JudyThorburn1 Judy 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
Founder - Nevada Film Critics Society

Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Unveils Festive “Eye of the Tiger” Display in Celebration of Lunar New Year

Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is celebrating the Year of the Tiger with a festive Lunar New Year display open through. March 5. Designed to bring prosperity and luck to all who visit, the “Eye of the Tiger” display takes guests into a world of legend and myth through a blend of Asian culture and Western ideology.

Photos courtesy of the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Complete with lotus flowers, gold coins, silk-lantern chandeliers and a golden representation of the most auspicious character in the Chinese Zodiac, the Tiger, this display is comprised of more than 5,700 plants. The Tiger is the third animal in the Chinese Zodiac and symbolizes strength, passion, bravery and ambition.

A collaborative effort between designer Ed Libby and Bellagio’s horticulture team, the intricate creation is layered with meaningful moments honoring the Year of the Tiger. Each Lunar New Year, the team creates a serene environment guided by the ancient practice of Feng Shui – the art of using surroundings to attract harmony, balance and positive life energy.

The Year of the Tiger takes center stage in the West Bed, starting with a colossal 8,000-pound bronze Tiger quenching his thirst as he drinks from a pond. Two gold Fu Dog fountains flank either side of the Tiger and represent protection and safety, while botanical elements of bamboo, copper cattail plants, giant replicas of cherry blossoms, giant tangerines created with roses and a symbolic money tree made of I Ching coins surround the West Bed, as a symbol of affluence and nobility.

Golden lotus flowers that double as fountains, signifying rebirth and recovery, are nestled within a pool of floating artfully sculpted lily pads. The scene is encapsulated by a red geometrical gate design, creating a stunning focal point in the East Bed. As guests enter the Conservatory on either side of the bed, they’ll be surrounded by the beauty of a golden cherry blossom branch representing their journey to a place of beauty and love. Additionally, four majestic bronze Ding Vessels, symbols of status and power, hold giant burning incense sticks and anchor the east and west sides of the bed.

The focal point of the North Bed is a tea house, representing tradition, hospitality and discipline, overlooking a serene pond with live Koi fish. Tea, which has its roots in China, plays a significant role in Asian culture and is presented during important events and ceremonies. To the right of the tea house, a book of Tong Sing, a tome of wisdom based on the Chinese Almanac, sits atop an intricately carved wooden bench, inviting visitors to reflect on their good fortune. Large peony floral sculptures, representing wealth, power and class, surround the tea house while four majestic jade medallions hang above as a giant moon, reflecting an image of a tiger, shines overhead, lighting the way. Three hand-painted murals of Asian landscapes by the Bellagio Horticulture team complete the setting.

A Knick Knack Peddler, an individual commonly represented in Chinese art signifying learning and new beginnings, is surrounded by children playing in the South Bed. A majestic pagoda stands nearby and is inspired by The Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, an ancient and sacred Buddhist temple in Guangzhou, China built in 537 AD. A giant pomegranate tree surrounds the temple, symbolizing a bountiful year, as live bamboo, citrus and bonsai trees provide greenery throughout.

The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is COMPLIMENTARY to the public and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the award-winning OSCAR'S steakhouse at the Plaza Hotel & Casino unveiled an iconic statue of its namesake, former Las Vegas Mayor and mob attorney Oscar Goodman, and announced plans to add patio seating later this year. A life-sized bronze statue of Goodman with one of his notorious clients, Tony Spilotro now resides in the lobby outside the restaurant’s entrance. The statue entitled “Good Counsel” was created by master sculptor and acclaimed artist Brian Hanlon, who donated his time to the project and was inspired to honor Goodman for his important contributions to Las Vegas.

Oscar Goodman

In its ten years, Oscar’s steakhouse has amassed numerous accolades as a must-visit dining destination in Las Vegas, attracting tourists from around the world as well as locals who enjoy the restaurant’s relaxed ambiance, personal service, delicious menu, and vintage Vegas vibe. To expand the dining experience of the popular restaurant, the Plaza will soon begin a construction project to add patio dining.

