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Sunday, May 4, 2003 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
Treasure Island Plans To Grow Up, Outdoor Party Reinforced "Zumanity" Theme, "Bottoms Up" Unveils, Singers Robinson And Newton-John At Paris, Fremont Street's Free Entertainment, Hilton Plans Summer Pool Parties, Blue Man Group Begins Touring, "Who Dun It" Dinner Doing Well, Ed McMahon Promotes Player's Club, Vegas' Laugh Outlets, More...

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Jackie Brett
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Imagine this... an adult-themed sexy pirate show. Treasure Island, which opened ten yeas ago in 1993, is planning an image overhaul this year that includes altering the property's name to "TI" and replacing the famous pirate battle, which will end on July 7, with "Sirens of TI," which will start on Oct. 26. Alluring ladies will enter the battle in the new sensual modern version of the Battle of Buccaneer Bay.

Some changes at the resort have already been dispelling the idea that it is a family-oriented destination. The 25,000-square-foot children's arcade was removed and replaced by Kahunaville, a tropical-themed bar and restaurant. The kid-friendly slides were removed from the pool area. Mist, a sophisticated lounge for the over-21 crowd, was also added.

Cirque du Soleil's newest show called "Zumanity," which will open on July 31 at New York in a newly designed 1,256-seat theater, was launched with a news conference reinforcing the idea that this adult-themed show will be different and a "celebration of sexuality." These thoughts were emphasized by women in sexy costumes and male cross-dressers mingling with guests. The cocktail party was decorated with provocative chairs, couches and set pieces, and enhanced by props such as lips-shaped serving trays and candles dressed with tiny corsets.

The show is being described as "a show for lovers, would-be lovers and those simply fascinated by love." A giant outdoor poster was displayed showing a blurred image of a naked couple entwined. The shows name "Zumanity" is a combination of the words "zoo" and "humanity" making it a "human zoo."

While the show is very much in its development stage, there are things we know about it. The production will include a cast of 40 performers and ten musicians. Tickets will go on sale May 22 and range from $55 for a cabaret stool seat up to $150 for a love seat and $190 for a duo sofa. Performances will be Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.

Breck Wall, who has been at the helm of "Bottoms Up" since its inception 44 years ago on July 1, 1959, at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas, and co-producers Patrick Maes and Dick Feeney have unveiled the 20th edition of the show. The fast paced hour show in the Flamingo Showroom at 2 and 4 daily except Sunday has nearly 20 numbers. Seven numbers in the show including implied versions of celebrities such as Celine, Judge Judy and Cher are brand new and have new costumes as well, while other routines have been revised to reflect new material.

Nothing is conservative about this topless afternoon show filled with slapstick and vaudeville-like gags. Wall now 68-years-young acts as the revue's comedic master of ceremonies. He is joined on stage by four female and two male dancers as well as headliners Sue Motsinger, David Harris and Jimmy Emerson.

The show is an incredible bargain at $12.95 per person, call 702-733-3333.

Ground was recently broken on a $1 billion, 7.5-million square-foot World Market Center in the downtown area at Grand Central Parkway and Bonneville Avenue. The six-phase project calls for six buildings and a parking garage with a two-story, 1-million square-foot convention center, and 2.5-mlliion square feet of hotel, office and residential space.

The initial $200 million phase, which is already sold out, will have a 10-story, 1.3-million square-foot building housing 250 companies and it's slated to open in January 2005.

One of Motown's greatest living legacies, singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson, and singer / actress Olivia Newton-John will perform at Paris this month in the 1,200-seat Le Theatre des Arts. For tickets, call 877-374-7469 or 702-946-4567.

Robinson will lead the way next weekend, May 9-10. The former front man for the Miracles has recorded three dozen Top 40 hits throughout his group and solo careers that have spanned more than 40 years. Robinson has also been honored with the Grammy "Living Legend" Award and has been inducted into both the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. Tickets are $75 with tax included.

Newton-John, the multi-talented Aussie, will perform with a 20-piece orchestra, May 15-18. Having worked in the entertainment industry for nearly 40 years, she is perhaps best known for her starring role with John Travolta and hit songs in the movie, "Grease," which remains the most popular movie musical soundtrack in history. Newton-John has recorded 15 Top 10 singles on both the country and pop charts and earned four Grammys along with several Country Music Awards. Tickets are $75 and $65 with tax included.

In addition to free nightly light and sound shows, the Fremont Street Experience is premiering free live entertainment on two stages, Tuesdays through Saturdays.

The lineup in May includes Loveshack, Louie Louie, Ronny & The Classics, Lil' Elmo & The Cosmos, The MVP's, Party Central, Launi Adams, TJ Weaver, and Carl Ferris performing on the all-new state-of-the-art First and Third Street stages from 8 - 10 p.m. For more information, call 800-249-3559, 702-678-5777.

The Las Vegas Hilton will commence pool parties on May 29 from 6 to 10 p.m.

The events will provide guests with live entertainment, an unlimited buffet with casual food including roast pig, plus beer and soft drinks and the opportunity to take part in water volleyball. The limbo challenge will offer cash prizes from $500 for first place to $50 for third. The "sexy legs" contests for men and women will offer a $100 prize for each winner. Guests may also register to win a Jeep Wrangler that will be given away on Aug. 30.

Official pool party dates are: May 29, June 7, 21 and 28, July 12, 19 and 24, and Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. Admission is $40 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under, call 800-222-5361 or 702-732-5755.

