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

Las Vegas Pays Tribute to Michael Jackson

Las Vegas’ top entertainers came together for a special performance of Las Vegas Celebrates the Music of Michael Jackson on Saturday, August 29, 2009, at 3 p.m. inside the Pearl Concert Theatre at the Palms, for what would have been Michael Jackson’s 51st birthday.

Michael Jackson tribute artists

To celebrate The King of Pop, the show featured performers from casts, including “Jersey Boys,” “The Lion King,” “Peepshow,” “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular,” “Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity,” “America’s Got Talent” winner and headliner Terry Fator, “Britain’s Got Talent’s” group Signature and “Peepshow” star and pop culture icon Holly Madison – in addition to many other acts. The Las Vegas Mass Choir, who recently performed for President Obama, was also part of the stellar lineup.

Erich Bergen

Guests were greeted by some rare Michael Jackson memorabilia as Profiles in History, the world’s largest Hollywood memorabilia auctioneer, displayed some of the King of Pop’s costumes including Jackson’s light up glove from the 1984 Victory Tour as well as original costumes from the Jackson 5. This display was shown inside The Pearl and was only available to ticketholders.

The special event commemorated and celebrated Jackson’s life while raising funds to help kids across the U.S. and right here in Nevada keep music alive in the schools. 100 percent of the proceeds after cost from ticket sales of this event will benefit Music Education programming in Clark County Public Schools. The string quartet from Green Valley High School made a special appearance as one of the many schools benefiting from the proceeds of the concert which are already in excess of $50,000
At 7 p.m.  Michael Jackson was honored with a Brenden Celebrity Star at Brenden Theatres at the Palms.   The star was accepted by Jackson’s father Joe Jackson.

Dancers of 'Peepshow"
Photo credit: Denise Truscello

Human Nature
Photo credit: Denise Truscello

Zowie Bowie
Photo credit: Denise Truscello

Terry Fator
Photo credit: Denise Truscello

Clint Holmes
Photo credit: Denise Truscello

Rick Faugno
Photo credit: Denise Truscello

Then at 8 p.m. Brenden Theatres hosted a rare showing of Michael Jackson’s 1988 film “Moonwalker,” presented by CineVegas. Following the screening, there was a Q&A session with Choreographer Vincent Paterson, Producer Frank DiLeo and Co-star Kelley Parker.

In addition, both the Mayor of the City of Las Vegas and the Clark County Commission  declared August 29th “Michael Jackson Day” in Las Vegas

Over at Hawaiian Tropic Zone inside Miracle Mile Shops, the life of Michael Jackson was remembered with an evening of festivities in honor of his birthday. The non-stop night of musical entertainment at the Vegas hotspot included a live performance by a top Michael Jackson tribute artist. Donning Michael Jackson costumes, the tribute artist stunned the crowd and performed classics from the legendary entertainer including “Smooth Criminal,” “Wanna be Startin’ Something’,” “Billy Jean,” “Black or White” and “Thriller.” In addition, a video tribute to the legend ran throughout the evening the on the 36-foot tall plasma screen wall and fans competed in a moonwalk contest.


The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas Host  “2009 Miss Chinese Cosmos Pageant of the Americas®”

The “2009 Miss Chinese Cosmos Pageant of the Americas” Final Competition was held on August 22, 2009 at The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino.  This was the first time Phoenix TV hosted the pageant in Las Vegas.

From award-winning Hollywood record producer to well-known mainland Chinese actors, there were over 1,300 guests who attended the final competition.  Among panelists of judges were Yuanyuan Tan, the principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet; actor Russell Wong from The Mummy 3 and Romeo Must Die; Hollywood Director Tony Vitale, and famous Chinese singer, Cheng Ling.


Sixteen contestants, showcasing their beauty, compassion, vigor, fortitude, and intelligence, vied for the ‘Americas’ title. Stacy Wang stood out, taking the crown and winning the title of the “2009 Miss Chinese Cosmos of the Americas”. The runner-up was Chanchan Du, and coming in at second place was Jennifer W. Radzwill.

In mid-September, Ms. Wong will represent the Americas’ region and join other regional champions in Hong Kong for the global competition of the 2009 Miss Chinese Cosmos Pageant.

