BRETT ’S VEGAS VIEW
contributed by Jackie Brett
MSG SPHERE IS NEXT ARENA IN THE WORKS: Keep an eye on building activity this summer behind The Venetian-Palazzo resorts when there will be a groundbreaking for the planned MSG Sphere Las Vegas arena. The 360-foot-tall spherical venue will seat up to 18,000 people for musical acts and special events. In addition to the striking sphere-shape, the exterior will be illuminated with programmable LED lights that can produce graphics, and the interior will feature the world’s largest and highest-resolution LED screen with 170,000 square feet of display area wrapping around the inside. The facility will be developed by Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG) and Las Vegas Sands Corp. with the latter slated to contribute $75 million. Completion is expected by New Year’s Eve in 2020.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL WILL BECOME A WALDORF ASTORIA: Nothing stays the same in Las Vegas. Now the 47-story, 392-room Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter will in August become a Waldorf Astoria, which is under the Hilton umbrella. Accordingly, the plan is a $50-million renovation to reimagine the hotel. Purchased for $214 million, this will become the Waldorf’s first property in Las Vegas. The Mandarin Oriental opened in December 2009 during the recession.
STEVIE WONDER WILL PERFORM FIVE SHOWS AT PARK THEATER: Legendary music veteran Stevie Wonder with a show titled, “The Stevie Wonder Song Party: A Celebration of Life, Love & Music,” will headline The Park Theater at the newly named Park MGM casino-resort on Aug. 3, 4, 8, 10 and 11. Tickets going on sale May 21 start at $69. His last Las Vegas performance was as a headliner for the Life is Beautiful event in September 2015.
‘AMERICAN IDOL: LIVE!” TOUR STOPS AT ORLEANS ARENA: The “American Idol: Live!” 2018 tour, which will stop in more than 40 cities this summer, will visit the Orleans Arena on Sunday, July 29 at 7 p.m. The 2018 tour follows the hit show’s return to television and will feature performances from this season’s top seven finalists, including Cade Foehner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Catie Turner, Gabby Barrett, Jurnee, Maddie Poppe and Michael J. Woodard. “American Idol” Season 8 winner, Kris Allen, will be a special guest on the tour. Tickets start at $39.
CANYON RANCH® OPENS CR CREĀT™ AT GRAND CANAL SHOPPES: Wellness trailblazer Canyon Ranch has introduced its third brand extension since launching trademarked CR aesthetics and CR shops last fall. CR CREĀT is the company’s first stand-alone, quick-and-casual culinary concept located inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian® and The Palazzo®. The outlet is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Executive Chef Pete Ghione, who oversees CR CREĀT and manages the resort’s Canyon Ranch Grill and Canyon Ranch Café, is focused on hand-selecting fresh, clean, and organic ingredients specifically designed to improve health and encourage optimal wellness. The chef’s personal passion is researching how to fight cancer through cuisine. Canyon Ranch operates the world’s largest day spa at The Venetian® & The Palazzo® hotels.
CINDY WILLIAMS RETURNS AS ‘MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL®’: Actress Cindy Williams, of the famous “Laverne and Shirley” television duo, has once again returned as the guest star of “Menopause The Musical®” at Harrah’s. Her return coincides with the 13th anniversary of the celebrated production, which is the longest-running scripted musical in the city’s history. In addition, the show will celebrate its 5,000th Las Vegas performance at the end of this month. Williams first appeared as the Las Vegas show’s special guest star in July 2016 playing the fifth girlfriend. She joins current cast members: Vita Corimbi, Earth Mother; Jacquelyn Holland Wright, Soap Star; Lori Legacy, Iowa Housewife; and Lisa Mack, Professional Woman. Another note, Williams recently released her book, “Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life.”
GEORGE THOROGOOD & THE DESTROYERS HEADLINE SUNSET STATION: Rock legends George Thorogood & The Destroyers are returning to Las Vegas for a special poolside performance at the Sunset Amphitheater at Sunset Station on Friday, July 20 at 8 p.m. Standing room tickets are $25 and reserved seating starts at $35. Their powerhouse live performances including appearances on “SNL” and Live Aid and the opening slot on the Rolling Stones’ historic ’81 tour, have made the group legendary.
KORN WILL ROCK THE PEARL AT THE PALMS: Hard rockers KORN are celebrating 20 years of their alt-metal record, “Follow the Leader,” with some intimate performances including one on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the newly renovated Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49. KORN has sold nearly 40 million albums.
REGGAE YOUTUBE STAR CONKARAH WILL VISIT RED ROCK RESORT: Reggae YouTube star Conkarah will return to Las Vegas for a performance inside Crimson at Red Rock Resort on Saturday, July 21. Standing room tickets are $25 and $65 for VIP. From Kingston, Jamaica, culturally-diverse Conkarah aka Nicholas Murray was born to a British mother and Jamaican father. He earned a degree in Broadcasting at The University of Charleston in West Virginia. Today, Conkarah’s YouTube channel boasts more than 70 million combined views and 250-plus thousand subscribers. His original covers of Billboard chart toppers such as Adele’s hit single “Hello” have gone viral introducing millions of music listeners to reggae music.
