Shania Twain has turned up at various high-profile events over the past several days and is making a major appearance at Keep Memory Alive’s 23rd annual Power of Love Gala on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Twain will present the night’s star honoree, Lionel Richie, as organizers describe as Richie’s “impactful musical contributions to the world and his support of Keep Memory Alive and its mission to find a cure for memory disorders by raising necessary funds for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.”
Richie turns 70 on June 20. He and Twain teamed on a re-recording of “Endless Love” in 2012. The song was a monster hit for Richie and Diana Ross in 1981.
Richie is also a judge on “American Idol,” joining Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and host Ryan Seacrest on ABC’s singing-competition series.
Twain, a headliner at the the Colosseum at Caesars Palace from 2012-14, was at Robbie Williams’ opening-night show at Encore Theater on March 6 and at Gwen Stefani’s “Just a Girl” production on Saturday. She has been the focus of speculation that she is working on a new Strip residency this year.
Elsewhere, those who are scheduled to appear to honor Richie at the Power of Love gala include Snoop Dogg, NE-YO, Miguel, Anthony Anderson, Leona Lewis, Bernie Williams, Pedro Capo and Greg Phillinganes. The event will pay tribute to Lonnie Ali, wife and caregiver of the late Muhammad Ali, with the Caregiver Hero Award and feature Wolfgang Puck and Daniel Humm’s culinary talent.
The Power of Love Gala is the Cleveland Clinic’s primary fund-raising vehicle and generates the majority of annual revenue needed to provide service, care and resources for patients and their caregivers in the fight against neurocognitive diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple-system atrophy, frontotemporal dementia and related disorders, multiple sclerosis and more.
The Power of Love live and auction is always an exercise in decadence. Three of the highlighted lots up for bid in Saturday’s celebration:
• A seven-day, six-nights sailing vacation off the coast of Australia aboard the M.Y. Texas, a 150-foot super yacht. The craft sleeps up to 10 guests and features three large outdoor dining areas on each deck. A professional crew is part of the deal (value: $200,000).
• A dinner for four with Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton at Madeo Ristorante in Beverly Hills. A case of The Keaton Red and another of The Keaton White, from Keaton and her winemakers, are part of the lot (value: priceless).
• A seven-day vacation to Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte’s estate on Hawaii’s exclusive retreat Kauhale Pilialoha. As the auction book describes, “The nearly 21,000 square feet of stunning architecture seamlessly blends with the beautiful, natural environment of Hawaii.” Righteous. The mansion features 10 guest rooms with a master bedroom villa and three guest villas. Kauhale Pilialoha’s staff includes two housekeepers and a house manager, but as I understand it, no costumed aerialists (value: $90,000).
Cruising Leach Lane
Reminder that the dedication of Robin Leach Lane at the Ruvo Center is 4 p.m. Friday. The stretch of Clark Avenue that intersects with Promenade at the entrance of the complex, continuing on to The Smith Center, is to be renamed for Leach.
The honor and location is entirely appropriate as Leach was a tireless supporter of the health care facility and “The Voice of God” host who helped wrangle talent for the Power of Love gala. He also was a significant supporter of The Smith Center. The famed celebrity journalist attended the opening night gala in March 2012, and also appeared onstage at Reynolds Hall during the state’s sesquicentennial celebration in September 2014.
“Robin was truly one-of-a-kind and we are forever grateful for his support of Keep Memory Alive and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health,” Larry Ruvo said. “It is an honor to dedicate a piece of Las Vegas’ burgeoning downtown to Robin and his continuing legacy within the community and beyond.”
From The Smith Center President Myron Martin: “It is appropriate that the street that connects the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and The Smith Center be named for a man who was a great supporter of both institutions. We miss him dearly.”
Century plus two
Chef Maria Perry, the matriarch of a legendary Las Vegas family, celebrated her 102nd birthday at a party at Bootlegger Bistro on Wednesday night. “Mama Maria” is Lorraine Hunt-Bono’s mother and sister-in-law of Angie Ruvo (who is Larry Ruvo’s mother). Perry moved with her parents to Las Vegas in 1943. Her family is Las Vegas royalty, having opened Venetian Pizzeria on Fremont Street in the mid-1950s.
As a budding chef, Perry worked at the old Sal Sagev Hotel and Casino on Fremont Street and was recruited by renowned chef Domenic Piscatelli to work at his Fiesta Villa Ristorante on the Strip. Such fabled figures as Bugsy Siegel, Jane Russell, Clara Bow, Clark Gable and Howard Hughes — decades before he wound up living at Desert Inn — were customers.
In 1962, the family launched Venetian Ristorante on West Sahara Avenue, which today is the site of Herbs & Rye. Lorraine built the Bootlegger Bistro at its original location on Tropicana and Eastern avenues in 1971. The family moved the Bootlegger to its current location on Las Vegas Boulevard South in 2001.
Maria is still listed as Bootlegger’s executive chef. As Lorraine says, “Mamma Maria still keeps a watchful eye on our kitchen staff, as our carefully trained staff executes her recipes — her way.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.