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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
http://www.theflickchicks.com


welcome to 2020


Fremont Street Experience Unveils Stunning New 3D Graphics and $32 Million Upgraded VIVA Vision Canopy

Downtown Las Vegas lit up on New Year’s Eve when Fremont Street Experience debuted an entirely new collection of stunning visuals and 3D graphics created exclusively for its $32 million renovation of Viva Vision, the world’s largest single video screen.

Fremont Street Experience Introduces Multi Sensory Show and Upgraded Viva Vision Canopy credit Black Raven Films for Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience Introduces Multi Sensory Show and Upgraded Viva Vision Canopy - Photo credit: Black Raven Films for Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience Debuts Entirely New Collection of 3D Graphics on Upgraded Viva Vision Canopy credit Black Raven Films for Fremont Street Experience
Fremont Street Experience Debuts Entirely New Collection of 3D Graphics on Upgraded Viva Vision Canopy - Photo credit: Black Raven Films for Fremont Street Experience

Revitalized Viva Vision Canopy Illuminates Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas credit Black Raven Films for Fremont Street Experience
Revitalized Viva Vision Canopy Illuminates Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas - Photo credit: Black Raven Films for Fremont Street Experience

“The redevelopment of the iconic Viva Vision canopy is a major milestone for Fremont Street Experience and the City of Las Vegas,” said Patrick Hughes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fremont Street Experience. “With Fremont Street Experience attracting more than 24 million visitors a year, we’re really looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the entire community while breathing new life into downtown Las Vegas.”

By fusing Watchfire Signs’ cutting-edge technology with Contend’s innovative graphics, the jaw-dropping content will exploit 49.3 million LEDs alongside a state-of-the-art, 600,000-watt, concert-quality sound system. A highlight of the innovative content is the multi-sensory signature show, “MIXology.” The groundbreaking show concept was inspired by “synesthesia,” a perceptual phenomenon where music, art and emotion collide to create an immersive, multi-sensory experience on a grand scale.

“Fremont Street Experience and the Viva Vision canopy are totally unique in this world. The scale, the screen, the audio and the overall environment make this a world class destination that deserves to be at the top of every list of must-see Vegas experiences,” said Bill Wadsworth, Head of Immersive Experience of Contend.

Spanning five city blocks above one of the most vibrant streets in Las Vegas, the revitalized canopy will illuminate the pedestrian mall with 16,433,152 pixels and 5,000 Nits, making it seven times brighter than the existing canopy with four times the resolution allowing the screen to be seen 24 hours a day for the first time in its existence.

“The role that Fremont Street Experience plays in Las Vegas’ entertainment landscape is undeniable,” said Derek Stevens, CEO of the D Las Vegas, Golden Gate Hotel & Casino and the upcoming Circa Resort & Casino. “As we get ready for a thrilling 2020, we are excited about the upgraded Viva Vision and the incredible new experience it will deliver to the millions of guests that visit each year. It is something you truly will have to see to believe.”

In partnership with the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Conventions and Visitors Authority, Fremont Street Experience will host the official unveiling of the $32 million renovation of Viva Vision on Dec. 31, 2019 during America’s Party Downtown presented by iHeart Media Las Vegas. Tickets for America’s Party Downtown are on sale now for $35 (plus tax and fee).


Murray The Magician's 8th Annual Beggin For Magic Charity Show

Former America's Got Talent finalist, comedy magician Murray Sawchuck, who headlines at the Tropicana Las Vegas, presented his 8th Annual Beggin For Magic Charity Show, aka Murray's Family Variety Holiday Spectacular, inside the Tropicana's Laugh Factory Showroom, on Friday, December 20 to benefit Friends for Life Humane Society, a non profit animal rescue organization for our furry friends “beggin” to be adopted. As a staunch animal lover, Murray has adopted five long haired chihuahuas from Friends for Life and over the years has been one of their strongest supporters.

