weather icon Clear

Elvis artist Trent Carlini to be honored on King’s birthday

Laura Trent remembers watching her brother, Trent Carlini, perform as Elvis for the first time.

“I thought, ‘That’s not my brother! Is that really my brother?’ ” Trent said in a phone chat Saturday morning. “I was so amazed. Elvis was his hero. What a great show.”

That was at Roosevelt Theater in Chicago in 1990 when Carlini had just embarked on his Elvis tribute persona. Carlini moved on, and up, to co-star in “Legends in Concert” on the Strip. He also forged a long-running career with his own Elvis productions in Las Vegas, especially at the Las Vegas Hilton, where Presley sold out every performance from 1969 to 1976.

Carlini was planning a new touring production, to start this Wednesday, when he suffered a massive stroke on Nov. 23. He was in a coma until he died Dec. 8 at Centennial Hills Hospital in Las Vegas. He was 57.

To honor his decades in Las Vegas, Carlini’s family is hosting a celebration of life at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Space, honoring Carlini’s planned production and also Elvis’ 85th birthday.

Trent will be joined at the event by Carlini’s daughters, Thalia, Isabella and Sophia; and his son, Gabriel.

The celebration will incorporate video and photos of Carlini’s life and career, dating from his youth in his original hometown of Porto San Giorgio, Italy, through his headlining days in Las Vegas.

The family had considered holding the event at the Westgate, formerly the Las Vegas Hilton and LVH, where Carlini spent most of his Vegas residency. But the hotel’s performance and convention spaces are overtaken by CES, which opens Tuesday.

“We would have loved to have it at (Westgate), but that date was too important for the girls and his son,” Trent said. “We wanted to respect that date, and were looking for a space when The Space came open.”

Trent is a performing artist and also a seasoned songwriter. She pitched original songs to her brother to complement his Elvis act.

“I wrote a few songs for him, he would record them, and then he would say, ‘No, I can’t. Even if the song is beautiful, I can’t,’ ” Trent said. “He felt it was cheating on his fans, because they expected Elvis from him. He’d say, ‘I don’t want to disappoint the people who come to see Elvis.’”

Carlini was with “Legends” at Imperial Palace when he arrived in 1990.

In the years since, he also performed at Shimmer Cabaret at Las Vegas Hilton (later LVH), the since-imploded Boardwalk and Riviera, the Sahara, Steve Wyrick Theater (now Saxe Theater) at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, and Hooters (now OYO), where his stage show “The King” closed in January 2017.

Carlini, whose legal name was Roberto Romolo Sfasciapagliari Trentacarlini, had been booked on the road up until he suffered his stroke in November. In accordance with Carlini’s wishes, his ashes will be buried next to his mother, Aloisia Sfasciapagliari, in Porto San Giorgio.

Trent said her brother would have wanted to be remembered as “the next best thing” to the legend he portrayed.

“He was very, very devoted musically, and he loved Elvis so much,” Trent said. “In his private life he was Robert, all the way, with his family. But he performed as Elvis his whole life, and he would have continued if he was still alive.”

HRH sendoff

Plans are coalescing for the last days of Hard Rock Hotel, which shuts down Feb. 3 and will be closed through November 2020, when it is to reopen as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

The fancy final party will take place Feb. 1, with Vegas bands and entertainment performing on the casino floor and a send-off speech by Richard “Boz” Bosworth, president and CEO of JC Hospitality, the owner of the casino-resort.

The party rolls into Super Bowl Sunday, with Fox Sports Radio host J.T. The Brick (legal name John Tournour) broadcasting from the hotel. On Feb. 3, staff, friends and longtime customers are invited to a closing hang at Center Bar and Lucky’s 24/7 — the only two food and beverage locations open at the Hard Rock on that day. Bosworth said the doors will close, with a “ceremonial locking,” between 4 and 6 p.m. that day.

“The reopening will be a big, spectacular party,” Bosworth says. “This will be a memorable closing for our locals who supported Hard Rock for 25 years.”

Michael’s Got Talent

Michael Grimm, the Las Vegas singer/songwriter who stunned a national TV audience by winning Season 5 of “America’s Got Talent,” is back on the show’s “Champions” spinoff. The NBC series returns at 8 p.m. Monday, though Grimm’s first appearance has not yet been announced (he is not in Monday’s lineup of 10 acts).

Grimm, with his soulful spin through “When a Man Loves a Woman,” topped young opera star Jackie Evancho to win the finale on Sept. 14, 2010. He currently is a recurring headliner at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz with his “Night of Southern Rock ‘n’ Roll” coming up Jan. 26. Grimm returns to Cab Jazz on Feb. 18.

