Fond Farewells and Vegas Holiday Specials

In Vegas VIP Scene-ery by Vegas Only Entertainment

BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW

Contributed by Jackie Brett

FAREWELL TO DONNY & MARIE: Hard to image the faces of Donny and Marie Osmond will no longer be covering the Photo: Denise TruscelloFlamingo hotel’s Strip exterior after their 11-year residency, which began as a six-week engagement, ended last weekend. More than 900,000 fans over the years attended the duo’s 1,730 performances.  In the audience for the siblings’ send-off were celebrity friends including singer Debbie Gibson and “The Talk” cohosts Carrie Ann Inaba, Eve and Sheryl Underwood.At the end of the show, brother and sister reminisced, thanked everyone and had an emotional loving embrace.

FINAL GOODBYE TO HARD ROCK CAFÉ: The Hard Rock Café on the corner of Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue since opening in 1990 and which closed on Dec. 31, 2016, is being demolished this week. The Hard Rock Hotel behind the café will close on Feb. 3, 2020, to begin the transformation to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas slated to open in the fall of 2020. The 82-foot tall guitar neon sign, inspired by Pete Townshend’s No. 9 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, which stood in front of the Hard Rock Cafe, can be visited at The Neon Museum.

TIFFANY HADDISH SET TO PERFORM AT PARK MGM: Comedian Tiffany Haddish will perform at Park Theater at ParkPhoto: Keith Major MGM Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $49 to $149.50. Haddish, one of the most sought-after comedic actresses and performers, can be seen opposite Tracy Morgan on the TBS comedy series “The Last O.G.” and as host of “Kids Say The Darndest Things” on ABC. She stars opposite Salma Hayek and Rose Byrne in the film “Like A Boss,” slated for release on Jan. 10. Additional upcoming film and television projects include “Down Under Cover” opposite Chris Hemsworth, “Here Today” with Billy Crystal, and “Madam C.J. Walker.” Haddish is also at work on a new one-hour comedy special for Netflix.

‘L8NITE’ IS NEW COMEDY SHOWCASE AT JIMMY KIMMEL’S COMEDY CLUB: “L8NITE” at Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club at The LINQ Promenade is an all-new show beginning at midnight on Saturdays starting Dec. 14. Each 80-minute “L8NITE” set will include three acts – a host, a featured comic, and a headlining comic which will be booked on a rotating basis. Each night will feature different comedians showcasing with many of them local. Tickets are $20. L8NITErs will also enjoy special pricing from the happy hour menu on signature drinks cocktails. “L8NITE” is an homage to the famous Las Vegan, Jimmy Kimmel, and his high school vanity license plate which read “L8NITE.”

EXOTICS RACING CELEBRATES 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: It’s been 10 years of speed on Nov. 21 for Exotics Racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. To commemorate its decade as the world’s largest supercar driving experience, the track is offering 20 percent off any driving experience through Dec. 2. CascadEvents opened the world’s first supercar driving and stunt experience in France in 2005 followed by launching Exotics Racing in the United States in the Las Vegas location in 2009. Known for being the world’s first affordable exotic car driving experience and housing the largest fleet of supercars available to the public, Exotics Racing’s fleet of supercars includes high-performance models by Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, McLaren, Audi, Mercedes and more. More than 200 celebrities have been behind the wheel at Exotics Racing, including Jamie Foxx, Zac Efron, Lebron James, Gordon Ramsay, and Michelle Rodriguez. Fun facts, Exotics Racing has used 20,000 tires since opening, spend $40 million purchasing supercars, and had more than 300,000 guests. This year, Exotics Racing expanded its operation with the launch of Vegas Superkarts, the fastest and longest go-kart track in Las Vegas.

CEELO GREEN WILL HEADLINE FLAMINGO NEXT YEAR: Five-time Grammy® Award winner CeeLo Green will return to headline at the Flamingo for a limited engagement starting on March 24 at 7 p.m. His “Man In The Mirror” show will mark his third residency in Las Vegas partnered with Caesars Entertainment. Tickets start at $59. Featuring live musicians, this show will highlight songs from the artist’s incredible repertoire including “Forget You” and “Crazy” alongside original takes on hits from the past few decades. Green also says it will be a visually stunning show and experience centered around the theme of self-discovery, like seeing your reflection. Tickets for 16 performances are going on sale for March, April and August 2020 dates.

ZAC BROWN BAND HAS SPRING DATES AT T-MOBILE ARENA: Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning, Zac Brown Band has announced they are extending their summer 2019 “The Owl Tour” to include spring 2020 dates with a stop at T-Mobile Arena Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m. Ticket range $39.50 to $99.50. The band’s current tour celebrates and features music from their newest album, “The Owl,” as well as hits from the band’s entire discography and a diverse range of cover songs which have become a signature part of any Zac Brown Band show. The spring 2020 leg of “The Owl Tour” will feature support acts from Amos Lee and Jason ‘Poo Bear’ Boyd throughout the run. The southern rock group led by front man Zac Brown throughout their decade-long career, has had impressive stats with six consecutive albums reaching the top 10 of the Billboard 200 and five consecutive albums debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart.

