Vegas Nutcracker, NFR and Rodeo Week

In Vegas VIP Scene-ery by Vegas Only Entertainment

BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW

Contributed by: Jackie Brett

LADIES COMEDY TOUR MAKES A STOP AT PARIS: “The Ladies Night Out Comedy Tour” will visit the Paris Theater on Saturday, Feb. 14 with performances at 7:30 and 10 p.m. at Paris. Celebrity host Nene Leakes leads the all-star lineup including Adele Givens, special guests Loni Love, Sherri Shepherd, Kym Whitley and B Simone. Tickets begin at $39. Leakes was the breakout star of Bravo’s hit reality show, “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” had a recurring role on “Glee,” and was a series regular on Ryan Murphy’s “The New Normal” on NBC. Givens’ credits include Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam,” “The All Stars of Def Comedy Jam,” “Showtime at the Apollo,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “HBO Comedy Half-Hour,” and “Comedy Central Presents.” Love found her niche on “The Real,” as well as the recurring guest DJ on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Shepherd is the former co-host of the television talk-show “The View,” and has a successful career as an actor, producer and stand-up comic. Whitley made a name for herself as a comedic actress in numerous TV shows, such as ABC’s “My Wife and Kids,” CBS’s “Two Broke Girls,” Disney’s “That’s So Raven,” TV Land’s “Soul Man” and HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” B Simone splashed onto the scene as a fixture on the hit MTV show “Wild N’ Out.”

CLYDESDALES WILL VISIT THE STRAT: The legendary Budweiser Clydesdales will make an appearance at The STRAT’s newly remodeled porte cochere from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22. The eight-horse hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous Budweiser red beer wagon and will be available for guests to view and for photo opportunities. While the Clydesdales are at The STRAT, Bud Light and Michelob ULTRA beers will be available for $3 at BLVD & MAIN Taphouse located inside the front doors on the main casino floor. Also, the resort has free parking and valet.

LOTUS OF SIAM REOPENS ORIGINAL LOCATION: The ever-popular Lotus of Siam restaurant was forced out of its original location at Commercial Center off Sahara Ave. near Maryland Parkway when the roof collapsed from a rainstorm a couple years ago in September 2017. Meanwhile due to reconstruction delays, the Chutima family in December of that year opened a temporary location on East Flamingo Road. The happy outcome is the first location in Commercial Center is reopening this week serving lunch and dinner on weekdays and dinner on weekends and the second outlet is so successful it will remain open and soon have extended hours.

GREAT SANTA RUN HELPS OPPORTUNITY VILLAGE: In addition to the National Finals Rodeo encompassing the Strip and Downtown tourist corridors, the 15th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run, which is a major fundraiser for Opportunity Village, will take place downtown on Saturday, Dec. 7. This mega-event is considered one of the country’s 10 best costume runs with thousands of runners in Santa costumes pounding the pavement. A most impressive participant this year will be a 17-year-old Las Vegas-area student with cerebral palsy, Philomena “Mena” Hawkins, who will achieve her goal of completing the one-mile race while also finishing as the event’s top individual fundraiser. Participants are encouraged to bring their four-legged pets. All $10 pet registrations come with a swag bag filled with tasty treats and “furr-nomenal” items. Humans can register for $25 using code, OVPETS19, online and will receive a five-piece Santa suit and swag bag.

NFR ATTRACTS BIGGEST COUNTRY MUSIC SUPERSTARS: Every year during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) country music’s biggest name stars headline shows at the resorts usually with 10 p.m. shows following the rodeo, which is held at the Thomas & Mack Center. Reba, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn will be headlining The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Dec. 4, 6-8, 10-11, 13-14, and 18. At Planet Hollywood, Shania Twain will open her Las Vegas residency Shania Twain “Let’s Go!” on Dec. 6-7, 11, 13-14, and 18. Upcoming shows at The Joint in the Hard Rock include award-winning country super band Old Dominion Dec. 4-5, country music mainstay Gary Allan Dec. 6-7, and Koe Wetzel Dec. 13. The Golden Nugget is always one of the first resorts to line up their country celebs, who will be performing a 10 p.m. show. The lineup includes Terri Clark Dec. 5; Clay Walker Dec. 6; John Michael Montgomery Dec. 7; Charlie Daniels Band Dec. 8; Ronnie Milsap Dec. 9; Tracy Lawrence Dec. 10; Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan Dec. 11; Ray Wylie Hubbard Dec. 12; and Jamey Johnson Dec. 13. The Laugh Factory at the Tropicana will get in on the action with Cowboy Comedy featuring John Wesley Austin Dec. 9-15 at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.

