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Las Vegas Spring Fling, Mint 400, Dining and Concerts

In Vegas VIP Scene-ery by Jackie Brett

BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW”

          BY: Jackie Brett

COPPER WHISK CAFÉ OPENS AT THE ORLEANS: Copper Whisk Café, a new dining concept with southern charm serving up breakfast all day and down-home comfort food 24 hours a day, opened at The Orleans. The restaurant is spacious, open and modern with a menu that has a New Orleans-flair sprinkled throughout. It complements its neighboring dining concepts at the property Alder & Birch Cocktails and Dining and Ondori Asian Kitchen, which both opened early last year. Copper Whisk is the latest dining concept to debut at The Orleans, following the opening of Bailiwick – The Hub of Bites, Sips and Sounds – in November 2016. Prime Rib Loft had a redesign in the middle of 2016.

JON BON JOVI, GWEN STEFANI WILL PERFORM AT POWER OF LOVE® GALA: GRAMMY award-winning artists Jon Bon Jovi and Gwen Stefani will perform during Keep Memory Alive’s 21st annual Power of Love® gala on Thursday, April 27 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. They are the first confirmed performers at the annual philanthropic event, which benefits Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and will honor Ronald O. Perelman, chairman and chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Inc., this year. Chef Michael Mina will join Wolfgang Puck in the kitchen to create a one-of-a-kind menu.

BLONDIE AND GARBAGE TO CO-HEADLINE AT THE PALMS: blonde rock groupRock legends Blondie and multi-platinum selling artists Garbage will co-headline the “Rage and Rapture Tour” at the Pearl Concert Theater inside Palms on Saturday, July 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $59. For the last four decades, Blondie has influenced the worlds of music, fashion and art. From an irreverent Lower East Side punk outfit to bona fide international ambassadors of New York cool, Blondie is synonymous with the punk spirit. Blondie’s chart-topping success led to induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Their 11th studio album “Pollinator” will be released May 5. Garbage, formed in Madison, Wis., released their self-titled debut album in 1995 and in 1998 their follow up album “Version 2.0” garnered multiple Grammy Award nominations including “Album Of The Year.” Garbage took a seven-year hiatus and released their fifth studio album “Not Your Kind of People” in 2012. This summer, Garbage will be releasing an autobiographical coffee table book, “This Is The Noise That Keeps Me Awake.”

BON JOVI – LIVE NATION NAME DARING GREATLY LAS VEGAS OPENING ACT: In January, Jon Bon Jovi held an opening act contest on Facebook Live to give bands the chance to open an arena date on Bon Jovi’s “This House Is Not For Sale Tour.” To enter thousands of bands uploaded audition videos. Each tour stop has a different opening act and after the intense competition, hometown group Daring Greatly were chosen to be Bon Jovi’s opening act Las Vegas. In addition to opening for Bon Jovi on Feb. 25 at T-Mobile Arena, the band will also be featured across Live Nation and Bon Jovi’s Facebook pages. This is the third time the Grammy Award®-winning band has invited local and regional artists to share the stage. The other two tours were in 2006 and 2010. The “This House Is Not for Sale Tour” is Bon Jovi’s first outing since the band’s 2013 “Because We Can World Tour,” which was their third tour in six years to be ranked the No. 1 top-grossing tour in the world, a feat previously only accomplished by The Rolling Stones.

LACEY SCHWIMMER CHOREOGRAPHS ‘LEGENDS’ NEW OPENING NUMBER: Lacey Schwimmer, known for her award-winning talents on “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars,”laughing blonde teamed up with “Legends in Concert” at the Flamingo to choreograph a new production number to open the show. The opening number is featuring the song “Legends Never Die,” which highlights the theme threaded through the show. This is the first time in the show’s 34-year history that there is an opening theatrical number. In addition to the new opening number, the Legends production team consisting of Toni Lee, Melden Steele, Bernard Polk and Hilary Caldwell are also producing a new high-energy finale. Delving into the past, the new cast are representing past superstars: Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

CHER ‘TURNS BACK TIME’ HAS TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO LAS VEGAS: Cher made her highly anticipated return to Las Vegas last week when she launched her extended engagement of “Classic Cher,” at the new Park Theater at Monte Carlo. The Oscar, GRAMMY® and Emmy award-winning superstar’s show is a celebration of her 50-year career and showcases 11 eye-popping, extravagant costumes by legendary designer Bob Mackie plus a troupe of 10 dancers. Cher will return to the Park Theater stage with more dates in February.

DIANA ROSS DELIVERS POWER PUNCH AT THE VENETIAN THEATRE: Diana Ross is back at The Venetian with her 8 p.m. show “The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade.” She opens with a curtain being whisked away to reveal Ross in a spectacular, glittering turquoise dress and boa and singing her 1980 hit “I’m Coming Out.” She closes with chart-topping songs “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “I Will Survive.” Ross has more dates this month, Feb. 14, 17, 18, 22, 24 and 25.

