Judy Thorburn | Editor in Chief | Writer | ColumnistJudy Thorburn's 'Vegas Happenings' column

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

Mat Franco Presents The Animal Foundation with Donations from Second Annual Magic Reinvented Nightly Pet Supply Drive

Magician Mat Franco presented The Animal Foundation with a donation of more than $6,500 in much-needed animal care supplies and Petcogift cards on Tuesday, September 12 to benefit the nearly 21,000 animals that are cared for by the organization annually. For the second consecutive year, Franco met with representatives from the state’s largest open-admission animal shelter to make the sizable donation, which was the product of a month-long community-wide supply drive held in partnership with Sunny 106.5 and Petco in celebration of the second wildly successful year of his hit show,”Magic Reinvented Nightly” at the LINQ Hotel & Casino.

“Animals don’t have a voice to speak for themselves,” shared Franco. “So that’s what I’m here for. I want to be able to help our furry friends while also thanking the community who’s been so supportive of our show.”

Through the month of August and into the first week of September, Franco offered fans and community members the opportunity to receive a complimentary ticket voucher to experience MAGIC REINVENTED NIGHTLY in return for a donation of a minimum of $10 worth of items from The Animal Foundation’s wish list, which was comprised of blankets, collars, harnesses, leashes, dog and cat treats and toys, kitten milk replacer, and more.

“This donation helps The Animal Foundation in so many areas of the shelter,” shared Elysia Sheldon, events manager at The Animal Foundation. “On average, 80 animals enter our care per day, so the supplies and monetary donations collected through this drive go a long way to help provide the care our animals deserve. The supplies are critical for our lifesaving programs which help the underserved areas in our community. We are grateful for the continued support of Mat Franco and MAGIC REINVENTED NIGHTLY.”

Cirque's Alexis Bros. Opens Absolute Balance Studio

Cirque’s Alexis Brothers celebrated the Grand Opening of the first Absolute Balance Studio on Thursday evening, September 8. Located on 6115 South Ft. Apache on the corner of Patrick Lane, the studio offers hand balancing, aerial and power yoga, pilates, and contortion all taught by the Cirque acrobats.

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Absolute Balance Studio - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Coming from a famed European circus family that gave them a superior foundation in balance and agility, Carmita, Marco and Paulo Lorador have been accomplished hand balancers for over 40 years. Their passion and belief is that hand balancing is the key that has kept them in superior shape over the span of their lifetime and they want to share their hand balancing skills with those who want to discover their own health transforming abilities.

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 Marco, Carmelita, and Paulo Lorador - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

With the belief that you are never too young or too old to lead a better balanced life, the Lorador's students range in ages as low as 8 years old and up to people in their 60’s and up.

If you want to learn how to do a handstand while achieving an incredible core strengthening workout, the Loradors are the teachers who will meet all your personal goals. No matter what level you may be - beginner, novice or expert - this family’s teamwork will prepare you to develop your overall strength, balance and agility.

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Interior - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Interior - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Interior - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Marco and Paulo Lorador perform worldwide and appear as guests at Cirque festivals. They had the honor to perform for the Queen of England and United Kingdom Prime minister Tony Blair. In addition, they have performed their art for Oprah Winfrey, The Today Show and special events for Arnold Schwarzenegger. The talented brothers have been performing for Cirque du Soleil for over 25 years and currently showcase their craft in Cirque's “Mystere” at Treasure Island Resort and Casino.

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Carmita Lorador - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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

Entertainer Jeff Civillico's WIN-WIN ENTERTAINMENT, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting great performers with great charities, held its Annual Bash at Las Vegas' newest meeting and event space, Enclave located at 5810 S. Eastern Ave, on Thursday evening, September 7.

The event was a celebration of philanthropy in the Entertainment Industry in Las Vegas and beyond, to show appreciation for the entertainers and volunteers who have given their time and talent, and to thank the community sponsors that make it possible.

Win Win has grown from arranging 12 charity events in 2015 at hospitals, senior care facilities, special needs facilities, USO Air Force Bases, etc. With more than 10 programs in Las Vegas, and expansion to 4 additional cities, performers win by gaining the opportunity to experience the fulfillment of giving back to the community, charity organizations win by gaining access to professional event entertainment that provides uplifting experiences to members and supporters, and facilitates fundraising, and corporate sponsors win by participating in a positive advertising platform and receiving a boost in community good will.

