Claire Voyant  

  
ON HER SOAPBOX  


May 18, 2015


We recently encountered a situation at a Las Vegas property that we find, not only disturbing, but also unbelievable. Apparently, the powers that be at the Tuscany Suites and Casino on East Flamingo aren't aware that this is a 24-hour city, where hospitality and top service should be of primary concern. In our almost 39 years as a Las Vegan, the Tuscany is the only hotel in this city we have ever heard of that CLOSES their valet parking at night!!! Yep. That's what we said. Guests who valet park at the Tuscany have no way of knowing about this strange policy until they go to pick up their vehicle after 1 a.m., only to find the valet booth dark and a very small sign on it saying VALET CLOSED. This hotel casino closes their valet for hours during the late night/early morning, leaving guests stranded, in a possibly dangerous situation and, depending on the time of year and weather, uncomfortable. We have used valet at the Tuscany many times, and have never seen signage warning potential customers of this unusual policy, nor did any hotel employee ever mention that, depending on the time, we would not be able to pick up our car where we left it. For those checking in or out of the Tuscany and dealing with luggage, or those with mobility equipment, this is more than just an inconvenience. It can be a major problem. It took almost a half hour for security to bring one car to the front of the hotel. The man had no idea what to do with the electric scooter that had to be put in the trunk of that vehicle. Since the incident on the 19th of April, we have made numerous attempts to talk to Tom Guth, the General Manager at the Tuscany. He never took the calls or returned the messages left for him. We were told, by someone speaking on his behalf, that he doesn't get involved "in situations like this." We have to wonder, just what situations he DOES get involved in. This same woman told us that the Tuscany was "incapable" of providing 24-hour valet service. Can't understand why she was highly insulted and offended when we told her she sounded like an idiot. Here's a thought. How about interviewing Dan, the now out-of-work, polite and efficient, former late-night valet attendant who worked at the Riviera until May 4th when the 60-year-old Strip hotel closed?
There are some reasons to patronize the Tuscany - good entertainment (Nik at Nite and company, Kenny Davidsen and other talented people), and some nice dining options - but if you depend on valet service, unless they correct this serious parking issue, some patrons may choose to go elsewhere. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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Deana Martin

Following her recent engagement at Herb Alpert's Vibrato Grill Jazz in Bel Air, California, here is part of what James DeFrances of the International Review of Music website wrote of Deana Martin's show. "Perhaps we should be referring to her as the "Princess of Cool." Last Sunday night, singer Deana Martin, daughter of the original "King of Cool," Dean Martin, appeared at Herb Alpert's Vibrato Grill Jazz...etc. in Bel-Air. It was an evening of musical enrichment, great food and big smiles. The adoration Deana's fans have for her is unmatched by most other performers. At times throughout the night it seemed like a love-fest more than a concert! But Deana has a thorough understanding of what presenting a well-balanced show entails, and therefore she gives the onlookers metered doses from her figurative pyramid of entertainment. Whether it's singing a song, telling a joke, recalling a story or providing commentary for her photo and video presentation, Deana is in complete control. The room was full of friends, family, and legends of Hollywood's golden age. Although it was an evening of classics and standards from the Great American Songbook, Deana has a knack for making something that's very vintage into something entirely current. She also performed an abundance of her father's songs, much to the delight of the audience, but she placed a very evident "Deana Martin" watermark on the tunes. Deana is sprightly, full of youth and a genuinely nice person to strike up a conversation with. Match this with her concise phrasing, great pitch and superb resume and you have a winning trifecta. Hey, maybe it runs in the family!"
Joe Wilhelm of Beverly Hills' Canyon Hills newspaper had this to say about Deana's Vibrato Grill gig. "Deana Martin Doesn't Break The Ice, She Melts It. She predicted that there would be an "instant click" when she took the stage. Within seconds of her father introducing her by way of video to the crowd, the performer proved prophet, as the crowd erupted in applause and gave Martin the hometown welcome she'd expected. The show took on a feel of intimacy between performer and audience, crumbling the wall of celebrity so often created at concerts. Sunday night, Martin and company repeatedly connected with an audience that was engaged and flattered throughout." On Friday, May 29th, through Sunday the 31st, Las Vegas audiences will be able to experience Deana Martin and Big Band Swing in the showroom at the South Point. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30, $35 and $40, plus taxes and fees. Go to the South Point Box Office, or call (702) 796-7111 or (702) 797-8055 for reservations. See you there!

