Z.Z. Zorn   Entertainment Tidbits


Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, is special for me since that is the day my son was born. The Fremont Street Experience has many plans for this day. While leprechauns are not widely regarded as the handsomest creatures, if you happen to look like one, you might win a prize. The leprechaun look-alike contest is one of many activities planned for the downtown venue.  You can also test your Jell-O eating skills and dance like the Irish.  Local 80’s band, Loveshack, will perform for free Friday and Saturday nights along with Irish band, Whiskey Galore. Naturally, green beer will flow from the outdoor bars that line Fremont Street, and Fitzgerald’s Casino will be serving up plenty of corned beef sandwiches.

NASCAR spectators enjoyed many entertaining events inside the new NEON GARAGE beside the car races at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, such as The Sirens of TI and the Blue Man Group. .

Joe Piscopo had gained fame starring in Saturday Night Live for five years.  He has since performed in movies, television  and stage. What a great show he now performs at the Shimmer Cabaret in the LAS VEGAS HILTON Sunday to Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.

This guy has an abundance of talent comparable to Sammy Davis, Jr.  Not only does he sing, dance, impersonate unusual celebrities (ie: David Letterman) and is really funny, but he also plays a multitude of instruments to perfection.  He is charming and charismatic as he interacts with his band and the audience. Vince Falcone, Sinatra's former conductor is at the piano and conducts a truly great band.  Piscopo’s renditions of  Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter melodies is heartwarming as he shows his personal emotional side as he sings along with some interesting films. Joe has recently received a “Lifetime Achievement” award from the Cuisine Club of Las Vegas. The award was presented at a ceremony in the Hilton’s Tempo lounge and honored Piscopo’s humanitarian efforts through the years.

Barry Manilow is celebrating the second anniversary of his hit show, Manilow: Music and Passion at the LAS VEGAS HILTON. Manilow has had a great year of success, not only at the Hilton, but in winning an Emmy and the success of his `Greatest Songs’ album.  In March 2006, the Hilton joined Barry Manilow in celebrating the “platinum” certification of “The Greatest Songs of the Fifties” (with sales in excess of 1,000,000 units) and his one-year anniversary at the classic resort by extending his exclusive long-term engagement at the LAS VEGAS HILTON through 2008.

Roseanne Barr brings her show “All You Can Eat Comedy” to the Cabaret Theatre at NEW YORK–NEW YORK March 15 – April 30.  Barr’s most recent project is hosting Nick at Nite’s third season of “Funniest Mom In America.” Barr is best known for her creation of ABC’s “Roseanne.”  

What will a name change do to the BARBARY COAST now that HARRAH’s has taken it over?  Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon is the new name for the long-time property which extends Harrah’s properties on the east side of the Strip to the corner of Flamingo.

Three-time award winning musical comedian, impressionist and actor Stephen Sorrentino is back at the very spot that got him started 10 years ago. He is now the host of Legends In Concert at the IMPERIAL PALACE and also stars as Elton John. Sorrentino, a New York native, began his career by accepting a contract at the IMPERIAL PALACE for a 3 months run as Elton John, that was extended, to 9 months. It was backstage at Legends that he sharpened his impersonation skills by watching other celebrity impersonators and built his highly acclaimed show “Voices in My Head”, which won rave reviews at the Riviera, the Hilton and The Tropicana in Atlantic City. His unique sense of comedy, improv, multiple celebrity spoofs and vocal ability are a great addition to Legends in Concert.  Sorrentino and the cast of Legends were introduced to the media at a lovely reception and afterwards at the Legends show. The Legends cast not only incredibly impersonates celebrities in appearance, but the performers use their own voices. A great band, great costumes, and beautiful and talented dancers round out a very enjoyable show.

The glass rollout was performed on the GRAND CANYON WEST SKYWALK and the SKYWALK is now ready to be open to the public on March 28.  There will be a private VIP/Media “first walk” on the SKYWALK with Buzz Aldrin on March 20 and I have been invited. This is really exciting, as I have been there during construction and wrote about it (see vegascommunityonline archives November entertainment column).  Can’t wait for that walk, but it is scary!

We’ve all heard the saying “Oldies, but Goodies” and although that usually applies to music, many of our well-seasoned lovable performers are still “Oldies, but Goodies.” Don Rickles, (age 80) who has starred in Las Vegas theaters longer than any other performer in the history of the city, has signed for a series of exclusive appearances at the GOLDEN NUGGET.  The much-honored comedian will launch his 48th consecutive year as a Las Vegas Strip headliner when he appears for the first of three 2007 engagements at the GOLDEN NUGGET, March 22 - 24.  Ironically, this engagement begins almost 20 years to the day that Rickles first appeared at the GOLDEN NUGGET, having started there in March of 1987 for a six-year run.  Rickles first headlined on the Las Vegas Strip in 1959. He attracted record crowds with his bold, freewheeling comedy approach that saw him hilariously needle members of his audiences that regularly included the biggest names in show business. To be picked on by Don Rickles became a badge of honor. His  reputation was then made in movies, television, theater and recordings.  Rickles will also appear at the GOLDEN NUGGET May 25 – 27 and October 5 – 7.