JANET REDWINE from Coppell, Texas, received a Labor Day surprise on Monday, September 4, when she hit the $787,842 JACKPOT on the penny slot, Slot Willy Wonka: World of Wonka, at Harrah’s Las Vegas.

Janet Redwine - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

COCO, a healthy female dolphin calf born July 17 at Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage was officially named after an employee contest that drew 300 entries.

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Mirage Secret Garden Dolphin Habitat baby dolphin Coco - Photo courtesy of Mirage Secret Garden Dolphin Habitat

August 2017 marked the 10th year that Terry Fator has been performing for audiences around the world as the winner of season two of America’s Got Talent. The entertainer and Las Vegas resident marked the anniversary in a very special way – launching the TERRY FATOR FOUNDATION. The foundation (currently pending it’s 501(c)(3) status), along with its online home, gives Terry’s fans a way to participate by traveling along this philanthropic journey with the entertainer.

“I’m so grateful to have a foundation that will allow me to work with my board and make sure that our giving is doing the most good for the largest number of people and families that need help the most,” said Terry. “I have so many causes that I’m passionate about and personally connected to, and as I would share these stories with my fans, I would find a lot of them are directly tied to some of the same charities or have family members with certain struggles that are assisted by these groups – you never know who is affected.” Announcements regarding benefit shows and special appearances supporting Terry Fator Foundation will be announced at a later date.

Season 10 finalist of “America’s Got Talent”, PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON, has announced that his popular residency at Flamingo Las Vegas has been extended through the end of 2018. Along with Mr. Piffles, the World’s First Magic Performing Chihuahua™, Piff will perform at the iconic Strip resort five days a week through the end of next year with a brand new show. To further cement himself as a permanent fixture at the Flamingo, Piff will soon unveil his very own display case in the hotel lobby. A rarity and honor for Las Vegas headliners, the display case features items from Piff’s time on “America’s Got Talent,” including the suits that he and Mr. Piffles wore on the show, the Tacular Case, Heidi Klum’s card from the Golden Buzzer round, Howie Mandel’s $20 for the final round, posters, videos and more. Showtime for Piff’s shows at Flamingo Las Vegas is 8 p.m.

THE HENDERSON PAVILION (located at 200 S. Green Valley Pkwy), the state’s first open air amphitheater, celebrates its 15-YEAR ANNIVERSARY with a SPECIAL CONCERT FEATURING GREENSKY BLUEGRASS on Friday, September 15. The rock band, FRUITION, anchored by three-part harmonies and a blend of soul, blues and British Invasion pop music, opens the show at 7 p.m. The event commemorates the venue’s 15 successful years, in which thousands came to experience one of hundreds of concerts, theater performances and special events. Tickets to the 15-year anniversary concert start at $15 per person. Doors open at 6p.m.

Professional BMX dirt jumper, RICARDO LAGUNA will serve as the celebrity keg tapper at Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas, located at  4510 Paradise Road, during its 14th annual Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, September 16 at 7;30 pm.  Last year, Laguna entered the beer hall on his bike doing a wheelie and performed tricks for the crowd while wearing a lederhosen, so there’s no telling what will happen this year

Legendary comedian JERRY SENIFELD returns to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for four nights of his critically-acclaimed stand-up comedy on March 9-10 and April 20-21, 2018. Tickets for the new dates will go on sale to the public beginning, Friday, Sept. 15 at noon PT.The four new 2018 shows going on-sale are:Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10; Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21.Tickets prices range from $82.50 - $165 (inclusive of 9% Live Entertainment tax plus handling fee). Tickets may be purchased in person at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Box Office.

Nine-time Grammy-nominated and platinum-selling saxophonist, DAVE KOZ, makes his return to  The Foundry inside SLS Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16 to perform a seasonal collection of jazz music with a roster of special guests.Joined by a talented group of artists including Billboard Smooth Jazz chart-topper and acoustic guitarist, Peter White; critically acclaimed and three-time Grammy-nominated pianist David Benoit; renowned trumpeter Rick Braun; and Texas soul singer Selina Albright, the group will perform unique renditions of holiday hits and seasonal classics. Additionally, the ensemble of jazz enthusiasts will perform crowd-favorite tracks from each of their respective catalogs. Famous for his soothing sounds, Koz and his guests will perform a holiday showcase as part of his 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour. Tickets for the all-ages show, start at $59, not including applicable tax and service charges, and will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 11. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m

Internationally acclaimed choreographer KELLY ROTH, described by New York City's Dance Spirit Magazine as: “One of the most exciting modern dancers and choreographers on today’s dance scene,” presents a program of contemporary concert dance at the beautiful SUMMERLIN LIBRARY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (1771 Inner Circle Dr.), September 15 at 7:30 and September 16 at 2pm. The FREE PROGRAM will feature a cross-section of Roth’s works spanning the last three decades of his 42 year choreographic career. From the light hearted Greek mythological spoof, “Hernaeus & Taphea, part three” (1991), to the tribute created last year at the passing of his mentor, “Elegy for Murray Louis,” the concert promises an ever evolving tapestry of approaches to dance as an art form. Admission is FREE and open to the public.

