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Sunday, December 25, 2005 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Wayne Newton Stays, Regis Philbin Returns, Vinnie Favorito Moves, Connolly Pays Tribute To Elvis, Conservatory Calendar, Puck Opens Restaurant, Mentalist McCambridge Extended, Margarito Defends World Title, Gladiators Arena Football, The Amaz!ng Meeting 4, Cannery Expands, A Touch of Mystery, Coffee Pub #2, Paris Hilton Hosts, Penn & Teller Give For Blood, "Bean Bag Film Fest for Kids", More...

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Jackie Brett
by
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The legendary performer Wayne Newton has extended his engagement at the Flamingo Showroom through April 2006. Shows are Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Newton is a musical icon who has performed over 25,000 shows in Las Vegas alone and released 164 albums. His repertoire includes number one favorites such as "Danke Schoen," "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast" and "Red Roses for a Blue Lady," among others.

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Tickets for Newton's shows are $65 and $75 plus handling fee. Golden Circle tickets are $100 and they include a meet-and-greet and photo session with Newton. For tickets, call 702-733-3333 or 800-221-7299.

Television mainstay and cultural icon Regis Philbin will return to the Golden Nugget's 400-seat Theatre Ballroom Jan. 20 and 21. His wife Joy Philbin will be his special guest. Tickets are on sale now for $125 plus tax, call 702- 386-8100 or 866- 946-5336.

Philbin. who co-hosts the daily chat fest "Live with Regis and Kelly (Ripa)," returns with his live show featuring selections of standards from the Great American Songbook, audience interaction and lively anecdotes told in his inimitable style.

Philbin is a multiple Emmy Award winner, best selling author and a Guinness World Record holder for logging the most hours on American television.

As a singer, his first record, "It's Time for Regis," was released in 1968. In 2004, Philbin released "When You're Smiling," his first recorded collection of songs in 36 years. Fall 2005 saw the debut of "The Regis Philbin Christmas Album," currently making its way up the charts. Both albums also showcase him and his wife doing duets on several songs.

Quick-witted, veteran comic Vinnie Favorito has resumed his comedy act at a new location center Strip at the 150-seat O'Sheas Theatre. Audiences need to "Buckle Up" with The Vinnie Favorito Comedy Show as he takes them on a comedic ride where the crowd learns all the stories behind their fellow audience members.

Playing on the world's current events, Favorito has stand-up comedy down to a tee.

He began delighting audiences in 1986 and was first noticed nationally as a WZOU 94.5 FM (Top 40) Star Search champion. His diverse appeal has earned him silver screen exposure on various Comedy Central shows, "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" and the "Best Damn Sports Show Period." He is also known throughout Hollywood as one of the country's top "roasters" for celebrities including Tom Arnold, Jerry Springer and Larry King.

Favorito made his way to the Las Vegas circuit in 1990, where he is best known for his performances at The Improv comedy club at Harrah's. In Boston, he has served as host of "Boston Chronicle," a magazine television show, and guest radio host on Boston's EAGLE 93.7 FM. Other honors include Favorito's 1998 victory as winner of the renowned San Francisco International Comedy Competition, and recognition from the "Boston Herald" as one of Boston's Top 10 Comedians. Most recently Favorito served as the first-ever headliner at Binion's Gambling Hall, formerly known as Binion's Horseshoe.

Favorito performs two shows nightly Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. For tickets, visit the Flamingo or O'Sheas Box Offices or call 702-733-3333. Guests must be at least 18 years of age.

Steve Connolly has settled into the Fitzgerald's showroom with his full-time "Spirit of the King" show presented by Rockin' Ass Coffee. Backed by a seven-piece live band and two beautiful backup singers, he performs nightly at 7 p.m. Beginning tomorrow night, general admission is $30 and $40 for VIP seating.

Since Connolly took over the showroom, he's improved the interior atmosphere by adding authentic Elvis, Beatles and other legends' photographs and memorabilia to all the walls. An interesting note, Connolly who also sketches, has had a business restoring art and painting church ceilings.

Connolly rather than mimic Elvis takes what he calls an "Elvisesque"-approach and offers an authentic portrait of an American icon.

Connolly uses his ample skills as a composer, musician playing bass, drums and guitar, and vocalist to offer insight into the King and the musical eras he encompassed. With his own stage charisma and consummate talent, Connolly chooses not to wear sunglasses or jumpsuits and even performs a couple of his own original compositions at the end of the show thus making his concert more original.

Connolly has been performing his Elvis act in Las Vegas since he appeared in "Love Him Tender: The Spirit f the King" in Bally's "Jubilee!" Theatre in 1999/2000. An extended engagement followed in the musical comedy "Tease" at the former Blue Note Cabaret. Connolly has mastered Elvis' physical nuances, moves and conversational tones to match his musical ability and interpretations. You don't have to be an avid Elvis fan to appreciate Connolly's show and his talent.

Now through Jan. 4, the Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is featuring a Winter Wonderland with an Ocean Spray cranberry bog, fanciful penguins, carnation-covered polar bears and a towering 45-foot bejeweled Shasta Fir tree.

The schedule for displays in 2006 are Chinese New Year Exhibit: Jan. 14 - Feb. 25, Spring Celebration: March 5 - May 13, Summer Garden Party: May 21 - Sept. 9, and Harvest Show: Sept. 17 - Nov. 25.

The Coffee Pub, one of Las Vegas' most notable and frequented breakfast and lunch spots, will locate its second local restaurant at THE CURVE in Phase One and open in early 2007. The Coffee Pub's original location on West Sahara Avenue has attracted the political and business elite for more than two decades. THE CURVE will be the second Las Vegas location for Coffee Pub and will offer the area a neighborhood bistro with al fresco dining and a San Francisco feel. THE CURVE is a 47.5-acre mixed-use master-planned suburban village located between Sunset and Durango on I-215. The $300 million first phase will include two 18-story hi-rise luxury condominium towers. For information call 702-221-1186.



