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Sunday, December 4, 2005 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Jackie Mason Comedy Headlines, James Denton Hosts Pageant, Bistro Zinc Holds Fundraiser, Fremont Street Holiday Entertainment , Conservatory Converts To Winter Wonderland, Manilow Honors The Fifties, The Deuce Provides Top View, Las Vegan Pat Morita Passes, Johnny Mathis In Concert, Tony Bennett Returns, Anthony Cools Moves, The Mentalist Extended Again, Johnny Dark Laughs It Up, Condo Craze Ccontinues, More...

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Jackie Brett
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The irascible monologist Jackie Mason, whose career has spanned nearly five decades, will appear at the Stardust in the 900-seat showroom, Feb. 7-26. Tickets are $49.95, plus tax, call 702-732-6325.

The one-man comedy concert the irreverent humorist will bring to Las Vegas is called, "Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed, Direct From Broadway." Mason's current tour de force is the latest in a series of celebrated concerts that began in 1984 with a compendium of his classic routines labeled "The World According To Me." The show ran two-and-a-half years on Broadway and won Mason a Tony Award and Critics Circle Award.

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Mason eventually returned to Broadway four times, each time with an entirely new show fashioned from his seemingly limitless storehouse of comedy material. The live performances inspired an HBO special that enabled Mason to add an Emmy to his trophy case.

Mason has authored several best-selling books on comedy and hosted a nationally-syndicated radio show. Two albums based on his Broadway shows have earned Grammy nominations.

"Desperate Housewives" star James Denton, who is best known for his role as Mike Delfino on the hit ABC series, will host the 2006 "Miss America Pageant" live from the Aladdin on Saturday, Jan. 21 on CMT. In addition, Nashville native Denton has signed a first look development deal with cable television CMT, which over the past two years has been America's most popular country music network.

The Miss America Organization is the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance.

Tickets for the pageant are priced from $35-$95 and subject to tax and surcharges; call Ticketmaster at 702-474-4000.

Renowned restaurateur Chef Joseph Keller plans to preview the menu of his latest dining concept, Bistro Zinc, during a block party to benefit the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. Donations of $20 per person will be accepted at the event.

Bistro Zinc is set to officially open January 2006. It will be the cornerstone of Monte Lago Village at Lake Las Vegas with its prime location overlooking the lake and introduce a little bit of Bayou flair and the sounds of Zydeco. Bistro Zinc will offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night menus from 6:30 a.m.-1 a.m., daily. Keller also owns a few other restaurants including Como's, which is another eatery located within Monte Lago Village at Lake Las Vegas.

The 9th Annual Holiday Festival, which will be free to the public, will take place at the Fremont Street Experience, Dec. 6 - 17. The 12-day festival will kick off on Tuesday, Dec. 6 with the "World's Happiest Mayor" Las Vegas' own Oscar B. Goodman flipping the switch to light the 50-foot tall holiday tree. The western-themed "Kickin' Holiday" 20-minute live stage show will be the festival's main attraction on the 3rd Street stage. The show with sexy singing and dancing cowboys and cowgirls will run three times nightly at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

On New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, three headliners will be featured on three stages at the Fremont Street Experience, Cheap Trick, Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors. There will be continuous entertainment from 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Tickets are $40.00 and may be purchased at their website. For information, call 702-678-5600.

Guests will be walking in a "Winter Wonderland" at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens this holiday season, but not before thousands of hours have been spent on the transformation. More amazing than the display is the story of how 10,000 blooming plants, 500 shrubs and 40 trees come together to create an amazing winter display for millions of visitors to enjoy.

On Nov. 27, the "change-out" process began for the holiday show that opened weekend. With more than 13,500 square feet of display to convert, a staff of 100 horticulture employees work for 24 hours a day for a full seven days to ensure every detail is implemented. Using five cranes located under the landscape, the thousands of flowers, plants and trees needed for the display are assembled like a puzzle. To assist workers in the strategic placement of every flower, plant and tree, a tunnel system under the Conservatory is used. In addition, the Conservatory is brought to life by its sound-system, coordinating lights and cascading fountains, creating mini-shows for guests to enjoy throughout the day.

The holiday show features three Arctic polar bears ranging in height from six to 12 feet frolicking in the "snow banks." The polar bears white coats are made from more than 25,000 white carnations. Giant ice-crystals reflecting the sunlight are suspended from above, and across the water a spectacular arrangement of giant holiday ornaments and magnificent stars will ignite the sky. The true centerpiece of this amazing display is a majestic holiday tree extending 45-feet tall and decorated with sparkling mirrors and gold and red ornaments.

Barry Manilow, who headlines at the Las Vegas Hilton through 2007, has completed "The Greatest Songs Of The Fifties," a 13-song tribute that will arrive in stores on Jan. 31. The album is highlighted by a guest appearance from Vegas resident Phyllis McGuire of the McGuire Sisters on the medley of 1954 hits, "Sincerely/ Teach Me Tonight." This album marks Manilow's return to the Arista Records label after five years and a reunion with Clive Davis, Arista founder and BMG U.S. Chairman and CEO.

This fall, the Regional Transportation Commission put 50 double-decker buses, each known as "The Deuce," into service on the Strip. Each bus costs nearly $600,000 and travels a 17-mile loop from the South Strip Transfer Terminal off Sunset Road to the Downtown Transportation Center and back again 24 hours daily. The loop takes about two hours to complete. Each bus seats 80 people and has a total passenger capacity of 97. Tickets are $2 for a single ride or $5 for a ticket that allows people to ride local buses all day.

