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


Terry Fator Celebrates 9 Year Anniversary at Mirage

America's Got Talent season two winner and Las Vegas strip headliner, Terry Fator, celebrated his 9 year anniversary of his popular show “Terry Fator The Voice of Entertainment” at the Mirage, on Monday evening March 12.

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Terry Fator - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Everyone who has seen the master ventriloquist, singer, celebrity impressionist and comedian perform knows that he has honed and perfected his craft and is in a class by himself.  There simply isn't anyone that can match his talents and he is amazing to watch.

To keep his show fresh, up with the times, and relevant, Terry regularly tweaks his show by adding new material, including timely, pop culture references and, of course, new puppet characters. In keeping with that tradition, during his 9th anniversary performance,Terry debuted two new characters, The King of Pop: Michael Jackson and Sir Paul McCartney to his growing repertoire of puppet friends, each with their own distinct personality and vocal talents. Terry's eclectic mix of puppet sidekicks include Winston, the Impersonating Turtle; County Superstar Walter T. Airdale; Hollywood entertainment reporter, Vicki The Cougar; former annoying neighbor turned entrepreneur, forever stoner Duggie Scott Walker; newest Queen of Social media/texting addict Emma Taylor; the world's best Elvis Impersonator Maynard Tompkins; R & B singer Julius; Sir Elton John and President Donald Trump.

Through his cast of puppet friends, Terry belts out old and new hit songs from music legends from all genres including pop, country, blues, R &B, and more, as well as hilarious song parodies intermixed with very clever and comedic dialogue.

With his ever evolving, family friendly show, the one thing that never changes is the high level of entertainment Terry delivers to his audiences. Having seen his show every year, it gets better and better and this year is no exception.

On a special note, at the end of every show, Terry, a proud patriot, pays tribute to the men and women who have served or still serve in the military as well as first responders by asking those in the audience to stand up and be recognized.

In attendance at the pre show reception inside SHACK restaurant were fellow entertainers, British singer Matt Goss, comedy magician Murray Sawchuck and his stage assistant/master card trickster Doug Leferovich, illusionist Criss Angel, prop comedian Carrot Top, and comedy magician Piff the Magic Dragon. Magic legends Siegfried and Roy were also spotted, later, seated in the audience of the show.

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Terry Fator and his wife with Murray Sawchuck and Carrot Top - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Terry Fator with Matt Goss and Criss Angel - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Showtimes for Terry Fator The Voice of Entertainment are Monday – Thursday, select Fridays and Saturdays

at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at any MGM Resorts International box office.

New York-New York Hotel & Casino Raises More Than $400,000 for Childhood Cancer Research at St. Baldrick’s Day Head-Shaving Event

New York-New York Hotel & Casino raised a record-breaking amount of more than $400,000 to benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation during its ninth annual head-shaving event on Saturday, March 10. Surpassing last year’s donation, New York-New York Hotel & Casino will give all proceeds from the event to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, supporting the organization’s mission to find promising cures and treatments for all childhood cancers. Celebrity head-shavers, Las Vegans and visitors gathered as more than 350 people shed their locks to raise funds for childhood cancer research.

Moriah Jefferson of the Las Vegas Aces at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018
Moriah Jefferson of the Las Vegas Aces at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018

Highlights from this year’s event include:

• MGM Resorts International Executive Vice President and General Counsel John McManus was a top donor for New York-New York Hotel & Casino’s St. Baldrick’s Day event, raising more than $200,000 for the cause. This is the third year he’s participated in the event, and this year, McManus challenged A.G. Burnett, a partner with McDonald Carano, to see who could raise more money. Onlookers awed as WNBA Las Vegas Aces player Moriah Jefferson helped shave McManus’ head.

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John McManus gets his head shaved by Moriah Jefferson St. Baldricks at New York New York Hotel Casino

• Vassiliadis Elementary School Principal Paul Catania and 58 members of the “Baldrick Boys” team from John W. Bonner Elementary School took turns in the barber chairs and braved a shave, including Team Captain and Founder Trey Lomax. This is the seventh consecutive year the Baldrick Boys have shaved their heads to help raise awareness for childhood cancer.

Baldrick Boys team members at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018
Baldrick Boys team members at St. Baldrick's Fundraiser at New York-New York Hotel & Casino 2018

• Piff The Magic Dragon shaved Las Vegas Review-Journal entertainment writer John Katsilometes’ head. Additionally, Katsilometes’ 52nd birthday party contributed to the cause. Instead of gifts, Katsilometes accepted donations for his St. Baldrick’s Day fundraising page, generously donating more than $3,000.

Johny Kats getting his head shaved by Piff the Magic Dragon at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018
Johnny Kats getting his head shaved by Piff the Magic Dragon at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018

• Cast members from New York-New York’s headlining show Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil shaved team members Ed Conte and Matt Sillett.

