Entertainment Reporter/Film Critic
Las Vegas Tribune
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer
Shoe Association Convenes in Las Vegas
The WSA Show, (World Shoe Association), which convenes twice a year in
Las Vegas, held its first trade show of 2008 on February 20-24 at three
locations; inside The Sands Expo, The Venetian, and Mandalay Bay
Resorts. The WSA Show is the largest and most comprehensive footwear,
handbags, and accessories marketplace with over 6,000 brands and 1,600
exhibiting companies, attracting more than 37,000 participants from 95
countries in 2.1 million square feet of space. This was the place to be,
the one source for footwear professionals to preview the latest footwear
fashions and trends, materials, and technology of interest to customers
as well as taking in the valuable information, programs, and educational
seminars designed to help their business grow.
Spread out in three venues, the show included the
convention halls filled with aisles upon isles of exhibitor booths and
two separate defining categories. The Collections at WSA showcased some
of the top brands from around the world in one exclusive setting, an
array of suites at The Venetian Resort and Hotel. Featured were “high
end” items from more than 350 luxury footwear and accessories designers.
The other category, Materials at WSA, featured manufacturers unveiling
their new materials as well as the debut of new processes and
Evident were the array of companies who have latched on to the emerging
trend for today’s hippest consumers who want to look hot from head to
toe. To complement their latest shoe fashions companies displayed
matching accessories made of the same designs, patterns and material
such as belts, handbags, watches, hats and even matching jewelry,
especially those with lots of “bling” that will soon be available in
stores for customers who want to complete the look.
Many of the Fall styles either reflect the retro look
of the 1930 and 40’s, have been inspired by contemporary hard edged
motorcycle fashions, or fall into the rock and roll category that has
become so popular among the younger generation. In fact, one of the eye
catching styles previewed and is soon to be in stores was the 2008
Authentic Jimi Hendrix collection of casual sneakers for both men and
women by NOMASS that incorporates the rock icon’s image into the
material’s various colorful and/or psychedelic designs.
As a woman whose closet is filled with over a hundred
pairs of shoes, I was like a kid in a candy store, wanting to come away
with dozens of new stylish shoes to add to my collection. Of course, as
a reporter, not a buyer, my wish could not be fulfilled. However,
several brands blew me away by their new approach to fashion and are on
my “must” buy list when they hit the market. Hush Puppies, a brand known
for comfort, has come a long way when it comes to style and I was so
impressed with their latest collection from two fashion forward
celebrity stylists, Rachel Fanconi from London and Philip Bloch from New
York, that included a Victorian style purple suede dress shoe with
scooped out wedge that not only has gorgeous eye appeal, but also is
extremely comfortable and affordable. Both designer have tapped into
their singular style and keen fashion sensibilities to create a special
collection of shoes in the first ever Guest Designer Series from Hush
In fact, comfort, and durability was a theme for many of the exhibiting
manufacturers who could be found beneath the trade show aisle banners
labeled comfort, adventure, rugged/outdoor or men’s athletic. What I
discovered was more and more manufacturers are paying attention to
customers demanding comfort and fit while not compromising fashion and
style. Keeping the customer happy is by far the only sure way to keep
the industry thriving. From what I experienced at WSA, the footwear
industry is doing just that, and I can’t wait till the latest shoe
styles and accessories hits the stores.
Night® Party Held at Planet Hollywood to Benefit the Arthritis
Foundation of Southern Nevada
An Oscar night party to benefit the Arthritis Foundation of Southern
Nevada was held in Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino’s Grand Ballroom.
More than 550 Las Vegans joined in the festivities when the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences staged its 80th Annual Academy Awards
Telecast on Sunday, February 24, 2008. Siegfried and Roy served as
Honorary Chairs for this year’s event that began with a VIP cocktail
reception and a silent auction at 4:00 p.m., followed by dinner and a
live broadcast of the Academy Awards. Each guest received the same
official program distributed to guests seated at the Kodak Theatre at
Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, California, as well as the 80th
Academy Awards commemorative posters designed by the Academy’s official
John Daly and Nina Radetich served as Masters of Ceremonies. Community
philanthropist Cindy Doumani received the Arthritis Foundation’s 2008
Commitment to Community Award, while long-time KTNV-TV 13 Anchor and
Health Reporter Cathy Ray, was honored with the Community Health Award.
