BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
DIANA ROSS RETURNS TO WYNN IN 2019: Fans can be excited to learn the music superstar Diana Ross will return to Wynn Las Vegas next year with nine performances from Feb. 6-23. She will be celebrating her 75th birthday diamond jubilee with an all-new show, “Diamond Diana,” which follows her three past headlining engagements at the Encore Theater.
REBA, BROOKS & DUNN STAY TOGETHER AT CAESARS PALACE: Why change a winning ticket! The iconic country two-act trio, Reba McEntire, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, who are in town for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Dec. 12, 14 and 15, have secured the continuation of their residency at the resort. The three music superstars will return for a fourth year of their longest-running country residency in Las Vegas. New dates for “Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas” six additional shows are June 26, 28-29, and July 2, 5-6.
JUDAS PRIEST ON TOUR WILL ROCK THE JOINT: Legendary heavy metal band Judas Priest will visit The Joint at Hard Rock next year on a Firepower tour on Saturday, June 29 at 7 p.m. Supporting act will be classic metal band Uriah Heep. Tickets start at $49. Judas Priest with a nearly 50-year career have delivered such all-time classic albums as “British Steel,” “Painkiller,” and “Screaming for Vegenece,” along with anthems “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” “Living After Midnight” and “Breaking the Law.” The band’s latest studio album is “Firepower.”
‘SPAMILTON’ WILL BE SPOOFING AT SMITH CENTER: Gerard Alessandrini, the mastermind behind the long-running hit “Forbidden Broadway,” is now having fun with a versatile cast of seven taking on “Spamilton: An American Parody,” which is obviously aiming at “Hamilton” and its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. The show will make a tour stop at The Smith Center in the Troesh Studio Theater from Jan. 22–Feb. 10, 2019. Tickets are $55. The show’s creator, writer and director Alessandrini, is a Special Tony Award winner for Excellence in the Theatre. He created, wrote, and directed all 25 editions of “Forbidden Broadway” and performed in the original 1982 cast. His “Spamilton” has won Best Unique Theatrical Experience (Off-Broadway Theatre Alliance) and Show of the Year (2017 MAC Award). His awards and credits are impressive with his most recent project in New York having him directing the new revue “Anything Can Happen in the Theater: The Songs of Maury Yeston.”
VDARA CLUB LOUNGE WILL DEBUT IN JANUARY: Mid-Strip Vdara will add to its amenities in January when it opens Vdara Club Lounge on the second floor next to the ESPA spa. The new lounge, which will offer a quiet place to work, will be a secluded retreat offering guests access to a pre-arrival concierge who will also assist throughout a guest’s stay. There will be a rotating selection of bites and grab-and-go items offered throughout the day and an afternoon social hour from 2-4 p.m. with beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres. Vdara Club Lounge will be an included feature for guests in suites and available to all hotel guests for an additional fee.
STRATOSPHERE WILL UNVEIL 108 EATS BY JAMES TREES: The Stratosphere will welcome 108 Eats by James Trees when it opens on Thursday, Dec. 27 offering chef-driven fresh panini, inventive ice creams and house made treats. The eatery will be located on the 108th level of the Tower’s Observation Deck, thus the name, and offer various treats starting at $3 and paninis at $10. Hours will be 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The hotel offers free valet and self-parking. Trees began his career at The Mirage and has worked with several high-profile chefs, including Michael Mina, Bradley Ogden, and Ray Garcia. He opened multiple restaurants across the United States as corporate sous chef for Mina Group and worked with Gordon Ramsay on the hit television series’ “Kitchen Nightmares” and “Hell’s Kitchen.” Trees’ first restaurant is Esther’s Kitchen in the Downtown Arts District.
TALENTED ELIJAH ROCK MAKES LAS VEGAS HIS NEW HOME: It’s always a thrill when outstanding talent is revealed to Las Vegas audiences. Twice in the past month Elijah Rock has entertained. He did his outstanding solo show at the locals’ favorite haunt, the Italian American Club, and was joined for a couple numbers by Don Most from “Happy Days.” A week ago, he did a couple numbers at another popular venue Pia’s Place hosted by singer Pia Zadora at Piero’s and the audience wanted more. Rock’s voice is powerful, which he verifies singing some opera, and he adores the Great American Songbook. His talent includes tap dancing and his credits are most impressive. Rock has sung in various Broadway touring shows, with symphonies, appeared on TV and recorded albums. Rock won the 2014 NAACP Theater Award for Best Male Equity performer in “Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes.” He was also Nominated for a 2016 Ovation Award for Best Featured Male Performer as the legendary Harlem showman Cab Calloway in “I Only Have Eyes For You: The Life and Lyrics of Al Dubin.”
