Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 | 6 p.m.
Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors this thrilling Thursday:
* Plans to shutter and then make over Haze at Aria have been temporarily shelved. The Light Group executives have decided to keep it open as is through Dec. 31 and then early in the New Year give it a new, updated look.
* Former female world boxing champion Ana Julaton, who trains here, will take on Perla Hernandez in a 10-round fight in Yucatan, Mexico, on Nov. 1 in an attempt to avenge her last loss. Perla is on a seven-fight undefeated streak.
Ana told me: “ This one is no walk in the park, and I have to be stronger than last time out. A shot at the title hangs in the balance, thus, defeat is not an option. I could have chosen an easier opponent, but I want the real test to put myself back into title contention.”
* Las Vegas-based chef “Sammy D” DeMarco (formerly First Food & Bar, Rattlecan at Palazzo) has won a new 13-episode Travel Channel series titled “Chow Masters.” The half-hour show features Sammy with best friend, Hollywood director Frank Coraci, as they hit the road to find the tastiest and most creative comfort food in America.
City by city, their quest takes them off the map searching for the three most innovative and delicious twists on comfort-food classics. The chow buddies sample the entries and judge which contender will win $10,000 and the Golden Skillet Award.
*Controversial and acerbic food critic Anthony Bourdain is returning shortly to Las Vegas for filming, but the places he’ll visit are still secret for now.
KITCHEN MAYHEM: Former Cosmopolitan chef Shirley Chung from Jose Andres’ China Poblano was again safe on Wednesday night’s Season 11 of “Top Chef” in New Orleans on Bravo. But next week, things get a little heated when a key ingredient she plans on using goes missing. Will she survive? Check Bravo Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
WALKING MAN: One-time British paratrooper Karl Bushby, who has walked 20,000 miles around the world the past 15 years, has just successfully trekked across Death Valley, Calif., and expects to arrive on the Strip over the weekend to check into Caesars Palace on Monday. I first chronicled his amazing story about a month ago.
This is his one luxury stay on his current 3,000-mile leg from Los Angeles to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., where he will try to persuade officials to grant him a visa so he can complete the longest continuous walk in history. He has 16,000 miles to go. Caesars employees will give him a giant welcome as his name and world records go up on the Strip marquee.
Early Monday, I’m going to walk part of the arrival with him. He’s set to spend three days here with former Mayor Oscar Goodman and Zappos chief Tony Hsieh downtown and watch Cirque du Soleil’s “Love”at the Mirage and “Jubilee!” at Bally’s. My pal Michael Boychuck will give him the Color salon treatment of a haircut, beard trim, manicure and, obviously, a pedicure.
Star chef Gordon Ramsay will host him for British food at his Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars and before setting out on foot for the nation’s capital will fuel up at nearby Bacchanal Buffett.
MOVIE MUST: The moving Emmy- and GLAAD-winning “Prayers for Bobby” with Sigourney Weaver will be released Tuesday tied to Friday’s National Coming Out Day. I received a copy recently with an invitation to write a review. You can see it on the “Prayers for Bobby” website, and the film truly makes a difference in people’s lives all over the world. Here’s what I wrote:
“Prayers for Bobby” is poignant beyond words featuring brilliant acting by Sigourney Weaver. Her sincerity regarding the message comes through so powerfully. This film is so important for everybody to view at this time considering the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Whatever your view on the subject, “Prayers for Bobby” is essential viewing — a multi-award-winning film you must not miss.
This is what Hollywood can do so well when it wishes — to tell a great story, make people think and convey a thought-provoking message — in this case one of tolerance, understanding and acceptance, making it one of the best LGBT themed films ever made (and it’s no wonder it garnered so many accolades). A very powerful, endearing film.
The L.A. Lakers battle the Sacramento Kings at 7 p.m. at MGM Grand Garden Arena for the first time.
The world blues concert at Smith Center features Mississippi blues to African rhythms to Hawaiian stylings with Grammy-winning Taj Mahal Trio and Fredericks Brown with Taj’s daughter and Vusi Mahlasela.
Be Like Max, The Pietasters and The Remedies are at Hard Rock Live on the Strip.
The Animal Foundation’s second-annual benefit Puppy Mixer is at Marquee Dayclub in the Cosmopolitan.
It’s Fright Night for the second evening of the downtown PollyGrind film festival with more than 100 films from 13 countries running through Sunday. Go to PollyGrind.com for titles and screening times.
Bon Jovi, Korn, Darius Rucker, Pet Shop Boys, Josh Groban, Panic! At the Disco, Billy Ocean, Melissa Manchester and Survivor headline the weekend music attractions as fight fans check out the showdown between Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez at the Thomas & Mack Center. Plus, daredevils will go over the edge of Planet Hollywood and rappel 350 feet down the side of Planet Hollywood in a Special Olympics Nevada fundraiser.
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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