That was an intriguing gathering of muckety-mucks the other night at Rao’s, the Italian hot spot at Caesars Palace. As eyebrow-raising power-crowd sightings go, it registered a 9 on the what-have-we-here curiosity scale.
At the table: Steve Schirripa of “The Sopranos,” Luxor president Felix Rappaport, and Pure Management Group big shots Robert Frey and Steve Davidovici.
Is Schirripa — who has come a long way since the 1980s when he was a bouncer at Paul Anka‘s Jubilation nightclub on Harmon Avenue — looking to enter Las Vegas’ sizzling nightclub business?
“It was just a friendly dinner,” said Frey, who is co-managing partner with Davidovici in PMG’s nightclub and restaurant management empire, which is growing to 12 establishments by this fall.
Schirripa, who was in town hosting and taping multiple shows for Fox’s “Casino Diaries,” was traveling Saturday and could not be reached for comment.
PMG operates Pure, the Pussycat Dolls Lounge and Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace, Coyote Ugly at New York-New York, Social House restaurant and Tangerine nightclub at Treasure Island, the upcoming LAX nightclub and Noir Bar at Luxor, Dick’s Last Resort at Excalibur, Lucky Strike Lanes at Rio, and Aura Nightclub at Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Company American Bistro opens this fall, next to LAX, which will have Britney Spears hosting Friday’s opening.
With Spears still generating daily headlines about her whereabouts and questions about her career comeback, I asked Frey about her status.
“She’s 100 percent (committed),” he said.
LOCAL TELETHON LINEUP
Las Vegas talent will be popping up everywhere during the Labor Day weekend Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon.
The Flying Elvi open the show Sunday, and Celine Dion closes it about 2 p.m. on Monday.
Also in the lineup: Sahara headliners Matsuri, Flamingo headliner George Wallace, Luxor headliner Ronn Lucas, Excalibur headliner Louie Anderson, Mandalay Bay’s “Mamma Mia!” cast, the Riviera’s “Ice: Direct From Russia,” Luxor headliner Carrot Top, Monte Carlo magician Lance Burton and Tony Danza of “The Producers” (Paris Las Vegas).
Jerry Lewis will be hosting from the South Point casino. Tony Orlando will host the New York feed.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Paris Hilton, who kept a low profile here in late June, a few days after getting out of jail, returns this week to join sister Nicky on the runway. They’ll be at Pure on Tuesday for Nicky’s fashion show for her Chick label. They are in town for the MAGIC International trade show. Wilmer Valderrama will be at Pure on Monday to launch his fashion line, Calavena.
Actor Keanu Reeves, with his sister and friends Friday at Ivan Kane‘s Forty Deuce (Mandalay Bay). His sister even took the stage to dance in between the club’s burlesque performances. … Detroit Pistons star Richard Hamilton, “Hairspray” star Brittany Snow and mixed-martial artist Frank Trigg, partying Friday at Pure. … Illusionist David Copperfield and MTV reality TV star Whitney Port (“The Hills”), dining Friday at Social House restaurant in Treasure Island. … Former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski, dining Friday at Social House before heading downstairs to Tangerine, where Playboy’s Patrycja Mikula hosted the evening. … Actor/comedian Jamie Kennedy, partying Friday at Jet nightclub (The Mirage). … Earth, Wind & Fire’s Verdine White, checking out Tryst nightclub Friday in Wynn Las Vegas. … UFC stars Diego Sanchez and Rashad Evans, holding a meet-and-greet session with fans Friday at Dick’s Last Resort. Fellow UFC standout Keith Jardine joined them later. … Snow, walking the Vegas magazine red carpet Friday at Revolution Lounge in The Mirage. … Singer Robin Thicke and his wife, Paula Patton, partying Thursday at Tao nightclub (The Venetian). Also at Tao: Donyell Marshall (Cleveland Cavaliers) and former NBA standout Mitch Richmond. … Members of the band 311, stopping by Dick’s Last Resort on Thursday. … The Scintas, shooting TV promos with the Chippendales on Friday and at the front entrance of the Las Vegas Hilton, where they return next month as headliners.
THE PUNCH LINE
“The Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 30 to 3. And today, the crooked NBA ref said, ‘Hey, don’t look at me.'” — David Letterman
Norm Clarke can be reached at 383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.NORM CLARKEMORE COLUMNS