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


Galaxy Theatres Hosts Special Screening of “Who Will Stand”

In honor of Veteran’s Day, on Monday evening, November 9, The Galaxy Theatres at the Cannery hosted a private screening of the award winning documentary film “Who Will Stand” created by local filmmakers Phil Valentine and Executive Producer Gerald Gillock. They along with director of photography, Michael Bedik, Ron Portillo, a local veteran featured in the movie, and singer Clint Holmes, who wrote and performs the original title song in the film, were on hand for this special VIP event. Audience attendees included several retired members/veterans of the armed forces.


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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The powerful, emotionally riveting song by Holmes, that honors our nation’s war veterans, was what inspired the filmmakers to set the documentary in motion. Clint addressed the audience by saying, “I am honored to be involved with this project. Who Will Stand is about what we stand for. No matter what we feel about the war, we must support the men and women who fight.”


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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
Clint Holmes


During the making of the compelling documentary, the dmall team of filmmakers traveled across the country and interviewed soldiers willing to talk about personal challenges they face coming home from war. From more than 280 hours of footage, the film was cut to 108 minutes. The end result is a documentary that focuses on more than a dozen soldiers who are either physically or psychologically wounded (i.e. suffering from Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the several charities, some of them local to Las Vegas – who assist them.
“Who Will Stand” is a revealing and important documentary to make Americans aware of how significant issues are and hopefully is a call to action that will inspire the community to help those brave men and women of our military. The films brings to light several issues including the consequences of PTSD when undiagnosed or untreated, the high suicide rate among soldiers, the high divorce rate among returning soldiers, and other issues revealed through conversations with soldiers and psychologists.


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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
Phil Valentine, Michael Bedik and executive producer Gerald Gillock

On Veterans Day, November 11 The Galaxy Theatres held additional free - open to the public - screenings of Who Will Stand. Attendees were invited to provide a donation as the price of admission with proceeds going to HELP USA LAS VEGAS, a Las Vegas-based organization that finds housing for the homeless veterans

A portion of DVD sales will go to support organizations that help veterans without cost. They include the Wounded Warrior Project, Canines for Combat Wounded, the Soldiers Project (all featured in the documentary) and Help USA.

Grind Burger Bar and Lounge Celebrates Grand Opening

In celebration of its Grand Opening, a VIP event was held on Tuesday night, November 11 inside Grind Burger Bar and Lounge located at 360 East Tropicana between Koval Lane and Paradise. The new eatery, which specializes in the concept of building your own burger, is the latest venture for Las Vegas restaurateur Mark Di Martini and his business partner, successful real estate developer Barry Fieldman. With a seating capacity of up to 90 patrons, the more than 3,000 square foot casual dining venue features an industrial design reminiscent of the 1940’s with exposed brick walls and stainless steel fixtures and a separate room that houses a modern bar with granite countertops and 15 stools.


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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
Grind Burger Bar and Lounge

During the special event guests were offered menu samplings of tender and tasty meat burgers, turkey burgers (all hand pressed with quality ingredients) and vegetarian friendly meatless burgers (my favorite) made with chick peas and Mediterranean spices and side orders of short and thick French fried potatoes. In addition to the evening’s burger tastings, the menu offers meat loving patrons savory burgers made of fresh chicken breast. Each burger comes with your choice of three varieties of fresh baked buns, premium cheeses as well as 20 premium toppings and 20 homemade specialty sauces. In other words patrons can customize their own burger with a choice of additional fixings, at an additional cost, available to suit their taste and pocket book.

Besides meatless burgers, the restaurant provides non meat eaters dining options to satisfy their appetite including the vegetarian chopped salad made with fresh veggies, a Caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes and a portabella mushroom sandwich with grilled zucchini, roasted peppers, basil pesto and a toasted portabella mushroom cap buns. One can also select from side orders of three types of potatoes, delicious appetizers, classic milk shakes and soft drinks, a wide selection of beers, wines and cocktails and scrumptious desserts.


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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn


“The concept behind Grind Burger Bar and Lounge is to allow guests to have fun and to create the custom burger of their dreams,” said DiMartino.


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Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn
Judy Thorburn and Barry Fieldman


Lucky for local or visiting burger lovers, this dining experience is centrally located and easy to get to, in order to make that dream come true.

Grind Burger Bar and Lounge is open daily for lunch, dinner and late night.

