Updated June 25, 2023 - 8:50 am
Celebrate a birthday, then a wedding anniversary. Take in a car show. Sell a car for charity. Sell the same car a second time, also for charity. Raise $700,000 for that charity. See a concert.
This has been screen star Nicole Kidman’s Las Vegas experience, and she’s not even been here a week.
How #NicoleKidman ended up taking part in the Kristi’s House/Dodge Challenger SRT Demon auction @Barrett_Jackson Las Vegas … Shown with CEO Craig Barrett and Kristi’s House CEO Amanda Altman. #Vegas @reviewjournal pic.twitter.com/U35AcAKjbd
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) June 25, 2023
To recount: Kidman was brought to the stage at Planet Hollywood by her husband, Keith Urban, on Wednesday to celebrate her 56th birthday. She and Urban visited the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auto show at Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall on Friday.
She returned to Planet Hollywood on Saturday night, where she said, “I hope he serenades me again,” to mark the couple’s 17th wedding anniversary.
Kidman’s involvement in Barrett-Jackson was impressively organic, accelerating with all the horsepower of the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 she would auction off. Kidman had not known of the charity until she and Urban (a big car buff known to DVR the Barrett-Jackson auctions) visited Friday.
Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson told her of plans to sell the rare Dodge Challenger, which is no longer being manufactured. Barrett then explained that 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale were going to the Florida-based Kristi’s House, which advocates on behalf of children who are victims of sexual abuse.
The charity was founded in 1994, inspired by a girl named Kristi, who was raped by her stepfather at age 9.
How @nicolekidman helped sell a ‘23
SRT Demon — twice — @Barrett_Jackson Las Vegas. A total of $700,000 raised for Kristi House, which battles sex trafficking and child abuse … Car went for $400,000 originally, buyer then gave it back. Then sold for $300,000. pic.twitter.com/wqllHwDkNC
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) June 24, 2023
Learning of the charity, Kidman volunteered to help auction for the vehicle, appearing on the main stage alongside Jackson and Kristi’s House CEO Amanda Altman.
A cheer went up from the vintage-auto (and A-list celeb) enthusiasts when they realized Kidman had joined the sale.
“I was here with my husband yesterday, and I heard about the car from this good man,” Kidman said. “And I said, ‘Can I please come back and try to get extra money — extra money! — for Kristi’s House, because they do extraordinary work.’”
The car is familiar to Vegas race fans. It is the same model that was delivered by helicopter to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, a scene that evoked images of a James Bond escape sequence.
Saturday was the final call for the limited-production car, being taken off the market this year.
Kidman herself gaveled down the original winning bid of $400,000. The buyer then relented, offering the vehicle back for a second sale, giving the $400K to the charity. The second bid closed at $300,000, with Kidman, on the fly, offering four VIP meet-and-greet tickets to Urban’s show.
“He doesn’t know I’m doing this, I just threw it in,” Kidman said. “He’ll find out later.”
The new relationship between star and charity happened because, as Kidman said, “Keith loves cars. He couldn’t be here today, because of his show tonight. He’s obviously here next week, so we have been very busy.”
Kidman mentioned her new show, Taylor Sheridan’s “Special Ops: Lioness,” premiering on Paramount+ July 23. The power of her celebrity was undeniable, even if it only meant furnishing VIP tickets to an Urban show.
“When I heard what charity it was, I just said, ‘Please, can I help?’” Kidman said. “I’m here to give, right? I have to help.”
‘GansMobile’ goes for $180K
The 1967 Ford Mustang “Eleanor” replica went for $182,000 during Saturday’s auction. This is among the last cars from the late comic-impressionist Danny Gans’ famous collection, from his days headlining Las Vegas. There is one car left, something of a mystery, which appeared in “American Graffiti.”
‘Titanic’ song paused
“My Heart Will Go On” has been shelved, at least temporarily, in the Streetmosphere performances at St. Mark’s Square at The Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes. Word of this decision came down Friday, after visitor to the promenade complained of the song’s relationship with “Titanic” the movie, and, as such, the Titanic disaster and also the OceanGate Titan submersible tragedy this week.
Celine Dion’s version of the song won an Oscar in 1999, and she performed it throughout both of her residencies at Caesars Palace. The version at Grand Canal Shoppes has been sung in Italian.
The hotel contracts its Streetmosphere program with Ken Henderson’s Best Agency. Henderson said Saturday, “It’s just a pause,” and, “the mall management and Best Agency certainly would not want to offend anyone.”
Cool Hang Alert
The first CHA mention for The Cabinet of Curiosities at Horseshoe Las Vegas’s lower level. South African jazz pianist and vocalist Dara Jazzlyn is playing from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Sunday. No cover, no reservations. Jazzlyn also performed Wednesday, and was such a hit that she is back. The hideaway bar and speakeasy is a Cool Hang, generally. Hopefully the music will be ongoing.
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.