Luxe Life Blog
Strip Scribbles: Lawyers ruffling feathers of Las Vegas showbiz scene
Three legal showbiz gossip stories are stirring up lawyers and their court briefs as dramas and depositions unfold.
1) Superstar Cher’s heavy-handed legal eagles at Sony Pictures Screen Gems, which produced her film “Burlesque” last year, have ordered “iCandy Burlesque” producers at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile to “cease and desist,” saying the show is a “complete infringement of its intellectual property.”
Last time I checked, burlesque started in the 1860s and remained popular through several decades, including its revival today with Dita Von Teese. As Vegas DeLuxe reported this week, “Crazy Girls” at the Riviera just celebrated 25 years, and “Fantasy” at the Luxor and “X Girls” are still going strong.
My 84-year-old friend original burlesque queen Tempest Storm is still looking glamorous and attending Burlesque Hall of Fame shows here. Check out Tempest in 1980 as the Queen of Burlesque.
“iCandy Burlesque” is trademarked and owned by producer and choreographer Nannette Barbera, who told me: “I am so upset about this. There’s no infringement; it is totally false. We worked so hard at this show with countless hours spent creating original choreography and costume designs. We have fabulous dancers in a great show. I just don’t get their move.”
Vegas DeLuxe learned that the high-priced Hollywood lawyers sent in undercover private detectives to take photos and videos of the show at Saxe Theater. “If anything, it’s a compliment to the film and not an infringement that in any way could threaten a movie released two years ago,” Nanette said. “I hope we can turn this into a positive.”
2) Lawyers for former Oracle executive Charles Phillips Jr. were successful in getting Las Vegas CineFest to pull its premiere of the controversial “Glamorous Lie,” and producer YaVaughnie Wilkins was left stranded at the Palms. She had planned to host a Q+A session after the screening but wound up just a festival guest without a film.
YaVaughnie and Charles, a one-time member of President Obama’s economic advisory board, were in romance for over eight years before she put up billboards all over the country exposing his infidelity. His lawyers filed a “cease and desist” order against Vegas CineFest and although the moviemaker agreed to indemnify and defend any legal costs to fight the ploy, they backed down and nixed the film being shown.
3) Gay nightclub Krave, which was previously embroiled in an intellectual cyber-squatting claim, is back dealing with lawyers over its use of a photograph depicting two men in an advertisement taken from a brief meeting at a party. Food critic and “Eating Las Vegas” author Al Mancini says he never gave permission for the photograph to be used for commercial purposes promoting a nightclub he hasn’t endorsed and wants it yanked.
BUSY KISS FRONTMAN: Gene Simmons is celebrating today’s release of the group’s 20th studio album “Monster” by jetting into Las Vegas to star at the 15th Annual Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp that gets underway Wednesday through Sunday at MGM Grand. Would-be musicians and rockers get tutelage from KISS frontman Gene, a former sixth-grade teacher in New York, and other rock star counselors including Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) and Zakk Wylde from Ozzy Osbourne’s band.
Our hometown Motley Crue hero Vince Neil is one of the teachers, too. Each attendee gets a professionally mastered DVD of the live show they star in on the final night. Fees are $7,500 to $12,000 and include hotel accommodations. Said Gene: “It’s about business. You have to learn the craft and have the ability to play an instrument and connect to the music, but then if you can’t apply it to business, it’s just a hobby. They live out their dreams, but they’re not going to like when I work them out. They’ll love me when the job is done and they are stars.
DA VINCI BRONZE: The famous Da Vinci “Horse and Rider” statue that was unearthed and has been on display at the Venetian’s “Genius” exhibit is going to move temporarily to go under the scrutiny of multimillionaire Texas art collectors. The cast of “Dallas” with Larry Hangman and Linda Grey will join with the new “Dallas” cast at a glamorous gala in the city of the same name, and the Da Vinci horse will be center stage.
Vegas Art Encounter gallery owner Rod Maly learned of the existence of the mold made from an original beeswax model sculpted by Da Vinci. He is now the exclusive worldwide distributor for the limited run of castings being made from the mold.
STIRRED, NOT SHAKEN: It’s difficult to believe we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Britain’s super smooth and suave spy 007. Now to honor James Bond’s newest film “Skyfall” opening Nov. 9, there are two high-roller Bond packages here.
The first is a race though Las Vegas with the Papillon helicopter group providing dream racing sports cars, private tours of the Grand Canyon area and the Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon zip-line experience. The Ferrari GT at Las Vegas Motor Speedway accelerates to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. There’s a seven-course tasting at Andre Rochat’s four-diamond restaurant in the Monte Carlo. The package is $6,800 for two, but you must book 30 days in advance at Papillon.com.
The second James Bond package is $5,625 per person and includes a 24-hour rental of the movie’s Aston Martin Vantage CVT delivered to your Strip hotel’s front door, a private shoot at Machine Guns Vegas and a visit to Stitched in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for a custom tailored suit.
‘HANGOVER’ CURE: The stars of “The Hangover” movies turn up on the new recovery energy product Hangover Joe’s named best in show at this week’s National Convenience Store convention here. The 2-ounce herbal supplement has shot to No. 1 in the energy products category. “The Hangover Part III” starts filming here next week after completing shoots in our nearby desert.
Nightclub czar Jack Colton throws the Host Awards at 1 OAK in the Mirage. The winner in each of eight categories, including best female host, best pool host, best independent host, biggest black book and hottest newcomer, receives an iPhone 5.
There’s a free KCYE Radio listener-appreciation country music concert with Gloriana, Craig Morgan, Kellie Pickler and Dustin Lynch at Ovation in Green Valley Ranch.
Heath Hynche, Erin Foley and Ahmed Baroocha headline at Harrah’s Improv through Sunday.
Pure in Caesars Palace hosts a Back to the ’80s party.
Our interview with rapper and actor Ice-T’s curvy wife Coco Austin, who talks candidly about taking off her clothes for “Peepshow” at Planet Hollywood. Plus, plus the daredevil skydivers who will welcome Blue Man Group to their Monte Carlo home and the secrets behind the new D Hotel opening downtown.
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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