Beggin for Magic 8183
Murray Sawchuck, Dani Elizabeth, Douglas 'Lefty' Leferovich - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

In putting together the charity show, Murray gathered several of his fellow entertainers, who donated their time and talent for the worthy cause. This year, along with Murray, who performed several magic tricks between acts, the lineup of performers that took to the stage included Dani Elizabeth (dancer from Crazy Girls) as Murray's co-host; retired legendary master magician Lance Burton; veteran comedy magician Fielding West; singer/guitarist Troy Burgess (Rock of Ages); magician Dimmare (Martinis & Magic); comedian/impressionist Sean E. Cooper (Fantasy); comedy magician Piff The Magic Dragon; singer/musician/lead band member of Reckless in Vegas Michael Shapiro, and magician/master card trickster and Murray's sidekick, Douglas (Lefty) Leferovich.

Beggin for Magic 8159
Sean E. Cooper, Fielding West, and Lance Burton - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Beggin for Magic 8164
Magician Dimmare (Martinis & Magic) - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Beggin for Magic 8184
Michael Schapiro (Reckless in Vegas) - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Beggin for Magic 8188
Murray Sawchuck and Troy Burgess - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Piff The Magic Dragon with his four legged "assistant" Mr. Piffles - Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The result was a thoroughly entertaining, family friendly show that delivered a great mixture of magic, comedy and music. In addition, there were also raffle tickets sold, with lucky winners from the audience walking away with some great prizes.

All proceeds from the annual event went to Friends for Life Animal Society. To find out more about this animal rescue organization go to www.friendsforlifehumanesociety.org.

You can catch Murray The Magician's Comedy Magic Show at the Tropicana Laugh Factory 5 pm Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, and 7pm on Thursdays & Saturdays.

Tropicana Las Vegas Hosts the Mia St. John Foundation Benefit Concert inside Legends in Concert Theater

On Thursday night, December 19, Tropicana Las Vegas hosted the Mia St. John Foundationspecial concert event, “Champions in Your Corner Benefit Concert” to bring awareness about mental health during the holiday season. The concert took place inside the Legends in Concert Theater and featured performances by Broadway singer and Las Vegas headlining vocalist Angela Teek with a full 12-piece orchestra. 

Angela Teek Alejandro Domingo and Eric Michael Morgan at The Legends in Concert Theater inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Angela Teek Alejandro Domingo and Eric Michael Morgan at The Legends in Concert Theater inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Angela Teek at The Legends in Concert Theater inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Angela Teek at The Legends in Concert Theater inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Cookie Watkins at The Legends in Concert Theater inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Cookie Watkins at The Legends in Concert Theater inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography

Angela Teek and Mia St. John at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Angela Teek and Mia St. John at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Before heading into the theater, the iconic property welcomed over a dozen celebrity and VIP guests for an exclusive reception and silent auction inside Trago Lounge at Tropicana Las Vegas. Attendees mixed and mingled inside the world-class cocktail lounge, and enjoyed signature cocktails such as Tropicana Margarita and Agua Fresca, to name a few.

Celebrities that were in attendance included five-time world and international boxing champion Mia St. John, American singer, songwriter, producer, music executive, and actor Tony Orlando, actor Brad Grunberg, the cast of Cherry Boom Boom, actress Georgeanne Marie “Gigi” Rice, star of SEXXY: The Show Jennifer Romas, UFC fighter Julian Marquez, American former track and field sprinter and Olympic Gold Medalist Maurice Greene, actor Michael Pointek, stand-up comedian Mona Shaikh, comedian Murray Sawchuck as seen at Laugh Factory Comedy Club at Tropicana Las Vegas, American actress, voice actress, singer and painter Paige O’Hara, professional boxing and mixed martial arts cutman Stitch Duran, actor Ted McGinley, professional motorcycle racer Viking Mike, and many more.

