BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
TONY BENNETT HAS AUGUST DATES AT THE VENETIAN: Tony Bennett, the 19-time Grammy Award-winning artist whose music spans more than six decades, will return to The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian® Resort for an exclusive engagement, “I Left My Heart in Las Vegas,” Aug. 12, 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. Bennett’s daughter, Antonia Bennett will open with a collection of jazz/pop standards. She is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Tickets start at $49.95. This year at age 93, Bennett will mark the 70th anniversary of his professional recording career having made his first record, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” in 1950 as a newly signed artist to Columbia Records. His most recent recording, with long-time friend and musical colleague, Diana Krall, “Love Is Here To Stay” topped the jazz charts upon its debut and was just nominated for a Grammy Award. The album celebrates the music of the Gershwins and includes the jazz standard, “Fascinating Rhythm,” which Bennett and Krall perform as a duet. The inclusion of the song on the new album, was the impetus for a Guinness World Record title for Bennett, who in 1949, under his stage name of Joe Bari at the time, made his very first recording of the Gershwin standard. Bennett is also a talented painter exhibiting works in galleries around the world, and three original paintings are part of the permanent collection in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. His signature song, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” was inducted in the National Recordings Registry. Bennett’s sixth book, “Tony Bennett: On Stage And In The Studio,” was recently published and provides an insightful look into his illustrious recording career.
DUO TRANSCEND FLIES INTO ‘CELESTIA’ AT THE STRAT: Beginning Friday, March 13 the family-friendly circus extravaganza “Celestia” in the outside custom-tent at The Strat will swing to new heights with the addition of Duo Transcend. In 2018, death-defying aerial artists Mary Ellen Wolfe and Tyce Nielsen were the first trapeze aerial duo to reach the top 10 of “America’s Got Talent.” Most recently, they placed second on season two of “AGT: The Champions.” “Celestia” performs Tuesday-Sunday at 8 p.m. Tickets for shows through December range from $29–$109. Wolfe has performed in musical theatre and ballet, while Nielsen has a background of high diving and tramp wall. The duo met while working together in a cliff diving show and decided to create acts they could perform together.
NOODLE MAN, CHEF GUOMING ‘SAM’ XIN JOINS SAHARA: Chef Guoming “Sam” Xin, renowned for his hand-pulled noodles and as founder of the popular Noodle Man restaurant concept, has joined the Sahara’s culinary team. In his new role, he will sit at the helm of an all-new Chinese culinary concept being launched at the resort later this year. The concept will promote an array of traditional Northern Chinese dishes as well as a demonstration kitchen featuring Chef Sam’s famous hand-pulled noodles. More than two decades ago, Chef Sam’s career started in ZhengZhou, China, where he opened his first restaurant, Noodle City. He received his certification as a Senior Noodle Technician in Beijing. In the more than 11 years since moving to the United States, Chef Sam has held senior roles at some of the finest resorts including Wynn, The Cosmopolitan and Caesars Palace. In 2015, he opened Noodle Man in Las Vegas.
ESCAPE GAME OPENS AT THE FORUM SHOPS: The Escape Game, a new family-friendly, interactive experience, just opened at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace on the third floor of the famous retail center and is the company’s first location in Nevada. The Escape Game offers four interactive 60-minute adventures from which to choose – Gold Rush, Playground, Prison Break and The Heist. Each game showcases immersive scenic design rivaling Hollywood movie sets and has puzzles accessible to everyone with no prior knowledge required. After choosing their adventure, players will follow clues and solve puzzles to complete a mission together.
NEWSY ENTERTAINMENT NOTES
Garth Brooks will be the first concert/non-football event on Aug. 22 at the new $2 billion, 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium and home to the Las Vegas Raiders. Brooks last played locally at T-Mobile Arena in 2016. Sammy Hagar is planning a Las Vegas residency at The Strat in the “Celestia” tent and making it a “party time” like at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas. British band Duran Duran following four sold-out shows in 2019 will return to The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan for a two-night engagement Friday-Saturday, May 1 and 2. Tickets start at $49. After 18 years, comedy impressionist Sean E. Cooper who portrayed a wild James Brown in the topless revue “Fantasy” at the Luxor, has departed. “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) finalist and celebrity magician Murray SawChuck, who headlines his own early show at The Laugh Factor inside the Tropicana, is pulling double duty as the comedy guest star in “Fantasy” at 10:30 p.m. Ventriloquist Terry Fator, the AGT winner who has headlined for 11 years at The Mirage, has a few months to find a new room since he’s not filling the 1,200-seat showroom. Another more recent AGT winner magician Shin Lim is a headliner in the theater with co-star Colin Cloud and they are booked through June 7. March 31 is the last chance to catch Vicki Barbolak’s Trailer Park Tuesdays at Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club at The LINQ Promenade. The comedienne burst onto the national scene as a top-ten finalist on Season 13 of AGT.