Oscar’s al fresco dining area will be created on a new rooftop structure that will be built adjacent to Oscar’s lounge. The new space is anticipated to seat 50 to 60 people and will offer the restaurant’s full dinner menu in addition to its extensive wine and cocktail lists. The patio at Oscar’s will also be a great new location for cocktail receptions with amazing views of the Plaza’s iconic glass dome as well as bustling Fremont and Main Streets. Construction is expected to begin this spring, and the restaurant will remain open during construction.

One lucky guest at Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin won a total of $159,800 playing blackjack on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Barbara Barnett, from nearby Kingman, Arizona accrued an impressive total of $159,800 playing blackjack.

A lucky guest from Hawai’i kicked off the new year by hitting a more than $1.1 million jackpot at Boyd Gaming’s Fremont Hotel and Casino playing IGT’s Wheel of Fortune® slots on Friday, January 21. The; player, who was staying at the California Hotel and Casino, was playing on a Wheel of Fortune® Super Times Pay 2x 3x 4x 5x slot machine on Friday morning. After playing on the machine for about 10 minutes and playing a $5 spin, the lucky winner scored a jackpot totaling $1,100,986. The winner requested to remain anonymous.

Photo courtesy of Boyd Gaming’s Fremont Hotel and Casino

Bally’s Las Vegas, located on the center of the Las Vegas Strip, across from Caesars Palace and next to Paris Las Vegas, will be undergoing a transformation and rebranded as HORSESHOE beginning in the Spring of 2022, and will include a renovated exterior, new entertainment and food and beverage options, and a reimagined casino floor and public areas. In keeping with Horseshoe’s classic sophistication, the design team will incorporate a handcrafted feeling with tooled leather, dramatic colors, and the brand’s signature gold horseshoe iconography. The transformation to Horseshoe Las Vegas should be complete by the end of 2022.The multi-million dollar investment is the latest in a series of reimaginings for Caesars Entertainment’s storied Las Vegas resorts, including a new entrance to Caesars Palace, multi-million dollar investments in casino floor, and gaming technology across the properties, and incredible partnerships with world-class entertainers and restaurateurs.

To the anguish of her fans that paid thousands of dollars for a ticket to her show, singer ADELE has cancelled her three month residency inside the Colosseum Ceasars Palace due to what she said is “Covid among her crew and “delivery delays”. The global superstar postponed her residency just 24 hours before the show was to open on Friday, January 21. Adele said dates would be rescheduled.

For the first time ever, music industry's most prestigious awards, THE GRAMMY AWARDS will be held in Las Vegas. The 64th edition of the Grammy Awards, which was initially scheduled to be held indoors at the Crypto.com Arena (formerly The Staples Center) in Los Angeles on January 31, was postponed.  It has been rescheduled for April 3rd, and will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The ceremonies will be hosted by Trevor Noah and will be telecast live on CBS.

NOBU HOTEL CAESARS PALACE, the luxury boutique hotel within the iconic Las Vegas resort, has debuted 182 redesigned guest rooms and suites after completing a multimillion-dollar refresh. The world’s first Nobu Hotel now features a more modern, residential feel with design inspiration from  kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold epoxy.This is the first of several projects to be completed as Caesars Entertainment, Inc. expands its longstanding partnership with Nobu Hospitality – the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper. A new Nobu restaurant is set to open in Paris Las Vegas in early 2022.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation now sells LVMPD-branded merchandise at a kiosk located on the first level of Fashion Show Las Vegas. Tourists and Southern Nevadans alike can shop the “LVMPD Store” for  new and popular items, including Nike polo shirts and quarter zips for men and women, pullover hoodies, hats, t-shirts, masks, Hydro Flasks and the 2022 LVMPD K-9 calendars featuring handsome images of our furry officers. Proceeds from all sales at the kiosk benefit the LVMPD Foundation, which supports hundreds of community initiatives, including back-to-school drives, updated equipment and technology for the Department’s community safety and crime prevention efforts, advanced officer training, and more.

In January, the LVMPD Foundation kicked off its annual Go True Blue campaign to recognize and support LVMPD officers who, day-in and day-out, work hard to keep our community safe. The yearly kickoff begins in conjunction with National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (LEAD). As a show of appreciation, the Foundation extends a 15% discount on in-person purchases made by anyone in law enforcement.