Blue Man Group has released "The Complex," the ensemble's second album that follows their 1999 debut album, "Audio," which was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Pop Instrumental category. The new album, rich with percussive rhythms, utilizes unusual instruments like airpoles and zithers, and introduces vocals on nine of the 15 cuts. Coinciding with the release, Blue Man Group will begin a nine-city rock 'n' roll concert tour on May 18 in Washington, D.C.

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News Flashes:

... Casino MonteLago, a 40,000-square-foot casino, will open May 8 at Lake Las Vegas. Independently operated, the second casino in the resort area is attached to the nearby Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which opened in February.

... Due to an enormous drop in the water level, The Desert Princess paddle wheel tour boat and the Lake Mead Cruises dock on Lake Mead have been moved three miles south from the Lake Mead Marina area to deeper waters in Hemenway Harbor.

... A $635 million bid has been made by a group of investors fronted by Planet Hollywood for the bankrupt $1.05 billion Aladdin. If the sale goes through, the property will be renamed Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino and managed as a Sheraton. The new theme would include movie and television memorabilia. The Aladdin opened Aug. 18, 2000 and went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2001.

... Since the Stratosphere didn't succeed in getting permission to erect a 510-foot, $20 million roller coaster off the side of their icon tower, executives are now proposing a new thrill ride. Tentatively named "Project X Sky," the ride would use a teeter-totter device to flip eight passengers over the edge of the 1,149-foot building's observations deck, and then hurl them back to safety. The ride would join the Stratosphere's other two existing ones: the High Roller coaster and Big Shot free fall.

... The Tropicana will no longer be accepting convention bookings past April 2004. The parent company, Aztar Corp. has expressed interest in possibly redeveloping the 34-acre piece of land into a new mega-resort. The Tropicana, which opened in 1957 and now has more than 1,800 rooms and a 62,000-square-foot casino, sits on one of the busiest intersections on the famed Las Vegas Strip.

... McCarran International Airport is undergoing a $90 million, 11-gate expansion, calling for a 162,000-square-foot, two-level northeast wing addition to the existing D-Gates. The new wing will give the airport a total of 104 boarding gates, enabling it to process another five million passengers annually. The project after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was delayed for 1.5 years and is now slated for completion in November 2004.

Dining Tid-bits:

... Hamada's Asiana Restaurant recently opened its doors at the Rio. The dining experience combines Japanese Teppanyaki exhibition table-side cooking, with fresh sushi, and a menu featuring traditional Japanese and popular Chinese dishes.

The dining room offers a choice of locations including the traditional dining room, the teppanyaki room, which is a new Japanese tradition with meals prepared tableside on large iron grills, and the sushi bar. In addition, the new Asiana Den decorated in vibrant colors and stylish furnishings is a cocktail lounge designed for late night dining and fun.

The Las Vegas based Hamada Restaurant Group owns and operates ten Japanese restaurants in the Las Vegas Valley. Hamada Asiana is open daily. The main dining room and teppanyaki room hours are from 5- 11 p.m., and the sushi bar and cocktail lounge times are from 5 p.m. - 1 a.m. For reservations, call 702-777-2424.

... Como steakhouse, without any fanfare, has opened at Mar Lago, the shopping and dining complex adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas. Como is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

... Prana is a new restaurant that opened this week at Desert Passage. The cuisine is French Colonial Vietnamese. If the food sounds unusual, it helps to know that during the days of French Colonialism, Hanoi was known as the Paris of the Southeast. Owner Helene An, who was a wealthy member of the former royal family of Vietnam, also owns the Crustacean eatery in Los Angeles that attracts major celebrities. The dining atmosphere is rich with rare woods, antiques, and ironwork.

"Ba-Da-Bing" is a successful mob-themed interactive dinner show taking place in a private dining room at Gustav Mauler's Italian Sazio's restaurant at the Orleans resort. Five new numbers and three flappers are being introduced to the show including an original opening tune called, "Who Made the City Dirty Today?"

The plot is built around a surprise birthday party for the Don, otherwise known as Mr. Big. He and the Ba-Da-Bing gang manage to involve audience members, who are arranged in families with names like Spaghetti, Antipasto and Pepperoni, etc., in activities such as singing, dancing and playing in the band.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. dinner shows, Thursday through Monday, are $55 for general admission, $75 for VIP seating, and $35 for children, call 702-257-0297. The price includes the show, dinner with a choice from four entrees, tax and gratuities.

Johnny Carson's former sidekick, 80-year-old Ed McMahon has a new promotion endeavor to push. BestBet Media Group and Multimedia Games Inc. (MGAM) are launching an Ed McMahon's Players Club similar to the one for gamblers that Telly Savalas made famous in the '80s. McMahon says the big difference is his new one will have an association with Master Card and lots of value offers.

With this program, additional proposed components include Ed McMahon interactive slot machines, a "MegaBingo" TV series, a "BestBet" magazine, and "BestBet" radio programming.

Six episodes of "National Lampoon's Funny Money" series for the Game Show Network, were taped at The Improv at Harrah's, and will begin airing June 15.

Greg Proops, who is regularly featured on ABC's "Whose Line is it Anyway?" will perform at the Excalibur's Catch A Rising Star comedy club on May 16 and 17.

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Editorial Content Copyright(c) 2000-2003 Jackie Brett; Internet Presentation Copyright(c) Las Vegas Leisure Guide