By Judy Thorburn
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Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Entertainment Reporter/Film Critic - Las Vegas Tribune
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks


Hard Rock Hotel & Casino held a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Tuesday, April 14 to celebrate the completion of the brand new, state-of-the-art concert venue, The Joint. On hand to commemorate and celebrate this historic event were legendary guitarist and resident headliner Carlos Santana, Randy Kwasniewski, President of Morgans Hotel Group, Las Vegas and President and COO of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, John Meglen President and co-CEO of AEG Live/Concerts West John Meglen, Patrick Berge President of Sceno Plus, and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Photo credit: Erik Kabik / RETNA

The Joint offers an unparalleled commitment to rock and roll featuring a cutting-edge sound and lighting system, seven luxury suites, and the most sophisticated, intimate and authentic experience in Las Vegas for performers and fans alike.

Carlos Santana
Photo credit: Erik Kabik / RETNA

The Grand Opening celebration continued over the weekend with concerts from The Killers, Avenged Sevenfold and Paul McCartney, the grand opening of Carey Hart’s Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co. and the season opening of Rehab that included a performance from Snoop Dogg.

Friday night, The Vegas’s own The Killers took to the stage at the New Joint to a sold out audience of 4,000 fans. Owen Wilson and Stephen Dorff caught the performance from a studio suite and after the show went backstage to meet the band.  Also spotted were motocross star Carey Hart, Andre Agassi and wife Steffi Graff who dined before the show at Rare 120, the new Dolce Group restaurant at the Hard Rock.

Saturday night, Carey Hart, with friends Benji Madden and members of Avenged Sevenfold, on hand for support, opened the doors to his famed Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co. TV host Sal Masekela was first to go under the needle, as he got a tattoo on camera for his show the Daily 10.  Later that evening Hart, Madden and company set up shop in the Joint to watch fan favorites Avenged Sevenfold play the last show of their nearly 2 year tour to another sold out house. With all the right elements of a true rock show, their concert included pyro effects, fireworks, mosh pits and crowd surfing. Rock legend Vinnie Paul from Pantera was spotted taking in the action. 

Sunday was Rehab Season Opening Day. Snoop Dogg set off the 6th season of the world famous Sunday pool party at the Hard Rock with over 3,000 people in attendance.  Celebrities spotted included New Orleans Saints Reggie Bush and Sedrick Ellis, Brody Jenner and adult film star Mary Carey.

Snoop Dogg
Photo credit: Erik Kabik / RETNA

Sunday evening Paul McCartney McCartney opened his show with “Drive My Car” and played for more than two hours to a sold-out house, before getting back onstage for two encores. Fans were so excited to see him they starting lining up outside the Joint at midnight and were frantically searching for copies of the Hard Rock Hotel’s in-house magazine HRH, which featured Paul McCartney on the cover and one of the only magazine interviews McCartney granted – sure to be a collector’s item!

McCartney fans included: Donald Trump; David Spade – spotted dining at Rare 120, at the hotel before the show; Donny Osmond; NASCAR driver Robbie Gordon, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff.


The life and legacy of pianist and entertainer Liberace was celebrated on Wed., April 15 with the 30 year anniversary of Mr. Showmanship’s best encore performance, the glittering Liberace Museum, located at 1775 E. Tropicana Avenue, just five minutes east of the famous Las Vegas Strip.   Serving as host for a full day of activities was The Honorable Lorraine T. Hunt-Bono and her husband, Dennis Bono.

In honor of this 30th anniversary celebration, the admission fee to the museum for the entire day was only 30 cents and included free performances by Liberace scholarship recipients and Liberace Piano Competition winners with Philip Fortenberry, composer and "Jersey Boys" pianist, performing his "Liberace and Me" cabaret show at 1 p.m.  Over 1,000 plus visitors experienced the Museum on Wednesday for the 30 cent admission!

A new 30th Anniversary Exhibit debuted at the Liberace Museum that will run through May 31 commemorating three decades of milestones since 1979 and to celebrate Liberace’s legendary career mark as a part of the Las Vegas and international entertainment scene.  In addition, Liberace’s wax likeness from Madame Tussauds Las Vegas is on loan to the Liberace Museum for the 30th Anniversary celebration.

