“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW”by Jackie Brett
TWO RIO SHOWS WILL MOVE TO THE RIVIERA IN 2015: “MJ LIVE” and “The Rat Pack is Back” will close at the Rio on Sunday, Feb. 22 and open on Monday, March 2 in the historic 950-seat Versailles Theater that has been closed for five years. “The Rat Pack is Back” will be performed nightly at 6:30 p.m. followed by “MJ Live” nightly at 8:30 p.m. “MJ LIVE” integrates a mega-talented team of dancers and live three-piece band on stage to help capture the spirit of the famed superstar. The stellar cast of “The Rat Pack is Back” is complemented by topnotch musicians from the nine-piece Lon Bronson Orchestra. “The Rat Pack is Back” is in its 16th year of performances.
MICHAEL MINA’S WILL OPEN BARDOT BRASSERIE AT ARIA: James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina will welcome his newest concept, BARDOT Brasserie, to ARIA on the second floor on Friday, Jan. 16. The restaurant will be a modern and sexy take on the traditional French brasserie experience. At the helm will be Executive Chef Josh Smith presenting a fine array for Parisian cuisine, including: Foie Gras Sausage; Duck Wings À L ’Orange; Monkfish Bourride; Onion Soup Gratinée; and more. BARDOT will be open from 5 to 11 p.m. daily.
NEW RESTAURANT, SID’S CAFÉ OPENS AT WESTGATE: Sid’s Cafe, named after CEO and owner of Westgate Resorts, David Siegel’s father, Sid Siegel. just opened at Westgate. The high-end 200-seat restaurant is open 24 hours a day and offers a creative approach to home-style cooking. Sid’s boasts attentive service and large plates of freshly prepared food. The restaurant’s slogan is “we treat everyone like a high roller.” Menu options include appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, main plates and desserts.
ERIC JORDAN YOUNG CLOSES ‘SHAKIN’’ AT PLANET HOLLYWOOD DEC. 27: Eric Jordan Young’s production “Shakin’” at the Sin City Theatre inside Planet Hollywood will close on Dec. 27. The show’s closing performance will be a special day for Young, as it will mark the end of his first headlining production and also his birthday. Young is currently entertaining options from various Las Vegas venues and is exploring opportunities to take “Shakin’” to the next level. Although currently performing on a smaller stage, “Shakin’ “is designed for an eight-piece band with a larger cast, crew and stage.
COMEDIAN ADAM RAY HEADLINES THE LAUGH FACTORY: Adam Ray will headline The Laugh Factory at the New Tropicana Dec. 29-Jan. 4, 2015, with Sandy Danto, who never holds back on any subject that comes into his mind, and host Vegas resident, Penny Prince at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Ray’s sketch show pilot, “AdamRayTV,” took home viewer’s choice for best new pilot at the 2007 ITVfest in Los Angeles. Ray has guest-starred on “2 Broke Girls,” “Workaholics,” “Arrested Development,” “According to Jim,” and Adult Swim’s “NTSF:SD: SUV.”
PERFECT TRIFECTA INCLUDES HIGH ROLLER, TUBING AND SKATING: Now through Dec. 28, Caesars Entertainment is offering a holiday adventure package for $50 that includes the High Roller, tubing hill at Winter PARQ, and an ice skating session at Caesars Chalet. The Perfect Trifecta Package offers an all-day tubing pass with tube rental at Winter PARQ, a flex pass to ride the High Roller day or night, and a 90-minute skating session with skates at Caesars Chalet. Ninety-minute skating sessions are available daily from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
ANNE FRANK AND CHAIR LIGHTS EXHIBITS EXTENDED AT SNMFA: The Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art (SNMFA) has extended the viewing dates of “Anne Frank, An Historical Remembrance” featuring the work of well-known artist and lithographer Michael Knigin (1942-2011), and “Chair Lights,” a collection of 100 works of art by 31 Las Vegas artists, focused on Jewish themes through Saturday, Jan. 3. Both exhibits are open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.; however, the museum will be closed Dec. 21-25 and Dec. 28-Jan. 1. General admission is $5.
RHUMBAR HOLDS PATIO PARTIES FOR FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: RHUMBAR at The Mirage will turn its outdoor patio into a festive football celebration with drink specials during the playoff games from Saturday, Jan. 3 through Sunday, Jan. 18 and the Pro Bowl game on Sunday, Jan. 25. The venue will team with BLT Burger and feature casual food items.
