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
www.theflickchicks.com

Disney's The Lion King Opens at Mandalay Bay

Disney’s award-winning Broadway musical, The Lion King celebrated its Las Vegas premiere at Mandalay Bay Theatre on Friday evening, May 16.  In attendance were several members of the original creative team including director/creator Julie Taymor; book writers Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi; choreographer Garth Fagan; scene designer Richard Hudson; and Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Group.

With the opening of The Lion King at Mandalay Bay, the Las Vegas production joins the seven other highly successful companies currently running all over the world, including New York, London, Hamburg, Paris, Tokyo and Fukuoka, as well as the North American National Tour.

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At almost two and a half hours long with one intermission, the Las Vegas production is virtually identical to the Broadway musical and other companies seen around the world. Uncut and complete, this is a rarity for Las Vegas audiences who have a limited attention span and are used to sitting through 90 minutes at the max.  However, this show is in a class all its own featuring unique elements not seen in traditional Broadway musicals. And it is staged with all of the same music written by Elton John and Tim Rice, additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer, along with exquisite sets and costumes that have made it a worldwide phenomenon.

I was in the audience for the media night on Thursday, May 14, and what struck me the most are the visually dazzling, colorful costumes which are by far the most impressive element of this show and an artistic achievement from Julie Taymor who wore two hats, as both director and costume designer.  Taymor did a brilliant job in creating the illusion of animals on stage through the use of puppets and masks and mechanical components that are built into the actor’s costumes to mimic animal movements.

Based on Disney’s 1994 animated feature, The Lion King tells the story of Simba, a young lion cub who is tricked by his evil, jealous uncle into believing he was to blame for the death of his father. Overwhelmed with guilt, Simba runs away into the jungle where he encounters an assortment of lively, new characters and begins a journey of self discovery that will ultimately lead him back to his rightful place as King in the Circle of Life.  With its universal message about friendship, love and responsibility, The Lion King is a show for people of all ages and the entire family.

For the Las Vegas production, Disney hand-selected an international cast of performers who have won acclaim in international productions of The Lion King, including those on Broadway, Taipei, South Africa, London, Los Angeles, Australia, Toronto, Shanghai, Paris and Holland.

The cast also includes nine South African natives; and two ensemble members, Joseph Rivera and Renata Renee Wilson, from Las Vegas.

A standout is Thom Sesna as Scar, Simba’s cunning and manipulative uncle, but the entire cast is noteworthy including youngsters, Duane Ervin and Elijah Johnson who alternately portray young Simba, Clifton Oliver as the grown up Simba and Kissy Simmons as Nala.

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"The Las Vegas production is every bit the equal of the spectacular Broadway experience,” said Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Group. “From the stunning procession of animals that fill the aisles during ‘Circle of Life’ and the wildebeest stampede to the show’s climactic battle, all of the magic of the original vision will be realized onstage at Mandalay Bay.”

The show is performed Monday through Thursday evenings at 8 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 4 p.m. Tickets range from $53 - $168.50.  There are no performances on Fridays.


The Imperial Palace Hosts Imperial Hawaiian Luau

For the 18th consecutive year, The Imperial Palace is hosting another Imperial Hawaiian Luau poolside every Tuesday and Saturday from May 2 – Sept. 29.

The open-air dinner show is better than ever, featuring an all-you can eat buffet, and adult beverages plus a souvenir Pagoda cup for every ticket holder. In tradition with its legendary past, the Imperial Hawaiian Luau is the perfect summer outing for audiences of all ages.  From the sights of the ten beautiful Pacific-Island dancers, to the sounds of the drums and conch shell to the taste of the finest Pacific-Island Cuisine, the luau is a journey for all the senses. The 90-minute dinner show features live music and traditional dances and costuming from several of the Pacific Islands including Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji and Samoa. The island-themed cuisine features offerings of roasted pig, barbeque chicken, salmon and shrimp, an extensive dessert bar and many other island favorites.

