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 September 16, 2011
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - September 16, 2011


God Lives in Glass

Tears for Fears

September 11, 2011...ten years to the day after the most unimaginable, unnatural disaster to ever hit America. We watched television last Sunday morning, as people who lost loved ones in the carnage of collapsing buildings and plummeting airliners, read the names of the victims who perished on that horrible day. For a couple of hours on that afternoon, we sat inside the Judy Bayley Theatre on the UNLV campus, transfixed by the beautiful production of God Lives In Glass. Somehow, this seemed a fitting way to spend the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on our country. Presented by the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, the inspirational concert, featuring more than 70 singers, dancers and musicians from shows throughout the city, benefited Family Promise of Las Vegas and the Conservatory Theatre. God Lives in Glass, is a book by Robert J. Landy, Ph.D., sharing the stories of how children from around the world view God. Keith Thompson, musical director and conductor for the Las Vegas production of Jersey Boys, wrote music and lyrics to turn the book into a theater piece. Since Thompson moved here in 2006, God Lives In Glass has been performed, with different cast members, in five venues in Las Vegas - twice at Faith Community Lutheran Church in Summerlin, Community Lutheran in East Las Vegas, the College of Southern Nevada's Nicholas J. Horn Theatre and the Judy Bayley, and one time at the Clark County Flamingo Library Theatre. Many people have seen the presentation more than once. It's that kind of program. If you haven't experienced God Lives in Glass, we highly recommend that you do, the next time the opportunity presents itself.

And, while we are still on the subject of the 10th anniversary of September 11th, and the ceremonies that accompanied the solemn day...Those who know Cousin Claire, are very much aware that she is more than a little concerned about spelling, especially when it comes to proper names. We all make mistakes (some a lot more than others), and typos do happen. It seems, that in spite of the almost three-thousand names they had to deal with, the bronze memorial that opened last Sunday would have been checked and rechecked many times over during the last decade. Unfortunately, the name of one 9/11 victim, etched in bronze on the just-opened memorial in Lower Manhattan, was misspelled. Jeffrey Schreier, whose remains were never recovered, was one of 658 employees from the Cantor Fitzgerald brokerage firm who died that day. Schreier's first name, not his last, was misspelled. The inscription reads "Jeffery" rather than "Jeffrey." In a statement, a 9/11 memorial spokesman acknowledged the mistake, saying "we regret the error." The two letters in Schreier's first name were apparently reversed while entering it into a database, Michael Frazier said. "As soon as we found out about this error, we began working on how to make it right and we're engaged with our fabricators, contractors and the architect to do so," he said. It's unclear how long the repair will take. Schreier's family hopes the promise of a quick fix is fulfilled. So do we.

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Don't know how we missed mentioning this in last Friday's column...Tears for Fears performs tonight at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa's Sandbar Pool. The English pop rock band was formed in the early 1980s by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. Starting out with new wave synthesizer brand of music, Tears for Fears branched out into mainstream rock and pop. Their debut album, 1983's The Hurting, went platinum and reached No. 1 on the U.K. Charts. It was followed shortly thereafter by Songs from the Big Chair, that reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200, and featured two No. 1 hits, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and "Shout." In 1989, Tears for Fears released its third album, The Seeds of Love, which featured the modern rock hit "Sowing the Seeds of Love" and "Woman in Chains," featuring singer Oleta Adams. Smith and Orzabal parted ways in 1989, getting back together in 2000, and releasing an album in 2004. Tears for Fears wrote "Mad World," a song that was given new life, when American Idol finalist, Adam Lambert, sang it during the popular reality shows' competition. Tickets for Tears for Fears are $49, plus taxes and fees, for Gold Circle seating, and $30, plus taxes and fees, for Standing Room Only (must be 18 or older to attend). Showtime at the Red Rock, 11011 W. Charleston, is at 9 p.m. Call (702) 797-7777.

