BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
VAN MORRISON WILL RETURN FOR FIVE SHOWS NEXT YEAR: Van Morrison has had multiple sold-out weekends at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, which has prompted a return engagement for five nights Jan. 25-Feb. 2, 2019. Legendary British R&B singer and composer Morrison in 1964 formed the group Them, which recorded hits “Gloria” and “Here Comes the Night.” A few years later, he released the Top 40 pop sensation “Brown Eyed Girl” and began his career as a successful solo musician. This year in his career marks the 50th anniversary since of the release of the “Astral Weeks” album in 1968. Morrison continues to work on new material including the release of his latest album, “You’re Driving Me Crazy,” a musical collaboration with Hammond organ virtuoso and trumpet master Joey DeFrancesco, which was released April 27, 2018.
COSMOPOLITAN ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR BLOCK 16 URBAN EATERY & BAR: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will reveal Block 16 Urban Eatery & Bar on the second level of the Boulevard Tower in early fall with six quick-service restaurants. The new culinary destination with six individual food and beverage outposts will live within a created urban space. Food outlet newcomers will include: New Orleans restaurant District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew.; Ghost Donkey, a New York-born tequila and mezcal cocktail bar; Nashville’s hot Southern chicken joint Hattie B’s Hot Chicken; Lardo from Portland chef Rick Gencarelli with over-the-top sandwiches; Ricker’s Pok Pok Wing from Portland; and Tekka Bar: Handroll & Sake, an original Japanese hand roll and sake restaurant from Las Vegas restaurateur Takashi Segawa of Mon Restaurant Group fame. Also, The Cosmopolitan plans to open Chinese restaurant Red Plate this summer in the former D.O.C.G. space on the resort’s third level.
BALLY’S FINISHES $125 MILLION RENOVATION: Caesars Entertainment has been updating rooms across its Las Vegas portfolio and Bally’s completed a $125 million redesign of 2,052 guest rooms and suites in the new Resort Tower. Additional new room highlights include USB charging stations, chic lounge furniture and reimagined bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers. Caesars Entertainment donated more than 2,000 rooms of furniture from Bally’s – more than $1.1 million in estimated value – to Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas, hurricane relief efforts in Houston, Texas, and other nonprofit agencies.The remainder of Bally’s 2,800-room inventory, in the Jubilee Tower, was renovated in 2014. Including the 3,735 rooms renovated this year, the company will have reimagined 15,500 rooms, or 67 percent of its total Las Vegas inventory, since 2014.
HOCKEY IS TRANSFORMING LAS VEGAS: In so many ways, the Entertainment Capital of the World is now the center of the hockey universe. The excitement in the city with the Vegas Golden Knights (VGK), the National Hockey League’s (NHL) 31st club and Las Vegas’ first professional league, making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in its inaugural season is off the Richter scale. The VGKs are the talk of the sports world. Shows and entertainers have been getting in on the act. Super fan Celine Dion, who returned to her residency at Caesars Palace after her surgery, did so wearing a GVK jersey on stage. Wayne Newton has been wearing his jersey at games and at the Westgate Barry Manilow after opening his new residency at the hotel received a VGK jersey from Jay Kornegay, VP of Race & Sports SuperBook, and Westgate president Geno Iafrate.
49TH ANNUAL WORLD SERIES OF POKER HAS BEGUN: Play has started for the world’s annual largest, richest and longest-running poker tournament, which will run through Tuesday, July 17. The 49th annual World Series of Poker at the Rio will attract more than 100,000 participants from 100-plus countries who will compete for more than $200 million in prize money and the game’s most coveted trophy – a World Series of Poker Champion’s Bracelet. Overall there will be 78 official gold bracelet events with the main event running July 2-14.
COTTONWOOD STATION EATERY IS NEW IN BLUE DIAMOND: Married couple Steve Enger and Jody Lyman have opened the new Cottonwood Station Eatery in the quaint, historic mining village of Blue Diamond, about 40 minutes from Downtown Las Vegas. Their restaurant with seating for 30 inside and 50 outside with a fire pit and pet-friendly patio is the first new commercial construction there in decades offering a dining destination for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A 1949 Ford truck aging in a backyard is now a de facto sign, and the truck bed features seating for eight on the outdoor patio. . A history wall showcases black and white photos and information about the area. There’s a photo tribute to Tippy, the dog that helped save two miners. Breakfast costing $4-$7.50 begins daily at 6 a.m. Lunch and dinner are served until 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and Friday-Saturday until 10 p.m. The 290 residents of Blue Diamond have the option to order golf cart pizza delivery. Having designed the logo, Lyman’s art talent is showcased, and her own burro-inspired art and coffee mugs are available for sale.
