BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
BUILDING BOOM CONTINUES WITH AREA 15: While traditional shopping malls are struggling, a new 126,000-square-foot retail/entertainment venture called AREA 15 will come to life in mid-2019 with a concept of a wholly re-imagined world weaving immersive experiences, themed events, art installations, restaurants, bars, and nightlife together. AREA15 is a development project led by a joint venture between real estate development firm Fisher Brothers and creative agency Beneville Studios, both of New York. Meow Wolf, a multimedia-production company based in Santa Fe, N.M., has signed on as the anchor tenant. Game of Thrones author and Santa Fe resident George RR Martin is one of Meow Wolf’s biggest investors. The business creates immersive, interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration. Meow Wolf’s first permanent exhibition, House of Eternal Return, in Santa Fe has welcomed nearly a million visitors its first two years. Complementing the retail and event space and tying elements together will be the interconnected 30,000-square-foot “Spine,” an immersive bizarre and promenade destination as well as a canvas for artists to showcase their work. Las Vegas-based sculptor Henry Chang has found a permanent home in AREA15 for “The Flux Capacitor,” one of his cars originally built for the Burning Man festival. AREA 15 will be located on vacant land at the southwest corner of Sirius Avenue and Rancho Drive near Palace Station. A sales and marketing center is open at 3230 W. Desert Inn Road, Suite 180, for leasing and sales inquiries.
HAIM BRINGS THEIR SPRING TOUR TO THE PEARL AT THE PALMS: Buzzed about band, pop rock group Haim with their spring headlining tour, “Sister Sister Sister,” will make a stop at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms on Friday, April 13 at 8 p.m. Their tour is on the back of their critically-acclaimed sophomore album, “Something To Tell You.” Minneapolis rapper Lizzo will appear with them in Las Vegas. Tickets start at $39.
‘LEGENDS IN CONCERT’ STARTS 35th SEASON ON THE VEGAS STRIP: “Legends in Concert” at the Flamingo, now the longest-running show in Las Vegas, will begin its record-breaking 35th season with a cast of music legends paying tribute to Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Sting and a young Michael Jackson Feb. 3 through May 17. The era of the Jackson Five hits like “ABC” and “I’ll Be There,” as well as “Dancing Machine” will be performed by 16-year-old Nathanial Cullors, who is a Broadway veteran. He was recently seen performing on “Steve Harvey’s Little Big Shots” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Showing “Respect” for the Queen of Soul will be Cynthia Minx while Andy K’s tribute will get into the 80s spirit with the music of Sting & The Police. Back by popular demand will be Matt Lewis returning as the King playing Elvis after a five-year hiatus from the show.
PEABO BRYSON WILL APPEAR AT TEXAS STATION: Two-time Grammy Award-winner Peabo Bryson will headline the 1,800-seat Dallas Events Center at Texas Station on Friday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. Ticket range is $20 to $50. With 20 albums to his credit, Bryson has the distinction of being the first artist in music history to have separate records topping four different charts. He’s a much sought-after duet partner with such hits as “What You Won’t Do for Love” with Natalie Cole and “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love,” with Robera Flack. Two songs for Disney animated films earned Bryson two Grammys as well as Oscars for “Best Song.” The first was 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast” with international pop singer Celine Dion, which was a No. 1 pop hit. The very next year, he struck gold again for “A Whole New World (Aladdin’s Theme)” from “Aladdin,” which he performed with Regina Belle.
DREW BALDRIDGE WILL PERFORM AT SUNSET STATION: Contemporary country artist Drew Baldridge is returning to Las Vegas for a special performance at Club Madrid inside Sunset Station on Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m. Ticket range is $27.50 to $47.50. In June 2016, Baldridge released his first full-length album through Cold River Records, “Dirt on Us,” which includes a duet with Emily Weisband (“Rebound”) and a gospel number sung with his brothers Mike and Doug Baldridge.
JACK HANNA BRINGS LIVE SHOW TO THE SMITH CENTER: America’s animal expert, Jack Hanna, will bring his three-time Emmy Award-winning television series to the live stage with “Into the Wild Live!” at The Smith Center on Saturday, March 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $24. Jungle Jack takes the audience into the wild with an array of incredible animals and stories, from brushing a hippo’s teeth to eating with wombats, and footage of his worldwide adventures, from the jungles of Rwanda to the savannas of Australia. Audiences can expect to see approximately 15 animals in the live experience such as a baby cheetah, kangaroo, baby tiger, two-toed sloth, penguin and much more. He also inspires with his passion and dedication to wildlife conservation.
