BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
WAYNE NEWTON MOVES TO CLEOPATRA’S BARGE: Since April 2016, you could find Wayne Newton singing “Danke Schoen” at the Windows Showroom at Bally’s. The Las Vegas legend is relocating to another intimate room and will start a new headlining residency with his “Wayne Newton: Up Close & Personal” show on Jan. 28 at Cleopatra’s Barge inside Caesars Palace. Recognized the world over as “Mr. Las Vegas,” his show allows him to interact with the audience, have Q&A, and share personal career highlights, anecdotes, film clips, and songs. Newton is a good storyteller and his experiences are true stories and very entertaining.
‘CELESTIA’ WILL DEBUT AT THE STRATOSPHERE: You can’t miss the eye-catching 200,000-square-foot tent located on the north side of the Stratosphere when you’re driving down the Strip. Now we know the new international production, “Celestia,” written and directed by Sasha Ivanov, will debut there on Wednesday, Jan. 30. This show with a troupe of 32 multi-cultural performers will present a story of love and sacrifices through acrobatics and dance, aerial feats, state-of-the-art technology, live music and sophisticated illusion. The dazzling spectacle will go from amazing contortion and the daring Wheel of Death, to real-time motion capture and projection mapping. Tickets start at $29.
‘FUERZA BRUTA’ WILL VISIT EXCALIBUR: The international show “Fuerza Bruta” will be visiting the technologically advanced tent outside the Excalibur and located at the northwest corner of the Strip and Reno Avenue for a six-month limited engagement. With a proven track record, the show was launched in Buenos Aires in 2003 and has since been performed for more than six million spectators in more than 34 countries and 58 cities since its inception. The immersive interactive large-scale theatrical production will delight the senses through music, magical effects, customize staging, and spectacular fests. At every show, audience members will be ushered onto the main stage to witness the physical and visual extravaganza up close. “Fuerza Bruta” will perform shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, starting Thursday, March 7 with preview shows March 4-6. Tickets start at $72.50.
NEW RESTAURANTS ENTER THE LAS VEGAS MARKET: Three new restaurants opened within the last four days of December 2018: Best Friend at Park MGM; Mott 32 at The Palazzo; and The Factory Kitchen at The Venetian. Roy Choi’s first Las Vegas restaurant Best Friend opened on Friday, Dec. 28 at Park MGM with celebrities in attendance including: pop superstar Katy Perry; DJ singer-songwriter Samantha Ronson; rapper and actor YG; Academy Award-winner Marisa Tomei; actress Regina King; and actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Lady Gaga dined before and after her new show “Lady Gaga Enigma,” which debuted at Park Theater. On the same night, Hong Kong’s Mott 32 opened its first U.S. location at The Palazzo at The Venetian Resort. The restaurant is named after the famed convenience store on 32 Mott Street in New York City’s Chinatown. The VIPs at this restaurant opening included: “Dancing with the Stars” judge and the new co-host of “The Talk” Carrie Ann Inaba; Justin Hartley, known for playing Kevin Pearson on NBC’s “This is Us;” Jamie Chung and her husband, actor Bryan Greenberg; Kelsey Merritt and boyfriend Conor Dwyer; Ross Butler who plays Zach Dempsey on Netflix’s drama “13 Reasons Why;” celebrity designer Christian Siriano; musical group R5; and Las Vegas headliners Human Nature. Additionally, throughout the evening, guests sampled dishes, enjoyed music by 1920s speakeasy-inspired band, Moonshiners, had their fortunes told, posed for photos, and took home signature drawings created by “Napkin Killa” on Mott 32’s signature dark blue cocktail napkins. The Factory Kitchen opened at The Venetian on New Year’s Eve. The newest Factory Place Hospitality Group restaurant located on Restaurant Row serves Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner opening at 11 a.m. daily. The 152-seat restaurant has a large neon centrepiece adorning the 25-seat lounge, which can be a photo op. The food takes center stage, with a lively pasta-making station where pastas include: Casonzei, Modenesi, and signature Mandilli di Seta.
MO’NIQUE WILL DEBUT A RESIDENCY AT SLS: Comedian and Academy Award-winning actress Mo’Nique will start her first-ever Strip residency on Friday, Jan. 11 at SLS in The Sayers Club. She will perform “Mo’Nique Does Vegas” at 8 and 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 8 p.m. on Thursdays through Feb. 28. Tickets start at $49. In 1999, Mo’Nique began with a starring role in the UPN series “The Parkers.” In film, she starred in “Precious” winning the Academy Award and the HBO biopic “Bessie.” In 2003, Mo’Nique released the “New York Times” bestselling memoir “Skinny Women Are Evil,” and then hosted her own BET late-night talk show.
