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

Cirque du Soleil Celebrates Founder’s Poetic Social Mission to International Space Station with “Moving Stars and Earth for Water Global Event”

On Friday evening, October 9, Cirque du Soleil celebrated founder Guy Laliberté’s Poetic Social Mission To Space with a free public screening of “Moving Stars and Earth for Water” at Town Square Park, 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

The global broadcast took place simultaneously at 14 cities around the world including Montreal, Moscow, Santa Monica, New York City, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Marrakesh, Sydney, Osaka, Tampa, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, London and the International Space Station, and featured appearances from artists and musicians including Matthew McConaughey, Salma Hayek, Joss Stone, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Peter Gabriel, Shakira, U2, Cirque du Soleil and many others. The event was created in conjunction with Laliberté’s One Drop Foundation to raise awareness of the humanitarian struggles associated with water. Organizers called it the first event of its kind to be hosted from space.









Photos credit: Stephen Thorburn

Prior to the outdoor screening at Town Square, the global event kicked off with appearances by performing artists from MystèreTM, Cirque du Soleil, who mingled among and interacted with the crowd. Plus there were family friendly activities including complimentary face painting and free giveaways of Cirque du Soeil memorabilia, such as decks of cards, posters, beach balls, stick on tattoos, and more.

“Twilight” Star Peter Facinelli Draws Over 3,000 Fans for Meet and Greet at Galleria Mall

More than 3,000 people came down to the Galleria at Sunset Sunday, Oct. 11, for autographs and photos with actor Peter Facinelli, who plays Dr. Carlisle Cullen in the “Twilight” movie series, and Dr. Fitch “Coop” Cooper on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Twilight” fans are excitedly anticipating the release of “New Moon,” the second movie in the “Twilight” feature film franchise, which will hit theatres Friday, Nov. 20.


The event kicked off with a VIP meet and greet with individuals chosen by MIX 94.1 FM and candidates from the Galleria at Sunset’s Shoptopia program ( Facinelli’s visit correlated with a blood drive through United Blood Services that ran from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. that same day.

A portion of the proceeds from the cost of the $25 autographs and $40 photos with Facinelli go directly to Facinelli’s charity of choice, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.


New York City-born Peter Facinelli appeared in several productions at the NYU-affiliated Atlantic Theater Company before making his feature film debut as the devil in Rebecca Miller's "Angela" (1995). In addition to serving as the patriarch of the mysterious vampire family living in the small town of Forks, Wash., he has since starred in a number of films and TV series.

Fremont Street Experience Unveils "OktoberFRIGHTFest”

Tuesday, Oct. 13, Fremont Street Experience was transformed into the ultimate adult playground with Oktoberfest and Halloween festivities, including a haunted house attraction inside Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel, a Viva Vision light and sound show themed to "Time Warp" and "Monster Mash," seasonal Oktoberfest food & drink specials, plus three FREE Halloween-themed stage shows never seen before in Las Vegas. The nightly fun and fantasy continues through Saturday, "Oktober” 31.

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn


Photos courtesy of Fremont Street Experience / Larry Burton Photography
“Frank & The Steins” bring their musical revue of classic Halloween songs including “Psycho Killers,” “Spooky,” “Time Warp,” and “Ghostbusters,” to the 3rd Street Stage Tuesdays-Saturdays at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.

International master illusionist, Jan Rouven from Germany, made his Las Vegas debut as headliner of OktoberFRIGHTFest with his dangerous, death defying illusions in "Jan Rouven presents Death-Defying Illusions” that included the mind-blowing "Drill of Death." Billed as "The Man With Nine Lives," Rouven has won top awards including the International Magician's Society "2007 Entertainer of the Year," an award previously held by magic greats David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy. Jan Rouven will perform seven days a week at the 1st Street Stage at 8 and 10 p.m. nightly through Saturday, Oct. 31.

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn


Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn


Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn


Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

"Frank & The Steins" is a live musical revue comprised of hot ghouls and guys; singers, dancers and live musicians performing songs including "Psycho Killers," "Spooky," "Time Warp," and "Ghostbusters," that will make audiences dance, laugh, sing and scream. Performances are 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays at the 3rd Street Stage.

