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The Gifts of Giving in Las Vegas

Olivia Newton-John lights the High Roller pink
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Observers at The LNQ Promenade were “tickled pink” when, in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, Flamingo Las Vegas headliner and breast cancer “thriver” Olivia Newton-John ceremoniously lit the High Roller – the world’s tallest observation wheel – pink for the night. Olivia was joined by the Chippendales from Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, donning special pink cuffs and collars. Fellow breast cancer survivors, who she refers to as “thrivers,” joined her at The LINQ Promenade to help spread awareness and ride the High Roller. Olivia is currently performing her “Summer Nights” residency at Flamingo Las Vegas, where a portion of every ticket sold is given back to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre (ONJCWC). In 1992, Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her personal triumph against cancer led her to announce her partnership with Austin Health and the creation of the ONJCWC in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia.

Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip turned the building pink in honor of breast cancer awareness by hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring PLAYBOY’s 2011 Playmate of the Year® and star of PIN UP at Stratosphere, Claire Sinclair. While at the cafe, Claire unleashed her inner artist by decorating a commemorative pink guitar, an activity that many of the bands scheduled to perform at Hard Rock Live will take part in as well. Proceeds from the auctioned guitars will benefit American Cancer Society

Eric Jordan Young is bringing a little piece of Broadway to Sin City with his new production, Shakin’ at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino’s Sin City Theatre. Debuting Saturday, October 4 at 5:30 p.m., Shakin’ features the multitalented “triple threat” Young, dazzling choreography and a live band. Young transforms a collection of quintessential pop, rock, funk, R&B and jazz songs, resulting in a fresh, current spin on some of the most recognizable and influential tunes.With inspiration from legendary Vegas performers including Sammy Davis Jr., Flip Wilson and Red Foxx, and the modern flair of stars like Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars, Young fuses an incredible repertoire that reinvigorates the great American songbook with contemporary arrangements, unforgettable characters and groove-inspired dance.

Ventriloquist Ronn Lucas and his cast of characters will perform a mix of stand-up comedy and improvisations at the Suncoast Showroom on November 8 and 9. Lucas is recognized as the first ventriloquist to headline a long-running show in Las Vegas and has received numerous awards for his performances, including being termed “The World's Best Ventriloquist” by The New York Times and The London Times.During his show, Lucas voices his characters Scorch the Dragon, Buffalo Billy and Chuck the Disposable Punk Rocker. In 1992, Lucas voiced Scorch the Dragon in Scorch’s self-titled television show on CBS.

The Westgate (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) has added two new royal additions to its Shimmer Cabaret lineup that already boasts a tribute to a “king,” Trent Carlini’s tribute to the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis Presley. Often referred to as the “King of Diamonds,” Neil Diamond: The Tribute is a spellbinding recreation that makes audience members proud of the portrayal of the legendary superstar. Known as “America’s #1 Neil Diamond Tribute Artist,” Rob Garrett has been performing as Neil Diamond for more than 20 years and has received numerous awards including the “2008/2009 Male Musical Tribute Act of the Year” award presented by the Entertainment Network at the Celebrity Impersonator Convention.

The second addition is Purple Reign: THE Prince Tribute Show. An authentic, high-energy, must-see performance for Prince and live music fans alike. Jason Tenner has been depicting “The Artist” for nearly 20 years and has been recognized as “Best Tribute Act” and most recently was named “Best Impersonator” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal 2014 Best of Las Vegas Readers’ Poll. Tenner has performed as a musical guest on Late Show with David Letterman.

Las Vegas’ longest running dinner theatre show, will celebrate 15 bloody years of performances with a yearlong promotion offering locals specially priced $30 tickets on the 15th of each month through July 2015. The whacky cast of characters serve up murder, mayhem, mystery and tricks at 6:15 p.m. nightly in the showroom at the D Las Vegas.Since its Las Vegas debut, “Marriage Can Be Murder” has committed 5,000 performances with 20,000 murders, and given 375,000+ people the opportunity to play detective alongside the outlandishly eager Lieutenant, and his ditzy hostess. Voted by locals, the Best Dinner Show 2013 and 2014, the experience provides a dash of intrigue mixed in with shenanigans and clever banter, topped with a suspect hiding amongst the guests.

“The Wonderful Wizard of Song: The Music of Harold Arlen,” a jukebox musical featuring classic songs by the iconic Oz composer, returns home to Las Vegas at Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts Oct. 17-19. Created by Vegas mainstay performer George Bugatti , Sam Arlen and American Idol’s Nigel Wright, “The Wonderful Wizard of Song” was written in Las Vegas and worked-shopped at The Debbie Reynolds Theatre before making its year and a half run in New York City. “The Wonderful Wizard of Song,” takes the audience on a journey, through a series of vignettes, tracing Harold Arlen’s career, seamlessly moving through the Cotton Club era to his Hollywood years and ending with his time on the Great White Way.

