By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks
Director of Communications - Nevada Film Alliance

Martini Time with Chef Tina Martina Debuts at M Resort.

Martini Time with Chef Tina Martini, the only show of its kind in Las Vegas, opened inside the custom-built cooking studio within the M Resort’s buffet on January 26.


Ferraros’  Italian Eatery Celebrates Opening of Second Las Vegas Location

Celebrated Las Vegas Restaurateur Gino Ferraro has opened his second location of Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar with a new, expanded menu and wine cellar at 4480 Paradise Rd. on the corner of Paradise and Harmon, south of Flamingo.


Exclusive Menu Tasting Event at Top of the World Restaurant at the Stratosphere

On Thursday evening January 28, I joined other select members of the media for an exclusive dining experience at Top of the World Restaurant inside the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino where we were invited to sample the new menu items available to patrons as of December 2, 2009.


Planet Hollywood Celebrates Opening of New PH Towers

Planet Hollywood threw an Open House for invited guests on Friday night January 29 to celebrate the official opening of its new 52 story glass PH Towers.


Dal Toro at the Palazzo Hosts Welcoming Party for B Girls, Reality Show

A red carpet and welcoming party for The Internet reality TV show B Girls that follows the lives of four beautiful title holders, Miss Idaho, Miss Nevada, Miss Virginia, and Miss Washington, from the Miss USA pageants as they participate in a series of challenges during their competition for the crown, was held at Del Toro at the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino on Friday night, January 29.


The Palazzo Celebrates the Grand Opening of Laguna Champagne Bar

The Palazzo celebrated the Grand Opening of Laguna Champagne Bar located in the center of the casino floor on Saturday evening January 30.


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

On January 31, Bette Midler performed her final show of The Showgirl Must Go On at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The magical evening included many special performances, surprise guests, tearful moments and numerous standing ovations.

Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro (L) and entertainer Bette Midler perform during the final performance of her show, "The Showgirl Must Go On".
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for AEG Live)

Among the evening’s highlights was a surprise appearance by fellow Las Vegas headliner Marie Osmond, who offered up a few clean jokes and kind words to Bette. Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro played the Beatle’s classic “In My Life” alongside Bette.  Gladys Knight was called on stage by Bette to reminisce and perform a chilling solo rendition of “The Way We Were.”  Finally, Celine Dion said goodbye and congratulations to Bette in a video message towards the very end of the show, humorously poking fun at Bette for starting to sing “My Heart Will Go On” instead of her signature closing song, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

On January 16, Harrah's took over operations of Planet Hollywood. Representatives of Harrah's Entertainment will go before Nevada gaming regulators next month for approval of its purchase of the casino/resort.

On January 17, billionaire investor Carl Icahn, with a bid of $150 million won the auction to buy the Fountainbleu Las Vegas project that was in bankruptcy.

Billboard magazine has named The Colosseum at Caesars Palace ‘Venue of the Decade: 2000-2009’ in the category of venues with a capacity of 5,000 or less. The Colosseum is far and away the busiest venue in its category (capacity of 5000 or less) for the decade,” said John Nelson vice president of AEG Live Las Vegas.   The award was ranked by gross sales compiled from box office scores from December 1999 through November 2009.

Caesars Palace announced on Friday, January 29 that Singing Sensation Matt Goss will debut his show Live From Caesars Palace Produced by Robin Antin on Friday, March 12, at Cleopatra’s Barge. Backed by a 9-piece band and sexy female dancers known as The Dirty Virgins, Goss,  will entertain guests with a production featuring a mix of his career hits, songs from his new album and popular covers including “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “Luck be a Lady,” recorded by legendary Frank Sinatra, who headlined numerous dates at Caesars Palace from 1968 to 1983. The show will be presented on Friday and Saturday evenings at 10pm, beginning March 12, 2010.  Doors open at 8:30pm.