Cast members from Zumanity shaved two crew members heads at St. Baldricks at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018
Cast members from Zumanity shaved two crew members heads at St. Baldricks at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018

• Mark Shunock, host of MAGIC MIKE LIVE, in-arena host for the Las Vegas Golden Knights and owner of The Space, had fun with the crowd while emceeing by offering up money to the crowd to place roulette bets with winning funds to be donated to St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

Emcee Mark Shunock with shavee at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018
Emcee Mark Shunock with shavee at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018


Throughout the day, celebrities and notable personalities came out to show their support including:

Cast members of MAGIC MIKE LIVE at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018
Cast members of MAGIC MIKE LIVE at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018

• Cast Members of FANTASY 

• Piff The Magic Dragon

• Cast members from New York-New York’s headlining show Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil

• Cast Members of ABSINTHE

• KLUC’s Chet Buchanan

Chance and Mark Shunock of the Vegas Golden Knights at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018
Chance and Mark Shunock of the Vegas Golden Knights at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 2018

• Cast Members of Tournament of Kings Dinner Show

• Cast Members of CHIPPENDALES

• Cast Members of BAZ—Star Crossed Love

Cast members from Thunder From Down Under at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 18 050
Cast members from Thunder From Down Under at St. Baldricks Fundraiser at New York New York Hotel Casino 18 050

• Cast members from WOW

• Cast members from Inferno: The Fire Spectacular

• Forrest Griffin, Former UFC Light Heavy Weight Champion and Hall of Famer

St. Baldrick’s Day helps raise awareness in the fight against childhood cancer. The funds generated at this event are crucial in supporting research focused on improving treatment options and finding cures for all types of childhood cancers.

Candelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada Commemorates 40th Anniversary with Annual Evening of Hope Gala

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada held its annual Evening of Hope Gala and Ray of Hope Honoree Luncheon Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10 to increase awareness for pediatric cancer and raise funds to support local families battling the disease through financial assistance, emotional support and quality of life services.

Commemorating 40 years of service to the community in 2018, Candlelighters is Southern Nevada’s first and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting local pediatric cancer patients. The Evening of Hope Gala helped the organization raise more than $250,000 to support its mission.

“Over the course of the past 40 years, we have had many heartwarming stories of hope and we have also had heartbreaking stories of grief,” said Melissa Cipriano, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada executive director. “Candlelighters works hard to create a refuge for our children and their families, providing a support network that understands the challenges of what they face. We work hard to meet whatever needs our families may encounter, be it financial or emotional. 

“For many, Candlelighters has become an extension of their families,” Cipriano continued. “Our annual Evening of Hope Gala and Ray of Hope Honoree Luncheon are so much more than fundraising efforts, they are opportunities to share the stories of our Candlelighters families and volunteers with the community. Their strength and courage in the face of pain, uncertainty and adversity are awe-inspiring. Their stories and courage give us all hope. These children are what make our community great.”

The Ray of Hope Honoree Luncheon provided the opportunity to recognize Candlelighters’ children as well as those who have offered their time, talent and treasure to support the organization. Childhood cancer survivors and Ray of Hope honorees for 2018 include: Rosa LaRochelle, Luke Silvestri, Alyssa Smith and Michael Tatalovich. Joan and John McClenehan, also known as “Dr. and Mrs. Magic” received the Volunteer of the Year award; Sue Collins Waltermeyer, M.A., C.C.L.S., was recognized as the 2018 Candlelighters Medical Hero; and, Kathy and Greg Maddux were named Philanthropists of the Year for their unwavering support of the organization.

The Evening of Hope Gala was a culinary experience featuring decadent bites created by Las Vegas’ finest culinary artists, a children’s art gallery, a live and silent auction, and live entertainment provided by Zowie Bowie. Culinary artists included Baja Miguel’s, The Capital Grille, Cut and Taste, Dom Demarco’s, DW Bistro, Hash House A Go Go, Hugo’s Cellar, Krispy Kreme, Mad Batter Café & Bakery, Paymon’s, Popcornopolis, Ragin’ Cajun Cookin’, Sambalatte, Served, Son of a Pig LV, STK Las Vegas, Top of Binions Steakhouse, Truffles N Bacon Café, Urban Turban and William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. Back Bar USA, Breakthru Beverage and Ellis Island Casino & Brewery served as the beverage partners.

Proceeds from both events benefit Candlelighters programs. Event sponsors included The Revolution, Maddux Foundation, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Centennial Toyota, Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, Credit One Bank, Cure 4 the Kids, Colliers International – Links for Life Foundation, Southwest Medical Associates, Stage House, Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys, Southwest Gas, Cragin & Pike and Meadows Bank.

Chet Buchanan and Alyssa Smith
Chet Buchanan and Alyssa Smith - Photo credit: Denice Truscello

Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie
Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie - Photo credit: Denice Truscello

Greg and Kathy Maddux
Greg and Kathy Maddux - Photo credit: Denice Truscello

Jamie Dean dancing with her father Mike Dean
Jamie Dean dancing with her father Mike Dean - Photo credit: Denice Truscello

Joan and John McClenahan
Joan and John McClenahan - Photo credit: Denice Truscello

Luke Silvestri dancing with his mother Barbara Silvestri
Luke Silvestri dancing with his mother Barbara Silvestri - Photo credit: Denice Truscello

Michael Tatalovich dancing with his mother Lin Tatalovich
Michael Tatalovich dancing with his mother Lin Tatalovich - Photo credit: Denice Truscello

Rosa LaRochelle with her parents Lourdes and Jim LaRochelle
Rosa LaRochelle with her parents Lourdes and Jim LaRochelle - Photo credit: Denice Truscello

Sue Collins Waltermeyer with daughter Libby Waltermeyer
Sue Collins Waltermeyer with daughter Libby Waltermeyer - Photo credit: Denice Truscello

The annual Evening of Hope Gala and Ray of Hope Honoree Luncheon are just two examples of the many events Candlelighters hosts throughout the year. With the aim of increasing both awareness for the organization’s cause as well as funds to support families in their fight against pediatric cancer, there are many ways to support Candlelighters’ mission. Annual events include the popular Super Hero 5K, Camp Independent Firefly and the annual ShineGOLD for Cancer campaign in September.

