Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column



Displaying keen perception and great insight.  
She's a little bit naughty. She’s a little bit nice.  
She calls ‘em like she sees (and hears) ‘em.  
She’s...

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from January 28, 2011
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - January 28, 2011


Christopher Peterson as
Christopher Peterson

Kearsten Kuroishi

Frank H. Lieberman

Both Las Vegas Review-Journal theater critic, Anthony Del Valle, and Cousin Claire have been the recipients of quite a number of e-mails from unhappy mothers with youngsters who are involved in the Colabo Youth Theater. These parents all basically are saying the same thing...how much their children love Obaloc Phillips/Troy Adams (or whatever he is calling himself these days); how amazing he is; how their children have become more loving, more confident, more ambitious, better dancers, better singers, better actors;

One mother writes us that her eight-year-old daughter is changed because of COLABO, and this is why..."because Colabo provides her with a positive outlet for her overwhelming energy; because being a part of the Colabo Family has shown her the joys of being helpful and kind; because Colabo has given her opportunities to believe in herself and her ability to sing, dance, etc.; & because her experiences at Colabo are so important to her she has learned the importance of responsibility, accountability & integrity." This parent goes on to say, "My once average GPA daughter is now on the A/B Honor Roll at her school and has been for the last year and a half. She also receives the Perfect Attendance Award every single semester/term. Her last two teachers are always commenting on how helpful/thoughtful she is for them and with other students. Lastly, she has not lied to me once in 16 months (and this was a HUGE problem before Colabo)." This was the same mother who wrote that she knows that we "have a lot of hatred toward folks in the "Entertainment Business" who come out here from LA..." It is evident that she obviously doesn't read this column on a regular basis, and she definitely doesn't know anything about us (much like her lack of knowledge regarding Obaloc Phillips).

Regarding her daughter, we say all of this positive stuff is wonderful for her little girl, as well as others like her who are benefiting from being involved with a group such as this. It does not change the issues regarding the man who is running the show. He is not honest. He is hiding much about himself. He is telling the families who are so impressed with the theater group what they want and need to hear. In the meantime, former associates of Adams are still owed money; he has never returned rented costumes to their rightful Kentucky owner; he is promoting and selling tickets, through ShowTix4U.com, for The Wiz and The Patsy Cline Story "supposedly" scheduled for two weeks from today, at the Cashman Theater, although Mr. Adams has no contract with the theater, and has not paid the required deposit to secure the place (we might remind readers that Colabo's A Christmas Carol, announced with dates last month, never took place for the very same reasons). There is more, but there is no point in trying to convince the parents that the man they have put their trust in is a scam artist. They could hear the horror stories from many people, but, sadly, they will have to learn the hard way, when promises don't materialize and children wind up disappointed. We would love to be proven wrong about this man, but it will take much more than these delusional families to do that.

By the way, one of the mothers, who we spoke to for almost an hour earlier in the week, has promised to make it her job to get the Alice In Wonderland costumes back to their rightful owner. We are waiting to hear from the victim in Kentucky to see if it happens.

And speaking of the above mentioned Review-Journal theater critic, Anthony Del Valle, we think it would be fair to say that he doesn't hand out "A" ratings indiscriminately, so when Tony D. does present a production with his top grade, you know he is impressed. In Del Valle's January 25th review, Christopher Peterson, who is performing his "one man, many woman" show, Eyecons, at The Onyx in the Commercial Center, earned himself an "A," we felt Del Valle's comments bore repeating, so here, in his own words, they are..."The one-man, 90-minute "Christopher Peterson's Eyecons" begins with a standard (but accurate) Marilyn Monroe impression, complete with breathy voice, hungry lips and a sparkling, body-clinging gown. With just a slight adjustment to his spectacular blonde wig, Peterson transforms into the hearty Carol Channing, and his show gets off to a rousing start. It's clear from that clever opening that this performer knows not just his craft, but how to surprise. He never lets us down. He puts us in the mood to laugh at his Judy Garland and then throws in a moment of unexpected pathos. When Bette Davis makes her inevitable appearance, she winds up singing "The Time Warp" from "The Rocky Horror Show." And just when Liza Minnelli is getting ready for the big finish to "New York, New York," Garland suddenly appears and says, "Let Mummy take it." Peterson doesn't "become" these icons as much as suggests them. He creates their individual stage presences so that we better appreciate what made these stars unique. And, amazingly, he does all his own singing. He can match Bette Midler's belt with the same ease of Julie Andrews' sweet soprano. His between-song patter is likewise first-rate. ("How many heterosexuals in the house? Oh, I'm sorry. Well, that's all right. You were born that way.") And his too brief forays into autobiography are moving. I wanted his show to help me better know him. Best of all, the production feels seamless as it glides from song to comedy to audience chit-chat." Del Valle goes on to say, "Female impersonators are as much a part of Vegas as slot machines, but Peterson's master showmanship sets him apart. He gives the much-abused genre the respect it deserves."
Show times for Christopher Peterson's Eyecons are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. The Onyx is located inside The Rack at 953 E. Sahara #16. Tickets are $25 and $30. For reservations, call (702) 732-7225.
Note: Due to a previous Onyx booking, Eyecons will be dark next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 3rd through 5th. At this point, the show is scheduled to play through the rest of February, so plan accordingly.

