Friday, April 11, 2014 | 6 p.m.
It’s a knockout entertainment weekend in Las Vegas, and not just because Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao is back in the ring. We have two stars beginning their residency shows, and the granddaddy of all pool parties, Rehab at Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas, kicks off its Season 11.
Robin Thicke and Flo Rida will make a splash at Rehab as the summer fun begins anew at the original pool party palace. Is it true that cabana cocktail servers can make as much as $100,000 a summer season in tips and salary? We’ve got some shocking credit card charges revealed next week in a special Vegas DeLuxe report.
International songbird Olivia Newton-John gets “Physical” with the start of her new resident show “Summer Nights” at the Flamingo, and before she leaves on tour, Flamingo headliner Marie Osmond will be there to welcome Pink Lady Sandy from “Grease.” Will co-star John Travolta drop by this weekend to wish Olivia well as she romps through the music and movies of her life’s journey?
With or without his hairpiece, “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander is one very funny man, and he, too, starts a limited run at next-door Harrah’s. My interview with Jason, in which he talks about comedy, today’s television and that hair, was posted March 13.
This is the final weekend to catch country king and queen Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at the Venetian before they set out on their global summer tour — and hopefully when that is finished, they’ll return for their smash weekend shows. Next door at another theater, Motown mogul Smokey Robinson will be on hand to congratulate Australian singers Human Nature on their 1,000th Las Vegas show.
The stars of song, dance and comedy are everywhere you turn this weekend, with Britain well represented by Ellie Goulding and Bryan Ferry in concert, but sports fans will make the loudest noise at MGM Grand Garden Arena for the Manny Pacquiao rematch against Timothy Bradley.
This will be Manny’s first fight here since 2012, and he still carries the title of Fighter of the Decade. His original fight against undefeated, two-division world champion “Desert Storm” Bradley is still mired in controversy over the decision that gave the win to Timothy although many say it was Manny who won. Las Vegas promoter Bob Arum kicked up the tension and the feud two days ago angrily slamming MGM Grand and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Their weigh-in is at 2:30 p.m. today.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley
Now after our own workouts, it’s time for us to deliver our weekend-training schedule as we hit the punching bag with our Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, APRIL 11
After three preview performances, Olivia Newton John celebrates the premiere of her new show “Summer Nights.”
It’s as if Coachella has moved to the Strip: Lana Del Rey is at the Chelsea and Young the Giant and St. Lucia are at Boulevard Pool, both at the Cosmopolitan.
Lisa Gay, Tony Drake & The Gentlemen of Thrill Band, Bobby Brooks Wilson, Freddie B. and Roy Hamilton Jr. are at Viva Las Vegas Event Center.
“Las Vegas Rocks Variety Show” with John Acosta as Barry Gibb, Sonny Turner, Chadwick Johnson, Jay Ramsey and Jerry Brown is at Boulder Station.
Disclosure is at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq, followed by two more nights of shows from Galactic.
French Quarter New Orleans music by Preservation Hall Jazz Band celebrating its 50th anniversary is at the Smith Center for two nights.
Nashville Unplugged features Lisa Carver at Sunset Station.
Mogwai is at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
Jason Alexander premieres at Harrah’s in a run through May 4.
Wayne Brady is at the Mirage.
Ralphie May and Gabe Lopez celebrate the first anniversary of their “Dirty at 12:30” at South Point with an all-star lineup.
Mitchell Walters and Jimmie “J.J.” Walker are at Riviera Comedy Club all weekend.
Dean Napolitano and Jeremy Wieand are at Bonkerz Comedy Club in Silver Sevens.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The 40th anniversary celebrations of UNLVino continue with Bubble-Licious at the Venetian’s Doge Palace plaza with the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence presented to artist Romero Britto.
“Women Fully Clothed” is at the Smith Center.
Tickets go on sale for Austin Mahone with The Camps and Fifth Harmony with Shawn Mendes on July 31 and ZZ Top and Jeff Beck on Aug. 16, both at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, and A Great Big World at Red Rock Resort on May 16.
