Published Tuesday, March 24, 2009 | 5:02 p.m.
Updated Thursday, March 26, 2009 | 9:55 a.m.
*Check out this story with all its accompanying photos at VegasDeLuxe.com.*
Members of the Boys & Girls Club are at work on their own short film Where Da Girls At?, and today Mr. Las Vegas himself Wayne Newton will be giving the kids tips about filming and performing. The legendary entertainer will spend four hours at CineVegas headquarters as filming gets underway. The five-week movie project lets the children create, write and star in their own short film, which will have a red carpet premiere at the 2009 CineVegas Film Festival this June with festival Chairman Dennis Hopper.
*Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, former World Boxing Association lightweight champion known for his whirlwind fighting style, has just been added to the contestants on the April 19 Dancing With the Las Vegas Stars children’s cancer fundraiser. Ray, who scored 23 knockouts in his career before retiring to become an actor and film producer, is a fight analyst for Celebrity Boxing. He will dance for The Caring Place charity. His boxing career was captured in the film Heart of a Champion: The Ray Mancini Story. Ray joins Mayor Oscar Goodman, Phantom -- The Las Vegas Spectacular’s Brent Barrett, Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips and deejay Chet Buchanan at Rain in the Palms, where Master Magician Lance Burton will serve as emcee, and I will be one of the judges. The $25,000 in prize money will be awarded to the five participating cancer charities. Tony Delgado’s Dance Studios is providing the professional partners, and choreographers for the dancing celebrities and performers at the event include Mrs. Nevada America 2008 Tiffany Comstock, Phantom star Tina Walsh and Tony Delgado. His wife Dana is partnered with our Merry Mayor of Mirth dancing for the American Cancer Society. For more information, go to www.DancingWithTheLasVegasStars.com.
*In my haste yesterday to bring you the breaking news from the James Beard Foundation about our Las Vegas-nominated chefs, I didn’t dig deep enough. My apologies to Kamel Guechida, who is nominated in the Best Pastry Chef category! Kamel is the dessert genius at MGM’s gourmet Joel Robuchon and L’Atelier restaurants. Absolutely no slight intended!
*When Blue Man Group stamped the logo of our Allegiant Air on the aircraft they bring on stage nightly at their theater in The Venetian, you just guessed the next logical step. Now the iconic blue and bald trio is the star of the first Blue Man Group airplane that will fly the friendly skies in and out of Las Vegas. A second Blue Man plane will fly in and out of the airline’s East Coast base in Orlando. The new planes mark the recent first-year anniversary of a marketing partnership. Passengers can purchase reduced-price tickets to the show in flight and then get a welcome check-in on arrival at the theater and a meet and greet with the performers post-show. Additionally, Blue Man Group is branded on everything in flight including crew uniforms, cups, napkins, service carts and overhead luggage bins!
*The Miss USA Pageant contestants who arrive next month in advance of their April 19 live NBC telecast from Planet Hollywood are magical! They’ve already accepted Master Magician Lance Burton’s invitation to attend his Monte Carlo show before rigorous pageant rehearsals get underway. He’s also going to meet them after his show for a photo session and maybe teach them a magic trick or two! First, though, they will have dinner at Diablo’s Cantina before curtain up.
Incidentally, Lance presented his Teen Stage Award at the 32nd World Magic Seminar at The Orleans to young Hiroki Hara from Japan. His fast-paced manipulation act beat out 15 other teens. Siegfried & Roy awarded their Golden Lion Head Award to Hungarian magician Soma, who amazed with multiplying cell phones, while the Sarmoti Award went to Korea’s Han Seo-Hui for his incredible manipulations with dozens of music CDs.
*Our contributing photographer Scott Harrison was at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay when Blue October performed. He shot these front-row stage center close-ups of lead singer Justin Furstenfeld that we just had to share with you.
Barry Manilow stopped back for a second time during the opening weekend of Monster Circus at the Hilton and went backstage to meet the rockers and their crew to wish them continued success. … Singer Toni Braxton continued the 29th birthday celebrations of her sister Tamar for a second consecutive night. After a night of XS, Toni’s crew hit Victor Drai’s other nightclub Tryst in the adjoining Wynn. Former Making of the Band regular and choreographer Laurie Ann Gibson joined the party. … Before clubbing, Toni took out all 16 in the group to a sushi and sashimi dinner at Koi in Planet Hollywood, which also has become the dining hot spot for the sexy cast of Peep Show opening at Planet Hollywood a week from today. Kelly Monaco was in the fountain dining room with three friends, while Mel B stopped in to pick up takeout and then returned the next night to hang out there for Happy Hour with her husband in the lounge. Luxor comedy headliner Carrot Top was there after Holly Madison had met him backstage and recommended the chic dining spot! … Every time designer Michael Kors comes to town to check on his stylish boutique at the Palazzo, he makes a rez for dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT steakhouse there. This trip was no exception, and he and two friends enjoyed the tuna tartare, New York cuts of Kobe beef and champagne and Ketel One cocktails! … Joan Rivers impersonator Frank Marino and the rival cast of hunks from American Storm checked out the competition from the new Men of X at Hooters resort. …. Only because his daughter, actress Lindsay Lohan, is a star will I make mention that her estranged dad, the always headline-making Michael Lohan, was spotted at the Bank in the Bellagio.
Welcome back to Las Vegas, Ms. Midler! Yes, super songstress Bette Midler resumes her run at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace through April 5 in advance of Sir Elton John’s concluding April 7-22 concerts as he bids farewell to Vegas! … Tickets go on sale today for the inaugural National Hockey League Awards to be held at the Palms on June 18. It’s the first of a three-year deal for the athletes on ice. … Hip-hop’s HardNox entertains at Pure in Caesars Palace. … Scott Kennedy and Adam Richmond join comedienne Mary Ellen Hopper for the start of six nights of funny-bone humor at the Improv in Harrah’s. … The 2nd Annual Bartenders Ball at Blush in the Wynn celebrates our male and female mixologists. … At Carey Hart’s Wasted Space in the Hard Rock Hotel, Black Gold and Lazystars join headliners the 88. … The “Vegas Tastes Downtown” fundraiser for culinary scholarships takes over the Fremont Street Experience with tasty treats and wine tastings.
Madison Avenue’s mantra that sex sells has moved over to the sports world, and eyebrows will be raised when one new sports event moves into Vegas with hard bodies in tight trunks and the briefest of bikinis. Vegas DeLuxe has the exclusive story. … We’ll have the overnight elimination photos from Dancing With the Stars, and we’ll take a nostalgic look at the legacy of Liberace as Jersey Boys star Erich Bergen re-creates that old piano magic!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.