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Jim Caruso by Ed Foster

Moe Bertran

Round two of Jim Caruso's Las Vegas Cast Party takes place next Wednesday and Thursday nights (September 21st and 22nd) at Alexis Park on Harmon, just west of Paradise. Jim Caruso is known as New York's master party giver, thanks to his eight years at Birdland as host of the original Cast Party. One never knows who might show up to entertain at one of Caruso's soirees - be it a vocalist, musician, comic, magician, or any other talented individual (or group). Last month, Dennis Ritz brought Caruso and his co-host, piano player/singer, Billy Stritch, to Las Vegas to re-create the fun of New York's Birdland at the Alexis Park Resort, on Harmon just west of Paradise. Jim and Billy were so impressed with the Vegas talent pool that came out to perform in August, they are returning to Alexis Park on Wednesday and Thursday, September 21st and 22nd. To participate in Cast Party, plan on arriving at 9 p.m. to sign-up. Please bring sheet music for upbeat songs in the correct key. The Cast Party offers an intimate setting, food and beverage table service, and a welcoming staff. Alexis Park Master Chef, Joseph Rawls, has created a tasty late-supper menu especially for the event, serving from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, and $40 at the door, and are available at www.brownpapertickets.com, or by calling (800) 838-3006, 24/7. All major credit cards and debit cards are accepted. Doors open at 9 p.m., with the show running from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. Guests are welcome to continue partying until 2 a.m.

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While Five Guys Named Moe is playing out at Spring Mountain Ranch as part of the Super Summer Theater series, one guy named Moe is winding up his three day stint at the Onyx Theatre in the Commercial Center. The one guy named Moe, would be actor Moe Bertran, performing all the roles in Love Scenes at the Onyx, 8 p.m. through tomorrow, Saturday, September 17th. A sexy, touching and funny look at gay New Yorkers falling in and out of love, this award-winning solo show, starring Bertran, was voted Best of Fringe at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. The actor plays six characters, including a twenty-year old hustler falling for his kinky mentor, a Broadway producer in a locker-room brawl with his husband's fling, a sixty-something martini drinker whose partner wants to have an open relationship, and a gold-digging drag diva ready to settle for true love. Love Scenes was written by David Pumo, and directed by Donna Jean Fogel. The weekend Onyx shows are set to coincide with Vegas Pride celebrations. Admission is $25 per person. The Onyx is located at 953 E. Sahara, #16. Call (702) 732-7225.

As for those other Moes, the musical plays at Spring Mountain Ranch, Thursdays through Saturdays, until September 24th. Shows start at 7 p.m., but you want to get there early - to find a parking place, set up your blankets, and have an outdoor supper while communing with nature. Taking a jacket is advised, as it can get cold out at the ranch when the sun goes down. Tickets are $12 in advance, and $15 at the gate (we don't advise driving out there without tickets in hand). To purchase, go to the UNLV Box Office in person or call (702) 895-ARTS, or head to Prestige Travel in the Von's shopping center at Lake Mead and Buffalo, or call Prestige at (702) 256-5441.

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Reminders...
It's Motown Divas at Sun City Anthem's Freedom Hall Theatre, 2450 Hampton Rd. in Henderson, on Sunday, the 18th, at 3 p.m. The 80-minute tribute to the all-time great female Divas of R&B, is the newest production from producer, choreographer Mistinguett. The cast includes Gwendolyn Moore Forsythe, Rheda K. Solo, Annetta Bonner and Terrence Forsythe. The show includes musical hits made famous by the Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Patti Austin, Etta James, Pointer Sisters, En Vogue, and Roberta Flack, just to name some. Terrence performs hit songs by Percy Sledge, Lionel Richie, Donny Hathaway, Barry White, Ray Charles, James Ingram, Marvin Gaye and Lou Rawls, and together the cast brilliantly performs 30 popular songs in this fast-paced, high-energy revue. Packaged with gorgeous costumes, video production, clever transitions and soulful duets, this show is guaranteed to please and have the audience singing their favorites as they leave the showroom. Tickets are a reasonable $18. They can only be purchased at the Sun City Anthem box office, not by phone. We would suggest calling ahead, just to make sure there are still seats available, before making the trip on Sunday. Number is (702) 614-5864.


