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

Sammy Hagar to Rock the Strip with New Residency at The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod starting Halloween Weekend

At a special press event on Monday, June 28, it was announced that rock legend SAMMMY HAGAR will kick off a new residency, “Sammy Hagar and Friends,” at The STRAT Theater, that will feature The Red Rocker collaborating with a rotating circle of his legendary friends, starting with shows on Friday, Oct. 29, Saturday, Oct. 30, Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6.

Sammy Hagar - Photo courtesy of The Strat

“I've been searching the Las Vegas Strip trying to find the right room, ambience and partners to create a very special Cabo Wabo birthday bash type environment for my band members and musician friends to create the ultimate party residency,” said Hagar. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to ‘Sammy and Friends.’ You all know the rules. There aren't any.”

Hagar will bring together a legendary circle of friends and bandmates, past and present, to the intimate 800-capacity STRAT Theater, including 300 GA floor tickets for a party vibe in front of the stage. Michael Anthony, the legendary bassist who’s played with Hagar for the past 30 years in bands including Van Halen, Chickenfoot and The Circle and Vic Johnson, Hagar’s longtime guitar virtuoso and bandmate in The Circle are confirmed for the first four shows. Jason Bonham, the acclaimed Grammy-winning drummer and their bandmate in The Circle is confirmed for the first two shows, Oct. 29 and 30, with surprise and special guests to be announced. The theater will be designed to capture the beach vibe he’s synonymous with, including elements of Hagar’s famed Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, home to his epic annual birthday bash.

“We’re ecstatic to announce that Sammy Hagar, one of rock music’s most dynamic and prolific artists, will be taking the stage here at The STRAT,” said Steve Arcana, executive vice president and COO of Golden Entertainment, Inc., parent company of The STRAT. “We are thrilled to host the first-ever Las Vegas residency for Sammy, a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer whose music has amassed generations of fans.”

Fans will take in the experience of a lifetime seeing the legendary artist performing some of his greatest hits, which include some of the most iconic rock anthems ever written, like “I Can’t Drive 55,” “There's Only One Way To Rock,” “Right Now,” “Heavy Metal,” “Mas Tequila,” “Why Can’t This Be Love,” and many more in an intimate venue. Sammy & Friends will celebrate Hagar’s career, spanning four decades, from his solo career, Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot, The Circle, and surprise additions to the setlist depending on which of his musician friends take the stage with him. Produced by industry leader, SPI Entertainment, the show will transport the audience to Baja, where you never know who will join Hagar on stage.

"Sammy is one of the greatest rockers of all time and has some of the most devoted and passionate fans,” said Adam Steck of SPI Entertainment and Co-Producer of the show with Hagar’s manager, Tom Consolo, of TC Management. “This is going to be an epic rock and roll party experience with all of his hits from Montrose, Van Halen and his solo career. We couldn’t be more excited.”

Show times will be 9 p.m., with doors opening at 8 p.m. Tickets will start at $100.

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

It’s Christmas in July, and GLITTERING LIGHTS AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY is ramping up the holiday spirit. From July 1 to July 31, guests can use the code "JOLLYJULY" to receive 25% off at glitteringlights.vegas, including tickets for general admission, Fast Pass, Season Pass, and Santa Tram. Tickets are on sale now.

COMMONWEALTH, located in the heart of Fremont East Entertainment District at 525 E. Fremont St., has launched a piano bar entertainment series from 6-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.. Each Friday and Saturday evening, performers will join Commonwealth’s popular pianist, SPADONI, to take over the bar and perform a mixture of mash-ups, medleys, classics and fan favorites. Regular singers include TRICE B MAGNIFICANT, SAVANNAH SMITH, CAM COLLOWAY and more.

Blue is back! BLUE MAN GROUP celebrated their returned to Luxor Hotel & Casino on Thursday, June 24. The award-winning live theatrical production with its whimsical surprises, instrumentals, comedy and much more, returns this week to its world-famous stage on the Las Vegas Strip. Blue Man Group performs June 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. and June 26-28 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Beginning July 1, Blue Man Group will perform Thursday through Monday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. with an additional performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 3 and performances at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. only on Sunday, July. Tickets are on sale now.

PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON is back at it with a magical offer for FIRST RESPONDERS AND FRONTLINE WORKERS through July 31. The breakout star of “America’s Got Talent” is celebrating a return to full capacity for his acclaimed show inside of the Piff the Magic Dragon Theatre at Flamingo Las Vegas with UP TO FOUR COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS for essential workers throughout the month. To RSVP, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a full name, mobile telephone number, email address and the number of tickets requested. All reservations must be made 48 hours in advance of the preferred show date. Piff the Magic Dragon performs at 7 p.m. Thursday through Monday inside of the Piff the Magic Dragon Theatre at Flamingo Las Vegas. Tickets start at $62.95 (plus taxes and fees).

HAKKASAN RESTAURANT located inside MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip, reopened on Thursday, July 1, after an extensive renovation of the interior space and a completely re-engineered menu.

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the PLAZA HOTEL& CASINO opened its “STUDIO 71” corner on July 1,  offering a one-of-a-kind disco inspired photo space. From showgirls and dice to roller skates and mirrored balls, the neon and LED-lit backdrops pay homage to the early years of the Plaza’s history, the golden era of 1970s known for disco, bright colors, and the ubiquitous style of Studio 54.

Located near the dome entrance and adjacent to the casino floor, the space offers multiple backdrops for fun, creative, and memorable selfies and group photos that guests can take of themselves. The Plaza encourages guests to then share their pictures on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, tagging @PlazaLasVegas. The Plaza’s Studio 71 will be open from noon to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays and 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday from July 1 through the end of December. The space will be free for guests to enjoy using their own cell phones and cameras to take the photos.

ON THE RECORD, the speakeasy and club at PARK MGM, reopened Friday, July 2. “On The Record offers visitors a unique twist on the Las Vegas nightlife experience with its iconic spaces including the double-decker DJ booth, the karaoke rooms and the Vinyl Parlor,” said Ann Hoff, president & COO of Bellagio and Park MGM. The venue will operate on Fridays and Saturdays, opening at 10 p.m. (guests must be 21 years of age or older). Additionally, Industry Nights at On The Record, scheduled on Wednesday evenings, will relaunch later in July; details to be announced at a later date.

For the first time in nearly 18 months, FANTASY, LUXOR HOTEL & CASINO's award-winning female revue, returned to the Atrium Showroom Monday, July 5, after temporarily performing in the Luxor Theater due to social distancing mandates. Headlined by powerhouse vocalist LORENA PERIL, the always-evolving, sexy production features a cast of gorgeous showgirls, high-energy numbers set to contemporary hits, breathtaking aerial acrobatics and more.

Alternating performances, guest stars MURRAY SAWCHUCK AND JONATHAN GOODWIN create a thrilling edge to the production. SawChuck, a Las Vegas comedy magician, mesmerizes audiences with incredible illusions while accompanied by Dani Elizabeth, his beautiful assistant. Goodwin, FANTASY newcomer and professional escape artist, leaves audiences stunned with an array of riveting daredevil stunts. Shows are scheduled nightly at 10:30 p.m. at the Luxor Theater, plus a second show at 8 p.m. every Sunday. All guests attending the show must be at least 18 years of age or older with valid ID.

CAESARS PALACE is embarking on a MULTIMILLION DOLLAR RENOVATION of the original main entrance, main casino and porte-cochère to create an extravagant entryway, redesigned gaming areas and a new lobby bar. Construction is slated to begin this month (July), with most of the project set to be complete by New Year’s Eve.

BANACHEK, unarguably the ‘World's Leading Mentalist’, has signed a residency to headline in the Strats 650 seat theater at The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod with a show titled, Banachek’s Mind Games Live that is mystifying, mind-melting, entertainment that is second to none. What you believe is real and imagined will never be the same. A thrilling display of incredible feats, ESP, and impossible predictions. Whether you believe in psychic powers or are a die-hard skeptic, you will be amazed all while being thoroughly entertained. Awarded the College Campus Performer of the Year two years in a row, Banachek’s talents are so incredible that he is the only mentalist ever to fool scientists into believing he possessed actual 'Psychic Powers'. The show will be at 4 pm, six days a week and dark on Tuesdays.

