Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012 | 2:58 p.m.
Tonight’s rushed Las Vegas premiere of “America’s Got Talent” on the heels of the Season 7 finale on NBC two weeks ago has been postponed due to an equipment malfunction.
Instead, comedian Tom Cotter, who placed 2nd in the Howard Stern, Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne judged contest, will introduce the $1 million-winning Olate Dogs starting Thursday at the Palazzo. Call them the kings of conga champion canines trained by Richard Olate and his son Nicholas. Count ’em -- there are 22 of our four-legged friends.
Richard is a third-generation circus performer born in South America to a life of poverty; he was the 21st child of 22 living in the slums of Santiago, Chile. His life with dogs started when he adopted a stray and taught him tricks. By age 12, he was working school shows and street fairs with three dogs. He moved to America and became a citizen with the circus act in 1989; all of his dog troupe have been rescued from shelters.
“The 24-hour delay is a miracle anyway since the show hadn’t even actually existed just two weeks ago,” I was told. “It was only with the finale we knew who we could bring to Las Vegas. Barring the one equipment problem, everything else has gone remarkably smoothly under the rush, high-speed circumstances.”
The eight-week engagement now starts Thursday with Tom as host. He’s no stranger to Las Vegas, having won comedy contests including the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, but it’s taken him 23 years to land a headliner gig on the Strip. Our Tropicana headliners Recycled Percussion, who placed 3rd on “America’s Got Talent” in Season 5, also star in the Palazzo show.
Spencer Horsman, the world’s youngest escape artist, will defy odds with his daring artistry. William Close , inventor of the Earth Harp, the longest-stringed instrument in the world, will play on strings that extend as far as 1,000 feet. Also on the bill, sand artist Joe Castillo and the electro-luminescent dancing performers Lightwire Theater.
Producers hope the eight-week run will create sufficient buzz and hefty box-office demand that “America’s Got Talent Live” will become somewhat of a full-time residency through next summer at the Palazzo with ever-changing acts from past “AGT” shows, including several Las Vegas acts.
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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With top accommodations, first-rate entertainment, high-end shopping and a slew of acclaimed chefs, the Palazzo has positioned itself as one of the most luxurious resorts on the Strip.
More than 3,000 all-suite rooms start at 740 square feet and are decorated in a modern, yet classic, Italian style. Each room features a sleeping area, with a king or two queens, and a sunken living room area with floor to ceiling windows.
A cathedral ceiling tops the Palazzo casino, while a second 80-foot dome brings natural light to the property's lobby. The 105,000 square foot casino features more than 2,000 slots and 80 table games but lacks the stale smell of cigarettes, as the property is LEED certified with smoking off limits in most of the Palazzo — including 50 percent of the casino floor.
Dining at the Palazzo is among the best of the Strip, starting with Wolfgang Puck's CUT. Chef Simon To serves up authentic Chinese cuisine at Zine, while Sushisamba combines Brazilian and Peruvian flavors with Japanese techniques. At LAVO, club-goers can dine on Mediterranean dishes before heading upstairs to the bath house-inspired nightclub.