Terry Crews returns as “Champions” host, with a judging panel of Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Alesha Dixon and Heidi Klum. Tall, operatic, comedic clown Puddles Pity Party, who has headlined Cab Jazz and also Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace, also is in the “Champions” lineup. A duet between Puddles and Grimm, sometime or anytime, would be fantastic. #IslandsIn TheStream.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
5 Las Vegas chefs to watch - VIDEO
If you want to know what’s next for dining in Las Vegas, we suggest paying close attention to these five accomplished chefs. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Slanted Door in The Forum Shops at Caesars - VIDEO
The Slanted Door, Charles Phan's James Beard Award-winning modern Vietnamese restaurant, will open a Las Vegas location on March 2. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas REview-Journal)
Buddy V opens PizzaCake at Harrah’s - VIDEO
Buddy Valastro, aka Cake Boss Buddy V, is in town this week overseeing the soft opening of his new restaurant, PizzaCake, in Harrah’s Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making mist-shrouded tuna poke at Marssa at the Westin Lake Las Vegas - VIDEO
E.J. Estrella, banquet chef at Marssa at the Westin Lake Las Vegas, makes tuna poke by mixing chunks of bigeye tuna with sliced green onions, julienned white onions and house-made poke sauce and serving it on a bed of seaweed salad garnished with lotus chips and suspended over melon-scented mist. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making baked goat cheese at Ri Ra in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Shea Wafford, sous chef and pastry chef at Ri Ra at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas, makes baked goat cheese served with honey-nut pesto, pickled red onions, peppadew relish and sourdough baguette. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bruce Kalman cooking at Ada’s - VIDEO
Celebrity chef Bruce Kalman will be cooking at Ada's in Tivoli Village in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making banana cream pie at Cut in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Nicole Earl, pastry chef at Cut at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, makes an updated banana cream pie by layering banana ice cream, custard and compote with house-made Cool Whip, vanilla wafers and 24-karat gold leaf in a milk chocolate sphere and drizzling it with warm banana-caramel sauce so it devolves into petals. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Chile Colorado at Kitchen Table and Kitchen Table Squared in Las Vegas
Javier Chavez, chef/owner of Kitchen Table and Kitchen Table Squared in Las Vegas, makes Chile Colorado by braising pork belly with three kinds of peppers and serving it atop stewed black beans with crema and pickled jalapeño, carrots and onions, with flour tortillas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Tap introduces its vegan CrazyShake - VIDEO
Black Tap at The Venetian on the Las Vegas Strip has a new CrazyShake that's vegan -- The Black ’N White CakeShake. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Guy Fieri reflects on the Las Vegas dining scene
Celebrity chef Guy Fieri talks about the Las Vegas food scene while in town celebrating his 52nd birthday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Familiar faces among Circa culinary lineup
Derek Stevens and chefs Barry Dakake and Dan Coughlin talk about some of the new restaurants for Stevens' Circa resort project. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making the Ausser Rand und Band (Over the Top) bloody mary at the Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas
The Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas serves the Ausser Rand und Band bloody mary with Hofbrau Dunkel, vodka, bloody mary mix, a Tajin rim and a soft pretzel, slider, bacon, sausage and more. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Custom Pizza Truck is a 'kitchen on wheels' - VIDEO
Custom Pizza Truck serves pizzas in a one of a kind food truck that traveled to Poland and back. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @elipagephoto
Squidhat Records comes to an end - VIDEO
Founder Allan Carter explains decision to shutter the Las Vegas label. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kaiseki Yuzu relocates to Chinatown - VIDEO
Kaiseki Yuzu restaurant celebrated its move from Henderson to Chinatown at 3900 Spring Mountain Road on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Panic! at the Disco frontman opens studio for kids - VIDEO
Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie launches Notes for Notes at a Henderson Boys & Girls Club. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A sneak peek at the new Mas Por Favor in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Mas Por Favor in Las Vegas’ Chinatown is an Instagram dream come true with original art, an arch of skulls and one of roses. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegan menu unveiled on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Truth & Tonic, one of the two dining spots within The Venetian’s Canyon Ranch Spa + Fitness, rolled out its new plant-based menu on Friday. Executive chef Pete Ghione talks about the menu. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making lobster and avocado flatbread at Vanderpump Cocktail Garden in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Josh Grimes, chef de cuisine at Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, created a lobster and avocado flatbread that also has avocado-creme fraiche spread, yellow tomatoes, red onion and Hearts On Fire microgreens. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Riding the new 15-minute "Star Wars" ride at Disneyland
What it's like to ride the new 15-minute "Star Wars" ride At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Main St. Provisions is coming to the Arts District - VIDEO
Kim Owens talks about her new Arts District restaurant, Main Street Provisions, which is under construction. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Artist Wayne Littlejohn on “Spin Baby” - VIDEO
Wayne Littlejohn’s sculpture celebrates Las Vegas entertainers. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tiësto headlines CES 2020 closing party at Hakkasan Nightclub - VIDEO
Tiesto performs for CES conventioneers and clubgoers during the DreamlandXR Closing Night Party at Hakkasan Nightclub at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip in the early hours of Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Locals cheer on James Holzhauer at 'Jeopardy!' watch party - VIDEO
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But James Holzhauer would have a better chance at winning “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” tournament if Ken Jennings would stop copying his aggressive betting strategy. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drake's first show of 2020 at XS Nightclub in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Drake performs at the indoor/outdoor XS and Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Ceremony held for Elvis artist Trent Carlini - VIDEO
A ceremony was held for Elvis impersonator Trent Carlini on Wednesday night at The Space in Las Vegas. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Small appliances unveiled in Las Vegas - VIDEO
The small appliances on show at Sands Expo at CES 2020 in Las Vegas include a Keurig cocktail maker, autonomous cooking system, nitrogen coffee ampules and more. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Impossible Foods debuts Impossible Pork in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Before a packed press conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Impossible Foods executives introduced Impossible Pork, its newest product. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lady Gaga joins her band leader at his after-hours show - VIDEO
After finishing her “Jazz + Piano” show at Park Theater, Lady Gaga joined her band leader Brian Newman for a rousing version of "Fly Me to the Moon" during his show at NoMad Restaurant at Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip after midnight on New Year's Day, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Brian Newman rings in 2020 at NoMad at Park MGM - VIDEO
Brian Newman, bandleader for Lady Gaga, performs at NoMad Restaurant at Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip on New Year's Eve 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto