BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett
2020 WILL END ON A DIFFERENT NOTE: The fireworks show from multiple resorts on the Strip has become a New Year’s tradition, but not this year. Due to the pandemic, the citywide fireworks show presented by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors authority on Dec. 31 has been cancelled. As it turns out, the Plaza downtown may be the only casino in the tourist corridor bringing in 2021 with a bang. The Plaza plans to offer viewing options on property, observing all the necessary health and safety protocols.
THE VENETIAN WILL FEATURE HOLIDAY SHOW: There will be musical joy at The Venetian Nov. 27-Dec. 27 with the “This is Christmas” musical starring a cast of winners and finalists from “America’s Got Talent,” “American Idol,” and “Britain’s Got Talent.” Performances will run Friday-Sunday with shows at 3 and 7 p.m. To guarantee sitting together, you should purchase all tickets in a single transaction. Physical distance will be maintained between each individual party. Tickets start at $89.25. The show will feature performances from “American Idol” Season 2 finalist Lou Gazzara, award-winning Broadway star Randal Keith, Las Vegas performer Jaclyn McSpadden, master magician Ben Stone, “American Idol” Season 3 finalist Jasmine Trias, “American Idol” Season 5 semi-finalist Laura Suzanne Wright, and acclaimed director, producer and performer Eric Jordan Young.
ONE STEAKHOUSE WILL DEBUT AT VIRGIN HOTELS LAS VEGAS: Brothers David and Michael Morton will be replacing their first joint venture, MB Steak, which they opened at the former Hard Rock Hotel. Their new venture One Steakhouse is going to be a culmination of their combined life experiences and training, from family meals to following in the footsteps of their father, legendary restaurateur Arnie Morton, and their grandfather, Morton C. Morton. The new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will open Jan. 15, 2021. Executive Chef Patrick Munster, who remains at the helm of the kitchen, has developed a new menu channeling One Steakhouse’s singular taste, presentation and service. The design upgrades connect One Steakhouse with the synergy of the entirely redesigned hotel. There will be an open, expanded bar lounge with energy enlivening the intimate dining room. The upper level will offer a hip, social setting to mingle and take in sporting events on an LED video wall.The restaurant will be open starting at 5 p.m. daily and will offer a private valet.
WYNN DEBUTS NEW LAKE OF DREAMS: With “Le Reve” no longer in the future of entertainment lineup at Wynn Las Vegas, it is the new Lake of Dreams stepping up to fill a void. Staged outdoors in an environmental theater with open-air patios for viewing, Lake of Dreams is suited for the current socially distanced experience while providing glamour, excitement, and a larger-than-life visual spectacle for visitors. In development for two years, the new Lake of Dreams is an immersive theatrical journey which unfolds over 12 high-tech artistically diverse new acts that combine magic, lights, film, music, sculpture, and puppetry. Fifteen years after Lake of Dreams first opened in 2005, the original artistic team of world-renowned creators reunited for the 2020 reimagining, including director Kenny Ortega, production designer Michael Curry, and lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe.
‘MJ LIVE’ AT THE STRAT ADDS SECOND PERFORMANCE ON SATURDAYS: Due to popular demand, “MJ LIVE,” the Michael Jackson tribute show at The STRAT, has added a second performance to Saturday evenings at 9 p.m. starting Nov. 14. The rest of the schedule will remain 7 p.m. shows Wednesday-Saturday. From iconic dance moves like the moonwalk to mega hits like “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” “Thriller” and “Beat It,” the show is spot-on bringing all the Gloved One’s staples to life. Lighting and effects, plus the MJ Live dancers and a live band, make this show outstanding. Tickets are on sale now and start at $57.50. Tickets can be purchased in person at The STRAT Box Office, or online at Ticketmaster.
CAESARS PALACE CELEBRATED ITS ONE MILLIONTH MASK RECIPIENTS: Since reopening in June, Caesars Palace reached the milestone of distributing one million masks to guests at the resort last week. In true Caesars fashion, Caesar and Cleopatra of the resort’s Royal Court surprised the special guests, Loreto and Mercedes Lagrisola of San Diego, who received the golden one millionth masks with a proclamation for an upgraded experience #LikeACaesar. Team members also celebrated the moment with congratulatory signs and confetti poppers. As a token of appreciation during this momentous occasion, the special guests received a one-of-a-kind, commemorative gold mask, along with a luxurious spa treatment at Qua Baths & Spa and a special dinner for two at one of the resort’s restaurants.
