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Las Vegas News

Sunday, February 26, 2006 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Las Vegas Promotes "Be Anyone", 'American Idols' Sing Out, Dirk Arthur Celebrates Anniversary, Japanese Show Invades Riv, Unveiling The Meridian, 'Showbiz' Gets Facelift, Tennis Fantasy Scheduled, Jamarama Live! Tour Stop, "Avenue Q" Sets End, Earl Turner Returns, Terry Bradshaw Share Secrets, Barry Manilow On PBS Special, Robert Klein A Keynote Speaker, The Signature Offers Suite Deal, More...


Jackie Brett
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The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's (LVCVA) immensely successful "What Happen In Vegas, Stays In Vegas" campaign is entering its fourth year and last year's online "Alibi" campaign kept the fun going.

This year a new online promotion has been hatched, "Be Anyone." The underlying advertising message is that Vegas visitors can virtually "Be Anyone" for a few days. Now the LVCVA Web site features a "Be Anyone" sweepstakes banner and upon entering, visitors are invited to create their own persona.

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First, a visitor is asked to build their character's profession using a 100-point scale over categories that include smoothness, style, bravery, attitude, smarts. Their choices here will then guide their character's personality profile. Several subsequent steps help further hone their new identity. Finally, they are presented with the "New Vegas You," complete with printable business cards, a real Web site and an 800 number for their faux business, plus printable certificates of achievement in their field, suitable for framing. They will also be invited to enter the "Be Anyone" sweepstakes, in which the winner gets to be whoever they've always wanted to be on a trip to Vegas. Whatever it is... rock star, high roller, diva, etc., the LVCVA will make it happen.

The Aladdin will host "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard and fellow Idol friend Kimberly Caldwell on Saturday, March 25 in the Aladdin Theatre for Performing Arts. Tickets are $39.50, $57.50, and limited VIP seating, plus service charges and tax, call Ticketmaster at 702-474-4000.

Studdard, a native of Birmingham, Ala., cultivated his smooth voice by singing church gospels and impressing audiences since he was three years old. He was a voice major at Alabama A&M as well as a band member in both a local gospel group and a jazz and R&B band named Just a Few Cats. On "American Idol," guest judge Gladys Knight dubbed Studdard as the "Velvet Teddy Bear." After the show, he was signed to J Records and released the double-platinum "Soulful" in December 2003, which earned a Grammy nomination, and in November 2004 he followed up with a second album "I Need an Angel," returning him to his spiritual roots and opening at No. 1 on the Gospel charts.

On the second season of "American Idol," Caldwell finished in seventh place. Currently, Caldwell is an entertainment correspondent and host for the TV Guide Channel and recording an album with the help of Randy Jackson and the legendary Diane Warren.

"Xtreme Magic Starring Dirk Arthur" is celebrating its first year at the Tropicana this month. The success of the afternoon production show in the Tiffany Theatre has led to an extension through April 1. Show tickets are $29 and $34 plus tax and surcharge, call 702-739-2411.

Arthur is known for his grand illusions, which include the appearance of a Robinson helicopter and an Amtrak train. He is also recognized for showcasing exotic cats and one trick involves removing the stripes off the body of one of his tigers.

"Matsuri," the number one production in Japan, will perform a limited engagement in the Splash Theatre at the Riviera, March 1 - April 29. The show, which features world-ranked professional athletes and Olympic medalists, combines athletics, extreme sports, dance, and Japanese tradition.

The musical performance originally started as a hit Japanese television program, "Kinniku-banzuke," which means muscle ranking. The sports variety program was highlighted by athletic performances set to music.

As a stage show renamed "Matsuri," it evolved to include a variety of musical stunts, extreme sports, and comedic routines. It is punctuated by Japanese earth and foot drum dances. Highlighted segments include world-ranked mountain bikers and freestyle trampolines.

Show times are 4 p.m. Saturday - Thursday, 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. on Friday, and dark on Tuesday. Tickets range from $39.95 for children under 12 up to $60.95 plus tax and fee for VIP seating, call 1-877-892-7469 or 702-794-9433.

This columnist recently attended an evening event unveiling The Meridian, which is a property being converted into private condominiums. The person leading the change is Nicholas S. Gouletas, chairman and CEO of American Invsco, the nation's leading condominium developer, who runs a $4 billion real estate empire. His company manages 40,000 condominiums in 40 American cities and they are elated with The Meridian, which is the only mid-rise close to the Strip sitting on 16 acres that offer an elegant Mediterranean atmosphere with resort pools and romantic courtyards.

Gouletas life story embodies the American dream. In 1944, his family fled Greece near the end of World War II and came to the promise land.

The Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is the top industry association for travel, tourism and hospitality marketing. At its recent 49th annual "Adrian Awards," the most coveted competition in the industry recognized excellence in advertising, PR and web marketing. This year, there were 1,200 entries from 36 countries. The LVCVA won in four categories: a Silver Adrian Award for the efforts surrounding the "Brandweek" Magazine "Grand Marketer of the Year Award;" a Bronze Adrian Award for the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue cross promotion; a Platinum Adrian Award for Advertising for the "What happens here, stays here" complete campaign; plus "Best Of Show" for the "What happens here, stays here" campaign.

