Wet and Dry Las Vegas: Drybar Opens, Gondola University, the Plaza Pool and? Sharknado!

In Vegas VIP Scene-ery by Jackie Brett

“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW” by Jackie Brett

DRYBAR OPENS LAS VEGAS FLAGSHIP SHOP: Drybar opened its 63rd location interior of blow dry salon last Friday in the Miracle Mile Shops just off the Strip inside the North Entrance. Drybar’s concept “No cuts. No color. Just blowouts” has captured loyal clients nationwide. Drybar provides a wash and professional blowout at a flat price regardless of hair length or thickness. The idea was a natural one for founder Alli Webb and came from a lifetime of frustration overpaying for blowouts at traditional salons. Webb’s first book, “The Drybar Guide To Good Hair For All,” will be published in October 2016 by Abrams Publishing. Drybar Las Vegas is open 8 a.m.-11 p.m. daily and until midnight on Saturday.

THE VENETIAN STARTS GONDOLA UNIVERSITY FOR VISITORS: Guests now have the opportunity to pilot a gondola at The Venetian through the resort’s new Gondolaman in gondola University. The new program, limited to nine participants per day, begins with a primer on the history of Venice followed by the “ins and outs” of piloting a gondola, “Rowing 101,” and the hands-on experience actually rowing a vessel. The experience ends with an official Sash and Scarf Ceremony, modeled after the actual ritual used by The Venetian for new gondoliers after their training. Participants also receive a gondola hat and t-shirt, a souvenir photo and a degree certificate from Gondola University.Gondola University is in session daily between 8 and 10 a.m. Enrollment begins 48-72 hours in advance of class and costs $199 plus tax. Students must be 13 years of age or older, call 702-607-3982.

STRATOSPHERE HOSTS ‘SHARKNADO’ MOVIE PREMIERE AND AFTER PARTY: On Sunday, July 31, the Stratosphere will host the official premiere for Syfy’s “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens,” which was partly filmed at the property. Cast members confirmed to attend the private viewing party and red carpet include shark-fighting hero Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Gary Busey, Cheryl Tiegs, Ryan Newman and more. In “Sharknado” tradition, the film has surprise celebrity cameos and some of them may attend. Premiere and after-party guest stars are subject to change. Following the star-studded movie premiere and red carpet, the cast will attend the after-party, “Cast Party With a Cause,” benefitting The Animal Foundation, which will be open to fans to take photos and view the new film at the hotel’s newly-remodeled Elation Pool. Food and beverages will be for sale. Tickets to the poolside bash from 8–11 p.m. are $15 at the hotel’s website.

ETHEL M® CHOCOLATES UNDERGOES $2 MILLION FACTORY REDESIGN: interior candy factoryEthel M® Chocolates in Henderson is starting a complete redesign of its premium chocolate factory store in celebration of its 35th anniversary this year. The project will fully refresh the factory store experience with an updated look, new interactive elements, expanded retail space and additions to their café menu. During the remodel, visitors can still visit the factory’s air-conditioned summer pop-up store opening July 5. It will be complete with a Chocolate Tasting Room.

THE POOL AT THE PLAZA IS NOW OPEN: After a multi million-dollar renovation adding brand new resort-style furnishings, a wet deck, 12-person hot tub, refurbishedrooftop pool exterior outdoor recreation space and a food truck that was hosted up by a crane, the rooftop Pool at the Plaza is open. The entire renovated pool deck encompasses approximately 70,000 square feet, making it one of the largest downtown.There are adjacent tennis and basketball courts and dedicated Pickleball courts for the fast growing sport. A lineup of live entertainment includes weekends DJs, concerts and special events. Admission to the pool is free for hotel guests and local residents of all ages. Reservations of the tennis, basketball and Pickleball courts and all necessary equipment are available for a nominal fee. The Pool at the Plaza is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer with extended hours for special events.

YOU TOO CAN BE A SPY OR AT LEAST PROTECT YOURSELF: The media had an opportunity to see about an hour presentation by ex-CIA agent Jason Hanson, who will begin giving his two-day Spy Escape & Evasion seminar and training session in the Stratosphere Theater Aug. 17-18 and 19-20. In less than an hour we learned how to escape rope, duct tape, zip ties and a little about being a human lie detector. After almost a decade in the CIA, Hanson brings real-world spy safety experience and techniques direct to participants. The ticket price is steep at $1,499.95 per person but it would be worthwhile; visit www.TicketBAT.com. In addition, participants can also take part in a special VIP dinner and meet and greet with Hanson at Las Vegas’ El Dorado Cantina for $250.

