Las Vegas Guide
Las Vegas News

Sunday, January 22, 2006 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Fremont Street Experiences Peking Acrobats, Las Vegas Sign Partners With George Wallace, Civil Rights Leader Joins Madame Tussauds, Naga Aushi & Asian Bistro Open, 'Hairspray' Gets Ready, Cinevegas Sets Up June, Top Of The World Transformed, Danny Gans Returns, Anthony Cools Moves, Hooters Casino Hotel Opens, JW Marriott Awarded, Valentine's Events Planned, Italian American Club Swing Sundays, More...


Jackie Brett
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It's been 10 years since the world-renowned Peking Acrobats juggled, contorted, balanced and amazed audiences in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand in 1996. The 2006 North American tour will bring the Peking Acrobats to town for a one-night-only special free performance at the Fremont Street Experience on the 1st Street Stage on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m.

Rigorously trained, superbly skilled and highly accomplished, the Peking Acrobats are truly a national treasure. A time-honored element of Chinese culture, the traditional folk art of acrobatics dates back to the Ch'in Dynasty (202-207 B.C.) and remains a part of life today.

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Since their debut in 1986, The Peking Acrobats have redefined audience perceptions of Chinese acrobatics. They perform daring maneuvers atop a precarious pagoda of chairs; they are experts at treacherous wire-walking, trick-cycling, precision tumbling, somersaulting and gymnastics. They defy gravity with amazing displays of contortion, flexibility and control. They push the envelope of human possibility with astonishing juggling dexterity and incredible balancing feats, showcasing tremendous skill and ability.

During the Fremont Street Experience performance, they will be accompanied by live musicians skillfully playing traditional Chinese instruments and high-tech special effects that coalesce with the music and awe-inspiring feats creating an exuberant entertainment event featuring all the excitement and festive pageantry of a Chinese Carnival.

Creators of the now world-famous novelty version of the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign have partnered with Las Vegas Strip headliner George Wallace to offer the souvenir as a gift during his celebrity public appearances as well as a prize to featured guests and audience members of the comedian's show at the Flamingo.

Unlike any other comedy show in Las Vegas, Wallace gives away a number of prizes every night including CD1s, DVD1s, diamond necklaces, dinners at prestigious restaurants, tropical cruises and even a new car.

Wallace also plans to use the souvenir sign as a gift to celebrity hosts during appearances on such shows as "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Late Night with David Letterman," and during his many comedy tours.

Bogar Enterprises LLC, the umbrella company for The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign, has also loaned the Flamingo headliner the use of their 7-and-a-half-foot tall Welcome to Las Vegas Sign to use as a stage prop during his 10 p.m. show.

Since 1959, the welcome sign has served as the gateway to Las Vegas sitting at the far south end of the Las Vegas Strip. Through the years the sign has become the quintessential symbol for Las Vegas; and because it is public domain, it is also one of the most copied historical icons of Las Vegas. At 12-and-a-half inches high by 9-and-a-half inches wide, the miniature-flashing replica light showcases most of same features as the real sign, including a back-lighted face and flashing lights. It comes with an electrical plug, and will soon be available in a battery-operated version as well.

Madame Tussauds is honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by introducing a permanent attraction of the civil rights leader. Dr. King is immortalized in Las Vegas1 Spirit of America1 room, which also includes prominent Americans, three former Presidents of the United States, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy and current U.S. President George W. Bush. Like all of Madame Tussauds1 interactive attractions, visitors can stand next to the life-sized likeness of Dr. King and be photographed with him.

The Stratosphere recently opened Naga Sushi & Asian Bistro in the site formerly occupied by Hamada Asian Village. The contemporary restaurant features a diverse menu of Asian cuisine with Japanese, Chinese and Thai influences. The restaurant is modern, yet traditional.

Naga features a traditional sushi bar menu expanded to include a variety of Asian dishes. The sushi bar features nigiri sushi, sashimi, cut and hand rolls, as well as specialty rolls. Naga features a 14-seat sushi bar along with a main dining room and patio seating. The interior décor features red and black colors that contrast with the hardwood floors. Asian art works in a variety of mediums adorn the room. Naga is open daily from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. For information, call 702-380-7777 or 800-99-TOWER.

The musical "Hairspray" will be holding preview performances at the Luxor Feb. 6-14: Thursday - Tuesday at 7 p.m. with additional shows at 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Preview tickets are $50 plus tax and handling fee. Regular performances will begin on Feb. 17. Tickets are $85 for the main floor and $65 for the mezzanine. The additional 10 p.m. shows will be on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. For tickets, call 702-262-4000 or 800-557-7428.

"Hairspray" takes place in 1962. Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion-to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, "The Corny Collins Show" and, overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a plus-size trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her 'do?

Comic hypnotist Anthony Cools has opened his show in the former Minstel Lounge at The Excalibur. The room is now known as The Anthony Cools Experience and the bar has a signature cocktail, Cool Sensations.

Longtime lounge celeb Freddie Bell has replaced Sonny King as the host of the Friday and Saturday night entertainment venues at the Bootlegger Bistro located a few miles south of Mandalay Bay on Las Vegas Blvd. The weekend late-night format features entertainers coming out of the audience to join the show. Bell and the Bellboys were a regular act for years at the Sahara, Sands, and Riviera lounges.


