Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 | 4:57 p.m.
The newest trick up mega-magician David Copperfield’s sleeve is the appearance out of nowhere of his own Las Vegas-headquartered movie production company. It’s a multimillion-dollar gamble for the MGM Grand star headliner who has won 21 Emmy Awards and 11 Guinness World Records and was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.
He told Variety on Wednesday that it will be called Red Safe. When I toured his secret museum here, David told me it was his studies of the real magic of film that led him to create the memorabilia warehouse collection. He said: “Cinema is a magic effect. Movies started as a trick — you could go to the moon or journey to Hades. The illusion of the cinema became the medium.”
David has always told me his love for the films of Frank Capra, Walt Disney and Orson Welles. He has collaborated with Hollywood filmmakers and appeared in many films. David most recently appeared in “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” and worked on the recent hit “Now You See Me.” He’s also just launched a new Bally Technologies slot machine this week here at G2E.
MR OLYMPIA: Today is the start of Mr. Olympia weekend where the world’s greatest bodybuilders battle for the ultimate title of the sport. The Olympians will flex their muscles and pose their pecs at Orleans Arena this evening as the eight consecutive annual contest gets underway with $1 million at stake.
The Olympia Expo runs all day Friday and Saturday at the Convention Center, with the Gun Fighter Super Matches, the pre-power-lifting championships, the military extreme fit challenge, the grappling championships and the strongman fan experience. The Pro League Women’s Fitness, Bikini, Figure, women’s physique and Miss Olympia events also get underway. Flex and Muscle and Fitness magazines host their separate competing bikini model search.
More than 100 athletes are expected in this year’s competitions. Two-time and defending champion Phil Heath goes up against four-time Mr. Olympia winner and Las Vegas hometown hero Jay Cutler, who makes his return after a one-year absence. Last year’s runner-up, Kai Green, also competes alongside Shawn Rhoden, Branch Warren, Dennis Wolf, Victor Martinez, Cedric McMillan and Mamdouh Elssbiay.
Miss Olympia finals and Mr. Olympia pre-judging are Friday, and the figure Olympia finals, the Olympia showdown and Mr. Olympia finals are Saturday all at Orleans Arena.
HEADING FOR THE TROP: The Forte Tenors won raves for their performance on “America’s Got Talent” as an operatic vocal group, but they only made it to Top Six in viewer voting. But now they’ve been added to the Tropicana’s New Year’s lineup. Josh Page, Sean Panikkar and Fernando Varela will perform three shows in Tropicana Theater from Dec. 28-30.
VENUE CHANGE: Looks as if Big Al’s Comedy Club at the Orleans has been replaced with the new experimental club concept of Buzz ’n’ Brushes. It’s described as 80 percent fun and 20 percent art instruction, with guests learning the basics of acrylic painting in a high-energy live music and entertainment environment with food and cocktails.
PORN PRINCESS: The sex parody “Grease XXX,” with the sexploits at a mythical Rydell High, is expected to dominate the AVN Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel from Jan. 15-18. It stars Las Vegas porn princess Gaia Roxxx. Regret I am not able to show the highly erotic teaser videos of the fall film; they are absolutely not for family viewing!
Gaia, who runs her own fan club from here, flies out for the Exxxotica Expo next week in New Jersey and then embarks on a fall promo tour for the film, which is expected to win her several awards. She commented: “Being a part of ‘Grease XXX’ was really amazing. The only thing better than filming is meeting my fans. Filming it was so good I asked to do extra sex scenes. My director said I was a sexual freak of nature pleading to do more.”
CASINO AWARDS: Congrats to my pal Vince Neil and his Motley Crue bandmates for their win Wednesday night as Entertainers of the Year at the first-ever G2E Casino Entertainment Awards. Mary Wilson of The Supremes handed the glass trophy to a Hard Rock Hotel exec who raced it to the Joint, where the rockers were onstage for their new “An Intimate Evening in Hell.”
Comedian Louie Anderson hosted the merriment at the downtown Plaza, where he headlines. I was thrilled to present Comedian of the Year to Flamingo headliner George Wallace. Congratulations! The Hard Rock’s Vinyl won for Best Showroom.
The three-day Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auction kicks off at Mandalay Bay.
Meat Loaf’s “Rocktellz & Cocktails” premieres at Planet Hollywood, with a portion of ticket proceeds going to the Grammy Foundation to benefit high school music programs.
Uncle Kracker plays the first of three nights celebrating the downtown D Hotel’s first anniversary.
Straight No Chaser is at Pearl at the Palms.
Inner Circle and Mr. Majestic are at Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan.
The Edwin McCain Trio is at Vinyl.
And the annual Three Square benefit Dish featuring Las Vegas star chefs is at Palms Pools, with Everclear as entertainment.
It’s the war of comics with Daniel Tosh, Craig Ferguson, Don Rickles and Whitney Cummings all doing battle. Frozen Fury XV features the L.A. Kings going up against the New York Rangers and Colorado Avalanche. And our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview turns the spotlight on Mr. Olympia and “Iron Chef” star Masaharu Morimoto, who leads the James Beard Foundation “Taste America” tour chefs to the Mirage.
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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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.
True to its namesake, The Orleans gives visitors a year-round Mardi Gras feeling with a New Orleans French Quarter environment.
Located just a short way from the center of gambling on the Strip, The Orleans offers a collection of attractions that helps to draw in a mix of locals and visitors.
In addition to the 1,885 hotel rooms and 134,000-square foot casino, the property has a 70-lane bowling center, an 18-screen movie theater, an 850-seat showroom and a 9,500-seat arena, home to the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team.
The hotel also has 14 dining options, including Canal Street, The Prime Rib Loft, Koji Sushi Bar & China Bistro and Big Al’s Oyster Bar.