Tag Archives: Las Vegas entertainment

Criss Angel Wins “Magician of the Century” Award

Las Vegas magician and illusionist and Luxor headliner Criss Angel has won the “Magician of the Century” award, which was presented to him after Angel’s second “Believe” show this Tuesday by Tony Hassini, founder of the International Magicians Society. 

Hassini was at the center of a controversy last year when questions arose after his society reportedly honored three different female magicians as the top female magicians of the year for 2008, including former Las Vegas headliner “Scarlett — Princess of Magic.”

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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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Spinning Out of Control in Las Vegas

If you’ve driven through any major intersection in Las Vegas (or even along roads around the country) you’ve likely encountered one of them. They’re pumped up, rhythmic, sweating and holding (or spinning, or jumping over) some kind of sign while trying to make eye contact. In the industry they’re known as “human directionals,” and they take many forms—ranging from a man in an Astro Boy costume with a “COLONICS!” sign at Green Valley Parkway and Interstate 215 to Pelvis Cleansly, the colonics-crooner dressed like Elvis who works for A Gentle Cleanse on Wigwam Parkway and Pecos Road.

While we’re a bit, uh, murky on why human directionals point toward colonics so frequently, we do know this: Sign spinners are about more than clean colons. They’re used by all kinds of businesses. And in Las Vegas, they’re perennial.

A variety of companies offer the services of human directionals, a.k.a. sign twirlers or sign wavers. EyeShot, for example, lays claim to being the “original human directional company,” having been in the directional business for more than 26 years. EyeShot works with local businesses to pair them with its attentiongetting sign spinners.

The four or five times a year Cricket Communications uses human directionals from EyeShot, the business has a noticeable increase in traffic, says Traci Holman, office manager for Cricket in Las Vegas. “It drives business,” she says.

Sign spinners who work for Aarrow Advertising, which is based in San Diego but operates in Las Vegas and 26 other cities, puts its spinners through a boot camp. By the time they’ve hit the street corners they’ve learned up to 500 tricks out of Aarrow’s “tricktionary,” with names such as the Bruce Lee, the Helicopter and Jump Rope.

But it’s not just about the tricks, according to Joe Ambert, director of business operations for Aarrow. A large amount of training is devoted to the presentation of the sign—how to freeze it and give each of the thousands of passing cars time to read it. That personal touch, he says, is key.

“Traditional forms of advertising are becoming obsolete almost—radio, TV, print,” Ambert says. “Nowadays you have to have something new, you have to stay on top of it. Having street-level advertising that’s targeting the people one by one, or hitting each single target it really causes them to remember the message.” For five years, sign spinner and Aarrow director of training Johnny Aarrow (who legally had his name changed because, he says, he loves being a sign spinner) has worked to share many messages.

But to hear him talk, he’s received at least as much as he’s given.

“On a good day it gets to the level you would see at a concert when someone’s performing onstage,” he says. “There’s 10, 20 people leaning out of their cars screaming, ‘Yeah! That’s awesome!’ And we get tips and, I don’t know how appropriate this is, but I’ve definitely had a couple of people flash me on the corner. It’s full-scale performance. I put everything I have into it and I think people recognize that.”

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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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Shayne Lamas Ties Quick Knot with Nik Richie in Las Vegas

Shayne Lamas, daughter of actor Lorenzo Lamas and recent DUI recepient, is also known for getting picked by Matt Grant in Season 12 of The Bachelor in 2008.  Lamas was proposed to on the show by Grant (photo on right).  Now we learn she has apparently gotten married to someone else that she hasn’t even known for more than a week! 

Lamas, after a brief commitment cementing day or so with TheDirty.com’s Nik Richie, photo on left, the two lovebirds got hitched on April 18 at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.

They opted for the Michael Jordan package and the wedding set the couple back more than $500, but it included 36 digital pictures (ready to post to MySpace) and a DVD of the ceremony (perfect for e-Bay, though a DVD of the wedding night would sell better).

Richie confirmed the nuptials on Twitter, saying, “Last night I got married to an amazing person and we are extremely excited to share our lives together.” 

The newlyweds after their wedding boogied down to the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas to celebrate their union as any respectable couple looking to get their new life together off to a good start would: posing for the paparazzi at Wyclef Jean’s afterparty at Vanity.

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Michelle “Bombshell” McGee Bumps & Grinds in Las Vegas Tonight

Though Jesse James’ alleged mistress was just dropped from a recent Miami, Florida performance gig, and many other gigs as well because of public outrage over her planned appearances, Michelle “Bombshell” McGee has apparently found a much more “friendly” topless place to literally hang out– Las Vegas!  

On April 23 at midnight, she is set to make her first Las Vegas appearance, signing autographs, posing for photos, and dancing topless at Déjà vu Showgirls club in Las Vegas. 

According to the Déjà vu advertising and marketing director director Larry Beard, the club is taking advantage and riding on to her popularity right now. McGee will be paid $5,000 by the club, apart from the tips she will get.

There will also be a large group of tattoo enthusiasts attending.

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