“BRETT’S VEGAS VIEW”
DATE: Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016
BY: Jackie Brett
JULIANNE AND DEREK HOUGH WILL PERFORM AT THE SMITH CENTER
Next year, powerhouse brother and sister duo Julianne and Derek Hough will bring their all-new production “Move- Beyond – Live On Tour” to more than 40 locations in the United States and stop in Las Vegas at The Smith Center on Friday, June 16. This experience follows the success of their inaugural 2014 run and fan-demanded sophomore run in 2015 with “Move Live on Tour.” Tickets are on sale now.
The brand new stage production is being inspired by the elements – earth, wind, fire and water with fresh, high-impact choreography. The pair will be joined by the Move Company Dancers for group performances in styles ranging from ballroom and tap to salsa and hip-hop and everything in between. Julianne and Derek Hough will once again co-create, choreograph and produce, and be joined by their all-star creative team.
The brother and sister team are longtime “Dancing With the Stars” fan favorites with multiple Emmy Awards and mirror ball trophies between them. Separately, they starred in two of this year’s most talk-about live musical events, “Grease: Live” and “Hairspray Live.” On Christmas morning, they will host ABC’s “The Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration,” which Julianne also executive produced.
JEFF DUNHAM FEATURES ‘PERFECTLY UNBALANCED’ AT CAESARS PALACE
International comedy ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, along with his entertaining sidekicks, will return to Las Vegas for 15 nights with his hugely successful “Perfectly Unbalanced” show beginning Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Following the March date, Dunham will return for 14 consecutive weeks, with one show a week from June 16-Sept. 13. Shows are at 7:30 p.m.
Dunham’s dedication to his craft and relentless innovation will be recognized as his one of a kind comedy empire has been nominated to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Over the past 46 years, Dunham and his world famous characters Walter, Achmed, Bubba J, Peanut and José Jalapeno have garnered numerous accolades including being named Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list of Most Powerful Entertainers, setting the Guinness World Records for the “Most Tickets Sold for a Stand-Up Comedy Tour,” and making the record for viewership on Comedy Central. He has sold more than 7 million DVDs worldwide and has nearly a billion views on YouTube.
JIM GAFFIGAN WILL BRING HIS COMEDY TOUR TO CAESARS PALACE
Multi-talented Jim Gaffigan has packed up the tour bus and hit the road with his family for his live “Fully Dressed” arena and theatre tour. His tour will make a two-night stop at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $49.95 to $89.95.
Gaffigan is a Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. He is famous around the world for his brand of humor revolving largely around fatherhood and his observations on life and food. In 2013, his first book, “Dad Is Fat,” debuted at No. 5 on The New York Times Bestsellers List. His second book, “Food: A Love Story,” was released in the fall of 2014 and debuted at No. 3.
MGM GRAND COURTS MILLENNIALS
The MGM Grand will open a new 12,000-square-foot area Level Up, formerly occupied by the Rainforest Café, on Dec. 29. The space is designed by and for the millennial generation. Level Up will have interactive skill-based games including Sigma Derby, Giant Pac-Man, QuadAir Hockey, Bubble Hockey, Connect Four and Golfstream Suite indoor laser golf. It will also have traditional games like pool, foosball and ping pong along with music, decor, sports and food.
VIRGIL’S REAL BBQ OPENED AT THE LINQ PROMENADE
Virgil’s Real Barbecue from Alicart Restaurant Group opened last week at The LINQ Promenade with a ceremonial cutting of a rack of ribs by the company’s CEO Jeffrey Bank. Las Vegas is Virgil’s third location in the country and the second Las Vegas footprint for Alicart Restaurant Group, joining Carmine’s in The Forum Shops at Caesars which opened in 2013. Virgil’s has locations in New York City and at Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Virgil’s spans 14,000 square feet, seats 300 and features three outdoor spaces along with three private dining rooms. The restaurant has reclaimed wood sourced from vintage barns across the Southern states and décor from barbecue places around the country embellishes the walls.
The menu highlights the BBQ tastes of Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, the Carolinas and Missouri and was developed after extensive research in the back roads of the south, as featured in the “Virgil’s Barbecue Road Trip Cookbook.” Virgil’s meats are smoked at a low temperature over indirect heat for up to 10 hours with a custom mix of hickory, oak and fruit woods to impart the most flavors and to keep the meat from drying out.
Virgil’s is open daily at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner and offers take out and off-site catering. Live entertainment in the main room and patio add a festive vibe with local talent performing country, bluegrass and classic rock genres nightly from 9 p.m. to midnight and special guest appearances from noted names.
MARVEL RETAIL STORE OPENED AT TREASURE ISLAND
Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Treasure Island just opened a 7,500-square-foot retail experience this Saturday with a full range of apparel, toys, collectibles, housewares, and more in what is Marvel’s largest retail outlet in the world.
