their roars in the show comprised of two acts, 40 minutes each, blending technology, natural history, art, and music.

 And, parents, there is no gore or actual violence, so take your kids, especially appropriate if they’re 6-to-12-year-olds.  Home schoolers can use it as a science/natural history lesson. Though there is plenty of tension – heightened by appropriate music that is often quite lovely – the dinosaurs have apparently been sedated, or at least had their fill of humans because they don’t lunge at anyone. The nightmare factor is pretty low. 

The show is at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, March 24 – 28. Tickets range in price from $27 to $70 each. Tickets: 739-FANS (3267) or 1-866-388-FANS (3267).

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Auditions for “Jack and the Beanstalk” in Las Vegas on April 17

Want an acting role in “Jack and the Beanstalk” for the award-winning Rainbow Company Youth Theatre in Las Vegas?   An open audition for roles is on Sat., April 17, at 1 p.m. at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center, 821 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Roles are available for ages 8 through adult. Participants are encouraged to dress comfortably. No prepared material or advance reservation is needed.

In this last production of the season, Jack’s daring climb to the clouds is just the beginning of the suspense and fun as the hero outwits the socially challenged giant. Presented in a highly theatrical, stylized fashion with witty dialogue and entertaining antics, this re-telling of a favorite folktale promises to be entertaining for all ages. 

The play will be performed at the Charleston Heights Arts Center in Las Vegas from June 4 through 13. 

The nationally recognized Rainbow Company Youth Theatre holds auditions open to both adults and young people throughout the year. The award-winning staff offers classes in all aspects of theatre for ages 4 through high school at Reed Whipple Cultural Center and Charleston Heights Arts Center, and presents five productions annually that bring the magic of live theatre to family audiences. There also are spring break workshops and a summer conservatory. 

Rainbow Company is a program of the city of Las Vegas. For more information about the audition, classes, or tickets, please call 702-229-6553.

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St. Patrick’s Day Overflows in Las Vegas

Las Vegas celebrates most holidays with room rate specials and bonus points on players cards.  But St. Patrick’s goes beyond neon, music and fabulous food. 

Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo at Planet Hollywood will be serving up Chocolate Irish Mochas and “Greena colada’s” along with $5 pints of green draft or Guinness.  Wear a kilt and find out what other specials there are beside green tortillas burritos and quesadillas. 

Another Planet Hollywood locale, Blondies Sports Bar and Grill, is offering a one of a kind event – the Glow Green party.  Wear white – and be sure it’s something you don’t mind getting marked.  You’ll have to fork over $20 for cover, but you’ll enjoy all you can drink draft.  Once you’ve tossed back a few, you can put your drunk drawing skills to work when the black lights go on and the highlighters come out. 

If it’s a true Irish moment you’re really wanting to have, stop by Fado’s Irish Pub on Eastern starting at 8 a.m. with Kegs and Eggs followed by music by Finnegan’s Wake at noon.  The party goes on with more musical groups and, of course, a wonderful selection of Guinness, Harp and fine Irish whiskey. 

But for some of us, one day to celebrate St. Patty’s just isn’t enough.  Not nearly.  So why not join the four-day block party at O’Sheas on the Strip?  There promises to be beer pong with Peepshow starlet Holly Madison, music by DJ Irish and later by the Sin City Sinners and $1 Irish Car Bombs and $4 Guinness on tap.    The party goes on until midnight March 20 with Blarney rock-bottom drink specials and events every day.

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Neon Reverb Music Festival Amps Up in Las Vegas March 10-14

The Neon Reverb music festival is taking place on Fremont Street stages in Las Vegas from March 10 through 14.   It’s a huge affair and offers a talented array of musicians to satisfy virtually any music taste. 

And thanks to a growing number of corporate sponsors and name indie bands, with any luck, this edition should prove to be a resounding success. 

The outdoor stages will be graced with the likes of The Ruby Suns, The So So Glos, Spindrift, Rainbow Arabia Soe & The Skyrider Band, Bo-Peep, Aerodrone, Kid Theodore, Wild Yacks, Imagine Dragons, Black Camaro, and tons more to numerous to list.  For a full list of bands, please go to www.NeonReverb.com 

This Neon Reverb installment will look a bit different from its three predecessors. While Downtown — the Beauty Bar, Bunkhouse, Aruba, Gypsy Den, Las Vegas Country Saloon — will once again serve as the fest’s hub, plans could call for an enhanced all-ages component at North Las Vegas’ Area 702 Skatepark. 

Hip-hop should also command a larger presence among the bill’s 100-ish acts, thanks to partnerships with Vegas collective Macro-Fi and local rapper HighDro (the latter runs a weekly hip-hop showcase at Boomers, another Neon Reverb stronghold). And Yayo Taco, Dino’s and the 540-capacity showroom inside the Greek Isles Hotel all serve as first-time venues. 

Also, expect this Las Vegas music festival to feature more international flavor than ever before. Working with online promotional entity Sonicbids, Neon Reverb’s booking team has secured confirmations from a number of overseas acts, such as New Zealand Sub Pop-pers Ruby Suns, Japan’s Bo-Peep and Ireland’s Autumn Owls. Other out-of-towners already on board: LA’s The Delta Mirror, Colorado’s Indigenous Peoples, Idaho’s Finn Riggins and Reverb returnees Leopold and His Fiction, and Mere Mortals. And, of course, the fest will boast its usual slew of Las Vegas favorites over its three nights.

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Las Vegas Entertainers Come to Aid of Singer/Musical Conductor Bill Fayne

Members of the Las Vegas entertainment community are once again stepping up again to help one of their own. An all-star lineup will be donating their time this Saturday for a fundraiser at the Suncoast for singer/musical conductor Bill Fayne, who is recovering from major throat surgery for cancer. 

“The great news now is that he is on a course to full recovery,” said entertainer Clint Holmes, co-host of the afternoon show with his wife, Kelly Clinton-Holmes. Fayne has been Holmes’ longtime conductor and arranger. 

Fayne, who has lost 50 pounds from his  surgery and diabetes complications, and Clint Holmes have been friends since their college days. 

Taking the stage will be Terry Fator, Frankie Scinta, Lance Burton, Louie Anderson, Robin Leach, Sandy Hackett & the Rat Pack Show, the ladies from “Menopause,” Elvis Presley tribute artist Paul Casey, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tribute artists “Oh What a Night” and Human Nature. 

The lineup of entertainers include Domenick Allen, Leigh Zimmerman, Cayleigh Capaldi, Rick Faugno, Lena Prima, 5th Avenue, Voci Vegas, the Las Vegas Tenors, Tony Sacca, Jerry Lopez, Jeff Neiman and Vincent Falcone. 

The event begins at 2 p.m. this Sat., March 6 at the Suncoast. Tickets are $45, $35 and $25 and are available at the Suncoast box office and other Boyd Gaming properties.

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Donny and Marie Osmond Announce Return to their Las Vegas show

Donny and Marie Osmond are scheduled to return on March 9 to their Las Vegas show following the death of Marie’s 18-year-old son, Michael Blosil. 

The sibling musical duo will return next Tuesday to the Flamingo Hotel & Casino and add five extra show dates for “Donny & Marie” from April 13 through17. 

As previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access, Blosil, who had battled depression, committed suicide in Los Angeles last week.

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Go Extreme in Las Vegas!

It’s once again time for the Extreme Thing in Las Vegas. 

Tickets are on sale for the Clark County Parks and Recreation Departments 15th annual Extreme Thing Sports and Music Festival, Saturday March 27 at Desert Breeze Park in Las Vegas.  

This is the first year the event will have three stages:  The Verizon Wireless Stage will feature Sum 41; the AP (Alternative Press) Stage will showcase Call the Cops and I Fight Dragons in addition to Story of the Year and The Cab; and the XPOZ Local Band Stage will feature loca Las Vegas acts.  Which local acts is still a question as Las Vegas bands are competing in the XPOZ Battle of the Fans.  For more information on Battle of The Fans checkout www.smokefreescene.com 

In addition to great music, Ricardo Laguna will once again present his pro-BMX dirt jump competition.  Professional wrestler Adrenaline Unleashed brings professional wrestling to the outdoors. And the roller derby tournament and skate competition is sure to be a fine flying feature. 

Sponsors of the 2010 event include Las Vegas City Life, Red Bull and X107.5FM.  

Tickets can be purchased for $17 general admission or #45 for the combo package at www.extremething.com  by phone at 702-454-4000 and at participating Smith’s Grocery stores.  Tickets will be $20 on the day of the event.

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Barry Manilow Spreads Lotsa Love in New Las Vegas Digs

Barry Manilow believes that a good love song never goes out of style.  He believes it so much that he has now released an album dedicated to the idea.  “The Greatest Love Songs of All Time”, released January 2010, contains 15 classic love songs including “Fools Rush In” and “How Deep Is the Ocean.”  And the 63-year-old singer will be bringing these songs and more to his two-year run at the Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino starting Friday, March 5. 

“I’m actually going to focus on the fact that we are in the most romantic world called Paris,” a gushing Manilow said. “Since I sing such romantic songs, I thought that would be a really good place to do something like this.” 

Manilow hopes his new Las Vegas show will receive the same response as his prior Hilton show.  The Las Vegas Hilton performances were primarily collections of his greatest hits. However, fans need not worry, he plans to incorporate those long-time favorites into his new Paris show as well. 

Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased at parislasvegas.com; 800-745-3000.

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Celebrity Shenanigans in Las Vegas

Lindsay Lohan is apparently back to her vintage shenanigan ways again, this time heading to Milan for fashion week when she had previously committed to hosting a club night Saturday at Las Vegas hotspot Pure nightclub.

The thrill-a-minute ditzy Lohan abruptly canceled her appearance at the club on the day of Saturday’s planned event, with no explanation to anyone, and was later spotted and photographed in Milan. 

Though Lohan may have stealthily skipped out from her Las nightclub engagement, still Sin City got a double dose of star-power on Saturday night when Mariah Carey and Ciara appeared at Haze Nightclub. Mariah was presented with a huge tiered cake after wrapping her Angels Advocate  tour at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, while Ciara hosted the evening at the ARIA Hotel & Casino hotspot at CityCenter, singing along to her hits “Goodies” and “Oh.”

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Battle of the Bands Seeks Talent in Las Vegas

Smokin’ Hot Aces in Las Vegas will host an as-yet untitled battle of the bands beginning March 7.   

This is not your run-of-the-mill band contest.  The winner receives $10,000 in cash and prizes, the opportunity to open for a Universal act during Memorial Day weekend performance at the Venetian’s new rock bar, and exposure to major record labels. 

Judging the event will be Las Vegas musicians, Strip performers and celebrities to later be announced. 

Band performances will be spaced two-per-night (9 and 10 p.m.) every Sunday from March 7 through Memorial Day. 

Judges scores will be combined with online and in-person ballot voting to determine the competition’s four finalists. 

If you think you’re smokin’ hot enough, please contact Steve Slaughter at steve@thirtythreegroup.com

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Belly Dancing a Go-Go in Las Vegas

Belly dancers galore will be performing at the Massive Spectacular in Las Vegas in a weeklong affair that starts Sat., Feb. 27 and runs through Thurs., March 4 at the Railhead in Boulder Station in Las Vegas, 4111 Boulder Highway. 

Billed as the “Massive Spectacular,” the event will feature dozens of belly dance performers from Tribal Massive performing a wide range of the dances under the big umbrella of belly dancing. On the evening of March 4, dancers, many of whom are instructors for the proceeding week’s workshops, come together on the stage at the Railhead in Boulder Station. 

The doors for the Massive Spectacular open at 6:15 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m. March 4 in the Railhead at Boulder Station, 4111 Boulder Highway. Tickets are $35 in advance at http://www.TheMassiveSpectacular.com or $40 at the door. Admission for children 13 and younger is $5. Only cash will be accepted at the door. 

Proceeds will benefit the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund.

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Become a Playwright, Actor or Composer in Las Vegas

Insurgo’s No Shame Theatre in Las Vegas may just be the ticket you’re looking for to show you can write plays that people will flock to see. 

No Shame is a longtime national movement that has finally arrived in Las Vegas.  The first 15 written works arriving each week at Insurgo Theatre will be cast, rehearsed and performed- on the same night.

You can bring literally anything in to showcase- from avant-garde to music- or movement-based pieces to improvisational works, monologues and scenes.

Non-writers interested in acting can also show up and let the Insurgo staff know they’re ready to perform whatever’s thrown at them.  The only rules for actors and playwrights is that you can’t hurt yourself, the audience or the space.  And no breaking the law.   Anything else is fair game.

No Shame Theatre on Thursdays beginning Feb. 25 at 9:30 p.m.  $5 for both general audience and participants.  Insurgo Theatre Movement, 900 E. Karen Ave., Las Vegas, 702-369-3692.  www.insurgotheater.org

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Gamblin’ in Las Vegas is Human Nature

What does the very popular Austrialian vocal group Human Nature when they’re not performing at Imperial Palace in Las Vegas?  Gamble.   What else?  It’s Sin City! 

Human Nature, who formed as a doo-wop band in 1989 in Sydney, Austraila, has now been performing “The Ultimate Celebration of the Motown Sound” to rave reviews at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas for the past nine months. 

Tight harmonies and rich vocals are what make Human Nature standout in concert. Songs like “Reach Out”; “Just My Imagination”; “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch);” The Jackson Five’s “ABC,” and the group’s moving version of Robinson’s “Ooh Baby, Baby,” are their mainstays.  

Motown music legend Smokey Robinson has acted as their official envoy and presenter of the LasVegas show and its touring production.   Now, it appears that Robinson has switched gears somewhat, gearing up for doing his own shows and promoting his own music including his new CD on his own label, “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun,” which is an album that embraces Robinson’s favorite theme: Love.

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‘Queen’ Celine Dion Saves Las Vegas Single-Handedly

Let’s face it:  Celine Dion operates like a city within Las Vegas.    When many performers are looking to hang it up, or at least slow down, Dion, 41, who started singing professionally when she was 12, churns full speed ahead with no end in sight.    

Keeping a relative secret for over a year, Dion recently officially revealed that she is returning to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on March 15, 2011 with an all-new show and a three-year contract, while planning to stay in her Lake Las Vegas home.    Tickets are now available.

During her last five-year reign at Caesars, a custom-built Colosseum was completed for her at a cost of $95 million, who then proceeded to sell more than 200 million copies of her 25 albums in French and English.   The queen singer also drew celebrities galore into Las Vegas, refreshing the entertainment scene like few others before her.  Most can’t wait for her Las Vegas comeback. 

Her Las Vegas show, A New Day, took in more than a whopping $400 million at the box office and in merchandise, and the production employed hundreds – the 50 dancers, musicians and others visible onstage were just the half of it. 

It has been announced that she’ll be employing 31 musicians, a full orchestra and a band.   Not bad for a city starving for any economic bumps it can get. 

Talking about bumps, after four unsuccessful rounds of in vitro fertilization, Céline Dion is not giving up hope for a second child, with her husband, Rene Angelil, 26 years her senior. 

“I’m going to try until it works,” says Dion, who continues giving herself daily hormone shots — and enduring the roller-coaster ride of emotions they bring — after the heartbreaking loss of a pregnancy in August and three other failed IVF attempts last fall.

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Elvis Presley Comes Back to Las Vegas

And you thought he was…dead?  Pshaw!  Elvis performed his last show in Las Vegas and now is back to his old Sin City haunts, if only in spirit.  But his show will, hopefully, run forever. 

Viva Elvis premiered on Feb. 19 and is the seventh Cirque du Soleil show on the Las Vegas Strip. It is one of the centerpieces of the new $8.5 billion MGM Mirage CityCenter, located in a new theater in the Aria Hotel and Casino. 

Viva Elvis features all of his greatest hits set to music and embellished with spectacular sets and effects, dancing and acrobatics. It positively fills the eyes-all the time steering clear of the somber and darker sides of Elvis, thanks to the untiring efforts of Priscilla Presley and Elvis Presley Enterprises to protect the Elvis legacy. 

This is a spectacularly beautiful show and it is one of only two Cirque shows in Las Vegas to employ a proscenium stage rather than using a theater-in-the-round setup. 

There are other singers, but the only male voice belongs to The King himself. The evening opens witha huge video-jukebox. On the screen is Elvis singing Blue Suede Shoes. It’s light, fun and immediately gets the audience in the mood for more of his music. Don’t Be Cruel is next, followed by Junior Clay, the only actor in the show. He is Elvis’ manager, Col. Tom Parker. He comes out to explain that Elvis had a twin brother who died at birth and Elvis missed his twin his entire life. Thus he introduces the next number, One Night– a love song, more shouted than sung and is very effective. But here, for some reason, it’s used to portray brotherly love. 

Two acrobats do their schtick on a large wire guitar suspended upstage center. As they’re doing their acrobatics, there’s a woman sitting at an old upright piano softly playing and singing the song. No argument that Elvis missed his twin. And no argument that these two guys on the guitar are really good at what they do. The only argument is against taking such a passionate number and doing this to it. 

The next scene goes back to Elvis’ childhood in Tupelo, MS. Old photos are projected on the screen as the townsfolk carrying umbrellas come out on the stage and perform All Shook Up as a gospel tune. And the woman singing the song actually changes the lyrics to say “I’m itchin’ like a woman on fuzzy tree.”

The spectacle is a grand and joyous event that will stick in your mind for a long time — a terrific celebration of Elvis’ music. The dancing and acrobatics are lavish and exuberant. The on-stage band is exellent. And the production values are incomparable. It’s just plain fun to watch with wonderful sets, colorful costumes and captivating special effects. 

Yes, the show is a bit pricey in a struggling Las Vegas economy, tickets ranging from $114 to $200, but well worth the price if you can afford it.  Shows are at 7 and 9:30 p.m., Fridays though Tuesdays.  702-531-2031. 

Long live The King!

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Las Vegas Deathfest

If blood-curdling, gut-churning heavy metal (emphasis on ‘heavy’) music is your relaxing Las Vegas cup of tea on a leisurely weekend, best to plan to make tracks  to the 2nd Annual Las Vegas Deathfest.  

Details are still being received on the timing and venue, but last year it was held on July 16 and 17 at Cheyenne Saloon, 3103 N. Rancho Drive, 702-645-4139. 

Their eclectic music lineup includes such bruiser bands as Putrification, Despondency, Incinerate, Inherit Disease, and Pathology.

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Down Goes Hawaiian Tropic Zone in Las Vegas

The Hawaiian Tropic Zone, located inside the Miracle Mile Shops in Las Vegas, known for its great drinks, wild parties and innovative promotions, has succumbed to bad economic times. 

Sadly, the restaurant, bar and lounge will close in the wee hours this Sunday morning.   No news forthcoming on exactly what will fill the physical void or when.

The Hawaiian Tropic Zone in Las Vegas opened its doors in January 2008.

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Poker Pro Antes Up Las Vegas World Series of Poker Winnings “For a Song”

A professional poker player and award-winning songwriter, Jason Mershon, has come up with a unique and ambitious plan to promote his new poker song called “Playin’ Poker for a Livin’.” 

In what is believed to be the first offering of its kind, Mershon is planning on entering the 2010 Main Event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this summer, and is agreeing to share 50 percent of any Final Table winnings with the first 15,000 people who download and purchase his song at his website: www.playinpokerforalivin.com

“It’s just my way of saying ‘thank you’ to those fans who like my new song,” says Mershon. “I wrote the song to humorously tell what it’s really like being a professional poker player; the sarcastic attitudes of many professional poker players; and the monotony of actually playing poker for a living and grinding out the long hours in a casino card room.” The song itself, “Playin’ Poker for a Livin’,” has already received great reviews from poker players and card room owners alike, who have stated that it’s the best song written about poker in years. 

Mershon has spent most of his life in the entertainment business, and is now a recognized professional poker player in Southern California. He plans to update his progress during the tournament on his Twitter and Facebook page, thus giving people a “virtual seat” at the tournament. 

Since winning two awards at the Los Angeles Music Awards in 2006 for his rock musical, “Rock and Roll Heaven” (aka “Heaven Rocks”) which can be found at www.rnrheavenrocks.com, Jason Mershon has been a regular fixture in the California and Las Vegas poker circuit. 

“I probably spend 90% of my time playing in cash games,” says Mershon, “but I’m also considered a pretty good tournament player as well. So, I don’t want people to think I’m ‘dead money’ in the World Series of Poker,” he laughed. 

“Additionally,” he concluded, “I’m offering a special extended limited edition of my poker song which will only be available to the first 15,000 fans who purchase the song.”

