Updated March 3, 2019 - 4:45 pm
First lady Melania Trump’s town hall meeting Tuesday about the opiate-addiction crisis is being staged at a legendary Las Vegas venue — International Theater at Westgate Las Vegas.
This is the venue where Elvis made history from 1969-76, and Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, who also graced that stage, is expected to join the first lady on a panel hosted by conservative political commentator Eric Bolling.
Westgate Resorts owner David Siegel and his wife, Jackie, also will be onstage.
The event starts at 1 p.m. — doors open at 11 a.m. — and is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. All ages are welcome.
The Siegels are especially passionate about drug addiction. In June 2015, the couple’s 18-year-old daughter, Victoria “Rikki” Siegel, died of a drug overdose. The tragedy motivated the couple to support causes fighting drug abuse. They have just released the book “Victoria’s Voice: Our Daughter’s Dying Wish to Share Her Diary and Save Lives,” which is a published version of Victoria’s personal diary. The book is intended to provide a stark account of the mindset of a teenager in the grips of drug and alcohol abuse.
In Tuesday’s town hall event, the first lady is to make some opening remarks, talk with Bolling about her “Be Best” initiative and also answer questions on social media. The talk is to be streamed at 4 p.m. Pacific time on Sinclair Broadcast outlets (the company owns KLAS Channel 3 in Las Vegas) and also will be broadcast on the company’s affiliates across the country on Saturday and Sunday.
The meeting is the third in a brief tour to promote Trump’s three-tiered “Be Best” campaign. On Monday she visits Tulsa, Oklahoma, and then Seattle before her arrival in Las Vegas.
Magic legend Johnny Tompson, forever known as “The Great Tomsoni,” is recovering after he collapsed Thursday during rehearsals for Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us” at the Rio.
Thompson, who is a consultant on the show, has a history of respiratory problems and and fainted during show preparations in the late afternoon at Penn & Teller Theater. The 85-year-old headliner has been hospitalized since, and is said to be progressing slowly, but is responsive.
The partying chef
“Hell’s Kitchen” star chef Gordon Ramsay has set the burners on high, as it were, in his weekend visit to the Strip. He was at Omnia at Caesars Palace on Friday night for Party Favor, and caught Zedd’s set on Saturday. I hope he was scouting the club’s C02 cannons, because THAT is what “Hell’s Kitchen” needs.
Your Subban moment
Vegas Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban was in the starting lineup of the St. Baldrick’s Shave at McMullan’s Irish Pub on Saturday afternoon. Subban was a surprise shaver for Golden Knights strength and conditioning intern Kendell Galor, who is recovering from a brain tumor. Galor had grown her red/auburn hair out after chemotherapy treatments and volunteered for the first time to be a St. Baldrick’s “shavee.”
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) March 2, 2019
She saw Subban arrive and shouted, “No way!”
“Oh, yeah!” Subban said. “Where are the clippers?”
As the Golden Knight went to work, Enoch Augustus Scott, with whom I emceed during the event, said, “Malcolm! You have a future career if this hockey thing doesn’t’s work out … I mean, with global warming, who knows how long ice will be around?”
Subban stopped his clipping for a moment, shook his head and laughed.
Look for a limited run of a famous musical on the Strip, soon … Kaos Nightclub at Palms is making a big DJ announcement, possibly as early as Monday morning (hint: It’s a S’mores ingredient) … The “Fuerza Bruta” tent at Excalibur might look familiar to longtime Cirque du Soleil fans — it’s the same tent used for “Nouveau Experience” at the Mirage in November 1993, the first Cirque production ever on the Strip … Britney Spears’ Las Vegas manager Larry Rudolph has emphatically (emphatically, I tell you!) shot down published reports that Spears is back in the recording studio just months after she went on an open-ended hiatus to take care of her seriously ill father, Jamie.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.