Luxe Life Blog
Angel strapped in his Mindfreak season premiere efforts at Lake LV
Mindfreak magician Criss Angel has had to shuffle the launch of his new TV-season in order to ensure nothing goes wrong with the most dangerous escape stunt he’s ever attempted. Originally the July 23 debut of Mindfreak 4 was to feature a death-defying live broadcast from Florida. Instead the premiere will now be his attempt to ”walk on water’” out at Lake Mead just 30 minutes from the Strip.
Then one week later, on July 30, Criss will attempt the insane “dice with death” live broadcast. Most of the details are still wrapped in total super-secrecy, but Luxe Life has learned the TV special will be titled “Implosion.” Cameras will be run inside a building where Criss will be locked and secured to show him right up until the moment of a massive explosion as the building is blown up. To add to the incredible danger it’s his first-ever ticking clock countdown within a timed and controlled 60-minute broadcast window.
Newly solo Criss has given up girlfriends while under tremendous time pressures launching the new Mindfreak series as he has also just begun the intense schedule of rehearsals inside his new Luxor theater for Believe -- the Cirque du Soleil magic spectacular premiering in September. He only has a few days -- six at most -- to fly to Florida, prepare the illusion, execute it and hopefully get back unscathed to Vegas to continue working on the Cirque technical challenges.
ORLEANS HEADLINER GEORGE CARLIN DIES:
Less than a week after headlining at the Orleans, legendary comedian George Carlin died Sunday afternoon of heart failure. The 71-year-old crusty stand-up comic was due to star again at the Orleans in August.
Carlin, who lived several weeks a year here in a condo-apartment, had extraordinary sarcastic and biting humorous views on life's absurdities, but it was his obscenity clashes with authorities over “Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV" that made him a household name.
Known as the dean of counterculture comedians, Carlin deliberately spoke all seven at a 1972 Milwaukee show where he was arrested and freed on $150 bail by a judge who then dismissed the case citing free speech. To this day all seven words are still forbidden on over the airwaves broadcast TV and radio. Howard Stern, who regularly uses most of them on his satellite radio shows, has often hailed Carlin for his comic genius.
Luxe Life offers condolences to his family and friends. He will be sadly missed for his dead-on observations about stupidities in life and language. Who will ever forget his riff on gas-station bathrooms? “Why are they always locked? Are they afraid somebody will go in and clean them?”
ELTON JOHN CELEBRATES 200TH SHOW:
More than 4,300 Elton John fans from around the world wore red and black feather boas for his 200th show celebration at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and it coincided with the last night of his current run (he will be back July 23 and again on Oct. 22).
Elton debuted his Red Piano shows back in February 2004.
One of his celebration week backstage visitors was none other than bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman. Elton is apparently a fan and vice-versa, so the entertainer issued him a rare invitation to his dressing room and the odd-couple not only talked away for almost an hour after the show when Elton showed him his incredible rare unique and expensive doll collection that decorates his dressing room when he’s staying in Vegas. Yes, it does include dolls of both Cher andBette Midler who rotate the Caesars Palace showroom with him!
BRITNEYS NEW RECORD DEAL TO BE PRODUCED AT THE PALMS?
Friends of Palms hotel tycoon George Maloof are saying that those "friendly" Hollywood dinner dates he had with pop princess Britney Spears will pay off very soon with a new record deal she’s signed with his family’s Maloof Music label and agency. For the record George says, “No comment,” but Luxe Life has been told that shortly there will be an official announcement. Younger brother Phil Maloof in Los Angeles runs Maloof Music, which is owned by all members of the Maloof family. It’s believed that Britney’s longtime manager, Larry Rudolph, who is now back holding the reins of her future career masterminded the deal with Maloof.
He has told Luxe Life previously: “When she does get everything in place for her return to show business, it will be the biggest comeback in the industry’s history. Britney will go right back to the very top all over again.”
Just a week ago Britney was George’s guest for four days in a luxurious sky villa just below Hugh Hefner’s mansion suite in the Fantasy Tower of the Palms. During that visit Britney toured the recording studio that can be reached by private elevator from her suite. The new deal is rumored to have Britney record the new album there at the Palms.
“It’s the perfect setup for Britney’s privacy, “ I was reliably told. “ She can’t go anywhere without photographers in her face constantly, people grabbing her and wanting things from here. She has no privacy and no personal life. At the Palms she can live and record without being hounded. She won’t feel like an animal in a cage while she’s there. She wants to work. She wants to get her life and career back in order -– and this will be the start of it all over again.”