BRAVO! Cucina Italiana (located near the newly-renovated “Plaza” area at the Galleria at Sunset) encourages guests to support local students at Thurman White Academy of the Performing Arts by participating in a fall FOOD AND CLOTHING DRIVE, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15. Diners that bring in a new or gently-used article of clothing or a non-perishable item of food will receive a $10 BRAVO! gift card to use during their next visit.

SALUD MEXICAN BISTRO AND TEQUILERIA, a new restaurant opened its doors this summer in the former Rosemary’s space at 8125 W. Sahara Ave, Suite 110. Located in the heart of The Lakes, Salud Mexican Bistro and Tequileria, created by celebrated Executive Chef Israel Reyes, showcases the remarkable flavors of conventional Mexican cuisine with a unique, modern flair.

Due to the inclement weather conditions currently taking place in the Caribbean and Florida, Puerto Rican rapper and songwriter, TEGO CALDERON, has postponed his upcoming performance at Rehab Beach Club at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Saturday, Sept. 16.  Details for the rescheduled show will be announced soon. Tego Calderon and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino apologize for any inconvenience this causes ticket holders. Please note that Tego Calderon and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino are not responsible for hotel, travel or other expenses related to the cancellation of this performance.

After three exciting “Year of the Leprechaun” celebrations, O’SheasCasino at The LINQ Hotel & Casino will continue to embrace “the luck of the Irish” with “HALFWAY TO ST. PATRICK'S DAY” Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day parties on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17. Festivities will include drink specials and contests, a dunk tank, live entertainment, little leprechauns and a celebrity keg-tapping with Harrah’s Las Vegas headliners Tenors of Rock.

The College of Southern Nevada Department of Fine Arts will host an exhibition of environmentally based photographs by University of Arizona, Tucson, Associate Professor of Photography, Martina Shenal titled MARTINA SHENAL:SECONDARY NATURE” , beginning Friday, September 22 that will run through Saturday, November 4, 2017. Shenal’s work explores the literal and metaphorical boundaries of human intervention in the landscape that protect as well as isolate. “Ms. Shenal will participate in a Preview, Gallery Talk and Artist Reception on Thursday, September 21, at 6 p.m. in the Artspace Gallery on the North Las Vegas Campus. The CSN ARTSPACE GALLERY is FREE and open to the public. Gallery hours are from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The Artspace Gallery is upstairs above the main entrance lobby on the North Las Vegas campus located at 3200 E. Cheyenne Avenue, one-mile East of I-15 North.

THE PLAZA HOTEL & CASINO in downtown Las Vegas will soon welcome a new 21-STORY MURAL ON ITS NORTH TOWER by Faile, a Brooklyn-based artistic collaboration between Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller. The Faile mural, which will be the largest to date for the artistic duo, is on the side of the Plaza tower overlooking the busy I-15 freeway, which means that about 200,000 cars will drive past it every day. The mural is the third on the tower, joining two others that debuted earlier this year by world renowned artists Shepard Fairey and D*Face. The trio of murals sponsored by the Plaza and curated by global creative house Justkids support the efforts of the Life is Beautiful festival to build one of the largest outdoor free public art galleries in the world in downtown Las Vegas.

The Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival will partner with the Plaza Hotel & Casino to host the official 2017 after parties, Sept. 22-24. Located in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas, the Plaza will also serve as the official hotel partner for the festival, offering special room packages and access to exclusive events, including a special concert for invited guests by MGMT On Saturday, Sept. 23, at the iconic Plaza Showroom. Also on Saturday, electronic dance music (EDM) fans can enjoy an intimate show by Los Angeles DJ Tokimonsta at the Plaza Event Center, located adjacent to the casino floor. Doors will open at midnight for both events.

