Industrial park eased TV shoot


The producers of Bravo's "Top Chef" added a dash of cloak-and-dagger to the mix during their 51/2 weeks of on-location filming.

The secret is out: While the M Resort is officially designated as the host site, there's an asterisk.

"They built a replica of the (M) restaurant at an industrial park," a spy told me Sunday, a day after Bravo wrapped filming.

"That added more space between the ovens, etc. so it would be easier to get around. More control over the shoot also," the spy added.

A wrap party for the sixth season was held at Blush Boutique Nightclub on Saturday at Wynn Las Vegas. Attendees included head judge Tom Colicchio, along with fellow judges Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Ted Allen and Toby Young.

The popular reality show airs in September.

STARTING OVER

You are one of the premier sports cartoonists in the country.

The newspaper where you worked full time since 1982 folded on short notice three months ago.

Where do you turn to restart a career? "That's what you come to Vegas for, right? To roll the dice," said Drew Litton, who is in town this week to join 25,000 attendees from 82 countries at the Licensing International Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

He's among many Americans who find themselves in the same position, trying to pick up the pieces after finding their careers abruptly halted in troubling economic times.

The Rocky Mountain News died on the last day of February, yet Litton continues to churn out 10 sports cartoons a week, two for syndication.

He produces three at no charge for a local TV station. Why such a workload, with so little return?

"No. 1, I love it," said Litton (www.drewlitton.com). "I'm trying to keep the brand name out there, keep the visibility up."

"Hopefully they will generate some revenue at some point."

When some hoped-for revenue streams dried up, he looked to Las Vegas and the licensing expo for potential new opportunities and reinvention.

Litton said his father faced similar adversity. During the Great Depression, his father picked cotton in northern Texas as a child to help the family survive.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Friends of KLAS-TV, Channel 8, evening anchor Dave Courvoisier received some personal breaking news Saturday night, direct from the emergency room, via Twitter. "So here I am In the ER with a kidneystone attack. ...ACK!! ...what a way to spend a weekend! God bless Dilaudid!" ...

A memorial for gaming executive and community philanthropist Claudine Williams will be held June 13 at Harrah's. Williams, who died on May 13, was recognized as the first woman in Nevada to head a major casino. She was 88. The memorial begins at 11 a.m. RSVP by June 8 at 369-5217. ...

You'll know you're not in Kansas anymore when you set foot into The Ruby Slipper Collection & Inspirations of Oz Fine Art Exhibition, which opens today at Planet Hollywood Resort. The free exhibit, which runs through Thursday, marks the 70th anniversary of "The Wizard of Oz" film. The first and only Las Vegas showing, the exhibit will feature Judy Garland's original Dorothy dress along with ruby slipper interpretations from designers such as Betsey Johnson, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani, Alberta Ferretti, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Oscar de la Renta and others. The fine art collection features interpretive works from Angelo Aversa, Romero Britto and Todd White, among others. ...

Correction: Garth Brooks' four sold-out concerts in 1998 took place at the Thomas & Mack Arena.

SIGHTINGS

Keanu Reeves, declining photo requests in the sports book area at Caesars Palace on Saturday. ... Vanessa Minnillo, playing craps at The Venetian. ... Nelly, spotted at Moon, in the Palms, at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. ... Erich Bergen, who plays Bob Gaudio in "Jersey Boys," hanging out with Barry Manilow and friends at the Tiempo Bar at the Hilton a couple of nights in a row last week, after their shows. ... '80s star Deborah Gibson, with a friend at Saturday's 8 p.m. performance of "Peepshow" at Planet Hollywood Resort.

THE PUNCH LINE

"Osama bin Laden's former cook ... is coming to New York to face charges. You know, we also got his driver. And here's the good news. I understand we're closing in on his pool boy and his aroma therapist." -- Jay Leno

Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

 

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