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Rainbow Company Youth Theatre (an established and much respected children's theater group) will present "Sagebrush Stories" Feb. 4-13 at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center Studio Theatre. Directed and written by Karen McKenney, the enthusiastic music and fascinating stories of Old Nevada make this a fun and educational production for all ages. Veteran actors Michael Button, Michael Connally, Kearsten Kuroishi, J. Neal and Martha Watson change characters continuously at a pace that keeps the action lively and the audience entertained. Show times at the center, located at 821 Las Vegas Blvd. North, are 7 p.m. Feb. 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12, and 2 p.m. Feb. 6, 12 and 13. Adults and youth ages 12 and older interested in challenging roles in the upcoming Rainbow Company production of "Metamorphosis" may audition at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Reed Whipple center. The show is a contemporary and sometimes comedic re-telling of well-known Greek myths, scheduled for production April 1-10 at Reed Whipple Cultural Center. Tickets prices for "Sagebrush Stories" or "Metamorphosis" are $3 for children, $5 for teens/seniors, and $7 for adults. Season tickets for the company's five annual productions also are available. To purchase tickets, go online to www.artslasvegas.org or call (702) 229-6553 or (702) 229-6383. The nationally recognized Rainbow Company Youth Theatre, a program of the city of Las Vegas, offers affordable drama classes for ages 4 through 18 at Reed Whipple and at Charleston Heights Arts Center. Enrollment is open now for classes, which begin in mid-March, and for a spring break drama workshop offered April 18-22, for ages 8 through 12. The weeklong workshop costs $135 and culminates in a dramatic presentation on the Charleston Heights Arts Center stage April 23. Charleston Heights Arts Center is located at 800 S. Brush St. For more information on Rainbow Company classes, call (702) 229-6553 or (702) 229-6383, or go online to www.artslasvegas.org/classes/rcyt.html.

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The final curtain...Sadly, we have a number of deaths to report in this week's column. Longtime publicist and columnist, Frank H. Lieberman passed away in Las Vegas last Saturday morning, January 22nd, after battling a number of health issues during the past couple of years. Frank, who was 68 at the time of his death, spent many years representing such well-known names as Tony Danza, Siegfried & Roy, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Orlando and Engelbert Humperdinck. For two consecutive years, he was also the publicist for the Academy Awards. A close friend of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, Frank wore a TCB (Taking Care of Business) necklace given to him by The King himself. Frank is survived by his wife Karen, children Adam and Laura, brother Michael, and many friends and admirers. Services were held Tuesday, January 25th, at Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills, California.


Charlie Callas

David Frye

Paul Picerni

Comedian Charlie Callas passed away yesterday, January 27th, at the age of 86. According to his son, Mark Callas, the Las Vegas resident died in a local care center. The veteran funnyman worked with Mel Brooks, Jerry Lewis and was often featured on Dean Martin‘s television shows. He also regularly opened for Frank Sinatra at the singer's live shows. Callas served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and later worked as a drummer before turning to stand-up comedy (Charlie‘s son, Mark, also has a background as a drummer). The rubber-faced comic became well-known for his TV appearances, including regular slots on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Callas served as the voice of Elliot the dragon in the 1977 Disney film, Pete's Dragon, and starred in Robert Wagner's 1970s detective TV show, Switch. His last performance was a show, put together by Nelson Sardelli, at the Veterans' Home in Boulder City in 2009. Radio and television personality, Joe Franklin, said of Charlie Callas, "He looks like an imperfectly dried prune on a 90-pound frame." Charlie was married to Eve Velac and is survived by his two sons, Larry Callas and Mark, co-producer of American Superstars at the Stratosphere. Services for Charlie Callas will be private.