MIX 94.1 HOLDS ANNUAL ‘SPRING FLING’ CONCERT AT RED ROCK RESORT: This year’s Mix 94.1 annual “Spring Fling” concert will man in blue shirtfeature performances by OneRepublic, Gavin DeGraw and Andy Grammer at the Sandbar poolside venue at the Red Rock Resort on Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $43. A portion of all tickets sold will be donated to a charity of the artists’ choice. OneRepublic released their first full-length “Dreaming Out Loud” in 2007. Their fourth studio album “Oh My My” was released last October and now the group is setting their sights on another journey across the globe. Gavin DeGraw is a multi-platinum selling singer, performer and songwriter, whose debut release was his 2003 debut album, “Chariot.” In 2013, DeGraw released his fourth studio album, “Make A Move,” which included the hit song “Best I Ever Had.” In addition, DeGraw was nominated for his first Grammy for “We Both Know,” the song he co-wrote with Colbie Calliat for the 2013 film, “Safe Haven.”  Since then he has been touring around the world, including sold out dates with Billy Joel. New York-raised Andy Grammer was discovered as a California street corner on the Santa Monica Promenade. He was signed by S-Curve Records and released his self-titled debut album in 2011. His latest single “Fresh Eyes” is a streaming phenomenon with more than 150 million streams, certified gold and on the Top 10 Adult Pop Radio. Grammer is finishing up writing his next album.

JAY LENO AND ROBIN LEACH WILL BE PART OF THE MINT 400: On Saturday, March 4 the 2017 Polaris RZR Mint 400 presented by BF Goodrich Tires will feature two races: the Limited Class Race at sunrise andtwo men at races the Unlimited Class Race just after noon. Pre-race festivities will begin earlier in the week. Jay Leno will be racing in a nearly stock Camburg Engineering built Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. An avid automotive enthusiast, Leno who hosts “Jay Leno’s Garage” will start the race with Ryan Millen as his co-driver and then hand over driving duties to builder/racer Jerry Zaiden who will finish the race with off-road journalist Fred Williams as his co-driver. The Mint 400 has a rich history of attracting celebrity racers. Former “Tonight Show” host Leno joins the esteemed ranks of James Garner, Steve McQueen, Patrick Dempsey, Chuck Norris, Demarcus Ware, and Sal Masekela just to name a few. Leno’s adventures racing the Mint 400 will be featured on his TV show “Jay Leno’s Garage” exposing off-road racing to millions of automotive fans. Las Vegas resident and entertainment luminary Robin Leach has been named the Grand Marshal for the Mint 400. Leach is best known for hosting the TV show, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” and has worked as a professional journalist for more than 50 years. He’s currently writing for the “Las Vegas Review Journal.” Leach was originally connected to off-road racing through his son Steve Leach, who has been a longtime chase crew member of the McMillin Off-Road Team. Leach will lead the 4 Wheel Parts Mint 400 Vehicle Procession presented by Odyssey Battery, which features more than  ten million dollars’ worth of racecars rumbling down the Las Vegas Strip to Fremont Street East, kicking off the week of Mint 400 festivities. Leach will also be on hand for the massive Odyssey Battery Mint 400 Contingency & Technical Inspection held on Friday, March 3, which will host all 330 race vehicles. Each competitor will slowly parade down Fremont Street in front of fifteen thousand off-road fans and nearly two hundred of the industry’s leading OEM’s and aftermarket product companies.

FREEDOM BEAT STARTS MONTHLY ROADIE DINNER SERIES: When Freedom Beat at the Downtown Grand opened, it promised to pay homage to the tastes and tunes of the American road. For culinary aficionados, Freedom Beat is starting a monthly road trip dinner series beginning Wednesday, March 1 with Culinary Road Trip Featuring Chef Scott Commings. The First stop is New Orleans in time to honor the annual Mardi Gras. Chef Scott Commings, winner of “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 12, will host the dinner series designed to be family-style and interactive the first Wednesday of every month. Unlike traditional dinner series, the Culinary Road Trip is designed for those who like wonderful food, good music and great fun. Tickets are $35 and only 20-25 seats will be available. All guests will receive a Culinary Road Trip Passport…the more Road Trip cities visited; the more rewards and dining experiences will available for future visits. Future places for the dinner series will include: April 5 Colorado; May 3 Wisconsin; June 7 New York; July 5 Philadelphia; and Aug. 2 Washington.

TORY SPORT WILL OPEN FIRST STORE IN LAS VEGAS: Tory Sport, a performance active wear brand from New York City and launched inexterior of sport tore February 2004 by Tory Burch, will open a 1,900-square-fooot retail space at the Fashion Show Mall in spring 2017. With more than 180 boutiques globally, Tory Sport sells high-performance clothing, bags, shoes and accessories for running, tennis, golf, studio, swim, as well as coming and going. The interior will have a Scandinavian design and channel the casual vibe of a 70s surf lodge. It will be classically clean and modern with subtle nods to sports throughout.

