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The D’s Derek Stevens sweats out MSU; Flav livens up Madame Tussauds

The Kats! Bureau at this writing is the NCAA men’s basketball tournament party (or the Mad College Hoops party, as they call it here) in the Detroit Ballroom at the D Las Vegas. Hotel co-owners Derek and Greg Stevens are in this horde of about 800 Mad College Hoops fans.

In a rite of spring, Derek Stevens, a devout Michigan graduate, has some serious cabbage riding on the outcome. As my colleague Todd Dewey reported in January, Stevens made a prop at South Point, laying $100,000 at plus-105 on a four-team combo of Michigan, Gonzaga, Duke and Kansas. If any of those four win, Stevens wins $105,000.

Stevens also made a separate, $8,000 wager on Michigan State at 12-to-1 odds to win the championship. The second-seeded Spartans were in a battle with 15th-seeded Bradley before pulling away, 76-65.

“That was interesting,” Stevens said. “A little too interesting.”

Greg Steven has money on the tournament, too, but says, “I don’t bet like my brother does.”

Sir, you are missing out.

Flav rocks around the clock

So, Flavor Flav, the 90s were good to you, right?

“That’s right!” Flav said. “And hey, it’s still great. It’s still awesome.”

Flav, who turned 60 on Saturday with a throw-down at the Rio’s 172 music club, was the man in command as Madame Tussauds Las Vegas celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Venetian. The attraction, populated by eerily effective wax statues of famous figures through history, has added a 1990s-themed room.

Someday they need to measure Flav for his own figure, if they can get him to stand still long enough. He was all over the place as he hosted the anniversary/unveiling party.

“I’m the guy for the 90s!” said the hip-hop icon who is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Public Enemy. “They know it here, too.”

The new display features Spice Girls, Madonna, a sax-toting Bill Clinton as he appeared on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” and Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in their days as a couple wearing matching denim outfits.

Flav took selfies with most of those figures. He also continues to promote a project he’s been talking of for many months, which is a TV show originating from the Plaza.

“We’re working on it right now,” said Flav, whose timepiece of the the night was a blink-encrusted clock with an accurate time reading. “Hopefully we’ll start shooting that in May.”

Flav says he’s planning to stage the show in the venue renovated, and later vacated, by “A Mob Story.”

“We’re going to use the showroom,” Flav said. “(Plaza CEO) Jonathan Jossel, that’s my boy down there. We’ll have the first late-night show-slash talk show-slash variety of guests, all coming through my show. We will have a variety of people.”

But Jossel says he has not talked to Flav in quite a while about this show. The resort exec is far more excited about the Stirrin Dirt Racing Casino Battle Royal demolition at Core Arena on March 29-30. We’ll talking to Jossel, soon, about this bone-rattling event. Set your clocks to it.

Still hittin’ ‘em

Drumming and singing great Phil Collins is bringing his “Still Not Dead Yet, Live!” tour to T-Mobile Arena on Oct. 19. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. March 30. Collins will be forever immortalized by one of the funniest lines in “Rock of Ages.” Finding that line is worth the research.

Who Was Where

Billy Crystal is latest celeb to take in “Criss Angel Mindfreak” at Planet Hollywood. Crystal toured Angel’s technologically fanciful fortress. And, he looked maaahvelous.

At the Mirage, Vegas Golden Knight Mark Stone took in Terry Fator’s show on Tuesday night. Fator dressed cannabis connoisseur Duggie Scott Walker in a Golden Knights jersey for a photo, marking a rare moment when a Stone met a stoner (and thanks to PR ace Alissa Kelly for that line).


Three of the most avid golfers among Vegas headliners: Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, Frank Beard of ZZ Top and Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire

Six words that explain how 52 Fridays is the cornerstone of Golden Nugget’s entertainment strategy: “Grand Funk Railroad, standing room only.” True, for Friday’s show. The 52 Fridays series is routinely sold out. Up next, on March 29, is Night Ranger, which still plays the heck out of “Sister Christian.” …

Aside from the Nugget’s ongoing series, the Fremont Street Experience’s Downtown Rocks free-concert lineup has all but wiped out ticketed showroom entertainment downtown. Why pay to see a musical about mobsters when you can see Cheap Trick for free? That band is performing Aug. 24. Good Charlotte opens the series May 24 …

Peti & Taller, the comedy-magic duo starring Mateo Amieva and Christian Ford, headline a charity show for Jeff Civillico’s Win-Win Entertainment charity at 7 p.m. Monday at Mosaic Theater. If you’re wondering where is Mosaic Theater, it’s the former Tommy Wind Theater on the Strip across from the Park MGM.

Aside from the Nugget’s ongoing series, the Fremont Street Experience’s Downtown Rocks free-concert lineup at 3rd Street Stage has all but wiped out ticketed showroom productions downtown. Why pay to see a musical about mobsters when you can see Cheap Trick for free? That band is performing Aug. 24. Good Charlotte opens the series May 24 …

Accomplished musician and acclaimed stand-up comic Dennis Blair is now singing his pointed parody song “I Hate Everybody” in “Ester Goldberg’s Totally Outrageous Brunch” at The Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas. Amazing! I wrote about Blair’s comedy skills just days ago! Score one for the column!

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.

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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