Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 | 6 p.m.
If laughter is the best medicine, we will have a lot of very healthy people on and off the Strip this weekend. The kings and queens of comedy are reigning royally along with crown prince of pop Justin Timberlake, who heads up a music invasion that even includes a two-day ukulele festival. Only in Vegas!
Justin returns to MGM Grand Garden Arena with his “The 20/20 Experience,” but elsewhere in the Entertainment Capital of the World, you’ll find everybody from the smooth sounds of Melissa Manchester to the country stylings of hunky Jake Owen to the rock of Uncle Kracker and the fused sounds of Blues Traveler.
Add a mix of Lynyrd Skynyrd at Golden Nugget, Counting Crows at Mandalay Bay and hometown “America’s Got Talent” winner Michael Grimm at Viva Las Vegas Event Center, and you know it’s going to be a jam-packed, jumpin’ weekend.
Jumping just like the competitors, dance crews, choreographers and street-dance fans from more than 40 nations at the 2014 World Hip-Hop Dance Championships finals at Orleans Arena. It’s the “Olympics of Hip-Hop Dance” with the highest-ranking crews commanding the stage. Last year, The Rockwell Family from Canada took home the top prize.
Actress and rapper Lil Mama will perform and judge, and our Luxor headliners Jabbawockeez will perform choreography from their show “Prism.” Medals will be presented by USA luge champion Kate Hansen, known for her high-energy hip-hop warm-up routine to Beyonce’s music during the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Comedy is well represented by motor-mouth assassin Lisa Lampanelli at the Venetian, the political satire of Dennis Miller at the Orleans, comedy ripped from today’s headlines by Jay Leno at the Mirage, celebrity-skewer Kathy Griffin also at the Mirage and actor Rob Schneider.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention what an honor it is for me to be inducted into the Nevada Broadcasting Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Four Seasons as its first Ambassador of Las Vegas. We’ll have a report next week.
And my boxer and MMA friend Ana Julaton will receive the prestigious dual-athlete award from the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame at the same time, so we’ll miss attending each other’s awards.
Now it’s time to recognize the stars who will brighten our city with the sounds of music and laughter for the next three days in our Royal Robin Rundown:
FRIDAY, AUG. 8
Justin Timberlake is at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Dirty Heads and Pepper are at Mandalay Bay Beach as part of the Beach Concert Series.
The Under the Sun Tour with Blues Traveler, Uncle Kracker, Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray is at Golden Nugget.
Cut Copy is at Brooklyn Bowl in the Linq Promenade.
Nashville Unplugged features Brice Long at Sunset Station.
Thrillbilly Deluxe is at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Loudpvck and Party Favor are at Hard Rock Live! on the Strip.
Lipshtick features Lisa Lampanelli at the Venetian for two nights.
Dennis Miller is at Orleans Showroom for two nights.
Jay Leno is at the Mirage.
Rob Schneider is at South Point all weekend.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The Kumukahi Ukulele & Hula Festival is at Sam’s Town Live! for two days.
The official premiere of “Sydney After Dark” at Planet Hollywood has been postponed pending a move to a new venue.
Blue Man Group hosts the Maker Camp virtual field trip on Google Plus.
The Art N’ Ink Festival is at South Point all weekend.
“The 20/20 Experience” Official Concert After-Party is at 1OAK in the Mirage.
SATURDAY, AUG. 9
Melissa Manchester is at Suncoast Showroom for two nights.
Jake Owen is at Mandalay Bay Beach.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is at Golden Nugget.
Michael Grimm is at Viva Las Vegas Event Center.
Seether is at First Street Stage in downtown Las Vegas.
Wade Bowen is at Brooklyn Bowl.
Hiroshima is at Sunset Station.
Aries Spears is at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay.
Smashing Alice is at Vinyl.
Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra are at Aliante.
Los Tucanes de Tijuana is at Primm Valley Resort.
Kathy Griffin is at the Mirage.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Suncoast hosts the Miss Cupcake Pageant and Cupcake Bake-Off for two days.
The Nevada Broadcasters Association hosts its 19th Annual Gala honoring the late Jim Rogers, with awards for Smith Center chief Myron Martin, yours truly and more.
“Voices of Rudy: The Journey to the Movie” features Rudy Ruettiger with Tony Sacca as host in the world premiere of the one-man show at Smith Center.
Delegates prepare for the second-annual Miss Asian Las Vegas Pageant with a workshop, meet-and-greet and photo shoot at City Athletic Club, Morels French Steakhouse and Azure Luxury Pool at Palazzo.
The World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez is at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
The 8th Annual Aloha River Regatta launches from Bullhead City, Ariz.
Author Scott Deitche, an expert on organized crime, lectures about the Havana Underground at his book signing on Mafia influence from Tampa to Cuba at The Mob Museum.
Will.I.Am of The Black Eyed Peas is at Encore Beach Club.
SUNDAY, AUG. 10
Counting Crows and Toad the Wed Sprocket are at Mandalay Bay Beach.
38 Special is at Eastside Cannery.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The 2014 World Hip-Hop Dance Championship Finals are at Orleans Arena.
Spike TV’s “Hungry Investors” with Jon Taffer, Tiffany Derry and John Besh features two rival Las Vegas restaurants.
Mario performs at Rehab in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Check back Sunday for reports and photo galleries of the stars at work and play, a review of Justin Timberlake’s concert and guest columns from restaurateur Elizabeth Blau, “Defending the Caveman” star Kevin Burke and TV commercial favorite Josh “The Chop” Towbin.
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.
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.