Access Vegas Insider Vibe – January 24, 2001

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This Issue: Melinda – The First Lady of Magic

Curious about a show, restaurant, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at:



EDITORS NOTE: It has been a generally quiet week leading up to Superbowl weekend, although an entertainment convention and athletic gear convention (both closed to the public) have brought more star sightings then usual.

The word on the Superbowl is to bet the “under” (wagering that the combined scores of both teams will be under a certain number). With rain predicted all weekend, it will be a good time to be indoors watching the game. We have the updated list of hotel Superbowl parties linked this week.

Finally, we are proud to add CompuBank to our list of advertisers. FDIC insured, access 24/7, interest checking, and free online bill paying saves you time and money. Link toward the end of this issue.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

WHO, WHAT, WHERE – A couple of writers from the UCSD Guardian came up with a great, compact list of most of the major Las Vegas casinos and what each offers to do and see. Good one to print out before you next trip at

HOWARD STERN – will be taping his Monday morning show live at the Hard Rock casino following the SuperBowl (Sunday night). E! Entertainment television will also be shooting it for future use, and Hard Rock employees featured in the upcoming April issue of Playboy are expected to be on hand.

Howard has experssed a desire to place a $1 million bet on one hand of Blackjack, but with no takers so far. Where are (former Binion’s owner, now deceased) Benny Binion and (former Vegas World owner) Bob Stupak when we need them? Both of those men would take just about any bet at any time, especially when it brought that kind of publicity. Story at

MGM MIRAGE – has postponed their plans to turn the Holiday Inn Boardwalk into a Generation-X casino. The original idea was to have a high tech hotel-casino to appeal to the newly “dot-com” rich and those who have grown up with new technology. Instead, the company will focus on an Atlantic City casino they are building. Story at

WIND FARMS – This is a little off topic, but interesting given the power shortages plauging California: The Nevada Test Site, 65 miles north of town and once the home of nuclear bomb testing, is going to be the new home for the nation’s second largest electric producing wind farm. When completed in 4 years, it will generate enough juice to feed 160,000 homes. Full story at

$25 HOTEL REBATE — you pick the hotel! Our partners at Hotel Reservations Network are giving you $25 back on any 2+ night stay in Las Vegas or any major city they reserve. Claiming your cash is simple:

1. Print out:
2. Book a room online at
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SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Folies Bergere –

SHOWS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at

SuperBowl – More hotels have listed their SuperBowl parties. List at

SHOWS AND HEADLINERS – listings available at
CONCERT – listings available anytime at

DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarentee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Golden Steer (near Sahara) –
* Olio! (MGM) –

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Thursday – 54/40 Mostly Cloudy
Friday – 53/34 Partly Cloudy
Saturday – 54/34 Showers
Sunday – 57/34 Rain
Monday – 56/32 Scattered Showers

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FEATURE STORY: Melinda – The First Lady of Magic

Las Vegas has it all: exploding volcanos and pirate battles right on the street, German guys with white tigers, famous headliner entertainment, and now for the first time in some 5 years, the most-publicized female magician in the world.

I first saw Melinda play downtown at the Lady Luck almost 7 years ago. The room was packed, the price was right, and and it was a nice entertaining mix of basic magic and Vegas “show and dance”. Melinda has spend the past few years in locales ranging from Atlantic City to Branson and recently brought her show back to Las Vegas. She grew up here, and worked as a dancer in Siegfried and Roy along her way to showroom stardum.

Melinda’s 90 minute show is really the tale of two shows. The first part relies and reflects heavily on here older material, much of which she has been doing for years. Unfortunately, it comes off a little too cheesy and fluffy, with the dance numbers almost overshadowing the magic and not letting the crowd get into a dramatic mood needed to thrououghly enjoy the illusions. That is unfortunate because the magic, while standard magic show fare, is well done including levetation, mid-air vanishing, and reappearing in the back of the showroom.

About halfway through the show, we are given a change of pace with a 15 minute performance by 3 Argentinian’s who demonstrate talent and humor with traditional drum playing and bolo ball displays. One of the unfortunate aspects of an early show (this one started at 6:30 PM) is that the crowd isn’t in the late night party mood (i.e. 5 drinks into the night), but they really brought the crowd to life and it was a good warm-up for the bigger illusions.

The second half brought out the showstoppers. A full sized Lamborghini was suspended above stage and a number of audience volenteers were invited on stage to verify that it was a very real car. After the car was draped and reved to “200 miles an hour”, it simply vanished out of thin air. The other truly memorable illusion is her Drill of Death, where a huge drill screws through her body and lifts here high in the air.