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

On August 28 turntable phenom ‘DJ AM’ (Adam Goldstein) was found deceased in his New York City apartment. -Michael Morton, Managing Member & Co-founder, N9NE Group released the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of DJ AM’s passing.  He was not only our resident DJ at Rain Nightclub inside the Palms Casino Resort, he was also our brother in music. His impact was felt immediately and will have a lasting effect on all who had the chance to experience ‘AM Fridays.’  He is a gifted and talented artist who changed the international music scene and helped make Las Vegas one of the DJ capitals of the world.  He will be dearly missed.”

Photo courtesy of

On Friday night, August 29 the Palms Resort Casino and Rain Nightclub held a special tribute for DJ AM who served as resident DJ for Rain Nightclub and hosted the weekly event called “AM Fridays”. The staff inside the nightclub each wore DJ AM t-shirts and Nike sneakers while Greg Lopez and DJ R.O.B.(Robert Hathcock) took the stage.  At midnight, 60 seconds of silence was held in remembrance of him.  The crowd then raised their lighters and cell phones as P. Diddy’s remake of “Every Breath You Take” titled "I'll Be Missing You," created as a tribute to Biggie Smalls aka Notorious B.I.G., was played during a photo montage of DJ AM that appeared on the video screens throughout the club.  Earlier in the evening the Palms Casino Resort sign darkened the exterior letters so that only the A and M were illuminated.  A table at the entrance of Rain served as a memorial for guests who left flowers and personal tokens of DJ AM.

Playground, Las Vegas’ 1st nightlife complex held its Grand Opening last Thursday evening, September 3. Located on 3525 West Russell Road, one block west of 1-15, the venue is divided into several rooms that include gentlemen’s club:  Crazy Horse III,  a rock and roll music venue: The Rock Room,  Hookah Lounge, as well as delicious offerings of Sushi all night long.

Legendary talk-show host and iconic entertainment personality Jerry Springer will host America’s Got Talent Live, the live version of NBC’s top-rated family entertainment show. The show will kickoff a ten week run at the resort starting October 7, 2009 at Planet Hollywood’s 1300-seat CHI Showroom. Performances are scheduled for Wednesday through Sunday.

Leading hospitality development and management company, The Light Group, announced today its plans to unveil four innovative concepts at the groundbreaking ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter, the unparalleled urban resort destination underway on the Las Vegas Strip between Bellagio and Monte Carlo, upon its opening in December 2009.  The new lineup consists of Haze Nightclub, The Deuce Lounge, Union Restaurant & Lounge and Liquid, the resort’s adult-only pool playground and outdoor refuge.

B. B. King, aka the King of Blues, is bringing his popular restaurant, bar and nightlife venue, B.B. King’s Blues Club to Las Vegas. The venue is set to open this winter at The Mirage and will offer food and entertainment ’round the clock.

International singing sensation Matt Goss known around the world as “The Voice” opens his full scale production show “Matt Goss Live from Las Vegas” opens this Friday September 4, at the Palms Casino Resort. Show times are every Friday and Saturday night at 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 plus any fees or taxes.

Matt Goss

Sin City Brewing Co. opens its third Las Vegas location September 10 inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian.     
The 2009 Super Summer Theatre begins performances of the musical “Working ” on Thursday, September 10 at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, located 10 miles west of 215 on Charleston.  Performances are Thursday – Saturday (September 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26)   Gates open at 6 p.m. Show begins at 7 p.m.Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 at the UNLV Box Office, Prestige Travel at Lake Mead and Rampart, or online at  A limited number of tickets are available at the gate the night of the show for $15.

On September 12, BODIES… The Exhibition launches its health and wellness series featuring lectures from community leaders. The program resolves to inform the public of current health topics, giving guests the power of knowledge and prevention. The series takes place inside the Exhibition on the Atrium Level of Luxor Hotel and Casino one Saturday a month at 9:30 a.m.  For the cost of $16, more than 50% off the regular ticket price, guests can enjoy the lecture and enter BODIES… The Exhibition 30 minutes prior to opening for a more private experience.

Nevada Ballet Theatre, 1651 Inner Circle, Las Vegas, and its affiliated Academy will be hold open auditions for all children in the community. This year, over 100 roles will be available for young people including Bakers, Sailors, Angels, Soldiers, Mini-Mice, Maxi-Mice, Party Girls, Party Boys and Mini-Variations.  Students must register by Thursday, September 10. Rehearsals will immediately begin on September 12 & 13. Audition Fee is $25 (Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre students exempt).  For more information, call Academy Coordinator Shannon Cangey at (702) 243-2623.