"Sexy and Dangerous Mario & Jenny," from NBC's hit show America's Got Talent, will also bring their racy and daring act to OktoberFRIGHTFest. Their performance includes acrobatic stunts, dancing and extreme pyrotechnics. Mario & Jenny will perform on the Haunted Bus Stage at Fremont Street Experience Thursdays-Mondays at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.

In addition to all the free entertainment on Fremont Street Experience, Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel completes OktoberFRIGHTFest with its first ever Downtown Vegas Haunted Casino featuring three separate haunts filled with chills and thrills for those daring enough to venture through. The ticketed attraction is open 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Oct. 8-10 and Oct. 13-31 (dark Mondays).

For more information on OktoberFRIGHTFest and all Fremont Street Experience events, visit

Garth Brooks Signs Deal to Headline at Wynn Resort’s Encore Theatre

At a press conference at Wynn Resorts on Thursday October 15, Country superstar Garth Brooks, who retired in 2000 to raise two young daughters, announced he is ending his retirement and has signed a five year deal to perform 16 weekends a year at Encore, the newest signature resort in the Wynn collection. Brooks will perform in the theater where the late Danny Gans was a resident headliner. Brooks will begin his series of special engagements at the Encore Theatre on December 11, 2009 with four additional weekends currently scheduled through late February. All tickets for the shows will be priced at $125. The first batch of tickets will go on sale Oct. 24 at 8 a.m.



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

Due to popular demand, A BRONX TALE, the celebrated one-man play starring Academy Award-nominated actor, Chazz Palminteri, will be extended thru Oct. 24. at The Venetian. Originally scheduled to conclude his special engagement on Oct. 18, Palminteri has been wowing both audiences and critics since his limited engagement began Oct. 8 at The Venetian Showroom.

Mayor Oscar B. Goodman presented Shriners board executives with a key to the city to kick off the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open atTPC Summerlin. Joining the Mayor was Jack Jones, Imperial Potentate, President and C.E.O Shriners Internationaland Chairman Board of Directors Shriners Hospitals for Children; Gary Dunwoody, Past Imperial Potentate, Member Board of Trustees Shriners Hospitals for Children and Chairman of Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and Tom Welsh, Potentate Zelzah Shriners.


Society Café Encore, the innovative American restaurant located inside Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, has been named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire magazine (November 2009). The restaurant, featuring a menu of creative American cuisine by Chef Kim Canteenwalla, is the only Las Vegas restaurant to receive this honor this year.

The recent performances of “Sgt. Pepper Live” featuring Cheap Trick at the Las Vegas Hilton that garnered critical acclaim, helped raise $20,000 to support the emergency health and human service and addiction recovery programs of MusiCares®, the music industry’s charity of choice, and the music education programs of the GRAMMY Foundation®. A portion of every ticket sold during the Las Vegas residency is being donated to these nonprofit organizations of The Recording Academy®.

A special performance of America’s Got Talent Live! was held 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 14 at the CHI Theatre inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Proceeds from all ticket sales benefit the local charity Keep Memory Alive and its fight against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and other memory disorders.

Flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook will perform a FREE lakeside concert at The Village at Lake Las Vegas on Friday, Oct. 16 starting at 9 p.m. Cook has recorded six critically-acclaimed albums and has opened for legends including B.B. King, Ray Charles and Diana Krall. The Killer Groove Band will open the show at 7 p.m.

Strip headliner/female impersonator Frank Marino has signed a one year contract with the Imperial Palace where he will deliver his newly revamped drag show “Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas” six nights a week at 10 p.m. in the Imperial Theater starting Oct. 17. Marino acts as the emcee for the production, portraying Joan Rivers in a variety of her more infamous styles of decades past. The 75-minute energetic and over-the-top show also features 16 male, lady look-alikes impersonating some of music’s biggest superstars including Cher, Beyonce, Diana Ross, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion and Tina Turner. Ticket prices are $69 (plus tax & fees) and VIP $79 (plus tax & fees).

