BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
HAPPY PLACE WILL PRESENT PHOTO FUN AT MANDALAY BAY: Happy Place is an interactive, immersive pop-up exhibit with larger-than-life installations and multi-sensory themed rooms, which will debut a Las Vegas residency at Mandalay Bay starting Friday, Aug. 23. The pop-up phenomenon has had runs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Toronto. Happy Place will feature 15,000 square feet of playful memorable spaces. Some photo-friendly fantasy room examples include: Upside Down room bending reality and defying gravity; signature Rubber Ducky Bathtub; Cookie Room; indoor Confetti Dome; Giant Rainbow; life-size unicorn Cornelius; Super Bloom with 40,000 handmade gold flowers; and more. Las Vegas’ Happy Place will also add special features and art specific to the town. Another feature will be the charity Lemonade Stand, with net proceeds benefitting local charities. To date, Happy Place has donated more than $100,000 to local groups in the four cities visited so far. This whimsical family-friendly experience will also be available for groups and parties of all sizes; think birthday, bachelorette, etc. General admission tickets start at $30 and go on sale to the public starting Saturday, Aug. 3. Hours will be Monday through Sunday 10 a.m.–11 p.m.
THE STRAT INTRODUCES NEW OBSERVATION DECK: The Strat’s SkyPod at more than 1,000 feet high has revealed a complete remodel of the tower’s indoor/outdoor Observation Deck on the 108th and 109th floors, which includes the new 108 Drinks and 108 Eats by James Trees. The 108th floor of the Observation Deck is indoors, with floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the entire 360-degree circumference. Food, beverage and retail offerings can be found on this floor, including 108 Eats by James Trees serving gourmet bites, and 108 Drinks featuring craft cocktails, bar and lounge seating. The 108th floor also serves as the jumping off point for SkyJump, a new thrill rides box office, and retail store Exhilarate 108. Stairs lead to the outdoor observation deck on the 109th floor, which offers 360-degree views of the Strip, mounted binoculars, and access to two thrill rides: Insanity and X-Scream. Big Shot is one level up. The Observation Deck and 108 Eats by James Trees are open 10 a.m. –1 a.m. Sunday–Thursday, and 10 a.m.–2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Hours for 108 Drinks are 11 a.m.–12:30 a.m. Sunday–Thursday, and 11 a.m.–1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Free valet and self-parking are always available.
CAT’S MEOW OPENED AT NEONOPOLIS: Cat’s Meow, a new 10,000-square-foot karaoke bar, has opened on the second floor in the Neonopolis mall downtown at Fremont and Las Vegas Blvd. The wild stage is set for karaoke from open until close, every day with DJs playing popular music between singers to be sure the audience is upbeat and happy. Cat’s Meow has a library of 40,000 songs, divided by genre, with the emphasis on high-energy, crowd-pleasing tunes. Guests sing an average of eight songs an hour. Hours are 4 p.m.–2 a.m. Sunday–Thursday and 2 p.m.–4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The entertainment club hosts four full streaming HD live webcams via EarthCam; two inside and two out on Fremont Street capturing the music and antics such as impromptu Twister and hula hoop contests instigated by the singing MC. This is a bar so you must be 21 or older and food isn’t served. Seating is first-come, first-served.
HANS KLOK WILL DEBUT NEW SHOW AT EXCALIBUR: Internationally renowned magician Hans Klok will open his new family-friendly production, “Hans Klok: The World’s Fastest Magician,” in a new immersive 425-seat Thunderbird Showroom at Excalibur on Monday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m. His 70-minute extravaganza will feature more than 50 illusions and his Divas of Magic dancers. The new venue will feature high-resolution LED walls on the main stage, several performance platforms throughout the showroom, as well as special effects, sound and moving light systems. Guests can also enjoy an adjacent lounge for pre- and post-show cocktails. Klok’s show will be performed nightly except Friday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $44.95 to $104.95.
SHOWS OPEN AT SPARE ROOM AT DOWNTOWN GRAND: What do you do with extra space? Best to put it to good use, which is what has happened at the Downtown Grand opening The Spare Room, formerly The Mob Bar, for entertainment. Two shows are sharing the intimate ground floor showroom. General admission is $29.99 for performances. Tickets are available at the hotel’s box office. The “Hypnomania Comedy Show” at 7 p.m. has Don Barnhart, who has performed stage hypnosis all over the country, transforming audience members into the real stars of his show Wednesday–Sunday nights. At 9 p.m., the “Delirious Comedy Show” takes over Wednesday–Sunday nights presenting top stand-up comedians. Pete George is paired with Joe Caliz July 24–28 and Steven Pearl will appear with John Wynn July 31–Aug. 4.
