Something from the bar?

If you think the film industry peaked in 1988 with Tom Cruise’s Cocktail, then on Sunday, February 24, you’ll be less interested in the Oscars than in the outcome of prelims for the 10th annual Legends of Bartending competition at the Rio.

The event, facilitated by High Spirits Enterprises and the Flair Bartenders’ Association, is held every year during the annual Nightclub & Bar Trade Show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, though this year, Legends has been made an official event for the convention. This year’s competition has drawn 70 professional flair bartenders from more than 15 different countries, each hoping to win the title of “World’s Greatest Bartender” (as well as over $40,000 in cash and prizes).

While the Sunday event isn’t open to the public, spectators are invited to watch the bottles fly Monday as nine finalists are selected for Tuesday’s final rounds, where bartenders will be graded on speed, working flair, accuracy and their general ability to get more alcohol in the glass than on the floor. The qualifying rounds begin at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 25, with the finalists announced at 11 p.m. The final rounds begin at noon on Tuesday and are by invitation only. But tickets for the main event at 8 p.m. are still available a the Rio box offfice.

Ivan Kane’s forty dudes

With his new show, Stormy Monday, Ivan Kane has struck a blow for gender equality everywhere. The Royal Jelly rock revue at Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce inside Mandalay Bay has had men hot and bothered for months, but for ladies uninterested in scantily clad female burlesque, Forty Deuce will soon be offering boy-lesque. That’s right—beginning Monday, March 3, at 10 p.m., Forty Deuce will debut the country’s first ever (at least according to Kane) male burlesque experience.

“I’m always looking to push the envelope and reinvent burlesque again,” says Kane.

“Forty Deuce will always be known for the ‘classic’ burlesque show that started six years ago in Hollywood and began the burlesque craze, but with the incredible success of the rock n’ roll-themed Royal Jelly, I was looking to do something new … and there’s nothing newer than male burlesque. The show is ridiculously hot!”

Just as Royal Jelly has given men something to drool over on Thursdays, this ladies-oriented counterpart event is expected to draw the female crowd. They can feast their eyes on the dancers in the window of the club’s entrance before enjoying the go-go boys, duets and large-scale production numbers inside.

The male dancers—hand-selected by Ivan Kane and Royal Jelly choreographer Tovaris Wilson—will perform throughout the night to the unending dance grooves of the Forty Deuce DJs onstage. So if you have a thing for hot, sweaty guys or just prefer your burlesque dancers to have bare nipples, be sure to check out Stormy Mondays, beginning this March.

Go get a daylife!

Any avid clubber worth their salt and lime will have noticed the teaser ad in this week’s issue for the MGM Grand’s new pool concept Wet Republic (coming “Spring 2008”) and immediately put two and two together. The adult “daylife” (as opposed to nightlife …) paradise is said to be tentatively slated for an April 15 debut, which would put it neatly in with returning pool parties such as Rehab, Moorea Beach and the Pool at the Palms. Insiders are whispering about a 50,000+ square-foot pool deck with 35 cabanas, a departure from the tinier jewel box-like venues such as Bare and Tao Beach which have seven cabanas each. The real buzz centers around Wet Republic’s salt-water pool, “great view” and dedicated valet. Nightlife authorities Angel Music Group are rumored to be leading the charge on this project (no comment from their camp or from the MGM Grand, though), having found great success taking the programming reigns at Tabu and Studio 54 as well as with Godskitchen Wednesdays at the Hard Rock’s Body English. We fully expect AMG to make fine daylife authorities as well.

Where have all the glow sticks gone?

As reported in the Weekly, the future of the Fort Cheyenne Event Center is up in the air. But what does this mean for the Vegas nightlife scene? For starters, electronic-music fans many see the loss of a regular all-ages dance night. New Galaxy, the promoters of the Sounds of the Underground events, say they’re unsure of the direction they would take if Fort Cheyenne expands their casino’s square footage, thus eliminating the space New Galaxy frequently rents. Though the current facilities are less than glamorous (restrooms have plumbing issues, the lights and sound system sometimes trip a circuit breaker), the throwback to old-school warehouse parties appeals to music fans who can’t—or won’t—go to Strip nightclubs. While the Fort Cheyenne parking lot sits empty during the day, recent Saturday nights found it overflowing to adjacent properties with the combo of the SOTU parties and Latin music events. The Weekly received numerous responses from fans worried they may lose one of the last underground music events, but those fans say they’ll follow New Galaxy wherever they go. Currently, New Galaxy say they’re taking a few weeks to re-evaluate the situation, but hope to throw another party sometime in March.

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