Continuing the Marvel experience, the retail store offers a Hulk-errific “green screen” photo experience where fans can have their photo taken in several different Avengers-themed photo settings and have the image put on a custom mug, t-shirt or other customizable item. The vast shopping hub is also home to Become Iron Man – an interactive experience that allows guests to channel their inner Tony Stark and try on Iron Man’s suit and take it for a spin via virtual reality.
BORDELLO OPENS AT RÍ RÁ INSIDE SHOPPES AT MANDALAY PLACE
On the heels of its five-year anniversary, Rí Rá inside The Shoppes at Mandalay Place has unveiled a new event and dining space located at the back of the pub behind a secluded hallway called The Bordello. This expansion brings Rí Rá’s total size to 11,000 square feet.
Inspired by high-end bordellos, the new space transports guests to a bygone era with high black ceilings, plush velvet curtains, Victorian red and gold interiors, lounge-style furniture and dim lighting. The space also boasts an assortment of eccentric furnishings such as hand-crafted chandeliers, a glistening disco ball and various black and white movie stills inside antique gold frames, adding to the historic atmosphere.
The Bordello seats up to 64 dining guests and can accommodate up to 100 people at a reception-style event. The new themed area joins the pub’s five existing rooms including The Shop Bar, Victorian Bar, The Whiskey Bar, The Parlour Room and The Theatre Room.
GRAND BAZAAR SHOPS ADD FOOD AND PARTY OUTLETS
Country music singer John Rich of the duo Big & Rich will expand his Redneck Riviera brand into the bar industry and open Redneck Riviera, an all-new country music bar at the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s on the second floor directly above Wahlburgers in early 2017. The new party outlet will offer live music and food and will be operated by Charlotte, N.C.’s Bar Management Group. The venue will offer a special Heroes Bar dedicated to the military and will offer the first drink on the house to active military and veterans. There will also be a retail area selling the brand’s footwear and apparel.
The Strip-situated mall will also be providing a touch of the Windy City when it opens Chicago pizzeria Giordano’s, which will be its first location in Southern Nevada. The 4,000-square-foot restaurant will be located directly above Starbucks, with views of the Bellagio’s fountains. The pizzeria will also have a separate 1,700-square-foot patio and bar located in the Grand Allée’s main walkway.
MONORAIL PARTY IS NEW YEAR’S EVE FIRST FOR LAS VEGAS
It’s time to start making plans for New Year’s Eve and this year there is a new party to consider for viewing the Strip’s famous celebratory midnight fireworks show. For the first time, the Las Vegas Monorail on Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. will open the Third Rail Lounge, an exclusive elevated event venue at the Las Vegas Convention Center station, for a party. Guests will have a panoramic view of the fireworks from the Third Rail Lounge’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
The party will include unlimited beer and wine, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment by dynamic musical act Taj, accompanied by DJ Livinh leading the countdown, a champagne toast at midnight, party favors and access to a themed party photo booth and souvenir image. A cash bar will also be available for cocktails.
In addition, the Third Rail Lounge New Year’s Eve Party includes unlimited Monorail rides for 24 hours. The Las Vegas Monorail is the only transportation available on the Strip during New Year’s Eve road closures. Finally, every guest will receive a reusable travel cup and enjoy a specialty cocktail at each of the Monorail’s “refill stations” located at select stops along its four-mile route. Tickets are $175 or $300 per couple.
DINING ESTABLISHMENT UPDATES
Las Vegas celebrity chef Vic Vegas just opened his new innovative sub shop concept, 7 Sinful Subs at 4632 Maryland Parkway #12 across the street from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and offers dine-in and take-out options. The menu will include oddball sandwiches with interesting names: Knuckle Sandwich; Skinny Dip; the Baller; and Walk “O” Shame.
Plantone’s Italian Market opened in the Southwest last week at 8680 West Warm Springs Road offering pizza, pasta, subs, and salads in a family-friendly setting for lunch and dinner daily. Plantone’s has an oversized outdoor patio, warm colors, a vintage mural with Italian scenes and industrial touches. Wooden beams cross the ceiling above red metal lighting and classic subway tiles. This new concept is the dream of local real estate broker and UNLV School of Hospitality alumni Glenn Plantone. Chef Francesco Savinetti is a native of Italy with decades of pizza experience both abroad and the United States. In Las Vegas, he has worked Sirio at Aria and DOCG at Cosmopolitan.
A former Beano’s location at 7200 West Lake Mead Blvd. has been transformed into PT’s Gold and can operate up to 35 video gaming devices. It is the company’s 53rd tavern in Nevada and the company’s fifth new tavern of 2016. The exterior was reconfigured to create an outdoor year-round covered patio area.