The Rio's Holiday Show in the Sky has returned this year with its uplifting seasonal theme. The special shows, which are free to view, will run though Dec. 25. Shows are daily at 4, 6, 8 and 10 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, there's an extra show at 7 p.m. If you want to ride in an aerial float during the show, the cost is $12.95.



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Sad to say Las Vegas lost one of its famous residents. Actor Pat Morita, who was best known for his role as the wise Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid," passed away at 73. He and his wife moved to Las Vegas in 1993. He actually performed in Las Vegas as a stand-up comedian in the 1960s, before his breakthrough on "Happy Days." He will be missed.

Caesars Palace has a beautiful 60-foot Christmas tree and holiday display. The tree features 216,510 multi-colored lights, which is more than double the lights on the tree in New York's Rockefeller Center.

Singer Johnny Mathis will bring his seasonal "Wonderful, Wonderful Holiday Concert" to the Las Vegas Hilton, Dec. 21-22. Tickets are $75-$90 plus tax and service charge.

Master magician and illusionist David Copperfield will return to MGM Grand's intimate 740-seat Hollywood Theatre with his latest stage production show, "An Intimate Evening Of Grand Illusion," Dec. 21 - Jan. 5, 2006. Copperfield will ring-in 2006 with a special midnight balloon drop following his 10:30 p.m. performance on Dec. 31. Tickets are $97 inclusive, call 702-891-7777 or 800-929-1111.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons cut their three-week gig at the Luxor short. It was suppose to continue through Dec. 8.

Barry Manilow will celebrate his 100TH show at the Las Vegas Hilton on Monday, Dec. 12 with two special performances that will be recorded for the PBS Special, "Barry Manilow: Music and Passion." The special will be directed by David Mallet, whose work includes "Elton John: The Red Piano,". "Celine Dion: A New Day," "Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge," "Madonna: Blonde Ambition World Tour Live," "Janet Jackson: The Velvet Rope Tour," "U2: Zoo TV Live from Sydney" and "Cher: The Farewell Tour," for which he won an Emmy. Manilow's special will air on PBS in March 2006.

Paige O'Hara, a veteran of the New York stage and the voice of Disney's animated heroine, Belle, in "Beauty and the Beast" will join the cast of "Menopause The Musical®" when it opens Feb. 1 in the Las Vegas Hilton's Shimmer Cabaret.

Tony Bennett will headline at the Golden Nugget, Dec. 16-18. Tickets are $150 plus tax, call 866-946-5336,

Anthony Cools is moving his raunchy hypnosis show from the tour-and travel lobby at Paris where he has worked since March to the Excalibur lounge. His show will open in the 360-seat downstairs lounge that will be renamed on Dec. 26. The Canadian hypnotist made his Las Vegas debut at the Stardust in 2003.

The La Bete nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas after a renovation featuring a copper, reds and browns color scheme will reopen on Dec. 28 at Tryst.

The Rampart Casino in Summerlin has extended The Mentalist, Gerry McCambridge, for a fifth time with performances in December on the following dates: Dec. 1, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 29. The Mentalist is free with a one-drink minimum purchase inside Addison's Lounge and complimentary tickets are available at the Rampart Rewards Center.

McCambridge has studied memory techniques, body language, hypnosis, linguistics, statistics, law of averages, non-verbal communication, magic, acting, theater, and stand up comedy. They have all helped sharpen his stage skills and natural intuitive abilities.

The Carmel Room at the Rampart Casino at The Resort at Summerlin will present the third series of the Wine Maker's Dinner on Monday, Dec. 12. The evening will feature several selections from Elyse Winery paired with the six-course menu. The cost is $115 excluding gratuity. For reservations, call 702-507-5955.

Holiday shopping for handmade gifts will be available and for sale at the Las Vegas Senior Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. The handcrafted items made by folks 50 years and older will range from flower arrangements, purses, and ornaments, to etched glass, ceramics and more. The Las Vegas Senior Center is located at 451 East Bonanza Road. For information, call 702- 229-6454.

Stand-up comedy actor Johnny Dark will bring his subtle, calm humor to the award-winning Riviera Comedy Club, during the Christmas holidays, beginning on Monday, Dec. 19, for seven nights. Doug Benson and Graham Elwood, who will be making his Riviera debut, will also be on the bill. Show times for the Riviera Comedy Club are 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $17.95 plus taxes, call 702- 794-9433,

Dark has spent years on the comedy club circuit and the world of television. His many credits include episodes of "Growing Pains," "Running in the Halls," and "Just the Ten of Us," as well as numerous network and syndicated talk shows. He's also toured the world with top name entertainers such as Shirley MacLaine, Engelbert Humperdinck, Andy Williams, Mac Davis and Della Reese.

Benson can be seen each week making fun of people on VH-1's "Best Week Ever." He is a stand-up comedian and actor whose television credits include NBC's "Friends," HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Benson co-wrote and starred in "The Marijuana-logues," which just completed a year-long Off-Broadway run and is now available on CD.

The $650 million Pinnacle twin-tower condominium project will be built on 12 aces on Tropicana Avenue just west of the Strip. Pinnacle's 410-foot, 36-story towers will have 1,095 units, including 31 separate two-story townhouses that will wrap around the pool deck and five sky-bridge residences suspended between the two towers. Prices start in the high $300,000s for the lower floors and go up to $5 million for the penthouse suites.

The $28 million Onyx will be a 63-unilt luxury low-rise condo going up on two acres on Reno Avenue behind the new Hooters Hotel, formerly the San Remo. It will be on the site of the former Tropicana Inn Hotel and has already sold 57 of its 63 units. Every unit will have 10-foot ceilings, stone floors, granite counters and no upgrades.

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