Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 | 4:44 p.m.
More arts and entertainment
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When Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring at MGM Grand on June 9 against Timothy Bradley, Las Vegas fight promoter Bob Arum says it will be the fighter’s biggest payday yet. Although the number$ aren’t being revealed, it’s expected to be $25 million, exceeding his $22 million payday when he beat Juan Manuel Marquez last November. Bob confirmed: “Manny’s going to get his biggest guaranteed purse in this fight.”
The Manila congressman and eight-title boxing champion arrives here Feb. 16. The next day, he gives testimony in a deposition in the defamation case against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Maybe those two could settle that in a fight in the ring instead of with lawyers -- and both walk away with even bigger paydays? After all, it is the fight everybody wants.
Meantime, Floyd fights Miguel Cotto on May 5 at MGM Grand and then goes to jail from a delayed sentencing. After that, if terms are worked out for Floyd and Manny, they could have a $100 million purse to split dividing PPV, arena gate receipts and worldwide broadcast rights.
Manny will be on a three-city press tour starting in Las Vegas on Feb. 19, then L.A. on Feb. 21 and New York on Feb. 23 to promote the fight with Timothy. Manny, as we first reported, also will attend the Muhammad Ali 70th birthday salute at MGM on Feb. 18.
WICKED WHISPERS & RACY RUMORS
What other big boxing story will make worldwide headlines when it’s announced Feb. 19? I also am first to report that “La Cage Aux Folles” returns here after a long European tour and opens Feb. 29. Producer Norbert Aleman, who owns “Crazy Girls” at the Riviera, confirmed to me exclusively that his show based on the hit movie that ran successfully on the Strip for many years is definitely coming back this month! He promises full details shortly of the famed naughty-but-nice female impersonator show.
SWIMWEAR BEAUTIES: Call it an early Valentine’s Day surprise when, for the fifth consecutive year, TV host David Letterman will reveal on Monday night’s “Late Show With David Letterman” the 2012 cover model of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. I’m guessing that it will be Kate Upton. Ten of the swimwear models featured in the issue also will read his Top 10 List.
The new cover sensation returns Tuesday for a full interview and then joins all the girls on a jet for Las Vegas. Their red carpet welcome Wednesday is at Haze in Aria, Thursday’s big party will be at Pure in Caesars Palace, with a midnight farewell bash at the Bank in the Bellagio. That could run till dawn when the bikini bodies fly back east Friday, although I’m betting that some of them will stay for the Strip’s weekend fun. They will all be stage side at various Cosmopolitan venues for the Beauties and Beats Music Festival with 10 up-and-coming groups featured in S.I.
DISAPPEARING WEEKLY: It’s not often that a Las Vegas show brags that its cast vanishes every week, but that’s one of the delights of the all-new, 225-seat Vegas Magic Theater at Gold Coast. Producer Paul Stone uses a revolving cast of magicians, illusionists, escapologists, mind readers and variety specialty acts in a lineup that changes every Thursday. Graham Jolley, Christopher Hart and host Ben Stone kick off the run tonight.
Tickets are just $14.95, and for 60 minutes before show time, other sleight-of-hand artists perform as an added attraction. Paul, who produced the London Palladium tribute to Siegfried & Roy among his 20 long-running English shows, said: “I always felt that a European-styled cabaret show in an intimate venue with top-class magicians offering a brand-new show every week to keep it fresh was missing in Las Vegas, and now we have one that appeals to families, locals and visitors at a price they can all afford. It is fantastic value for the money and was one of the best-kept Vegas secrets -- until now!”
WALKING THE DOGS: Many Las Vegas entertainment personalities, including Criss Angel, Zak Bagans and Richard “The Old Man” Harrison, will be walking unwanted dogs on the red carpet for a celebrity bingo tournament at Silverton Casino Lodge on Feb. 25. Funds raised benefit the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
VALENTINE’S COLOR: Hair guru to the stars Michael Boychuck says Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year that ladies really want to look their best, so he’s come up with an indulgent gift at his three salons to honor the holiday. He’s taking more than $50 off the package price until Tuesday night for a manicure, a pedicure, hair extraordinaire and professional makeup with eyelash extensions at Color in Caesars Palace and Amp and Primp in the Palms.
Producer David Saxe unveils his new-look “V: The Ultimate Variety Show” at his theater in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile. The grand opening features his magician sister Melinda Saxe, Skating Aratas and dancing identical twins Sean and John from “America’s Got Talent.” The extraordinary choreography executed by Tara Palsha, who outshines Cyd Charisse and Ginger Rogers, steals the show! And Playboy Comedy producer Cort McCown has moved his comedy show lineup from the Palms to the Paris, and it’s now titled Empire Comedy in Napoleon’s Lounge there. Harland Williams opens the venue.
It’s a party weekend on the Strip for stars celebrating birthdays, plus the miraculous return -- from near death in a ski accident -- for singer Sean Kingston, making his first appearance at the new RPM Nightclub at Tropicana.
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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