KA Theatre at MGM Grand hosts VIP Screening of Imagine Dragons Dan Reynolds Documentary 'BELIEVER'

A special VIP screening of the powerful documentary, Believer, was held Thursday evening March 8 at the KA Theater inside the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. The film, which premiered at the prestigious, Sundance Film Festival, follows Dan Reynolds, the frontman for Grammy Award winning band Imagine Dragons as he explores how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.

Red carpet arrivals included Dan Reynold, who was the Executive Producer of Believer and his wife Aja Volkman; Don Argott, Director of Believer; Lance Lowry from the Love Loud Foundation; Moriah Jefferson and Sequoia Holmes of the Las Vegas Aces basketball team; Forrest Griffin, UFC Hall of Famer; comedian Carrot Top, and performers from KA.

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Dan Reynolds and his wife Aja Volkman with KA Performers - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Don Argott - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Alyson Deussen - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Forrest Griffin - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Sequoia Holmes and Moriah Jefferson from Las Vegas Aces - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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John Dehlin - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Carrot Top - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Raised as Mormon, Reynolds came to a crossroad when he witnessed fellow members of the Mormon Church spurned due their sexual orientation. Since 2008, teen suicide rates in Utah have skyrocketed, which many people attribute to the Mormon church's stance against same sex relationships. Director Don Argott follows Dan and openly gay former Mormon Tyler Glenn,lead singer of Neon Trees, as they come up with a plan to create LoveLoud, a music and spoken word festival designed to spark dialogue between the church and members of the LGBTQ community. The film chronicles a very personal year in Reynold's life as he risks his relationships with his faith, family and stands to stand up for what he believes in-that we should all be loved and accepted for who we are.

Immediately following the screening, there was a Q & A session where Reynolds stated all proceeds from the film will go to the Trevor Project that provides crisis and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth, and GLAAD, a U.S. non-governmental media monitoring organization founded by LGBT people in the media whose motto is to promote, understanding, increase acceptance, and advance equality.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Reynolds said he still lives here and will die here. As part of this community, he wants to push it forward to make it safe place for LGBT youth. When asked what youth can do to help, Reynolds said to contact the local LBGTQ center where they will be directed.

As or now, another LoveLoud festival is in the works. The lineup will soon be announced, and volunteers will be needed to work it.

As for Believer, HBO Documentary Films recently acquired the U.S. rights fom Live Nation Production and the film will debut June 2018 on HBO.

Rí Rá Las Vegas Raises More Than $10,000 During Seventh Annual St. Baldrick’s Day Head Shaving Fundraiser

Rí Rá Las Vegas held their seventh annual St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser on Saturday, March 3. Participants went bald all to raise more than $10,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation that is dedicated to fighting childhood cancer. This year, 24 people went under the buzzer in an effort to raise funds for the cause. To date, Rí Rá Las Vegas has raised over $100,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

This year, Las Vegas Lights FC players Joel Huiqui and Juan Herrera served as the celebrity head shavers, taking their shot at being a professional hairdresser for the afternoon.

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Photo courtesy of Rí Rá Las Vegas

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Las Vegas Lights FC players Joel Huiqui and Juan Herrera - Photo courtesy of Rí Rá Las Vegas

Guests who did not want to go bald had the opportunity to donate in a variety of ways, including purchasing raffle tickets for the chance to win a variety of prizes, purchasing food of a specialty menu, and through donating online.

Steve Aoki Becomes First to "Cake" His Own Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas DJ Experience Launch

On Tuesday evening March 6, Madame Tussauds Las Vegas threw the ultimate fan party to launch the attraction's new DJ Experience with Grammy-nominated international DJ and Producer Steve Aoki, who became the first person to cake himself in wax form, before treating fans to a live set to launch the dance-party installation. Inspired by Aoki's iconic high-energy live shows, the experience puts guests behind the decks of a DJ pyramid complete with lasers, lights and holograms.

Steve Aoki at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas DJ Experience Launch 1
Steve Aoki at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas DJ Experience Launch

"Getting a wax figure is a career milestone," Aoki said. "It wouldn't be an Aoki party without a caking, and I've thrown many, but caking myself was a truly unique experience."

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Steve Aoki at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas DJ Experience Launch

Fans were excited by surprise guest performer Desiigner, who joined Aoki on stage for a special rendition of "MIC Drop" and "Panda," but the night's showstopper was the DJ's mother, Chizuru Aoki, who took to the stage to cheer on her son and celebrate the unveiling of his wax figure.

