Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 | 6 p.m.
It’s an electrifying, high-voltage, superstar, culture-clash weekend that could only happen in Las Vegas. Talk about opposites attract!
For music fans, Beyonce returns with her “Mrs. Carter Show,” while 24 hours later under the same roof at MGM Grand Garden Arena, opera’s leading tenor Andrea Bocelli will sing with a full black-tie classical orchestra.
Beyonce’s nearly two-hour spectacular includes 30 of her hits, even if some are shorter than normal. You’ll get an opening video of her in powdered wig as an Elizabethan queen before she struts onstage in a short, white beaded jumpsuit.
Expect a deliberate, wardrobe-malfunction sequined spectacle from Jay-Z’s better half as she transforms into Sasha Fierce, a “Run the World” dominatrix and Beyonce Naughty writhing sensually atop a white baby grand piano and using a zip-line to propel herself to a second smaller stage. She’s backed up by nine female dancers and French twin brothers Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, known to Cirque du Soleil fans here for their rubber legs.
The clash of cultures continues: cowboys and bucking broncos have their 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo underway going almost nowhere within that high-flying, 8-second time limit, while NASCAR Champion’s Week’s 13 top racecar drivers crown Jimmie Johnson as their champion for the sixth time.
Then Christmas carols take on country western hits: Our hometown’s regular Entertainer of the Year Clint Holmes and wife Kelly Clinton Holmes sing the magic of the season all weekend at Smith Center, while a contingent of country stars from Dierks Bentley and Clay Walker to Dwight Yoakam entertain the 50,000 cowboys and cowgirls in their boots and Stetsons who have invaded the Strip for 2013 Wrangler NFR.
It’s no illusion, and your eyes aren’t playing tricks when superstar singer and Caesars Palace headliner Shania Twain greets more than 10,000 Santa-suited enthusiasts for our annual Opportunity Village Great Santa Run downtown at Fremont Street Experience on Saturday morning. Despite below-30-degree temperatures and possible snow, Shania is our gracious grand marshal as we attempt to hold on to our consecutive world record for “most Santas in one place,” beating back a serious challenge from Liverpool.
Don’t forget to leave a sweet treat for Santa come Christmas morning, and this weekend’s celebrity-studded grand opening of Sugar Factory at Town Square will meet your every need.
How sweet it is! And just as tasty are the treats we have in this edition of our weekly Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, DEC. 6
Beyonce is at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
MIX 94.1 presents Mark & Mercedes’ Not So Silent Night featuring The Fray, Gavin DeGraw, Five for Fighting and Las Vegas’ Offset Season at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Wynonna & The Big Noise are at Orleans Arena for two nights.
Dierks Bentley is at Pearl at the Palms.
Clay Walker is at Venetian Showroom for two nights.
Gretchen Wilson is at Golden Nugget for two nights.
Clint Holmes and his Kelly Clinton Holmes are at Cabaret Jazz in Smith Center all weekend.
Vicente Fernandez Jr. is at Eastside Cannery.
Viva! Tribute to Santana is at Cannery.
Thrillbilly Deluxe is at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Josh Thompson is at the Mirage.
New Riders of the Purple Sage is at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
Chad Freeman and Redline are at Tropicana for two nights.
Nashville Unplugged with Paul Overstreet and Danny Myrick with hosts Aaron Benward and Brian McComas are at the Quad all weekend.
Bridgette Tatum, Jason Matthews and Philip White perform “Whiskey & Words” at Lounge at the Palms for two nights.
Billy Childers is at South Point all weekend.
Paul Overstreet and Erin Enderlin are at Sunset Station.
LoCash Cowboys and Damsel are in the Gold Buckle Zone at MGM Grand.
Ron White is at the Mirage for two nights.
Bill Engvall is at Treasure Island.
Zach Risen, Wendy Liebman and Jim McCue are at the Improv at Harrah’s all weekend.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets are on sale for Garth Brooks’ return to the Wynn from Jan. 3-4 and Linkin Park on Jan. 10 and the Zac Brown Band from Jan. 11-12, both at the Joint.
Actor and “Extra” host Mario Lopez and The Bella Twins from WWE and E! Entertainment’s “Total Divas” host the grand opening of Sugar Factory at Town Square.
