Tuesday, April 1, 2014 | 6 p.m.
Las Vegas director, screenwriter and cinematographer Rory Johnston is ready to have cameras roll on his full-length feature film “Area 52: The Actual Footage.” He’s lined up a cast and crew of top talent for the sci-fi horror flick, which tells the story of seven people breaking into a top-secret underground repository of alien artifacts. See his trailer at Area52Film.com and how the film is being financed.
Rory can’t use Hollywood stars, as the story would no longer appear real, and that’s meant he’s been cut off from traditional film financing. To stay true to his concept, he’s using Kickstarter, with donations starting as little as $5. But $25 gets an investor a digital download of the film, the script and “Area 52” movie poster digital wallpaper, and $150 gets all that, plus a digital download of the soundtrack and your name in the credits.
Even larger donations can earn you an opportunity to be in the film or have a character named after you. Keeping the funding out of studios and Hollywood banks also lets Rory bring it all in for $124,000.
$142 MILLION PAINTING MOVES: Las Vegas VIP and philanthropist Elaine Wynn has never officially confirmed her purchase of the $142 million Francis Bacon three-paneled painting of Lucian Freud studies last fall. However, art insiders say she now owns the valuable 1969 oil on canvas triptych. The last day to see it at the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum is this Sunday, and then it’s on the move. Nobody is saying where it’s going.
I asked Elaine for an update at Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” benefit last month, and all she would say is that she didn’t think it was coming to Las Vegas. Art prices continue to eclipse $100 million, but I’m betting that Elaine won’t resell it for a profit and that it will be on display in a Los Angeles art museum for a while.
LINGERIE LADIES: The gridiron glamour girls of the Las Vegas Sin have a new home at the Thomas & Mack Center for the 2014 summer season. The Legends Football League (formerly Lingerie Football League) is returning for its fifth season.
The Sin will host two home games for the 2014 season at the Thomas & Mack on Thursday, May 15, against the Green Bay Chill and Thursday, July 3, against LFL champion Chicago Bliss. The sexy ladies also play Saturday, April 26, against the Los Angeles Temptation in Ontario, Calif., and Saturday, July 26, in Washington against the Seattle Mist.
ITALY AT PARIS: Celebrity chef Steve Martorano (Cafe Martorano at the Rio) is celebrating the opening of his fifth restaurant. He’s opening at Harrah’s in Atlantic City this spring, and then his sixth will be here on the Strip at the Paris this September.
The South Philly native is filming episodes of his new TV cooking show at his Hard Rock Hotel restaurant in Hollywood, Fla. Check out his signature linguini putanesca recipe here.
DEAN’S LEGACY: It’s difficult to believe that 40 years ago Saturday, the last episode of “The Dean Martin Show” aired after a nine-year run on NBC. His daughter Deana has kept its popularity going by releasing best-of collections and plans to keep memories of “The King of Cool” alive for many years to come.
Now she’s promoting her new album “Destination Moon” with an intimate cross-country tour that will stop in South Point for a weekend this September and at the Smith Center downtown for three nights before Christmas.
POP-UP POSTERS: For the past 14 years, Brazilian artist Romero Britto has created exclusive posters for our annual UNLVino and will be honored with a Dom Perignon Award of Excellence on April 11 at Bubblelicious, which is at the Venetian for the first time. Additionally, starting next Wednesday, he’ll host his own pop-up art shop at the Venetian for the month.
Romero also creates the Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala programs and auction paintings. UNLVino this year runs four nights starting April 9 when I will present the Dom Perignon Award to star chef Wolfgang Puck at his restaurant Spago in Caesars Palace, where the fine-food craze for Las Vegas began 20-plus years ago.
CHEF’S CIGARS: Celebrity chef Charlie Palmer is launching a cocktails and cigars night weekly at his outdoor Swan Court patio in his restaurant Aureole at Mandalay Bay. Every Thursday starting April 10, he’ll offer jazz and Nat Sherman cigar pairings for a rotating cast of wines and cocktails. No word from the swans as to this new invasion of their turf.
FOOD TRUCKS GALORE: For the fifth time in three years, 50 of the nation’s top food trucks will roll on the Strip for the Las Vegas Foodie Fest, this time on the Lot opposite Luxor from April 24-27, and 15 will make their debuts. The Food Network and History and Travel channels will have celebrity trucks alongside the coast-to-coast entrants, including Lobster Lady from Maine and Bacon Mania from California.
BACKSTAGE AND ONSTAGE: Monte Carlo headliners Blue Man Group are starting an in-depth exploration of its award-winning show with the behind-the-scenes Onstage Experience for $299 per person, which includes a show ticket, on Sundays. The 90-minute tour includes the PVC instruments and props for music lessons, and guests will be taught how to master the marshmallow tossing.
CONGRATULATIONS! The newest cast member at Tournament of Kings at Excalibur also is the first female horse rider in the show. Iranda Dyer was hired to perform alongside Tournament’s other maidens in a new dressage dance routine on the horse Nobilissimo. Iranda has 20 years of experience with horses.
And to DJ Diplo, who finally picked up his Resident DJ of the Year Award from the 2014 Nightclub and Bar Expo. Diplo, who plays weekly at Surrender and XS in Steve Wynn’s Encore, missed the ceremony due to flight delays. Rapper and DJ Lil Jon and artists Paper Diamond and Flosstradamus were at the awards.
Rio headliner illusionist Teller starts previews of William Shakespeare’s “Tempest” under a tent at the Smith Center with Pilobolus dancers and Tom Waits music.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband former Mayor Oscar Goodman attend the grand opening of the open-air Bier Garten at the Plaza.
The Las Vegas Wranglers play the Bakersfield Condors at Orleans Arena in the last-season skate-off before the playoffs.
Vocalist Naomi Mauro and David Perrico’s Pop Evolution are at Stratosphere Showroom.
Max Alexander, Avi Liberman and Nick Cobb headline at the Improv in Harrah’s through Sunday.
Former “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood star Coco Austin hosts a meet-and greet at Deja Vu adult emporium to promote her Licious Jeans line and Cal Exotics of adult toys and novelties.
Olivia Newton-John arrives at the Flamingo to ready her new “Summer Nights” residency, plus behind-the-scenes of the outrageously sexy “Zombie Burlesque” at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops, and singer Brian McKnight talks the rigors of touring as he heads here for a weekend of work and R&R.
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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