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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

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Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Photo credit: Judy Thorburn

Tickets for the Imperial Hawaiian Luau are on sale now at the Imperial Palace box office, www.imperialpalace.com, www.vegas.com, or by calling 702-731-3311.  General admission tickets are $49.95 (plus tax & fees) and VIP tickets are $59.95 (plus tax & fees). VIP tickets come with preferred seating, all you can drink “you call its” and a traditional Hawaiian lei


Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Unveils Summer Exhibit

On May 18 Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens unveiled a timeless tribute to summer that will be on display through September 12. The vibrant exhibit features colorful cold air balloons, a spectacular Ferris wheel and patriotic displays of the Stars and Stripes. At the centerpiece of the display is a dazzling 42-foot-tall, full-scale Ferris wheel with seats bursting with sunflowers.  Visitors also will find a glass aviary filled with vividly plumed lorikeets and parakeets, surrounded by an abundant array of wildflowers.  Steps away, a father bear and his cub, clad in botanic fishing vests and hats and carrying wooden poles, is seen on a whimsical fishing adventure. Nearby, a lemonade stand and tree house evokes memories of childhood play while the recreation of a traditional small-town park calls to mind a sense of togetherness and community.

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Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is free and open to the public seven days a week, 24 hours a day.  The summer exhibit is on display through September 12.


Fremont Street Experience Kicks Off "Summer of '69: Vegas or Bust" Memorial Day Weekend with Artist's Unveiling

Friday morning May 22, The Fremont Street Experience held an exclusive sneak preview of its “Summer of ’69: Vegas or Bust” concert and event series that began Memorial Day weekend when the downtown area transformed itself for the 40th anniversary of 1969 by taking visitors back to the legendary year.

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(from left to right):
Multidiscipline artist-designer, John Van Hamersveld, Mayor Oscar Goodman, President and CEO of the LVCVA, Rossi Ralenkotter, Fremont Street Experience President, Jeff Victor, and two hippies celebrate the kick off of “Summer of ‘69: Vegas or Bust” the unveiling of a custom-painted vintage bus by Van Hamersveld on Friday, May 22.

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Blood, Sweat & Tears performs at Fremont Street Experience on Sunday, May 24
Photo courtesy of Larry Burton, United Press Imaging

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Famed band, The Guess Who, performed to a crowd of thousands on Saturday,  May 23
Photo courtesy of Larry Burton, United Press Imaging

In celebration of the summer extravaganza, artist John Van Hamersveld, most known for his prominent 1960s iconic image of the Pinnacle Indian and The Beatles cover for the “Magical Mystery Tour” album was on hand, as the Official Artist of “Summer of 69: Vegas or Bust” .  He was joined by Mayor Goodman and President and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Rossi Ralenkotter.

The event kicked off with Van Hamersveld unveiling, for the very first time, his completed art piece, a custom painted vintage school bus. Van Hamersveld’s participation in the summer event also includes the creation of a debut Viva Vision show titled, “Signs of Life”.

“I feel very grateful and excited to work with Fremont Street Experience on the ‘Summer of ‘69’ event series,” said the world-renowned pop-culture artist. “My inspiration comes from a new time introduced to us by President Obama, feeling we need to readjust our needs and values to a time of change. I’ve custom-created four symbols that represent Summer of ’69: a flower, symbolizing growth; a peace sign, instilling safety within; a heart representing love; and a globe for balance. I feel these emblems truly symbolize the great year of 1969 and bring a fresh, modern approach to these events.”

Van Hamersveld will also open Hippie Nation™ Gallery & Records, an art gallery located at Fremont Street Experience that will sell custom John Van Hamersveld posters, digital prints, original drawings and hand pulled silk screens, in addition to record albums.

