Thursday, March 6, 2014 | 5:01 p.m.
The weekend is nearly here, so why not, on this day, a few …
WICKED WHISPERS & RACY RUMORS
Executives at Hakkasan and MGM Grand have had serious discussions about renaming Wet Republic at the casino resort. With all the logos and branding in place for the new season, expect it to remain Wet Republic this summer and then change over to Hakkasan.
Adam Lambert and Queen (Brian May and Roger Taylor) proved such a popular pairing at last September’s 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand that they triggered talks of touring together. Now that becomes a reality starting in Chicago in June, with a two-night tour stop here for Fourth of July weekend — July 5 and 6 — at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.
When Olivia Newton-John is here for her new residency at the Flamingo, she won’t just be taking her big dog for walks in our desert outdoors. She also will be looking for possible sites for a spa retreat she’d love to open in America similar to her 19-room boutique Gaia Retreat & Spa she owns with three girlfriends in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia.
2014 ACM AWARDS: More country music stars have signed on for the 29th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 6, at MGM Grand Garden Arena and airing on CBS.
The performing lineup as of this morning is nominees Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Keith Urban and The Band Perry.
Luke, who co-hosts with Blake, also will be whisked away under police escort for a performance with Florida Georgia Line at the 4th Annual ACM Fan Jam via live remote at Mandalay Bay Events Center during the telecast.
THE ODD COUPLE? Off-kilter comedy star Tom Green will team up with Luxor headliner magician Criss Angel for a unique “Broadcast Minds” panel at the National Association of Broadcasters convention here April 9.
They’ll discuss how their creative content gets so many online viewers. Criss’s video clips from his “Mindfreak” and “Believe” TV series have generated more than 220 million views. Tom’s MTV show and his TomGreen.com website show “Tom Green’s House Tonight” also are highly rated.
INTERESTING MAN: Since his award-winning commercials debuted in 2006, veteran actor Jonathan Goldsmith has portrayed the debonair “Most Interesting Man in the World.” Now he will add those remarkable accomplishments with the “Most Interesting Command in the World.”
On Sunday, he will serve as grand marshal at the Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He’ll jet in by Maverick Helicopter to give the 43 drivers the command to start their engines after I introduce him to the expected 100,000-strong crowd.
RESTAURANT WEEK: Dozens of Strip and off-Strip restaurants will take part with $20.14-per-person meals over the next seven days starting Friday as our annual Spring Restaurant Week gets underway. It’s all to benefit our food bank Three Square that helps feed housebound and deserving families throughout the valley.
We’ll have details in our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview on Friday: Check out HelpOutDineOutLV.org for the list of more than 50 participating venues for the seventh year of this weeklong celebration of fine dining for a great cause. Since 2007, Restaurant Week events have raised nearly $800,000 and provided more than 2.3 million meals. Three Square feeds nearly100,000 men, women, children and seniors every month.
ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons made an unexpected visit to Ainsworth Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel. Lack of a musical instrument didn’t stop him from performing; he became a lead vocalist for the bar’s karaoke night. One enthusiastic female fan jumped up onstage to join him in song.
Local entertainers turned out to welcome the return of “Raiding the Rock Vault” and its stars to LVH on Tuesday night. On the black carpet: Melody Sweets, Pia Zadora, Lorena Peril, Ricardo Laguna, Adrian Zmed, Anthony Cools, Murray Sawchuck, Leon Spinks, Jasmine Trias and Ben Stone. Also on the carpet, cast members Michael T. Ross, Howard Leese, Carol-Lyn Liddle, Jay Schellen, Andrew Freeman, John Payne, Stephanie Calvert, Robin McAuley, Doug Aldrich and Paul Shortino.
Joshua Christensen and Carlos Casanova from Lifetime’s “Project Runway” and “Project Runway All-Stars” lent their fashion expertise to the second-annual Style With a Cause benefit at Fashion Show. They also showcased their latest collections for the Pregnancy Foundations’ movement designed to empower and inspire women through fashion and beauty.
E! Entertainment’s Jason Kennedy and fashion blogger Lauren Scruggs were at Tao in the Venetian.
Gun Garage owner Mark Cole welcomed Paris hotel hypnotist Anthony Cools for an afternoon of weapons training. Anthony shot an Uzi and a hand pistol.
NBC’s “The Voice” contestant Austin Ellis performed two nights at Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood with songs from his new album “Coming of A.G.E.” He ordered mango picante margaritas both nights.
Swedish DJ and producer Otto Knows returned to Light at Mandalay Bay with his “Million Voices” set.
Country singer Brantley Gilbert, set to release the follow-up to his gold-certified album “Halfway to Heaven” this spring, was with friends Wednesday night at Revolver in Santa Fe Station.
Check out our NASCAR Weekend roundup posted this morning for details of testing of the new rules and the charity auction at Sam’s Town. Fans can bid on a ride along and meet their favorite driver pre-race, plus, attend the annual Race Jam with REO Speedwagon in a free concert at Fremont Street Experience.
Comedian Andrew Dice Clay resumes his four-letter adult fun and residency at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel.
Sports fans should be jumping for joy this weekend with NASCAR races at LVMS, the welterweight championship fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena and the West Coast Conference Basketball Championships at the Orleans through Tuesday. It’s March Madness! But that’s not the only excitement in town, and Vegas DeLuxe has you covered with our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview that include Terry Fator’s fifth-anniversary celebrations at 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.
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.