A few days ago, we were told by comic impressionist, Babe Pier, that he heard fellow impressionist, David Frye, had passed away. Since we had neither heard nor read that news anywhere, we went Googling on the Internet. The only thing we could find was a very brief mention on Frye's Wikipedia bio. According to the site, Frye died on January 23rd, right here in Las Vegas. This is even more odd, as Pier, who communicated with Frye on occasion, had no idea the entertainer was spending time here. (Of course, we can't always trust Wikipedia to be correct all the time. Remember, a few years ago, when the site reported that comedian Sinbad had died? That information proved to be a hoax of some kind.) David Frye, born in Brooklyn in 1934, specialized in comic impressions of famous political figures, most notably Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey and Bobby Kennedy. We will report more on this as information becomes available.

Two of the actors associated with the hit 1959 to 1963 television series, The Untouchables, starring Robert Stack as Federal Agent Eliot Ness, have died, barely more than one week apart. Paul Picerni, who played Ness' right-hand man, Lee Hobson, passed away at his home in Llano, California, on January 12th, following a heart attack. Picerni was 88. Bruce Gordon, a granite-faced, gravel-voiced character actor famous for playing heavies, most memorably the front man for Chicago's organized-crime syndicate in the 1930s, Frank Nitti, on the classic television series, The Untouchables, died on Thursday, January 20th. He was 94 and lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In a career that spanned almost four decades, Picerni appeared in more than 60 movies and 450 television shows. His best-known film character was the romantic young man in the 1953 horror movie, House of Wax, one of the first 3-D productions by a major studio. In the film, Vincent Price plays a sculptor with a wax museum in 1910s New York whose hands are scarred by fire and turns to pouring wax over people to create his works. Mr. Picerni saves the day at the end, telling the police where the deranged sculptor has imprisoned the leading lady. Among Picerni's other film credits are Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), Airport (1970), Marjorie Morningstar (1958), Torpedo Run (1958), To Hell and Back (1955), Adventures of Hajji Baba (1954), The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952) and Operation Pacific (1951). Television credits include appearances on Kojak, Mannix, Gunsmoke, Adam-12, Hawaii Five-O, Perry Mason, Rawhide, Bonanza, Zorro and The Millionaire. Paul Picerni is survived by his wife of 64 years, the former Marie Mason; three sons; three daughters; a brother; three sisters; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. In his autobiography, Steps to Stardom (2007), written with Tom Weaver, Mr. Picerni offered advice to budding actors: "Give stars their due." "Don't challenge them," he continued. "Learn from them. If they're generous to you, you be loyal to them. Don't step on their toes." With his broad, strong, slightly asymmetrical features, Bruce Gordon looked as though he had been carved from stone. His face and his voice preordained him for a life of playing tough guys on television, film and in an extensive stage career. He made his Broadway debut in 1937, playing several small roles (including that of a young street tough) in The Fireman's Flame, a musical melodrama about Old New York's rival volunteer fire companies. From the late 1940s until his retirement in the mid-1980s, Mr. Gordon made guest appearances on TV‘s I Spy, Have Gun - Will Travel, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Bonanza and Police Woman, among many other shows. In the late '50s, he was the host of Behind Closed Doors, an espionage docudrama on NBC, and, in the mid-'60s, had a recurring role on Peyton Place. He made a handful of feature films, among them Love Happy (1949), the Marx Brothers' last movie; The Buccaneer (1958), starring Yul Brynner; and Tower of London (1962), starring Vincent Price. Mr. Gordon appeared on Broadway many times. He was in the original cast of the hit comedy Arsenic and Old Lace, which opened in 1941 and starred Boris Karloff. Other Broadway credits include Medea (1949); Richard II (1951); two small roles in the original American production of The Lark (1955 ); and a featured part in Nowhere to Go But Up, a short-lived 1962 musical about Prohibition-era federal agents in which Mr. Gordon played a mobster.