Evening festivities begin at 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a celebrity and invited guest “red carpet reception”.  Those in attendance included legendary stripper Tempest Storm, Mary Wilson of the original “Supremes”, entertainer Clint Holmes and his wife Kelly Clinton, Domenick Allen (formerly of Foreigner), among others.

Domenick Allen and daughter Cayleigh Capaldi, Liberace Museum 30th Anniversary
BODY,.aolmailheader {font-size:10pt; color:black; font-family:Arial;} a.aolmailheader:link {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;} a.aolmailheader:visited {color:magenta; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;} a.aolmailheader:active {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;} a.aolmailheader:hover {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; font-weight:normal;} Photo credit:  Liberace Foundation

Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton
Photo credit:  Liberace Foundation

Mary Wilson with wax likeness of Liberace
Photo credit:  Liberace Foundation

Tempest Storm
Photo credit:  Liberace Foundation

A ticketed event followed, featuring live entertainment from 7-9 pm in the Liberace Museum Cabaret Showroom with “Liberace through the Years – The Friends and the Music” hosted by and with performances by Lorraine Hunt-Bono, Dennis Bono, “Jersey Boys” cast members Keith Thompson, Philip Fortenberry, Erich Bergen, and other friends from the Broadway community. Proceeds from tickets sales benefited the Liberace Foundation which to date has generously awarded $5.2 million to 2,500 students deemed “Liberace Scholars” from 120 colleges and universities across the U.S. UNLV is  the largest single recipient school of Liberace Foundation scholarships with almost $370,000. Each year it funds eight students, including four jazz studies and four students from the string program. For more information or make a donation, visit the website at


On Friday, April 17, more than a 120 poker enthusiasts joined professional poker player Jennifer Harman at The Venetian Poker Room to raise more than $130,000 for the Nevada Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA), the local no-kill animal shelter. This is third year for the charity poker tournament and each year it is filled with poker stars.  This year Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Annie Duke, Roy Winston, Lacey Jones, Robert Williamson III and Layne Flack were just a few poker stars to turnout. Nancy Cartwright who is the voice of Bart Simpson, and Karina Smirnoff from Dancing with the Stars were among the celebrities in attendance raising money for a good cause. Prior to the 5 p.m. tournament, the stars walked the carpet with animals currently living at the NSPCA.

Annie Duke and Karina Smirnoff meet on the red carpet
Photo Courtesy of The Venetian

Daniel Negreanu
Photo Courtesy of The Venetian

Layne Flack on the red carpet for the poker charity tournament benefiting the NSPCA at The Venetian
Photo Courtesy of The Venetian

Karina Smirnoff, Phil Hellmuth and Jennifer Harman at the poker table at The Venetian
Photo Courtesy of The Venetian

Jennifer Harman on the red carpet for the poker charity tournament benefiting the NSPCA at The Venetian
Photo Courtesy of The Venetian

Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth and Barry Greenstein playing for the dogs at The Venetian

Photo Courtesy of The Venetian

Emcee for the event was tournament director Matt Savage, with the live auction conducted by Richard Williamson III along with the help of Bart Simpson’s voice. Daniel Negreanu placed the winning bid on a date with model and poker professional, Lacey Jones, and a private jet ride for him and four of his friends to anywhere on the west coast. In addition, Daniel Negreanu, Annie Duke and Layne Flack each purchased a pricey cupcake decorated with dogs and cats all in the name of charity.

The final nine all walked away with prizes ranging from gift certificates to shows at The Venetian including Blue Man Group, Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular and Wayne Brady to two-night stays at The Venetian to tickets to Madame Tussauds and gift certificates to Canyon Ranch SpaClub and much more. The first place prize included a seat in the 2009 $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event and a Curtis and Company watch.