Chizuru Aoki and Steve Aoki at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas DJ Experience Launch 11
Chizuru Aoki and Steve Aoki at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas DJ Experience Launch

Following his set, Aoki participated in a meet and greet, and gave an encore performance of "I Love It When You Cry," after meeting a fan visiting from Austria donning a tattoo of the song's title.

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Steve Aoki performs at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas DJ Experience Launch

"Being at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas means a lot. Vegas is my home now and I play here all the time," said Aoki. "To be on the Strip at Madame Tussauds, where my fans can visit and get behind the decks with my wax figure, is a big deal. I'm going to come by every day and check myself out."

In true Aoki-style, his figure holds laser cannons that project digital beams around the room and wears customized denim pants from his own Dim Mak collection.

Aoki met with Madame Tussauds artists in May 2017 for a sitting where they took more than 200 hundred measurements and photographs to perfectly match his body, face, skin, hair and teeth. His figure joins Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Will Smith, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and more at the Las Vegas attraction.

Guests at the VIP launch party, including fans that entered Madame Tussauds Las Vegas' #TakeMeToAoki contest, sipped on champagne courtesy of Luc Belaire.

X Country Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary at Harrah's Las Vegas

Tuesday night, March 13, X Country celebrated two kick’n years at Harrah’s Las Vegas with a reception and red carpet at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill. Guests were also treated to a special performance of the show inside Harrah’s Cabaret, featuring brand new numbers including the opening song, Kelly Clarkson’s “Whole Lotta Woman,” as well as Little Big Town’s “Better Man” and Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey.”

X-Country - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

X Country - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Cast of X Country
Cast of X Country - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

JoinING the X Country Girls on the red carpet were show producer/directors Matt and Angela Stabile, producer/manager Tiffany Mondell and choreographer/manager Anthony Cardella, as well as llocal celebrities including dancers from their sister shows X Burlesque at Flamingo Las Vegas and X Rocks at Bally’s Las Vegas; Scheana Shay, Chester Lockhart and Chris Hodgson from Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man; Melody Sweets; Ricardo Laguna; Murray SawChuck; Douglas Leferovich; Xavier Mortimer; David Goldrake; Gerry McCambridge; Irwin Raymer from Animal Planet’s “Tanked;” Piff the Magic Dragon and Jade Simone; the Australian Bee Gees; Tenors of Rock, cast members from BAZ; and cast members from Thunder From Down Under. 

Angela and Matt Stabile Tiffany Mondell and Anthony Cardella
Angela and Matt Stabile Tiffany Mondell and Anthony Cardella - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Australian Bee Gees
Australian Bee Gees - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Chester Lockhart Scheana Shay and Chris Hodgson
Chester Lockhart Scheana Shay and Chris Hodgson - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Daniel Paterson from Thunder From Down Under with the cast of X Country
Daniel Paterson from Thunder From Down Under with the cast of X Country - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Gerry McCambridge
Gerry McCambridge - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Irwin Raymer with the cast of X Country
Irwin Raymer with the cast of X Country - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Melody Sweets
Melody Sweets - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Murray SawChuck and Douglas Leferovich with the cast of X Country
Murray SawChuck and Douglas Leferovich with the cast of X Country - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Ricardo Laguna and Amber Ramsay
Ricardo Laguna and Amber Ramsay - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Tenors of Rock with the cast of X Country
Tenors of Rock with the cast of X Country - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Tiffany Mondell Angela and Matt Stabile and Anthony Cardella with the cast of X Country
Tiffany Mondell Angela and Matt Stabile and Anthony Cardella with the cast of X Country - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

Xavier Mortimer
Xavier Mortimer - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

X Burlesque
X Burlesque - Photo courtesy of Harrah's Las Vegas

A Kick’n topless revue featuring a combination of traditional and modern country music chart toppers, X Country showcases stimulating performances from the X Country Girls, who leave nothing to the imagination. True to the “X” brand, the X Country Girls are some of the most beautiful and talented dancers on the famed Las Vegas Strip, who tease and seduce the audience to country music’s most popular songs from artists including Tim McGraw, Patsy Cline, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Trace Atkins and Hank Williams Jr., among many others. X Country is a two-time winner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Best of Las Vegas Award for Best Female Revue.

Created and produced by husband and wife team, Matt and Angela Stabile, X Country performs nightly at 10 p.m. at Harrah's Cabaret inside Harrah’s Las Vegas. Tickets start at $47.94 (with additional fees) and VIP packages are also available.

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

"BAZ - A MUSICAL MASH-UP" celebrated its 500th performance at The Palazzo Las Vegas, Thursday, March 15. Following a rousing performance that received a standing ovation, cast members were presented on stage with a cake to commemorate the special occasion.

