Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011 | 4:33 p.m.
More arts and entertainment
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart hosts the Fifth Annual Stewie Awards at the lounge in the Hard Rock Hotel tonight on Sirius Satellite Radio. It’s irreverent and entertaining as Tony and co-host Matt Yocum replay the wackiest moments of the season. Listen at Sirius Channel 90 or follow the action @SiriusXMNASCAR on Twitter. Tony won his third championship title in a down-to-the-wire battle against Carl Edwards in one of the most exciting finishes in NASCAR history at Homestead Miami Speedway. He’s the first driver/owner to win since 1992.
Many of his competitors will drop by the broadcast, for which I will serve as announcer. Among the nominees for Best Original Drama are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski and Tony himself. Kyle, Carl, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan are up for Bonehead Move of the Year. For Best Original Comedy, the dueling drivers include Justin Allgaier, Greg Biffle and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , who won in the last lap of the Iowa 250 when Carl slammed into him while blinded by smoke and pushed him to a win!
Fans are invited to attend the broadcast, which ends with the Golden Stewie Award honoring a legendary figure from racing’s Golden Era and the Stewie Lifetime Achievement Award. Tony gets his own salute Friday evening during the Speed broadcast of the finale awards from the Wynn with Reba McEntire, Kid Rock, Bill Engvall and Carrot Top.
*To help celebrate the 250th birthday of Madame Tussauds, the Merlin’s Magic Wand charity for disadvantaged children hosts a celebrity auction tonight among the star figures at the Venetian. Eva Longoria and Bradley Cooper, who have wax doubles there, are just two of the stars who have donated memorabilia for the auction.
*As part of World AIDS Day celebrations, Club Nikki at the Tropicana hosts Bobby Townsend’s “Life’s a Ball: Celebrating Life and the Journey to a Cure” tonight with stars, singers and comedians. TV cameras from “Entertainment Tonight,” E! Entertainment and MTV will be filming the star-studded event. I will be there between other jam-packed-calendar events as a guest MC.
*The already spectacular Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio transforms even more beautifully tomorrow into a magical winter wonderland with more than 1,700 gold-and-silver ornaments, 13,500 twinkling lights, 24 oversized bells hanging from the glass ceiling, five animated penguins skating on a rink cheered on by 34 other penguins and a trio of topiary bears in “fur” coats made from some 35,000 white carnations. In all, 43,000 flowers and 350 plants will be on display through Jan. 2. We’ll post Tom Donoghue’s photo gallery next week.
*Sam’s Town has become a winter wonderland with its Mystic Falls laser light and water show. Boyd Gaming Chairman Bill Boyd flipped the switch with former Mayor Oscar Goodman and hotel GM John Sou. The main fountain features ice sculptures, and a Santa workshop has been set up in the gazebo of the park with snow-covered trees. The free 15-minute laser show takes place three times a night through New Year’s Day. At the lighting event, Sam’s Town turned over 1,400 cell phones to soldiers overseas each with 1 hour of free talk time.
*You know Christmas is officially underway when nightlife queen Tiffany Masters throws her annual Socialite Holiday Kick-Off Party. The sixth annual bash with guests dressed up in sexy Santa suits is tonight at Gold Boutique Lounge at Aria.
Congrats to the cast of “Menopause the Musical” at the Luxor, which celebrates its 2,500th performance over the weekend. … The folks behind Republic Bar & Kitchen in Henderson have expanded with a new restaurant: Greens & Proteins serves health foods, vegan, raw and vegetarian friendly meals. Las Vegas Locomotives head coach and President Jim Fassel was the first VIP in for the Wellness Shakes. … Known as the $150 million man for his new 10-year deal with the Colorado Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki is celebrating on the Strip and attended “Vegas! The Show” at Saxe Theater in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile.
Bill Engvall has one night of standup comedy at Treasure Island. … A collection of works by Erte opens at Martin Lawrence Galleries in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace to celebrate his 110th anniversary. Erte’s famed “Alphabet” will be on show and is available for purchase at nearly $5 million!!! …. And comedian Steve Rannazzisi headlines with host Cort McCown at Playboy Comedy Lounge in the Palms for three nights.
We’ll have overnight video and photos from the first night of the National Finals Rodeo and the NASCAR Victory Lap on the shuttered Strip. Plus, we’ll wrap our five-part series on “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” with director and author Jamie King ahead of the Cirque du Soleil show’s Saturday premiere. We’ve also got a preview of the Las Vegas Marathon and Great Santa Run -- and an exclusive interview with Garth Brooks as he celebrates the second anniversary of his Wynn residency.
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.
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