Vegas is known for weddings but on July 20 it’s all about the divorce fun when The Space welcomes a special one-night engagement of DIVORCE DIARIES, starring New Jersey native, MICHELE TRAINA., Divorced, married, or single – everyone can relate to finding the humor in life’s beautiful mishaps. Divorce Diaries is live at The Space on Tuesday, July 20 at 8 p.m. Tickets for the Ultimate Divorce Comedy and Party are priced at $25 (not including applicable fees).

Due to popular demand, Aces of Comedy comedian GABRIEL IGLESIAS will add an additional performance at The Mirage Theatre Thursday, July 22. One of America’s most successful stand-up comedians, Iglesias is adding this new date at The Mirage Hotel & Casino due to his two sold-out shows on July 23 and 24. The new show is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m.

To keep the party going when the bars close for the night, DISCOPUSSY's After Hours is the place to dance until the sun comes up from 2 a.m. to close. The 6,500-square-foot dance haven brings mainline house and techno to Fremont East and will host DIRTYBIRD’s record label owner, Claude Vonstroke, on Thursday, July 22. DIRTYBIRD continues to surprise and innovate in the underground dance scene, releasing an enigmatic combination of house, funk, dirty-bass and electronica.

TAPE FACE is on the move to Harrah’s Cabaret! The show’s residency at the all-new HARRAH'S LAS VEGAS began in 2018 at House of Tape where audience demand rapidly outgrew the space, ultimately transitioning into Harrah’s Showroom last fall. Tape Face will perform at 6 p.m. in Harrah’s Cabaret Wednesday to Sunday starting July 23. Ticket prices begin at $39, plus applicable tax and fees. VIP tickets include a Tape Face swag bag with a Tape Face T-shirt, Signed Cartoon Tape Face Photo, Souvenir Poker Chip, and Tape Face Lanyard.

YONUTZ, a two-time winner of “Dessert Wars”, the largest dessert festival in America, will open its first Las Vegas location in Centennial Hills at 5765 Centennial Center Blvd with a smash on Friday, July 23. The first 50 people in line will receive a free SMASH Donut, Yonutz’s signature over-the-top donut-ice cream creation. Attending guests will also have the chance to smash a piñata to win free SMASH Donuts for a year as well as win Yonutz’s SMASH Cash.

“In Las Vegas you go big or go home, and that’s what Yonutz is all about,” said Jordan Leach, vice president of franchise development and a Las Vegas local. “I’m thrilled to bring the first Yonutz donut and ice cream shop to my fellow Las Vegas locals, who I know will be blown away by Yonutz’s treats, just as I have been.”

The grand opening celebration will include plenty to entertain ice cream and donut lovers, featuring a DJ and face painter, plus a ceremonial ribbon cutting beginning at 10 a.m.

Actor, comedian, and Las Vegas resident EDDIE GRIFFIN returns to the stage inside The Theatre inside SAHARA Las Vegas with “The Eddie Griffin Experience”starting Monday, July 26, 2021. Showtimes are Monday through Wednesday at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $49 (plus tax and fees).

NICO SANTUCCI, the creator and owner of Capo’s Italian Steakhouse & Speakeasy, the luxurious mob-style restaurant in Las Vegas will present his first feature film,“SAROGETO” at the MegaFest Film Festival which will take place at the Galaxy Theaters inside the Boulevard Mall, 3680 S. Maryland Pkwy, Ste 182, on July 28th. "Sarogeto", which Santucci wrote and directed, is a story revealing the complicated and emotional struggle that Japanese American Grace / Minami Stanton faces and the controversial decision she makes on this unorthodox journey of a woman's search to find peace for her family and spiritual enlightenment. Sarogeto stars Ikumi Yoshimatsu, Eric Roberts, and Winsor Harmon. Sarogeto is the first to be allowed to film in the Aokigahara Forest (Suicide Forest) in Japan and additional locations include Tokyo, Laguna Beach, Marina del Rey and Newport Beach. This film is partially subtitled in Japanese, with the majority in English. The Red Carpet Event with Nico Santucci and Cast is scheduled for 8:30PM; Screening at 9:30PM. For tickets call 702.997.4177

