The 70th birthday celebration of Roy Horn, on the 11th anniversary of the near-fatal tiger attack, included an emotional twist involving Michael Jackson and several surprises.
The first surprise came when longtime Jackson choreographer Kenny Ortega and “X-Men” producer Bryan Singer showed up to join Friday’s birthday party.
The twist came when Horn’s party of seven attended the 7 p.m. show of Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson One” at Mandalay Bay.
Five of the six had not seen the Jackson show because they weren’t ready to, according to local Realtor Zar Zanganeh, one of the five.
The group included Siegfried Fischbacher, Roy, Ortega, Lynette Chappell, who played the “Evil Queen” in the long-running Siegfried and Roy show, Siegfried and Roy protégé Darren Romeo, Singer and Zanganeh. Singer recently saw the show.
“It was really emotional, but happy and positive,” said Zanganeh, whose friendship with Jackson began a decade ago as the pop star’s real estate broker.
After the Jackson show, the group went to RM Seafood for the birthday dinner.
When the birthday cake arrived with 70 lit candles, Siegfried began a tribute speech to Horn.
Ever the prankster, Horn started blowing out the candles when the speech ran a little long.
As far as Horn knew, that was the end of the party.
But Chappell had a surprise. As they left the seafood restaurant, a big screen in front of Holly Madison’s club, 1923 Bourbon &Burlesque, flashed birthday greetings to Horn. Horn and his group were invited inside, where 60 close friends and birthday balloons greeted them. The party ran until 2 a.m.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Expect to see more of Indiana basketball coaching legend Bobby Knight in Las Vegas. His son, Pat Knight, and his wife have moved to Las Vegas to make it his base as the Indiana Pacers’ West Coast college scout. Pat had taken over for his father at Texas Tech before a three-year stint at Lamar University before he was fired last February. Pat Knight has a Las Vegas connection: Gina Gavan, founder of Project Dinner Table here, knew the Knights from her days as an aspiring sports broadcaster in Bloomington, Ind. “Lived down the street from them,” said Gavan, who is holding her final Project Dinner Table, after five years of the community gatherings, on Saturday at the Marjorie Barrick Museum at UNLV. …
The status of Beacher’s Madhouse, the MGM Grand’s late-night party place featuring little-people entertainers, is in question. Employees said they were informed the show was being closed until Oct. 21. Jeff Beacher, reached in Los Angeles on Saturday, said it was open Friday-only this weekend and repeats that schedule next weekend while he’s recovering from surgery. Staffers are fretting. The club is usually open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. …
Katherine Burt’s last name was misspelled in Friday’s item about the Southern Nevada Honor Flight delegation that flew to Washington this weekend. Today is the World War II veteran’s 91st birthday. Following up on Wednesday’s column item about chef Todd English and his Olives restaurant status with Bellagio: the property said in December that his contract was not renewed but, in a quick reversal, issued a statement that “after further consultation, Olives’ tenure at the resort has been renewed.”
Britney Spears and her two sons, checking out Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat on Saturday. … Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin, with teammates and team staff at “Michael Jackson One” on Friday. … Rocker Bon Jovi, at Wolfgang Puck’s Pizzeria and Cucina (Crystals at CityCenter), having lunch on Friday. … Golf great Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters champion and former world No. 1, celebrating his 55th birthday on Friday at Wolfgang Puck Bar &Grill at the MGM Grand. … At “Absinthe” (Caesars Palace): Glen “Big Baby” Davis of the Clippers, on Friday; comedian Lisa Lampanelli, on Thursday. … Davis later partied at Surrender (Encore) with teammates Deandre Jordan and Jordan Farmar. … Motocross legend Carey Hart, with friends at Culinary Dropout (Hard Rock Hotel) on Thursday. … Matt Greene of the Los Angeles Kings, dining at Crush (MGM Grand) on Friday. … Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, with friends at Lavo (Palazzo) on Friday.
THE PUNCH LINE
“Well, the husband of one of the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ has been sentenced to 41 months in prison. He says he’s disappointed in the judge’s decision, but 41 months away from his wife is better than nothing.” — Seth Meyers
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter.