O’Sheas Las Vegas magician Dirk Arthur has welcomed a new member to his family of big cats, Shikira, a five-month old snow white Bengal tiger.
This blog just went from cute to ridiculously cute.
The tiger, which may actually break our adorable meter (they probably exist, just play along), was donated to Arthur’s breeding and education program from another program in the U.S.
Shikira was born in captivity, and will join Arthur’s show sometime in April after she’s acclimated to her new home.
Playtime at Dirk Arthur's place.
“Dirk Arthur’s Wild Magic” show at O’Sheas boasts some of the world’s rarest cats, and every show features an educational segment to raise awareness about the importance of preserving endangered species.
Arthur also makes himself available after his shows to answer questions about the cats.
Another picture-perfect member of Dirk Arthur's "Wild Magic" cast. Hello, Pinterest!
The theater at O’Sheas is what’s called “intimate” in the business, so audiences have the rare opportunity to be within 10 feet of leopards, tigers and lions. “Oh, my!” is right.
The Linq development project, set to transform the center of the Strip, could very well result in Dirk Arthur changing to a different, larger venue soon, so the opportunity to be this close to these amazing animals might not last. Our advice: Don’t wait.
Bonus: The show also happens to be one of the best ticket values in town, with prices at just $34.95 (and $44.95, VIP). Learn more about Dirk Arthur’s Wild Magic at O’Sheas Las Vegas.
Rock icons REO Speedwagon, Styx and Ted Nugent have announced they’ll perform at the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood on May 5, 2012, as part of their 30-date tour across the U.S. We’re thinking The Planet may need to beef up its security!
These three rock entities represent more than 80 million albums sold worldwide, a dozen top 10 singles and thousands of concerts performed before die-hard fans.
The REO in REO Speedwagon stands for "Ransom Eli Olds," the auto manufacturer.
REO Speedwagon’s list of hits reads like the official soundtrack of the 1970s, and includes “Keep On Loving You,” “Take It On the Run,” “One Lonely Night” and others.
Let’s take a moment to reflect upon the softer side of REO Speedwagon.
According to the Interwebs, Styx is “known for melding the style of prog-rock with the power of hard rock guitar, strong ballads and elements of American musical theater.” We didn’t entirely expect the whole “musical theater” thing, but let’s just go with it.
There were actually three rivers Styx: Phlegethon, Acheron and Cocytus.
Styx hits include “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “The Best of Times,” “Too Much Time on My Hands” (see below) and “Mr. Roboto,” this blog’s personal favorite.
Let’s take a moment to experience a Styx flashback, shall we?
What can you say about Ted Nugent that his nickname, the “Motor City Madman,” doesn’t say? He’s loud and proud and controversial and he also happens to have released more than 34 albums, and sold 30 million of them.
Ted Nugent would be a better musician if he could just bring some intensity to what he does.
The tune in the video below seems to have been popular. It may or may not contain the “F” word. (Hint: Definitely may.) This blog is not legally responsible for any hearing loss.
So, hide the wife and kids! This one’s going to blow the roof off the Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Tickets go on sale March 3, 2012, and are priced at $40, $52, $64 and $84. Get tickets at Ticketmaster, the Planet Hollywood box office and all Ticketmaster locations. Learn more on the official Planet Hollywood site.
Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee, one of the most acclaimed Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas, celebrated three things on Feb. 28, 2012: 1) his birthday, 2) a decade of performing at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Casino (formerly the Barbary Coast), and 3) a proclamation from the Mayor of Las Vegas officially naming Feb. 28 Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee Day.
Hey, when you’re Big Elvis, you have to celebrate your birthday in a big way!
Big Elvis getting his own day is a pretty big deal.
Fans packed into Bill’s to honor Pete Vallee, and the larger-than-life performer didn’t disappoint, following up a proclamation presentation from Caesars Entertainment Regional President Rick Mazer (below, left) by belting out some of The King’s tried-and-true classics.
When it rains, it pours, even in the desert.
The proclamation, issued by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, acknowledged “Pete as one of the Top 10 Elvis Impersonators of all time by Time magazine (2010)” as well as his other sizable accomplishments.
Taking care of business at Bill's.
Ten years after he began his historic run on the Vegas Strip, that’s 7,000 free performances, Big Elvis is still paying homage to Elvis Presley and providing thrilled Las Vegas visitors memories to last a lifetime.
