Sunday, February 27, 2000 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
"Splash", NASCAR Cafe, McEntire, Kiss, Dunham, More...

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Jackie Brett
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"Splash" at the Riviera has reinvented itself again with a $1.2 million renovation that includes totally new opening and closing numbers, $500,000 in new costumes, the latest in entertainment technology, and a new logo. The biggest change has been eliminating the once-novel, giant 20,000-gallon human aquarium and changing the focal point to a custom-designed ice rink set center stage.

With all the changes unveiled early this month, the show stays with its established winning eclectic formula: a rapid-fire series of high-energy dance numbers combined with performances by expert specialty acts.

Two of the show's consistently successful specialty acts, contortionist Undarmaa Darihuuu and motorcycle mania by Bela Tabak's Riders featuring four death defying daredevils racing inside a 14-foot metal mesh sphere, have moved to the end of the show because of their audience appeal.

Other novelty acts rounding out the show are Los Latin Cowboys, an Argentinean comedy duo with drums and bolos, and The Richard Brothers, a comedic juggling trio.

The ice skating is executed by 1998 American Open Figure Skating Pro Championship Gold and Bronze Medalists Irina Grigorian and Mikhail Panin along with Victoria Bilyeu. The exciting death spins that put Grigorian's head just inches off the ice draw gasps from the audiences.

"Splash" has called the Riviera home for the last 14 years and will no doubt continue along its exhilarating path. Shows are at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $39.50 and $46.50, call 702-794-9433.

The Sahara will open its new 75,000-square-foot, 400-seat NASCAR Cafe next week on March 2, coinciding with the Las Vegas Winston Cup Race weekend . The NASCAR theme, which will encase the entertainment complex, includes giant projections television screens equipped with surround sound that will feature NASCAR racing, driver profiles and the latest related news and merchandise.

Nearly 20 authentic NASCAR stock cars will be displayed throughout the largest NASCAR Cafe venue, including the world's largest stock car, "Carzilla," a Pontiac Grand-Prix that weights in at more than three tons.

For those looking for a stock car driving experience, the Las Vegas Cyber Speedway, attached to the NASCAR cafe, will offer race driving excitement with realistic stock car race movement, visual and sound simulation.

Country singer Reba McEntire will bring her Diary Tour to the Las Vegas Hilton, March 23-26. The show, a combination Broadway play and music concert, garnered praise during its 8 week run in 1999. Tickets are $90 and $100, call 702-732-5755.

McEntire has teamed up with USA Harvest for her shows. Volunteers will collect nonperishable foods before each concert and have the food delivered to local missions and hospices. USA Harvest has volunteer chapters in 118 American cities, and delivers between 355 and 375 million pounds of food to soup kitchens and missions.

Legendary rockers, KISS along with guests Ted Nugent and Skid Row will

perform one show on Friday, March 17, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Tickets are $45, $65 and $85, call 702-474-4000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

The Farewell Tour will be the last opportunity to see the four original members of KISS - Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss - together live on stage. KISS got back together and in makeup in 1996 for the KISS Reunion Tour the highest grossing tour of `96-`97. The band also recorded their first album together in almost 20 years, the Grammy-nominated, "Psycho Circus" which was released in 1998.

In addition to the Farewell Tour, KISS will release "KISS Alive IV," which was recorded on New Year's Eve 2000 at Vancouver's BC Place, on March 28. For more information on KISS, visit www.kissonline.com.

Comedian/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham will make a special appearance in the Lance Burton Theater at the Monte Carlo at 9 p.m. on March 17 and 18. Besides touring 40 weeks a year and making many national television talk show appearances, Dunham and his sidekick Walter are in a national Hertz Car Rental television commercial.

Walter is an elderly curmudgeon who speaks his mind about anyone and anything, making him the grump everyone loves to hate. There's even a talking Walter doll on the market complete with eight of his most sarcastic sayings.

Other lovable Dunham side pals include Peanut, the fuzzy purple potbellied "WOOZLE," the endearing lovable terror, Jose Jalapeno a self belittling jalapeno...on a stick, and the newest member Bubba, a laid back country bumpkin with buck teeth and freckles. Dunham's secondary characters include a gorilla, a cockroach, and a worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle.

Tickets to see Dunham's shows are $25, call 1-877-386-8224 or 702-730-7160. For a better look into Dunham's world, check out his website at www.onastick.com.

New York-New York will honor St. Patrick's Day with a spirited parade featuring their mascot Miss Liberty, Mayor Jim, cast members from Michael Flatley's "Lord of the Dance," and other notable dignitaries to be announced. The procession will start on the Brooklyn Bridge at 12:30 p.m. and proceed through the resort's interior.

TOP OF NEXT COLUMN

Other happenings at New York-New York on March 17, will include Irish fiddlers in The Bar at Times Square and Emprie Bar, green beer and Irish drinks, and two performances at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. of the only on-going Irish dance show in Las Vegas "Lord of the Dance."