QUICKY TIDBITS: On Tuesday night, Jan. 6 at 10:30 p.m. at 1 OAK Nightclub at The Mirage during CES, superstar Nick Cannon will return for an exclusive guest DJ set. The sounds will be strong all night with DJ Turbulence as well. For the first time, The Mob Museum downtown will make audio tours available to its visitors. Recorded in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese, the tours will enable the museum to speak to a wider audience, including the growing number of international visitors that travel to Las Vegas each year. The World Series of Beer Pong will be held at the Riviera Jan. 1-5 with a grand prize of $50,000. The Gateway Arts Foundation and Dr. Carole Altman will present “I Know I Came Here For Something” – a Middle Age Musical Comedy Revue on Sunday, Jan. 4 at 3 p.m. at the Starbright Theater in Sun City-Summerlin. Tickets are $15. Morgans Hotel Group Co. is selling its 90 percent controlling interest in The Light Group (TLG), a leading lifestyle food & beverage company, to Hakkasan Group, a worldwide dining, entertainment, and hospitality company, for a total enterprise value of $36 million. Morgans Hotel Group will retain its leasehold interests in the three Mandalay Bay restaurants that will continue to be managed by TLG, as well as an option to buy a minority interest in TLG for a period of up to 18 months post-closing. Tickets for the second Splashdown For Kids are now on sale. The weekend event, held April 25-26, at Wet ‘n’ Wild offers the Vegas Valley a preview to summer with proceeds benefiting both local nonprofits. Tickets are $25, which includes entry to Wet ‘n’ Wild and lunch with drink. Use promo code CISASASDAY. Minus5 Ice Bar continued their renowned celebrity cocktail program by celebrating The Top Rank Knockout Girls with their new signature cocktail the “Knockout Punch.” The stunning and lively Jen Mateo, Rachel McDonough and Candice Wurster took a break, donned the signature Minus5 fur coats and hats, and posed for photos. Fremont Street Experience donated 100 percent of SlotZilla revenue to the American Heart Association for everyone who flew on either the lower Zipline ($20) or upper Zoomline ($40) on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. President of Fremont Street Experience, Jeff Victor and Director of Marketing, Tom Bruny, presented Kerry A. Sallee, Business Development Director of the American Heart Association a check of $15,940.
NEW YEAR’S EVENT CLIPS: The New Year can be started by seeing Justin Timberlake closing out his 20/20 Experience World Tour on Jan. 1 and 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tickets range from $89.50 to $279.50. Drai’s Nightclub and global musical sensation Iggy Azalea are teaming up to create the Strip’s roof-top New Year’s Eve party and full live concert event on Dec. 31, 2014. The first international gay New Year’s Eve celebration is being presented by Evolve. The full package is three days with the main New Year’s Eve Party on Dec. 31 from 10:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. at the Havana Nightclub at the New Tropicana with a hosted bar, dancers, music, aerialists, etc. for $95 or $125. DJ Pauly D will spend New Year’s Eve at Vanity Nightclub at the Hard Rock Hotel. Rí Rá Las Vegas invites guests to kick off their New Year’s Eve celebration early by toasting the arrival of the Irish New Year at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31. At 4 p.m. Rí Rá will lead guests in a pub-wide celebratory toast as Ireland enters 2015. At 8:45 p.m. The Black Donnellys will keep the party rocking when they kick off their live performance. To keep the New Year festivities going, Chateau Nightclub & Rooftop at Paris will kick off 2015 with a performance by singer, songwriter and actress Keri Hilson on Friday, Jan. 2. NAACP’s 2010 Outstanding New Artist is best known for topping the charts with her Top 40 hits including “Pretty Girl Rock,” “Turnin’ Me On” featuring Lil’ Wayne and “Knock You Down,” featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo. Admission is 20 for ladies and $30 for gentlemen. Rockhouse in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian will have a range of ticketing options from 9 p.m.–midnight on New Year’s Eve beginning with $100 General Admission. There will be free Champagne on entry and live DJs.
SAXOPHONIST EUGE GROOVE HEADLINES AT ALIANTE: Saxophonist Euge Groove, who combines the sounds of jazz, R&B, gospel and blues to create his own personalized sound, will perform at the Access Showroom at Aliante on Friday, Jan. 23. Groove has had 13 No. 1 chart-topping hits and played alongside a variety of musical greats including Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Joe Cocker and Huey Lewis and the News. Since 2000, Groove has released nine albums including 2014’s release of “Got 2 Be Groovin.” Tickets start at $27.50.