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Gilley’s Returns to the Las Vegas Strip on April 16

Gilley’s is coming back, bull and all. The mechanical bull that has long been victorious in numerous battles waged by tourists, locals and bikini-clad riders is back to buck off all comers at it’s new ‘arena’ at Treasure Island, when Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall and Bar-B-Que re-opens April 16. 

A Las Vegas cousin of the famous Texas saloon, it was THE popular country honky-tonk and a huge attraction at the New Frontier for years until owner Phil Ruffin sold it and bought Treasure Island for $775 million. 

It will be going in the former Tangerine nightclub space now occupied by Christian Audigier the Nightclub, which overlooks the Sirens of T.I. gunbattle. Gilley’s will have retractable glass for outdoor Strip seating, and will be accessible from inside the casino and via a newly constructed bridge in front of the Siren’s ship.  

Gilley’s will be open for lunch and dinner, featuring a show kitchen and custom saddle seats at the bar, live entertainment Thursday through Saturday, line dancing and the world-famous Gilley Girls.

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Tropicana in Las Vegas Getting a New Nightclub?

The Tropicana in Las Vegas is reportedly negotiating a deal with nightclub chain Nikki Beach.

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Wynn Las Vegas Encore Named Best Nightclub in U.S.

Barely a year old, the megaclub at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas has been named the No. 1 club in the nation. Sister club Tryst finished fifth. 

The Las Vegas nightclub industry not only swept the first five spots — Tao at The Venetian was second, Pure at Caesars Palace, third; and The Bank at Bellagio, fourth — but almost one-fourth of the Top 100 are Las Vegas nightclubs. 

XS raked in an astounding $70 million. 

The awards will be presented March 8 during the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas. 

“Clearly, Las Vegas maintains its dominance as a nightclub destination,” said David Henkes, vice president of Technomic, the Chicago-based hospitality market research firm that partners with Nightclub & Bar magazine to determine The Top 100.  They provide the industry’s only ranking of leading nightclub, bar and lounge venues based on total revenue. 

Las Vegas has seven clubs in the Top 10. LAX at the Luxor was ninth and Jet at The Mirage was 10th. 

The other Las Vegas nightclubs that made the list: 

11. Lavo at the Palazzo. 12. Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel, now closed.) 13. Moon at the Palms. 14. Ghostbar at the Palms. 16. Drai’s After Hours at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall. 28. Christian Audigier at Treasure Island. 31. The Playboy Club at the Palms. 32. Rumjungle at Mandalay Bay. 36. Rain at the Palms. 37. Blush at the Wynn. 45. Studio 54 at MGM Grand. 49. Krave at Planet Hollywood. 52. Stoney’s Rocking Country. 94. Tabu Ultra Lounge at MGM Grand.

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Paula Abdul Ready to ‘Mate’ with Las Vegas

Paula Abdul and Las Vegas hotels are reportedly getting close to ink a deal to host the sometimes controversial performer.  Major announcements involving Abdul in Las Vegas are imminent. 

Abdul was spotted during the week in the valet area of Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas chatting with Hilton executive Ken Ciancimino, who confirmed that he’s been shaping a deal with Abdul for quite some time.

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Las Vegas’ New Art Junkie Mecca?

Believe it or not, Las Vegas does have a Downtown Arts District.  Yesiree, and, not only that, but they are offering up a second showing of cultural artsy-fartsy festivities with the inauguration of Third Friday this Friday, Jan. 15, starting around 6 p.m., running until approximately midnight. 

Following the footsteps of the economically challenged First Friday, now Las Vegans have the added opportunity to browse art galleries, enjoy the bands and mingle amongst fellow art fanatics twice a month — doubling the pleasure and doubling the fun- if not immediate income to producers. 

Taking place on the same Las Vegas streets and benefiting the same cause, Third Friday may be similar to First Friday in many ways, but it’s projected to vary slightly. 

While Cindy Funkhouse, of the Funk House and Fallout galleries, runs the beginning of the month installment, Cion Noble of the Box Office gallery and venue is coordinating this middle-of-the-month run. 

Hans Cewe , one of the owners of the Gypsy Den — a vintage boutique and art gallery which also triples as a music venue — is happy to see the rise of another event to bring people Downtown Las Vegas, hoping thing will expand from there. 

The Gypsy Den, also run by Cewe’s daughter Katie, will be offering up it’s stage to local bands for the night, with the lineup so far including local acts Vitamin Overdose, Close to Modern and The Marquees. 

Third Friday’s main focus is not merely on the patrons it brings Downtown, but also on the various artists involved. 

“It’s basically going to be a networking opportunity for creative people,” says Noble. “The theme is to network… I don’t anticipate vendors and crafts in the first couple of months — I’d like to see it grow into something that’s similar to First Friday eventually.” 

The mix of “creative people” so far set to ring in Third Friday’s opening night at the Box Office includes Cameron Grant, rock and blues bands Black Cherry Blue, Flux and JD Vittles, as well as a comedy improv and musical open mic event hosted by LV Freeze. 

In keeping with the idea of supporting Las Vegas arts, Funkhouse isn’t viewing the second installment as a threat. Instead she’s offering her support, “merely as a participant,” and opening her galleries’ doors — although she says the art on the walls will be the same as what’s viewed the first weekend of the month. “It’s not practical to change our show out every two weeks, that’d be too much work,” explains Funkhouse. 

If Third Friday catches on, perhaps the struggling downtown Las Vegas can look forward to a more regular crowd. Who knows, maybe a little more culture in our Sin City lives, with good eats, is a good thing.

Here’s a map of area, showing central Box Office.

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American Idol winner Kris Allen at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Las Vegas

2009 American Idol winner Kris Allen is making a special appearance at B.B. King’s Blues Club at The Mirage in Las Vegas on Friday, Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. 

Allen will be performing a very special solo acoustic set.  His previous appearance at B.B. King’s saw him perform with a full band, playing hits from his latest album as well as spins on favorite songs from years past.   

Allen’s path to the recent “American Idol”  victory included memorable performances of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and Kanye West’s “Heartless.” He was praised by the judges for his original arrangements of such well-known songs. 

Since the finale, Allen has had multiple songs appear on the Billboard charts and his finale song “No Boundaries” was No. 1 on the iTunes chart. Earlier this month, Allen released his debut album for 19 Recordings/Jive, featuring the already hit single “Live Like We’re Dying.”

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Eva Longoria Parker’s new nightclub in Las Vegas, Eve, to host birthday celebration for DJ Hollywood tonight

D.J. Hollywood will hit the turntables to kick-off the weekly event in celebration of industry’s A-list tonight, Jan. 6, with a birthday celebration at Eva Langoria Parker’s new nighclub, Eve, located in the new CityCenter, for DJ Hollywood.  

Eve is planning a celebrity event each Wednesday throughout the year. 

Those with local Nevada ID will receive complimentary cover and other select offerings, such as specials on bottle service. 

Eve envelopes guests in ultimate luxury with lavish VIP booths, floor-to-ceiling windows and 50-foot-tall arched ceilings that accentuate the glamorous interior. One-of-a kind colossal video screens surrounding the dance floor are a striking, state-of-the art feature unique to Eve alone. Renowned DJs and a premium sound and lighting system make Eve the ultimate nightclub to dance the night away. 

Eve is located above Longoria Parker’s celebrated restaurant, Beso, on the second level of Crystals at CityCenter at the entrance at The Park across from ARIA. Parking is conveniently located at the Crystals valet. Eve is open to Wednesday through Saturday at 10 p.m., and cover is $30 for men and $20 for women. Ladies with local ID will receive complimentary admission, excluding special events. For more information about Eve, visit the website at www.evethenightclub.com.

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Vince Neil of Motley Crue Launches Las Vegas Projects

Doug Elfman of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil is in Las Vegas at friend Danny “Count” Koker’s Desert Moon Productions recording his new solo album, “Tattoos And Tequila”, with bassist Dana Strum and Jeff Blando (both of Slaughter) and drummer Zoltan Chaney.

One of the tracks being laid down during the sessions is a cover version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic, “Who’ll Stop The Rain?”  An April release is expected.

In a recent interview with The News Tribune, Vince stated about the upcoming CD’s title, “It’s rock ‘n’ roll. That’s it. It has nothing to do with MÖTLEY CRÜE. Tattoos and tequila is basically my life.”

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Neil is also writing a book akin to MÖTLEY’s autobiography, “The Dirt”, with Esquire writer Mike Sager.

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Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas Offers Affordable New Year’s Gala

Everything in Las Vegas does not need to emphasize the new and expensive ritzy venues.  Take for example the Fremont Street Experience in “old” Las Vegas.   For only $10 (locals) to $20 (visitors) they’re offering a “TributePalooza” this New Year’s Eve featuring the tribute bands of INXS, U2, Depeche Mode, Van Halen, No Doubt, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses. 

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will lead the countdown in a fireworks show in a specially designed New Year’s show that will take place under the street-long video screen canopy. 

Only people age 21 and older will be allowed.  

The concerts start at 6 p.m.  For more information, please call 702-678-5600.

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Guy Fieri’s ‘Roadshow’ Rocks into Las Vegas Today

It must be the pits constantly traveling around the country, especially at the holidays.  But for the Food Network Star (“Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives”) at least it’s old home week in Las Vegas today.   High-energy spiky-haired chef/restaurateur/author and TV personality Guy Fieri, a UNLV alum that loves the university, will be bringing his 16-person road crew and their $150,000 stage/demo kitchen to put on his audience participation rock ‘n’ roll style “Guy Fieri Roadshow” to the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas at 8 p.m. today. 

Los Angeles-based DJ Cobra will spin all the punk, rock and metal music. 

The tour kicked off in Lowell, Mass., on Nov. 17 and by the time today’s Las Vegas date wraps, it will have hit 21 cities in 30 days. 

At each stop of the tour, Fieri teams up with local chefs and culinary students to celebrate the alluring combination of food, drink and fun.  In Las Vegas, his opening act will be executive chef John Gremo of UNLV’s hotel college, who was a colleague of Fieri’s during their student days at the university. 

For his segment of the show, Gremo will prepare pan-seared Nantucket diver scallops served on wild mushroom and fennel ragu, topped with truffle oil, roasted red pepper, roasted tomato capers and a tomato tapenade and covered with wild greens and assorted micro greens.   Hungry yet? 

Accompanying Gremo will be some his culinary students, UNLV mascot Hey Reb and a few UNLV cheerleaders.  

Assisting at the show will be students in the ProStart culinary programs at Silverado High School in Las Vegas and Carson High School in Carson City, California.  The students will prep food ingredients before the show, and help out behind the scenes during it. 

Tickets are from $35 to $150.  For more information, please call 702-632-7600.

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Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas Planning Series of Beyonce Concerts?

It is rumored in media circles that Steve Wynn is presently exploring the possibilities of arranging a string of concerts by popular American Rhythm and Blues (R&B) singer and song writer Beyonce Knowles.  It is further speculated from sources that the agreement amount with Beyonce will be in the tune of $750,000. The number of concerts and durations are not yet decided. 

Wynn Resorts spokesperson Jennifer Dunne reportedly said that the deal is yet to be finalized and contract has not been signed. The association between Beyonce and Wynn Casino started few months back when this year during July 30 and Aug. 2 the singer visited the casino for recording a DVD for her concert. It is said that during her shoots both Wynn and its sister resort Encore saw a huge fan following and increase in number of guests. Soon after this the singer has been spotted too often in the casino.

It is said that Beyonce will be following the footsteps of famous Canadian singer Céline Dion who signed a contract with Caesars Palace casino of Las Vegas few years back. In this she performed in 717 concerts within 5 years and earned a reported $400 million. 

The casino also experienced a huge surge in its popularity and earning during the concerts. It has been observed that fans from faraway places come to watch their favorite singers perform in Las Vegas casinos.

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Las Vegas’ Palms Casino Resort Hosts Performance of The Darling Stilettos’ Rock-N-Roll-A-Go-Go by Matt Sorum

The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas will host a special performance of The Darling Stilettos’ Rock-N-Roll-A-Go-Go, presented by rock legend Matt Sorum. 

The rock music show features four sexy female leads, takes the audience on a rock-fueled journey through the history of rock music from the British Invasion to Punk and Classic Rock. Backed by Sorum on drums and a guitarist, the show is an experience for any rock music enthusiast.  

These special performances of The Darling Stilettos’ Rock-N-Roll-A-Go-Go will take place on Friday, December 18 and Saturday, December 19 at 11 p.m. 

The good news is the show is complimentary and is open to the public. Must be 21 years of age and older. For more information, please visit www.darlingstilettos.com.

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B.B. King’s Blues Club Grand Opening at The Mirage in Las Vegas

Looking for a great blues music experience while visiting or staying in Las Vegas?  Now’s you can have it all at the new B.B. King’s Blues Club in The Mirage in Las Vegas.  

With few blues clubs in Las Vegas, the club’s grand opening is a welcome addition to our entertainment and dining landscape.  The venue opens with a blue carpet gala this Friday, Dec. 11, from 7 to 8 p.m.. Confirmed celebrities include the legend himself, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Willie Nelson, Steve Cropper, Lee Ritenour, Robert Cray, Lee Roy Parnell, Matt Goss, Robin Antin, Taylor Barton, Cast of History Channel’s “Pawn Stars,” Cast of Thunder From Down Under and many more. 

The empire of B.B. King is rapidly expanding, with clubs opened in Orlando, Memphis, Nashville, Itta Bena, West Palm Beach. 

Located across from The Beatles REVOLUTION Lounge, next to Samba Brazilian Steakhouse in The Mirage, the new Las Vegas venue offers music seven nights a week, ranging from funky and fast style to soulful and smooth tunes that emanate from the in-room stage. 

The house band, B.B. King’s All-Star Band, surpasses the standard of what many know to be a house band and friends of the King are very likely to stop by at any time to join them and jam the night away. 

And if you feel like cutting the rug, you can dance the night away on their spacious dance floor. 

Hungry?  Not only can you enjoy all the music, you can come in anytime for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining to check out Executive Chef Oscar Pena’s delicious Creole cuisine. 

It’s also a great place to book for your meetings and events. 

For more information, please visit www.bbkingclubs.com or call at 702-242-KING (5464).

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Oh Where, Oh Where has Julianne Hough Gone?

It’s been a rather long time since Las Vegas Backstage Access has written on the Dancing With the Stars Julianne Hough- on April 6, 2009 to be exact, when she garnered awards at the Academy of Country Music Awards show in Las Vegas. 

Hough, 21, who as a Las Vegas youth attended the Las Vegas Academy and whose mom still lives here, is reportedly recording a CD that will reflect her musical influences (such as U2 and Coldplay), and she’s also making two movies, the remake of Footloose, as well as Burlesque, starring along with Cher and Christina Aguilera.  If that’s not enough, she also has a cardio ballroom dance workout DVD, Dance with Julianne, due out in January. 

Is she done with Dancing With the Stars?  

“Never say never,” Hough says, “but at least for the next two seasons.”

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Sand Dollar Lounge to Try Anew in Las Vegas

The famous Sand Dollar Blues Nightclub & Lounge at 3355 Spring Mountain Road in Las Vegas is older than Schep is a pup (and that’s a damn old pup), known for providing some of the best blues music on the planet- let alone Las Vegas. 

Not only that, but every biker that’s anyone has kicked up their boots and stayed awhile at the music venue. 

But, sadly, as with many Las Vegas businesses, it has succumbed to economic plights, closing last month.  

But don’t throw in the towel just yet.  

New owner Steve Champlin says the venue should be back up and swinging sometime over the next couple of weeks.  He says to expect pretty much the same “blues-oriented” Sand Dollar us locals have come to know and love, but with more rotating bands, more benefit events and, eventually, multiple acts slated each night. 

That’s good news for a blues population that has been faced with fewer and fewer Las Vegas venues. 

The dank lighting, aromatic carpet and even the cobwebs taking up corner residences will remain part of the unique ambiance.

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Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Brings 27,000 Runners; Caroline Rotich Wins

Last year, only about 13,000 runners took part. This year, organizers say an international field of elite athletes helped round out and expand the registered runners, bringing out 27,000 racers on a brisk and wintry day today in Las Vegas.  

Runner Caroline Rotich led all runners, finishing with a kick and crossing the finish line with a time of 2:29:49 to win the Rock ‘n’ Rock Las Vegas Marathon today, Sunday.  She took home $25,000 for her win. 

The festive marathon started at 6:15 a.m. today on Las Vegas Blvd. north of Russell Rd, near Mandalay Bay parking lot.  And, for the first time ever for the marathon, nearly 7 1/2 miles of the Strip was closed to traffic.   

As the name Rock ‘n’ Roll suggests, there were more than 35 live bands, cheerleaders and themed water stations set up along each line of the Las Vegas Strip course. There were also be hundreds of running Elvi and 85 couples taking part in the Run through Wedding. 

Event organizers expect the Las Vegas economic boost to be around $30 million. There is a strong international presence of athletes who have come from 39 countries and all 50 states.

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Grammy List Lead by Las Vegas Performers

It was interesting to note that many of the top Grammy nominations on Wednesday night were garnered by performers that recently have performed in Las Vegas. 

Beyonce lead the pack, receiving ted nods, including nominations for Album of the Year for “I am…Sasha Fierce.” 

Country crossover sensation Taylor Swift wasn’t far behind, the 19-year-old got eight nominations, including Album of the Year for her multiplatinum sophomore DVD “Fearless.” 

Other nominees for album of the year – and Las Vegas entertainers – include Lady Gaga’s “The Fame,” (coming to Vegas shortly), the Black Eyed Peas’ “The E.N.D.” and Dave Mathews Band’s “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King.” 

The Grammys are Jan. 31.  For a complete list of nominees, please go to:  http://www.grammy.com

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Ne-Yo to Perform in Las Vegas on Jan. 1.

Grammy-award winner Ne-Yo is set to perform at The Pearl Concert Theater in the Palms Casino Resort on Jan. 1. 

In 2006, Ne-Yo hit the R&B scene with a style all his own – a mix of classic sounds with a modern twist. His debut album, In My Own Words, hit #1 on the Billboard 200 and solidified his role as an artist to watch. The Las Vegas singer’s sophomore album, Because of You (2007), also peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200 and brought Ne-Yo much acclaim when he won Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 2007 Grammy Awards. 

With Ne-Yo’s third DVD, The Year of the Gentleman, the Las Vegas native and premier songwriter has constructed a suite of songs that shows exactly what he means by class. Written over the course of travels through Europe and his own fascination with the hometown boys known as the Rat Pack, Ne-Yo explains, “For me, the sharpness of Sammy and Sinatra is the kind of style I strive for in clothes and music. Year of the Gentleman is named in honor of those guys.” 

This event is produced by Andrew Hewitt and Live Nation. The Pearl Box Office in the Palms Casino Resort is open from noon – 7 p.m. daily. Doors will open at 8:00 p.m. and show time is 9:00 p.m.  For more information, please call 702-942-6888.

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Las Vegas Prepares for New Year’s Eve Blow-Out

PURE Nightclub in Las Vegas is hosting rapper 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) to get 2010 off to a great start. 50 Cent’s rise from street hustler to rap superstar is legendary in the rap industry and was the basis of the hit movie “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” in which he portrayed himself.  The movie album shot straight to number one and sold 1.5 million copies in its first week and a half of release, the highest ever for a debut album. His hits include the smash “In Da Club,” “Candy Shop,” If I Can’t” and “Just A Lil Bit.” 50 Cent continues to rap either solo or with his group G-Unit.  50 Cent expects to expand his showbiz career to act, write, produce and direct in true superstar fashion. 

Down the Las Vegas Strip, LAX Nightclub will welcome the Grammy Award-winning The Black Eyed Peas to help Las Vegas ring in 2010. The Black Eyed Peas, who are comprised of will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo and Fergie, have become a music phenomenon since their album “Elephunk” debuted in 2003. The group’s hip hop and dance-oriented style has catapulted them to music stardom, as the group has sold an estimated 20 million albums worldwide and 13 million singles. Their most recent album, “The E.N.D.” includes hit singles “Boom Boom Pow” and chart-topper, “I Gotta Feeling,” which was the number one US single for 26 consecutive weeks, more than any other song in history. 

Tickets for both performances begin at $150 and will be sold exclusively at Vegas.com.

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Sean “Diddy” Combs to Open Las Vegas Nightclub

Sean “Diddy” Combs is about to open a new nightclub in Las Vegas.  Well, at least he’s going to help open one. 

“(The) Hard Rock is opening a club and I’m supposed to be opening up that new club for them,” so says the versatile artist. 

The new nightspot, Vanity, is set to open on New Year’s Eve. 

Still, the rapper formerly known as Puff Daddy won’t necessarily be at the Hard Rock when the ball drops on 2010. 

Instead, he said he is scheduled to host a day or two after the grand opening celebration, on or around Jan. 2. 