BOBBY FLAY’S MESA GRILL CELEBRATES 15TH ANNIVERSARY: Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay celebrated the 15-year anniversary of his first LasPhoto: Gray Vegas restaurant Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace with an invited-guest party. Three Square Food Bank President and CEO Brian Burton recognized Flay and Mesa Grill with the special Extra Helping Award for raising more than $135,000, which resulted in more than 400,000 meals for the Las Vegas community since 2009. To further celebrate the 15-year milestone, the Southwestern restaurant is offering a limited-time-only anniversary menu through the end of the year. The $75 three-course menu offers a choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. Mesa Grill is open daily Monday to Friday for lunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner nightly from 5 to 11 p.m.

PAULY SHORE VISITS THE SPARE ROOM AT DOWNTOWN GRAND: Pauly Shore will make his Las Vegas return on Friday, Nov. 22 for the first time since 2018 as part of its Celebrity Comedy Series, Delirious Stand-Up Comedy inside The Spare Room at Downtown Grand. The one-night-only engagement will feature Shore doing 7:30 and 9:30 shows with guest sets from LA-based comedian Sandy Danto and Las Vegas’ own Don Barnhart. Tickets start at $39.99. Stand-up comic, actor, writer, and director Shore gained stardom in 1990 with his precedent-setting MTV show “Totally Pauly,” which ran six years. His one-hour HBO comedy special, “Pauly Does Dallas” followed along with starring roles in films like “Jury Duty,” “In the Army Now,” “Bio-Dome,” “Encino Man,” “Son In Law,” and “A Goofy Movie.” He did a series of celebrity video interviews in 2017 called the “Pauly Shore Podcast Show.” Currently, he has a weekly, Big Brother-style video podcast called “Pauly Shore’s Random Rants” and is working on a documentary of his life.

NEW ESCAPE ROOM OPENS AT FASHION SHOW: Mind Twist Escapes is now open at Fashion Show Las Vegas in the heart of the shopping destination on Level 1. The all-new escape room offers four themed rooms each inspired by films such as “Silence of the Lambs” and “The Hangover.” Each live 60-minute experience is designed for teams of two to eight participants who try to solve the mystery and attempt to escape the room before time runs out. Hours are daily 11 a.m.-midnight. Each escape room costs $35.

‘SESAME STREET’ WILL BRING MAGIC TO ORLEANS ARENA: The children’s show “Sesame Street” is bringing its celebrated production “Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic” to the Orleans Arena on Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1. Tickets start at $20. This show is an inspirational introduction to live theater and the art of illusion. In partnership with the nonprofit, educational organization Sesame Workshop, this production highlights magician Justin visiting Sesame Street to put on a magic show for the neighborhood. Elmo wants to be part of the big event, so he teams up with Abby and Justin to learn how to do magic. On this adventure, Elmo and Abby are joined by Sesame Street pals Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover, Rosita, Count von Count and Gonger.

‘LEGENDS IN CONCERT’ EMBRACES SEASON WITH HOLIDAY SHOW: “Legends in Concert,” the longest-running show in Las Vegas at Tropicana, kicks off its annual holiday show Wednesday, Nov. 20 through Monday, Dec. 30 with performances Monday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $49.99. This year’s production highlights tributes to Reba McEntire by Corrie Sachs, Elvis Presley by Bill Cherry, and for the first time in Legends history, Mariah Carey by Jazz Meagher and Bono by Pavel Sfera. Keeping with the show’s annual holiday tradition, local youth choirs and performing arts groups are invited to perform in the show. An opening number begins with Brian Setzer Orchestra’s rendition of “Jingle Bells.” The big finale has the entire cast performing “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and the Legends band giving a sensational tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo” (“Carol of the Bells”). “Legends in Concert” holiday show has each tribute artist performing holiday songs in character along with the star’s hit tunes. There is no lip-syncing and the full productions includes backup singers, dancers and a live band making each show exceptional.

HOLIDAY MESSAGES

“Motown Extreme” at OYO will transform to “Merry Motown Extreme” for the holiday season from Nov. 27 through Dec. 22. This show will be a combination between a Broadway musical and a live concert with a holiday twist. Impressionists of Motown artists will perform holiday classics with shows at 7 p.m. and four 3 p.m. matinees added Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Heralding the holiday season, the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is debuting festive, new décor throughout the center anchored by the inaugural 40-foot holiday tree shimmering in gold and white lights and ornaments in The Festival Court. Extravagant new decorations also include four eight-foot-tall Roman Centurion toy soldiers, Instagram-worthy holiday sets and photo backdrops, and an adorned Goddess Fortuna greeting guests as they enter from Caesars Palace casino. Cowabunga Bay in Henderson will be transformed into Las Vegas Christmas Town, a winter wonderland with a 40-foot tree, 100-foot sledding hill, 40-passenger Polar Express train ride, laser tag, photos with Santa Claus, flashing light shows with more than three million glistening lights from Friday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Dec. 31. All-inclusive one-time entry fee is $20; nightly hours 5:30-9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Friday-Saturday.

