Vegas Weekender: Vegas is home to great tunes and big laughs

Kung Hei Fat Choy! Vegas has been setting up to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year next week, with ornate displays throughout some of the city’s nicest resorts, most of which are already on display. Make it a point to take in some of these Chinese-inspired sights during your Vegas weekend.

The Venetian and The Palazzo have colorful Chinese New Year décor throughout the resorts, including jade, gold and red lanterns suspended in the air, fresh-cut bamboo, citrus trees and a 16-foot tall animated rabbit.

The Bellagio Conservatory features an elaborate display that follows the principles of traditional Feng Shui. The centerpiece is a 35-foot Chinese Junk Boat in the vein of 15-century fishing vessels, with a bridge leading from the boat to a Ming Dynasty-styled gazebo. The God of Prosperity welcomes visitors, bringing good fortune to all in the New Year, along with red silk Chinese lanterns and a moongate wall, complete with replica Terracotta Warriors and a horse-drawn carriage.

And of course, the Conservatory features a 12-foot rabbit, who watches over babies playing in a bamboo forest.

Crystals at CityCenter will have a Chinese New Year display up, with a giant golden rabbit that weighs 1,200 pounds and stands 11 feet tall.


"Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular" has been dazzling audiences for more than five years.

"Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular" has been dazzling audiences for more than five years.

With an elaborate 1,800-seat theater and new sets and effects to set it apart from the original production, the Vegas production “Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular” is one you don’t want to miss. The show may be at the Venetian, but with the attention to detail in the sets and the specially-built theater — with a hand-painted ceiling, plush seats and a $4.5 million chandelier as the centerpiece – you’ll think you’re in a Parisian opera house. Tickets start at $79.

If “Phantom” is too dark, “The Lion King” at Mandalay Bay is another critically-acclaimed musical on The Strip worth seeing at least once. The 1994 Disney film of the same name is beautifully adapted, with creative set pieces, costumes, puppetry, alongside inspired acting by the cast, creating a perfect illusion of the jungle in which Simba, Nala, Scar, Timon and Pumba roam in. Tickets start at $66.


You can still catch Cher’s greatest musical hits, along with her world-famous Bob Mackie-designed costumes in her show at 7:30 p.m., Jan. Sunday at Caesars Palace. Tickets start at $117.

Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne brings the “Crazy Train” to the Mandalay Bay Events Center Friday night, mixing classics from throughout his career with newer tracks from his latest album. Joining him is special guest Slash of Guns and Roses fame. The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $40.

Even though his 2010 Haitian presidential bid didn’t work out, genre-transcending musician Wyclef Jean still puts on a great live performance. Jean performs at Haze inside Aria on Saturday. The cover charge is $50 and Jean hits the stage at 10:30 p.m.

Aaron Lewis lead singer of STAIND takes the stage at 8 p.m. Jan. 28 at Aliante Station. Fans will get a chance to hear songs from his new solo country-inspired album. Tickets start at $29.

Dennis DeYoung brings the music of Styx to Buffalo Bill’s Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $32.95 and up.

Foghat rolls out some classic American rock and blues at the Orleans Jan. 29 – 30. Show time is 8 p.m. and tickets are priced from $22.

Motorhead rocks the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Jan. 29 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $30 and up and concert-goers must be 18 years or older.


Dennis Blair and Vargus Mason’s comedy will light up Brad Garret’s Comedy Club at the Tropicana all weekend long. Blair is known for combining music and observational humor into his stand-up routine and has performed with greats like Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, The Beach Boys and Tom Jones. Mason, as his nickname “the human cartoon” implies, is an animated comic who has been featured on NBC, BET, Comedy Central and Russel Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam.” Tickets start at $37.95.

Playboy Comedy Club hosts Chris Franjola, a regular on the show “Chelsea Lately,” and TV show writer whose work has been featured on “Family Guy” and more. Don’t forget to get an autograph from a Playboy Playmate! Catch Franjola tonight, Friday or Saturday. Tickets start at $39.99.

Frank Caliendo will give you a good impression. That is, he’ll give you a good impression of John Madden, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Dr. Phil and more. You can see the former “MADtv” star’s comedy at the Monte Carlo, Jan. 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $59.


The hottest go-go dancers in Vegas compete for a $10,000 grand prize at Tao a Go-Go at Tao nightclub at the Venetian. Carmen Electra hosts the party, which takes place during Worship Thursday at Tao Jan. 27.

CLASH Fridays at Rain nightclub at the Palms is an integration of sound, image and dance. Richard Vission spins on Friday, Jan. 28.

The Playboy Club at the Palms hosts the Miss Playboy Club calendar model search, announcing Miss January and Miss February on Jan. 27 at 10 p.m. A winner is chosen each month to be the face of Playboy Club in the following month’s advertising campaign.