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Other upcoming things that will be happening around Las Vegas include the May Composers Showcase, taking place on Wednesday, the 27th. Presented by PK Music and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, this month's Composers include Rocco Barbato, Dian Buckley, Vita Corimbi Drew, Martin Kaye, Christopher Lash, Jeff Leibow, Jeff Neiman, Richard Oberacker, Matt Pace, Jolana Sampson, Kashena Sampson, Matt Taylor and Keith Thompson, who also serves as host. The Performers are Aaron DeJesus, Philip Drennan, Kristen Hertzenberg, Buck Hujabre, Lisa Orchard, Nicole Pryor, Reva Rice and Niki Scalera. Players include Gary Cordell, Tish Diaz, Larry Esparza, Joel Ferguson, Mark Ferratt, Joey Finger, Philip Fortenberry, Jess Gopen, Keith Hubacher, Steven Lee, Jim McIntosh, Keith Nelson, Kevin Stout and Tyler Williams. Shows take place at the Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz in the Boman Pavilion, 361 Symphony Park Avenue, and start at 10:30 p.m. (after theater). Doors open at 9:30. Tickets are $ $25/$20 at the Smith Center Box Office. Call (702) 749-2000 for reservations, or go online at www.thesmithcenter.com. Walk-ups welcome (if seats are still available). Cash Bar/Late Night Menu Available. Have we mentioned the Composers Showcase is one of our most favorite things to do in Las Vegas? We have not missed one in more than eight years.


Nicole Pryor

B.B. King 1925-2015

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The thrill of hearing B.B. King perform live is gone, and his guitar, Lucile, lies quiet. Music lovers around the world are mourning the death of the blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. Born in Mississippi on September 16, 1925, Riley B. King died in Las Vegas last Thursday, May 14, at the age of 89. King had been in failing health for some time. Rolling Stone ranked King No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of all time (previously ranked No. 3 on the 2003 edition of the same list). He was ranked No. 17 in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". According to Edward M. Komara, King "introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed."[ King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He was considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of the Blues," and one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with Albert King and Freddie King). King was also known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average, even into his 70s. In 1956, he reportedly appeared at 342 shows. In 1990, King was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George H.W. Bush. In 2006, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. According to details provided to The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger by B.B. King Museum Executive Director, Dion Brown, Las Vegas' Palm South Jones Mortuary will hold a public viewing of King from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday. Family and close friends will attend a private memorial service on Saturday morning at 9:30, before a public service at 11 a.m. Though details for King's funeral and burial have not been finalized, his attorney has indicated King will likely be returned to Indianola, a Mississippi town less than 20 miles from his birthplace of Berclair where he picked cotton as a boy.

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Neil Diamond & Rob Garrett

If you missed the Real Neil (Diamond, that is) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center last night, Sunday, April 17th, you may not have the opportunity to see Mr. Diamond in Las Vegas again anytime soon. That's the bad news. The GOOD news is that Saturday, June 27th, you can see Rob Garrett in his Neil Diamond - The Tribute show at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin. On Saturday, July 11th, Garrett will perform the same show at the Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, NV, and on August 19th through 23rd, Neil Diamond - The Tribute will be performed at the Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino in Laughlin, NV. July 3rd, 4ht and 5th, Rob will portray Neil Diamond in American Trilogy at the South Point Hotel Casino, where he will be joined by performers portraying Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley - thus the Trilogy.

