Sunday, November 18, 2001 PRIOR ISSUE   -   ARCHIVES
America's Party On New Years Eve, Elton John Returns To MGM, BB Sings The Blues, "EFX Alive" Til 2002, Sept 11th Memorial Wall On Display Before Heading To NYC, Bernie Allen Leads In Comedy Club Acts, Internet Corners The Strip, More...

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Jackie Brett
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It's now confirmed that another $500,000 fireworks show will light up the Las Vegas Strip on New Year's Eve. The seven minute, eleven second computer-integrated pyrotechnic extravaganza will be billed as "America's Party: Las Vegas New Year 2002." More than 30,000 explosives will be detonated at 15 locations along the Strip and underneath the canopy at the Fremont Street Experience.

The elaborate display will be choreographed to music, with 1,100 digital firing instructions programmed by 32 computers using 540,000 feet of control cable to integrate all the locations for split-second precision firing.

Elton John and his band will return to the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, Dec. 8. Tickets are $50, $85 and $150, call TicketMaster at 702-474-4000.

For more than three decades, John has been one of the top-selling solo artists of all time. He has sold more than 60 million records in the United States with 35 gold, 24 platinum albums and has had 29 consecutive Top 40 hits. He has already received critical acclaim for his new CD "Songs From The West Coast," which was recently released by Universal Records.

Lil' Elmo & The Cosmos, Los Angeles' finest classic rock-n-roll band, will headline in the Tiffany Theatre at the Tropicana on New Year's Eve. The 10:30 p.m. show with a split of champagne and party favors will cost $50 plus tax, call 702-739-2411.

Blues legend B. B. King, now in his fifth decade as a top-selling recording artist, will headline at the Stardust, Nov. 23-25. Tickets are $59.95 per person, call 702-732-6325.

King, now 76, notched his first hit record, "Three O'clock Blues," in 1950. He will soon release his first Christmas album, "A Christmas Celebration Of Hope." Album profits will be donated to the City of Hope.

Awards and recognition abound for this internationally acclaimed singer- guitarist. He received the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award after earning his first six Grammy Awards and 16 nominations. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.

Rick Springfield and the MGM Grand have agreed to keep the former rock star as the lead of "EFX Alive!" with an extension through 2002. He joined the show last January, succeeding Broadway star Tommy Tune.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a few cancellations to mention. "Beats of Passion" closed at the Showroom at The Venetian a week ago. The show opened in mid-July and was originally going to run a month.

The plays that were scheduled to appear at The Orleans starting on Dec. 21 have been cancelled. The line up was "Mame" starring Anne Jeffreys, "Dream Girls" and "Damn Yankees" featuring Tab Hunter.

The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian will launch its holiday season with "Holiday on the Canal 2001" on Nov. 23. The mall will be decorated with miles of holiday decor showcasing festive wreaths with hand-painted elves for Italy. The centerpiece of the decor will be an elegantly trimmed 18-foot tree located in St. Mark's Square. Vegas-style elves will be strolling through the Grand Canal streets to meet and greet shoppers and guests. Entertainers will sing seasonal tunes. Fun photo opportunities will be available every Friday- Sunday from Nov. 23 - Dec. 23.

During Holiday on the Canal 2001, guests who purchase $750 in same day receipts from any retailer or restaurant at The Grand Canal Shoppes will receive a special gift set from Sephora featuring an array of bath and beauty products. Details are available at the Venetian Guest Services.

Caesars Palace unveiled a 700-square-foot wall mural depicting a collection of powerful images from the Sept. 11 tragedy. Pop artist Steve Kaufman's memorial wall will be on display for several weeks in Caesars' Forum Casino for the public to view before it is sent to New York City.

TVB television network in Hong Kong will present the Cantonese- and Mandarin-language "Caesars Palace - TVB All Stars Christmas Spectacular" variety show on Saturday, Dec. 22, at Caesars Palace. The show will be broadcast live on the TVB affiliate Jade Channel in the U.S.A., and tape-delayed for broadcast in Hong Kong and other Asian markets.

Superstars from Hong Kong performing for the show include Kelly Wai Lam Chen, Andy Hui Chi-On, and Joey Yung Cho Yee. From China will come star entertainers Han Hong and Tian Zheng. Jeffrey Chang Hsin Che, Tanya Chua Chian Ya, Elva Hsiao Ya Chih and Lee Hom-Wang will be the Taiwanese guest stars.

Reserved-seat tickets are on sale and prices are $50, $75, $100 and $188. For tickets, call 1-800-445-4544 or 702-731-7333.

The Christmas show marks the second holiday television special TVB has recently broadcast from Caesars. On Feb. 5, 2000, the network produced the Miss Chinese International Pageant 2000, which was seen by millions of viewers worldwide.