ATOMIC TESTING MUSEUM HOSTS TREASURES FROM THE SEA LECTURE: The National Atomic Testing Museum on East Flamingo will host veteran diver and treasure hunter David Vapnitsky for his lecture “Treasures from the Sea” on Friday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $5 per person and free for museum members. Vapnitsky was a member of the 1985 “Golden Crew” dive team, which recovered hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of treasure from the sunken Spanish Galleon Atocha. The Atocha was the most famous of a fleet of Spanish ships that sank in 1622 off the Florida Keys, carrying 36 tons of silver and gold. Today, the Atocha salvage is estimated to be worth near $600 million. Vapnitsky will have Atocha coins and other 400-year-old artifacts on display for his talk. In addition, Vapnitsky supplies the Trinitite samples sold in the museum’s gift shop.  The green-colored glass residue was left on the desert floor following the Trinity nuclear bomb test in New Mexico, and is a favorite souvenir.

LUCKY DRAGON PLANS TO EXPAND HIGH-END GAMING AREA: Lucky Dragon, the first property in Las Vegas to offer authentic Asian casino interiorAsian gaming, dining and lifestyle experience, is already planning to expand its VIP Gaming Lounge to accommodate the growing rolling chip program as well as non-rolling VIP gaming. The updated space will serve the casino’s VIP guests, offering gaming in an intimate environment surrounded by high-end décor designed to bring luck and good fortune to its guests. As part of the property changes, Dragon’s Alley will have a short-term full closure to make room for the new Dragon’s Alley noodle bar. Additionally, the current main dining space inside Dragon’s Alley will be repurposed as the expanded space for the Pearl Ocean. The space currently housing Pearl Ocean will be redesigned to accommodate the additional VIP table games. Lucky Dragon currently has two high-end gaming areas – The Emerald Room on the ground floor, and the ultra-luxurious, second-story VIP Gaming Lounge. Both offer Macau-style gaming and the same amenities that will be available in the new gaming space, including private banquet dining options, a relaxing lounge, full cash and cage services and 24-hour butler service.

LUCKY DRAGON HOSTS SECOND SOUTHWEST TEA FESTIVAL : The new Lucky Dragon will be hosting the second two-day and newly expanded Southwest Tea Festival all day on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25 and 26 starting at 10 a.m. One day tickets can be purchased for $30 and two day tickets for $50. The festival, born last year in Downtown 3rd street’s Farmer’s Market building, will feature tastings, educational sessions, cuppings, pairings, and tea demonstrations from tea enthusiasts throughout the Southwest.

***RESTAURANT NEWS TIPS***

This week, in anticipation of CHICA’s spring 2017 opening, featured chef Lorena Garcia’s portrait will be added to The Venetian’s 21-foot-tall outdoor celebrity chef wall with such culinary luminariesfemale chef in white as Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Keller, Mario Batali, Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro and Emeril Lagasse. Garcia, Venezuelan-born restaurateur, philanthropist, TV personality, TV producer, and published author Du-Par’s Restaurant, will be the Strip’s first female Latina chef.  & Bakery at the Golden Gate downtown since 2010, due to financial reasons, closed last week. It was a leased tenant at the historic hotel. There is still a Du-Par’s at the Suncoast that opened last year. On Feb.16 from 6-8 p.m. Hussongs at Boca Park will serve and all-you-can-eat buffet and a complimentary original margarita or beer to celebrate American Heart Month. Tickets are $25 with a portion of the proceeds going to the American Heart Association.  For the entire month of February, anyone with a first name starting with the letter “T” and proof with a valid ID, will receive 50-percent off their individual bill at Tom’s Urban inside New York-New York. Therapy restaurant, located in the Fremont East Entertainment District, has a new partnership with the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts student art(LVA). Therapy is displaying LVA senior students’ paintings throughout the American-gastro restaurant for a couple weeks and the artwork is available for purchase with profits benefiting LVA and its students. For National Margarita Day on Wednesday, Feb. 22, Cabo Wabo Cantina inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood will be celebrating serving up a tequila fix all day. Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m. offers “Half-Off.”

MUSEUM NEWS: Debuting at the Natural History Museum on Feb. 15 and on display through March 31 will be Andrew Feiler Fine Art Photography’s dual collection, “Naturally Nevada” and “The Wild World.” For the month of February, BODIES The Exhibition at the Luxor is raising funds and awareness for the American Heart Association in recognition of American Heart Month. Donations are being collected in the gift shop while special facts are on display through the exhibition such as: An individual has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the United States.

MAVERICK HELICOPTERS RECEIVES FAA’S 2016 EXCELLENCE AWARD: Maverick Helicopters recently received the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) 2016 Award of Excellence “Diamond Award” honoring the company’s ongoing dedication to maintenance training and aircraft safety. This is Maverick Helicopters’ sixth consecutive Diamond Award for its Las Vegas and Grand Canyon South Rim locations and the second consecutive award for its Maui, Hawaii, facility since its inception in 2015.