Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 | 3:03 p.m.
After a hiatus from their weekend residency shows at the Mirage, Boyz II Men are back after tour dates with New Kids on the Block and 98 Degrees. Their residency was extended through year’s end, and now I’ve learned that they are near finalizing a new extension to take them through 2014.
I originally reported that they faced the renewal decision before they took off on tour, and they have decided to stay on for the New Year if the dates can be finalized to the group and Mirage’s satisfaction.
Group member Shawn Stockman is looking forward to performances through December: “Las Vegas is one of the most exciting cities in the world, but what’s really special for us is to be in one place for an extended period of time so we can focus on the show. Also with Las Vegas being such a tourist destination, it gives fans from all over the opportunity to come see us while they are in town.
“We’re used to being a touring group and usually are on the road eight months of the year. Having a residency is great because it gives us a chance to settle in and get to know the crowds and the venue. Of course, what’s better than spending time in Las Vegas? We love touring and being on the road, but being at the Mirage has been an amazing change of pace.”
The group’s nightly give-away of long-stemmed red roses has delighted fans — and florists. Said Shawn: “It started off as just a way to show our appreciation and give a little something extra to the ladies in the crowd. We didn’t know it would become something we’re known for, but we love our fans, and we’re all about including that little extra special touch.”
CIRQUE CONTROVERSY: Officials with Cirque du Soleil have ordered the Tiananmen tank man photograph removed from “Michael Jackson — The Immortal World Tour” stops in China. I reported this week that the 4-second iconic shot, which is banned in China, was shown during the “They Don’t Care About Us” montage of civil-rights protests during the Beijing stop.
Cirque execs say that the full show was approved by Chinese Ministry of Culture officials, but it was only after first-night audience reaction and blog photographs of the forbidden image that Cirque yanked it.
WORLDWIDE BROADCAST: Rock fans worldwide will now be able to watch the fourth annual Vegas Rocks Magazine Music Awards on Aug. 25 from the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel. Show host and publisher Sally Steele tells me her event with Vince Neil, Slaughter, Queensryche, Carl Palmer, Geoff Tate, Jon Anderson and more will be streamed live at StageIt.com.
MOB ARTIFACTS: Artifacts from one-time Treasury Department chief Elmer Irey, who prosecuted many notorious mobsters until his 1946 retirement, have been donated to our National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement — more familiarly known as the downtown Mob Museum. The T-Man who headed the IRS Intelligence Unit and the Secret Service had photos, documents and correspondence with FDR and Charles Lindbergh in his collection donated by his daughter, Carole.
The Treasury chief is credited for the prosecutions of Al Capone, Waxey Gordon, Johnny Torrio and others and also for capturing suspected Lindbergh baby kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann. The new exhibits are being organized now for a public showing next year.
Strip House at Planet Hollywood is celebrating its sixth anniversary next month, and executive chef John Schenk has created a $52 Surf and Turf special for the month with six-ounce filet mignon, six shrimp, potatoes, spinach and a 24-layer chocolate cake.
A second Las Vegas location of Lucille’s Smokehouse opens Monday at Red Rock Resort. The first is at the District in Green Valley Ranch, and the addition brings the number to 18 in California, Arizona and Nevada. The Red Rock location features a Southern Pride smoker and blues music in the Flying Pig lounge.
FIGHTING FEMALE: Las Vegas boxing champion Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton has arrived in Cancun, Mexico, and is working out there in the 90-degree, 70-percent humidity temperatures for her Saturday battle against Celina Salazar. “It’s going to be a hell of a fight, very entertaining,” she said. “If you never saw fireworks in Cancun, this will be the time. We’re treating it like a title fight.”
The 10-round, non-title bout will be shown here live on Fox Sports; our guest column with her was posted Aug. 6. If she wins Saturday night, expect to see her on the upcoming Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez undercard at MGM Grand on Sept. 14. Follow Ana’s pre-fight activities @anajulaton.
DEPARTMENT OF RIDICULOUS: A well-dressed, well-heeled lady shopping at one of our hotel casino malls purchased several pairs of expensive pantyhose that were printed to look like a garter belt and thigh-high lace stockings. She decided to wear one set while continuing her shopping spree.
Within five minutes, she was stopped by a female security officer and ordered to leave the mall instantly for walking around in her underwear. Despite the shopper’s protests that they were respectable pantyhose, she was escorted out of the mall and told to stay inside the casino where the lingerie wouldn’t attract so much attention!
CANINE KUDOS: Tropicana headliner magician Murray Sawchuck and his “Fantasy” at the Luxor dancer wife Chloe Crawford host a charity show today at Tropicana to raise funds for the charity Friends for Life Humane Society to save dogs from kill shelters in Nevada.
Las Vegas entertainers including Frankie Moreno, violinist Jennifer Lynn, legally blind juggler Nino Frediani and “Raiding the Rock Vault” musician Paul Shortino have pledged to walk the red carpet and perform.
Singer, actress and new Las Vegas resident Pia Zadora watched Terry Fator’s headliner show at the Mirage with her son Tuesday night and went backstage and posed for a photograph.
Singer and actor Chris Isaak is at Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
Las Vegas songwriters and music composers have their own Composers Showcase at Smith Center after Chris’ show.
The bountiful bombshell beauties of Crazy Horse III host their Reload party at LAX in the Luxor.
It’s champagne madness at the Act in Palazzo to benefit Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation. All $50 bottles of bubbly bought benefit the organization.
As we mark the death of Elvis Presley, who would have been 78 on Friday, we look back with Elvis expert and biographer Cory Cooper on the impact the King of Rock and Roll had on Las Vegas. Elvis died at age 42 on Aug. 16, 1977, in Memphis. Plus, Part 2 of our look at the downtown revival with changes just ahead at Golden Gate.
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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Tropicana Las Vegas sits on the south-east corner of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, an intersection which has the most adjacent hotel rooms in the world, also making it one of the most busy. The hotel has 1,658 rooms, three restaurants, a 62,011-square foot casino and a spa.