In this popular Off-Broadway hit, guests are treated to inspired renditions of “Stormy Weather,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Paper Moon,” “Accentuate the Positive,” “Let’s Fall in Love” and the much loved tunes from “The Wizard of Oz,” including “Over The Rainbow,” named by the American Film Institute as the No. 1 in the 100 Greatest American Movie Songs. Weaved in the 90-minute musical are inside stories of how some of the world’s most beloved songs were created as well as rare behind the scenes footage from “The Wizard of Oz” taken by Harold Arlen himself.’

Following a successful engagement earlier this year, Bill Engvall will bring his standup comedy routine back to the Treasure Island Theatre Friday, October 24 at 9 p.m. Guests must be 16 years or older to attend Engvall was one of the finalists on the popular fan-voted ABC show “Dancing With the Stars” with partner Emma Slater last year. He formerly hosted “Country Fried Home Videos” on CMT and “Lingo” on the Game Show Network; starred in and served as executive producer for “The Bill Engvall Show” on TBS; and provided the voice to one of the four main characters on CMT’s first-ever animated project, “Bounty Hunters.”

Discover a magical world where Halloween meets The 12 Days of Christmas, get a jump on trick-or-treating, and ride the world-famous High Roller all while helping one of Las Vegas' most endearing charities as The LINQ hosts a pre-Halloween BLOQ party to benefit In 12 Days on October 26 from 1-4 p.m. For a $30 admission, guests can enjoy a full afternoon of entertainment and fun as The LINQ transforms into a costumed Halloween celebration related to the 12 Days of Christmas story.All proceeds will benefit In 12 Days, a locally-grown charity that gives inspiration and hope to families who have suffered the loss of a loved one through 12 over-the-top days of giving during the Christmas holiday season related directly to the Twelve days of Christmas Song.

THE WHO, one of rock’s most legendary and defining bands, will celebrate their 50-year legacy when they bring their “THE WHO HITS 50!” tour to North America in 2015. “THE WHO HITS 50!” tour will make a stop in Las Vegas at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Saturday, September 19. Set lists on these shows will take their audience on an “Amazing Journey” through THE WHO’s entire career, from the band’s early days to classic albums including WHO’S NEXT, TOMMY, QUADROPHENIA, MY GENERATION and LIVE AT LEEDS, through the present day.

Talented trio the Swing City Dolls will perform on Friday, November 7 at Sam’s Town Live! A swinging tribute to the 1940’s, the Swing City Dolls combine three superb voices and a unique, vintage style for a musical act that appeals to all ages. For more than ten years, “The Dolls” have appeared across the Las Vegas Valley, opening for acts include Lionel Richie, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell. The Dolls are Natalie Carson, Robin Vincent and Connie Murray.

Whoopi Goldberg, who has been delighting audiences since the age of eight, will return to Treasure Island November 14 at 9 p.m. Goldberg began her career working in theater and creating characters that became “The Spook Show” and evolved into the hit Broadway show, Grammy® Award-winning album and HBO special that helped launch her career. During her Broadway show, Goldberg grabbed the attention of Steven Spielberg who cast her in The Color Purple, her first big-screen role. Since then she has starred in many other films including Ghost, The Associate, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Girl, Interrupted and the upcoming releases Black Dog, Red Dog and Big Stone Gap.

Known best for her work on MADtv, comedian Anjelah Johnson returns to the Orleans Showroom November 21 and 22. A video of Johnson’s bit “Nail Salon” skyrocketed her into online stardom around the same time she earned a recurring role on the sketch comedy series MADtv in 2007 and 2008. Her infamous MADtv character Bon Qui Qui, a disgruntled fast food employee with no filter, has been watched by more than 55 million YouTube viewers.

The first in a series of one night only intimate evenings called “EntSpeaks” with the people that made Las Vegas the entertainment capital of the world will take place on Monday, October 21, at the intimate 200-seat Inspire Theater in downtown Las Vegas at 10 p.m. Speakers will take their turn walking onto an empty stage with nothing but a microphone and a lifetime of awe inspiring stories. Speakers will be singer Mary Wilson, comedian Marty Allen, former model/dancer Shellee Renee, comedy magician Amazing Johnathan, Cirque du Soleil performer Christina Jones and producer Jeff Kutash The evening will end with a Q and A with a twist.