Since its debut in 2016, "BAZ - A Musical Mash-Up" has racked up some impressive numbers, including:

• 3,000 on-stage kisses exchanged by principle cast members
• 75 uses of the word "love" during each performance
• 50 Swarovski stones in costumes
• 50 pairs of dance shoes
• 40 pounds of glitter used to date
• 30 yards of beaded fringe
• 15 pairs of angel wings

"BAZ - A Musical Mash-Up" is a new-generation cabaret and high-energy movie-music mash-up that blends the world's most iconic love stories as imagined by famed film visionary Baz Luhrmann. Inspired by Luhrmann's signature take on "Romeo + Juliet," "Moulin Rouge," and "The Great Gatsby," this theatrical concert features soul-stirring and stunning performances from an ensemble cast and band."Performances are Tuesday through Sunday at 8 p.m. at The Palazzo Theatre. Tickets start at $59 (plus tax and applicable fees) and can be purchased at any box office at The Venetian or The Palazzo

BAZ A Musical Mash Up Celebrates a Landmark 500 Shows at The Palazzo Las Vegas 1
BAZ A Musical Mash Up Celebrates a Landmark 500 Shows at The Palazzo Las Vegas - Photo courtesy of The Palazzo Las Vegas

SEAQUEST LAS VEGAS has welcomed two new Asian small-clawed otter pups to the Interactive Aquarium located inside The Boulevard Mall. The Asian small-clawed otters are the newest addition to the aquarium, following the recent addition of two coatimundi and two capybaras.

Asian Small Clawed Otter pups - Photo courtesy of Seaquest

THE VENETIAN AND THE PALAZZO LAS VEGAS are celebrating the spirit of Venice with a NEW SEASONAL DISPLAY that features ONE OF THE WORLD'S OLDEST VENETIAN GONDOLAS. The historic gondola, thought to be constructed around 1850, is considered by experts to be one of the best surviving examples of Venetian gondolas from that time period. The impressive specimen spans 36 feet and is nearly 5 feet wide.

On display in the resorts' impressive waterfall atrium, guests can walk around the boat and read story of this well-preserved wonder and learn about the gondola, the boat that symbolizes Venetian culture. The vessel's elaborate wood carvings indicate that this gondola was likely used for weddings and special occasions. It has its original paint finish, black, the color mandated by Venetian law passed in 1562, and still current to this day. The gondola also includes a felze - or cabin - that was used to provide privacy as well as protect travelers from the weather. The windows of the felze would be closed with louvered shutters, or what is now known as Venetian blinds. The original 1800s furniture is still featured on the gondola, as well as a 19th century etched glass windows and hardware.

Photo courtesy of The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas

After the seasonal display concludes, the gondola will return to the resort's archives until a future display location can be determined.

By popular demand, comedy legends STEVE MARTIN AND MARTIN SHORT return to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for another night of their hilarious “An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life featuring the Steep Canyon Rangers and Jeff Babko” on Sunday, July 1. In this special performance, Martin and Short will present new material in a variety of musical sketches and conversations on their iconic careers, most memorable encounters, and of course, their legendary lives in show-business and stand-up. Martin and Short will be joined on stage by the Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers and renowned jazz pianist and Jimmy Kimmel Live band member Jeff Babko. Tickets went on sale March 9 and are priced at $185/$100/$79.50/$49.50 (prices include 9% Live Entertainment Tax). Orders are subject to additional service charges and fees.

Fremont Street Experience, the five-block entertainment district located in historic downtown Las Vegas, will celebrate the luck o’ the Irish with a four-day ST. PATRICK'S DAY SHAMROCK CELEBRATION beginning Thursday, March 15. Featuring an appearance by former Mayor Oscar Goodman, strolling flash mobs, alluring dancers and free, live entertainment from 19 bands on three stages, guests will enjoy themed, theatrical musical performances by bands including Celtic Rockers, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, Luck of the Spandex, The AnGry Brians, Whiskey Galore and moreAdditionally, guests won’t want to miss the all-new, Cirque du Soleil-inspired production show, “Sticky Sweet,” featuring dancing, singing and high-flying aerialist acts performing nightly from 8 – 10 p.m. on 3rd Street Stage.

Furthermore, as part of the efforts of the Las Vegas Coalition for Zero Fatalities, Fremont Street Experience, Lyft Las Vegas and Zero Fatalities will be offering up to $10 off to all new and existing Lyft users on St. Patrick’s Day in Downtown Las Vegas. Lyft users can call their designated driver on demand and celebrate responsibility.

Hooters Casino Hotel Las Vegas opened The Strip’s first STEAK 'N SHAKE location Friday, March 16 at 6 p.m., offering guests an expanded dining experience to the property. The new Steak ‘n Shake restaurant will be the only Las Vegas location to serve the entire breakfast menu in addition to the franchises signature steakburgers and milkshakes. Guests can also dine on select specials such as the new Prime Burger featuring a 6-ounce steak patty with the choice of Western BBQ or Truffle Prime sauces. The restaurant will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. until Monday, April 2 when it transitions to open 24 hours, seven days a week.

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Steak n Shake - Photo courtesy of Hooters Hotel and Casino

The 2018 MONSTER JAM WORLD FINALS® XIX will take place March 23-24, 2018 at Sam Boyd Stadium.  Last year, more than 57,000 fans with attendees from 15 different countries and all 50 states witnessed the greatest Monster Jam® truck racing and freestyle competition in the history of the sport. Fans can get up-close-and-personal with the Monster Jam® trucks and drivers as they are granted more fan access to the stars of the show than any other live event. Tickets are available now at UNLVTickets outlets at Thomas & Mack Center box office or La Bonita Supermarkets.