SMITH & WOLLENSKY AT THE VENETIAN IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Construction is underway at the Grand Canal Shoppes in The Venetian® for the all-new Smith & Wollensky steakhouse set to open in April 2019. The new location replaces the former free-standing location on the Strip. It will be two stories and span more than 14,000 square feet. The design will have the familiar green awnings and signature latticework meshing with the retail destination’s Italian flair. The distinctive décor will include the brand’s signature green and white colors, antique lighting, handcrafted glazed brick tile, and herringbone dark wood flooring complemented by plaid mosaic tile. Once again, the new eatery will continue the familiar warm atmosphere, with a tavern-like open concept bar and lounge off the promenade level. The dramatic overlook mezzanine level will feature an impressive wine wall, peek-a-boo view into the famed butcher room, main dining room, bar and lounge, and private event space including an all-glass room overlooking the bar and promenade.
WYNN RESORT ACQUIRES ARROWS AND FLOWER NEON SIGN SCULPTURE: The nine-foot Arrows and Flower Neon Sign, a contemporary multi-media sculpture from the visionary minds of Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh, has found a home at Wynn. The imposing kinetic masterwork fashioned from neon, aluminum and stainless steel unites the signature arrows from Abloh’s fashion label, Off-White, with Murakami’s recognizable rainbow flower. The sculpture was originally included in Murakami and Abloh’s momentous collaborative exhibition entitled “America Too” at Gagosian’s Los Angeles space. Within two weeks of the exhibition’s closing, the sculpture was installed in the Wynn Plaza as part of the resort’s continued commitment to public art.
ACTRESS-MUSICIAN KATEY SAGAL WILL PERFORM AT RED ROCK: Katey Sagal, a Golden Globe winning actress and musician, will return to Las Vegas for a special performance at the Rocks Lounge inside the Red Rock Resort on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35, $47 and $59. Sagal, the “Sons of Anarchy,” “Shameless” and “Married With Children” star, has a first love, which is singing and songwriting. She started her show biz career as a singer and songwriter. In 1973, she worked as a backup vocalist for various singers including Bob Dylan and Tanya Tucker. In 2004, with the support of her record label Valley Entertainment, she released her second album “Room.”
THREE TOURS WILL STOP AT HOUSE OF BLUES IN 2019: The “Monster Energy Outbreak Tour,” will stop at House of Blues Thursday, March 28 with multi-talented rapper, A Boogie wit da Hoodie as headliner. Born Artist Dubose, the 22-year-old Bronx, New York rapper, A Boogie wit da Hoodie rose to stardom when his major label debut, “The Bigger Artist,” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart and cracked the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 200. Tickets start at $25. Rock quintet, TESLA, has sold more than 25 million albums over the course of their 30-year career. Since releasing their “Mechanical Resonance Live!” album in 2016, the group has been touring nonstop. For their show, they will perform their radio hits as well as a stripped-down acoustic set of their biggest selling album, “5 Man Acoustic Jam.” Tickets start at $45. Jenny Lewis, who is from Las Vegas, will bring her signature indie charm to the House of Blues stage, Friday, May 10 with her “On The Line Tour 2019.” Her musical career began working with the band Rilo Kiley in the late ‘90s, which led her to record her first solo album, “Rabbit Fur Coat,” and establishing herself as a formidable singer and songwriter. Her solo career has continued with 2008’s “Acid Tongue” and 2014’s “Voyager.” Tickets start at $25.
CALI TUCKER AND DJ ROCK VISIT DOWNTOWN GRAND: The second week of Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) continues through Sunday, Dec. 16. If the name is familiar, Cali Tucker, niece of Tanya Tucker and daughter of LaCosta Tucker, is taking over Freedom Beat at the Downtown Grand on Sunday, Dec. 16 with a free show at 11 a.m. A “Rodeo Brunch” experience is available for $24.99. Cali Tucker was chosen as a participant on “The Voice” in Season 6. She has made her own mark as a vocalist and was the former “Miss Teen All American.” DJ Rock will be performing free 10 p.m. shows on Dec. 14 and 15. He has been seen on tour with Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell.
COMEDIAN BRAD WILLIAMS HEADLINES AT RED ROCK: Comedian Brad Williams is set for two shows at the Rocks Lounge inside Red Rock Resort on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 1-2 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. California native, Williams started doing stand-up comedy as a teenager and has been touring successfully ever since. His first one-hour special, “Fun Size,” was the highest rated on Showtime. He followed with “Daddy Issues,” and most recently, Williams’ new half-hour special for Netflix’s stand-up comedy showcase “The Degenerates” premiered in October 2018. Williams creates humor from inspiring observations on disability, relationships, sex, and race while proving anyone can overcome their shortcomings.
