l. to r. Pete Rose, Me, Judy Thorburn, Dianne Davis
Photo by Stephen Thorburn
Baseball icon and Las Vegas resident Pete Rose scored a home run with press and VIPs in Las Vegas last week when he hosted the grand opening of his all-American restaurant and sports bar, Pete Rose Bar & Grill, in the epicenter of the Las Vegas Strip.
“I love sports, sports fans and great quality food,” says Rose. “My partnership with HIG Management and our restaurant’s location allows me to bring all three together.”
Located across the street from ARIA directly on Las Vegas Blvd., the 9,000-square-foot restaurant, bar and Strip-side patio is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Developed by HIG Management Corporate Executive Chef Brian Littlejohn, Pete Rose Bar & Grill’s menu includes an array of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts along with signature “Pete Rose Specials,” all using responsibly-sourced ingredients. The specials honor the three cities that Rose played for, including Cincinnati Chili on spaghetti for the Cincinnati Reds, a classic Philly Cheese Steak for the Philadelphia Phillies, and a spin on Poutine, topped with brown gravy and cheese curds, for the Montreal Expos.
The 6,700-square-foot bar and dining room is filled with art instillations and historic pieces from Rose’s iconic baseball moments. The spacious full bar seats 35, while the dining room seats 250 and the patio seats 100 guests. More than 32 high-definition televisions fill the restaurant, offering 24/7 sports, analysis and action with the DIRECTV® SPORTS PACK. The patio offers a garden-like setting to enjoy dining al fresco while taking in the sounds and sights of the Las Vegas Strip.
For my part, I highly recommend the assortment of different flatbreads and the Turkey Burger. The latter is one of the best I’ve ever had here in Las Vegas and is seasoned to perfection.
Golden Nugget Las Vegas celebrated longtime headliner Gordie Brown with a VIP red carpet event at Rush Lounge on Wednesday, Octpber 14. Among the celebrities in attendance on the very special night during which Gordie debuted new songs and impressions were “Absinthe” stars Melody Sweets and Sean and John Scott, “Jersey Boys” stars Jason Kappus and Jason Martinez, HAnthony Cools, Brian Thomas, “Sexxy” star Jennifer Romas, Pia Zadora, Clint Holmes, “Rock of Ages” stars Becca Kotte and Mark Shunock, Chefs Rick Moonen and Luciano Pellegrini, and more. Also in attendance were Chris Phillips (“Zowie Bowie”), who attended in celebration of his birthday, and comedy legend Marty Allen. Gordie honored both from the stage during his high-energy show, wishing Phillips a very happy birthday, and paying heartfelt homage to Allen, who received a standing ovation from the enthusiastic audience.
The World Famous Stoney’s Rockin’ Country, where country lives in Las Vegas, hosted an official grand re-opening event for media and VIPs on Friday, October 16. The event kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce. The event also featured a special performance by top country artist and season three winner of NBC’s The Voice, Cassadee Pope, to an enthusiastic crowd.
Guests were invited to dust off their boots and take part in line-dancing, mechanical bull riding, beer pong, pool tables and more inside the renovated venue with rustic accents including a porch inspired stage area, elevated VIP seating lined with various United States’ license plates, semi-private booths and a sawdust sprinkled floor. One of the most prominent additions is a 13-ft tall by 21-ft long American flag made of 2,256 beer cans created by Oliver Toki, which is believed to be the largest of its kind, on display behind the mechanical bull arena. In addition, Stoney’s Rockin’ Country has partnered with Pot Liquor, voted “Best BBQ” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, to offer a delicious barbecue menu with a variety of options for patrons to enjoy.