The 2021 ULTIMATE NINJA ATHLETE ASSOCIATION (UNAA) WORLD SERIES FINAL CHAMPIONSHIPS will make its inaugural run at the Orleans Arena, bringing top ninja athletes and challenging obstacles on July 29-31. UNAA promotes and organizes an international series of ninja obstacle course gyms and competitions across the world. The UNAA World Series is composed of judged competitions based on performance and time, allowing athletes of all abilities to compete. The top ninja obstacle athletes in the world will compete in each of their divisions to become UNAA World Champions. More than 5,000 athletes competed for a chance to participate in the UNAA World Finals, but only 1,000 qualified and will compete in the prelims to make it to the main events on Saturday, July 31.

The preliminaries will take place on Thursday, July 29 and Friday, July 30 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., which will qualify athletes for the main event on Saturday, July 31. On July 31, pro men, pro women and kids will compete from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and amateur men, amateur women and kids will compete from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Tickets start at $17 plus fees.

Famed vocal superstars IL DIVO (Spain’s Carlos Marin, America’s David Miller, France’s Sebastien Izambard and Switzerland’s Urs Buhler) will bring their “For Once In My Life Tour” to the Michelob ULTRA Arena Saturday, Aug. 14. The Las Vegas stop is part of the group’s 15-city U.S. tour leg and will feature a dynamic live show celebrating Motown as well as filled with Il Divo’s hits from their vast catalog of songs along with an incredible stage production. Tickets starting at $60 (not including applicable service charges or fees).

Trumpeter and singer BRIAN NEWMAN will bring his late-night show Brian Newman: AFTER DARK, back to NoMad Las Vegas for six performances this summer. Newman will perform at the NoMad Library August 12 – 14 and August 19 – 21 with all shows scheduled to begin at 11:30 p.m.

Previously serving as the bandleader for the Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano resident show at Park Theater, Newman designed Brian Newman: AFTER DARK as an ode to vintage Las Vegas, creating a late-night rendezvous filled with great music and good friends. NoMad Library also will offer handcrafted cocktails, wine and small bites for showgoers to enjoy during Newman’s performances.

The intimate evenings will feature special guest performers from New York City, Las Vegas and beyond. During his last run at NoMad Las Vegas special guests included multi-award-winning superstar Lady Gaga, Jaclyn McSpadden of Postmodern Jukebox, Ashanti, Robby Krieger from The Doors, Terence Blanchard, Puddles Pity Party and burlesque great Angie Pontani, among many others. Tickets start at $49, plus applicable services charges.NoMad Las Vegas is located in the heart of The Strip, next to the entertainment and dining neighborhood created by The Park and the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena.

Iconic multi-platinum artists *NSYNC’s JOEY FATONE, BACKSTREET BOYS AJ McLEAN AND NICK CARTER, AND BOYS II MEN'S WANYA MORRIS are joining forces to create the ultimate AFTER PARTY at The Sands Showroom inside The Venetian® Resort Las Vegas, August 19 – 22. Fans will enjoy an evening of number-one hits, experience classic boy band dances, and relive their nostalgic good times. For the first time ever, these notable artists, along with surprise guests, will come together on one stage to perform a variety of classic songs with a live band. With over 200 million albums sold collectively, the set list will change nightly. Be prepared for comedy, music and intimate conversations, as this group will even share some never-before-told stories from their time on the road.

"This is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime epic event. My producing partner Joe Mulvihill and I along with Joey Fatone have been wanting to put together this concept for the past 10 years", said Adam Steck, CEO of SPI Entertainment and Co-Producer. "We couldn’t be more excited to finally make it happen! It's going to be an evening packed with all of the hits from their respective iconic bands with witty banter, stories and the dance moves you would expect from these superstars!"

Shows will run from Thursday, Aug. 19 through Sunday, Aug. 22, starting at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $65 plus applicable fees and will be available for purchase at any box office at The Venetian Resort. A limited number of VIP Sound Check Experiences will also be available for purchase.

