Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 | 10 p.m.
The Kats Report Bureau at this writing is Fortuna coffee bar at LVH, where dreams come true!
Earlier, I ran into the consistently bandana-ed “Sir” Harry Cowell, overlord of “Raiding the Rock Vault” here at the hotel. Sir Harry is meeting with Alan Parsons, studio wiz who worked on The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and “Let It Be” and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”
Of course, as you might have already deduced, Parsons was the frontman for Alan Parsons Project, a greatly respected band among musicians and richly successful for a 15-year run beginning in 1975.
Maybe Parsons is interested in appearing in “Rock Vault” or is just here to check out the new collection of Elvis memorabilia, including a 1973 LTD once owned by the King and a jumpsuit worn onstage at the then-Las Vegas Hilton in ’72.
Also happening this afternoon, Paul Shortino is being interviewed by a video crew from AMC for an upcoming documentary centered on “This Is Spinal Tap.” As we have noted, more than once but with great giddiness, Shortino played the muted Tap rival Duke Fame in that film.
And like the aforementioned group of music icons, we rock on:
• A settlement has been reached in the Cirque du Soleil appeal of rulings by OSHA in the incident in “Ka” that led to the death of artist Sarah Guillot-Guyard on June 29. The result is all but one of the violations issued against Cirque in the incident have been withdrawn by agency investigators.
The original findings by the federal safety agency were a series of violations and fines adding up to more than $25,000. But in November, Cirque appealed all of the citations, and near the end of that month OSHA had withdrawn its findings for each citation except for the violation in which the artists in the Final Battle scene, the act during which Guillot-Guyard fell 94 feet to her death, “were not protected or prevented from striking the overhead forest grid as they used wire rope, controllers and winches to ascend from the Sand Cliff Deck to the Forest Grid Catwalk.”
As noted in OSHA documents specifying the citations, previous incidents have resulted from employees striking the catwalk, and Guillot-Guyard reportedly hit that apparatus on ascent, causing her wire rope to be jarred out of its pulley and severed by the edge of that pulley, leading her to fall free. The fine issued by OSHA for that infraction and the formal investigation of the incident are now closed.
• Jerry Lewis is being honored yet again, this time by the ICG Publicists Guild (which is a major trade organization of PR reps) with a lifetime achievement award.
Next month, Lewis is to be feted by the TCM Classic Film Festival, which is honoring the entertainment legend in a multileveled tribute from April 10-13. On April 12, Lewis will take part in a handprint and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theater IMAX, as the festival will screen Lewis' classic “The Nutty Professor.” Lewis will be on hand for that screening and is to be interviewed onstage by actress Illeana Douglas, then hang back for questions from the audience. And, believe me, Lewis addressing any audience is anything but boring.
As Lewis accepted his ICG award, the MDA tossed him a congratulatory message on its Facebook page. It matters not, apparently, that Lewis never uses social media. The posted note was topped by a photo of a beaming Lewis, above the message that began, “Forever you will be the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s greatest champion.” Finally, it seems Lewis and the MDA have found an issue on which to agree.
• Justin Spencer is looking for bodies.
The founder of Recycled Percussion needs volunteers to help populate a massive awareness publicity event (not calling it a stunt, as it is too big for that) set for March 22 at an undisclosed location in the Southern Nevada desert.
Spencer is promoting Legacy X, his support foundation that, for the moment, is focused on bullying. Spencer is asking volunteers to help him build a large anti-bullying sign, visible from thousands of feet in the air and covering the approximate surface area of a football field.
To participate, Spencer is asking anyone interested to submit a personal bullying experience or anti-bullying message on a red 8 1/2-by-11-inch slip of paper listing a name and a location. This can be handwritten, drawn, colored or computer generated. Mail the message to the new Legacy X office at 4720 Cameron St., Suite 6, Las Vegas, NV 89103. Or email your message to [email protected] How to donate to this contemporary variation of a 12-step fellowship is listed on that site. As is the case with all of his projects, Spencer is going big fly on this event.
• Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie is working on another project that is not at all like his “Vintage Vegas” big-band production from Monte Carlo from a few years back, nor is it like the hip-hop, Top 40, dancefest at Red Rock’s Rocks Lounge each Friday night. Rather, this is a more glam-infused concept. More will be revealed, as we say.
• Stifler is fast approaching, set for 11 p.m. (doors at 10 p.m.) at Tropicana’s Havana Beach Club. Ringleader Frankie Moreno and his band will be back, I’ll be handling remote-mic duties, and Geechy Guy is reportedly working on some sort of interpretive dance number.
Moreno is the focus of a cover story I wrote for this week’s Las Vegas Weekly. In that story, I mention a visit from Flavor Flav to his show a couple of weeks ago.
Flav was said to prefer to sit incognito during the show at the Stratosphere, yet turned up in a hoodie trimmed with a flashing blue-green neon light and his ever-present clock necklace. So Moreno introduced him from the crowd and asked, “Flav, what time is it?”
“What time is it?!” Flav shouted at the stage. “It’s time to say your show is bangin’, son!”
Hence the clock, I suppose ...
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.
It is virtually impossible to be anywhere in Las Vegas and miss the Stratosphere. It towers 1,149 feet above Las Vegas and is the tallest observation tower in the United States. The casino itself is 55,784 square feet and contains 950 slot machines, 120 game tables and 2,427 hotel rooms.
Of the hotel's 2,427 rooms, 909 were recently remodeled into Stratosphere Select rooms.
The Stratosphere is mostly known for its rides at the top of the tower. The Big Shot, located at the 113th floor, torpedoes riders up 160 feet using compressed air. X-Scream is a teeter-totter perched at the top of the observation deck — if that wasn't scary enough, the coaster arm flings the riders out 27 feet over the edge of the tower. Guests looking for something more sedate can just hang around the 107th floor and simply look at the scenery.