BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
THE STRATOSPHERE REBRANDS TO ‘THE STRAT’: Golden Entertainment, Inc., which took ownership in late 2017 of The Stratosphere, Casino, Hotel & Tower, is beginning its transition and rebranding of the iconic property to The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod. Two TV spots ran during the Super Bowl: “Strat Rising” announced the resort’s rebranding, and “Take the World for a Spin,” showcased the award-winning Top of the World restaurant. Along with the rebranding, The STRAT has designated the top of the tower as a destination called SkyPod. Collectively the SkyPod attractions include: Top of the World on the 106th floor; 107 SkyLounge on the 107th floor; the Observation Deck, 108 Eats by James Trees and 108 Drinks on the 108th floor; and thrill rides at the top of the tower.The property transformation began with a remodel, which started in June 2018 with a new Baccarat pit with six tables. In August, the “Elevate” room series was a complete remodel of 311 rooms. The 360-degree rotating Top of the World restaurant received a new menu last year and full remodel. In November, the 24-hour Strat Café & Wok opened, and 10 Eats by James Trees debuted in late December. The STRAT is continuing its evolution this year. This spring look for the introduction of BLVD & Main Taphouse; View Lounge with views of the casino floor; and a fully remodeled Race and Sports Book. More changes will feature the debut of the Link Lounge, named for the company’s “Link” game series, and The Strat will be the first of Golden Entertainment’s properties to introduce True Rewards, a comprehensive gaming rewards program that will soon be available at 130-plus locations.
THE BRONX WANDERERS MOVE TO THE LINQ: The Bronx Wanderers have moved from the Windows Showroom at Bally’s, where they appeared since September 2016, to the Mat Franco Theater at the Linq performing Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 9 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. Tickets start at $52.48.The father-and-sons trio and bandmates — Joe Bari, Fernando Tort and David Braun — continue to cover classics and more current hits in the larger 600-seat showroom. The group toured for a dozen years before taking their chance on Las Vegas, which has paid off. Since opening at Bally’s, they performed more than 800 shows for more than 70,000 fans and were voted the Bronze Winner of the “Best New Act/Show” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Best of Las Vegas Awards 2017. Their show is uplifting, high energy and reminiscent of when old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll reigned supreme.
SUPERSTAR CHRISTINA AGUILERA ANNOUNCES UPCOMING RESIDENCY: Multi-Platinum singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera has announced her exclusive headlining residency show, “Christina Aguilera: The Xperience,” will open at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood on Friday, May 31. Aguilera has won six Grammy Awards, including one Latin Grammy Award, and is currently nominated for two additional Grammy Awards. She released her debut album in 1999 with hits including “Genie in a Bottle,” “Ain’t No Other Man” and “Beautiful.” Last year, she released “Liberation.” Two songs on the album earned nominations at the 2019 Grammys airing Feb. 10 in Los Angeles: “Fall in Line” with Demi Lovato and “Like I Do” with GoldLink.
MOB MUSEUM ANNUALLY RECOGNIZES ST. VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE: The Mob Museum downtown will commemorate its seventh anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 14 by offering Nevada residents free admission and non-residents a buy-one, get-one admission all day beginning at 9 a.m. In addition, the day coincides with the 90th anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. For the first time, all Museum visitors will have the opportunity to experience The Chicago 00 Project’s virtual reality, technologically enhanced, historically rich insight into the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, courtesy of a grant from the Union Pacific Foundation. Released in February 2017, this VR experience transports audiences to the exact spots where the events unfolded by superimposing images from then and now in virtual reality.
TORI KELLY BRINGS HER TOUR TO THE PALMS: Grammy nominee Tori Kelly will bring “The Acoustic Sessions Tour” to the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms on Saturday, March 9 at 8 p.m. Kelly’s new single “Change Your Mind” will be released soon. This month “Never Alone,” her single from her new passion project “Hiding Place” was No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart. Ticket range is $35 to $85. Future acts lined up at the Pearl include: Lady Antebellum: Our Kind of Vegas Feb. 8-9, 13, and 15-16; Il Divo March 15; Why Don’t We March 23; NEEDTOBREATHE April 6; and Hozier April 7.
LUENELL BRINGS LAUGHS TO THE SAYERS CLUB AT SLS: Funny lady Luenell will begin headlining her stand-up show “Tommy T. Presents: Luenell” in The Sayers Club at SLS on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. and continue each week on Sundays through May 12. Tickets start at $39. Luenell is well known for her breakout role as the “hooker with the heart of gold” in the 2006 comedy “Borat.” The comedian has been appearing in television shows and movies for nearly three decades including “So I Married an Axe Murderer,” “Hotel Transylvania,” “The Rock,” “Taken 2,” and the adult comedy “That’s My Boy” with Adam Sandler. Last year, she appeared in 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.” Honing her brand of comedy for years, Luenell toured for two years and had DVD appearances with Katt Williams, starred on “Snoop Dog’s Bad Girls of Comedy,” and performed on “Comedy Underground with Dave Attell” on Comedy Central.
