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Las Vegas News

Sunday, July 16, 2006 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Fremont East District Developing, Arizona Charlie's Boulder Expanded, Stardust Cast & Crew Reunion, British Invasion Strikes, Lance Burton Raising Money, Engelbert Humperdinck's Final Shows, Blues, Brew & BBQ Coming, "Savage Ancient Seas" Now Showing, House of Blues Sold, Jon Lovitz On Stage, Performing Arts Center Planned, Murder On The Lake, Celebrity Souvenir Shops Growing, NBA All-Star Moves In, Andres Fernandez Hits Comedy Stop, More...

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Jackie Brett
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This is exciting news. With the city's help, a six-block zone downtown is being developed into an area called Fremont East District, or FED, with lots of bars. The area begins on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard and runs to Eighth Street, and from north to south it will stretch from Ogden to Carson avenues. The city has changed ordinances to allow bars to be next to each other in the area.

So far two drinking establishments, Take 1 Nightclub and the Beauty Bar, are already open. Two other venues, The Griffin on Fremont Street, and Downtown, a cocktail room around the corner on Las Vegas Boulevard South, are set to open in August or September.

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The city has committed to put a 10,000-square-foot nightclub at 601 E. Fremont St.

On the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard, Hennessey's Tavern and Micki Finnz Fish House and Bar opened recently and above the stores, the owner is planning to put in a jazz club called Brass.

In August, the city's project to remake the street includes a large neon sign arching over Fremont Street as a huge welcoming sign to the new district. Also, a median will be added to the street, with neon signs and palm trees. Sidewalks are going to be widened and the streets will be cut down to a single lane each way to slow traffic. Valet parking at night will be available at each business.

Arizona Charlie's Boulder located on the Boulder Strip has completed its $8.3 million expansion. The 7,300 square-foot project includes new gaming space, front desk area, Ultimate Rewards Center, gift shop and porte cochere.

The expanded gaming space features an additional 250 slot and video poker machines along with blackjack and craps tables. The front area of the property was completely made over and the front desk space and Ultimate Rewards Center are significantly larger.

The new gift shop was expanded to hold a larger inventory of items including a line of Arizona Charlie's apparel. The porte cochere and front entrance have retained the same look as before, but re-designs have maximized the space and made it more convenient for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

It's well known by now that the Stardust is going to close and be torn down. But, before that happens, a reunion of performers and crews from the hotel's two famous production shows, "Lido de Paris" and "Enter The Night," and other French extravaganzas of the era should mark their calendars for Sunday, Sept. 10. The event will be held in the convention center with a dinner, a celebration of the musical numbers, and costumes that weren't burned as was required by contract when "Lido" close in 1991.

Tickets are $100 if purchased by July 21 and go up to $115 through Aug. 21, and then increase to $125. More information can be found on the Web site, www.castandcrewreunion.com or by calling 702-243-6329.

The Cannery in North Las Vegas will present a British Invasion with The Searchers, Denny Laine, and Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas on Saturday, July 22 at 8 p.m. inside The Club. Tickets are $19.95 and $13.95, call 617-5585 or 866-287-4643.

The distinctive jangling of the 12-string guitar and the rich vocal harmonies have assured The Searchers a lasting place in the history of popular music. Their first hit in 1963, "Sweets for My Sweet," shot to No. 1 and was followed by other smash hits including "Sugar and Spice," "Love Potion #9," and "Needles and Pins."

Denny Laine grew up in Birmingham, England, and by 1964 co-founded the group that became the Moody Blues. Laine's tenure with the band was highlighted by one monster hit, "Go Now" and a brace of superb R&B styled sides. Throughout the rest of the sixties, Denny played with his own band, The Denny Laine String Band and Ginger Baker's Air Force. In 1971, Laine joined Paul and Linda McCartney in their newly formed band, Wings. Denny played guitar, bass and sang vocals for one of the biggest bands of the '70s with hits like "Band On The Run," and "Live And Let Die."

Billy J. Kramer grew up in Liverpool, England. He caught the attention of manager Brian Epstein, whose clients already included Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Beatles. The Lennon-McCartney penned songs "I'll Keep You Satisfied," and "Bad To Me" became international million sellers for Epstein and his back up group, The Dakotas. Epstein followed these with his biggest hit, "Little Children."

For the ninth consecutive year, "Lance Burton & Friends" will raise funds for The Shriners with a special 4 p.m. afternoon show on Sunday, July 30 in his theatre at Monte Carlo. Ticket are $35 and $28.50, call Zelzah Shrine at 702.382.5554.

Lance Burton will be taping Public Service Announcements for the MDA Telethon but tune in early on Sunday, Sept. 3. There's talk that Burton and his dancer / magician's assistants may open the Jerry Lewis Telethon.

Teresa Keegan a designer from Las Vegas was rewarded by The Women's Entertainment Network's two-hour show "SHEHOUSE" to air at 8 p.m. on Sept. 4. She won a chance to see Burton's show and meet with him.

The Aussies are coming to interview Burton on Thursday, July 20 after taking in his new show "New Wonders Await!" This interview segment will air in New Zealand and Australia on TVNZ with scenes from the revamped magic production show.

In 1996, the Lance Burton Theatre was voted No. 1 in the Las Vegas Reader's Poll and it's recently been redone from top-to-bottom. It has had a state-of-the-art $1 million sound system upgrade and the 1,274 seats have been completely reupholstered.

Burton will be taking a vacation after doing one show on the eve of Labor Day Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. He'll re-open on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Andres Fernandez, who made it big in the New York comedy scene about six years ago, will headline at The Comedy Stop at the Tropicana, July 19-23, with fellow comedy headliners Jeff Norris and Rick Crom.

