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TV SPECIAL PAYS TRIBUTE TO MICHEL LEGRAND
Jackie Brett
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Three-time Oscar and five-time Grammy Award winner, Michel Legrand, will perform a tribute to his 50 years of music and movies at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, March 27.

The event will pay musical tribute to some of Legrand's Academy Award-winning MGM movies, including “Yentl,” “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “Summer of ‘42.” The superstar extravaganza, hosted by Jon Voight and Jennifer O'Neil, will be captured on film for a made-for-TV-special to air at a later date. Tickets are $150, $85 and $62.50; call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

During the show, Legrand will conduct a 66-piece orchestra and perform with many of his superstar friends such as Jack Jones, Roberta Flack, Dionne Warwick, Steve Lawrence, Melissa Manchester, Neil Sedaka, Jerry Lewis, Andy Williams, George Benson and Patti Page.

Michel Legrand

Over the course of his 50-year career, Legrand has composed more than 200 film and television scores as well as several musicals and recorded more than 100 albums. He has earned an Emmy nomination, 13 Oscar nominations that resulted in three victories, and five Grammy Awards.

STEVE DACRI OPENS CLOSE UP MAGIC SHOW AT LAS VEGAS HILTON

Steve Dacri, who is a world expert at sleight-of-hand magic, has opened “In Your Face: The Up Close Magic Experience” at the Las Vegas Hilton in the Shimmer Showroom. His show is every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. He's appeared on many network television shows and projects some fun segment clips during his program. Tickets range from $49 to $79 and two prices have a dinner package option, call 800-222-5361.

Steve Dacri

Dacri has definitely refined his craft to an awe inspiring level. Video screens allow everyone to watch as Dacri mystifies audiences by making cards, handkerchiefs, balls of all sizes, casino chips and other objects appear, disappear, and reappear from nowhere. Audience participation further draws everyone into the action. While Dacri's act has no big illusions or animals, his sheer agility and easy going manner hold your interest.

Dacri started practicing magic as a child. For more than 40 years, he has performed around the world alongside celebrities such as Bob Hope, Tony Orlando, Charo and Tom Jones. He's been popular at corporate events for Fortune 500 companies, private parties, and for royalty and presidents.

Named the 2008 and 2009 International Close-Up Magician of the year, Dacri twice received the Merlin Award from the International Magicians' Society, the world's largest magic organization. Other Merlin recipients include David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy and Criss Angel.

NEW BELLAGIO CONSERVATORY DISPLAY CELEBRATES SPRING

In celebration of spring, Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens free display features a floral exhibition and a seven-member colony of large-scale, bronze sculptural ants, from March 14-May 9.

Resting below two towering yellow jonquils, an oversize 8,500-pound queen ant allows guests to climb onto her back for a photo opportunity. Steps away, three 10-foot-long ants are found at the mouth of a 15-foot-tall flower pot, overflowing with rainbow-hued blooms. A beautiful spring butterfly rests atop the oversized pot while a towering 28-foot spade stands nearby. Overhead, flower bumble bees pause in mid-flight. Close by are five giant mushrooms – ranging in size from 5 to 15 feet tall – that provide a canopy for a pair of 6-feet-tall ants.

A “jardin à la française,” or French garden, completes this fantasy botanical wonderland and includes a large anthill flanked by two water spheres. Another highlight is 10 potted olive trees, each more than 100 years old.

’THE LION KING’ AND MADAME TUSSAUDS UNVEIL “RAFIKI” WAX FIGURE

Madame Tussauds has unveiled a wax figure that unites the attraction with Disney's “The Lion King” at Mandalay Bay. Rafiki, the iconic baboon shaman from Disney's “The Lion King,” was revealed during a special ceremony. To celebrate the newest addition to the famed wax figure collection, Madame Tussauds and “The Lion King” introduced a joint “Best of Vegas” package for $90, call 877-632-7400 and mention the code: CL18898.