NAKED MAGICIANS WILL OPEN RESIDENCY AT MGM GRAND: Forgoing the traditional top hats, capes or clothes for that matter, The Naked Magicians from Australia will open their first Strip residency in Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at MGM Grand starting Wednesday, Feb. 13. Left without sleeves or pockets, the duo performs mesmerizing feats, which are baffling and entertaining. The R-rated magic show starring Mike Tyler and Christopher Wayne will be performed six nights a week, dark Tuesdays, at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $30.
NEW VARIETY BRUNCH SHOW DEBUTS AT THE SLS HOTEL: New at SLS is “Ester Goldberg’s Totally Outrageous Brunch” at SLS starring International Glamour Puss Ester Goldberg, along with her cast of talented and unpredictable friends. Every Saturday and Sunday, the comedy spectacle accompanies the buffet brunch held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. with the show at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $60 and $89. Goldberg is considered and influential Diva. She wowed Nashville, Tenn., audiences for more than four years on one of the city’s morning radio shows. In Washington, D.C., her cabaret show “The Big Swanky After Dinner Show,” was a crowd-pleaser. Los Angeles audiences encountered Goldberg’s brand of comedy at the Comedy Store.
HILTON SIGNED VIRGIN HOTELS LAS VEGAS TO ITS CURIO COLLECTION: Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, currently Hard Rock, will join Curio Collection by Hilton in 2020, after the resort makes an extensive transformation including renovations to the property. In collaboration with JC Hospitality LLC and Virgin Hotels, the reimagined, contemporary Las Vegas hotel will participate in Hilton’s guest loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Of the hotels within Hilton’s Collection Brands, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be the only property located in Las Vegas and the largest in the world with more than 1,500 guest rooms and over 110,000 square feet of meeting and events space.
ETHEL M PRESENTS ITS ANNUAL LIGHTS OF LOVE: Ethel M Chocolates’ annual Lights of Love display has more than half a million pink, red, white and purple LED lights shining brightly in the three-acre botanical cactus garden now through Feb. 16 from 4:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly. Admission to the Lights of Love is free and open to the public. Folks with the Valentine’s Day spirit can stroll through the garden and take a selfie at the brightly lit life-sized heart-frame. Guests may also experience the tasting room with tickets being $15 for adults and $6 for children. The $25 adults-only chocolate and wine tasting will include a bonus XO Cognac truffle. The Tasting Room through Feb. 16 is extended for one hour, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
THE BURLESQUE HALL OF FAME PRESENTS ‘VALEN-TEASE’: The Burlesque Hall of Fame (BHoF) will host a burlesque show at Ron DeCar’s Event Center at 1201 Las Vegas Blvd. South on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. with proceeds benefiting the museum. Featuring the best of Las Vegas burlesque talent and a few special guests, the show is a celebration of Las Vegas burlesque, past and present. Tickets are $49 VIP buffet or plated dinner included/ $39 VIP / $29 General Admission; visit bhof.link/valentease.The lineup will include: Aya Fontaine “The Buxom Beauty of Burlesque;” Blanche Debris “American Treasure;” Cora Vette; La Rosa Muerta “Miss All Tease No Sleaze 2009;” Lolita Haze “The Nymphet of Burlesque;” Miz Charlamay; Molly Boom Boom “The Chipper Stripper;” Ruby Champagne “The Mexican Spitfire of Burlesque” and “Miss Tiki Oasis 2018;” and Tana the Tattooed Lady.
ARIZONA CHARLIE’S OFFERS BINGO MILLIONS® MEGAPROGRESSIVE® GAME: Arizona Charlie’s Boulder and Arizona Charlie’s Decatur Bingo Rooms have joined the Plaza downtown as the only bingo rooms in Las Vegas offering the $1 million linked bingo progressive, Bingo Millions® MegaProgressive® presented by gaming supplier Gaming Arts.Players can win the $1 million jackpot by achieving a coverall pattern in 47 ball calls or less, and various smaller jackpots up to $250,000. Bingo Millions Mini® MegaProgressive offe rs a $100,000 jackpot by achieving a coverall pattern in 47 ball calls or less along with various smaller jackpots up to $10,000.
CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS CONTINUE
The Cosmopolitan is commemorating The Year of the Pig with a traditional lion and dragon dance on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 3:30 and procession from the Strip entrance throughout the resort to the stunning digital column art display in the lobby through Feb. 21. Willa the Pig, a new piece of custom designed digital art is modeled after the domestic pig. Willa’s floral motif is reminiscent of traditional Chinese silk brocade and her tail curls in the shape of The Cosmopolitan “C.” The Cosmopolitan’s Restaurant Collection joins the Chinese New Year festivities with a specialty menu, signature cocktail, and lunch service at Red Plate through Feb. 10, the resort’s debut high-end Cantonese dining concept. China Poblano will also celebrate with a dedicated Year of the Pig a la carte menu through Feb. 17. Mott 32 at The Palazzo is featuring traditional Chinese New Year dishes such as the Maine lobster and Australian Abalone salad with homemade sauce, and the pan-fried spring onion cake with egg and sesame. This special prix-fixe menu is available for $98 until Feb. 12. To celebrate Chinese New Year – the Year of the Pig, the M Resort will host two ceremonial dances. The ceremony with both a lion dance and dragon dance will begin in the hotel lobby Saturday, Feb. 9 at 6:15 p.m. and be performed throughout the casino floor. Restaurateur Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla will celebrate the Year of the Pig at Honey Salt at 1031 S. Rampart Blvd. with a Chinese New Year Feast on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. The evening will also feature wine pairings by father and son duo Jon Bon Jovi and Jesse Bongiovi and their new Hampton Water wine. Tickets are $49 with an optional wine pairing for an additional $25.
RESTAURANTS ACKNOWLEDGE NATIONAL FOOD DAYS
PT’s Taverns, all 58 locations in the Las Vegas Valley, including Sean Patrick’s, Sierra Gold and SG Bar, will offer a 16-inch cheese or pepperoni pizza on National Pizza Day, which is Saturday, Feb. 9, for $10. Mustang Sally’s, the quaint 1950s-style diner located within the Ford Country dealership in the Valley Automall, is celebrating National Pancake Month in February through March 2, with a new weekly pancake creation. The specials include: Dreaming of Praline until Feb. 9; Nutella Bella Feb. 11-16; Peanut Butter Jelly Time Feb. 18-23; and Blueberry Bliss until March 2. Each short stack is available for $5.99, with one dollar being donated to Three Square Food Bank. Therapy located downtown in the Fremont East Entertainment District is recognizing National Margarita Day by offering fishbowl margaritas exclusively on Friday, Feb. 22. Intended for sharing, the hearty-size margarita priced at $20 is made with tequila and garnished with limes, jalapeños and strawberries, and served in a fishbowl-style glass.
SLS Las Vegas® has unveiled progress on the $100 million resort renovations that began in October of last year including updates to the casino floor, hotel rooms and corridors. The resort also revealed a new addition to its award-winning culinary program, a fast-casual Mexican concept dubbed Uno Mas. The Hard Rock Café guitar sign, which was in front of the Hard Rock Café for 27 years, was restored by YESCO – Young Electric Sign Company and recently transported in six pieces to its new home in the Neon Museum’s Boneyard. Cirque du Soleil is celebrating the season of love by offering up to 50 percent off all its Las Vegas resident shows. Discounted tickets can be purchased through Thursday, Feb. 14 at cirk.me/valentines2019. The offer is valid for future dates in 2019 subject to availability. Super Summer Theatre at 4340 S. Valley View Blvd. and Raw Productions will present the comedy play “Never Too Late,” which inspired the TV series “All In The Family,” Feb. 14-23 at 7 p.m. and hold 2 p.m. Sunday matinees on Feb. 17 and 25. Tickets are $20 online. Atomic Beauty Cosmetics will present a Mid-Century Style Soiree on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. at Tatyana Boutique located downtown at 1412 S. Main Street. The event will be a private class on how to put together a head-to-toe look capturing the essence of the 40s, 50s and 60s in a swanky soiree setting. Cost is $50; call 858-336-8659 or email: email@example.com.
SEARCH IS ON FOR NEXT GENERATION OF EMERGING ARTISTS: Applications are now open until Feb. 11 for House of Blues Music Forward Foundation’s 2019 Bringing Down the House, which helps young, emerging musicians navigate the music industry, learn music business strategies, and develop the knowledge and confidence for a career in the industry, both on and off the stage.The free program is open to emerging artists, ages 14-20, across four cities –Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and New Orleans. Young artists from all backgrounds and all genres are invited to apply, and a select number will be chosen to participate in the Bringing Down the House Class of 2019. Selected participants will be announced March 11. Bringing Down the House is entering its fifth year of workshops and showcases to inspire the next generation of music industry leaders and innovators. Selected participants will gather to participate in a series of Saturday working sessions throughout spring 2019. During the interactive workshops, participants will connect with industry leaders to learn more about music marketing, music business, stage presence, and live production. The artists will in the end come together to apply what they’ve learned at free, all-ages showcases on legendary stages across the country.