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 April 08, 2011
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - April 8, 2011


Carolyn Goodman

Yesterday

As you know, we are Claire Voyant, meaning that we have the ability to see things and actions beyond the range of natural vision. Based on those powers, we take a look into the future...and a prediction, if you will. We see a woman as the next Las Vegas mayor. That woman will have the initials C.G. Yes, we are betting that either the former Meadows private school administrator, Carolyn Goodman, wife of our current mayor, the Bombay gin-promoting Oscar Goodman, or Clark County Commissioner, Chris Giunchigliani, will take over the mayor position following the general elections in June.

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"Do You Want To Know a Secret"? If you had plans to see Yesterday, the Beatles tribute at the Tropicana, you should have seen it a few yesterdays ago. The South Strip hotel, that doesn't seem quite sure what it wants to be when it grows up, ended the run of the show, with very little fanfare, on March 23rd. Isn't that "Something." Yesterday had been doing decent business, and there were hopes that it might be extended past its original April end date. Alas, it was not to be, so we will just..."Let It Be."

Also, if you had gotten word that the Marie Callender's at Tropicana and Eastern, would be hosting a jazz night this coming Sunday, those plans have been scrapped (by those, often hard to figure out, "powers that be"). We were looking forward to seeing and hearing some of the city's top players in the neighborhood this weekend (maybe accompanied by a slice of Rhubarb pie). Hopefully, the group - Joey Singer on keyboards, Steve Flora on bass, John Plows on drums, and singer/electric bass/emcee Joel Dane (Sunday night's featured musician was supposed to be Tom Hall on sax) - will find themselves another place to entertain in the southeast part of Las Vegas. We will keep you posted on any new developments.

Then, there's Tony Roma's. With the number of places to dine in this city, adding something fun to a restaurant, to make it a bit more special, makes good business "cents." As a result of that thinking, there's going to be something more than mouthwatering goodies cooking over at Tony Roma's, at 650 East Sahara on Saturday, April 16th. It won't be just the world-famous ribs at the Sahara eatery that will be getting the rub, but one of the guests as well when the noted eatery plays host to the international premiere of a brand-new mystery show, Murder on the Menu, complete with music, comedy and a chance for members of the audience to win prizes for solving the mystery. With the assistance of Vegas-based production company, SPE Entertainment, the restaurant will present a full evening of fine food, drink specials and top-notch, interactive, entertainment. Dinner will start at 7, with the mystery unfolding shortly thereafter. Before dessert is served, the action will be well underway. Tony Roma's has a connection to Sin City's more infamous past, including the assassination attempt on casino executive and organized crime associate, Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, on October 4th, 1982. When Rosenthal left Tony Roma's (right next door to the East Sahara Marie Callender's), got into his Caddy in the parking lot and started the engine, the vehicle blew sky-high. Rosenthal escaped, relatively unscathed. The event was immortalized in Martin Scorsese's classic and award-winning film, Casino. Rather than run from the past like a disgraced heir of a mafia mob boss, the restaurant has decided to use its unique niche in the neon narrative to include their customers in a wildly creative glimpse into the more colorful history of Las Vegas. "When I first met with the management of Tony Roma's Sahara location to brainstorm an entertainment idea best suited for their needs," said SPE president, Jimmy Emerson, "all of us agreed that it had to be fun, exciting and play on the shadier days of Vegas." Emerson brought in playwright Robert F. Brown, who has written hugely successful murder mystery plays that have been produced internationally. "To make it unique, I knew I had to avoid the cliché gangster storyline, set the action in 2011, but still keep the feel of vintage Vegas," said Brown. Murder on the Menu is produced by Emerson (Naked Boys Singing, Christopher Peterson's Eyecons) and James Peterson (SPE Entertainment), with the cast made up of actors Kellie Wright, Michael Hartnett, Brent Allen, Lou DeMeis, Charlotte Snow, Mark Langberg, and Sue Motsinger. Price of dinner and show is $69, with un menu (à prix fixe), aptly named, The Murder on the Menu menu, which includes all Tony Roma's favorites and several drink specials. For reservations, call Tony Roma's at (702) 733-9914. All major credit cards accepted. Go for the Food, Stay for the Murder.
If Murder on the Menu proves to be a "hit" at Tony Roma's, perhaps the Marie Callender's at Eastern and Tropicana will follow suit, and add some interest to their location (maybe with something jazzy). Just a thought.


