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February 6, 2013 | By Jay Jones
This Valentine's Day, a variety of special events in Las Vegas will cater to couples, but singles can mingle (in search of that special someone) at activities created just for them. And, on what's the busiest day of the year for marriages in the world's wedding capital, there's the chance to ditch the chapels and get hitched amid Sin City's historic neon. In search of a romantic Valentine's Day dinner? Dozens of restaurants will offer special menus. The Michelin three-star Joel Robuchon Restaurant   at MGM Grand will be offering a 13-course meal, starting with spiced strawberry gazpacho and ending with “an assortment of succulent sweets.” The “Lovers Experience” costs $435 a person.
January 25, 2013 | By Jay Jones
Las Vegas will celebrate the Chinese New Year next month, replete with dragon dances, firecrackers, fabulous food and stunning floral displays  along the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas. The fun gets underway at the Fremont Street Experience at 6 p.m. on Feb. 8. Dragon dancers will perform as virtual firecrackers explode on the Viva Vision canopy overhead. Through Feb. 10, the pedestrian mall will be alive with cultural performances and vendors selling Asian food. At 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9, a dragon dance will wind its way through the Venetian . The performers will eventually make their way to the resort's Waterfall Atrium, which is already bedecked in a colorful display featuring “Sophie Chow,” an animated, 98-foot-long blue snake that welcomes the arrival of the Year of the Snake.
January 11, 2013 | By Jay Jones
“Rock of Ages,” the Broadway musical that's also been made into a movie starring Tom Cruise, has landed in Las Vegas as the latest in a line of productions to be formatted for the Sin City stage.  Its website says the two-hour performance celebrates the "great rock music of the '80s. " It's set along the Sunset Strip and tells the tale of two young people -- Drew (Justin Mortelliti) and Sherrie (Carrie St. Louis) -- who move to Los Angeles in 1987 to pursue their dreams.
December 17, 2012 | By Jay Jones
Sugar craving or stocking stuffer? No matter, really.  Las Vegas confectioners who have whipped up holiday-themed candies are at the ready this month. Jean Philippe Patisserie in Bellagio and Ethel M Chocolates in suburban Henderson, also have displays to put you in the holiday mood. The Jean Philippe Patisserie features a variety of Santa-themed boxes of chocolates, of course, but what might put that twinkle in your eye is a nearly-life-sized sculpture of Old St. Nick that looks and is good enough to eat. The 5-foot-tall Santa, seated in his chair and surrounded by wrapped gifts, is made from 230 pounds of dark chocolate and 50 pounds of fondant.
December 4, 2012 | By Jay Jones
Wolfgang Puck, the man many credit with turning Las Vegas dining from a vast wasteland into a culinary happening, will celebrate two decades in Sin City with specials and a special appearance. Puck opened his first Vegas eatery, Spago at the Forum Shops at Caesars , on Dec. 11, 1992. To mark the milestone, Puck will spend this Dec. 11 at Spago, greeting guests, posing for photos and cooking in the kitchen. From Dec. 10-14, Spago will be offer  a “throwback” menu featuring some of his favorite dishes at retro prices.
October 31, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Las Vegas embarks on a whole new game next week when Aviation Nation rolls out at Nellis Air Force Base . Want to see a drone close up? Check out the M-9 reaper, which might even make a demo flight. Want to see your tax dollars at work? F-15 and F-16 fighter planes will be ready for inspection. The Air Force's Thunderbirds and the F-22 Aerial Demonstration team will provide the in-air festivities. The event takes place during Veterans Day weekend, a good time to tour the base and thank those who serve our country too. The deal: Admission to the air show is free; parking at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for this event and shuttles to the base also are free.
October 23, 2012 | By Jay Jones
Resorts come and go in Las Vegas , but much of the colorful signage from years past now resides at the city's newest attraction. With their countless bulbs and seemingly endless strands of gas-filled tubing, 150 glitzy signs take center stage at the Neon Museum , set to open Saturday in downtown Las Vegas. You can see more photos of the gallery here. During guided walks through the outdoor exhibit, guests come face-to-face with iconic signs from long-gone hotels that helped shape the city's colorful history.
September 29, 2012 | Chris Dufresne
Unbuckling the mailbag: Question: USC hangover? As a Stanford fan, this is painful but familiar. Alicia Dingsdale Answer: You're not kidding. Stanford looked like it spent its bye week after USC wasting away again in Margaritaville. Blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop-top, cut my heel, had to cruise on back home (to Palo Alto). Stanford played like it was sleeping off four double shots of Walt Harris with a Buddy Teevens chaser. The 17-13 loss at Washington takes Stanford football back to the discombobulated, pre-Jim Harbaugh days.
September 23, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
The Cutting Season A Novel Attica Locke Harper/Dennis Lehane Books: 374 pp., $25.99 How much do I admire Attica Locke's second novel, "The Cutting Season"? To answer that, I need to go back to her 2009 debut, "Black Water Rising," which told the story of Jay Porter, an African American attorney in Houston, a former radical in full retreat from the unresolved issues, political and personal, of his past. Set in 1981, "Black Water Rising" is nothing if not authoritative; Locke, who lives in Los Angeles, was raised in Houston and understands how the city works.
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