The “Summer of ’69: Vegas or Bust” event series kicked off on Saturday May 23 with live musical entertainment by famed band, The Guess Who, who performed to a crowd of thousands. Then on Sunday May 24, Blood, Sweat & Tears took to the stage at the Fremont Street Experience. All summer long through Labor Day weekend, themed nightly entertainment will include cover bands and tribute artists, theatrical performances with costumed entertainers, new Viva Vision shows paying tribute to the year 1969, and special guest appearances.

All concerts and entertainment are FREE to the public. For more information, visit www.vegasexperience.com.


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

May 20 was Cher’s 63rd birthday. She celebrated it on stage performing for her fans at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

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Cher

Grammy award winning singer Natalie Cole had to cancel her performances scheduled for Memorial Day weekend at the M Resort. The 59 year old underwent a kidney transplant at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday. She was diagnosed with hepatitis C in July and had been undergoing kidney dialysis three times a week since September. Tickets to her cancelled performances will be refunded.

In honor of the bakery’s 50th anniversary serving Las Vegas, Freed’s Bakery invites all its loyal customers to submit a photo capturing their favorite Freed’s memory to its “Best Freed’s Photo” contest. The top two winners in several categories will receive a Freed’s cake on their birthday for life, and runners up will win an assortment of treats from the bakery.  Eligible customers must submit a photo at either of the Freed’s Bakery locations or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The photo contest, which started May 1, will illustrate the past 50 years of Freed’s celebrations all over town. Customers can submit photos of events throughout their lives that feature a Freed’s creation. The categories are: Best Overall Freed’s Photo;  Oldest Photo;  Funniest Photo;   Most Las Vegas Photo;  Biggest Group Photo;   Best Wedding Cake Photo;  Best Birthday Cake Photo; Best Anniversary Photo; Best Baby Shower Photo; Best Bachelor Photo Best Bachelorette Photo; Best Children's Birthday Photo; Best Pet Photo;  Best Chronological Series of Photos. All winning photographs will be published on the bakery’s web site, www.freedsbakery.com.  The contest will run through October 10.

Beginning Wednesday May 13 at 7 p.m. Magician Dirk Arthur moved his show Xtreme Magic into the nighttime spot in the Tiffany Theater at The Tropicana, filling the void left when Le Folies Bergere closed after more than 50 years. The expanded evening performance features all of the famed Xtreme Magic favorites while integrating a variety of never-before-seen illusions, new music, updated choreography, costumes, set pieces and more.  Xtreme Magic remains the only show on the Las Vegas strip to feature a variety of exotic cats including white striped tigers, black African leopards, a pure white snow tiger and an actual liger.

Terrible Herbst Oil in conjunction with the Injured Police Officers Fund (IPOF) have launched a fundraising campaign from Friday, May 22 to Saturday, June 20 to raise money in honor of Officer James Manor who died in a car accident on May 7 on his way to answer a domestic violence call. Money raised will help provide for Officer Manor’s daughter Jay’la Alexis Manor. Patrons may donate at Las Vegas Valley and Primm locations. Customers may donate any dollar amount to the fund, and will be given a specially-designed officer badge paper wall hanger to sign or share a kind thought in memory of Officer Manor. The badges will be posted at Terrible Herbst convenience stores until June 20.

RA Sushi will host its fifth annual “Nicky’s Week” fundraiser May 24 to 30, to benefit the internationally renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. All donations from the weeklong effort will help pay for St. Jude’s development of treatment and cures for diseases such as brain tumors, leukemia, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening illnesses in children.  RA Sushi, located at the Fashion Show Mall, will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of Edamame, Tootsy Maki, Shrimp Shumai, FIJI, Red Bull, The Republic of Tea, and select cocktails, to St. Jude.