LIGHTS OF LOVE DISPLAY RETURNS TO ETHEL M® CHOCOLATES: Ethel M Chocolates will feature its annual romantic display of sparkling lights during Lights of Love with more than a half million pink, red, white and purple LED lights brightly embellishing the three-acre botanical cactus garden Feb. 7-14 dusk to 8 p.m. nightly. Admission to the Lights of Love is free and open to the public. For experiencing the tasting room, tickets are $14.99 at the retail store.
‘DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN’ HAS VALENTINE’S DAY PROMOTION: “Defending the Caveman” at the D Las Vegas is a comedic exploration through the differences between men and women whose roots can be traced back to pre-historic days. For the second year in a row, the show is offering a special Valentine’s Day price of $69.69++ for two VIP tickets, called the Fork-And-Spoon special (code Vday69) available Feb. 9-16. Each ticket comes with a champagne toast, box of chocolates and rose for the ladies. New this year, “Defending the Caveman” is partnering with the local Adam & Eve Adult Store for the Valentine’s Day promotion and providing a gift bag containing adult toys and 25-percent off store coupons with each purchase of the Fork-And-Spoon Special, while supplies last.
ALIANTE LINES UP ROCK, JAZZ AND R&B ENTERTAINERS IN FEBRUARY: The Access Showroom at Aliante has ASIA Featuring John Payne, The Special EFX All Stars and Average White Band performing in February. All shows are at 8 p.m. with tickets starting at $25. ASIA featuring John Payne, who burst into the music scene as the front man of the supergroup in 1992, will headline Saturday, Feb.10. ASIA has released eight studio albums and several live recordings. In 2006, the band was renamed “ASIA Featuring John Payne” and has since been touring across North America. The Special EFX All Stars will appear on Friday, Feb. 16. Formed in 1982, the contemporary jazz supergroup has been recording and performing hits for more than 35 years and last year released their 21st record “Deep as the Night.” The band is made up of some of the most accomplished and daring musicians in contemporary jazz, including acclaimed guitarist and composer Chieli Minucci, world-famous saxophonist Nelson Rangell, violinist virtuoso Karen Briggs and renowned bassist Gerald Veasley. On Saturday, Feb. 24 Average White Band best known for their timeless instrumental “Pick Up the Pieces” will be center stage. Throughout the group’s career, Average White Band has released several Gold and Platinum-certified albums, and later became one of the first British bands to top U.S. charts.
CULINARY ROAD TRIP 2018 STARTS UP AT DOWNTOWN GRAND: Chef Scott Commings will kick off his first monthly dinner series of 2018, Culinary Road Trip, on Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Freedom Beat, the restaurant and live music venue inside the Downtown Grand, with a new added all-you-can-drink option. Last year nine destinations were championed by Commings, the Hell’s Kitchen Season 12 champion. The 2018 journey will begin with a return in celebration of Mardi Gras to New Orleans. New to the intimate monthly dinner series, designed to be family-style and interactive, is an all-you-can-drink option. Advanced tickets are on sale now at Eventbrite for $38 and $48 for all-you-can drink. In addition, passengers will receive the first stamp of 2018 on their Culinary Road Trip Passport, where the more Road Trip cities visited, the more rewards and dining experiences are received for future visits to the Downtown Grand.
FIRST FRIDAY HAS FEMALE EMPOWERMENT THEME: First Friday’s theme for Feb. 2 is “Rock and Rise,” continuing the current conversations about female empowerment, stopping harassment and abuse, and supporting awareness campaigns such as #TimesUp and #MeToo. The event includes discussions and performances encouraging respect for all people. The featured artist will be Las Vegan Steven Horlock who explores many genres and cultures and specializes in oil portrait painting. Live entertainment will highlight powerful female guitar shredder Lita Ford at 9:30 p.m. Emcee Michelle Rohl ROX “A tribute to Janis Joplin” will host the evening introducing women rockers.
***DINING AND BAR NEWS***
Therapy restaurant downtown is into the Mardi Gras spirit with themed cocktails available through Tuesday, Feb. 13. Therapy’s Desert Hurricane made with Bacardi and Skipper rums is $10 and the shareable Fishbowl cocktail served in a glass filled with Nerds candy is $20.
Downtown bar and eatery Park on Fremont has introduced a specialty menu of bourbon flights. There are three flights, each consisting of three one-ounce pours of varying bourbons priced at $27, $29 and $32.