‘XAVIER MORTIMER’S MAGICAL DREAM’ IS OPEN AT PLANET HOLLYWOOD: French export Xavier Mortimer launched his own show “Xavier magic performers in blueMortimer’s Magical Dream” in the Sin City Theater at Planet Hollywood. Mortimer is the first Cirque du Soleil performer to go off and start his own show on the Strip. He was in “Michael Jackson ONE,” which closed recently. Tickets for the 7 p.m. shows are $49 for general admission and $69 for VIP. Note that some seats way off to the side won’t work because you’ll miss some of the important visuals especially the mirror reflections.

MISS TEEN USA® COMPETITION WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE VENETIAN: The 2016 Miss Teen USA® Competition will stream live from The Venetian® on Saturday, July 30 and the Miss Teen USA® Preliminary Show will be held on Friday, July 29. The big news is the competition is doing away with the swimsuits and the ladies will be judged sporting athletic wear instead. Tickets are on sale for the reception on Wednesday night at the Azure Pool at 7:30 for $55 for adults and $25 for children. The 8 p.m. preliminary show tickets are $80.85 and $91.75. Tickets for the final competition at 7 p.m. are $102.65 and $124.45.

CHUMLEE FROM ‘PAWN STARS’ HOSTS FAN LUNCHES TO BENEFIT CHARITIES: Every Thursday, Chumlee from HISTORY’s “Pawn Stars” is hosting a meet and greet at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop where he signs autographs, takes photos and meets fans. While entrance into this event is free, Gold & Silver Pawn is accepting donations for a variety of their favorite charities throughout the summer. The first five people making $100 or more donation to the charity of the week will each be treated with one guest to a private lunch event with Chumlee the next day, which is Friday. In addition, every day during the summer between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. a “Pawn Star” will be in the shop to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take photos.

GOLDEN NUGGET ANNOUNCES STARS FOR NATIONAL FINALS RODEO: country singer in black hatThe Golden Nugget will host an all-star lineup of country music performers during the National Finals Rodeo. The lineup includes: Terri Clark Dec.1; Tanya Tucker Dec.4; Brenda Lee Dec. 5; Charlie Daniels Band Dec. 6; Wynonna & The Big Noise Dec. 8; and Trace Adkins Dec. 9. All concerts will be held in The Grand Event Center following the rodeo at 10 p.m. each night. Tickets are now on sale starting at $29.

GOSPEL MUSIC FAVORITES WILL PERFORM AT ORLEANS ARENA: The “Festival of Praise” Tour will bring several of the biggest names in gospel music together for a performance at the Orleans Arena on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. The star-studded lineup includes Grammy Award-winning artists Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton, Regina Belle and Karen Clark Sheard, as well as industry favorites Hezekiah Walker and Casey J. Comedian “Earthquake” will serve as host. Tickets start at $35.

MINUS5 BARS HOLD FOOTBALL-THEMED SCAVENGER HUNT: Minus5 Ice Bar is celebrating football season early with a classic scavenger hunt featuring seven NFL team-inspired logos at both The Shoppes at Mandalay Place and Monte Carlo locations. Guests participating in the ice bar’s frozen game and finding all seven logos will be treated to a complimentary house shot out of the Lombardi-style trophy ice luge.

ENTERTAINMENT BLURBS: Media recently attended an early-on dance rehearsal of “Cherry Boom Boom,” which will open at the Tropicana on Sept. 8. Nine of the 12group of dancers in black featured dancers are from Los Angeles and three from Las Vegas. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame duo and Harrah’s Las Vegas headliners, The Righteous Brothers – Bill Medley and Bucky Heard will share the stage with the cast of “Million Dollar Quartet” for a one-night-only encore performance during the show’s finale in Harrah’s Showroom on Thursday, July 7, at 8 p.m. The critically-acclaimed no holds barred, one-man show “Mike Tyson UNDISPUTED TRUTH – Live On Stage” has been extended at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club inside the MGM Grand Sept. 8-Oct. 23 with 10 p.m. knockout performances. “The Vegas Voice” publication is joining the World Center of Broadcast Media (WCOBM) Network beginning with live-streaming at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6. Hour-long “Watching The Vegas Voice” will include celebrity interviews and be hosted by comic impressionist and columnist Rich Natole. Singer Pia Zadora is taking a break from her residency at “Pia’s Place” inside Piero’s Italian Cuisine this summer until Friday, Aug. 26 to travel and enjoy family time. The Foundation Room at the House of Blues will feature a special DJ set by The Black Eyed Peas member Taboo on Friday, July 8. Supermodel Tyson Beckford will glam it up and host Supermodel Saturday, a night of music and fashion, on Saturday, July 23. Events start at 10 p.m. rock guitarist in golf venueAlt rockers Soul Asylum will perform at The Yard inside Topgolf® on Friday, July 22 at 9 p.m.. Tickets start at $20. Stripper 101 where you can learn the basics of pole and lap dancing is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month at the V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha “Cupcake” Tate will host her “UFC 200 After Party” in the Sapphire Showroom on Saturday, July 9 following her match with Amanda Nunes, which will be shown live at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club. Hard Rock is again teaming up with local nonprofits for the return of Music for a Mission beginning July 8 with three cabanas being donated to support selected charities. The second philanthropic initiative will take place during select performances at the Friday Night Live at the Pool concert series.