Terrence Forsythe as Stevie Wonder

Ellen DeGeneres & Sherrie Gahn

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What in the world is going on over at the Riviera? Most of the entertainers originally scheduled to perform in the hotel's newly renamed Starlite Theatre through the end of the year - Connie Stevens (again), the Four Lads from Liverpool, The Temptations Review (their spelling, not ours), Deniece Williams, David Brenner and Gallagher - are no longer on the upcoming lineup. The only act that remains on the list (as we approach our deadline) are The Village People, with dates from November 9th through 20th. Not a good sign. Is the problem due to lack of public interest in the performers that were booked? Is it because of too little promotion and advertising? Are ticket prices too high? It seems that, these days, the public has very little idea about what is going on at the Riv. Are the Crazy Girls still there? How about the Riviera Comedy Club? Is that still in operation? Is there anything happening in the main showroom? What about the Le Bistro? Where is Dr. Scott Lewis? We are investigating.

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Thanks to Caesars Palace and talk show host/comic Ellen DeGeneres, the Clark County School District is getting some much needed and welcome financial help. On Monday, September 12th, during part of its ninth season premiere episode, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Target, donated $100,000 to Whitney Elementary, the East Las Vegas school with one of the highest populations of homeless students in the Clark County School District. The check, accepted by Whitney's principal, Sherrie Gahn, will be used to help start an after-school program at Whitney, and continue providing services for its families. It is the largest donation in the school's history - and the biggest ever given on the show. Volunteers from Target also presented the school with 650 bright red backpacks filled with school supplies, along with blankets and snacks. When Gahn took over the elementary school nearly a decade ago, little did she know her efforts to help her students in class and at home would inspire so many. The principal has been featured on CNN and CBS News, and virtually every media outlet in town. They talk of Gahn's selfless drive to help her students. Whitney is more than just a school for Gahn's 610 students. It's their food pantry, clothing store and supply shop. It's where kids can get free medical, dental and eye care. It's where struggling parents can learn to read or get help with utility bills. The publicity has garnered Gahn thousands of dollars of donations to help Whitney students. School Board President, Carolyn Edwards, said she was grateful to DeGeneres' show for highlighting Whitney. "The need level here is great," she said, commending Gahn for her work. "She is an incredibly energetic, selfless person who just cares about the kids." For Gahn, being on the show was an experience of a lifetime. She is now anticipating another round of donations coming her way from viewers. "It's going to be beyond my wildest dreams," she said. "Millions of people watch 'Ellen' around the world. I'm extremely grateful." For information about helping homeless students in the Clark County School District, call the outreach office at (702) 855-6682. Whitney Elementary School can be reached at (702) 799-7790.


