“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW”
BY: Jackie Brett
BACKSTREET BOYS DEBUT RESIDENT SHOW AT PLANET HOLLYWOOD: Backstreet Boys, the best-selling boy band of all time, opened their “Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life” show at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood, which begins their exclusive Las Vegas residency. Their shows are one of the fastest-selling in Las Vegas history. General ticket prices start at $55. Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean and Kevin Richardson take the stage with a custom production created and directed by industry giant Raj Kapoor and featuring cutting-edge special FX and elaborate video technology. The 24-year established group is currently recording a new album.
SUGAR FACTORY OPENED AT FASHION SHOW MALL: A new Sugar Factory American Brasserie two-story dining attraction opened on the Strip at Fashion Show Mall spanning 22,000 square feet. The restaurant has a Moulin Rouge marquee, walk up indoor/outdoor carousel bar, outdoor patios on both levels, and a goblet and daiquiri bar upstairs with a Strip view. On the second level there is an attraction with a whimsical 14-seat horse-drawn carousel surrounded by a 5,000 light-up, candyland-inspired garden leading to a private twinkling lights gazebo, and a Chocolate Lounge. Sugar Factory’s menu is available throughout the restaurant with items such as crepes, salads, monster burgers, milkshakes, pizzas and desserts including the King Kong Sundae serving up to 12 people with 24 scoops of ice cream and the decadent “Chocolate Gold” fondue. There are chocolate-based martinis and cocktails as well. Sugar Factory is open for breakfast, lunch, brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner. Hours are Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-midnight.; Friday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. – midnight.
THE PLAZA HAS A BRIGHTSIDE: The 45-year old Plaza downtown continues with its revitalizations and has replaced the Islands Sushi & Hawaiian Grill, which had been closed a long time, with Brightside – Breakfast and Burgers on the casino floor and adjacent to Hash House A Go Go. The New York-style deli has booths by the walls and main kitchen counter stool seating. Opening daily at 7 a.m. Brightside serves breakfast and stays open to midnight and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, with the menu offering made-to-order sandwiches, burgers, salads, and pastries. Beverages include bottled beer and wine and a variety of freshly brewed and specialty coffees.
CHER ADDS MORE PERFORMANCES AT PARK THEATER: Cher has added 18 additional summer and fall dates, Aug. 2-19 and Nov. 8-25, to her extended “Classic Cher” engagement at Park Theater at Monte Carlo. The over-the-top spectacle is a fantastical journey spanning Cher’s multi-decade career in music, film and TV. Tickets for the added performances start at $60.
JEFF DUNHAM MAKES TOUR STOP AT THE COLOSSEUM: Comic ventriloquist Jeff Dunham on the second leg of his international tour with his colorful sidekicks will headline the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Wednesday, March 8 with his “Perfectly Unbalanced” show. Dunham traveling with his puppet characters Walter, Achmed, Bubba J, Peanut and Jose Jalapeno for the past 46 years has garnered many accolades including being named Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list of Most Powerful Entertainers, setting the Guinness World Records for “Most Tickets Sold for a Stand-Up Comedy Tour,” and securing the record for viewership on Comedy Central. The “New York Times Magazine” declared Jeff Dunham “the most successful comedian working in America.”
NEW ‘LEGENDS’ PRODUCTION KEEPS UP SUPERIOR STANDARDS : “Legends In Concert” has become the longest-running show in Las Vegas. One reason it has sustained so well is the fact the show is constantly being updated and changed to keep the show fresh and enjoyable for audiences to see again and again. This new edition “Legends Never Die” is particularly outstanding at the Flamingo as the show opens its 34th season. New for the first time is an actual opening production number “Legends Never Die” highlighting the show’s theme and choreographed by Lacey Schwimmer of “Dancing With The Stars” fame. The vigorous routine features three female and three male dancers who work hard throughout the whole show with many costume changes and numbers. In addition, tying the whole show together is a new high-energy finale with a medley of celebration songs. This time Legends went back to its original roots only featuring superstars who aren’t with us any longer. The lead roles in order are: Michelle Rohl – Janis Joplin; Damian Brantley – Michael Jackson; Stacey Whitton Summers – Marilyn Monroe; and Kevin Mills – Elvis Presley. What has always made Legends exceptional in addition to dancers, is a live five-piece band, two backup singers – male and female this time, and the tribute artists sing “live.” The variety of tribute acts keep the show interesting and flowing and they are costumed appropriately. The Jackson artist is exceptional with his dancing, while the Monroe character pulls a man from the audience, which could be very contrite, and with wonderful adlib skills and comedic timing makes the “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” number work. Kudos to Legends!
