Have you taken an extreme photo in Las Vegas this year? If so, the pic could win you an extraordinary New Year’s Eve prize in the Mandalay Bay Untamed Adventure Contest. Submit a photo and start voting through the weekend. Ten entries will be in the running for the grand prize of three New Year’s Eve room nights at the hotel, plus four tickets to see the Black Eyed Peas there on Dec. 30.
Round-trip airfare and airport transportation is included, along with a $1,000 spending spree on food and drinks. You’ll also have VIP access to all the New Year’s Eve parties at Mandalay. Time is running out, so submit a photo or vote at Facebook.com/MandalayBay.
*Kristen Hertzenberg and Courtney Combs of Phantom -- the Las Vegas Spectacular and Jeff Leibow and Peter Saide of Jersey Boys took part in KLUC 98.5 FM’s 11th annual toy drive this morning. This is no ordinary holiday toy drive because morning DJ Chet Buchanan lives atop a 30-foot scaffolding, in a tent, in the cold for “The 12 Days of Toy Drive” running through Monday. Chet and his Morning Zoo team have partnered with HELP of Southern Nevada to bring children toys for the holidays.
*We’ve followed the adventures of the cheftestants on Top Chef: Las Vegas all season long, so for the record, last night’s finale produced a last-minute upset. Favorite Kevin Gillespie was booted off, and it came down to a battle between brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, nicknamed the Evil One. As in all good reality TV shows, the victory went to the Evil One.
*For 34 years, Michael Goudeau has had things up in the air as a professional juggler. For 26 of those years, he has performed in Las Vegas, 18 of them as Lance Burton’s opening act at the Monte Carlo. Now he’s embarked on his strangest challenge ever, and I say that knowing he can juggle a chain saw, a beanbag and a fiery torch.
Inspired by making pancakes for his kids’ breakfast, Michael plans to launch The Pancake Project, a series of pancakes made to duplicate famous paintings, such as Edward Munch’s Scream. Michael told me, “I started with the kids initials. They loved it. Then I moved to their full names, then smiley face, then flowers. I didn’t realize that once you start doing this, the kids no longer accept round pancakes as a passable breakfast. I’ve even gone 3-D.” You can follow his story at ThePancakeProject.blogspot.com.
Meantime, Michael joined Lance and his showbiz pals out and about with Santa Claus at three Las Vegas schools today donating a Christmas party and their entertainment for children in need.
*Chef Rick Moonen invites the public to dine at his flagship RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay next Monday through Dec. 23, and he’ll take 10 percent off the bill as a holiday gesture. Rick, who supports Three Square food bank, also will donate $3 to the charity for each dinner guest who comes in for his offer. For every $1 donated, Three Square is able to provide three meals.
*The Las Vegas Rocks Cafe downtown at Neonopolis, at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard, had its outdoor sign installed and promptly opened for business. Restaurant founder Tony Sacca, longtime producer, host and entertainer, unveiled his Las Vegas history-themed bistro in the former Jillian’s space. The eatery, open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight, offers themed-style foods, an atmosphere filled with a historical perspective on Las Vegas and live entertainment. The main dining room is a cafe with a stage, bar, video screens showing vintage footage and seating for 200. An adjoining room has a retail shop with Las Vegas Rocks Cafe items, and the Marquee Room seats 100 for shows, such as New Year’s Eve with Lena Prima.
*Hash House A Go Go opened its newest restaurant today, and first on the Strip, at the Imperial Palace. Known for its giant meals, the bar and restaurant is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
*Congratulations and best wishes for success to my writer friend Richard Abowitz, who has launched his GoldenPlatedDoor.com about the workings of Las Vegas. Richard, who has covered Las Vegas for a decade for such publications as Rolling Stone and Los Angeles Times, more recently was with our sister pub Las Vegas Weekly. Good luck with your new blog!
*American Superstars will continue its successful run at the Stratosphere for two more years. The show currently featuring musical tributes to Michael Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Britney Spears and Elvis has won a two-year extension. More than 1 million guests have seen the show.
*In honor of the 51st Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Studio 54 at MGM Grand is being transformed into a cowboy haven with two events celebrating the 10-day competition. Tomorrow, Studio 54 hosts an NFR after-rodeo party, and then on Saturday, nine-time world champion Trevor Brazile hosts his after-party. Hopefully, Trevor will be celebrating his 10th championship to close out the rodeo.
Alice in Chains lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell played poker inside the new Poker Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel in advance of the group’s concert in The Joint there tomorrow. … Poker prince Daniel Negreanu was at Lavo in the Palazzo at a VIP table with a group of friends, while actor Ian Ziering dined at Lavo. … UFC fighters Jon “Bones” Jones, Brendan Schaub and Shane Carwin celebrated The Ultimate Fighter at Hawaiian Tropic Zone in Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops.
The Hangover stars Heather Graham and Justin Bartha and director Todd Phillips will be celebrating the DVD release of their Caesars Palace set hit at Pure. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zack Galifianakis also are expected. We’ll be there and will try to find out for tomorrow’s coverage if the sequel will have them returning to Las Vegas.
*Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds team up at Planet Hollywood’s Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood through Saturday. They will each perform separately and then duet.
*Aventura plays their nouveau sound, which fuses R&B, hip-hop, pop, urban and guitar-based Dominican blues, at The Joint.
*It’s a comedy and music feast for country fans, with Dierks Bentley and guest Eric Church at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay for two nights. John Michael Montgomery entertains at downtown’s Golden Nugget. Comedy king Bill Engvall guarantees laughs at Treasure Island for two nights. And Aaron Watson headlines for three nights at South Point’s free NFR concerts.
*It’s time for revenge with the Spazmatics’ nerd costume party at Rok Vegas in New York-New York, with DJ sets by Robert Oleysyck, Freddy B and Alex Terranova, plus the Spazmatics performance.
It’s the first weekend of Garth Brooks concerts as he starts a five-year run for hotel mogul Steve Wynn at Encore Theater, and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo comes to the end of its 25th run in Las Vegas. Plus, an advance look at the opening of B.B. King’s Blues Club at The Mirage.
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