Still, he may very well be there at the Hard Rock on NYE. 

Maybe. 

“I may be out here, I may be shooting a television special,” he teased, adding with a smile, “I can’t give you any more details, that’s breaking news.” 

Still, it’s pretty safe to say Puffy is planning to party somewhere in Las Vegas on Dec. 31. 

The hip-hop heavyweight is no stranger to the Las Vegas club scene and likely has a litany of lucrative hosting offers on the table for New Year’s Eve. 

“I’m the Black Sinatra,” he said. “I’m supposed to be out here.” 

It wasn’t always this way for the rapper/actor/producer/fashion designer/fragrance developer/father/vodka czar.  Whew! 

“I used to come to Vegas maybe once every other year,” the outspoken 40-year-old icon said. “I’ve been out here already four times this year … This is the most I’ve been out here.”

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Christina Aguilera Invites Fans to Ring in New Year in Las Vegas

Christina Aguilera is reportedly inviting fans to join in her bash New Year bash in  Las Vegas – for a price. 

The singer will allegedly play the role of the hostess at the December 31 party at Tao nightclub in Las Vegas.  

The star was apparently throwing open the entry for fans with tickets costing $150. The tickets to the lavish party purportedly include entry into the club, food and an open bar.

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Slipnot/Stone Sour Frontman Corey Taylor Weds Stephanie Lub in Las Vegas on Nov. 13

According to People.com, Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor married Stephanie Luby on ‘lucky’ Friday, Nov. 13 at Las Vegas’ Palms Casino & Hotel, where the wedding party walked down the aisle to Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls”. 

Approximately 350 wedding guests packed the hotel’s nearby Pearl Concert Theater, including Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, as well as Camp Freddy’s Dave Navarro and Billy Morrison, who acted as the minister. The rockers then all took the stage, and even the groom joined in on three songs.

This is Taylor’s second marriage.

Taylor, 35, has two children: A daughter named Angie, born in 1992, and a son named Griffin, born in 2002, both of whom he had with his first wife, Scarlett.

Taylor divorced Scarlett — whom he married on March 11, 2004 in a small ceremony at the Botanical center in Des Moines, Iowa — in early 2007. 

In the November 2008 issue of Revolver magazine, he is quoted as saying, “After I got sober, I realized my relationship wasn’t right for me. My wife and I had damaged each other too much.”

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Asian Megastar Rain Plans Rare U.S. Appearance in Las Vegas

Extremely popular Korean superstar Rain, 27, promoted by J-Tune Entertainment, has announced he will play his first American concerts in three years when he headlines The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas Dec. 24-25. 

Rain is one of the very first Asian pop singing stars who has a rapidly growing fan base extending beyond Asia. 

Rain’s last American concert also took place at The Colsseum in December 2006. The Caesars shows will be the first in the U.S. since the end of the lawsuit brought against the singer for canceling concerts in Los Angeles and Hawaii in 2007. 

This concert marks be the U.S. leg of his “Legend of Rainism” tour that took place in Japan in August and in South Korea last month. 

Rain is also on an American press junket to promote “Ninja Assassin,” a Hollywood extreme action movie produced by James McTeigue, in which the South Korean-born star, whose real name is Jeong Ji-hoon, plays the lead role of Raizo, an orphan who is trained by a secret ninja clan to become a deadly killer. 

Amazingly, Rain pulled off 90-percent of the stunt roles, using minimal wire support. He was hurt on many occasions, and though he didn’t break any bones he bears “many scars of honor.” 

It is also the first time a Korean star is playing the title role in a major Hollywood franchise. 

The modern martial arts flick is the South Korean superstar’s second collaboration with the creators of  “The Matrix” series. He made his Hollywood debut in “Speed Racer,” which was directed by the Wachowski brothers. 

Before playing in Las Vegas, Rain performs a two-night stand at AsiaWorld-Arena in Hong Kong Nov. 28-29, followed by a Dec. 3 gig at Jakarta International Event & Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Links:  Web  http://www.rain-jihoon.com/main.html  and http://www.rainism.com and MySpace http://www.myspace.com/officialrainusa

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Bette Midler to Leave Caesars in Las Vegas in January

Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is losing its Colosseum headliner in a few months and has had to hustle to replace her. BetteMidler

Bette Midler is wrapping up her two-year run in “The Showgirl Must Go On” in January. Cher has stepped up to fill the void and has added to her contract shows in April and May. 

“What a fabulous two years this has been, and I thank AEG and Caesars Palace for the best partnership a showgirl could imagine.  Who knows?  These legs have had such a great run in the desert—it may be time to haul them to places with more humidity and fewer slot machines.  But first I need to finish recording my album of the sexiest new love songs that only a showgirl could sing,” stated Midler. 

“Bette is one of the most talented, hard working professionals in the business and we would have loved for her to stay longer, said John Meglen, co-CEO and President of AEG Live/Concerts West. “All of us at AEG Live thank Bette and the entire cast, crew and staff for a great two year run at The Colosseum.” 

“Like every one of her performances, the approaching finale of Bette’s two-year engagement leaves us applauding for more,” said Gary Selesner, president of Caesars Palace. “Bette always will have a home at Caesars Palace.” 

The Showgirl Must Go On will perform November 7 through 15 and December 30 through January 31, 2010. The show is dark Monday, Thursday and occasional Fridays. Tickets for these final performances are on-sale now at Ticketmaster.com, keyword “Bette Midler”, by calling 1-877-7BETTEM, or in person at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Box Office in Las Vegas, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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Wayne Newton Saying “Danke Schoen” to Las Vegas?

Wayne Newton is telling his fans “Danke Schoen” after 50 years in Las Vegas and hinting that his latest run in Las Vegas could be his last. But the singer synonymous with Sin City says he’s leaving himself an opening in case he wants to perform after April. WayneNewton2

The man known throughout the world as “Mr. Las Vegas” says retirement is possible, but that decision won’t hinge on the success of his new show that opened at the Tropicana Las Vegas hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. 

Instead, he says, it depends on whether his itch to keep working conflicts with his desire to spend more time with his 7-year-old daughter. 

“I’m enjoying my second daughter in a way that I didn’t get a chance to do the first time around,” Newton, 67, told The Associated Press.  The decision that I make, whether or not to perform or retire, will pretty much be based on that.” 

Newton’s current Tropicana show, “Once Before I Go” took 2½ months to write and is presented as a live memoir of Newton’s life and his career, with never-before-shared insights from Newton about personal episodes along the way. 

“It’s challenging to keep it entertaining,” Newton said. “And that was my first prerequisite.” 

Newton has told his audience that it was tough for him to pick highlight songs from a career that includes 165 records. 

“It would be impossible for me to pick songs from all of them even if I remembered them, which I don’t,” Newton quipped. 

Newton arrived in Las Vegas in 1959, when a two-week tryout at the Fremont Hotel & Casino turned into lounge act of six shows per night, six nights a week for nearly a year. The crooner earned national fame after a 1962 television appearance on “The Jackie Gleason Show,” which led to many more singing and acting gigs on TV and in film. 

He also headlined at several casinos throughout Sin City, including the New Frontier, which hosted entertainers including Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan and Siegfried & Roy over its 65 years. The casino was imploded in 2007. 

“I’ve been working since I was four,” Newton said. “There really has not been a time in my life that I don’t remember working.” 

 “If I still feel like I have something to give when this particular show is over, then I’ll make the decision to probably curtail work a little bit but not give it up totally,” he told the Associated Press. “If I don’t feel that way at the end of this, then I’ll probably hang it up.”

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Cirque du Soleil Announces New Elvis Presley Show in Las Vegas

Cirque du Soleil has announced the title for its new show based on the life and music of Elvis Presley: Viva Elvis

The production, to be directed by choreographer Vincent Paterson, will take up residence at the new Aria Resort & Casino in the brand spanking new $8.5 billion CityCenter in Las Vegas, beginning performances on December 18. 

Tickets are not yet on sale but the show will open for media previews in December. 

The show will fuse dance and acrobatics, live music and iconic tracks, nostalgia and modernity, high technology and raw emotion. 

While he is most famous for his collaborations with Madonna and Michael Jackson, Paterson has also worked in the performing arts. In 2006, he staged a ’50s style revival of Massenet’s Manon for Los Angeles Opera. 

Cirque du Soleil currently has numerous shows already in Las Vegas, including O, LOVE, Ka, Zumanity, and Mystere. 

The company is also currently touring its Allegria show; recently opened its new show Ovo in Toronto; and another new show, Banana Shpeel, begins performances in Chicago this month and will then play New York.

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Las Vegas & Philippine Economies Get Boost this Weekend in Las Vegas

The “Philippine Connection” is very strong this weekend in Las Vegas.  

For one, this Saturday night is “Fight Night” at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas with the welterweight title bout of Manny Pacquiao versus Miguel Cotto bringing businesses from around the globe to Las Vegas, most significantly from the Philippines, the home of Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao.  {Fight article in Las Vegas Backstage Access tomorrow.} 

Even Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has given both fighters a key to the city. 

Pinoy Pinay, a local Filipino restaurant on East Sahara, has welcomed Manny Pacquiao as a customer many times. And right now, their business is buzzing with anticipation. 

Clearly, “Fight Night” in Las Vegas is more than just a sporting event; it’s an economic engine attracting customers from around the world. The fighters will be earning millions, and so will Las Vegas, as well as having a Philippine economic imact. 

Ron Cabildo is a promoter for the Manny Pacquiao after-fight party at the Mandalay Bay. “It brings in my country people together. And they know how to spend money on the nightlife industry.” 

Filipino singing superstar Martin Nievera is also performing in Las Vegas this weekend at the Suncoast.   Martin is idolized in the Philippines. 

Martin was part of the cast of his father’s, Robert’s, old troupe the Society of Seven for the final two months of last year’s run at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.

The Society of Seven returned last week for a long-term engagement at the Gold Coast. 

That means the Nievera family and the Society of Seven will be going head to head this weekend in Las Vegas for a great Filipino cause. 

Nievera will perform at the Suncoast. Over the past five years he has had many Vegas engagements, including starring at the Golden Nugget for three months in 2004. Most recently he co-starred at the Suncoast in “Vocal Soup” with Susan Anton, Clint Holmes and Domenick Allen. 

Nievera jokes that producer Ed Matthews offered him the three-night gig at the Suncoast but had to look him up seven times on the Internet to find out what he does. 

What Nievera does is sing standards and pop hits. He’s recorded more than 30 albums. 

Nievera is also raising money for victims of typhoons in the Philippines. The nation was hit hard this year by a series of devastating storms. The two worst took place in September and early October, claiming more than 600 lives and causing more than $300 million in damage. 

“That’s what three nights at the Suncoast is doing,” Nievera says. “It’s more than just a gig. It will, hopefully, be another step toward hope and recovery for those folks suffering so badly in the Philippines. 

“Half a million people are without homes. Highways are now rivers. Bodies are showing up out of nowhere after being swept away by flooding all over the Philippines. The storms hit everyone — the rich, the poor, the powerful and the weak,”says Nievera. 

This weekend in Las Vegas is a big one for the Filipino’s in so many ways.

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Singer Toni Braxton & Hubby Splitting Up?

Soul singer and frequent Las Vegas performer Toni Braxton has reportedly split from her husband Keri Lewis after eight years of marriage. ToniBraxtonKeriLewis

The couple has two children, seven year old Denim and Diezel, six. 

The split news, reported by Essence.com, comes as the Unbreak My Heart singer faces the prospect of losing her home after she allegedly defaulted on her mortgage payments. 

The singer owes more than $12,500 on her mansion in Century City, California and officials at the Bank of America are now looking to foreclose on the property, according to TMZ.com. 

The news comes just a week after it was revealed that Braxton is facing a lawsuit from bosses at another financial institution, City National Bank, who claim the star owes them $900,000 in loan payments. 

Braxton has been facing financial difficulties ever since she scrapped a series of Las Vegas concerts in 2008 after she was hospitalised with a reported heart problem. She is currently embroiled in a legal battle with her insurance company, after the firm refused to pay out on the axed shows.

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Big Name Rockers Perform in Las Vegas with Naked Strippers

The Playground/Crazy Horse III strip club complex in Las Vegas has just opened an intimate, 200-person rock club called Dead Man’s Hand. 

So, what’s the big deal you ask? 

Curiously, there is no gambling permitted, thus the customary restrictions on nudity don’t apply. Their business model has resulted in creating the only place in Las Vegas where you can see big name rockers perform and then go into the next room for some stripper lap dancing for the ultimate coup de grace. 

The other nice thing that helps our choking economy:  the admission is always FREE! 

For more, please check out www.PlaygroundLV.com

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U2 Blowout Crowd Expected in Las Vegas Momentarily

If you haven’t got tickets yet, just forgedaboutit.   In a few hours from now more than 40,000 people are expected to jam Sam Boyd Stadium for their 360 Tour until it probably bursts wide open, surely setting a record for the largest concert ever held at the venue. 

It took 135 trucks to haul in the 500,000-plus pounds of equipment used to construct the foreboding claw-like structure that will surround the band.  The massive stage will stand more than 150 feet tall.  And, if that’s not enough, they’ll show off a new cylindrical video display of connected LED panels held high by a 150-foot steel frame. 

Compared to their November 2001 show during their Elevation Tour, only 18,000 people came.  But that was a memorabable event nonetheless, as No Doubt opened for them and rocked out for 30 minute.  Not to be outdone, freelance photographer Denise Truscello, who still photographs in Las Vegas, got an impromptu makeout session with Bono when he ducked his head into the photographers’ pit. 

But what everyone remembered was not Truscello, but when the glowing LED screen behind the stage rolled with the name of every person killed in the attacks of Sept. 11 as Bono sang out “One.” A band capable of evoking any emotions onstage reduced 18,000 fans to tears. 

U2 always does something unpredictable when they perform in Las Vegas during their 16-city U.S. tour.

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Barry Manilow Planning Las Vegas Departure

Barry Manilow fans have just a few chances left to see their idol perform at the Las Vegas Hilton. Barry Manilow announced that he is ending his five-year stint at the resort on December 30. BarryManilow

The show, “Ultimate Manilow: The Hits,” can still be seen Nov. 27-29 and Dec. 28-30. Ticket information can be found on the Las Vegas Hilton Web site

The 66-year-old singer arrived in Las Vegas in February 2005 with a show titled “Manilow: Music and Passion.”

Since then, the Hilton said he has performed more than 300 shows to nearly 450,000 people. 

Earlier this year, Manilow appeared on “American Idol” as a guest instructor during the show’s “Hollywood Week.”

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Jeff Dunham Brings Insanity to Chilly Las Vegas

It’s not like we’re in short supply of insanity in Las Vegas, but Jeff Dunham “volunteered” to bring his Spark of Insanity tour to Caesar’s Palace December 11 and 12, 2009.  JeffDunham

This isn’t Dunham’s first visit to the Colosseum.  Both with a previous personal tour and as a performer at the 2008 Comedy Festival, Dunham voiced Walter, Melvin and Peanut from a LasVegas stage. 

Tickets for the Caesar’s performance are available now for $49.50-$89.50 and may be purchased at www.caesarspalace.com.

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Donald Trump Productions (NBC’s “The Apprentice”) and Juma Entertainment (ABC’s “The Superstars”) have Teamed up tor a Groundbreaking New Las Vegas Reality TV Show

The strong duo is currently conducting a nationwide talent search for successful, eligible bachelors who think they have what it takes to win the heart of a well known bachelorette, who is a major TV personality and Donald Trump’s close friend. bachelorette

Donald Trump Productions and Juma Entertainment are presenting a relationship show unlike any other, titled “The Ultimate Merger.” Donald Trump will take on the role of matchmaker to help a well known bachelorette achieve the “ultimate merger” – a successful relationship. For more information  

Single men should be 21yrs and older, all races and ethnicities, able to work in the U.S., legal US resident, outgoing with big personalities and financially successful. 

If you think you have what it takes to win the Bachelorette’s heart, please email the following information ASAP (no deadline stated in release, but earlier the better), to tripletcasting@earthlink.net  a brief description of yourself, recent photos of you, and contact number/s where you can be reached.

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Garth Brooks Out of Retirement, Announces Las Vegas Residency

In a couple short hours from now country music king Garth Brooks will confirm in Las Vegas his new residency at Steve Wynn’s casino hotels, most notably the Encore Theatre at the Wynn. GarthBrooks2

The planned run of performances ends the black Stetson-wearing king’s self-imposed retirement that began back in late 2000 when the 47-year-old wanted more time with his three children. 

The announcement will be made at 1 p.m. PT today, Oct. 15, inside the Danny Gans Theatre in the Wynn with Steve Wynn by his side. 

We expect the run to start as a total of 16 weeks of concerts starting in 2010. Garth’s appearances will be keyed to major holidays, and he will most likely move into a Las Vegas home with his wife, country singer Trisha Yearwood, and his three children. 

Brooks has sold more than 128 million albums in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America, second only to the Beatles’ 170 million albums.  Brooks has outsold the Fab Four — more than 68 million, to the Beatles’ 58 million. 

During the 1990s he also was one of the most popular concert attractions in the world. Amusement Business magazine ranked his 1996 tour the biggest country music tour in history after he sold 1.8 million tickets that year. 

Interestingly, though, he plans not to tour or make records for another five years, leaving his retirement a quasi-so proposition in Las Vegas. 

The Las Vegas shows, which should sell out by this weekend, will be a tremendous tourism boost to Las Vegas.

UPDATE:  He will be performing at Wynn’s Encore Theatre in Las Vegas for five years, three nights each week (one show Friday, two on Saturday, and one show on Sunday) starting sometime in 2010.   Under the terms of his deal with Steve Wynn, each week after his show he will be flown in his jet provided by Steve Wynn back to his home in Oklahoma so he can spend time with his family.)

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Las Vegas Lap Dance Police on Dirty Dancing Manhunts

Serious crime in Southern Nevada?  Surely it must be waning.  Credit Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie for finally halting vehicle thefts, break-ins, gang violence and domestic disturbances in the Las Vegas Valley.   9-1-1 calls are apparently down to dispatchers taking calls for wayward pets and playground disputes between 2-year-olds —  local Las Vegas cops apparently have oodles of time on their idle hands. dirtydancing

How else can Las Vegas police justify making watching for dirty dancing inside strip clubs a law enforcement priority? 

Last week Las Vegas police made it official, asking the Clark County Commission to approve a new code that would allow undercover officers to ticket exotic dancers who get a little too friendly with their customers.

It’s a touchy subject in many ways with the commission. Four former members were sent to federal prison this decade for taking bribes from a local strip club owner, who bought the votes he needed to protect the bump-and-grind trade. 

The practices of this lucrative business model are no secret. The central transaction at strip clubs, known as a “lap dance,” involves physical contact between flittering strippers and their clothed, seated clientele. The more contact a stripper makes, generally speaking, the more the paying customer hopefully hands over in tips. 

However, Vice unit Lt. Karen Hughes says some dancers deliberately arouse patrons, and then try to upsell bigger payouts later as prostitutes. 

Current county code allows police to go after only club owners for dancer misconduct, such as straddling a customer. Because dancers work as freelancers and owners aren’t always on the premises, it’s difficult for police to prove that owners know about lap dances that go too far, Sgt. Glen Lowe said.

Police want the county’s code to mirror the cities. That language doesn’t impose stricter lap-dancing rules, which the commission briefly considered in 2002. Instead, police say, it makes exotic dancers directly accountable for misconduct and deters the kind of contact that leads to illegal acts of prostitution.

This is all very silly. For starters, undercover police have to be in, ahem, extremely close proximity to any lap dance to judge whether it’s appropriate or illicit. So how many vice officers will Las Vegas police dedicate to the enforcement of this code, assuming it’s approved? And how many lap dances will they have to endure before they issue a citation? 

Moreover, in this economy, a new code is not going to discourage dancers from performing in ways that guarantee their income. This valley’s strip clubs carry reputations known all across the country. One even has its own reality TV show. 

So should Las Vegas police ignore strip clubs altogether? Of course not. Allowing these venues to operate largely unchecked leads to lawless environments, which invites the kinds of abuses that led to the 2001 brutalization of Kansas tourist Kirk Henry by Crazy Horse Too employees over a bar bill. 

But Southern Nevada law enforcement agencies need to focus their attention on serious crimes that pose a major and growing threat to public safety and private property. And if Las Vegas police can’t have cruisers respond promptly to every home burglary, if they can’t curtail the “Lord of the Flies” culture that dominates our streets and highways, then they certainly don’t have the time to crack down on lap dances.

