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Chart-topping band Chicago set to perform at Las Vegas Hilton

It’s no surprise that the No. 1 American band in terms of Billboard magazine singles and albums chart success is The Beach Boys. But who’s No. 2? It’s Chicago, formerly known as Chicago Transit Authority, which will be in concert at the Las Vegas Hilton on April 8 and 9.

According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s. In 2008, Billboard listed its top 100 artists of all time, and Chicago came in at No. 13. It has had five No. 1 albums and 21 top-10 hits, including “Saturday in the Park,” “25 or 6 to 4,” “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”

Tickets begin at $59. For more information: 732-5755 or www.lvhilton.com.

Ryan Has Come Home

After years of performing on cruise ships and in concert halls around the world, award-winning pianist Ryan Ahern has come home. “I was born and raised in Las Vegas, and it’s always been a dream to have my own show on the Strip,” he said. “That day has finally come.”

Ahern, backed by a six-piece band, plays music from Broadway to rock ‘n’ roll to boogie woogie while hypnotizing his audiences with his mesmerizing hand speed. The show, “Piano! Las Vegas,” plays at 2:30 p.m. Saturday-Thursday at the V Theater inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Tickets start at $29.99. For more information, call 866-932-1818 visit or www.pianolasvegas.com.

celine returns

Celine Dion has returned to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for a three-year residency. She is performing her biggest hits in an all-new show with a full orchestra. Tickets start at $55. For more information: 877-423-5463 or www.ticketmaster.com.

In honor of Celine’s return, executive chef Eric Klein has designed a new pre-theater, three-course menu at Spago at the Forum Shops at Caesars. Guests can begin their evening with items such as jumbo lump crab Louie, English pea soup, grilled prime skirt steak “au poivre,” steamed “Hong Kong style” Scottish salmon, angel hair puttanesca, pan-roasted free range chicken breast and chocolate-filled crepes with fresh berries.

The menu ($60 per person) is served 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on show nights. Call 369-6300 for more information.

the Empress of Soul

Gladys Knight, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, headlines a special engagement at the newly transformed Tropicana beginning April 5.

Knight showcases her all-time favorites (“Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Every Beat of My Heart,” “If I Were Your Woman,” “Best Thing to Ever Happen to Me”), as well as newer hits, including “Settle.” She will be joined by four singers and dancers alongside an 11-piece band. “Bubba” Knight, one of the original members of the Pips, also will be featured in the show that can be seen at 8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets begin at $65. For more information: 739-2411 or www.troplv.com.

we Love Each Other

Las Vegans love Hawaii, and Hawaiians love Las Vegas. To show this love, the Silverton Hotel Casino is presenting the Pure Aloha Festival, April 14-17. The event features a one-of-a-kind Hawaiian festival with island craft and merchandise booths, authentic food vendors and amusement rides, along with entertainment from local dance groups and bands. General admission festival tickets are $7; the discounted $5 rate is available for seniors 55 or older, those with proof of military ID and children under 10.  For more information: 263-7777 or www.silvertoncasino.com.

send the Kids to Primm

Even though you’re glad to see your kids home on spring break, you probably want them out of the house. Send them to Primm Valley Casino Resorts, which is offering free rides to Las Vegas residents from April 18-22. The unlimited rides pass is valid on all attractions, including The Desperado, a 209-foot roller coaster overlooking the valley, and the Maxflight Cyber Coaster, which offers a virtual reality experience of riding coasters from around the world. Call 679-7433 for more information.

springtime at The Palazzo

I’m a sucker for beautiful flower displays. That’s probably because I spent so many hours as a young boy wandering Swope Park and Loose Park in Kansas City with my mother. This month, you’ll find me wandering around The Palazzo, where colorful hyacinths, tulip willows, cherry blossoms, forsythia topiaries, butterfly designs, Japanese plum blossoms and 16-foot Amstel King Ficus trees line the atrium waterfall and hotel lobby. An animated butterfly with a 22-foot wingspan tops off the décor. The spring display runs through the end of May.    

And finally …

A mother, father, their 6-year-old boy and the boy’s grandfather lived in the same house. One day the boy went to his grandfather and asked him to make a noise like a frog.

“Why do you want me to do that?” asked the grandfather.

The boy looked at him and said, “Because Dad says that when you croak, we’re all going to Florida.”

Jack Bulavsky is a 35-year Nevadan and has covered the entertainment, dining and gaming industries for local and national publications. Contact him at jackbulavsky@yahoo.com.

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