Freakling Bros., Las Vegas’ premiere haunted attraction, has announced that due to overwhelming demand, The Victim Experience will make its horrifying return this October. Originally debuted in October 2013, The Victim Experience is a one-of-a-kind, terrifyingly realistic and utterly hellish experience for a special kind of thrill seeker. The Victim Experience will run Oct. 24 - 26 and Oct. 31.The Victim Experience offers a terrifyingly realistic, traumatic and horrifying test of psychological fortitude for those who think they have what it takes. This experience is not for everybody. Theme Park University called this “The most intense haunt ever.”

The Miss Nevada USA Organization is gearing up for the 2015 Miss Nevada USA and Miss Nevada Teen USA Pageants, which will be held on Sunday, Nov. 23, with the announcement of this year’s judging panel. Taking place at the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, each contestant will be judged in three areas of competition -- interview, swimsuit and evening gown. The judges will have the difficult job of deciding which two young ladies will represent Nevada at the national Miss USA and Miss Teen USA competitions to be held next year. The star-studded judging panel will be responsible for assessing each contestant by their character, poise, confidence and personality. They include ormer Miss Nevada USA 2012 Jade Kelsall, famed plastic surgeon Dr. Aaron Rollins, VH1’s “Hollywood Exes” star Mayte Garcia, Dr. Joe Willardsen of True Dentistry and Susan Pinksy, blogger and wife of “Celebrity Rehab” star Dr. Drew Pinsky.

Grammy winner Jack Jones will perform his timeless hits at the Suncoast Showroom on November 22 and 23. With more than 50 recorded albums, 17 of them charting Billboard's Top 20, Jones charms audiences with his wit, sensitivity and vocal power. Jones’ well-known hits include “The Race Is On,” “Lady,” “Call Me Irresponsible,” “What I Did For Love” and more

Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) and Cirque du Soleil® once again join forces to present the highly creative and collaborative 7th annual A Choreographers’ Showcase, featuring over 60 local artists from NBT and Cirque du Soleil, performing 11 original works on Sunday, October 26 at 1 pm and Sunday, November 2 at 1 pm at the Mystère Theatre at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, Designed as a project to stimulate and encourage artistic growth, A Choreographers’ Showcase provides emerging artists from both NBT and Cirque du Soleil the necessary resources and support to conceptualize, develop, create and execute an originally-choreographed work from beginning to end.

Dedicated to thrilling audiences with spectacular illusions while increasing awareness for preserving wildlife and the environment, Dirk Arthur has announced his return to the Las Vegas Strip with a new show, “Dirk Arthur’s Wild Illusions!” In this fast-paced show, breathtaking big cat magic is interwoven with comedy, beautiful dancers and large-scale effects. Dirk Arthur’s Wild Illusions! is set to open at the Starlite Theatre inside the Riviera Hotel & Casino on Monday, Dec. 1.Arthur is a leading advocate of preserving endangered species and for the humane and proper care of all animals of the world. To that end, 100 percent of the proceeds from merchandise sales at his show will be donated to various animal care and conservation programs, animal sanctuaries and developing educational programs in schools to create awareness for endangered animal preservation

Magician Jan Rouven, currently performing at the Riviera, will move to the New Tropicana, as will “Raiding the Rock Vault,” which had been playing at the Westgate.

Red Dragon has announced that the upcoming Las Vegas Foodie Fest, presented by Pepsi, will donate a portion of total proceeds to two local charitable organizations: The Shade Tree and Bamboo Bridges. Las Vegas Foodie Fest will be held from Wednesday, Oct. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 19, at The LINQ Promenade. Las Vegas Foodie Fest will feature more than 50 of the nation’s top food trucks and food vendors highlighted by East Coast and Midwest favorite, White Castle, along with a number of celebrity trucks from The Food Network, History Channel, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel.

Rockers Styx return to The Pearl inside Palms Casino Resort on Jan.18, 2015 at 8 p.m. Styx – Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips, along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo, have performed more live since ’99 than all of the previous years of its career combined. Two Super-Bowl appearances and Pollstar Box Office chart-topping tours with Def Leppard, Journey, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Bad Company, to name just a few, two more studio albums and no end in sight, STYX continues to conquer the planet, one venue at a time.

The dynamic cast of Legends in Concert, Las Vegas’ longest-running live tribute show at Flamingo Las Vegas, introduced Barbra Streisand to its cast of award-winning tribute artists on Monday, Sept. 29. Through the end of the year, the talented Sharon Owens will honor the legendary Barbra Streisand with her uncanny resemblance and breathtaking vocal range of three full octaves. Owens found success after winning FOX TV’s “Performing As…” reality competition show where she stunned audiences with her talent. Owens has been featured as the legendary singer on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and Extra and in People Magazine. With more than three decades of experience as a tribute artist, Owens continues to take audiences back in time to ‘60s Broadway, ‘70s disco and ‘80s films with her rendition of Barbra Streisand performances.

