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October 30, 2014

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VegasBeat — Timothy McDarrah: Carlini has entered the building

It is history, Vegas-style.

"I try not to think about it, but obviously, it is there," said Trent Carlini at a reception after the official opening of his Elvis tribute show, "The Dream King," at Las Vegas Hilton last week.

The last Elvis to play that room was the original, when the property was called the International. Presley was the headliner there from 1970 to 1976. A statue of him stands near the hotel entrance.

"It has been a dream of mine to play his room in his hotel and I am so grateful that I have this opportunity," Carlini said.

The show features scores of public domain video, news and movie clips featuring Elvis.

Carlini changes often during the show, appearing as Young Elvis, Hawaiian Elvis, Military Elvis and a leather-clad Comeback '68 Elvis. But not as Aging, Bloated Elvis.

"Come and see me in 10 years -- that'll be my whole show," Carlini cracked.

We also asked Carlini if he'd been performing in the 1830s, would he have been perhaps a Ludwig von Beethoven tribute artist. Did they even have impersonators back then?

"Good question," said Carlini. "I think I would have been the original Elvis if I was born way back then."

Lewis & Martin might once again be Vegas headliners. Ricci Martin -- son of Dean Martin -- and Jerry's kid Gary Lewis performed together for the first time ever, at an Italian festival in Buffalo, N.Y., last weekend.

Both acts -- Martin's tribute show to his father and Lewis and his 1960s band, The Playboys -- were coincidentally booked for the event, and they decided to do some numbers together, to the absolute delight of a stunned crowd.

Steve Rossi, who opened for Martin on their summer tour, might also be part of a proposed show that would feature all of those performers. At least three properties have been mentioned as possible host hotels for the production.

The popular New York-New York bar Coyote Ugly is opening a branch in Washington, D.C.

Owner Jennifer Worthington and a few partners have acquired a three-story building with a spacious roof deck across the street from the MCI Center, home of the Washington Wizards NBA team and Washington Capitals NHL team.

"It'll be the same concept that is so successful here -- beautiful, talented and witty women and constant entertainment," Worthington said. "We plan to shake things up there with our very Vegas concept of Coyote Ugly.

"We will certainly stick out among the city's more conservative bar concepts."

Spike Lee arrives in Las Vegas today. He is filming a Microsoft commercial Monday and Tuesday at Tabu (MGM Grand).

Poker book author James McManus ("Positively Fifth Street") has been signed to speak before the National Foundation of Women Legislators at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, in September.

Impressionist Bill Acosta will be among the inductees in the Casino Legends Hall of Fame at the Tropicana on Oct. 19.

Emily Neilson started as an assistant traffic secretary (a person who tends to a variety of newsroom duties) at KLAS Channel 8 some 23 years ago. After a steady rise through the ranks, she has been tapped to run the station.

Neilson, 43, becomes station manager on Aug. 1, and when Dick Fraim's announced retirement takes effect on Jan. 1, she also takes over as general manager.

"It is all very flattering," Neilson told VegasBeat. "I am honored to have continually worked with a terrific group of people, and for a station that is being honest when it says it likes to promote from within."

Neilson and husband Brad have also raised three model children: Sara, 18, Clay, 15 and 10-year old Ann.

Will Neilson do anything drastically different once she has the station reigns in her grasp?

"Not at all," she said. "If it isn't broke, don't fix it.

"Honestly, my primary goal is not to screw anything up."

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