Emmy award-winning production designer René Lagler is designing the set for “Sgt. Pepper Live” featuring Cheap Trick at the Las Vegas Hilton Sept. 13-15, 17-19 and 21-23.

The Line Up of Great Comedians appearing at the Comedy Stop at the Sahara for the Week of September 14 – 20 are Scott Bruce, known for his infectious laugh, engaging personality and his ability to ad lib;  Karen Rontowski - a regular on the “Bob and Tom” nationally syndicated morning radio show and  seen on “Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen” and Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and Dan Grueter - one of the fastest rising young stars on the comedy horizon. Show times are 9 p.m. seven nights a week.

Hooters Casino Hotel is hosting “A Tribute to Michael” featuring Michael Firestone in the Night Owl Showroom for a limited two day engagement; at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Friday, on September 18th and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday September19th. Ticket price is $39.95. You must be 21 years or older to attend the show.

Adam Merrin (son of Las Vegas based publicist extraordinaire Bruce Merrin) and The 88, will headline with the B52s at the House of Blues in Las Vegas, Saturday, September l9.  The concert begins at 8 p .m.  The 88 has been touring with the B 52s.  They have completed a successful East Coast Tour with the B52s, and recently they performed together at the Pacific Amphitheatre with over 7,000 concert goers attending.

Former Las Vegas casino owner Gary Mahoney will be signing and selling copies of his first book “The Last Cookie Club” at the Book Boutique – located at 19 W. Pacific Avenue in Downtown Henderson on Saturday, September 19 from noon – 2 p.m. “The Last Cookie Club”, although a work of fiction is a story based on his own experience with a group of friends and colleagues he created to combat food addiction together. The book goes beyond tactics and fad diets to uncover the real reasons why people overeat.

International auctioneers Bonhams & Butterfields, will hold its fall auction of Salon Jewelry on September 21, 2009 during the company’s first jewelry auction to be held at The Venetian. The 400 lot sale will include a distinctive group of diamond, platinum, famous-maker, signed jewels and watches from the Clavius Collection of Fine Watches as well as Property from a Private Las Vegas Collection.

Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant located at 4930 W. Flamingo Rd. and Decatur in the Renaissance Center West, is hosting a fundraising dinner to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada on Thursday, September 24. The event is from 6 to 10 p.m. and features Ricardo’s signature menu with unique, creative and authentic Mexican favorites. Ricardo’s will donate 30% of all sales (including dinner and alcohol) for this one night only to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Nevada. All are invited to attend.

Beginning Tuesday, September 1, Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant, in partnership with Three Square™ , will be celebrating Hunger Action Month. Guests that bring in any four canned food items in throughout September will receive 10% off their final bill. All donated items must come in their original packaging with proper labels for distribution.

Classic rocker, Billy Squier, will perform fan favorites of his chart-topping hits of the 80s and 90s including "The Stroke" and “Everybody Wants You,” one night only, Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 8 p.m. at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 South Green Valley Parkway. Ticket prices start at $26.

Upcoming concerts at The Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms include Rocker Peter Frampton September 18. Tickets are $25, $35 & $45. Irish Celtic punk band Flogging Molly is set to play on Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $25, $30 & $35, plus any additional service fees.

Henderson Libraries will host four concerts geared specifically toward children featuring Julie Austin, an award winning children’s recording artist on Thursday, Sept. 24, through Saturday, Sept. 26. Austin includes signing, sign miming, stories and dance into her performances. Each concert, which will take place at various Henderson Library locations will feature interactive and dynamic programs for families. The James I. Gibson Library, The Paseo Verde Library and the Green Valley Library are recommended for children ages 3 -8 and The Galleria Library is for all ages. Registration is required for the shows at the Gibson, Paseo Verde and Green Valley Libraries. For more information on Henderson Libraries and the Jane Austin children’s concerts, visit or call 702-492-7252.

Celebrity sightings:

Tuesday afternoon, September 1…

Celebrity choreographer Shane Sparks from MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” and Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” spotted having lunch at Pink Taco inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Tuesday night DJ Samantha Ronson dined at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort.

