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Sunday, January 7, 2007 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
NBA All-Star Tickets On Sale, `The Sopranos Last Supper' Relocating, 'Bonk' Show This Week, University Theatre offers All-Age Concerts, Michael Jackson Vegas Bound, Clinton Jackson Headlines, Trump Tower Introduces Residential Doorman, 2006 Reflections, Las Vegas Motorspeedway Race Ready, Hotspot Pure Expands South, More...

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Jackie Brett
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Tickets for the 2007 NBA All-Star Practice presented by Toyota featuring the NBA's brightest stars are on sale. The All-Star Practice session will give fans the opportunity to watch NBA All-Stars from both the Eastern and Western conferences prepare for the All-Star Game taking place at the Thomas & Mack Center on Feb. 18. All-Star Practice begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17 on Center Court inside NBA All-Star Jam Session which takes place at the Mandalay Bay in the South Convention Center. The Western conference All-Stars will practice first, followed by the Eastern conference squad.

Tickets are $35, call 1-800-4-NBA-TIX (622849). Tickets for the All-Star Practice include admission on Saturday to the NBA All-Star Jam Session, the league's interactive basketball theme park where fans can dunk like the pros, compete against their friends at on-court challenges, meet NBA players and legends, plus much more.

"The Sopranos Last Supper" closed last Friday night at the Harmon Theater at KRAVE. The interactive dinner show is moving to The Empire Ballroom located across the Strip from the Monte Carlo and will open on Thursday, Jan. 11. The two-hour interactive dinner show for adults features a live band along with the Bada Bang Girls. Shows are at 6 p.m. nightly except Wednesday.

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At the new locale, there will be a cocktail-only balcony seating area for $59. Three booths at $500 each will make up high-roller seats for four guests each. Premium seating on the dance floor will be $99 and preferred seating on the perimeter will be $89. The show includes a four-course gourmet buffet plus dessert and a "Bacardi Teaser Cocktail." For tickets, call 702-SEE TONY or 733-8669.

"The Sopranos Last Supper" will open the night after the debut of "The Sopranos" on A&E. "Chopper - The King of Cars" infomercial is currently airing on COX Cable. "The Sopranos Last Supper's" four actors were approached to join the most well-known infomercial in Las Vegas that turned into an A&E series.

The Rampart Casino at the Resort at Summerlin is presenting the highly energetic live comedy game show, "BONK" in Addison's Lounge at 8 p.m., Jan. 7-11. Admission is free.

The show combines an innovative mix of stand up comedy delivered in a game show format, complete with hilarious prizes, props and a professional comedy host. Contestants are challenged to answer trivia questions, unscramble puzzles and perform funny dances. Using a large soft mallet, contestants "BONK" themselves in the head to qualify to answer humorous questions, ranging from simple to challenging.

BONK creator, Kerry Pollock, is a professional comedian and magician who has headlined for more than two decades at resorts and casinos across the country.

On Jan. 22, University Theatre will open for fans of all-ages with the inaugural show featuring a night of acoustic performances by MTV Discover & Download featured and Doghouse recording artists and former Las Vegas residents Meg & Dia along with national artists Daphne Loves Derby, Ronnie Day and the House of Fools, and local act The Day After. The official grand opening weekend will be Jan 26-28 with performances by Fletch on Jan. 26, The Higher on Jan. 27 and Escape The Fate on Jan. 28. Tickets for all these shows range from $10 to $15.

With the success of local sensations The Killers and Panic! At the Disco, Las Vegas is receiving attention for its vast array of musical acts. University Theatre will accommodate 450 fans and fill the venue void that has been missing for up and coming artists to be discovered.

The theatre is located off the Strip on Maryland Parkway, north of Tropicana.

The rumors are gaining momentum that Michael Jackson may make Las Vegas his new home while he tries to resurrect his career with some sort of deal with Steve Wynn. Jackson may team up with illusionist David Blaine for a magic and music spectacular.

Had the opportunity at the end of last month to catch "Plaid Tidings," the holiday adaptation of "Forever Plaid" at the Gold Coast, followed by Barry Manilow at the Las Vegas Hilton. Both shows are marvelous and thoroughly entertaining.

"The Vinnie Favorito Comedy Show" at O'Sheas will be dark from Tuesday, Jan. 9 through Sunday, Jan. 14. Favorito performs two shows nightly in the 150-seat showroom, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 8:30 p.m.

Clinton Jackson, who was best known as the science teacher, Mezz Crosby, on the Warner Brothers Network sitcom "Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher," will headline the Riviera Comedy Club, Jan. 8 - 14. Jackson appeared on the season finale of CBS' "Cybill."

A Touch of Mystery will premiere a new murder mystery dinner show called "Music Can Be Murder!" on Jan. 19. The musical murder mystery set in the 1930s is about a big band extravaganza. The mystery will starts at the renowned Liberace Museum and end up next door at Carluccio's Tivoli Gardens Restaurant for dinner, more music, and the solution to the mystery. Preferred seating is $69 and VIP is $75, which includes a bottle of wine and a photo with the cast, call 702-798-5595, ext. 13.

Doormen are rare, if not non-existent in Las Vegas. The 2 million-square-foot, 64-story, 24-carat gold glass-encased Trump Tower under construction immediately north of the Fashion Show Mall will have Paul Duna, 37, of Chicago as its doorman. The Trump Brand feels the doorman is an integral part of the Trump International Hotels. Right now, Duna welcomes purchasers to the offices of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas sales center on the Strip at 3128 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Duna will be responsible for the tenants, assist with packages, monitor the door, and handle security.



