Vegas Winter Wonderland, Nightmare and New Shows

In Vegas VIP Scene-ery by Vegas Only Entertainment

BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW
Contributed by Jackie Brett

‘THIS IS CHRISTMAS’ IS NEW HOLIDAY SHOW AT THE VENETIAN: “This is Christmas” is now open at The Palazzo Theatre at The Venetian® bringing the holiday season to life with timeless Christmas classics, familiar tunes and original songs, including an only-in-Vegas number, “Christmas in Las Vegas.” The family-friendly show includes appearances by Santa, Scrooge and other memorable characters. “This is Christmas” features a stellar cast from Broadway and “American Idol” with alum including Diana DeGarmo, Lou Gazzara, Jasmine Trias, Laura Suzanne Wright and Ace Young as well as award-winning dance duo Alejandro Domingo and Sarah Le Clear, award-winning Broadway star Randal Keith, Las Vegas headliner Jaclyn McSpadden, and British singer and entertainer Ben Stone. Accompanying the show’s powerhouse vocals is a live all-star band, with conductor Keith Paraska on piano, Carlos Mata on saxophone and keys, Jose “Pepe” Jiminez on drums, Bob Benora on percussion, Jake Langley on guitar, Dave Richardson on keys, Bill Zappia on keys and Jeff Zinn on bass. Tickets start at $69.95. Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 2-5, 9-12, 16-18, 22-24, and at 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 19 and 25, and 3 p.m. on Dec. 26.

‘MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS’ RETURNS TO ORLEANS ARENA: Grammy Award-winner and one of the best-selling holiday music artists of all time, Chip Davis, will bring “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” classics to the Orleans Arena on Sunday, Dec. 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $39. More than 35 years ago, Davis released “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas,” an album that revolutionized the holiday season music category and went on to become one of the longest-running tours in the music industry and a cherished holiday tradition. This year’s show will feature favorite original Christmas hits from the first “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” album, along with multimedia effects in an intimate setting. Mannheim Steamroller has sold more than 41 million albums with 30 million in the Christmas genre. Their holiday albums have become synonymous with Christmas and occupy top spots on Billboard’s Seasonal Chart every year. With 19 gold, eight multi-platinum and four platinum-certified records, Davis is among an elite group of artists with this number of RIAA records.

BROOKLYN BOWL PRESENTS THE OFFICIAL HOOEY PARTY DURING NFR: Brooklyn Bowl has teamed up with the western action sports brand Hooey to bring some country acts and music to The Bowl for an exclusive two-night engagement during the National Finals Rodeo. Brooklyn Bowl will saddle up and transform into the ultimate rodeo afterparty with 9 p.m. performances by Shane Smith and The Saints with Ian Munsick on Friday, Dec. 3 and Nelly with Red Shahan on Friday, Dec. 10. Tickets start at $20.

AREA15 HOSTS TIM BURTON’S ‘THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS’: AREA15 near the Strip is celebrating the holiday season with an immersive, projection-mapped screening of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” from now to Saturday, Dec. 25. Guests can experience Burton’s timeless holiday classic enhanced with choreographed light and sound elements synced to the cult classic movie. While suitable for all ages, evening shows on Thursdays and Saturdays are for folks 21 years and older. Adult tickets are $40 and include one specialty cocktail, and children’s tickets $20. Popcorn and other Jack Skellington-inspired souvenirs are available for purchase during every show. Check for show times.

SAM’S TOWN’S MYSTIC FALLS PARK’S WINTER WONDERLAND RETURNS: Sam’s Town is featuring its beloved Mystic Falls Park’s Winter Wonderland display in the indoor atrium for the holiday season through Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. The attraction debuted in 1994. The seasonal display features festive décor, more than 26,000 points of light, garland-wrapped lampposts and the return of its holiday laser light show. An 18-foot Christmas tree is decorated with glistening red and gold ornaments, 5,300 twinkling lights, and topped with a starburst tree topper. The free holiday-themed attraction offers a nine-minute laser light show. The laser light show features a variety of classic holiday songs, including “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Let It Snow,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “Frosty the Snowman. Shows run every hour, between 2 and 10 p.m. Other features include animated teddy bears playing, dancing and decorating the park. The plush, animatronic bears wearing Santa hats were handmade by a family in Italy. Adding to the wintery experience, it snows every night through the new year. If you can’t visit in person, check out the attraction’s live webcam at samstownlv.com/webcam.

MERRY CRIMSON HOLIDAY POP-UP BAR RETURNS TO RED ROCK: Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa is celebrating the winter holiday season with the return of Merry Crimson. This season, the festive indoor-outdoor poolside lounge has been transformed into luxurious Tinsel Town. Merry Crimson is draped in sophisticated and glamorous holiday décor and features festive cocktails, live DJ-spun music, fire pits and photo moments. New this year are cozy igloos located on the outdoor pool deck and a holiday punch bowl and spiked hot cocoa beverage cart. The creative elf-crafted cocktail list brightens the season with names such as Polar Espresso, Don’t Get Your Tinsel n a Tangle, and I Think Santa May Be A Stalker along with sweet treats such as s’mores by the fire pits. Merry Crimson’s Tinsel Town is open every Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sundays from 5 p.m. to midnight through Dec. 23, and then daily Dec. 24 through Jan. 1. Guests must be 21 or older, and entry is complimentary. Adding to the fun, the Red Rock’s Bakeshop’s famous cocoa bombs return as the take-home treat to enjoy spiked or with warm milk, which is available for order online or at the Lucky Penny pastry case.