TOP OF NEXT COLUMN

One of NBC's most popular dramas, "Las Vegas," is the home of famed Chef Wolfgang Puck's newest restaurant. The restaurant is the most recent addition to the realistic set of "Las Vegas," which already features a casino floor, lounge, club, sports book and reception area. The restaurant and Puck himself will be featured on the series beginning Jan. 9.

The Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group currently owns and operates five distinct restaurants in Las Vegas.

The Rampart Casino has extended The Mentalist, Gerry McCambridge, for a sixth time with performances in January. The Mentalist can be seen this month on Dec. 26, 27, 28 and 29, and January 16-26, Monday-Thursday. The show is free with a one-drink minimum purchase inside Addison's Lounge and complimentary tickets are available at the Rampart Rewards Center. The Rampart is located within the JW Marriott in northwest Las Vegas.

World welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, a powerful puncher who has held his title for more than three years, will defend his position against the tough challenger Manuel 'Shot Gun' Gomez of Laredo, Texas on Top Rank's big 'Real Warriors' Pay-Per-View championship card at the Aladdin on Saturday, Feb. 18. Tickets are $200, $100, and $50 plus tax and applicable services charges, call Ticketmaster at 702-474-4000.

Margarito vs. Gomez will be one of three world title fights on this event. Brian Viloria, "The Hawaiian Punch," will defend his World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight title and Ivan 'Iron Boy' Calderon of Puerto Rico will make a defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight title. Also appearing will be the sensational undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. of Culiacan, Mexico.

The Luxor will be the official host hotel for the 2006 Las Vegas Gladiators Arena Football League Season. The resort will house all eight visiting teams and their staffs when they travel to Las Vegas to take on the Gladiators. The first home game will be Feb. 6 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

In addition, the Luxor's Race & Sportsbook will host "Gladiators Game Plan with Ron James," the Gladiators weekly radio show. The show will be broadcast live from the Sportsbook bar each Wednesday night from 7 - 8 p.m. during the AFL Season. The show will feature prizes from the Luxor for fans in attendance and have special guest appearances by Gladiators players and dancers.

The James Randi Educational Foundation will presents THE AMAZ!NG MEETING 4 (TAM4) at the Stardust Jan. 26 - 29, 2006. People from all over the world will assemble together for this convention titled "Science in Politics and the Politics of Science."

The convention lineup includes an inimitable list of scientists, magicians, and entertainers. The meeting will feature an assortment of fascinating speakers including Skeptic magazine publisher and best-selling author Dr. Michael Shermer, the Discovery Channel's Mythbusters, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann, NASA astronomer and designer of Saturn Vehicles, Carolyn Porco, and more names. The comedy magic duo, Penn & Teller will return this year with a few mind-boggling surprises.

Registration for the not-for-profit foundation members is $325 and $375 for nonmembers, visit http://www.randi.org. The foundation was founded in 1996 by its namesake, the world-renowned magician and skeptic James Randi, to promote critical thinking by reaching out to the public and media with reliable information about paranormal and supernatural ideas so widespread in our society today.

On Friday, Jan. 27, Teller (the unspoken half of Penn & Teller) will host a meet-and-greet breakfast for 12 guests to benefit the James Randi Educational Foundation. Teller will donate his time and cooking talents hosting the first "Brunch with Teller" in his Las Vegas estate.

The $40-million expansion at the Cannery in North Las Vegas is slated for completion in April. The project will add a poker room, a race and sports book, an Italian restaurant, and a 12-screen Galaxy Movie Theater.

Jay Joseph is planning to bring his A Touch of Mystery interactive dinner improvisational theatre to The Artisan Hotel & Spa by starting off with productions on Thursday evenings. The $79.95 price includes a four-course meal with wine tasting, the show, tax and gratuity. For reservations, performance dates and menu selection, call 702-497-7936..

The Tropicana is offering a free performance by The Press Band - Very Vegas, which is a group of Las Vegas' finest musicians, in the Celebration Lounge on New Year's Eve. The group will take the stage at 10 p.m. and will perform until 4 a.m. For information, call 702-739-2411.

Paris Hilton will be the official host of the New Year's Eve Party at Tao in The Venetian from 9 until 11 p.m., Tao will feature an open bar and passed appetizer trays. DJs will be spinning in three different rooms all night, and guests will have a view of the Las Vegas Strip New Year's Eve fireworks display. Advance tickets are $200, call 702-388-8588.

The infamous duo, Penn & Teller are offering a special incentive for donating blood during the crucial holiday period. During Penn & Teller's 13 bloody days of Xmas running through Dec. 31, they are offering two complimentary tickets to their show at the Rio to anyone who donates blood at United Blood Services, call 702.233.9620 for appointments and directions.

The Lied Discovery Children's Museum located at 833 Las Vegas Boulevard North near Downtown will present the "Bean Bag Film Fest for Kids" beginning on Jan. 4, and every Wednesday in January at 3 p.m. Kids are invited to the Family Theatre Stage on the first floor of the museum where an admission ticket also includes an afternoon of films, fun and popcorn. For information, call 702-382-KIDS.

The festival sponsored by the CineVegas Film Festival will showcase a diverse selection of independent and studio family features and short films. The 8th Annual CineVegas Film Festival will take place June 9-17, 2006 at the Palms Casino Resort, with Dennis Hopper serving as Chairman of the Advisory Board.

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