Bruce Gordon

Babe Pier

Frankie Kein & Manuel Arte

And speaking of Babe Pier, it turns out that the funnyman is a favorite of Louie Anderson's. As a result, at the request of Anderson, Pier has been dropping in at the Palace Station to do some time in Louie: LOL, playing in the Louie Anderson Theater, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call (702) 547-5300.

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Reminders...
It's Rich Rizzo's Las Vegas Follies at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin, tomorrow night, Saturday the 29th, at 7 p.m. Featuring Frankie Kein and Manuel Arte, the premiere performance of The Las Vegas Follies, calling itself "The Best Ticket in Town," is pure entertainment - a dazzling fusion of music, singing, comedy and dancing. Rizzo, known for his direction and choreography of the world famous Lido de Paris in Paris, France, and Jubilee!, currently running at Bally's in Las Vegas, has gathered an impressive group of senior showgirls and dancers who light up the stage with the glitz and glamour of a true show biz experience. The production includes the exhilarating performances of internationally acclaimed impersonators Kein and Arte and their special friends Marilyn, Liza and Joel. A special tribute to burlesque features Frankie as Gypsy Rose Lee. Sensational songstress Teresa Cushman is also featured in the Follies debut. If the names Frankie Kein and Manuel Arte sound familiar to longtime Vegas visitors and residents, it's because the two talented gentlemen starred in Irvin and Kenneth Feld's (Siegfried & Roy, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Disney On Ice) production of One Of a Kind, that played at the Desert Inn in 1984. Tickets for The Las Vegas Follies are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $17 for non-residents. They may be purchased at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle community centers. Call (800) 595-4849.

Don't forget Funny Bones in the Ballroom at the Palms, 3 p.m. this Sunday. The comedy jam, hosted by veteran comic Sammy Shore, and co-hosted by Bobby Slayton, will feature guests that include Sammy's son, Pauly Shore, Kenny Kerr, George Wallace, Vinnie Favorito, Geechy Guy, Dennis Blair, Doug Starks, James P. Connolly, DJ Ben Harris, singer/ actress (One Life to Live soap)/hypnotist/author (and onetime wife of David Hasselhoff) Catherine Hickland, along with special guest Domenick Allen. Tickets cost $39.95, with proceeds from the event going to benefit a number of local animal rescue groups. For additional information, and to make reservations, call (702) 944-3200.


Catherine Hickland

Shades of Sinatra

Domenick Allen

Relive the music of Frank Sinatra with Shades of Sinatra - made up of Carmine Mandia, Lisa Smith, Larry Liso and Ryan Baker - will open for previews in the Wolf Theater at the Clarion Hotel & Casino (formerly the Greek Isles), 305 Convention Center Drive, with 6 p.m. shows on two Tuesdays, February 1st and 8th. Special discounts are available for fans and friends on the preview nights. This exciting musical production pays tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes, as the four dynamic performers lend their world-class vocal abilities to more than 30 of Sinatra's biggest hits. From touching, heartfelt solos, to rousing group numbers, this non-stop, high-energy show is loaded with zany humor and off-the-cuff, good-natured ribbing, as well as poignant stories about the man and his music. The official opening with take place on February 15th, when the schedule offers shows at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the two preview nights, tickets are $39.95 plus fees (save $10 with discount coupons available at the Clarion box office). Tickets will be $47.95, beginning on February 15th. For reservations, call the Clarion box office at (702) 990-1524.

And speaking of Sinatra, if you missed last week's column, we are letting readers know, again, that choreographer Twyla Tharp's award-winning dance show, Sinatra Dance With Me, featuring the music of Frank Sinatra and playing in the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, has been extended through early April (which will be here before you know it). Tickets start at $69, plus taxes and fees. For more information and to make reservations, call (702) 770-9966.