Continuing with”Oldies, but Goodies,” Marty Allen, who turns 85 on March 23 just signed a deal with the GOLD COAST.. "Hello Dere" with Allen and his wife, Karon Kate Blackwell are booked for a minimum of eight weeks starting April 14, and they could stay all summer if business is good.  And, Steve Rossi (Allen & Rossi) is performing in PALM SPRINGS, CA in a show called “Senior Class” at the Annenberg Theatre.

Is Las Vegas ready for SPAMALOT starring John O’Hurley (best known as J. Peterman on Seinfeld) as King Arthur? The lunacy of Monty Python is now previewing at The Grail Theater at WYNN with the Broadway hit show Monty Python's SPAMALOT that will have its premiere opening March 31.  SPAMALOT is written by Eric Idle with lyrics and a Grammy Award-winning musical score by Idle and Python collaborator John Du Prez; and is directed by the legendary Mike Nichols. With these guys heading the show, Monty Python’s SPAMALOT should be assured of a successful run.  But, one never knows what can be successful in Las Vegas.

The AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION at a gala at WYNN Las Vegas honored Las Vegas legends, Magicians of the Century, Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn and the UMC TRAUMA CENTER for its commitment to serving the Las Vegas community. Richard Weisman, CEO of Exotic Cars inside The Forum Shops at Caesars, was the 2007 Heart of Gold Ball Chair. The event was expected to raise more than $500,000 to support the fight against heart disease and stroke, the nation’s #1 and #3 killers.  

  Guests at the formal event were dressed in red and black and the ballroom was elaborately decorated in red.Weatherman, Mark Pfister served as M.C.  During the live auction Chris Angel bought artist Carlo Beninati’s portrait of Sigfried & Roy for $6500. A bid for lunch with Sigfried & Roy went for $10,000. A very successful event! It is always so good to see S&R up and about.

Well, it happened!  Hollywood movie producer, restaurateur and nightclub owner has bought the aging Moroccan-themed SAHARA.  Sam Nazarian, through his Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group purchased the Sahara from the family of late casino pioneer William Bennett.  With the niteclub scene overrunning Las Vegas, and Nazarian being heavily into that scene, I wonder what will happen to the existing shows at the SAHARA. Whatever happens, I heard the Amazing Jonathan has health problems and will leave at the end of the year. It is said the purchase price is between $300 and $400 million for the 17.45-acre parcel and there are some tremendous renovation plans.

STOMP OUT LOUD tickets at ALADDIN/PLANET HOLLYWOOD, are now on sale. Nevada locals with a valid NV State I.D. will get a special opportunity to see STOMP OUT LOUD for only $50 during previews March 24 – April 16. Directed and created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, STOMP OUT LOUD is a new production from the creators of the international sensation STOMP and will be performed in a new $28 million theater specifically created for this production Preview performances begin March 24 with a grand opening slated for April 17.

Having taken London by storm with numerous awards, including the Olivier Award for Best Musical, “Jerry Springer the Opera” is finally coming to America. It will preview on March 17 and 18, performed concert-style at MGM Grand's HOLLYWOOD THEATRE as a benefit for HIV/AIDS charity Golden Rainbow. Show time is 1 p.m. each day and stars performers from “Folies Bergere,” "Jubilee!,” “Mamma Mia” and “Phantom of the Opera.” Artie Anderson, whose acting credits include “8 Simple Rules,” “Home Improvement,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “3rd Rock from the Sun” will lead the cast as Jerry Springer. An eight-piece orchestra is conducted by Jack Gaughan, Orchestra Director for “Phantom of the Opera.” Jerry Springer the Opera” is both scatological and theological and after seeing the London production, Jerry Springer himself endorsed it, stating, “I wish I’d thought of it myself.” It is an operatic restaging of The Jerry Springer Show, where people confess to an assortment of infidelities and guilty secrets in front of outraged partners and a vocal studio audience. Tickets are $75, $50 and $30 through the Golden Rainbow office at (702) 384-2899.  Founded in 1987, Golden Rainbow strives to provide housing and direct financial assistance to the men, women, children and families living with HIV/AIDS in Southern Nevada

The INTERNATIONAL BELLY DANCING CONVENTION held a gala reception with a Middle Eastern dinner and show at THE SOUTHPOINT HOTEL to introduce the press to their upcoming convention July 30-August 5.  Unique styles of belly dancing were performed in scintillating, seductive costumes in addition to the traditional belly dancing we usually experience. Different styles of belly dancing included Brazilian rhythms, Indian fusions, trance music dance and even Las Vegas Showgirl style of belly dancing. Famous belly dancers from Egypt were introduced. The upcoming convention will feature Belly Dancing performances, workshops and competitions. There will be also be special concerts with belly dancing Superstars. The competitions will be broadcast internationally and winners will receive lavish prizes. More about this as the convention draws near.