The King’s Ransom Museum, a one of a kind exhibit of Elvis Presley artifacts and priceless personal treasures will be on display at the Imperial Palace Las Vegas beginning Oct. 21, 2009 and is scheduled to remain at that venue until April 2010. This multi-million dollar collection is shown for the first time ever in Las Vegas. The King’s Ransom Museum is located in the Imperial Palace’s Royal Halls, on the third floor of the casino and will be open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $10.

Longtime Las Vegas magician and animal advocate Rick Thomas will host a benefit event to raise money for the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Nevada SPCA). The event will take place Tuesday, October 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. starting at the Sahara Hotel & Casino pool area from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.. The Nevada SPCA will have a number of cats and dogs groomed and gorgeous, ready to be taken to a loving home, as well as have volunteers explain more about the organization and what the money raised at the benefit is used for. This event is FREE and open to the public. The public is encouraged to purchase tickets to a 7 p.m. special performance of “The Magic & Tigers of Rick Thomas”, where a portion of the ticket sales will also go to benefit the Nevada SPCA.

The UNLV Concert Singers and Chamber Chorale open their 2009-2010 concert season with "Freude! Ode to Joy!" on Tuesday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall located on the northeast end of the university campus. The performance includes over 70 singers in a variety of music that celebrates joyful living. Highlights include a sparkling chorus from Johann Strauss’ waltz comedy “Die Fledermaus” as well as the rollicking first act finale from Gilbert & Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore.” Tickets may be purchased at the UNLV Performing Arts Center box office or by calling 895-ARTS. General admission is $10; senior citizens, military and UNLV faculty/staff tickets are $8. All students from the university and the Clark County School District receive 1 free ticket.

The UNLV Performing Arts Center presents internationally acclaimed violinist Midori at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 23 as part of the Charles Vanda Master Series. Tickets are $40, $55, and $85 (not including $1.25 facilities fees) and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 895-ARTS (2787) or by visiting

The UNLV Symphony Orchestra performs "Magic of Brahms" at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27 in the Artemus Ham Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 for UNLV faculty/staff, military and senior citizens, and free to students with valid ID. For tickets visit the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office or call 895-ARTS (2787).

For the first time ever, two houses of terror – The Asylum and Hotel Fear each a full-sized attraction on its own – will be combined into a single event -Texas Screams, that will once again horrify the masses as part of a month long Halloween celebration at Texas Station. The haunted houses will be open now through Nov. 1 with frights from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and from 6:30 p.m. to midnight (12 a.m.) on Fridays and Saturdays. The Halloween haunted attraction is located on the northeast side of the parking lot of Texas Station, near the corner of North Rancho Drive and Lake Mead Boulevard. Tickets are $12 for a single haunt or $18 for a Scream Pass combo. There will be a special “lights on” tour for the little ones under 10 years old on Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for only a $2 donation with all proceeds benefitting the Ronald McDonald House.

The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band, established by an Act of Congress in 1798 and America’s oldest, continuously active professional musical organization, performs a FREE concert at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 2 in the Artemus Ham Concert Hall at UNLV. The FREE tickets must be picked up at the Performing Arts Center Box Office prior to the concert. For more information, please call 895-ARTS (2787).

The Las Vegas Rock and Roll Gameshow, Las Vegas’ newest type of interactive show featuring live music, comedy and heavy audience interaction will be presented at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino, November 11,12,18 and 19 at 6:30 p.m. Patrons will be asked to participate in games like, "Name that Tune or Artist", "Don't forget the lyrics", "Sexiest Dance", "Laz-y-oke", "Keep the beat", and many more, to win prizes. Organic songs are made up on the spot about the people watching the show from their seats. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office from: 3pm-10pm on the day of show. Phone number: 385 4011. Prices (not including taxes and fees) are $29.95 for VIP and $14.95 for General admission.

One of the most enduring comic duos in show business history, The Smother Brothers, bring their seamless blend of comedic and musical talents to The Orleans Showroom, November 5, 6, 7and 8. Showtime is 8 p.m. each evening. Tickets start from $34.95, plus tax.

