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July 29, 2014

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John Katsilometes gets Frank Gehry’s succinct opinion of architecture in Las Vegas

The great ones make it look easy, whether it's designing a $70 million medical institute or heading off a simple question.

Both skills were displayed by groundbreaking architect Frank Gehry on Tuesday night at the Las Vegas Art Museum. I started our conversation with, "What about the architecture in Las Vegas ..."

"Is there any?" he slyly answered.

"... appeals to you?" I finished.

"Not much," he finished.

At the moment Gehry was seated next to longtime friend, film director Sydney Pollack, in a museum office, taking a break from the dozens of VIPs who took in the opening of the "Frank Gehry Designs" exhibit. The expansive display of Gehry's renderings for the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute runs through March 25 at the museum.

Those on hand chatting up Gehry in the VIP-plus room included museum Director Libby Lumpkin and her husband, author and art critic Dave Hickey, Southern Wine & Spirits executive and Ruvo Brain Institute founder Larry Ruvo, Southern Wine exec Michael Severino and museum Deputy Director Renee Coppola.

After taking a moment to ponder, Gehry did allow that, "on the (Robert) Venturi level, Las Vegas is appealing." (Venturi and his architect wife, Denise Scott Brown, wrote the book "Learning From Las Vegas," a nod to Las Vegas' pop architecture, in the early '70s.) Gehry also added, "You can see that Las Vegas pioneered what is happening in Times Square and what seems to be happening in the world where buildings are becoming billboards ... I'm not against it, but it's really never been dealt with as real architecture except by Bob Venturi."

NoteMart

More from the Las Vegas Art Museum: Pollack, who has been a friend of Gehry's for about 30 years, directed the laudatory documentary "Sketches of Frank Gehry" (now available on DVD). He recalled two previous visits to Las Vegas. "It's been a long time, it really has. I made the film 'Electric Horseman' here - that was about 25 years ago." The film's signature moment was Robert Redford in a neon Western-style suit, riding a horse down the Strip. "I did come back here about 10 years ago, for a convention of costumers. We ran that film, because of that costume. They loved it." ...

"This is my dad, in the Speedos ..." The World Entertainment News Network reports that the daughters of David Hasselhoff - Taylor Ann (16) and Hayley (14) - will be the subjects of a reality show called "Hoff Broadway." The report says the show will be on E! Entertainment (though a network rep told the New York Post it was just a rumor). The show is to center on Daddy Hasselhoff's turn in "The Producers" at Paris Las Vegas (he will play Franz Liebkind), and on Wednesday a spokesman for the show said the reality show was in production. ...

The last tequila shot from the navel of a cocktail waitress has been served at the Beach Party Club on Paradise Road, across from the Las Vegas Convention Center. The party haven's last night of operations was Saturday. A hotel developer plans to level the club and garage, according to Beach Marketing and Promotions Director Jeremiah Wilke ...

Michael Richards could learn from Ron White about how to deal with hecklers. During Saturday's show at Mandalay Bay's Mamma Mia Theatre, White was relentlessly heckled by a guy near the front row who would have been more at home at ... well, the Beach's last night. According to a member of the audience, White deftly attempted to quiet the apparently overserved malcontent before members of the security team did the heavy lifting. But White never lost his composure ...

Fangs of nostalgia: A vanity plate on a white convertible Mustang SVT Cobra: VENOMIS.

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