PLAZA HOSTS SECOND CASINO BATTLE ROYALE DEMOLITION DERBY: The Core Arena at the Plaza downtown is hosting the Casino Battle Royal Demolition Derby produced by Stirrin’ Dirt Racing, the largest demolition derby promoter in the West, March 26-28. The family-friendly event debuted at the Core Arena in March 2019. This year, it will expand to three days featuring a variety of mini car, iron truck and farm truck heats. The event will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, March 26-27 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 28. Available online, a single day ticket is $45 and a three-day event ticket $135. Discounted tickets available with a hotel stay and for locals. On Saturday, March 28 at 7 p.m., a free After Party will be held under the Plaza’s dome with all ages welcome. There will be music, drink specials, Las Vegas showgirls for photo ops, and wrestling presented by Snake Pit Pro Wrestling Academy.
ETOILE DEBUTS FIRST WEST COAST LOCATION INSIDE VENETIAN: Etoile, a Dallas-based brand created by Annye Grande, opened on the retail level inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian® Resort in The Palazzo Tower. The all-new location is the first Etoile retail store on the West Coast and the second in the United States. The fast-emerging brand, named after “star” in French, features more than 30 styles with each bag offering the ultimate 3-in-1 experience, an innovative and versatile closure, and a famous chic “city bag” look providing added ease for work, travel and play. Etoile offers small, medium and large totes, backpacks, novelty straps and more, built with Italian nylon, leather, and suede and proudly made in the United States. Signature collections include the Alessia Large and the Rachel Medium, each crafted with the distinctive ‘Etoile star’ brushed gold hardware branding, in a variety of colors such as black, red burgundy, wild green python, embossed black, royal blue, and more.
BLVD COFFEE IS PAWN PLAZA’S NEW TENANT: Pawn Plaza, just south of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, with its newest tenant BLVD Coffee is now fully leased. Hours for the coffee spot, which opened last week, are 8 a.m. daily to early evening. The new tenant joins Good Pie, Rick’s Rollin Smoke BBQ & Tavern, Chumlee’s Candy on the Blvd., Chapels at the Pawn, Highway Radio, Pawn Plaza Visitors Center, Master Barbering Galo Shop and Elite Motorsports. Operating BLVD is the Carter family who are submerged in local basketball and calling Las Vegas home for more than a quarter century. Dad “Big Mike” has coached at Bishop Gorman for more than two decades. Younger son Ben is a professional basketball player overseas, and mom Hadar, a former Israeli Army Lieutenant, is the heart of the coffee operation. Oldest son Tim in his mid-20s will oversee operations after playing collegiate basketball. BLVD supports local businesses and their coffee comes from Boulder City’s Colorado River Coffee Roasters. There are also top-notch grab-n-go snacks and pastries, and discounts for senior citizens and veterans.
THE MOB MUSEUM DEBUTS ‘THE MOB ON TV’ EXHIBIT: The Mob Museum’s newest exhibit “The Mob on TV” is dedicated to organized crime in pop culture. Comprising a collection of on-screen costumes and props from three hit organized crime-based TV series – “The Sopranos,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “Breaking Bad” – the exhibit is on view in the Museum’s retail store. While Mob movies dominated the twentieth century with blockbuster hits such as “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas” and “Casino,” the depiction of the Mob on the small screen gave rise to some of the most famous television series of the twenty-first century. Costumes and props in this collection include “Nucky” Thompson’s “Death Suit; “Breaking Bad” Hazmat Suit; Tony Soprano in Casual Mode; “Boardwalk Empire” Tommy Gun; and On-screen Gas Mask.
BILLY CURRINGTON WILL PERFORM AT RED ROCK: Country singer Billy Currington is returning to Las Vegas for a special poolside performance on the Sandbar Stage at Red Rock Resort on Friday, May 15 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $37.50. Currington’s sixth studio album, “Summer Forever,” is the Georgia native’s latest release. Since his self-titled debut album on Mercury Records in 2003, Currington has scored 11 career No. 1 singles, most recently, “Don’t Hurt Like It Used To.” His hit duet with Shania Twain, “Party for Two,” earned nominations from both the CMA and ACM.
PLAZA CELEBRATES ST. PAT’S DAY WITH PARTY AND GREEN FIREWORKS: Move over Chicago with the green river, the Plaza downtown will hold a free St. Patrick’s Day party with music and drink specials under the dome porte-cochere on Tuesday, March 17 starting at 7 p.m. The party will culminate at 10 p.m. with fireworks shot from multiple locations on the Plaza’s rooftops, lighting up the sky with green pyrotechnics. Guests at the dome party will receive discounts redeemable for cocktails at the Plaza’s Omaha or Race & Sports Book bars on the casino floor.
