The Kats Report bureau at the moment is Bootlegger Bistro, late night right atop the bar. The Maria Salad is upcoming, and Old Vegas videos of Elvis, showgirls, The Rat Pack, The Wayner and the Fremont Street chase scene from “Casino Royale” is playing on an endless loop on the middle screen above the video poker machines.
This is one of the great Las Vegas video montages you’ll find, in VegasVille or anywhere. Now it’s the finer moments from “Barbarella,” which I believe was not filmed in Vegas, but no matter. Now it’s again Sean Connery-as-Bond.
This restaurant is owned by Lorraine Hunt-Bono, who was singing in the lounge when the Landmark hotel-casino opened and who was the last lounge singer when it closed. There is no footage playing of that famous hotel’s implosion, but there is a clip of Steve Wynn knocking down the doomed Dunes.
As someone once said, boom goes the dynamite.
We press on with this scene raking:
• The old Crazy Horse Too is such a dirty place, we say in an aesthetic sense, as workers are busy renovating the gentlemen’s club that has been closed since 2007. The latest from the place long known alternately as “The Horse” and “The Deuce”: Legal efforts by Crazy Horse III have thus far succeeded in halting the use of the name Crazy Horse Too at that club’s old location on Industrial Road, just off I-15. The nightspot’s new operator, Mike Galam, says he will open the famed nightspot as planned anyway, even if it means adopting a new and different name. He still plans to open for business next Thursday and host a grand reopening party June 1. Representatives of Crazy Horse III, which has initiated legal action to halt the use of that name, and Crazy Horse Too officials are to meet in court Wednesday.
Should the court rule in favor of Crazy Horse III, Galam says he has three options ready in case the Crazy Horse Too is DQ’d. This matter is to be resolved by Monday afternoon, when we find out the name of the old Crazy Horse Too — and if Galam is going to perform some fast editing.
• The Las Vegas Elks Helldorado Days rodeo, carnival and street fair kicks off today at 5 p.m. with the opening of the carnival, followed at 7 by the locals’ rodeo. The event is being staged in the open parcel on Las Vegas Boulevard and Stewart Avenue, across the street from the old City Hall and soon-to-be Zappos headquarters and just north of El Cortez. The event dates to 1934, when workers at Boulder Dam competed in a rodeo organized by noted carnival barker Clyde Zerby. The event went dormant for several years beginning in 1997 but was resurrected in time for the city’s centennial celebration in 2005.
Duane LaDuke, the event’s producer and the executive director of Elks Lodge #1468 in Las Vegas, says the event’s importance is twofold.
“The most important thing to me and the Elks Lodge is to raise money for kids,” says LaDuke, noting that all ticket proceeds go toward a variety of children’s charities. Also, keeping up a tradition of 78 years in the city, preserving a civic event that we want to last is really important to us.” If the event can raise $100,000 for charity this year, LaDuke says, “We’ll be thrilled.”
The PRCA rodeo itself is a strong draw. That event runs from Friday through Sunday, featuring many of the top contestants familiar to fans of the annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center. Seventeen-time PRCA all-around champ Trevor Brazile is among the more famous contestants signed up to compete this weekend. The Helldorado Parade is set for 5 p.m. Saturday (the route is Fourth Street from Gass Avenue to Ogden Avenue), and gates open at 5 p.m. each day at the rodeo site.
This is the last year Helldorado Days will be held at this particular patch of land, which is owned by Zappos.
“We’re looking at options for next year,” LaDuke says. “We’ve taken baby steps to bring the rodeo back to where it was, and it’s on a big scale again.”
• The original schedule for the opening of the new 12-story zip line and SlotZilla has been for June, but based on the progress thus far, it does not appear it will be open for business before July. The build-up also is cutting off one of the greatest people-watching views in the city, of folks in all measure of attire and cultures ambling past the patio at Mickie Finnz.
Also, I am hearing of a return of the aquatic production “Splash” for the upper level of Neonopolis. It’s all just talk at the moment, but there is a ripple (hey-oh!) of activity surrounding the show’s eventual return to VegasVille. “Splash” ran from 1985-2006 at Riviera and would be a good fit at, oh, $20 bucks per ducat on Fremont Street. As is typically the case at Neonopolis, it’s best not to get too fired up until the doors are actually thrown open, but this is a tantalizing chance for the return of a show rich in Vegas history.
• How is the Stratosphere like the great horn band Tower of Power? Well, there is the “Tower” identifier. There also are horns, and a lot of them, used to great effect. The Stratosphere has moved the return of David Perrico and his 18-piece Pop Evolution show band to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. “Pop Evo” is set to play alternate Tuesdays, at $20 per ticket, at Stratosphere Showroom. Vocalist Naomi Mauro is back from maternity leave, and Savannah Smith also is singing in the band. Expect a take of Rush’s instrumental classic “YYZ” and pick-through of Heart hits using both singers in the new setlist.
Smith, who is in this column a lot because she is just that good, has been hired on as the swing singer in “Pin Up,” also powered by Perrico’s band. The singers in the show now are principal vocalist Anne Martinez, to be spelled by Smith, as the show seems to have settled on who it wants to sing for the show starring Claire Sinclair.
• Let’s see, we had Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns, members of the cast of “Jersey Boys,” an 11-time Grammy Award winner and Rich Little. Pretty good show, right?
Especially for a Saturday afternoon at a church in Henderson.
All of those performers donated their time and talent to the Mike Turnbull benefit show at New Song Church in Anthem. A brisk walk-up crowd pushed the event to capacity, or beyond if you consider that chairs were set up outside the entrance of the New Song performance venue. Jerry Lopez summoned the members of Fat City Horns, one of whom is Danny Falcone, who teamed with his wife, January, to organize the event to help Turnbull offset medical costs amassed during his treatment for thyroid cancer. Turnbull plays trombone in the Donny & Marie show at Flamingo Las Vegas and is very well-liked in the Vegas musician community.
Tony Lindsay, singer for Santana and owner of those 11 Grammys, turned up with Lopez to sing “You Don’t Know Me,” which he’s also performed with Santa Fe at the Lounge at the Palms. About $10,000 was raised, which is about what Turnbull needs to pay off his medical expenses.
One great moment: After Turnbull’s wife, Karen, spoke long and passionately about Mike’s recovery from the rare form of cancer, the unassuming trombonist took the mic and said, “I got nothing.”
It was a big laugh, and a great time, at New Song.
• On this charity-in-Vegas theme, Jeff Leibow of “Jersey Boys” is continuing his fight to combat Neurofibromatosis, the nerve disorder from which his daughter, Emma, suffers. He has organized the first Art 4 NF show, set for Sunday form 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The District at Green Valley Ranch. Work from such Vegas artists as Julie Bergonz (The Sin City Shooter), Erica Reynolds, Priscilla Daniels and Irena Tatevosyan (Irena Inks) will be featured. It also will feature original glasswork, photography and art created by cast members from “Jersey Boys” and Chippendales at The Rio.
Jerry Polis, a former gallery owner and benefactor of The Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art, has donated what is billed as the highlight of the event’s auction, an original Neal Doty painting. A performance by members of “Rock of Ages” at The Venetian and face painting by Nathan Minor and John Rivera of Chippendales also is on the itinerary. All proceeds will benefit the NF Network, the nonprofit organization supporting those suffering from NF and their families. If a word to describe Leibow’s dedication to fighting this cause, that word would be “tireless.” He never stops.