Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 | 7:12 a.m.
It’s a competitive Columbus Day weekend for music fans as rock and country go head-to-head, with everybody from Garth Brooks to Blondie to Blink-182 and Barry Manilow to Enrique Iglesias to Lupe Fiasco fighting for the spotlight. It’s encouraging in this economic downturn that tickets are high-priced and selling out.
Despite a comedy battle among Dennis Miller, Tim Allen, Ray Romano and Kevin James, the spotlight shines brightest on the legendary Liza Minnelli. She’s the veteran Vegas showroom superstar who makes rare and exclusive appearances here, and when she does, there are fireworks with her flawless performances.
I saw Liza’s newest show this summer in Europe when, without speaking one word of the native language, her vocals captivated and filled stadiums. In Italy under a full moon in an outdoor palazzo, she was nothing short of magnificent. Judy Garland’s daughter sings for her supper tonight and tomorrow when she’ll also host an intimate party for her friends from Nevada Ballet Theater after her Las Vegas Hilton concert as a fundraiser. If you haven’t made plans, then see if you can score last-minute tickets for Liza. It’s a music feast and treat!
Also this weekend: The Tropic Beauty Pageant at the Mirage and the counter-culture PollyGrind Film Festival at Theater 7 in the Arts District, as we reported yesterday. This darker-side, horror, art-house sexploitation fest has seven world premieres, two U.S. premieres and 25 Las Vegas premieres among more than 100 films focused on gore, blood, dark comedy and nudity. Eighty-two-year-old Herschell Lewis, aka “The Godfather of Gore,” is screening his latest movie.
Peepshow at Planet Hollywood headliner Holly Madison and yours truly are on keg-tapping duty for Oktoberfest at Hofbrauhaus this weekend, and I’m hoping that the weather warms up so that Blondie can perform at Mandalay Bay Beach without getting rained out or needing fur coats.
Bundle up, pull out those cashmeres and swap high heels for thigh-high boots as the Royal Robin Rundown warms up a very busy weekend.
Friday, Oct. 7, 2011
Oscar, Tony and Grammy winner Liza will be note and tune perfect at the Hilton. Her opening act is Jeff Tracta, who starred for eight years on The Bold and the Beautiful -- he’ll cram 50 voices into five minutes as part of the 100 impersonations in his performance. … Garth croons country at Encore Theater in the Wynn for two nights. … Don Henley is at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel. … Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance play Red Rock Amphitheater.
Slaughter rocks out at Boulder Station. … Tony Orlando ties a yellow ribbon all weekend at South Point. … Country’s top songwriters perform Nashville Unplugged at Green Valley Ranch. … Dom Kennedy is at Hard Rock Cafe on The Strip. … Benise is at Henderson Pavilion. … And Nesian N.I.N.E transform Veil Pavilion at Silverton Casino Lodge into a Hawaiian-themed paradise.
Comedy this weekend has kings and a queen: Dennis Miller spends the weekend at The Orleans with his political observations, Ray Romano and Kevin James entertain together for two nights at the Mirage, and Rachel Feinstein becomes an “Icon of Comedy” at the Hilton all weekend.
Of Special Note
Holly, who recently had her breasts insured for $1 million, taps the keg at Hofbrauhaus, while her loveable Holly’s World co-star Vegas vixen Laura Croft celebrates the grand opening of Night School 4 Girls at Excalibur and then hosts her “After-School Party” at Lavo in the Palazzo. … Tickets go on sale for the Dec. 3 The Ultimate Fighter finale with Team Bisping vs. Team Miller at The Pearl in the Palms. … The 18th Annual Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival is all weekend at Silver Bowl Park. … It’s the return of First Friday Las Vegas in the Arts District in its ninth year. … And the Sixth Annual Pure Aloha Festival continues all weekend at Silverton.
Ice Cube hosts at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens in the Paris. … Top DJs including Kaskade, Armin Van Buuren, Erick Morillo, Dash Berlin and more celebrate Columbus Day with a weekend-long music marathon at Marquee Dayclub and Nightclub at the Cosmopolitan. … Singer Angela Simmons hosts at Tryst in the Wynn. … Michelle Money of The Bachelor Pad 2 celebrates her birthday at Gallery Nightclub at Planet Hollywood. … And EC Twins host and spin at Tao in the Venetian.
Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
Journey, Foreigner and Night Ranger have a stop on their Eclipse Tour at MGM Grand Garden Arena. … Blondie, with frontwoman Debbie Harry, performs at Mandalay Bay Beach. … Incubus rocks The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, with bass player Ben Kenney performing solo at The Lounge after their concert. … Barry Manilow kicks off his 2011 final shows at the Paris through December until his New Year move to Harrah’s. … Enrique Iglesias with special guest Pitbull take over Red Rock Amphitheater. … The Smashing Pumpkins play Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan.
Dennis DeYoung and The Music of Styx are at the Cannery. … Chris Botti is at Green Valley Ranch. … Bill Fayne & Friends pay tribute to Stephen Sondheim for two nights at Suncoast. … Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark is at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. … Guam headliners Jesse & Ruby with Patrick Palomo & Friends entertain at the Pure Aloha Festival at Silverton. … And Ramona Ayala performs at Star of the Desert Arena in Primm.
Home Improvement star Tim Allen, who has a new comedy on ABC this fall, drops the wrench for standup at the Venetian.
Of Special Note
Two-time defending UFL champions the Las Vegas Locomotives host the Omaha Nighthawks for their 2011 home opener. I tap the keg at Hofbrauhaus to celebrate Oktoberfest. … Vegas Streets with music, artists and more is downtown. … And the Rose Regatta Dragon Boat races are at Lake Las Vegas.
Mario Lopez celebrates his birthday at Sugar Factory American Brasserie in the Paris and then at nearby Gallery. … LL Cool J also dines at SFAB, and then the Ladies Love Cool James afterward at Chateau. … Armin Van Buuren DJs at Marquee Dayclub, and then moves to Tao at night. … Rapper Chingy is at LAX in the Luxor. … How to Make It in America stars Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk host and party at Pure in Caesar Palace. … And Mario Barth presents Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas in a DJ set at King Ink at the Mirage.
Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011
Lupe Fiasco is at The Pearl. … Big D & The Kids Table prove that ska punk is alive and well at Hard Rock Cafe on The Strip. … And a free concert featuring Sweeney Todd highlights is at Lake Las Vegas.
Rush Hour actor and comedian Chris Tucker does standup at The Joint.
Las Vegas resident DJ Kaskade receives his 2011 America’s Best DJ Award, as we reported yesterday, at Marquee, and the hotspot not only is open for the occasion, but admission is free.
Actor, singer and dancer Rick Faugno bids adieu to his lead role as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys at the Palazzo and celebrates his new solo success with Body & Soul at the Hilton with an intimate party at Lavo. And Rehab’s season comes to a close at the Hard Rock Hotel with DJ sets by Chromeo, Cut Copy and Z-Trip.
We’ll post highlights throughout the weekend, so check back often, and then early next week, we’ll wrap up the stories and photos.
Now go celebrate the man who discovered that the world is round!
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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