Host committee members included: Jaki Baskow, Lynette Chappel, Jimmy
Foster, Mike Mecca, Rossi Ralenkotter, Randy Soard, Lucy Stewart and
Kathy Ray and John Daly
Frank and Chrissi Scinta
Guest celebrities participating in the event include:
headliner Early Clover, ventriloquist Terry Fator; The Amazing Jonathan;
“The Pit Bull of Comedy” Bobby Slayton; entertainer Earl Turner; female
impersonator Frank Marino; The Scintas; Casts of Mamma Mia, Phantom of
the Opera and Menopause, the Musical; impersonators from The Little
Legends; and actor/dancer Adrian Zmed.
“This year was one of the best of the Oscar Night parties we have done,”
said Jaki Baskow, member of the Host Committee and an Arthritis
Foundation Board member.” This year marks the 13th consecutive year that
the Las Vegas party has been officially sanctioned by the Academy,
benefiting the Arthritis Foundation.
Please call the Arthritis Foundation at 702-367-1626 or for more
specialty conventions held during Las Vegas International Hospitality
From February 24-27, as part of International Hospitality week, The
Nightclub and Bar Beverage Retailer Convention and Trade Show, The
International Restaurant Show, the Coffee and Tea Expo and Hotel World
Conference and Expo took place with over 2,000 booths covering four
exhibit halls under one roof of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Showcased were products, services and innovations for nightclubs, bars,
restaurants, hotels and more plus offerings of over 80 seminars in the
most comprehensive Educational Program in the industry. The array of
items on display throughout the tradeshow floors included everything
from samplings of food, alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages and energy
drinks, uniforms/apparel, kitchen appliances such as fryers, pasta
cookers, stoves and other food service equipment, bar furniture,
glassware, and handcrafted menus.
An event on the show floor included, but was not limited to, the 9th
Annual Las Vegas Culinary Challenge, 2008 Southwest Regional Barista
Competition presented by the Specialty Coffee Association of America,
International Star Chef Challenge hosted by the Epicurean Charitable
Foundation of Las Vegas, and Shake It Up! The Battle of the Mixologists.
As the nation’s number one beverage event, The
Nightclub and Bar Convention and Trade Show offered attendees
consistently flowing samples of such top name alcoholic beverages such
as Jim Beam, Miller Beer, Jaggermeister, Sweden’s Absolut Vodka, and
SVEDKA, the fastest growing vodka in the United States which launched
its new campaign, "Join the Party Campaign" that calls for all vodka
loving legal age voters to come together, put their issues aside and put
the “party” back in party politics. Walking through this part of the
tradeshow was like attending the biggest nightclub party in the world, a
far cry from the more sedate atmosphere of the Hotel World Expo which
offered luxurious room amenities and services to keep customers happy,
or the Coffee and Tea Expo, whose title says it all.
The introductory pamphlet I received in the mail said in its description
of Las Vegas International Hospitality Week that encompasses four
specialized events, “Name the market, we have it surrounded – beverage,
food and lodging”. But I would have to add…and lot’s more.
Gallery Opens on Las Vegas Boulevard
On Thursday, February 28 at 4 p.m. El Cortez Hotel & Casino announced
its partnership with First Friday at the ceremonial opening of the
Aerial Gallery, a mile long display of public artwork by renowned
Chicago artist, Ivan Brunetti. El Cortez will officially become a
trolley stop for First Friday visitors beginning on Friday, March 7; the
trolley will stop at the Cortez Garden Gateway.
Ivan Brunetti and his wife Laura
Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, Chair of the Las Vegas Arts
Commission, Joshua Abbey and Mike Nolan, representing Fremont East
Entertainment District and general manager/co-owner of El Cortez, were
on hand at the Corner of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard for a
dedication ceremony to commemorate the opening of the Aerial Gallery.
They spoke to the crowd about the importance of bringing and maintaining
art and culture to the downtown area, as well as welcoming the Aerial
The dedication recognizes this year’s Aerial Gallery installment, the
creation of Ivan Brunetti entitled “Thirst” that consists of 50
illustrated panels, each 3’ x 8”, which collectively tell a story about
water, its cyclical journey through the daily ecosystem, and features
Mayor Goodman. The panels will be displayed on banners suspended from
poles along Las Vegas Boulevard from Charleston Boulevard to Stewart
Avenue for one year. An estimated 30,000 cars will pass under them each
day and more than ten million people will pass through the Aerial
Gallery in a year.
