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It’s a fight I never expected, but it’s all in the name of charity when Luxor headliners Criss Angel and Carrot Top arm-wrestle each other for charity at noon Saturday. The best-of-three showdown between the “Mindfreak” magician and the zany redheaded props comic will be seen live on Criss’s Magic Broadcasting Network at CrissAngel.com with fellow Strip magician Nathan Burton as judge.
The bonus is an exclusive interview that Criss won for his Internet TV broadcast. He sat for a rare conversation with WWE superstar Triple H, and, yes, the wrestler will be seen with his injured arm in a sling to clear up that controversy. “It was a real coup to have him sit down and talk about everything, including the Brock Lesnar arm incident,” Criss told me.
RIP, DONNA: Condolences to the husband and family of disco queen Donna Summer with her death announced today after a battle with cancer. Donna regularly appeared here with our pal David Foster at his Mandalay Bay shows. My former New York City neighbor producer Niles Rodgers said he was in shock and tears over the news.
I go back with Donna to the late 1960s when my pal the late Neil Bogart launched his disco label Casablanca Records with the great Giorgio Moroder, who masterminded Donna in the studio. Donna will be sadly missed; she’d hoped at one point to entertain at our annual Keep Memory Alive fundraising gala.
VETERAN VISITORS: Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, are hosting for the seventh time wounded veterans at his Venetian and Palazzo as part of the Salute Our Troops weekend with the Armed Forces Foundation. Sheldon has now hosted more than 600 wounded warriors and their guests. The veterans arrived by motorcade and were greeted by more than 400 hotel team members Wednesday, and students from Adelson School sung the national anthem and Nellis Air Force Base Honor Guard presented the colors. NASCAR driver and hometown hero Kurt Busch attended the ceremonies.
The wounded warriors flown from San Antonio Military Medical Center courtesy of Southwest Airlines are treated to all-suite accommodations, spa and salon treatments at Canyon Ranch SpaClub, Blue Man Group, Madame Tussauds, a night at Tao and an Omaha Steaks cookout.
PREGNANCY ADVICE: Singer Mariah Carey has confirmed that she sought fertility advice from Caesars Palace headliner Celine Dion and that they discussed various procedures, hormone treatments and acupuncture. Mariah turned to Celine after a 2008 miscarriage and said she got acupuncture to fight stress at least once a day and underwent a body-cleansing treatment. Mariah and husband Nick Cannon, celebrated their third wedding anniversary in April last year, the same day she gave birth to fraternal twins Monroe and Moroccan Scott.
MISS USA ARRIVALS: Donald Trump’s beautiful ladies in his 2012 Miss USA Pageant begin arriving Friday and move into their Planet Hollywood headquarters, with our Miss Nevada Jade Kelsall leading their way. They begin early next week preparing for publicity appearances, wardrobe fittings, then rehearsals, preliminaries and the big broadcast Sunday, June 3, on NBC.
ROCK CAMP: How’s this odd couple as your new teachers? Motley Crue frontman and hometown rocker Vince Neil is joining with KISS founder Gene Simmons for a Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp at MGM Grand from October 10-14. The boot camp sessions also include Sebastian Bach and Zakk Wylde. The course will teach rock star wannabes how to make it in the business. Gene, a former math teacher in Queens, said: “It will be a grueling, military-styled musical training process. We’ll reveal the secrets, but you’ll have to earn them because I’m just the guy to play sergeant. Drop and give me 20!”
5TH ANNIVERSARY: Congratulations to chef Steve Martorano, who celebrates five successful years of his Cafe Martorano at the Rio on Friday. He’ll present a four-course, family-style dinner with multiple dishes at each course, include his famous meatballs, homemade mozzarella, veal chop and chicken. He’ll serve his signature Yo Cuz chocolate and vanilla layered cake for dessert. All the proceeds support Keep Memory Alive, the fundraising arm of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
PROMOTION FOR BRITT: Many sincere congratulations to Dawn Britt, communications director at the Venetian and Palazzo, on her big promotion to corporate director of communications for Las Vegas Sands. She’s been wonderful to work with and of invaluable help to Vegas DeLuxe over the years. Now her primary focus will be developing and implementing media strategies for the company’s community outreach, social-responsibility initiatives and philanthropy.
It’s opening night of “Strip, Strip, Hooray” starring Dita Von Teese at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay for three nights. Comedy impressionist Jeff Tracta’s new show at the Pearl in the Palms is through Sunday. Comedian Mark Curry is at LVH. T.J. Miller begins three nights at Empire Comedy Club at the Paris. Rhumbar at the Mirage starts its Summer Nights. One Trick Pony performs at Haze in tandem with a pole-dancing contest. And nearby Liquid Pool Lounge recruits girls for its new Ladies Swim team synchronized to backstroke beats.
More than 35 chefs and restaurants, including Alize’s Andre Rochat, N9NE Steakhouse’s Barry Dakake and Nove Italiano’s Geno Bernardo are poolside at the Palms and in Rain with culinary stars from Tao, Lavo, Sushi Roku, Scarpetta, Fleur and Country Club at the Wynn for Taste of the Nation, the 20th annual culinary event that fights childhood hunger. Nearly $1 million has been raised to date.
Respected military hero Col. John Alexander lectures on UFOs with his “Myths, Conspiracies and Realities” at the new Area 51 attraction at the National Atomic Testing Museum on Flamingo just off the Strip.
It’s an invasion of the world’s biggest music stars, with everybody from Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson here for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday. Will Adele make a surprise appearance? Add in a Whitney Houston tribute with daughter Bobbi Kristina, John Legend and Jordin Sparks and the Millennium Award to Stevie Wonder, and it’s another blockbuster weekend of entertainment detailed in our weekly Weekend Celebrity Preview.
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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