La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway at Wynn will celebrate National Drink Wine Day with the introduction of a new dessert wine flight on Sunday, Feb. 18. The Delight Flight pairs four wines with a chef’s selection of desserts for $35.
Credit to creativity, Fractured Prune at 9460 W Flamingo Rd #115 has an interesting way to celebrate National Margarita Day on Feb. 22 offering a Margarita Doughnut with a decadent key lime glaze and sea salt. Each doughnut is served up hot and made-to-order. Customers can get free delivery when they order four dozen doughnuts or more.
Super Bowl Sunday but referred to as The Big Game in Las Vegas will have viewing parties everywhere in town at restaurants, bars, sports books, holiday event rooms, etc. There will be no way to escape the excitement so best to pick a spot and settle in for fun, stadium food and drinking.
Grammy Award-winning artist and world-renowned DJ, record producer, and songwriter Calvin Harris will extend his residency through 2020 as part of an exclusive partnership with global hospitality company Hakkasan Group. The platinum-selling artist will continue to play at a number of Las Vegas’ premier nightlife and daylife destinations including, Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and Hakkasan Nightclub and Wet Republic at MGM Grand.
Showman Frankie Moreno, named “Las Vegas Headliner of the Year” three times, will perform in the South Point Showroom on Thursdays, Feb. 1, 8 and 15 at 7 p.m. At 10 years old, Moreno made his debut on CBS “Star Search.” Tickets start at $25.
Bobby Slayton and Friends will visit the South Point Showroom Friday-Saturday, Feb. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. Slayton, known as the “Pitbull of Comedy” for his brash and intense performances, has performed standup for the last 30 years. He’s had roles in films such as “Dream Girls,” “Wayne’s World 2,” and Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel.” Tickets start at $15.
Song stylists Chadwick Johnson and Jonathan Karrant will present “What The World Need Now,” featuring the songbooks of Burt Bacharach and Paul Williams at the Starbright Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.
NuLeaf’s Signature Series is continuing at 430 E. Twain Avenue with a lively party on Thursday, Feb. 1 from 7-10 p.m. featuring hip-hop legend Spice 1, live spinning by DJ Wizdumb, a VVG vape raffle and goodies from Glacé edibles. There’s no cover charge but you must be 21. NuLeaf is staffed by the experienced “budtenders.”
COMMONWEALTH HOSTS BENEFIT ‘A KNIGHT WITH GATSBY PARTY’: Downtown’s cocktail bar Commonwealth on East Fremont Street will host “A Knight With Gatsby” party to benefit the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation and the Tyler Robinson Foundation on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. The event will feature prohibition-inspired cocktails, a champagne toast with a mystery Gatsby host, hors d’oeuvres courtesy of STK Las Vegas, live music from The Moonshiners Band, raffle prizes and the opportunity to mingle with Vegas Golden Knight mascots and ice crew. Tickets include two cocktails and a champagne toast for $20 online and $30 at the door.
CITY OF LAS VEGAS HOSTS VARIETY OF TICKETED CULTURAL EVENTS: Four-time Grammy Award-winning native South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo will perform at Sammy Davis Festival Plaza on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. as part of their North America tour. Celebrating more than 50 years of music, the group continues to preserve their musical heritage while performing songs with messages of peace, love and harmony worldwide. Tickets are $30. The family-friendly Rainbow Company Youth Theatre’s original production “Adventures in the Sagebrush State” provides and entertaining peek in to the history of the Silver State. Show times are 2 and 7 p.m. on Feb. 9 and 10 at the Historic Fifth Street School St. Tickets are $6. Acclaimed contemporary Mexican ensemble, The Villalobos Brothers will appear at the Historic Fifth Street School on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Their original compositions deliver a powerful message of love, brotherhood and social justice. Tickets are $16 and $8 for youth under 18.
STEVE WYNN IS BUILDING ANOTHER HOTEL: Casino magnate Steve Wynn is planning for another 2,500-room hotel in Las Vegas to be built on the site of the former Frontier hotel and across the Strip from his two existing properties Wynn and Encore. The new property, Wynn West, will feature 24-foot-wide window views, his-and-her bathrooms and 80-inch TVs. It will connect via an “air conditioned umbilical hallway” over Las Vegas Blvd. to the Beach Club outside of Encore and Wynn. In December, Wynn Resorts Ltd. acquired the 38-acre parcel for $336 million. Meanwhile, his company is also building a 47-story, 1,500-room hotel, convention center and lake resort, Paradise Park, behind the current properties. A lagoon surrounded by a one-mile boardwalk and white-sands beach is going to replace the 130-acre Wynn Golf Club land.