CineVegas has partnered with MySpace.com on both online short film competitions and the 2007 festival to be held in June. Filmmakers can submit entries by uploading their films on their own MySpace profile pages from March 9 – March 22. After programmers from the festival review all entries and select three finalists, MySpace users will be able to view and vote on their favorite short film from April 10 – April 20. The winner will be entered into the official competition at the 2007 CineVegas Film Festival. CineVegas screening series continues in March and April with award –winning films, documentaries and foreign features at the TROPICANA CINEMAS.

THE GIRLS of GLITTER GULCH on the FREEMONT STREET EXPERIENCE was the first establishment to coin the phrase “gentlemen’s club” when they opened in 1991 as their patrons are expected to act like gentlemen, and the ladies act like ladies. Intimacy was the top priority for the $3.5 million dollar redesign of GLITTER GULCH which was essentially gutted and rebuilt. The 6,500 square foot club boasts a color scheme of red, maroon and black with silver accents creating a sexy, sensual boudoir feeling

World-class pop music performer Martin Nievera opened his show Martin Live inside the new Steve Wyrick Entertainment Complex in Desert Passage at the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood. Nievera’s performance includes songs ranging from Broadway to Bublé and a number of his own hits, all backed by an 11-piece band.  Nievera also pays tribute to Las Vegas’ most famed crooners including Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and more. Dinner packages are available at Pampas Brazilian Grille in the Desert Passage.

Hans Klok, is known as an international sensation and fastest magician on the planet. He will team up with film and television star Carmen Electra for “Faster Than Magic,” a new show at the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood’s Theater for the Performing Arts with preview performances beginning in April.

The American Superstars show at the STRATOSPHERE has added Lorena Peril as Christina Aguilera to its line-up of celebrity tributes

Las Vegas Harley-Davidson and the Cannery Casino & Hotel presents The American Veterans Traveling Tribute March 1 –24.  This is an 80% scale replica of the Washington D.C. based Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. It will be on display in the Las Vegas Harley-Davidson parking lot on Eastern Avenue just south of Sahara. Measuring nearly 380 feet in length and 8 ½’ high, the tribute is the largest wall replica in the United States and includes 58,245 names of U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. Additionally, the Cost of Freedom exhibit will be on display, which includes a tribute to 9/11 victims and military personnel who lost their lives in Iraq.

The entertainment world lost another one of its finest, Mary Kaye. The Mary Kaye Trio were the first entertainers to bring lounge acts to the Las Vegas scene. Vegas marquees always had their name on it. Mary Kaye just passed on and not only was she a fabulous entertainer, but a great lady. She will be missed.

Throughout March, Mac King’s Book Drive promotion encourages Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza customers to bring in a new or gently used children’s book targeting ages 4-12. In exchange for the book donation, Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza will provide a free Messy Sundae certificate to customers. Donations benefit Clark County teachers through Clark County READS’ book re-use program. Mac King will be at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza 4300 East Sunset Road Monday, March 12 at 4 p.m.            

Extreme Thing 2007, Nevada’s largest sports and music festival, will open at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 31 at Desert Breeze Park, 8275 W. Spring Mountain Rd. This event has gained in popularity and now ranks as the largest outdoor festival of its kind in Southern Nevada. The festival features; live music, amateur competitions for skateboards and BMX, action sports demos, professional wrestling bouts, professional athletes signing autographs, a carnival and more.

Debuting last year, Venus Pool Club at Caesars proved to be an instant hit as the city’s most exclusive, hip poolside environment . Venus Pool Club allows topless bathing and is separated from view by shrubbery and tall trees. Under the Pure Management Group umbrella Pure venues include: PURE Nightclub and the Pussycat Dolls Lounge at Caesars Palace Tangerine Lounge & Nightclub, Social House at TI, Coyote Ugly at New York-New York,  Lucky Strike Lanes at the Rio, and Fat Tuesdays inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.  Venus Pool Club re-opens on March 21, promising another season of impeccable service, sophisticated relaxation and fun.  





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