Blair Farrington and Jennifer Romas at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Blair Farrington and Jennifer Romas at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Gabe Lopez at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Gabe Lopez at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Emmanueli Adzoh at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Emmanueli Adzoh at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Georgeanne Marie Gigi Rice at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Georgeanne Marie Gigi Rice at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Julian Marquez at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Julian Marquez at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Maurice Greene at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Maurice Greene at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Mia St. John and Jon Orlando at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Mia St. John and Jon Orlando at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Mia St. John Tony Orlando and Maurice Greene at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Mia St. John Tony Orlando and Maurice Greene at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime PhotographyMichael Piontek at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography

Michael Piontek at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Mona Shaikh at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Mona Shaikh at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Murray Sawchuck at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Murray Sawchuck at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Paige OHara at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Paige OHara at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Stitch Duran at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Stitch Duran at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Ted McGinley at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Ted McGinley at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

The Cast of Cherry Boom Boom at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
The Cast of Cherry Boom Boom at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Viking Mike at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Viking Mike at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

The Mia St. John Foundation – "El Saber es Poder" – was created by international boxing champion Mia St. John, to empower individuals suffering from mental illness, homelessness, addiction and poverty by providing programs to better educate, inform and improve physical and mental health.

Silent Auction at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Silent Auction at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

Silent Auction Items at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas Photo Credit Key Lime Photography
Silent Auction Items at Trago Lounge inside Tropicana Las Vegas - Photo credit: Key Lime Photography

 

For more information about the Mia St. John Foundation, visit http://www.miastjohnfoundation.org. 

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

Hundreds of Nevadans were at ARIZONA CHARLIE’S DECATUR on Thursday night, December 19, to share their team spirit at a VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS THEMED BINGO EVENT. Beloved mascot, Chance, and members of the promo team, the Vegas Vivas, also attended and took part in photos and prize drawings.  Guests were treated to hot chocolate, VGK cookies, burger sliders and more. Drawings were held in-between each bingo game with prizes which included a VGK towel, a VGK clock, VGK bags, VGK keychains and signed jerseys from Golden Knights players Karlsson, Engelland and Fleury. For fans who were unable to attend, the same event will be held at Arizona Charlie’s Boulder on Thursday, Jan. 16.

THE VENETIAN® RESORT LAS VEGAS has launched a NEW ART TOUR, providing guests the opportunity to uncover hidden secrets of the resort while exploring its unforgettable art and architecture. The Venetian Resort is steeped in history, from the days as the Sands Hotel and Casino to the Strip-defining Italian-inspired icon guests have come to love today. A tour guide shares the stories behind the resort’s replica Italian landmarks including the Rialto Bridge, Campanile Tower, and St. Mark’s Square; as well as provide fun facts, and interesting tidbits, such as why founder Mr. Sheldon G. Adelson chose to recreate Venice in Las Vegas. Tours are conducted daily at 11:00 a.m. and at 1:00 p.m. and run 90 minutes.Tickets can be purchased at concierge desks, box office, and gondola ticketing booths Tours are $39.99 and guests also receive a souvenir gift bag.Each tour is limited to 15 guests. Tour begins in The Palazzo tower lobby.

The original tribute to The Eagles, HOTEL CALIFORNIA, will bring the hits to M RESORT SPA CASINO for a special performance on Saturday, March 14, 2020 in the M Pavilion. Touring since 1986, Hotel California brings the music of The Eagles around the globe and has thrilled hundreds of thousands of Eagles fans. Tickets for Hotel California, starting at $15 (plus applicable L.E.T. and facilities fees), are on sale now. Doors will open at 7 p.m. on March 14 and the concert will begin at 8 p.m.

MOTT 32, the authentic Chinese restaurant at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, has partnered with VEGANS, BABY for the third annual “VEGANUARY” event. For the month of January, five vegan entrées will be on the already vegan-friendly menu with a portion of proceeds benefiting local nonprofit organizations - A HOME 4 SPOT and the UK-based international Veganuary organization. Entrées include: Assorted wild mushroom lettuce cups with black truffle sauce ($20); Braised tofu and seasonal mushrooms ($28); Sautéed asparagus, water chestnuts and ginkgo nuts ($20); Stir-fried Shanghainese noodles with vegetables ($24); Wild mushroom and vegetable spring rolls ($14). The goal of Veganuary Month is to bring attention to the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of a vegan lifestyle by adding more plant-based options and making vegan life accessible and approachable.