The Nevada SPCA is the only no-kill animal shelter in Las Vegas. It is not funded federally and depends on private donations to continue its mission to rescue, spay and neuter, medically treat, and humanely house abandoned or neglected animals. More than $500,000 has been raised through Harman’s fundraising efforts since 2007. For information on other ways you can directly support the Nevada SPCA no-kill animal shelter contact Doug Duke at (702) 873-7722 or email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian John Padon’s  “Sin City Comedy” opened April 15 at the Harmon Theatre at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. The show features a weekly rotation of nationally known headliner comedians that have been seen on HBO, Showtime, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Show with David Letterman” plus a contemporary twist - burlesque girls who sing and dance and two who perform stunning aerials over the audience.  Performances are nightly at 7 p.m. Ticket Prices are $24.95 for general admission and $39.95 for VIP (prices do not include tax and fees).  Admission is restricted to age 21 and over.
In an effort to encourage families to spend quality time with each other during these tough economic times, Olive Crest, one of the West Coast’s premier children's charities dedicated to promoting the safety and wellness of children and families is sponsoring an Ice Cream Social on Saturday April 25 from 2 – 6 p.m. at Town Square, located near Las Vegas Blvd. and I-215.  Families are invited to enjoy FREE ice cream, live entertainment and prizes.

The Department of Film and the UNLV Short Film Archive are sponsoring Spring Flicks 2009, the annual student short film festival at UNLV. The dates of the screenings are: Friday, April 24, 6-11 p.m. in CBC A-106 and Saturday, April 25, 6-11 p.m. in CBC A-106. The Spring Flicks 2009 Awards Presentation will be held in CBC-A-106 starting after the last film has screened. The goal of the Department of Film and the UNLV Short Film Archive and Spring Flicks is to promote the art and importance of the short film and to celebrate the student filmmakers who make them. Awards will be given in the following categories: AUDIENCE AWARD- Best Picture, JURY AWARDS - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing. The screenings are free and open to the public.

The 19th CSN/Joe Williams Music Scholarship Fundraiser Concert will be held on Sunday, April 26, at 2 p.m. in the main showroom of the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.  This annual gala event is designed to raise money for the Joe Williams Music Scholarship Fund, which assists music students at the College of Southern Nevada to reach their educational goals.  Host and Master of Ceremonies for this event will be and long-time Las Vegas comedian Cork Proctor and will feature the 17-piece CSN All-Star Jazz Band, conducted by Vincent Falcone, accomplished singer Julius La Rosa, the dynamic pop-opera quartet Voci Vegas and a special appearance by comedian Pete Barbutti.  The CSN Jazz Singers and many Joe Williams Scholarship recipients will also take the stage.  Tickets are $40.

The College of Southern Nevada Department of Fine Arts is seeking actors for its August 14-23 production of Frederick Knott’s thriller “Wait Until Dark.” Auditions will be held on April 27 from 1-4 p.m. and April 28 from 7-9 p.m. in the Recital Hall (Room 1430) at the Cheyenne Campus, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave.  Those interested need to bring a resume and prepared monologue; photo is optional.  Callbacks will be held on May 2 from 1–4 p.m. Roles are available for one female (age 20-30); six males (age 20-50); and one young girl (age 9-12).  For more additional information, call 651-4526 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Comedy/magician Mac King has put together put together an “entertainment stimulus package” offering complimentary admission to his afternoon show during the month of May for local families that have fallen on rough economic times. During the month any Las Vegas resident can present their Nevada ID to the Harrah’s box office to receive FREE admission for two to the Mac King Comedy Magic Show. Tickets will be issued on a first come, first serve basis and based on availability. The Mac King Comedy Magic Show is performed Tuesday through Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. at Harrah’s Las Vegas.

Pat Sajak, White and the entire Los Angeles-based crew of TV’s popular most game show, Wheel of Fortune are heading to Las Vegas to tape four weeks of shows on July 17, 18, 20 and 21 at The Venetian and The Palazzo. Wheel of Fortune’s Wheelmobile, the show’s promotional vehicle, will be rolling into The Venetian on May 2 and 3 in search of potential contestants for these shows.  The first week of these special shows will kick off Wheel of Fortune’s 27th season on September 14.  For more information regarding free tickets to tapings and additional contestant auditions in Las Vegas, viewers should tune into KVBC News 3 or log on to

On Saturday, May 2 renowned artist Dale Chihuly will present a special lecture on his works and autograph copies of his books, including his latest, “Chihuly Black,” a stunning 208-page collection of his most recent work with black glass.  In addition, Chihuly will personally introduce the 2009 Portland Press editions of the book.  Known for revolutionizing the skill of glass-blowing, Chihuly designed the extraordinary Fiori di Como chandelier located in the Bellagio lobby.  The lecture will be held from 1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. inside Rafael 1 ballroom followed by a book signing from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. outside the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens across from self-parking entrance. Editions of all Dale Chihuly books are available for purchase within Chihuly at Bellagio, the first and only shop featuring the work of Dale Chihuly. 

McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon, will host “Talk Derby to Me,” a party in honor of The Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2. McFadden’s will pay homage to the tradition of wearing elaborate hats to the derby with a  $500 cash prize for the partier with the best derby hat of the night. McFadden’s will also hold beer races, for those who think they can out-chug the best of them, with a variety of prizes.

Bette Midler has added 36 more dates for her show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. New show dates for her 90-minute extravaganza “The Showgirl Must Go On”  are Aug. 11-Sept. 6, Oct. 14-25 and Nov. 3-15, 2009. Tickets are now on sale.

Fans that haven’t seen Cher’s high-energy production at Caesar’s Palace now have 33 more opportunities with the addition of 2009’s final performances from Sept. 19- Oct. 11 and Nov. 19- Dec. 20. The 90-minute show is presented at 7:30 p.m. four nights a week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday (dark Monday, Thursday and Friday).

Legendary recording artists, WAR will perform at The Club inside Cannery Casino & Hotel on Saturday, May 2.  Tickets start at $14.95 plus tax and fees.

Country music sensation Billy Ray Cyrus is set to perform at The Club inside Cannery Casino & Hotel Saturday, May 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $19.95 plus tax and fees.

Five-time Emmy award winner and crowd favorite Dennis Miller brings his stand up comedy routine to The Orleans Showroom, May 15-17 at 8 p.m. each evening. Tickets are now available starting from $49.95, plus tax.

Celebrity sightings:

On Tuesday, April 14…

Miss USA® 1995, Shanna Moakler was spotted dining at Strip House inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Professional skateboarder who competes in the X Games, Jake Brown, was seen hanging out at Moon Nightclub inside Palms Casino Resort. Brown was joined by an unknown lady friend and another couple.

Love was in the air Tuesday night at LAVO inside The Palazzo.  Despite recent rumors to the contrary, the wedded bliss between Eddie and Brandi Cibrian was clear to all. The actor could not keep his eyes off of his stunning wife. After dinner the couple made their way to the second floor nightclub.

Eddie and Brandi Cibrian
Photo credit: Denise Truscello/LAVO

TAO’s Worship Thursday was the setting for an impromptu performance that rocked the house.  LL Cool J, in town to celebrate his clothing collection available exclusively at Sears, walked into TAO amid a throng of screaming fans.  Once settled at a VIP table in the moat section he graciously posed for photos with club goers as well as the Miss USA contestants from the next table over.  The sounds of DJ Five and the vibe of the crowd inspired the artist to grab a microphone and jump up on the TAO catwalk.  After asking the DJ if he happened to have any of his music on hand, he invited the Miss USA contestants to join him on the catwalk as he rocked the house.  The entire club danced as LL Cool J performed three songs before returning to his table to enjoy the rest of the night at TAO.

LL Cool J with Miss USA contestants
Photo credit: Denise Truscello/LAVO

Friday night…

The dining room at LAVO inside The Palazzo was graced with the presence of several TV beauties.  My Name is Earl’s Nadine Velazquez, who is in town to co-host the Miss USA contest, dined with a girlfriend over a bottle of red wine. 

Seated nearby was Karina Smirnoff of Dancing with the Stars and three friends enjoying LAVO’s new Italian menu.

TAO Group partner Jason Strauss kicked off his 35th birthday weekend celebration with dinner at the Asian bistro, where he was joined by a large group of friends including former America’s Next Top Model winner CariDee English and actress Taylor Quinn.

Also dining nearby with friends, actress Krysten Ritter, who has been tapped for the new Gossip Girl spinoff and at another table E!’s Ben Lyons and Catt Sadler.

Legendary British punk band The Cure was spotted at ghostbar following their performance at The Pearl inside the Palms Casino Resort as part of their The Cure 4 Tour. Band members were joined by their stage crew at a table on the ghostbar patio overlooking the Strip.

