This blog is a three part wonder due to the immense week I have just returned from in Fabulous Las Vegas! I literally have so much to share with you I couldn’t possibly fit it all into one long post, so over the next week keep your eyes peeled for Part Two, The Reviews, and Part Three, The Food…
So starting with Part One, The Visit. I realised it had been such a long time since I had been to Las Vegas, having had several shows there over the years, and I wanted to go over and see not just all the amazing new shows, but also some of my dearest friends. Not to mention, of course, set up a few meetings about some incredibly exciting projects I think would rock Las Vegas.
We (being myself, Alana and Abi) arrived at the airport to a wonderful welcome from my fabulous friend Louanne, who I have mentioned in various blogs having worked with her for many years and is one of my closest friends. Louanne is now the Creative Director for Le Reve at the Wynn hotel, and words cannot express how proud I am of her. We all bundled into the car and headed off to our home for the week, the Bellagio, also home to the famous dancing water. We were right in the middle of the strip, and in perfect position for getting to all the different hotels and shows we wanted to see. Louanne had taken a few days off to be our chauffeur, tour guide, and serious shopping buddy as it couldn’t all be about work! Seeing as on my return to London I have so many TV appearances lined up I thought it only fitting to shop till I drop, Vegas style. We scoured every mall, outlet mall and hotel shopping centre going, and I have to say despite passing every designer label known to man, you’ll never guess where I found the majority of all my new things, Forever 21! Their store at the Fashion Show Mall is the size of a small country, and I found the most fabulous blouses, trousers, dresses and coats for what would have cost me half a pair of shoes in Prada! (Not that I’d say no to those either mind…!)
I had the most fantastic meeting with Jackie Murphy, who I worked with on EFX at the MGM Grand many years ago. Jackie designs the most wonderful costumes, and I have the most fantastic project I’m in talks about that I know his vision would just be perfect for.
Vegas would not be Vegas without catching up with my darling Jerry Nadal, who again I know I have mentioned countless times in my blogs. Jerry is one of the top dogs at Cirque du Soleil, and knows everyone and everything about shows in Las Vegas. He made it possible for us to see all the fabulous new and exciting shows over the week, but I’ll tell you more about those in Part Two. It was so wonderful to catch up with him and his partner Gene, and their two angelic twins Wilson and Harrison over a divine Valentines dinner in our own private room at the Four Seasons! You can read all about that in Part Three, but for now let me say how wonderful it was to hear all the Vegas gossip, having know Jerry for something like 20 years! He trusts me. You know what they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
I caught up with the fabulous Brian Burke, a choreographer I met quite recently, and had a fantastic time with him and Louanne sitting round a fire pit, drinking coffee and laughing till our sides hurt and discussing all the upcoming new Vegas shows.
Lastly, I had the most fantastic time with my long time friends Nick and Mary Ellen Howey, who invited us over to their beautiful home in the hills overlooking the city. With so much to catch up on the hours flew past, and having met them just after we landed I was almost asleep on my feet by the time I got back to the hotel! Talk of our many past and hopefully future shows together didn’t feel like it actually happened.
Las Vegas has changed so much since I was last there, and now getting between the hotels is easy as can be due to the new connecting walkways and monorails. The hotels we visited were Mandalay Bay, The Four Seasons, Excalibur, The Luxor, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, The Cosmopolitan, Caesars Palace, The Venitian, The Wynn and Encore, Treasure Island and The Mirage. Phew! It’s funny how Vegas looks so different with so many new hotels springing up, and yet walking into some of those places that I spent such a huge portion of my life in, just haven’t changed a bit, and all the memories came flooding back of times past. I hope you enjoy all the pictures I took of being out and about, and can’t wait to share more of my trip with you tomorrow!