Britney’s manager is a friend and regular visitor to George’s desert playground. Rudolph is also a partner in the Sunset Tan salon that is at the Drift Spa in the new Palms Place condo-tel. To date, he and George have denied reports that she will kick off a comeback tour from the Pearl Theater at the Palms or perform back-to-back weekend concerts.
SEXY PAMELA ANDERSON SELLS HER CAR AND ANNA NICOLE’S LINGERIE GOES UNDER AUCTION HAMMER:
Blond bombshell Pamela Anderson sold her 2000 model year 190-mph Dodge Viper sports car for $60,000 to an adoring fan at a Planet Hollywood celebrity auction -– and promptly donated the funds to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Larry Birkhead, the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter, Dannielynn was in the crowd bidding on her memorabilia. Also there watching the action was TV’s Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, and veteran actress Margaret O’Brien, who watched the sale of her actual blue and white checked smock dress she wore in the 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis.
Pamela admitted: “I’m a terrible driver. I shouldn’t be driving fast cars anyway. I just don’t like them. I once crashed a Ferrari when my high heel got stuck under the gas pedal! I’m maybe more woman than car, but this Viper was still more car than I could handle. I loved the color because it matches my nipple ring -- and I did use my body and a sponge to suds it clean so its well worth the money and it goes to a great cause. I love working with PETA. I went to them and said I was sick of talking about my boobs and my boyfriends and asked them to give me something serious to talk about.”
Eleven-thousand bidders in 92 countries watched the Julien’s celebrity memorabilia auction from Planet Hollywood via auctionnetwork.com on the Internet. Planet Hollywood head honcho Robert Earl escorted Pamela to his hotel’s mezzanine, where bidders and fans waited for her. TV cameras from her new reality show filmed the action for a segment of her fall shows. She went up on stage to join the auctioneer and oversee the bidding. She took off her low-slung cardigan wrap and waved it over her head to encourage bidding. She even gestured she would take off her white shirt burlesque style if bidding reached up to $100,000! But it stopped at the winning $60,000 -- twice the price of the low-end original estimate.
“I’m very happy with my life at this moment” said Pamela referring to her recent official divorce from third husband Rick Salomon and her resumed reunion with first husband, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. They have two young sons from that marriage. “I’m selling everything and hopefully a lot of it will benefit PETA’s work.”
Anna Nicole’s former lover wound up spending $3,000 to buy the late Playboy beauty’s lingerie as a future keepsake for the now 1-year-old Dannielynn. He made it a clean sweep, buying four of her worn under-mentionables that she’d posed in for her May 1996 Playboy pictorials. After he won the pink bustier and white negligee from a centerfold layout, he jumped right on his seat punching his fists for the victory! He explained that he wants to put together as many pieces of Anna-Nicole’s life story so their daughter has something to remember her by. Anna Nicole died from a prescription drug overdose at the age of 39 in February of last year. “Playboy was a big part of Anna Nicole’s life and I have a lot of history to give to Danielynn when she’s old enough, “ he said.
Larry spent $1,000 for an ivory laceup bustier and, $1,800 for a pink bustier and black demi bra, and $275 for a signed $359 check she’d made out in 1993 for her telephone bill when she was plain Vickie Lynn Smith.
Memorabilia and collectibles from Elvis Presley to Frank Sinatra, from Marilyn Monroe to Clark Gable were also sold at the auction.
SECRETS FROM THE STARS IN OUR CINEVEGAS WRAPUP:
For 10 days stars mingled with movie fans at the 10th annual CineVegas Film Festival -– and this year the turnout for the premieres, the parties, the screenings and interview sessions were the biggest and most enthusiastic of the decade! It all culminated at the weekend with the awards presentations at the 6th-floor pool deck of Planet Hollywood.
“We had a record number of attendees this year,” said artistic director Trevor Groth. “From our groundbreaking films to our extravagant parties, this has by far been our most well-attended Festival to date. Our festival was highlighted by the world and U.S. premieres of more than a dozen highly anticipated films, special screenings and the awards to entertainment icons Anjelica Huston, Don Cheadle, Rosario Dawson, Viggo Mortensen and James Caan. What better way to celebrate a decade of recognizing talent than to honor these stars whose brazen careers mirror the innovative and uninhibited films our Festival shows.” Festival chairman Dennis Hopper agreed: “Without a doubt this has been the best to date. Hollywood is taking a bigger interest in this Vegas festival every year -- and now we look forward to going into our second decade with even greater strengths. We had a really interesting mix of stars and movies from blockbusters to quirky independents. ”
Legendary veteran actor Robert Duvall presented the Vegas Icon Award and introduced his friend Caan: “I have always loved working with him as it has always been a terrific experience. I put him ahead of Brando.” The new award will be presented annually to an actor who embodies the spirit of Vegas and who has delivered memorable performances in films and shows set in the city! Said Caan ,who mugged for the cameras with tissues to blot off the sweat from the 100-plus degree temperature: “Vegas has been great for me -- I’ve done so many good movies and TV shows from here. My friends Robert Earl, the Greenspuns, the Maloofs are here. For nine years I was a professional rodeo rider here and Steve Wynn once surprised me by dressing up as Roy Rogers and introducing me as the best Jewish cowboy on Earth! Now I’m coming to town to give them competition. I’m working with Don Sofer at the new Fontainebleau and will have a piece of it so I’m going to try my best to grab some of their action. They are hereby forewarned!” Caan who has been making movies for 45 years also revealed that he is working with Duval for the two screen legends to do a movie together.
