Strip Scribbles: L.V. entertainment scene alive, well with sellout shows

Celine Dion’s opening night at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on March 15, 2011.
Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/

Celine Dion’s four returning and remaining 2011 shows are sold out -- not one ticket can be found for the year-end concerts at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace. That’s all 16,800 seats spoken and accounted for -- c’est magnifique! Demand is so strong that people who had already bought their tickets have put them on sale for profit -- more than $200 a seat in the second mezzanine and $1,000 in the rear orchestra -- via resale ticket Web sites.

But it’s not only the Canadian songbird who is putting up sold-out notices. Drake has a full house for his New Year’s Day show at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, and Axl Rose of Guns ’N Roses can claim the same for their New Year’s Eve show. In fact, demand was so huge for the Dec. 31 performance that Hard Rock persuaded the rockers, joined by Sebastian Bach and Las Vegas’ Adelitas Way, to add another Dec 30.

3/15/11: Celine Dion at The Colosseum

Drake at The Joint

Check out Pollstar with its listings of a mind-blowing 654 events with tickets on sale, and you realize why we’re the Entertainment Capital of the World. Pollstar also reports that Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour” is the top-grossing touring show in America for a third week in a row -- it’s at Mandalay Bay Events Center through Dec. 27.

One local entertainment industry insider told me: “Las Vegas is really alive and well and at the top of the charts. Nobody would’ve believed it, but the sales prove we’re doing better than ever. Give ’em great shows, and they’ll always come whatever the price of a ticket.”

Winter in Venice at the Venetian

WINTER IN VENICE STARS: Winter in Venice at the Venetian has become a hit with celebrities and visitors alike. Tonight, Grammy-winning singer Michelle Branch performs a one-night-only acoustic concert on the white carpet at 7 to benefit HELP of Southern Nevada assisting low-income families and individuals to become more self-sufficient. Michelle, who will perform her hits “Everywhere” and “Breathe,” is giving the $20 tickets away for free in exchange for donations and winter clothing items.

On Saturday, Melissa Rycroft and husband Tye Strickland will take photos, mingle and ice skate with fans. Visitors this premiere season have included Jordin Sparks (for the opening), Holly Madison, Chef Mario Batali and Karina Smirnoff. The Venetian is celebrating 49 days and nights of holiday festivities until Jan. 8 with candy cane stilt walkers, jugglers, strolling carolers and the nightly Holiday Spectacular show lighting the 65-foot LED tree.

Holly Madison Ice Skates at Winter in Venice

OPPORTUNITY VILLAGE STARS: Local entertainers and leaders are making appearances at the spectacular Opportunity Village Magical Forest, one of the most incredible holiday displays West of the Mississippi that’s also for a good cause.

Palace Station headliner Louie Anderson is there tonight; Red Rock Resort performers Zowie Bowie tomorrow; Excalibur hunks Thunder From Down Under on Sunday; and sexy Angel Porrino from “Absinthe,” “Holly’s World” and “Peepshow” on Monday. The Magical Forest is a truly don’t-miss attraction.

Zowie Bowie @Monte Carlo

WEDDING CHAPEL WINS AWARDS: Congratulations to the elegant -- and traditional -- Chapel of the Flowers on a slew of awards to round out another year of “I Do” ceremonies at the freestanding Strip wedding chapel. For a second consecutive year, it’s been named Best Independent Wedding Chapel and for having Best Web Site by Beautiful Bride and Las Vegas Bride magazines and Wedding Professionals of Las Vegas.

Leach Blog Photo

Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson at Surrender on Dec. 14, 2011.

It also received nominations for Best Location and Best Floral Shop, and more than 10 staff members won nominations for Best Wedding Photography and Best Event Planning. Vegas DeLuxe reported the Chapel of the Flowers weddings of UFC fighter Mark Scanlon to wife Katie and the headlining-making match of “Lost” actor Doug Hutchison, 51, to model Courtney Stodden, 16.

Chapel of the Flowers - from

VVN HITS 1 MILLION: It really is a case of what happens in Vegas now goes out to the world. Vegas Video Network, the first and only live online broadcasting network here, is now being seen in more than 150 countries and recently passed the 1 million mark in viewer minutes and 100,000 unique regulars. Congratulations to Scott Whitney, founder, producer and oftentimes cameraman and announcer, for spreading Las Vegas stories around the world. My pal Zowie Bowie hosts the weekly “Talktails” there. Here’s the YouTube video of when he turned the tables and interviewed yours truly!

Zowie Bowie and Robin Leach - from


Hot off the grill! Planet Hollywood International chief Robert Earl arrives today to oversee the Dec. 26 opening of his first Buca di Beppo on the Strip. The English-born mogul acquired the company in 2008 and has revitalized the brand now with 90 locations across the U.S., Britain and Latin America. The 8,500-square-foot restaurant is opening at Excalibur with 300 seats on the Castle Walk mezzanine.

Leach Blog Photo

Tito Ortiz and Jenna Jameson at Surrender on Dec. 14, 2011.


British boxer Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton dined at Ri Ra in Mandalay Place, and boxing legend Leon Spinks was in the next night. Beer must be a brawler’s favorite? The Hitman also turned up at Chef Michel Richard’s new Central 24/7 in Caesars Palace. Heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield dined with 12 friends at Chef Wolfgang Puck’s Lupo in Mandalay Bay. … MMA star Tito Ortiz and former adult film star Jenna Jameson were closerthanthis while partying at Surrender in Encore last night and posed for photos with fans. … NFL pro turned ESPN analyst Antonio Pierce and his wife dined at Tao in the Venetian. … And KRS-One hosted and performed at Old School at Lavo in the Palazzo last night. In the crowd: EDX, who spins at Tao tonight for the Bad Santa party.

Fantasy's 12th Anniversary VIP Party


The Mary Mary concert at Pearl in the Palms has been canceled, and the lovely ladies of “Fantasy” and the macho men of Thunder From Down Under compete in a crime-solving contest at “CSI: The Experience” at MGM Grand as a fundraiser for the annual toy drive and HELP of Southern Nevada.


Our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview of the entertainment offerings on the last shopping weekend before Christmas. Plus, the sexy ICandy burlesque show at the Tropicana and a preview of 1OAK at the Mirage that opens with Fergie on New Year’s Eve.

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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