Danny Gans will be returning to his headlining position at The Mirage on Feb. 8 after a 12-week leave of absence due to surgeries on his shoulder and hand. When he reopens, he will be doing four shows per week instead of five.

The Stratosphere recently completed the transformation of the Top of the World Lounge into a stylish new lounge experience called Romance at Top of the World. The new lounge features elegant décor, bottle service, upscale drinks and unsurpassed views of Las Vegas. Romance is open daily from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. For information or table pre-booking, call 702-380-7764 or 800-99-TOWER.

The Top of the World Lounge was completely remodeled with all areas, including the bar, designed to maximize the breathtaking views. The primary color throughout the room is a deep burgundy that is accentuated with subdued lighting and candles. The bar now features a glass top illuminated with fiber optics. There are 12 VIP sections that face either the Las Vegas Strip or surrounding areas. Each section contains luxury couches enclosed for privacy or bottle service that can be reserved for any occasion. The dress code is casual chic and strictly enforced - no athletic wear, oversized or torn jeans, shorts, t-shirts or hats. Fashionable sneakers are allowed.

Romance at Top of the World is located on Level 107 of the Stratosphere Tower, one floor above the Top of the World Restaurant. There is no cover charge. Check-in is at the Top of the World podium located at the base of the Tower.

CineVegas has established itself as one of the hottest and fastest growing film festivals in the world, being mentioned in a TIME Magazine cover story as well as listed as one of the top five small festivals to visit by Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper. The 8th annual festival will be held June 9-17, at the Palms. The CineVegas Film Festival will be accepting entries for the 2006 festival, from Jan. 13 - April 21. In addition, for the first time in its history, CineVegas will be awarding cash prizes to two films: $10,000 to the winner of the Grand Jury Award for Feature Film and $1,000 for the Grand Jury Award for Best Short. All films are required to be submitted online and must be finished in either the 2005 or 2006 calendar year. For information, call 702-992-7979.

In addition, Dennis Hopper will continue to serve as Chairman of the Creative Advisory Board in 2006. He has been dedicated to growing the national presence of the CineVegas Film Festival ever since he was honored in 2003 with CineVegas' prestigious Marquee Award for his lifetime achievements in the film industry.

There's some indication that the Tropicana owned by Aztar Corp. may be getting ready to redevelop its prime Las Vegas Strip corner acreage. The Tropicana's room reservation department has stopped accepting reservations beyond April 14.

The world's first Hooters Casino Hotel will officially open on Feb. 3 and light Las Vegas with an orange neon signature logo sign. The casino's Hooters Restaurant is connected to Porch Dogs, a Caribbean-themed casual indoor-outdoor club with a full-service bar and live entertainment. The Bait Shoppe - featuring a fresh sushi bar - will inject the Hooters-style into a new tropical pool area compete with waterfalls, palm trees, cabana and Nippers Pool Bar. It will be fun to see the transformation of the former Hotel San Remo.

The Original Las Vegas Comedy Festival is being held this week, Jan. 24-28, and the five-day event for comedians is open to the general public. The festival is being hosted this year by the Tropicana and the Comedy Stop. For information, visit

BOA Steakhouse is offering a signature cocktail this Valentine's Day - the Wild Rose Martini, a romantic blend of Rose Nectar, Grey Goose Vodka and Gomme Syrup in a sugar-rimmed martini glass and garnished with a rose petal.

The JW Marriott was recently honored with two prestigious meeting awards, The Gold Key Award from Meetings & Conventions Magazine for the second year and the Platinum Choice Award from Smart Meetings for the third year in a row. The Gold Key is bestowed to only 75 resorts and hotels in the country. Smart Meetings Platinum Choice Award is based on reader votes, naming the resort one of 100 top properties within the western region of The USA, Canada and Mexico.

MonteLago Village offers an "out of town" escape this Valentine's Day with a romantic gondola ride, fashion show at Moonbeams, Fun Flight Wine Education at Sunset & Vines, or a round of golf or spa treatment.

The Village and Moonbeams Trunk Fashion Show will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11 and Tuesday, Feb. 14. The Moonbeams and J. Ryan fashion trunk show will feature the Spring 2006 line of Sophia and Chloe and men's 2006 Spring line for Nat Nast as well as champagne, appetizers, and live music throughout the event. Many of the items in the show will be raffled off to benefit a local non-profit cause.

Horse and Carriage Rides will be available on Saturday, Feb. 11 from noon to 7 p.m. and on Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 4 to 9 p.m. Rides are $10 for adults and $5 for children. There will be live afternoon entertainment in the village on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. For information, call the events hotline at 702-564-4766.

Derek David and his 17-piece Big Band will be serving up Swing music, dancing and an Italian buffet lunch with The Sunday Swing Show every Sunday afternoon from 2-5 p.m. at the Italian American Club, located at 2333 East Sahara, near Eastern, beginning with a pre-Valentine's Day gala on Feb. 12. Cost is $29.95 with a no-host bar. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling 702-317-7752.

David, the lead singer of the Platters who perform nightly at the Sahara, will be taking audiences on a musical journey through the great standards and crooners who comprise what is known as the Great American Songbook.

The afternoon will be pure Swing era with the women in the band outfitted with clothes and jewelry from DuBarry Fashions, owned by Baroness Rita Bliss.

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Editorial Content Copyright(c) 2000-2006 Jackie Brett; Internet Presentation Copyright(c) Las Vegas Leisure Guide