Nicolas Cage is sporting a new look these days - a salt-and-pepper beard for his role as an ex-con.
But the beard didn't fool Golden Nugget impressionist Gordie Brown, who went into the crowd Saturday and did his impersonation of Cage up close and personal.
"Talk about pressure," Brown said.
But it turned into a classic worthy of Brown's best-of collection.
Brown had the audience - and Cage - howling as he switched between Cage's voice and the actor's pals, Gary Shandling and John Travolta during an imaginary golf game.
Brown also came up with a scenario in which he played Cage as a Hollywood director.
"I made it all up," said Brown, who said it was only the third time in 20 years that a celebrity he impersonates attended his show.
The others were country star Randy Travis and Shandling, "who came back the next three nights," Brown said.
Cage, who moved to Las Vegas earlier this year, "truly couldn't have been a better sport," Brown said.
Cage told him, "you do me better than I do me."
Afterward, Cage and his wife, Alice, joined Brown in his dressing room with their mutual friends LJ Harness and his fiancée, Terri.
Harness said Cage loves live entertainment and has embraced the Las Vegas community after moving here from Los Angeles "to have a more normal family life."
Cage, who won an Oscar in 1995 for playing a suicidal alcoholic in "Leaving Las Vegas," has been in Texas shooting "Joe," based on the 2003 novel by Larry Brown.
His ex-con character becomes a role model to a 15-year-old boy caught in a homeless family situation.
Harness, creator of the live entertainment website TheVegasUnderground.com, said Cage has agreed to participate in the Dec. 1 U.S. Marines Toys for Tots drive at the LVH, along with "American Idol" Taylor Hicks, Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie and Brown.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
One of the city's best-known bartenders, John O'Donnell, is no longer serving cold ones at N9NE Steakhouse after a decade at the Palms hot spot. The famous, infamous and not-so-famous knew the jovial Irishman on a first-name basis. Many of his co-bartenders have left as well. We'll let you know where he ends up.
NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, dining on tapas with friends at Julian Serrano Restaurant (Aria) on Saturday. ... At Elton John's "The Million Dollar Piano" (Caesars Palace) on Saturday: Actor and director Morgan Freeman, David Spade, and talk show legend Larry King and his wife, Shawn. ... "High School Musical" star Zac Efron, who turned 25 last week, was spotted at Marquee (Cosmopolitan) on Saturday. ... Comedian and actor Martin Lawrence, in front-row seats in a foursome at the 10 p.m. performance of "Zumanity" (New York-New York) on Saturday. ... UFC president Dana White, with a group at Fright Dome (Circus-Circus) on Saturday, acquainting themselves with the haunted attractions and rides. ... Jessica Stroup, who stars in the hit TV series "90210," celebrating her 26th birthday at Pure nightclub (Caesars Palace) on Saturday. ... RZA, the Wu-Tang Clan's chief producer, touring Eli Roth's Goretorium on Saturday. ... Former heavyweight boxing champion Leon Spinks, dancing to Yellow Brick Road's show at the South Point on Friday.
THE PUNCH LINE
"You find a guy in your booth trying on pants." - From David Letterman's "Top Ten Voter Pet Peeves"