Caesars Heroes

Caesars Entertainment Corporation and the Caesars Foundation presented a $750,000, three-year grant to The Public Education Foundation (the Foundation) to support the non-profit's Teacher EXCHANGE™ initiative. The Teacher EXCHANGE™ is a re-use resource center for all Southern Nevada public school teachers, offering learning tools to educators to enhance projects and curriculum. This multi-year grant will help to expand the program's reach through website enhancements, creation of an eco-friendly bus, delivering supplies directly to schools, and will overall streamline and increase efficiency of operations. "Caesars is proud to be a community partner in furthering education and supporting our educators in Southern Nevada through initiatives such as Teacher EXCHANGE™," said Rick Mazer, Regional President of Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Western Division. "Our commitment to helping our employees and the communities we operate in is integral to the future success of our company and our children." Since 2008, educators have made more than 26,000 visits to the Teacher EXCHANGE™, picking up more than 1.1 million items for their classrooms. Caesars Entertainment and the Caesars Foundation have given nearly $1.5 million to support the Teacher EXCHANGE™ initiative. "The value of support the Caesars Foundation and Caesars Entertainment provides the Teacher EXCHANGE™ and our educators is immeasurable," said Judi Steele, President of The Public Education Foundation. "By supporting education and environmental sustainability, they are impacting millions of lives now and in the future." Caesars Entertainment's efforts go beyond monetary giving. Annually, its Las Vegas resorts collect and donate the equivalent of $43,000 in supplies for the Teacher EXCHANGE™ where the materials are reused for educational classroom projects by valley teachers. Donated meetings and conventions materials have included t-shirts, water bottles, office supplies and equipment, surplus materials, computers, televisions and furniture. This is supported by the company's sustainability initiative, CodeGreen, and is one of hundreds employee grassroots programs implemented to minimize the impact of business on the environment. In the last three years, the Teacher EXCHANGE™ has diverted nearly one million tons of materials from ending up in landfills. The Teacher EXCHANGE™ provides public school teachers with reusable, recycled and gently used materials and equipment to use in their classrooms. Donations of new and reusable materials, office supplies, surplus materials, computers, equipment and furniture are collected from businesses and individuals and provided to teachers to support classroom instruction. Many of the materials collected may have been otherwise disposed of in local landfills. Established in 2002, the Teacher EXCHANGE™ is located at 3165 W. Sunset Road. The Teacher EXCHANGE™ is open to licensed Clark County School District (CCSD) educators. The Caesars Foundation is a private foundation funded by a percentage of operating income from Caesars Entertainment's resorts. The Foundation is the entity through which Caesars Entertainment funds programs and projects of $10,000 or more, as well as not-for-profit giving requirements imposed by certain operating jurisdictions. The Foundation's objective is to strengthen organizations and programs in the communities where our employees and their families live and work. For more information, please visit www.caesarsfoundation.com. Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world's most geographically diversified casino-entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 73 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company's resorts operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars also owns the World Series of Poker® and the London Clubs International family of casinos. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. Caesars is committed to environmental sustainability and energy conservation and recognizes the importance of being a responsible steward of the environment. For more information, please visit www.caesars.com. The Public Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing community and global resources to meet the challenges of educating a growing and diverse Southern Nevada population. The Foundation's programs and initiatives are designed to improve student performance and advance quality educational opportunities for all children. Since 1991, The Foundation has raised more than $75 million to improve teaching and learning in Southern Nevada's public schools. For more information about the Foundation, go to www.thepef.org.

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While Donny and Marie take December off from their Flamingo gig, part of the month, the showroom will be occupied by last seasons' America's Got Talent winner, Michael Grimm. Between November 29th and December 11th, Grimm, who lived and worked in Las Vegas, mostly at Green Valley Ranch, prior to being named the fifth season winner, will perform ten 7:30 p.m. shows at the Flamingo. Ticket prices for Grimm's Flamingo shows are $53.13, $64.13 and $80.63, all inclusive. Michael, who will also appear as Stevie Nicks' special guest during her October 15th engagement in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, has certainly come a long way in a relatively short time. May his success continue.


Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

Paul Hansell

And speaking of America's Got Talent, this season's winner was announced on Wednesday night. Taking home the big prize, in an extremely competitive year, was 36-year-old car wash employee, West Virginia crooner, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. In a somewhat surprising finish, Murphy beat out finalists, PopLyfe, Silhouettes and Team iLuminate. We felt that the unique Team iLuminate had it in the bag. This is only the second time we have EVER been wrong about anything. The hit television variety show is launching its first ever nationwide tour this fall, bringing the country's most dynamic and diverse entertainers to 25 cities. America's Got Talent's spectacular live stage version will be hosted by Jerry Springer. Look for Landau, Grimm and other AGT favorites in The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, October 28th through 30th. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $39.50 to $99.50 (plus taxes and fee). For reservations, call (702) 474-4000.

