Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 | 6:11 p.m.
More arts and entertainment
- Check out Robin Leach's VegasDeLuxe.com for more celebrity and A&E coverage.
Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion
Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion
The Box (Warning: Adult content)
Say au revoir to Stevie Wonder and allo bienvenue to Andrea Bocelli. Superstar Celine Dion has decided that there will be new gowns and costumes along with a new virtual hologram duet when she returns to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace next week -- Dec. 28.
The Canadian singer has decided, at least for now, to replace the Stevie duet with “The Prayer” sung with Andrea. They performed it together on the 1999 Grammy Awards and recently in a PBS concert at New York’s Central Park.
Yes, that’s hit-maker David Foster at the piano at both performances, and since his show with young singing sensation Jackie Evancho is at Mandalay Bay on Dec. 29, might Celine just hop over from Caesars after her show and before his own concert ends? Just asking!
Celine says there will be costume changes in the Michael Jackson tribute and in a new song that’s being added to the nightly rundown. She’s planning two studio albums in 2012, one in English for April release and a French-language collection for October. The first will include several Caesars favorites, including Journey’s “Open Arms” and the incredible Jacques Brel classic “Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away).”
Incidentally, ticket sales for David’s concert with Jackie are among the fastest selling in Mandalay Bay box office history.
EROTIC BOX NIGHTCLUB: Vegas DeLuxe has previously reported that the trendy and erotic Box nightclub from New York is headed here. Now we can confirm that it will open in originally planned but never used theater space in the Venetian’s Grand Canal near Tao. The Box boasts it’s “a place unlike any other,” and one of my friends who visited recently said “it’s like nothing you can even imagine.”
At first, the Box looks like the ultimate setting for a perfect dinner theater with two bars, a stage and private, curtained-off VIP balcony booths in the armchair mezzanine area. Wagon-wheel chandeliers and mirrored walls and a curving Persian staircase with a New Orleans bordello feel belie the intrigue and eroticism that follows dinner. Is “Eyes Wide Shut” about to spring itself on Vegas? What will our strict, by-the-law city leaders and police have to say about the outrageous nightspot?
No expense was spared converting a former N.Y. sign factory into Hammerstein Ballroom before it became the Box with its state-of-the-art stage for interesting and eclectic acts. They’re described as human oddities, bizarre circus acts and wild, wacky and fearless performance artists.
MEDIA MAYHEM: It was three days of back-to-back insanity keeping up with the Kardashians, Britney Spears, Jason Trawick, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as they all came to town in what was supposed to be one of the quietest weekends on the calendar. Instead, I was kept hopping ’round the clock so that Vegas DeLuxe readers remained informed. I even managed to snap a few of my own photographs from Britney and Jason’s birthday bash and engagement celebration. Nowhere near as good as Denise Truscello’s official photographs that we posted, but proof positive I was up front and in the thick of the action.
SHARKS AND STINGRAYS: Incidentally, before Angelina, Brad and the brood left town after seeing Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson’s The Immortal World Tour” at Mandalay Bay, they also all visited the resort’s Shark Reef Aquarium, North America’s only predator-based aquarium. Brad was kept busy pointing out sharks, stingrays, endangered green sea turtles, a rare golden crocodile and other underwater life to the children, but once again bodyguards prevented any photographs being taken.
BLOOD DONATIONS: Rio headliners Penn & Teller kicked off the 13 Bloody Days of Christmas holiday blood drive when Penn donated important platelets. For the 11th consecutive year, the duo has teamed up with United Blood Services to raise awareness of the need for donations during the holidays. The drive will run through New Year’s Eve at UBS locations and mobile units. Penn & Teller are giving each donor two comp tickets to their show as a thank you.
NECK-AND-NECK PLAYBOY VOTING: Keeping you abreast of the neck-and-neck race amid heavy breathing -- whoops, sorry -- voting between July’s Las Vegas beauty Jessa Hinton and January’s Anna Berglund among the 12 competing Playmates of the Year at Playboy.com. Jessa and Anna are getting a lot of attention, and obviously we’re rooting for our hometown knockout. Your vote counts because Hef has dated Anna, which makes her the insider’s choice! The results will be announced at the Palms again in April.
*Congratulations to “Mindfreak” magician Criss Angel, who celebrated his 44th birthday over the weekend in between performances of his Cirque show “Believe” at the Luxor.
*My good friends actress Joan Severance and actor Dennis Haskins called me after filming steamy scenes for a new movie in Hollywood to assure it was only “acting for the cameras,” but then she jumped him on the bed with a fake “O” to the amusement of the crew. She’ll be here for New Year’s.
*Turns out that Studio 54 isn’t going to close the first week of January. MGM execs say it will now stay open until Feb. 4 for its closing bash, and then construction workers move in to transform it into a new Angel Management Group 4-story complex with a upper-deck pool for daytime and nighttime parties.
*It’ll be confusing when two same-named, yet unrelated Public House restaurants open here, but the one at the Venetian opening New Year’s Eve is owned by restaurateur Billy Richardson, and the other at the Luxor is a spinoff from the New York pub. Billy’s will serve more than 200 beers at the bar that wraps around the DJ to deliver on the motto “United We Stand Pint in Hand.”
*A new theater -- the Giordano -- opens in January near the food court at Fashion Show Mall. Impressionist Rich Natole is first to sign on with his show “Voices of a Generation,” followed by magician Arian Black’s “Senses” as the main primetime production.
*Check out this absolutely mindboggling YouTube video. It has nothing to do with the Las Vegas entertainment scene, but it is one of the most amazing videos I’ve ever seen. Maybe Cirque will bring some of these extraordinary daredevil acrobats here. My only question: How the heck did the photographers shoot the various feats?
Please join me at Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest -- it’s a sensational holiday extravaganza with an enchanted carousel and the Forest Express train. And Redfoo of LMFAO hosts Party Rock at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan.
We’ll preview the new nightclub 1OAK taking over the Mirage space formerly occupied by Jet. Black Eyed Peas bombshell Fergie hosts the gala New Year’s Eve opening. Plus, sexy photos of the new iCandy Burlesque beauties at the Tropicana and a tour of the Magical Forest.
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.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.