CIRCA’S SHRIMP COCKTAIL NOD TO THE PAST: In 1959 the Golden Gate, across Fremont Street from the new Circa, introduced a 50-cent shrimp cocktail as a promotion, which was a must happening when folks visited. The price was raised to 99 cents in 1991, raised to $1.99 in 2008, and was available in the resort’s deli until 2010, when Du-Par’s took over the space. The 24/7 Saginaw’s Delicatessen at the New Circa will be offering the shrimp cocktail like it was at the Golden Gate served in a tulip glass with the same cocktail sauce recipe. The 99-cent shrimp cocktail as a special will be served between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m. (not p.m.). The rest of the time it will be offered at $11.
ETHEL M LIGHTS UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Annually one of valley’s most spectacular light displays is the Ethel M Chocolates Holiday Cactus Garden. The three-acre campus is transformed into a holiday wonderland, surrounded by the glowing lights of more than a million florescent bulbs. The lights turn on daily at dusk ‘til 10 p.m. every night through Jan. 3, except on Christmas when it’s closed. The Holiday Cactus Garden is free to the public and perfect for the whole family. Due to the pandemic, reservations are required to walk through the garden.
GLITTERING LIGHTS OPENS AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: The perfect holiday light show during this time of COVID-19 is the annual outdoor drive-thru display, now in its 20th season, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Running Nov. 13-Jan. 10, 2021, this experience allows thousands of visitors to drive through a 2.5-mile light course in the safety and comfort of their vehicles. Glittering Lights is open nightly at dusk. A carload ticket Monday-Thursday with some blackout dates is $25 and a carload any day ticket $35. A Season Pass – Drive through Glittering Lights as many times as you want, even in the same night for all 60 nights is $85. A portion of every ticket sold benefits Speedway Children’s Charities. Goodwill of Southern Nevada offers a $5 discounted entry voucher for Glittering Lights with a donation of clothing or household items and area Boy Scout Troops sell concessions.
SHOWS RETURN TO THE EMPIRE: Caesars Entertainment is excited to again start offering live entertainment on the Strip adhering to all the latest health protocols and wearing masks. One of the most popular shows in town has been “Absinthe,” which opened in April 2011 and never looked back. The show has always been sold out. It takes a lot of planning to reconfigure showrooms. “Absinthe” for example pre-COVID-19 was seating 660 patrons in rows of folding chairs. Now it is set for 153 guests in groups of two to five at banquet tables set at least 6 feet apart. Another challenging requirement is the 25-foot requirement between the stage and closest audience members. In addition, the venue is cleaned and sanitized before and after every performance. Also, table service is replacing bar service for drinks inside the tent. Performances at Caesars Palace are Wednesday-Sunday at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $149. “Piff the Magic Dragon: Too Soon?” is back at the Flamingo with show Thursday-Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $62.95 or VIP tickets $103. Two shows have returned to Harrah’s. “Tape Face” Wednesday-Sunday at 7:30 p.m. with tickets starting at $66. His show has been moved to a bigger showroom, redesigned, and will include an “up close and personal” conversation from the stage as he kicks off the show. The adult revue “X Country” is back in the saddle in Harrah’s Cabaret Wednesday-Saturday at 10 p.m. and just in time for the show’s fifth anniversary. The audience cap is no more than 80 people. Ticket prices are $47.94 and $62.95 for VIP.
SHOWS OPEN AT MGM PROPERTIES: “The Australian Bee Gees Show” is back at the Excalibur’s Thunderland Showroom. This tribute to the Bee Gees is a multi-media concert with a contemporary perspective, streaming video clips, live camera images and graphics. It is the definitive live celebration of five decades of memorable music written by the Brothers Gibb, one of the most successful acts in musical history. Maximum audience number will be 250 guests for all these shows. Adult female revue “Fantasy” is back in the Luxor Theater where it remained a top production for 20 years. Dynamic lead singer Lorena Peril delivers powerhouse vocals, alongside a talented cast of beautiful dancers. International World Champion Magician Murray Sawchuck appears as a special guest star. Carrot Top, the 15-year Strip headliner, has returned to his spot center stage at the Luxor Theater, which he shares with “Fantasy.” With three decades of performing, he continues as one of the most recognizable and successful comedians in the nation. The resident headliner reflects current headlines and consistently poking fun at pop culture, politics, and music. Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club is taking the stage in the MGM Grand’s Studio A & B Ballrooms. Emmy Award-winning comedian and actor Brad Garrett brings his top-quality comedy to MGM Grand nightly. Jabbawockeez brings its signature stylized moves and “Timeless” show, which was launched earlier this year, to the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The dance group is known for creativity, choreography, athleticism, and intricate synchronization. Ironically, they have always wore masks, so their adjustment to mask wearing is a natural. Emmy Award-winning illusionist David Copperfield is back wowing audiences with his stage production “Live The Impossible” in his theater at the MGM Grand. Copperfield is the recipient of the Living Legend honor by the Library of Congress. He holds 11 Guinness World Records, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and has sold more tickets than any solo performer in history.