TOP OF NEXT COLUMN

Last year we saw some properties with a lot of history close. The biggest one was the 48-year-old Stardust, which will be torn down to make room for the $4 billion Echelon Place. The other Strip resorts that shut their doors were the Westward Ho and the Boardwalk that occupied land that is under development to become the MGM Mirage's $7 billion, mixed-use Project CityCenter. In addition, the Castaways and Bourbon Street no longer exist.

Building on the Strip continues front and center with the Las Vegas Sands Corp. growing the $1.8 billion Palazzo next to the Venetian and Wynn Resorts constructing the $1.74 billion Encore next to Wynn Las Vegas.

Some shows came and went in 2006 too. Broadway didn't fair very well with "Hairspray" at the Luxor and "Avenue Q" at Wynn having to close. However, "Phantom, the Las Vegas Spectacular" at the Venetian seems to have the "wow" factor needed to sustain a Las Vegas presence.

This year Broadway will get a couple more chances to succeed with "Spamalot" opening at Wynn and "The Producers" debuting at Paris.

Last year we gained another Cirque du Soleil show, the Beatles tribute spectacular "LOVE," at The Mirage. We also saw the return of some name headliners such as Prince at the Rio and Liza Minnelli with a couple appearances at the Luxor.

One thing is for sure, Las Vegas is never boring. Happy New Year!

At the Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), work began on the building of the Neon Garage and new media center immediately following the last year's March 12 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 and will be completed in time for the March 9-11, 2007 NASCAR Weekend.

The Neon Garage is being positioned in the center of the LVMS infield. It is comprised of four buildings - constructed in the shape of a diamond - in which the NASCAR Nextel Cup teams will prepare their cars to race. Each building is two stories, which will allow race fans to watch the teams work from ground level or from an elevated position.

The center of the Neon Garage will be open to race fans. There will be a sports bar with big screens to watch the on-track action, concession stands and continuous entertainment acts that represent Las Vegas' best shows. Some acts will include Blue Man Group, Sirens of the TI and several tribute artists including Elvis, Madonna and Elton John impersonators. As an added bonus, the speedway is moving its Winner's Circle into the Neon Garage as well.

Four of the five original statues that once stood in front of Circus Circus and were photographed by thousands of visitors were hauled away in the middle of last year and buried in a landfill. The only remaining one is "The Clown." All the statues were created by artist Montyne in 1967 and erected the following year. Montyne lived much of his life in Las Vegas and died in 1989. The best-known of the statues was of an acrobat balancing on a single finger and it was actually a self-portrait of the artist, who was also a stage and circus performer. Another statue was of a young female acrobat balancing on a board atop a cylinder and the pose was based on Montyne's wife. One statue that kid's loved was of Gargantua, the "World's Largest Gorilla" that was once exhibited by the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The New American Theatre Project is presenting its second production, the Las Vegas premiere of "Wake Up And Smell The Coffee" at the Las Vegas Little Theater located at 3920 Schiff Drive near Spring Mountain and Valley View. The New American Theatre Project is comprised of actors who trained at the prestigious Guthrie Theater and performers from Franco Dragone's latest creation, "Le Reve" at Wynn Las Vegas. Performances will be Jan. 9-17 with matinees on Jan. 14 and 21. Tickets are $20, call 702-360-9959.

A new Westin hotel brand, called "Element," will be built in the southwest part of the valley. The $19 million, 125-room, extended-stay facility will be located at the southwest corner of Town Center Drive and the Beltway and next to the Nevada Cancer Institute.

Las Vegas will be one of the first markets in the country to have an Element hotel. Ground breaking is anticipated for July this year with the property opening by summer 2008.

Element will be an upscale boutique concept. The four-story, 80,000-square-foot hotel will have a sleek look, with metal paneling, glass and stone finishes. The 400-square-foot rooms will have kitchens with stainless-steel appliances, wireless Internet access, flat-screen TVs and Westin's signature Heavenly beds.

Wine dinners are starting up again this year. Sazio's restaurant at the Orleans will hold a wine dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 16 and feature Ravenswood wines. Cost is $39, call 702-948-9500. Another Gustav Mauler eatery is Spiedini at the J.W. Marriott in Summerlin and Ruffino wines will be highlighted with the gourmet dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Cost is $63, call 702-869-8500. Mauler is one of the American Culinary Federations 54 Certified Master Chefs.

Nightlife innovator Pure Management Group will open a PURE Lounge at the freshly renovated Fontainebleau Resort in mid-2008. The PURE Lounge will be smaller than its 40,000-square-foot Las Vegas namesake. In early 2006, the original 51-year-old landmark Fontainebleau resort closed its doors and is now undergoing a $500 million renovation and expansion project.

In the meantime, this February Pure Management Group will bring the PURE Lounge to life at the Wine Spectator's Best of the Best, which is the South Beach Food & Wine Festival in Miami. A fully-themed lounge area complete with the club's signature sleek design will be created inside the American Airlines Arena for the Feb. 23 event.

PURE Nightclub in Las Vegas opened to nation-wide acclaim on Dec. 31, 2004, with a New Year's Eve countdown by Mariah Carey.

Additional properties under Pure Management Group include PURE Nightclub, the Pussycat Dolls Lounge and Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace, Tangerine Lounge & Nightclub and sushi concept Social House at TI, Coyote Ugly Las Vegas at New York-New York and Fat Tuesdays inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

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Editorial Content Copyright(c) 2000-2007 Jackie Brett; Internet Presentation Copyright(c) Las Vegas Leisure Guide