Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 | 6:33 p.m.
Gossip that the new management team at the Riviera plans to reopen the legendary Versailles Theater tops off a wild wagonload of Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors this thrilling Thursday.
The Versailles has been shut now for more than two years after a run of the “Russian Ice” show and a “Fab Four Mania” salute to The Beatles ended. I remember it best as the incredible home of the spectacular show “Splash” created by Jeff Kutash.
To say it fell on hard times be an understatement, but I have been reliably told that work has begun on an expensive makeover, and the refurbishing will be completed by year’s end. Inside word is that it will reopen with an anchor show to display the new Riviera at its best.
I first reported the new Paragon Gaming management team of Scott Menke and Diane Bennett when I hinted that they also planned to revamp the hotel’s dining venues. Now I’ve heard that Las Vegas restaurateur and consultant Elizabeth Blau, who introduced many fine-food attractions to the Wynn before opening her Honey Salt with husband chef Kim Canteenwalla in Summerlin, is onboard, too, for the new-look Riv.
Now for more WW&RR:
* Which Las Vegas show producer and theater owner faces a $200,000 court lien because of another producer who fled at night when he ran out of funds to continue his show?
* Which hotel tycoon is seriously wanting a second major Strip hotel to acquire after his mega-bucks offer to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was rejected; meantime, has James Packer purchased Cosmopolitan?
* In trying to unravel the mysteries of the Britney Spears announcement set for Sept. 16 or 17, the buzz is on that hotel employees have been asked to keep the date open to attend a major Strip promotional event.
* Grammy-nominated DJ Kaskade will return to Steve Wynn’s Encore for a residency at XS, debuting Oct. 11 and including Halloween and New Year’s Eve.
*Country king Clay Walker has been tapped to sing the national anthem when the first collector vehicle crosses the auction block Sept. 26 at the Barrett-Jackson auction at Mandalay Bay. The night before, Clay performs at the company’s opening-night party at Mandalay Bay Beach.
* Rehearsals for the new “Dancing Queen” show taking over Peepshow Theater at Planet Hollywood began Wednesday. Producer David King tells me that he has doubled the size of the cast at its New York-New York theater home, and scenery and onstage surprises will move in Monday before the first show Sept. 13.
Straight No Chaser
* Don’t be surprised to see Sir Elton John making a trek from his upcoming run at Caesars Palace over to the Palms during the Sept. 26-28 weekend to check up on a cappella group Straight No Chaser. Elton, a big supporter, teamed up with the group along with Stevie Wonder, Phil Collins, Seal, Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz and Dolly Parton for their new album, “Under the Influence.”
NEW COSMO CLUB: Cosmopolitan execs describe their new venue Rose.Rabbit.Lie opening in December as a modern twist on clubs of yesteryear and a rebirth of the social club. It will “blur the lines” between a restaurant, bar, club and show.
“The idea of a modern social club is inspired by the spirit of Johnny Carson, Desi Arnaz and Circus Maximus — the past that still captures a romantic piece of real estate in our minds. It’s personal and intimate one moment, grandiose and inclusive the next. Guests are surrounded by the evening and become part of the experience the moment they arrive,” said John Unwin, Cosmo CEO.
MARRIAGE WIN: Congratulations to the British couple who came here on their first-ever visit to get married Friday and wound up today being the 10 millionth visitors to Eiffel Tower Experience at the Paris. President David Hoenemeyer presented them with a trip to the French capital. It will obviously be their honeymoon! Hotel execs unleashed 5,000 balloons over the Strip to mark the celebrations.
‘AGT’ FINAL 12: Las Vegas strongmen the KriStef Brothers were given the thumb’s up Wednesday to continue as one of the final 12 acts on “America’s Got Talent.” Next week, they’ll perform again at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and if they’re voted winners again, they will be final contestants in two weeks. This week’s NBC telecasts not only won the ratings war, but also racked up the highest votes from viewers ever registered.
Next Wednesday, Mirage headliner and Season 2 winner Terry Fator and the Olate Dogs ,who won last year and headlined Palazzo shows, will be guest stars and encourage their Las Vegas neighbors.
RING GIRL: “Fantasy” new leading lady at the Luxor Jaime Lynch will strut her stuff as one of the three ring girls for Sept. 14’s highly anticipated boxing showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez at MGM Grand. The gorgeous bombshell will be seen worldwide on Showtime’s PPV broadcast.
“As a lifelong boxing fan, I am so excited to experience the amazing intensity of the boxing atmosphere,” she said. “I have followed these fighters throughout their careers, and it is difficult to make a prediction on who will win because they are both unbelievably talented.”
WHITE PARTY: “Pawn Stars” favorite Austin “Chumlee” Russell was the only celebrity who didn’t turn up in white for the all-white party at STK in the Cosmopolitan on Labor Day. Lacey Schwimmer, Zak Bagans, “Jersey Boys” Deven May and Jeff Leibow, Anthony Cools and Zowie Bowie all wore the requested color.
The party hosted by Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno matched anything similarly pulled off by Diddy in the Hamptons or Malibu. Models, performers and violinists, all in white, entertained the crowd as executive chef Stephen Hopcraft, in his whites, served taste treats from a white-themed menu.
Fitz & The Tantrums are at Boulevard Pool in the Cosmopolitan.
It’s opening night for Super Summer Theater’s Season 38 with the Mel Brooks musical “The Producers” at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.
“Top Chef” host and judge Tom Collichio shows off his new Heritage Steak at the Mirage.
Emeril Lagasse presents the start of the NFL season with a viewing party for the Super Bowl champions Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos at Lagasse’s Stadium in Palazzo.
It’s a clash of comedy kings and queens as Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher do battle against Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho, plus, the Backstreet Boys are at Mandalay Bay.
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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With its glass, star-lit exterior, visitors can't miss the Riviera when driving down the Strip. As the first high-rise to open on the Las Vegas Strip, featuring a nine-story hotel, the Riviera has seen more than 50 years as an entertainment destination in Las Vegas. Top bill acts like Liberace, Dean Martin and the long-running Splash revue (closed in 2006) have graced its showrooms over time.
The Riviera still offers its share of entertainment options with topless revue "Crazy Girls," a comedy club and "Illusions," starring Jan Rouven.
The 100,000-square foot casino has been featured in many films like "Casino," "Austin Powers" and "21." Although the hotel has passed through a long list of owners over the years it has always held on to it's unique theme (for Las Vegas) in that it lacks any particular theme. It also features a William Hill Race & Sports Book walk-up betting window right off the sidewalk on the Strip.
The Riviera has dining options well covered, from seafood and steaks at R Steak and Seafood, a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner fare at Banana Leaf Café to an international cuisine at the R Buffet.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.