SARAH MCLACHLAN WILL VISIT WYNN: Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan will mark her return to the Strip for the first time in more than eight years with a three-night engagement April 24, 25-27 at Wynn in the Encore Theater at 8 p.m. Tickets range is $59.50 to $179.50. For her intimate evening format, McLachlan will be accompanied by cellist Vanessa Freebairn-Smith. The artist, who has sold more than 30 million albums globally, is known for her ballads and mezzo-soprano vocal range. Her best-selling album “Surfacing,” garnered her two of her three Grammy Awards and four of her 12 Juno Awards. Her fans will hear tunes such as “Angel,” “I Will Remember You, and “Building A Mystery.” McLachlan was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2017.
Lady Gaga made the grand debut of her residency show “Enigma,” at Park MGM, on Dec. 28. The 32-year-old singer and now movie star because of “A Star Is Born,” also attracted a star-studded audience with famous celebs like Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, Adam Lambert, Celine Dion, Carrie Ann Inaba, Jeremy Renner, Dave Grohl, Marisa Tomei, Pentatonix and Regina King. The star will headline 22 more “Enigma” dates and is also set to perform nine additional shows called “Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano,” kicking off on Jan. 20, and including stripped-down renditions of her songs. Due to popular demand, Gwen Stefani has announced 21 new dates for her headlining residency, “Gwen Stefani – Just A Girl” at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood. Previously announced 2019 shows for February and March are on sale now. Country music icons Reba McEntire, Kix Brooks, and Ronnie Dunn will return for more shows in 2019. For a fourth year of their Las Vegas-residency, the two acts have announced six additional shows June 26 through July 6. Their residency is prompted by their friendship and musical admiration shared since first touring together in 1993 and features more than 30 hits backed by a band of 10 players from both of their touring crews. Singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins will make his second headlining engagement at the Encore Theater at Wynn for three nights, March 27-30, with his band. Along with his storytelling, Loggins will perform his diverse playlist of hits earned over his multi-decade career, which garnered him 12 platinum albums, two Grammy Awards, and the first Icon Award presented by The Guild of Music Supervisors. After another incredible touring year, Daryl Hall and John Oates, the No. 1 selling duo in music history, will return to Las Vegas at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for three exclusive U.S. dates March 20, 22 and 23. Following six sold-out shows in 2018, legendary music group Earth, Wind & Fire will return to The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian for a six-show limited engagement in 2019. Dates for their 8 p.m. performances will be March 20, 22, 23, 27, 29 and 30.
GIANT DRAGON HONORS CHINESE NEW YEAR AT FORUM SHOPS: Once again, The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace will honor Chinese New Year by installing a massive950-pound Chinese dragon steel structure display covered in 30,000 red and amber LED lights. The giant illuminated dragon will be assembled on the Fortuna Terrace – near the interior entrance to the shopping mall from the casino beginning at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9 with completion estimated by 9 a.m. A legendary creature in Chinese folklore, the dragon is a traditional symbol of power, strength, and good luck. Once installed, it will be 22-feet long, 6-feet wide, and 12-feet high and will remain on display sitting on a lush red carpet through the end of February. The 2019 Chinese New Year 2019 runs Feb. 5-19 and is officially the Year of the Pig.
‘LEGENDS IN CONCERT’ GETS READY TO OPEN AT THE TROPICANA: “Legends in Concert” will continue the show’s legacy as the longest-running show in Las Vegas when it debuts at its new home inside the Legends in Concert Theater on Monday, Feb. 11 at the Tropicana. The show’s winning formula is a rotating cast of the world’s best tribute artists using their own voices, a live band, singers, dancers, and multiple costume changes. Performances will be Monday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with additional matinee shows at 4 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. Tickets start at $49.99.
LOS INVASORES DE NUEVO LEÓN WILL HEADLINE IN PRIMM: Mexican band Los Invasores de Nuevo León will perform in Primm, Nev., at the Star of the Desert Arena on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. Lalo Mora and Javier Ríos formed the band in 1978 as a Norteño quintet, which catapulted them into success along the Texas-Mexico border for decades. The band today highlights six members including Ríos as lead singer and accordion player. Tickets start at $25. Primm, located 25 minutes south of Las Vegas on Interstate 15 at the Southern Nevada/California state line, is an easy drive.
It’s the “restaurant shuffle.” Diablo’s Cantina, which sat at the front of Monte Carlo, now Park MGM and was taken over by the massive Eataly dining destination, has a new home at the Luxor in space formerly occupied by Tacos & Tequila. Diablo’s boasts vibrant Mexican fare rooted in the culture and traditions of Mexico City. The Top of the World restaurant on the 106th floor of the Stratosphere has unveiled its remodeled dining room along with new food and wine menus. The dining tables transitioned from white tablecloths to tables with a Kinon® surface, with candle holders reminiscent of street lights, new chairs and reupholstered furniture. The remodel also includes a redesign of the lobby, improved lighting, and a full sound system upgrade. Each week, the sophisticated Charlie Palmer Steak restaurant at the Four Seasons offers a seasonal Cut of the Week menu, featuring a hand-selected cut paired with a first course and family-style sides and presented with “bottomless wine pairings” for $58. Mexican restaurant La Comida downtown has added a variety of Happy Hour offerings available daily from 3 to 6 p.m. The eatery’s signature margaritas and rotating select shots are $5, along with import, domestic and draft beers for $4. Appetizer selections including nachos are $5. Bottomless mimosas are available daily for $19. Slater’s 50/50 restaurant chain with a Las Vegas off-Strip location at 467 E. Silverado Ranch Blvd. is known for its “over-the-top” burgers. Now it is offering a full weekend Wake N’ Bacon brunch menu with bottomless mimosas from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday for $20. Breakfast items are innovative such as pork belly Benedict and fried chicken and bacon pancakes.
