Photo: Erik Kabik

Vegas Grand Openings, Show Updates and Race Events

In Vegas VIP Scene-ery by Jackie Brett


Contributed by Jackie Brett

COMEDY CELLAR DEBUTS AT THE RIO: Comedy Cellar, the longest-running comedy club man in sweaterin New York City will open its first West Coast location at the Rio on April 5. After 36 years, The Cellar as insiders call it, will bring its underground Greenwich Village vibe to its new, intimate 300-seat club inside Rio. Food and bar service will be provided by Rio’s chefs and bartenders. The club uses a showcase format featuring five headliner-level comics, each doing their best 15-20 minutes. Shows are Thursday – Sunday at 7 and 9 p.m. with an additional 11 p.m. performance on Saturdays. General tickets begin at $45.The comedians lined up to open the club April 5-8 include: Mo Amer who toured with Dave Chappelle; Kyle Dunnigan, a regular on Howard Stern; Jessica Kirson who starred in “The Comedian;” and Nathan McIntosh known from appearances on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

KENNY CHESNEY’S TOUR VISITS THE JOINT: Country superstar Kenny Chesney has country singer on stoopscheduled two Las Vegas shows of his “Trip Around The Sun Tour” in conjunction with his new album, “Live in No Shoes Nation.” As one of the few non-stadium dates on the tour, Chesney will return to The Joint at Hard Rock on Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17 at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $150.

NASCAR WEEKEND ATTRACTS RACE FANS: It’s that time race car paradeof year for NASCAR racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), March 2-4, but this year there will be a second race weekend in September. To start off the three days of racing Friday-Sunday, will be the popular NASCAR Hauler Parade with a police escort on Thursday, March 1 from 6-7 p.m. traveling from South Point down the Strip to Sahara, then going to I-15 and out to the raceway via the freeway.The first tripleheader of the year race weekend will begin on March 2 with the Stratosphere Qualifying and Stratosphere 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, followed on Saturday by the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xinfity Series, and capped off on Sunday with the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series presented by Jiffy Lube.Three-time NHRA Top Fuel World Champion Antron Brown will serve as the celebrity pace car driver for Sunday’s big race. Brown will pace the field for the 267-lap race, which is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time and will be televised live on FOX. In addition, two-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion Matt Hagan and five-time Top Fuel event winner Leah Pritchett will be part of the race-day festivities at 1.5-mile speedway.

BOYD PROPERTIES HOST RACE EVENTS: Boyd Gaming, the longest-running title race car driversponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 race, is celebrating the 21st anniversary of Las Vegas’ Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend 2018. Boyd Gaming properties throughout the valley will be hosting special events and promotions for the race. Aliante, located 10 miles from the LVMS will host the official after-party on March 3 at 7:30 p.m. kicking off with a Q&A session with NASCAR Driver Ryan Blaney and veteran FOX Sports Pit Reporter Jamie Little followed by a live performance at 8 p.m. by Black Jacket Symphony: AC/DC’s “Back In Black.” Tickets start at $19.95. The Speedway Children’s Charities Drivers Auction will take place at Sam’s Town Live! inside Sam’s Town on March 1 with a special guest appearance from NASCAR’s Ty Dillon, driver of the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1. The silent auction, benefiting the Las Vegas Chapter of the Speedway Children’s Charities, will feature an array of racing memorabilia and other items. During the live auction, attendees will have the chance to bid on the ride of a lifetime – a chance to join a Monster Energy Cup Series or Xfinity Series driver during the pre-race parade lap for the Pennzoil 400 or Boyd Gaming 300. Doors open at 5 p.m. and bidding will begin at 6 p.m.

MINT 400 OFF-ROAD RACE FOLLOWS NASCAR: The Mint 400 will return to Las Vegas March 7-11. While the race is out in the desert with start and finish line in Primm, Nev., fans can enjoy the display of off-road vehicles, parts and accessories downtown on Fremont Street on Thursday and Friday, March 8 and 9.

ENGLISH SINGER DUA LIPA WILL PERFORM AT THE COSMOPOLITAN: English black hair singersinger and songwriter Dua Lipa has been added to the entertainment lineup at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan on Thursday, June 28 at 8 p.m. Lipa began posting videos of herself covering other artists’ songs online at age 14 and signed with Warner Music Group and released her first single shortly thereafter. She released her self-titled debut studio album last June and was recently nominated in five categories at the 2018 Brit Awards. Tickets start at $39.