As guests enter Madame Tussauds, they’re swept away to the African savannah as music from “The Lion King” theatrical production fills the air. Rafiki is the first wax figure to greet them as they make their way through the collection.

NEW GALLERY FEATURES RICHARD MACDONALD's SCULPTURES

The Art of Richard MacDonald Presented by Cirque du Soleil® that has opened at Crystals at CityCenter is a 3,600-square-foot fine art gallery showcasing more than 50 bronze sculptures. One is the 10 heroic-size works by the internationally acclaimed sculptor. The sculptures capture the beauty, athleticism and human spirit of Cirque du Soleil.

SYMPHONY PARK HAS A NEW EXPANDED WEB SITE

A newly expanded Web site, symphonypark.com, was launched recently and invites users to familiarize themselves with all aspects of the project downtown. Features include interactive tours of Symphony Park, a guide to downtown happenings, and recipes from Chef Charlie Palmer. The Web site also provides information and contact details for each major project at Symphony Park, including Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, The Charlie Palmer boutique hotel, and more.

ANNIE DUKE WON NBC's NATIONAL HEADS-UP POKER CHAMPIONSHIP

Annie Duke triumphed and won the 6th Annual National Heads-Up Poker Championship presented by GoDaddy.com, the world's largest domain name registrar, at the Caesars Palace Poker Tournament Room. Duke defeated Erik Seidel, who has won eight World Series of Poker bracelets and ranks 9th on the all-time money list, in the tournament's best-of-three finals to claim the championship and the $500,000 first-place prize. Seidel took home $250,000 as the second-place finisher. The National Heads-Up Poker Championship was taped and will be broadcast on NBC over six consecutive Sundays beginning April 18 (Noon – 1p.m. ET).


TOP OF NEXT COLUMN

QUICK CLIPS

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts recently celebrated the “topping out” of Reynolds Hall. The world-class performing arts center will be home to Nevada Ballet Theatre, Las Vegas Philharmonic, and first-run touring attractions. Construction began in May 2009 with completion planned for early 2012.

Smith Center for the Performing Arts

The “Donny & Marie” show at the Flamingo Las Vegas has added five extra show dates, April 13 – 17, to accommodate guests who had tickets to recently cancelled shows due to the personal tragedy in the Osmond family.

Joan Rivers, whose talent includes best-selling author, Tony-nominated actress, Emmy-winning talk show host, jewelry designer and syndicated radio host, will be headlining at the Venetian for a series of engagements April 8-10, 15-17 and July 8-10, 15-17.

Joan Rivers

The 36th annual UNLVino event will kick off Thursday, April 8 at the Garden of the Gods pool complex at Caesars Palace with a Champagne, Sparkling Wine and Champagne Cocktail tasting, featuring the traditional “21” Cork Champagne Salute. Called Bubble-Licious, advance tickets are $75 and $100 at the door. On Friday, April 9, The Palms Pool & Bungalows will host an evening featuring 150 premium sakes presented by Brewmasters from Japan along with Asian cuisine. Cost is $50 and $75 at the door. Finally, the UNLVino Grand Tasting - Nevada's oldest - will be held Saturday, April 10 at Bally's and include a Wine & Art Auction. Tickets are $75 and $100 at the door.

Vegas Uncork'd Presented by “Bon Appetit” is one of the fastest-growing epicurean events in the United States. It will be held May 6-9 in Las Vegas, and coincide with Mother's Day weekend. The four-day culinary arts celebration will feature more than 30 events headlined by 50 celebrated chefs. This year's anchor partner resorts include Bellagio, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and Wynn | Encore and Venetian | The Palazzo. For information, contact Erika Pope at Erika@vegasuncorked.com.

The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art has debuted docent tours. A trained guide will lead visitors through the museum and deliver educated commentary on the exhibition, Wednesday through Sunday. Limited to the first 20 attendees, each tour begins at 3:30 p.m. and lasts approximately 45 minutes. Docent tours are complimentary with the purchase of any gallery admission.