Saturday, August 29th, it's Rob's Hot August Night at the Cannery Casino/Hotel in North Las Vegas. Lest you think that Rob Garrett only pays homage to Neil Diamond, this Friday, he performs in a 35-year band reunion of his Rock 'n' Roll Heaven at the Italian American Club. Busy. Busy.

Note: Hope you read the nice write-up by Mike Weatherford in Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal on Neil Diamond and Rob Garrett. Mike is obviously a Garrett fan!

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On Saturday, June 6th, SHARE Inc. will present Ol' Blue Eyes - Celebrating 100 Years. The evening starts with cocktails at 6. Dinner is at 7:30, and the big show starts at 9. The special guest star is Frank Sinatra Jr., who will appear at The Smith Center in Las Vegas on June 30th. Also appearing are Sandy Hackett, Yakov Noy, and of course, the hardworking, devoted SHARE Ladies, which include onetime Las Vegas performer, Annie Gaybis Byner; Nancy Gregory, who directed Nunsense in Vegas; and September Sarno, daughter of the late Jay Sarno, founder of Caesars Palace and Circus Circus in Las Vegas. The major fundraiser, benefiting children's charities, will take place on The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College for Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street. Tickets are $500 each. If you are in the area, and plan to attend, please RSVP to http://www.share4children.o rg/contact.htm by May 27, 2015. Dressy Western attire is suggested. Tickets will be held at the door.


Nancy Gregory & Annie Gaybis Byner

Brent Barrett

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We were most sorry that we could not attend Hal Prince's Broadway: An Evening In Word and Song at The Smith Center on Thursday, May 14th. With Prince's impressive musical theater credits, including his work on Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular which ran for six years at The Venetian, how could this evening have not been a memorable experience? Hal Prince has an incredible record- setting 21 Tony Awards to his credit. His extraordinary resume as director and/or producer includes many of the most ground-breaking musicals of the past six decades, from West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Follies, Sweeney Todd, and Evita, to Phantom of the Opera and a definitive revival of Showboat. His other hits include Company, She Loves Me, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He has also directed two films, Something For Everyone and A Little Night Music, as well as several operas for the Metropolitan, The New York City Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Vienna Staatsoper. In addition to talking about his career in the theater, performances of some of Hal Prince's work was scheduled to be sung by Phantom -The Las Vegas Spectacular star, Brent Barrett; Bruce Ewing, Kristen Hertzenberg and Clint Holmes, under the direction of Jersey Boys Keith Thompson.

And speaking of Mr. Barrett...He will be one of the talented cast members of Guys Sing Dolls - A Feminine Toast With A Twist of Testosterone, taking place at The Smith Center on Saturday, May 23rd. Raise your glasses, Las Vegas! The men are singing, celebrating and toasting 100 years of the American Popular Songbook, by showcasing female lyricists and songwriters in Guys Sing Dolls - A Feminine Toast with a Twist of Testosterone, for two performances, at 2 and 8 p.m., at Cabaret Jazz. The unique show, produced by Phillip Officer, will put a twist on some classics and explore many popular genres of music including songs from the movies and Broadway, Grammy-winning pop tunes, Country, Jazz and Inspirational standards, performed by some of the best male singers from Broadway to Las Vegas. The extraordinary lineup of acclaimed vocalists, who all had input in the song selections, include Olivier Award-nominee, Brent Barrett, best-known to the Vegas audiences as the "Phantom" in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, as well as Billy Flynn in Chicago: The Musical on Broadway; Benjamin D. Hale ("Johnny Cash" in Million Dollar Quartet at Harrah's); Carnell Johnson ("Javert" in Les Miserables at UNLV); acclaimed singer/songwriter and Vegas favorite, Christopher Lash; and, New York Nightlife Award- winning vocalist and recording artist, Mr. Officer, who was also featured on Broadway in the original Side Show. These acclaimed voices will add their own twists to some of the best songs by your favorite female songwriters, including Peggy Lee ("It's A Good Day"), Carole King ("Beautiful"), Adele ("Rolling In The Deep"), Cyndi Lauper ("Time After Time"), Joni Mitchell ("Both Sides Now"), Marilyn Bergman ("The Windmills Of Your Mind"), Dolly Parton, Dorothy Fields, Betty Comden, and others. Journey through the decades, as popular music evolves and women step into the spotlight to have their voices heard. Of course no evening of music would exist without an amazing band. Joining the great singers and writers will be musical director/piano recording artist, John Boswell, and guitarist, John Wedemeyer, both highly acclaimed in the world of music and cabaret. Rounding out the musicians will be Steve Flora (Bass) and Jess Gopen (Drums). Guys Sing Dolls - A Feminine Toast with a Twist of Testosterone, will perform two shows at Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Avenue in downtown Las Vegas, Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 23rd. Performance times are 2 and 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $35 - $40. To purchase, call (702) 749-2000, or visit www.TheSmithCenter.com.