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Pure Management Group in Las Vegas Promotes Deborah Krause to COO

Nightlife and restaurant leader Pure Management Group (PMG) announced the promotion of Deborah Krause to Chief Operating Officer. Since joining PMG two and a half years ago, Deborah Krause has earned many honors as theDeborahKrause company’s Executive Vice President overseeing Food & Beverage and Development and with this new appointment, Krause will now oversee all operations for PMG and its venues.
 
With more than 15 years of experience in developing and maintaining hotels, restaurants and nightlife destinations throughout the country, Krause has earned the respect of her peers in the Las Vegas community and beyond. Her efforts have led to many awards including the “American Express Gold Star” for service, an Epicurean Award, several “Best of Las Vegas” awards including “Best New Restaurant” (2004) and most notably the coveted “40 Under 40 Business Award” (2006) which honors Las Vegas’ top business executives – all under 40 years of age – who have changed the face of the city.

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Michael Jackson Keeps Beat Alive

The single from the eagerly anticipated Michael Jackson movie ‘This Is It’ is set to premiere online on Monday, Oct. 12. 

Sony Music tells the Associated Press that the unreleased single, also titled “This Is It,” will debut Monday at midnight on www.MichaelJackson.com

The song, which will play over the closing sequence of the film (in theaters Oct. 28), includes backup vocals by Michael’s brothers, The Jacksons, says the AP. 

The tune will also be included on a two-disc CD set featuring Michael classics such as “Thriller” and “Billie Jean.”

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83-Year-Old Singer Tony Bennett is Back in Las Vegas- and Rolling in the Dough!

Tony Bennett’s next Las performance will reportedly be sometime in January at the Las Vegas Hilton.  The ageless crooner has also just signed a new “unbelievable” $10 million contract with Sony-Columbia. TonyBennett

Apparently, the contract is to reissue songs and albums from Tony’s illustrious past. And if Tony, 83, cuts new albums, Sony will spend $1 million in marketing for each one, according to Bennett. 

“I’ve been there for 60 years. I’ve been there longer than any other artist and they have a full catalog of all my albums from 1950 to now,” Tony says.  

“They said they’d like me to do 12 more albums,” he says. “With each album, they’ll promote it with $1 million. But if I don’t want to do it, they’ll still give me the $10 million. I don’t have to produce anything to fulfill the contract. It’s really the best contract ever written.”

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Barry Manilow Leaves Las Vegas

Barry Manilow fans have just a few chances left to see their idol perform at the Las Vegas Hilton. Barry Manilow announced last Wednesday that he is ending his five-year stint at the resort on December 30. 

The show, “Ultimate Manilow: The Hits,” can still be seen Oct. 8-10, Nov. 27-29 and Dec. 28-30. Ticket information can be found on the Las Vegas Hilton Web site

The 66-year-old singer arrived in Las Vegas in February 2005 with a show titled “Manilow: Music and Passion.” Since then, the Hilton said he has performed more than 300 shows to nearly 450,000 people. 

Earlier this year, Manilow appeared on “American Idol” as a guest instructor during the show’s “Hollywood Week.”

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Mariah Carey to Make History Tonight in Las Vegas

Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Mariah Carey will be making history Saturday, October 10, 2009 despite that her album “Memoirs Of An imperfect Angel” didn’t make #1 on the Billboard Charts. Mariah Carey will be the first concert to simulcast to internet enabled mobile phones and other electronic digital devices for her performance “Mariah Carey Live In Las Vegas.” 

The concert will be presented by GDE Partners at www.iviago.com in association with Mariah Carey’s label home, Island Def Jam Group. 

To catch the concert, virtual tickets will have to be purchased at $9.99 and can be obtained by texting the message Mariah to 313131 or by visiting Mariah Carey’s official site, Facebook or Myspace by clicking the link “Mariah Carey Live In Las Vegas” or by visiting iviago.com

Once you purchase your ticket for the “Mariah Carey Live In Las Vegas” you’ll be able to stream the concert on October 10th and view it at that time or save it later for a one-time viewing. The concert will have the ability to be paused and also continued at a later time, but the down-side is that it cannot be rewound or replayed once the ticket buyer has viewed it. 

In addition, on October 20, downloadable video clips of Mariah Carey’s Las Vegas concert which was recorded September 11 and September 12 from her exclusive concerts at Palms Resort in Las Vegas will be made available through select mobile phone carriers around the globe. The video clips will also include Mariah’s two concerts from October 9 and 10 and will be sixty minutes long.

On October 24th, the digital broadcast will be available in HD (high definition) and will be made available via Iviago’s virtual global stage which will broadcast to over 200 countries in partnership with over 200 partners (mobile and digital) which includes iClips and iTunes. 

If you’re interested in catching a preview, a 60-sec preview is available at www.iviago.com for those interested in knowing more about the “Mariah Carey Live In Las Vegas” or those looking to purchase virtual tickets.

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Shhh! (Garth Brooks May Sign Las Vegas Contract!)

More Garth Brooks chatter that he has an Oct. 15 news conference scheduled regarding his Wynn Las Vegas entertainment offer.  As Las Vegas Backstage Access sorts out facts from fiction, we’ll keep you posted.

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Kanye West and Lady Gaga “Fame Kills” Tour in Las Vegas is Kaputt

Live Nation has confirmed to Las Vegas Backstage Access that the Gaga/Kanye “Fame Kills” tour is officially off. 

Mediatakeout claims it’s Gaga who wanted out, not Kanye, even though she was singing his praises recently in a Las Vegas radio interview for what would have been their Nov. 13 concert at Mandalay Bay Events Center. 

Readers, what do you think:  sad for the show you won’t be seeing, or was Fame never meant to live forever, nor to light up the Las Vegas sky like a flame?

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Celebrity Birthday Party Soirees Galore in Las Vegas This Weekend

Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash was in Las Vegas Friday headlining the 20th anniversary birthday party at The Mirage, dubbing the event” Slash and Friends.” The axeman’s so-called friends included fellow GNR bandmate Matt Sorum and previously-mentioned fellow drummer Tommy Lee; Hole’s unladylike leading lady, Courtney Love; Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry; Maroon 5 hottie Adam Levine; Pussycat Dolls’ stunner Nicole Scherzinger; musician/screenwriter Rob Zombie; Led Zeppelin drummer Jason Bonham; and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. What’s more, Keifer Sutherland served as master of (the star-studded) ceremonies. 

Whew, try saying all that in one breath- and we’re just getting started…

 If club hopping and spotting celebrities are your cup of tea, don’t forget to check out Her Greatness, the inimitable Paris Hilton as she graces Body English, the nightclub at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel.  This is THE favorite Las Vegas nightclub for Hilton, but don’t expect to spot her until around 11 p.m. – a gaggle of cackling groupies are a sure-fire sign of her presence. 

Hilton watchers will remember the mini firestorm that erupted about a month ago when a local gossip columnist suggested the scandal-prone heiress was “wasted” at Wasted Space via Twitter. 

Sober, tipsy, wasted or otherwise, Hilton will ensure Saturday night is a smash as she hosts “Smashtime” at Body English, along with E! Personality and BE Saturday night resident Clinton Sparks. 

But if being in a state of mindless DJ bliss is your ticket, might want to head down tonight to the Rain nightclub at the Palms Casino around 10 p.m. as Paul Oakenfold presents Perfecto. 

However, then again, if you’re a firm believer that a wholesome family celebrity life can indeed happen in Las Vegas, then put on your swimming trunks and head over to the Wet Republic ultra pool at the MGM this afternoon as the terrible actress, poor singer, and the sister of Jessica, an escalating train wreck and wife to an annoying band member, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz turns 25 today, blowing the candles out on her paparazzi pie.

Yep, the C-list celebritybirthday party guests will most likely celebrate by spending time with husband Pete and cute son Bronx Mowgli today and her family; though we’d really rather she would hang out with an acting coach. 

That said, it’s pretty safe to say the senior Simpson sister’s ex, Nick Lachey, won’t be anywhere near Wet Republic or the sisters’ SPF this weekend – though he will be in town this weekend. 

Lachey, however, has been spotted in and around the Venetian/Palazzo (including at First Food and Bar on Thursday) and will likely stay on property, for the most part. What’s more: Lachey’s current flame Vanessa Minnillo is rumored to be with him. 

There are a lot of other notable Las Vegas birthday candles to blow out this weekend.

The Mirage is turning 20; PT’s, a local dive chain, is celebrating an amazing fog-filled 27 years; Tao is toasting its fourth birthday; and Lavo is about to mark a year of success and excess on the Strip. 

All these birthdays mean three things: Lots of cake and lots of candles — and lots of celebrities, too. 

Paris Hilton was also at the Vision Expo yesterday, promoting her new line of sunglasses at the Gripping Eyewear booth (#18103), but the blonde ambition’s endorse-a-palooza didn’t stop there: Hilton took her fashionable show down the street to the Hard Rock Hotel, where she strutted her stuff in a poolside fashion show.  You might think of Hilton as a real life Barbie– you can dress her up, but be very careful when and where you take her out. 

Today, the Vision Expo will be graced by rapper Pitbull who will take to the Revolution Eyewear booth at noon. Also at the Expo on Saturday will be PGA Tour golfer Kenny Perry, swing coach Matt Killen, and vision trainer Larry Lampert, who will be appearing n behalf of Transitions Optical (booth #10053). While the trio of golf pros will be chatting up Transitions lenses, they’ve also promised to share a few tips to help fans improve their golf game, too. 

Meanwhile, Mario Barth’s “Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth” also got under way on Friday, across the street from MGM at Mandalay Bay, with some 1,000 of the hottest tat artists. The three-day ink fest also features a sizeable collection of celebs, including Tommy Lee, Jack Osbourne, Mark McGrath, Evan Seinfeld, and Duff McKagen. 

Barth’s action will move to the Hard Rock on Saturday, where tattoo legend will co-host Inked magazine’s first annual Inked True Colors Awards, which will feature a special performance by The Bronx.  After that he and his entourage will likely move the party to New York-New York after the awards, however, as Beastie Boys DJ extraordinaire Mix Master Mike takes to the turntables at a tattoo show afterparty at Rok. 

While the Tao restaurant-nightclub has released the mile long list of confirmed guests for this evening’s four-year birthday party, everyone knows the place will be crawling with more celebrities and VIPs that what is listed. 

The big names on the list now include actress Amanda Bynes; actor Mekhi Phifer; Dr. Allison Cameron from “House,” aka Jennifer Morrison; and “Blade” vampire Stephen Dorff.  But it doesn’t end there, oh no… Aaron Paul, Adam Gregory, Amanda Righetti, Beth Ostrosky, Brandi Cibrian, Carson Kressley, Clifton Collins, Danielle Panabaker, Eva Amurri, Jason Kennedy, Jennifer Gimenez, Krysten Ritter, Patrick Sebes, Selita Ebanks, Spencer Grammer, Terrence Howard, and last but not least, Zachary Abel.

Naturally, the pre-released list of celebs attending the Tao party will likely serve as a mere starting point in terms of the who’s-who’s of the party. And, considering the plethora of stars in town this weekend, it’s not hard to imagine how much the guest list stands to grow by the end of the night.

 Meanwhile, at the MGM Grand tonight, AC/DC will entertain at the Grand Garden Arena.

 Another, though entirely different, Australian-born act will step into the spotlight tonight, too, however the second Down Under-born and bred show will go down at The Palms: Kylie Monogue will mark her return to North American soil and the North American stage tonight with a performance at the Pearl. 

A very different show will take place at Texas Station tonight, as all-American country superstar Randy Travis takes to the stage. 

Also, tonight, L.A. party boy Brent Bolthouse will bring the West coast party to Privé, where he will serve as guest DJ for the night. 

And as if the weekend’s worth of birthday bashes and anniversary soirées isn’t enough, there will be yet another blow-out on Sunday at The Bank.  Suffice to say those attending the tattoo show’s grand finale party on Sunday – yes, God doesn’t rest in Las Vegas – won’t be making it into the office first thing Monday morning: Dave Navarro is hosting the event, while DJ Skribble and DJ Slynkee will also contribute to the soundtrack.

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Get Drunk as a Skunk in Las Vegas

A few nice things about October in Las Vegas:  The fricken hot heat of summer which sears your eyelids to your eyeballs abates for six months; kids go back to school, giving their parents at least a semblance of renewed sanity; and an Oktoberfest is promoted in nearly every nook and cranny in Las Vegas, hopefully, to give the venue a revenue bump. 

One of the premiere events is the Jacktoberfest Beer Festival that runs today from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sunset Station in Henderson. beerdrinking

It features 30 different beers from all over the world.  And if that is not enough to satiate your needs, then maybe the live music from The King Mixers, Hair Nation and Sin City Sinners will- these are not your ordinary garage bands.

Included in the $20 entry fee for this event is a plethora of events that only drunkards could truly appreciate:  $500 for Sexiest Oktoberfest costume (or what many of you normally wear anyway), Hooters Bikini Beer-Chugging Contest, BBQ Grill Toss, Weiner Dog Races, and so much more. 

For the really commercial strength chuggers there’s an after party inside Club Madrid later in the day.  No word yet on whether escorts will be allowed to accompany the inebriated. 

Please call 702-547-7777 or log on to www.sunsetstation.com for more details.

Please, arrange for a cab to get back, enjoying the day even more. 

Bottoms up!

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Tommy Rocker Puts On His Rockin’ Shoes Again in Las Vegas

Tommy Rocker has been a Las Vegas club/restaurant owner and long time musician and entertainment fixture for decades- probably singing more Margaritaville ballads to locals and out-of-towners then Jimmy Buffet himself — and plucking more feelin’ good tunes from his guitar than his patrons drank Margaritas at his Cantina in Las Vegas. TommyRocker

So, it was no major surprise that about four years ago, during a talk after one of his trademark Saturday open-mic shows, Tommy Rocker (real name: Thomas Greenough) spun yet another euphoric and repetitive tale about how he was going to turn his Tommy Rocker’s Cantina into an adult club.  At which juncture, most patrons just so fit to call for another drink. 

Remarkably, he’d held a topless-club license for years but had never taken advantage of using it to ostensibly draw in the big bucks. Then, about a year and a half later, in the summer of 2007, Rocker converted mere bravado into action, turning the one-time Parrot Head emporium on 4275 Dean Martin Drive, just south of The Rio into a gentlemen’s club.  

But soon he found that even the lure of silicone boobies wasn’t enough to make him visit his business often, which was his usual modus operandi.  Inactions and neglect eventually translated into a suffering balance sheet, badly in need of life support and more than just mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, no matter how sexy the giver. The adult club was a good idea, in theory, but so not Tommy. 

So Rocker decided to give up on his “gentlemen’s club” and switch back to his old open-mic, live music beach-club format that was attended regularly by a standing-room clientele. 

“A couple of months ago, I found myself thinking, ‘I hate this bar. I hate coming here, and I own the place.’ I realized then it was time to change it back,” says Rocker. 

And not any too soon.  On Sept. 9 Tommy Rocker’s Cantina & Grill, received 19 demerits including violations for slimy and spoiled mushrooms. 

Under his new business name, Tommy Rocker’s Mojave Beach Bar & Grill, he’s not only vowed to clean up his food act but has scheduled a comedy night (Cozy’s Comedy Corner, the first Friday of every month, inadvertently giving First Friday more competition), his own sing-along show Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. and country night with Seth Turner at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, followed by open mic with Las Vegas singer/songwriter Joey Vitale. 

The grand reopening and 20th anniversary for Rocker’s business in Las Vegas is Oct. 3. 

This is a good thing. This is a very good thing. Tell your friends.  The conga line forms to the left.

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Michael Jackson’s Posthumous Single to be Released October 12

A new Michael Jackson single called “This Is It” will hit the airwaves on October 12, two weeks before it is available as part of a two-disc album released by the late pop star’s record label. 

Sony Music’s Columbia/Epic Label Group said it would release the “This Is It” album internationally on October 26 and in North America on October 27, to coincide with the simultaneous global release of the Jackson movie of the same name on October 28. 

A spokeswoman in London said that contrary to some reports, the posthumous single would not go on sale separately but would be available for radio stations to play from October 12. 

“This song only defines, once again, what the world already knows — that Michael is one of God’s greatest gifts,” said John McClain, co-producer of the album and an executor of Jackson’s estate. Jackson died of an overdose of prescription drugs on June 25, at around the time he was rehearsing for a 50-date, sellout series of comeback concerts in London. 

The “This Is It” movie, subject of a $60 million deal between Jackson’s estate and concert promoter AEG Live and Sony Pictures, is based on footage from the final concert rehearsals. 

Sales of Jackson’s records spiked after his death, and the release of the movie and album will add to the value of the “Thriller” singer’s estate, estimated at around $400 million. 

Sony Music said the first disc of the two-disc album will feature some of Jackson’s greatest hits plus two versions of the new single “This Is It.” The song includes backing vocals by Jackson’s brothers. 

The second disc will include unreleased versions of some of the singer’s classic tracks and a spoken word poem entitled “Planet Earth” performed by Jackson and never heard before.

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Huge Night of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Las Vegas on Oct. 2 – “Slash & Friends”

Velvet Revolver/ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash has just revealed a huge lineup of musicians who will join him for his all-star concert in Las Vegas on October 2. Slash

The concert, billed “Slash & Friends”, celebrates the 20th anniversary of Las Vegas hotel, casino and white tiger playground the Mirage.

According to Slash, the “house band” for the Mirage gig will consist of:

* Tommy Clufetos (Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent) – Drums
* Johnny Griparic (Slash’s Snakepit) – Bass
* Ted “Zig Zag” Andreadis (Guns N’ Roses) – Keyboards
* John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson) – Guitar
* Slash – Guitar
* Franky Perez (Scars on Broadway) – Vocals

Slash’s special guests that night are “more or less in this order”:

* Rocco Deluca (The Burden)
* Nicole Scherzinger (Pussycat Dolls)
* Courtney Love (Hole)
* Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick)
* Robin Zander (Cheap Trick)
* Joe Perry (Aerosmith)

Slash says, “Matt Sorum [Velvet Revolver, ex-Guns N’ Roses] is [also] jamming a couple songs, plus there will be some other surprises. I also just got confirmation that the Joe Perry Project is playing as well, [so] it promises to be a bitchin’ evening.”

Slash has spent the last few months recording material for his forthcoming solo album, which will be released under the “Slash & Friends” banner. He says, “the [record] is in its mixing stage and the mixes to this point sound great. We have recorded 18 songs, with one more I want to track in the next couple weeks.” He adds, “the record is still slated for a February/March release.”

Slash tracked most of the CD with former Nine Inch Nails drummer Josh Freese and ex-Jane’s Addiction bassist Chris Chaney. Confirmed guest singers so far include Ozzy Osbourne, Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave). The CD was produced by Eric Valentine (Good Charlotte, Queens of the Stone Age) and features additional appearances by ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.

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Las Vegas Nightclubs Gone Too Wild?

Even in wild, anything goes Las Vegas, apparently, there are limits on what can and can’t be done in nightclubs.

In July, gaming regulators slapped the Planet Hollywood casino with a $500,000 fine for its Prive nightclub’s bad behavior, including “topless and lewd activity” and dumping club-goers in the casino “in various states of consciousness.”

The same month, the Rio closed its Sapphire topless pool, managed by a local gentleman’s club, after authorities arrested 10 people on suspicion of prostitution and drug crimes. Over Labor Day weekend, eight more arrests on similar charges were made at the Hard Rock Hotel’s pool club party, Rehab.

It’s all part of a crackdown by Las Vegas authorities on what they see as clubs gone wild.

“The quarrel is not, ‘You guys are offering entertainment that’s going to offend Middle America.’ We all want to keep Middle America coming to us to have fun. But we have rules,” said Randall Sayre of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. During the heyday of the “What happens here, stays here” tourism campaign, the must-have accessory for any Las Vegas Strip casino was a pulsating nightclub that lured Hollywood starlets and drunken tourists willing to pay for a few hours of shimmer.

That has sometimes proved to be an ill-fated mix. Though the clubs are reliable moneymakers and publicity machines, some have vexed officials with their fraternity-style antics — including stripping contests, fistfights, and alleged drug use and sexual assaults.

In the last decade, smoky lounges on the Strip gave way to three-story mega-clubs and booze-drenched pool parties. Out on the cutting edge of trendy are clubs such as the bronze-walled XS, the centerpiece of casino magnate Steve Wynn’s resort Encore.

Most of the clubs, which pull in tens of millions of dollars from high-volume sales of alcohol and special seating, successfully keep thousands of tourists under control. But the venues, jostling for the same young crowd, have a penchant for envelope-pushing — and the casinos, Sayre said, have mostly kept their hands off the cash machines.

In the last two years, Clark County has warned clubs about a wet-boxer-shorts contest and women shedding shirts at events named “Lose the Tan Lines” and “Boobs or Bust.” Some clubs launched stripping contests; others tried to sneak around no-nudity ordinances by slathering women in body paint.