DITA VON TEESE WILL BRING BURLESQUE TO HOUSE OF BLUES: Burlesque queen Dita Von Teese will bring her new sparkling “2018 Dita Von Teese and the Copper Coupe” tour, which is in partnership with luxury vodka Absolut Elyx, to House of Blues at Mandalay Bay on Thursday, June 28. Tickets start at $50. Von Teese will appear in a giant-sized seashell with 1,200 pearl balloons and dance with a six-foot bubble pearl. The sparkling star will also debut her most extravagant fully crystallized gown to date, a Catherine D’Lish creation with copper embellishments and extra-large, fancy-cut Aurora Borealis Swarovski crystal. Always captivating, Von Teese will ride astride a giant red lipstick featuring the namesake song “Lipteese.” With her on the tour will be Gia Genevieve, Playboy cover girl and Guess model, and a cast including Dirty Martini, Ginger Valentine, Jett Adore, Zelia Rose and more. The evening’s host will be comedian and singer Jonny McGovern, creator of the popular YouTube channel “Hey Qween!”

DISCOVERY CHILDREN’S MUSEUM’S NEW EXHIBIT IS DESIGN ZONE: The museum display caseDiscovery Children’s Museum new traveling exhibit replacing “Hello from Japan!” is Design Zone, which will run through April 29. In Design Zone, visitors can go behind the scenes and see how video game developers, music producers, roller coaster designers, and other creative problem solvers use math. The interactive display is organized into three thematic zones highlighting the importance of science and mathematical thinking in areas critical to building creativity: Art, Music and Engineering. Mathematical concepts like patterns, variables, scale, slope, and ratios used by artists, architects, engineers, musicians, and other innovators are explored.Design Zone is included in the museum’s admission price $14.50, $12.50 for Nevada residents, and $10.50 for military.

MECHANICAL HORSE RACING IS NEW GAME IN TOWN: Beginning Feb. 28, the D Las pinball slotsVegas will be the first downtown casino to feature the new-to-market, multi-station Fortune Cup™ mechanical horse racing game created by Konami Gaming, Inc. with modern technology improvements. The game will be found on the second-level Vintage Vegas casino floor situated next to another famous equestrian form of entertainment, the Sigma Derby racing experience. Fortune Cup will feature a nine-foot wide mechanical track with eight horses synchronized to real-time digital animation of the game’s action through connected LCD displays. The game will include 10 individualized betting stations with an intuitive touchscreen interface.

PENG ZU AT SUNCOAST CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING: The newest dining experience at Suncoast – Peng Zu – opened in December and officially celebrated its grandchinese dragon opening with a celebratory Lion Dance and restaurant blessing last week. Truly eye-catching are the 50 authentic, screen-printed parasols from China suspended overhead as a ceiling feature. Asian favorites comprise the menu with appetizers, soups especially the nutritious Peng Zu Soup, wok fried specialties, noodles, house specialties, rice and vegetables, combination specials, and desserts. The restaurant’s name celebrates the legend of Peng Zu – a figure said to have lived more than 800 years.

HOT FLASH– ‘MENOPAUSE’ MARKS 13 YEARS IN LAS VEGAS: Last week, Photo: Erik Kabik“Menopause The Musical®,” the longest-running scripted musical in Las Vegas, celebrated 13 years in town with the last three at Harrah’s. The show takes audiences on a journey of four women at a lingerie sale who have nothing in common but the infamous “change of life” with notable trademarks as memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, too little or too much sex, etc. Performances are Monday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with 4 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Monday. Tickets start at $52.95.

HARD ROCK WELCOMES NICKELBACK’S RETURN TO LAS VEGAS: After a nearly seven-year absence from Las Vegas, multi-platinum, chart-topping rock band, Nickelback, has returned for a five-night run at The Joint at Hard Rock with Monster Truck opening the shows. Remaining dates are Feb. 27, March 2 and 3 and these shows are the only North American dates scheduled in 2018. In addition, rock band Nickelback, which was formed in Alberta, Canada, in 1995, unveiled an exclusive memorabilia case last week in The Joint hallway with personal items from each member Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger and Daniel Adair, as well as pieces from the band’s history.

CANNERY CELEBRATES ROCK TRIBUTE ACTS IN MARCH: The Club at the Cannery in North Las Vegas has gathered highly-acclaimed tribute acts headline in March, including: March 3 – Masters of Puppets: Metallica Tribute; March 10 – DSB: Journey Tribute; March 17 – L.A.vation: U2 Tribute; March 24 – CSN Express: Crosby, Stills and Nash Tribute; and  March 31 – Bostyx featuring David Victor formerly of Boston and Heart by Heart featuring original members Steve Fossen and Michael Derosier of Heart. Shows are at 8 p.m. with tickets starting at $20.

MICHELLE JOHNSON SINGS AT THE SMITH CENTER: Vocalist Michelle Johnson has been dubbed “Las Vegas’ First Lady of Jazz;” however, she is equally at home in all musical female jazz singergenres. She will present her one-woman “SPOTLIGHT: My Journey from Backstage to Centerstage” at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center on Friday, March 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $22. Johnson’s show will highlight the multi-talented songstress’ experience as a Broadway actress, session singer, and backup singer for artists including Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Sheena Easton, Gladys Knight, David Cassidy, and many, many more.