Celine Dion has reluctantly been forced to cancel her performances at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace through March 18, 2012.
Dion experienced problems with her vocal chords last week due to a viral illness, and the singer pursued medical advice from one of the leading authorities on “laryngeal physiology,” Professor Gerald Berke M.D. at the UCLA Medical Center.
The doc diagnosed Dion with “weakness in her right vocal chord, secondary to a viral illness,” and prescribed 6-8 weeks of voice rest for the singer to completely recover from the condition.
Take care of that voice, Celine!
In a statement, Celine Dion said, “I tried to sing at my sound-check last week, and I had no control of my voice whatsoever. We thought after a few days rest I would improve, but it wasn’t getting any better. I guess it was worse than I thought. I’m fortunate I was able to see Professor Berke. He identified what was causing the problems I was having, and he assured me that with the amount of rest he prescribed, I would be back to 100%. Obviously, this is the worst thing for a singer, not being able to do your shows. I feel worse knowing that I’m disappointing my fans. I’m so sorry. I hope they forgive me.”
Dion’s next run of performances, June 9 through Aug. 19, 2012, are expected to proceed as scheduled.
Those who purchased tickets for the cancelled dates by credit card will be automatically refunded. Those who purchased tickets with cash may present their tickets at the point of sale for a refund. Ticket holders who purchased through Ticketmaster may call 1-877-423-5463.
We hope Celine’s feeling better, and that she’ll be back wowing her fans at Caesars Palace soon.
The college basketball championships are right around the corner, so it’s time for this blog to do some skillful trademark dodging!
Get ready for the “College Men’s Basketball Division Championships Hoops Frenzy Extravaganza” in Las Vegas. Or something! Look, we already spend enough time in the company of lawyers, so just go with it.
Whatever you call it, it’s all happening March 15-18, 2012 and the Vegas Strip is always bursting with basketball fever during the “Giant Waltz” (not trademarked, yet, phew).
This blog is currently in the process of trademarking the color orange.
Several Las Vegas hotels in the Caesars Entertainment family have conveniently slapped together a number of basketball-related party packages perfect for hoops fans. Take a look.
Rest assured, there will be 1) hooch, 2) grub, and 3) viewing of college basketball games on screens larger than the average Las Vegas self-parking garage.
Don’t wait until the last minute to make your college hoops championship plans. Because that’s not like you. At all. Ever. Ahem.
Drink & Drag, a new lounge in downtown Las Vegas boasting “drinks, snacks, bowling, pool, games and drag queens…lots of them,” has announced it will open April 6, 2012.
The new bar and lounge concept comes from the same folks who created Krave, the gay nightclub at The Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood.
We love your sass, Las Vegas.
Drink & Drag is located on Fremont Street, and will be “100% staffed by America’s best drag queens,” according to the official site. Note: There’s not a lot of “there there” on the official site yet, but we assume it’ll perk up once the joint opens.
It appears Drink & Drag will offer something for everyone, including a 12-lane bowling center with giant video screens (below), a spacious bar, five pool tables and a “Gamers Room” with video games, darts and air hockey.
Please note all the ball jokes we're not making. It's called maturity, people.
Anything goes in Vegas, baby, so break out those chicken cutlets, switch on “Ru Paul’s Drag Race,” find Drink & Drag on Facebook, and “condragulations” to Drink and & Drag on its impending grand opening.
Oh, and thanks to the Interwebs for making this blog sound even remotely like it knows what it’s talking about, queenwise.
This blog is always up for trying its luck at casino games like roulette, blackjack and slots, and now those games are available free on Facebook with the Caesars Casino game.
Free coins do, indeed, make us feel welcome, guy-in-a-suit. Thanks.
The realistic roulette, blackjack and video slots games are completely free to play, with more games coming soon. Sorry, no craps yet! Nothing’s perfect in life.
Hmm, which game do we choose to crush first?
With the Caesars Casino app, it’s all the excitement of playing in your favorite casino, with none of the risk (or cigarette smoke), so what’s not to love? Oh, and nobody’s trying to high-five you without your permission. This blog hates that.
No nasty looks from other players if you split 10s. Yeah, baby!
We’re liking the bonuses, and as you play, you get other perks, and different game levels can be unlocked along the way, just to keep things lively. There’s a handy FAQ to quickly get you up-to-speed on the various games, but everything’s pretty intuitive if you’ve played the live versions of the games.