Puppetry of the Penis

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We love this city, sometimes called The Entertainment Capital of the World, and hate to see anything fail. Did a show called Duck Commander Musical, based on the TV series, Duck Dynasty, ever stand a chance of succeeding in Las Vegas? We think not, and said so. Barely a month after its opening at the Rio on April 15th, Duck Commander Musical has closed. The show's final performance in the Crown Theater, was on Sunday, May 17. According to media maven, John Katsilometes, the production sold fewer than 100 tickets per show since its debut last month. The only thing that comes as a surprise to us is that the powers that be, not to mention the investors, thought the Duck Commander Musical would be a good fit for Las Vegas. Who decides these things anyway?

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In the meantime, producer Dick Feeney's MJ Live, which, along with The Rat Pack Is Back, lost its home at the Rio when the Duck Commander Musical took over the Crown Theater, is doing great business at the Stratosphere. That is good news.

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Perhaps a show based, not on a redneck family who makes duck callers, but on penises, can succeed here? Could/would anyone make up a show based on men's organs, especially in a city like Las Vegas? It's hard to believe it's taken Puppetry of the Penis nearly 17 years to find a home here. The Australian private parts performance art show arrived April 14th, most appropriately at Harry Mohney's Erotic Heritage Museum, a 24,000-square-foot ode to all things sex and love. "Finally we will bring our art form to Las Vegas," creator and producer Simon Morley says in a press statement. "It was great to play New York, London and Paris, but 'Sin City' is truly where we belong. Vegas loves penis." Puppetry of the Penis celebrates "the Ancient Australian Art of Genital Origami," as its creators say. In other words, two naked male performers stretch, pull, yank and squish their manhood into 40 "installations," such as The Pelican, The Windsurfer, The Eiffel Tower, The Loch Ness Monster, and their signature creation, The Hamburger. (Our imagination is running wild!) "'Puppetry of the Penis' is a show for every male who ever played with it (and, guys, we know who you are) and every female who ever wished it were more, well, decorative (fess up, ladies)," quipped Los Angeles Times writer, Lewis Segal, when the show came to L.A. in 2002. The puppet masters plan to perform Tuesdays through Sundays inside The Jewel Box at the Erotic Heritage Museum, located at 3275 S. Industrial Road, right behind the Fashion Show Mall. Naturally, this show is for adults only. Tickets start at $49. For more info, contact Harry Mohney's Erotic Heritage Museum, at (702) 794-4000.

