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December 19, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: ‘Pawn Shop Live!,’ Oprah Winfrey, Magic Johnson, Grammy slots, Tommy James

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Golden Nugget

Rick Harrison, Richard Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell at Golden Nugget on May 29, 2013.

‘Pawn Shop Live!’

The “Pawn Stars” parody “Pawn Shop Live!” is set to open Jan. 21, 2014, at Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

To audience squeals of delight and applause, reality-TV star Rick Harrison was the first celebrity-guest surprise at the debut of “Pawn Shop Live!” at the Golden Nugget on Tuesday.

“I am really proud of it,” he told me after the curtain came down at the end of the 100-minute parody. “It’s so much fun. I loved it, although it’s a little frightening to me thinking I’m looking in a mirror and seeing all of us.

“It has a good story line, and I love the multimedia that’s been worked into the show with a lot of different celebrities.”

The “Pawn Shop Live!” seven-member cast — complete with two dancing showgirls and the lampooned Austin “Chumlee” Russell, Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison and Richard “Old Man” Harrison — are amazing lookalikes to the real-life characters on the History Channel’s mega-hit “Pawn Stars” and have become best friends in just seven days of onstage rehearsals.

It was the first showcase before a live audience, and creator Derek Stonebarger said at the end of the night that they learned a lot and will tighten the flow, add jokes and delete some in the shakedown before media night Jan. 30.

The tale begins with a young Slick Garrison struggling with a debilitating illness, which forced him from school into home learning as a book- and street-smart genius.

Rick told me, “I’d love nothing more for this to be a big hit and wind up on Broadway or Off Broadway in New York. Audiences will get to know the story of just how our pawnshop came to be and wind up as History Channel’s top-rated show. All done as a parody, though!”

Opening Night of Meat Loaf in ‘Rocktellz & Cocktails’

Opening night of Meat Loaf in Launch slideshow »

WICKED WHISPERS & RACY RUMORS

TV titan Oprah Winfrey and sports legend Magic Johnson have recorded video stories about The Jacksons to be played in their new show “Rocktellz & Cocktails” starting Feb. 20 at Planet Hollywood in rotation with Meat Loaf, who returns there Feb. 13.

International pinup and fashion model Sabina Kelley, our hometown, heavily tattooed platinum blonde who is a judge on Oxygen’s “Best Ink” hosted by Pete Wentz, is being tweet wooed by Dave Navarro’s rival series “Ink Master.”

The competing networks had edited copies of only the two stars in their two shows delivered to each of them, saying “the other is already spoken for,” and although both are possible soul mates, contracts are in place. Anyway, despite Sabina’s love of pink vintage hot rods and bikinis, she’s a sweet mom of three.

3/15/11: Celine Dion's Post-Show News Conference

Celine Dion's post-show news conference at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on March 15, 2011. Launch slideshow »

GRAMMY JACKPOTS: Just in time for this weekend’s 56th Annual Grammy Awards, our hometown Bally Technologies is unveiling a trio of slot machines that celebrate some of the biggest Grammy Award winners, songs and soundtracks of all time.

The classic tracks and remastered songs create an all-new, one-of-a-kind slot experience with Celine Dion’s 1999 Grammy wins for “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic”; ZZ Top’s 1984 and 1987 “Live from Texas” Grammy nods; and the 1978 Album of the Year nominee from “Grease” with Pink Ladies Rizzo, Frenchy, Marty and Jan. Slot players can interact with the musicians in a cinematic experience with concert footage and movie scenes.

MOB MUSIC: Rock legend Tommy James, who shot to fame with The Shondells in the 1960s, made some startling revelations during an interview hosted by Robert George Allen for our Clark County Library District’s program “Mob Month.” Tommy’s debut song “Hanky Panky” was followed up by a string of huge hits — “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “Crimson & Clover,” “We’re Alone Now,” plus, “Mony, Mony” inspired by the Mutual of Omaha sign he saw outside his Manhattan apartment.

But he said they were cheated out of their royalties and publishing fees by a record company that turned out to be a front for a New York Mafia crime syndicate. “Fame went to misfortune,” he said. “We were in fear for so many years, but we are now free of their grasp and moved on with our lives and getting back a good portion of the royalties and publishing fees.” Tommy said that his book “Me, The Music and the Mob” will be director Martin Scorsese’s next Mob film project, following on the heels of his current success “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and filming will start soon.

Winter in Venice at Venetian

Seven-year-old Lilly Randoph, center, looks on with amazement at a snowflake entertainer on stilts as attendees snap photos during the 2013 Winter in Venice Holiday Spectacular at the Venetian Wednesday evening in Las Vegas November 20, 2013. Launch slideshow »

STAR SURVEILLANCE

Las Vegas art appraiser Bret Maly guest stars “Silent Stars and Rebel Cars,” Thursday’s new episode of “Pawn Stars” checking out the value of a Picasso.

Venetian headliners Human Nature, who were part of the Winter in Venice kickoff in December, are jetting to London to celebrate Australia Day there with a concert at the request of their Embassy in the British capital.

Imagine Dragons keyboard player Ryan Walker was at Michael and Jenna Morton’s downtown Mexican restaurant La Comida on Tuesday night with his girlfriend sharing guacamole and margaritas.

American blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa unveiled his memorabilia case at the Hard Rock Hotel. It includes a Versace suit, black leather shoes, sunglasses and a custom, limited-edition model of a Gibson Les Paul Gold Top guitar that were featured during the music legend’s sold-out show at Royal Albert Hall in London. Fans cheered as the curtain dropped to reveal the memorabilia display. During his solo career, Bonamassa has released 10 albums, four live CDs and three DVDs.

Shania Twain Press Conference at Caesars

Fashion designer Marc Bouwer (in suit and tie), singer Shania Twain and director Raj Kapoor (suit, no tie) attend a press conference at Caesars Palace on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Launch slideshow »

TONIGHT’S TIPS

Country queen Shania Twain is back at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace through Feb. 15.

Guitar guru Carlos Santana returns to House of Blues in Mandalay Bay through Feb. 1. Check out Editor at Large John Katsilometes’ column today about Santana’s upcoming travels and hometown recording sessions planned for his new album.

DJ Clockwork spins at Light in Mandalay Bay.

DJ Snake slithers across the wheels of steel at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore.

And L.A. Splash Cosmetics hosts with gifts for ladies at Ghostbar in the Palms.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

It’s a groundbreaking as the Strip welcomes Las Vegas Harley Davidson’s 50,000-square-foot retail and rental store. A one-of-a-kind bike celebrating Nevada’s 150th anniversary will be unveiled for one lucky rider to win it as shovels turn the ground to make life a little louder.

We’ll have “Top Chef” results in Las Vegas cheftestant Shirley Chung’s fight for the finals, and, as USA Sevens Rugby Week gets underway with the Parade of Nations featuring players from Fiji, South Africa, Kenya, Australia and England on Fremont Street, we’ll preview their big weekend matches.

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.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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