SAINT PATRICK’S DAY ROUND UP
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Summerlin will offer the all-green “St. Pancho’s Enchilada.” Also, Downtown Summerlin will be hosting the New Vista’s Brew Best St. Patrick’s Day Craft Beer Festival from 2 to 7 p.m. on The Lawn. The St. Patty’s Parade hosted by Las Vegas Valley Firefighters will start on Third Street downtown at noon and march down Fremont Street ending at Hogs and Heifers where The Challenge Games will begin at 1 p.m. This is a free all-ages event. Fremont Street Experience will host a St. Patrick’s Day five-day blow-out celebration March 13-17 with exclusive stage shows and 20 bands to keep everyone dancing. No tickets required. There will be early St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans with bottomless beer at St. Party’s Day Beer Walk at Downtown Container Park on Saturday, March 14 from 5-8 p.m., sip, enjoy live entertainment and celebrate the Irish holiday. Tickets are $35 and $50 for VIP. Exotics Racing has a collection of three green exotic supercars. Before you start drinking you can get the thrill of racing to get your heart pounding. The cars include the Porsche 991 GT3 RS in Lizard Green, McLaren 570s in Mantis Green, and Mercedes AMG GT R Coupe in AMG® Green Hell Mango. Prices start at $449 for five laps. From Tuesday, March 17 through Sunday, March 22, The LINQ Promenade becomes the annual epicenter of Las Vegas’ exciting St. Patrick’s Day and Hoops on the Strip celebrations. This year the O’Sheas BLOQ Party – the free St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip – will provide an over-the-top prelude to five days of festivities and the year’s most exciting weekend for collegiate basketball. St. Patrick’s Day makes quite a segue from wearing of the green to betting on the hoops with March Madness!
CREED DEBUTS RELOCATED AND REIMAGINED BOUTIQUE: The House of Creed celebrates its new home and design footprint for the future at The Forum Shops just steps from the Caesars Palace casino entrance. Creed’s first boutique in 2016 was within The Forum Shops Festival Court. The new 1,381-square-foot shop is the brand’s largest boutique in North America and the first to house a private VIP room for top clients. Catering to global fragrance connoisseurs, the store’s open concept invites guests to experience the brand’s rich history through an array of luxurious scents. Modern porcelain finishes, sleek brass elements, and a colorful, abstract painting by Sixth Generation Master Perfumer Olivier Creed, gives the store a contemporary feel.
‘ABSINTHE’ CELEBRATED 5,000th SHOW AT CAESARS PALACE: “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace delivered its 5,000th performance. At the conclusion of the evening’s 10 p.m. show, The Gazillionaire, his hapless assistant Wanda Widdles and raucous cast marked the occasion with a special finale, celebrating and taking photos with the sold-out audience. “Absinthe” is performed twice nightly every night of the year and will celebrate its 9th anniversary on April 1, 2020.
LAS VEGAS MONORAIL HOSTS POP-UP WEDDING CHAPEL: The Las Vegas Monorail, in conjunction with the LV Wedding Connection, will offer couples the chance to ride the rails to wedded bliss on Saturday, March 14 from 1 to 5 p.m. Brides- and grooms-to-be can receive a “free” wedding at the Monorail Marriage Madness pop-up wedding chapel, which will be located inside the Sahara Monorail station, with purchase of a monorail ticket. Licensed officiants will perform the weddings, vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, etc. For guests needing wedding attire, there will be wedding accessories including veils, hats, bow ties and bouquets available. A photographer will take photos and couples will receive sweet treats, a champagne toast and certificate of ceremony
CITY HOLDS LAS VEGAS BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL: The city of Las Vegas will host the 2020 Las Vegas Bluegrass Festival Saturday, March 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Centennial Hills Park, 7101 N. Buffalo Drive. The event is free, open to all ages and offers lawn seating so you can bring low-back chairs and blankets. For information, call 702-229-ARTS (2787). The festival features some of the best bluegrass and Americana bands including Out of the Desert, Fog Holler, High Fidelity, Nu Blu, Steel Betty and Blue Highway. In addition to music, there will be food, beer and craft vendors. For children, there will be an area with games and programmed activities.
NEWLY RENOVATED VIRGIN HOTELS WILL HOST THE AVN SHOW: The AVN Show has signed a three-year extension with Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, formerly the Hard Rock, to exclusively showcase the GayVN Awards, AVN Expo and AVN Awards at the newly renovated property in 2021. Attracting more than 1,000 adult stars and 400 exhibitors showcasing their products and services, The AVN Show will host 15 unique parties, including the infamous LATATA Porn Star White Party and The Lair with Mistress Cyan, and hold a plethora of events, panel discussions, and gatherings. The 2021 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo will set the stage for the 38th annual AVN Awards Show on Saturday, Jan. 23, which is the premier gala of adult video and recognizes titles, individuals, and companies. The gay porn version of the AVN Awards, The GayVN Awards will be held Jan. 18, and will give out industry and fan-voted awards.
THIS AND THAT ITEMS
The Gramercy at 215 and Russell will host its first Art Walk in partnership with Opportunity Village and their fine arts program on Thursday, March 19 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Artwork from various Opportunity Village clients will be on display in the open-air courtyard and available for purchase. All proceeds go back to Opportunity Village and their clients in the form of a paycheck. Artists will be on-site to chat with art goers. Restaurants will be selling light bites and cocktails on their patios and The Cuppa will be showcasing additional works and other handcrafted items including silk scarves and jewelry. The Opportunity Village Choir will also perform. Local resort Arizona Charlie’s on Boulder Highway recently had another big bingo winner. The guest won $66,865 playing Charlie’s Double Progressive Bingo, a coverall game. The local casino awarded more than $100,000 to two bingo winners within six days.