Vegas Weekender: Comedy, concerts and fine cuisine

It’s the weekend in Las Vegas and that means there’s plenty of shows, dining and nightlife to enjoy.  Whether you’re looking for comedy, fine food or concerts from the hottest music stars, it’s going on in Vegas this weekend.


Comedian, television and movie star Kevin James will entertain audiences with his stand-up routine Jan. 25 – 26 at The Mirage. The show starts at 10 p.m.

Pop superstar Lady Gaga brings her “Born This Way Ball” world tour to the MGM Grand Jan. 25 – 26. Expect to hear all of her hits like “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” “Born This Way” and “The Edge of Glory.” Showtime is 8 p.m.

Country couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill perform their show, “Soul2Soul,” at The Venetian Jan. 25 – 26. Hill and McGraw are teaming up to present a night of their hit songs and covers of other popular songs. “Soul2Soul” is the first time in six years that Hill and McGraw have performed together on stage in the United States. There are two shows nightly, at 8 and 10:30 p.m.

Rocker Rod Stewart belts out his greatest hits like “Maggie May,” “Tonight’s the Night,” “Hot Legs” and more at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Jan. 26 – 27. Show time is 7:30 p.m.


 Becca Tobin, who stars as Kitty Wilde, McKinley High’s new mean girl on “Glee,” will celebrate her 27th birthday with fellow cast members at Hyde Bellagio Saturday, Jan. 26.

 Rapper and singer/songwriter Ryan Leslie will appear at The Bank nightclub at Bellagio Jan. 25. Leslie’s songs include “Diamond Girl,” “Addiction” and “How it Was Supposed to Be.”

 Rapper T-Pain will be on hand for a special DJ set at Haze at Aria Jan. 26.

Gallery nightclub at Planet Hollywood celebrates “Playmate Weekend”  with guests Tishara Cousino, Valerie Mason and Kara Monaco on Jan. 25 and Amanda Cerny, Ciara Price and Nikki Leigh on Jan. 26.


 To kick off Bellagio’s 2013 Epicurean Epicenter series, the world will be reintroduced to Inglenook Vineyard as guests taste the legendary estate’s first vintage released since 1964, paired with the world-renowned cuisine of celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Prime Steakhouse Saturday Jan. 26. Guests will witness the culinary expertise of James Beard Award-winning Chef Vongerichten side by side with Inglenook owner Francis Ford Coppola, Estate Director Philippe Bascaules and Bellagio’s Director of Wine Jason Smith, MS.  Vongerichten will prepare a four-course dinner including spicy tuna tartare, black sea bass, crispy Wagyu beef short rib and gorgonzola fondue. Tickets are $350.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Valentino Las Vegas at The Venetian is now offering a hands-on opportunity for guests to hone their wine skills with its “Sommelier for a Day” experience. Featuring the finest wines of the greatest cellar in the United States, carefully assembled throughout the 40 years Valentino Restaurant Group has been open, wine enthusiasts can undergo this unique experience for $250 per person. Gretchen Allen, the wine director at Valentino and certified sommelier, will guide each guest through a distinctive evening at the restaurant in a one-on-one training session. Guests can expect to learn the history of wine and explore Valentino’s wine list, which features more than 2,400 selections. Guests will also learn all aspects of wine service, as well as wine and food pairing. To finish off the evening, guests will be treated to a tasting of Valentino’s most elite wines paired with James Beard Award-winning Chef Luciano Pellegrini’s cuisine.


South Point’s Pavilion welcomes Las Vegas’ annual “Diva’s Day Out” Saturday, Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. Patrons can experience the city’s largest women’s event featuring more than 100 businesses  specializing in health, fitness, beauty, fashion, motherhood, finance, education and careers. Guests will enjoy celebrity appearances by legendary musician Eddie Levert, country music star Dustin Lynch and the hot male revue American Storm. This event is free and open to the public.



It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.