We're betting on red and black and green. It's not real money, so what do we care?
As you might suspect, since it resides on Facebook, the Caesars Casino is a fairly social game. You can gloat about your virtual casino accomplishments to friends, as well as being able to send them additional coins and video slot spins, blackjack hands and roulette spins. And unlike with games such as Farmville, your friends will actually enjoy hearing from you when you share your Caesars Casino updates. And if they don’t, are they really the kind of friends you want? We’re just saying.
We’re just kidding about the Farmville thing! (Actually, we’re just kidding about kidding about it. Farmville is annoying. This is a casino, not a farm. Casinos are fun. Farms smell. Moving on.)
Not annoying! Well, you might want to turn the sound off after the first six or eight hours. Just saying.
If you’re digging the Caesars Casino experience, and deplete your virtual coins, you can purchase more with real-world money. Yes, quite a few people do this, actually. Hey, fun’s fun. Twenty thousand coins for $5 is a pretty inexpensive form of entertainment when you get right down to it. But there’s no obligation. Just be lucky, and you’ll never need to purchase a Caesars Casino coin in your life. Or have lucky friends who can give you coins. That works, too.
Roman society, from what we can tell, was based largely on grapes and water features.
So, check out the new Caesars Casino. And if you’re curious: This blog is currently raking it in at roulette, having its posterior handed to it at blackjack, and holding steady at the “Road to Riches” and “Roman Triumphs” video slots.
Dapper and affable, the cast of “Jersey Boys” attended a boisterous welcoming ceremony in their honor at Paris Las Vegas on Feb. 23, leading up to the opening of the hit show at Paris on March 6, 2012.
We bumped into the guys before their splashy welcome for some behind-the-scenes pics.
They dance. They sing. Bonus: They're funny as all get-out.
The “Jersey Boys” cast members are Jeff Leibow, Rob Marnell, Graham Fenton and Deven May. Keep track. There will be a quiz!
Here’s how we’ll remember: Jeff Leibow, darkest hair; Rob Marnell, tallest; Graham Fenton, plays Frankie Valli; Deven May, the wise-cracking one. Hey, we are a blog, not a mnemonic device expert.
This might help. Left to right: Jeff Leibow, Deven May, Rob Marnell and Graham Fenton. Now, how do we get us one of those snappy jackets?
Having met the cast of “Jersey Boys,” we already like the “Jersey Boys” stage spectacular, even though we have not personally seen it yet. We’re never wrong about such things, though. We are a professional Las Vegas blog.
Passers-by get a sneak preview of the show. Hint: It was awesome.
The cast drove into the valet area at Paris in a vintage 1959 red Cadillac convertible, and were greeted by Paris Las Vegas employees, many of whom were dancing in unison to “Oh, What a Night,” but we’re trying not to hold that against them.
Paris Vegas does it up right for its newest residents.
Regional President of Paris Las Vegas, David Hoenemeyer (below, center), was on-hand to greet the guys, and as a native of New Jersey, was named an honorary “Fifth Season.”
Ah, that's how you get one of those snappy jackets.
“Jersey Boys,” of course, is a musical about one of the most successful groups of the 1960s, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The show appeared at the Palazzo hotel until recently, and will now take up residence in Le Theatre Des Arts at Paris, the space formerly occupied by Barry Manilow.
Now, that is a great mnemonic device. "Jersey Boys" is opening at Paris Las Vegas!
“Jersey Boys” has been wildly popular, both on Broadway and in Las Vegas, and includes timeless hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “My Eyes Adored You” and others.
Take a gander at more exclusive from the official “Jersey Boys” welcome at Paris Las Vegas.
If you know nothing else about this blog, you must know we absolutely love meetings. Just love them. We once suggested there should be a Committee to Schedule More Meetings at our company, we love meetings so much.
Carlos’n Charlie’s, the irreverent Mexican restaurant coming to Flamingo Las Vegas, is just weeks away from opening (April 2012), so we were invited to a meeting (yay!) with representatives of the new eatery. We expected to meet what this blog lovingly refers to as “dudes in suits.”
Not a single person from the Carlos’n Charlie’s team, however, was wearing anything even remotely resembling a suit. (And they weren’t all dudes.) This was a good sign.