HARD ROCK’S TOP BARTENDERS DUKED IT OUT: The Hard Rock Cafe hosted the second regional BARocker competition last week. People packed the third level of the Strip location to cheer on their favorite bartender from cities spanning the central and west regions. Hard Rockers from Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago and Dallas all traveled to Sin City to flip, twirl, pour and spin their way to the top spot. At the end of the night bartenders Christian Ortiz and Stefano Bellelli from Las Vegas and Seattle reigned supreme and will be moving on to the world finals in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
JANUARY IS MOB MONTH AT THE LIBRARY DISTRICT: The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is hosting a series of programs at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays related to the Mob at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. Programs are free and open to the public. Events include: Jan. 6 – The Mob on Trial: The Kefauver Hearings and Their Impact on Organized Crime; Jan. 13 – The Fix Is In: Sports and the Mob; Jan. 20 – The Great Debate: Is the Mob Still in Las Vegas?; and Jan. 27 – Our Kansas City Connection and Screening
FIRST FRIDAY ON JAN. 2 WILL HAVE ‘ENDLESS SUMMER’ THEME: First Friday on Jan. 2, 2015, the monthly arts and cultural festival downtown, will begin the year with an “Endless Summer” theme, a hot Hawaiian and Polynesian-inspired gathering. Event-goers are encouraged to fashion grass skirts and leis and come dressed up in their favorite summer and Hawaiian-inspired wear. Attendees will be able to sample a variety of island-inspired cuisine from the traditional food trucks on site. Food trucks offering a special themed dish for the evening will be identified by a beach ball on their façade. First Friday-goers can also capture their First Friday experience at the all new welcome tent complete with a surf-inspired backdrop, enjoy “surfing” care of Surfset Las Vegas, marvel at traditional Polynesian fire dancing by Flameology, play “beach” volleyball or experience the eight-foot volcano. Kids will also be able to build sand castles in KidZone. The Dance DepARTment will feature a variety of DJs throughout the evening, while emerging musicians are featured at The Hub. As part of “Endless Summer,” First Friday will welcome back the Las Vegas First Friday Poets for the first time in more than six years.
SOUTH POINT LAUNCHES $100,000 COLLEGE BOWL GAME JACKPOT: South Point’s sports book is launching a winner-take-all jackpot parlay card during the 2014-2015 college football bowl season in which the winner is guaranteed $100,000. College bowl game jackpot parlay cards are currently available for $10. Completed cards must be submitted by 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31. Individuals must select a straight-up winner (no point spreads or handicaps will be used) for each of the 15 bowl games. There is no limit to the number of cards any individual can enter into the giveaway. The individual with the most correct selections will receive the guaranteed $100,000 jackpot. In the case of multiple winners, the jackpot will be evenly distributed among all winners.
LAS VEGAS MAINTAINS TOP TRAVEL RANKINGS: Las Vegas reached a historic milestone exceeding 40 million visitors for the first time. The tourism industry in Southern Nevada continues to expand, achieving 10 consecutive months of visitor volume increases, with many of those months being the best on record. Current pacing suggests the destination could approach nearly 41 million visitors by the end of the year. The previous record was set in 2012 with more than 39,727,000 tourists. As the New Year rolls around, Priceline’s latest data reveals that the majority of travelers will be heading to warm-weathered cities, which dominated its annual list of top 2015 destinations, based on advanced hotel reservations. So far, Las Vegas ranks seventh in Priceline.com’s 15 Most Affordable Destinations for 2015 Destinations and third globally in Priceline.com’s Top 2015 Travel Hot Spots. OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group named the 2014 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Best Restaurants in America. The two Las Vegas restaurants on the list are Bazaar Meat by José Andrés at SLS and Michael’s at South Point Casino.
‘WHILE I AM STILL’ PHOTO EXHIBIT DEBUTS AT SAHARA WEST LIBRARY: Visual artist Linda Alterwitz will debut her exhibit “While I Am Still,” combining art with science and technology to explore the human spirit, at “The Studio” inside the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s Sahara West Library, 9600 West Sahara Ave., from Feb. 13 through May 9. “While I Am Still,” a mid-career retrospective exhibition of Alterwitz’s work includes five series: “In-Sight” (2009-2014); “Flesh and Bone” (2011); “Just Breathe” (2013-14); “Mojave” (2014) and a traveling installation that launched at the Las Vegas art and music festival “Life is Beautiful” (2014). An opening reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.
SCHOOL OF ROCK OPENS SECOND LAS VEGAS LOCATION: School of Rock is opening its second Las Vegas location in Green Valley with the grand opening celebration scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24. Leading up to its grand opening event, School of Rock Green Valley will be hosting an Open House every Tuesday from 4–7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. where community members will have the chance to tour the new school, meet the expert staff and sign up for complimentary trial lessons. School of Rock has been teaching kids to rock on stage and in life for more than 15 years. Today, School of Rock operates 140 schools in eight countries. The two Las Vegas locations are: 930 W. Flamingo Rd. #117, which opened in the fall of 2011, and 55 S. Valley Verde Drive in Green Valley.