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April 17, 2014

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Photos: Third-annual Winter in Venice spotlights Celtic Woman, ‘Panda,’ Human Nature and chefs

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

The third-annual Winter in Venice at the Venetian, pictured here on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, includes Celtic Woman, resident headliners Human Nature and ice skating.

2013 Winter in Venice

The third-annual Winter in Venice at the Venetian, pictured here on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, includes Celtic Woman, resident headliners Human Nature and ice skating. Launch slideshow »

Winter in Venice at Venetian

Seven-year-old Lilly Randoph, center, looks on with amazement at a snowflake entertainer on stilts as attendees snap photos during the 2013 Winter in Venice Holiday Spectacular at the Venetian Wednesday evening in Las Vegas November 20, 2013. Launch slideshow »

‘Panda’

“Panda.” Launch slideshow »
Click to enlarge photo

The third-annual Winter in Venice at the Venetian, pictured here on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, includes Celtic Woman, resident headliners Human Nature and ice skating.

This year’s third-annual Winter in Venice celebration at the Venetian and Palazzo is a true global experience: In addition to resident stars Human Nature from Australia, the glamour girls of Celtic Woman from Ireland and the cast of the spectacular “Panda” from China have made the trek to the Strip, proving it the crossroads at the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Executives of the two casino resorts introduced Wednesday night’s sneak previews of the new shows to kick off Winter in Venice. It also proved the perfect opportunity to promote the star-chef December weekends packed with a four-day Italian food-and-wine festival with Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck and Buddy Valastro and a Culinary Clash contest with Emeril Lagasse and yours truly.

Our thanks to contributing photographers Tom Donoghue and Mona Shield Payne for their coverage of the star performances in Sands Showroom and then outdoors at the Doges Palace forecourt with its ice-skating rink, brightly lit Christmas tree and festival characters and entertainers.

Human Nature unveiled its new first-ever Christmas album and performed a few Motown and holiday classics, including a doo-wop version of “White Christmas” with contrabass Toby Allen in a rare lead.

The four model beauties from Celtic Woman sang traditional Christmas songs, including “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” plus, the Josh Groban hit “You Raise Me Up.”

Several cast members of “Panda” performed vignettes from the extravaganza. The show opens Dec. 16 on the much-larger stage of the Palazzo theater, so the preview was confined to dazzling the audience with two Pandas, an amazing stick-balancing acrobat and two unique dancers.

No wonder Cirque du Soleil scouts for Asian acrobats, but “Panda” has never-before-seen talents and the Kung Fu Monks. Executives predict that the show will be a major attraction for all the family, plus, Chinese New Year visitors celebrating Year of the Horse.

Winter in Venice continues through Jan. 5.

Las Vegas Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy contributed to this report.

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.

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