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

Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar Opens at the LINQ

Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar celebrated the first grand opening at Caesars Entertainment’s brand new high energy retail, dining and entertainment development, The LINQ, on Thursday, Feb. 6.

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Entrance from the Linq
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Located just steps away from the Las Vegas Strip with direct access from The Quad Resort & Casino, Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar offers a new concept in Mexican dining that combines live sets by a DJ, rides on Chayo, the sexy mechanical bull, a vast tequila and cocktail selection, and a blend of authentic and innovative Mexican fare by Executive Chef Ernesto Zendejas.

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Mechanical Bull
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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DJ Soxxi
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

During the grand opening celebration guests were treated to samples of Executive Chef Zendejas' signature dishes, including pork sopes, mini lobster tacos and guacamole with pork rinds and pomegranate seeds and a select few of the 50 tequilas Chayo offers along with signature cocktails like the Don Margarita, Señorita, The Office and Chayo Paloma.

Notable VIP's in attendance included baseball star, Jason Giambi, Rick Harrison of Pawn Stars and Jon Gray, vice president of The LINQ.

The 14,000-square-foot Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar, spans two levels, including a semi-private dining room situated on the main floor and accommodates up to 40 for a seated meal, while all of Chayo accommodates up to 320 guests. Located at The LINQ, Caesars Entertainment’s dynamic new mixed-use development, the eatery is open from 11 a.m. to late daily.

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Chayo Bar
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Chayo dining room
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Jason Giambi with wife Kristian Giambi
Photo credit: Jeff Ragazzo

Rick Harrison Heather Bednarczyk press
Rick Harrison with Heather Bednarczyk
Photo credit: Jeff Ragazzo

Jon Gray Ruth Gray press
Jon Gray with wife Ruth Gray
Photo credit: Jeff Ragazzo

Chef Ernesto Zendejas press
Executive Chef Ernesto Zendejas
Photo credit: Jeff Ragazzo

The Return of MAMMA MIA! Announced at Tropicana Press Conference

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, The New Tropicana resort in Las Vegas hosted a press conference to announce the triumphant return of one of the most successful musicals ever MAMMA MIA! to the Las Vegas Strip and to unveil a MAMMA MIA! display featuring the iconic “Dynamos” costumes from the show.

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CEO of The New Tropicana Las Vegas, Alex Yemenidjian and Worldwide producer Judy Craymer
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Worldwide producer Judy Craymer and CEO of The New Tropicana Las Vegas, Alex Yemenidjian, were on hand to reveal the display, followed by a private media brunch in the property’s luxurious Sky Villa Suites.

The show that kept Las Vegas dancing in the aisles for six years, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus' global smash hit musical MAMMA MIA!, will debut May 8, 2014 at The New Tropicana with an open-ended run.
"It's so exciting that MAMMA MIA! is returning to fabulous Las Vegas, " said creator/producer Judy Craymer.  "We are so thrilled to be invited to the New Tropicana. It is the perfect hotel for us to bring the original show back to the Strip amongst the glamour and excitement of this legendary playground."

"Our newly renovated, state-of-the-art Tropicana Theater is the perfect venue for the return of the show that set the standard for Broadway in Las Vegas,” said Fred Harmon, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Tropicana.

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Fred Harmon, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Tropicana
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

MAMMA MIA! is still one of the most successful musicals ever on the Strip. The show set the precedent for stage musicals in Las Vegas performing more than 2,200 times to over 2 million guests for over six incredible years.

Acclaimed by the Associated Press as "quite simply, a phenomenon" MAMMA MIA! continues its success around the world having been seen by over 54 million people, in 38 productions in 14 languages in over 400 cities.  The movie adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan is one of the most successful movie musicals of all time grossing $600 million worldwide.

