President Obama has named Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of hotel mogul Steve Wynn, to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, following billionaire Steve onto the board, as President George W. Bush appointed him in 2006. Steve stepped down this year before completing the six-year term.
Elaine, like Steve, is a prolific political donor. The Kennedy Center board is a coveted presidential appointment that is frequently given to top contributors. Her selection comes as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces a tough re-election battle.
*As Vegas DeLuxe reported weeks ago, the Miss America Organization confirmed yesterday that the 2011 Miss America Pageant is returning to Planet Hollywood on Jan. 15 as Miss America celebrates its 90th anniversary. Miss America has called Planet Hollywood home since moving here in 2006, and next year’s pageant marks a return to primetime in airing on ABC. Caressa Cameron of Virginia is the reigning Miss America.
Rick Harrison of The History Channel’s Pawn Stars had lunch yesterday at Rao’s in Caesars Palace with a couple who bid on the lunch in a live auction. The auction was part of the National Pawnbrokers Association’s convention at Caesars Palace, where Rick was presented the Pawnbroker of the Year Award. The package went for $5,000 and included lunch with Rick and a Mickey Mouse phone featured on Pawn Stars. Meantime, his co-star Austin “Chumlee” Russell dined at Hussong’s Cantina in Mandalay Bay on Wednesday night. … Flamingo headliner Marie Osmond and friends grabbed frozen hot chocolates at Serendipity 3 after interviews that she and brother Donny Osmond were doing at Caesars Palace about their Flamingo show. … Divas Las Vegas star Frank Marino signed copies of his cookbook Dining With the Diva at Imperial Palace yesterday, with part of the proceeds going to Make-a-Wish Foundation. Thanks to Glenn Pinkerton of Las Vegas News Bureau for his photo. … Jeremy Ray Valdez and Erika Alexander of the new film La Mission celebrated its premiere at Lavo’s Latin Seduxion last night benefiting the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence. Jeremy and Erika dined at the restaurant before heading upstairs to the boutique nightclub and enjoying Veuve Clicquot. At sister hotspot Tao in The Venetian, Matt “The Hammer” Hamill was spotted at dinner. … Actor John Cleese watched Peepshow in Planet Hollywood last night, as did Michael Cudlitz of Southland.
*The Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, Calif., north of San Diego opened for the season this week and has many Las Vegas ties: Former MGM head honcho Terry Lanni served on the board of directors; hundreds of residents escape the summer desert heat for the cool ocean breezes of Del Mar; Mayor Oscar Goodman visits on his annual vacation; and I visit annually in August. Casinos also send their high rollers and guests for a three-day visit every week.
Now it’s a race into the weekend as we offer a prize to all our loyal readers that we refer to affectionately around here as the ROYAL ROBIN RUNDOWN:
FRIDAY, JULY 23
*Funnyman Jerry Seinfeld brings his wry standup observations about life’s idiosyncrasies to The Colosseum in Caesars Palace for two nights.
*Don’t fight the feeling as the summer tour of Pat Benatar and REO Speedwagon pulls into Thomas & Mack Center at UNLV with all their chart-topping 80’s hits. REO Speedwagon’s after-concert party is at Rok Vegas in New York-New York.
*New Zealand reggae band Katchafire giddy up to the poolside stage at the Hard Rock Hotel to “Say What You’re Thinking” with their Slow-Burning Revival Tour with guests Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds.
*Call it the Ultimate Elvis Weekend with three days of saluting “The King of Rock and Roll” at the downtown Fremont Street Experience.
LeBron James, the NBA’s newest $100 million man and the Miami Heats’ proudest catch, scores a slam dunk with his three-point play at Lavo in the Palazzo, and then does it all over again tomorrow night at Tao in The Venetian. … The Twilight wolf pack of Alex Meraz, Tinsel Korey and Julia Jones host the Tao Beach daytime festivities at The Venetian, then are at Lavo tomorrow night.
SATURDAY, JULY 24
*Pop music fans will be in overdrive, complete with mass fainting, as Canadian teen heartthrob and self-taught drummer, guitarist, pianist and trumpet player Justin Bieber takes to the stage at Planet Hollywood. Justin will find his “Baby” and make her “One Less Lonely Girl.” Justin is the first solo artist in history to chart four songs from a debut album in Billboard’s Top 40.
*Four-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett brings His Large Band to The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel to play everything from R&B to uptown jazz to righteous gospel to swinging Texas big band.
*Reggae singer and Jamaican ska musician Jimmy Cliff makes his Mandalay Bay Beach debut after 27 albums in his near four-decade career. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was just 14 with his first hit “Hurricane Hattie” before starting out on that “Hard Road to Travel.”
*Kool and the Gang play their “Celebration” of R&B, funk and pop sounds at Silverton Casino Lodge, and it’s not just “Ladies Night.”
*For the sounds of smooth jazz, its Dave Koz and Jonathon Butler with special guest Sheila E at Sunset Station.
*The legendary ladies of rock & roll say “It’s My Party,” as Lesley Gore, “Little” Peggy March and Shirley Alston Reeves have two nights of their chart-topping oldies at The Orleans showroom.
*Dean Martin’s daughter Deana entertains for two nights at Suncoast Showroom with some of her famous father’s hits and hers from the Great American Songbook.
*The Bo Deans serve up rock at the Party on the Rocks concert series at Red Rock Resort.
*Ana Barbara is at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm.
Rap royal Sean Kingston sings for his supper at Haze in Aria. … Singer and actress Eve, one of VH1’s 50 Greatest Women of the Video Era, is at Venus Pool Club in Caesars Palace and then at LAX in the Luxor. … Queensryche Cabaret make waves at the new Crown Theater in The Rio.
SUNDAY, JULY 25
*New Politics gets the vote as they play Carey Hart’s Wasted Space in the Hard Rock Hotel after the weekly Rehab.
For more weekend listings, check out the celebrity weekend preview posted earlier today.
Fantasy star Angelica Bridges, who headlines at the Luxor, is our guest columnist, and we’ll have the wrap-up with photos of all the stars at play over the weekend. And don’t forget the incredible photo gallery tomorrow with the stunning and sexy Crazy Girls at the Riviera shot by glamour photographer Scott Santos.
Vegas DeLuxe Editor Don Chareunsy is assisting with Strip Scribbles while Robin Leach is on vacation through Aug. 4.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.