Melinda has come a long way, both with her magic and now performing in the beautiful C2K showroom of the Venetian. There truly isn’t a bad seat in the house. If there is one drawback, the show is almost as much Britney Spears as it is spellbinding magic. Melinda could easily pass for the pop singer’s older sister, with her beauty, obvious devotion to fitness and dance, and bubbly personality . Unfortunatly, it is a thread doesn’t completely go away even during the most serious of illusions when we need to be biting our nails.

Overall, it is an enjoyable show combining magic flare with the dance numbers one expects out of a traditional Las Vegas show. Melinda is very personable, quick with wit and laughter, and interacts with the audience very well. The show leaves you with a nice, warm feeling. Although Melinda and her dancers wear some very “body conscious” outfits, the show contains no overt sexuality and is very suitible for children.

Melinda, First Lady of Magic plays every evening but Wednesdays. Show times vary by day of the week, but are in the early evening. Tickets run from $38 – $88, with childrens tickets (under 12) $22. Call ahead to the Venetian at (702) 414-1000 and ask for the box office to confirm times and prices. The show is selling pretty well, so reservations are suggested.

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Janene Bahr of Moorestown, NJ wrote:

>Hello hello from cold and rainy New Jersey!!
>I must reply in reference to this issue’s feature story on De La
>Guarda.á My best friend Jen and I were in Vegas last month for our
>bi-annual trip.á We were indecisive as to which show we were going to
>see, and which show was even available at the time.á We just happened
>to be in the Rio feasting at their fantastic buffet, when we noticed
>all the signs for De La Guarda.á We went to check it out and bought
>tickets for that night on a whim.á We had no clue what to expect and
>we were totally in for a spectacular show!!á It was incredible.á The
>drama, the music, the skill of the actors was amazing.á It truly was
>like a roller coaster ride from start to finish.á We got rained on, we
>got hugged and we danced and jumped around and played with the
>balloons.á I really can’t say enough about the show.á On piece of
>advice: dress down.á Wear jeans because you will get wet if you choose
>to participate in the show.á Let loose and have a fantastic time!
>Thanks for the newsletter Ted!

Nita Vandermark wrote (about De La Guarda):

>Experienced it.á Save your $’s.á Standing for 90
>minutes with loud noises and eery, creepy wet people
>meandering through the crowd and pawing some of the
>attendees, or being grabbed by bungee jumpers and
>wisked up and away.á Not my idea of a LV “show”.

I printed both of the above letters to demonstrate the range of opinions regarding De La Guarda. It is not a typical Las Vegas show in any respect, but more of an experience. As we noted in last week’s review of the show (archived at ), “While not sexual in nature, it is primal and stretches your imagination. It is for the young or young at heart and requires an open mind.” Jubilee or Folies Bergere is more in order for someone interested in a typical Las Vegas show.

Sarah Swain wrote:

>Having visited Vegas twice, the last time being at Christmas, it is
>great to receive all the latest news about the place, if not a little
>depressing that I’m not there!
>While I was there I went to see David Copperfield at the MGM, on
>Christmas eve.á It was completely amazing.á Even more thrilling was
>the fact that I was picked from the audience to take part in the show!
>Don’t know if you’ve seen it, but he changed the color of my pants
>with another girl!!
>Being a Journalism student, here in England, I was wondering if I
>could write a review for the page, and add to it my experience.
>(though I can’t tell you how he did it as I had to sign a secrecy
>contract!) – or maybe you are going to review it?
>Viva Las Vegas!

As we note at the end of this section, guest article submissions are always welcome. It doesn’t hurt to ask ahead of time as this newsletter has a pretty narrow focus (we cover very little that isn’t on the Strip or downtown, and only review regular or recurring shows and events). While we don’t provide compensation at this time, we do give you full credit if used.

Cheryl Hopkins wrote:

>I came on holiday last June to Las Vegas and had a
>fantastic time. I stayed in Caesars Palace which was great
>we also saw Gladys Knight she was very good. We only
>stayed for five nights so we had to see as much as we could
>in that time, saw all the entertainment out side many of the
>hotels on the strip the best one being the fountains at the
>We are coming again for two weeks in September this year
>and i cant wait…

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional). Also, guest article submissions are welcome with full credit to you, your website, etc., if accepted.



ONLINE POLL – What most influences which Las Vegas hotel you stay in? Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published in two weeks!

Results from last weeks poll “If money were no object, which high end show would you go see?”

O 31%
Siegfried and Roy 22%
Danny Gans 18%
Blue Man Group 14%
Mystere 13%


RULES: (unless otherwise noted or link to outside contest): You may enter every contest, but only one entry to each. The 20’th entry in each contest will be the winner. Send a blank email to the specified email address — we’ll get your mailing address from you only if you win. Also, please do not enter if you have won within the past month.

Race Rock – Gives away caps, t-shirts, etc. from the Race Rock restaurant each month. Enter at and reach our Race Rock review archived at

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Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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All contents copyright MMI Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
January 24, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770

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