Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 | 8:22 p.m.
DJ Baauer’s Harlem Shake
It was 2 a.m. today when a private jet from New York touched down at McCarran Airport’s Signature air terminal with the precious cargo of 17 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue supermodels. Led by repeat cover girl Kate Upton and Alabama sensation Katherine Webb, they checked into The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas by 3 a.m.
Also on the flight for the Las Vegas festivities were Cintia Dicker, Jessica Gomes, Julie Henderson, Ariel Meredith, Genevieve Morton, Jessica Perez, Irina Shayk, Anne V, Adaora, Nina Agdal, John Legend’s fiancee Chrissy Teigen, plus, 2013 Swimsuit Edition rookies Natasha Barnard, Kate Bock, Hannah Davis and Emily Didonato.
Today starts a three-day spree of nonstop events and parties. This afternoon, they’re at Nobu Caesars Palace, followed by a live Internet broadcast from Garden of the Gods Pool as the Octavius Tower facade is wrapped in street-to-roof images of the bikini beauties.
Tonight’s first party is at Marquee. The launch of the mega-issue celebrating 50th years goes into overdrive Thursday at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. The models will be joined by UNLV mascot Hey Reb as they take half-court shots at an oversized hoop to pay tribute to the NCAA conference championships here. The models will wear jerseys of Pac-12, Mountain West, West Coast Conference and Western Athletic Conference schools.
GUESSING GAME: Officials from Cirque du Soleil and the executors of the Michael Jackson Estate confirmed Tuesday that they will reveal details and the title of the new Mandalay Bay residency show at a media conference Feb. 21. The guessing game has started as to whether it will be known as “MJ1” or “MJ One” -- or with his name spelled out when they unveil the logo.
Show Director Jamie King and Creation Director Welby Altidor will be there with legal eagle John Branca, who runs the estate, plus, Cirque President Daniel Lamarre. Vegas DeLuxe has reported that the cast from Montreal headquarters begins rehearsals before month’s end in the theater now that construction is complete, with previews commencing May 23 ahead of the June 21 gala premiere.
PRIZED PHOTOS: National Geographic’s 50 greatest photos from its 125-year history will go on show at a VIP gala tonight for the first time at the Imagine Exhibitions Gallery in The Venetian; we posted a Jan. 30 story about the exhibit. The images include the Afghan girl photo by Steve McCurry and the Nick Nichols image of Jane Goodall and her chimpanzees.
Images from photos taken before and after the prized shots will be shown for comparison purposes. It will remain open through year’s end and includes stories behind the photos and the photographers. About 1,000 photos appear in the 12 monthly issues from the 1.5 million shots taken on assignment. These, in the opinion of photo editors, are the best 50.
SHOCK-AND-AWE JUMPS: Comedian Andrew Dice Clay jumps from Riviera to Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel with a residency starting March 14. His shocking jokes and controversial cutups kick off with 20 shows through May 26, with more shows to be announced later.
MUSIC NOTES: New nightclub resident DJ Baauer, who will be on duty behind the decks when Light at Mandalay Bay opens in April, has a viral hit on his hands with “Harlem Shake.” It has gone global with various groups doing their version of the dance that reminds of Psy’s “Gangham Style.”
Congratulations to “American Idol” Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks on his Grammy Award win. The Paris headliner won for helping parody Rebecca Black’s “Friday” on Jimmy Fallon’s comedy album “Blow Your Pants Off.” Taylor performs in Napoleon’s until year’s end.
The Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from June 21-23, and in its 17th anniversary year, will feature more than 100 DJs, plus, 500 theatrical performers and pyrotechnics.
Hot off the grill! Congratulations to Donna Willey, who worked under the Border Grill team of Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken and Mike Minor, on being named executive chef of the newly reopened Canonita at The Venetian.
Check out chef Michael Mina’s CookTasteEat.com on Thursday for my on-set filmed segment about Valentine’s Day treats of caviar and champagne.
The Art and Wine Perfect Pairing will be a regular second Wednesday of every month event at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, and it begins tonight as Wine Director and Master Sommelier Jason Smith pours and Art Director Tarissa Tiberti leads through Andy Warhol’s “Out West” exhibit.
Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman is at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts accompanied by Rohan De Silva.
The new Harlem Globetrotters world tour lands at the Thomas & Mack Center, and fans can write a rule the players won’t know until before the final whistle that could affect the game’s outcome.
Comedian Jim Florentine stands in for Louie Anderson at his Palace Station theater.
Every $20 flight via Flightlinez on Fremont Street Experience from 6 p.m. to midnight will be donated to The Mob Museum as part of its first anniversary Thursday, and riders also get a $2 discount on museum tickets.
We’ll have a report, photos and video of the Sports Illustrated models’ first night. Plus, Michael Bolton and Smokey Robinson at the Home Shopping Network event at The Venetian.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas dares to be different. From the hotel’s red reservations desks to fine art found throughout the resort, The Cosmopolitan’s signature style is helping to pave its own path on the Las Vegas Strip.
Upon entering the resort, you’re greeted by pillars of video boards playing video art by Digital Kitchen and David Rockwell Studio exclusively produced for The Cosmopolitan. Just beyond that, you’ll find all your favorite casino games on the resort’s 100,000-square-foot casino floor.
The Cosmopolitan’s rooms standout as the resort’s most unique feature. About 2,220 of The Cosmopolitan’s 2,995 rooms have 6-foot deep terraces that span the length of the room, a first at a modern Strip hotel. Other in-room amenities include soaking tubs, kitchenettes and quirky accessories like artsy coffee table books.
The dining experience at The Cosmopolitan isn’t something you’ll find at other Strip resorts, either. All of The Cosmopolitan’s 13 restaurateurs are new to the Las Vegas market. You’ll find American steakhouse fare in a modern setting at STK, top-notch sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill and the freshest fish flown in from the Mediterranean daily at Estiatorio Milos.
Whether the sun is up or down, Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub is the place to find the party at The Cosmopolitan. The venue is a dayclub/nightclub, complete with a pool and cabanas outside and three different rooms with three different vibes inside.
If nightclubs aren’t your thing, you can grab a drink at one of The Cosmopolitan’s five other bars, like The Chandelier, which is encased in 2 million dripping crystals.