Vegas Weekender: Stellar artists, world-class DJs and fun food

It’s a three-day weekend and there’s no better place to celebrate than Vegas. From legendary performers to today’s top international DJs, the city has something in store for everyone this weekend.

Shows

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Tommy Davidson performs at Playboy Comedy Club.

You might know comedian Gilbert Gottfried best from “Problem Child,” or even the voice of the parrot Iago on Disney’s animated film, “Aladdin.” No matter where you know him from, his distinctive voice can’t seem to leave your head. This weekend, see Gottfried at the Las Vegas Hilton now through Feb. 20 and again Feb. 23 – 27. Show starts at 10 p.m.

Continue to satisfy that funny bone with performances by Jay Leno at the Mirage on Feb. 18 and 19 at 10 p.m.

Fans of the ’90s hit show “In Living Color” can see Tommy Davidson at the Palms’ Playboy Comedy Club from Feb. 17 – 19.

If you haven’t seen the magic of David Copperfield yet, witness his mesmerizing illusions at MGM Grand now through March 9. Catch his show nightly at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., with an additional Saturday afternoon show at 4:30 p.m.

If musical impressions are more up your alley, don’t miss out on Gordie Brown playing 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the Golden Nugget. Brown’s act includes impersonations of Billy Ray Cyrus, Eminem, Willie Nelson, Michael Jackson and more.

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Gordie Brown at Golden Nugget.

Fans of Latin jazz can enjoy Al Di Meola’s “Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody Tour 2011” at Green Valley Ranch’s Ovation lounge Fr iday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. This is an all-ages show. Guests 21 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

This Saturday, Feb. 19, is a day full of big artists: Multi-platinum rock band 311 plays at the Joint at Hard Rock, while the legendary George Jones performs at Texas Station on Saturday at 8 p.m.

“American Idol’s” Kellie Pickler performs at the Silverton at 8 p.m. Pickler rose to fame after her 2004 appearance on “American Idol,” where the country music starlet showed her powerful vocals and sweet Southern charm.

Get in touch with your Southern rock roots and see the hit ’70s group, Atlanta Rhythm Section at Red Rock Resort.

Celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival Gala inside the Pearl at the Palms on Monday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. The high-energy evening celebrates the performing arts of China and includes per formances f rom all categories of entertainment, including: dance acts by Shanxi Province Song and Dance Theatre; songs by the Lees, A-bao, Buren Buyaer, the Central Ethnic Chorus and more; acrobatic acts by various groups; martial art acts, drumming routines and more.

Catch a documentary screening of “Outside In: The Life and Art of Alfred McMoore” on Feb. 19 and 20 at the Cosmopolitan hotel. This movie explores the life of outsider artist Alfred Moore who inspired the band name of The Black Keys. There will also be a Q&A session with the director, Todd V. $50 includes admission and open bar. The event is located inside the Mont Royal 1 Ballroom (fourth floor) and runs from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Nightlife

Speaking of the Cosmopolitan, if you haven’t already been to the boutique-y and glam hotel, now’s the time to
check it out. See Alex Boyd now through Sunday at Book & Stage bar.

While you’re at Cosmo, Marquee nightclub features a number of events this weekend. On Friday, Feb. 18, Grammy award-winning DJ Roger Sanchez brings his skills to Vegas with his party, “Release Yourself.” Sanchez is known for infusing house mixes with music from Maroon 5, OneRepublic and Brandon Flowers to name a few. His list includes remixes for Daft Punk, Diana Ross and No Doubt (which won him a Grammy).

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LMFAO's Redfoo performs at Marquee.

Liked Marquee so much that you need a reason to come back? On Saturday, Feb. 19 the DJ/production British trio Above & Beyond deliver its trance and electronic sound inside Vegas’ newest nightclub. The group received several music award nominations including Best Artist (Group), Best Radio Mix Show, Best DJ Mix and more.

If you’re not ready to go home yet, Redfoo of LMFAO presents “Party Rock Mondays” at Marquee on Feb. 21. And just like his outrageous and wacky style, this high energy party comes complete with blow up zebras, balloon animals and foam fingers.

While you’re in Vegas, you got to show some love for the ladies: Delivering a feminine edge with high energy sounds, DJ Mika Gold and DJ Soxxi bring their talent every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights at Luxor’s Tacos & Tequila. Former break dancer DJ Mika Gold trained at the Scratch Academy in Los Angeles, Calif. A resident DJ for TAO at The Venetian and LAVO at Palazzo, DJ Soxxi shares her unique style and flawless talent on the turntables.

Take your dancing at the clubs to another level, learn how to perfect your moves at X Burlesque University. XBU brings out your inner sexy.

Located inside Bugsy’s Cabaret at the Flamingo, XBU is open every Thursday through Saturday at 3 p.m. Taught by the talented X Burlesque dancers, you’ll learn sultry showgirl choreography and even how to apply showgirl makeup on yourself. After completing the 75-minute class, XBU students receive a complimentary make-up kit, professional souvenir photo and a XBU diploma.

If you’re here for a bachelorette party, keep the dancing coming along with Stripper 101 classes inside Planet Hollywood, available daily at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., with an additional 6 p.m. show on Friday and 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Miguel performs at JET at the Mirage Friday, Feb. 25 and electro DJs Bart B Moore and AC Slater headline Clash Fridays at the Palms, also on Friday.

Dining

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Enjoy unlimited tapas at Johnny Smalls inside the Hard Rock.

If you’re all about deals, Johnny Smalls inside the Hard Rock serves unlimited tapas for $19.99. Menu selections
include small bites such as crispy Tater Fries and scrumptious Mac n Cheese Sliders. Others include Spanish tapas, Italian antipasti, Mediterranean mezze, Mexican antojitos, classic American starters and zesty original skewers. Johnny Smalls also features an extensive specialty cocktail list, premium beers and wines. Johnny Smalls serves up Happy Hour specials with two-for-one cocktails from Wednesday through Sunday from 5 – 7 p.m.

And if you’re planning on spending the long weekend here, it’s National Margarita Day on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Stop by Tacos & Tequila and celebrate.

Comments

Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.