On Saturday, Jan. 4, Vegas Golden Knights’ superstar forward, ALEX TUCH will take over HYDE LOUNGE, the exclusive nightclub inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, for a post-game party in support of his new foundation, AT9. The AT9 Foundation’s primary purpose is to assist children currently facing challenges in all areas of their lives, with a specific focus on supporting research to end children’s cancer and helping those with special needs.
During the event, Tuch will sign autographs and sit down with Vegas Golden Knights hosts Wayne “Big D” Danielson and Mark Shunock for a special Q&A session. Guests who make a minimum donation of $40 to the AT9 Foundation will have the opportunity to attend a meet and greet following the Q&A session. Tickets to the post-game event will be given to all fans with a valid arena ticket who purchase a 7Five Brewing Co. beer throughout the night.

Golden Nugget Las Vegas is now accepting applications for qualified candidates for the 2020 pool season at The Tank, set to re-open January 30, 2020. The job fair will be hosted inside Bel Air I and II on the Convention Center Level in the Carson Tower on January 4, 2020 from 10 am to 3 pm. The property will be hiring for 20-30 positions, including bartender apprentice, pool server, pool runner, pool bar porter, lifeguard, lead lifeguard, and cabana host. Applicants are recommended to dress in business casual attire and bring copies of their resumés plus a positive attitude. Interested applicants may apply online in advance on the Golden Nugget Careers Page or in person.

TITANIC: THE ARTIFACT EXHIBITION AT LUXOR HOTEL & CASINO will be closed for Renovation: Jan. 6-9, 2020.

Legendary comic, singer and impressionist GORDIE BROWN returns to the Golden Nugget's showroom in downtown Las Vegas for an exclusive and limited-time run, beginning Tuesday, February 11, 2020.  Gordie Brown “Lasting Impressions,” will play at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for a limited-time run beginning Tuesday, February 11, 2020. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. PT on Friday, January 13, 2020 and will be priced starting at $25.


The award winning MAJESTIC REPERTORY THEATRE continues their fourth season in the Las Vegas Arts District with an intimate new staging of  the popular Stephen Sondheim musical, SWEENEY TODD:THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET, January 16 through February 16, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, tells the story of an unjustly exiled barber, that returns to 1970s London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which, he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett's luck sharply shifts when Todd's thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up... and the carnage has only just begun. The Majestic Repertory Theatre is located at at 1217 S. Main Street. General admission tickets are $35 and are on sale now.

CHERRY BOOM BOOM, a raucous, immersive rock ‘n’ roll and go-go dance performance, will return to OYO HOTEL & CASINO LAS VEGAS in 2020 starting on Thursday, Jan. 16. Following several months of performances, which culminated on Saturday, Dec. 21, Cherry Boom Boom will introduce innovative new moves and fiery new dancers when it returns to the Night Owl Showroom. With more than 15 numbers performed by five professional dancers and one bawdy host, Cherry Boom Boom’s cast turns the entire showroom into their stage by swinging above and crawling beside guests. Backed by a classic rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack and distinctive Americana style, Cherry Boom Boom unleashes sensual, bold and fearless dance performances from an all-female cast. Cherry Boom Boom performs at 11 p.m.  Thursday through Saturday at the Night Owl Showroom at OYO Hotel & Casino. Immediately following the show, guests are invited to stay for meet and greet opportunities with the cast. Tickets start at $45.

Multi Grammy-award winning rapper and actor, LUDACRIS, will join the roster of resident performers at DRAI’S NIGHTCLUB AT THE CROMWELL, beginning Saturday, Jan. 18.Subsequent performances in 2020 will be announced at a later date.

