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July 22, 2014

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Lots to do over Las Vegas Labor Day weekend

The symbolic end of summer, Labor Day also signals to locals that the pace is going to pick up again. Even here in open-all-night Las Vegas, it can be hard to find something different to do in August.

Among the more unusual options this weekend:

Spend the weekend with Cheese: Richard Cheese, that is. Fingers snapping, hair slicked back, tiger-striped tuxedo, microphone in one hand, martini in the other, "America’s loudest lounge singer” and his trio Lounge Against the Machine perform their perfectly hilarious Vegas-ized versions of rock, rap and Top 40 hits Friday and Sunday at AJ's Steakhouse at the Hard Rock.

Support homegrown theater: Both the Elton John-penned musical "Aida," performed under the stars at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, and the biting comedy "The Little Dog Laughed," at the decidely urban Onyx Theatre, are solidly enjoyable shows.

Meet the Beatles: The Fab Four never performed their most famous album “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” in concert, but Friday at Texas Station we’ll get the closest thing. Las Vegas is the last stop on a 10-city tour for a unique tribute event called “It Was Forty Years Ago Today: A Tribute to the Greatest Album of All Time, ” a live presentation of the epochal album, re-created by an unlikely band of veteran American and English rockers, including Todd Rundgren and "American Idol" runner-up Bo Bice.

Think again: Young Vegas rockers Think get a shot at the big time, opening for fire-breathing, flame-belching grandpas of rock Kiss, Friday at the Pearl at the Palm.

People-watcher alert: The best spot for spectating will be at the Renaissance Hotel all weekend as crazily costumed "kidults" gather for the fifth annual Anime Vegas Convention, which features poolside "Karaoke Idol" and a "Zatoichi Blind Swordsman Ramen-Eating Contest" on Saturday.

King of Diamonds: Neil Diamond just offered to refund 11,000 Ohio concertgoers because of his laryngitis. But the Riviera's Diamond impersonator, Jay White, nails it all: the proto-mullet hair, the squint, the grandiose stage moves, three costume changes including those silky, spangled, puffy-sleeved shirts open to the navel and the baritone with that gravitas and gravelly growl — he probably sounds better than the real Neil at this point in time.

Join Jerry Kids: You've probably seen the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon a gazillion times, but have you ever seen Jerry cryilive and in person? The telecast is staged in the Equestrian Center of the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa, and free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The maudlin marathon for Muscular Dystrophy begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, and will be aired locally on Channel 13.

Make a splash: Why not end the long weekend at a cool pool party? The poolside scenes at Rehab and Wet Republic may be a bit intimidating for those of use with mortal bodies, but the free, all-ages, noon-11 p.m. Mint Mondays bash at the Tropicana lives up to its slogan, "a real party for real people." Zowie Bowie takes the stage at 7 p.m.

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