Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 | 3:23 p.m.
On this Thursday, we have an abundance of ...
WICKED WHISPERS & RACY RUMORS
• Executives of the Flamingo and the Linq are in conversations about possibly moving the Mob Attraction from the Tropicana to their venue. They confirmed the discussions with me and plan to tour the museum of mayhem next week.
• It wasn't just by coincidence that Hakkasan had an extraordinary star turnout on one night with Jennifer Lopez, Kate Upton, Selita Ebanks, Roasario Dawson and Rita Ora, along with DJs Calvin Harris, Nervo and Rev Run. Click here for our report from earlier this week. The bill — with flights, hotel accommodations, personal appearance fees, restaurant charges and nightclub magnum Champagne blowouts — ran into the million$ for the money-no-object party. Hakkasan owners from London and Dubai joined with their Las Vegas partners for the bash, celebrating not only one of their birthdays but to mark milestone achievements in record revenues and customers. I was told it was the largest number of Champagne magnums popped since the club opened.
• The bashing of Britney Spears reached new lows and total stupidity yesterday with New York newspapers quoting anonymous sources that the pop princess was upset with how small the stage was at Planet Hollywood. Trouble with the made-up piece is that throughout the "startling disclosures" they referenced Holly Madison and Coco Austin's "Peepshow" mezzanine theater as Britney's new home. Anybody who has been following the story of her Strip residency knows that's not her theater! In fact, the under-construction PHLive ground-floor theater is in Miracle Mile at the casino entrance. It will be renamed for her "Piece of Me" two-year run and be one of the largest stages in Las Vegas. Click here for my Britney update from Tuesday. Caesars Entertainment officials confirm that all VIP packages and almost all general seating tickets for the first 16 shows have been sold; they're working with Britney's team for her March, April and May dates.
MEAT LOAF'S RED CARPET: Cameras will be firing away furiously at tonight's all-star turnout for the media night of Meat Loaf's new show in Planet Hollywood's mezzanine theater. Meat will be there with his two daughters, Amanda and Pearl Aday. Other guests set for the red carpet include "Pawn Stars'"Rick Harrison , actors Adrian Zmed and Brent Cullen, Anthrax musician Scott Ian, former Meat Loaf guitarist Pat Thrall (our hometown Grammy-nominated recording engineer), MTV reality star Ricardo Laguna and "Ghost Adventures" investigator Zak Bagans. Strip performers expected include Carrot Top, Human Nature, members of the "Jersey Boys" and "Rock of Ages," showman Jeff Beacher, "Absinthe's" Melody Sweets, Angel Porrino, the gorgeous femmes fatales from "Fantasy" and "Divas Las Vegas" headliner Frank Marino — 24 hours in advance of his roast Friday night.
BRAVO! BRAVO! Wednesday's opening of "War Horse" at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts was such a powerful tour de force that the audience gave the large cast a standing ovation that was almost 10 minutes long. But it was the horse puppeteers and the "animals" themselves that won the biggest cheers. It truly was spellbinding to watch them perform and even more interesting to read the schematics in the building's lobby of how the magic was accomplished. Britain's National Theater has joined with South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company for the performances, which continue through Sunday. Sheer theatrical genius!
'EXORCIST' HOUSE: "Ghost Adventures" producer and lead investigator Zak Bagans tells me he fell ill after filming the scariest segment of his hit Travel Channel series at the original "Exorcist" house. Recovering at his Las Vegas home, Zak said: "At first I was very skeptical of the house still being haunted. I believed that the actual exorcism of a boy back in 1949 by Father William Bowdern that was the basis of the Linda Blair movie had been successful. The demon was cast out and sent back to hell — but I was completely wrong.
"We brought out the Ouija board and bad things occurred immediately and we started receiving intelligent responses spoken in Latin. A Roman Catholic exorcist who wound up in the hospital validated the spirit voices. Our engineer, Bill Chappell, conducted an experiment with a unique 3-D camera system and he captured visual evidence of things that just couldn't be explained."
The frightening episode with our three Vegas experts at the original "Exorcist" house airs Friday. "It was a truly terrifying investigation" said Zak, who keeps a real human skull in his basement. "We are still wondering if we'll regret doing it for the rest of our lives for the fear of the spirits attaching themselves to us."
CROSS-DRESSING ROAST: Boys will be girls and girls will be guys in the largest cross-dressing night of entertainment the Strip has ever seen, when "Divas" star Frank Marino is roasted at the Stratosphere tomorrow night for his 25 years in women's clothing. You can read Senior Editor John Katz's story here. He will join me on the stage, along with a dozen other entertainers — including Louie Anderson and the "Jersey Boys" cast, to fire up the insults and teases at this three-hour-plus entertainment extravaganza. Even the 11-piece band will be in drag to accompany the cast and dancers of Frank's show at the Quad! Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry will also join in the loving barbs directed at Frank — who has generously agreed that all proceeds go to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROY: There will be 250 VIPs helping celebrate Roy Horn's 69th birthday in the Mirage tonight; the event also marks the 10th anniversary of the tiger incident that almost cost him his life. He and Siegfried Fishbacher will officially announce their new Sarmoti Foundation, which protects endangered animals and supports Metro Police's K-9 unit. Click here for my Monday interview with the amazing men of magic. I have the honor and privilege tonight of introducing them.
Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno joined the "Million Dollar Quartet" cast at Harrah's in the guest encore to perform the Jerry Lee Lewis hit "Rocking My Life Away." It was "piano four hands" when he joined forces with actor Martin Kaye, who plays the wildly enthusiastic Jerry Lee.
Fans advise that the two sold-out Furthur shows by Bob Weir and Phil Lesh were one of the most incredible ever at the Pearl in the Palms.The all-star band included drummer Joe Russo, guitarist John Kadlecik, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, vocalists Sunshine Becker and Jeff Pehrson. They turned it into a jaw-dropping jam session.
• Multi-platinum recording artist Carly Rae Jepsen headlines the Unite Live Concert to Rock Out Bullying at the Thomas & Mack Center.
• It's the opening night of Frightdome's 11th Halloween season at Circus Circus and you can read my colleague Andrea Domanick's story here. The rival Freakling Bros. Horror Shows, with its Gates of Hell, Castle Vampyre and Circus of Horrors attractions, marks its 21st anniversary year as the Trilogy of Terror at the AMC Theaters on North Rainbow Boulevard.
• It's also media night for Meat Loaf at the Planet Hollywood mezzanine theater as I reported above; read my review of his premiere here.
• The amazing lifelike horse puppetry in the "War Horse," a drama about World War I, continues at the Smith Center.
• The annual BikeFest vendor village is open at the Cashman Center with charity rides, 200 stalls, the poker run and concerts at the Golden Nugget.
• The Pure Aloha Fall Festival is at the Rio through Sunday.
• G.Love and Special Sauce perform at the Boulevard Pool of the Cosmopolitan.
First Friday celebrates its 11th anniversary downtown as the largest arts and culture monthly festival in the southwest. Our Celebrity Preview welcomes the star chefs for the Fourth annual Food & Wine All-Star Weekend and Lady Antebellum and Depeche Mode headline the musical invasion.
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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