WET’N’WILD CELBRATES WITH BLACK FRIDAY AND CYBER MONDAY DEALS: Wet’n’Wild water park is celebrating the holidays with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on season passes for the 2020 season. For a limited time, guests can purchase the Silver Pass for $42.99, the Gold Pass for $62.99 and the VIP Pass for $82.99. Each pass comes with special perks. In addition, Wet’n’Wild will offer Season Pass payment plans which will split the cost into three monthly installments. The offer will be available online beginning Nov. 22 at 12:01 a.m. through Dec. 3 at 11:59 p.m. Wet’n’Wild will reopen Saturday, April 4 and close Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.

DINING • FOOD NEWS

The Russian-themed Red Square restaurant, which opened at Mandalay Bay in 1999, closed on Nov. 17. Initially it attracted much attention for its replica of Vladimir Lenin at the entrance. Instead of removing the statue because of the controversy, the resort removed Lenin’s head, giving a nod to the Eastern European tradition of removing just the head from many Lenin statues. The restaurant also stood out for its Frozen Ice Bar and private chilled Vodka Vault with a replica of Lenin’s head and providing fur coats and hats for warmth. No word on what is planned for the space. MGM Resorts International announced that Carnegie Deli at the Mirage, which opened in 2005, will close in February and be replaced by a new fast casual restaurant concept in the spring. Naked City Pizza at the El Cortez downtown has closed. Television personality and fashion entrepreneur Audrina Patridge recently dined at Hong Kong’s award-winning, authentic Chinese restaurant, Mott32 at The Venetian alongside celebrity chefs Tyler Florence and Lorena Garcia and enjoyed a variety of all-new menu items. A Hunter’s Dinner with Cazadores Tequila will be held on Friday, Nov. 22 from 6-9 p.m. at Border Grill in Mandalay Bay. Event starts with a cocktail reception and passed appetizers followed by Executive Chef Mike Minor’s five-course menu paired with tequila drinks. There will be fire pits and spit roasted goat and Birria on the patio. Tickets are $65, contact Jonelle Espinosa 702-632-695. The elves at Caked Las Vegas at 7175 W. Lake Mead Boulevard are working on the Holiday/Winter specialty cupcake lineup featuring The Grinch, Holiday Cider, Cocoa Delight, and The Gingey.

ABOUT TOWN

The Petrossian Bar & Lounge at the Bellagio closed on Aug. 26 for a facelift and reopened last Friday, Nov. 15. The Strat has moved the hotel check-in to the second floor while the first-floor reception, concierge, car rental and VIP Lounge get remodeled. Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Treasure Island and The Hunger Games: The Exhibition are offering multiple special ticket pricing throughout the upcoming holidays. From Nov. 22-Dec. 2 and Dec. 20-Jan. 2, both attractions have a seasonal ticket rate of $20 for adults and $15 for children for out-of-state visitors and $10 for locals. A free Las Vegas Tamale & Mariachi Festival will be held at the Historic Fifth Street School Nov. 30 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The family-friendly event will feature mariachi and folklorico performances, tamales and Mexican antojitos (snacks), arts and crafts vendors, and tequila and beer tasting for a fee. Pahrump, Nev., an hour’s drive from Las Vegas is home to the Western Shoshone and Paiute tribes, who will host the 21st Annual Social Powwow Nov. 22 through 24 with dancers in elaborate regalia, Native American artists and craftsmen displaying wares, and an array of Native American dishes available for sampling. Admission is free. Hours Friday 2-6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. High Rollers Adaptive Sports Foundation, the only competitive wheelchair rugby team currently in Las Vegas, is hosting the international Texas Hold’em Wheelchair Rugby Tournament, which will showcase six world-class wheelchair rugby teams Friday-Sunday, Nov. 22-24 starting at 9 a.m. each day. The event at Dula Gymnasium at 4441 E. Bonanza Road is free for the public to attend and aims to raise awareness surrounding Paralympic sport athletes.

SIGHTINGS

Last weekend, actor and singer Billy Bob Thornton stopped by “O” by Cirque du Soleil at Bellagio with his family, who were visited by two of the zebras from the production ahead of showtime and enjoyed the aquatic performance from one of the Le Grande Suites. Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Alessia Cara attended “Blue Man Group” at the Luxor recently and had a VIP meet-and-greet afterwards. Last Saturday, stand-up comedian, actor, producer and writer, Mike Epps was presented with a birthday cake by Hard Rock vice president Chas Smith to celebrate his 49th birthday. The Las Vegas-themed chocolate cake was created by the property’s Executive Pastry Chef, Mickey Harden. “Breaking Bad” actor Aaron Paul and his wife Lauren Parsekian dined at Beauty & Essex inside The Cosmopolitan. Dining at TAO inside The Venetian recently were singer-songwriter Kesha who toasted to a friend’s birthday, singer Prince Royce joined by friends after the Latin Grammy Awards, and singer-songwriter Kali Uchis with friends.