Many nightlife problems are far graver, however, which could prove problematic for casinos in the long run. Gaming regulators can hold them responsible for most anything that unfolds on their properties.

In 2006, the state Gaming Control Board told casinos it was concerned about reports of violent, excessively drunk and underage club-goers. In the last year, authorities have noticed an uptick in prostitution and narcotics crimes at Strip hot spots, said Officer Bill Cassell of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

But it was “Prive-gate” that truly rattled the town’s after-dark scene and it appears no end is in sight for the enforcement and creation of new clubbing rules to govern Las Vegas partygoers.

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“Reefer Madness: The Musical” in Las Vegas

“Reefer Madness: The Musical” is being performed at the College of Southern Nevada’s BackStage Theater in Las Vegas through October 4. 

Created by the Atlas Theatre Ensemble, the two-act, two-hour play is a raucous musical comedy that takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the hysteria caused when clean-cut kids fall prey to marijuana. A satirical, political commentary, the play also contains adult content that may be inappropriate for younger audiences. 

Inspired by the 1936 documentary  film of the same name, there’s a 15-member cast and a five-piece band, performing musical numbers that range in style from Broadway to swing to Las Vegas-chorus line. 

Tickets are $15, $12 for students and seniors. For reservations, please call the CSN Box Office at 651-5483. The theater is located in the CSN Performing Arts Center at 3200 East Cheyenne Avenue, North Las Vegas.

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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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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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“Greeky” Weekend in Las Vegas

This weekend the 37th annual Greek Food Festival in Las Vegas brings tantalizing and yummy foods, uplifting sounds and many traditions of Greece to enjoy. There will be plenty of prizes and Greek dancing to two live Greek bands (audience participation a must) and Greek things for sale. Also, a children’s entertainment area will provide hours of enjoyment for the younger guests. GreekFestival

You can enjoy all the Beauty of Santorini and the fun of Mykonos at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 5300 El Camino Rd., on Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. 

Admission is $5 and free for those under 12. Admission is also free for active duty military and immediate family with ID. Check their website for more information.

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Crooner Wayne Newton to Headline Tropicana in Las Vegas?

Momentarily it will be officially announced that aging crooner Wayne Newton will be back on the Las Vegas Strip as a resident headliner at the Tropicana. WayneNewton

Although the aging Las Vegas icon has lost his robust trademark singing voice of 50 years, this time a new show described as a “theatrical extravaganza,” will focus more on his personality and charm, not his singing. 

Jack Wishna, the agent brokering the deal through his CP America company, has acknowledged a pending contract but said he couldn’t discuss content until it is final. 

Others say Newton is finally ditching the bandstand crooner format he clung to with diminishing returns in this decade, and that his show will be reformatted to emphasize his strengths and not his weaknesses. 

A new format could go one of two directions or somehow combine them: A variety show in which Newton would introduce guest stars, or a “Joker Is Wild” shift (named after the Sinatra movie bio of Joe E. Lewis) that would have him maybe sing “Danke Schoen,” but mostly tell jokes, play his banjo and serve up backstage yarns from his long career. 

Please stay tuned for more updates from Las Vegas Backstage Access.

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Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth Comes to Las Vegas

Everything tats will be the order of the day when Mario Barth brings the biggest tattoo show on earth on Oct. 2-4 to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.  The event showcases the latest trends, fashions and techniques in the tattoo industry.  tattoo

There is something for all participants, including seminars, training, certification classes, competitions and demonstrations on tattooing, body piercing, body modification, jewelry manufacturing, reconstructive tattooing, permanent cosmetics, and laser removal.  Lots of music, food and fun for the entire family. 

Complimented by Las Vegas’ burgeoning tattoo industry with dozens of tattoo shops and more continuing to open, over 500 of the world’s best tattoo artists will be on hand at the show. 

The inked show also provides non-stop entertainment, including appearances and nightly partying with the likes of Tommy Lee, DJ Steve Aoki, DJ Aero, DJ Scotty Boy.  Celebrity MC of the event is Evan Seinfeld of Biohazard. 

All Las Vegas residents can get a free three-day convention pass by visiting www.FreeTattooTickets.com/944 

For more event information, visit www.TattooExpo09.com

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B.B. King Brings Thrilling Blues Club to Las Vegas

BBKingThe “Thrill is Gone” no longer as the King of Blues brings his popular restaurant, bar and nightlife venue, B.B. King’s Blues Club, to Las Vegas. The namesake that made Lucille famous is set to open winter 2009 at The Mirage.   With very few blues clubs in Las Vegas, this club will be a welcome addition.

From early morning to late night, B.B. King’s Blues Club will serve the best in Creole cuisine fused with that southern comfort touch. Palates of Las Vegas visitors and locals alike are sure to be awakened by signature items such as Fried Dill Pickles, Gumbo Ya Ya Straight from the Bayou, Lip Smacking Ribs, Southern Fried Catfish and Banana Bread Pudding.   

And it doesn’t stop with the food- the drink concoctions are just as tasty and full of soul – from the Boll Weevil that’s sure to pack a punch to the Wang Dang Doodle that the women will love. 

It is an all-in-one experience as B.B. King’s Blues Club offers music seven nights a week from funky and fast to soulful and smooth. Come for dinner and experience the tunes that emanate from the in-room stage. As the night progresses, so will the tunes as guests turn to the dance floor to dance the night away. The house bands at B.B. King’s Blues Club surpass the standard of what many know to be a house band, and friends of the King are likely to stop by at any time to join them and jam the night away. 

B.B. King’s Blues Club at The Mirage will be located across from The Beatles Revolution Lounge and next to Samba Brazilian Steakhouse. The 558-seat venue will feature four bars; one outside looking into the club and three inside, all with great views of the stage and entertainment. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining; open until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends or until the last man (or woman) is left standing. The signature retail section of the famed blues club will be open all hours for patrons to take home some soul, including T-shirts, glassware, guitar picks and more. For more information: www.bbkingclubs.com

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Conductor Edwin Outwater Joins “Sgt. Pepper Live” Concert in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Backstage Access has learned that prominent conductor Edwin Outwater will be joining the “Sgt. Pepper Live” project once again to lead the full symphony orchestra for “Sgt. Pepper Live” featuring Cheap Trick at the Las Vegas Hilton, the concert previously written on by Las Vegas Backstage Access on Aug. 26. EdwinOutwater

Outwater was the guest conductor at both “Sgt. Pepper Live” shows at the Hollywood Bowl and will be guest conducting the Las Vegas Hilton shows, Sept. 13-15, 17-19 and 21-23.   He is currently the the music director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Ontario, Canada. Prior to his current position, he served as resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and held the post of music director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. In both capacities, he worked closely with Michael Tilson Thomas, accompanying the orchestra on tour and conducting numerous concerts each season. He made his subscription debut in 2002, with Kurt Masur conducting Britten’s “War Requiem,” and has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie and many others. His consistently innovative programs have featured the works of composers such as John Adams, Thomas Adès, Chen Yi, Gabriela Lena Frank, HK Gruber, Lou Harrison, Robin Holloway, Nathaniel Stookey and Tan Dun. 

Internationally, Outwater has appeared with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Adelaide Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of New Zealand. He has put together many music education programs for youths and has been on the faculties of the University of Tulsa, the Idyllwild Arts Academy and the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2004, he was awarded the Leonard Bernstein award for excellence in educational programming and the MET LIFE award for community outreach. Outwater is a Harvard University graduate with a master’s degree in conducting from the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Cheap Trick is best known for its classic singles “I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender.” The band recorded the album All Shook Up in 1980 with Sir George Martin and Geoff Emerick, producer and engineer of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Emerick will continue to be in charge of the audio production for “Sgt. Pepper Live.”  He received Grammy awards for the engineering of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road.

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Topless Vampire Show Takes Bite in Las Vegas

The topless vampire show “Bite” is still going strong, celebrating its fifth year at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.   More than a half-million fans have attended 1,500 performances of the offbeat rock ‘n’ roll musical, produced and written by Tim Molyneux. vampire

“Vampires allow us to do the things that provide the ingredients for a great Las Vegas show:  fun music, high-energy, acrobatics in the air and on the stage, magic, martial arts, gymnastics, contortion, comedy, drama, great dancing, live singing and sexy girls.  The show tells a compelling story through the lyrics of the sons and the classic vampire lore of lost love,” says Molyneux.

Wow, what a mouthful- and what a vampire feast!  The show is at 10:30 p.m. Fridays though Wednesdays, dark Thursdays; $49.45; 702-380-7711.

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DJ AM Found Dead in New York

DJ AM, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, the celebrity disc jockey who publicly acknowledged his history of drug addiction and had filmed a reality show in which he offered to help other addicts, was found dead in his Manhattan SoHo apartment yesterday. He was 36. DJam

Police found a crack pipe and prescription pills in his apartment. Paramedics had to break down the door before they found him, shirtless and wearing sweatpants, in his bed around 5:20 p.m. on Friday. 

There was no evidence of foul play, although a medical examiner will determine the cause of death. 

DJ AM, whose had openly discussed past addictions to crack cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs, addictions so bad he once tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head — but the gun jammed. However, he claimed he had been drug-free for years, even swearing off cigarettes. 

In October, MTV was to debut his reality show, “Gone Too Far,” in which he and concerned families staged interventions for drug abusers. In a recent AP interview, he talked about holding a crack pipe for the first time in years for the show and said he felt as though he had an angel on his shoulder for surviving so much turmoil. 

“There’s no better way to remember what it was like when I was at my bottom than to see someone at their bottom,” he told the Associated Press. 

MTV did not have an immediate comment on whether Goldstein’s show would air, but said in a statement that it “was honored to support him as he helped young people battle their own addictions.”

Goldstein rose to fame several years ago as a highly sought-after deejay for hire who regularly performed at Las Vegas’ and Hollywood’s most exclusive nightclubs and parties and was admired by music aficionados for his deft mashups of rock and roll with hip-hop, who always kept the dance floor packed and clubgoers hypnotized. 

Goldstein was also part owner of the LAX nightclub at the Luxor in Las Vegas.

This Friday he was scheduled to perform at the Rain nightclub in the Palms Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas. 

He was famous for his relationships with reality TV star Nicole Richie, the daughter of singer Lionel Richie, actress-singer Mandy Moore, and friend Criss Angel.

As previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access, Goldstein was critically injured last September when a Learjet crashed on takeoff in Columbia, S.C. The plane was transporting among others Goldstein and Travis Barker, a drummer for the pop punk band Blink-182, after a performance; the pair had formed the duo TRVSDJ-AM. 

Barker and Goldstein were burned, though Barker was injured more severely. Goldstein had to get skin graft surgery, but about a month later he was performing again, joining Jay-Z on stage. 

“I can’t believe I made it,” Goldstein said. “I’ve prayed every night for the past 10 years. There’s a lot more to thank God for now. … I was saved for a reason. Maybe I’m going to help someone else. I don’t question it. All I know is I’m thankful to be here.” 

He is also one of the playable characters in Activision’s “DJ Hero,” a rhythm video game from the makers of “Guitar Hero” that uses a turntable-shaped controller. The game is set for release Oct. 27. 

Celebrities, friends and fans instantly shared their reactions on Twitter, where “RIP DJ AM” was the No. 1 topic on Friday. 

Singer John Mayer wrote: “We’re supposed to lose our friends to time, at an age when we’re ready to agree to the terms of having lived a long life. Not now.”

Media and onlookers flocked to his apartment, creating a frenzied scene; flowers had been placed outside the entrance.

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Who will Headline Paris Las Vegas Theater?

The 1,450-seat Theatre des Arts in the Paris Hotel & Casino has sat vacant since “The Producers” closed 18 months ago- a very long wait for such a prominent piece of Las Vegas real estate. 

The latest rumor is that long-running Las Vegas entertainer Barry Manilow will jump ship from the Las Vegas Hilton at the end of this year. Hilton officials acknowledge they’ve heard that talk, but say no decisions have been reached.

 Other rumored candidates have fallen by the wayside or gone elsewhere. A Marie Osmond daytime TV show is on ice. A live version of “America’s Got Talent” is going to Planet Hollywood, moving in with “Peepshow” for at least 10 weeks starting Oct. 7, with none other than Jerry Springer hosting.

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Celine Dion Paints Baby’s Room

Celine Dion is expecting her second child in May, her Montreal publicist recently confirmed. CelineDion

The former Caesars Palace headliner conceived after fertility treatments, as she did with son Rene Charles, born Jan. 25, 2001. 

Dion, 41, ended her world tour in February and later acknowledged during an appearance on “Oprah” that she was hoping to have another child. 

The Canadian singing star has hinted that she intends to return to Las Vegas to perform after a baby break.

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A Safe & Sane Las Vegas? Prive Nightclub Says So

Apart from some staunch Las Vegans who feel – and sincerely hope – that “Sin City” will change its long-standing dastardly moniker and morph into a hotbed for bio-med and other non-sordid industries, it’s not going to happen, at least according to many Las Vegas authorities, including casino mogul Sheldon Addison and his many cohorts. Prive

Las Vegas has, is, and apparently always will be all about entertainment oozing from its every eclectic pore.   Tourists, the Las Vegas lifeblood, come to entertain and be entertained– and, like the advertising slogans oft allude to, not always in the most savory of pursuits.  

Having a drink- or ten – staying up to the wee hours, while chasing microscopic skirts or quaffed GQ gents is the regular modus operandi for many in Las Vegas.

But could that historic Las Vegas lifestyle be facing evolutionary, if not revolutionary, pressure to change? 

Taking the cue from pop entertainment icon visitors Brit-Brit, Paris Hilton, LiLo, and others, perhaps that decadent, yet strangely renewing lifestyle of old is, like life itself,  changing– is guzzling chic water and partaking in only good clean fun becoming the evolving new order ruling the night? 

Enter Prive Nightclub, the current poster child for potentially a ‘New Deal’ in Vegas.  The nightclub reopened late last Friday night to throngs of partygoers waiting for hours to get in after the club was shut down and a $500,000 fine paid by Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in July to Nevada gambling regulators for the private Las Vegas nightclub’s many prior indiscretions, including hiring employees with criminal records, allowing minors inside the club and permitting underage drinking, drug use, taking dangerously drunk customers and dropping them off unattended in the casino, and physical and sexual assault by nightclub employees. [July 19 Las Vegas Backstage Access article.] 

It was almost like the past never happened.  In fact, many party going tourists from outside Las Vegas, didn’t even know the trendy club and sister ultralounge, The Living Room, had been shut down.   Once one was lucky (and skillful) enough fight the throng of hundreds waiting behind the entry ropes and get the inside, they found the club didn’t miss a single thundering beat, testified by the quaking, packed dance floor and eye-candy go-go dancers aplenty shaking their overflowing assets like no tomorrow.  Rapper and music producer Jermaine Dupri took to the turntables later in the evening, seemingly possessed and oblivious to the prior entertainment history lesson. 

What was different, though, was that topless and otherwise lewd and somewhat lascivious activity – the stuff that made Las Vegas a leading “no tell” tourist destination – was curiously absent.  Add to the fact, hotel-casino staffs were also allowed to enter unencumbered, not escorted by Prive security, as was the customary practice before, presumably to catch sin before it starts. 

Prive is encouraged to remain in good graces, as their temporary opening license is good only through Sept. 20, unless it is extended by the county.   Before that, on Sept. 1, club officials are scheduled to appear before the Clark County Commission to check to see if they are remaining nice and not naughty. 

Before you think this Prive incident is a statistical rare anomaly, think again.  Much like the H1N1 pandemic virus, club actions similar to Prive are all pervasive in Las Vegas– it’s just that similar nightclubs haven’t been caught- yet. 

While Las Vegas Backstage Access doesn’t ever condone actions that hurt anyone, intentionally or unintentionally, save this, we feel that partying and risqué fun in the spirit of Las Vegas isn’t such a bad thing.  Las Vegas is not Olathe, Kansas. 

In the final analysis, is Las Vegas squeezing the “sin” out of Sin City?   

Will late night milk and cookies, and an occasional Stevie D trendy gourmet sucker, rule the New Vegas scene, much to the detriment and demise of a unique lifestyle- and contribute to further waning of club revenues?

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Faux Prince Starts New Reign at Hooters in Las Vegas

Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas announced that “Purple Reign, The Ultimate Prince Tribute Show” will be performing in the Night Owl Showroom starting September 4.  Prince

The energetic show will assuredly make Prince Fans go crazy when they hear songs like “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry”. The audience will leave feeling like they have taken the plunge into Lake Minnetonka as this show pays tribute to groundbreaking artist Prince and his performance in the movie “Purple Rain”.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of this classic 80’s movie and you can expect to see the likeness of “The Kid”, Apollonia, Morris Day and The Time during this 90-minute show.

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Van Morrison Live in Concert in Las Vegas, Sept. 25

Multi-award winning music legend, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, & Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee VanVanMorrison Morrison will perform his hits at The Joint this fall. Van Morrison is a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, author, poet and multi-instrumentalist, who is widely considered one of the most important living artists of our time. 

Van Morrison has albums that are ranked in the greatest of the entire rock and roll canon, with over 150 songs featured in major motion pictures, the latest being featured in the Scorsese film “The Departed”.

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M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas Celebrates Labor Day with Style

M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas has pulled out all the stops for a Labor Day celebration.  The resort will host ‘End of Summer Festival ‘09’ a Labor Day bash on Sunday, September 6 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. poolside. Admission is free to the public.

Mix and mingle will be the order of the day as the M Resort pays homage to the holiday, complete with live musical performances, a fresh lemonade stand, watermelon-eating contest, a festival of food and a fireworks show. 

Much-loved ‘70s and ‘80s tribute band Loveshack will perform from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Loveshack is famous for their nostalgic, high-energy renditions of classics like “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “Jesse’s Girl” and “Come On Eileen.” Las Vegans  favorite, Nitro will perform from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nitro delivers a rockin’ good time with well-known rock and pop songs. 

Guest foodies are invited to enjoy a feast of food favorites including south of the border fare, American classics, barbeque, burgers and hotdogs, cotton candy, gelatos, shaved ice and even M’s homemade pastries. Or, if that doesn’t strike your fancy, just gather around the pool deck for a wide variety of free activities for the kids including face painting, temporary tattoos and balloon art.

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“Sgt. Pepper Live” Features Cheap Trick & Special Guests in Las Vegas

“Sgt. Pepper Live” featuring Cheap Trick will be performing an exclusive engagement Sept. 13-15, 17-19 and 21-23 at the Las Vegas Hilton, joined on stage by special guest artists Joan Osborne, Ian Ball and Rob Laufer. 

The Bill Edwards Presents, Inc. production will also feature several other guest artists who will be announced closer to the show dates. 

Joan Osborne’s major label debut, Relish, stormed the charts in 1995 with the runaway smash hit “(What If God Was) One of Us.” The whirlwind that followed included a top five hit, multi-platinum album sales, five Grammy nominations and “(What If God Was) One of Us” was tapped a decade later for the critically acclaimed CBS series “Joan of Arcadia.” 

Since then, Osborne has recorded numerous albums, performed with artists such as Taj Mahal, Luciano Pavarotti, Spearhead, Bob Dylan, The Dixie Chicks and sat in on lead vocals with The Dead (formerly The Grateful Dead). Osborne also joined Cheap Trick on stage during the 2007 40th anniversary celebration of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Her most recent album, Little Wild One, was released in 2008.

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Hooray to Sally Steele & VEGAS ROCKS! Magazine, Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary

How time zooms by at warp speed when you’re passionate in what you do and have a never say die attitude.  Success is the tasty fruit of victory.  Just ask Sally Steele, publisher for VEGAS ROCKS! magazine.  Fighting the grasp of corporate Las Vegas biggies that apparently enjoy swooping in for the media kills and “friends” that say she couldn’t pull it off, Steele has squashed her detractors and beaten all odds and is now celebrating five years in business in Las Vegas.  Way to go, Sally! SallySteele

The once jilted bride and single mother, with no prior experience in publishing, made bank for her and her children by driving limousines in the wee hours and backstreets of Vegas.  But, during it all, the dream and passion of publishing a Las Vegas rock n’ roll music magazine remained uppermost in her mind and actions. 

Celebrating her achievement while recognizing those many supporters and true friends who have steadfastly believed in her and given so much, Steele is having a blow-out fifth anniversary rock n’ roll party like no other on August 29.  The best rockers will be on hand to wish her well.  You’re invited to come out and join in on all the fun and great music. 

For more details, please visit www.clubzone.com/events/las_vegas/132773/premierclublv or www.VegasRocks.com to buy tickets online. 