On Saturday, October 24, more than 3,000 of Las Vegas’ craft beer enthusiasts gathered for Motley Brews’ fourth annual Downtown Brew Festival at the Clark County Amphitheater for an intimate backyard bash under the stars filled with more than 250 craft beer flavors from over 70 local, national and international breweries, delectable culinary treats from celebrated local chefs and nonstop entertainment with a new sound. This year’s festival goers sampled some of the season’s top craft beer flavors, including crowd favorites such as Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer and Founders Brewing Company’s All Day IPA. Throughout the evening, guests sipped mouth-watering tastes from new and returning breweries, including Ballast Point, Chaucer’s Cellars, Left Hand Brewing Company, Modern Times, Pizza Port Brewing Company, Shades of Pale, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Stone Brewing Company and many more. Heating up the starry evening, craft beer aficionados dined on Las Vegas’ top notch beer-infused menus from local celebrity chefs. .
“You’re the One That I Want!” “Legends in Concert, Las Vegas”’ award-winning live tribute show, along with superstar and Flamingo Las Vegas headliner, Olivia Newton-John, have joined forces to launch the global search for the first Olivia Newton-John tribute artist. Through Saturday, Oct. 31, aspiring singers and ONJ fans are encouraged to submit a video of themselves singing a classic Newton-John song from any era via the “Legends in Concert” website. Just in time for Halloween, participants must dress up as the real life GRAMMY award-winning music icon, or one of their favorite characters she made famous such as Sandy from “Grease” or Kira from “Xanadu.” One “Hopelessly Devoted” fan will be selected by the Aussie icon and mentored by the Legends in Concert’s casting team, winning an opportunity to join the cast and perform at one of the Legends in Concert venues throughout the U.S. The lucky winner will be determined based on overall looks, mannerisms and vocal ability to match the star’s likeness. A prestigious judging panel including Olivia will crown the very first Olivia Newton-John tribute artist.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, “America’s Got Talent Live,” launched a three-night engagement at the PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. This stage show version of the NBC #1 rated television show of the summer ran on Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24. Headlined by ventriloquist and season 10 winner, Paul Zerdin, the exclusive engagement also featured season 10 finalists -- comedian Drew Lynch, the one and only Piff the Magic Dragon accompanied by the world’s first magic performing Chihuahua, Mr. Piffles, and ladder performer Uzeyer Novruzov.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, on October 29 from 5-7 p.m., Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas resorts will host the sixth annual “Battle of the Bras” fashion show to support American Cancer Society. Caesars Entertainment executives, Strip headliners and entertainment personalities will take to the catwalk to showcase one-of-a-kind designed brassieres to raise funds for breast cancer research. The bras were designed by Caesars Entertainment employees and entertainers, including Flamingo Las Vegas headliners Donny & Marie as well as The LINQ Hotel & Casino headliner Matt Franco. Bras will be auctioned off during the fashion show. Models taking to the stage include property presidents, senior leaders, Strip headliners, performers from “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, “X Burlesque” at Flamingo Las Vegas, and “X Rocks” at the Rio.. The event will be hosted by Flamingo headliner Jeff Civillico.
Legendary international superstar Engelbert Humperdinck, currently on tour in Australia and South Africa, has started a record company with his son/manager Scott Dorsey called Spin Records. The company will not only produce Engelbert’s own albums but is in the process of signing other artists.
First up on the new label, the icon, long known as the “King of Romance” is trading his kingdom for a horse – his latest CD is a country album called “Runaway Country” featuring the original song “Runaway.” He performed the new single while on tour in Canada and the U.S. last week and it met with total raves from his sold-out audiences. Although he can sing the phone book, the album takes Engelbert back to his country roots, having been propelled into global stardom with his 1967 hit “Release Me,” which is in the Guinness Book of World Records for selling as many as 127,000 records a day worldwide at its peak. Since then, Engelbert has sold more than 150 million albums and is listed as the fifth top recording artist of all time.
