Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 | 4:08 p.m.
Las Vegas VIPs are concerned that the new TLC reality TV series “High Rollers” will wind up showing our city in a bad light. Some who have been privy to scenes filmed here are fearful that editors and producers will “cut it up and re-stitch it” to show the opposite side of Las Vegas’ generosity, charity goodwill and good-neighbor concerns. The program is reporting premiering in December.
Much of the concern is focused on outspoken Russian-born Lana Fuchs, who heads her own fashion line and eyebrow-raising named Billionaire Mafia stores. Lana also has her Emerald Dream Charity Foundation. Lana moved here from California and had her first ready-to-wear collection in 2004. Singer Paula Abdul regularly wore her designs on “American Idol.”
The entrepreneur made headlines on “20/20” when she talked of lavishing her children with Grammy Award VIP tickets, designer shop-at-home sprees and million-dollar parties as incentives to work harder. She said that the tactic reinforces motivation for her children to aim for and reach higher goals: “They say bribing; I say rewarding.” Here’s the Barbara Walters interview with Lana on YouTube.
Barbara Walters interviews Lana Fuchs
She raised controversy giving her son a party with scantily clad striptease dancers. Lana also shared her love for guns with ABC in a video clip taking her daughter on a shooting expedition.
Lana has defended “High Rollers,” saying it will be classy and show women as strong business role models inspiring young women to get into the business world. It’s being produced by the same company that oversees “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” for Bravo, who turned down a Las Vegas series.
“High Rollers” also features pro poker princess Jennifer Harmon, cosmetics company owner Lori Montoya, Amy Hanley, the daughter of reputed mobster Tom Hanley, and TV journalist and beauty queen Alicia Jacobs.
One prominent, well-respected Las Vegas attorney told me Wednesday: “If it makes a joke of how we really live here, that would be a disgrace. Many of my business associates and friends find it very upsetting that the eccentric actions of a few over-the-top people might reflect badly on all of us here who work hard, aren’t frivolous and donate generously to hometown charities.”
DARK CINEMA: Known as the film festival of a different breed, PollyGrind is set to ride the “Road to Hell” with legendary cult filmmaker Albert Pyun. The rock-opera thriller opens the B-movie sleaze fest as the main event on Oct. 17. It stars pop rocker Roxy Gunn, who’ll perform with her band Project at the festivities.
PollyGrind’s first year screened 40 movies over five days. Last year, the event grew bigger with more than 100 projects in 10 days. This year, it will kick off Oct. 5 with the annual red carpet zombie walk, a zombie cupcake eating contest and an art show in our downtown Arts District.
Later this month, organizers will give away 2,500 tickets in exchange for donated can goods in hopes of raising at least 1,000 pounds for our food bank Three Square. This is everything from art house to grindhouse, and organizers say: “We don’t think outside the box. PollyGrind thinks outside the outside -- the darker side of cinema and the artists who bring that to life.” For more information on the festival or to watch the “Road to Hell” trailer, visit Pollygrind.com.
‘TOP CHEF MASTERS’ PICNIC: The promos began airing Wednesday night during Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” Season 4, so we can finally confirm that we took part in the near-final, all-white-decor, pop-up picnic challenge> outside the Venetian.
Early one Saturday morning last fall, I was given the James Bond assignment of rustling up five gorgeous girls dressed in white to join me for the secret filming with hosts Curtis Stone, James Oseland and Ruth Reichl. I’ll give you the pop-up picnic challenge full story and photos on Wednesday before the episode airs that night.
It was a long but successful day, albeit with some very unhappy chefs. Wednesday night’s episode filmed at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, which has served as headquarters for this season, featured Sugar Ray Leonard and Dita Von Teese and saw the elimination of Takashi Yagishi. The winner earns $100,000 for the charity of his or her choice.
DREAM COMES TRUE: Tonight, an 88-year-old Las Vegas resident, Tommy, is granted his musical dream. A U.S. Air Force veteran decorated with a Distinguished Flying Cross, Tommy performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” 13 times as the bass player with the Goofers. He wanted a Second Wind dream to feel like the star he once was. The cast of the Rio’s “The Rat Pack Is Back” will greet him with a red carpet welcome and a classic Big Band tribute.
Magician Murray Sawchuck celebrated his 100th show at Tropicana on Monday announcing his new Discovery Channel series “Delusional” and a contract extension through Halloween before he starts an Australian tour. Joining the festivities: Paris headliner hypnotist Anthony Cools, Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips, blind juggler Nino Frediano, British singer Ben Stone, Quiet Riot’s Paul Shortino and comic Harry Basil.
R&B singer Teyana Taylor was at Sugar Factory in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile shopping for her favorite green apple and blue raspberry Couture Pops. Teyana filled up a bag with gummy bears and also purchased Sugar Factory T-shirts.
Electro-house DJ Laidback Luke manned the turntables at Wet Republic in MGM Grand.
Chef Enzo Febbraro celebrates the grand opening of his Allegro in the Wynn with a private, VIP party.
It’s Fashion’s Night Out, and stars are joining fashionistas and shoppers alike; check out our rundown posted today.
PBR Rock Bar and Grill celebrates its second anniversary at the Miracle Mile Shops.
Two-time Grammy Award nominee, comedienne, actress and musician Margaret Cho is at the Mirage before taking on grand-marshal duties at First Friday’s Pride parade downtown Friday; check out colleague Andrea Domanick’s Q+A with the queen of comedy.
Singer Belinda Carlisle, Men Without Hats and A Flock of Seagulls are at Henderson Pavilion.
Tickets go on sale for Prince Royce’s Oct. 20 stop at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Queens of Comedy sharpen their knives to take over the Strip for some savage humor in our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview, and the hands of time turn back for Frank Sinatra Jr., Chicago and the Four Freshman celebrating 65 years of showbiz.
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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