By Judy Thorburn This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock

Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks
Director of Communications - Nevada Film Alliance

MJ Live Michael Jackson Tribute Show Celebrates 2nd Anniversary at the Rio

MJ Live, the number one Michael Jackson tribute show in the world, celebrated its two year anniversary at the Rio All Suite Hotel Casino on Tuesday night, July 1.  Before the show started, the show's producers Dick Feeney and Darin Feinstein came on stage to announce that ticket proceeds from that evening's performance would be donated to the families of the two police officers and civilian that were killed three weeks earlier. Comedian Eddie Griffin, who performs next door, also made an appearance to bring some levity and to let audiences know that the families of those fallen are supported and being taken care of.

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Dick Feeney, Darin Feinstein and Eddie Griffin
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

That said,  I have seen numerous Michael Jackson tribute shows, and this one lives up to all the acclaim.   It is indeed the best of its kind, offering up a top notch production that is fast paced, energetic, beautifully choreographed and full of talent.  There are four MJ tribute artists that rotate on a regular basis, but I can't imagine anyone topping Brazilian born Jalles Franca, whose performance during the anniversary show was flawless. Michael is no longer with us, but you would swear you were watching and listening to the real deal as Franca, with his hair, makeup and costumes, brings the King of Pop back to life, channeling Jackson's distinctive moves, mannerisms, facial expressions, and his incredibly amazing sound alike vocals, to perfection.

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Jalles Franca and lead guitarist
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Jalles Franca with the full cast
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Jalles Franca
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Jalles Franca and dancers
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Jalles Franca
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Jalles Franca
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Joining Franca on stage is a fantastic live backup band and superb group of male and female dancers as he performs an array of Michael Jackson hits including “Dangerous,” “Wanna be Starting Something,” “Bad,” “Another Part of Me,” “Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough,” “Dirty Diana,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “She’s Out Of My Life,” “Human Nature,”“Want You Back,” “Love You Save,” “I’ll Be There,” “Jam,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Thriller,” “Beat It,” “Man in the Mirror,” “Black or White,” “Billie Jean”, “Shake Your Body” and a Jackson 5 medley.

Although he is gone forever, Michael Jackson's essence is alive and well in MJ Live, an amazing concert experience that pays tribute to the incredible performer and his music.  If you are in Las Vegas, make sure to see it.

MJ Live runs seven nights a week at 9 p.m. in the state-of-the-art Crown Theater.  General Admission is $63.55, Golden Circle is $89.75 and VIP is $77.75 inclusive of taxes and fees. With each paid admission one child 12 and under is free. This is a show for all ages.

Jabbawockeez Celebrate First Anniversry of PRISM at Luxor Hotel & Casino

Thursday evening, June 26, the world-famous dance crew Jabbawockeez celebrated the first anniversary of its awe-inspiring show “PRiSM,” at Luxor Hotel &Casino. Following a standout performance, Jabbawockeez tossed out festive noise makers in celebration of its anniversary. Afterwards, on stage the dancers were presented with a commemorative cake created by the Luxor chefs featuring Jabbawockeez signature white masks and images of the crew.

Phi Nguyen Phil Tayag Nonsense Ben Chung and Rynan Paguio Photo Credit Joshua Jose
Phi Nguyen, Phil Tayag, Nonsense, Ben Chung and Rynan Paguio
Photo Credit: Joshua Jose

A celebration of imagination, “PRiSM” takes audiences on a journey of dance, music and inspiration. The show is a dynamic mix of remarkable choreography, enchanting storylines and stunning special effects, forming a production that challenges audiences to embrace the unexpected. Featuring a selection of recent and classic musical hits spanning across generations, “PRiSM” is a family-friendly production that leaves guests of all ages dancing in their seats. Over the past year Jabbawockeez has performed to packed audiences, even attracting some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports with visits from musical artists like Usher and Jennifer Lopez, in addition to UFC Champion Anderson Silva and famed boxer Fernando Vargas.

Jabbawockeez PRiSM Anniversary Photo Credit Joshua Jose
Jabbawockeez cast
Photo Credit: Joshua Jose

David Copperfield Unveils His Newly-Released Signature slot machineThe Magic of David Copperfield During Exclusive Celebration at MGM Grand

Famed illusionist David Copperfield, Bally Technologies and MGM Grand came together for one magical afternoon in Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon, June 26.  Copperfield unleashed the magic of his very own slot machine, aptly titled The Magic of David Copperfield, (under a traditional black, sheen sheet) during an exclusive ceremony outside of the Hollywood Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.The newly-installed Bally Technologies machines at MGM Grand are the very first in the state of Nevada.