Bellagio, in cooperation with the Mitchum Design Group, will host a book signing and new image release for world-renowned landscape photographer Jeff Mitchum, Saturday, February 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the entrance to the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens within the hotel.  Mitchum is often described as “the Ansel Adams of color,” in connection with his tutelage under that great photographer.  His works have been recognized and awarded by the Smithsonian Institute, National Geographic and the Getty Museum of Art.  

BODIES… The Exhibition at the Luxor and Las Vegas Athletic Clubs (LVAC) have partnered to motivate Las Vegans to reshape their lives and their bodies. Anyone who visits BODIES and brings the receipt to LVAC before February 28 will receive a free week of membership to LVAC.

Artist John Bissonette’s new sculpture “Teetering on the Brink…,” which he created based on a child’s desk chair he found near a dumpster that investigates the feeling of vulnerability will be on exhibit at the Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway beginning February 1 through March 12. An artist reception will be held during First Friday activities Feb. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Society of Seven and “American Idol” star Jasmine Trias announced their show at the Gold Coast Showroom has been extended for an indefinite run. Showtimes are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. They will be two dark Feb.  7    – Super Bowl Sunday and  Feb. 28   – Chinese New Year.

Total Extreme Comedy starring New York Times Best Seller and multi-time World Wrestling Champion Mick Foley brings his style of humorous storytelling to the Las Vegas Hilton on Saturday, February 6 at 4 p.m. to raise money for the Kennedy Foundation’s “Best Buddies” charity. Joining Mick will be pro wrestling star and industry funny man Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana and Bruce “Brother Love” Prichard, both of whom were formally employed by World Wrestling Entertainment. Tickets for this one night only event are on sale now from $29 - $49.

Football legend and Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung will be signing free autographs in the Tropicana Las Vegas’s Celebration Lounge between noon and 2 p.m. prior to the Big Game on Sunday, Feb. 7. Following the autograph session, Tropicana Las Vegas guests can watch every play of the Saints vs. Colts action on big screen TV’s throughout the casino as well as enjoy a variety of food and drink specials.

Motown Legend Smokey Robinson will perform at the Grand Events center inside Green Valley Ranch on February 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced at $39, $49, $69 and $89 plus tax and applicable fees

Former Las Vegas mobster and hit man Frank Cullotta will present the Mob Chronicles in the Stratosphere Theater of the Stars on Thursday, February 18th at 7:30 p.m.  This one-time charity event will benefit Opportunity Village.  General admission tickets are $35 and available through Stratosphere by calling (702) 380-7711, (800) 99-TOWER or Opportunity Village at (702) 839-4757.  Must be 21 years or older to attend Mob Chronicles.

After the presentation, Frank Cullotta will host an intimate VIP Godfather Dinner for only 10 guests at Stratosphere’s Fellini’s Ristorante.  For $60, (Dinner includes tax and gratuity but not drinks.) guests will have the chance to enjoy a lively and colorful conversation with Cullotta.  Proceeds from this once in a lifetime dinner will benefit Opportunity Village.

United States Air Force Band of the Golden West will perform an exhilarating musical experience on February 18 at 7 P.M. at the Henderson Convention Center. Admission is Free.Barry Manilow will headline the Keep Memory Alive fundraising gala at Bellagio on Feb. 27, just days before he opens his new show at Paris Las Vegas.

On January 28, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and USO chief executive Sloan Gibson announced a partnership for McCarran International Airport to get a USO lounge and rest stop for military personnel after years of failed attempts. With military bases, Creech Air Force Base, Nellis Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Fallon all located in Nevada, McCarran is a connection for military personnel coming in and out of the state.

A 16,400 square foot home that Michael Jackson rented in Las Vegas from 2007 to 2008 has sold for $3.1 million. The gated estate is located on the west side of the valley near Buffalo Drive and Sahara Avenue and has seven bedroom suites, three office suites, an elevator, large formal rooms for entertainment, a theater room and orchestra loft.

Celebrity Sightings:

On Monday, January 25, the stunning 2010 Miss America Pageant contestants attended the 7 p.m. performance of Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular at The Venetian. After the show, the stars of Phantom, Anthony Crivello (The Phantom), Kristi

Miss America contestants at Phantom
Photo Credit: Tom Donoghue

Holden (Christine) and Andrew Ragone (Raoul), posed with the beauties inside The Phantom Theatre.