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It was a full house in the lounge/restaurant at the Italian American Club on May 6th, as many Vegas entertainers turned out to see and hear vocalist Renee Hale, backed by Mike Shane on piano and Mike Candito on drums, and/or to join them on stage during their show. We saw many familiar faces and heard many familiar voices. The Who's Who of showbiz, on and off the stage, included Tom and Joni Petit Illi, Janice Sands, Dan Ellis, Rob Garrett, Mark Barrett, Frankie Scinta, Joni James, Jessica Marciel, Robert George Allen, Mary Ball, Steven Lee, Brenda Leonard Cowart, Jay Colica, Tom and Tish Amador, and Michael T. (Tramontana). A very special performance featured a reunion of members of the popular vocal group, Chazz, including original members Danny Calico and Corky DiFini, plus Dolly Coulter and Russine Zellner rounding out the quartet. Chic singer, and original Chazz member, Diane Ellis, visiting from the Boston area, also graced the enthusiastic audience with some of her great vocals. "Another amazing night at the Italian American Club," says the talented and personable Ms. Hale. "The talent was off the charts! Loved hearing all the wonderful singers and musicians as well as Chazz's fabulous vocal harmonies. Special thanks to all who came by. So many dear friends in the audience who rarely miss a performance. The joint was jumpin'!"


Here's To the Ladies Who Lunch

The following Saturday, a group of Diane Elliis's friends got together at TGIF for some girl talk, lunch and laughs. Diane is not only an amazing talent, she is funny and a genuinely great person. She is much missed in Las Vegas.

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On Wednesday, June 17th at 8 p.m., The Vegas Voice and the Las Vegas Showbiz Network will present tribute artist, Denise Rose, in Judy Garland Returns to Vaudeville! at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara. Scheduled to appear with Ms. Rose are Ned Mills, Kellie Wright, Martin Mancuso, Candi Caroline and Jesse Bolero. Tickets for Judy Garland Returns to Vaudeville! are $25. For reservations, call the IAC at (702) 457- 3866.


Denise Rose as Judy Garland

Suzanne Somers

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Here's another idea we are questioning when it comes to a long-term deal. Suzanne Somers, best remembered for her role as Chrissy on the TV series, Three's Company, will launch her nightclub act, Suzanne Sizzles, on May 23 at The Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, formerly known as the International, Las Vegas Hilton and LVH. Somers has written 25 books, starred in two hit TV series, developed a highly successful and extensive branded product line, and lectured on a new way to age in the U.S., Western Europe, and Canada. She is also a health advocate and entrepreneur. The cabaret venue, where Somers will perform, formerly known as the Shimmer Cabaret, will be renamed Suzanne's. It has been 25 years since Somers headlined in Las Vegas. For this booking, she is scheduled to perform for 28 weeks through May 2016. In Suzanne Sizzles, Somers will be accompanied by her band in an intimate and elegant setting with cocktail seating. She will be singing from the Great American Songbook with a goal of transporting the audience to the era of the Rat Pack days. Suzanne Sizzles, a 70-minute show, will be performed five days a week, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m., (dark days vary; check online for complete schedule). General Admission ($65 plus tax and service charge), VIP ($85 plus tax and service charge), Ultra VIP: $350 includes Meet and Greet reception with Suzanne after the show (includes tax and service charge). Ages: 12+.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino Box Office at (800) 222-5361, or online at www.westgatevegas.com. For more information or to book accommodations, call (800) 732-7117. We are hoping this doesn't turn out to be Suzanne Fizzles, instead of Suzanne Sizzles.

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Father's Day at Nevada Veterans Home