Fashion Show Las Vegas (located at 3200 Las Vegas Blvd S) has welcomed a new immersive installation, PRISMATICA, a limited time activation at the iconic shopping destination. With 25 pivoting prisms standing at 6.5 feet tall, this captivating art installation transforms the space outside of Forever 21 into a lifesize kaleidoscope. Known for its enthralling light effects, Prismatica provides an exciting experience for shoppers as the prisms transform from day to night. The traveling art installation was first presented as part of Luminothérapie at the Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal. Prismatica will be located outside Forever 21 near the valet. Guests can visit the complimentary art installation now through Sunday, Feb. 6.

Flamingo Las Vegas and the Wayne Newton has announced new dates of his show, “Wayne: Up Close and Personal,” in the Wayne Newton Theater inside Bugsy’s Cabaret. After almost 2 years, Mr. Las Vegas made a triumphant return to the iconic resort on Jan. 24. Performance dates are set for January, February, March, April, May and June. “Wayne: Up Close and Personal” presents the entertainer in an intimate setting where he interacts with the audience, performs some favorite songs and shares personal career highlights through songs, film clips, anecdotes and audience QA.

Following the successful launch of the new unscripted reality competition series “Finding Magic Mike,” on HBO Max, this season’s winner  Johnny Dutch and finalist, Nate Bryan will join the cast of MAGIC MIKE LAS VEGAS at SAHARA Las Vegas for a limited engagement, beginning Jan. 27. Guests can catch Johnny and Nate on stage nightly as they complete their journey through May 29, 2022. MAGIC MIKE LIVE Las Vegas performs Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Wednesday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., with select 10 p.m. performances. The show is dark on Monday and Tuesday. Tickets starting at $49, plus tax and fees.

Resorts World Las Vegas will honor the Year of the Tiger with its first property-wide Lunar New Year celebration. The resort will be filled with festive décor, entertainment, specialty cocktails, seasonal menu items and more. To celebrate the occasion, Resorts World Las Vegas will feature eye-catching decorations, fun photo opportunities and can’t-miss entertainment throughout the resort, including:

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, the Famous Foods Street Eats stage will kick off the Lunar New Year celebration with special performances including lion blessings, martial arts, Chinese singers and folk dancers and an over-the-top cultural fashion show. The stage will host daily performances from 6 to 7:30 p.m. from Jan. 28 through Feb. 4.

At the center of the resort’s 70,000-square-foot dining and shopping destination, The District, the 50-foot LED Globe will feature Lunar New Year themed animations of larger-than-life blossoming money trees with branches that grow gold coins and lucky red envelopes. The resort will host an extravagant dragon and lion dance on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 5 p.m. that will begin in the South Porte Cochere, move through the property with blessings at Genting Palace and the Crockfords High Limit Lounge, end at; The Plaza on Las Vegas Blvd.

Those looking for an exciting way to ring in the Year of the Tiger can celebrate at Zouk Nightclub with performances from DJ Flight on Thursday, Jan. 27, Louis The Child on Friday, Jan. 28 and Tiësto on Saturday, Jan 29. A specialty Eye of the Tiger bottle service package will be available for purchase during the Lunar New Year weekend, including eight bottles of Perrier-Jouët, one magnum of Absolut Elyx, eight bottles of Fiji Water, eight Red Bulls and a presentation with lights, sparklers and a lion dance.

DISCOPUSSY, the after-hours dance haven at 512 E. Fremont St., has announced the first installment of a new residency with iconic house music DJ and producer, Claude VonStroke, beginning Saturday, Jan. 29 from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON is honoring the hard work of public transit employees, ride-hailing service workers and taxi and limousine drivers with an enchanting offer. Las Vegas’ favorite magic dragon is inviting TRANSPORTATION WORKERS to receive UP TO FOUR FREE TICKETS  to his acclaimed show at Flamingo Las Vegas through Monday, Feb. 28. All reservations must be made 48 hours in advance of the preferred show date.

The National Hockey League’s transformation of the city of Las Vegas for the 2022 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend festivities will see the entertainment capital of the world host the 2022 TRULY HARD SELTZER NHL FAN FAIR™ - a four-day, 300,000 square-foot family-friendly fan festival at Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall from February 3-6. Tickets to the 2022 Truly Hard Seltzer NHL Fan Fair™, the official fan festival of the 2022 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend, are available for purchase now.

