Five days and nights of nonstop partying are ahead for the Memorial Day Weekend starting today and make it more like a New Year’s Eve celebration in Las Vegas. In fact, bigger and better than ever before midyear or end-of-year! The 120 hours of comedians, rock stars and rappers is mind numbing, but also the reason we’re proudly called The Entertainment Capital of the World.
Please note that Sir Elton John’s “The Million-Dollar Piano” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace have been canceled for tonight and the weekend due to him being hospitalized in L.A. with a respiratory infection; our Senior Editor John Katsilometes posted a report this morning. We wish Elton a very speedy and full recovery!
Nobody does it better than Las Vegas, and our pools, nightclubs and stages are packed solid with stars. One major highlight is The Beach Boys tour that stops at Red Rock Resort with the reunited Brian Wilson and Mike Love. It’s their first time touring together in more than 20 years.
No wonder the 61st Annual Miss USA Pageant is here, and it’s likely that you’ll run into the gorgeous girls around town. Tonight, they’re at “Absinthe” in Caesars Palace, Saturday they watch J.Lo and Marc Anthony at Mandalay Bay and Sunday join Sky Blu for his residency kickoff at Pure in Caesars Palace.
Ms. Lopez is here with ex-husband No. 3 Marc and “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” director Jamie King for the finale of their Latin American talent show “!Q’Viva! ( The Chosen).” You can bet J.Lo’s new beau Casper Smart will be watching backstage as they present the top contestants from 21 countries through the Americas.
Hometown rocker Vince Neil has a staycation this weekend, and he’s the headliner kicking off the Rock of Vegas Summer Concert Series at Fremont Street Experience. Despite other tour dates being canceled, Van Halen intends to keep its weekend stop at MGM Grand. Plenty of music options, with everybody from Santana to Daughtry and Incubus to Air Supply.
For comedy, there are, among others, Bill Cosby, Rita Rudner, Andrew Dice Clay, Drew Carey and Russell Peters. who now lives here in Las Vegas.
Motorcycle racer Gene Woods opens his new 2,000-seat Extreme Sport stadium opposite the airport for the California craze of racing now here as “the fastest sport in Las Vegas.” Three-time AMA National Speedway Champion Billy “The Kid” Janniro will race, and Pam “Pinky” Bennett comes out of retirement to roar the 160-pound, 90-hp bikes that don’t have brakes.
Top it all off with Australian beauty and world ballroom champion Kym Johnson. She was partnered with Jaleel White in this just-concluded Season 14 “Dancing With the Stars” and won “DWTS” with our Flamingo headliner Donny Osmond. Now here she’s reuniting with Season 4 partner Joey Fatone in “Dancing With the Stars: Live in Las Vegas” at the Tropicana. Add in UFC 146 and the Tuff’N-Uff FestiBrawl to delight MMA fans, and it’s a regal rumble in and out of the ring.
Add it all up to make the ultimate winning weekend that roars and trips the light fantastic; rev the engines, and prepare to party for five days. Here’s the play-by-play sheet we affectionately call the Royal Robin Rundown so you don’t miss out on anything:
THURSDAY, MAY 24
Daughtry with guests Safetysuit and Mike Sanchez are at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel; “The Price Is Right” host Drew Carey and his all-star cast begin a four-night run of Improv-a-Ganza at MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theater; and Santana resumes its residency at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay through June 3.
As noted above, Kym Johnson waltzes at the Tropicana, while fellow pro dancer and fine Irishman Tristan McManus, who was Gladys Knight’s partner on “DWTS” this season, joins the show tonight and sambas until the end of the Strip run -- now possibly extending into August, as I reported on Twitter.
Shock comic Andrew Dice Clay plays the Riviera the five-day Memorial Day weekend; Sebastian Maniscalco from Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Tour headlines Empire Comedy Club in the Paris for three nights; and Tanya Lee Davis and Jason Harris are at Big Al’s Comedy Club at the Orleans through Sunday.