The 2014 Centric Soul Train Awards will be held on November 7 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The show will be hosted by media personality Wendy Williams. The Soul Train Awards will broadcast on Centric and BET on November 30 at 5 p.m. PST. The show will feature a lineup of unforgettable performances by industry icons and today’s leading musicians.The show kicks off a weekend of events at the Orleans, including Centric Comedy All Stars on Saturday, November 8 and two shows of Centric Presents: The Soul Train Review on Sunday, November 9.

With the holiday season fast approaching, the question may already be lingering: What to give the obsessed animal lover who seems to have it all? The Knuttel Gallery, located in the Grand Canal Shoppes at Venetian|Palazzo, has the perfect solution to deck the halls in grandiose style: a commissioned painting of their pet by Ireland’s most prolific artist, Graham Knuttel. If money is no object when it comes to the pet lover in one’s life, memorialize the precious pup, cuddly cat or even loveable lizard in a lap of true luxury. Knuttel is known for capturing the spirit of the most discerning cats, dogs, horses, birds and even sheep, in his sculptures and paintings and now fans can commemorate their pet by the master artist. Private sittings begin at $25,000. Generous gift givers can also customize packages with wardrobe styling, a hair and accessories artist, a playroom equipped with choice of toys, on-site catering specialized to meet the dietary needs of the pampered pooch or coddled kitten and more. To schedule a private sitting or for more information, please contact The Knuttel Gallery at 702-228-8808.

Extra! host Mario Lopez and his wife Courtney Mazza Lopez celebrated their respective birthdays and the launch of his new book, "Just Between Us,” in high style at Andrea’s restaurant and XS nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. Before meeting up with their group of 12 friends for dinner, the two lovebirds stopped in the lounge at Andrea's where Mario sipped on a Sinatra Smash cocktail in front of a giant photograph of Andrea Wynn’s eyes emanating from the LED screen behind the bar. Mario and Courtney then stepped up onto the celebrity hotspot's terraced dining room to join their party where they experienced Executive Chef Joseph Elevado’s mastery of Asian flavors. Shortly after midnight, the group made their way to XS nightclub to continue the celebration.

With Courtney by his side, Mario led the group into the venue. He began grinning and was overheard saying “whoa” when he saw the LED screens flash “Happy Birthday Mario.” Guests went wild as Mario, Courtney and friends were escorted in style down the nightclub’s signature golden staircase with 10 beautiful XS Angels flanking both sides, waiving light wands to direct them to their stage side table. As soon as they arrived, the group began taking and posing for photos. Once they got settled, the XS Angels presented Mario with a three-tiered black and gold birthday cake

Up-and-coming country music singer/songwriter Cole Swindell will perform for one night only at Gilley’s Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Que on Monday, October 27 at 9 p.m. Swindell’s introduction to the country music industry began when he sold merchandise on tour with Luke Bryan, whom he’d once opened some shows for in Georgia. For the second consecutive year, Swindell will open for Bryan on “The Farm Tour.” Swindell continues to win fans over with his 2013 breakout single, “Chillin’ It.” He released his self-titled debut album in February 2014.There is no cover charge to attend the performance.

Bob Anderson’s “Frank, The Man, The Music,” opens Jan. 24 for a scheduled yearlong run at Palazzo Theater. Anderson thrilled the audience in May with his right-on impression complete with full makeup and prosthetics of the legendary singer. Fans can expect a full-scale, tribute to Sinatra by one of the great vocal impressionists ever to play Las Vegas. The set of the Palazzo Theater are set to reflect a classic supper club as Anderson takes guests back to the year 1975. Jerry Lewis, Wayne Newton, Vinnie Falcone, the Jersey Boys, and Deana Martin were all in the room when Anderson did his showcase at The Venetian in May.

ONE DROP celebrated the third annual ‘Walk for Water at the Springs Preserve’ presented by UFC on Saturday, October 11. The 2.7 mile walk kicked off at Symphony Park at The Smith Center and ended with a celebration at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. The event pays tribute to the 780 million people that lack access to water and are forced to walk miles every day to retrieve it. Upon arrival at The Springs Preserve, walkers were treated to food and games, along with key notes from Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Congresswoman Dina Titus, ONE DROP CEO Catherine B. Bachand, UFC Hall of Famer and former Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin and more.