Following two sold-out It's All About the Music concerts at the Suncoast in October, it should come as no surprise that Domenick Allen is making a "back by popular demand" return to the hotel casino's showroom this weekend. Backed by an eight-piece band - Brian Czach on drums, Jozef Bobula on bass, Dave Marinelli on piano, Jim D'Arrigo and Garret Hypes on saxophones, Mike Robb and Eric Sande on trumpets, and Steve Meyer on trombone - plus special guest, Ginger Bruner, on tuba, Allen will showcase several genres of music with his soaring vocals and virtuosity on a variety of musical instruments, including swing clarinet, jazz saxophone and guitar for the electrifying classic rock grand finale. Allen is perhaps most associated as a former member of the multi-platinum rock group Foreigner, known best for such hits as "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Double Vision" and "Cold As Ice." In addition to Foreigner, he recorded and performed with the legendary Buddy Rich Big Band. Allen is a professional actor, singer and musician, and toured the world for four years with the famed pianist, Liberace, and has appeared on London's West End in several productions. On Broadway, Allen co-starred with Helen Reddy in the musical Blood Brothers. Daytime audiences will recognize Allen for his long run as the evil Simon Prescott on NBC's Days of Our Lives. Allen continues to partner with long-time friends, Clint Holmes, Susan Anton and Martin Nievera, as the popular Vocal Soup - showcasing solo performances, duets and group numbers. Vocal Soup has performed multiple engagements at The Orleans and Suncoast Showrooms. With Domenick Allen's It's All About the Music, audiences will experience the high-energy impact of his diverse musical career. Showtimes tomorrow and Sunday (January 29th and 30th) are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $19.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 636-7075, or visiting www.suncoastcasino.com. Save on convenience fees by purchasing the tickets in person at Coast Casinos.


Ginger Bruner

Gilbert Gottfried

Robert Klein

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Over at the South Point, tickets for the Winter Dance Party, starting at 7:30 p.m. on February 4th and 5th, are priced at $30, $25 and $20. According to the hotel casino ads, this is a tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. Tickets can be purchased at the South Point box office. Call (702) 797-8055 or visit SouthPointCasino.com.

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More changes going on with Vegas acts and schedules...
Over at the Las Vegas Hilton's Shimmer Cabaret, it looks like Andrew Dice Clay won't be spending much (if any) time on the stage at the Paradise Road property, while a number of other comics will. Gilbert Gottfried has already launched his run, and we hear that Robert Klein will also throw his hat into the mix. We have been told about a few other acts that are on the upcoming wish list, but we have promised not to divulge them just yet.

With Greg London moving into the Hilton‘s Shimmer Cabaret, Nunsense is changing their dark afternoons from Tuesdays to Fridays. This fun-filled show is probably the best afternoon bargain in the city, especially for locals with proof of residency. Tickets are only $20 plus tax. Despite being nominated "Best Book Musical in Las Vegas," earning standing ovations at every performance, and featuring some of the most multi-talented female entertainers around, Nunsense, like lots of other businesses and shows, is fighting the battle of a poor economy. It would be a shame if this musical revue had to end its run because of low ticket sales. If you don't support this type of entertainment when it's here and available, don't crab about it when it isn't. Showtimes are at 4 p.m. Tickets for those from other parts of the country start at $39 plus taxes and fees (if you want to save a few bucks, move here). Call (702) 732-5755 for reservations. We promise you a heavenly afternoon with the Little Sisters of Hoboken.


Nunsense Cast

After a very short stint at the Sahara, followed by a not much longer run at the Riviera, we hear that 76-year-old Kreskin, has thrown in the towel (at least for now), as far as working a regular gig in Vegas.

And speaking of the Riv...Following a short (about three months) hiatus, their Comedy Club will reopen for business on February 10th. Voted best comedy club six years in a row, Las Vegas' original comedy club will feature America's funniest, cutting edge headliners, and promises a lot of surprises along the way. The Riviera Comedy Club has been a favorite for visiting headliners to drop by after their shows, and have some fun - onstage with a guest set, or off. Showtimes are 9 p.m. nightly, with new headliners every week. Tickets are $24.99, plus taxes and fees, for General Admission, and $34.99, plus, for VIP seating. For additional information, call 877-892-7469. Ask about dinner and show packages. We won't be surprised to see funny lady, Carla Rea, as one of the acts in the Riviera Comedy Club. Not only is she a lot of laughs, but she is easy for the hotel to locate. Ms. Rea is the property's new Public Relations and Media Manager.