There are special prizes and offers at “Titanic: The Exhibit” to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the ill-fated voyage.
Rock ’N’ Roll Fantasy Camp presents Blues Fantasy at Mandalay Bay all weekend.
Fremont Street Experience hosts Celtic Fest marking the 10th anniversary of the Las Vegas Highland Games for two nights.
Fleur by Hubert Keller and Justin Winery unite for a wine-pairing dinner at Mandalay Bay.
NASCAR’s Super Late and Legend Models return with INEX Points Race and Bullring Practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The tops-optional Venus Pool Club opens for the season at Caesars Palace.
Calvin Harris is at Hakkasan in MGM Grand.
SATURDAY, APRIL 12
The Las Vegas Soul Festival with Cameo, Tony Toni Tone, Con Funk Shun, Lenny Williams, Next, The Dramatics and Ray Goodman & Brown is at the Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV.
English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ellie Goulding is at Boulevard Pool.
Music legend Bryan Ferry is at Pearl at the Palms.
Switchfoot is at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
It’s the 1,000th Las Vegas performance of Smokey Robinson’s Human Nature at the Venetian.
Big Gigantic is at Brooklyn Bowl.
NBC’s “The Voice” Season 3 stars Amanda Brown and Cody Belew are at South Point hosted by Chippendales at the Rio hunk Jaymes Vaughan.
Mopars at the Strip with Foghat is at Cannery.
Sevendust is at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Eric Darius and Larry Braggs are at Aliante.
The Manhattans are at Suncoast for two nights.
Jay Leno is at the Mirage.
Tim Allen is at the Venetian.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
UNLVino’s final night with the Founders’ Grand Tasting honors Larry Ruvo and former UNLV Dean Jerry Vallen at the Keep Memory Alive Events Center at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
It’s Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture helps open the 10th Jamba Juice in Las Vegas, this one on south Rainbow.
The 2014 season of Project Dinner Table kicks off at Downtown 3rd with chefs Charles Wilson and Todd Harrington from the Downtown Grand.
NASCAR Mobil 1 Racing Oil Night is at LVMS.
Robin Thicke performs at the first Rehab on Saturday.
David Guetta is at Encore Beach Club.
Nick Cannon DJs at 1 OAK in the Mirage.
SUNDAY, APRIL 13
Juan Gabriel is at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Bombay Bicycle Club and Royal Canoe are at Vinyl.
Flo Rida is at Rehab.
Steve Aoki is at Wet Republic at MGM Grand.
Check back Sunday for reports and photos. Next week: Interviews with George Clooney, Wolfgang Puck and Guy Fieri as his first Las Vegas restaurant opens at the Quad.
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.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
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Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Arguably one the coolest joints in town, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino houses some of Vegas' best entertainment, restaurants and nightlife.
At Hard Rock, it's all about the music. From the light fixtures made out of drum cymbals and guitar shaped door handles to stage costumes and tools of the trade of legendary musicians displayed on the walls, the hotel screams rock and roll. The Hard Rock's Joint has hosted some the biggest names in music — from The Who to Bob Dylan to hometown heroes, The Killers.Aside from the music venues, the pool at the Hard Rock is one of its biggest attractions. Spread out over 4.7 acres, the pool area features swim-up blackjack, a bar and grill, private cabanas, a bevy of secluded nooks, a waterfall and an extensive live music venue with a dance floor. During the summer, the pool transforms into the Rehab club on Sunday afternoons.
The resident nightclub Body English fuses European elegance with a rock star bachelor pad and it often a hot spot for visiting celebs and popular DJs. Vintage rock memorabilia lines the walls at Wasted Space, Hard Rock's anti-club.
Restaurants at Hard Rock are just as hip as the rest of the casino. Pink Taco serves up Mexican dishes, as well as a Central American and Caribbean menu. Nobu, one of five worldwide Japanese-specialty restaurants from famed Nobu Matsuhisa, satisfies a different taste. For round-the-clock cuisine, Mr. Lucky's 24/7, is sure to ease your appetite even after a Vegas-all-nighter.