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Sunday, September 10, 2006 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Andre Agassi's Grand Slam Benefit Concert, Nick Lachey Spotlighted, "Burn The Floor®" Hits The Stage, The Café Redone, Free Video Poker Classes, CineVegas Dates Announced, "Bottom's Up" Opens Downtown, Country And Western Impersonator BBQ Begins, Lance Burton & Rick Thomas Team Up, Amazing Johnathan Tapes Special, 'UFC 64: Unstoppable' Ringside, Godsmack Headlines, Football Widows Brunch Is On, More...

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Jackie Brett
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The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation has assembled another superstar line-up including the Counting Crows, Sarah McLachlan and legendary rocker Phil Collins for the Grand Slam for Children Benefit Concert set for Oct. 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Grammy Award-winning producer, arranger and composer David Foster will return for his 11th year as musical director.

For the first time, this year's concert will feature a performance by the winner of the "Grand Slam to Stardom" contest that was open to residents of Clark County, Nev., who are 14 to 28 years old. The winner, chosen by Foster, will open the show.

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More than 85,000 fans and VIP guests have attended 10 Grand Slam events, raising $52.3 million for charity. Tickets are $90, $70 and $50; call Ticketmaster at 702-474-4000.

Singer, songwriter and entertainer Nick Lachey will bring his pop sound to the Luxor Theater Nov. 10 and 11. Tickets are $90, $75 and $49, call 800-557-7428 or 702-262-4400.

Lachey first burst onto the music scene as the lead singer of the pop group 98°. In 2003, Lachey became a pop culture icon with the hit MTV show "Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica." While on a break from filming, he released "SoulO" in 2003, which included "This I Swear," the theme song for "Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica." In 2004, Lachey's acting career included guest roles on "Charmed" and "Hope and Faith," and in 2005, he starred as a stockbroker turned jewelry thief in the motion picture "The Hard Easy."

Lachey released "What's Left of Me" earlier this year and the title track reached the top five on Billboard's Pop 100 list. Lachey helped write eight songs on the album.

The sizzling dance sensation Burn The Floor® will debut at the Luxor on Thursday, Sept. 14. The high-energy, 70-minute show, seen by more than three million people in 32 countries, features a variety of dance styles, including salsa, samba, cha cha, tango and rumba, all with a sexy, modern edge. Burn The Floor® combines elements of a rock n' roll concert and Broadway theater into a powerful stage performance.

Shows are scheduled Sunday - Thursday at 7 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9:30 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. Tickets are $41 and $29, 800-557-7428 or 702-262-4400.

What a surprise, more like shock, when this reporter had the opportunity as an invited guest to experience The Café at Monte Carlo, which has been completely remodeled. The 320-seat eatery, which had a coffee shop appearance, was closed on July 17 and reopened on Aug. 18 with a new sophisticated and dramatic look and menu. The new interior with rich woods and faux-mink-like tables took six months to design and the outcome can compete in the gourmet-dining arena.

The Café is open 24 hours everyday and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner at reasonable prices. My privileged group got to try many dishes including our starters... chicken fingers, spicy Thai honey chicken wings, shrimp cocktail, tandori beef skewers, and chili verde, followed by individual main dishes and three desserts. Every food dish was impeccably prepared and worth ordering. This restaurant is excellent.

The Silverton, located three miles south of Mandalay Bay off I-15, is offering a new weekly series of free video poker classes every Tuesday morning by video poker professional and gaming writer Bob Dancer. Classes are held inside Twin Creeks Steakhouse, with the beginner-level class from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and the intermediate-level class from noon - 1 p.m. All classes, which vary weekly, are free and formed on a walk-up basis. For information, call the Silverton Player's Club at 702-263-7777.

Dancer is one of the best-known video poker players and writers in the country today. He started his video poker career in 1994 and has since won more than one million dollars.

The 9th Annual CineVegas Film Festival will return to the Palms and Brenden Theatres June 8-16, 2007. Dennis Hopper will continue to serve as Chairman of the Creative Advisory Board in 2007. He has been dedicated to growing the national presence of CineVegas since he was honored in 2003 with the Marquee Award for his lifetime achievements in the film industry.

Submissions for the 2007 festival will be accepted from Dec. 15, 2006 to March 15, 2007. For information, call 1-888-8VEGAS8.

CineVegas features world film premieres, honorees celebrities and holds panel discussions with renowned filmmakers, writers and talent. At night, the festival hosts nine nights of parties.

The creative team behind the international sensation "STOMP," will be holding auditions Sept. 25-30 for a new production to open at the Aladdin (soon to be Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino) next spring in a new, custom-designed theater. For information, call 877-STOMPLV (786-6758).

Breck Wall's "Bottom's Up" revue has been a recurring show in Las Vegas since 1964 and was last seen as an afternoon show at the Flamingo in 2004. It has now opened at Fitzgerald's downtown in the intimate showroom occupied the past few years by "Steve Connolly's Spirit of the King" show.

During September, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas is offering free entry to all police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians who are the first to respond to emergency situations. Individuals just have to show valid identification at the box office for free entry. For information, call 702-862-7800.

"LVM2Go" is a brand new bi-weekly, free tourist digest-size guide from the Greenspun Media Group that debuted last weekend. The new handy Las Vegas magazine features current and noteworthy happenings, attractions, dining, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, maps (city, Strip and downtown) and more.