Murder on the Menu at Tony Roma's

The Great Tomsoni & Co.

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Renowned British and Las Vegas show producer, Paul Stone, takes his Variety Live to the Starbright Theatre for two performances next weekend - Saturday, April 16th at 7 p.m., and Sunday the 17th at 3 p.m. The world-class cast includes one of the funniest and most impressive magic acts in the business, The Great Tomsoni & Co., pure Vaudeville at its very best! This revue will also give audience members a rare opportunity to see world class juggler, Michael Goudeau, performing off the Las Vegas Strip. For the past 14 years, the fast and funny Goudeau was guest star in the hugely successful Lance Burton Show at the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino. Hawaiian born Jasmine Trias rose to fame as one of the top three finalists on Season 3 of the hit TV talent show, American Idol. Jasmine has since become a Gold Record recording artist and a successful International live performer. Continuing to enchant audiences around the globe with her exotic beauty and incredible voice, Jasmine has joined forces with British singer/songwriter Ben Stone. Ben is a personable, engaging, stylish entertainer with the voice to match. He has appeared at many major theaters in London's West End, and was recently invited to sing his original music for members of the British Royal Family. Scheduled to present their own brand new show at the Starbright Theatre later this year, with a live All Star Band, Variety Live is delighted to welcome Jasmine and Ben, as the dynamic duo present a taste of what is yet to come. Tickets for this entertainment show are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $17 for non-residents. All shows at the Starbright Theatre are first come, first served, with no limit on the number of tickets purchased. Saving seats is prohibited. Be sure to get your tickets early so you don't miss out! Show tickets may be purchased at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle Community Centers. All ticket prices include Live Entertainment Tax. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. Tickets are non-refundable. Starbright Theatre shows are open to everyone ages 12 and over. The 300-seat Starbright is located at 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd. To reach the theater, take Rampart to Lake Mead, and head west to Thomas Ryan Blvd. (about three miles up the hill). Go left to the Eagle Crest Golf Course, and right into the theater parking lot on the left. For up-to-date information on Starbright Theatre shows, call (702) 240-1301. This variety show should prove to be a nice change of pace for the Sun City Summerlin show goers.


Michael Goudeau

Donna Murphey

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Okay all you East Coast readers, whether residents or visitors, here are some things you might want to get dressed up for...
A new musical, The People in the Picture, Presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company, opened at Studio 54 in New York last week. Two time Tony Award-winner, Donna Murphy (Passion, The King and I), stars in The People in the Picture, directed by Leonard Foglia. The Broadway musical features book and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart, the author of the international best seller, Beaches, and a glorious musical score by Mike Stoller (Smokey Joe's Café) and Artie Butler ("Here's to Life," "I Don't Remember Ever Growing Up"). The People in the Picture tells the story of Bubbie (played by Murphy), the once darling of the Yiddish Theatre in pre-war Poland, now a grandmother in New York City. Bubbie has had quite a life, and wants to pass the stories on to the next generation. Though her granddaughter is enchanted by Bubbie's tales, her daughter Red will do anything to keep from looking back. A fiercely funny and deeply moving new musical that spans three generations, The People in the Picture celebrates the importance of learning from our past, and the power of laughter. The show runs through June 19th. Studio 54 is located at 254 W. 54th Street (between Broadway and 8th Ave.). For reservations, call (212) 719-1300.


Artie Butler

Little Anthony and The Imperials

Las Vegas residents, Little Anthony and The Imperials, are performing at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, through April 16th. Led by Anthony Gourdine, the recording artists were responsible for nostalgic hits such as "Going Out of My Head," "Hurt So Bad," "Tears On My Pillow," "Take Me Back," "I'm On the Outside Looking In" and many others. The rhythm and blues/soul/doo-wop vocal, which originated in New York, first became active in the 1950s. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4th, 2009. Feinstein's is located at 540 Park Avenue in Manhattan. For reservations, call (212) 339-4095.