ROCK RINK ICE SKATING AT DOWNTOWN SUMMERLIN: The holiday season is upon us, which means ice skating returns to Downtown Summerlin Nov. 13-Jan. 18, 2021. Rock Rink is a signature 8,000-square-foot real-ice skating rink located near the Pavilion at The Lawn. Skating for all ages is set to the backdrop of holiday music and a 40-foot holiday tree overlooking the rink. Skate rentals start at $16. Due to current restrictions, reservations are required and can be done online with each visit including 75 minutes of ice skating beginning when you receive a wristband at check-in. Rock Rink is open nightly with extended hours on Saturday and Sunday and closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. New this year are 200,000 additional twinkling lights throughout the area, along with strolling carolers on Friday and Saturday nights. The festive holiday train running through Jan. 18 will be circling the ice-skating rink and holiday tree. Rides are $4 per adult and child. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s mobile coffee truck will be offering a variety of signature holiday beverages. In partnership with Jewish Nevada, there will be a special night to celebrate Chanukah on Dec. 14 from 4:30-6 p.m. For details visit JewishNevada.org.
COMMUNITY SUPPORTS FESTIVAL OF TREES AND LIGHTS: Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada (DSOSN), the leading nonprofit for Southern Nevada families affected by Down syndrome, has partnered with the nonprofit Collaboration Center Foundation, to jointly host the 32nd Annual Festival of Trees and Lights starting Nov. 13 at Las Vegas (LV) Ranch, located at 8390 W. Windmill Lane. By visiting this display, guests are supporting two local charities while getting in the holiday spirit. Unlike years prior, this year’s holiday tradition has turned into a community collaboration event and will decorate LV Ranch with a collection of brilliantly decorated trees, wreaths, menorahs, and baskets. Benefiting both organizations equally, the holiday decor will be available for bidding through an online auction Nov. 13-19 and will be on display for socially distanced, in-person family viewing nights Nov. 13-15 from 4-8:30 p.m., with a cocktail reception on Nov. 19 from 6-8:30 p.m. Open to the Las Vegas community, the family viewing nights will be available by ticketed-reservation only for one-hour time slots and are limited to 35 guests per slot. Adhering to social distancing guidelines and Nevada’s mask mandate, guests will be able to explore the LV Ranch grounds, view and bid on the online auction items on display, enjoy treats and various photo opportunities. To make a family viewing night reservation, purchase a ticket for the celebration night, or to participate in the online auction, visit fotl.givesmart.com. Individual tickets for family viewing nights are $10 or $30 for a family of five, with an extremely limited amount of individual celebration tickets available for $250.
BOYD GAMING VISITORS WON $20 MILLION-PLUS IN JACKPOTS IN OCTOBER: Boyd Gaming customers throughout the Las Vegas Valley won multiple jackpots of $10,000 or more in October at Aliante, The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, Cannery, California, and Fremont. In all, more than $20 million in jackpots was awarded last month. On Oct. 4, Boyd Gaming awarded one of the highest Pai Gow Poker progressive jackpots of the year – more than a half a million dollars – to a Las Vegas local at Aliante. The winner had been planning to refinance his house, but instead paid off his mortgage with his winnings. Another big single win was at Sam’s Town when a player had a more than $59,500 payday when she hit the jackpot playing Dual Daub Bingo. One regular hit his fourth $10,000+ jackpot in three months at the California last month. On Oct. 27, he won a more than $13,000 jackpot playing Game King when he hit a spades royal flush. His first $10,000 jackpot was won in August. His second and third $10,000 jackpots in September.