Whiffenpoofs arise for Wynn's surprise


Steve Wynn loves surprising his friends, and he had another one up his sleeve on Wednesday.

While hosting a launch party for British businessman Sir Phillip Green at Wynn's Sinatra restaurant, Wynn said he had some special guests in the room for the private event.

In marched Yale's famed 14-member Whiffenpoofs, the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the United States.

They charmed the crowd with such songs as "On Broadway," "Midnight Train to Georgia" and, of course, "The Whiffenpoof Song" with the memorable lyrics, "We are poor little lambs who have lost our way, baa! baa! baa!"

Longtime Wynn attorney Frank Schreck made it happen. The Whiffs were in town on a seven-continent international tour, and Schreck arranged their party stop.

"They came to my home 22 years ago, and Steve was there. His daughter Jillian later went to Yale," Schreck said. He added, "Cole Porter was a member of the Whiffs" in 1913.

A couple years ago, after his deal with Garth Brooks, Wynn had a celebratory surprise for the country star.

They were on a balcony over the Lake of Dreams when an animated frog appeared at the top of a water wall. On the frog's head was a black cowboy hat, and the three of them, the frog, Wynn, Brooks, sang "Friends in Low Places."

Green opened his first Topshop and Topman stores at Fashion Show mall on Thursday with a ribbon cutting and a parade of models over the Wynn bridge to the mall. Green has more than 3,100 stores in 36 countries.

Also at the party was Rob Goldstein, president of The Venetian; Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner; Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl; and Los Angeles billionaire Rick Caruso. The shopping center magnate was hired by Caesars Entertainment Corp. to develop the open-air, mid-Strip retail and entertainment district known as the Linq, which would include a 550-foot Ferris wheel.

The project's epicenter is between the Flamingo and O'Sheas, which is closing this month. Caruso and former baseball manager Joe Torre were in the news last month when they withdrew their joint bid to buy the Dodgers. Caruso told me that doesn't mean he is out of the running. "I'm still in it. Just very under the radar."

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Hosts of the Miss USA pageant, set for June 3 at Planet Hollywood Resort, will be Andy Cohen, host of Bravo's "Watch What Happens: Live" and Giuliana Rancic, co-anchor of "E! News." It will air on NBC. ...

Kyle Busch signs autographs from 8-9 p.m. today at the Hard Rock Store.

SIGHTINGS

Evangelist Joel Osteen, wading through a large crowd Thursday at the Gold and Silver Pawn, home of the hit reality show "Pawn Stars." ... Elliot Sadler, winner of his first NASCAR Nationwide race in 14 years last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, celebrated with friends Wednesday at Surrender Nightclub (Encore). ... NASCAR star Kevin Harvick, having lunch at Todd English P.U.B. (Crystals at CityCenter) on Thursday ... The Whiffenpoofs attended "KA" (MGM Grand) and dined at Switch (Wynn) on Wednesday. They were at the Academy of Performing Arts on Thursday to conduct a seminar and perform a concert. ... New York publicist Sara Stosic, with the Wynns at the launch dinner. She's is in town this week interviewing for the XS and Tryst marketing job. She was doing PR for a nightclub in Mykonos, Greece, a couple years ago when she befriended Nick Hissom, whose mother, Andrea Hissom, married Wynn in April. Stosic has been helping Hissom, 19, establish his modeling and aspiring music career. He recently made his runway debut for Tommy Hilfiger during New York's Fashion Week.

THE PUNCH LINE

"Gas prices -- it is $6 a gallon here. People in L.A. are furious. You can't tell, of course, because of the Botox." -- Craig Ferguson

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.

 

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