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April 25, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Holly Madison’s 24-hour Disneyland visit; Celine Dion’s wax figure


Scott Harrison/Retna/

Holly Madison at the grand opening of Lik Gallery at Mandalay Place on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012.

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Holly Madison's T-shirt at Disneyland on Leap Day 2012.

2011 Miss Nevada USA Sarah Chapman

2011 Miss Nevada USA Sarah Chapman. Launch slideshow »

Celine Dion's Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas

Celine Dion's wax figure unveiling with Clark County Children's Choir at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas Walk of Stars: Engelbert Humperdinck

Engelbert Humperdinck receives a Las Vegas Walk of Stars honor at the Paris on July 20, 2011. His wife Patricia and children Scott, Jason and Louise were in attendance. Launch slideshow »

La Cage at the Riviera

A Dolly Parton impersonator at Launch slideshow »

Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health Grand Opening

The grand opening of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health on May 22, 2010. Launch slideshow »
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Oleksandra and Phil Ruffin and Daniel Lamarre with Mystere cast members at Treasure Island.

“Peepshow” blonde bombshell Holly Madison is taking on a unique Leap Day challenge today. A big fan of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., the Strip burlesque star is taking part in a 24-hour last visitor standing contest.

With her Planet Hollywood co-star Josh Strickland by her side for support, Holly began at 6 a.m. today and has to still be enjoying the rides at 6 a.m. Thursday. Disney officials decided to keep the attraction open for the round-the-clock marathon to mark Leap Day.

Josh told me: “I think I’m going to stay awake mainly in the restaurants there, but Holly wants to just ride nonstop all the attractions over and over if necessary. I’ll do them all once with her, but I think that will be my limit. She’s totally determined to still be going strong at 6 a.m. tomorrow.”

“Peepshow” is dark tonight, but Holly and Josh say they will be back for Thursday night’s show even if they sleep all day after the marathon.

LEAP DAY EVENTS: If you’re wondering about the origin of Feb. 29 and Leap Year, it started as a “fix” in Julius Caesar times. If we didn’t have an additional day on the calendar every four years, then five hours would be added to the year every decade. It may not seem much, but over a few centuries, it would mean celebrating Christmas in summer.

Happy Birthday to 2011 Miss Nevada USA Sarah Chapman, who is “7” today. She was born Feb. 29 but celebrates Feb. 28. She hosts her 28th birthday at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore tonight with her pageant and model girlfriends.

Anyone born on Leap Day receives free admission to Madame Tussauds at the Venetian today and can watch the unveiling of its wax figure of Celine Dion, who is being added to the Viva Vegas room. The Clark County Children’s Choir will perform “My Heart Will Go On“ at the 6 p.m. ceremony.

Vdara hosts an evening Leap Year Tweet-Up with tastings of Patron and ticket giveaways to the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational.

RADIO AND MAGAZINE HISTORY: I have to give a thank you to Las Vegas Motor Speedway PR whiz John Bisci, who in his previous life worked at WKBW that “drowned” the East Coast from its Buffalo, N.Y., bastion. In the late 1960s, I published a weekly pop music newspaper, Go Magazine, distributed nationwide through radio stations in the Top 50 cities. John, a fan of pop culture and WKBW memorabilia who was on air there in 1993, keeps a keen lookout on eBay and other sites. He bought a WKBW edition and found my name in the masthead. He checked with me to see if it was one and the same, and I confirmed the fact.

A day later, he gave me edition #85 from Nov. 3, 1967. Happy memories from the week that had Lulu atop the charts with “To Sir With Love” and Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Last Waltz” nipping at her heels. Our headline stories featured Davy Jones of the Monkees, who died today at age 66 of a heart attack; Eric Burdon and the Animals, who still play Las Vegas; and Bob Gaudio of the Four Seasons penning a popera that would eventually become “Jersey Boys.”

‘LA CAGE’ RETURNS TO MIRAGE: The female impersonator show “La Cage” returns to the Riviera tonight after a European tour. Producer and director Norbert Aleman says that it will now mark 27 years on the Strip as one of the longest-running shows here. Comedy lead and host Jimmy Emerson has been with it since the beginning as outrageous trailer-trash bimbo Tammy Spraynette.

Cast members impersonate Britney, Madonna, Liza, Dolly, Celine, Reba, Bette, Barbra and Lady Gaga. Norbert commented: “I am so excited and proud to be reopening ‘La Cage’ back at the Riviera, its original home. The cast is incredible and the talent truly authentic.”

$50 MILLION IN ART: A new 26,000-square-foot art gallery with works by Picasso, Chagall and Rembrandt has opened at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace.

The Martin Lawrence Galleries have more than $50 million in art on show, including Andy Warhol paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Mick Jagger and Mao. A multimillion-dollar Alexander Calder mobile is the centerpiece of the new gallery, which also is home to the works of Art Deco father Erte.

DISCUSSING PHILANTHROPY: Emmy Award-winning musician Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet, will make Thursday a historic day as philanthropists join forces to discuss how they might work together to improve the quality of life for Southern Nevadans. The Philanthropy Leaders Forum will be hosted at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and Smith Center for Performing Arts.

Along with Peter, speakers include Larry Ruvo, chairman of Keep Memory Alive; Alexandra Epstein, executive vice president of the El Cortez; Betsy Fretwell,, city manager of Las Vegas; and Zach Ware, campus development director of and its downtown project. Organized by Julie Murray, the forum will discuss how strategic philanthropy can provide a rewarding return on investment while making an indelibly positive mark on the community.


The cigar shop Casa Fuente at the Forum Shops hosts Glenfiddich brand ambassador Mitch Bechard as he opens the Cask of Dreams for a tasting directly from Scotland. Only 3,500 bottles exist, and Casa Fuente is the only Nevada location to carry the spirit. RPM at the Tropicana hosts its debut Go-Go-licious contest. Opening rounds of the West Coast Conference basketball championships get underway at Orleans Arena with teams from San Francisco, Portland, San Diego and Salt Lake City. Hack the Planet performs at the Snitch party in the Palms. And it’s in California, but I’m giving a shout-out to my sculptor friend Pal Kepenyes, who opens his newest exhibit and launches his book of metalwork at Boa Gallery in West Hollywood.


As “Mystere” gets ready to celebrate its 18th anniversary show for Cirque du Soleil at Treasure Island this weekend, we take a preview glimpse behind the scenes. The Mob Attraction reopens at the Tropicana with a new interactive look, plus the foundation for the new SkyVue Observation Wheel is set into place opposite Mandalay Bay.

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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  1. She looks good for 50.