JUHL PROMENADE ADDS GET A HAIRCUT: Get A Haircut is the newest of eight storefronts at The Promenade at Juhl, which is a 20,000-square-foot ground-level retail area that opened last November at the 344-resident building spanning and entire downtown city block. Some of the retail outlets are owned and operated by Juhl residents embracing living and working in the same space at 353 E. Bonneville. California-based Get A Haircut is a classic men’s barber shop. Carlos Cavazo, guitarist of Ratt/Quiet Riot participated in the ribbon cutting on March 6. Other outlets at Juhl include: café Greens & Proteins; Vietnamese kitchen Le Pho; Classic Jewel cocktail lounge; A/V Boutique & Downtown Décor; jewelry store JAECI; and urban gallery and supply store Galerie Miscre8. The Corner Market will be the next outlet to open.
FIREFIGHTERS PERFORM PRACTICE RESCUES ON THE HIGH ROLLER: On March 7, 9 and 11, folks should be looking up at The High Roller from 6:45-10 a.m. when the Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Firefighters will be practicing rescues atop of The High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel. The annual exercise provides unique opportunities for firefighters to test their skills through a variety of rescue scenarios and to review safety measures at 550 feet above the Strip.
GRANT WILL ALLOW NEON MUSEUM TO GROW: A $425,000 grant from the city of Las Vegas is going to allow the Neon Museum to purchase .27 acres of land adjacent to the existing Neon Boneyard and La Concha visitor center and to expand. With a collection of more than 500 neon signs and many in storage, the extended area will become an open-air exhibit displaying another 30 signs and events space designed by SH Architecture. Some historic signs, which will go on display, will include the Las Vegas Club, Spearmint Rhino, Longhorn Casino, Sahara Saloon, Opera House Saloon and Riviera.
MOB MUSEUM EARNS AMERICAN ALLIANCE OF MUSEUMS ACCREDITATION: The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), which has existed since 1906, has awarded the Mob Museum downtown accreditation, which is the highest national recognition afforded U.S. museums. Of the nation’s estimated 35,000 museums, just over 1,000 are currently accredited by the AAM. This distinction means the museum meets National Standards and Best Practices for U.S. museums and delivers high-quality exhibitions and educational materials. The Mob Museum is one of only five AAM-accredited museums in Nevada.
ORLEANS SHOWROOM FEATURES KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND: The five-time Grammy nominated Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band will bring their blues-infused hits to The Orleans Showroom March 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.95. Band namesake Kenny Wayne Shepherd began his career when he was 13 years old sharing the stage with New Orleans-legend Bryan Lee. He has been recognized as one of the top blues guitarists of all time by “Guitar World” magazine, along with legends B.B. King and Eric Clapton. After the band made its debut with “Ledbetter Heights” in 1995, it has released eight albums, including the 2014 release “Goin’ Home,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Blues charts.
M.E. TOUR WILL STOP AT HOUSE OF BLUES WITH AMBROSIUS AND BENET: Together platinum-selling recording artists and songwriters Marsha Ambrosius and Eric Benét will bring The M.E. Tour to the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay on May 25 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.50. At the forefront of soul music is six-time Grammy nominee Ambrosius who began as part of the duo Floetry. She has two new singles coming out ahead of the tour. Contemporary R&B artist and fellow Grammy nominee Eric Benét will join her onstage. The two are planning a concert experience with electrifying collaborations and a soulful creative sound.
LAS VEGAS HEMPFEST IS NOW LAS VEGAS HEMP FESTIVAL: After three years, the Las Vegas Hempfest is now called the Las Vegas Hemp Festival & Medical Cup. The fourth annual event will take place at the Craig Ranch Regional Park on Saturday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to midnight. There will be three stages, 30 bands including Insane Clown Posse and Kottonmouth Kings featuring reggae, hip hop and rock music, and speakers who are experts in the fields of marijuana. General Admission tickets are $50.
FORBES 2017 STAR RATING AWARDS RECOGNIZE LAS VEGAS: Forbes Travel Guide unveiled its 59th list of worldwide Star Rating recipients. Continuing to expand globally, Forbes Travel Guide now rates properties in 42 countries and will add the Middle East and Africa in 2018. An elite group of 11 properties earned Five-Star awards for their hotel, restaurant and spa and the two winners in Las Vegas are Mandarin Oriental and Wynn. The three other Five-Star hotels are Aria Sky Suites, Encore Tower Suites and Skylofts at MGM Grand and spas include ESPA at Vadara, and spas at Encore and Four Seasons. The Five-Star Restaurants in Las Vegas include: Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand; Le Cirque and Picasso at Bellagio; Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace; Twist by Pierre Gagnaire at Mandarin Oriental; Wing Lei at Wynn. The Four-Star list of properties is longer: Aria, Bellagio, The Cosmopolitan, Encore, Four Season, The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace, M Resort, The Palazzo, Vdara, and The Venetian. Restaurants receiving Four-Stars include: Andrea’s, AquaKnox, Aureole, barMASA, Costa di Mare, The Country Club, CUT, Julian Serrano, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Lakeside, Michael Mina, Mizumi, Sage, Sinatra, and SW Steakhouse.