Even more importantly, the star has retained his humility (which he says he learned from his friend, Elvis, early on) and is ever the classy gentleman. That was proven last week when the news broke that in the process of doing interviews for his just-released autobiography, Tom Jones was asked if he would ever patch things up with Engelbert and replied, “As I say, once a c***, always a c***. (That line is also in the book). Tom, who wears the title Sir, having been knighted by the Queen, has come under heavy fire for that comment as well as for comments he has made about his own wife as well as for allegedly telling the BBC to F***-off after his recent firing from The Voice in the U.K., and, most recently, for his comments on homosexuality,
As for Engelbert, while admittedly shocked by Tom’s outburst, his response was, “To be honest, I feel sorry for Tom always being in a bad mood. Life is too short to hold anger. I wish him luck.”
The two singers, who were good friends at one time and were both managed and brought to prominence by Gordon Mills in the 60s, parted ways when Engelbert decided in the 70s to leave Gordon and MAM, the record label that Gordon and Tom had started with Engelbert as its biggest star. While he has always held Gordon in the highest esteem, the two also having been good friends, Engelbert felt at the time that branching off was the wisest thing to do for the sake his career. The label had become the biggest independent label of the early 70s so when Engelbert left, tensions arose. Tom apparently took his departure personally and has been holding anger about it all these years. Although the two made up briefly about 30 years ago, the reunion didn’t last and they have not spoken a word to each other since.
In a city severely lacking in upfront-and-personal entertainment of the headliner kind mentioned above, it was a delight to go to the Italian American Club a couple of weeks ago to see talented singer Gene Ferrari perform backed by the 12-piece Mariano Longo Orchestra. Gene, who has a big, rich tenor voice and a charming stage personality, was the opening act for legendary comedian Don Rickles for seven-and-a half years and was mentored early on by Engelbert. Today, this audience-pleaser is performing solo gigs with his own special flair that belies his passion for the music he sings.
Ferrari began the evening and ended the evening with the beautiful song, “The Power of Love.” In between, he sang 18 songs, including doing a 15-minute tribute to Neil Diamond with “Sweet Caroline,” “Love on the Rocks,” and “Solitary Man” and singing two of Engelbert’s signature songs, “Release Me” and :”Love Is All.” He also told a few stories and bantered with the audience as well as bringing on stage singers Georgianne Hill and Tony Sacca and Elvis impersonator James Lowrey at different times during the evening to sing a few tunes. It was a night reminiscent of what made Las Vegas the great entertainment town that it used to be -- one that consistently featured true personal-touch entertainers -- and a town that far too many people miss.
Famed chocolatier, Ethel M Chocolates, will once again light up the night with its 22nd Annual Holiday Cactus Garden on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 5-8 p.m. The countdown to the lighting of more than 500,000 colorful lights will take place at approximately 6 p.m. at the Henderson Factory and Cactus Garden location. Recognized as the ultimate community holiday kickoff event in Southern Nevada, the Holiday Cactus Lighting is widely supported by local entertainers and personalities. One of Las Vegas’ favorite radio hosts, Mercedes of MIX 94.1, will emcee the event again this year with holiday entertainment provided by Las Vegas Strip performers Human Nature and the Jabbawockeez as well as Sin City Opera. While the Holiday Cactus Lighting event is free and open to guests of all ages, tickets are required for admission. Starting Nov. 2, a limited number of tickets will be available at the Ethel M Chocolates factory in Henderson. A family four-pack of tickets will be offered in exchange for non-perishable food items to be donated to Three Square Food Bank, or a toy donation for HELP of Southern Nevada.
For last week’s FANTASY calendar release party at the Luxor, two-time Emmy Award-nominee Mandy Moore spiced up the FANTASY stage by choreographing the show’s new opening number. Moore, best known for her unforgettable work and role as a guest judge on the hit television series So You Think You Can Dance, is a world-class director, choreographer and dancer. She traveled to Las Vegas to teach the FANTASY ladies a new routine set to a mash-up of Little Mix’s “Salute” and Jordin Sparks’ “I Am Woman.” Moore is currently choreographing routines for the upcoming musical comedy La La Land, starring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling and J.K. Simmons. In addition to the new opening number by Moore, FANTASY also introduced three fresh routines to the set list. Headliner Jaime Lynch slowed things down as she soulfully sang “Try a Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding to accompany a graceful solo number. FANTASY dancers Sonya and Dar teamed up with Gustavo Vargas to choreograph the show’s new.country number set to Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon,” with vocals by Lynch.