Once again converting a sprawling city landscape into festival grounds, Life is Beautiful reveals the 15 city blocks it will secure and incorporate into its music, food, art and learning event on October 24-26, 2014 in Downtown Las Vegas. Expecting to attract tens of thousands of people over the expanded three-day event, Life is Beautiful will be hosted in a similar layout to its inaugural festival last year. Life is Beautiful festival-goers seeking a never-before-seen production will experience a special collaboration between the internationally acclaimed show, The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage, and members of Southern Nevada’s premier professional symphony, The Las Vegas Philharmonic. On the closing afternoon of the festival’s three-day celebration of music, food, art and learning, the two organizations will come together in a one-of-a-kind showcase of artistic creativity and expression.

Life is Beautiful Festival will also join the world in celebrating the recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai , for her efforts to empower girls to reach their potential through quality education, particularly in her home country of Pakistan. The festival is honored to be able to play a small role in spreading Yousafzai’s message by hosting Shiza Shahid, the CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund, during the 2014 festival on October 24.

Saddle up for the 28th Annual Downtown Hoedown at Fremont Street Experience taking place on Wednesday, Dec. 3 beginning at 4:30 p.m. The popular downtown destination has wrangled in top country music talents for all cowboys, cowgirls and country music fans alike to celebrate the return of the annual National Finals Rodeo to Las Vegas with free concerts under the neon lights. This year’s lineup will feature performances from Thomas Rhett, Confederate Railroad, The Cadillac Three, American Young, RaeLynn and Old Dominion on Fremont Street Experience’s three stages.

As Rod Stewart kicks off the fourth year of his smash hit Las Vegas residency “Rod Stewart: The Hits.” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, nine shows have just been added Jan. 27 through Feb. 15, 2015. Since his residency debut in 2011, the two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has taken Las Vegas audiences by storm with high-energy performances of his iconic hits including “Maggie May,” “You Wear it Well,” “Hot Legs,” “You’re in My Heart,” “Do You Think I’m Sexy,” “Some Guys Have All the Luck,” “Young Turks,” “Forever Young” and more.

Luke Perry, best known for his role in the hit TV series “Beverly Hills, 90210,” visited VooDoo Zip Line at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino recently. The actor soared nearly 500 feet above the ground and took in the beautiful sights of the famous Las Vegas Strip.

The Diana Krall performance scheduled for Nov. 8, 2014 at The Pearl Concert Theater inside Palms Casino Resort is being postponed to 2015. Due to ongoing complications brought on by a severe case of pneumonia, the GRAMMY Award-winning jazz pianist and singer has been forced to postpone her scheduled album release and U.S. Fall Tour. Ticket holders can retain their tickets for the future date or obtain a refund from the original point of purchase.

Sammy Hagar today announced plans to transform Las Vegas’ newest music venue, the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, into an epic, belated Birthday Bash on Sat., October 18. The announcement follows on the heels of Hurricane Odile which forced Hagar to cancel his 24th annual Birthday Bash at the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Mexico. Sammy Hagar’s Belated Birthday Bash will feature Sammy Hagar & The Circle featuring Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson rocking a setlist spanning four decades – including hits from Montrose, Hagar’s solo career, Van Halen and beyond – and with Bonham on board, they can also expect a few Led Zeppelin classics. In addition, Joe Satriani and Chad Smith will join Hagar and Anthony for a special CHICKENFOOT encore.

Rock in Rio, the legendary music festival, will host five weddings per day at the upcoming Rock in Rio USA in Las Vegas May 8 – 9 and 15 – 16, 2015. The chosen lucky couples will be married at the Rock in Rio Chapel, part of the festival’s Rock Street experience, an unprecedented location on the famed Las Vegas Strip.Couples can submit their love story at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be considered for one of the limited free ceremonies, surrounded by music at Rock in Rio’s first-ever festival in the U.S.

Aiya America took first place in three categories during the bi-annual North American Tea Championship, including the Aiya Brand Logodistinction as best overall Matcha in the competition. Aiya’s winning teas included the Premium Matcha in the matcha category, Premium Gyokuro in the steamed green tea category, and Matcha infused Genmaicha in the blended green tea category. The competition, held at The Beverage Group headquarters, a division of F+W in Las Vegas, NV, is an independent competition that distinguishes both high quality and best tasting teas that are currently commercially available in the North American market. Over 250 entries compete amongst the various categories and submissions are evaluated via blind and organoleptic analysis. Each tea is judged on a 100-point scale in the categories of dry leaf, brewed flavor, brewed color, brewed aroma, brewed mouth feel and brewed harmony.

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