MACHINE GUNS VEGAS DEBUTS MGV OUTDOOR WATERMELON SHOOTS: Machine Guns Vegas (MGV) luxury firearms facility is launching a new shooting twist outdoors with MGV’s Outdoor Watermelon Firearm Experience. This summer Thursday through Monday, MGV begins its inaugural watermelon outdoor firearm experience allowing a participant the “once in a melon” opportunity to blow up an exploding tannerite infused watermelon. Guests have the option to shoot the 9MM, MP5 and M4. Each exploding watermelon is available for $50 with the purchase of any MGV premium outdoor packages.
RIBBON OF LIFE WILL RETURN WITH ORIGINAL PRODUCTION: It had been previously announced Golden Rainbow would present “Chicago” for Ribbon of Life. Due to the overwhelming support from the local entertainment community, Golden Rainbow’s 32nd Annual Ribbon of Life will return to its origins and present an original production instead at the Foundry at SLS on Sunday, June 24. “The Show Must Go On,” will highlight talented performers from almost every major show on the Strip with a red-carpet reception and silent auction at 11 a.m. show and show at 1 p.m. Some of the top stars will include Anne Martinez and Jaclyn McSpadden from “BAZ – A Musical Tour de Force,” Ruby Lewis from “Marilyn the Musical,” cast members from “Opium,” “Zumanity,” and “Chippendales,” as well as stage veteran Brent Barrett from Broadway’s revival of “Chicago.” Tickets start at $45. The Sayers Club at SLS will host the official after party with additional exclusive acts and performances. Entry is $25 at the door or $20 in advance through the Golden Rainbow website. Proceeds will benefit Golden Rainbow’s critically needed housing, education, and direct financial assistance services for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada.
MAGICAL MEMORIES HOSTS AUTHOR PRESENTATIONS: Magical Memories featuring Disney Fine Art Gallery in The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace on the third level will spotlight a trio of accomplished artist/authors in a series of free public events including book presentations and signings, meet and greets and more June 9-10. Dave Bossert, veteran and acclaimed Disney artist, author and filmmaker, will be first presenting and signing his book, “Dali and Disney: Destino: The Story, Artwork, and Friendship Behind the Legendary Film,” Friday at 4 p.m. and noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday. Award-winning author, animation and film historian, musician, and educator, Mindy Johnson, will be presenting and signing her book, “Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation,” at 5 p.m. on Friday and 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday. Academy Award nominated producer of “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast” Don Hahn, will be presenting and signing his book, “Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Disney’s Magical Mid-Century,” at 6 p.m. on Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday. Special guest Paige O’Hara, the amazing voice of Belle in the original, animated “Beauty and the Beast” movie, will be at the gallery for meet and greets and signings on Friday and Saturday.
‘COMPOSERS SHOWCASE’ IS MONTHLY NONPROFIT MUSICAL SHOWCASE: “The Composers Showcase of Las Vegas” is a monthly musical showcase held in Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center at 10:30 p.m. Performances feature original music by some of Las Vegas’ best composers and songwriters and performed by some of top musicians and talent locally. This is an amazing opportunity for composers to present original musical material to a supportive audience in an informal cabaret-style setting. Mark your calendar for upcoming dates: June 20, July 25, Sept. 5, Oct. 17, Nov. 28, Jan. 16, Feb. 20, and March 20. Tickets are $20 to $25.The nonprofit was created as an entertainment forum co-founded and hosted/emceed by Keith Thompson of PK Entertainment, who produces “The Cocktail Cabaret” at Caesars Palace. He’s also been musical director for “Jersey Boys” and “Idaho! The Comedy-Musical,” and was voted “Best Composer” 2016 by “Vegas Seven.”
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“The Cocktail Cabaret” at Caesars Palace on Cleopatra’s Barge has a new summer schedule with show time moving to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and new ticket prices $39 and $59 VIP. Brent Barrett, Broadway star in shows such as “Chicago” and “Grand Hotel” and Las Vegas resident, will fill in as the guest Emcee for Eric Jordan Young. Singer Heidi Webster from shows “Lady Luck” and “Showstoppers” will fill in for Maren Wade. Kai Brant and The Las Vegas Jazz Trio will perform live in The Underground speakeasy at The Mob Museum on Saturdays in June. On June 9, 16, 23 and 30, the group fronted by “the jazz chanteuse” Brant will play from 7–10 p.m. in the retro-themed bar. Admission to The Underground is free daily after 5 p.m. and free any time for patrons through its secret side entrance, using the daily passwords found on Instagram Stories @MobMuseumUnderground. “Xavier Mortimer’s Magical Dream” starring magician, Xavier Mortimer will celebrate two years for his show at Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theatre on Wednesday, June 6. The 70-minute show is comprised of more than 14 magic acts. Musical-comedy group, The Dan Band, will bring their classic diva covers with a twist to the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay at 7:30 on Friday, June 15. Tickets start at $15. On Friday, June 29, KOMP Presents: Vegas Homegrown Series Featuring Honor Amongst Thieves, Bravo Delta, DriVeN, Antitrust, and Incarnate at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $9.23. The Suncoast will feature two rock group tribute acts this month. “WANTED: A Tribute to Bon Jovi” will replicate the music of the legendary rock band Bon Jovi on Sunday, June 10. “Tom Petty & The Heartshakers: Tribute to Tom Petty” will bring the supergroup’s rock hits to life on Sunday, June 24. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m. with tickets starting at $12.