Carlos Santana Visits Three Square Food Bank to Help Fight World Hunger

In an effort to end world hunger, legendary musician Carlos Santana visited Three Square Food Bank on Thursday, November 13 to talk about his partnership with the Vegas food bank and World Hunger Year (WHY). Santana along with Noreen Springstead, director of marketing and fundraising for WHY and Julie Murray, CEO and president of Three Square Food Bank, spoke at a press conference to bring awareness to this important cause. Afterwards, Santana toured the facility and thanked the volunteers on-site, who give their time and energy to win the fight against childhood hunger.
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Noreen Springstead of WHY Carlos Santana and Julie Murray of Three Square Food Bank
Photo credit © Erik Kabik/ Retna/ erikkabik.com

In addition to Carlos Santana’s visit at Three Square, during his Nov. 11-22 performances at the The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, concertgoers who bring five non-perishable food items or make a $5 donation to Three Square Food Bank will receive a $5 gift certificate valid at Ago or Rare 120 restaurant at the Hard Rock,. Representatives from WHY (World Hunger Year) and Three Square will be on hand before and after each performance to collect donations from participating fans.


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Carlos Santana signing shirts

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Photo credit © Erik Kabik/ Retna/ erikkabik.com
Three Square Volunteers, Julie Murray of Three Square Food Bank, Carlos Santana and Noreen Springstead of WHY touring the facility

“It is my honor to help World Hunger Year and those who are in need in Las Vegas,” Carlos Santana said. “This year above all others in recent memory is an important one to help our brothers and sisters of this family we call the human race. I encourage you to help and to participate in this more than worthwhile drive.”

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

On Wednesday, November 4, Tacos & Tequila’s (T&T) weekly event, Mischieve Wednesdays, attracted a lively group of entertainers with the girls of Luxor’s adult revue, FANTASY battling it out against the men of Thunder From Down Under in a live human rooster fight. The event lineup included Marty Ammiott, Yesi, David Moore, Craig Stott, Tracey, David Hughes, Jennifer and Matthew Fardell. The strategy involves two players stomping out balloons strapped to their opponent’s ankles. Although the men came out strong, it was the women who came with a few tricks up their sleeves, taking home the final victory.


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On Tuesday, November 10, Elmo paid a special visit to patients at Sunrise Children’s Hospital to celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Sesame Street” on Vegas PBS. Children decorated and signed a birthday card for Sesame Street and participated in other fun activities.


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Elmo with patient at Sunrise Children's Hospital


Wayne Brady is on hiatus from his headline show at The Venetian, Making It Up, to give his vocal chords adequate time to recover from vocal strain. His physicians have advised that he continue to rest his vocal chords and allow them time to heal. The cancelled dates will be rescheduled, extending Brady’s current Making It Up engagement through the end of 2010.

For only the second time in history, the Nation's Top Native American Cowboys and Cowgirls will compete for World Titles at the 34th Annual Indian National Finals Rodeo, held at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas, NV November 11-14, 2009.The INFR will feature four rounds of rodeo, with a total of seven performances. The weekend will come to a close with the INFR World Champions crowned on Saturday, November 14th at 7pm. Performances are scheduled for 1pm and 7pm on the 11th, 12th and 13th and 7pm on the 14th. Doors will open 90 minutes prior to the start time for a pre-show powwow and gift show. Tickets are priced from only $15 for adults and $10 for children. Discounts are available for military and children under 5 are free.

AFAN (Aid for AIDS of Nevada) is hosting its Annual Holiday Toy Drive. The community is encouraged to lend a hand by donating a new, unwrapped toy, which will benefit the organization’s children affected by HIV/AIDS. Donations are being accepted through Dec. 14 at the AFAN Office, 701 Shadow Lane, Suite 170, Las Vegas.

“An Evening with Marilyn”, on art, on canvas, on guitar and on screen …will be held at The Las Vegas Hilton presents on Saturday, November 14. This event is FREE and open to the public. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Tempo Lounge and the Hilton Theater guests will be able to view a display of the “Marilyn Series” art exhibit by renowned painter and sculptor, Ludvic. During the viewing, Entertainment in Tempo will be provided by world-class virtuoso jazz guitarist, Robert Conti. At 8 p.m. guests are invited to watch a free screening of the classic film, “Some Like It Hot,” directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in the Hilton Theater.


For the ninth consecutive year, Bellagio received AAA’s prestigious Five Diamond Award as did Julian Serrano’s renowned restaurant, Picasso. Additionally, Le Cirque received the distinction for the seventh consecutive year, making Bellagio once again the only hotel in the United States to be home to two AAA Five Diamond restaurants. Picasso and Le Cirque are among only five restaurants in Las Vegas to earn the coveted award. “From the ambiance to the service to the cuisine, these two restaurants consistently provide guests with special dining memories,” said Randy Morton, president and COO of Bellagio.

