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100th Sinatra birthday celebrations in Vegas

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Posted at 4:28 PM, Dec 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-02 19:28:22-05

Legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, who began performing in Las Vegas in the 1950s, would have been 100 years old on Dec. 12 and many venues on and off the Las Vegas Strip are gearing up to celebrate his birthday in the month of December.

"Sinatra 100 -- An All-Star Grammy Concert" will tape on Dec. 2 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. Confirmed performers include Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks, Celine Dion, Jamie Foxx, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Zac Brown, Usher, Harry Connick Jr. and John Legend. The two-hour special, which will feature original arrangements by Nelson Riddle and Quincy Jones, will air on Dec. 6 on CBS. The special was the idea of Tina Sinatra, the youngest of Sinatra's three children.

In addition, two special "Sinatra 100" seatings, featuring a four-course prix-fixe menu ($195), will be offered at 6 and 9 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Sinatra at Encore restaurant.

Speaking of dining, fans of Ol' Blue Eyes will want to head to Las Vegas' iconic and longest-running steakhouse during the month of December. The Golden Steer is offering a special menu dedicated to the legendary performer. The carefully selected 3-course menu was created based on what Sinatra ordered when he regularly dined at the restaurant in the '60s while performing with the Rat Pack.

The menu, which is priced at $100 per person, will feature clams casino, a New York Strip steak, bananas foster, Italian red wine and Jack Daniels, which was Sinatra's favorite drink. In addition, patrons will receive a classic Zippo lighter engraved with the Golden Steer logo and the date of Sinatra's 100th birthday and one ticket to The Mob Museum in downtown Las Vegas. Diners will also be seated in the exact same booth that Sinatra often sat in when he dined at the famous restaurant.

On Dec. 12, there will be a live performance of Sinatra classics at the steakhouse. In addition, guests who purchase the special "Frank's Menu" will receive one roll of dimes. On Dec. 8, 1963, Sinatra's only son Frank Jr. was kidnapped at Harrah's Club in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The kidnappers demanded Sinatra call them from untraceable pay phones. Following the return of his son, Sinatra began a lifelong habit of carrying a roll of dimes (the cost of a pay phone call at the time) "just in case of emergency." He was reportedly buried with a roll of dimes, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a pack of Camel cigarettes. Cost is $1,000 for a four-person reservation on Dec. 12 and there are only three seatings: 4:30, 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.  "Frank's Menu" will be available until Dec. 31, 2015. Click here to book a reservation.

The Delano's Franklin will also feature Pack-era standards on Dec. 12. In addition, they will offer "Frank's Drink" (two fingers of Jack Daniels, four ice cubes and a splash of water) in a commemorative glass for $15.

"Legends in Concert" at Flamingo Las Vegas has come up with a unique idea for recognizing Sinatra's birthday. They have introduced the "Be the Producer" interactive feature, which allows the audience to have a role in producing that evening’s show. Show attendees can access the new feature from their mobile devices at the start of the show. Guests will then select a song by Frank Sinatra and it will be sung by Brian Duprey, who portrays Sinatra in the show.

Sinatra fans may also want to check out a photo exhibit titled "Sinatra's Centennial" at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The exhibit includes 120 photos, many of which have rarely been seen, from the archives of the Las Vegas Conventional & Visitors Authority's News Bureau. The photos highlight Sinatra's generosity in the community to his legacy on the Las Vegas entertainment scene. The exhibit is free and open to the public. It ends May 31, 2016. Additional exhibits can be seen at the Clark County Library through Jan. 5 and Lloyd George Courthouse through Dec. 14.

Other places Sinatra was known to frequent in Las Vegas include Champagnes Cafe on South Maryland Parkway. According to legend, the Rat Pack and Tony Spilotro's Hole in the Wall Gang would frequent the joint and you can see photographs of Sinatra and his friends on the walls.

RELATED: Photos of Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas

In addition, Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. would also drink at Golden Gate's Casino Bar. The bar offers a vintage cocktail menu inspired by the Jazz Age and Prohibition and Rat Pack eras and there is a bar stool dedicated to the singer.

Another favorite drinking spot for Sinatra and his friends was Atomic Liquors on East Fremont Street. The Rat Pack, the Smother Brothers and Barbra Streisand (and a few more nefarious characters) would hang out at the historic spot, which got its name because its patrons used to go up to the roof of the building to watch nuclear blasts at the atomic test site about an hour north of Las Vegas. Atomic Liquors will celebrate Sinatra's birthday with a performance by a Frank Sinatra impersonator on the big day, music from the Rat Pack era on the jukebox, and commemorative bottles of Jack Daniels for sale. 

If your idea of celebrating Sinatra's birthday is getting married, you might want to do it at the Little White Wedding Chapel. Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow were wed there on July 19, 1966.

If you still haven't had enough Sinatra, there are few upcoming shows Sinatra fans may want to check out.

Pia Zadora is adding a tribute medley of Frank's songs that he used to ask her to sing to her show at Piero's during the month of December. Zadora will also be joined on stage by Sinatra's musical conductor Vinnie Falcone. Zadora performs in Pia's Place at Piero's Italian Cuisine at 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.

"The Rat Pack is Back" is presented in the COPA Showroom Theatre at the Tuscany Suites & Casino.

Matt Goss, who performs at Caesars Palace, also pays tribute to Sinatra in his show that features songs from the golden age of music and his own hits. Goss is backed by a nine-piece band, burlesque dancers and backup singers. Sinatra, who began his Vegas career at the Sands, signed with Caesars in 1968 after his relationship with the Sands ended badly.

Shows off the Strip include Frank Sinatra impersonator Gary Anthony on Monday nights at the Tap House on West Charleston Boulevard and "Shades of Sinatra" with musical director Ned Mills on Dec. 9 at the Italian American Club.

The In its Entirety concert series will also celebrate the Chairman of the Board's birthday during their show on Dec. 11 inside Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort. The show is titled "Sharing the Holidays with Frank."

The Bootlegger Bistro is planning on celebration of Sinatra at 8 p.m. Dec. 12 featuring Lorraine Hunt-Bono and friends with George Bugatti on the keyboards.

Before that, Lorraine's husband Dennis Bono will dedicate his radio show "The Dennis Bono Show from Las Vegas" to Sinatra on Dec. 10. Some of Vegas' favorite headliners will sing their personal versions of Sinatra's songs before a live audience of 500 people at the South Point.

Rich Little and Pia Zadora will perform during a Sinatra-themed benefit concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 12 at Tropicana Las Vegas. "It's a Wonderful Vegas Life" will also include performances by British singing sensation Ben Stone, 'American Idol' star Jasmine Trias, 'Jersey Boys' star Travis Cloer, the band Reckless in Vegas, entertainment Tommy Ward, Sinatra impressionist Gary Anthony and many more. Tickets are $20 general admission, $50 VIP. Free for active and retired military and first responders and anyone who brings a new, unwrapped toy valued at $20 or more. Tickets are on sale at the Tropicana box office.

Sinatra died of a heart attack at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 1998. He was a regular in Sin City until 1994, just one year before his final performance in Palm Desert, California. Sinatra and the other members of the Rat Pack were instrumental in shaping the history of Las Vegas.

Many historians have credited the Rat Pack as a significant driving force behind the desegregation of casinos in the Las Vegas valley. He and his pals also helped change Vegas' image from a Wild West town to a cool and hip place to be seen. Celebrities and royalty from around the world would come to see Sinatra perform.  He performed in Las Vegas for more than 40 years and was a major star for nearly 60.

If you would like to submit a Sinatra birthday celebration to be added to our list, send an email to joyce.lupiani@ktnv.com.