Congratulations, Sally, Las Vegas Backstage Access wishes you all the best and continued success!

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Caribbean Fun in the Las Vegas Sun

Ah, yes, the hot, sweltering dog days of summer are blanketing Las Vegas.  Is this really a great time to pack a picnic for the grass and attend a show production at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park in the foothills beyond Red Rock in Las Vegas?  You bet it is! 

Until August 29, Las Vegas’ Super Summer Theatre is producing “Once on This Island,” billed as adding “catchy Caribbean flavor” to a Little Mermaid-esque fairy tale.    It’s the song-and-dance creation of Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime and Anastasia). 

For more information, please visit www.supersummertheatre.com

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Previously Imprisoned Singer Trina Johnson-Finn Performs in Las Vegas Tonight

Trina Johnson-Finn is back, thankfully, performing in Las Vegas this Sunday, Aug. 23.  It’s her first time on stage since her release after spending more than 100 days in South American jail, as previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage AccessTrinaJohnsonFinn

Johnson-Finn has a 90-minute show at the Bootlegger Bistro on Sunday, Aug. 23, starting at 8:30 p.m. 

She had been held in Suriname on charges that she impersonated past Las Vegas singer Toni Braxton to defraud a boisterous and demanding concert crowd.  She was acquitted in June.

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Chippendales Take on Latin Flavor in Las Vegas

Women, get ready to P-A-R-T-Y– Latin style!  The iconic, steamy-hot bare-chested men of Chippendales, The Show, known as The Ultimate Girls Night Out, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas have spiced their show, appealing to the Latin crowd with their new “Noche Latina Thursdays.”  The Latin-inspired show features a Spanish-speaking MC, Spanish version of featured songs and uptempo Spanish music replacing certain acts.  Chippendales

The Latin show runs on Thursdays, starting at 10:30 p.m., running through September 3, at the Chippendales Theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.  Tickets are $39.95 and $49.95 and are available online at www.RioLasVegas.com or by phone at 702-777-7776.  Every ticket includes a coupon for 25% off dining at one of the Rio ’s dining establishments, including Martorano’s, VooDoo Steak and Buzios Seafood Restaurant.

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Prices Drop for Carlos Santana Show in Las Vegas

It was only a matter of time:   Ticket prices have dropped in two price ranges for Carlos Santana’s return engagement at The Joint in the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas.  The bottom two prices are now $55 and $95, a discount of at least $20.  Top tickets for floor seats remain at $155. CarlosSantana

The promoter, AEG Live, didn’t play up the news, just saying the prices were dropped to entice more Las Vegas residents.  The straightforward price cut is in stark contrast to the various short-term discounts that attempt to preserve the face value of tickets at the same promoter’s Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

There is also a prior Las Vegas Backstage Access article on Carlos Santana.  Please use search.

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“America’s Got Talent” Films in Las Vegas in October

Nick Cannon, host of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” announced that top talent from the variety show will begin a 10-weeek run in October at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. 

In part one of the semifinal round of the show, over 71 participants from four cities competing for the coveted 20 spots. 

The talent show will be held before “Peepshow” in the same theater.

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Kiss Planning to Rock into Las Vegas?

A new kind of scary music carnival of sorts composed of famous (and infamous) old, but vital hard rockers may be coming to Las Vegas.   Apparently, old rockers never really die- they just play on.

Veteran rockers Kiss have reportely announced on the sly plans to bring a reported big-budget, Cirque du Soleil-style stage show to Las Vegas with at least a $40 million to $50 million budget, according to those behind the planned production. GeneSimmons

The show, which will purportedly be titled “Kiss: Carnival of Souls,” is being devised by Kiss’ Gene Simmons, a very frequent Las Vegas visitor, and Paul Stanley, with L.A. comic book publisher Radical Publishing and its Singapore-based sister company Storm Lion also involved in putting it together. 

Details still are emerging about the show, but according to Barry Levine, co-founder of Radical, it will be an all-encompassing affair. 

“It involves every aspect of music, movement, lighting, stage design and special effects,” Levine says via e-mail from Singapore. “Since Kiss is the epitome of theatrical rock, we need to make sure it represents the Kiss brand. The Kiss brand has endured and sustained itself like no other group for the past 35 years.” 

No official opening date has been set or even a venue named. Levine says that it will debut in “approximately two years and yes, we do have an idea of where we want it to be, but that will only be revealed once certain requirements are met.” 

Promoters who book The Pearl at the Palms, The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel the Las Vegas Hilton and the 7,000-seat theater at Planet Hollywood, though, played it Vegas-style safe to the vest, saying they either were not familiar with the proposed production or that they had not engaged in discussions with the producers. 

Levine says he first developed a working relationship with Simmons and Stanley as a photographer for Kiss more than 30 years ago. He says that a production like this has been in the works for some time. 

“There have been talks about Kiss creating a Vegas show for the past 20 years,” Levine says, “but the collaboration between Kiss, Radical and Storm Lion seemed to help take it to another level.” 

Levine also says Stanley and Simmons will have a strong hand in the development of the show. “Kiss will be hands-on as they have been from day one and they already have an initial concept,” he says. 

Levine says he has enlisted the help of Michael Gill, who helms the Vegas-based Gill Theatrical Management. Gill’s firm oversees daily operations of local titles including “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” and he often has served as a go-between for producers seeking to place titles on the Strip. 

If the show does come to fruition, Levine says it will be a mix of the new and the old intended to reach an audience that reflects as much. 

“I feel that Kiss will be reaching its current demographic from 10- to 60-year-olds,” Levine says. “Will it be tailored to a specific hard-rock audience? No, it will be tailored to a Kiss audience with new music along with classics that we all love.”

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Theory of Flight to Headline Hollywood Music Media Awards on August 18

Las Vegas based indie rock band Theory of Flight will headline at the popular L.A. music venue The Mint on Tuesday, August 18 for Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA).  Other acts scheduled to perform include Michel Harding, Jason Charles Miller (lead singer of Godhead) and Michael Mulder. TheoryofFlight

The showcase gives selected indie artists a rare opportunity to perform before industry professionals and HMMA’s executive producers, whose top picks are then invited to play the night of the award show on Sunday, November 22 at The Highlands in the Kodak Theatre complex in Hollywood. HMMA’s red carpet event will feature live music performances, award presentations and reception catered by Wolfgang Puck.

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Porn Icon Ron Jeremy Plays Harmonica in Las Vegas this weekend

Iconic porn star Ron Jeremy, who once got a key to Las Vegas from Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and lamented it was only 6 inches long, is having a unique encore performance in Las Vegas this weekend:  making music! RonJeremy

Jeremy, who grew up playing piano and violin, will play a little harmonica introduction for Sin City Sinners at Boulder Station tonight (10 p.m., free) and at Green Valley Ranch on Saturday (11 p.m., free). 

Jeremy has shot many feature films in Las Vegas — boasting he has had sex with somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 women — remains the most mainstreamed porn legend of all time, not just consulting on “91/2 weeks” and “Boogie Nights” but appearing in music videos, the TV show “The Surreal Life” and a film, this year’s “Crank: High Voltage,” in addition to penning “Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz.”

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Elvis Presley’s Second Cousin Sings for Free in Las Vegas this weekend

Baby boomers will surely be in Las Vegas heaven this weekend as Jerry Presley, Elvis’ second cousin, takes the stage Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Eastside Cannery’s Marilyn’s Lounge.JerryPresley

Presley has spent much of his career performing with such classic acts as the Platters, the Coasters, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs and Jackie Wilson. But since 1969, he’s been focusing primarily on his tribute to his second cousin. By now, Elvis’ songs are so iconic that, Presley says, “if you forget the words, most of the audiences can sing it for you.” 

And the real nice thing is the concert price:  It’s FREE! 

Future Eastside Cannery shows are scheduled to include such performers as Gary Lewis and the Playboys, the Association, Herman’s Hermits, The Guess Who, The Turtles and Rare Earth. 

In addition, Eastside Cannery recently began hosting “Classic Rock Saturdays” events. 

Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel is located at 5255 Boulder Highway. Friday and Saturday shows start at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m.  702-856-5470.

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Chinaman’s One-Man Side-Splitting Show at Greek Isles in Las Vegas

Chinaman’s One Man Show at The Greek Isles is a rock and roll and comedy experience presented by Pantera / Damage Plan / Cowboys From Hell superstar drummer Vinnie Paul.

This stand up comedian is dead on with celebrity and music impressions. If you are a rock fan this is a must see show. You can see his show Tuesday at 8:30 pm and Wendesday through Saturday nightly at 10 p.m. Tickets are only $20.

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Take a Haute Wine Stroll at The Palazzo in Las Vegas

The Palazzo in Las Vegas will have their quarterly wine stroll, Vineyards of Style, featuring 7 wineries and 28 wines from across the country on Thursday, August 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Shoppes at The Palazzo. 

All net proceeds from the event will benefit Three Square, the Las Vegas food bank that serves 250 agencies throughout Southern Nevada. For additional information please visit www.threesquare.org

With The Shoppes at The Palazzo as the scene for the stylish event, guests will taste the wines and see the designs as they stroll throughout the luxurious venue enjoying live jazz music and cuisine from WOO and Restaurant Charlie. Sip into Double Helix Wine Bar + Boutique where the featured wines from the stroll are available for purchase. The wineries presenting at Vineyards of Style include Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, Foster’s Wine Estates, Icon Estates, Lion Nathan USA, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Southern Wine & Spirits Sake. 

Look for future quarterly wine strolls at The Palazzo coming in October, 2009 

To purchase tickets visit any Venetian or Palazzo Box Office, call 1-866-641- SHOW or visit www.venetian.com or www.palazzolasvegas.com.

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Penthouse Gentleman’s Club in Las Vegas Taken Over by Crazy Horse

CrazyHorsePenthouse Gentleman’s Club in Las Vegas has been taken over by the legend of The Crazy Horse.  At one time, Crazy Horse defined the genre for Las Vegas adult entertainment.   Now, the Crazy Horse III is taking the next step and redefining the Las Vegas adult entertainment experience. 

Rumors are a few large rock stars are bringing their rock Dead Man’s Hand to the Crazy Horse property, known as The Playground, which includes the after-hours club Obsession.

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Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch to be Relocated to Las Vegas?

If Michael Jackson is not going to be buried at Neverland Ranch, the ranch may just be relocated to Las Vegas. 

E! News reports the current owner of Neverland has drafted plans to dismantle the King of Pop’s once-adored residence and move it from the outskirts of Santa Barbara, Calif., to Sin City and fashion a Graceland-style tourist attraction. 

Jackson’s estate is “seriously considering” the idea, although still in its preliminary planning stages. 

Colony Capital, the investment firm that saved the property from being auctioned off last year, is reportedly developing a business plan with Jackson’s estate to transport Neverland’s main house and several other structures to what would have to be a pretty large piece of land near the Vegas Strip. 

A source with knowledge of the project says Colony executives are drafting proposals for a museum, theater and, pending approval from the family, a burial plot for Jackson’s body (like the one at Graceland where Elvis Presley was laid to rest) where fans could pay their respects to the fallen iconic singer. 

Michael G. Dave, a California probate attorney, says it would only require the blessing of estate executors John McClain and John Branca to start launching the plans. 

Supposedly it would cost at least tens of millions of dollars to reimagine Neverland in Vegas, sources told E! News. But one insider says Colony Capital founder Thomas Barrack has met with community resistance when it comes to moving forward with development on the current Neverland site, and that moving the whole kit and caboodle to Vegas could end up being the more profitable venture. 

Meanwhile, insiders say Jackson’s estate is also in talks with concert promoter AEG Live—which had been organizing Jackson’s London comeback—to set up a tribute show at a major Las Vegas hotel-casino, such as Cirque du Soleil did with the Beatles-themed LOVE at the Mirage. 

A representative for AEG declined to comment, but executives have publicly stated they are interested in taking the momentum from the 50 sold-out Jackson concerts that never took place and putting it toward a tribute to the fallen pop star. 

When he lived in Las Vegas between 2006 and 2007, Michael Jackson had also worked with businessman Jack Wishna on the idea of a LOVE-style spectacle featuring his music.

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Cool Entertainment Happenings in Las Vegas This Weekend

With the Las Vegas temperature cooling a tad this weekend (if 100 degrees is better than 110 for you), it’s a great time to get out and about, blissfully frolicking in all the tempting merriment.  Here’s our Las Vegas Backstage Access Best Bets on a roll:  Usher is walking the red carpet at 7 p.m. tonight at the Playboy Club at the Palms.  Jenny McCarthy will be at Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace on Saturday, walking the red carpet around 11:30 p.m.  Judas Priest and Whitesnake will be whaling away at Thomas & Mack on Saturday night. No Doubt and Panic at the Disco will perform tonight at the Hard Rock.  Country singer Alan Jackson will be at M Resort’s outdoor piazza on Saturday. If extreme cagefighting is your cup of tea, check out the diminutive Miguel Angel Torres and Brian Bowles as they fight for the coveted WEC bantamweight championship at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Hard Rock Hotel.   If soothing your nerves is the order of the day, take in the cool relaxing jazz from Elvis Costello’s hot wife, Diana Krall, as she performs at The Pearl at the Palms at 8 p.m. on Saturday.  For a great blast from the past, listen to Gladys Knight as she pips away today through Sunday at 8 p.m. in the Showroom in The Orleans.  Whew!

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Sean Hannity Hosts Freedom Concert in Las Vegas

Talk radio and television personality Sean Hannity will headline the Freedom Concert at the Orleans Arena on August 8, beginning at 8 p.m.  All proceeds from the concert series, now in its sixth year, will go toward the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund for the dependents of U.S. military personnel who have been killed or permanently disabled in an operational mission or training accident. SeanHannity

This year’s concert will feature performances by country music sensations Billy Ray Cyrus and the Charlie Daniels Band, contemporary artist Michael W. Smith, and the legendary Lee Greenwood. Also scheduled to appear is Lt. Col. Oliver North, USMC (Ret.), the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance and host of War Stories with Oliver North on the Fox News Channel, along with numerous other guests. 

Known for his provocative, free-wheeling, passionate commentary on politics and the American agenda, Sean Hannity is the second-most-listened-to talk show host in America and hosts the No. 1-rated 9 p.m. primetime cable show on the Fox News Channel, Hannity.  Launched into national syndication in 2001, and syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show is heard on more than 500 radio stations nationwide and by more than 11.4 million weekly listeners. 

Tickets for reserved seating are now on sale, and are priced at $50, $75, $100 and $125 inclusive of tax. Tickets can be purchased at the Orleans Arena Box Office, any Coast Casino Box Office, by calling 702.284.7777 or by visiting www.orleansarena.com.

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Mariah Carey Makes Tracks to Las Vegas

Mariah Carey announced that she will be soon coming to Las Vegas for four shows, spotlighted in the 2,500-seat Pearl Concert Theater in the Palms. 

The quartet of shows at the Palms will be the most intimate of the multiple Grammy Award-winner’s career, and are scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12, and Oct. 9 and 10. 

Tickets for the four shows range from $129 to $254 and will go on sale at noon on Aug. 8. 

The September dates come just days before the release of Carey’s 12th album, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.” The record, which features Mimi’s current single, “Obsessed,” is set to hit stores four days after opening night at the Pearl, on Sept. 15. 

The singer and occasional actress’s choice of venue is hardly a surprise: She and husband Nick Cannon spent a fair chunk of time on the Las Vegas venue in May and celebrated their one-year anniversary at the resort, as well. mariahcareynickcannon

Carey has spent a considerable amount of time in the resort’s recording studio during the weeklong trip this spring. And though no official details were announced, the fruits of her Studio at the Palms-based labor last spring will likely be featured on her soon-to-be-released record. 

Since first breaking onto the scene two decades ago, the 39-year-old star has become the top-selling female vocalist of all time. Carey and her impressive, five-octave vocal range has sold over 175 million records worldwide. 

With 72 total weeks at No. 1, she is currently tied with Elvis Presley for having spent the most time in the Hot 100’s top spot. She has 18 No. 1 songs and The King has 17, but both remain just shy of the all-time record for most No. 1 songs. The Beatles currently hold that title with 20, but if the Carey camp has its way, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” will achieve chart-topping perfection and render the Fab Four’s title a mere memory.

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V Bar at the Venetian in Las Vegas Starts Three New Events

The V Bar located inside the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas starts three new events in their Ultra Lounge:  Willing Wednesdays, Open Spin Thursdays and Evolution Sundays.  

In addition to the TAO Beach already operating their Beach Party on Sunday afternoons, these new events are designed to aid the Venetian attract a greater weekend party crowd. 

V Bar has been twice voted the best Las Vegas hotel bar by users of CitySearch.Com.  Virtually no entry lines and no entry lists are plusses for their entertainment offering. 

NetworkingVegas.Com is sponsoring Willing Wednesdays, a business mixer with the likes of Spearmint Rhino Ladies to corporate lawyers attending. With one of the hottest DJ/VJ’s in Las Vegas, Freddie B will be spinning the music. 

With a new twist and a chance for up-and-coming DJs to have a chance at stardom, V Bar will host Open Spin Thursdays. Resident DJ Andrew B along with special guest DJ’s will be giving up-and-coming DJs a chance to show their spinning skills on the first Thursday of every month. 

Ark Vegas venues Latin Nights offerings are such a hit, they decided to extend it to a late night party on Sundays at V Bar. MAS Entertainment provides hot DJ’s spinning the latest Electronic mash-ups, Pop and Rock sounds. 

The party begins at 10 p.m. all three nights. Please contact Ark Vegas at ArkVegas.Com for more information.

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Dance in the Desert Festival in Las Vegas

The 11th annual Dance in the Desert Festival is coming to Las Vegas.  The roster includes local and visiting dance artists presenting cutting edge choreography and stirring works to delight every dance aficionado.

In 1999 the first annual Las Vegas Dance in the Desert Festival was co-founded and co-directed by Kyla Quintero and Kelly Roth, with the ambition to restore dance to a primary position in the artistic life of the city of Las Vegas. The Festival offers a broad spectrum of choreographic visions and approaches, from expressionism to post-modernism to neo-romanticism, and a diverse selection of genres drawing on traditions from Africa, Europe, and American original and hybrid forms, featuring companies from around the world, across the United States, neighboring states of California and Arizona, as well as Nevada’s own exceptional talent.

Participants tentatively scheduled to appear in this year’s festival include: Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre, Metropolitan Ballet Company, and Moving Arts Dance from California; Desert Dance Theatre, Junk Funk, and Canyon Movement Company from Arizona; Solaris Dance Theater;  Catherine Schaeffer from Georgia; Matthew Farmer from Michigan; Cathy Allen, Freedom Dance Company, Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater, Kravenko Youth Ballet, Debra Lacey Teresa Martinez, Ballet Mink Colbert, Petrina Olson, Cooper Rust, Westwood and Dancers, Concert Dance Company, CSN Dance Ensemble, and Kelly Roth & Dancers– all from Las Vegas.

The Dance in the Desert Festival is on July 31 at 7:30 p.m. and August 1 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre, located on the CSN Cheyenne Campus in North Las Vegas.  Prices are $10 for general admission; $8 for seniors/students.

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Michael Jackson Used Drugs like Alarm Clock, Las Vegas Doc Offices Raided

A large and ever growing crowd of media has gathered this morning outside the Las Vegas office and home of Dr. Conrad Murray.  Multiple officers from the DEA and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have entered his offices and his home at approximately 9 a.m. (PT) – and few officers have come out.  Dr. Murray appears to be cooperating with the officers. 

Though final toxicology and autopsy reports are pending later this week, the case is ramping up against Dr. Conrad Murray, the personal doctor of Michael Jackson who gave the King of Pop a powerful drug on the day he died on June 25 at his rented Holmby Hills mansion in Los Angeles. 

On Monday, The Associated Press reported that Dr. Murray, administered a dose of the powerful anesthetic Diprivan, the drug authorities believe killed the singer. 

Dr. Murray, who has since closed his Las Vegas medical practice, has received numerous death threats and reportedly remains cloistered in his sprawling Red Rock Country Club estate in Las Vegas. 

Found inside Jackson’s rented mansion upon his death was a bedroom outfitted with many oxygen tanks and an IV drip.  Another of his bedrooms was left in shambles, with clothes and other items strewn about and handwritten notes on the walls.  One read: “children are sweet and innocent.”   In a security guard’s shack, 15 oxygen tanks were found. 

TMZ reported that during an interview with police two days after Jackson’s death, Murray himself told Los Angeles Police Department detectives that he had given the intravenously administered drug to his client just hours before his passing. Citing unnamed multiple law enforcement sources, the site claims that Murray allegedly hooked Jackson up to an IV drip of the drug — typically used for sedation during medical procedures in doctor’s offices or hospitals — and apparently either wasn’t paying attention, fell asleep or left the room when the singer’s heart stopped beating. 