SUPER SUMMER THEATRE PRESENTS ‘TRUNK SONGS’: “Trunk Songs” will be presented by Super Summer Theatre Jan. 10-20 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 4340 South Valley View, Suite 208. The production features songs cut from shows during try-outs and previews from original shows or cabaret productions. The songs are written by three critically acclaimed composers; Gerald (Jerry) Sternbach; Faye Greenberg’ and John Kroner. “Trunk Songs” stars some of Las Vegas’ finest talent: Kellie Wright, Gret Menzies, Ben Lowey, Karalyn Clark and Jay Joseph. General admission is $20.
ABOUT TOWN NEWS
Broadway in the H.O.O.D. will debut the Pulitzer Prize-winning whodunit, “A Soldier’s Play,” at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in the Troesh Theatre Jan. 11-13 for four performances starring 12 local male actors. The play debuted in 1981 launching the careers of Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Adolph Caesar, David Allen Greer, and others, and became the basis of a major motion picture in 1984. Tickets are $35. Professional BMX rider and television personality Ricardo Laguna and special guests will hold the annual free After Christmas Helmet Giveaway on Saturday, Jan. 12 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at 6425 Roy Horn Way at Rainbow and the 215. The event will include a free helmet for kids while supply lasts, helmet fitting, a BMX demonstration, entertainment including music by DJ Ocho, free bike raffles and more. Parkinson’s Movement Fair is returning for second year on Saturday, Jan. 12 from at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dr. Zoltan Mari from the Cleveland Clinic, along with LPC Lynda Mari and Tim Hague Sr., author of “Perseverance,” will be guest speakers. In addition, certified trainers will present Parkinson’s exercise demos in multiple disciplines. Event is free for the public.Two free theatrical shows with unlikely topics coming to the Windmill Library at 7060 W. Windmill Lane may make you stop and think. “Curie Me Away” on Friday, Jan. 25 at 11 a.m. is a musical of all things based the fascinating life of the first woman to win the Nobel Prize Madame Marie Curie. The next day Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. will be a one-man drama presentation about electrical giant Nikola Tesla, known for harnessing the power of Niagara Falls and lighting the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Seating is first come, first-served. Next on the Distinguished Lecture Series at the National Atomic Testing Museum will be “The First Clean Power: The Science of Nuclear Electricity Generation” presented by Steve Curtis, health physicist and nuclear emergency national responder. The lecture explaining all aspects of nuclear power will be held on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. RSVP by calling 702-794-5151. Cost is $5 and free to museum members. Opera Las Vegas (OLV) is presenting the “Love Potion No. 9” gala on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. in the La Sirena Ballroom at Green Valley Ranch. The evening will include virtuoso entertainment accompanied by an Elixir tasting menu, libations, and auction. Tickets are $125; however, there is a $25 off promotion until Jan. 11 online at OLV’s website.
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT OFFERINGS
The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo runs Jan. 23-26 in Las Vegas and prompts activities all around town. Pop sensation female music group Danitiy Kane (DK3) and the Los Angeles hardcore pop iconoclast Brooke Candy will be performing at the 2019 GayVN Awards Show presented by ManyVids, set to take place Monday, Jan. 21 inside The Joint at Hard Rock. The GayVN Awards presented by ManyVids is an annual awards show honoring the gay adult entertainment industry. First launched in 1998, the awards show took a seven-year break after the 2011 event and is now back. Crazy Horse 3 at 3525 W. Russell Road will be celebrating its new expansion and menu before the adult expo with a “New Year, New Look” NEON Flow bash starting at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17. The party at the gentlemen’s club will host and open bar from 9 to 11 p.m., followed by guest performances by DJ C.L.A. and DJ Directo from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. The club will also offer a $100 re-load to every Crazy Horse 3 app user, valid towards drink and bottle purchases. The legal brothel, resort and spa Sheri’s Ranch located in Pahrump, Nev., 60 miles west of Las Vegas was purchased by former Chicago homicide detective Chuck Lee in 2001. It was recently remodeled into a fantasy land of suites and bungalows with themes such as Lustful Locker Room, Naughty Classroom and Geisha Girl Bedroom. Some other additions include: the brothel’s new Sex Tape Room, a state-of-the-art automated suite; “sex vacation” packages; the Nuru Massage Parlor; and a multi-room suite of role play bungalows called Sheri’s Playland.