The Aerial Gallery is an annual collaboration between the city of Las
Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs and the Las Vegas Arts Commission. Now
in its seventh year, the Aerial Gallery has exhibited more than 120
local artists. The project celebrates the inclusion of public art into
downtown and contributes in a “fine arts sense” to the animated and
dynamic language of one of the most famous boulevards in the world.
recent or upcoming “happenings” in Las Vegas include:
It was recently announced that the 57th Annual MISS USA Competition will
be held at the Theatre for the Performing Arts inside the Planet
Hollywood Resort & Casino on April 11, 2008. The pageant will be
broadcast live from 9-11 p.m. ET on NBC and distributed internationally.
“We are delighted that the Miss Universe Organization is bringing the
MISS USA®2008 Competition to Las Vegas this year and has selected Planet
Hollywood Resort & Casino as their host property," said Robert Earl,
co-chairman of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. "We are excited to
showcase our beautiful new resort to the contestants, and to the
enormous worldwide audience that tune in for the televised event. It is
gratifying to once again be able to showcase all the great amenities
that the city of Las Vegas has to offer."
Female impersonators Frank Marino as Joan Rivers, Crystal Woods as Diana
Ross, and Steven Wayne as Cher were selected as judges recently for the
Food Network's next big show "Next Best Food Star" to begin airing this
coming August and September. The gentlemen from "An Evening at La Cage"
at the Riviera Hotel & Casino judge the finale held in Las Vegas by
taste testing the various dishes. Frank Marino is on a self-proclaimed
mission to become the next wax figure in Madame Tussaud's.
From February 25 through April 11 “Art of the Hopi,”
an exhibit that includes Hopi wicker and coiled baskets, hand-formed
pottery, katsina dolls carved from cottonwood roots, overlay jewelry and
weavings is being shown at the Clark County Government Center Rotunda
Gallery, 500 Grand Central Parkway. The exhibit will be celebrated with
First Friday receptions from 6 to 8 p.m. in the rotunda March 7 and
April 4. Those interested can call 702-455-7030 or visit the Web site at
On March 6, burlesque queen Dita Von Teese hosts a sexy soiree at Tabu
Ultra Lounge where she will reveal the three lucky winners of MGM
Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris American audition. Immediately after the gala,
the winners will head to Paris, France, where they will start their
illustrious careers as members of the acclaimed dance troupe.
On Sunday March 9, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine
Bar, is sponsoring their SECOND ANNUAL REBELUTION SCHOLARSHIP FUND GOLF
TOURNAMENT at Badlands Golf Course, 9119 Alta Drive, Las Vegas with all
event proceeds going to the REBELution scholarship fund, created by UNLV
Alumni to benefit today’s deserving students at UNLV. The event starts
at 7:30 a.m and includes a full-round of golf, an awards ceremony and
luncheon at Fleming’s. Patrons will have the opportunity to win exciting
raffle prizes. The cost is $150 per person. Reservations can be made by
calling 702/838-4774 or by sending a fax 702/838-6639. Deadline for
entry forms is March 1, 2008.
Legendary blues singer John Earl has teamed up with Scoundrels Bar
located at 4360 S. Decatur Blvd. and the Las Vegas blues community to
put on a benefit concert starting at noon on March 8 with proceeds going
to local musician Beau Doyle. Doyle recently had to undergo surgery for
lung cancer that has left him and his family with overwhelming medical
bills. Local bands scheduled to play include: John Earl & The Boogieman
Band, Pete Contino’s Zydeco Band, Exit 12, 4 For the Road, Skip Eaton &
Soul’d Out, Monk & The Po’ Boys, Blues Storm, Hydrophonix, Stoney Curtis
Band, Stetzen, Coren Zai & Blues Rain, Snailhead, The Zen City JamBo,
The Shakers, Rocky Tonk and West Coast Blues Conspiracy. Any number of
local performers will be invited on stage to participate throughout the
Donations may be accepted at the door and a raffle will continue
throughout the day for various items donated by local businesses.