And, speaking of the East Coast, we enjoyed our evening at UNLV's Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall last Saturday, where we attended the program, Tony Award-Winning Hits From Broadway's Greatest Musicals. James Barbour (Beauty and the Beast, Jane Eyre, A Tale of Two Cities, Urinetown), Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot, South Pacific, Sideshow, Sunset Boulevard), and Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party, Lennon, Time and Again), delivered familiar favorites from Kiss Me Kate, South Pacific, Funny Girl, Mame, Man of La Mancha, Chicago, A Chorus Line, Chess, Wicked, Jekyll & Hyde, Children of Eden, the less familiar The Apple Tree and Next To Normal and others. Musical director/pianist was Mark Hartman, with Gordon Greenberg directing. Our biggest complaint is that there weren't more people in the 1800+ seat theater. More community support for these types of programs are needed, otherwise, they won't be here...and that would be a damn shame.

At the same time that we were experiencing the joys of Broadway, opera lovers were taking in Madame Butterfly at the Judy Bayley Theatre, directly across from Ham Hall. Who says Las Vegas aint' got no culture?


James Barbour

The Handy Girls & Friends

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In conjunction with Nevada Reading Month, the creators of the Handy Girls books, Barbara Ciarlantini and Mary Marcella Schwartz, were invited to Aggie Roberts Elementary School in Las Vegas, to share their books with the special students in Ms. Galvin's class, as well as lead them in a Handy Girls gardening project. Barbara and Mary, real live handy girls, operated a successful painting and paperhanging business in Southern Nevada for many years. As women, doing non-traditional work, their desire was to open up more opportunities and choices for little girls. To accomplish this, they created five Handy Girls - Angie, Sibby, Tiffany, Kate and Jan - who work together in their fix-it shop to help others by painting, building and repairing things. These role models help build pride and self-esteem through a child's own accomplishments. Two Handy Girls books - The Handy Girls Know How and The Handy Girls Can Fix It! - published by Random House, went on to win the accolades of young readers, and were selected for the International Reading Association/Children's Book Choices List and used as resource material by Girls Clubs, Parenting Guidance Centers, Junior Achievement, Paul Newman's Hole-In-the-Wall-Gang Camp, and others. Mary and Barbara were highlighted in Family Circle magazine, appeared on TV, and authored a local how-to newspaper column.
Incidentally, teacher Ciara Galvin is the daughter of Irish Showband guitar player, Jimmy Conway.


Handy Girls Book Cover

Vince Neil

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Less than six-weeks after being released from a Las Vegas jail on a drunken driving charge, Vince Neil is in trouble again. This time, the Mötley Crüe lead singer is being charged with battery/domestic violence and disorderly conduct, after poking his ex-girlfriend in the chest, while she and friends were attending a comedy show in the Las Vegas Hilton's Shimmer Cabaret on March 24th. According to witnesses, Neil was also using foul language, during, what sounds like, a meltdown. To say that Vince Neil has a dark past, would be putting it mildly. Last June, he was arrested on charges of drunken driving. In February, he served 10 days in the Clark County Detention Center for that crime. We find this appalling, since in 1984, Neil was charged with vehicular manslaughter, after he drove drunk, and was involved in an accident that left a passenger in his car dead, and two people in the other automobile severely injured. It is pretty obvious that Neil has some serious problems. We have to wonder about the ex-girlfriend. We think she should be charged with something as well...like being stupid. Guess she (who has been connected to a number of well-known male personalities over the past few years) has never heard the expression, "The best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior." A wise philosopher (we think it was either Dr. Phil or Judge Judy) once said, "If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas." We know Vince's ex, she of a debatable age, is a dog-lover, but this is ridiculous. As for Mr. Neil, he is due in Las Vegas Justice Court on May 2nd.
Earlier today, we learned that the former girlfriend is no longer in her high-profile job. Whether she was terminated or left on her own, is unknown at this time (at least by Cousin Claire).

