October 2, 2008

O.J. Leans Against Leaving Las Vegas

By Norm Clarke

O.J. Simpson has been enjoying Las Vegas so much, he'd like to make his home here.

That's not a punch line.

The NFL Hall of Famer has been telling locals that he's considering a move from Florida to Las Vegas.

One of my spies heard him say, "I've already told my kids, if it were my choice, I'd like to move to Las Vegas."

Simpson may not have any choice in the matter of residency if his current trial goes badly. He's charged with armed robbery and kidnapping. His defense attorneys could wrap up their case today.


It's been a tough week for magicians.

Flamingo headliner Nathan Burton underwent surgery for a herniated disc on Tuesday at St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson.

He'll miss six days before returning on Sunday.

"He woke up unable to walk," said his sister/assistant Emily Burton.

The comedy magician has been involved in heavy workouts lately, she said, adding, "It's the first time he's ever canceled a show."

Concern over "Believe," Criss Angel's highly anticipated collaboration with Cirque du Soleil at Luxor, continued to swirl on Tuesday, a day after a critical story by R-J writer Doug Elfman based on fan reaction.

Las Vegas-based Richard Abowitz, who writes an entertainment blog for the Los Angeles Times, offered some analytical advice.

After watching Friday's sneak preview, Abowitz wrote that the show has "serious challenges," among them the need for Angel to deliver more personality.

While acknowledging that several illusions will be added, Abowitz wrote, "Right now, 'Believe' loses energy the moment Angel enters the mystery world of Cirque and becomes, for the most part, a spectator," instead of a compelling personality.

With another month of previews remaining, there's time for Cirque and Angel to turn it around, Abowitz said, but Angel "needs to equal his media claims that this show comes from his personality, because right now his personality is the most glaringly missing element."

New York magician David Blaine took his lumps for his bungled "Dive of Death" ABC special in Central Park.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who rarely has a bad word for anyone, dissed Blaine.

"I'm sick of him," said Cooper. "I don't get the deal. I'm sorry. They're not magic tricks."


A follow-up on that recent sighting of Michael Jackson and his three children, dining at Benihana at the Las Vegas Hilton. A spy who was walking past the private room glanced over and saw Jackson singing softly to his kids. ...

Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis is signing her new cookbook, "Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites," from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 17 at Sur La Table, inside the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood Resort. A ticket is necessary to gain access to the cookbook signing and meet and greet. Fans must purchase a copy of the book at Sur La Table beginning Oct. 1 to get a ticket to the event.


"Don't look at it as a financial meltdown. Look at it as an opportunity for us all to live together at Oprah's house." - Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or [email protected] Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com.

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