FANTASY’S Emmy-award winning choreographer, producer, director, dancer and actress, Anita Mann, wase the key note speaker at the prestigious Women of Achievement (WOA) Annual Awards Dinner, hosted by The Century City Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at The Beverly Hilton.
The producers of X Burlesque, X Rocks and X Comedy have announced the newest addition to the “X” brand, with the premiere of X Country on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 10:30 p.m. inside Harrah’s Las Vegas. A Kick’n topless revue featuring a combination of traditional and modern country music chart toppers, X Country will showcase stimulating performances from the X Country Girls, who will leave nothing to the imagination. True to the “X” brand, the X Country Girls are some of the most beautiful and talented dancers on the famed Las Vegas Strip, who will tease and seduce the audience to country music’s most popular songs from artists including Tim McGraw, Patsy Cline, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Trace Atkins and Hank Williams Jr., among many others. Created and produced by husband and wife team, Matt and Angela Stabile, X Country will be performed Thursday through Sunday (Dark Friday and Saturday) at 10:30 p.m. inside The Improv at Harrah’s Las Vegas.
There’s always exciting events happening at House of Blues, whether in the music hall, in Crossroads or high atop the legendary Foundation Room. Fans can join ‘Straight Outta Compton’ star O’Shea Jackson Jr. as he pays homage to his pops, O’Shea Jackson Sr., known to most as Ice Cube, with a “Last Friday” themed Halloween Eve party on Friday, Oct. 30 at 10 p.m.in the Foundation Toom.
Rattling chains, haunting music and fearsome predators return for the annual Haunted Reef at Shark Reef Aquarium inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with decorations, pumpkins, costumes and trick-or-treating. Community Day is Friday, Oct. 30, when children 12 and under who visit the aquarium in their Halloween costumes will receive complimentary admission and sweet treats. United Blood Services will be on site during Community Day for visitors interested in donating blood. Guests 17 and older who give blood will receive complimentary admission. To make an appointment contact United Blood Services at 702-638-7400 or visit unitedbloodservices.org and enter sponsor code: SharkReef.
An “inside” look at some of the sea’s most magnificent inhabitants awaited guests recently at the Las Vegas premiere of Sea Monsters Revealed at Shark Reef Aquarium inside Mandalay Bay. The world’s largest exhibition of uniquely preserved sea animals features an 18-foot, 3,000-pound whale shark along with a 15-foot-long Mako shark and giant sunfish among its more than 18 full-body sea creatures. Additional displays include 150 individual organs and smaller specimens such as tropical fish, crustaceans and octopuses. Located adjacent to Shark Reef Aquarium, Sea Monsters Revealed provides locals and visitors alike with a greater understanding of the world’s oceans and how mankind’s interactions and conservation efforts are vital to the health and preservation of these beautiful animals
Country music superstar Josh Thompson will return to Las Vegas on Monday, December 7, 2015 at 10 p.m. for a special performance to kick off the official National Finals Rodeo (NFR) Pink Party at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Performing inside the famed Westgate Cabaret, there is no cover for the show and a portion of all beverage sales will be donated directly to the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Whoopi Goldberg will perform at Treasure Island on November 13 at 9 p.m. And comedian, voice actor and television star Billy Gardell will return to the hotel on November 27 at 9 p.m. As Officer Mike Biggs, husband to Melissa McCarthy’s Molly Flynn, Gardell entertains millions of Americans every week on CBS’ hit comedy Mike & Molly, which recently aired its milestone 100th episode. He is also the host of the syndicated Monopoly Millionaires’ Club, which films in Las Vegas.