Each night as the festival wraps up, the party will just be getting started as festival goers are invited to enjoy a late night dance party under the Plaza’s dome where various DJs will spin the latest hits. The Casino Lounge will also host live late night entertainment each night, with a special performance by 70s disco/funk band Wonder Boogie on Sept. 23 from midnight to 4 a.m. Attendees can recharge before returning to the festival during the Plaza’s Life is Beautiful rooftop pool parties. Kicking off at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the Pool at the Plaza will transform into a daytime festival hot spot complete with DJs, drink specials and dancing.

THE PINOT'S PALETTE FRANCHISE system, which includes three in the Las Vegas valley, launched a series of FUNDRAISING EVENTS FOR HURRICAN HARVEY RELIEF. The fundraisers are painting and drinking events hosted by numerous Pinot’s Palette studios from coast to coast. All of the painting proceeds from the Las Vegas Painting It Forward event on September 25th at the Henderson studio in The District at Green Valley Ranch will be donated to the nonprofit Global Giving Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.  Guests can make a reservation for the “United We Stand” class at:https://www.pinotspalette.com/thedistrict/event/185662.  The September 25th Painting It Forward class will feature a custom painting, United We Stand, which was created during the hurricane by a Pinot’s Palette studio manager in Bricktown, Oklahoma. In addition to Painting It Forward events, the public can donate directly to Harvey relief when signing up online for any Pinot’s Palette painting events in September. A voluntary donation box at checkout sends a $5.00 donation directly to Global Giving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Global Giving works with well-vetted, locally-based charities to meet disaster victims’ immediate, mid-term and long-term needs over time.

WOW,” the internationally-acclaimed production, will make its North American debut with a splash at the Rio Showroom at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas September 26, 2017. “WOW” is a water entertainment spectacular that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. The cast of more than 30 international performing artists, acrobats and dancers fly, flip, fold, dance and defy the imagination in a 180 degree theatrical setting that engages the audience from beginning to end with 3D multi-media projections, water walls, and holograms. Add breathtaking acrobatics, dazzling choreography, thrilling theatrical lighting, magnificent music and even finalists from America’s Got Talent, and you are sure to be wowed! The water spectacular “WOW” will play at the Rio Showroom at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino Tuesday through Sunday at 7:00 p.m with additional shows at 9:00 pm Friday through Sunday. Show will be dark Friday, September 29. Tickets range from $49 - $169 + taxes and fees and can be purchased at the Rio Box Office.

Las Vegas fashion stylist JENNA DOUGHTON will host the fifth annual “STYLE WITH A CAUSE” event benefitting Communities In Schools of Nevada (CIS of Nevada) on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Andiron Steak & Sea from 5:30-9 p.m. The fun and fashion-filled night will include beauty bars from Sephora, a fall fashion show presented by Dillard's, and honor local unsung "she-roes." Proceeds from the evening will benefit CIS of Nevada's programs to help increase graduation rates and prepare for college.Ticket packages are on sale and include: $2,500 - "Roll Out The Red Carpet" includes a 10 person VIP table experience with food and beverage service, access to Sephora beauty bar, and high-end goodies from event . $300 -"Pampered and Perfect VIP Ticket" includes a blowout the day of the event from Vent Blotique, a makeover from Sephora, access to Sephora beauty bar at the event, food and beverage samplings, and "swac" bag. $125 -"Front Row Ticket" includes access to Sephora beauty bar, food and beverage samplings, and "swac" bag.For more information on style with a cause or to purchase tickets, call 702.569.1008.

For the second consecutive year, OKTOBERFEST AT THE PARK will awaken Las Vegas’ German spirit as the fun festival returns 1 p.m. to late night, Thursday, Sept. 28 – Sunday, Oct. 1. Located at The Park, Las Vegas’ premier dining and entertainment district nestled between T-Mobile Arena and New York-New York Hotel & Casino, the event will offer merrymakers the opportunity to revel in Bavarian tradition with flowing beers, savory bites, entertaining games and cheerful folk sounds in celebration of the world’s largest beer festival. Admission is FREE.

Majestic Repertory Theatre presents the regional premiere of Chicago playwright Will Kern’s KID SISTER, a pulp thriller straight from the pages of the Weekly World News. Demi, a perpetually stoned 19-year-old single mom and American Idol wannabe, believes only one thing stands between herself and singing superstardom—her stalker ex-boyfriend. To get this psycho out of her life forever, she elicits the aid of her brother Cassius, recently returned from a stretch in prison. But ex-con Cassius wants more than she’s willing to give— custody of her newborn baby girl. This thrilling Southern Gothic-noir gives a new spin on classic dime store crime novels. Performances of KID SISTER will be September 28th through October 14th, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Majestic Repertory Theatre performs at 1217 S. Main Street. General admission tickets are $25.