Even better? We got to meet the General Manager of the new Carlos’n Charlie’s, Genaro Dispa.
Genaro, everyone. Everyone, Genaro.
Genaro Dispa is from Cancun, Mexico, which he describes as “a city of good dancing, good guacamole and good salsa.” At least he has his priorities straight.
Honestly, no one has ever made us more excited to dine at a restaurant than Genaro Dispa. Why? Because when you’re around someone who’s genuinely interested in something, you kind of get interested in it, too. Bonus: Dispa is charming and frequently hilarious and he just exudes passion for what he does, and also seems giddy about the dining experience he and his team are about to bring to Las Vegas.
Take a listen to his answer when we asked, “What makes Carlos’n Charlie’s different?”
We kind of want to have a cocktail with this guy.
The funny continues as Dispa talks further about the restaurant. At one point, we note that Americans don’t often use “meters” in their description of things, and Dispa shares the historical origin of the meter. It just falls out of his head, and we did not know this, at all.
We tend to not encounter many restaurant General Managers who know a meter is one ten-millionth of the distance between the North Pole and the equator at the longitude of Paris.
What does this have to do with Mexican food? We do not care. Food is just one part of a restaurant experience. We want to have fun. We want to be around other people having fun, especially if they work there. We’d wager this joint is going to be overflowing with sass and laughter and frosty beverages. Oh, and tasty food, too.
A rendering of the restaurant entrance at Flamingo. Told you it was irreverent.
We get the sneaking suspicion if Genaro Dispa is in any way involved with a restaurant, it can’t not be fun. Hey, if he can make a meeting fun, everything else is gravy, right? Or whatever the Mexican equivalent is. Enchilada sauce? Is that a thing?
We’ll find out soon. Check out more renderings from Carlos’n Charlie’s, and there’s more news (and probably more Genaro) to come!
The Riviera Hotel & Casino, on the north end of the Vegas Strip, has announced it now offers 1,000-times odds on its craps tables.
In craps, “odds” bets are used to increase a “Pass Line” bet, and are considered one of the best bets in a casino, if not the best, because of the low house edge.
Craps evolved from an Old English game called "hazard."
After an initial bet is placed on the Pass Line (say $5), and a number is established (on the first roll, 7 and 11 win, 2,3 and 12 lose), the odds bet is placed behind the line, and that bet pays according to the number being attempted. It’s easier than it sounds with a little practice. Learn more about the game, and more about the odds in craps.
Theoretically, that original $5 Pass Line bet could be backed up with 1,000 times odds, or $5,000. If the number being hit is a 4 or 10, that $5,000 would pay 2-to-1, or $10,000 (as long as the number hits before a seven). The Pass Line in craps always pays even money.
This blog loves it some craps.
Which brings up an interesting point. How many craps players actually place the maximum odds behind the line, especially when it’s more than, say, 10- or 20-times odds? Yeah, that’s kind of this blog’s impression, too. So, while it makes for a great story, we’re not entirely sure there are tons of craps fans lining up to back up their $5 bet with $5,000.
Why not announce million-times odds? Somebody get on that, please. This blog loves having an excuse to talk about craps.
At last, there’s an easy way to tell if you’re in the Las Vegas state of mind.
Just stare at the photo below for 15-30 seconds. This particular piece of artwork adorns the wall at Spago restaurant at The Forum Shops inside Caesars Palace.
Clear your mind. What do you see?
After about 30 seconds, some people see a study of rudimentary colors and shapes, a sublime interplay between the concentric circles (representing infinity) and the negative space (representing mortality).
If you don’t see that, you’re in the Las Vegas state of mind.
A slew of Vegas entertainers took part in the Rio’s “Show in the Sky” extravaganza for “Fat Tuesday.”
The photo-optastic (not a real word) event was one of many on Feb. 21, 2012 around Las Vegas, a town often considered to be like Mardi Gras all year long. “Mardi Gras,” by the way, is French for “Fat Tuesday,” which we didn’t entirely know until just this second.
Told you it was a slew.
According to the Interwebs, Mardi Gras season begins on or after “Epiphany” and culminates on the day before Ash Wednesday, which we’re sure the Interwebs can explain better than this blog can. Read more.
Bottom line: Floats, beads and booze, baby!
You haven't done Mardi Gras until you've done it at Rio.
