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Sunday, January 13, 2008 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Mamma Mia!' Extended, Gino Vannelli Returns, 'American Modernism' Displayed, Rich Little Downtown, Conservatory Celebrates 2008 Chinese New Year, Phantom Named Best Show, The Mentalist Revamps, Studio Has Another Hit Year, 'La Comedy Club' Features Top Comedians, Russ Rivas Headlines, Las Vegas Military Bowling Championships Scheduled, More...

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Jackie Brett
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MAMMA MIA!, the global smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, is extending a record-breaking run at the Mandalay Bay Theatre through 2008. Due to popular demand MAMMA MIA!, which was previously scheduled to end in August after more than 2,300 performances, will now play through Jan. 4, 2009. The show will celebrate its 5th anniversary at Mandalay Bay on Feb. 13, and it is the longest running and most successful full-length Broadway musical to ever play Las Vegas. Tickets for MAMMA MIA! are $110, $82.50 and $49.50, call 800-632-7400.

In addition, this July will see the nationwide release of the movie adaptation of MAMMA MIA! The feature film adaptation will have Meryl Streep leading an all-star cast featuring Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper.

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Contemporary pop classics icon, Gino Vannelli will return to Las Vegas for a limited engagement at the Flamingo, Feb. 22-23. He has been playing to sold-out audiences around the globe and will be back in Las Vegas for two nights only. He's known for pop classic hits of the '70s and '80 including, I Just Wanna Stop, People Gotta Move and Living Inside Myself. Vannelli has enjoyed a diverse musical career as a singer and songwriter. Tickets are $65 - $75, call 800-221-7299.

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art will showcase the best of "American Modernism," Feb. 8 through Oct. 15, 2008. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), the exhibition will feature masterworks by American modernists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Arshile Gorky and others.

An engaging retrospective, the carefully chosen display will showcase more than 30 of the MFA's most renowned paintings. The period known as American Modernism began at the turn of the 20th century and reached its pinnacle between World War I and World War II.

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is open daily at 10 a.m. Tickets for "American Modernism" are $17 for patrons 13 and older, $14 for seniors 65 and older, $12 for the military and college students, and $10 for children six to 12 years of age, call 702-693-7871 or 877-957-9777. Audio tours are included in the price of admission and offered in four languages - English, French, Japanese and Spanish.

The Dean of Impersonators and master of more than 200 voices, Rich Little has returned to the Golden Nugget downtown to continue headlining his 20-week engagement at the resort that will run through April 6. Performances run Thursday through Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $39.

Canadian born comedian / actor / singer Little is a professed classic movie buff and known best for his vast repertoire of celebrity impressions. Little has received four Stars: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Canada Walk of Fame, Las Vegas Walk of Stars and Palm Springs Walk of Stars. Most recently, Little appeared on David Lettermen's Late Show, which ranked its highest ratings of the season, Comics Unleashed, and was selected to entertain President Bush, Cabinet secretaries, foreign dignitaries, Hollywood celebrities and members of the press at this year's White House Press Correspondents' Association dinner.

Little hosted his own NBC variety TV series and has appeared on numerous television dramas, as well as countless other variety shows over the years, often hosting The Tonight Show. He has made three HBO comedy specials, including Rich Little's Christmas Carol, in which he played all the roles of the Dickens classic and won the Montreux Festival in Switzerland and earned an International Emmy.

Spa Bellagio is offering a new "B Box" class in its 1,000-square-foot Bamboo Studio featuring an energizing, cardiovascular workout. The 50-minute session combines traditional boxing equipment with the high-energy demands of a boot camp to burn calories, build stamina and develop muscles. The lesson begins with a five-minute warm-up, ranging from jumping rope to shadow boxing, to get the blood pumping. Next, five minutes of stretching prepares for the 35-minutes of non-stop, fancy footwork to come. That's when boxing bags and focus mitts are used to achieve the ultimate adrenaline rush, an invigorating regime of one-two punches that build into a more intense series of three- and four-punch combos. A five-minute cool-down clinches this knockout bout.

Rates are $45 for group sessions with a maximum of four participants and $75 for one-on-one lessons. Spa Bellagio is open to hotel guests Friday through Sunday and is available to non-hotel guests Monday through Thursday. Hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. For information and reservations up to three months in advance, call Spa Bellagio at 702- 693-7472.

The next display at Bellagio's Conservatory celebrates the 2008 Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, from Jan. 14 through March 15. The exhibit guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui features a botanical rodent made of living plants, zigzag bridges and a Chinese God of Wealth and Fortune.

Ranked No. 6 on the US FMX (freestyle motocross) tour, Robbie Maddison jumped the length of a football field, 320 feet, on New Year's Eve at the Rio. Maddison holds two other world records including the longest bike jump at 221 feet and the longest bike trick at 246 feet.

Top flair bartenders from all over the world are competing every Monday in January in the 7th Annual Best in the West Bartender Showdown being held at the RoadRunner Cowboy Saloon at Eastern and Pebble. The Jan. 14 and 21 qualifying events, which also raise money for Opportunity Village, are for local industry professions, and the Sunday, Jan. 27 contest is for out-of-town entrants. The final event will be held Monday, Jan. 28. All contestants are competing for more than $12,500 in cash and prizes and the title "Best Bartender in the West. All events are free to the public and begin at 9 p.m. For additional information, visit www.bartendershowdown.com.