The Las Vegas Hilton will be the host venue for "The World Series of Blackjack" finals, produced by the Game Show Network (GSN) and taped for future broadcast. The finals feature a grand prize of $500,000 and a total prize pool of $1 million. Taping begins Thursday, March 2.


After 23 years as "ShowBiz Weekly" magazine providing tourists with current gaming, dining and entertainment information, the Greenspun Media Group is giving the publication a new look and name, "Las Vegas Magazine" (LVM). The new magazine, which reaches over 600,000 visitors each week, is easier to navigate and color-coded by section to help visitors find their interests with a flip of the page. Acclaimed artist Peter Max has designed LVM's inaugural colorful cover that is out this week.

Tom Gullikson, a former ATP player who captained the U.S. Davis Cup Team, and two-time Australian Open Champion Johan Kriek will be leading the court at the Las Vegas Tennis Fantasy at the Las Vegas Hilton, May 12-14. Participants in this three-day tennis extravaganza can choose: clinics that suit every ability level with professional instruction by legends Gullikson (who also coached Pete Sampras and beat Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors) and Kriek; a reception for socializing with the pros and hearing about what it's like to be on the professional tennis circuit; and a Fantasy Pro-Am Doubles tournament where the pros team up with program participants for fast action doubles play, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The country's first-ever national children's music festival, Jamarama Live! Kidsfest, will take place at the Aladdin Theatre on Saturday, March 25 at 2 p.m. Performing will be Dan Zanes and Friends and Milkshake, plus additional supporting artists to be announced. Each concert features live musical performances and interactive attractions. Tickets are $25, call 702-474-4000.

Jamarama Live! Kidsfest is a touring music festival that incorporates all kinds of children's music and audience participation. Festival activities include: a coloring floor; karaoke kiosks; a face / hair painting and "tattoo" booth; and a Miffy storytelling area featuring the beloved series of books by Dick Bruna. NOGGIN videos will be featured on video screens, and children can meet their favorite NOGGIN costumed characters. The My Gym Children's Fitness Center will get kids up and moving and dancing to an animated music video.

Once the lead singer of celebrated roots rock band, The Del Fuegos, Dan Zanes has found his calling creating truly age-desegregated folk music. Milkshake is headed by vocalist Lisa Mathews and acoustic guitar player Mikel Gehl.

"Avenue Q" will end its Las Vegas run at Wynn Las Vegas on May 28, after a nine-month engagement. The Broadway Theatre will then be renovated extensively and renamed the Grail for its next occupant, a 90-minute Monty Python's "Spamalot," which will arrive in March 2007.

Singer Earl Turner has returned to Las Vegas after Hurricane Katrina closed Harrah's in New Orleans where he was headlining in the showroom. On March 2, he will become a resident headliner in the 250-seat Sound Trax room at Palace Station. Tickets to see the high-energy performed will be about $35.

The Teatro Euro Bar inside the MGM Grand opened in 2004 and now it has launched new late-night hours due to overwhelming demand. The new club hours are Tuesday - Thursday from midnight - 8 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. - 8 a.m. For reservations. call 702-891-3650.

The Kabuki Lounge at the Imperial Palace near the main entrance has closed and been replaced by the Texas Hold 'Em Poker Room that was formerly located on the third floor.

Legendary Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw will share his secrets to success during the 27th annual Las Vegas International Hotel and Restaurant Show (LVIHRS), April 12-13, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Bradshaw will appear at the Keynote Luncheon on April 12. Tickets are $60, call 1-800-272-SHOW.

In addition to his broadcasting career, Bradshaw has also had a successful singing career recording four albums, has displayed his literary talents by writing five acclaimed autobiographies, and has appeared in several feature films, including a supporting role in the current romantic comedy hit movie "Failure to Launch" starring Matthew McConaughey, Kathy Bates, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Barry Manilow, who headlines at the Las Vegas Hilton, will be featured in the Public Broadcasting System special, "Barry Manilow: Music and Passion," on most nationwide PBS stations on March 9.

Comedian Robert Klein will be the keynote speaker for the "Million Dollar Night of Comedy," fundraising dinner gala on March 11 at The Venetian.

Longtime Las Vegas piano teacher, Jie Bu has opened Piano Gallery of America, a 4,300-square-foot combination teaching institute and music store located west of the Strip at 4245 S. Grand Canyon Drive, Suite 105. The gallery's fine line of pianos ranging in price from $2,000 to more than $100,000 are Sauter, Petrof, Nordiska and Bachman. In addition, Piano Gallery of America is one of only five U.S. piano stores to carry Sauter's Peter Maly designer line of pianos. Bu has trained more than 1,000 students and is overseeing the teaching school component of the retail center.

Reservations for The Signature at MGM Grand, the luxurious suite hotel featuring well-appointed one-bedroom, two-bedroom and junior suites with private balconies debuting this May, are now being accepted for the first tower featuring 576 suites. Tower 2 is scheduled for opening in December 2006, and Tower 3 in May 2007. For information, call 877-727-0007.

The Signature at MGM Grand's flawless, personalized guest service will begin immediately upon arrival with a private entrance and separate elegant lobby and 24 hour service by a dedicated staff. Guests will enjoy the highest quality in-suite amenities including deluxe king beds with 300-thread count Anichini sheets, marble and granite bathrooms, and ultra-thin LCD flat-screen high definition TVs. The complete resort experience will include a fitness center, multiple heated outdoor pools, pool-side cabanas and cocktail service.

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