At Rain Nightclub, the official STREET at MAGIC Party took place and featured the world famous mix of DJ Jazz Jeff.  Others in attendance included: professional skateboarder Jake Brown; rapper Paul Slayton (known as Paul Wall); Tech N9ne rapper Aaron Dontez; turntablist Michael Schwartz (known as Mix Master Mike); producer and DJ Christopher Martin (known as DJ Premier); hip-hop producer and emcee Alan  Maman (known as the Alchemist); and rapper Shaquan Lewis (known as Skillz).

Rapper Carl Mitchell, better known by his stage name Twista, partied at Moon Nightclub with a group of eight.

Country superstar Kenny Chesney performed a 30 minute private concert at the pool at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The singer was promoting the launch of his new clothing line Blue Chair Bay.

Wednesday, September 2, Scott Weiland, legendary lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, performed live at Wasted Space at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The rocker was promoting the launch of his new men’s clothing line, Weiland,  for English Laundry.

Scott Weiland
Photo credit: Cody Boor / Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Thursday, September 3...

Adult film legend Ron Jeremy was spotted walking through Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

At Worship Thursday at TAO Rapper and R&B songstress Eve arrived with a small group of friends.

UFC fighter BJ Penn was seen hanging with friends at the Rock Bar.

Oil heir Brandon Davis was spotted with a male friend.

Friday September 4...

Labor Day weekend celebrations kicked into gear. The LMFAO crew, decked out in their bright Party Rock clothing line, dined at TAO before heading up to the nightclub where they were hosting.

Also at the nightclub was NBA star and former UNLV player Shawn Marion of the Dallas Mavericks. Spotted in the crowd was Chad Turton, the lead singer and guitarist for Nickelback, and his band mates.

At LAVO, comedienne Joan Rivers dined on the expansive Strip front terrace with daughter Melissa and Melissa’s eight year old son.

Saturday, Sept. 5...

Actor Ed Begley, Jr. was the keynote speaker at the 2009 Energy Symposium as the Valley Electric Association launched its renewable energy program.  The event was held at the Pahrump Nugget.

Jeff Mahoney (Alternative energy market manager for Rheem), Ed Begley, Jr. and Tom Husted (VEA CEO)

In the evening, Holly Huddleston and a large group of friends were seen partying at Wasted Space inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Holly Huddleston
Photo credit Hard Rock Hotel & Casino / Cody Boor

Studio 54 at MGM Grand welcomed former Girls Next Door reality starlet Holly Madison. The new Miss Vegas was accompanied by good friend and Playboy Playmate of the Year 2008 Laura Croft as well as her PEEPSHOW cast members including Josh Strickland.

Holly Madison
Photo credit: Scott Harrison/Retna

Josh Strickland and Holly Madison
Photo credit: Scott Harrison/Retna

Laura Croft
Photo credit: Scott Harrison/Retna

Saturday night Sept 5...

At LAVO and TAO, Actress Regina King dined at the Italian eatery.

After spending the day hosting at TAO Beach, LMFAO returned to LAVO for dinner in the private dining room.

Comedian Wayne Brady was spotted enjoying decanter service in the LAVO lounge.

Over at TAO, One Life to Live actress Crystal Hunt dined with two girlfriends.

Topping off the night at TAO, Patrick O’Bryant of the Toronto Raptors proposed to his girlfriend Molly Bergeson with a stunning diamond ring.

At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: Boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather spotted leaving the property around 1 a.m. following a late night meal at Mr. Lucky’s.

Sunday, September 6...

Tori Spelling, husband Dean McDermott, their two children and a group of friends, including the “Guncles” from their hit show on the Oxygen network, spotted enjoying an early dinner at LAVO Italian Restaurant

DJ Samantha Ronson spotted enjoying dinner at Strip House inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

At N9NE Steakhouse, inside the Palms singer Rihanna and rapper Fabolous dined with a party of 12 in the main dining room.

Rihanna and Barry Dakake
Photo credit: N9NE Group

At a separate table, Minnesota Timberwolves athlete, Kevin Love celebrated his 21st birthday with a large group of 20.

Actress Regina King and actor, director and musician Malcolm Jamal-Warner dined with a party of six.  Following dinner, King and Warner made their way to Playboy Club.

Malcom Jamal Warner and Regina King
Photo credit: ShaneONeal/N9NEGroup

Upstairs at Moon Nightclub, rock band Hinder partied with a group of friends.

Labor Day, Monday, September 7…

Holly Madison & the cast of Peepshow hung out at the Palms Place pool.

Actor Dorian Graham spotted enjoying dinner at Strip House inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

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

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