SPECIAL SKATE NIGHT AT COSMOPOLITAN WITH ‘OPIUM’ CAST: It will be a special skate night with the “Opium” cast participating at The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan on Thursday, Dec.13 from 5-7 p.m. The raucous cast will deliver surprises, challenges with prizes, and a performance from sword swallowing Rear Admiral Todd Vader. Guests can skate free by bringing a non-perishable food item to be donated to Three Square Food Bank or showing proof of purchase of a ticket to one of two performances of “Opium” on Dec. 13. In addition, guests who bring their receipt to the Opium Theatre box office showing proof of purchase of a full-priced ice skate rental from The Ice Rink on Dec. 13 will receive a special $35-off discount on reserved seating tickets for that night’s 8 or 10 p.m. performances.
ALIANTE FEATURES JAZZ ARTISTS DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER AND NAJEE: Aliante has lined up renowned jazz performers Grammy and Tony Award-winning singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and platinum-recording artist Najee to headline in the Access Showroom in January. Three-time Grammy Award-winner Bridgewater will be center stage on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. She began her career as a member of the legendary group Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band. Throughout the ‘70s, the vocalist took her career to new heights performing with several jazz icons, including Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie. Her latest album release is “Memphis… Yes, I’m Ready,” featuring the hits “Yes, I’m Ready,” “Giving Up” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.” Bridgewater has appeared in musical theater productions, including her Tony Award-winning role as Glinda in the show “The Wiz” in 1975. Tickets start at $35.95. Najee will follow on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. He started his musical career playing the clarinet, saxophone and flute in his hometown Jamaica, Queens, N.Y. After years of studying music, his big break was when he was asked to perform with the R&B songstress Chaka Khan. The artist went on to release a total of three platinum and five gold albums. Najee has toured the world and performed for well-known leaders, including the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela and U.S. President Bill Clinton. Tickets start at $35.
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE WILL KICK OFF SPRING TOUR AT HARD ROCK: Atlantic recording group Death Cab for Cutie will begin their Spring 2019 tour in support of their ninth LP, “Thank You for Today,” on Friday, March 20 at The Joint at Hard Rock. Tickets start at $40. Eight-time Grammy-nominated Death Cab for Cutie’s new album includes the chart-topping debut single “Gold Rush” and current single “Northern Lights.” Continuing a run of high-profile TV performances, the band recently performed the track on “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” following appearances on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
ARTS DISTRICT HAS NEW ILLUMINATED PORTALS DISPLAY: Portals is a new pop-up installation in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District running through Jan. 31. The display by local contemporary artist James Stanford is another way to view the complex photo montages of Las Vegas landmarks and neon signs. Several of the “digital painter’s” illuminated works are being exhibited in the vacant storefront windows of the Quivx Building at 1 E. Charleston Blvd. The installation is visible from the street during the day but is particularly impressive at night. Stanford combines traditional photography with innovative technology and layers original photographs to reimagine them as rich digital mosaics. His abstract style features bold colors and mesmerizing visual networks.
The 38-day Global Winter Wonderland festival, a premiere outdoor Chinese lantern event, will be held Dec. 14-Jan. 20 in the parking lot at the Rio. The family event allows visitors to explore the world. The open-air shopping and entertainment center Downtown Container Park celebrated its 5th anniversary this month. Iranian pop singer and actress Googoosh will star at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 8:30 p.m. Her five-decade career includes hundreds of songs she recorded and parts in 25 movies. Tickets range is $59 to $499. The Musical Arts Chorus under the direction of Dr. Douglas Peterson will perform popular and traditional holiday favorites on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. in the Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center at 4505 S. Maryland Parkway. Tickets are $15. The cast of “Absinthe” will join a cappella supergroup Pentatonix on the Grammy-winning vocal group’s third holiday special “Pentatonix: A Not So Silent Night” on NBC on Monday, Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. PST.
DINING NEWS ITEMS
The world’s largest travel site has recognized Earl of Sandwich in Planet Hollywood as an overall winner – ranking second out of 10 – for the top U.S.-based fast casual restaurants in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards for Restaurants. The award is specific to the Las Vegas-restaurant location. The new Morton Group restaurant, Greek Sneek in MGM Grand is introducing a new happy hour menu available exclusively at the bar Monday-Thursday 5- 7 p.m. with special pricing on wine, beer and signature flatbreads. Mediterranean-style flatbreads are $11 and drinks $6. Now hitting eight years, Nacho Daddy started in 2019 and locally-owned with three locations, celebrates its Octavo Aniversario this month. On Thursday, Dec. 13, the Strip, Downtown and West Sahara locations will hold an all-day Happy Hour offering $5 menu items. Downtown’s Mexican restaurant La Comida has a daily Happy Hour from 3-5 p.m. offering signature margaritas and selected shots for $5, as well as import, domestic and draft beers for $4 and appetizers for $5 each. Shake Shack with locations at Downtown Summerlin, The District at Green Valley Ranch, North Premium Outlets, and New York-New York, is offering three specialty shakes – Chocolate Peppermint, White Mocha, and Christmas Cookie – until Jan. 2. The Habit Burger Grill will open its seventh Las Vegas Valley location on Dec.12 near the Nellis Crossing community.