If you have any interest in Chinese culture and tradition, you won't want to miss the Chinese New Year Spectacular that will take place Monday, Jan. 21, at the Las Vegas Hilton. This one-night-only performance will celebrate the lunar New Year in a captivating world of heavenly maidens, swirling ribbons, exhilarating drummers and tumbling acrobats.
Heroic legends come to life, dazzling warriors clash and divine goddesses descend from above, as striking scenery and gorgeous costumes combine to summon 5,000 years of history in this unique and unforgettable production. Featuring an outstanding cast of classical Chinese dancers and international vocalists, the Chinese New Year Spectacular is a cross-cultural experience which will appeal to the whole family.
Billboard Magazine rates it as one of the holiday's top ten shows in the world and it is considered the largest lunar New Year celebration offered outside mainland China. The Spectacular showcases the legends that have shaped Chinese culture and highlights events from China's past and present, ranging from the delicate dancers of ancient courtiers in the Imperial Palace to heavenly fables, ethnic folk tales, stories of proud warriors and heroic maidens and a depiction of recent travails in modern China. English and Chinese hosts introduce the story lines and song lyrics are projected on supertitles. Tickets range from $70 to $120 plus tax and service charge and can be purchased by visiting www.lvhilton.com or by calling the box office at (800) 457-3307.
PLAY WITH THE BEST
A seat with the world's top poker players is up for grabs in an NBC Heads-Up Satellite Tournament in the Caesars Palace Poker Room. The winner will join a "who's who" from the poker world in the event that takes place Feb. 28 to March 2. The satellite tournament kicks off at 2 p.m. on Feb. 17 with a $500 buy-in plus $40 entry fee. Daily single table satellites begin Feb. 1 at 9 a.m.
Sixty-four of the world's best poker players will be competing in a series of heads-up matches (one-on-one games of Texas Hold'em) to determine who is the best face-to-face poker player in the world. The tournament has a unique, single-elimination, bracket-style format modeled after college basketball tournaments. As well, if you want to get your mug on TV, the tournament will be taped for broadcast on NBC and CNBC. Check out the Caesars Poker Room for details.
Grab that popcorn and 84-ounce soft drink and enjoy the CineVegas Art House Screening Series now happening at Galaxy Neonopolis. The series brings different independent, underground, foreign and documentary films to Las Vegas each week. Here's the sked:
• Thursday, Jan. 17, a special screening of "Mr. Untouchable" at 7 p.m. at Galaxy Theaters at the Cannery. "Mr. Untouchable" is the true-life story of a heroin junkie turned multimillionaire drug-lord. With the first-hand testimony of the black godfather himself, Nicky Barnes, this epic story of business, excess, greed and revenge served as the inspiration for the film "American Gangster." CineVegas will continue to screen this film until Thursday, Jan. 24.
The rest of the lineup will be shown at the Galaxy Neonopolis downtown Las Vegas unless otherwise noted: • January 18 - 24: In Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, Clash front man Joe Strummer is revealed not just as a legend or musician, but as a true communicator of our times. Drawing on both a shared punk history and the close personal friendship that developed over the last years of Joe's life, director Julien Temple's film is a celebration of Joe Strummer - before, during and after the Clash.
• Jan. 25-31: From legendary French director Jean-Luc Godard, "Pierrot Le Fou" follows Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) as he flees his bourgeois existence with his babysitter and ex-lover, Marianne (Anna Karina). Taking it on the lam to the south of France, the couple becomes an existential Bonnie and Clyde, battling gunrunners, gas station attendants and American tourists as they come face to face with their own roles as characters in a pop-cultural landscape.
• Feb. 1-7: "Weirdsville" tells the story of a pair of slackers who get in way over their heads when they try to dump the body of a dead girlfriend in the basement of a drive-in movie theater where a satanic cult performs ritual sacrifices. From Allan Moyle, director of the cult classic "Pump Up The Volume," this bizarre film stars Scott Speedman, Wes Bentley and Taryn Manning.
• Feb. 8-14: "Kurt Cobain About A Son," which screened at the 2007 CineVegas Film Festival, is an intimate and moving mediation on the late musician and artist Kurt Cobain told entirely in his own voice without celebrity sound bytes, news clips, sensational angles or attempts to mimic grunge aesthetic.
• Feb. 15-28: The series will present a mini festival showcasing the works of David Lynch, one of the world's most original and compelling contemporary directors. The series will include "Lynch," the new documentary that gives a rare glimpse into the fascinating mind of this legendary director compiled from over two years of footage. CineVegas will also bring to Las Vegas a new 35mm print of "Eraserhead"; Lynch's newest film, "Inland Empire"; and some of Lynch's shorts, which are rarely seen in a theater setting.
• Feb. 29 - March 6: A contemporary drama set in Washington D.C., "The Walker" centers around Carter Page (Woody Harrelson), a well-heeled and popular socialite who serves as confidant, companion and card partner to some of the capitol's leading ladies. Carter's loyalty is tested when his dearest friend (Kristin Scott Thomas) finds herself on the brink of a scandal that could destroy her reputation and her husband's career.
Tickets to all screenings are $8.75 for adults Sunday through Thursday, $9 for adults Friday and Saturday, $6 for bargain matinee and $6 for children, students, senior and military. Tickets may be purchased at Galaxy Theatres Neonopolis, located at 450 E. Freemont St. For more information, call (702) 992-7979 or visit the CineVegas website at www.cinevegas.com/screenings.
LIVING THE DREAM
Everyone is invited to the Living the Dream Gospel Music Concert featuring the Las Vegas Mass Choir on Sunday, Jan. 20, at the West Las Vegas Library Theatre. Admission is free. The concert is appropriate for all ages, but parking and seating are limited. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m. for seating; the concert is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. The theatre is located at 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd., inside the West Las Vegas Library.
In 2006, the choir received the Las Vegas Black Music Award for Best Performance by a Choir and in May 2007, the group headlined sold-out performances at the Melbourne Jazz Festival in Australia. Ranging in age from 22 to 56, they perform monthly in Las Vegas at the House of Blues Sunday Gospel Brunch at the Mandalay Bay Resort. For more information, call the West Las Vegas Library at (702) 507-3989 or contact Ingrid Williams at (702) 229-2883 or Cassandra Lewis at (702) 229-5096.
Good luck and I'll see you on the Strip. And don't forget to check out www.valleyblogs.com. If you have a question or a Las Vegas experience you would like to share with my readers, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your full name and the city or town where you live.