For the fourth consecutive year, SKYLOFTS and Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand have received the coveted Five Diamond Award by AAA, an accolade that recognizes these establishments among the world’s most elite hotels and restaurants.


The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas, two of the world’s premiere destination resort hotels and both owned and operated by global resort developer Las Vegas Sands Corp., have been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award® for 2010 for their on-going dedication to providing superior guest service.

Vegas PBS has been awarded the Rural Utilities Services -Public Digital Transition Grant in the amount of $265,800 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide digital television services, including 16 hours a day of educational programming, in Alamo, Laughlin, Jean, Mesquite, Goodsprings and Glendale, Nev. Vegas PBS will fund the remainder of the project for a total of $379,254.

Evening Call, a new walk-up bar, located next to Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at Mandalay Bay recently opened. The new walk-up bar offers guests the chance to sample a wide variety of frozen drinks. An eye-opening blend of Irish Crème and Cappuccino as well as more traditional options such as margaritas and fruity daiquiris are available. Evening Call also will offer bottled beer and mixed drinks from their fully stocked bar.

Due to overwhelming demand, Spring 2010 performances of Cher at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace will go on sale Saturday, Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. These new available tickets will include 24 performances from April 10 -25 and May 8 -30.

In addition to more performances, the pop icon will return to The Colosseum stage on November 19 with a newly added opening sequence and even more glitzy Bob Mackie costumes. Celebrating old-time Hollywood glamour and style, these new additions feature dazzling theatrics that pay tribute to the grace and timelessness of the 1940’s and 1950’s.

The Sahara Hotel & Casino, along with famed producers and performers Sandy Hackett and Lisa Dawn Miller Hackett, are launching the only Las Vegas Strip Rat Pack tribute, “Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show”. The show will open in the legendary Congo Room theatre on Thursday, November 19th with 7 p.m. nightly performances.

Comedian Bill Cosby, who received the Mark Twain Prize for American Award for Humor recently, will perform at the Treasure Island Theatre for one night only, November 27. Showtimes are 7:30 and 10 p.m. Tickets start at $79 plus tax and service charges.

Double Down Saloon commemorates 17 successful years of hosting some of Sin City’s most titillating parties by presenting free a weekend of entertainment Thursday, Nov. 26 – Sunday, Nov. 29. The NINES, The Rocketz, The Chop Tops and Shotguns & Gasoline are amongst the three-day free entertainment lineup.

For the first time in seven years, The Cranberries original lineup headed by Dolores O’Riordan, embark on a live tour with a stop on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at The Pearl Concert Theater inside Palms Casino Resort. Tickets are $35, plus any additional service fees.

The world-renowned Trans-Siberian Orchestra, one of rock music’s biggest arena attractions, will return to Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena with two shows on Saturday, December 5 at 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets are priced at $25, $48 and $59.50, inclusive of tax and fees.

Award winning actor and comedian Robin Williams returns to the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, Dec. 5. The show is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced at $225, $175, $100 and $75, not including applicable service charges and taxes.

The 5th Annual Santa Run will take place on Saturday, December 5. The Santa Run is a 5K fun run-walk and one mile walk around Town Square Las Vegas for the casual walker / runner to benefit the non-profit organization Opportunity Village. To register and/or more information on The Santa Run, visit www.lasvegassantarun.org.

Celebrity sightings:

Wednesday, Nov 4...
Rock band The Offspring performed an eight-song set at Rain Nightclub.

Also at Rain Nightclub was TV host and actor, Wee-Man with a small group of friends.

Thursday night, Nov 5...
MLB outfielder for the New York Mets Gary Sheffield and two friends dined at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort.

Also at N9NE Steakhouse was lead singer for the band Motley Crue Vince Neil accompanied by his wife.

Enrique Iglesias was spotted at LAVO with his manager and a large group of friends.
Stunning "Dancing with the Stars" Pro, Kym Johnson, attended Jersey Boys at The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino to celebrate a very special occasion, her mother's birthday. After the show, Kym went backstage to meet the cast and congratulate them on a fabulous performance.


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Photo credit: B.J. Allen
From left to right: Deven May, Jeff Leibow, Kym Johnson, Drew Gehling and Travis Cloer

Friday, November 6, baseball great Mike Piazza had breakfast at Simon at Palms Place.

