Ron Koch/MGM Grand
Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 | 6 p.m.
Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest
While we’re sleeping off the rigors of overstuffing ourselves from Tom Turkey and his trimmings from Thanksgiving, big-name stars are keeping the entertainment scene wide awake, and everywhere you turn, snowflake lights are flickering brightly. The holidays are definitely here, and Black Friday becomes a massive and bizarre attraction in its own right.
Sage and funnyman Bill Cosby mixes humor and advice at Treasure Island, and Andrea Bocelli soars with his songs at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Additionally, there is country princess Kellie Pickler at the Orleans and veteran warbler Melissa Manchester at Suncoast -- just so we locals don’t have to travel far.
“Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” is underway at the Palazzo after opening with standing ovations Tuesday. Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was there for the premiere night’s photo gallery. The Venetian and the Palazzo’s holiday display Winter in Venice with skating sessions on the Strip rink, the 65-feet-tall beautifully lit Christmas tree and the nightly holiday parade run throughout Thanksgiving weekend and year’s end.
The most incredible Winter Wonderland display is at the 21st annual Opportunity Village Magical Forest complete with gingerbread houses, an express train, a carousel, Santa Claus, hundreds of decorated trees and millions of lights. More than 75,000 will visit the 3-acre holiday extravaganza through Jan. 6.
There are 400 light displays at the drive-through Candyland with its Avenue of Trees at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mystic Falls Park at Sam’s Town features Cowboy Santa. The Christmas tree at Town Square stands 45 feet. And Santa arrives by horse-drawn sleigh at Tivoli Village.
Additionally, our hotel restaurants and star chefs have harvested terrific Thanksgiving treats. Taste the Mexican version at Border Grill in Mandalay Bay, the Irish version at Nine Fine Irishmen in New York-New York and the Italian cake at Circo in the Bellagio. For a traditional creation, there’s Tender at Luxor and Sammy DeMarco’s First Food & Bar at the Palazzo.
Time for us now to talk turkey, baste the bird, pass the pumpkin and plug in to light up this holiday weekend with the Royal Robin Rundown -- no going cold turkey here!
THURSDAY, NOV. 22 (Thanksgiving)
Brazen and Yellow Brick Road perform free on the 3rd Street Stage downtown at Fremont Street Experience.
FRIDAY, NOV. 23
Guns N’ Roses start their final two performances in their mini-residency at the Hard Rock Hotel. Rush speeds up at MGM Grand. “American Idol” country star Kellie Pickler is at the Orleans for two nights. Singing impressionist Bob Anderson goes through the Great American Songbook at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center for Performing Arts for two nights. “Legends in Concert” returns with its tribute artists for annual holiday performances at Harrah’s through Dec. 25. Enrique Bunbury plays House of Blues at Mandalay Bay.
Mark & the Martinis with Lhey Bella, Dave Perrico and the seven-piece Mark Verabian jazz band are at Chandelier in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for two nights. Nashville Unplugged features Thom Shepherd at Red Rock Resort. Pierce the Veil is at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. Smashing Alice is at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel. And Loveshack is at FSE.
Bill Cosby, who headlined Andre Agassi’s Grand Slam fundraiser at the Wynn a few years ago, is at Treasure Island. Jim Gaffigan is at the Mirage for two nights. And all weekend, Josh Wolf is at South Point, Allen Havey and Taylor Williamson are at Harrah’s Improv, and Don Barnhart and Joanie Fagan are at the Orleans.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
“The Addams Family” musical is at Reynolds Hall in Smith Center through the weekend, with its final show Sunday.
Tickets go on sale for Snoop Dogg’s Dec. 22 show at HRC on the Strip; Kat Williams’ Jan. 18 and 19 performances at Pearl at the Palms; and Ben Folds Five’s Jan. 25 concert at the Pearl.
Tonight’s Morrissey at Chelsea Ballroom in the Cosmopolitan has been rescheduled to Feb. 9.
The fabulous femme fatales of “Fantasy” autograph their Barely Bejeweled 2013 calendar at PBR Rock Bar at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops. And DJ Sidney Samson is at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore.
SATURDAY, NOV. 24
The stunning and staggering voice of Italian superstar Andrea Bocelli is at MGM Grand. Singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester is at Suncoast for two nights. Kool & the Gang are in Primm Valley. The Faint won’t pass out at HOB. Dom Kennedy is at HRC on the Strip. And Zowie Bowie with Chris Phillips is at FSE.
Rita Rudner is at the Venetian.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Rice & Company at Mandalay Place celebrate the 7th anniversary of Carrot Top’s show with a sushi roll in his honor created by the comic himself. And Max Pawn (on the NE corner of Sahara and Jones) hosts a meet-and-greet and autograph signing with Seth Gold from Tru TV’s “Hardcore Pawn.”
SUNDAY, NOV. 25
Xoch is at Vinyl.
We’ll have photo reports of the Thanksgiving weekend on Sunday and then on Monday a heartbreaking interview with Chippendales dancers Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis, who are currently competing on Season 21 of CBS’ “The Amazing Race.”
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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