Carla Rea

Bobby Slayton by Erik Kabic

And, returning to where he had a decent run in Las Vegas, starting about five years ago, is comic Bobby Slayton. "The Pitbull of Comedy" appeared to have a good thing going at Hooters on East Tropicana, before jumping ship and heading a little bit west to the Tropicana. Turns out the Strip isn't always "all that," at least not for Slayton. He is back at Hooters in the Night Owl Showroom, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:30. This is definitely not a show for youngsters, or the faint of heart. If you are under 21, you won't be admitted. If you are easily offended, this is not the show for you. Tickets are $39.95. Call (866) 584-6687.

And speaking of Hooters, Gerry McCambridge, best known as The Mentalist, who shared the Hooters Night Owl Showroom with Slayton before moving over to the V Theater at Planet Hollywood, has been missing from his Strip post for the past week. Why? Because he has been touring with Barry Manilow. Shows for McCambridge, who returns to the V Theater on Monday, are at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays through Tuesdays. Tickets start at $60. Call (702) 260-7200.


Gerry McCambridge

Dick Taylor

Mac King

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Lisa Gioia-Acres, of the Las Vegas Media Group, tells us that on January 18th, the Clark County Board of Commissioners presented Dick Taylor with a proclamation giving him the title, Historian Laureate of Mt. Charleston. Taylor, who is being honored for all of his years promoting and preserving the history of Mt. Charleston, is a member in good standing of the Las Vegas Media Group, made up of people dedicated to preserving the history of Las Vegas and Nevada. In January of 1999, founding members, Frank Mitrani and Ken Jones, both veteran Las Vegas Sun photographers, saw a need to bring together those who documented history as it unfolded in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. The idea for an informal lunch meeting was conceived and the group has met monthly ever since. Attendees included retired and current photo and print journalists, as well as other professionals in the media field. Since that first meeting, the group has grown to include anyone interested in the past, present, and future history-making of Las Vegas and Nevada. The group meets for lunch at 11:30 a.m., every third Monday, at the Wedding Room, 3601 West Sahara. The cost of the lunch is $15.00. The Wedding Room is located on the southeast corner of Sahara and Valley View. If you know where the Gallery of History is (was?), and/or The Cellar, then you know where it is; Mariana's Grocery Store on one side and Kaplan College on the other. There is a handicap entrance through the alley between the college and The Wedding Room. The phone number for any questions or directions is 362-6712 and here's the website: http://www.theweddingroom.com/. RSVPs are required. To find out more or to be placed on our mailing list, contact us at info@lasvegasmediagroup.org. The contact person for the Las Vegas Media Group is Lisa Gioia-Acres. She can be reached at (702) 245-9206.

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Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour launches in Las Vegas with a mission to promote childhood literacy and provide more reading opportunities for children. Additionally, by increasing public awareness of the literacy issues in the area Mac King hopes to get more people in the community actively involved to help foster the love of reading and spread the message that reading is a vital and a necessary tool for success. "With literacy rates at an all-time low, it is more important than ever to focus our efforts to help solve the literacy problem and encourage children to read. For years I've been visiting local elementary schools and advocating the importance of reading and now with Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour I hope to have even more of an impact," said Mac King, Harrah's, Las Vegas headliner. Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour is teaming up with the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team to kick-off the initiative and to launch a book drive. The book drive events will take place at the Orleans Arena on February 4th and 5th at 7:05 p.m. Anyone who donates a minimum of three new or slightly used elementary school aged books will receive two complimentary tickets to see The Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah's, Las Vegas, and one ticket to a future Wranglers game of their choice. Proceeds and book donations will benefit Clark County Reads READS an initiative of The Public Education Foundation. Additionally, for the February 11th Wrangler home game, anyone purchasing a ticket with a Mac King discount flyer will receive $7.50 off a $17.50 ticket, with $3.50 going to Clark County READS. During Nevada Reading Week, February 28th through March 4th, Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour will be making stops at four at-risk elementary schools, where King will personally deliver books collected from the book drive. During the tour's scheduled stops, King will also perform tricks from his show and read a few short stories. "Reading is very important to me because it literally changed my life," said King. "One of the reasons I became a magician is because I found my calling in books. I want every child to have the same opportunity and explore new worlds and ideas through the magic of reading so that they too can find their passion in life." In the past, King has visited local elementary schools to perform some of his magic tricks and to engage the students by reading a few short stories. At the end of each visit he donates an autographed copy of his book to the school library. Mac King has been recognized with numerous accolades including "Favorite Male Las Vegan," and "Best Bargain Show" by the Las Vegas-Review Journal 2009 "Best of Las Vegas" readers' poll, "Funniest Act in Magic Today" by Magic Magazine, Magician of the Year by The Magic Castle, and "Entertainer of the Year" by the Las Vegas Weekly "Readers Choice Awards." King, one of today's brightest and most talented magicians, takes the stage twice daily, Tuesday through Saturday, at Harrah's Las Vegas at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Showroom Theatre. Tickets are $24.95 plus tax. Additional information on The Mac King Comedy Magic Show can be found by visiting http://www.mackingshow.com.

