Las Vegas Guide
Las Vegas News

Sunday, April 16, 2006 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Rita Rudner Moves, Stars On The Lake Concerts Begin, 'Riv It Up' Opens, 'The Drive' Tests Track, 'Phantom' Tickets Sale, Eric Burdon On Stage, Comic Jim David Headlines, "The Price Is Right" Comes On Down, Ba-Da-Bing's New Digs, Madonna Brings "Confession", The District Turns 2, Bingo Going, "Dirty Jobs" Goes To The Birds, Trop In Bidding War, Neonopolis Sold, Hope Is Eternal Ball Fun, More...


Jackie Brett
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After headlining in a showroom built specifically for her at New York-New York, comedienne Rita Rudner has announced that she will be moving to the bigger showroom that singer Clint Holmes will be vacating at Harrah's. Rudner will be closing at New York-New York in June so that the resort can turn the theater into a nightclub. In addition, Rudner's book, "Turning Tables," from Crown Publishing is supposed to be released on Aug. 29.

In what has become a community tradition, Lake Las Vegas Resort has announced its Grammy-studded lineup for the 2006 Stars on the Lake concert running May 12 to Sept. 30, and presented on the resort's signature floating stage. Too cute for words was the cookie bouquet this reporter received with the series name and each act's name on big star-shaped cookies.

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Musical duo Heart will kick off the concert series on May 12. Following performances will include: Hall & Oates - June 24; Christopher Cross and America - July 3; singers Michael Feinstein and Linda Eder - Sept. 8; instrumentalist Chris Botti - Sept. 16; and Seal - Sept. 30. Ticket prices vary per act and range from general admission starting at $29.95 up to $100 for VIP seating. For information, call 702-795-SHOW (7469).

Song stylist and hostess Mary Jane Samoy brings her "Riv It Up" troupe of acrobatic merrymakers to the open-air center casino stage at the Riviera. The shows are free daily at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 3:15 p.m., and 4:45 p.m. The show's familiar faces also performed under the name of "Air Play" at the Tropicana for a long time. Acts and times are subject to change; call 702-734-5110.

"The Drive" is a General Motors test track that has opened behind the Sahara on the corner of Sahara Avenue and Paradise Road. Anyone with a valid driver's license and a clean Breathalyzer test can take a car or truck for a ride on one of three courses for ten dollars. The highlight of the off-road course is "Corolla Hill" with a 60-degree incline on both sides.

"The Drive" is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and more information is available online at (redacted).

Tickets are on sale now for the all-new staging of "Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular," that will be presented in a new $40 million theater at The Venetian. The 95-minute production will feature never before seen special effects and include every song from the original show.

The most successful theatrical endeavor of all time, "The Phantom of the Opera" has grossed more than $3 billion worldwide since its London premier in 1986, having played more than 65,000 performances in 20 countries and 110 cities.

Preview performances will run June 4-23, with tickets priced from $75 plus tax and fees; call 866-641-7469 or 702-414-7469.

The Cannery in North Las Vegas will present Eric Burdon and The Animals with Rare Earth on June 10 inside The Club. Tickets are $14.95 and $20.95 plus tax and fees; call 617-5585 or 866-287-4643.

Burdon was one of the seminal figures of the 1960s British Invasion during his tenure with The Animals. He is a member of the Rock 1n1 Roll Hall of Fame, and the legendary singer has charted with 25 Top 40 hits including classics like "House of the Rising Sun."

In 1969, Burdon joined forces with the band War and in 1971 began a solo career. Burdon rejoined briefly with the original Animals in 1976 and 1983 and today he continues to record and tour as a solo artist and also with Eric Burdon and The Animals. Rare Earth decided that "Get Read" would be their first recording, be 21-minutes long and to be one whole side of the first album. Motown was leery about running longer than the normal three-minute single. "Get Ready" was a huge hit selling millions of records and remaining on the charts for almost three years.

Comedian Jim David with his wacky, intellectual and slightly twisted sense of humor will be headlining seven nights at the Riviera Comedy Club with comedy magician Bill Robinson and newcomer Quentin Heggs starting on Monday, April 24.

Always funny, David was teaching Shakespeare to seventh graders in the South Bronx when the students kept asking, "What are you? A comedian?" David went on to work at clubs in New York and across the country.

If Robinson's face looks familiar, it's because he is the main magician / demonstrator at Maynard's Magic Shop, located in the middle of the Riviera.

Heggs is making his Riviera debut. Show times are 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $17.95 plus taxes; call 702-794-9433.

Harrah's will soon be introducing two new shows to Las Vegas and both started in Northern Nevada.

One show is a live spin-off version of television's "The Price Is Right." It will be an afternoon show at Bally's. The staged version by the producer of the TV version, Fremantle Media, will involve contestants and prizes like trips and cars and debut on April 25.

The other show replacing "Skintight," which will close on May 10 at Harrah's after being there since August 2000, will be the country-themed "Bareback" opening on May 19. Greg Thompson produced both shows and he's also owns the "Erocktica" show at the Rio.

Bruce Ewing, after almost 12 years with the show "Forever Plaid," will be leaving his role as Jinx on April 23 to join the cast of the new "Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular" show opening at The Venetian.