On Saturday, October 17, many rock fans gathered at Downtown Las Vegas Center to enjoy the multi-platinum band Daughtry. A host of local celebrities attended the event, including Counting Cars reality star Horny Mike. He was also seen dining at Andiamo Italian Steakhouse to celebrate the birthday of his girlfriend, Kelly. The popular downtown attraction Manneken Pis was also seen sporting a customized suit and welcoming the Vegas Internet Mafia Family Picnic to the D.
CENTRIC today announced that the SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2015 will be hosted by the incomparable singer-songwriter Erykah Badu. The hippest trip led by the illest chick will celebrate soul music’s R&B legends alongside the next wave of talented artists. To be filmed November 6 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, the SOUL TRAIN AWARDS will air on CENTRIC and BET on November 29th, 2015 at 8PM ET.
Musical luminaries being honored at the show include Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, who will receive the Legend Award, and Jill Scott, who will accept the first-ever Lady of Soul Award. These icons are being recognized for their longstanding presence in the industry and influence on the world of music past and present. R&B legend and record producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds has won 11 Grammy Awards and written and produced 26 No. 1 R&B hits. His new album, Return of the Tender Lover, will be released December 4th. A torchbearer of R&B music, Jill is a 3x Grammy Award-winner who has also established herself as a critically acclaimed actress as well as a New York Times bestselling poet.
Las Vegas’ electric male “strip-hop” revue Aussie Hunks have moved from downtown Las Vegas to the V Theater inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The newly re-designed production features state-of-the-art surround sound, HD visual effects, live motion video streaming, revamped costumes and new routines to its cheeky line-up, creating the ultimate night out. Aussie Hunks will perform five nights a week at 10:30 p.m. inside the V Theater Upstairs Showroom.
The Danny Gans Memorial Champions Run for Life Hosted by Donny Osmond benefits the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF). This special event, hosted by legendary entertainer and international star Donny Osmond, will continue to honor the memory of Las Vegas entertainer Danny Gans and to support, as Danny did, critically ill children and their families living in Southern Nevada. This year’s event has adopted a “Blue Suede Shoe” theme and will give awards for the Best Blue Shoes, Best Decorated Cape and the Largest Team Awards. Runners, walkers and community supporters are invited to compete in the 5K run, the fun run/walk and team race. Following the 5K, there will be an inspirational mini-run for children with critical illnesses called the Champions Run for Life – a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable event in Las Vegas. In addition to the run, there will be fun for the entire family including food, drinks, raffle drawings, bounce houses and entertainment
Southern Nevada Make A Wish Foundation granted a wish to a special young man battling cancer, Josiah Ojerio, 18, of Las Vegas. His wish to go to New York to see a live taping of SNL happened with he and his family were flown to the city. It was announced on stage live at the Laugh Factory Las Vegas’ 8:30 show at the Las Vegas Tropicana Hotel. Headliner Jay Black made the announcement in front of a packed house, inviting Josiah on stage with him, as his mom, grandmother, and family watched from the audience. Josiah and his family enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Baccio at the Trop before the show
On Wednesday, October 28, Opportunity Village will host the inaugural HallOVino at the Magical Forest from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., sponsored by Southern Wine & Spirits and Lee’s Liquor. This adults-only evening is a wine tasting event to create awareness for Opportunity Village’s Legacy Society. Individual tickets are available at http://www.hallOVino.org for $50. Admission to HallOVino includes samplings of a variety of wine and hors d’oeuvres along with Magical Forest attractions such as the Forest Express train and Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel rides throughout the evening. HallOVino tickets will also come with two general admission tickets for Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest, valid through the 2015 season.