NEVADA CASINO MEMORABILIA ON DISPLAY AT STATE MUSEUM: Last week, the Museum of Gaming History (MoGH) exhibit debuted in the main entry hallway at the Nevada State Museum in the Springs Preserve. The exhibit is comprised of three large sized display cases filled with Nevada casino ashtrays, matchbooks and playing cards. The exhibit will run through September 2018 and may be extended. A second exhibit phase is already planned showcasing items from the five casinos featured in the 1960 “Oceans 11” movie: Flamingo, Riviera, Sahara, Desert Inn and Sands. Mini-museums are now also located at the El Cortez, Plaza, Neon Museum and Mob Museum. MoGH will participate in the Nevada Museum Showcase on March 21, which brings together 20 different museums from across the state.

RAMPART CELEBRATES NATIONAL BLACKJACK DAY: The Rampart Casino plans to celebrate National Blackjack Day on Friday, March 2 and bring attention to the declining number of casinos which still offer a 3:2 payout – hence the day falling on March 2 (3/2). The casino will offer free Blackjack lessons at 8 and 10 a.m., noon, and 2 and 4 p.m. A special Black Jack Cocktail will be featured at all casino bars for $3.20. The Clubhouse Deli currently in its first phase of opening will offer a $3.20 pastry selection.

SESAME STREET: F IS FOR FRIENDS’ VISITS FASHION SHOW: Sesame Workshop and HBO’s “Sesame Street: F is for Friends,” is a free, immersive limited-engagement mall tour including a 15-minute show starring costumed Elmo and Abby Cadabby characters taking place at the Fashion Show on Saturday, March 3 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. with shows at 11 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Families will also enjoy character meet-and-greets, digital activity stations, photo opportunities, Cookie Monster’s new food truck, and more.

FIRST FRIDAY’S THEME IS ‘THINK’: The theme for First Friday on March 2 is “Think,” asking the community to think about some of the pressing issues in our world today. The featured artist will be Lucas Rome, aka Mr. MK Ultra, a street graffiti artist using spray cans and acrylic paint to airbrush and paint his electric colors, showcasing brooding themes. At 8:45 p.m., indie Americana/ folk rock band The Wild Sparrows will play their original music.

DRAI’S BEACHCLUB KICKS OFF SEASON MARCH 2: Drai’s Beachclub atop The casino beach partyCromwell will open for the 2018 pool season on Friday, March 2. The Strip’s only rooftop beach club will again have a roster of resident DJs, which could rival acclaimed music festival lineups. The 30,000-square-foot pool deck festival grounds offers 30 luxury cabanas and bungalows, 40 plush day beds, two full-service bars, 10 towering palm trees, a full-service gourmet café, and more. Drai’s Beachclub is every Friday–Sunday from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Tickets start at $30 for men and $20 for women.


Tickets are on sale now for the new show “Opium” coming to the Spiegelworld Ballroom atPhoto: Denise Truscello The Cosmopolitan. Previews will start on March 13. Reserved category tickets are available at the special price of $30 using promo code VEGAS on the Spiegelworld website. The annual Bald by Design head shaving fundraiser for childhood cancer will be held at McMullan’s Irish Pub on W. Tropicana on Saturday, March 3 with time TBD. Hooters is hiring for its newest restaurant addition, Steak ‘n Shake, set to open in spring. Founded in 1934, Steak ‘n Shake serves premium burgers and shakes in more than 600 restaurants globally. Shepard Fairey and Frank Zummo recently unveiled their original SJC Custom Drums titled “Rise Above” at the Hard Rock Hotel. Zummo used the drum kit from 2016-2017 during Sum 41’s U.S. and Canada tours, festivals and the 2017 Alternative Press Music Awards. The 3rd Annual Novel Event champagne brunch will be held at the Las Vegas Country Club on Saturday, March 24 from 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sean Hoade author of “Tesla Trilogy” will host. The three featured authors will be: Toni Pacini “Alabama Blue: A Southern Gothic Memoir;” Paul Atreides “World of Deadheads” trilogy; and Dale Rowe “Not for Public Consumption.” Tickets are $50 with proceeds benefiting Vegas PBS. Hogs & Heifers Saloon downtown has announced it will not be participating in the Laughlin River Run April 25-28 this year. Instead, they are holding a mini-rally, the first Rebel Run, at home base in Las Vegas encouraging a visit before or after taking a trip to LaughlinTREVI Italian Restaurant in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace will welcome spring with a house-made ravioli made with seasonal vegetables. The new dish will be introduced on National Ravioli Day, Tuesday, March 20. After-hours gentlemen’s club party destination, Crazy Horse III, will transform into a Barbie World with lingerie from Leg Avenue in celebration of National Barbie Day on Friday, March 9.