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Sunday, January 8, 2006 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Tryst Nightclub Opens, Village People Invade, Celebrity Impersonator Contest Continues, Michael Bublé Sold Out, Star Trek: The Experience™ Turns 8, Jay Leno Booked, "Love Is A Pain" Closes, Queen In Concert, Lance Burton Gets Soaked, Health Expo Coming, Poker At The Palace, Willy & Jose's Extends Hours, Michael Johns Hypnotizes Real Survivor, Boardwalk Closes, More...

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Jackie Brett
by
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Having never seen the former nightclub La Bete that opened and closed rather quickly and only hearing that it highlighted a purple and gold color scheme, it is clear the makeover to the new 12,000-square-foot club Tryst at Wynn Las Vegas was worthwhile. Tryst opened over the holidays and it's highly dramatic.

The complete renovation added 30 more tables and a new color scheme featuring copper, deep reds, resin blacks, and chocolate browns. Guests are greeted by an open free -floating, winding stairway down to a black and white lounge. The wall affect sets the elegant tone. From floor to ceiling, framed mirrors of varying sizes are applied to the walls like a mosaic pattern.

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Next you make an "s"-curve turn through a red paneled hallway with wall lamps with small shades embedded at varying heights in the padded walls.

The grand entrance is into a main room with open air and a sizable dance floor extending into a breathtaking 90-foot waterfall that cascades into a secluded lagoon. On both sides of the lagoon are outside patios enveloped in dramatic white lines and shrouded by a grove of trees. The inside main room features intimate booth-style tables, a private VIP room and a separate ultra-lounge with its own house music.

One of the managing partners is Victor Drai, who is well known for his exquisitely dramatic Drai's Afterhours and restaurant located in the basement at the Barbary Coast. The one affect that overwhelms his lounge at Drai's is a wall of candles. This candle glow atmosphere has been extended to Tryst, where you can tell candle lighting can be a full-time job. Tryst is really magnificent.

The Village People, who represent a group of icons from various American social groups and are best known for the hit tunes "Y.M.C.A." and "Macho Man," will headline at the Silverton on Jan. 20. Tickets are $35.

The colorful group in their first decade sold more than 65 million recordings and won many worldwide awards. Of the originating and long-term members, Ray Simpson as the cop, David Hodo as the construction worker, Felipe Rose as the Native American, Jeff Olsen as the cowboy and Alex Briley as the soldier continue on. In 1995, Eric Anzalone replaced original member Glenn Hughes as the biker/ leather-man.

In 1990 on CBS Records (Australia,) they recorded the top-ten hit "Living in the Wildlife" and in 1995 sang with the German Soccer Team on the BMG Records (Germany) number one hit "Far Away in America." The Village People wrote and now perform in their show a new classic entitled "Trash Disco," a tribute to the many artists and dance hits that are now a memorable part of the disco era. Besides "Trash Disco" their live show also features new material like "Take My Breath Away" by David Hodo.

Their hits have been heard on dozens of major motion pictures, they have entertained during the half-time for Australia's Rugby Grand Finals that was seen by more people than the Super Bowl, and their music is played during the seven inning stretch at dozens of baseball games. As they enter their third decade, they continue to invigorate worldwide audiences.

The Imperial Palace's "Be A Legend" Celebrity Impersonator Karaoke Contest will kick off its third year on Thursday, Feb. 16. The "Be A Legend" karaoke contest is free and open to the public at Tequila Joe's, the hotel's karaoke club on the Strip sidewalk. The quarterly event also will be held May 18, Aug. 17 and Nov. 16. For an entry form and contest rules, visit www.imperialpalace.com, select "be entertained" and then "TJ's-karaoke" from the drop- down menu.

Celebrity impersonators from across the country will compete for an audition with the hotel's award-winning celebrity tribute full-production spectacular - Legends in Concert - now playing to packed audiences in its 23rd year. First place also wins $750, second place wins $500, third wins $250 and fourth and fifth place each get $100.

About 20 contestants must be prepared to sing up to two songs in full costume and makeup of the performers they impersonate. The top five, as determined by a panel of entertainment industry judges, compete for the prize money and audition.

Another Strip property will be biting the dust tomorrow. The Boardwalk will be closing to make way for a gigantic Strip development called City Center. You can't miss the small Boardwalk property because of its roller-coaster facade and the jumbo, looming clown's face. The Boardwalk was created by Norm Jansen, who passed away eight years ago. His widow, Avis, has continued to run her little gift store inside the property. In fact, when the doors close, Mrs. Jansen will be taking the gold-framed portrait of her late husband off the lobby wall and keeping it.

The Jansens were a couple who enjoyed Las Vegas' heydays. She arrived in Las Vegas from Wisconsin in 1946 as a 19-year-old and got a job as a waitress. After three weeks of throwing quarters into slots, she swore off gambling but loved the business. She worked the bingo room at the Boulder Club on Fremont Street, where she met a young Norm Jansen, who worked at Boulder Club's sports book, updating the odds lines on the big betting board. They married in 1950.

Over the years, Norm owned the Pioneer Club, part-owned the California Hotel, bought the Elwell Hotel downtown, and built the old Riverboat on the Strip, which is now Harrah's. It was there that his wife launched her business, Holiday Gifts Inc.

In the early 1970s, the Jansens opened a gift shop next to a Holiday Inn farther south on the Strip, and then Norm took over the hotel as well. Twenty years later, he took his company public and with the infusion of cash, remade the old hotel as the Holiday Inn Boardwalk Casino. The place got a new look and the 17-story tower.