Fat Tuesday at Rio Las Vegas (which, coincidentally, has a Mardi Gras theme) included performers riding floats high above the casino floor, tossing beads to guests.
Shows taking part included Chippendales (Rio Vegas), “X Burlesque” (Flamingo), “Divas Las Vegas” (Imperial Palace), “Legends in Concert” (Harrah’s Vegas) and “Peepshow” (Planet Hollywood).
Enjoy some float action in this exclusive video we realize should have been taken by a blog much better at videography.
We know what you’re thinking. Our videos tend to linger on the women. If you don’t like it, you just rush right out and get your own Las Vegas blog. It’s super easy going to a million events and taking photos and video at the same time! You linger where you want to linger, and we’ll linger where we want to linger. Fair? Let’s move on.
Kris from Chippendales showed up. Feel better? Who's lingering now?
Hint about the bead thing. If you’re at Rio during “Show in the Sky,” pay attention. It’s all fun and games until somebody puts an eye out.
Oh, snap. One of our photos is in focus! How'd that happen?
“Show in the Sky” at Rio surprised us. We kind of remember it as being more cheesy, but it’s evolved into this massive stage production with singing and upwards of 1,400 dancers. Not the lame kind either. These folks are top-notch and very bendy, which is kind of what we look for in our dancers.
Do not try this at home. Unless, you know, you have the best home ever.
Apparently, the show has had an overhaul with new sets, costumes and choreography. And did we mention how free it is?
“Show in the Sky” stars Jennifer Joseph and Jaymes Vaughan. Vaughan (below) also performs in the Chippendales male revue at Rio, although we have no idea why.
And the inappropriate lingering continues, we see.
Here are a few moments from the stage show.
The “Show in the Sky” has several performances each night, hourly from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., but the show goes dark from time to time, so learn more here. You can even ride on the floats for $12.95, in case you’re more of a take-parter than a mere ogler.
We breached security to bring you this exclusive, behind-the-scenes photo of the Rio floats in their pre-show staging area thingy place. (Not the technical term.)
So, what have we learned? Vegas rocks. Mardi Gras season rocks. Beads rock. The Rio rocks. Bendy rocks. And this exclusive photo gallery also rocks, so you go on with your avoiding-work self and take a look.
The Burger Joint restaurant at Flamingo Las Vegas has closed up shop, and a new offering, Center Cut Steakhouse appears to be slated to replace it.
How do we know this? Investigative journalism, of course. Oh, and there’s, you know, a sign.
We are a Las Vegas blog, not a Woodward and Bernstein.
We’ve heard precisely nothing about the details of the Burger Joint closure or the new Center Cut, but this blog is a huge fan of Vegas newness, so we’re looking forward to seeing the new steakhouse at Flamingo.
Burger Joint’s sister restaurant, Pizza Joint, remains open, serving up pizza and other on-the-go goodness.
Don't panic. You can still get your pizza fix.
Word on the street says the new Center Cut Steakhouse will open in March, 2012, though an exact date hasn’t been announced. Things change quickly in Vegas.
Speaking of change, the nearby new Carlos’n Charlie’s restaurant is nearing completion. The construction wall (below) is taking up some serious real estate on the Flamingo’s casino floor, in the former home of the keno parlor, so we’re thinking the new restaurant is going to make a big splash when it opens.
We're breathless with anticipation. That, or we need to work out more.
Bucking the odds, a lucky player at Paris Las Vegas hit the 6-Card Bonus jackpot at Three Poker and is a million bucks richer for it.
Johnita Ejercito, an attorney and nurse from Woodland Hills, California hit the 6-Card Bonus jackpot on Feb. 19, 2012.
Johnita Ejercito, along with Paris casino manager Albert Jiannotti, and one huge-ass check.
The million-dollar 6-Card Bonus side bet for Three Card Poker is available exclusively at Caesars Entertainment casinos, and gives players the chance to win the million bucks with a total wager as small as $15 if they hit a super royal flush (9,10,J,Q,K,A) in diamonds.
Our friends at Shuffle Master, Inc. (the company that licenses the Three Card Poker game) tell us the odds of hitting the big bonus are 1-in-20.4 million. Hey, if it were easy, how much fun would that be?
Ejercito, who was staying at Paris Las Vegas at the time of her big windfall, says she plans to use the money to send her two daughters to London to get their Master’s in economics, and to get a few flights to visit them, too.