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Bruce Mickelson

Mitzi Gaynor

Happy birthday wishes, Virgos (August 24 to September 22) to Eric Michael Gillett, Gail Lucas, David Kancsar, Barbara Winters, Bill Moore, Fielding West, Vera Goulet, Mark Winkler, Laura Blackburn, Lenadams Dorris, Steve Schirripa, Gary Olds, John Neeland, Robbie Howard, Michael Feinstein, Sharon Prier, Oliver Richman, Joe Pellegrino, Montel Brian Williams, Bart Williams, Michelle Rohl, Paul Hansell, Nelson Sardelli, Bruce Mickelson, Norman Kaye, Regis Philbin, Gene Simmons (Kiss), Elvis Costello, Billy Ray Cyrus, Valerie Simpson, Branford Marsalis, Tommy Sands, Wayne Osmond, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Robin Leach, Lewis Black, Itzhak Perlman, Van Morrison, George Maharis, Lily Tomlin, Barry Gibb, Gloria Estefan, Al Jardine, Mitzi Gaynor (who comes into The Orleans, next month), Merald "Bubba" Knight, Beyonce, Bob Newhart, Carol Lawrence, Jeff Foxworthy, Mark Chesnutt, Gloria Gaynor, Chrissie Hynde, Willie Tyler, Jose Feliciano, Lola Falana, Harry Connick Jr., George Jones, Maria Muldaur, Ruben Studdard, Jennifer Hudson, David Clayton Thomas, Peter Cetera, Joey Heatherton, Jon "Bowser" Bauman, Mary Crosby, Norm Crosby, Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson, Rita Rudner, David Copperfield, Richard Marx, Lamonte McLemore, Bill Medley, Paul Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Matthew & Gunnar Nelson, Leonard Cohen, Faith Hill, Andrea Bocelli and Joan Jett.

And anniversary greetings to Hughie and Jan Wood Lovelady, Bruce and Debbie Zarka.


Lola Falana

Joey Heatherton

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Next Friday, we will have a report on F.I.O.R.E.'s 7th anniversary party, taking place tomorrow night at the Italian American Club. The F.I.O.R.E. (standing for Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) non-club club is made up of Italians...and everyone else who likes to have fun and sing. The anniversary festivities will take place at the Italian American Social Club, located at 2333 E. Sahara, beginning at 6 p.m. A great dinner buffet, live entertainment (including a belly dancer), the award-winning 12-piece Gary Anderson orchestra, raffles, gifts, 50/50, a no host bar, and some surprises, are part of the evenings activities. Cost is $35 per person (F.I.O.R.E. widows are free, and get roses and chocolates to boot), and reservations are a must, as an exact headcount is needed for food preparation (we hate it when they run out of cake). It may already be too late (we couldn't get in touch with Nelson Sardelli, who leads this band of party animals, before our deadline), but if you have any interest in joining in on the camaraderie, contact babyeue@aol.com...immediately.

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Entertainer Larry Atello reports that he just got back from spending the weekend in the Palm Springs area, where he went to see Diana Ross in her More Today Than Yesterday tour at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. No surprise that major Ross fan, Diva's Las Vegas star, Frank Marino, also turned up at the Indio, California, resort for the performance. Due to their busy schedules, Larry and Frank, who are longtime friends, rarely see each other in Las Vegas. Atello is a cast member in Tony n' Tina's Wedding in the V Theater at Planet Hollywood, and is the front man in the Bon Jovi tribute band, Have a Nice Day. Larry will be singing the National Anthem at the Las Vegas Pride Festival tomorrow.


