Saturday, March 19, 2011

LVW Col: Criss Angel's Show Is Better But Still Not Good

Criss Angel went on a charm offensive with certain media figures recently, inviting them to his home to schmooze in hopes of more kind press treatment. Not only was I not among them, but a couple weeks ago I was specifically uninvited by Cirque du Soleil publicists to attend "Believe" when my collaborator in the big Newsweek piece on Celine was in town to see it. It can't be that they don't trust me as a reviewer because they seem perfectly thrilled when I rave about certain of their other shows. The only conclusion is that they remain very uncertain of "Believe" and its quality even now or perhaps they're terrified of the combustible, mercurial Angel. So I bought a ticket, and here's the column that came of that. Enjoy.

‘Believe’ is a better show,
but that doesn’t mean it’s any good


I tried. Really, I did.

I tried to put everything I knew about Criss Angel aside as I sat down in his Luxor theater last weekend. Criss Angel Believe has changed dramatically since last I saw it in early 2010, and Mike Weatherford, in his Review-Journal re-review in November, upgraded Cirque du Soleil’s first headliner vehicle to a B. Gone was the borderline-racist plot that required dreadful acting by Angel and most of the outlandish and distracting Cirque costumes and imagery; this was now a wall-to-wall, straight-up Angel magic show.

So I decided it was time to give it another shot, and that’s when the trying began.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The M Resort And My 10-Year-Old Nephew

Earlier today, my 10-year-old nephew did some FriendBuzz thing where the site generated a mosaic of his "top friends" on Facebook. If you were included, as I was, you got a notification. Some little girl he knows was quite excited to have been included, see...

My nephew, however, hasn't been taught very much tact yet. So this was his response:

"I don't really talk to you." Ouch. That's perversely funny because it's just so wrong and so unnecessarily honest. I'll talk to him about the tactlessness of this, I promise.

But, again, he's 10. What if the entire (presumably adult) marketing and promotions division of a Vegas resort did essentially the same thing? They would call that the M Resort, and it would be, well, somewhat less amusing.

A listener and reader passed this along. On Wednesday afternoon, he got this:

Exciting, right? A MYSTERY BONUS on March 22 and March 29. Wheee!!! I'm sure it's big riches! Thrilling!

Except, just like Facebook's error including that girl as one of my nephew's besties, M Resort wrote back the next day with this gem:

Dear iMagine Rewards Member,

Due to some technical issues yesterday you might have received an email with the subject line "Redeem Your Mystery Free Play March 22 & March 29!" This email was sent in error and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

We do have some exciting events currently available such as our
Happy Hour 24/7 Guarantee, Basketball Madness Ravello Viewing Parties and of course our Half-Off Dining for iMagine Rewards Members who pay with their points.

We value your patronage and look forward to seeing you soon.


Nice way to treat your customers, M!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

#CelineReturns, Live! (Hopefully)

I'm going to attempt to broadcast some live scenes from my iPhone tonight via UStream before Celine Dion opens her show at Caesars Palace tonight and then stream her press conference after the show. You can watch whatever I do in the box below and/or check back between 5:30-7:30 pm PT and then again at about 10 p.m. PT if you want. Or follow me on Twitter and I believe UStream will Tweet when I begin broadcasting.

The dicey part is whether my MiFi will work at that fortified cave known as Caesars tonight. I'm sure there'll be WiFi available to reporters at the press event, but it's never clear how well that will work, either. So this could be a great big fail or totally cool. We shall see.

The Show is UP: The Caveman & The Chip Monk

Can't give too much of a prologue because I gotta take a pre-Celine nap. So here's the show. Enjoy. As always, you can click on the date below to get it to play or right-click on it to download it to listen at your leisure. Or, of course, subscribe for free in iTunes or Zune. -sf

March 15:The Caveman and the Chip Monk

A Caveman and a Chipmonk walk into a bar. Actually, they’ve never even met, but they have one thing in common: They both were interviewed by Steve last month. The Caveman is comedian and actor Kevin Burke, who has clocked more than 1,500 performances in “Defending The Caveman” first at the Golden Nugget, then the Excalibur and now Harrah’s Las Vegas. And the chip monk is the nickname earned by Arthur Nelson, the organist who has cashed in casino chips for Guardian Angel Cathedral on the Strip for decades.

In Banter: Sahara closing, Celine opening, re-reviewing Criss Angel, geocaching shut down, earth-moving extravagance ramps up, Rumor for rent and Gladys on the cheap.

Links To Stuff Discussed:

Get tickets for Defending The Caveman
See the column and pictorial about the Guardian Angel Cathedral and the Chip Monk
The Strip episode with Richard Marx
Jean Bartel podcast and Strip Sense column
VegasHappensHere.Com on Sahara closure
Dr. Dave Schwartz’s comment on the Sahara closure via David McKee’s blog
Gladys Knight is the Trop’s Celine Dion
A photo of the Alabama lady’s betting slip
Sinatra Dance With Me Extended to April
The R-J TV columnist Christopher Lawrence in the Sister Wives moving to Vegas
Spirit Air helps LA-LV flights plummeting
Rent Rumor for $13,000 the whole thing, 180 rooms
Go move earth for $400 for three hours in Vegas
Adrienne Packer’s column on the geocaching shut down along the Extraterrestrial Highway
A bill pending in the Nevada Legislature as an end-run around the federal restrictions on Web poker and gambling

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Strip is LIVE Tonight!

We are back on again tonight at 8 p.m. PT! You can watch and listen via UStream by going here:

I'm debating who we're using for our interview, so you'll have to find out by tuning in. Plus, all the banter about the Sahara closing, Criss Angel's show and a few other bits and pieces. And to make you all happy, we have a super-awesome Tourist Tip of the Week.

So join us or wait for the podcast version, probably out on Tuesday. That's your call! I'm heading out to Sam Ash at the moment to look at some new equipment. No, really. Woo hoo.