Celebrity recap: So many stars, so little time

Nove Italiano executive chef Geno Bernardo and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in the kitchen of the Palms restaurant.
Photo: Joe Fury/N9NE Group

There was no shortage of celebrity sightings in Las Vegas this weekend as actors, athletes and a range of other stars shined across the city.

Paula Abdul was in town, apparently for meetings in hopes of developing a show of her own on The Strip, and was seen at Wayne Brady’s show, Making %@it Up, on Thursday.

BASE Entertainment co-CEO, Scott Zeiger (who serves as producer for Brady’s Venetian show) joined her for dinner at Strip House before they took in Brady’s show, then escorted the American Idol judge backstage after the performance.

Meanwhile, former Idol contestant Ryan Starr partied on the other side of the property, at Tao.

Also at Tao that night were members of the band Live, who took over one of the nightclub’s VIP tables after their concert next door at The Palazzo. The musicians apparently downed shots of Patron and rounds of Absolut cocktails as they partied with fans.

The Palms was absolutely abuzz all weekend, thanks in part to the CineVegas film festival, which took over the property and saw a range of celebs scurry about.

Portugese soccer sensation Christiano Ronaldo, Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez all stayed in suites at the star-studded resort over the weekend.

Ronaldo and 10 friends had supper on Friday in the private dining room a N9NE Steakhouse. The Manchester United star and his friends started with Caesar salads and calamari, while Ronaldo chose the bone-in filet with asparagus, lobster mashed potatoes and creamed corn for the main event.

After dinner, he and his group shifted things into high gear and took in Friday night at Rain. The following day, he hung out with some friends at Playboy Club, before grabbing a late night bite on the Nove Italiano terrace.

An apparent red meat fan, the pro athlete reportedly enjoyed the 16-ounce bone-in filet mignon that night. Once Ronaldo and his group of seven finished their mean, the kitchen sent out a round of cannolis for dessert.

Before continuing his night at Playboy Club, the star showed his appreciation by signing the door for chef Geno Bernardo and his staff.

Ronaldo and his friends were once again spotted on Sunday, this time as they sunned their sexy selves and hung by the pool at Palms Place.

Levine had his Thursday night dinner at N9NE Steakhouse. Levine and his party of 10 shared the chilled shellfish platter and rock shrimp to start while Levine split a 24-oz rib eye steak with a friend for his main entrée. Dressed in a casual white T-shirt and jeans, the vocalist also downed a few shots during dinner.

Also in the dining room that night was Rio magician Penn Jillette, who had a similarly large dinner with nine friends. The headliner had lobster bisque to start followed by a bone-in filet with creamed corn and a loaded baked potato.

Levine bought the illusionist a dinnertime drink and had a cup of hot tea sent to his table as Jillette enjoyed his meal.

He returned to N9NE for dinner the following night accompanied by a 15-person entourage.

Then, on Saturday, he and his friends opted for a slight change in scenery and decided to have their evening meal family-style at Nove Italiano.

They group shared kobe beef carpaccio and calamari. Once again, Levine chose a the 24-oz rib eye as his main, but this time followed it up with some New York cheesecake and chocolate truffle cake to share with his guests.

Also at the Palms on Thursday, rapper Too Short hung out for a bit at Ghostbar, then headed to Moon Nightclub with a friend.

Pro skateboarder Adam Dyet was also at Ghostbar on Thursday, along with half a dozen friends. The group reportedly drank Ketel One from their position within the nightspot’s VIP section.

On Friday, the star sightings continued at CineVegas, with Sam Rockwell and Jeremy Renner walking the red carpet.

The two were spotted at both Playboy Club and Moon later that evening.

Former 3rd Rock from the Sun star Joseph Gordon-Levitt – who has acted in films including G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Women in Trouble, among others, since the once-popular series ended in 2001 – also took a stroll down the festival’s red carpet on Friday to promote his new film, 500 Days of Summer.

Later that night, he was seen over at Tao amidst a group of 15.

James Caan and Scott Caan at 2009 CineVegas.

James Caan and Scott Caan at 2009 CineVegas.

Meanwhile, other CineVegas stars headed to Lavo: Scott Caan, along with his actor-father, James Caan; Mercy co-stars Erika Christensen and Troy Garity; and the film’s director, Patrick Hoelck had dinner at the Palazzo eatery.

While there, the Caans, who are both big boxing fans, bumped into boxer ”Sugar” Shane Mosley and used the coincidence to say hello to the famed fighter.