Larry Atello

Corey Levitan & Skylar Nicole

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For those who may have been wondering what happened to the Las Vegas Review-Journals' Corey Levitan and his Fear and Loafing column, here is the (condensed) explanation from the man himself...
After sampling 170 fulltime jobs around Las Vegas, I lost mine in June. I call it creative differences. (I'm creative; they're different.) Seriously, following the replacement of editor Thom Mitchell and publisher Sherm Frederick last November, almost a third of the R-J's staff has been let go, a travesty that the paper hopes the readers won't notice. (Have you?)
Many of my colleagues were not as lucky as me. I have landed a gig blogging about TV for msn.com, which I started this week, and I'm also writing for Vegas Magazine. As for my column voice, salon.com has agreed to run individual ideas, but they are way more extreme than "Fear and Loafing," and my first -- spending the night as a gigolo -- is taking a while to set up due to legal (and marital) resistance. (Oh, and Playboy also wants me writing adventures for them again, too.) But none of this will be on a regular weekly or monthly basis, or in one place anymore. The only way to follow my continued adventures is to go to my redesigned website, www.coreylevitan.com, and sign up for my free email updates on the top bar. (In the meantime) I'm in the midst of my most important job ever: Mr. Mom. Skylar Nicole Levitan (yes, we know: SNL) was born seven months ago Monday, and we (Jo Ann and I) couldn't be happier. I thank you for letting me make you laugh over the years, and I hope you'll continue to do so.

And, as long as we are showing cute babies, take a look at little Serena Sobel, the daughter of soprano, Joan Sobel (Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular), and Laurence Sobel (pianist/music director). Do we see (and hear) lots of music in 15-month-old Serena's future?


Joan Sobel & Serena

Michael Orland & Rita Wilson

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The Festival of New American Musical's Gala Closing Party took place last Saturday, September 10th, in the gorgeous Toluca Lake garden of voice teacher to the stars, Eric Vetro. The special guest was Glee star, Darren Criss, who portrays Blaine Anderson, an openly gay high school student in the TV series, and is set to make his Broadway debut in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in January 2012. Some of the Festival's favorite songwriters and performers, who previewed their next musicals and sang their next hits, were Rita Wilson, Marissa Jaret Winokur, John Stamos, Kristen Bell, along with Drew Carey and Wayne Brady, with Jeff Davis and Chip Esten, who took suggestions from the audience and created an improvised short musicals, ala Whose Line Is It Anyway? Also in attendance at the music-filled party were Desmond Child, Graham Phillips, David Burnham, David Zippel, James Carpinello, Sophie B. Hawkins, Amanda McBroom, Nolan Gerard Funk, Eamonn McCrystal, and Diane Warren's group, Due Voci. Pianists for the evening included Brad Ellis (Glee), Michael Orland (American Idol), Jerry Sternbach (writer/ conductor) and Michele Brourman (singer/songwriter). We have been assured, it was quite a party.

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We think it was probably a rerun (we never saw it before, so it's new to us), but recently, we saw magic man Joseph Gabriel on a segment of Antiques Roadshow. The popular PBS series was broadcasting from Las Vegas, and devoted a portion of the program to an interview with Nicholas Lowry, who discussed the artistry and value of vintage and collectible magic posters. "If you love magic," said Antiques Roadshow host, Mark Walberg, "Vegas is the place to be. Introducing the segment with a clever card trick, was Gabriel, who was never identified by name, but anyone who has spent time around these parts will recognize Joseph from his performances in the Lido de Paris (Stardust, 1984-1986), City Lites (Flamingo, 1986-1996) and as part of Caesars Magical Empire. Joseph Gabriel is currently guest starring in Vegas! The Show at Planet Hollywood.


Joseph Gabriel by R. Scott Hooper

Kelly Clinton by Mike Christ

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A recent Las Vegas Sun article by John Katsilometes informs readers that Clint Holmes will become a resident headliner in the Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts series beginning in the spring of 2012. Starting in April, Holmes is booked to perform on the first Friday and Saturday of each month. He might well add a Sunday afternoon matinee show, too. Holmes will headline at the double-level, 258-seat theater in Boman Pavilion, named for Smith Center board member and benefactor Dr. Keith Boman. Tickets will be $35 to $50.

The jazz/cabaret theater sits high and overlooks Symphony Park. As Holmes says, it will be the equal of any club of its size in the country. "The first time I got to tour it, I thought, 'This is as beautiful as any theater I've been in,' " says Holmes, who has just this year performed at Feinstein's at Loews Regency in New York. "Acoustically, it's going to be at that level, too."

