“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW” by Jackie Brett
THE KING IS DEFINITELY BACK IN THE BUILDING: On the 59th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s first Las Vegas performance, Graceland opened “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience” at Westgate, the same hotel where Elvis performed more than 600 record-breaking, sold-out shows between 1969 and 1976 when it was the International Hotel and then Las Vegas Hilton. Priscilla Presley and daughter Lisa Marie Presley presided over a formal “blue suede” ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil Graceland’s first permanent Elvis exhibition outside of Graceland housing personal rarely seen artifacts from the family archives, including Elvis’ personal bedroom television remote to Lisa Marie’s baby shoes. The Elvis exhibition encompasses more than 28,000 square feet and takes visitors on a journey through his life and career. The display starts with his early days in Tupelo, Miss., and continues through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Army years, Hollywood career, life at Graceland, Las Vegas years, and more. Graceland-produced videos immerse guests in the experience, concluding with a 26-minute retrospective film featuring Elvis’ greatest performances. Select artifacts will be rotated regularly with artifacts from the Graceland Archives. The exhibition is open is from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $22 at Graceland.com/Vegas. Priscilla served as matron of honor for the first wedding in the hotel’s new Elvis Presley’s Graceland Wedding Chapel, which aired live on NBC’s “The Today Show.” The eventful day concluded with a red carpet gala followed by the Presley women joining an audience viewing the live musical production “Elvis Experience” on the very stage where Elvis performed for millions from 1969 through 1976. “Elvis Experience” is a large-scale production replicating one of Elvis’ legendary Las Vegas shows and stars actor Martin Fontaine with 24 musicians and eight choir members. This show runs Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and will end May 30. Tickets start at $49. Following this limited engagement, the property will feature other limited-run, Graceland-produced live shows in The Elvis Presley Theater.
RESORTS WORLD LAS VEGAS WILL FINALLY BREAK GROUND: On Cinco de Mayo, May 5, Resorts World Las Vegas will hold a groundbreaking more than two years after plans for the resort development were announced. Ironically that event happens the day after the Riviera closes forever at noon on May 4. Resorts World will be built on the former site of the Stardust and where Boyd Gaming was building Echelon until stopping the project in August 2008.Owned by Genting Berhad of Malaysia, the $4 billion Resorts World will have an Asian theme and open with 3,000 rooms in the first phase, scheduled for completion by the end of next year. When finished, the complex calls for more than 6,000 rooms, a 4,000-seat theater, an indoor water park, and a panda habitat.
RICK MICHEL SINGS SINATRA’S MUSIC WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA AT CANNERY: Rick Michel will present his “Sinatra Forever” with a 24-piece symphonic orchestra show focusing totally on the music of Frank Sinatra at the Cannery on Saturday, May 9 at 8 p.m. Michel will share and interpret “Ol’ Blue Eyes” standards. Tickets are $24.95. Michel has been called “the closest sound to Sinatra we have ever heard” by “Variety.” Michel, who has performed and headlined in Las Vegas since 1981 and been a Master Impressionist for more than 40 years, has been touring his “Sinatra Forever” show around the country as well as internationally with performances in Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico and Chile just to name a few. More than half the members of his orchestra at the Cannery are musicians who performed with Frank Sinatra.
‘X BURLESQUE’ AT FLAMINGO CELEBRATES 13TH ANNIVERSARY: On Thursday, May 7, the provocative “X Burlesque” show is celebrating 13 years at the Flamingo with a gorgeous troupe of dancers. Several new dance numbers have been added to the show in honor of the anniversary, including a seductive feather fan number set to Beyonce’s “Haunted,” a chair number to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” and a sexy fashion show of stunning costumes dripping with diamonds to Rhianna’s song “Diamonds.” The show has also added projection mapping to the choreography, becoming the first topless revue in Las Vegas to do so.“X Burlesque” has been created and produced by husband and wife team, Matt and Angela Stabile. Show are nightly at 10 p.m. with tickets ranging from $55.95 to $86.27.