TMZ also reported that there was no EKG machine or pulse oximeter found in Jackson’s home, though those machines are always used in a hospital setting to monitor the pulse of a patient being administered Propofol (also known as Diprivan). 

Last week officials carted away evidence from the doctor’s Houston office and a nearby storage locker in connection with their manslaughter probe. 

In the days after Jackson’s death, his nurse/nutritionist Cherilyn Lee also said Jackson was desperately seeking Diprivan in the weeks before his death, despite the dangers of the drug. Lee was also subpoenaed to hand over medical documents regarding Jackson, however she is not a suspect in Jackson’s death. 

Meanwhile, the offices of dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein — Jackson’s friend and the rumored biological father of Jackson’s two eldest children — was also asked to hand over medical records. 

The investigation has been made more complex by the fact that Jackson often used aliases when procuring prescriptions. 

Dr. Zeev Kain, who heads the anesthesiology department of the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, said he has never encountered a situation in which propofol was given in a home to help someone sleep, adding that such a situation would constitute malpractice. 

Should the Jackson investigation officially turn into a manslaughter case — no charges have been filed to date — prosecutors would have to provide clear evidence that his doctor, or other health care providers, acted in a reckless or negligent manner, thereby causing the singer’s death. 

Dr. Murray, who has already been identified in court papers as the subject of a manslaughter investigation, confessed he likes “being in the limelight, meeting all the celebrities,” and also has left a trail of legal and financial troubles amounting to a liability of about $450,000 during his 10 years in Las Vegas.  Two other pending lawsuits seek additional judgments totaling more than $366,000. 

Reportedly, Dr. Murray was charging $150,000 a month for being the personal physician concierge to Jackson.

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Shock Rocker Marilyn Manson Craves New Las Vegas Gig

Shock rocker Marilyn Manson may have been out of the spotlight for the past few years but he will take center stage at The Joint next month. Manson, 40, whose real name is Brian Warner, will appear at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on August 21. MarilynManson

The controversial actor-musician, who was once both married to burlesque star Dita Von Teese and engaged to actress Rose McGowan, is best known for his 1996 hit, “Beautiful People,” from his second and controversial major release, “Antichrist Superstar.”

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Sammy Hagar to Open New Cabo Wabo Cantina in Las Vegas

Sammy Hagar will open a new Cabo Wabo Cantina on the Las Vegas Strip this fall.  Planet Hollywood Casino & Hotel will be the new home for the Red Rocker’s famous Cantina, replacing Trader Vic’s in the Miracle Mile shops. SammyHagar

Hagar plans to bring a 15,000 square foot, split-level bar, nightclub and restaurant combination, uniquely styled after the original located in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  Just as his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo helped transform the city from a tired, Mexican desert town to the most popular tourist attraction in Mexico, Hagar hopes to bring the same hard-rocking, laid-back style to this new Las Vegas venue. 

Cabo Wabo will feature a coastal Mexican menu along side live music in an ‘all-day, all-night party’ that promises it won’t break your wallet. The spirit menu will be centered around Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Tequila, with ‘Caboritas’ and ‘Cabo Bombas’ as far as the eye can see. Contemporarily-enlightened Mexican seafood dishes will highlight the dining menu including lobster burritos and shrimp enchiladas. 

“I am ecstatic to finally introduce Las Vegas to the Cabo Wabo lifestyle,” says Cabo Wabo founder Sammy Hagar. “The cantina’s fun-loving, fiesta atmosphere will bring a rock and roll vibe to the heart of the Strip like people have never seen before. We are going to rock the Vegas Strip!” Look for Sammy’s new band Chickenfoot, with Michael Anthony from Van Halen, hanging out and regular jamming in the venue.

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Ludacris to Perform Free Show in Las Vegas

In a special promotion with Miller Lite, the Palms Casino Resort and N9NE Group in Las Vega, hip-hop superstar and R&B favorite Ludacris will perform a special concert at the Palms Pool & Bungalows Friday, August 21 at 8 p.m. Complimentary tickets will be given away with specially marked packaging of 18-packs of Miller Lite. Ludacris

Grammy award-winning artist Chris “Ludacris” Bridges remains one of the top visionaries of the hip-hop world. His latest album Theater Of The Mind (2008) continues to push the Atlanta-based entertainer to the top of the charts. His latest venture is a collaboration album with Disturbing Tha Peace member Shawnna called Battle of the Sexes (due out Summer 2009).

In addition to his success as a rapper, Ludacris’ acting career remains strong with appearances on the NBC drama Law and Order SVU, the Oscar-winning big screen film Crash, the independent sensation Hustle & Flow and 2008’s Max Payne and Rocknrolla. 

Beginning Friday, July 24, 2009 through August 20, 2009 or while supplies last concert goers can stop at any Food 4 Less, 7Eleven, Rebel, Green Valley Grocery or wherever you buy beer and look for specially marked 18-packs of Miller Lite to acquire a sticker redeemable for one free ticket to the concert. The consumer will then take the sticker, along with the receipt showing proof of purchase, to The Pearl Box Office between the hours of noon and 7:00 p.m. to receive their tickets. 

For more information, as well as a list of retail locations to purchase specially marked 18-packs of Miller Lite, please visit www.palms.com.

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Michael Jackson’s Music to be Celebrated in Las Vegas ‘Birthday’ Performance

For one performance only, Las Vegas ’ top entertainers will come together for a special performance Las Vegas Celebrates the Music of Michael Jackson on Saturday, August 29, 2009, at 3 p.m. from The Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. 

6W Entertainment in partnership with VegasHappensHere.com will present this multi-artist production celebrating the many hits of The King of Pop, entertainers including cast members of Jersey Boys, Lion King, Peepshow and Phantom:  The Las Vegas Spectacular will perform the hits of the Jackson songbook, all in celebration of what would have been the entertainer’s 51st birthday. This unique show will also include video montages throughout from those who knew Michael or were inspired by his work. The multi-faceted acts will be backed by a 10-piece band comprised of musicians led by Las Vegas ’ own Joey Melotti. Additional performers and event details will be announced in coming weeks. 

This special event will commemorate and celebrate Jackson ’s life while raising funds to help kids across the U.S. and right here in Nevada keep music alive in the schools.  All proceeds from ticket sales of this event will benefit Music Education programming in Clark County Public Schools. 

“I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to the person who inspired me and a whole generation of performers. This event helps keep the music of Michael Jackson alive, while raising money to make sure music education stays alive in schools in our community,” said show host and co-producer Erich Bergen.  

Tickets for Las Vegas Celebrates Michael Jackson go on-sale Saturday, July 25, 2009, at noon. Ticket prices are $29, $54, $79, $104 & $129, plus applicable box office fees.  A VIP package is available for $504 and includes VIP seating, admission to the exclusive after party with the cast, gift bag and limited edition autographed poster. Please visit any Ticketmaster location, call 1-800-745-3000, visit www.ticketmaster.com or www.livenation.com to purchase tickets. The Pearl Box Office is open from noon – 7 p.m. daily. Doors will open at 2 p.m. and show time is 3 p.m. 

For more information about this event, please visit www.vegaslovesmj.com.

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Father & Daughter Tillis Duo Performs in Las Vegas

Pam Tillis, 52, daughter to country music legend Mel Tillis, didn’t always think that country music was cool.  In fact, she went the opposite way, preferring to sing pop rock and R&B with her jazz band in San Francisco in the 1980s.  

As her songwriting career advanced, her country roots were rediscovered.  Now, to her credit, she has sold a few million records and had several No. 1 hits, and won a couple of Grammy’s and a few Country Music Awards. 

Rarely does she perform with her legendary father, but this Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Cannery in North Las Vegas will be one of those memorable gigs. pammeltillis

“Whenever somebody can afford both of us we’ll work together,” Pam Tillis says.  “We enjoy it but it’s a little different front when I’m out on my own and don’t play second banana.  We hit the highlights.  Between us we have 50 years of hits.”

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Blink 182 Kicks Off Reunion Tour in Las Vegas

It’s been four years since Blink 182’s extended hiatus, but now the time is ripe, according to singer and guitarist Tom DeLonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker to breathe new life into Blink 182 and kick off their reunion tour in Las Vegas.Blink182

Possible talks of a new tour occurred at the 51st annual Grammy Awards in February, and now, five months later, Blink 182 is back.  The band has already started a new album and spent three months preparing for a 52-date reunion tour, which kicks off this week with back-to-back nights at The Joint this Thursday and Friday at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas.

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Michael Jackson Benefit Concert & Jackson 5 Show Planned for Las Vegas

A Michael Jackson benefit concert is reportedly being held August 29 at the Palms, on what would have been Jackson’s 51st birthday. 

Talent planned will “run the gamut from cast member of current shows on the Strip to the big guys, along with some bands,” according to Las Vegas “Jersey Boys” star Erich Bergen. 

All proceeds will go to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, with a focus on music education in Nevada public schools. 

The event will be held in The Pearl, the Palms’ 2,500-seat concert venue. 

A Twitter feed has also been set up @VegasLovesMJ for fans who want to keep up with the latest developments. 

Meanwhile, Las Vegas KVBC-TV, Channel 3 entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs reported Saturday, citing an informed source, that Jackson’s body has been moved out of music producer Berry Gordy’s crypt to an undisclosed location. 

Jacobs also confirmed that Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, could be meeting with Wynn Las Vegas executives this week to discuss a show featuring most of the Jackson 5.

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Las Vegas Street Performers Ready Courtroom Act

It the not too distant past it was a common and welcome sight to see street performers performing their shtick along the Las Vegas Strip, serving as eye and ear candy for weary travelers traversing the Sin City byways in searing heat.  

Now the historic forms of grass roots entertainment have largely diminished, if not totally disappeared from the Las Vegas landscape. 

But the times may be changing. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against police and public officials on behalf of two Las Vegas Strip street performers after one was arrested in March. 

ACLU lawyer Maggie McLetchie says the federal lawsuit was filed last Thursday on behalf of guitarist Suze Banasik and Elvis Presley impersonator Bill Jablonski to support free speech and free expression rights for street performers on the resort-lined Strip. street

The 45-year-old Banasik was jailed for 12 hours on obstructing a sidewalk and operating a business without a license charges before Clark County prosecutors dropped the charges. 

The ACLU has fought and won similar First Amendment battles for handbill distributors, political activists and street preachers on the Strip and at the downtown Fremont Street Experience casino mall. 

“They think each new type of expression they can suppress, and we have to go to court for each of those, and the results are always the same,” Las Vegas ACLU attorney Allen Lichtenstein said. 

The new lawsuit accuses Las Vegas police of harassing street performers, also known as buskers, on the Strip.  The lawsuit names the Metropolitan Police Department, Sheriff Doug Gillespie and three other Las Vegas police officers, Clark County, District Attorney David Roger and Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto as defendants. 

ACLU attorney Maggie McLetchie said her group accepted the case “because street performers have free speech rights and the right to free expression, including on the Strip.” 

“Cases that were litigated have made clear that the sidewalks on the Las Vegas Strip are a public forum,” she said. “Despite this fact, we received a number of complaints from street performers that Metro was telling them they couldn’t perform.” 

Banasik and Jablonski both said they entertain tourists simply for the joy of it. They consider any tips they receive a bonus. 

ACLU attorneys say case law protects the performers’ activities even if they solicit money. 

“Lots of cases make clear that the only thing you could really limit is aggressive panhandling,” McLetchie said. 

Lichtenstein said such harassment has a “chilling effect” that keeps other performers away out of a fear that they will be cited or arrested. 

“For well over a decade, there’s been this attempt to make the sidewalks up and down Las Vegas Boulevard on the Strip the private domain of the hotel-casinos and their interests,” Lichtenstein said. “And the fact that the police continue to think that it’s more important to serve those interests rather than to protect the rights of free speech on those sidewalks as ordered by federal courts is disheartening.”

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Cher Returning to Big Screen

Caesars Palace headliner Cher is returning to the big screen, after a 10-year absence.  She will sing while playing Christina Aguilera’s mother in “Burlesque,” which starts filming in November.

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Pussycat Dolls Creator Announces New Las Vegas Performer Matt Goss

Burlesque Pussycat Doll’s founder and choreographer Robin Antin has a new act coming to Las Vegas.  British singer Matt Goss on September 4 will start performing regularly at the Lounge in the Palms Casino & Hotel. MattGoss

Goss was the lead singer of 1980s pop group Bros, recording and performing many UK chart-topping tunes. In the summer of 2003, Goss did a tour of 13 UK venues, releasing in November his first single in the UK since 1996, “I’m Coming With Ya,” that reached number 22 in the UK charts. 

He also appeared on the TV reality TV show “Hell’s Kitchen;” in March 2005 he released his autobiography, “More Than You Know”. 

“Matt will be having women in the audience just crying, “says Antin, adding, it doesn’t hurt that “he looks like David Beckham.”

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19-Year-Old Las Vegas Jazz Jam Session Still Wails

West Las Vegas was historically a proving ground for many of a young musician. Ray Anthony, Lionel Hampton, Sy Zenter and others picked a spot at one of the six clubs on Jackson Street in Las Vegas on Monday nights and jammed, because most musicians were off on Mondays. HuckDaniels

Those old days still live on in Las Vegas at the Huck Daniels Celebrity Jam at 8 p.m. Saturdays in the Fiesta lounge in the El Cortez.   Usually the sessions are packed and last until 1 or 2 in the morning, with more than a dozen musicians and vocalist usually taking their turn onstage, providing some of the best “hidden” entertainment in Las Vegas at a price that’s hard to beat: a two-drink minimum. 

It has not been easy for the Huck Daniels Celebrity Jam session, which began 19 years ago at the Aladdin, then bounced around to the Maxim, Continental, and the Stratosphere before landing at its present home at the El Cortez. 

“Now it’s a struggle to survive,” says guitarist Huck Daniels, who moved to Las Vegas from Reno in 1962.  “Back in the day, young musicians with a lot of experience could play smaller clubs till they got up on their instrument and stuff.  We don’t have that anymore and as a result you have guys who don’t know how to act on stage. 

“About a third or the people here are singers and musicians, the rest are just fans,” Daniels says.

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Human Nature, Smokey Robinson Take Las Vegas Back to Doo-Wop’n Roots

Human Nature, below, the Australian all male vocal group that formed as a doo-wop band called 4Trax in 1989, while theVBAIMG_1149SMALL four boys were still in high school in Sydney, has now turned into a top chart-smashing Motown group that is wowing sold-out crowds at the Imperial Palace with feel-good music.  Long in talent, they also have the distinction of having the longest show name in Las Vegas:  “Smokey Robinson Presents Australia’s Human Nature – the Ultimate Celebration of Motown.” 

The band already has 17 Top 40 hits and five Top 10 hits in Australia since 1996, when their first album Telling Everybody was released.   Their three follow-up albums all went multi-platinum in Australia.  

The King of Motown, Smokey Robinson, right, their producer along with Adam Steck, is also in talks to perform solo at Imperial Palace on Friday’s, Human Nature’s day off. VBAIMG_0939SMALL

“Very seldom do I get really excited about something musically,” said Robinson when he recently introduced the singers.  “But these guys blew me away.  They are singers’ singers.  In their area of the world they are the Beatles.  They haven’t been exposed in the United States yet, but they’re getting ready to take us by storm.”

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Kitsch Rules: Live Rock ‘N Roll Music Plays Every Mile Down Las Vegas Strip Marathon

The Las Vegas Marathon has long been a tradition in the Las Vegas Valley, but now the large national and international appealing race, along with the race course, is getting a whole new makeover under new leadership. The Las Vegas Rock N’ Roll Marathon unveiled it plans last week for their inaugural race on December 6 and the big change for runners is that they will be running smack dab on the Strip, not racing down residential streets as in past years. 

But that’s not all.  To provide a truly Las Vegas entertainment overload experience, local and regional live bands, not DJs, will be playing every mile and there will be competitions at the water stations for runners. 

On top of that, many runners will be dressed up in costumes, running for causes, and, yes, even getting married in group ceremonies during the run.

The estimated 20,000 runners and 150,000 spectators this year will hopefully also bring some much needed revenue to the City of Entertainment. If participation in the marathon reaches the numbers expected, organizers believe it will bring in about $40 million to Las Vegas and about $1 million in tax revenues.

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702.tv Launches in Las Vegas

702.tv recently launched in Las Vegas its new Web and TV product from Greenspun Interactive.  “News never looked so good,” touts the tagline of 702.tv’s promotional ads, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the show’s non-traditional approach to news.

Rob Curley, president and editor of Greenspun Interactive, said the project is part of a challenge laid out to his team by Brian Greenspun, Curley’s boss and Las Vegas media mogul who owns the Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Weekly, Greenspun Interactive, Vegas.com and a host of other properties in Sin City.

“If I were to try and tell you that this was built to save democracy, I’d be lying,” Curley said in a phone interview with Poynter. “We’re not trying to reinvent the news, we’re trying to go after an audience that doesn’t care about the news and trying to figure out how can we trick them into learning something. If we can reach that market and help our advertisers have success, we get to fund more journalism.”

To describe 702.tv to journalists (whom he emphatically emphasizes are not the target audience of the program), Curley has used the analogy of a bowl full of Skittles with a handful of vitamins mixed in; the show has a colorful, fun-loving format with a little bit of news that’s good for you.

The 30 minute, twice-weekly show airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. (PT) n VegasTV, a cable station that Greenspun has a major stake in. The show will also be distributed through multiple platforms — the Web, mobile devices and Apple TV.

The 702.tv team plans to go five days a week in the fall, with a potential lead-in from syndicated episodes of “The Office.” A staff of 11 produces the show with much of the content coming from local Web videos created from the company’s entertainment sites, including the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly. Curley said that generally a three-to-four minute package on the Web during the week ends up becoming a 90-second piece in a TV episode.

Curley said the new product will be marketed through ads and content promotion in the Greenspun family of publications, including two daily pages in the Las Vegas Sun devoted to sports and entertainment news, interactive billboards around Las Vegas, semi-monthly promotional parties and appearances on Las Vegas media outlets.

Curley admits 702.tv is in its early stage of development and is going to be constantly evolving. “The whole thing is a work in progress,” he said. “One of the things we learned out of Studio 55 is this sucker better evolve every day — and that means the broadcast piece and the Web piece.” 

The team is experimenting with new revenue models, including the use of “promotional partners” within the production to earn money. 702.tv hasn’t integrated any yet, but Curley said they will be clearly labeled and produced separately by Sun Media Productions (also a Greenspun business).

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Cheap Trick Presents Unique Beatles Tribute Show in Las Vegas

The classic rock act Cheap Trick will perform the Fab Four’s landmark album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.CheapTrick

The Surrender hitmakers staged a tribute to the Fab Four at the Hollywood Bowl in August 2007 – to mark the 40th anniversary of the album – and they’ll take the show to Sin City for nine stage spectaculars. They’ll be joined onstage by a full orchestra starting on September 13.

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Michael Jackson’s Death Draws Huge Auction Sales in Las Vegas

Before he died, Michael Jackson was on the down and out, broke to the tune of approximately $50 million- and growing.  

Now that he’s gone, sales for any of his memorabilia are skyrocketing, with his children and estate executor more than likely well taken care of for their lifetimes. 

On Friday, Julien’s Auction sold photos of Jackson, autographed albums and other memorabilia for a hefty sum at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. 

Jackson’s lot was expected to gross $10,000 to $30,000.  It raked in $205,000.

“He’s back on top. He’s shining with the stars in heaven,” said Warwick Stone, who bought a piece of Jackson. 

A Jackson 5 album signed by the band garnered $27,000.  Vintage photos: $2,200.  A Victory Tour costume shirt of Michael’s: $42,000. 

Stone finds it sad but true that it takes dying to put Jackson’s value “back on the top.”

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Michael Jackson Acts in Las Vegas Get Tribute Style Facelifts

Michael Jackson’s death has caused Las Vegas impressionists and comedians to scurry and quickly alter their acts, turning satirical scenes into sincere tributes. TerryFator3

Mirage headliner Terry Fator said he would cut a segment where he dresses up as Jackson and asks a cowboy puppet named Walter for country music lessons, where the cowboy is a little wary of the superstar. 

Golden Nugget headliner Gordie Brown is changing his Jackson impression of the “Billie Jean” song that has a parody of jokes about the singer having body parts fall off after too much plastic surgery. 

“American Superstars,” which features Frederick Henry performing at the Stratosphere, is looking for a way to pay a serious tribute to Jackson. 