The next to close will be the Lady Luck in February; however, it will reopen in about a year after a thorough remodel job takes place.



TOP OF NEXT COLUMN

Michael Bublé, who will headline at the Las Vegas Hilton on Valentine's weekend, Feb. 10-12 and 14, has sold out.

Star Trek: The Experience™ at the Las Vegas Hilton marked its 8th anniversary on Jan. 4. The attraction opened as a joint venture between Paramount Parks and Hilton Hotels. The project, featuring an amusement ride, themed restaurant and lounge, and casino area, cost $75 million and spread over 40,000 square feet of the Hilton's North Tower. In March 2004, the

"Borg Invasion" attraction was added to the venue.

The Las Vegas Hilton has opened another part of its construction and renovation project. Fortuna is a contemporary 24-hour gourmet coffee and wine bar located right off the new lobby and features gourmet breakfast items, express lunch and wireless Internet access.

When full time impersonator Danny Gans takes a break from performing his sold-out shows at the Mirage this year, comedians will be filing in at his Danny Gans Theater. "Tonight" show host Jay Leno just finished working his stand up gig there this weekend and will return Jan. 13-14, 27-28 and March 3-4.

The famous comedian, talk show host, born James Douglas Muir Leno, on April 28, 1950, in New Rochelle, N.Y., displayed his comic tendencies as a youth with pranks and practical jokes, and his fifth-grade teacher's report card comments, "If Jay spent as much time studying as he does trying to be a comedian, he'd be a big star," turned out to be prophetic. He is best known for being one of the busiest performers in comedy (for years he booked over 300 appearances annually), for his clean, observational brand of humor, and his cartoon-like face, which he made reference to in the title of his 1996 autobiography, "Leading With My Chin."

Leno moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Emerson College in Boston and wrote for the TV show "Good Times," which was a job that fellow late-night host David Letterman also had, and was a warm-up act for Johnny Mathis and Tom Jones. Leno made his first appearance on "The Tonight Show" in 1977.guest host two years later).

In 1992, Johnny Carson surprised many by retiring from his long stand as America's beloved and premier talk show host. The bigger surprise was when Leno got the job over David Letterman, whose "Late Night" show followed Carson's. After a rough start, Leno won the Emmy for hosting "The Tonight Show" in 1995. His contract with "The Tonight Show" was extended five years, at $40 million in 1993, and for another five years in 1998, this time at $100 million.

The new show "Love Is A Pain" at the Riviera opened at the Riviera on Dec.26, and it's closed already.

Queen plus Paul Rodgers will perform live in concert at the MGM Grand on April 7. In the stores now is their new live CD and CDVD "Return of the Champions."

The Monte Carlo's headlining magician Lance Burton was soaked and chilled by a torrential two-and-a-half-hour downpour in Pasadena at the recent annual Tournament of Roses Parade viewed worldwide by more than 100 million people but the FTD Float he was on "Your Wish is My Command" took The Sweepstakes Award, which was the Grand Prize as Best Float in the parade's "It's Magical" theme.

The Beauty | Health | Fitness Expo, the largest health expo in Las Vegas with more than 200 professionals exhibiting, will take place at Cashman Convention Center on Jan. 14 and 15 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. In response to the wellness movement, which is rapidly becoming a No. 1 industry, the two-day expo addresses appearance, personal health, and getting in shape. Admission is $8, Children 10 and under get in free, and seniors 55 and over are free on Sunday. The first 200 people through the door will get a free Party Gals goodie bag.

The Caesars Palace Poker Room has opened next door to the Pure nightclub. The room was inaugurate by Pure sponsoring a celebrity poker tournament hosted by Nicky Hilton, Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Tilly, surprise celebrity guests, and a list of professional poker players. The buy-in was $2,200.

Zagat award-winning restaurant Willy & Jose's Mexican Cantina inside Sam's Town on Boulder Highway has increased its hours to offer dinner daily and expanded its menu to feature lunch options for weekend diners from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner is served Monday-Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., on Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m., and Sunday from a 4 to 10 p.m.

Sometime in 2006, the new $160 million consolidated car rental facility at McCarran Airport will open on Warms Springs Rd. between Gillespie and Haven Streets. When completed, there will be only one bus to all the 11 car rental agencies and not the present system where each company has its own bus. All 11 car rental companies will be housed in one complex.

Michael Johns recently hypnotized Las Vegas resident Susan Hawks who starred in the original "Survivor" reality series filmed in Borneo and was beaten out by Richard Hatch. Johns hypnotized her during his "Hypnosis Gone Wild" at the Stardust. Her husband Tim had attended the show a couple of weeks before and brought her to see it. Johns said, "She got on stage and was incredible and very funny. She went under so deep which usually mean the person is very smart and of sound mind."

After the show, the couple who own Juices Wild in Summerlin invited Johns to the New York-New York Piano Bar where they hung out until 3 a.m. Johns who didn't know who Hawks was because of his on-the-road tours and working nights doing his show went out with the couple because they seemed like such nice people. At the Piano Bar people kept staring at them and coming up to her asking, "Aren't you Susan Hawks from `Survivor' and he was shocked to find out how big a celeb she was." They moved to Las Vegas from Palmyra, Wis. after she became a "Survivor" star. She reveled that she is currently negotiating with "Animal Planet" to do a new show.

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