MORE RODEO EVENTS AT THE PLAZA AND CORE ARENA: The Plaza downtown is all in at rodeo time. The resort will again serve as the official host hotel for the Junior World Finals and host a record number of rodeo events around the entire property, including in its outdoor equestrian facility, the Core Arena, Dec. 5-14. The Core Arena will offer three outdoor arenas where 500 of rodeo’s future stars will compete in various competitions. Specific events include Junior American and the Patriot Team Roping and Steer Wrestling Dec. 5-13; Las Vegas Stars Tie-Down and Breakaway Dec. 5-13; and International Miniature Bullriders Association Dec. 4-8. For the second year, the Rodeo Fashion and Western Arts Expo will take over the Plaza’s largest ballroom from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, Dec. 5-14. The carefully curated shopping event showcases exclusive products and has become a marquee part of the annual rodeo experience. Again, the Plaza will host the Diamonds in the Desert Premier Horse Sales on Thursday, Dec. 12 at noon in the showroom. This event is open to the public as well as horse brokers and buyers. New this year, the Plaza and Bull West Live have partnered to hold a bull sale on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. Fifteen of the top pre-classic three-year-old bucking bulls in the nation are hand-selected to be sold to compete for more than $1.6 million in prizes during the 2020 season.

TROPICANA HONORS NFR RODEO WEEK: The Tropicana will be hosting several NFR events, including the 65th Miss Rodeo America 2020 Pageant, Bullfighters Only 2019 Las Vegas Championship, autograph sessions and much more. There will be numerous opportunities for meeting the pros including Hooey Jam from 5-6 p.m. Dec. 5-14 with the bullfighters inside Robert Irvine’s Public House; top steer wrestlers Tyler Waguespack, Kyle Irwin and Tyler Pearson Dec. 6 and 9 from 2-3:30 p.m.; and top rodeo competitors including Rusty, Ryder and Stetson Wright on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Jesse, Spencer and Cody Wright on Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and all six family members on Saturday, Dec. 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

NFR MISC. INFO: Many resorts will be holding viewing parties including the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center by the D Hotel from Dec. 5-14. Fans can catch the action in the venue’s 20,000-square-foot, temperature-controlled tent. The nightly watch parties are free, open to all ages and will run from 6 p.m. to midnight featuring concerts, saloon-style entertainment, steak specials and more. The Stetson Country Christmas Show will be held at the Rio Convention Center Thursday-Sunday, Dec. 5 to 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. where shoppers can get gifts for a western-style Christmas list. Also, at the Rio, Red Bull will transform the Masquerade Stage Dec. 12-14 into a Cowboy Lounge featuring DJs, a dance floor, party games, drink specials and more. Since 1986, the biggest shopping extravaganza during NFR is Cowboy Christmas featuring more than 300 exhibitors with their displays at the Las Vegas Convention Center – South Halls, Dec. 5-14 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. The adult revue “Fantasy” at the Luxor is offering NFR attendees a 50 percent discount on all tickets for guests who show their 2019 NFR tickets upon purchasing shows tickets at the hotel’s box office. Cabo Wabo Cantina at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood will celebrate NFR Dec. 5-14 with drink specials and hearty breakfast selections from 8 to 11 a.m. PT’s Gold at 10520 S. Las Vegas Blvd. will celebrate the NFR with burgers and brews from Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 5-14. All guests dressed in cowboy or rodeo attire may purchase a pub classic burger, French fries and domestic beer for $8. Plus, happy hours are extended through December from 5-8 p.m. and midnight to 2 a.m. with specials including a 50 percent select drinks discount.

BROOKLYN GAMER WINS SIMON CUP AT HYPERX ESPORTS ARENA: Brooklyn, N.Y., gamer Daryl John (Bugzvii) age 20 won the inaugural Simon Cup, a national esports competition co-produced by Allied Esports and Simon retail. John topped a field of 64 amateur Fortnite players from around the country at the Grand Final event held at the HyperXExports Arena in the Luxor. He won a $50,000 shopping spree at a Las Vegas Simon destination: The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, The Shops at Crystals, Las Vegas North Premium Outlets and Las Vegas South Premium Outlets.

TRAVIS CLOER PRESENTS HOLIDAY SHOW CHRISTMAS: Travis Cloer and his band will present their 7th Annual Holiday Show “Christmas at Robin’s Place” directed by Keith Thompson on Thursday, Dec. 12 at The Robin Leach Theatre at Notoriety Live at 450 Fremont Street at 7 p.m. Cloer, who is the longest-running actor to play Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys,” will be accompanied by Niki Scalera of Broadway’s “Hairspray” and “Tarzan.” Tickets are $20 general admission.