VIRGIN HOTELS CELEBRATES THE RETURN OF NFR WITH ENTERTAINMENT: Virgin Hotels, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, is offering a variety of entertainment, to celebrate the return of Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) to Las Vegas, Dec. 2–11. Live entertainment will be offered all week long, kicking off with Thrillbilly Deluxe on Dec. 2. Skye Dee Miles, award-winning vocalist and star of Bourbon & Blues at the Shag Room, will bring her sound on Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 10 p.m. Las Vegas-based country-folk crooner Lennon Roach will appear on Dec. 5 at 9 p.m. Megan Ruger, star of season six of “The Voice” will perform two nights, Dec. 6 and 7 at 9 p.m. Open Mic Night, hosted by Shawn Eiferman, will bring the country hits and originals to the stage on Wednesday, Dec. 8, beginning at 10 p.m. The entertainment continues at The Theater, with legendary performances throughout NFR’s takeover. Iconic rockers Journey will bring their six-show residency to the Theater, Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8, 10 and 11. Grammy Award-winning country stars Little Big Town, will perform on Dec. 3 and 4.

JUAN JOSE ‘J.J.’ MENDOZA BRINGS LAUGHS TO THE SAHARA: Actor, singer, and comedian Juan Jose “J.J.” Mendoza is bringing his “El Gigante de la Comedia” show featuring live musicians to the Theatre inside the Sahara on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $55. Mendoza grew up in Cd. Juárez Chihuahua, where he began his career at age 13 in 1993. He studied dance, dance, singing, acting at the Andrés Soler Academy. During that time, he developed his career as a children’s theater actor, and with what he earned paid for his studies. Mendoza has gone on to great success and participated three consecutive years in the International Humor Festival of Columbia.

BANACHEK’S SHOW AT THE STRAT OFFERS HALF-PRICED TICKETS: “Banachek’s Mind Game Live” show at The STRAT headlined by mentalist Banachek is honoring the holiday shopping season with half-priced tickets, available now through Friday, Dec. 10. Banachek is a two-time “Mentalist of the Year” recipient. Performances are scheduled six days a week at 4 p.m., dark Friday. Folks can take advantage of the extended cyber sale by purchasing tickets online at thestrat.com and using the promotional code CYBER50 at check-out. The specially priced tickets are available for show dates now through Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Non-discounted ticket prices begin at $29.

BOOM BANG FINE FOODS & COCKTAILS IS OPEN: Boom Bang Fine Foods & Cocktails is a new restaurant located in Henderson at 75 South Valle Verde, Suite 160. The indoor/outdoor American brasserie features a diverse menu, marrying classic Americana and traditional FrenchPhoto: Robiee Ziegler fare, creating a global, chef-driven menu for weekday happy hour and daily dinner, with weekend brunch, daily breakfast, lunch, and a to-go Provisions Counter in the works. Boom Bang offers Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4-6 p.m., with dinner service beginning daily at 5:30 p.m. The neighborhood restaurant owners are a trio of culinary heavy hitters, comprised of a husband-and-wife team and their friend since the early 2000s, who is a leading hospitality veteran and food and beverage specialist. “Bravo Top Chef” alum and Joël Robuchon’s first female sous chef Elia Aboumrad-Page and chef Christian Page are the couple. According to Chef Page, “In the kitchen, the term ‘Boom Bang’ means to get it done.” The restaurant has been designed by one of the chef’s oldest friends, Corri Backman of Evolve Interiors. Boom Bang embraces a desert motif while bringing in elements of retro Vegas with a nod to the 1970s Elvis. Playful elements, like tabletops covered in buttons sourced directly from Chef Elia’s father’s haberdashery in Mexico City, and funky cactus-themed wallpaper accent the room, while the rich color palette of deep green, orange and pops of gold add depth and moodiness. The expansive patio with cheerful pops of yellow, potted cacti, and an outside grill will certainly become a hit.