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Jean Venneman, Vice President of Product Management and Licensing at Bally Technologies with David Copperfield
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The event featured remarks from Copperfield and Jean Venneman, Vice President of Product Management and Licensing at Bally Technologies.

Immediately following the event, guests were invited to mix and mingle at Whiskey Down, located steps from the Theatre where they were served complimentary cocktails, beverages, and hors d’oeuvres. Bally then hosted an on-floor promotion at MGM Grand featuring free slot play as well as complimentary David Copperfield t-shirts, playing cards, and hot-seat prizes from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Recognized by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history, David Copperfield has stunned audiences worldwide with more than 40 million tickets sold and more than $4 billion grossed throughout his career.

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David Copperfield
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Additional recent and upcoming “happenings” in and around Las Vegas include:

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation has pledged to support SUPER SUMMER THEATRE through a $600,000 grant. The grant will be paid in two installments.  $100,000 will be given to SUPER SUMMER THEATRE immediately, and $500,000 will be paid to SUPER SUMMER THEATRE after the Theatre raises $500,000 in matching funds.SUPER SUMMER THEATRE is  a non-profit organization, offering a unique outdoor theatre experience with the “best seats under the stars.” The venue is located at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and SUPER SUMMER THEATRE has been providing the community with affordable entertainment for 39 years.

“We thank the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for the opportunity to sustain our Theatre's future and assist us in our efforts to promote theatrical arts in Southern Nevada,” states Jerry Brooks, Chairman of  SUPER SUMMER THEATRE.

“As we have grown, it has been necessary to secure a location for auditions, rehearsals, set building, and office space. This grant will allow us to maintain our SST Studios and the theatre grounds in Spring Mountain Ranch State Park.”
The grant from the Reynolds Foundation will be the largest gift that SUPER SUMMER THEATRE has ever received. The Foundation is making the grant in recognition of Dr. Keith Boman, who is retiring this year from the Foundation’s Board of Trustees after 20 years of service. Dr. Boman has been a long-time supporter of SUPER SUMMER THEATRE and a member of the Theatre’s Advisory Board.
The funds from the Reynolds Foundation grant will create a ten-year maintenance reserve fund and will also enable several important capital improvements, including a new roof and siding for the stage, landscape, parking, and energy improvements, renovation of the concession stand and lighting booth, and the purchase of theatrical and sound equipment.

 Las Vegas hosts the third annual, and the Golden Nugget Las Vegas has great events planned for the UFC INTERNATIONAL FIGHT WEEK™, July 1-6.

On Friday, July 4, get up close and personal with UFC Hall of Famer and former Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson and Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer at our free autograph session. This meet and greet opportunity will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in The Grand Event Center.  After the autograph session, rock out to Papa Roach, P.O.D. and Lit on the Fremont Street Experience 3rd Street Stage as part of the Rock of Vegas summer concert series. The concert is restricted to adults 18 years and older with a valid ID.
Finally, to end the week with a bang at the UFC  175: there will be a WEIDMAN vs. MACHIDA viewing party in The Showroom on Saturday, July 5 from 5 to 11 p.m. Watch as current UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman defends his crown against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. Ronda Rousey also returns to the Octagon® to defend her title against Alexis Davis. Plus, Michael Bisping, UFC Middleweight and The Ultimate Fighter® Season 3 winner, will make a special appearance at the party! Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Comedians KATHLEEN DUNBAR and GREG VACCARIELLO headline at the Riviera Comedy Club,  Monday, July 7 – Sunday, July 13. Showtimes are 8;30 pm nightly. Tickets: $29.99 all-inclusive of tax and applicable fees; Tickets for Las Vegas residents with a valid ID are $15 all inclusive of tax and applicable fees.

“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star and New York Times best-selling author BRNDI GRANVILLE and daytime talk-show host WENDY WILLIAMS will host the WORLD'S LARGEST BACHELORETTE PARTY on July 11 – 13, 2014 at The Venetian. The two will join bachelorettes from across the country in Las Vegas as TAO Group presents the third installment of the larger-than-life bachelorette bash, complete with gift bags, VIP nightlife treatment, prizes and giveaways including one grand-prize honeymoon trip, along with cocktails and fare from the acclaimed kitchens of LAVO Italian Restaurant and TAO Asian Bistro. Benefit Cosmetics will be the 'makeup of honor' for the weekend to ensure everyone looks fierce and flawless.