MASTER CLASSES START AGAIN AT WYNN: Wynn’s exclusive behind-the-scenes, one-of-a-kind workshops led by master chefs, sommeliers, bakers and artisans is starting up again. To register, call 702-770-7070. It will be cocktail time with Mixology 2.0 happening on Thursday, June 7 at 3 p.m. in Andrea’s at Encore. This will be an opportunity to learn bar secrets from Wynn’s assistant director of beverage development Andrew Pollard. After a round of cocktails, Pollard will demonstrate updates to several classic cocktails, share the history of bar culture and present unique garnishes and syrups to up your cocktail game at home. This interactive workshop also covers the home bar essentials necessary for the up-and-coming mixologist and includes cocktail tasting, snacks and a cocktail connoisseur certificate. Cost is $150. A Five-Star Chinese Cooking class will be held in Wing Lei at Wynn on Friday, June 15 at noon. For the first time ever, chef Ming Yu of America’s only five-star Chinese restaurant, Wing Lei, will hold an intimate cooking demonstration of several of his signature dishes. Attendees will learn Yu’s methods for preparing Alaskan king crab salad, wonton soup, three cup sea bass and wok-tossed noodles, and then experience a feast of all four dishes. Cost is $175.
Three restaurants formerly associated with celebrity chef Mario Batali will close at The Venetian l The Palazzo on Friday, July 27: Carnevino Italian Steakhouse; B&B Ristorante; and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria. The corporate company B&B Hospitality informed approximately 298 employees affected of the three high-profile restaurants, which had been open for more than a decade. In celebration of National Steakhouse Month, Alder & Birch Cocktails and Dining at The Orleans and Cornerstone Classic American Steakhouse at the Gold Coast will offer weekly specials throughout the month of June. In honor of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Cabo Wabo Cantina will host viewing parties for soccer fans featuring Tex-Mex inspired breakfast items and drink specials for games Thursday, June 14 through Sunday, July 15. The Strip-side restaurant will open at 8 a.m.
BOWLING TO RAISE MONEY FOR LOCAL HOMELESS YOUTH: This year’s 9th annual Homeless Youth in the Alley Bowling Tournament has expanded and added an evening tournament featuring a DJ and cosmic bowling. On Saturday, June 9, there will be two events held at the Suncoast Bowling Center to benefit local homeless youth and the nonprofit Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY). Registration for the Superheroes by Day session is 11 a.m. to noon with the bowling tournament from noon to 3 p.m. Registration for the Vigilantes by Night session is 5 to 6 p.m. with bowling from 6 to 9 p.m. Costumes reflective of each theme are encouraged. Trophies will be presented to the first, second and third place bowling teams at each session along with special team honors for best superhero and vigilante costume, best team name and most successful fundraiser. If space is still available, the price at the door on June 9 will be $35 per bowler and $175 per team of five players. Registration includes unlimited bowling, food, refreshments, desserts, tournament swag bag, souvenir and more; call NPHY at 702-383-1332.
Bob Ike, a veteran racing public handicapper since 1985, as well as radio host, will lead a free public seminar on Saturday, June 9 for the Belmont Stakes race. The seminar begins at 8 a.m. in the Rampart Casino Cascade Lounge with the Triple Crown Race beginning at 3:30 p.m. Guests will find out what goes into handicapping and betting on horse races, from reviewing Justify’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness wins and going over a full rundown of each Belmont Stakes runner. Sip, Signs & Strings is a fundraiser to benefit the restoration of the Hard Rock Café guitar sign. The evening with recording violinist Michelle Jones, hors d’oeuvres and libations will take place Tuesday, June 19 from 6-8 p.m. amid rarely seen historic signs at Ne10 Studio. Tickets are $50. The Ultimate Car Show at the M Resort will be held Saturday, June 9 from 3 to 8 p.m. The outdoor event will raise money for the Sanctuary Project. It’s free to attend and $40 to register a car. XENXEN will recognize International Yoga Day on Thursday, June 21. The studio’s day-long celebration at 750 S Rampart Blvd Suite 5 will include for the community free yoga classes all day. People who participate will receive a free class card for a friend and complimentary water bottle. XENXEN will host a raffle for attendees to win one free month of classes.