Inspired by the story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs, MAMMA MIA! is Judy Craymer's ingenious vision of staging writer Catherine Johnson's sunny, funny tale of family and friendship unfolding on a tiny Greek island.  On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brings 3 men from her mother's past back to the island they had last visited 20 years ago.  Songs including "Dancing Queen," "The Winner Takes It All," "Money, Money, Money" and "Take a Chance on Me" are all featured in this feel-good night of fun and laughter.
With music & lyrics by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! is written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. The production is designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce & Bobby Aitken and musical supervision, additional material & arrangements by Martin Koch.

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

Following the finale of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET on Tuesday night, February 4, Strip headliner Pia Zadora joined the cast of the smash-hit musical onstage for a special encore performance at Harrah’s Las Vegas, singing a rendition of Brenda Lee’s “Sweet Nothings.”

Zadora is the fifth performer to join the cast of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET onstage to celebrate the music of the production’s era through live jam sessions. Previous entertainers that have graced the stage with the cast include Bally’s Las Vegas headliner and one-woman vocal phenomenon, Véronic DiCaire, “American Idol” winner and Paris Las Vegas headliner Taylor Hicks, Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno and E! reality star Holly Madison.

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Pia Zadora jams with the cast of Million Dollar Quartet
Photo credit: Caesars Entertainment

Pia Zadora with Cast of Million Dollar Quartet Las Vegas 2.4.14 Caesars Entertainment
Pia Zadora with the cast of Million Dollar Quartet
Photo credit: Caesars Entertainment

As part of the official kick off to NATIONAL BLOOD DONOR MONTH, the cast of Evil Dead: The Musical at V Theater inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino hosted a blood drive to benefit United Blood Services. Over the course of four hours, 45 total units were collected with 39 successful donations, surpassing the expectations for the event. All donors received a free pair of tickets to Evil Dead: The Musical, a comic book from MaximuM Comics, and one donor won a year subscription to the comic book of their choice.

Starting Thursday, Feb. 13, Body English Nightclub debuts POPLIFE, a new weekly throwback experience on Thursdays for fans of the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Body English will take revelers on a journey back in time by offering a fully-immersive experience featuring the fashion, fun and of course, hottest music of the two decades remixed by DJs Hass Deniro and Mikey Swift. POPLIFE will feature weekly hosts and performances by some of the biggest artists and celebrities of each era. Top-selling R&B/pop act Color Me Badd will kick off the first throwback event on Feb. 13.  On Feb. 20, resident DJs Deniro and Swift will take over the dance floor with their remix of ‘80s and ‘90s videos and club classics and will play artists such as RUN-DMC, Madonna, Bell Biv DeVoe, Lisa Lisa, Sir Mix-A-Lot and much more.

Acclaimed Los Angeles-based artist JENNIFER MAIN is having a special “heart encounter” at the new Art encounter gallery in the Forum Shops at Caesars, Valentine’s weekend, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15 from 3-7 p.m. Main is reuniting with her hometown mentor, Art encounter. For the occasion, she is unveiling a new collection exclusive to Art encounter and Las Vegas. Main’s style embraces bold vibrant color and a sense of whimsy. She enjoys painting exaggerated abstract figures and uses her work to illustrate the ups and downs of life’s beautiful journey. Two of Main’s works are in the permanent collection at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. One of them, a large painted heart sculpture prominently displayed at the entrance, raised $40,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital and was gifted to The Smith Center by the generous donor.

The hit ABC show, “SHARK TANK” puts budding entrepreneurs in the same room with deep-pocketed and shrewd investors to see if there is a business connection. A similar drama will play out Weds., Feb. 19, at UNLV during FUNDING POST.COM'S LAS VEGAS INVESTOR ROUNDTABLE. The attending entrepreneurs will be pitching their concepts to:

    •    Victor Chaltiel: Founder of Redhills Ventures; founder and chairman of HealthDataInsights (sold in 2011 for $400 million); chairman of Trustifi Corp.; and board member of, Health Data Vision, Global Medical Isotope Systems, and Leapfrog Systems.