Las Vegas’ most mouth-watering fundraising event is back with the 5th annual Cheers to Chocolate to benefit Easter Seals Nevada. Connoisseurs of chocolate, foodies and lovers of vino can delight in a variety of culinary bites, cocktails and wine from notable restaurants and sweet shops from around the Las Vegas Valley during the evening of fun and fundraising. While listening to the sounds of MO5AIC and Empire Records, guests can also bid on a wide assortment of silent auction items including entertainment packages, beauty baskets, jewelry, art dining experiences and more. For the first time, Cheers to Chocolate will also include a new cake auction from more than a dozen bakeries and will be a family-friendly event. Friday, November 20 6 – 9 p.m.
As country music powerhouses Reba, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn prepare to return to Las Vegas this December to resume their hit residency, REBA, BROOKS & DUNN: Together in Vegas at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, seven more shows have just been added. Due to demand, a performance on Monday, Dec. 7 has been added to the upcoming sold-out run along with the first set of performances in 2016 scheduled May 3 – 14
On Thursday, October 8, many MMA fans gathered at Downtown Las Vegas Event Center (DLVEC) to enjoy the anticipated bout hosted by the Resurrection Fighting Alliance. A host of local celebrities and athletes attended the event including actor Edward James Olmos (Selena, Stand and Deliver and Battlestar Galactica) and MMA cutman Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran. The friends were also seen dining at Andiamo Italian Steakhouse and enjoying a conversation with Richard Wilk, Director of Business Development & Buzz Marketing for the D Las Vegas.
In addition, Olmos returned to the DLVEC on Friday, October 9 to film a movie scene with UFC fighter Anderson Silva for the upcoming film “Monday Nights at Seven.” Both actors were greeted by excited fans that took pictures and shook hands.
Legends in Concert, Las Vegas’ longest-running live tribute show at Flamingo Las Vegas, will honor the military this Veterans Day by offering a complimentary ticket to those with a valid military ID for the 9:30 p.m. show on Wednesday, Nov. 11. In addition to the special performance on Veterans Day, Legends in Concert also offers a buy-one, get-one free ticket special throughout the year for anyone with a valid military ID. The current cast consists of Elizabeth Scarborough, first ever tribute artist to Taylor Swift, Brian Duprey as Frank Sinatra, Coty Alexander as Madonna, and Jay Dupuis as Elvis Presley.
September 25, 1987 is a day that changed Las Vegas forever… the date marked the first live performance of the now iconic “Crazy Girls” at the Riviera Hotel & Casino. Now for more than 28 years “Crazy Girls” has remained as fresh, new and controversial as the day it opened. -With the demise earlier this year of the Riviera Hotel & Casino, “Crazy Girls” found itself a new home at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and now plays nightly (except Tuesdays) at Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theatre located on The Mezz overlooking the casino. “Crazy Girls” celebrated its 28th anniversary on Wednesday, Oct. 21with a private party for VIPs and invited media with a red carpet, food and cocktails, the show and a souvenir photo with the “Crazy Girls.” The producer-director, Norbert Aleman, is an experienced producer with decades of experience in show business but “Crazy Girls,” with a cast of seven girls, is the longest running. Comedy magician Tony Douglas hosts the show.
Shake Shack® (NYSE: SHAK) is a modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural, antibiotic-free Angus beef burgers (no hormones added ever), hot dogs, frozen custard, crinkle cut fries, beer and wine (available at select locations), and more. With its fresh, simple, high-quality food at a great value, Shake Shack is a fun and lively community-gathering place with widespread appeal. From its premium ingredients and caring hiring practices to its environmentally responsible designs and deep community investment, Shake Shack’s mission is to Stand For Something Good®. The new venue located in Downtown Summerlin, the sister to the venue at New York-New York hotel casino, recently hosted a tasting Take it from me – the milkshakes, all made with fresh, natural ingredients, are to die for.
Magic duo Penn & Teller were named casino entertainers of the year at the recent Global Gaming Expo's (G2E) third annual Casino Entertainment Awards. Little River Band was named musical artist of the year and Ron White won comedian of the year at the awards ceremony held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as part of the week's G2E conference and tradeshow for the casino industry.