RHUMBAR at The Mirage will host tailgate parties on its 3,000-square-foot outdoor patio with tailgate fare, drink specials and basketball action from Thursday, March 18, all the way through the final playoff game on April 5.

DJ Skribble began his weekly residency at Studio 54 inside of the MGM Grand with his production “Freak Show” and the performance consisted of people swallowing swords, eating broken shards of glass and lifting weights from their eye sockets.

DJ Skribble's 'Freak Show' at Studio 54 inside of the MGM Grand

ST. PATRICK's CELEBRATIONS

The Strip's only Irish-themed casino O'sheas will be holding a four-day, March 17-20, St. Pat's party. Holly Madison, star of “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood, will kick off the holiday on March 17 with a game of beer pong with Lucky the Leprechaun. There will be drink specials, live entertainment, a hotdog-eating contest, all-day water balloon games, beer pong, green shot and corn hole. Game winners will be awarded T-shirts, drink vouchers or show tickets. For a $40 buy-in, folks can compete in the official Beer Pong Satellite Tournament for a chance to receive entry to the World Series of Beer Pong.

McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon at the Rio will celebrate St. Patrick's Day for five days. There will be traditional Irish breakfasts, live music and green beer beginning Saturday, March 13 and continuing with daily themed activities.

J.C. Wooloughan Irish Pub at JW Marriott will feature six days of St. Pat's celebrations from March 12-17. From Irish Happy Hour and brunch, to entertainment by The Wild Celts and Martin Percival School of Irish Dance, visitors will enjoy traditional St. Patrick's Day fun.

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant will host its 11th annual St. Paddy's Day party on March 17 starting at 5 p.m. The revelry will have live music from Gary Queen from 5 to 8 p.m. and offer Irish drink specials and a special Irish-themed menu. The restaurant will also hold its sixth annual St. Cabby's Day offering cab drivers a complimentary buffet breakfast complete with green eggs and ham and Lucky Charms cereal from 8 and 9:30 a.m. Drivers need to pick up a special gift certificate.

MORE TIDBITS

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of UNLV's legendary NCAA National Championship victory for UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, former Head Coach Jerry Tarkanian will be at the Tropicana on March 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. for a nostalgic evening with friends, former players and fans. He will be joined on stage by former player and NBA star Larry Johnson. The event in the Celebration Lounge is free and open to the public.

“Architectural Digest” chose AD 100 interior designer Roger Thomas, who is Executive Vice President Design for Wynn Design and Development, to create the signature Architectural Digest Greenroom at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards®, This was the eighth consecutive year that “Architectural Digest” produced the exclusive Oscar® backstage lounge.

First Friday, a monthly area party attracts approximately 5,000 followers to enjoy open galleries, street performances, live music, shopping, and mingling. A recent creation is a trendy ‘18b’ neon sign marking the district named for its original 18 blocks. In addition, The Arts Factory, an integral part of First Friday, has kicked off an additional monthly gathering called Preview Thursday, featuring opening receptions and events at many galleries and studios starting at 6 p.m.

“Paintbrush Gateways and Other Projects,” which is a sculptural exhibit of work by internationally renowned artist Dennis Oppenheim opened in January and will continue through April 3 at The Reed Whipple Cultural Center. Oppenheim is the artist who designed the Paintbrush Gateway entrances to the Arts District. Installation of the 45-feet high, lighted paintbrushes will be on Charleston Boulevard at the corners of Fourth Street and Casino Center Boulevard.

The first “Artfully Sweet” fundraiser will be held on March 27 from noon-3 p.m. at Mix in Mandalay Bay. All proceeds for this fundraiser will go to Southern Nevada Children First (SNCF) to assist teens and young adults, ages 16-22.

The afternoon event will feature art, pastries, champagne, live entertainment including dance, acrobatics, hypnosis, plus a live and silent auction.


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