    •    Michael Terpin: Founder and CEO of SocialRadius and Transform public relations; co-founder of BitAngels, the world’s first angel network for digital currency startups; and founder of Marketwire (now owned by OMERS Capital Partners with annual revenues of over $70 million).

    •    Lena Romanova: Managing director of Granita Capital; managing director of LE/ROM Real Estate Development; investor in and director of Digex Media Labs; founder of L’Espace, the Contemporary Museum for Design, Fashion and Hollywood; and founder of the LEROM Foundation for Female Entrepreneurship.

    •    Ravindra Kondagunta: Founder of Traction Labs, a startup accelerator; accredited investor with Maverick Angels; and decades of experience as an “intra-preneur,” helping Fortune 500 companies identify and exploit new growth opporuntities.
    •    Aaron Sahagun: Southwest regional director of; founder and CEO of Alumwire (sold in 2011 after a $1.4 million financing round); and named among The Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs by BusinessWeek.

Tickets are $39, $49 for service providers.  The roundtable will be held at CBC A112 building and auditorium, UNLV, 7 to 10 p.m

The UNLV Performing Arts Center and UNLV department of music welcome THREE TIMES FOUR— De Ann Letourneau, Las Vegas Philharmonic concertmaster; members of the UNLV faculty; and guest musicians — at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Dr. Arturo Rando-Grillot Recital Hall as part of the UNLV Chamber Music Series. The performance features piano trios and quartets by Hadyn, Brahms, Turina, and UNLV's Diego Vega. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in-person, on the phone or online through the Performing Arts Center Box Office, 895-ARTS (2787).  Student rush tickets are $13 each (not inclusive of the facilities fee), and available one hour prior to each event, based on availability and with valid student I.D. UNLV faculty and staff discounts also are available. A $1.50 facilities fee, in addition to the ticket price, is charged on all Performing Arts Center tickets.

The 11th ANNUAL WALK WITH THE HEART OF A CHILD, a high-energy celebration including a 3k walk, entertainment, raffle and the ever popular Kids Zone,  to support Nevada-based Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF), is set for Saturday, Feb. 22 at Fashion Show Mall and . The walk begins at 8 a.m. with registration at 7 a.m. During this event, teams gather at the Fashion Show Mall to walk in celebration and remembrance of children with heart conditions and to unite the community through awareness. More than 1,400 locals support the walk each year to help generate funds that allow CHF to continue to carry out its programs, including Camp Mend-a-Heart, Smart Heart Scholarships, Family Outreach, research and more.

On-line registration is available now at Fees are $25 for adults, $15 for virtual walkers, active-duty military, students and seniors. Donate $50 for a new VIP package including a CHF bag, water bottle, t-shirt, walk medal and raffle tickets. Community members and businesses interested in supporting CHF may phone (702) 967-3522 for sponsorship and team registration information.

Music ensembles from CSN and around the valley will CELEBRATE THE MUSIC OF LEGENDARY JAZZ SINGER JOE WILLIAMS on Saturday, Feb. 22 to raise funds for the CSN Joe Williams Music Scholarship, which has assisted music students at the college since 1989. Scheduled to perform are the CSN Jazz Band, directed by Dr. Richard McGee, and the CSN Jazz Singers, directed by Dr. Mark Wherry.  Joining them will be the Hot Club of Las Vegas, a Gypsy Jazz band that performs original compositions as well as the music of Django Reinhardt, Bireli Lagrene and The Rosenberg Trio.   The event will be held at 2 p.m. in the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre on the Cheyenne campus. General admission is $15.

The UNLV Performing Arts Center welcomes HAL HOLBROOK in a special performance of “MARK TWAIN TONIGHT” – arguably the most successful one-man production in the history of American Theatre – at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22. Tickets are $25, $40, $55, and $75 and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 895-ARTS (2787) or by visiting Student rush tickets are $13 each and available one hour prior to each event, based on availability and with valid student I.D. UNLV faculty and staff discounts also are available. A $1.50 facilities fee, in addition to the ticket price, is charged on all Performing Arts Center tickets.

