Working quick apace in VegasVille, we have the latest from the city that’s the greatest:
• Yankees caps were abundant at Sunday’s Start Spreadin’ the News fundraiser organized by several star chefs and Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada officials to benefit the Red Cross’ Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The announced total pulled in from the culinary event held at New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge was $100,000. The climactic moment unfolded on the stage at the middle of the bridge, as the original fundraising goal of $50,000 from the event was surpassed.
At that point, Southern Wine & Spirits chief Larry Ruvo, who, along with his sidekick Michael Severino, launched the event, told Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman that his company would match the amount raised if she were to call New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to, yes, spread the news.
Goodman then made, what turned out to be, a $50,000 phone call.
Former Mayor Oscar Goodman joined his wife, and the food and drinks were supplied by a host of Vegas chefs and restaurants. Francois Payard of Payard Patisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace and Scott Conant of Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas manned their stations. Their restaurants in New York were hit by the hurricane.
The idea to bridge Vegas and the Red Cross relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy bloomed from chef Emeril Lagasse’s “Carnival” fundraising gala for Lagasse’s charitable foundation last month in New Orleans. Conant, Lagasse, Ruvo and chef Mario Batali were talking of the devastation when Ruvo threw out the idea of a benefit in Las Vegas.
“People were worried about the weather, that no one would show up today because it was cold,” Ruvo said as he led the Goodmans to the event’s official poster, which they both signed (Oscar while gripping his Sunday martini). “Well, this is nothing compared to what the people in New York had to face. I’m proud of our city today.”
• For Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis, fame begats breaky.
The two cast members in “Chippendales” and competitors on the recently concluded CBS show “Amazing Race” (they placed second on Season 21) were eating breakfast at the Cracked Egg on South Rainbow Boulevard on Wednesday morning. When they attempted to pay the bill, they were told a guest — who had since taken off — had covered the tab.
The two hosted a kissing booth at Wednesday night’s “Kiss for a Cure” American Cancer Society fundraiser hosted by fellow “Chipps” cast member Bryan Chan. The event was organized to raise money for Forget Cancer Now, the fundraiser for Vaughan’s father, Edwin, who is suffering from cancer and needs help to offset the cost of chemotherapy treatment. Chan’s grandmother has also fought the disease, and he has been active in cancer charity work for the past several years.
More about Chan: According to the website for the male revue, he sorts his T-shirts by color. This prompts the question: He owns T-shirts?
The Jaymes & James kissing booth seemed a hit. Those making a donation were given a tube of lipstick and the directive to apply such, then kiss these boys anywhere on their torsos. By the response of fans (and not all of them women), these guys could retire on the money raised from such a kissing kiosk. They're already enjoying free meals.
• Jeff Beacher’s official website promises he’ll be in Las Vegas in 2013, and unofficial word out of MGM Grand is he is certain to be moving his “Beacher’s Madhouse” freak show into the old Crazy Horse Paris space (and there are no plans for the “Crazy Horse Paris” show to return to Vegas). For Beacher, it’s just a matter of when he ambles back to the great Emerald Empire.
Beacher is celebrating New Year’s Eve with his show at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in L.A. As he moves his quirky carnival into the MGM Grand, his will be one of the more astonishing comebacks ever in the city. Years ago, Beacher was banned from that hotel and all properties in the then-MGM Mirage family. Not his show, his physical person was off-limits to some of the Strip’s grandest hotels for the famous stunt in which he stripped to a Speedo and belly-flopped into the 10,000-gallon aquarium at MGM Grand’s Rainforest Café.
This was in December 2003, an event that drew the attention of the Hilton sisters, “Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis and, of course, MGM security.
If nothing else, the hotel will forever be known for hosting inventively staged semi-nudity.
For those who never saw the show in Vegas (I caught it in 2006 at the Joint, and my running mate that night happened to be Clint Holmes), Beacher’s “Madhouse” is a blend of freak acts found in old Circus shows along with a host of dancing girls.
I remember something the great comic visionary said a decade ago: “Comedy in Vegas is boring.” Next year, we expect, he’ll be saying that in past tense.