RICHARD CHEESE-LOUNGE AGAINST THE MACHINE AT GOLDEN NUGGET: Las Vegas lounge YouTube sensation Richard Cheese has earned a reputation as “Frank Sinatra singing Radiohead.” With the impressive ability to turn current pop, rock, and rap hits into classic pop standards, Cheese and his band, Lounge Against The Machine, will perform in The Gordie Brown Showroom at the Golden Nugget on July 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $19.

DINING TIDBITS: BRAVO! Cucina Italian at the Galleria mall is offering a “Savory Summer Nights” special featuring a two-course and three-course prix fix menu for $16 and $20 through Aug. 14 offering choice of soup or salad, entrée and the added dessert option. Every Monday Border Grill in The Forum Shops is now offering a new all-day Monday Madness fiesta serving up all-you-can-eat fresh street tacos for $20 and pitchers of margaritas for $20. Both BRIO Tuscan Grilles at Tivoli Village and Town brought back the popular summer special, “The Art of Grilling,” featuring a three-course prix fixe menu starting at $27.95 through Aug. 28. Honey Salt at 1031 S. Rampart Blvd. will hold its next Farm Table dinner spotlighting a Taste of Spain on Tuesday, July 12 at 6:30 p.m. The four-course dinner created by Chef Robert is $54 with an optional wine pairing an additional $25. Downtown Grand is now embracing the local craft beer scene’s renaissance by pouring Joseph James Brewery’s Hop Box Imperial IPA and I’m out Imperial Stout on the casino floor. Players can now enjoy complimentary 16-ounce pours of these local brews and other craft-style macro-brews while playing or purchase the beer at the Furnace Bar. Beer Park, the open-air rooftop bar and grill at Paris will celebrate National Hot Dog Day on Saturday, July 23. Patrons who purchase a Budweiser Signature draft beer will receive a complimentary hot dog. Nathan’s Famous hot dogs at Aliante will offer a hot dog special forthree glasses of shandy National Hot Dog Day. Guests who purchase any combination meal of a hot dog, side and drink at Nathan’s will receive an additional hot dog free of charge exclusively for the holiday. The two Shake Shack locations, Downtown Summerlin and New York-New York, have two new summertime beverages: Raspberry Limeade and the cool Shack Shandy, a blend of ShackMeister® Ale and Shack-made Lemonade. Adult dessert brand, Momenti Spirited Ice Creams has expanded into the retail market by offering its premium alcohol-infused ice creams and sorbets directly to consumers for purchase at Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits at 9915 S. Eastern Avenue.

STEVE DIET GOEDDE EXHIBITS ‘VARIATIONS’ AT SIN CITY GALLERY: Sin City Gallery downtown will present Los Angeles-artist Steve Diet Goedde’s new showartist exhibit woman in car “Variations”. Goedde will be present for an artist talk on Thursday, July 7 and the exhibition will run through July 24. His most noted new direction is his recent explorations with Polaroid emulsion transfers. Each photograph is a singular piece of art made from a “destroyed” Polaroid. He is also collaborating with sculptor Colin Christian. Preview copies of Goedde’s new book, “ARRANGEMENTS: Volume III” (Century Guild) will be on hand to peruse. It’s the first volume of a three-part series.

MIRACLE MILE SHOPS HELP DRESS FOR SUCCESS IN JULY: This July, Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood is collecting fountain donations for Dress for Success Southern Nevada. In addition, Dress for Success will host its Power Walk at Miracle Mile Shops on Saturday, July 16. Participants will walk “One Mile in Style” to bring awareness to the organization’s mission.