The Riviera has started an outdoor Country and Western impersonator show complete with barbecue steak dinners and all the trimmings that takes place every Wednesday through Nov. 15. Tickets for the Riviera Barbecue Steak Dinner and All American Show are $60.72; call 702-794-9433.

Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson is currently training for a couple more weeks on the mezzanine level at the Aladdin. Sessions are daily except Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.



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Las Vegas' Lance Burton and Rick Thomas will be performing in "It's Magic 50th Anniversary Show" at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Sept. 17. Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld" will host the show featuring 14 superstars of magic plus a special appearance by Siegfried and (schedule permitting) Roy. Ticket prices range from $29.50 to $102, contact Ticketmaster.

About 25 years ago, Burton was discovered by "It's Magic" talent scouts and did an unprecedented 12-minute act on "The Tonight Show" starring Johnny Carson, which paved his path to Las Vegas.

Diane Ford, a comic who has been described as an implicitly funny feminist, will headline the Riviera Comedy Club with fellow comedians Larry Brown and Ted Sarnowski for seven nights, Sept. 25 - Oct. 1. Ford made her national debut on Showtime's "Comedy Club Network" with her edgy commentaries and then won a spot on HBO's "Women of the Night." She went on to tape her own HBO specials, "One Night Stand" and "Command Performance."

Renowned comic magician and Sahara Congo Room headliner Amazing Johnathan filmed a one-hour special in New York City for Comedy Central on Sept. 1. The show entitled "Wrong on Every Level" was filmed for television broadcast later this fall and a second "uncensored" taping was done and will only be released by Comedy Central on DVD.

Not only is Johnathan one of Comedy Central's top five most downloaded performers on iTunes, he is also a veteran of three previous highly acclaimed appearances with the network.

The special includes a video segment that features Johnathan's twisted version of "street magic" with illusionist Criss Angel and comedian Carrot Top taking part in the mayhem.

Hipster UK clothier Ben Sherman has launched its first Las Vegas store inside The Shops in Desert Passage. The 4,600-square-foot store features interior décor representing its "Mod" UK roots, including iconic furniture and artwork such as Union Jack armchairs and Warhol-style prints.

The Desert Passage store is different boasting a key feature called The Gallery - a central lounge area with a vaulted ceiling. Another distinctive element is the collection of vintage frames with images telling the historical story of Sherman's rise to today's iconic status since the birth of the brand in the "swinging Sixties." Sherman's distinctive fashion line includes his infamous men's, button-down collar shirt with a black label bearing Sherman's name on the left-hand pocket as well as women's wear, footwear, kids and youth and accessories.

After a seven-month absence, UFC® World Middleweight Champion Rich "Ace" Franklin will return to the Octagon™ to make his third title defense against the seemingly unstoppable UFC newcomer Anderson "The Spider" Silva Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in the main event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization's "UFC 64: UNSTOPPABLE." Tickets are $450, $350, $200, $100 and $50 call 702-632-7580 or Ticketmaster at 702-474-4000.

Fans will also witness the return of the lightweight crown to the UFC when Kenny "KenFlo" Florian and Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk battle for the vacant lightweight crown, held only by former champion Jens Pulver.

Stopped by Max's Café located inside Desert Passage at the Aladdin and they have a great offer going... three drinks for the price of one. The décor is dramatic, plus the food is good and reasonably priced.

The Riviera has brought back the dinner buffet featuring action stations and five themed stations: Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Bar-B-Que and "Made In America." New to the buffet is a free draft beer or a tangy margarita. Cost is $14.99 plus tax and gratuity.

The Riviera's World's Fare Buffet has been completely remodeled with new furniture, new carpeting, earth tone tiles, wood paneling and wood-beams crossing the room, and a high-vaulted ceiling with faux blue sky and clouds.

The Hard Rock will present Godsmack with Rob Zombie and Shinedown in the Theater Under the Stars on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. Tickets range from $55-$82.50; call 702-693-5583.

Debuting in 1997 with "All Wound Up," Godsmack signed with Universal who reissued the LP as a self-titled album with a handful of new tracks in 1998. The band was invited to join Ozzfest in 1999 and 2000. "Awake" was released in 2000 and sold more than two million copies and scored a Grammy nomination for the song "Vampires." "Faceless" appeared in April 2003, while the all-acoustic "Other Side" arrived in the spring 2004. In 2006, "IV" was issued and topped the charts at No. 1.

Longtime frontman of metal legends White Zombie, Rob Zombie embarked on a solo career with the release of "Hellbilly Deluxe" in 1998. The album sold more copies in its first week of release than any White Zombie record did. Zombie released "American Made Music to Strip By" in the fall of 1999 and started his own label, Zombie-a-Go-Go Records. Zombie is also an accomplished director and screenwriter with movies like 2003's "House of 1000 Corpses" and 2005's "Devil's Rejects." "Educated Horses" was issued in July 2006 and continues to climb the charts.

Melodic hard rockers Shinedown signed with Atlantic records in the early 2000s and released their debut album "Leave a Whisper" in 2003. Shinedown followed up with their sophomore effort, "Us and Them" in 2005.

Starting today and continuing through Feb. 4, 2007, Casa Di Amore Italian restaurant, located a few miles east of the Strip on Tropicana, is offering an alternative for football widow syndrome. The restaurant offers a brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Casa Di Amore Sunday Football Brunch includes a select menu plus mimosas and Bloody Marys for and inclusive $25 price with $5 being donated to My Hope Chest to assist needy women with breast reconstruction. The brunch is accompanied by pop/jazz vocalist George Bugatti displaying his crooner-style.

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