VALENCIAN GOLD BRINGS PAELLA FAST FOOD CONCEPT TO THE VALLEY: This month Valencian Gold, the first-of-its-kind Spanish fast-casual dining concept, opened in the southwest part of the valley at 7960 S. Rainbow Blvd. Two American Chefs Paras Shah and Jeffrey Weiss trained in Spain and returned to the states with a vision to bring paella, a Spanish dish of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, etc., cooked and served in a large shallow pan, to the people. They are serving four different paellas as the base rice. Shah came to Las Vegas via Philadelphia, where he opened the Spanish tapas restaurant Barcelona in 2017. Weiss is the author of “Charcutería: The Soul of Spain.” Shah met Weiss when they were the only two Americans awarded an Institute of Culinary Education scholarship to train in Spain.
LUENELL HAS LIMITED ENGAGEMENT AT JIMMY KIMMEL’S COMEDY CLUB: Comedienne, actress Luenell will be the first entertainer to have a limited engagement at Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club at The LINQ Promenade. Her eight-show gig runs Sunday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Sept. 29 with performances at 10 p.m. on Aug. 4, 11 and 18 and Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. Standard general admission tickets start at $25. Luenell, the self-proclaimed “Original Bad Girl of Comedy” is well known for her breakout role as the “hooker with the heart of gold” in the 2006 comedy “Borat.” Last year, she appeared in Jamie Foxx’s directorial debut “All Star Weekend,” Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born,” Nick Cannon’s “SheBall,” and Leslie Small’s film “#twominutesoffame.” Most recently the lady with a big personality, signature look platinum blonde Caesar haircut, and long manicured long nails, was doing her stand-up show in The Sayers Club at SLS.
VINNY G. RETURNS AS CHIPPENDALES’ GUEST HOST: “Jersey Shore” and “Double Shot at Love” star, Vinny Guadagnino is returning as celebrity guest host for the Chippendales at the Rio for a second six-week limited engagement July 26–Sept. 1 for Friday-Sunday performances. Tickets range from $64.95 to $165.09. Vinny G. had a sold-out run in the show in April and May with his box office numbers rivaling former celebrity host Tyson Beckford’s counts. During his last visit, the star celebrity bared it all during the steamy shower number. Vinny G., one of the most recognized lifestyle personalities and digital influencers, rose to fame on MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” which ran for six seasons and was the highest rated series in the MTV’s history. Now he can be seen on the reboot of the hit franchise, “Jersey Shore Family Vacation.” In addition, Vinny G. joined fellow “Jersey Shore” veteran DJ Pauly D for the new series, “Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D & Vinny,” which was another MTV success.
RESTORED UGLY DUCKLING SIGN RETURNS TO NEON MUSEUM BONEYARD: The whimsical Ugly Duckling sign, which was originally at Ugly Duckling Car Sales on East Fremont Street dating back to the 1990s, has returned home to the Neon Museum’s Boneyard after receiving extensive restoration and refurbishment. The popular, double-sided sign has been re-electrified for the public to enjoy during boneyard admission hours. The Ugly Duckling has been present at the Boneyard since the Neon Museum’s grand opening in October 2012 and is now located close to the entrance of the boneyard next to the La Concha motel sign. The restoration took approximately 136-man hours to complete.
VEGAS SUPERKARTS ADDS NEW JUNIOR GO-KARTS: Kids as young as eight can now jump into the driver’s seat at Vegas Superkarts (VSK) located at Exotics Racing at the Las Vegas Speedway because brand-new junior go-karts designed exclusively for first-time drivers ages 8 through 14 have been added. Junior go-kart pricing begins at $30 per race. The 4-stroke, gas-powered Sodikart LR5 includes adjustable steering wheel, pedals and comfortable safety-secured seat, and reaches speeds of 25 mph. When a junior go-kart is booked, the track will be cleared to let junior go-kart drivers race. Prior to arriving at the track, guests may download the Vegas Superkarts app via iPhone and Android, which features online registration and live rankings. VSK features the city’s longest and fastest outdoor go-kart racetrack. The 2,100-foot-long outdoor asphalt track includes 14 turns and sharp hairpins, fast acceleration straightaways and professional safety barriers. VSK opens daily at 11 a.m.
HOFBRÄUHAUS OFFERS KÄSESPÄTZLE DISH FOOD CHALLENGE: Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas, a true Bavarian beer hall experience, is taking its käsespätzle, a “spätz”-tacular German noodle dish to a new level launching a four-and-a-half-pound version of the specialty dish. With the jumbo dish comes the challenge, making it complimentary to guests who by themselves can finish the supersized version of the German classic dish in less than one hour. If the family-style platter is not finished within the time limit, the courageous contender will have to pay. If it is consumed, the victor will receive a free stein, a photo mention on social media, and the monster plate of cheese-soaked noodles “on the Haus.” The over-the-top version of käsespätzle includes three pounds of spätzle smothered in one pound of melted Swiss cheese and peppered with a half a pound of crispy fried onions. Hofbräuhaus is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays until midnight.