Latino comic Fernandez was a classically trained actor; however, his brand of humor has universal appeal. He draws from experiences with his Cuban father and his marriage to a Greek woman, and charms audiences with his storytelling ability. He's fluent in Spanish, and has performed as a member of the Copa Comedy Troupe at the Copacabana, a sketch player in "El Barrio" at Caroline's, and a legit actor with the Puerto Rican Repertory Theater.



TOP OF NEXT COLUMN

WET - The Spa at TI opened this month. The aquatic design begins upon arrival with etched glass panels meant to reflect ripples of moving water. The color palette is inspired by the colors of the sea, while shimmering ivory and pale blue wall coverings call to mind memories of seashells and soft sands. The space is complemented by custom furnishings decorated in vibrant blues, teals, turquoise and aquamarines suggesting a sun-dappled ocean.

Throughout the spa, whimsical pieces of art, created by photographer Martin Waugh, capture the world of water droplets. At closer view, one drop takes the shape of a footprint - a subtle reference to the spa's refreshing pedicure treatments. In another image, the droplet appears to be a delicate bloom representing the spa's aromatic treatments.

WET features a line of water-based signature services and it is the only spa on the Strip to offer specialized evening treatments. The spa is to the public is open daily, Sunday through Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. For information, call 702-894-7472.

As of Aug. 1, three of the restaurant outlets at the Tropicana will be renamed. The Savanna Steak House will become Legends Steak & Seafood, Legends Deli will change to Player's Deli, and Calypsos will evolve into Garden Café.

Engelbert Humperdinck's final shows at The Orleans will be July 20-23. The Ms. U.S. Contest will follow the star into the showroom, July 24-27.

Liana Hovhannisyan of Eagle Rock, Calif., recently won $199,195.99 on an Elvis® MegaJackpots® Instant Winners quarter slot machine at the Imperial Palace.

Blues, Brew & BBQ will be held at Hogs & Heifers downtown on Sunday, July 23 from 4 - 8 p.m., with music by Monk & The Po' Boys.

The Las Vegas Natural History Museum in the downtown area at 900 Las Vegas Boulevard North has a new exhibit, "Savage Ancient Seas," running through Sept. 24. Savage Ancient Seasr is the world of the late Cretaceous Period filled with huge carnivorous marine reptiles with double-hinged jaws and teeth in the middle of their palates, gigantic flesh-eating fish big enough to swallow an adult human being whole, flying reptiles with 3-foot skulls and the biggest sea turtles to have ever lived.

Live Nation Inc., the world's largest producer and promoter of live entertainment, has purchased House of Blues operator HOB Entertainment Inc. for $350 million, which includes the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Live Nation owns, operates or has booking rights to 150 venues in North and South American and Europe.

The Screen Actor's Guild will be presenting conversations with actor and comedian John Lovitz from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Suncoast Showroom. Admission is free. Meanwhile, Lovitz will be headlining his adults-only show at The Orleans, July 28-30. Tickets are priced from $39.95.

Lovitz is an actor best known as a cast member of "Saturday Night Live" from 1985 to 1990. In 2005, Lovitz entered stand-up comedy for the first time in his career. He also appeared in the film "The Producers" as the strict accounting firm chairman, Mr. Marx. In 2006, Lovitz became the spokesperson in an advertising campaign for the American and Canadian Subway Restaurants.

Singer Michael Cagle will be appearing at the Cannery Casino July 11-23. His shows will be free at 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, and at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Talk is getting stronger about the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, which will be a concert hall and theater complex envisioned as the cultural hub of Las Vegas on the 61 acres of land behind the Plaza downtown. David Schwarz has been picked as the architect for the project expected to cost between $125 and $175 million.

An interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise set in the Roaring 1920s will unfold on July 21 at 7 p.m. on Lake Mead Cruises' air-conditioned Desert Princess.

The Mt. Charleston Hotel ice rink will no longer be open year round. It will only be open during the winter.

The MonteLago Village at Lake Las Vegas is taking advantage of DVD projectors that create an instant drive-in experience. For the third summer, the resort is hosting an outdoor family night on Thursday and projecting films onto a 30-foot inflatable screen. Movies start at 8 p.m.

Usually after concerts, fans buy T-shirts, CDs or even a poster to have as a memento. When Siegfried & Roy opened at The Mirage, the hotel's signature shop had lots of their souvenirs especially stuffed white tigers. But now the celebrity logo shops are bigger and carry a huge array of items.

At Caesars Palace, Celine Dion and Elton John have their stores just feet away from the showroom. Dion's items cater to kids with her line of baby cloths and you can even get a set of chopsticks for $10 in the shape of the singer's silhouette. John's shop has offbeat items such as boas, fuzzy dice, bobble-head likeness dolls and a red player piano for $54,000.

At the Las Vegas Hilton where Barry Manilow has set up shop, his retail store highlights his own wine label for wine-loving fans and his $30 pillowcases are big sellers.

While Toby Keith isn't headlining on a regular basis in town, the country singer has the I Love This Bar and Grill gift shop at Harrah's that sells all sorts of items including barbecue sauce.

NBA Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, 28, recently purchased a Boca Raton Luxury Condominium located on the south end of the Strip as his second home. Pierce bought a Caravella model, a two-story condominium with a private Courtyard entrance.

Boca Raton caters to both high-end, year-round residents and vacation homebuyers who are looking for a luxurious part-time residence. Prices range from the mid $300s to more than $1 million. Phase One is scheduled for completion in January 2007, with the delivery of the first 172 homes. The mid-rise project will bring 756 homes to Las Vegas.

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