Comedy magician, Mac King, who has his own afternoon show at Harrah’s Las Vegas, has been selected to perform at this year’s 53rd Annual “It’s Magic” event on Sunday, November 8 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA. The event highlights performances from the best illusionists in the world of magic and will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the legendary Magic Castle.


Barry Manilow will conclude his record-setting five-year engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton on December 30, 2009. Barry Manilow began his long-term engagement with the Las Vegas Hilton in February, 2005 with “Manilow: Music and Passion.” His current show, “ULTIMATE MANILOW: The Hits,” debuted in July of 2008. “Although this current engagement is ending, our friendship with him endures and we will continue to explore possibilities for future endeavors together.” said Ken Ciancimino, Executive Vice President Administration of the Las Vegas Hilton.

Celebrity sightings:

Thursday, October 8, Fashion Stylist, Actor and TV Personality, Carson Kressley, took a break from shooting ABC’s True Beauty in Las Vegas to shop at one of his favorite stores, Canali, at The Shoppes at The Palazzo.

Photo credit: Robyn Andrzejczak of
Carson Kressley

Friday night, October 9 Jamie Foxx came to LAVO at The Palazzo after his concert. Also spotted in the club was Vanessa Minnillo, joined by friends.


TV personality Mario Lopez celebrated his 36th birthday at The Bank Nightclub. Aubrey O'Day was on-hand to present the former star with his special birthday cake featuring photos of him with Saved By The Bell castmates "Kelly Kapowski" and "Jesse Spano".

Photo credit: Wire image

Saturday (10.10.09), at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort…

Actor and TV personality Mario Lopez continued his birthday celebration with the company of 14, including George Maloof. Actress /dancer/choreographer/ producer Debbie Allen came in with a guest a little after 11 p.m.

Actor Eddie Cibrian came in at sat at the bar for a couple drinks. Professional ice hockey player Gordie Howe enjoyed dinner with 14 friends. Afterwards, Howe was seen visiting Executive Chef Barry Dakake in the kitchen and saying hello to George Maloof.

Professional golfer Natalie Gulbis came in with some girlfriends for a quick dinner.

Over at Nove Italiano, former MLB player and manager Pete Rose came in for a friend’s bachelor party and dined with a group of 15, including N9NE Steakhouse’s Barry Dakake.

At Rain Nightclub, trance producer and DJ Armin van Buuren spun an explosive set on the turntables and had the energy going all night long.

The Men of “X” got a visit from some of the 2010 Hooters Calendar Girls while the lovely ladies were at Hooters Casino Hotel this weekend for signing events. Men of “X” perform nightly at 9 p.m. at the Night Owl Showroom inside Hooters Casino Hotel.

Photo courtesy of Men of “X”
Pictured L to R: Jessica Pribanic, Baybay, Adrean Butler, Steve, Lorenn Harrel, Kaleb and Rachel Mortenson.

Saturday night…

Comedian Carlos Mencia was spotted at TAO Nightclub with friends.

Martie Maguire and Emily Robison from the Dixie Chicks attended Cher’s show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace and came backstage to say hello to her.

Nick Cannon celebrated his 29th birthday with wife Mariah Carey at The Bank Night Club. Carey presented the birthday boy with a cake in the shape of DJ turntables and a message that read, "Happy bday dj sexy fingers Love M.C.C.

Photo credit: Wire image
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon

Sun., Oct. 11, fashion designer Marc Jacobs came to Cher’s show and later went backstage to meet the pop diva.

Tuesday night, October 13…

Floyd Mayweather Jr. was spotted at Dos Caminos Mexican Kitchen & Lounge inside The Palazzo.

Hip-hop group Bone Thugs N Harmony partied at Moon Nightclub inside Palms Casino Resort. They arrived before midnight with five friends.

Photo credit: Shane O’Neal/N9NE Group
Bone Thugs N Harmony

At a separate table, UFC President Dana White enjoyed the scene with a group of friends.

Poker pro Phil Hellmuth and a friend were spotted at LAVO Italian restaurant inside The Palazzo.