Robert Smith
Photo credit: Shane O'Neal

Inside Playboy Club, Matt Wilhelm, NFL Linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, was spotted partying with a group of friends at a private VIP table for a bachelor party. 

NFL free agent Melvin Fowler dined at N9NE Steakhouse with a group of friends.

Jason Sehorn was in Las Vegas this past weekend celebrating his 38th birthday with actress and wife, Angie Harmon.   The couple enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT at The Palazzo and was presented with a birthday cake created by Executive Pastry Chef, Melissa Zahnter.

Jason Sehorn and wife Angie Harmon
Photo credit: Jacob Andrzejcz

On Saturday, Lauren Conrad  hosted the 2009 grand opening of this season’s ultimate pool party scene at Las Vegas’ first ultra pool WET REPUBLIC at MGM Grand.

Lauren Conrad
Photo credit: RETNA

After a celeb filled Friday and TAO and LAVO, the party continued Saturday at the season opening of TAO Beach.  Actress, singer and newlywed Mandy Moore played host. Also enjoying the day was Owen Wilson, in town with his brother Andrew and a few friends, shading himself from the Vegas sun by wearing a long sleeve shirt and a baseball hat. Before hitting TAO Beach, Wilson grabbed lunch at Dos Caminos inside The Palazzo.

Angie Harmon, showing off a svelte post-baby figure, decided to spend the day with a girlfriend at TAO Beach while hubby Jason Sehorn golfed.  Harmon was just one of the celebs that gossip blogger Perez Hilton met while he was at TAO Beach. After spending the day at TAO Beach, Angie Harmon rejoined her husband for an Italian birthday dinner at LAVO.

Krysten Ritter arrived at TAO Beach with music video director boyfriend Scott Culver.  The affectionate couple lounged on a daybed inside a cabana near Dancing With the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff.

Across the pool Lil Jon, Reggie Bush, Brody Jenner and his girlfriend Playmate Jayde Nicole had gathered in a cabana along with poker pros Phil Hellmuth and Antonio Esfandiari.

Just two tables away in the nightclub were rapper Too Short and reality star Brody Jenner.  Later Jenner was spotted at Moon Nightclub and Playboy Club hanging out with a friend. 

Over at TAO both The Veronicas and Nadine Velazquez came to dine right after wrapping up Miss USA rehearsals for the day.  Also dining at TAO, Dancing with the  Star’s Karina Smirnoff with three friends.

Rain Nightclub resident DJ, Paul Oakenfold was spotted dining at Nove Italiano inside Palms Casino Resort with a lady friend, prior to heading to Rain for “Paul Oakenfold Presents: Perfecto Las Vegas.” 

Members of the American hard rock band, Rev Theory partied at Rain Nightclub.


Las Vegas’ honorable Mayor Oscar Goodman was seen inside Rain Nightclub in the afternoon afternoon for the “Dancing with the Las Vegas Stars” cancer fundraiser.  He also paid a visit to N9NE Steakhouse, and although he didn’t stay for dinner, he chatted with Executive Chef Barry Dakake.  Mayor Goodman signed his name on Chef Barry’s door.

Also at N9NE Steakhouse was magician Lance Burton.  Burton and a lady friend enjoyed an exclusive dinner at the bar an hour before the restaurant opened.

Vocalist for the band Avenged Sevenfold, Matthew Sanders (also known as M. Shadows) had dinner at N9NE Steakhouse with good friend of DCMA Collective clothing, Tal Cooperman.  They were joined by six guests and sat in the main dining room.

At Playboy Club, front man for Maroon 5, Adam Levine arrived with a group but was seen playing blackjack for most of his stay. He also stopped by to say hello to Playboy Playmate Miss April, Crystal McCahill who was the special host for Playboy Club last night. 

Former boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini stopped by Playboy Club for a short while.

Upstairs in Moon Nightclub, San Diego Chargers wide receiver, Kassim Osgood partied at a table with seven guests.

Porn star Mary Carey also partied at Moon Nightclub and arrived with four others.

I'll be back next week with more of what's happening in and around Las Vegas.

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