The Henry Clay People perform at the nightlife party at Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, but cabaret jazz singer Barbara Cook has had to postpone her four-day run at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
Grammy winner Afrojack -- is he still with Paris Hilton? --spins at the Splashdance nighttime pool party at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore, and Don Omar is poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Food Network star chef Aaron Sanchez, who rebranded the HOB menus, hosts a meet-and-greet at the Mandalay Bay venue; for the third year, Azure Luxury Pool at Palazzo hosts the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair with dozens of top Strip restaurants serving taste treats poolside to benefit the Nevada Restaurant Association; and MMA icon Urijah “California Kid” Faber has a book signing at Barnes and Noble on North Rainbow.
FRIDAY, MAY 25
Multiplatinum rockers Incubus are at The Joint (frontman Brandon Boyd was interviewed this week by Mark Adams of Las Vegas Weekly); Air Supply is at the Orleans all weekend; Merle Haggard is at Texas Station; Nashville Unplugged features Tim McGraw songwriter Greg Barnhill and Joanna Cotten at Green Valley Ranch and Saturday at Aliante; and singer, pianist and guitarist Eric Hutchison is at the Cosmopolitan all weekend.
The laughs are nonstop with the legendary Bill Cosby at Treasure Island; Jay Leno at the Mirage; David Spade at the Venetian for two nights; Pablo Francisco at South Point all weekend; and Tommy Savitt, Yassir Lester and Tracey MacDonald at Harrah’s Improv all weekend.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Tickets go on sale for The Australian Pink Floyd Show on Sept. 29 at The Pearl in the Palms; Tuff-N-Uff presents FestiBrawl: The Amateur Fighting Championships, plus food trucks, music and bull riding at South Point; “On Air With Robert & CC” host NFL star Cedric Benson and Coolio at PBR Rock Bar in Miracle Mile Shops of Planet Hollywood; World Series of Poker officials unveil the ultimate Main Event Bracelet bling at Jason of Beverly Hills in the Cosmopolitan; and UFC Octagon girl Arianny Celeste, hosts a meet-and-greet at Las Vegas Fight Shop in Miracle Mile Shops.
By day, it’s Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia at Encore Beach Club, while Matt and Kim perform at Beachlife Summer Camp at HRH. By night, Jason Derulo performs at The Bank in the Bellagio; “Peepshow” platinum princess Holly Madison hosts at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at the Paris; and curvy Las Vegas stunner and July 2011 Playboy Playmate Jessa Hinton hosts the summer kickoff at Crazy Horse III.
Gorgeous actress Meaghan Good celebrates her bachelorette party and performs as a Pussycat Doll in their Burlesque Saloon at Gallery in Planet Hollywood; Trey Songz is at Tao in the Venetian; Cassie is at Lavo in the Palazzo; Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship is at Pure; A Silent Film hosts and performs at GhostBar in the Palms; DJ Tiesto spin at XS in Encore; Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas DJs at Rain in the Palms; Afrojack spins at Tryst; Mark Foster of Foster the People takes the turntables at Moon in the Palms; Armin Van Buuren and Gareth Emery are at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan; and Steve Aoki and Lil’ Jon are at Surrender.
SATURDAY, MAY 26
At UFC 146, newly crowned heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos defends his title against Frank Mir at MGM Grand Garden Arena; Cain Velasquez battles Antonio Silva.
Reba McEntire is at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm Valley; J.Lo and company are at Mandalay Bay with the 2012 Miss USA Pageant contestants in the audience; Young the Giant is at Boulevard; Vince Neil is at FSE; The Cult is at M Resort with Against Me! and The Icarus Line; Tom Dreeson is at Suncoast; Led Zepagain: Amazing Led Zeppelin Tribute is at Las Vegas Hotel for two nights; and Summer of Fun Kickoff with The Buckinghams and Gary Lewis & The Playboys, food and a classic car show is at the Cannery.