* * * * * * * *

Enjoy the outstanding vocals of Mark Giovi, tonight, Friday, April 8th, beginning at 9 p.m. in the Las Vegas Hilton's Tempo Lounge. Giovi is a former cast member of Bite at the Stratosphere, and was one of the original Las Vegas Tenors. The $10 Tempo cover charge includes one drink.

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For the 16th year, the California Hotel and Casino (also known as The Cal) will be the host location of some of the most exquisite orchids in the country at the Cymbidium Orchid Show, next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 15th, 16th and 17th, in the Ohana Ballroom. Organized in the spirit fellowship and competition, the Torrance Cymbidium Society and Las Vegas Orchid Society members will come together to display more than a dozen different species of the tropical flower in extravagant arrangements. A panel of professional judges will evaluate and award the displays next Friday. "With its Hawaiian atmosphere and great amenities, The Cal has been the perfect home for our Cymbidium Orchid Show the last 16 years," said Everett Stockstill, event organizer and president of the Torrance Cymbidium Society. "We are all looking forward to competing and sharing our beautiful orchids with all who attend." The public is invited to the free event to admire the lavish arrangements and learn about the horticultural aspects of growing orchids. Show times are: April 15th from noon to 5 p.m.; April 16th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and April 17th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For further information on the Cymbidium Orchid Show, call the California Hotel and Casino at (702) 385-1222. The California Hotel and Casio is a property of Boyd Gaming. Located in downtown Las Vegas, The property features four restaurants, a Race and Sports Book, live Keno action and a 36,000-square foot casino.


Orchid Show at The Cal

F.I.O.R.E. Welcoming Committee

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This month's regular F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) meeting will take place at the Italian American Social Cub, 2333 East Sahara, this Thursday, April 14th (in honor of Saint IRS Day). Enjoy a delicious lunch buffet and the camaraderie of a group of fun, mostly Italian (you don't HAVE to be Italian, but it helps), gentlemen, all for the bargain price of $20. Join the presidents (all the fellows hold the high office), made up primarily of working and retired entertainers and businessmen, for a late morning/ early afternoon (starting at 11:30) gathering of dining, entertainment, networking and a change of pace from the usual routine. F.I.O.R.E. claims to have no purpose or agendas, yet, when there is a need or worthy cause, like entertaining the residents at the Veterans Home in Boulder City on Father's Day, the members are there. Regarding the lunch meeting, please RSVP to BABYEUE@aol.com. Reservations are necessary to guarantee enough food for all. Suggestions for upcoming programs and/or interesting speakers are encouraged and very welcome.

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Voices 3 makes its local debut, with performances at the Suncoast Showroom, April 16th and 17th. Made up of popular Vegas entertainers, Bill Fayne, Teddy Davey and Chris Coyne, Voices 3 is a unique blend of musical styles and genres, mixing everything from rock to Motown and Broadway to swing. The show spans more than 100 years of memorable music. The three distinct styles of the individual performers will come together to fill the Showroom with a wonderfully blended, harmonious sound. With more than four decades in the music industry, Bill Fayne has delighted audiences as a popular entertainer, music director, pianist, singer, arranger, composer and producer, working on his own and with performers including Clint Holmes, Kathie Lee Gifford, Ann Jillian, and Suzanne Somers. In addition to Voices 3, Fayne created The Las Vegas Tenors and Voci Vegas. Teddy Davey has been singing and acting for most of his life. In Vegas, Davey was a member of The Las Vegas Tenors as well as a solo artist on stages throughout the Valley. As a classically trained singer and Shakespearian actor, Davey also enjoys performing in musical theater, and singing songs from the Great American Songbook, and romantic melodies in a variety of languages. Over the years, he has worked as a director, teacher, writer and producer. Chris Coyne has traveled the world, performing in musical theater productions like Hair and Evita. He has been the lead singer in Jubilee! and Les Folies Bergere, and has sung with The Las Vegas Tenors on many occasions. He shares the love of musical theater, as well as film, television and classic rock performance. Mollie Tennant, from Jubilee!, and other surprise guests, will join Voices 3 for these April dates, along with an orchestra featuring some of Las Vegas' most popular musicians. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available, starting from $15.95, 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.