Cheadle who won a half-life award revealed he will be starring in and directing a new movie about legendary jazz great Miles Davis. Anjelica Huston was given the Marquee Award and other half-life awards were presented to Viggo Mortensen, Sam Rockwell and the gracious Rosario Dawson who has been in the movie business 13 years since her debut in Kids. Anjelica joked that she had been mother, lover, and girlfriend to all of them! Viggo actually hand-carried from Hollywood -- and delivered the print of his Alatriste movie the Festival screened in connection with his award.
The festival had kicked off with the premiere of The Rocker with Rainn Wilson and ended with the debut of The Great Buck Howard with Colin Hanks playing an assistant to a magician in a career slump. In fact, magic infiltrated the CineVegas festival, and my favorite movie was Women in Boxes, all about the unsung heroines who assist the magic stars. Siegfried and Teller attended the screening, along with three of Lance Burton’s “babes” and a host of other magician’s legendary ladies.
The other Festival highlight that won everybody’s vote was the world premiere of the Hank Greenspun documentary Where I Stand, the incredible story of the controversial crusading editor and publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, which he founded in 1950. As colleague Joe Brown wrote, “Moments after the opening credits roll it turns into an adventure yarn that could give Indiana Jones a run for his money.” Brian Greenspun, who is now editor of the Sun, said: “ When he wrote his book, I remember some said it was a real-life James Bond. That was his life -- one episode, one surprise, one adventure after another. He bent the law to follow the straight law of justice.” Greenspun was responsible for much of modern-day Vegas in ending segregation on the Strip and cleaning up a mobbed-up city. The documentary won raves from stars, critics and film fans.
The CineVegas final night coincided with the 5th anniversary festivities of our Vegas magazine with June cover model and Australian singing sensation Delta Goodrem hosting the four hours of fun around the fountains and pools of the Palazzo terrace. Among the guests were My Boys actor Kyle Howard, actress Rosario Dawson, Dancing with the Stars beauty Karina Smirnof, Sex and the City actor Willie Garson, Brothers and Sisters star Dave Annable, Flamingo magician Nathan Burrton, DJ producer Clinton Sparks from E! Entertainment TV, Philadelphia 76er and former UNLV Runnin’ Rebel Lou Amundson, and the always- beautiful Miss Nevada Veronica Grabowski.
-- Democratic Presidential contender Barack Obama checked back quietly into Caesars Palace last night with a large Secret Service contingent watching over him. No word yet on his movements but it’s the second return visit for the " M*A*S*H character-nicknamed candidate in less than a month!"
-- It will be the noisiest event ever planned for the Strip when, sometime the first week of December, Mirage casino resort executives unveil the new fiery volcano with a spectacular entertainment extravaganza. I’m reliably told the volcano will have even more nozzle jets spouting flames than the next-door Bellagio water fountain. At the Mirage the “flames” will dance to an original 5-minute rock concerto and the opening ceremonies will be as lavish as a Superbowl half-time show even spilling onto the Strip!
-- Is it true that the Empire Ballroom has shut its doors as the latest nightclub casualty on the Strip? That’s the reason I’m told that the upcoming Winter Music Conference –- similar to the one that runs every late Spring in Miami -- will hopefully move into different MGM venues next door at the end of September. Is it true that managers at one Strip nightclub make it a mandate for their sexy servers to stay on after their normal workshift to hang out in the bar to socialize with pre-dawn customers? Is it true that one Strip entertainer with more than one show is threatening to move them all to the old exotic car showroom in the Forum Shops at Caesars and convert it into a theater?
-- Those hoped-for plans by reigning king of the roller skates, Danny Way, to speed down the side of the Luxor pyramid in the world’s fastest longest most dangerous jump of all time are not likely to go forward. I’m told all parties involved met awhile back and although there’s some evaluation ongoing the resort officials aren’t likely to take it any further- at least for the immediate future.