On Friday, May 29 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., auditions will be held at the V Theatre inside Planet Hollywood for a new reality TV series called  LV Style TV,”  which will feature Las Vegas’ best models, dancers, singers and other entertainers. The new show will air on a major television network during the summer/fall of 2009. The show will follow a group of talented locals as they attempt to be hired for a multitude of jobs including professional and celebrity runway fashion shows, conventions, special events, bachelor and bachelorette parties, exotic shows, nightclubs and much more. The show will be shot at the V Theater, David Saxe Productions building and at various locations throughout Las Vegas.  The auditions are open to men and women ages 18 and older. Everyone must come ready to perform and bring a swimsuit to model. No appointment is necessary. The audition will be taped and aired as part of the show. For more information, please call (702) 207-2500.

In honor of National Tap Dance Day, L. Blake will put on a FREE performance that pays homage to the founding father of tap dancing, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. His performance titled “Gravity” will take place Saturday, May 30 at 2 p.m at West Las Vegas Library Theatre, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd. This free event is co-sponsored by the Clark County Library District and  the City of Las Vegas Art and Community Events Division and open to the public.

On Thursday, June 4, The Village at Lake Las Vegas launches “Movies al Fresco” with “Marley & Me”. These weekly, family-friendly movie nights are FREE and shown at 8 p.m. on the lakeside lawn at The Village which is located in Henderson at 15 Costa di Lago. Movie-goers are encouraged to bring a blanket or low-back chair.  The rest of the lineup in June are “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (PG) on June 11, “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” (PG) on June 18 and “Twilight” (PG-13) on June 25.  The July movie lineup is as follows:  “Ironman” (PG-13) on July 2; “Mamma Mia” (PG-13) on July 9, “The Water Horse” (PG) on July 16, “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (PG) on July 23 and “Breakin” (PG) on July 30. “Shrek 3” (PG) will be shown on August 6 followed by “Ink Heart” (PG) on August 13 and “Bolt” (PG) on August 20.

Saturday, June 6, The Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation will host the 10th Annual Fire & Rain Firefighter Bachelor Auction inside RAIN Nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort. 18 of Southern Nevada’s most eligible bachelors will be featured in an evening of music, entertainment, dancing and a live auction to support the Burn Foundation. Fire station dinners will also be available for auction and raffle. Doors open at 6 p.m.   Tickets are priced at $40 for Women (complimentary champagne included) $80 for Men. To purchase tickets please visit www.theburnfoundation.org. For more information on the event please call 702-416-6767.

CineVegas will present a rare screening of the Beatles’ animation classic Yellow Submarine at Mandalay Bay Beach as part of the 2009 festival.  Sponsored by The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, the dive-in outdoor screening will be held Saturday, June 13 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets priced at $10, not including applicable service charges, are now on sale

Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Steve Tyrell has been booked for a limited engagement in the Gordie Brown Showroom at the Golden Nugget June 12-15. Show times for the 4 day stint is 7:30 p.m. each night. With his breakthrough performances in "Father of the Bride" and "Father of the Bride II," Tyrell reinvented and re-popularized classic pop standards for a modern-day audience.  In September, his voice will be featured over the end title of Steve Soderbergh's next film "The Informant" singing a new song written for the movie by Academy Award winners Alan and Marilyn Bergman along with Marvin Hamlisch.   During Tyrell's engagement, Gordie Brown Live will be dark. Show tickets will start at $29.95 plus applicable taxes and fees

Long-time friends and performers Clint Holmes, Susan Anton, Domenick Allen and Martin Nievera will perform together onstage for the first time in Vocal Soup, a 90-minute showcase of solo performances, duets and group numbers, at the Suncoast Showroom, June 19, 20 and 21. Tickets are now available starting from $29.95, plus tax. Showtime is 8 p.m.

Actress/sex symbol Carmen Electra will kick off a week long guest star appearance in both the 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. performances of MGM Grand’s Crazy Horse Paris beginning Wednesday, July 8 nightly through Monday, July 13.  Electra will showcase her dance ability and naturally sexy style in three acts: a lesson on eroticism, also known as “Leçon D’Érotisme,” a riveting and entrancing performance entitled “Chain Gang” and an ensemble number, “Étoile de Paris.” Tickets for Electra’s performances are now on sale.