Attached to the Silverton Casino Lodge is a 165,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Upon walking through the casino and entering the Bass Pro Shop, patrons cross over an 18,000-gallon water feature simulating local rock formations at Red Rock Canyon. The water feature houses more than 100 Koi and the outlet has three freshwater aquariums.


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Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular at the Venetian was once again named one of Las Vegas' best production shows by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It is the second straight year for the show, which opened on June 24, 2006. The magnificent custom-built theatre is built as the storied Paris Opera House and part of the Phantom's world.

Stand-up comedian Bobby Slayton known as "The Pit Bull of Comedy" has returned to the Night Owl Showroom at Hooters for an extended period of time with his 9 p.m. shows, Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are $36.95, call 866-584-6687.

The Mentalist, Gerry McCambridge, has revamped his show's closing routine and started a new schedule in the Night Owl Showroom at Hooters. McCambridge is predicting a "mini lottery" that involves the audience and their ability to throw numbered nerf balls in a net. During his 70-minute show, McCambridge performs classics from his NBC Prime time special and never before seen routines. Tickets are $36.95. His show is at 7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

A replica of the piano watch that was presented to Liberace by Seymour Heller, his business manager, to commemorate 25 years in show business is on sale now for $179.95 in the Liberace Museum Stores or on the Web site: www.Liberace.org. The original watch was made of 18 carat yellow gold and contains 247 diamonds. The replica is made with Austrian crystals with 18 carat gold overlay on the band.

The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood is set to welcome two new tenants: the athletic footwear retailer Foot Locker and fashion-forward men's and women's apparel specialist RG512. Foot Locker, the world's leading retailer of athletic footwear and apparel, will open in March. Foot Locker was first introduced to the retail marketplace in 1974 and has since grown to over 2,000 stores worldwide. RG512 will follow and open in April 2008.

The multifaceted, 8,000-square-foot, multi-room Studio at the Palms celebrates a year in versatility emerging as a major destination for music producers and artists. Included in the studio's accomplishments in 2007 are hit records, live concert recordings from The Pearl Concert Theater and involvement with the MTV Video Music Awards last September.

Since its inception in 2006, the Studio at the Palms has seen the likes of the world's greatest artists including Timbaland, Mary J. Blige, The Killers, Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli. In 2007, an abundance of new artists including Pink, Panic! at the Disco, Journey, Eve and The Divinyls recorded at the Studio at the Palms.

In 2007, albums recorded at the studio have topped the charts including Celine Dion's Taking Chances, Britney Spears' Blackout, Bone, Thugs and Harmony's T.H.U.G.S. and Maroon 5's It Won't Be Soon Before Long which reached No. 1 and recently received Grammy nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for the single Makes Me Wonder.

Palace Station's newest entertainment offering, the LA Comedy Club, is open nightly and features two comedians, both of headlining caliber, in The Showroom. There are two hour-long shows nightly at 7 and 9 p.m. in the 150-seat venue. Tickets are $24.95, call 702-574-5300, with either two drinks inside the showroom or a meal at the Palace Station Feast Buffet that must be redeemed within seven days of purchase date included.

Dan Gabriel and Jimmy Dore are on the calendar this week, Jan. 14-20. Filipino funnyman Gabriel is well-known for his laid back, clean and irreverent style of humor. He has been featured on Comedy Central's Premium Blend, NBC's Friday Night! and AZN TV's Asian Street Comedy. He is also the writer behind BBC America's Thugs on Film of which the episode Gladiator won Best Animated Short at the 2002 Santa Monica Film Festival.

Dore was born into a Catholic family of 12 on the south side of Chicago. He has appeared on every major network multiple times, including AMC's Movies at My House, NBC's Friday Nights and Late Friday, CBS's Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and on Comedy Central's Premium Blend and Make Me Laugh, among others. The high point of Dore's stand-up career thus far came when he taped his own half-hour comedy special for Comedy Central. Dore is also a writer and performer for the critically acclaimed Off Broadway hit, The Marijuana-logues, which is currently running at the Actor's Playhouse in New York.

Russ Rivas will headline the Riviera Comedy Club, Jan. 21-27, with funnymen Mike Marino and Johnny Walker. Shows are at 8:30 and 10:30 pm. Tickets are $24.99, call 702-794-9433.

Rivas began his comedy career in Colorado. He interacts well with audiences and always includes them in his performances. He has played the Stanford Comedy House and Laffs club circuits (he owns a Laffs in Albuquerque), as well as Froggy Bottoms, in Lubbock, Texas, Pepperonis in Sioux City, Iowa and Wise Crackers in Kankakee, Ill.

Rivas is now known for one of the finest Don Knotts impressions. He assigns TV sitcom names to audience members and interacts with them, using sitcom character impressions. Rivas is something of a '80s holdover, replete with a blazer over his T-shirt, perfectly neat hair and cocaine jokes.

The 2008 Hooters calendar is being sold for $20 in both the Splurge gift shop and the Bait Shoppe at Hooters and comes with a free deck of cards.

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will honor its 2007 champions in the Jerry's Nugget Championship Drag Racing Series and Short Line Express Jr. Drag Racing Series on Saturday, Jan. 19, in the new Blackjack Club in the infield of the superspeedway. Tickets are $35 each and on sale through the LVMS ticket office.

The Gold Coast will host the fourth annual Las Vegas Military Bowling Championships, Jan. 20-24, with an awards party on Jan. 25. The competition is divided into three separate divisions: active duty, retired military and senior retired military (age 60 or older). Each division features six-person teams, singles events, doubles events and all-events purses. For details, call 1-800-257-6179.

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