What’s hip, what’s happening, what’s going on—and what you need to know right now.
Alice, 70 Feet Tall
Disney made a cartoon out of it, Janis Joplin wrote a song about it, and now Tim Burton is bringing Alice in Wonderland back—and in 3-D.
Ninety percent of Burton’s fantastical film was shot in 2008 using green-screen technology, and audiences will be able to see it on the silver screen in standard, 3-D and oversize IMAX formats begin- ning Friday, March 5. Several midnight showings
have been scheduled for those who can’t wait to see the season’s most anticipated movie, including Brenden Theatres at the Palms, Century 16 at Santa Fe Station and Regal Colonnade (8880 S. Eastern Ave.), among others.
Burton uses actors and animation to reinvent Lewis Carroll’s most famous fairy tales, 1865’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and 1871’s Through the Looking-Glass. The updated version of the story stars Australian actress Mia Wasikowska as a 19-year-old Alice, who falls into Wonderland only to realize she has been there before, 10 years earlier. Johnny Depp rejoins the director on this project to assume the role of the Mad Hatter in a cast that also includes Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Matt Lucas and Alan Rickman.
Burton isn’t the only one revisiting Wonderland: A video game (for Wii, Nintendo DC and PCs) has just been released, as has an album of music inspired by the movie (not to be confused with the soundtrack, which is exclusively Danny Elfman’s cinematic score). The collection, Almost Alice, features tracks from Avril Lavigne, The All-American Rejects, Shinedown, Franz Ferdinand, Neon Hitch and 3OH!3 (who will be at Pure on March 13) and a compilation from bassists Mark Hoppus (Blink 182) and Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy).
The Bald and the Beautiful
St. Baldrick’s hosts three Irish-inspired events on March 6 to raise money and awareness for its worthy cause: fighting childhood cancer. The events will see more than 200 Las Vegas volunteers get their heads shaved and collect more than $80,000 from those who dared them to do it. Of the 37 teams registered, Cirque du Soleil’s team, Cirque du SoBald, is leading the way with more than $33,194 collected as of press time. While
the figure is impressive, it is still short of their goal of $50,000. Meanwhile, other leading teams include Miller Lite ($9,645), Tate Snyder Kimsey ($ 8,105), Bald Team Stations ($7,498) and International Game Technology’s
team, Bald is the New Black ($7,330). Sup- port them all—with applause, donations and a few pints—at McMullan’s Irish Pub (4650 W. Tropicana Ave., 2 p.m.), the Nine Fine Irishmen (in New York-New York, 1 p.m.) or Fado’s Irish Pub (9470 S. Eastern Ave., noon) or donate online at stbaldricks.org.
Twitter’s new holy Trinity
Welcome to the digital age of enlightenment: The Dalai Lama has opened a Twitter account. Early reports pegged his “follow rate” at five people per second and, after a week, he had gained more than 132,000 faithful Twitter followers. He opened his account three days after meeting with President Barack Obama (and enraging Chinese authorities yet again). His first post, dated Feb. 21, linked to a story about his recent trip to Beverly Hills, which included a photo of the exiled spiritual leader with CNN’s Larry King.
His Holiness isn’t the only noteworthy new member of the addictive micro-blogging community: Las Vegas’ own Oscar Goodman has a new account, too. Unfortunately, the mayor’s office says the account is a fake—so the 268 people currently following the Happiest Mayor in the Universe won’t able to track him as he pops from one martini bar to the other.
The real-life Conan O’Brien joined the discussion on Feb. 24 after holding out for months. (Yes, his account has been verified.) Perhaps he’s grown restless, post-Tonight Show, and Twitter—which rivals Facebook as “the ultimate time-waster”—was just what the former host needed.
“Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial,” O’Brien joked in his inaugural post. “Somebody help me.”
Belated-But-Grand Grand Opening
Audi Henderson waited a while—months, actually—but the owners are finally ready to cut the ribbon and throw themselves a proper grandopening celebration. The March 4 VIP event will be worth it even if you’re not in the market for a car: Several shiny VIPs will be there, including the 2011 Audi R8 Spyder, the R10 LeMans and a two-tone 1939 Audi Horch Phaeton. Also at the reception will be the vehicle that led to Quattro being banned from Sports Car Club of America racing: the 1989 Audi 200 Trans Am that Hurley Haywood drove to victory in six out of nine SCCA races in 1988. (7740 Eastgate Road in the Valley Auto Mall, 6-9 p.m.)
Zappos Hits the Books
Internet retailer Zappos already wrote one of Henderson’s biggest modern-day success stories and today the company is asking all of us to help write another tale: its 2010 Culture Book.
(Think of it as a yearbook that showcases the culture that helped Zappos reach the 23rd spot in Fortune’s list of Best Companies to Work For, peppered with pop culture references and, if you’re lucky, your photos.)
The 2009 edition, which was limited to submissions from customers, employees and partners, was so well-received that Zappos decided to open it up to the rest of us this time around. “It was really fun to see everyone’s unique ‘eye’ on the world,” the open invitation, posted on the company blog, said.
The guidelines are simple: Send images to email@example.com and see if your submission(s) make the cut. Suggestions include “something fun and a little weird,” “something that makes you smile” and “something you’re passionate about.” Note: The company isn’t interested in “dirty laundry” or “anything inappropriate”—though both of those
are up for interpretation, now, aren’t they? Oh, and nothing that’s been Photoshopped or altered beyond recognition. (Sorry, Elizabeth Taylor; apologies to Bruce Jenner’s face.) Visit blogs.zappos.com for details, submission deadline is March 19.
Forking Over the Nominations
It’s no secret that Las Vegas enjoys the best of the best that the culinary world has to offer, yet the James Beard Foundation just recognized 10 of our best chefs and restaurants with an array of prestigious award nominations. The annual honors effectively serve as “the Oscars of the food world,” according to Time, and celebrate the best chefs, new talent and other culinary wizards who work their magic behind the scenes.
Vegas Seven food critic Max Jacobson would like to see an ethnic restaurant like Lotus of Siam win this year. His wish may come true, since Saipin Chutima is nominated for Best Chef: Southwest.
Although Jacobson believes Chutima is a “really deserving chef,” the Thai cook is up against some pretty stiff competition, including Claude Le Tohic ( Joël Robuchon) and Rick Moonen (RM Seafood).
Two spots at MGM Grand—Joël Robuchon and Nobhill Tavern—are nominated in the Outstanding Service category, while other locals on this year’s short list include Julian Serrano of Picasso at Bellagio (Outstanding Chef), Vanessa Garcia of Restaurant Charlie at the Palazzo (Rising Star Chef of the Year) and Kamel Guechida of Joël Robuchon (Outstanding Pastry Chef).
Sage in Aria at CityCenter and Picasso at Bellagio round out the baker’s dozen, nominated for Best New Restaurant and Outstanding Wine Service, respectively.
Another round of nominations will be announced on March 22, and winners will be crowned on May 3 in New York.