KRIS KRINGLE IS FLYING AT VEGAS INDOOR SKYDIVING
Kris Kringle is flying this year at Vegas Indoor Skydiving and available for photos this through Dec. 24. He is decked out in his custom-made, one-of-a-kind flight suit, complete with Santa hat, belt, boots and his classic white beard. Guests who purchase a single flight at retail price $75 will have the opportunity to fly with and take a photo alongside Santa Claus inside the 22-foot-tall wind tunnel. The Vegas Indoor Skydiving Santa package is available for only $25 and includes a 6 x 8 flight photo.
Built in 1981, Vegas Indoor Skydiving operates the first indoor skydiving facility to open in the United States. The experience is similar to the free-fall aspect of skydiving, with the addition of a mesh trampoline floor and foam-padded walls.
COMEDIAN SINBAD WILL RETURN TO THE ORLEANS SHOWROOM
Actor and comedian Sinbad will headline The Orleans Showroom Feb. 3-4 at 8 p.m. The Michigan-native Sinbad has been on the comedy circuit for more than three decades. He launched his career in the 1980s after making several appearances on the former variety show “Star Search.” By 1993, his popularity led him to star in his own series, “The Sinbad Show.”
Sinbad’s quintessential comedy style is built on stories that include exchanges with family, friends and strangers, as well as the time he spent in the United States Air Force. He also creates an interactive comedy experience with the audience and their trials and tribulations.
SOME NEWS TIPS
Mariah Carey’s final run of her hit residency “MARIAH #1 TO INFINITY” scheduled April 26–May 13 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace has been rescheduled for July 8–18, 2017. The global superstar plans to return to the Colosseum in December 2017 with six holiday shows featuring her personal Christmas catalog.
In town for NFR, country music stars and Caesars Palace headliners, Reba McEntire along with Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn were spotted attending the outlandish hit show “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace.
Wynn Resorts will be adding Amazon’s Echo device to all its hotel rooms at the Wynn and Encore, which will allow guests to control the lighting, temperature, drapes and televisions by simply speaking commands. The company expects it to be available in all rooms by next summer.
The Cosmopolitan has been the next property to announce plans to start charging for parking in early 2017. The valet fees will be similar to those at MGM and Wynn properties and some Caesars’ resorts.
Last week world-famous supermodel and TV host Heidi Klum visited Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystère” by at Treasure Island.
Neil Moffitt, CEO of the Hakkasan Group will be the keynote speaker at the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas March 27-29 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Nightlife mogul Moffit will share his secrets of success “Building an International Hospitality Empire.”
The Golden Tiki in Chinatown added to its Cabinet of Curiosities recently by unveiling former Review Journal gossip columnist Norm Clarke’s shrunken head. Clarke’s head was crafted over a four-week process by Smithsonian artist Terry Barr, and is the fifth in a series of celebrity shrunken heads on display at Vegas’ iconic Tiki revival bar. Previous shrunken heads include Marky Ramone of The Ramones, Carrot Top, Frank Marino and Robin Leach.
WEEN AND STS9 WILL VISIT BROOKLYN BOWL NEXT YEAR
Brooklyn Bowl will host Ween and STS9 for multi-night engagements in early 2017. Ween will have an extended Presidents’ Day weekend run from Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 19. STS9 will bridge April Fools’ Day, playing the nights of March 31 and April 1.
Ween is named for Gene and Dean Ween, the Ramones-esque pseudonyms for longtime friends and bandmates Aaron Freeman (Gene) and Mickey Melchiondo (Dean). The band formed in New Hope, Penn., when the two, then in middle school, met in a typing class. They began making music, performing live as a cassette tape-backed duo for nearly a decade before expanding into the five-piece makeup of today’s Ween. Last month, the band released their first album since 2008, “GODWEENSATAN: LIVE.” Tickets for Ween are $54.50 in advance and $60 day-of-show.
The electronic rock outfit Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) released their new album “The Universe Inside,” which is the band’s first new full-length album in nearly seven years, this past September. The Atlanta-born “post-rock dance music” group has 11 full-length albums to their credit and has been active in the exploratory electronic music scene since 1998. Tickets are $37.50 and $40 day-of-show.
IRATION WILL BRING LOST & FOUND WINTER TOUR TO THE JOINT
Hawaiian reggae stars Iration bring their “Lost & Found Winter Tour” to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. They will be joined by special guests The Green and Protoje. Tickets start at $39.50.
Iration is an alternative/reggae group of musicians formed in Isla Vista, Calif. A deep-rooted reggae influence is fused with elements of rock and pop to create smooth original sounds. All of the members met while growing up in Hawaii but formed the band after reconnecting in California with the exception of Micah Brown who joined 2014. The group released their “Hotting Up” album in summer of 2015.