Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 | 9:28 a.m.
Before I detail Kim Kardashian and the Top Chef stars’ visits to Las Vegas today, don’t be surprised if during this final weekend of Sir Elton John’s current run of residency shows at Caesars Palace that he takes time out to go to the off-Strip Orleans. Don’t be surprised, either, if Leon Russell, who is headlining there for two nights, makes a trip to Elton’s show at The Colosseum, maybe as early as tonight.
The two superstar musicians are beyond good friends and recording partners. Elton pays tribute to Leon in his current show The Million Dollar Piano as a lifelong mentor and motivator. They first met in 1970, and ever since Elton has credited Leon for the enormous impact he made on his music and career, so much so that Elton literally dragged the reticent bearded musician out of a retirement -- they hadn’t talked in 35 years!
A meeting here at Caesars Palace as Elton wrapped his last residency show Red Piano led to their album The Union last year and tour dates together. Now by coincidence, they’re here the same weekend. After Sunday night’s curtain, Elton returns Feb. 9 to resume his run.
Also at Caesars tonight, the reopening of the wild, wacky and wanton Absinthe in its new, permanent, big top home. Fire Department safety concerns shut down the original wood-and-glass circular structure imported from Belgium, so The Gazillionaire had to spring for a permanent structure after this summer’s rainstorms finished it off. Tonight, the doors are flung open to the new quarters by Penny Pibbets, Melody Sweets and Holly’s World starlet Angel Porrino, and the riotous burlesque behavior and astounding acrobats balance the high wire again.
It’s another celebrity-filled weekend, but this time around the emphasis is on fine food stars and birthdays. It seems as if the Bravo hit series Top Chef has half its winners and contestants here for the Second Annual Food & Wine All-Star Weekend with Gail Simmons overseeing three days of taste treats at the Bellagio and Aria.
The chefs are producing their prize-winning dishes, but Kim Kardashian, Ne-Yo, Drake and our Peepshow at Planet Hollywood star Josh Strickland will be popping champagne corks to celebrate their birthdays. Carmen Electra’s here to celebrate the second anniversary of Crazy Horse III, and Palms chief George Maloof debuts his GhostBar Day Club.
Music fans have their plates full, too: In addition to Elton and Leon, Roger Daltrey performs The Who’s Tommy at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, and Jimmy Buffett wraps his weeklong salute to Margaritaville -- and the opening of his casino at the Flamingo -- with a final second show at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
No time for me to lay back in a hammock at the beach and wiggle my toes in the sand -- or waste away in Margaritaville! We’ve got a full menu of culinary and showbiz stars to serve as we sharpen your appetites with the main course of this week’s Royal Robin Rundown:
Friday, Oct. 21, 2011
The bordering-on-the-bizarre Absinthe resumes at Caesars Palace; former Jersey Boys star Rick Faugno has his one-man show Body & Soul at the Las Vegas Hilton on Fridays; Big Head Todd & The Monsters jam at Aliante; Nashville Unplugged brings the sounds and songs of country to Green Valley Ranch; Little Feat steps up at Boulder Station; Falling in Reverse is at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay; and The Kingston Trio is at South Point all weekend.
For comedy, it’s the queen herself Joan Rivers with sidesplitting standup at the Venetian for two nights; Ron White’s blue-collar humor runs for two nights at the Mirage; Bob Levy is at Sunset Station; and Pete Correale is at the Hilton all weekend.
*Adrian Grenier of Entourage fame hosts at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens in the Paris starting with a screening of his documentary Teenage Paparazzo followed by a Q&A and after-party; curvy Carmen Electra hosts a second-anniversary celebration at Crazy Horse III; and Samantha Ronson continues her DJ residency at Gallery Nightclub in Planet Hollywood as ex-girlfriend Lindsay Lohan faces jailhouse woes.
Of Special Note
The three-day Second Annual Food & Wine All-Star Weekend with Top Chef judge Gail Simmons and her winners and contestants gets under way with First Course at Aria’s View Bar in MGM’s CityCenter, followed by the Second Course after-party and gaming at nearby Deuce Lounge. … Chef Hubert Keller hosts the Season 3 premiere of his Secrets of a Chef at PBS Las Vegas. … Madame Tussauds at the Venetian starts its After Dark guest experience of paranormal activity investigations through Halloween. .. And it’s the L.V. Spiders vs. L.V. Scorpions in the MMAX Team Challenge at The Joint.
Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011
Roger Daltrey performs The Who’s Tommy at The Joint; Jimmy Buffet & The Coral Reefer Band are at MGM Grand Garden Arena; Leon Russell kicks off his two-night run at the Orleans; K.D. Lang performs at The Pearl in the Palms; Pat Green is at Boulder Station; Stephen Bishop is at Sunset Station; Hiroshima is at Santa Fe Station; and Vertical Horizon is at Veil Pavilion at Silverton Casino Lodge.
Five big birthday bashes: Kim Kardashian celebrates at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan, Ne-Yo at Surrender Nightclub in Encore, Drake’s 25th birthday takes place at Tao in the Venetian, and Josh Strickland celebrates at Gallery Nightclub in Planet Hollywood with his Holly’s World cast mates and Dana Wilkey of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And over at Vanity in the Hard Rock Hotel, Olympic medalist swimmer Amanda Beard celebrates her birthday out of the pool.
It’s the brunch-time GhostBar Dayclub party launch by George Maloof at the Palms, while Vinny Guadagnino of Jersey Shore hosts at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens.
Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011
Judas Priest rocks The Joint with Black Label Society and Thin Lizzy, my friend Las Vegas singer, comedian and impressionist Jack Walker headlines at Aliante, and Calle 13 is at House of Blues.
Of Special Note
Siegfried & Roy’s Metro K-9 Trials take place at the Orleans. … Legendary impressionist Rich Little donates $100,000 and leads the 11th Annual Lose a Pound With Your Hound Memory Walk for the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society at Bunker Park. … And 2005 Miss USA Shanna Moakler and 2011 Miss Nevada USA Sarah Chapman join celebrity colorist Michael Boychuck and the Miss Nevada USA Organization to host their Amp It Up contestant recruiting party at Amp Salon at the Palms.
It’s a busy, busy weekend, but we’ll be back throughout the weekend with reports and photos from the star-studded events and continue our reports Monday, so check back often.
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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