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Mark Wahlberg in Prime form in surprise Strip visit

Updated June 4, 2023 - 10:38 am

We have a theory about Mark Wahlberg, which is that he is triplets.

You can never have enough Wahlberg in VegasVille, where he’s filmed a movie, appeared in at least one Golden Knights game and made many personal appearances in the ‘burbs and on Fremont Street.

Last week, the A-list actor and one-man corporation stopped by Bellagio during orientation for Ocean Prime Las Vegas. The restaurant opens June 21, on the fourth (and, top) level of 63, the mixed-use project on the southwest corner of Harmon Avenue and the Strip.

Wahlberg dropped in to show support of a restaurant he’s frequented in his hometown of Boston. He appeared alongside company owner Cameron Mitchell, whose restaurant will serve Wahlberg’s Flecha Azul tequila.

Ocean Prime Las Vegas is Cameron Mitchell Restaurant Group’s flagship location. The $20 million restaurant is unambiguous about its plans on the Strip. In the offing: More than 400 seats, 14,500 square feet, 2,500 of those square feet on the rooftop terrace … Champagne and lounge seating in the women’s restroom (regular seating in the men’s room, I guess). A gin-and-tonic cart. Caviar service. A hot seafood tower, too, and a cool hang for all.

The company holds a philosophy of, “Yes is the answer, what is the question?” Wahlberg shares that ideal. We’re eager to see this place in action, maybe with Wahlberg wielding the tequila.

Knight’s club

Michael Buffer shouted “Llllets get ready to rrrrumble” and cranked the siren. Actor Owen Wilson; MGM Grand club operator and “Bupkis” co-star Brad Garrett and his wife, IsaBeall Quella; rapper and ubiquitous Golden Knights fan Lil Jon, “Bar Rescue” star and creator Jon Taffer, and star DJ Kygo were among the sightings at Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Taffer also cranked the siren, enterting the third period. He also was featured on the “Let’s get loud” video clip. The place was a Taff Factory.

Vegas nightlife and dayclub headliner Marshmello thundered through the opening party at Toshiba Square, a 30-minute performance in temperatures that felt higher than 100 degrees.

The deal at Coop’s

The energy around Coop’s Cabaret & Hot Spot is the place’s ownership is about to turn over. Longtime Las Vegas and Broadway performer Brent Barrett e-mailed that his “Islands In the Stream” show set for July 14 is postponed. He and co-stars Bernie Blanks and Chris Lash are now waiting for word about what’s next for the production.

Nothing is confirmed about the future of the business, but we await word.

Celebrating Crystal

Crystal (Chris) Woods made a career of performing as Diana Ross, and was an original member of the “Evening at La Cage” cast at the Riviera. Drag icon Frank Marino actually knew Woods prior to premiering in Vegas, meeting the performer in costume, as Ross, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in 1984.

“Crystal was with me from Day 1, for 40 years,” Marino said Saturday. Woods died April 2, having performed in “Evening at La Cage” and later “Divas Las Vegas” for more than four decades. Marino is hosting a celebration of Woods’ life at 6 p.m. Sunday at Hamburger Mary’s on 1700 E. Flamingo Road. The event is open to the public.

Woods more than met Ross. He twice made it to the stage to dance with the superstar, once at The Venetian Theatre and again at Encore Theater at the Wynn.

“Crystal was in every single drag show I’ve ever been in, in my life,” Marino said. “I’ve been known as the longest-running headliner ever on the Strip, but Crystal did as many shows as I did.”

Baby, it’s you

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds joined Bruno Mars at Dolby Live on Friday night. The two have forged a long friendship and mutual-admiration relationship. Mars dedicated his 2018 Grammy Award for Album of the Year to Edmonds. Mars was lauded for “24K Magic.”

Mars also introduced Edmonds at the 25th annual Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala, when Edmonds was celebrated with Smokey Robinson.

That night, Mars recalled Edmonds telling him he’d written ““Every Time I Close My Eyes” for Luther Vandross.

“I said, ‘You did what?’ I am a songwriter, and I understand how hard it is to come up with these chords and make something that’s magical, and I couldn’t believe he would give it away,” Mars said. “I promise y’all, if I wrote that song, you would see me going down the street (singing), ‘And every time I close my eyes.’”


The lavish, and under-renovation, stage show at the Wynn is to be back onstage about a month. But no solid return date is set. I do believe the production team of Baz Halpin, Bernie Yuman and Michael Curry are giving the show a good canvassing. The show has auditioned for a swing for the lead character of Light. “Strong actors with experience in leading roles” was asked. We hope to see the light, and Light, soon enough.

Cool Hang Alert

Up next at “Mondays Dark” at The Space: “Women Who Rock,” a benefit for the National Association of Women in Construction, Las Vegas Chapter No. 74. The show will sample from Heart, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Pat Benatar. Showtime is 8 p.m. Monday, and it also streams at MondaysDark.com. Get there.

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.

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