Father's Day is on approach (June 21st). On that Sunday, there are certain givens - Hallmark will sell lots of cards, men's clothing stores will ring up more ties than usual, dad will get to control the remote from his favorite chair, lines will be long at steak houses, and, in Southern Nevada, a cadre of caring individuals will make their annual pilgrimage to the State Veterans Home in Boulder City. About a decade ago, publicist/writer, Norm Johnson, and international entertainer/humanitarian, Nelson Sardelli, attended a meeting at the Veterans Home, where they learned that the facility was looking for some Father's Day entertainment for the home's residents. As Sardelli says, "The rest is history." For the past number of years, a group of dedicated Las Vegas performers (and maybe even a few from Arizona and places beyond) have offered their talents and time to answer the call. Sardelli, a long time Las Vegan, brought the idea to his fellow entertainers and the response from the show business community has been commendable. A large number of musicians, singers, comedians, magicians, technicians and volunteers (usually more than 40), jump at the chance to spend a few hours with our local heroes who reside at the home. Some of the generous entertainers and volunteers who have made the trip to Boulder City over the years include (in somewhat alphabetical order) Marty Allen, Johnny Amato, Peter Anthony, Pete Barbutti, Charlie Callas, Karon Kate Blackwell, Dennis Blair, Dennis Bono, Lorraine Hunt-Bono, Gordie Brown, Paul Campanella, Craig Canter, Don Ciricillo, Joseph Donato, Dondino, Diane Ellis, Vince Falcone, Renee Hale, Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, Roy (Willie) Hammock, Joni Illi, Dr. Wilfred Krom, Jerry Lopez, Nik Mastrangelo, Michaelina Bellamy, Mundane the Grate (Jac Hayden), Rich Natole, Linda November, Gary Olds, Peter Pavone, Babe Pier, Carme Pitrello, Cork Proctor, Charly Raymond, Dr. George Ritter, Ronnie Rose, Steve Rossi, Don Sacco, Bob Sachs, Artie Schroeck, Frankie Scinta, Charlie Shaffer, Felix Silla, Larry Taylor, The Great Tomsoni & Company (Johnny & Pam Thompson), Lou Toomin, Allen Tramont, Fielding West, Nathan Brian Wine and more. "When the tradition began, the show was held outside with temperatures in the 100s. For the past few years, an indoor space in the common area is transformed to accommodate this very popular and uninterrupted "extravaganza," sys Sardelli. If you are an entertainer who would like to take part in this year's show, here are the details: The home is at 100 Veterans Memorial Blvd. in the city by the dam. Showtime is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nelson stresses that this is definitely not a career move. "We will need just a few minutes from each performer. Egos must be left at home. Kindness is not an action...It is a way of life." To participate, email Nelson at NSARDELLI@AOL.COM. To contact the State Veterans Home in Boulder City, call (702) 332-6864.


Robin Leach

And speaking of Nelson Sardelli (and we often do), he tells us that Robin Leach, host of TV's Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, that aired in syndication from 1984 to 1995, will be the guest speaker at the June 12th F.I.O.R.E. luncheon. To accommodate Mr. Leach's schedule, the F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) meeting, usually held on Thursdays, will take place on Friday. The group meets at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Cost for the delicious buffet lunch is $25. The entertainment, including music by Gary Anderson & The Malcontents, the 50/50 prizes, fun giveaways and camaraderie are a bonus. Widows of past F.I.O.R.E. presidents (all the male members are presidents) are always guests of the non-club club. Reservations are a MUST. Contact F.I.O.R.E. at nonclubclubfiore@aol.com.

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Are we the only one who picked up on some misleading information in a full-page/color ad on page 9A in Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal? In a section of the advertisement, touting the property's "ALL NEW" Guest rooms and suites, over 280 new slot and video poker games, premier sports bar, and the grand opening of a Subway," this joint, which we won't name, claims they have "The Only Breakfast Buffet on the Boulevard." When folks think of a Boulevard in Las Vegas, they usually think of Las Vegas Boulevard, otherwise known as the Strip. Most interesting is that this property, which we consider to be the worst run hotel casino in the city, is NOT on THE Boulevard. It isn't even close, unless you are talking of Rampart Boulevard. And, even then, the place is located in Summerlin, on Alta NEAR Rampart. Oops. Did we give away which property we are referring to? Shame on us.

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Mariah Carey

Most folks familiar with Las Vegas entertainment know of Frank Marino and his Divas Las Vegas production, currently playing at the LINQ (formerly known as the Imperial Palace and then The Quad). Recently, this city has added a number of other Divas to the mix - these with well-known international names, such as Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, and the soon to return to the stage, Celine Dion. Can trouble be looming? A few weeks ago, Britney took a tumble on stage during a dance number, and only a week into her new residency gig at the Caesars Palace Colosseum, Mariah has already called in sick (bronchitis) and canceled at least one show. Some news sources claim Ms. Carey was not quite prepared for the rigors of an ongoing show and needed more rehearsal time. Other sources say the cancellation was due to slow ticket sales. Hmmm. Do we smell problems on the horizon when it comes to Diva "Mimi" (or should it be MeMe) Carey?