Monster Jam World Finals® XIX will be performing at Sam Boyd Stadium on:

Friday, March 23, 6:30 p.m. – Double Down Showdown & Racing Championship
Saturday, March 24, 6:30 p.m. – Freestyle Championship

The Pit Party features over 100 Monster Jam trucks and drivers, including all Monster Jam World Finals® competitors. Drivers will sign autographs during designated times. Other highlights include interactive displays, various kids’ activities, Graffiti Zone, thrill acts, Monster Jam Ride Truck, photo opportunities, Main Stage interviews and contests, and more.

Friday, 2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. – Admission is free to all fans possessing a Friday or 2-day event ticket. Fans will be required to show their event ticket to enter.
Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. – Admission is free to all fans possessing a Saturday or 2-day event ticket. Fans will be required to show their event ticket to enter.

In honor of Las Vegas’ newest sports team, BEER PARK AT PARIS LAS VEGAS,will gear up for soccer season with VIEWING PARTIES from Saturday, March 24 through Sunday, Oct. 28.

Triple threat musician, dancer and actor, KEVIN FEDERLINE, will celebrate his 40th birthday with a bash and DJ gig at Crazy Horse III, located at 3525 W. Russell Road, starting at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 24. Best-known for his marriage to pop star Britney Spears, the rapper and DJ will celebrate his birthday at the award-winning gentlemen’s club by partying alongside close friends and will also performing a DJ set at 12:30 a.m.

Kevin Federline DJing at Crazy Horse III by Jenna Dosch
Kevin Federline DJing at Crazy Horse III - Photo credit: Jenna Dosch

CHUMLEE RUSSEL, star of HISTORY CHANNEL'S “Pawn Stars,” entrepreneur of Chumlee’s Candy on the Blvd., and a long-time supporter of the Children’s Heart Foundation, has partnered with the non-profit for a brand NEW EVENT PROVIDING EASTER FUN AND ADVENTURE TO HEART HEROES AND THEIR FAMILIES. The festivities are open to Children’s Heart Foundation families exclusively and will take place at Sunset Park (Aspen section) on March 25 (the Sunday prior to Easter) from 11 am – 2 pm. The day will include fun, food (sandwiches and snacks from Jersey Mike’s), music, a visit from the Easter Bunny, games, bounce houses, face painting, cotton candy, sno-cones, an Easter Egg hunt, coloring contest, and all heart heroes receiving complimentary Easter baskets.  Heart families who work with the Children’s Heart Foundation or want to get involved with the foundation may register to attend by going online at www.chfn.org or by calling 702-967-3522.

CHILDREN'S HEART FOUNDATION is partnering with nine local LAS VEGAS JERSEYMIKE'S SUBS RESTAURANTS for the 8thAnnual “MONTH OF GIVING.” Throughout the month of March, customers can make donations to CHF at any Jersey Mike’s restaurant in the Las Vegas area. The campaign will culminate in Jersey Mike’s “Day of Giving” on Wednesday, March 28 where our nine local Jersey Mike’s restaurants will give 100 percent of the day’s entire sales – not just profit – to Children’s Heart Foundation.

Luxury custom home developer, VEGAS VALLEY VIEWS, has announced plans to build BELLA VISTA ESTATES, a private community of 25 individually gated homes on spacious lots. The high-end community will be nestled in the hills of Henderson with panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding mountains just south of W. Horizon Ridge Parkway at Pancho Via Drive between S. Stephanie Street and S. Gibson Road.

UNLV DONNA BEAM GALLERY presents a NEW EXHIBITION: GRIT AND SENSITIVITY April 2 – 21.“Grit and Sensitivity” focuses on some of the variety of methods employed in the printmaking process. Artists in the exhibition include Dana Frankfort, Takuji Hamanaka, Christopher Hawthorne, Mel Kendrick, Carrie Moyer, Richard Ryan, Barbara Takenaga and Roger Tibbetts. A few are involved with a careful and sensitive process in the development of their prints, while others take a much more tactile and ’gritty’ approach.  Additionally, collaboration is an important theme running throughout the exhibition.

PURPLE REIGN, the world’s #1 Prince tribute show has announced that due to popular demand, it is adding two more weekly shows to its Las Vegas residency performance schedule at Tropicana Las Vegas. Starting April 3, the award-winning Prince tribute show will entertain audiences with its high-energy musical performance inside the Tropicana Theater six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday at 9 p.m. “ Due to the production’s overwhelming popularity with audiences, we’ve decided to add two more shows to the weekly schedule and bring on the immense talent of Julian Stefoni,” said Aaron Rosenthal, vice president and general manager for Tropicana Las Vegas. “Meeting the demands of ticket buyers, Purple Reign will offer performances six nights a week headlined by renowned Prince tribute artists Stefoni and Jason Tenner, who originated the role.

Actor and stand-up comedian BILL BELLAMY will headline two shows at The Foundry at SLS Las Vegas at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7. Tickets are on sale now and start at $20.50, excluding tax and fees. Doors open at 7 p.m. for this 21+ show.

