With Steve Wyrick gone and the hotel without headliner entertainment, Planet Aladdin has opened a new venue, albeit a makeshift one. It is wrapping curtains (black velvet, I’m told, though I suggested leopard) around its open-aired Sinbad Lounge (between the casino and mezzanine levels), changing its name to the Aladdin Theatre and bringing Sheena Easton and possibly Charo in for month-long engagements.
Easton opens Friday doing an 8 o’clock nightly show except Tuesdays with tickets at $45 and $55 for theatre seating, and $35 for cabaret-style seating.
To facilitate travel along the Strip, the Regional Transportation Department will begin operating a fleet of 50 double-decker busses similar to the ones used in London on the Strip this month.
"Tropical Passions — The Roaring ’50s" has opened at the Sahara celebrating an era of pre-Castro Cuba. It’s a show in progress with a great foundation, the 22-piece Grammy-nominated Tropicana All-Star Orchestra. The orchestra is dynamite and literally blows the roof off the Sahara Theatre. It’s great to see and hear music from a big band back on the Strip. Other properties should make the investment.
I’m really sad to report that "Forbidden Vegas" has closed. The troupe will remain in town for a few days to see if another venue will give them a home, though I doubt it. Just maybe the show was too sophisticated for our down home visitor.
Included at the new Wynn Las Vegas is a Ferrari and Masserati dealership, one of 36 in the USA and Canada and believed to be the first as part of a luxury hotel-casino, according to USA Today. It also offers the first service bays in Nevada for the estimated 180 Ferrari owners in the state.
The CineVegas 2005 Film Festival, scheduled June 10-18 at the Palms will honor Ann-Margret with its Centennial Award in recognition of her "unparalleled status as both an entertainer and an embodiment of Las Vegas style — sexy, cool and dangerous — a style that has allowed Las Vegas to thrive for these first hundred years." Samantha Morton will receive a Half-Life Award for the acting she has done thus far in her career. She has received a best actress Oscar nod for "In America" and a best supporting actress nomination for "Sweet and Lowdown." Veteran director Wim Wenders will receive the Vanguard Director Award and will host a showing of his latest film, "Land of Plenty."
One wouldn’t consider Orleans regular Bobby Vinton a rapper, but his oldies smash "Mr. Lonely" has taken on the modern beat. Rapper Akon has recorded the tune by quickening the pace and rapping about a messed-up relationship. Vinton and Akon wrote the new version and Vinton thinks it is all "very cool." Just wait, Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes could make a comeback.
News And Notes: Clark County commissioners have approved changing the name of Industrial Road from Twain Avenue south to Southern Highlands Parkway to Dean Martin Drive. A condominium tower project on Industrial made the request and will pay for the new signage”¦ Allegiant Air will begin nonstop flights twice a week between Las Vegas and the border city of McAllen, Texas, starting June 24”¦ The Mirage has extended Danny Gans’ contract through April 2008”¦ The Tangerine Lounge and Nightclub at TI has opened its outdoor deck for the summer featuring burlesque dancers until the early morning hours”¦ Former "Folies Bergere" dancer Janu Tornell will still help decide the winner of Survivor Palau even though she surprised the producers by suddenly quitting the competition for no reason”¦ The opening of downtown’s Hogs & Heifers Saloon has been delayed due to permit problems”¦ The Strike Zone Bowling Center has opened at Sunset Station”¦ Elton John plans to marry his long term partner David Furnish this year or in 2006”¦ A microphone used by Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show in the 70s and 80s was sold at auction for $50,787”¦ Nikki Cox, who plays Mary Connell on the TV series Las Vegas, will play her character on the NBC daytime series Passions on May 20 and 23.