THIS AND THAT NEWS: Multiple platinum-selling rock band Night Ranger will perform the national anthem at Las Vegas Motor Speedway prior to the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 12. The Marshall Tucker Band with Tommy Caldwell and Toy Caldwell, Paul T. Riddle, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks will headline at the Golden Nugget on Friday, March 10. The group got their name from a piano tuner whose name was found on a key ring in their old rehearsal space. Signed to a record contract in 1972, their biggest hits include “Heard It In a Love Song,” “Fire On The Mountain,” “Can’t You See,” and “Take The Highway.” The fourth annual Whiskey Revival is a special event at the Golden Nugget taking place Saturday, March 11 featuring tastings of artisan whiskies, American craft spirits, moonshines and barrel aged beers, live entertainment, educational classes and Southern Cuisine. The Grand Tasting is at 7 p.m. Jared’s Old Fashioned Hotdogs & Hamburgers has opened at Pawn Plaza next to the famous TV “Pawn Stars” storeopen this spring offering rentals. Elite Motor Rentals is expected to of The Polaris Slingshot, which is an exotic three-wheel hybrid of a car and a motorcycle. This is a reminder. The Mix 94.1 annual “Spring Fling” concert featuring performances by OneRepublic, Gavin DeGraw and Andy Grammer will take place at the Sandbar poolside venue at the Red Rock Resort on Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $43. The Everly Brothers Experience will come to life with The Bird Dogs – Zmed Brothers, Zachary and Dylan, performing at the at 8:30 p. Suncoast Showroom March 18-19 m. Tickets start at $15.95. The Zmed brothers’ pitch-perfect harmonies pay homage to the vocals of Isaac Donald “Don” and Phillip “Phil” Everly and their countless hits including “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “Cathy’s Clown,” and “Bye Bye Love.” WalletHub online credit score and financial resource has placed Las Vegas in the top spot in its list of best places to get married in 2017. WalletHub’s data team compared 150 of most populated U.S. cities to reveal the most affordable and convenient destination for nuptial exchanges. Las Vegas was also in a three-way first-place tie with New York and Chicago for cities with most attractions. The annual Japanese Spring Festival will be held at Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza in Lorenzi Park on Saturday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free public event will feature a day of Japanese-themed activities including an authentic Japanese tea ceremony, Japanese art of flower arranging, a Kimono experience, koto music, taiko drums, children’s games, etc.The nation’s best up-and-coming amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, will participate in the TUFF-N-UFF showdown on Friday, March 10 at the D’s Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $12.
VALLEY-OWNED TAVERNS OFFER PT’S BREWING’S HANDCRAFTED BEERS: PT’s Brewing Company opened a year ago producing more than a dozen different beer varieties. Five popular PT’s handcrafted brews – Horizon Light, Sean Patrick’s Irish Red, Boulder Stout, Hualapai IPA, Golden Hefeweizen –are now available at Golden Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:GDEN) taverns including PT’s Pub, PT’s Gold, PT’s Ranch, Sierra Gold, Sean Patrick’s and SG Bar. Golden Entertainment currently operates 53 taverns in Nevada through and plans to open seven new Las Vegas taverns by year’s end. As part of the rollout, the taverns are offering Beer Flights with the five beer samples in 3.5-ounce glasses for purchase. The beer selections are also available during happy hours taking place daily from 5-7 p.m. and midnight to 2 a.m. and offering 50-percent off drinks and pizzas and select appetizers for $5.
DINING HAPPENINGS: Roy’s restaurant on East Flamingo will hold a five-course paired Caymus Vineyards Wine Dinner on March 14 and 15 at6:30 p.m. Cost is $109; call 702-691-2053. TREVI Italian Restaurant at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace will honor National Meatball Day on Thursday, March 9 by featuring two classic dishes: spaghetti and meatballs and Pappardelle Bolognese.
FUNDRAISERS ON THE HORIZON: The 28th Annual Splendor in the Glass wine and beer tasting fundraiser to support Vegas PBS will be held at Crimson at Red Rock resort on Saturday, March 11 from 4-8 p.m. The tasting event with up to 40 wineries and breweries represented will include beverages, food, live entertainment and a silent auction, which is open already online. General admission is $90 in advance online or $100 at the door. The second Hero Walk, a fundraising 5K fun run/walk, will take place downtown at The Llama Lot on Saturday, March 11. This walk starting at 9:30 a.m. has participants dressing as super heroes and benefits the women and children living at The Shade Tree shelter. Post activities at 11:30 a.m. will include entertainment, vendor fair, raffles, food and music. Entry is $20. The 8th annual Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) Bowling Tournament fundraiser to support the fight against youth homelessness will be held Saturday, May 13 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Suncoast Bowling Center. The family-friendly event offers unlimited bowling, food, raffles, a photo booth, prizes, and right now an early bird rate of $20 per bowler or $100 per team.