Boyd Gaming Corp, another gaming giant in Las Vegas, has announced that it would spend $5 million to purchase a 40-acre parcel in North Las Vegas, which is an indication of the company's belief in that area of the valley. There's no timetable for building on the casino-approved site located on the southwest corner where Lamb Boulevard intersects with Centennial Parkway. The site is close to the intersection of Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Beltway.


KRAVE Theatre at the Aladdin is now offering a new two-hour, musical comedy interactive dinner show, "The Sopranos Last Supper." The all-new cast features 20 Las Vegans spoofing the hit TV series.

"Ba-Da-Bing," another interactive dinner musical featuring Mr. Big and Cousin Vinnie has been moving around town for a few years. It will be opening April 18 for an indefinite run at Giorgio's Ristorante at Mandalay Place. Show times are 7:30 p.m. nightly; call 702-257-0297.

Madonna will bring her "Confession Tour" to the MGM Grand Garden arena on May 27. Tickets range from $75 up to $375.

The Goo Goo Dolls will play the Sandbar at the new Red Rock Station on May 13. Tickets are $78 and $165.50.

The special double bill of David Brenner and George Wallace running through April 29 at the Flamingo is a rare pairing. In fact, it's reminiscent of the co-billings that Las Vegas used to book in all the major showrooms before production shows took over. Tickets are $75.

PURE Nightclub inside Caesars Palace will host Kevin Federline's listening party on April 21. The deejay will be playing several tracks from his upcoming album, "Playing With Fire." Doors will open at 10 p.m.

The District at Green Valley Ranch, one of the valley's popular destinations, will celebrate its second anniversary with a variety of fun activities for all ages on Saturday, April 22, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors can enjoy the park-like setting with entertainment along The District's Main Street including strolling musicians, stilt walkers, balloon twisters, face painters, a caricature artist and more. The event is free and open to the public. Following the day's activities, Yacht Club will perform smooth jazz from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in The District's Courtyard Area.

Recently Whole Foods Market and The Cheesecake Factory restaurant have opened at The District and the many additional shops will be opening by mid-May. The District is located at the southwest corner of I-215 and Green Valley Parkway in Henderson. For information, call 702-564-8595.

It seems bingo halls in Las Vegas are disappearing like pokers rooms were just a few years ago. In fact, the only bingo parlor on the Strip is at the New Frontier. Maybe someone needs to start a television show around bingo and revive its popularity.

The Monte Carlo's headlining magician Lance Burton helped "Las Vegas" television series star Molly Sims, who is the "Marie Claire" May magazine cover girl, by levitating her on the stage of The Lance Burton Theatre. The flawless-looking starlet and her prestidigitator were featured as the main two-page photo and cover story entitled "Molly Sims Live from Las Vegas."

Randy "Turtle" Williams' job is taking care of Lance Burton's birds, which he does with a Zen-like attitude. The Discovery Channel's top-rated show, "Dirty Jobs," with host Mike Rowe should clean up in the ratings when it airs the segment about the behind-the-scenes look at Burton's show on Tuesday, June 13.

The Tropicana owned by Aztar suddenly finds itself in a purchasering bidding war. Las Vegas-based Ameristar became the third gaming company submitting a proposal to acquire Aztar Corp., bidding $2.25 billion.

Ameristar is offering more than Las Vegas Hilton owner Colony Capital. Now third in line is Pinnacle Entertainment, which entered an agreement in March. This is a fun Monopoly game to watch.

New investors, a group of experienced real estate developers, have reached an agreement with the chief executive of the company that owns the Riviera to buy out his shares of stock in the casino's parent company, with the intent of fixing it up.

Downtown Neonopolis looks like it has found a new owner. The $100 million Fremont Street retail center has been all but empty and on the market since May 2004. Prudential Real Estate Investors have reached an agreement to sell the 250,000-square-foot shopping center on Fremont Street. New owners will raise hope for this project.

Preparations are underway for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Hope is Eternal Ball being held this year at the Rio on Sunday, May 7. For a good cause, you can spend an afternoon taking in a magic show; enjoy jazz while dining on fine cuisine; shop the silent auction; dance the afternoon away, all while raising funds to benefit this worthwhile cause.

Festivities include a silent auction, dinner, live music and dancing. In keeping with this year's variety show theme, jazz singer Mary Ellen Span, the Arnie Webster Big Band, magician Jeff Hobson, the UNLV Jazz Band, magician James Dimmare, Johnny Potash, Patricia Welch, and the Pirates of TI, have volunteered to perform at the event.

Now in its fifth year, this springtime tradition benefits the Las Vegas Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and allows for a coming together of the local community in support of those whose lives have been touched by blood cancers. Started in 2001 by Las Vegas notables Joe and Nora Scurti, "Hope is Eternal" reflects the ongoing drive and passion towards finding a cure while raising public awareness. All proceeds raised fund local patient programs, support services, and the national research of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Tom Pretty and Heidi Hayes of Fox news will appear as Masters of Ceremonies, Jeff Hobson as Entertainment Host. Event founders Joe and Nora Scurti are this year's Honorary Guests.

For more information, or to secure reservations, contact Gina Germany at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 702-436-4220. Tickets are $125 a seat or $1,000 for a table of ten.

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