‘XAVIER MORTIMER’S MAGICAL DREAM’ TO OFFER TEACHERS FREE SHOW: “Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream” show at Bally’s will offer complimentary general admission tickets to teachers for any show in August in honor of National Back to School Month when purchasing tickets with their I.D. in-person at the box office. The 70-minute, 14 act show is performed at 6 p.m. Friday through Wednesday, with tickets starting at $49 for general admission.
Rick Springfield and special guest Tommy Tutone will be headlining The Pearl at the Palms on July 27 with tickets starting at $49.95. Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie will follow on Aug. 1. Tickets start at $59.95. Last month, “Vegas! The Show” at Saxe Theater in the Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood celebrated its nine-year anniversary. The production tells the story of famous entertainers who helped put Las Vegas on the map such as The Rat Pack, Elvis, Tom Jones, Elton John and Gladys Knight & The Pips. The large-scale musical features the best singers and musicians, and the last professional showgirls. The stand-up comedian Samuel J. Comroe, rather famous for most recently finishing in 4th place on Season 13 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” is now headlining Monday–Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the L.A. Comedy Club of Las Vegas in The Strat’s 160-seat Dragon Room. General admission is $39.95. Comedian Ahmed Weinberg, who made his late-night stand-up debut on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” will appear at Topgolf on Friday–Saturday, July 26–27 at 9 p.m. as part of Topgolf Laughs. His newest late-night set for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” aired in March 2019. Tickets are $15.
JAKE PAUL • TANA MONGEAU PLAN SUGAR FACTORY RECEPTION: YouTube superstars, Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau, will wed on Sunday, July 28 at Graffiti Mansion and hold an over-the-top wedding reception at Sugar Factory American Brasserie Las Vegas located at the Fashion Show starting with a red-carpet appearance at 9:30 p.m. Then they will dance the night away upstairs at Sweet Beginnings by Sugar Factory while enjoying signature treats and goblets. Mongeau is also the star of “Tana Turns 21” on MTV.
TIME FOR FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT PARTIES: Beer Park at Paris will host fantasy football draft parties with packages for leagues of all sizes from Monday, Aug. 5 through Tuesday, Sept. 3. Draft packages include food and drinks, WiFi and a variety of indoor and outdoor seating options, starting at $200. All packages include a $50 minimum food and beverage credit per person along with a draft kit. This summer, Tom’s Urban at New York-New York will host fantasy football draft parties set to debut in August. Guests can choose from three packages with unlimited 40 oz. beers and dedicated TV space for the experience. Packages start at $25 per person for unlimited refills of 40 oz. two-handled stein with Coors Lite, Miller Lite, and Blue Moon. For $35, choice of sliders (excluding Prime Rib) or wings and bottomless fries are added. At $45, participants can take home the Tom’s Urban signature stein. Each draft party booked will have a TV near a reserved table, dedicated space for a minimum of eight guests, a two-hour party limit, and access to free WiFi. Upon arrival, all guests will receive Football Season Kits with coolers, beer koozies, and draft boards provided by Coors. At the end $10 bounce backs will then be passed out to each guest. Must advance reserve and give a $25 deposit. Packages for Beer Park and Tom’s Urban Fantasy Football Draft Season parties can be reserved and booked on each company’s website.
Neighborhood bar Distill is holding its fun-themed ’80s Party on Saturday, July 27 starting at 8 p.m. at all the newest locations: Am Pac, Decatur, Flamingo, Rainbow and Cheyenne. Dress the part for the costume contest, enjoy drink specials and a live DJ spinning ‘80s music, and be greeted with festive Jello shots. Crazy Horse 3 gentlemen’s club at 3525 W. Russell Road will host a viewing party for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 240 fight between Max “Blessed” Holloway and Frankie “Rocky” Edgar starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 27. A guest from Los Angeles at Sam’s Town with a $1 bet turned her visit last weekend into a $110,000 payday when she won the progressive jackpot playing Scientific Games’ Face Up Pai Gow Poker™. This was the second major win there in the last two months. A Las Vegas local took home $221,460 when she played the 25-cent Wheel of Fortune® Triple Stars® machine at the end of May. One Las Vegas local won $55,461 playing Charlie’s Double Progressive Bingo at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur this month. Both Arizona Charlie’s Boulder and Decatur offer Las Vegas’ only 24-hour bingo sessions, with sessions held every odd hour.
Actor Anthony Mackie joined by friends dined at TAO last week before heading to the nightclub to take in the sounds of DJ Five from a VIP table. The next night with friends, they dined at Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan. American rapper Redfoo recently dining at TAO with a group of 30, including members of the new Vegas Rollers tennis team and Marty Hennessy’s Inspiring Children Foundation. The group toasted Redfoo’s mom Nancy, who was celebrating a birthday. After dinner, at the nightclub Redfoo joined Eric D-Lux in the DJ booth to perform his hits “Shots,” “Party Rock Anthem” and “I’m In Las Vegas Trick.”