ROB GARRETT CHANNELS NEIL DIAMOND AT GREEN VALLEY RANCH: As fans are disheartened by the news Neil Diamond needs to discontinue his live performing career, followers can catch longtime tribute artist Rob Garrett presenting his “Neil Diamond – The Tribute” show at the Green Valley Ranch’s Grand Events Center on Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m. Garrett has been critically acclaimed for his uncanny physical and vocal resemblance to a late ‘70s- early ‘80s-era Neil Diamond. This well-known performer is often referred to as the “King of Diamonds.” In his Tribute show, Garrett will perform about 16 to 20 Diamond songs while backed by the “King of Diamonds” band. Like his legendary counterpart, Garrett was born in New York City, and traveling to 16 locations over the years he saw Diamond perform live. The last time was at the Forum in August of 2017 in Los Angeles.
Widespread Panic announced last week they will have a three-show run at The Park Theater on Oct. 26, 27 and 28. Jim Gaffigan, three-time Grammy-nominated comedian, will return to Las Vegas as part of “The Fixer Upper” tour on Sunday, May 27 at 8 p.m. and again on July 20 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Ticket range is $55 to $99.50. Stand-up comedian and film actor Dane Cook will headline at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan on Saturday, June 2 at 8 p.m. He has released five comedy albums starting with “Harmful If Swallowed” in 2003. Tickets are $30 and reserved seating starts at $49. The always popular Lon Bronson Band will perform again in Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center on Friday, May 25 at 8 p.m. Special guests will include Yamaha string artist Nina Di, and singers Michael Andrew Johnson and Michelle Rohl. Tickets are $15 to $35. The Underground Lounge at Hooters is now open next to the Sports Book in the former Pregame location and offers an updated Bar Food menu. Thursday through Saturday the lounge will host free Karaoke Night with live entertainment from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Karaoke participants receive a free shot following their performance. Chateau Nightclub & Rooftop at Paris will start a summer monthly multi-cultural musical “Passport Experience” hosted by world-renowned DJ Fully Focus on Saturday, May 26 from 4 to 10 p.m. The evening event will feature guest performances by internationally known DJs and a variety of music genres including afrobeat, reggae, soca, reggaetón, and dancehall. Admission starts at $30. Opera Las Vegas will present “Cinderella” at the UNLV Judy Bayley Theatre with a full orchestra on Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are from $55 to $75. The Fashion Show mall on the Strip will hold its complimentary summer family-friendly “Sweetest Little Movie Series” beginning on Wednesday, June 6 with “Frozen Sing-a-long.” PG-rated movies will be every Wednesday through July 25 in a park-like setting at 6 p.m. with seating in The Great Hall on first come, first served basis.
TUSCANY HOSTS HEALTH, HEALING & HAPPINESS CONFERENCE & EXPO: Belsandia.com will present the 7th annual Health, Healing & Happiness Conference & Expo June 8-10 at Tuscany Suites & Casino. The 2.5 days of programming and networking will feature 30-plus presentations on three stages, 70-plus exhibitors at the Holistic Living Expo, chef demos, vegan food sampling, daily yoga and meditations, raffles, digital gift bags, welcome reception and much more. Visit the website for details and all the different packages deals. Celebrity doctor, creator of the “Nutritarian Diet,” and “New York Times” bestselling author Joel Fuhrman, will be a returning as a keynote speaker presenting two 90-minute sessions. His Saturday, June 9 topic will be “Fast Food Genocide” from 9:45–11:15 a.m. and on Sunday, June 10 will cover “Conquering Food Addiction For Permanent Weight Loss” from 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Single conference sessions are $45, or they are included in different packages.
MEMORIAL WEEKEND PARTY AT CHATEAU NIGHTCLUB: A Memorial Day weekend party hosted by DJ Whoo Kid will be held at Chateau Nightclub & Rooftop at Paris starting at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. Admission starts at $40. The American Hip Hop DJ is best known for being a former member of G‐Unit Records and working alongside 50 Cent and Waka Flocka Flame. He is currently the CEO of Shadyville Entertainment and radio host of “The Whoolywood Shuffle” for Eminem’s Shade 45 Channel.
LYFT STARTS INTERGALACTIC ART CAR FESTIVAL TO SUPPORT ARTS: With school art programs and museum funding being stripped away in Nevada next year, Lyft is partnering with event company Fired Up Management to create the Intergalactic Art Car Festival on Saturday, June 9 with all proceeds benefiting local art programs through the First Friday Foundation. The festival will gather the largest collection of art cars created by some of the country’s most brilliant installation artists, including 30-foot alien creatures, praying mantises, monsters, alligators, rhinos, swans, and even a stapler. At 7 p.m., the cars will proceed from Llama Lot at Ogden and 9th Street, down the Strip to Harmon, and then return to Llama Lot. From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., an all-ages, art-filled immersive experience festival will follow with fire dancers, live DJ performances, food trucks, and artist demos. Vehicles on display will feature multiple fire shows, LED screens, and thumping sound systems, and can stretch to be more than 25 feet long and over 30 feet high. Lyft has made general admission tickets free while supplies last with RSVP at artcarfestival.com. “Philanthropist” ticket packages start at $75 and feature festival upgrades including an open bar at Atomic Liquors.