Scotch-and-cigar funnyman Ron White is at the Mirage for two nights, and Indian-born, Canadian comic and Las Vegas transplant Russell Peters is at The Colosseum.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
As noted above, Sin City Speedway opens; UFC fighters Chael Sonnen and Chad Mendes host a meet-and-greet at Las Vegas Fight Shop; newlywed rock artist Michael Godard hosts an art show and meet-and-greet at his Oh My Godard Gallery in Miracle Mile; boxer Victor Ortiz hosts a meet-and-greet to launch his skin care line for men at the Rio’s spa and salon; and the 9th Annual Rockabilly Rod Reunion and NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series is at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for two days, while the bullring will feature a two days of NASCAR stock racing, USAC Midgets and the ASA Truck Series.
Sculptor Richard McDonald presents a rare glimpse into his creative process for his Cirque du Soleil masterpieces in “Seeing Through the Artist’s Eyes” in the Fine Art Gallery at Bellagio’s O Theater for two days.
By day, Busta Rhymes is at Palms pool; Mark Ballas celebrates his birthday at Liquid Pool Lounge at Aria; Playboy Playmates and models Crystal Harris, Anna Sophia Berglund, Tiffany Taylor, Kara Monaco, Amanda Vanderpool and more party at Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage; and Benny Benassi spins at Tao Beach in the Venetian.
By night, J.Lo makes a special appearance at Hyde Bellagio; Ludacris is at Rain; Fabolous is at Haze; Sean Kingston is at Lavo; Ice-T and Coco host at LAX in the Luxor after hosting at the resort’s pool during the day; Claire Sinclair, 2011 Playmate of the Year, celebrates her 21st birthday at Crazy Horse III; Dev is at Pure; Frank Mir’s official fight after-party is at Gallery; Junior Dos Santos hosts his after-party at Chateau; and Cain Velasquez hosts at Tabu Ultra Lounge in MGM Grand.
Tiesto spins at Surrender; Steve Angello, An21 and Max Vangeli are at XS; Grammy winner Skrillex is at Tryst in the Wynn; Bad Boy Bill is under the Eiffel Tower; and Rony Seikaly spins at Wet Republic at MGM Grand.
SUNDAY, MAY 27
The Beach Boys are at Red Rock Resort; Van Halen and Kool & The Gang are at the MGM Grand Garden Arena; Dennis Edwards and The Temptations are at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm; and Rita Rudner is at the Venetian.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The 43rd Annual World Series of Poker begins with two days of events solely for casino employees at the Rio. The 2012 games run through Monday, July 9, when the big-money Main Event gets underway. Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte’s $1-million-buy-in, three-day One Drop charity poker game begins July 1.
By day, Ne-Yo is at Rehab in the HRH; Sky Blu of LMFAO presents “Who Came to Party?!” at Wet Republic during the day and then at night at Pure with the Miss USA glamour girls; Kaskade is at Marquee Dayclub; Ginuwine is at the Las Vegas Hotel pool; and David Guetta is at Encore Beach Club. By night, Childish Gambino is at Boulevard; the Second Annual White Party with Armin Van Buuren and Gareth Emery is at Marquee; Nelly performs at 1 OAK in the Mirage; Akon is at Haze; Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes is at Hyde; Lil’ Jon is at Tryst; Deadmau5 is at XS; Jazzy Jeff and Questlove are at Moon; and Calvin Harris is at Surrender.
British model and singer Nick Hissom, Steve Wynn’s stepson, debuts his single and performs with Manufactured Superstars at Tryst, and films its music video at locations at the Wynn.
MONDAY, MAY 28
Deadmau5 spins at Encore Beach Club; Armin Van Buuren is at Tao Beach; and David Guetta and Avicii are at XS.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
From open to close, the five Las Vegas Raising Cane’s will donate 100 percent of proceeds to the Dave Rice Foundation at UNLV. The Las Vegas restaurant group has more that 125 locations in 16 states, and Coach Rice hosts a meet-and-greet at the Strip Cane’s.
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.
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