THE DEPARTMENT OF FINE ARTS MUSIC PROGRAM presents CSN’s popular and talented Jazz Singers at this year’s VOCAL JAZZ SOLO NIGHTS.  This semester students will be performing a variety of difficult arrangements and solos to help raise funds to participate at the Reno Jazz Festival. The concert will include a lively variety of styles including Bee-Bop, Big Band and Jazz Fusion. The students are also excited that they will be performing Pat Metheny’s Minuano as part of this musical event.  The concert takes place on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Jay Morrison Recital Hall at CSN’s North Las Vegas campus,located at 3200 E. Cheyenne Avenue in North Las Vegas. General Admission is $10. For more information, please contact CSN’s Performing Arts Center Box Office at 702-651-LIVE (5483).

After 36 years of selling out every show, THE COMEDY CELLAR will open its first West Coast location at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casinoin Las Vegas on April 5, 2018. The Cellar, as insiders call it, will bring its unique vibe from the iconic, underground, Greenwich Village, “brick wall and stained glass,” low ceiling design and feel —to its new, intimate 300-seat club at Rio.“It will be just like coming to the New York Comedy Cellar - only in Vegas,” said club owner Noam Dworman. “The Comedy Cellar at Rio will feature the same best-in-the-world comics and the same iconic feel in New York. The only difference is that in Vegas, you’ll be able to get in.”

The comedians who will perform April 5 – 8 are:

Mo Amer: Notable highlights include touring with Dave Chappelle; sold-out shows in 30 countries; and appearances on BBC, CBS, NBC and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Kyle Dunnigan: Has been a regular on Howard Stern; a writer, producer and performer on “Inside Amy Schumer;” Emmy award winner for original music for the song, “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup;” and made appearances in “Trainwreck” and “RENO 911.”

Jessica Kirson: Starred in “The Comedian;” made appearances on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” “The Tonight Show,” “The Carson Daly Show,” “Last Comic Standing,” VH-1, Bravo and Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend.”

Nathan McIntosh: Known from his appearances on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Conan;” and participated in the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival.

CSN’s FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT THEATRE PROGRAM will be presenting Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize winning play called THE FLICK, in the Backstage Theatre at the North Las Vegas campus, on Thursday, April 12, at 7:00 p.m. with performances running through April 21, and a matinee scheduled on Sunday, April 22, at 2:00 pm. The production takes place in a theater named The Flick which is being renovated from a traditional projector system to a contemporary digital facility. As audience members witness the theater is going through a transition, so do the lives and relationships of the theatre’s three employees and diverse characters - Sam, Avery, and Rose. By the end of the production, each character experiences an inner need for a change in perspectives and dreams. General Admission is $12.00 and $10.00 for students and seniors. For more information, please call the CSN Box Office at 702-651-LIVE (5483). The CSN Performing Arts Center is located at 3200 East Cheyenne Avenue in North Las Vegas.

Poised to be 2018’s biggest breakout act, American pop band THE SHADOWBOXERS will take their dynamic live show on the road this year as they join their mentor Justin Timberlake for the first leg of his highly-anticipated Man of the Woods Tour as the opening act on 30+ arena dates across the country. The tour will make a Las Vegas stop at T-Mobile Arena April 14 and 15.

The lineup has been announced for WME’s second annual BASH at the BEACH.  The two-night concert will take place at the Beach at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14. Arena-headlining country superstar and ACM Male Vocalist of the Year Nominee, Chris Young, is set to close out the two-night event with a special performance on Saturday night. Platinum selling artist and widely praised performer Chris Janson will headline Friday night’s show.  Cam, Dee Jay Silver, Granger Smith, Jordan Davis, LANCO, Lindsay Ell, Morgan Evans, Morgan Wallen, Parmalee, RaeLynn and Scotty McCreery are also set to perform.  For a detailed show schedule, please go to www.partyforacause.com.  

With the purchase of one ticket, fans can enjoy two nights of high-energy performances by country music’s hottest stars. Proceeds will benefit ACM LIFTING LIVES, THE CHARITABLE ARM OF THE ACADEMY OF COUNTY MUSIC. This event is the latest to be announced in connection with the 6th Annual ACM Party for a Cause festivities, and it will be the place to be during “The Week Vegas Goes Country.” Fans will be able to purchase their two-day passes to BASH at the BEACH beginning Friday, March 16 at 10 a.m. PST.

DAZZLE AFRICA is hosting an extraordinary gala raising funds to protect endangered wildlife, provide rural villagers with access to clean water and offer vulnerable children educational opportunities on Saturday, April 14th, 2018, 6:30pm – 11:00pm at Grape Expectations, located at 7360 Eastgate Rd. #125, Henderson, NV.  The gala’s theme is “Let’s Get Tribal” and will be a fun filled night of live music with Alex Boye, live and silent auctions, hors d’oeuvres and our partners, National Geographic and award winning African conservationists, Rachel McRobb, Matt Becker, and Suzyo Zimba. To purchase tickets: www.dazzle.auction-bid.org

Majestic Repertory Theatre presents the Vegas Premiere of David Adjmi's high-style dramady MARIE ANTOINETTE. In Adjmi’s contemporary take on the young queen of France, Marie is a confection created by a society that values extravagance and artifice. But France’s love affair with the royals sours as revolution brews, and for Marie, the political suddenly becomes very personal. From the light and breezy banter at the palace to the surging chants of "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!" in the streets, Marie Antoinette holds a mirror up to our contemporary society that might just be entertaining itself to death.