Winter in Venice at the Venetian features TV star chefs Mario Batali, Buddy Valastro and Italy’s famed singing butcher Dario Cecchini at the La Cucina Food and Wine Festival all weekend at the Venetian and Palazzo. “Cake Boss” star Buddy will be signing copies of his new cookbook at his new Buddy V’s Ristorante by the Grand Canal Shoppes.
The very sexy “Bettie Page Reveals All” featuring Hugh Hefner, Dita Von Teese and Rebecca Romijn starts its run at Village Square.
First Friday brings the magic of “Fantasia” to life downtown with Nevada Ballet Theater, traditional carolers and more.
The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens hosts its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic is at Bellagio.
Actor Josh Lucas is at Gold Coast for the “National Finals Tonight” broadcast to promote his new film “Bullrider.” Josh also will take part in the rodeo celebrity bowling tournament at Gold Coast on Saturday morning.
King of the Cage is at Eastside Cannery.
Steve Solomon’s “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m Home for the Holidays – The Therapy” continues at Smith Center all weekend.
The Western Gift Show, Art of the American Cowboy, World Series of Team Roping, World Futurity Bronc Finale and Benny Binion’s Bucking Horse & Bull are all at South Point all weekend.
Quarter Midget Racing is in the Harmon Lot at Orleans Arena.
The 10th Anniversary of Poker Royalty is at Lily ultra lounge in Bellagio.
The Official Mrs. Carter Show Tour After-Party with a performance by opening act Luke James is at the Bank in Bellagio.
Super-sexy “The Real World” starlet Melinda Stolp is at Crazy Horse III Gentlemen’s Club.
“Ink Master” Season 3 winner Joey Hamilton of Las Vegas is at Pure in Caesars.
SATURDAY, DEC. 7
Andrea Bocelli is at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The Las Vegas Philharmonic – Pops II – “We Love the Holidays” is at Smith Center.
All-4-One is at Suncoast Showroom.
The Casey Donahew Band is at the Mirage.
“Oh What a Night,” a musical tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, is at Santa Fe Station.
Jam Hsiao is at Orleans Arena.
Daryl Wright is at the Improv for two nights.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Shania Twain is the grand marshal at Opportunity Village’s Great Santa Run on Fremont Street,
Tickets go on sale for Britney Spears’ April-September dates for “Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood.
Artist Michael Godard hosts a two-day event, to debut his new pieces, and a meet-and-greet at his gallery in Miracle Mile Shops of Planet Hollywood.
Adult superstars Kaylani Lei, London Keyes, Cindy Starfall and Adrianna Luna host a meet-and-greet and autograph signing at Deja Vu Love Boutique.
Reality TV star Audrina Patridge is at Hyde Bellagio.
SUNDAY, DEC. 8
Dwight Yoakam is at Golden Nugget.
Craig Morgan is at the Mirage.
The 10th Annual Toys for Tickets starring Joe Nichols, Thompson Square, Joel Crouse, Brett Eldredge, Cassadee Pope and Elvis Monroe is at Sunset Station.
Cody Johnson is at South Point.
The outdoor holiday concert planned for Symphony Park with its 23-foot-tall Christmas tree and holiday decor and featuring Clint Holmes has been moved indoor to Cabaret Jazz due to the winter chill.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Circus Couture, founded by Cirque’s Erica Linz, presents “Possessions(s)” at the Hard Rock to benefit Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada, our only nonprofit outpatients clinic for kids with cancer.
Nothing but magic and nothing up their sleeves as Vegas Fantasma I.B.M. Ring 257 presents Goldfinger and Dove as Magician of the Year at Texas Station with The Amazing Johnathan, Max Maven and Fielding West.
Have a great weekend, stay warm, go support Shania and Opportunity Village, and check back with reports, photos and videos of all the excitement.
On Monday, our wrap of Mario and Buddy’s Italian star-chef festival. On Tuesday, a preview of the American Country Awards at Mandalay Bay Events Center and airing on Fox with hosts Trace Atkins and Danica Patrick. Plus, Britney Spears starts her full onstage rehearsals in advance of her Dec. 27 world premiere of “Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood.
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 Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.