THE LAS VEGAS PHILHARMONIC celebrates the start of a new decade on Saturday, January 18 with a powerful concert featuring selections from Dvořák, Brahms and Smetana paying homage to Bohemian folk music, Hungarian dances, the Eastern European countryside and many other spacious themes that embrace the joy and romantic nature of life.  Performance takes place at THE SMITH CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS at 7:30 p.m.  Piano sensation 23 year old ALBERT CANO SMIT who was recently awarded First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and First Prize at the 2017 Walter W. Naumburg Piano Competition, joins the orchestra for Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2.  He has performed as soloist and chamber musician across Europe, America and Asia.  This concert marks his first appearance in Las Vegas.  Additional works to be performed include what many consider one of the greatest symphonies ever written, Dvorak’s No. 8.  Smetana’s Overture to The Bartered Bride, a comic Opera in three acts by the Czech composer also features in the program.  Set in a country village and with realistic characters, it tells the story of how, after a late surprise revelation, true love prevails over the combined efforts of ambitious parents and a scheming marriage broker.

Join Music Director Donato Cabrera and Smit for a PRE-CONCERT CONVERSATION prior to the performances at 6:30 p.m. in Reynolds Hall to discuss the works to be performed, the inspiration and history behind the music.  All ticket holders are invited to attend and participate in these discussions, which offer deeper insight into the music, composers and artists and enhance the concert experience. Subscriptions for the concert season are on sale now starting at just $120 for a four-concert package and can be customized to your choice of performances.  Single ticket pricing in the 2019-20 orchestral season includes five price levels in Reynolds Hall: PT Box = $110, A Seating = $106, B Seating = $71, C Seating = $51 and D Seating = $30. Student, Senior & Military discounts are available with valid ID at The Smith Center Box Office.

BEER PARK at Paris Las Vegas will host a VIEWING PARTY FOR THE ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP (UFC) 246 FIGHT BETWEEN CONOR “THE NOTORIOUS” MCGREGOR AND DONALD “COWBOY” CERRONE starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18.

After a very successful inaugural season, Las Vegas is welcoming back the city’s first and only professional tennis team, the VEGAS ROLLERS, for the 2020 World TeamTennis (WTT) season. The Vegas Rollers will return to The Orleans Arena with several original leading players including The Bryan Brothers, the all-time winningest doubles team in history, top American pro tennis player Sam Querrey, and local hometown hero Asia Muhammad. This year, the Bryan Brothers and Sam Querrey are contracted to play all seven home and away matches. Tickets will go on pre-sale Friday, January 31 and regular sale Wednesday, February 5. Fans may now submit a deposit to be put on the waiting list. Tickets are starting at $22 plus taxes and fees and season packages will start at $175. Season tickets are available at all levels and fans can enjoy an exclusive discount by purchasing ten matches for the price of seven. Special VIP packages will also be available for $180 and will include premium seating, a gourmet three-course meal and unlimited premium alcohol. 

Upcoming openings:

BUGSY & MEYER’S STEAKHOUSE is set to open at Flamingo Las Vegas in early 2020. The more than $10 million steakhouse will pay homage to the iconic hotel’s more than 70-year history.

Celebrity sightings:

Sunday, December 22...

Kerry King, co-founding member and guitarist of two-time Grammy Award-winning metal band Slayer, was spotted attending the 7 p.m. performance of ATOMIC SALOON SHOW at the Grand Canal Shoppes inside The Venetian Resort.

Kerry King Attends ATOMIC SALOON SHOW 12.22.19 Jami JonesSpiegelworld.jpg 2
Kerry King Attends ATOMIC SALOON SHOW - Photo credit: Jami Jones/Spiegelworld

Sunday, December 15...

Real Housewives of Orange County Star Emily Simpson had brunch with her husband Shane at The Stove Las Vegas in Henderson  during a weekend getaway. Simpson was spotted entering the venue at approximately 12:15 p.m. as she posed for photos with fans upon arrival.


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We, at Las Vegas Round the Clock, are deeply saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred in our city on Sunday evening, October 1, 2017 and send our deepest condolences, healing prayers and love to the victims, their families, and all those affected by the tragedy.