Marshall Rousso has opened a new store inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino


Celebrity sightings:

On Tuesday evening 5/19, Las Vegas’ own b-boys and winner of the second season of America’s Best Dance Crew, Super CR3W, rocked the house at Moon Nightclub inside Palms Casino Resort for the ‘Roc Them Funky Stylz’ party.  They sat at a VIP table with about 25 people.

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Photo credit: Shane ONeal

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Left to right – Jason Craig (N9NE Group), Ronnie Boy, Murda, Vex, Ben, and Do Knock. Front – Rockadile
Photo credit: Shane ONeal

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Photo credit: Shane ONeal

Wednesday evening 5/20…

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White enjoyed dinner with a group of four at N9NE Steakhouse inside the Palms.

TV sportscaster Bob Costas attended George Wallace’s show. He and his wife also enjoyed a lovely dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio inside The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian.

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Bob Costas and George Wallace

Thursday, 5/21…

“Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss was spotted having lunch at Wolfgang Puck's Chinois.

Ken Norton, Jr., former NFL star and current assistant head coach for defense and linebacker coach for USC, was spotted with two guests at ghostbar, inside the Palms Casino Resort.  The trio sat on the patio enjoying the Strip view until nearly 3 a.m.

At N9NE Steakhouse, Larry Johnson aka L.J., NFL Running Back for the Kansas City Chiefs, was joined by a group of ten guests for dinner. 

At Moon Nightclub, Hermes Franca, a Brazilian mixed martial artist and lightweight UFC contender, along with Jeremy Stephens, mixed martial arts fighter, were both in town for the fight this Saturday.  They were joined by a group of eight friends.

Actor Chazz Palminteri was spotted taking in the nightclub scene at both LAVO and TAO.


Friday 5/22…

Spotted kicking off the Memorial Weekend at TAO Beach was Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson with a group of friends.

Also at TAO Beach enjoying mojitos and a day bed by the pool, season seven winner of America’s Next Top Model, Caridee English.

Dancing With the Stars dance pro Cheryl Burke celebrated her 25th birthday at LAVO inside The Palazzo.  She dined at TAO New York on Wednesday before flying to Las Vegas on Thursday to dine at LAVO.  She returned to LAVO on Friday to continue the celebration with a group of friends in tow, including boyfriend, model Max Zagorski, fellow DWTS pros Edyta Sliwinska and husband Alec Mazo, and Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan.

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Photo credit: Isaac Brekken

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Photo credit: Isaac Brekken

Retired NBA star Charles Oakley was joined by a party of three for dinner in the main dining room at N9NE Steakhouse, inside the Palms. Jeremy Shockey, NFL tight end for the New Orleans Saints, was spotted dining with four guests including long-time friend George Maloof. Javon Walker, NFL wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders, and Jesse McCartney, singer-songwriter and actor, sat together with a party of 10 people in the main dining room.  Reggie Bush, NFL player for the New Orleans Saints, arrived around 11 p.m. to meet up with Walker and friends who were seated in the main dining room. He joined the group as they departed to Rain Nightclub.

Guests at Moon Nightclub included Jermaine Dupri, Nelly, Jesse McCartney and Javon Walker with an entourage of friends. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, MMA Fighter and UFC Champion, was also seen with a group of 10 friends. Also at Moon was UFC and MMA champion Dan “Hendo” Henderson.

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Jermaine Dupri
Photo credit: Cody Boor/Cody Boor Photography and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

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Jermaine Dupri
Photo credit: Cody Boor/Cody Boor Photography and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

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Rampage Jackson
Photo credit: Cody Boor/Cody Boor Photography and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

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Nelly
Photo credit: Cody Boor/Cody Boor Photography and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

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Tyse Gibson
Photo credit: Cody Boor/Cody Boor Photography and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Rain Nightclub featured turntable phenom and new resident DJ, DJ AM (Adam Goldstein).  Guests included Sammy Morris, NFL running back who currently plays for the New England Patriots, he arrived with a group of 11 people. Jamie Sharper, former NFL star, arrived to Rain shortly after midnight with a large group. Javon Walker and Reggie Bush arrived together. Jeremy Shockey showed up with two friends.