ARIZONA CHARLIE'S, with locations at 740 S. Decatur Blvd. and 4575 Boulder Highway, will  host  a handful of  talented  performers this February. ARIZONA CHARLIE'S Naughty Ladies Saloon at 740 S. Decatur Blvd presents  Billy Joel tribute artist, DAVID JAMES, 8 p.m. on  Saturday, Feb. 5; EVIL WAZE SANTANA EXPERIENCE, 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25 and yacht rock band, YACHT & ROLL, 8pm on Saturday, Feb. 12, 19 and 26. Arizona Charlie’s  at 4575 Boulder  Hwy. presents local Beatles three-piece front-line acoustic cover band,  THE THREETLES,  at  8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18 at Palace Grand Lounge.

Las Vegas resident, filmmaker MIKE CONWAY will premiere his mega monster, bigfoot, horror film, DRONE DOWN, on Sunday, February 27 at 5:30pm at Galaxy Theatres inside the Boulevard Mall (3680 Maryland Parkway). There will be a red carpet with photos and interview opportunities one hour before the screening, along with a chance to network with the community and help support a charity in need. Tickets are priced at $10 each (not including a small fee) with 100% of the proceeds supporting Heaven Can Wait Animal Society. Tickets are currently available at https://m.bpt.me/event/5356281.

MJ LIVE, highlighting the music of Michael Jackson, joins the roster for 2022 of beloved superstars performing under one roof at the Tropicana. The award-winning show will debut at  the Tropicana Las Vegas on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022. MJ LIVE performs at the Tropicana Theater inside Tropicana Las Vegas nightly (dark Tuesdays) at 5:30 p.m. (doors open at 4:30 p.m.) starting on Feb. 7, 2022. Tickets are on sale now and start at $57.50 (excluding tax and fee).

Sarah Hester Ross  returns to Notoriety Live on Thursday, Feb. 10 to launch an all-new show, “ViIRAL LIVE WITH SARAH HESTER ROSS.” The multi-talented musical comedian and TikTok star will host the alt-comedy variety show, which features viral sensations brought to audiences live on stage every other Thursday through March 24.“Viral LIVE with Sarah Hester Ross” will offer a rotating lineup of internet all-stars from Instagram, TikTok and YouTube including  Tom McGovern, award-winning Donald Trump impersonator  John Di Domenico,  Toiley T. Paper,  Matt Donnelly: The Mind Noodler,  Morgan Jay,  Elisabeth Wykert,  Austin Archer,  and others. “Viral LIVE with Sarah Hester Ross” performs at Notoriety Live Thursdays, Feb. 10 and 24 and March 10 and 24 at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $35 (plus taxes and fees) and are now on sale.

M RESORT SPA CASINO will continue its concert series for the year with two more epic concerts.  Upcoming shows include legendary Motown recording artists The Dramatics and The Delfonics -Saturday, February 12. In March, Ladies of Rock, The Tribute To Blondie, Heart, Cindy Lauper, Joan Jett and Pat Benatar will perform the best of rock music dedicated to these powerful female vocalists -Saturday, March 12.. Tickets for each show start at $15 (Applicable L.E.T. and facilities fees are not included). Doors open at 7 p.m. and the shows starts at 8 p.m.

Clique Hospitality venues at Resorts World Las Vegas will be showing the “Big Game.” Fans can watch the “Big Game” at Eight Lounge, the luxe cigar bar and cocktail lounge, or at the stylish Gatsby’s Cocktail Lounge starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13. Eight and Gatsby’s are both located in The District of Resorts World Las Vegas.  

The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails, the hidden gem inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, will host a “Big Game” viewing party with Prohibition era-inspired cocktails and craft beers on Sunday, Feb. 13. The Barbershop will be showing the “Big Game” in their prohibition-era inspired parlor starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13. VIP tables and bar seating will be available by reservation only and will include access to a buffet of elevated gameday fare. VIP seating reservations will start at $3,000 per table and bar seating reservations will start at $250 per person.