MORE HOLIDAY SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: Nevada Ballet Theatre’s annual “The Nutcracker” is playing at The Smith Center Dec. 13-24 with tickets starting at $30.95. To make the experience more memorable consider attending the festive Sugar Plum Party only available with the Sunday, Dec. 15 performances at 1 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. Adults and little ones will enjoy a holiday style tea with sandwiches, treats and a cocoa bar and a souvenir photo with The Nutcracker characters. Cost is $45 for children 14 and under and $65 for adults in addition to the price of show tickets that day. Magician Hans Klok at the Excalibur has added a new holiday spin to his latest family-friendly production, “Hans Klok: The World’s Fastest Magician.” The limited holiday engagement is playing nightly at 7 p.m. except Dec. 6, 13, 20, 22, and 31, and 3 p.m. matinees on select Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets start at $44.95. The revue, “Motown Extreme,” at OYO (formerly Hooters) is spreading holiday cheer transforming the show through Dec. 22 with added Saturday 3 p.m. matinees into a winter wonderland of Christmas classics from the Motown catalog. Tickets start at $59.95. “Motown Extreme” is also a sponsor of the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village and cast members helped decorate a large Motown Themed Christmas tree on display through Jan. 4.

MOB MUSEUM HOSTS DISCUSSION ON JIMMY HOFFA MURDER: The Mob Museum is holding “Fact, Fiction and the Irishman: The Hoffa Murder” on Wednesday, Dec. 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the second-floor historic courtroom with veteran journalists Eric Shawn, Dan Moldea and Vince Wade detailing facts regarding Jimmy Hoffa’s death and addressing persisting theories. The new Martin Scorsese film “The Irishman” presents one possible scenario. The panel will dissect the Hoffa mystery, separating fact from fiction in pursuit of what really happened on July 30, 1975.

MORE DINING NEWS

Ellis Island on Koval Lane behind Bally’s finally opens its long-awaited The Front Yard, the property’s new beer garden, restaurant and entertainment.  Freedom Beat’s Culinary Road Trip curated by Chef Scott Commings at Triple George Grill downtown has served 1,500 regionally inspired meals over the intimate monthly dinner program’s first three years. The next destination family-style dinner in collaboration with Triple George Grill’s Chef Rhori Kow will take guests home for the holidays on Thursday, Dec. 12 with a winter family feast. Tickets are $65. The award-winning Top of the World restaurant at The STRAT will celebrate the holiday with a seasonal-inspired four-course menu featuring roasted mushroom soup, confit of duck leg, cabernet braised short ribs and an eggnog custard tart for dessert for $125 on Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 24 and 25. Morton Group’s La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway at Wynn and CRUSH at MGM Grand will celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah with special meals from Sunday-Monday, Dec. 22-30. La Cave will have a traditional braised beef short rib dinner for $24 and CRUSH roasted Arctic Char for $32. Owners of Honey Salt at 1031 S. Rampart Blvd., restaurateurs and James Beard nominees Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla, are holding an Old World style cocktail party on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. Tickets to Honey Salt’s Farm Table Party are required and available for $59 per person with an optional wine pairing for an additional $25. Jerry’s Famous Coffee Shop at Jerry’s Nugget in North Las Vegas has steak and seafood specials from Dec. 6-28 on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to midnight. Complete meal choices with salad are steak and shrimp for $13.89 or steak and lobster for $19.89. Also, there’s a holiday pie sale with whole pies $15 with orders requiring 48 hours advance notice. This past October 2019, Jerry’s Nugget Casino was the winner of Sweetest Full Line Bakery in Nevada by Dawn Foods while competing for the Sweetest Bakery in America Contest.

ABOUT TOWN HAPPENINGS: Vegas Valley Winery at 7360 Eastgate Road in Henderson is holding a Sip & Shop family-friendly event on Sunday, Dec. 8 from noon to 6 p.m. featuring local artisans and craftspeople showing their handmade wares. Admission is free. PT’s Taverns will host “hoppy” holiday parties at 64 locations throughout the Las Vegas Valley from Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 22. All PT’s Taverns holiday parties will include holiday buffets and punch, with several locations hosting themed events.

SIGHTINGS: The cast of “So You Think You Can Dance Live! 2019” spent an afternoon at Happy Place in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place dancing, playing and taking photos at the immersive pop-up. Season 16’s Top 10 include Anna Linstruth, Benjamin Castro, Bailey Munoz, Eddie Hoyt, Ezra Sosa, Gino Cosculluela, Madison Jordan, Mariah Russell, Sophie Pittman and Stephanie Sosa along with All-Stars Cyrus Spencer and Lauren Froderman. A guest from Hawaii at the Fremont Hotel and Casino turned a Las Vegas stay into a $1,098,478 payday when she hit a giant jackpot on IGT’s Wheel of Fortune® Gold Spin™ Triple Gold® Slots in November. Superstar Mariah Carey dined at TAO recently taking over the private dining room with her family. Actor Morris Chestnut celebrated his daughter’s birthday at LAVO in the Palazzo with family and friends.