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Celebrity preview: Sara Underwood, Mary Carey, Kelly Bensimon and ’90s bands

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2007 Playmate of the Year Sara Underwood at the season opening of Encore Beach Club on Sunday, April 22, 2012.
Photo: Erik Kabik/ErikKabik.com

2012 Season Opening at Encore Beach Club

Jeff Timmons in Chippendales at the Rio

One Drop's The Big One at the Rio

Jeff Timmons at Ovation Lounge

School of Rock

Sara Underwood - from YouTube.com

Mark McGrath and Sugar Ray

Criss Angel's Birthday and 1,000th Believe Show

LDW2011: Will.i.am at Encore Beach Club

Fourth of July fireworks are set for Wednesday, with hotels, casinos, pools and nightclubs continuing to celebrate Independence Day into next weekend after the holiday. Since the holiday falls midweek, it could’ve been celebrated this weekend. While that’s not the case, we still have a bag of colorful sparklers lighting up our skyline.

For explosive pyrotechnics this weekend, the emphasis is on the curvy creatures and provocative pulchritude of a slew of brazen beauties led by adult and often-topless actress and California gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey. Aiding and abetting her sexy Strip sashays are 2007 Playmate of the Year Sara Underwood, Kelly Bensimon of “The Real Housewives of New York fame and controversial British pop singer and reality TV star Cheryl Cole.

Cheryl was in the news Thursday with several reports that she will record a duet with Britney Spears and that Snoop Dogg wants her to play his wife on a British soap opera. Expect the cleavage-baring “X Factor: U.K.” judge to be seen with her mentor and producer, Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas, as both are here this weekend.

Cheryl has been No. 1 on FHM’s Top 100 Sexiest Women in the World twice. She is divorced from British soccer player Ashley Cole and is a darling of the British tabloids for her nightclub antics and altercations. “I’ve learned sooo much from my mistakes. I’m thinking of making some more,” she tweeted.

It’s also a music weekend with Sara Evans, David Cassidy, Hank Williams Jr. and Los Lobos, plus 98 Degrees founder Jeff Timmons, who after a guest-starring host stint at Chippendales in the Rio, moved here and starts a run at Green Valley Ranch.

And all eyes will be on the Big One for One Drop poker tournament at the Rio hosted by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, who welcomes more than 40 well-heeled poker players who each have bought in for $1 million apiece to compete for a $35 million-plus payday and a first-ever World Series of Poker platinum bracelet.

We’ve shuffled the decks, called aces high and are gearing up for next week’s fireworks, festivals and backyard barbecues; meantime, here’s the pre-Fourth of July noise, lights and smoke from our pyrotechnic package we affectionately ignite weekly as the Royal Robin Rundown:

FRIDAY, JUNE 29

Singer and “Celebrity Apprentice” victim David Cassidy is at South Point all weekend; Joan Sebastian and Pepe Aguilar are at Orleans Arena; Sara Evans is at Eastside Cannery; and Grammy Award-winning Los Lobos is at Veil Pavilion in Silverton Casino Lodge.

New Las Vegas resident Jeff Timmons is at Ovation in GVR with “Wired” on Fridays and Saturdays; country music icon Hank Williams Jr. is at the M Resort; and the 2012 School of Rock All-Stars Concert kicks off a 21-city tour benefiting Love Hope Strength at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip. Our hometown Rifftide Legacy are among the bands, and colleague Andrea Domanick interviewed the talented youngsters.

Comedy legend Martin Short makes his Las Vegas debut at the Mirage for two nights; please read Editor at Large John Katsilometes’ Q+A with the “Saturday Night Live” and film star. Louie Anderson continues his run at Palace Station, and Vinnie Coppola and Joe O’Connell are at Big Al’s Comedy Club in the Orleans all weekend.

SPECIAL NOTE

Tickets go on sale for the Hives at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Sept. 12; psychic healer and hairvoyant channeler Gary Spivey, aka the Modern Day Nostradamus, is at Sunset Station; and our colleagues present the 2012 Las Vegas Weekly Awards for top dining, entertainment, personalities and more at Moon Nightclub in the Palms.

PARTY PATROL

Yelawolf, the Alabama rapper on Eminem’s Slim Shady Records, performs hits from his debut album “Radioactive” at Ditch Fridays at Palms Pool by day and then at nearby Rain at night; 2007 Playboy PMOY, model and actress Sara Underwood hosts at Tabu Ultra Lounge in MGM Grand; and Pierce Fulton spins for Steve Aoki’s House at Surrender Nightclub in Steve Wynn’s Encore.

SATURDAY, JUNE 30

The Summerland Tour 2012 features Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit and Marcy Playground at Mandalay Bay Beach; America performs at the Cannery; Sax and the City is at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm; the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans’ French Quarter is at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center; reggae powerhouse Bushman is at Sway Pool in Silverton; and Boulder Blues features Mannish Boys at Boulder Station.

Comedians Brad Wollack, Chris Franjola and Jen Kirkman headline at the Golden Nugget.

SPECIAL NOTE

“Mindfreak” magician Criss Angel holds a meet-and-greet for his Loyals at his Cirque du Soleil “Believe” theater in the Luxor; chef Geno Bernardo of Nove Italiano in the Palms hosts the outdoor Project Dinner Table at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Orchard to benefit the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada and the Vegas Roots Community Garden; and Bellagio executive chef Edmund Wong hosts the Beer & BBQ Epicurean Epicenter at Tuscany Kitchen in the casino resort.

PARTY PATROL

Will.I.Am spins at EBC by day and Surrender at night, while his recording protege Cheryl Cole celebrates her 29th birthday at Gallery Nightclub in Planet Hollywood. Expect to see them at each other’s parties. Sex Panther entertains at Palms Pool; Kelly Bensimon hosts at Tao Beach in the Venetian; and porn princess politico Mary Carey of “Celebrity Rehab” hosts at Crazy Horse III.

SUNDAY, JULY 1

It’s the halfway point of 2012! Where has this year gone?

Congratulations to Boyd Gaming’s Eldorado in Henderson as it marks its 50th anniversary with cake, champagne and a limited-edition $5 chip. It was originally known as the Wheel complete with topless cowgirl waitresses in its western theme. Boyd promises 50-cent meal specials to mark the milestone.

The $1-million buy-in with at least 40 poker players to benefit the Big One for One Drop kicks off at the WSOP at the Rio.

Brad Tassell performs at King’s Comedy in the Rio; Mark Stylz hosts and DJs at Palms Pool; and Calvin Harris is behind the dueling decks at EBC.

We’ll post reports of Sara, Cheryl, Mary and others stars at work and play over the weekend, so be sure to check back often, and then Monday and Tuesday, we’ll turn the spotlight on the Fourth of July fireworks and festivities.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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