Sunday, January 20, 2002 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Gladys Knight Signs Contract, SOS Heads Home, Ricci Returns, Tease's Strip Guide, ASTA's "Hot Spot", LVI Marathon On the Run, KOA Sets Up Camp, Beer Is Brewing, NASCAR Tests Track, Uncle Lar, More...

Jackie Brett
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Hall of Fame soul singer Gladys Knight has signed a one-year contract to appear at the Flamingo Las Vegas starting Feb. 12. Before she opens there, Knight will co-host television's "The Today Show" with Katie Couric on Feb. 7, at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Sheena Easton has returned to the Las Vegas Hilton's NightClub, where she'll be performing for the next year. Her ticket price is $29.95, which is less than her $45 price tag last summer when she began her association with the hotel. The Hilton's anchor act tenants in the larger showroom this year will be The Commodores, Righteous Brothers and Smothers Brothers.

The highly successful Society of Seven has closed its extended run at the Las Vegas Hilton's NightClub and returned home to Hawaii. They announced from the stage that they will return to Las Vegas in March and perform at the Aladdin. The group is made up seven multi-talented leads that sing, play instruments and do impersonations. Most of their routines are for laughs.

Howard Stern will make a return trip to the Hard Rock Hotel this year in the beginning of February and do a three-day broadcast. He's also planning to place another $100,000 bet.

It's a pleasure to report that singer Marlene Ricci is back in town and has signed an indefinite contract to appear in the Riviera's newly remodeled Le Bistro lounge/mini showroom starting Tuesday, Jan. 29. She'll perform an 8:30 p.m. show, Tuesday through Sunday. For information, call 702-794-9433 or visit her web site at

Ricci's singing career got a tremendous boost years ago when she was performing at the old Aladdin Hotel and Frank Sinatra discovered her and made her his opening act. Her years with the legendary crooner allowed her to perform with large orchestras in many of the great concert venues in America.

During her time off from traveling with Sinatra's show, she would open shows in Las Vegas with other big name stars such as Don Rickles, Alan King, Paul Anka, Sammy Davis Jr., David Brenner, Bob Hope, etc.

Eventually Ricci accepted a long-term contract at the now defunct Top Of The Dunes where many celebrities would visit her and make special guest appearances in her shows.

Besides making television appearances including 20 visits on "The Merv Griffin Show," Ricci appeared on the CBS Special "Cinderella At The Palace," which chronicled her own story of a small town girl from upstate New York, coming to Las Vegas, being discovered by a big star and becoming his opening act. This special that was seen worldwide featured Sinatra, Tom Jones, Ann-Margret, Paul Anka, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Andy Williams.

Most recently, Ricci headlined in "The Great Radio City Spectacular" at the Flamingo Hilton.

The one thing that keeps the 18-year-old "Legends In Concert" show totally fresh at the Imperial Palace is its ever-changing cast. The New Year has started out with impersonations of Elvis, Tina Turner, Richie Valens, The Temptations, Liberace, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. It's an unbeatable combination of personalities.

The five performers who make up TRIBUTE, the group performing as The Temptations, have at least 100 years of entertainment experience among them, including experiences working collectively or individually with the likes of The Jackson Five, James Brown, Lou Rawls, The O'Jays and the Indigos.

Tickets for "Legends In Concert" are $34.50 inclusive with two drinks.

The 315-room Vacation Village at the far south end of the Strip is closed. When the new owner reopens the hotel/casino, look for redevelopment plans to take shape on the 25-acre site.

Went back to see the sexy musical comedy "Tease" at The Blue Note and have to say it is a fun show that seems to be picking up momentum. The new show is based around a night's events at a strip joint. Unlike some of the other sexy revues in town, this one has a plot line where you get to know the girls as individual personalities. In addition, Steve Connolly is part of the cast playing Vinny, a brash East Coast busboy, who in the end is transformed into Elvis. Connolly has been playing The King for over six years and does it well.

At "Tease," there are 12-page booklets on the tables entitled "How to Strip For Your Guy!" a guide from the cast of "Tease."

The 300-room Silverton Hotel-Casino south of the Las Vegas Strip is the home of a new KOA Kampgrounds of America, Inc. (KOA) franchise and a 460-unit RV park. KOA, the industry leader, has more than 500 campgrounds in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Japan.

Four Las Vegas hotels and six restaurants were designated among the nation's best in this year's Mobil Travel Guide.

Four hotels received a four-star designation, which was awarded to 240 hotels across the country. The Venetian and the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas received four-star status for the first time and Bellagio and Four Seasons were repeats.