This is a music venue in its purest form. The club will offer table seating near the stage and high-top tables closer to, well, the bar. Food will be served, and it should be the first traditionally designed jazz club (or, in this case, jazz/cabaret club) in the city since the Blue Note closed at what is now Harmon Theater at Krave at Harmon and The Strip. Others booked to play the club are the San Francisco Jazz Collective and Branford Marsalis, whose most recent appearance in Las Vegas was at Ham Hall this year. Famed cabaret performers Barbara Cook and Andrea Marcovicci are among the early headliners at the Smith Center, and Linda Eder also is committed to the venue. Away from his commitment at Boman Pavilion, Holmes will continue to perform across the country. A highlight in October is his performances in "Remembering Bobby Short" at Cafe Carlysle in New York, from Oct. 11-29. He's booked at the Suncoast in December and Harrah's on New Year's Eve, leading into his appearances at the Smith Center.
(Thanks, Kats!)

As for the distaff half of the Holmes family, that would be the talented Kelly Clinton, the redhead will make her New York cabaret debut at the Metropolitan Room on October 17th, when she presents her latest one-woman (sort of) show, Freckles and 80-Year-Old Bones. Kelly's is a familiar name to those who have been around Las Vegas since the late '70s, when the New Jersey-born entertainer first began appearing in local hotel lounges, sometimes as the lead singer with an already established group (Mainstream at the Maxim, Buddy Wilde and Bruce Zarka), and then in her own band, Kelly Clinton and The Purple Gang. This gal is much more than "just a singer," she is a "showWOMAN" (as opposed to a showman). We will have more about Kelly, and Freckles and 80-Year-Old Bones, as we get closer to her October Big Apple gig.

And speaking of Barbara Cook...
The Tony-winning actress/cabaret artist is one of the recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors. Joining Cook for the honors ceremony are Neil Diamond, Yo-Yo Ma, Sonny Rollins and Meryl Streep. The ceremony will air on CBS on December 27th.


Barbara Cook

Beverly Washburn

And, speaking of Mr. Diamond...
In response to our piece on the recent Elvis Fest, we received this e-mail from award-winning Neil Diamond tribute artist, Rob Garrett, who wrote...
Just got home from five eventful nights in the Pittsburgh area. I wanted to thank you for the notable mentions regarding my Cannery show and upcoming Starbright Theater show. I really want to give you a big hug regarding what you wrote about the Las Vegas Hilton's "Elvis Fest" fiasco. I was not there this year (as I was performing in Boca Raton) but I heard all about it. I myself experienced last year's "Heart of the King" abomination. Coming from someone who got to see Elvis a total of 23 times 'live', I agree whole heartedly that the producers (and we know who they are) AND THE HILTON are shamelessly taking advantage of the Elvis fans - trying to squeeze every dime out of them that they can. It's an embarrassment to the legacy of Elvis and I suspect that he would turn over a few times if he could see what was going on. Kudos to you my dear lady, MUAH!

As for how things went over at the Rio's Star Trek Convention at the Rio, we turned to actress Beverly Washburn, who played Lt. Arlene Galway in the Star Trek episode, The Deadly Years, and was invited to be a participate in the convention. Here is what she had to say...
In regards to Star Trek, it was packed. Many people in costumes. They topped the Guinness record of most costumes worn at a convention...ever. I was only there on Thursday so I don't know the feel of everyone, but on Thursday everyone seemed quite excited to be there. They did treat all the celebrities very well, assigning each of us our own security/escort. They wore black suits with an ear piece, so they looked like secret service men. I felt very important! Ha! I know it was costly to get in. Everything was "extra," as far as autographs, photo ops, etc, and people came from all over the world. I was at a celebrity breakfast, where they all paid $79 for a continental breakfast and a chance to meet 10 of us. We were all "small potatoes" really, just those of us who had guest appearances on the show, not the stars themselves, and yet it was sold out. They also had to pay extra to get our autograph ($20) and $30 to have their picture taken with us. All that money went, not to us, but to Creation, the company who put it on. I was surprised that there was such a long line for them to do that, but nobody seemed to mind. Each of us was given a flat fee to be there, so I was happy about that. As I said, I was only there one day, so I don't know if people felt ripped off or not. I had a blast, and it was a positive experience for me, but can't speak for the fans. They were all so receptive and so nice. My take on it, was that it was great, but as I said, I don't know what everyone else felt about it.

