Tag Archives: MJ Christensen

Another Week in Vegas: Food, Wine, Music, Fashion, Cirque

It’s been a busy few weeks. As I said in my last post, I’m continuing to enjoy Las Vegas, times 10!

Attended a great wine pairing dinner at Bratalian in Henderson. Chef Carla Pellegrino cooked a wonderful meal for guests and they were paired with wines from Envolve Winery in California. It’s former “BACHELOR” Ben Flajnik’s winery, and he was there to present and tell us about the wines. The wines were delicious. The aroma was incredible!

Singer Stephanie Sanchez entertained us, and the night was perfect. Food, wine, friends, music!

Chef Carla served us a tasty Ragu and pasta. She hand chopped 100 pounds of meat!!! You can also catch Carla on this season of Bravo’s TOP CHEF.

Envolve Wines all around the table!
Chef Carla’s Ragu
with Chef Carla Pellegrino and Ben Flajnik

On Wednesday, I hosted an annual fundraiser for “Bead For Life.” The event is put on by MJ Christensen Diamond. I hosted RUNWAY FOR LIFE at the Boca Park location. Comedian George Wallace joined in too! Cliff and Darlene Miller of MJ raffled off a donated “Hearts On Fire” pendant worth more than $4000. Tommy Bahama Town Square and Couture Bridal put on a fun fashion show!! I was happy to be a part of it.

Darlene and Cliff Miller and George Wallace

Later that week, I stopped at a new restaurant at the Stratosphere. McCall’s Heartland Grill had its Grand Opening. The restaurant served up samples of food like corn chowder, lollipop chicken wings, bacon wrapped prawns (amazing), and a tasty salad! I liked the vibe too. Nice bar in the middle with tables all around. The new restaurant is straight back through the casino. It’s nice to see the Stratosphere adding more and more new things. I will be back to eat dinner!

(We also ran into Stratosphere headliner Frankie Moreno at McCalls, his parents were celebrating their anniversary. Frankie invited us to his show, and when Frankie asks, he usually doesn’t take “no” for answer! I always love seeing the show anyway, and it was terrific as usual. Moreno has some more great things coming up!)

Bacon wrapped prawn at McCall’s Heartland Grill

Friday night, Aria unveiled its latest Cirque Du Soleil show called Zarkana. It is visually stunning, the stunts are skilled and amazing to watch (even a little bit stressful, in a good way), and the costumes are beautiful!

Like most Cirque shows, there are characters that buy time while the set changes, in this case two larger than life clowns. I enjoyed some of their banter, but I think it could tighten up a bit. I must say, it was fun watching one of the clown soar over the audience though! If you like Cirque, you will enjoy this show!! There were many celebrities on hand to watch the show as well. I saw Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul sitting front row.

Cirque’s Zarkana (before the show)
Zarkana at Aria (final bow at the end of the show)

The Zarkana after party was at Haze Nightclub. It was over the top and full of Cirque fun! I saw many familiar faces, and as always, enjoyed time with my friend Chris Saldana (looking sharp, I might add.)

It was a great night. Actually, it was a great week!

with Chris Saldana at Zarkana after party

My Week: Vegas Style (Shows, Openings, Events)

Jam packed week of fun.  Halloween week was anything but scary for me… it was really enjoyable.  Took in a bunch of shows I’ve been meaning to see and had several outings with friends.

Early in the week I had the chance to meet Carrie-Anne Moss from the show “Vegas.” She’s also known for her roles in films like “The Matrix.” She is on the cover of October’s Vegas Magazine with her co-star Michel Chiklis. Vegas Magazine threw another great party at the Venetian. It was intimate and classy.  The drinks and desserts were delicious! Moss was able to mingle with guests.

with Carrie-Anne Moss at Vegas Magazine Party


Halloween night, a few of us had planned to see “The Chippendales.” Yes we did. Our friend, Jaymes Vaughan, sings and performs in the show… he’s also on this season of the CBS show, “Amazing Race” with his friend and fellow Chippendale, James Davis. I’ve been to Chippendales in the past, but Jaymes wasn’t in the show that night. My friends Tanya and Anthony and I figured why not go on Halloween?! Okay!

Jaymes is perfection, really. He’s a ball of energy, he’s a great host, and he’s better looking than a KEN doll. What a blast we had! The Chippendales are great. Women laugh, blush, and have an unforgettable time. That’s what it’s all about!

I’m still waiting to see how far Jaymes makes it on “Amazing Race!” He won’t and can’t tell us!

Anthony, Tanya, and I with The Chippendales. Jaymes is in the back middle.

After the show, we grabbed Jaymes (who put on his “nerd” Halloween costume), and took him with us to the opening night of Bagatelle Beach and Supper Club at the Tropicana. Dylan McDermott, star of American Horror Story, was hosting the night. Anthony had a table reserved for us. We met up with other friends too. Tables, lights, costumes, white linens… Bagatelle is definitely sexy! The food was unreal too. We sat outside on the patio, it was a gorgeous night. We had cocktails and ate salad, elbow pasta, chicken, and much more. Delicious!

Bagatelle Beach and Supper Club with friends – opening night.
Inside shot of Bagatelle. (Photo Credit: Carlos Larios)

Thursday morning, I headed over to see a preview of the new Blue Man Group show at the Monte Carlo. They moved from the Venetian and are getting ready to debut their show at this property. It was a full house. We got a 45 minute show. The Blue “Men” are always entertaining. They don’t speak, but you know what they are thinking and feeling by their movements. I haven’t seen the show in years, so for me, it was completely different. The three men started off by playing with their version of the iPad or iPhone. It was hilarious. One thing that didn’t change… DON’T BE LATE! You will get called out on the big screen. The show still STOPS to brings attention to late arrivals, all in good fun!

Late Arrivals!!

The Blue Men also venture out into the audience, which is both creepy and fun all rolled into one! The end also ends with a big dance party. Balls fall from the ceiling. They light up and the audience must push them in the air. Very visual! They also added a female robot to the show. I think the new show will do well. I like that kids enjoy it too. There aren’t too many Las Vegas shows that are kid friendly.

Blue Man climbing over the seats.
Dance party!

Friday night, I had a great dinner on the patio of Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris. A beautiful November evening. That’s what I love about Las Vegas. Sitting outside even as we approach Thanksgiving. Mon Ami Gabi has one of the best locations on the strip. After that, I headed over to Bally’s to catch Taylor Hicks. The American Idol winner came to Vegas months back, and has now returned for another run of shows at the Indigo Lounge. I only caught three seasons of American Idol. Hicks’ season was one of them, he was definitely talented and entertaining. I wanted him to go all the way, and he did. I have been meaning to see the show. I love live music! Hicks didn’t disappoint. He has soul! He feels his music, you can see it in his facial expressions. The band was phenomenal too. I also really enjoyed the variety of songs he performed. He also played guitar, tambourine, and harmonica.

Taylor Hicks at Balley’s

Another busy week ahead! I’m hosting “Runway for Life” at MJ Christensen on Wednesday, November 7th. I’ll be at the Boca Park location with comedian George Wallace. Wallace will be awarding the $4750 Hearts on Fire Dazzling necklace to one lucky winner! For more details, click HERE. It’s open to the public, you just need to RSVP. It’s free and starts at 6 p.m.

Hope to see you there!