Wednesday morning October 14, actress and singer Juliette Lewis was spotted eating breakfast at Mr. Lucky’s inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. She then stopped by Love Jones for a little shopping. Later in the evening, Lewis performed with her band on stage at Wasted Space. Spotted in the audience was baseball legend Jason Giambi.

Photo credit: Erik Kabik/Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Juliette Lewis

Also at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was Justin Timberlake seen dining with friends including Alfonso Ribeiro, best known as Carlton Banks from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” at Nobu. Later, the group was spotted gambling on the casino floor before moving into Wasted Space, where they stayed for several hours.

Timberlake is in town until Sunday, Oct. 18, hosting the 2009 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin

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

Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction Returned to Vegas for Second Year

Following the success of its first Las Vegas Car Auction, Barrett-Jackson returned to Mandalay Bay’s Convention  Center for the 2nd annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Collector Car Auction from October 7th – 10th.

Photo barrett Jackson outside

Photo barrett Jackson outside viewing

The event schedule included an outdoor free-to-the-public exhibit of cars, ride-around tracks, autos to be put up for auction, Vegas showgirls, an array of foods including bratwurst and sauerkraut  served out of silver chafing dishes.

Photo burt & showgirls

Inside the convention center were a diverse mix of cars being shined and readied for auction by their proud owners.  Car enthusiasts could get up close and personal with the owners to find out the history of the autos or just to talk shop.  And speaking of shop, the area was also a shopper’s paradise with items ranging from belt buckles to car accessories to fur coats and luxury motor homes.

While it appears that foot traffic was lighter than last year, there’s still no denying that Barrett-Jackson brings much needed revenue to Las Vegas at a time when every visitor is welcomed with open arms.

The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company is the leader in the collector car arena and  has been producing similar events in Scottsdale, Arizona and West Palm Beach, Florida for 38 years.  At last year’s event, Barrett-Jackson Chairman/CEO Craig Jackson told me that the idea of holding this event  in Vegas wasn’t his. “Vegas came and asked me,”  he said.  After a series of meetings, the deal was struck because, “it made sense.”  Jackson said that Mandalay Bay and MGM Mirage made him a great offer and that it is “a great marriage.”

The program began with a road rally down the strip on Wednesday afternoon and continued with a fabulous invitation-only beach party in the evening sponsored by Sherwin Williams around the stunning Mandalay Bay pool area. Finger food, entertainment, and alcohol were abundant at this splendid kickoff event.  

Photo terry & frank dexter

It was there that I met Terry and Frank Dexter of Columbus, Ohio who had journeyed to Vegas specifically to attend the Barrett Jackson events “My husband always wanted a Dodge muscle car.  When we were kids, he had a 1967 Dodge Coronet with a 440 engine six pack.  As kids, the guys would have street races, you know, drag races.  We were childhood sweethearts and here we are now.  Life has been good to us and we’re here looking for that car.  It’s a piece of our history.”

I asked Terry why they chose to come to this event.   She said that, “the cars are prescreened by Barrett-Jackson.  They are the best of the best.”  She admitted that they might pay a little more, but said, “you know what you are buying.”  The couple also picked this car auction because it was in Vegas and they plan to enjoy our city.

Frank summed up many of the attendees when he told me that, “Half the people here are looking for their past.  The other half are seeking an investment in a quality vehicle for a 2-5 year investment.”


Car collector Phil Maloof chatted with THE Mrs. Jackson at the car auction

The next day, I checked out the auction area.  It was a happening. Registered bidders had reserved seats on the floor of the arena and spectators sat in the upper seats.  But no matter where you were, you had a good view of the action as the cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles were brought onstage one at a time for their sale.

Photo barrett Jackson Cadillac  auction

Photo barrett Jackson vw auction

There was a circus atmosphere as bidders walked on stage to take a last close look before offering up thousands of dollars for the vehicles they wanted.  The lower priced cars were offered on Thursday and higher priced cars were auctioned on Friday and Saturday.  The highest priced car to be sold was a 1965 Shelby Cora Roadster which went for $440,000.  You can buy houses in Las Vegas for a lot less than that.

2010 2009 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car event at Mandalay Bay.  For more information, check out

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