Michele C. Quinn of MCQ FINE ART has announced a collaboration with Marianne Boesky Gallery, NY for a pop-up exhibition of the HAAS BROTHERS, entitled HAAS VEGAS! - an immersive exhibition of fine art and design objects from the  Texas born /Los Angeles based twin brothers, Nikolai and Simon Haas, (b.1984) to take place February 16 – March 25, 2022 at Juhl
 in Downtown Las Vegas. Quinn is thrilled to work with Boesky, a powerhouse woman in the art world, to present this incredible exhibition at the Juhl live/work loft space – The Studio Collection - just minutes from the Arts District and in an area of the city where creativity is fostered and supported.  The gallery is open to the public Thursday through Saturday for the duration of the exhibition, and also by appointment.

Comedy magician and global sensation LIOZ will launch his Las Vegas residency at The Magic Attic Inside Bally’s Las Vegas on February 24, 2022. With successful stints on America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent and Australia’s Got Talent, LIOZ is primed to usher in a new era of magic and comedy to the famed Las Vegas stage. Hailed as a “Comedy Genius” by Simon Cowell and “Brilliant” by Howie Mandel, LIOZ has amassed more than 500 million views on social media.The immersive 70 minute show is divided into distinctive parts in order to provide a dynamic, and evolutionary feel throughout the production that weaves together magical feats, music-based routines, mind illusions, and more. LIOZ performs Thursday through Monday at 10 pm. Ticket prices  range from $24.95 to $54.96; Age Limit – 18 and over.

Brooklyn Bowl has scheduled a  dynamic entertainment lineup featuring today’s must-see acts heading into 2022. From breakout rap stars and feel-good indie groups to groovy house duos and lively country artists, the Bowl’s hot live music selection has something for every music lover with performances from The Marías (Jan. 26, Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $20),  Dinosaur Jr. + Built to Spill (Feb. 4,Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets starting at $30), The Green (Feb. 5.Doors open at 7:00 p.m.Tickets start at $25),  Aminé  (Feb. 6. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $32.50),  Polo & Pan  (Feb. 8. Doors open at 7 p.m.Tickets start at $25),  Coheed and Cambria (Feb. 17. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $33),  Killswitch Engage (Feb. 19. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.Tickets start at $35), Nothing But Thieves (Feb. 25. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25),  Parcels (March 8. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25), Omar Apollo  (April 19. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $23), and  Jessie James Decker (May 27.Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $39.50).

Venue Openings:

EIGHT LOUNGE a sexy, sophisticated cigar bar and cocktail lounge, is now open inside the new Resorts World Las Vegas. Developed in partnership with Clique Hospitality, one of the nation’s premier boutique operators, Eight celebrates premium tobaccos and spirits in an architecturally stunning 7,000-square-foot lounge with private rooms and picturesque outdoor terrace. Deriving inspiration for its name from the lucky number in Chinese culture, Eight unfolds into eight spaces, including a custom-built humidor with 48 private lockers, each with a personalized gold nameplate. Already fully committed, the lockers are priced at $5,000 annually with an elite membership that includes NBA Hall-of-Famer Michael Jordan, Resorts World Theatre headliner and the Academy of Country Music’s 2021 Entertainer of the Year,  Luke Bryan, fourteen-time MLB All-Star and World Series champion Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, and NHL Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky.

After nearly a two-year closure, Las Vegas hot spot LIGHT Nightclub, located at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, will have its grand reopening Friday, Feb. 11. Offering a world-class sound system and the most prominent LED screens in town, LIGHT will reopen its doors, hosting DJs and live performances from some of the  music industry’s top entertainers providing the ultimate party. The grand reopening weekend will feature performances by Wyclef Jean on Friday, Feb. 11 and Sam Hunt on Saturday, Feb. 12.  General admission will be $20 for ladies and $30 for men, with an exception for special events.

Celebrity Sightings:

Friday, January 15...

The offensive line of the New Orleans Saints including James Hurst, Andus Peat, Landon Young, Derrick Kelly, Ethan Greenidge, Terron Armstead, Cesar Ruiz and Erik McCoy, among others, enjoyed a late dinner and drinks at Las Vegas’ dining hotspot,  ONE Steakhouse, located at  Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Saturday, January 16...

NFL legend Warren Moon and a group of his friends  spent the evening enjoying the vast assortment of spirits and cigars at  Eight Lounge  inside the luxurious Resorts World Las Vegas.

Saturday, January 22...

Clelin Ferrell, defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, spent part of his evening at  Eight Lounge  inside the stunning Resorts World Las Vegas with a couple of friends.


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