FORUM SHOPS HOST ‘YOGA FOR A CURE’ FUNDRAISER: The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and retailer lululemon are teaming up to present the retail center’s first “Yoga For A Cure” fundraiser on Saturday, June 2 at 8:30 a.m. with all proceeds benefitting Susan G. Komen (SGK) Nevada. The 60-minute yoga session will be led by instructor Paul Benedict atop the Reflecting Pool and throughout the picturesque mall. Participants are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat; however, a limited supply will be available. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $40 for VIP. Complimentary parking at Caesars Palace main valet or self-parking garage that morning will be provided to the first 200 guests to check in. In addition, The Forum Shops is continuing to offer Ducks For A Cure. Pink ducks are “adoptable” at Guest Service Booths for $5 with all proceeds benefiting SGK. Once adopted, visitors can personalize their buoyant buddy with a message and release it in the Fountain of The Gods.
‘VIRGINIA STILL’ IS NAME FOR MOB MUSEUM’S MOONSHINE STILL: Following an Instagram still-naming contest, The Mob Museum downtown announced The Underground distillery’s artisan copper-pot moonshine still will be called “Virginia Still,” which is a playful twist on the name of one of the more intriguing and notorious organized crime figures with a Las Vegas connection, Virginia Hill. Referred to as the “Queen of the Mob,” Hill was a courtesan and entrusted cash courier for American gangsters in the 1930s and ’40s. In 1945, she joined Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel for the historic Flamingo opening and turmoil on the Strip. Rumors by 1947 were Siegel had skimmed $2 million of the Flamingo’s building “costs” of $6 million and gave the money to Hill to hide in a Swiss bank. The Underground’s still was custom-made for the Museum by CARL Artisan Distilleries and Brewing Systems in Germany, the country’s oldest fabricator. The system distills corn-mash moonshine, which is available at the speakeasy bar and for sale in The Underground.
Clubhouse Deli is now open at Rampart Casino and JW Marriott, adjacent to the recently updated Race & Sports Book area and new gaming lounge, featuring signature and custom-made sandwiches, salads, snacks, desserts, breakfast, and hot menu items. Guests may celebrate the grand opening with special tastings from 1-3 p.m. on May 26 and June 2 with complimentary Boar’s Head samples and sweet treats. In addition, The Palms Tower hall has a brand-new Starbucks. This week, Andre’s Bistro & Bar at 6115 S. Fort Apache Rd., Suite 112 will launch a new lunch experience, À La Minute Menu. The new menu is designed to fit varying timetables and tastes from patrons having a lunch meeting to the need to take a meal back to the office. The menu, served Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., is a blend of dishes ranging from Plats du Jour to quick delicious salads and wraps. Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar’s next Taste & Learn event on Saturday, May 26 at 5 p.m. will showcase wines from the portfolio of Johnson Brothers of Nevada, which purveys an impressive Italian wines collection. Wines will be paired with authentic Italian small-plates menu. Tickets are $65, call 702-364-5300. Fractured Prune at 9460 W, Flamingo Rd. #115 will celebrate National Doughnut Day by hosting a weekday-long doughnut celebration. Each day May 28 through 31, there is a different buy a dozen, get a dozen promotion with specified doughnuts for $9.95, plus a free doughnut if dressed in “doughnut clothing” (whatever that is). On Friday, June 1, everyone can get a free OC Sand doughnut.
SCENIC AIRLINES OFFERS NEW EXCLUSIVE GRAND CANYON TOUR: Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines new year-round Antelope Canyon Expedition tour is the first and only excursion now offering nonstop flights to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend from Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. From Las Vegas, guests fly to Page, Ariz., where they experience a guided tour of Antelope Canyon, followed by seeing the famous Horseshoe Bend from the edge of the Colorado River. The adventure lasts approximately 11 hours, including transportation, flights and time in the canyon. Cost is $499 and $479 for children 11 years old and under.
Online voting for the 2018 World MMA Awards nominees is now live on the official website for four weeks. Tickets for this year’s black-tie gala, which will be held July 3 in the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms, are $55. Last week, the Las Vegas Monorail surprised its 80 millionth rider with fanfare including an “Elvis” and a showgirl. The winner received a swag bay worth more than $3,000 filled with Vegas goodies. The high-level mode of transportation opened in the summer of 2004. Eclipse, a poolside social benefitting The Shade Tree, which provides safe haven for women and children in crisis from abuse and homelessness, will be held the Crimson Nightclub at Red Rock Casino on Friday, June 8 from 6-9 p.m. with entertainment, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets start at $100. This month, a man from Lawrenceburg, Ind., and a Marquee Rewards nationwide casino player won $1 million during the fifth annual Marquee Millionaire Slot Tournament at the M Resort.