Donations also may be made to the Beau Doyle Benefit Account at any
Wells Fargo Bank in the Las Vegas area. More information is available at
On March 17, The Penthouse Club Las Vegas, where the magazine comes to
www.AdultFriendFinder.com , the world’s largest network of adult
personals-related sites, are teaming up for a St. Patrick’s Day
celebration. Complimentary Jameson Irish Whisky drinks will be served
from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. The Penthouse Club Las Vegas is located at 3525 W.
Russell Rd, Las Vegas. For additional information or VIP reservations
Friday, February March 21 at 8 p.m, and Saturday, March 22 at 2 p.m. at
UNLV’s Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall the Nevada Ballet Theatre will host
members of the Seoul Ballet Theatre of Korea for “ East Meets West”,
uniting dancers from two different continents on the same stage. Tickets
for this stylized and distinctive performance are priced at $29, $49 and
$72 and can be ordered by calling 895-ARTS (2787) or by visiting
Prior to the Las Vegas performance, eight members of Nevada Ballet
Theatre will travel to South Korea to perform with members of the Seoul
Ballet Theatre at the National Theatre of Korea.
In celebration of East Meets West, Nevada Ballet Theatre will host a
special pre-performance dinner at Morton’s The Steakhouse. Mix and
mingle with other subscribers and be a part of an exclusive VIP circle
of balletomanes. Cocktails will begin at 5:30 pm, Dinner at 6 pm and
then patrons will drive to the performance for an 8 pm curtain. Tickets
are $80 per person in addition to the cost of performance tickets. Call
Special Events Coordinator Jessica Erali at 243-2623 x 222 or email:
A stimulating, brief pre-performance program, “From the Wings” gives
Saturday matinee ticket holders an inside look at the ballet being
presented. For East Meets West, “From the Wings” will take place on
Saturday, March 22 at 1:15 pm, 45 minutes prior to curtain.
The College of Southern Nevada’s Piano Festival 2008 is featuring four
different piano events between March and May, all of which are free and
open to the public. March 9 at 3 p.m in the Clark County Library Theater
on Flamingo Road the festival kicks off with a concert by the Nevada
Chamber Symphony featuring a past winner of the College’s Piano Concerto
Next, a piano master-class, will be held March 27 at 4:30 p.m. in the
Recital Hall (Room 1430) at CSN’s Cheyenne campus. The class is offered
by faculty pianists Damaris Morales Alvarez and Dr. Victor Hugo Alvarez.
Students interested in playing should apply to the competition web site.
Then, on March 29 at 9 a.m., also in the Recital Hall, young pianists
from southern Nevada and abroad will compete in CSN’s Ninth Annual Piano
Concerto Competition which is open to pianists in three age divisions,
from 6 to 21 years. Winners, in addition to receiving cash awards, will
perform with the Nevada Chamber Symphony at an awards ceremony in May.
The Festival Finale Concert and Awards Ceremony will be held May 18 at 2
p.m. in the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre at the Cheyenne campus.
For more information about the Piano Festival and Piano Concerto
Competition, contact Dr. Alvarez at 651-4659 or visit:
Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa proudly presents the legendary band Earth,
Wind & Fire poolside on Friday, March 28, 2008, at 8 p.m. at the Sandbar
Backyard outdoor concert venue. The concert celebrates the release of
business mogul Tom Breitling’s book “Double or Nothing: How Two Friends
Risked It All to Buy One of Las Vegas’ Legendary Casinos.” Concert goers
will receive a free copy of Breitling’s book and a portion of the
proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Andre Agassi Charitable
Foundation. Tickets for the concert is $49.95, plus tax and can be
purchased at any Station Casinos Reward Center, the Fiestas and the
Galleria Mall, by calling (702) 547-5300 or by logging onto
Must be 21 years or older to attend. Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa is
located at 11011 West Charleston Boulevard at I-215.
Last Wednesday afternoon 2/27, Carey Hart was spotted having lunch at
the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, located inside MGM Grand. Also, over at
the Forum Shops at Caesars, Cedric the Entertainer enjoyed lunch at
Wednesday evening of 2/27 legendary singer, Tony Bennett and his wife
Susan were at Bette Midler's new show "The Showgirl Must Go On" at
On Friday night 2/29 Rick Neuheisel, head coach of UCLA football, along
with his coaching staff and their wives were spotted dining at Postrio,
inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. Also seen having dinner
was Tony Stewart and his racing team.
I’ll be back next week with more of what’s “happening” in and around Las