Wednesday night Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter dined at LAVO inside The Palazzo with his girlfriend and a group of friends.  

Also spotted dining was rapper Lil Jon.

Baseball player Jason Giambi was also at LAVO with friends.

Thursday night, January 28…

TAO hosted the Fourth Annual TAO A GO GO contest at Worship Thursday with special guest MC Jamie Kennedy.  The actor/comedian arrived at the TAO red carpet with girlfriend Jennifer Love Hewitt and her mother Patricia after dining at LAVO.  The contestants headed to the catwalk in the main nightclub room where they had a dance-off, with the crowd choosing the winner by cheers.  $10,000 was awarded to Grace Atencio, a local cocktail server.

Grace Atencio
Photo Credit: Al Powers

Also in the club was Nick Carter celebrating his 30th birthday.  The Backstreet Boy and his girlfriend Lauren Kitt were joined by friends for dinner at TAO Asian Bistro before heading up to a VIP table in the nightclub.

Nick Carter and Lauren Kitt
Photo Credit: Al Powers

Rap superstar Flo Rida hosted the night at HAZE Nightclub at ARIA Resort & Casino  where he performed live for a packed house of club goers.  Flo Rida arrived at HAZE with a large entourage and took court at a VIP table before going on stage and performing 8 songs including his hits “Low” and “Right Round.”  

Friday January 29…

NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw had lunch with six people at Society Café at Encore Las Vegas.

Also at Society Café for lunch, Laurie Peterson from the first two seasons of The Real Housewives of Orange County.

Mario Lopez enjoying dinner in a private dining room at Strip House inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.  He was joined by 9 of his friends including Eva Longoria's mother, Ella Eva Mireles Longoria.

Alien Ant Farm surprised an enthusiastic crowd of partiers with an impromptu late-night appearance and performance at Wasted Space. Over at Vanity nightclub, the beautiful DJ Sky Nellor spun to a packed house.

Alien Ant Farm
Photo credit: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino / Cassi Thomas

Kirsten Dunst treated best friend Jessica to a weekend in Vegas, kicking off the celebration with a dinner in the private dining room at LAVO. She was joined by friends, including indie band Rilo Kiley’s lead singer Jenny Lewis and her boyfriend singer Jonathan Rice. Dunst surprised the bashful birthday girl with a cake while the group sang happy birthday.  In search of more hip hop, the girls ventured to TAO.

Jenny Lewis and Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst and Jonathan Rice

At TAO, NFL pro Matt Leinart was spotted dining with a group of friends and getting cozy with a sexy blonde.  

Carmen Electra stayed at Vdara Hotel & Spa within CityCenter, on the Las Vegas Strip. She is in town with boyfriend Rob Patterson, current member of the band Otep and former guitarist for KORN. Carmen hosted at Eve, a new nightclub venture of Eva Longoria Parker where boxing great, Floyd Mayweather, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart also partied the night away at private VIP tables.

Before heading up to Eve, Electra and Patterson enjoyed dinner at Longoria Parker's celebrated steakhouse, Beso, located beneath Eve in Crystals at CityCenter in Las Vegas.

Prior to her departure, Carmen pampered herself with a two hour Organic SpaRitualTM manicure and pedicure at Vdara

Carmen Electra
Photo courtesy of MGM Mirage

Health & Beauty followed by a quick reprieve within Bar Vdara's intimate lounge.

Ashley Zarlin, Lauri Peterson and husband from the hit television show “The Real Housewives of Orange County” enjoyed dinner together with Nik Richie and Ari Golden from at Strip House inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

UFC fighter Tito Ortiz had a romantic dinner with longtime girlfriend Jenna Jameson at STACK at The Mirage.

Saturday January 30…

Actress Glenn Close and her family were seen having lunch at Society Café inside Encore Las Vegas.

Actress Kirsten Dunst and friends continued their Vegas weekend with lunch at Dos Caminos on Saturday afternoon and then dinner at TAO.