TAO GROUP CARES, the charitable arm of TAO Group's Las Vegas properties TAO, LAVO and Marquee, and the Jump for Joy Foundation, a 501c3 organization committed to providing children and their families with the resources to combat childhood obesity, have teamed up to present a free afternoon dance clinic and nutrition seminar for parents and children ages 6 – 17 on Sunday, February 23. Offering different genres of instructional dance classes led by industry professionals, kids will learn about fitness and nutrition in a fun-filled way while dancing to the sounds of Marquee's resident DJs. Parents are invited to participate in a nutritional seminar led by Real Results Fitness Owner and Nutrition Expert Paul Rosenberg  and TAO Group Corporate Executive Sous Chef Marc Marrone where they can learn simple but effective eating habits and tips to creating fast, affordable and healthy meals for their families. Registration opens at 12 pm. Dance clinic and seminar begins 1 pm. This event is free to all children and parent participants. Visit for more information.
GUN GARAGE, formerly Guns and Ammo Garage, is celebrating two years in business by offering anniversary specials to locals. Through the end of February, the state-of-the-art indoor shooting range is offering two hours of free range time on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for all locals who own a firearm. Offer valid until February 28, 2014.Rules and Regulations:
• All shooters must have valid photo ID.

• Pistols and pistol caliber rifles only, no Shotguns.

• Ammo cannot be steel core, steel cased or exotic ammo.

• All firearms and ammunition must be in separate cases upon entering the range.

Ladies also receive free range time every Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Space is limited and slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.Gun Garage indoor shooting range and gun retail outlet is located at 5155 S. Dean Martin Dr, just south of Tropicana Ave.

Former ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast member and ‘Weeds’ star KEVIN NEALON is scheduled to perform at the Suncoast Showroom February 22-23.Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $15.95, plus tax and convenience fees.

Celebrity Sightings:

Friday, Feb. 7...

Seattle Seahawks’ wide receiver Golden Tate and offensive lineman Alvin Bailey checked in at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to celebrate their Super Bowl XLVIII victory.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was spotted celebrating the team’s recent NFL championship at Marquee Nightclub alongside fellow Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots players including Shane Vereen. Sherman’s group partied in the center of the action and took in the sounds of DJ Benny Benassi at a VIP table on the dance floor.

Around 11:30 p.m, the Super Bowl champions made their way into the main room of Hakkasan Las Vegas Nightclub where the guys were treated to an extensive VIP experience on the main stage.  Presented with a stunning five-tier trophy inspired cake, Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice held the cake high above his head for all to see.  As the party continued, some of the team members made their way down to the Ling Ling Club  to enjoy hits played by DJ Gusto while others enjoyed their evening in the main room and partied into the early hours of the morning.

Also spotted in the crowd was actor Jason Statham (sans girlfriend Rosie Huntington-Whitely) qho joined  pal and Hakkasan resident Calvin Harris for his DJ set. Earlier in the evening, the Transporter star and Harris  dined at Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant.

Calvin Harris Hakkasan Nightclub
Calvin Harris
Photo credit: Al Powers of Powers Imagery, LLC /

Seattle Seahawks Hakkasan Las Vegas
Seattle Seahawks
Photo credit: Al Powers of Powers Imagery, LLC /

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Sidney Rice
Photo credit: Al Powers of Powers Imagery, LLC /

Actress and producer, Vivica A. Fox, dined twice at TREVI Italian Restaurant inside The Forum Shops at Caesars.

Fox and a group of friends visited TREVI in the early afternoon.Later in the evening Fox and company returned for more drinks and classic Italian cuisine.

Wednesday, Feb. 5...
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Stevenson Sylvester, a Las Vegas native and Valley High School graduate, enjoyed dinner with family members at 福Fú, an Asian dining destination inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Stevenson Sylvester
Photo courtesy of The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Earlier in the day, Stevenson stopped by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada’s Andre Agassi Clubhouse to speak with club members.