Carrot Top’s publicist, Steve Flynn, said the Luxor comedian’s crew has already started editing the show-closing rock sequence which features Jackson’s music.  The comedian has removed all jokes that made fun of Jackson, but kept in a moment where he strikes a Jackson pose in front of an industrial fan, repositioning it as a tribute.

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Michael Jackson’s Ties to Las Vegas

Although Michael Jackson never performed a ticketed show in Las Vegas during his adult career, he had a high profile in the city and was a frequent visitor and sometimes resident in the recent years. MichaelJacksondeath

A teenage Jackson and his brother performed on the Las Vegas Strip as the Jackson 5, starting in April 1974 at the original MGM Grand (now Bally’s).  They performed several times that year. 

The King of Pop was also a guest for long stretches in the poolside villas of The Mirage during the ‘90s, when his friend Steve Wynn was the hotel chairman. 

The closest Jackson came to a ticketed performance in Las Vegas was in February 1994, when “The Jackson Family Honors” was taped in front of a live audience at the MGM Grand Garden arena for an NBC special.   The crowd screamed and cheered so much when Jackson came onstage that it took several minutes for him to be able to continue with his presentation, with his longtime friend and confidante Elizabeth Taylor finally quieting the crowd. 

Jackson started turning up more frequently in Las Vegas beginning in 2002.  He received the key to Las Vegas from Mayor Oscar Goodman in October 2003, and lived in Las Vegas with his children during a six-month stretch in 2007.  

On and off during the past decade he lived in Las Vegas in a Spanish Trails mansion owned by the Prince of Brunei, a home on West Palomino Lane (near Wasden Elementary School), and a rented house just west of Decatur Boulevard near Sahara Avenue. 

It is not immediately known how recently he lived in Las Vegas, but CNN reported he relocated from the Las Vegas to Los Angeles in May. 

During the filming of a controversial British documentary that aired in 2003, journalist Martin Bashir followed Jackson on shopping sprees around Las Vegas. 

Jackson created a media circus on November 20, 2003, when he returned to Las Vegas from Santa Barbara, California after posting his $3 million bail following charges of child molestation.  A slow-speed car chase ensued in the evening as local and national media followed from the air and ground Jackson’s Lincoln Navigator as it wandered the streets of Las Vegas and Henderson. 

Jackson stayed during that period at Green Valley Ranch and the Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas before moving back to California to await his trial.   After being exonerated in June 2005, he left the United States for 18 months, spending time between Dubai and Ireland, before flying to Las Vegas on Christmas Eve 2006 with his children. 

He ended his stay in Las Vegas in June 2007, leaving a Summerlin rental home in filthy shambles, with piles of junk left on the curb in his wake. 

During his stay in Las Vegas, Jackson and his children were often spotted at local shows and attractions, fueling reports that Jackson three years ago was pursuing a Celine Dion-type residency on the Strip.  Eventually, Steve Wynn, chairman of Wynn Resorts, had to issue an official denial of any plans to host Jackson in June 2005. 

In December 2008, Jackson was bailed out of the $24.5 million he owned on Neverland Ranch in California when Colony Capital, owned by billionaire Tom Barrack, bought the loan that also owns the Las Vegas Hilton.  That fueled speculation that Jackson would perform in La s Vegas to pay off the debt. 

The Wall Street Journal reported the possible tribute show at the Hilton similar to Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles show “Love” at The Mirage in Las Vegas.   Although talks and dinner meetings ensued with potential promoters, his “This is It” tour ended up planned in London. 

He was rumored to be a possible headliner at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. AEG Live, which books the Colosseum, said only that Jackson’s performance in London there would be judged for viability before discussing plans to bring him to Las Vegas. 

About a year and a half ago, Jackson resided and recorded at the Studio at the Palms Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas for two months, with Akon and RedOne producing.  Some of the material appeared on the 25th anniversary of his “Thriller” album, released last year.  It is not known how much more his work recorded there remains unreleased or the future of it.

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Huge “Ribbon of Life” Theatrical Show Comes to Las Vegas

The annual “Ribbon of Life” is a completely original production show. The largest show of its kind staged in Las Vegas, the production typically involves more than 200 performers from Las Vegas Strip shows and other theatrical organizations in the city. All talent in the show donates their time and talents to the cause, and the Las Vegas Hilton donated the theater space. 

It’s an all-original, all-singing, all-dancing musical throwback to the heydays of Vegas when Las Vegas-based HIV/AIDS charity Golden Rainbow presents its 23rd annual “Ribbon of Life” fundraising production show. The spectacular will be staged June 28 at 1 p.m. in the Hilton Theater at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas. 

The production is a fun dose of old Vegas nostalgia that will have you tappin’ your toes and singing along. Scheduled to appear are George Wallace, Human Nature, MTV’s Top Pop Group Mosaic and performers from Chapquist Entertainment, “Fantasy,” “Jersey Boys,” “Jubilee!,” “Ka,” “La Femme,” “Love,” “O,” “Phantom the Las Vegas Spectacular,” “Rich & Famous,” Searcy Entertainment, “Sin City Bad Girls,” “Voci Vegas” and “Zumanity.” 

The show is staged in three acts, celebrating the fun Vegas entertainment traditions of Rock & Roll (complete with Elvis tribute), Supper Club and Motown. Directing are veteran Las Vegas performers Chris Coaley and Shannon Hardin. 

Tickets are priced at $250, $200, $150, $100 and $50 and are available at www.goldenrainbow.org by calling (702) 384-2899.  All proceeds benefit Golden Rainbow’s mission to provide housing and direct financial assistance to Southern Nevadans living with HIV/AIDS and to support prevention education. Special room rates are available for attendees at the Las Vegas Hilton by calling (800) 732-7117.

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Where are the Las Vegas live entertainers?

Las Vegas was historically synonymous with live musicians playing in all the casinos and clubs.  They were in every nook and crany in Las Vegas.  But, with each passing year, a decreasing number of venues offer the real deal.  So, where have all the live entertainers gone?  While not extinct, but nearly so, the answer is simple: expensive tax laws sourly mixing with club profit goals and our continuing economic challenges.  Lounge

Nevada’s live entertainment law passed in 2003, went into effect on January 1, 2004, and was modified in 2005.  By Nevada Gaming Commission and State gaming Control board guidelines, gaming venues are required to pay – depending on the property’s gaming license (restricted or non-restricted), number of tables and/or slot machines and occupancy – between 5 and 10 percent casino entertainment tax from their gross receipts for hosting live entertainment events. 

The tax kicks in when live performances commence or when a cover is being charged for the host venue, whichever comes earliest. 

Neither you, the physical club nor the DJ counts as live entertainment – thus the meteoric DJ growth in Las Vegas.  Thing that do count:  singers, dancers, magicians, dancers, actors, acrobats, animals, and, yes, even circuses.  Flair bartenders don’t count unless they sing, dance, or perform acrobatics. 

“Unarmed combat,” NASCAR races, and events where all proceeds go to entirely nonprofit organizations are also exempt, as are outdoor concerts at non-gaming venues.  Fashion shows are taxable, but models coincidentally mingling in high-fashion clothes are not.  Karaoke is also exempt unless the leader/host is paid and performs.  

Go-go dancers and troupes can only perform in clubs for short periods- nine minutes at a time and no more than 20 minutes collectively in an hour.  To get around that, many Las Vegas clubs put the women to work as cocktail servers, shot girls or hostesses as their primary on-paper function; those who happen to also dance as their secondary function are exempt from the tax. 

And for all the entertainment the live entertainers provide, the patrons are still tax exempt.  Passing some of the steep tax in whole or part to customers is one way to avoid the problem; that’s how concert venues generally handle it. 

But many Las Vegas venues take the position of having an impromptu performance by a celebrity host (technically therefore a guest or patron who happens just to be a celebrity) – thus the reason that many times you don’t know who exactly is coming to a club.  A billed act or advertised performance is a surefire way to set the tax into motion.  Many just “suck it up” and pay the tax in hopes for bigger offsetting revenue returns. 

As readers of Las Vegas Backstage Access, what’s your recommended solution to get more live music and other entertainment?

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Las Vegas Celebrates Abolition of Slavery

The Civil War has long since ended and slaves freed, but the spirit of the historic occasion lives on in Las Vegas during the 9th Annual Juneteenth Festival.  slavery

The national celebration of Juneteenth was precipitated after Union soldiers, lead by Maj. Gen. George Granger, landed in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865 and made a proclamation that the Civil War had ended and the slaves were free– nearly 2 ½ years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Despite the holiday falling into obscurity at the start of the 20th century, as many blacks migrated north and became separated from the roots of the tradition, and early ordinances forbid the celebration of Juneteenth on public property, the celebration has since rapidly gained steam and become a longtime tradition, especially in the South.  Historically, it was celebrated with fishing outings and barbecues on local church grounds. 

Juneteenth is a family-oriented Las Vegas event, including carnival games, art and craft booths, speakers, plenty of vendors hawking their wares, and, what would this festival be if not plenty of barbecued chicken and fried catfish– but no beer.

Scheduled performers include Grammy award-winning singer Najee, the Australian doo-wop group and Imperial Palace headliners Human Nature, “step” group Molodi, comedian and Flamingo headliner George Wallace and the cast members from Stomp Out Loud, who will join Skip Martin, lead singer of the platinum-selling funk-pop super group Kool & The Gang, as the headlining acts for the annual citywide celebration. 

The Las Vegas Juneteenth Festival will conclude today, Saturday, running from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Sammy Davis, Jr. Plaza in Lorenzi Park, located a few blocks west on Washington Avenue past Rancho Boulevard.  Admission is free.

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Las Vegas First Friday ‘Art Crawl’ Event Takes Nosedive

Selling cultural art opportunities in Las Vegas that are ostensibly designed to benefit residents, and not so much the tourists, is apparently a very difficult sell. 

‘First Friday’ in Las Vegas started in 2002 as an art crawl, or a monthly block party on the first Friday of each month that includes downtown galleries and businesses in the Las Vegas Downtown Arts District.  Art galleries were open.  Musicians would take to the sidewalks next to psychics, poets and other strolling performers.  Crowds grew from a few hundred to as many as 10,000, requiring barricades, police officers and a host of special permits. 

But now all that has changed.  No white familiar tents dotting the landscape.  No stages blasting rock music.  No crowds lining up in large lines at food vendors. 

Funding problems are causing Whirlygig, the nonprofit organization running the event, to scale back considerably.  Founder Cindy Funkhouser has been seeking money, including private donations, but not enough has resulted to keep the festival going. 

Festival costs are in excess of $13,000 a month for barricades, stages, power, lighting and permits.  Las Vegas, which is a large support of the event, contributing $80,000 a year, now concentrates that amount on just six months, when crowds are the largest, rather then the entire year.  It hoped Whirlygig would grow into a self-sustaining organization.  It didn’t. 

Funkhouser says she and her husband, Rick Dominguez, want to get back to presenting the large festival, but says “We’re just kind of winging it.  I’m just kind of at the point where this is what it is.”

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“Country Superstars Tribute” Act Temporarily Ends in Las Vegas

CountryStarsTributeThe “Country Superstars Tribute” is wrapping up their performances at Fitzgeralds in Las Vegas on June 28, with the “Marriage Can Be Murder” dinner show moving in the next day. 

The country show with the “Legends’ impersonator format has been growing strong for two years and more than 500 shows.  But the live band and multi-act format proved to be top-heavy for the room, which only seats about 120 people. 

Ron Keel, who originally co-produced and performed as Ronnie Dunn, has been spending more time out of the show, trying to revive his ‘80s rock band, Keel.  Producer Leonard Quenneville hopes to find a Las Vegas venue large enough to support the show’s format. 

“Marriage” will put the audience closer to fellow suspects when the dinner show gives up the Canyon Club at Four Queens for the cozier space at Fitzgeralds.

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Michael Jackson Faces $40 Million Lawsuit When Departing to London Shows This Week

Before heading off to London early this week, pop music icon Michael Jackson has a new $40 million lawsuit to contend with.   According to his attorney Ira Meyerowitz the new breach of contract lawsuit reportedly won’t stop Jackson from going ahead with his plans to perform in the 50-show “This is  It” tour in London. 

Allgood Entertainment reportedly had a signed contract with Michael’s manager to do a reunion concert with members of the Jackson family and produce it as a pay-per-view spectacular. The contract apparently had stipulations in it forbidding the sometimes Las Vegas resident to perform elsewhere beforehand or for 90 days afterward. 

But the London shows violated contract terms even before he’d performed them. Allgood’s managing partner, Patrick Allocco, said, “We’ve given Michael Jackson and his London promoters every opportunity to resolve this, but we have not heard from anyone. … . We want to be compensated for an agreement they entered into or be involved in some way with the London shows.” 

The deal called for him not to perform elsewhere for a certain period of time before the event or for at least three months after it. The lawsuit, now in court in New Jersey, says Jackson, manager Frank DiLeo and event promoter AEG Live/Concerts West broke the contract by signing to do the London series of concerts this summer. 

So far, representatives for Jackson and AEG have made no comment.

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Entertainer “Cuchi-Cuchi” Charo Quits Tribal Tour, Packs Bags for Vegas

It’s been a long time since the Latin flamenco guitar-playing jokster Charo has graced the Las Vegas Strip- 2003 to be to beCharo exact.   With the former burlesque show “An Evening at La Cage” closing at the Riviera, she’s heading to the showroom on July 10, complete with all her side-splitting boobie jokes. 

Charo briefly headlined at the Sevilla nightclub (now the V Theater) at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas before it went bankrupt in April 2003.  Since then the part-time Las Vegan has mostly entertained by touring tribal casinos.

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Burlesque Queens Flaunt Their Pasties in Las Vegas

The Burlesque Hall of Fame’s annual Exotic World Weekend is running now through Sunday at The Orleans in Las Vegas.   The talent gathering includes retired and active burlesque dancers.  It’s been the fifth venue for the celebration in as many years. ExoticWorldWeekend

Burlesque greats like Tempest Storm, Kitten DeVille, and Candy Caramelo (billed as the “world’s biggest showgirl,” flaunting her 46DDD cups) will be on hand (or in hand?) doing their thang. 

“We’re happy to have our own little world,” executive producer Frederic Apcar says of the 800 vintage-wear enthusiasts that are planned to frolic at the event. 

The “Best of Burlesque” pageant will be on Saturday.  On Sunday their “Closing Gala” will star El Vez, the gay Mexican Elvis Presley.  For information, click on over to www.burlesquehall.com or call The Orleans box office at 702-365-7070.

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Top 10 Las Vegas Songs to Hum

When traveling to Las Vegas to gamble and party (yes, Obama, Las Vegas Backstage Access said it), it’s always good to seek relief and soothe the losses and migraines by humming to tunes that are written about the city. 

Although the official theme song of Las Vegas is “Shine, Las Vegas,” by George Dare, proclaimed in a 1986 city proclamation, here’s the Top 10: 

“Viva Las Vegas,” Elvis Presley (Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman)

“Leaving Las Vegas,” Sheryl Crow (Sheryl Crow, Bill Bottrel, David Baerwald, Kevin Gilbert and David Ricketts)

“Let’s Go to Vegas,” Faith Hill (Karen Stanley)

“Big in Vegas,” Buck Owens (Buck Owens, Terry Stafford)

“Sin City,” AC/DC (Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Bon Scott)

“Heaven or Las Vegas,” Cocteau Twins (Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde)

“Here’s to Las Vegas,” Barry Manilow (Barry Manilow)

“Me and My Monkey,” Robbie Williams (Robbie Williams)

“Sin City,” Flying Burrito Brothers (Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, Pete Kleinow, Chris Ethridge)

“LV (Las Vegas),” Clint Holmes (Clint Holmes and Pat Caddick)

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Jermanine Dupri Bringing The Rat Pack Back to Las Vegas?

Music producer Jermaine Dupri is reportedly on a quest to bring The Rat Pack era to Las Vegas. JermaineDupri 

Dupri, Janet Jackson’s longtime main squeeze, wants to see Las Vegas return to the time when the coolest dudes in town wore tuxes and suits. 

He has recruited Usher and Nelly into a group Dupri has dubbed “Ocean’s 7,” after the Rat Pack movie, “Ocean’s Eleven.” 

“I want to see Vegas go back to what it was,” says Dupri. 

Dupri, usually seen in public dressed in a white tuxedo with a black tie, and his crew has been the recent talk of the Las Vegas club scene, with their impromptu singing performances mirroring the Rat Pack. 

Others in his elite group include music producer Bryan-Michael Cox, singer/songwriter Trey Songz and four-time Grammy winner Johnta Austin (the Sinatra of the group according to Dupri), and Tyrone Davis, Dupri’s personal assistant. 

The idea came to Dupri earlier this year when he was producing Usher’s new album at the Palms recording studios in Las Vegas.  That mix tape of the group has just come out at www.global14.com 

Dupri has reportedly big plans for “Ocean’s 7” including an album, a movie and “the ultimate show in Vegas.”

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Michael Jackson Opening a ‘Thriller’ Casino in Las Vegas

The 50-year-old pop icon singer and prior Las Vegas resident is reportedly planning to launch the zombie-themed gambling den in Las Vegas next year. 

He is also believed to be working on a new album, several films and a museum to house iconic items from his career. 

Jackson is even hoping to launch a three-year world tour after his 50-date residency at London’s O2 arena concludes in March 2010. 

The pop superstar claims he is interested in any business endeavour that can help revive his flagging fortune. Jackson is allegedly over £100 million in debt. He has been sued by dozens of former associates and was even forced to sell his beloved Neverland Ranch last year. 

The star is expected to make nearly £100 million from his ‘This Is It’ London residency, which is due to start next month, but fans fear he will not be fit enough to perform. 

Jackson has already postponed the first four concerts and is facing the prospect of delaying more, as he allegedly battles skin cancer.  The singer reportedly had surgery to remove potentially fatal growths from his nose and arm last month, and may have to undergo intense radiotherapy treatment which would leave him unable to perform live.  Although the 50-year-old star insists he is in great health, doctors are apparently worried about a patch of cancerous skin on his chest.

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Fleetwood Mac in Las Vegas

Iconic mega-band Fleetwood Mac brougth their “Unleashed” tour to the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, May 30.  

Fleetwood Mac was on the road for the first time in five years and it’s the first time the band has not used a tour to support an album.  While there is a recent CD/DVD version of “Rumours” that has hit the stores which includes unreleased tracks and footage, the tour itself is being promoted as a greatest hits show. 

The musician’s onstage as part of Fleetwood Mac has changed several times since they formed in 1967.  And this time around the line-up included John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood.

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Hip Hop Living Legends Award to Toni Basil in Las Vegas

Caesars Palace headliner Bette Midler’s multiple-award-winning choreographer, director, producer and performerToni Basil Toni Basil will receive the 2009 Living Legends of Hip Hop Award at the 8th Annual World Hip Hop Dance Championship at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on August 2. Toni has choreographed and directed commercials, TV shows, movies, music videos and world tours for such entertainment icons as David Byrne, David Bowie and Tina Turner. 

She has served as dance director and choreographer for Midler for more than two decades, including her current hit The Showgirl Must Go On at Caesars Palace and returned for Bette’s new run of shows. Her recording and energetic music video for “Mickey” in a Las Vegas High School cheerleading outfit (her alma mater) have left an indelible mark on pop culture and is placed in the collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. 

At the World Hip Hop Dance Championship, Toni will become the first woman in the event’s history to receive the Living Legends of Hip Hop Award, taking her place alongside such past recipients as MC Hammer, Boogaloo Sam and Don “Campbellock” Campbell.

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Las Vegas CineVegas Film Festival Celebrity Honorees Named

JonVoightJon Voight, left, and Willem Dafoe, right, will be feted at the 11th annual CineVegas film festival starting on June 14 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.  Voight will receive the Marquee Award, and Dafoe, the Vanguard Actor award. Willem Dafoe

The fest will also honor directors George and Mike Kuchar and video game creators Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago. 

The CineVegas film festival will run June 10-15 in Las Vegas.

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Nickelback Brings Dark Horse Tour to Las Vegas

Nickelback is bringing their Dark Horse tour to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, September 6.  Special guests include Hinder, Papa Roach and Saving Abel. Nickelback

Their 32-city tour kicked off in February and they have been selling out arenas all across the country ever since.  The Nashville Scene succinctly said it best:  “…nobody puts on a better show than Nickelback does.” 

Dark Horse, the 2008 release from Nickelback, is their first album since the best selling All The Right Reasons which came out in 2005.  Nickelback currently has the number one rock song in the country with “Something In Your Mouth” and their latest single “If Today Was Your Last Day” has become a radio and video sensation. 

Tickets can be purchased at http://www.mgmgrand.com/entertainment/grand-garden-arena.aspx .  Tickets range in price from $51.50 to $89.50.

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