Rapper Chingy was joined by friends for dinner at TAO.  Afterwards, he treated the packed nightclub to an impromptu performance on the catwalk, including his hit “Holidae In”.    

Also spotted in the club at TAO, Andy Baldwin, the US Naval Officer who was the star of The Bachelor, season ten.

At LAVO, Hollywood couple Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jamie Kennedy stopped in for dessert of Oreo Zeppole and Gelato.  
The duo was also seen having lunch at Dos Caminos earlier in the day.

Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jamie Kennedy
Photo Credit: Al Powers

Nicole Eggert, former Baywatch beauty and Charles in Charge starlet gathered with 15 of her closest friends and family members at the posh Tabú Ultra Lounge in Las Vegas to celebrate her 38th birthday.

Nicole Eggert
Photo credit: Erik Kabik

Joining in the festivities with Nicole was Tom Felton who plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise.  Inside, Nicole was surprised with a gorgeous three-tier, pink and white birthday cake with raspberry filling. She said that it would be one of her final sweet treats before she hits the gym with her Celebrity Fit Club co-stars.

Earlier in the day, prior to her appearance at the Grand Opening of Laguna Champagne Bar, actress Lindsay Price checked into The Palazzo’s luxurious two-bedroom Lago Suite and enjoyed a late lunch at Morels French Steakhouse and Bistro.  Later in the evening, Price dined with her friends at The Palazzo’s New York-based SUSHISamba and then headed over to LAVO.

Lindsay Price (left)
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Wilmer Valderrama hosted his 30th birthday at longtime friend Eva Longoria Parker's nightclub, Eve in Crystals at CityCenter. Valderrama's party of 15 surprised him with custom birthday T-shirts, and the group celebrated with dinner at Longoria Parker's signature steakhouse, Beso.

Wilmer Valderrama
Photo credit: Isaac Brekken/WireImage

Following the 2010 Miss America crowning ceremony, pageant judge and actress Vivica Fox, joined by close friend and actress Regina King, dined at Beso.

Vivica Fox and Regina King
Photo credit: Isaac Brekken/WireImage

Hip-hop star/producer Timbaland hosted the HAZE Nightclub at ARIA Resort & Casino  Timbaland arrived with an entourage that included his wife Monique and rap star friends Lil’ Kim, Hayes and Petey Pablo.

Also spotted at HAZE was actor Tom Felton who is most known for his role as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies and celebrity couple, actors Rick Fox and Eliza Dushku.Fox and Dushku dined at UNION Restaurant & Lounge earlier in the night.

Tom Felton

After Saturday night’s second to last performance of Bette Midler The Showgirl Must Go On, Bette Midler’s Caesar Salad

Girls donned their mermaid costumes from Midler’s Las Vegas Delores Delago tribute skit, and drove through Caesars

Palace in the motorized wheelchairs from the show.  The girls were greeted with enthusiastic cheers from fans sorry to see the end of the Divine Miss M.’s show.

Sunday, Jan. 31…

Included in the VIP audience of Bette Midler’s final performance of The Showgirl Must Go On at The Colosseum at Caesars
Palace were: TV and pop star Paula Abdul, iconic songstress  Gladys Knight, legendary entertainer Wayne Newton, comedienne Rita Rudner, writer Bruce Vilanch, and Las Vegas headliners Terry Fator, Marie Osmond and George Wallace.

Entertainer Marie Osmond (L) surprises entertainer Bette Midler on stage during the final performance of her show.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for AEG Live)

Boxing promoter Bob Arum and his wife Lovee also attended.

Davey Havok, front man for the rock group AFI, hanging out at Vanity nightclub at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with model, fashion designer, make-up artist, DJ, and singer-songwriter Jeffree Star.

Davey Havok and Jeffree Star
Photo credit: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino/Cody Boor

Chingy entertained the packed nightclub at LAVO for Vice Sunday. The rapper grabbed a mic and from his VIP table performed his songs “Right Thurr” and “Holidae In”.   

I will be back next week with more of what’s “happening” in and around Las Vegas.

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