WWE® has announced that SUMMERSLAM will take place from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, August 21 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT, marking the first time the annual event has been held at an NFL stadium. Located adjacent to the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, Allegiant Stadium is a state-of-the-art global events destination and home to the Las Vegas Raiders. SummerSlam will be one of the first sporting events held at full capacity at Allegiant Stadium. Tickets are on sale now.

Standup comedian and film actor DANE COOK will perform at THE CHELSEA inside THE COSMOPOLITAN OF LAS VEGAS on Saturday, Aug. 21. The announcement comes on the heels of Cook’s immense success with five chart-topping comedy albums and appearances in several Hollywood blockbuster films. Tickets for Dane Cook at The Chelsea start at $29, plus applicable taxes and fees.

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is pleased to confirm the long-awaited return of THE BEATLES LOVE at The Mirage on Aug. 26. Tickets are on sale now.

Four-time NFL champion and iconic entertainer TERRY BRADSHAW will bring his one-of-a-kind hit production, “The Terry Bradshaw Show,” back to the Las Vegas Strip at the Luxor Hotel and Casino this fall with the first show scheduled Thursday, Sept. 9. The hilarious and entertaining production chronicles Bradshaw’s life through music, comedy, and storytelling in a way that only he can deliver. Show times will be 8 p.m. in the Atrium Showroom. Tickets are now on sale with prices starting at $65.99 (not including applicable taxes and fees).

The immensely popular family band, THE BRONX WANDERERS, lead by Vinny Adinolfi, and sons Vinny “Vin A.” and Nick Adinolfi will be opening at the Westgate Cabaret (formerly the Shimmer Cabaret) inside the Westgate in their new residency on September 20 in an open-ended engagement. The band, who perform chart topping hits from Dion and the Belmonts to Bruno Mars, will perform at 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; and 5:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets start at $49.99, not including fees.

The producers of IMMERSIVE VAN GOGH, North America’s original and highly-anticipated art installation, announced that unforeseen construction delays, due particularly to supply chain issues, has forced the delay of the opening a second time and will now open September 15 on the Las Vegas Strip at the all-new Lighthouse Las Vegas located on Level 3 at The Shops at Crystals (3720 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) adjacent to ARIA Resort & Casino.

The Laughlin Event Center continues to add to its star-studded, rocking concert schedule of performances. Roger Daltrey with special guests Billy Idol and Steve Stevens (acoustic) are set to take the stage on Saturday, Sept. 11, followed by award-winning entertainer Kid Rock on Saturday, Oct. 16. Edgewater Casino Resort’s E Center will host GRAMMY Award winner Dwight Yoakam on Saturday, Nov. 6. The performers add to Laughlin Event Center’s and E Center’s impressive lineup of recently announced entertainment, including:

Little River Band on Saturday, July 31 at the E Center

Scotty McCreery on Saturday, Aug. 7 at the E Center

America on Saturday, Aug. 21 at the E Center

Miranda Lambert on Saturday, Sept. 4 at the Laughlin Event Center

Comedian, actor, singer and multi-Emmy Award winner WAYNE BRADY joins the Aces of Comedy lineup at The Mirage Hotel & Casino. Brady will entertain guests at The Mirage Theatre November 19 and 20. The show is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Tickets are now on sale starting at $39.99, not including taxes and applicable fees. Guests looking for exclusive ticket prices and discounts for select Aces of Comedy comedians can sign-up for MGM Resorts International’s loyalty program, M life Rewards.

Celebrity sightings:

Sunday, July 18...

Comedian and actor Jon Lovitz had the best seat in the house at FANTASY, where he got an up-close view of Las Vegas’ iconic female revue at Luxor Hotel and Casino. Lovitz showered praise on the cast, who were thrilled to meet the “Saturday Night Live” legend backstage after the show.

Jon Lovitz with FANTASY Cast Photo2
Comedian and actor Jon Lovitz with cast of FANTASY at the Luxor Hotel and Casino

Basketball stars Jalen Rose, Draymond Green, Josh Smith, Jayson Tatum, and Austin Daye were among the thousands of fans that came out to celebrate superstars Juicy J, Big Sean and Nelly as they made their grand return to the Drai’s LIVE stage with their first live shows in more than a year.

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