And speaking of children, books and reading, "Weird Al" Yankovic, best known as a three-time Grammy Award-winning performer who has sold more comedy recordings than anyone else in history, launches his first-ever children's picture book, When I Grow Up, on February 1st. When I Grow Up is filled with virtuoso wordplay, irresistible rhythm, and laugh-out-loud humor.


"Weird Al" Yankovic

Jeff Dunham & Walter

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Last night (Thursday, January 27th), ventriloquist Jeff Dunham was featured on a segment of ABC's Nightline. During the last few years, Dunham, who has been performing in Vegas for decades, has found himself a regular/irregular place to showcase his talents - the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

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Norm Crosby, the renowned funnyman with a knack for intelligent wordplay, brings his trademark act to The Orleans Showroom, February 4th and 5th, with shows at 8 p.m. Norm is known as "The Master of the Malaprop," for his ability to substitute words for similar sounding words to create a phrase that ultimately makes little sense, but is typically funny. His use of malapropisms and quick wit became lucrative as he began a stand-up career in the ‘50s as part of a comedy act with Ethan Eichrodt. Following a smash run as part of this duo in Las Vegas, Crosby found success going solo, then going on to become a staple on the talk, variety and game show circuit in every decade since the ‘60s. Crosby has performed or been a guest on multiple occasions on legendary television shows such as, The Merv Griffin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Comedy Hour and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, among countless others. He has also appeared in popular game shows, including The Hollywood Squares, Liar's Club, Beat the Clock, and Celebrity Sweepstakes. In 2004, Crosby appeared on Last Comic Standing as part of the "Roast Challenge." Crosby is among the multiple celebrities who have co-hosted and contributed to the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. As an actor, Crosby has appeared on television shows such as Roseanne, The Love Boat, Diagnosis Murder, Law and Order and The Larry Sanders Show, to name a few. On film, he has lent his voice to Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights and Bob Saget's Farce of the Penguins. Crosby was a fixture on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts on NBC, ridiculing and embarrassing his fellow comedians and entertainers. In 1967, he recorded a comedy record, She Wouldn't Eat The Mushrooms, which is now available on CD. Tickets are available, starting from $19.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 365-7075, or visiting www.orleanscasino.com. Save on convenience fees by purchasing the tickets in person at Coast Casinos.


Norm Crosby

Alexander Viazovtsev

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On Sunday afternoon, January 30th at 2 p.m., the Performing Arts Society of Nevada's Brown Bag Concerts presents a concert, featuring Alexander Viazovtsev on flute, Kim DeLibero on harp, and Jae Ahn on piano. The performance will take place at the Clark County Flamingo Library Theater, located at 1401 E. Flamingo. You don't often get three amazing artists like these on one program. Jae Ahn is a freshman at UNLV and an accomplished pianist who has participated in many competitions and programs. Kim DeLibero has performed with Pavarotti, Bocelli, Domingo, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett and many others. Alexander Viazovtsev was born in Siberia, Russia, and graduated from Tchaikovsky's Music College of Ekaterinburg, Russia. He has worked with various symphony orchestras and is currently the principal Flutist of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and with The Lion King production in Las Vegas. Tickets are $15 and are on sale at the library box office one hour before performance. For further information, please call (702) 658-6741. The Performing Arts Society of Nevada is a 501 ©(3) Corporation.



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