“This script is sheer Majestic. It’s not a stodgy museum piece,” says Artistic Director Troy Heard, “This Marie is one step away from updating her Insta-story while she’s on the way to the guillotine. David Adjmi managed to create a crackling world living within the historical parameters that gives a warning to the elite, and anybody who lives with their head in the sand.”

Performances of MARIE ANTOINETTE will be April 5 through 22 Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Majestic Repertory Theatre is located at at 1217 S. Main Street. General admission tickets are $25.

Deana Martin returns to the South Point Showroom for her second edition of, THE DEANA MARTIN CELEBRITY ROAST honoring “The Man of the Hour” – world-renowned actor, producer, writer and director, JOE MANTEGNA on Sunday, April 15 at 6 p.m. Following a sold-out roast honoring Dennis Bono in 2017, Deana Martin will continue her father’s legacy by recreating “The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast,” which ran on NBC between 1974 to 1984. Joe Mantegna, best known for his role as David Rossi in the CBS hit-series “Criminal Minds,” is the Man of the Hour, and will have his life and career roasted by a variety of special celebrity guests. Additional celebrity roasters will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for The Deana Martin Celebrity Roast are available for purchase on the South Point and start at $45.

Chris “Kiki” Nyemchek and Koine “Koko” Iwasaki,  two of the hottest stars from 2017’s "So You Think You Can Dance," FOX’s hit summer competition series, are joining Maks Chmerkovskiy, Val Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd , the sensations from ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and a dazzling cast of the industry’s best dancers in the highly anticipated new show, “MAKS, VAL & PETA LIVE ON TOUR: CONFIDENTIAL.” The tour will stop at The Smith Center forth Performing Arts in Las Vegas on May 16. Tickets start at just $35.50 with a limited number of prime seating VIP meet and greet tickets available. The tour, launching March 19, will see this extraordinary group conquer 49 cities in America, with a spectacular dance show, driven by a narrative of true love, family and stories that up until now, have remained confidential. Tickets and VIP packages are now available at The Smith Center.

FORBES TRAVEL GUIDE has unveiled its annual star ratings, once again naming The Laurel Collection by CAESARS PALACE AND THE CROMWELL among its prestigious list. An iconic resort at the center of the famed Las Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace received Four Stars. Additionally, The Cromwell, the only standalone boutique hotel on the Strip, earned a Recommended Award.

Orsat Zovko, Final Fight Championship (FFC) president and founder, recently announced a multi-year deal with RIO ALL-SUITE HOTEL & CASINO and FFC to present LIVE COMBAT SPORTS EVENTS STARTING IN 2018. The deal with Caesars Entertainment, Rio’s parent company, is for FFC to present professional fights weekly in a dedicated venue at the Rio called The Fight Dome. The first event is scheduled for June 2018. “This is going to be the biggest production endeavor in the history of combat sports. I’m excited to bring big fights to the Rio, as Caesars Entertainment is known for hosting all the blockbuster super-fights back in the 80s and 90s.” said Zovko.

The multi-year deal calls for regularly scheduled combat sports events composed of multiple disciplines, such as boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts. FFC is planning to increase the number of weekly events in 2019 and 2020. More information about FFC will be announced in coming weeks.

Resorts International and New York-based Sydell Group have debuted the NEW POOL OASIS much-anticipated Park MGM. Channeling the sun drenched South of France, the vibrant outdoor escape features three pools, an oversized heated spa, 12 cabanas, lounge areas and multiple bars serving up delicious bites and beverages.

Guests can mingle among friends at one of three pools – the South Pool, the East Pool or the North Pool – while lively music evokes a cool, laid-back vibe. Martin Brudnizki Design Studio drew inspiration from the natural surroundings of a country estate, incorporating layered horticulture to shape each pool space.

In addition to chaises throughout the deck area, each pool boasts Baja shelf seating and submerged wet decks, allowing guests to sunbathe while staying cool. Those seeking an elevated experience can upgrade to the VIP area by the East Pool, where they’ll find deluxe cushioned chaises.

Celebrity sightings:

Wednesday, March 14...

Sex Tips from Straight Women from a Gay Man" stars Scheana Shay and Chris Hodgson attended "BAZ - A Musical Mash-Up" at The Palazzo Las Vegas. Following the show, the principal cast members of the smash-hit comedy at Paris Las Vegas joined the cast on stage for a photo.

Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man Stars Scheana Shay and Chris Hodgson Attend BAZ A Musical Mash Up at The Palazzo Las Vegas Wednesday March 14 2018
Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man Stars Scheana Shay and Chris Hodgson Attend BAZ A Musical Mash Up at The Palazzo Las Vegas Wednesday March 14 2018

Tuesday night, March 13...

Cast and crew from the sultry hit show Magic Mike Live at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino were spotted attending the 9:30 p.m. performance of Mat Franco – Magic Reinvented Nightly in the Mat Franco Theater at The LINQ Hotel & Casino.

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