Renowned R&B soul singer FREDDIE JACKSON Jackson returns to Las Vegas with a special performance at the Dallas Events Center inside Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel on Friday, September 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $20.

The Aces of Comedy series welcomes TIFFANY HADDISH, best known for her role on NBC’s hit sitcom “The Carmichael Show,” for her debut performance Saturday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. inside The Mirage Hotwl & Casino. Tickets starting at $30, plus service charges can be purchased at the Terry Fator Box Office.

Comedians ADAM FERRARA AND RYAN HAMILTON will co-headline and bring a night of laughs and fun to the Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Pkwy. The stand-up comedy show will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 1. Tickets are $23.75 and $26.75 (plus taxes and fees).

STEVE PASTORINO has been hired as Vice President, Corporate Partnerships for the LAS VEGAS LIGHTS FOOTBALL CLUB (Las Vegas Lights FC). In his role, Pastorino will be responsible for the commercialization of Las Vegas’ newest team, including the highest profile sponsorship in global sports, advertising on the front of the team jersey. Born in Venezuela and raised throughout Latin America and the U.S., Pastorino has significant experience launching sports franchises across the country. Pastorino was the first General Manager at Real Salt Lake when the team joined Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2004 and has led sales and marketing efforts for the Chicago Fire during the first seven seasons. Steve comes to Las Vegas most recently from the Oakland A's, where he was Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships.

THE+SOURCE dispensary recently launched a delivery partnership with BlackbirdGo, now available for medical patients and recreational customers throughout the Las Vegas Valley, excluding Henderson, Nev. Using BlackbirdGo’s app, anyone 21 or over with either a state-issued ID or passport, may order an array of products from The+Source. The app also offers tracking of deliveries and the ability to contact the driver. Delivery hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and all deliveries are guaranteed within four hours of order, to be paid in cash. BlackbirdGo will deliver products from The+Source to private residences or businesses, with restrictions including, casinos and locations without specific addresses.

LAS VEGAS MARKET recently revealed dynamic expansion and realignment plans for winter market that include the debut of a new 15,000-square-foot Pavilion as well as fresh concentrations of existing gift and home décor resources. In total, the winter 2018 Market will present 500+ temporary gift and home décor exhibitors in three pavilions, totaling 165,000 square feet of exhibit space.The third independent temporary exhibitor show space to open on the World Market Center campus, Pavilion 3 will be devoted exclusively to DISCOVERIES: The Antique Vintage Marketplace during winter market, January 28 – February 1, 2018.  In Pavilions 1 and 2, buyers will enjoy easy, efficient and convenient access to new concentrations of existing gift and home décor resources. This expansion and realignment is designed specifically to address the Market’s significant growth in gift and home décor temporary exhibitors and to accommodate the new Artexpo Contemporary Las Vegas premiere in Pavilion 2.

Las Vegas Market is the nation’s fastest growing gift and home décor market and the leading furniture marketplace in the western U.S., presenting 4,000+ gift, home décor and furniture resources in an unrivaled market destination. Las Vegas Market features thousands of gift, furniture and home décor lines, allowing for cross-category commerce among these industries.

Celebrity sightings...

Tuesday evening, September 12...

Celebrated magician Penn Jillette made a cameo appearance on stage at Piff the Magic Dragon’s show at Flamingo Las Vegas. Penn played the part of Piff’s dad, “Pop,” and the two performed a few tricks together, much to the surprise and delight of the audience.

Penn Jillette appeared with Piff The Magic Dragon - Photo credit: Edison Graff

Penn Jillette with Piff The Magic Dragon and cast - Photo credit: Edison Graff

Sunday, September 10...

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Dorit and PK Kemsley enjoyed the opening weekend of Mike Tyson Undisputed Truth – Round 2 at the MGM Grand. Following the show, the reality stars went backstage to meet and take pictures with “The Champ.” Also in attendance on Sunday evening were UFC stars Nick Diaz and Yancey Medeiros.

Dorit and PK Kemsley
Dorit and PK Kemsley with Mike Tyson - Photo courtesy of MGM Grand Las Vegas

Friday, Sept. 8...

Tyler Hoechlin, who stars as Superman in the hit TV show “Supergirl”,was spotted enjoying an early 30th birthday celebration at Hakkasan Las Vegas Nightclub inside MGM Grand. Arriving to the nightspot around midnight, the Man of Steel himself was joined by brothers Tanner and Travis Hoechlin, as well as a number of close friends.

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