TOP OF NEXT COLUMN

Once again Siegfried & Roy are award recipients. The French Academy of Illusionists, which was created in 1990 as an organization to honor and maintain the list of top 40 illusions acts in the world, has recognized the Las Vegas entertainers as the world's greatest magicians with their highest honor, the "Mandrakes d'Or." Siegfreid & Roy's award presentation aired on a major French television special entitled "Le Festival la Magie."

Comedy legend Bernie Allen will lead a trio of comedians at the Riviera Comedy Club for four nights, Nov. 26-Dec. 2. Allen has been a Las Vegas name on the Strip since he opened at the Sands on Sept. 15, 1966. He detailed his life in his autobiography, "Have A Clown On Me." In addition to performing stand-up comedy, Allen has appeared on television and in numerous films including "Raging Bull" with Robert DiNiro and "The Producers" starring Zero Mostel.

Piero's Trattoria on Flamingo Ave. in the Hughes Center is an offshoot of Piero's on Convention Center Drive. A happy hour has been instituted with drinks specials and DJ music.

The Palms developer George Maloof Jr. has confirmed that MTV will film 22 episodes of "The Real World" in the Palms starting in January. Seven participants will stay in a "tricked-up" 4,500-square-foot suite, and the Palms swimming venue called the Skin will garner attention.

Over the Christmas holidays, Bruce Fine will headline along with two other comedians at the Improv Comedy Club at Harrah's, Dec. 25-30. Tickets are $24.95 plus tax.

Fine was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He pursed a wrestling career in college until an injury ended his athletic career. Then he switched to Theatre Arts and landed a small role on the television series "Spencer For Hire."

Fine has performed his stand up routine throughout the United States and has won the grand prize on the television program "America's Funniest People." He's made numerous television appearances and created characters while writing for "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show" and late night's "VIBE-TV."

Paul May is the new male lead singer in the "Folies Bergere" at the Tropicana. He joins the cast after an extended run as the understudy to stars David Cassidy, Tommy Tune, and Rick Springfield in "EFX" at the MGM Grand. Shows are performed nightly except Thursday at 7:30 and 10 p.m. The early show is covered for audiences of all ages and the late show is topless in the traditional Las Vegas style.

Latin American magician Ayala, the former star of "Spellbound" at Harrah's Las Vegas, is performing at Caesars Magical Empire, in the Sultan's Palace Theatre through Dec. 8. Ayala and assistant lTanya have recently returned to Las Vegas after a seven month engagement at Harrah's in Laughlin and a trip to France where they were selected "Magician of the Year" and presented the "Mandrake d'Or" award, France's highest magic award.

"Ayala, The Time Is Now!" is his new show using aspects of ancient Mexican culture with state-of-the-art special effects. Masks, spears, fire, comedy, dance and swords all play an integral part in the magic that is Ayala.

Tickets to Caesars Magical Empire are $75.50, Tuesday through Saturday, with dinner, all entertainment, gratuity and tax included. Free tours of the Magical Empire are offered from 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday.

Bally's has a completely remodeled spa after investing more than a million dollars and adding 5,500 square feet. The spa has many treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools and relaxation lounges. Spa admission fees include the use of Bally's fully equipped fitness area, steam room, wet and dry saunas and spa. Lockers, towels, mineral water and juices are also included. Hours are 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily. For appointments, call 702-967-4366.

The first fully interactive multi-kiosk workgroup on the Las Vegas Strip was unveiled earlier this month at the Riviera Convention Center. TouchNSurf is the provider for the 5-kiosk workgroup termed, "Internet Corner & More." The units provide the hardware and their proprietary software which consists of user-friendly interface enabling users to check/receive web based or pop email, surf the web, send video email, print web and email content to laser printers, and many other accessible features.

The units consist of one stand up unit embedded in a column structure, and four modular sit down cubicle units with space for two occupants and vast desk space next to the keyboard and mouse. These modular cubicles are seamlessly arranged to make a community of kiosks for convention attendee use. The kiosks are connected to a T-1 circuit, which provides high-speed Internet access. Two high quality Laser printers, a color and a black and white, are placed in the Business Center where users can pick up printed web content.

The interface includes an on-screen agent who assists and guides users through each session. Cash, credit card, or Surf Points can initiate each session. Surf Points are TouchNSurf's user loyalty program, which enables users to earn points as they use the kiosk. Accumulated points can be redeemed for free usage time. For more information, contact TouchNSurf at 1-877-7-TOUCH-O (786-8240), or click on www.touchsurf.com.

The Castaways (formerly the Showboat) on the Boulder Strip has a promotion running through Dec. 26, where you can earn free entry tickets for a weekly drawing held at 8 p.m. every Wednesday night to win free gas for a year. Plus Club Castaways offers points for discounted City Stop gas. Rules are posted at Club Castaways.

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