On Friday afternoon the Palms Pool & Bungalows made a splash as it kicked off Memorial Day Weekend and the Love Festival with Ditch Friday featuring  DJ Scotty Boy, DJ Twin and John Huntington were spinning their beats on Las Vegas’ first and only solar-powered DJ booth.

Guests included Darnell Dockett, NFL defensive tackle who currently plays for the Arizona Cardinals; Dwight Freeney, NFL defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts; Gary Guyton, NFL linebacker for the New England Patriots; Harry Sharper, Jr., former NFL player; Shawne Merriman, NFL linebacker for the San Diego Chargers; Terrell Owens, NFL wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills; Willie Parker aka “Fast Willie,” NFL running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers; and Willis McGahee, NFL running back for the Baltimore Ravens.

NBA Stars included Juwan Howard, of the Charlotte Bobcats;  Michael Finley, of the San Antonio Spurs; Andrew Melvin "Drew" Gooden,  of the San Antonio Spurs; and Rashad Dion McCants, of the Sacramento Kings.

Also spotted at Ditch Friday was Benji Madden of Good Charlotte.  He joined some of the football players in a private cabana.

Rapper Asher Roth surprised a packed crowd at TAO Beach on Saturday when he grabbed the microphone and gave onlookers an impromptu performance of his song “I Love College.”  When not entertaining the sun worshippers, Roth was spotted doing shots with Lil Jon.


Sat. 5/23…

Actress Kelly Monaco, currently co-starring in PEEPSHOW, was spotted poolside at the Palms Pool & Bungalows celebrating her birthday in a VIP cabana with friends.

 

Cheech & Chong came over to check out the Flight of the Conchords sold-out show in The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel after their show at The Palms Casino Resort. 

UFC Fighters George Roop and Dave Kaplan showed up at Hawaiian Tropic Zone inside Miracle Mile Shops for their After Fight Party. Earlier in the night they battled it out at UFC 98 and Roop won in a split decision.

Saturday’s signature Smashtime hosted by E! Entertainment inside Body English enjoyed a celebrity packed evening with the likes of Jermaine Dupri (record producer, songwriter, rapper), Nelly (rapper, singer, actor and entrepreneur), Green Lantern, Asher Roth (rapper), Stephanie Pratt (The Hills), Toni Braxton (Singer-songwriter, actress) and Tyrese Gibson (singer-songwriter, rapper, model, VJ, screenwriter, film producer, television producer).

Inside Nove Italiano, at the Palms Casino Resort, Rain Nightclub Resident DJ Paul Oakenfold was dining with three guests at a table overlooking the Strip. DJ Tiësto, who was also at Nove for dinner, arrived with several friends.

At N9NE Steakhouse guests included actor and comedian Dane Cook joined by three friends. Returning for a second night was Jeremy Shockey, NFL tight end for the New Orleans Saints, was spotted dining with six guests including long-time friend George Maloof. At a separate table was Paul Pierce, NBA player for the Boston Celtics, he was joined by former NBA player Sam Cassell and four other guests in the main dining room.   Drew Gooden, NBA player for the San Antonio Spurs, was joined by seven friends.  Also spotted in N9NE Steakhouse was Juwan Howard, NBA player for the Charlotte Bobcats, and Michael Finley, NBA player for the San Antonio Spurs.  They were joined by a large group in the main dining room. Lastly, Steven Jackson, NBA player for the Golden State Warriors, and Andre Johnson, NFL wide receiver for the Houston Texans, were joined by a group of six guests for dinner.

