Its party time at Tahoe, celebrating the traditional opening of the winter ski season (even though the snow has been so far only intermittently cooperative). In the casino entertainment industry, this weekend generally marks the last big blast before the pre-Christmas weeks, when customer thoughts turn to gifts more than ski lifts, and to families more than slots.
At Tahoe, however, the nightclub scene should go strong through Saturday. Attendance figures (and prices) may not reach the stratospheric heights of Las Vegas clubs, but both Peek at Harrahs Tahoe and Blu at the MontBleu are regularly packed. This weekend, for example, Peek has scheduled six popular performers: DJ Keenan, DJ Leslie Perez and DJ Carisma (tonight); and Clinton Sparks, DJ Rick Gee and DJ SN1 (Saturday).
Carisma is a special guest, a star of radio station Power 106 in Los Angeles, able to spin hip-hop, old-school and electronic effortlessly when establishing just the right atmosphere to get people on the dance floor. (Doors at Peek open at 10:30 p.m.; cover charges vary according to night and time; reservations: (775) 586-6705)
The MontBleu is hosting its Fall Festival Reggae Jam Part 2 tonight with a special appearance by Black Uhuru, winner of the very first Grammy for reggae in 1985, and the group behind the landmark record Black Sounds of Freedom. (Blu Nightclub at 10 p.m.; $25; montbleuresort.com)
Electronic Dance Producer and DJ wunderkind Porter Robinson, now all of 21 and finally of legal drinking age for the clubs he plays, appears Saturday in the MontBleu showroom. He has been everywhere this year, from Bonnaroo to the Electric Daisy Festivals to Brazils X games. (9 p.m.; $35 general admission)
Other notable acts on the bill this weekend include a special appearance by Rufus Wainwright set for Saturday at Cache Creek. Wainwright is never without surprises (this is his acoustic show), having recently won a Grammy for his note-by-note re-creation of Judy Garlands legendary Carnegie Hall appearance. Hes also produced an opera called Prima Donna. Expect songs from his most recent album Out of the Game (8 p.m.; $45, 59; cachecreek.com).
The Bravest Man in the Universe is the title of Bobby Womacks latest album, and its somehow fitting for performer who has faced adversity thoughout his career and lately struggled with his health. Hes still providing solid R&B for those who need an Across 110th Street fix. Tonight at Cache Creek (8 p.m.; $55, $65, $75).
Finally, Tower of Power brings some Great American Soulbook and stage presence to Harrahs Tahoe on Saturday (7:30 p.m.; $47.30; SouthShoreRoom.com).