Speaking of Divas Las Vegas, one of the show's longtime cast members, Larry "Hot Chocolate" Edwards, who portrays Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, and a very funny Beyonce in the Divas show is a pro when it comes to publicity. If there is an event, and a camera within sight, chances are you can find Proud Larry in the area. He has shown up on pages of local newspapers (often on the front page) and in magazines far and wide, in connection with the annual Great Santa Run, the Michael Jackson auction, the Liberace Museum closing, the recent closing of the Riviera Hotel, plus numerous other events. Larry is a publicists dream!


Larry "Hot Chocolate" Edwards

Mac King at age 6

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Harrah's Las Vegas headliner and comedian-magician, Mac King, is celebrating "National Plaid Day" by inviting plaid- loving guests in for a special deal. On Tuesday, May 19, The Mac King Comedy Magic Show will offer a free ticket to anyone that shows up wearing a plaid shirt at the 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. shows. The Mac King Comedy Magic Show has delivered non-stop laughs and dazzling magic to audiences of all ages at Harrah's Las Vegas since 2000. King's contract was recently extended through 2019, which will give him 19 years at the hotel making him the longest running magician working at one hotel. "As everyone knows, I have a penchant for plaid," says King. "I also have a deep fondness for my fans who are truly amazing. I am inviting fans to come to Harrah's Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 19, wearing a plaid shirt for a complimentary ticket is my way of saying thanks to those who support comedy, plaid and magic in the afternoon." Known as Harrah's "Man in Plaid," King has worn a plaid suit more than 7,800 times while performing The Mac King Comedy Magic Show. In his show, King quips that his suit used to be his grandpa's suit a true story. When King first started performing magic, he would borrow suits from his grandfather's attic. These days, King has his suits created by Margaretrose Custom Clothing Design out of Los Angeles. Even at a young age, King was "mad for plaid." The earliest sighting of him in a plaid suit was at age 6 (see accompanying photo). One of today's brightest and most talented magicians, Mac takes the stage twice daily, Tuesdays through Saturdays, at Harrah's Las Vegas Casino & Hotel. The Mac King Comedy Magic Show is performed at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Showroom Theatre. Tickets start at $29.95 plus tax, and may be purchased by calling (855) 234- 7469, or by visiting www.harrahslasvegas.com. Now in his 15th year of headlining afternoons at Harrah's Las Vegas, comedy-magician Mac King captivates audiences as he casts out a fishing line over their heads and catches live goldfish out of mid-air, performs amazing sleight-of-hand, makes his head completely disappear in a paper bag, and renders himself invisible, all while remaining unbelievably funny. Because of his quick wit and extensive audience interaction, no two shows are alike. Sought after worldwide, King has made television appearances on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and all five of NBC's "The World's Greatest Magic" TV specials. King is consistently praised by fellow magicians. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Teller, of Penn & Teller fame, called King "The best comedy magician in Vegas. He'll fool you with his fantastically original tricks..." His numerous accolades include "Best Las Vegas Show" in the 2012 About.com Reader's Choice Awards. Las Vegas Review-Journal named his show the "Best Bargain Show" for 10 straight years (2003-2013), "Best Family Attraction" in 2012, and "Favorite Male Las Vegan" in 2008. In 2011, he was deemed "Best Strip Headliner" in the Las Vegas Weekly's "Best Of" Awards. King also has been voted as Magic Magazine's "Funniest Act in Magic," the World Magic Awards' "Best Comedy Magician" and Magic Castle's "Magician of the Year." Tickets for Mac King at Harrah's start at $32.95, plus tax and fees. For reservations, call (702) 369-5111.

Personally, we love Mac King, both as an entertainer AND a human being. He is always available to lend a hand for a worthy charitable cause, especially when it involves young people and reading.

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