Favorite Things

Seeing as this is the start of the new year and everyone this past week has been listing their favorite things during 2007, whether it be restaurants, shows, entertainers, etc., I thought I might as well jump on the bandwagon before it’s too late and give you my Top 10 favorite ongoing Las Vegas shows.

In no particular order, they are: "Menopause the Musical" (Las Vegas Hilton); Gordie Brown (Venetian): Penn & Teller (Rio); "KA" (MGM Grand); Rita Rudner (Harrah’s); "Zumanity" (New York-New York); "Monty Python’s Spamalot" (Wynn Las Vegas); Danny Gans (Mirage); Wayne Brady "Making It Up" (Venetian); and The Scintas (Las Vegas Hilton). You won’t go wrong with any one of them.

MISS LAX

Time to strut your stuff. LAX nightclub inside the Luxor will be crowning the first-ever Miss LAX. With $100,000 in cash prizes being awarded, LAX is looking for the hottest swimwear models in the country. Every Wednesday at 10 p.m., beginning Jan. 9 and concluding with the finals on March 26, LAX invites ladies who think they have what it takes to compete for the $50,000 grand prize as well as a guest appearance on the hit A&E television program "Criss Angel MINDFREAK."

LAX will bring in a panel of celebrity judges to narrow down the field and then give club goers the opportunity to pick the finalists by voting online at www.LAXtheNightclub.com. If you’re interested, you can register by going to www.LAXtheNightclub.com or www.SpyOnVegas.com. Walk-ins are welcome. LAX is located just inside the front entrance of Luxor.

LIBERACE MUSEUM CABERET

The Liberace Museum will present its new 2008 Cabaret Series, with the first event set for Jan. 13, from noon to 4 p.m. Bruce Ewing will be the featured performer. Ewing, a former New Yorker, came to Las Vegas with one of my favorite shows, "Forever Plaid," and is currently performing as Monsieur Reyer in "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular" at the Venetian.

Ewing will perform his cabaret act, "Every Day Is A Gift," a combination of theatre and inspirational, uplifting music. There is no charge, but Ewing asks for a donation (half will go to the non-profit Liberace Foundation and half to Family Promise of Las Vegas). The performances will be at 1:30 and 3 p.m. The Liberace Museum is located at 1775 E. Tropicana Ave.

PASTA PALACE PERFORMANCE

And speaking of Liberace, Wes Winters, a self-taught, Liberace-inspired pianist, is performing two shows every Monday (5 and 7:30 p.m.) at the Pasta Palace inside Palace Station. It will cost you $19.99 per person for a three-course meal and the chance to enjoy some really good music from a very talented guy. Seating is limited so reservations are recommended. Call 702-367-2411, ext. 2320.

‘MAMMA MIA!’ HITS 2 MILLION

Hats off to "Mamma Mia!," the long-running production at Mandalay Bay, as it recently welcomed its 2 millionth guest. This Broadway musical premiered on Feb. 13, 2003, and has been a hit ever since, one of the few offerings from Broadway that has managed to survive on the Strip. Unfortunately, "Mamma Mia!" is calling it quits this summer, so if you haven’t seen it, put it on your "must-see" list for 2008.

TANGERINE CLOSES

Last night, or I should say early this morning after its New Year’s Eve party, Tangerine Lounge & Nightclub at TI closed its doors after more than three years as one of the Strip’s hottest clubs. The club, which opened July 4, 2004, will undergo a major renovation during which the venue will be expanded and redesigned as an entirely new, top-tier nightlife escape. Don’t know the details yet, but will keep you posted as things get underway in the spring.

LIFEGUARD TRAINING

If you ever fancied yourself as a lifeguard, the City of Las Vegas Municipal Pool is offering American Red Cross lifeguard training courses in January and February for $50, a $40 savings over customary prices. At the same time, staff of the aquatics unit of the Department of Leisure Services, Recreation Division will be recruiting certified lifeguards to work at the city’s pools during the coming summer.

Lifeguards must be at least 16 years old, complete approximately 35 hours of course work and pass a water skills test to meet the minimum requirements for certification. Successful completion of the lifeguard training course results in national American Red Cross lifeguard and first-aid certifications for three years and CPR for the professional rescuer certification for one year. Classes are scheduled Monday through Friday, from 4:30 to 8 p.m., Jan. 14 to 25 and Feb. 18 to 29. Additional lifeguard training classes are scheduled each month through May 23. Municipal Pool is located at 431 E. Bonanza Road.

Students interested in becoming lifeguards but who need to improve their swimming skills may take the two-week Pre-Lifeguard Skills course at Municipal Pool. Priced at $16, classes will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. Feb. 4 to 13, March 3 to 12, and April 28 to May 7. For more information, call Municipal Pool at 702-229-6309.

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend (Jan. 5-6) you might want to take in the inaugural Desert Classic Division II Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at the Mirabelli Community Center, 6200 Hargrove Ave. The top-ranked Dallas Mavericks will take on other teams ranked in the Top 10 of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association from Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Sacramento. Games will be played continuously on Saturday, with the last game beginning at 8:30 p.m. On Sunday, games will begin at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m., with the championship game at noon. Admission is free.

Good luck and I’ll see you on the Strip. And don’t forget to check out www.valleyblogs.com. If you have a question or a Las Vegas experience you would like to share with my readers, please e-mail me at lennylasvegas@gmail.com Please include your full name and the city or town where you live.

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