At Moon Nightclub, Sammy Morris, NFL running back for the New England Patriots was spotted at a VIP table on the dance floor. Meanwhile, at Playboy Club, Larry Johnson aka L.J., NFL running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, was spotted playing blackjack.

Rain Nightclub featured Paul Oakenfold’s Perfecto Las Vegas, as part of the Love Festival line-up.  The evening also presented sounds from Eddie Halliwell, Doman & Pettigrew, Danny Love and The Funkler.  DJ Tiësto was spotted in a VIP section of the nightclub as well sipping Perrier Jouet Champagne.

At LAVO inside The Palazzo,  Mindy Kaling of “The Office” had an early celebration of her upcoming 30th birthday with dinner at the Italian hot spot.  Joined by four college girlfriends, the sitcom star was so overwhelmed by the huge gold birthday cake she was presented she asked if she could share with the entire restaurant.
Also dining at separate tables at LAVO, Chazz Palminteri, New Orleans Saints Tight End Jeremy Shockey and on the Strip front terrace, actor Larenz Tate from the FX series “Rescue Me.”

Upstairs in the nightclub, NBA guard Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers was joined by friends.

Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida celebrated his UFC battle victory at Studio 54 in the MGM Grand among an entourage of his friends and fans.


Sunday, 5/24….

Athletes galore flooded the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for Rehab they included:  Willis McGahee, Baltimore Ravens running back; Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans tight end; Javon Walker, Oakland Raiders wide receiver; Shawn Merriman, San Diego Chargers Linebacker; Jermaine O’Neal, Miami Heat Forward;Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets Guard; Chuck Liddell, UFC Fighter and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida celebrated his UFC battle victory at Studio 54 in the MGM Grand among an entourage of his friends and fans. The fighter showed up following the second round knock-out with his new championship belt shining over his shoulder. Machida said he had no words to explain his emotions over his now Light Heavyweight title. Although the fight ended early, he said it was not an easy battle and that he was just the better man last night.

Rapper Nelly showed up at TAO and LAVO just past midnight with a small entourage and a craving for Asian food. 

Over at TAO, international superstar DJ Erick Morillo repeated his performance from last year, spinning for a packed crowd until long after the sun came up.

Earlier in the day, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest was spotted at TAO Beach.

Big Boi from Outkast was at Body English’s Sunday School. He performed five songs including hits 'Ms Jackson' and 'I like the Way You Move.'

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Big Boi from Outkast
Photo credit: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

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Big Boi from Outkast
Photo credit: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Actor and comedian Ben Stiller dined at N9NE Steakhouse with eight friends, including Bronson Olimpieri of N9NE Group. Later that evening, he and six friends were spotted at Playboy Club in the fireplace room, which they reserved for their party over at Nove Italiano, DJ Carl Cox enjoyed dinner with a large party of 14, including Vice President of N9NE Group, Michael Fuller.  Afterwards, they made their way out to Palms Pool & Bungalows where DJ Carl Cox performed for The Love Festival.

 

Others hanging out poolside on Sunday included: Boson Celtics NBA player, Paul Pierce; retired NBA player currently the assistant coach for the Washington Wizards, Samuel Cassell; San Francisco 49ers linebacker, Patrick Willis; Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson; and comedian Andrew Milonakis. 

At Rain Nightclub, New England Patriots running back Samuel Morris enjoyed the scene with three friends at a VIP table on the dance floor before making their way up to Moon Nightclub.  Also spotted at Rain Nightclub was singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney who partied with a group of 15. Also amongst the crowd at Rain Nightclub was Larry Johnson, Patrick Willis and professional boxer Zabdiel Judah.

Upstairs in Playboy Club, porn star Mary Carey was spotted with a friend.

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Monday night 5/25

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis was joined by a group of six friends at a private VIP table inside ghostbar.  Over at Playboy Club, musician Mark Farina was spotted with a small group shortly after midnight.  Also in Playboy Club was former NFL player Jamie Sharper. 

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


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