Friday night David Spade dined at TAO with friends including actor Kevin Farley, the younger brother of late comedian Chris Farley.

Vince Neal and his wife Leah and some friends had dinner at Simon at Palms Place.

Michael Andretti and some friends were also seen having dinner there.

Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips caught Friday’s performance of Men of “X” at Hooters Casino Hotel to support Men of “X” host and choreographer J. Boogie (who dances in Zowie Bowie’s weekend Pub shows and their “Vintage Vegas” at Monte Carlo Resort & Casino).


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Photo courtesy of Men of “X”
Pictured L to R: Baybay, Albert, Chris Phillips, Kaleb and J. Boogie

Phil Gordon, professional poker player, author and commentator, had dinner at N9NE Steakhouse with five friends. Also at N9NE Steakhouse was Gary Sheffield, MLB outfielder for the New York Mets, who was joined by two friends.
At Nove Italiano, former MLB catcher Mike Piazza, was joined by two friends for dinner in the main dining room. Following dinner he shared stories of his recent trip to Italy and joined the lengthy list of celebrity names by signed Executive Chef Geno Bernardo’s kitchen door.

Z-Trip's Revolution inside Rain Nightclub featured a surprise appearance by Tiësto. He was joined by several friends at a VIP table on the main stage. He chatted with resident DJ Z-Trip and posed for photos with fans.


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Photo credit: Joe Fury
Tiesto and Z-Trip


Inside Playboy Club, Wes Scantlin, lead singer and guitarist for the post-grunge band Puddle Of Mudd, was spotted having drinks at the bar.


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Photo credit: Shane O'Neal
Wes Scantlin

At Moon Nightclub, singer Donnie Klang (awarded a solo contract by P. Diddy after appearing as a contestant on MTV's “Making the Band 4”) arrived with a group of six friends and hung out at a VIP table.

Dead Man’s Hand, Las Vegas’ hottest new live-music and nightlife venue, opened its doors with two nights of high-energy rock ‘n’ roll. Co-owned by Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell and Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Dead Man’s Hand came alive with System of a Down’s John Dolmayan as he hit the stage on Friday night, along with The Starf**kers, featuring Slim Jim Phantom from Stray Cats and Teddy ‘Zig Zag’ Andreadis from Guns N’ Roses

Saturday, Nov. 7…

Florida Marlins All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla and outfielder Cody Ross spotted inside Body English nightclub.


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Photo credit Cody Boor / Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Cody Ross and Dan Uggla

Singer Kelly Clarkson spotted hanging out with 30 friends at Wasted Space at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

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Photo credit Cody Boor / Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Kelly Clarkson

Also at Wasted Space, Johnny Damon, member of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees, with his wife and friends.

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Photo credit Cody Boor / Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Johnny Damon and his wife

Also spotted in the club on Saturday was adult film star Tera Patrick.

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Slim Jim Phantom, Tera Patrick and Stefan Adika

Saturday afternoon Gary Sheffield of the New York Mets was spotted at Dos Caminos inside The Palazzo.

Saturday night Johnny Damon of the New York Yankees was spotted celebrating the team’s World Series win at TAO in Las Vegas. Joined by wife Michelle and other family members the outfielder drank Jack Daniels and Coke while taking in the sounds of DJ Vice from a VIP table in the nightclub.

Earlier in the week former MLB pro Mike Piazza and friends enjoyed lunch at the modern Mexican restaurant.

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Photo credit: N9NE Group
Mike Piazza

St. Louis Rams running back Steve Jackson dined at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort.

At a table was Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Langston Walker, joined by eight ladies.

Later in the evening, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker came in and enjoyed dinner in the lounge.

Dead Man’s Hand welcomed a bevy of VIP guests such as adult-film superstar Tera Patrick, celebrity chef Kerry Simon, Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul, The Apprentice stars Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth and Annie Duke and professional poker players Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, Jeff Madsen and Casey Thompson.

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Scott Ian and Vinnie Paul
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Scott Ian and Kerry Simon

Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips attended the evening’s performance of “X” Burlesque at Flamingo Las Vegas. The “X” Girls then surprised Phillips by pulling him onstage during the interactive “Mile High Club” number.

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Photo courtesy of X-Burlesque
Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips (third from right) with Girls from X-Burlesque

Tuesday night, November 10, Manny Pacquiao and his band“Calsada” rehearsed on Tuesday night at the Studio at the Palms inside the Palms Casino Resort.


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

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