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September 30, 2014

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Not expendable: Planet Hollywood’s reputation for star-studded events

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Tom Donoghue/www.donoghuephotography.com

Sylvester Stallone and Paula Abdul with Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl at Planet Hollywood on April 24, 2010.

When the word “Hollywood” is in your building’s very title, there is an expectation to celeb it up on occasion.

Even as the hotel was purchased this year by Harrah’s Entertainment, Planet Hollywood will remain the locale of recurring red-carpet events and movie premieres teeming with the stars of these films. The hotel's founder, Robert Earl, has scads of celebrity friends, many of whom will be at the hotel this week.

On Wednesday night, “The Expendables” celebrates its premiere at the hotel. Hotel spokeswoman Amy Sadowsky said today that those who are committed to attend include Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundrgren, Randy Couture, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Eric Roberts, Charisma Carpenter and Giselle Itie.

Carpenter, incidentally, is a Las Vegas native who attended Bishop Gorman High School before the family moved to Mexico then San Diego. She wound up graduating from Chula Vista School of Creative Arts. She has appeared in “Baywatch,” “Malibu Shores,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” and according to her IMBD bio, she was named for an Avon perfume and is not necessarily proud of that. So there’s the strong Vegas tie-in to the movie.

Wednesday’s gala event is the second major film premiere in the past four months at PH, following “Take Him to the Greek” in May. Within the past 12 months, the hotel has also served as the stage for “She’s Out of My League” and “The Goods.”

When asked if, under new ownership, hotel management might de-emphasize these events, Sadowsky said, “Not at all. We want to do as many as possible. It’s just a matter of securing the talent and making all the arrangements.”

It’s a daunting task, as these events are at once high-profile and high-maintenance.

Even so, there should be two more major premieres at the hotel before the end of this year: One pegged to Halloween and another for the holidays.

Wayner back at MGM Grand?

At this moment there is no confirmation for information conveyed, in the slightest manner possible, in a USA Today story about Wayne Newton’s contribution to the new game “Fallout: New Vegas.”

In an effort to broaden his entertainment horizon (as a performer, not a player, in this instance), Newton spent several hours one day in April recording voice-overs for the game in which he plays a DJ whose voice was recorded centuries before a nuclear attack that wipes out the entire country, sparing (I expect) Casa de Shenandoah.

However, in this piece it is noted that Newton’s show “goes to the MGM Grand this fall.” There has been no verification of Newton performing at MGM Grand from family or MGM Grand officials. His most recent, and possibly last, Las Vegas show was in April at the Tropicana. He hasn't performed at MGM Grand since the spring of 2009.

Of appearing in the video game, Newton told USA Today, "I have never been in a video game before and, frankly, have never played, simply because I have been working my whole life.” Working as a voice-over actor for video games, in part, and it’s all a vicious circle.

Where the pucks, and jaws, drop

Former Miss Nevada America Christina Keegan is a hockey fan in general and a huge Pittsburgh Penguins fan. She’s involved in the sport professionally now as an executive with the Las Vegas Wranglers, helping run the team’s ticket office.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.

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