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Smooth Sounds
Continuing a popular tradition, MAGIC International will celebrate the opening of another edition of the MAGIC Marketplace with an evening of networking, relaxation and music on Aug. 27.

Two-time Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Chris Isaak will perform for show attendees at the “Summer Serenade,” MAGIC’s opening night party at Mandalay Beach, the 11-acre outdoor entertainment venue at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. Isaak has spent nearly two decades performing his signature blend of country, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll, turning out such hits as “Wicked Game” and “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing.” His latest album, a greatest hits compilation titled “Best of Chris Isaak,” was released on May 9.

“Summer Serenade” is co-sponsored by T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and all proceeds will go to benefit Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. Founded in 1901, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles is a world-renowned teaching hospital dedicated to pediatric and adolescent health.

“This event will be the ideal finish to MAGIC’s first day,” said Christopher McCabe, vice president and general manager of MAGIC International. “Our guests can relax at the beach with unbelievable food, drinks and a soulful concert that benefits a phenomenal children’s hospital.”

Tickets are $55 and can be purchased by calling 218-740-7092. For more information, visit MAGIConline.com.

“Summer Serenade,” featuring Chris Isaak, Monday, Aug. 27, 7-11 p.m.; Mandalay Beach at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
— Michael Agosta

Movie Mania
The revamped West Wind Las Vegas 5 Drive-In offers film fans a chance to enter into an earlier era of moviegoing, but with a modern twist.

Gone are the “squawk boxes,” dirt fields and gritty screens of drive-ins past. Now, moviegoers are given a radio frequency to hear audio though their car stereos. Projectors are enhanced with Technalight, offering a picture seven times brighter than before. West Wind has repainted concession stands and added new flooring, repaved fields and repaired lighting and even fixed the original 1966 marquee.

“It’s fabulous,” said Tony Maniscalco, vice president of marketing for theater owners Syufy Enterprise, of the lighted marquee — a large, spiked ball with an arrow pointing toward the screens. “It looks like something Dean Martin should be standing under.”

This story first appeared in the August 27, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The repairs have not come at a high price to moviegoers. Tickets are just $6.50 per person for a double feature, and kids under 11 get in free. Snacks run the gamut from the usual popcorn, soda and candy to ice cream, Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and Red Baron pizza. A large popcorn costs just $4.50 and offers free refills.

Unlike many other drive-ins, West Wind plays first-run features and boasts five screens, each playing a different double feature combination. Movies are mixed to include both adult-themed and kid-friendly features, meaning families can join in the fun together. “You see a lot of kids running around in pajamas at the drive-in,” said Maniscalco.
West Wind Las Vegas 5 Drive-In, 4150 West Carey Avenue; 702-646-3565. Open daily, call ahead for movie info and show times.
— Brindey Weber

Meating House
The atmosphere might not be to Mom’s taste, but the Strip House is set to be The Strip’s favorite steak restaurant.

Centered on steak and nudes, the newly opened eatery at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas epitomizes decadence. Designer David Rockwell has created a sultry setting with deep red wallpaper featuring female silhouettes, accented with vintage seminude pin-ups and silk draperies. Red diamond-quilted leather booths and dark-stained tables are surrounded by retro lamps, hanging picture boxes and a menagerie of black-and-white photos of burlesque performers. Even the napkins are embroidered with golden figures of women.

The Glazier Group, which owns sister restaurants in New York, Houston and Palm Beach, has won many awards for its steaks, and executive chef John Schenk said the Las Vegas sibling will live up to that reputation.

Schenk said he coats the meat with a little oil and fresh ground pepper before charring it in a Montague broiler, set between 1,400 and 1,600 degrees. “It adds this whole other texture to the experience,” he said, adding that the crunchy outside and the dimension of flavor is the Strip House calling card. His favorite cuts include a 14-oz. filet ($42) and the 22-oz. bone-in rib eye ($44).

To accompany the steaks, Strip House offers sides such as Goose Fat Potatoes ($11), Black Truffle Creamed Spinach ($11) and Potatoes Romanov ($12).

Strip House, 3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-737-5200. Open nightly, 5:30-11:30 p.m.
— B.W

Beach Party
With imported lounges, lush landscaping and a sexy-looking staff, Tao Beach, which opened June 4 at the Venetian, puts the spotlight on fashion-forward sunning.

Architect Thomas Schoos, who also designed Tao nightclub, created a 16,000-square-foot beach club on level four of the Venetian Hotel, directly above Tao nightclub, which is open to both hotel guests and visitors. The club features seven luxury cabanas, 30 oversize daybeds and 100 chaise longues. Guests can enjoy poolside massages, cocktails like mojitos and margaritas ($14) and music from a state-of-the-art sound system.

The cabanas, which house 10-15 people and cost $1,000 per day, feature flat-screen TVs, iPod speaker systems and a staff to fan overheated loungers. Tao co-owner Noah Tepperberg said Tao Beach has also partnered with Xbox to offer portable Xbox game systems from August to September.

The daybeds, which cost $175 a day, accommodate four to six guests and come with a miniature fridge stocked with nonalcoholic beverages. Chaise longues are free on weekdays and $20 a day on weekends.

While the club is outfitted for sunbathers and allows topless tanning, its focus is on dancing. Even during the day, Tepperberg said Tao Beach serves as a third dance spot to Tao nightclub and the Opium Room. Guests can frolic all day in and out of the pool to music spun by an ever-present DJ. “It is relaxing, but also energetic,” said Tepperberg, “It is pretty Vegas chic.”

Tao Beach, 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-987-2222. Open daily, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
— B.W

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