Voices 3

Donald Pile, Ray Williams & Elizabeth

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Regarding the recent death of Elizabeth Taylor, Donald Pile and Ray Williams, wanted to share this lovely story with our readers. The gentlemen from Kansas City, who recently celebrated their "40th year of love and togetherness," write...
What a sad day for us as well as millions of gays and straight people all around the world. We first got to know Elizabeth Taylor when she sent us a lovely letter and autographed portrait on our 25th Anniversary, 15 years ago. Someone, a friend, had contacted her about us celebrating that anniversary. Since then, she never failed to send us a letter or card with an autographed portrait each year. For our 35th Anniversary, she sent us a very special autographed portrait in a silver frame. Throughout her life she gave so much of herself to others. She truly was a Saint. We will miss her deeply. Donald and Ray spend a lot of time away from home. They call themselves The Gay Travelers and write columns describing their adventures. They are members of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, and their award-winning columns are featured in gay publications from coast-to-coast. Check out their 2007 Las Vegas column at http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/2010/07/traveling-in-our-fabulous-gay-world-the-gay-travelers-in-las-vegas.html, and their Web site at: http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

See accompanying photo of Pile and Williams with one of their anniversary gifts from Elizabeth Taylor.


Elizabeth Taylor by Martin Kreloff

Sammy Shore

And speaking of Elizabeth Taylor, the talented Martin Kreloff, whose work is currently on display at the Winchester Cultural Center, did a portrait of the late actress some years ago (see accompanying photo). We don't know if that one is on display as part of his Made In Las Vegas exhibit, but we can guarantee art lovers will enjoy whatever is being shown at the Winchester. Pop artist Kreloff's works will be available for viewing, through June 3rd. The Winchester Cultural Center is at 3130 S. McLeod, just north of Desert Inn.

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If you are counting your pennies and need to laugh about it, do we have a deal for you! The Eastside Cannery is presenting funnyman Sammy Shore and his Legends From the Comedy Store show (at one time, Sammy owned the famed club with his former wife, Mitzi Shore) in Marilyn's Lounge. The opening weekend, April 15th and 16th, will feature Shore and guests, comic/impressionist Kathy Walker, and comedian Barry Diamond. In May, on the 20th and 21st, it's Sammy, Bobby Slayton and Robert Duchaine, in the spotlight. Show times are at 8 p.m., and the price is...FREE! We suggest getting there early, as the intimate room should fill up quickly. Maybe we should call the Eastside Cannery, the establishment with a heart.


Barry Diamond

Craig Campbell

Peter Tork

And speaking of free entertainment, the City of Henderson is showing their community spirit as well. ArtBeat, presented by Target, Henderson's signature cultural arts series, includes live entertainment for the entire family. Tonight (if you are reading this early enough), it's Craig Campbell, performing at 8 p.m. Taking inspiration from icons like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Clint Black, Campbell portrays the American heartland in a genre of country music that combines powerful vocals and down-to-earth lyrics. In 2010, Campbell released his first single, "Family Man," a hit that landed on the Hot Country Songs charts. This spring, the musician will release his first full-length, self-title debut album. Next Friday, April 15th, Peter Tork & Shoe Suede Blues takes to the stage at the Henderson Events Plaza. Tork burst onto the music scene in the '60s with the made-for-television phenomenon, The Monkees. As the American version of the Beatles, the rock/pop band produced four chart-topping albums and had many international hits including "I'm a Believer," "Last Train to Clarksville," "Daydream Believer," and "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone." After the success of The Monkees, Tork began to focus on his solo career, performing with his own bands, as well as writing and recording original music. Currently, Tork performs with Shoe Suede Blues, a group that delivers a soulful and memorable mixture of popular blues music. ArtBeat will take place on Fridays at the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water Street, in the Water Street District, with the featured headlining act taking the stage at 8 p.m. Pre-show activities, such as art displays, local musical performances, and demonstrations, will begin at 5 p.m. And, like Sammy Shore's Legends From the Comedy Store at the Eastside Cannery, admission is complimentary.



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