March16-18, New York-New York will feature strolling bag pipers, green water in the Harbor and Central Park, and the Las Vegas Highland Pipe Band will perform four times each day. For information, call 800-693-6763 or log onto www.nynyhotelcasino.com.

World Championship Kickboxing will make its debut at the MGM Grand on Friday, March 17, in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The event highlights a major sports weekend at the MGM Grand which will include two boxing title fights on Saturday evening, March 18, as well as the opportunity for sports fans to watch the NCAA Basketball championship first and second rounds in the Race and Sports Book.

The high-profile processionals kickboxing field is scheduled to include a North American title fight pitting Don "The Dragoon" Wilson against Las Vegas local Dewey "The Black Cobra" Cooper in a 10 round heavyweight battle. Tickets range from $20 to $100.

The Wrenchead.com Monster Jam World Finals will come to Sam Boyd Stadium on March 25, at 7:30 p.m. Twelve monster trucks will compete for the title. Fans visiting www.wrenchead.com have a chance to win a new pickup truck when they register to select some of the trucks in the lineup.

The event will also host the "world's largest pit party," allowing fans early access into the VIP pit area to meet the drivers and see the trucks. Tickets are $22 and can be ordered by phone 800-974-1010 or online at www.tickets.com. For more information, call 895-3900 or visit www.thomasandmack.com.

Effective March 1, the ticket price for Cirque du Soleil's "Mystere" at Treasure Island will increase to $75 plus tax. Tickets are sold up to one month in advance, call 800-392-1999 or 702-796-9999. The show featuring an international cast of 72 champion caliber artists has played to capacity crowds since its debut in 1993.

The true spirit of show business camaraderie will happen again at the Riviera on Sunday March 12 at 4 p.m. in the Le Bistro Lounge when a benefit show will aid show business veteran Lenny Souza, formerly the drummer of Stark Naked and The Car Thieves. All the moneys donated will go to the Lenny Souza family to defray medical expenses for his three year battle with cancer.

Stark Naked and The Car Thieves was a hot rock band in the `60s and `70s performing at the International (now the Las Vegas Hilton) and the Flamingo. Souza was well known for his wild antics and endless stage energy. When the group hit the road in 1971, Souza stayed behind and made Las Vegas home. Most recently, he's been bartending at New York-New York and gaineing recognition for his "two drink shakers" routine.

The March 12 show will continue until the last act plays. Performers already anxious to help out are Freddie Bell, Wild Willy Parsons, Bernie Allen, Susan McDonald, Debi Gutierrez and The Don Rose Classic Show Band. Ex-members of Stark Naked will be on hand. Donation tickets at the door are $15.

Doug Flutie, the Buffalo Bills quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, brings his band The Flutie Gang to Sunset Station's Club Madrid at 7 and 9 p.m. on Friday, March 10. Tickets are $15, $20 and $25 plus tax, call 702-547-7777.

Flutie recently released a CD with the Gang called "Ramblin' Scramblin' Man," and 10 of the 11 songs were composed by the group. He's touring the country to support it and a portion of the retail net proceeds will go to his charitable organization.

BTO has been a solid force in rock `n roll for over 20 years. They have two of the most air played songs "Taking Care of Business" and "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" now reaching their one millionth broadcast on radio. They will appear at The Orleans, March10-12.

Some of the longest running songs on television commercials are identified with BTO including "Roll Down The Highway" for Toyota and "Taking Care of Business" for Office Depot. Tickets to see BTO are $34.95, $39.95 and $44.95 plus tax, call 702-365-7075.

For the second consecutive year, Boulder Station has been nominated one of the 10 finalists for "Casino the Year" by the Academy of Country Music. The top 10 will be trimmed to five on March 10 by the ACM selection committee, and the winner will be announced on the 35th annual awards show that will be broadcast May 3, on CBS. Boulder Station is the only Las Vegas resort nominated as a finalist this year.

On March 5, "The King of Stock Car Racing" will act as grand marshal for the CarsDirect.com 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Prior to the start of the third annual event, seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Richard Petty will give the command to start their engines for the 267-lap race, which will be televised live on ABC Sports.

World Championship Wrestling superstar Canadian Bret Hart was the first WCW personality to have his hand prints encased in cement and hung on the WCW Nitro Wall of Fame. Similar to the Walk of Fame near Mann 's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, this wall version at the WCW Nitro Grill on the second level at the Excalibur is an added attraction.

A California man earlier this month won $4,221,710 playing a Wheel of Fortune dollar machine at Mandalay Bay Resort. Wheel of Fortune dollars is based upon the world's most popular game show and is one of 15 Nevada MegaJackpot systems developed by IGT. For current totals on all Nevada MegaJackots games, log on to IGT's web site, www.igtmegajackpots.com, or call 1-888-448-2946.

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Editorial Content Copyright(C) 2000 Jackie Brett; Internet Presentation Copyright(C) Las Vegas Leisure Guide