In the dining department, Picasso at Bellagio and the Mirage's Renoir were designated Nevada's only five-star restaurants. Four-star awards were made to repeat winners Aqua and Le Cirque at Bellagio, Nobu in the Rio, and a new recipient Lutece in the Venetian.


Las Vegas was picked as the nation's favorite winter "hot spot" by the American Society of Travel Agents' (ASTA)/Fodor's Winter 2001 Hot Spots Survey. Slightly more than 22 percent of ASTA member travel agents surveyed reported that Las Vegas is the No. 1 domestic travel destination for this winter edging out last winter's favorite, Orlando, Fla.

The Tropicana's Super Bowl party will be held in the Tiffany Theatre and feature the game on two big screen televisions along with unlimited draft beer, soft drinks and stadium food. Tickets are $70 per person, call 702-739-2411.

There are some interesting area events coming up in February. One is the annual Las Vegas International Marathon featuring 26.2- and 13.1-mile races with 7,500 runners from all 50 states and 40 countries. For information, call 702-240-2722. On Feb. 16, the Desert Dash Heat Wave Race at Lake Mead will feature a triathlon-style challenge combining running, bicycling, and canoeing. For information, call 702-431-4858. The Sportsmen's Boat, RV and Travel Show will take place Cashman Center, Feb. 21-24. The contact number is 702-736-5958.

The rematch Ayala vs. Adams II is set to happen at the Mandalay Bay Resort on Saturday, Feb. 23. The first match between Paulie Ayala and Bones Adams was last year on Aug. 4 at Mandalay Bay and it was a split-12 decision in Ayala's favor for the world super bantamweight championship. Tickets for this year's event are $25, $50, $100 and $200, call 1-877-632-7400 or 702-632-7580.

The Brew Pub, located at the Monte Carlo, is one of the largest breweries in the nation and was the first one located in a resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

The beer there is brewed three to four times per week and bottled two or three times a month. Each year, the Brew Pub produces more than 3,000 barrels, or 93,000 gallons, of its signature beer that includes Silver State Stout, Jackpot Pale and an ever-changing Brewmaster Special. Each beer is aged in specially designed fermentors for as little as 14 days, or up to 60 days or longer, depending on the type of beer.

The beer is bottled on-site using a state-of-the-art machine consisting of a bottle rinser, labler and bottle filler. Guests are invited to view each step of the brewing and bottling process and can buy specialty six-packs to take home.

The Brew Pub opens daily at 11 a.m. Entertainment begins nightly at 9 p.m. with bands performing from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday-Thursday, and until 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. There is a $10 cover charge on Friday and Saturday that is waived for in-house guests.

For free the public can attend the four-day test session, Jan. 28-31, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway when 45 NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series drivers test run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some of the participating drivers will be Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kevin Harvick.

Good customer service is always worth telling people about. The hometown jewelers, M.J. Christensen has four diamond centers in Las Vegas. Three locations are in shopping malls: The Forum Shops at Caesar's, The Galleria at Sunset and the Meadows Mall. The company's first location and main store remains off the Strip at 856 E. Sahara Ave.

Besides having remarkable jewelry, you will be treated like royalty when you're shopping. If you're at one location and they don't have just what you want, they will limo you to another outlet to see more selections. If you settle on something pricey, you'll be able to celebrate when the store sends you to dinner.

To learn more about M. J. Christensen, check out their web site at

Los Angeles syndicated talk show host Phil Hendrie will broadcast live from the Las Vegas Hilton on Feb. 22. Hendrie satirizes the talk show industry by holding outrageous conversations with characters that he's invented.

The annual children's free art exhibit "Where I Live" has opened at The Grand Canal Shoppes and will be on display through Jan. 28. The art contest sponsored by the Nevada Housing Division invites Nevada's grades K through 5th grade levels to draw their homes, fantasy homes, or neighborhood. This year more than 800 pieces were submitted and 100 are on display.

Every year the Review Journal newspaper runs its "Best of Las Vegas" contest. This year's ballot has 215 categories, up 15 from last year. The categories cover hotels, shopping, dining, people, sports, entertainment and locations.

New for the 21st annual "Best of Las Vegas" will be an awards show that's open to the public. Singer Clint Holmes will host the 2 p.m. show set for Saturday, March 16 in the Storm Theater at Mandalay Bay. Tickets will be $25 and go on sale on Feb. 6 at the hotel's box office.

Known simply as "Uncle Lar," Larry Reeb is the wisecracking black sheep, politically incorrect relative everyone knows, and he will bring his twisted observations to the Riviera's Comedy Club for a week beginning Monday, Jan. 28. Tickets to see Reeb and three other comedians are $17.95 plus taxes. Call 702-794-9433 for tickets and to inquire about VIP seating and special combination food and show offers.

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