TOWBIN DODGE, located at 275 Auto Mall Drive in Henderson, will hold AN ANIMAL ADOPTION DRIVE in partnership with the Animal Foundation from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 12.   Towbin Dodge will lend its  showroom to play host to a variety of dogs from the Lied Shelter in need of a forever home. Joshua “Chop” Towbin, co-owner of Towbin Dodge, will co-sponsor each adoption by paying for a portion of each adoption fee from the day’s event. The Lied Shelter is operated by The Animal Foundation and is the largest open-admission animal shelter in Nevada.
Showman TONY SACCA is making a return engagement to Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center on Saturday, July 19 at 7 p.m.  “Tony Sacca: A Celebration of Songs” will feature the The Saccettes and the Michael T. Orchestra, a 10-piece ensemble with rhythm section and horns. Sacca's riveting personal song exploration will be sprinkled with his hometown sounds of Philly, tributes to Barry Manilow. The Four Seasons and Doo Wop, his original Vegas songs, and a touch of Broadway.  Tickets are priced at $35-$45.

Recent openings:

Celebrity Chef Kerry Simon, officially opened the new 1,800 square foot CARSON KITCHEN inside the old John. E Carson Hotel at 124 South 6th St. in Downtown Las Vegas. Carson Kitchen is Chef Kerry Simon’s new American restaurant in partnership with hospitality veteran, Cory Harwell. The intimate restaurant, that seats up to 60 guests, features social plates, entrées, sandwiches and stone-oven flatbreads,with all items under $20, in addition to small-batch wine and craft beers. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for lunch and dinner.  Carson Kitchen is also scheduled to introduce a 910-square-foot rooftop patio which will host live music and offers skyline views of the surrounding city along with a lush six-foot-tall garden wall and granite full-service bar.

HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD, composed of two stories,  opened at New York New York on the The Strip, located  at the exterior of the hotel next to the imitation Brooklyn Bridge. More than 800 Hershey chocolates, candies and bubblegums are featured, including the Red Twizzlers. Also of note is the sculpture of the Statue of Liberty made from 800 pounds of Hershey's chocolate and the replica of the Empire State Building composed of 1,800 milk chocolate bars. Outside there is a 74-foot high giant Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar, an 18-foot high Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

"LIAISON", an LGBT Nightclub opened inside Ballys.


CITY BAR inside Aria closed as well as American Fish restaurant which will be replaced by Bardot Brasserie, a French restaurant.

FIREFLY Restaurant closed its location at 9560 W. Sahara Avenue in the Village Square shopping center.

PINOT BRASSERIE has closed at The Venetian.

Celebrity sightings:

Tuesday, July 1...

Guns N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba enjoyed Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The rockstar was joined by his wife Nathalia and his mother-in-law. Following the show, the group went backstage for a private VIP meet-and-greet with the Blue Men.

Monday evening, June 30...

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, joined by his wife Coleen and friends, dined at TAO Asian Bistro. After dinner, the group made their way to Marquee Nightclub where they were spotted enjoying the sounds of Eric D-Lux.

Saturday, June 28...

Las Vegas headliner Rita Rudner was spotted checking out Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The famous comedian stopped backstage following the show where she struck a pose with cast members during a private VIP meet-and-greet.

Friday afternoon, June 27...

NFL’s Whitney Mercilus, outside linebacker for the Houston Texans, was spotted in a VIP cabana at TAO Beach.

Twisted Sister frontman, Dee Snider, attended  Rock of Ages Friday evening, at The Venetian Las Vegas. Snider, who performed the role of “Dennis Dupree” in Rock of Ages during a three-month stint on Broadway in 2010, headed backstage to meet with the cast following the show.

Dee Snider with full cast
Dee Snider of Twisted Sister with the cast of Rock of Ages
Photo courtesy of Rock of Ages

Thursday, June 26...

Greg Howe, current member of Maragold and former guitarist for Michael Jackson, Enrique Iglesias, *NSYNC, Justin Timberlake and more, was spotted enjoying Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The world-renowned artist enjoyed the show and went backstage afterwards for a private VIP meet-and-greet with cast members.

6.26.14 Greg Howe Attends Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino
Greg Howe
Photo courtesy of Blue Man Group