Thank you Rob and Beverly.

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Funnyman, Sammy Shore, returns to the Eastside Cannery for shows on Friday, September 23rd and Saturday, the 24th. Joining "The Man Who Made Elvis Laugh" on the stage in the cozy Marilyn's Lounge will be Bobby Slayton, also known as "The Pitbull of Comedy," and Cork Proctor. Veteran stand-up comic, Proctor, has opened on the big stages for such acts as Mel Tillis, Lee Greenwood, Eddie Raven, The Supremes, and Roberta Flack, among others. Show times are at 8 p.m.

And speaking of Sammy Shore and Cork Proctor...
Here's a reminder, that this coming Monday, September 19th, is the next meeting of the Las Vegas Media Group. Cork has come through again, and our speaker for the day is Sammy Shore. Here's an excerpt about Sammy from his website: Sammy Shore currently performs his standup comedy routine in nightclubs and casinos across America, including most recently, Las Vegas, Reno, and Laughlin, Nevada. Throughout 2009 Sammy performed his "Two Gals & a Geezer" show at the Tropicana Laughlin and performed regularly at Sammy's Comedy by the Shore, a comedy room named in his honor at the River Palms Hotel in Laughlin. Sammy Shore Is The Man Who Made Elvis Laugh. An American comedy legend who founded the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip and was hand-picked by Colonel Tom Parker to be Elvis Presley's opening act during the King's infamous 1969-1972 "Comeback Tour" in Vegas. As usual the group will be at The Wedding Room at 3601 W. Sahara on the southeast corner of Valley View. If you know where the Gallery of History is (was?) located, 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. Lunch is $15, and the food is said to be great! R.S.V.P.s are required. Contact Lisa at (702) 245-9206 or email to gioiaacres1988@gmail.com. Call The Wedding Room at (702) 362-6712 with any questions or for directions.


Cork Proctor

Skye Dee Miles

* * * * * * * *

RagTag Entertainment brings another Broadway musical to Green Valley Ranch Casino. This time, it's Smokey Joe's Cafe. Forty memorable songs from the 1950s and '60s, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, are sure to bring nostalgic appeal to every audience member. These are songs from the early Rock and Roll era that have been immortalized by great talents such as Elvis Presley, Big Mama Thornton, The Coasters and Drifters and Peggy Lee. Director Aaron Coulson has pulled together five men and four women, each currently performing in Las Vegas venues, to present the classic songs. The multi-talented cast includes, Francesca T. Camus, Skye Dee Miles, Stephanie Sanchez, Sandra Stimmel Huntsman, Bobby Black, Brandon Nix, Lamont Russell, Lance Bryant and Ted Zervoulakos. From the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s, Leiber and Stoller were the most successful songwriting team in popular music, giving Elvis some of his best material. Their songs included "Kansas City," "Love Me," "Poison Ivy," "On Broadway," "Yakety Yak," "Loving You," "Hound Dog," "Love Potion #9," "Jailhouse Rock," and "Stand by Me." Performed in an intimate setting in Green Valley Ranch's Ovation Show Room, the performers will have you clapping, singing and maybe even dancing your way through 90-minutes of non-stop entertainment. Tickets are only $10 dollars, and benefit the Olive Crest foundation. Olive Crest is dedicated to Preventing child abuse, to Treating and Educating at-risk children and to Preserving the family..."One Life at a Time."® Tickets may be purchased at all Station Casino locations, at www.stationcasinos.com, or by calling (702) 547-5300. The remaining shows are at 8 p.m., this Sunday, September 18th, and Tuesday, September 27th.



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