‘DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN’ CELEBRATES EIGHT YEARS IN LAS VEGAS: The one-man hit play “Defending the Caveman” has played at the Golden Nugget, Excalibur, Harrah’s and now the D Hotel downtown and it never fails to be fabulously entertaining. Kevin Burke performed the Las Vegas-anniversary show at the D and he is always phenomenal in the role. This bona fide hit has sold more than 10-million tickets worldwide and has the record as the longest running one-man show in Broadway history. The performance carries on like a conversation, and dives into the differences couples face through witty banter and insightful observations.“Defending the Caveman” is playing at 4 p.m. plus at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. When Burke isn’t performing, stage and television actor John Venable takes over. Tickets start at $50.59.
BRAVO! CUCINA ITALIANA OPENS FIRST LOCATION: On Thursday, May 28, BRAVO! Cucina Italiana will open its doors offering visitors affordable Italian fare in an upscale setting, reminiscent of an authentic ristorante in Italy at the Galleria at Sunset shopping mall in Henderson. All the cooking will be done in full view creating a live theater-like energy. BRAVO! will serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays along with lunch and dinner every day. While BRAVO! is new, the establishment is owned and operated by the same creators behind BRIO Tuscan Grille, which has been a Las Vegas restaurant staple for nearly eight years.
CAESARS PALACE EXPLODES WITH COMEDY ON MAY 2: Cedric ‘The Entertainer,’ Mike Epps, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, George Lopez and Charlie Murphy will come together for one night of comedy for “The Black and Brown Comedy Get Down” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Saturday, May 2 at 11 p.m. Tickets start at $69.50.
HARD ROCK LAUNCHES FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE POOL CONCERT SERIES: Hard Rock will start a new Friday Night Live at the Pool concert series beginning Friday, May 15 at 9 p.m. with iconic rocker Courtney Love. Tickets start at $35. All artists will perform on The JBL Sound Stage on select Fridays throughout the summer: Kottonmouth Kings – June 19; Rusted Root – June 26; Nelson – July 10; South of Graceland – July 17; Puddle of Mudd – July 31; Tribal Seeds – Aug. 21; Blue October – Sept. 18; and Live – Oct. 2.
NOVE ITALIANO HOLDS JOHNNIE WALKER SCOTCH WHISKEY PAIRINGS: NOVE Italiano at the Palms will introduce “Walk of Johnnie” with Johnnie Walker scotch whiskey pairings alongside a five-course Italian dinner prepared by executive chef Marlon Simbulan on Saturday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. The menu starts at $119 per person and an additional $79 per person for the optional Johnnie Walker scotch pairing. Guests will be able to purchase a commemorative bottle of Johnnie Walker that includes their name and date.
NEWS IN THE FAST LANE: A new cookbook will be released this week, “Charlie Palmer’s American Fare,” with more than 100 everyday American dish recipes.The Mob Museum downtown has partnered with CSI: The Experience at the MGM Grand to provide a combo ticket price to visit both attractions for a price starting at $45, representing a savings of more than $8 off regularly priced adult admission to each. Ibiza EDM DJ duo The Aristofreeks and female vocal trio Next Step featuring former lead vocalists of Chic will headline the official launch party for Pacific Electronic Music (Pem) at Light Nightclub inside Mandalay Bay on Wednesday, May 6. Doors open at 10 p.m. General admission: male $30 – female $20. Na Ying, considered the Queen of Chinese Pop music, will perform her first concert in the United States at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Saturday, May 23 at 8 p.m. Ying has sold more than 23 million albums in China and Taiwan, became a judge and mentor for “The Voice China,” and has won two of her three seasons as judge. Tickets range from $68 – $228. Texas’ brother trio, Los Lonely Boys, will perform on Friday, May 22 inside the Veil Pavilion at the Silverton. Their newest album is “Revelation.” Tickets are $25. Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar’s “Taste & Learn” wine event returns on Saturday, May 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. The popular food-and-wine-pairing occasion will spotlight wines from Sicily with Italian wine specialist Carmelo Messina as guest presenter. Space for this intimate event is limited and tickets are $50, call 702-364-5300. Friends of the Shade Tree will hold the 13th Annual “Girls Night Out” charity gala at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 at Hyde Bellagio. Daniel Park, a handsome one-man performer who combines vocals, guitar and violin into his performance, will headline the event. Tickets are priced at $175. On Saturday, May 2 for the annual running of the Kentucky Derby, Honey Salt from 2–4 p.m. will have $10 libations and bites specials. Charlie Palmer’s Aureole at Mandalay Bay will team up with Famille Perrin, the leading organic wine grower of the Southern Rhône Valley, for an exclusive six-course menu pairing dinner Tuesday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. Mandalay Bay’s Director of Wine Harley Carbery, along with Proprietor Marc Perrin, will host the event. Tickets are $250, call 702-632-7401.
CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATIONS: Aliante will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with live music and drink specials at The Salted Lime from 5 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5. There will be free Tequila Cazadores promotional shots for guests dining between 5 and 7 p.m. A live mariachi band will play from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. In addition, the regular Taco Tuesday promotion will be available for $1.50 each. TREVI Italian Restaurant inside The Forum Shops at Caesars will introduce exclusive food and drink specials for Cinco de Mayo with an “Italian twist” on May 5. Executive Chef Peter Scaturro will serve a taco pizza for $10 and a quesadilla with either Italian sausage or Romano chicken for $12.95. Pastry Chef Hank Sbraccia will create a lime margarita sorbetti and a cinnamon churro gelato, both starting at $4.50 per scoop. For drinks, the Italian Michelada will be featured.
TROY HEARD PRESENTS ‘DRAMATIC SIGNS: BRINGING NEON TO LIFE’: On May 9 from 10 a.m. to noon, the Neon Museum will host theatre director Troy Heard as its second artist-in-residence designed for participants aged 10 to 12. He will present “Dramatic Signs: Bringing Neon to Life” in the museum’s North Gallery. Participants will be coached on using creative drama skills to invent new stories about the legendary signs housed in the Neon Museum. There is no cost to participate, but advance registration is required, call 702-387-6366.
SAPPHIRE FOUNDATION HOSTS ANNUAL POKER AND GOLF FUNDRAISER: On June 7 and 8, the Sapphire Foundation for Prostate Cancer will host the 12th Annual Charity Poker and Golf Tournament. The Poker Tournament will be on Sunday starting at 6 p.m. with a cocktail party and buffet dinner and poker play at 8 p.m. Professional poker player Mike “The Mouth” Matusow will be the honorary host and play in the tournament along with hundreds of beautiful Sapphire entertainers. On Monday, the golf tournament will start at 10 a.m. at Bali Hai Golf Course with more than 40 teams competing. To find out more, call 702-556-2100.
NATIONAL ATOMIC TESTING MUSEUM NEEDS YOUR VOTE: The National Atomic Testing Museum is participating in WhenYouWorkAtAMuseum.com’s Museum Dance Off Contest, which is featuring 28 international museums. The National Atomic Testing Museum is one of only two national museums in the contest and the only one representing Nevada. Its entry can be found on YouTube.com under the title “National Atomic Testing Museum Dance off.” Voting will run from 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28 and run to the same time on April 29. To vote I this worldwide contest, visit http://whenyouworkatamuseum.com on April 28.
FOOD OUTLETS DISCOUNT FOR MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH: The Juice Standard at 4555 S. Fort Apache Road and the juicery’s second location opening at 2530 St. Rose Pkwy in May will honor American troops during the month of May with a donation fund set up to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project for Military Appreciation Month. Juicers who typically recycle their glass Singletons for $1 at the juicery will be encouraged to donate their cash to the project. Cabo Wabo Cantina at Miracle Mile Shops will celebrate National Military Appreciation Month by offering a 20 percent discount to all active duty military members and veterans with valid military identification during the month of May. Urban Turban Bombay Kitchen & Tapas Bar on Paradise Road will honor members of the military throughout the month of May with 50 percent off their bill with a valid military ID.