Also at Lavo on Friday were actors Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner and Ivan Martin. As the group sat out on the Strip-facing terrace they shared one of the restaurants gigantic crab and scallop-stuffed lobsters along with a few glasses of Pinot Grigio.

After dinner, the junior Caan, Christensen, and Rockwell all headed back to the Palms to check out the scene at Rain.

The following night, Christensen and both Caan actors had dinner at Nove Italiano with some mutual friends. After supper, the group went to a CineVegas party in the fireplace lounge at Playboy Club.

Pauly Shore stopped by the party at Playboy Club after his performance at the House of Blues. Shore was also spotted at Tao on Saturday.

Back at Lavo on Friday, NFL Hall of Famers Warren Moon and Eric Dickerson took in the scene from one of the upper level nightclub’s VIP tables.

Moon and many of his football-playing buddies were in town this weekend for the star’s charity event, the Sports Dream Bowl, on Saturday.

Next door at Tao, funnywomanRoseanne Barr had dinner and a few so-called “Tao-Tini” cocktails with her family.

Earlier that night, Golden State Warriors Corey Maggette, actor Mekhi Phifer, former American Idol contestant Ryan Starr, Sen. John Ensign, Dr. Gary Motykie of Dr. 90210, and the cast of Jersey Boys attended the grand opening of First Food and Bar at The Palazzo.

Phifer (who was also spotted at Tao the following night) sampled the honey walnut shrimp and Starr hit up the hotdog stand while the rest of the guests sampled several items from the new eatery’s menu including watermelon arugala salad, lobster rolls, mini burgers and First’s signature “grandpa’s pizza,” complete with molasses-wheat crust and creamy cheese grits.

Back at the Palms, lightweights Sharif Bogere and Angel "Baby Boy" Flores, and super featherweights "Bones" Adams and Anthony Napunyi duked it out at the Pearl.

Dennis Hopper.

Dennis Hopper.

Among the crowd of onlookers was Dennis Hopper, who took in the fight and a very non-aggressive show the following night.

Hopper took his family – wife, children and grandchildren inclusive – to see the 7 p.m. showing of Love at the Mirage on Saturday.

He and his entourage of relatives went backstage after the show to snap a few pictures and chat with the Cirque du Soleil castmembers.

While backstage, the legendary actor’s daughter made a love connection of sorts when she mentioned how John Lennon wrote “Come Together” after seeing her father’s performance in “Easy Rider.”

The next morning, Hopper spent some time amidst a crowd of Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas members at a festival-sponsored, kid-friendly Clubhouse event. Cast members from Jersey Boys were also be there.

Celebrity Apprentice cast member Annie Duke had dinner at Nove Italiano on Friday. Duke had chef Geno prepare her a special spaghetti dish and finished her meal with cannoli.

Also at Nove Italiano on Friday was former MLB player-manager Pete Rose who was joined out on the terrace by eight friends.

Rose was said to have ordered chicken parmesan for his main course and cannolis for everyone after that.

The Deftones also had dinner at the popular Italian eatery that night, first starting with shots and then sharing several appetizers including rock shrimp, crispy wontons and calamari.

Main course selections included petit filets, rib eye steaks and scallops accompanied by lobster mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and creamed corn. While the musicians had decidedly adult drinks throughout their meal (Ketel One and Red Bull) they returned to their more child-like roots for dessert and ordered a round of ice cream cones to chase their meal.

They left the restaurant slightly before midnight and continued their vodka-Red Bull-infused night at Rain nightclub. (The bandmates were also spotted that night at Moon.)

Also in the Nove dining room and, later, Rain nightclub on Friday was New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Terrell Owens spent a few days at the Palms this weekend and was seen on Friday at one of Moon’s VIP tables.

The Buffalo Bill was in town filming segments for his upcoming reality show, and perhaps made for the most random celebrity sighting of the weekend when he was spotted seeking out the Bank of America ATM at a Von’s grocery store on Pecos Road.

Still, most of the Owens sightings from the past few days came from within the Palms property and pool area.

As Owens drank Ketel One mixed drinks in the Moon VIP on Friday, fellow footballers, including San Diego Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez partied at the hot nightspot.

While Phillips had a group of six with him, Sanchez seemed to take the whole “enourage thing” seriously and brought 20 others with him.

Meanwhile, superbike racer Johnny Rock Page and a baker’s dozen of back-upd also took in the scene.

Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho Gaúcho, meanwhile, took three of his South American friends to the Mirage on Friday to check out Love.

The guys sipped beers during the show, then headed backstage to meet the cast and crew – which, coincidentally enough, includes five Brazilians – afterward.

Gaúcho took the time to pose for photos, sign autographs (including soccer balls and jerseys) and chat with some of his more flexible fans who work in the Cirque production.

Following the extended meet-and-greet, Gaúcho and his buddies headed over the Encore for a night at XS.

Next door at the Wynn, NFL players Junior Seau and Willie McGinest kicked back with a few friends at Blush.

At the Hard Rock Hotel, meanwhile, Third Eye Blind rocked the ongoing “Friday Night Live” poolside concert series. Emerging pop-rockers Low Vs. Diamond also joined them.

Meanwhile, Jermaine Dupri once again returned to Privé that night and reassumed his position behind the DJ booth for yet another guest spot.

Saturday, NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon hosted more than 20 of the league’s stars past and present – David Anderson, Will Demps, Eric Dickerson, Warrick Dunn, Marshall Faulk, Larry Fitzgerald, La’ Roi Glover, Jacob Green, Robert Griffith, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Byron Leftwich, Ronnie Lott, Darren McFadden, Willie McGinest, Shaun Phillips, Chester Pitts, Grey Ruegamer, Mark Sanchez, Junior Seau and Renaldo Wynn – at Sunset Station for his Sports Dream Bowl.

CBS Radio NFL analyst Sean Salisbury also participated in the charity event, as did actors Roger Cross (24, NCIS and new movies Caprica and The Day The Earth Stood Still), Mekhi Phifer (ER), and Bob Guiney (The Bachelor, The View.)

Track and field star and Olympic medalist Mike Conley Sr. and his son, Mike Conley Jr., were also there, along with world champion welterweight fighter, ”Sugar” Shane Mosley and pro basketballers Robert Horry and Greg Oden.

The annual event supported the national Urban Youth Scholarship Fund.

The CineVegas star sightings continued with George Wallace and James and Scott Caan at the festival’s screening of the younger Caan’s Mercy.

Later that night, R&B singer Eve performed at Pure at Caesars palace on Saurday; Fat Joedid his thing at LAX; and Linsday Lohan’s ex, Samantha Ronson picked up where Dupri left off the night before and served as guest DJ at Privé.

Academy Award-winning writer Diablo Cody came to Vegas his weekend to celebrate her 31st birthday in style with friends and family.

The birthday girl got things underway on Friday with dinner at Tao followed by a night at the nightclub.

The group returned to Tao the following day for an afternoon of fun-drenched fun at Tao Beach.

Cody, who is perhaps best known for her movie, Juno, made a splash in a gold metallic one-piece swimsuit and later snacked on sushi while enjoying the relative cool in the shade of a cabana.

The birthday festivities continued that night with a private dinner at Lavo. On the menu: kobe meatballs, a bottle or two of Chianti and a large red, black and white cake.

The birthday girl kept things both playful and festive and wore a birthday hat as she headed upstairs to welcome her 31st year at the nightclub.

Former star of The Apprentice, Bill Rancic and his wife, E! TV personality Giuliana Rancic, also had dinner at Lavo on Saturday.

The couple, who were in town to film a segment for their new show at The Palazzo that day, had supper with some friends then headed upstairs to the nightclub.

And finally, while it was actually Saturday the 13th, hometown girl Amanda Righetti celebrated her latest hit movie Friday the 13th, at Tabú.

The local beauty lived it up in the VIP section and danced throughout the night.

The next day, Peepshow co-stars Kelly Monaco and Mel B hung out at the Palms Place pool.

That same day, William Dafoe made his first visit to Vegas and started things off with brunch at Simon. Afterward, he crossed the casino floor to check out CineVegas and, later, accept an award at the festival’s Awards Reception, which was held at Rain.

Maria Menounos at Rain.

Maria Menounos at Rain.

Jon Voight and Willem Dafoe continued their CineVegas weekend on Sunday and joined Hopper, Penn & Teller, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and actress/Access Hollywood correspondent Maria Menounos at the annual reception at Rain.

Afer all the hardware was distributed and “thank yous” were said, the official afterparty was held upstairs at Playboy Club.

Also on Sunday night, former Whose Line is it Anyway co-star Wayne Brady celebrated his birthday at Lavo.


Melissa Arseniuk

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