EL LUCHADOR MEXICAN KITCHEN + CANTINA OPENED IN HENDERSON: El Luchador Mexican Kitchen + Cantina made quite the scene in the Mountain’s Edge area when it opened doors earlier this year. Now, the successful restaurant brings its fresh take on Mexican-American dishes to the popular corner of Stephanie and Warm Springs in Henderson. Open daily for lunch, happy hour, and dinner, El Luchador Mexican Kitchen + Cantina highlights Chef Aaron Bryan’s twists on Mexican cuisine staples thanks to his SoCal roots and his eclectic experience ranging from high-end culinary institutions to cooking with heart and soul for his friends and family. Among the signature dishes diners have come to know and love include El Luchadaor’s Tableside Guacamole served with house-made tortilla chips, crowd favorite Triple Threat Chimichanga, and of course, a selection of tacos. Other items include a selection of nachos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, and more. All entrees are served with Luchador rice and frijoles. Multiple menu items can be made vegetarian or vegan upon request. El Luchador also boasts more than 80 Tequilas and Mezcals. The walls of El Luchador are adorned with custom Luchador mask artwork which complements the restaurant’s brick walls. Booth and table seating is throughout the main dining area with plenty of bar-top and pub-style table seating in the bar area. The new Henderson location seats 275, with an additional 50 coming early in 2022 when the restaurant debuts a new patio. Hours are 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy Hour specials are Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. with a late-night Happy Hour 9-10 p.m. and another one on Saturday from 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

TIVOLI VILLAGE ANNOUNCES HOLIDAY EVENTS AND PROMOTIONS: Tivoli Village is getting into the holidays spirit with some events. There is Sip and Shop with Santa taking place Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18 from 3 to 6 p.m. Admission and holiday drinks are complimentary while guests enjoy live music and shop in-store specials from more than 20 one-of-a-kind retailers. Kids are welcome to enjoy photos with Santa and hot chocolate. Santa’s Experience is running now through Dec. 23, Monday-Friday from 6-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 10 p.m. This event features more than two dozen Instagram-able photo ops in a winter wonderland walkthrough experience. Highlights include festive Christmas trees, frosty snowmen, gingerbread men, Santa’s reindeer, elf helpers, holiday trains and the opportunity to get their photo taken with Santa. Tickets for adults are $20, children five to 12 years old $10, and children under four are free. The Margarita, Mojito and Craft Beer Food Truck Festival Holiday Edition will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 2 to 8 p.m. featuring more than 15 food trucks. Visitors will receive a glass souvenir taster to experience unlimited tastings of margaritas, mojitos, craft beer and holiday drinks. In addition, the event will include live music and great shopping with unique arts and crafts vendors. Tickets are $45 with proceeds will benefit the Cultural Coalition Foundation. The festival is also pet friendly. Running Dec. 2 to 23 is Blitzen’s Antler Attic with 90-minute timed entry slots available from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays 5 to 10:15 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Participants are invited to enjoy food and drink specials as well ornament painting at Blitzen’s Antler Attic, Tivoli Village’s newest Christmas-themed pop-up bar. Children are also invited to enjoy the holiday photo ops and festivities before 8 p.m. when the venue transforms to an adult-only bar. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at vegaspopupbar.com.

‘TINSEL TOWN’ POPS-UP INSIDE BIRDIE BAR AT TOPGOLF: Birdie Bar inside Topgolf Las Vegas has been transformed into Tinsel Town, a holiday-themed bar presented by Southern Nevada Toyota Dealers. Tinsel Town runs through Dec. 27 and features festive decorations, multiple areas for fun photo opps, a featured drink and dessert, and a show-stopping gingerbread house of the four-level venue assembled onsite by a local pastry chef. Tinsel Town is highlighting the Ambrose’s Ginger Snap drink and the house-made Peppermint Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae, a warm brownie served with vanilla ice cream, peppermint-infused hot fudge and candy cane “snow” sprinkled on top. Entrance into Tinsel Town is free, but guests must be 21 years or older.

PINKBOX DOUGHNUTS® REVEALS HOLIDAY SEASON TREATS: Pinkbox Doughnuts® is covering all the current holidays Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s along with the December Doughnut of the Month, which is The Candy Cane, a glazed raised twist covered in white frosting, drizzled with chocolate, and sprinkled with peppermint candy cane pieces. The creative Hanukkah and extensive Christmas lineup are available through Dec. 26 with selections like the Star of David, Reindeer Pooh® and Polar Bear. The New Year’s selections will be available Dec. 27-Jan. 3.

QUICK ENTERTAINMENT CLIPS

Shania Twain, the reigning Queen of Country Pop is bringing her Las Vegas show to Zappos Theater Dec. 2-12 and will return next year Feb. 11-26. “Fantasy,” the award-winning topless female revue at the Luxor, will offer a special gift to guests attending Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) Dec. 2-11. Guests with proof of NFR tickets or credentials will be able to take home a complimentary “2022: The Gold Standard” calendar at the merchandise counter inside the Atrium Showroom featuring the beautiful cast. Chippendales, the male revue, will be Grand Marshal for Opportunity Village’s 2021 Las Vegas Great Santa Run on Saturday, Dec. 4.

DINING TIDBITS

Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar at Red Rock in Summerlin and One Steakhouse from brothers Michael and David Morton at Virgin Hotels are offering special Hannukah menus through Monday, Dec. 6. White truffle season will be celebrated at Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar with a special four-course dinner and wine pairing on Tuesday, Dec. 7, during which guests will savor Italian white truffles and wines from the Lodali Winery. Dinner is $275 per person.