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 November 11, 2011
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - November 11, 2011


Don Hill Celebrates 90

Don Hill and Family

Hope that the much anticipated 11/11/11 is or has been a good and lucky one for Cousin Claire's millions and millions of readers. It is definitely good for this city, attracting lots of gamblers and couples wanting to get married on a date that only comes around once in a lifetime, unless you live to be more than 100. Next year, the, hopefully, lucky day will be December 12th, when your checks will be dated 12/12/12. Plan accordingly.

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Friends (including 94-year-old Prince Spencer of the famed Four Step Brothers), fans and family members turned out at Green Valley Ranch's Ovation on Tuesday night to honor Don Hill on his 90th birthday. Hill, a monster saxophone player puts musicians half his age to shame. This talented man was part of Louis Armstrong's band, before joining the fabulous Vegas lounge veterans, The Treniers, where he blew audiences away for more than 50 years.

Don's two daughters, Donna, a school teacher, and Dennie, a retired principal, came from California for the celebration, and Gloria Hill's granddaughter, Laura, and Laura's boyfriend, Jason, traveled from Pennsylvania to take part in the party (see accompanying photo). Laura had never seen Don perform before...and perform he did, playing beautiful renditions of "The Good Life;" "Body and Soul," with Artie Schroeck and Linda November; and "My Funny Valentine," with Michaelina Bellamy on vocals. Throughout the show, Don played with the rest of the fine musicians - Charlie Shaffer on keys, Jimmy Racey on drums, Dick Jones on bass, Tom McDermott on guitar, Michael Ray Tyler on trumpet and Bob Scann on trombone - who accompanied the entertainers. Also performing for the occasion were (in alphabetical order) Sonny Charles ("Over the Rainbow"); Don and Alicia Cunningham, known as The Cunninghams ("Let the Good Times Roll," "Flying High," both songs from The Treniers' musical repertoire); Pascale Elia from Belgium ("Girl From Ipanema," utilizing 'call and response,' "Summertime"); The Encore Follies Dancers (Jeannie, Lois, Mary Ann and Vicki, ages 68 to 75); Teddy Kaye ("Meglio Stasera/It Had Better Be Tonight," "Lady"); Laura Manning ("You'll Never Know," "Hold That Tiger"); Linda November ("I'll Remember April"); Peter Pavone ("The Lady Is a Tramp," "How Do You Keep the Music Playing"); Cushney Roberts ("Mack the Knife"); Ronnie Rose ("Birth of the Blues," Jump, Jive and Wail"), and Paul Stubblefield ("Beware My Foolish Heart," "Under the Boardwalk"). Funny man, Pete Barbutti, an expert at telling shaggy dog stories, co-hosted. It show was a tribute of love for Don Hill.

We had one big problem with the evening. The co-hostess. Not only were the start times on the printed material, that she put together, incorrect (we felt sorry for the folks that showed up around 6:30 p.m., and some, if not all of the musicians and performers, who were told to be in the theater by 5, for a show that was starting 8 p.m., not 7, as indicated on the fancy, four-color postcards), the program, which was advertised as ending by 10, did not. It went almost a half-hour over, meaning that many of those who volunteered their services to pay homage to the wonderful Don Hill, spent about five hours in the Ovation because of pure disorganization on the part of the "producer." A lot of terrific talent performed on the stage, but for an audience made up mostly of AARP-age people, it was much too long to expect them to sit, no matter how good the acts were. There were way too many shameless plugs for the self-indulgent co-hostess's projects. And worst of all, during the big finale, the honoree was left sitting behind the group of guest performers (the ones who were still there), who sang an original song written by Ms. Manning, in between the two other horn players, as if he were one of the backup musicians, instead of having him front and center, in the spotlight, where he belonged. By the time some of the performers got their turn in the spotlight, many of the worn out audience members had already left. Too bad for the people who played to a half empty room. We think that most of the folks who hung in till the bitter end, expected at least a "token" cake, and a happy birthday sing-along to Don. The only birthday song, led by the co-hostess, was sung to a woman in the audience named Patty...with an "and Don too" tossed in, almost like an afterthought. Oh yes. Let us not forget to mention the documentary-style video, that was shown before the live performance finally got started. What could have, and should have, been a great piece of musical history, was virtually ruined by too many photos of the credited producer/writer/narrator (guess who) at the end. We give the lady credit for putting the party together, but we give her a failing grade on the poor follow-through.

Note: The Hill family photo shows (from left to right): Donna, Dennie, Don, Laura and Gloria. Next week, we will share a few more pictures from the party.

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Speaking of Green Valley Ranch and the Ovation, this month and next, RagTag Entertainment, in association with Dustree Productions, presents Smokey Joe's Café on November 13th and 27th, and December 11th and 18th. The cast, made up of (in the politically correct alphabetical order) Francesca Camus, Aaron Coulson, Keith Dotson, Sandra Huntsman, Darnell Johnson, Tai Lewis, Brandon Nix, Brent Roberts, Stephanie Sanchez, and the RagTag Band, will perform the music of songwriters, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Show times are at 8 p.m. and tickets are a most reasonable $10 at the showroom door.

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Joan Collins

Charlene Tilton

The first major autograph show to take place on the Las Vegas Strip will occur at Harrah's Hotel & Casino, next weekend. On Saturday, the 19th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Hollywood Show Vegas! will feature more than 60 celebrities, including Joan Collins (who will be autographing her new book, The World According to Joan), Barbara Eden, Ernest Borgnine, Loni Anderson, Tippi Hedren, Charlene Tilton, Beverly Washburn, Felix Silla, Denny Miller, Susan Anton, Tempest Storm, Carol Lynley, Village People, Stella Stevens, Bruce Dern, Gary Conway, former Las Vegas showgirl Valerie Perrine, Rodney Allen Rippy, Edd "Kookie" Byrnes and Lana Wood. The Hollywood Show Vegas offers the opportunity for fans to have professional photos taken with their favorite stars. Participants will receive a gorgeous glossy 8x10 that can then be signed by the celebrity (celebrities) they have just been photographed with. Photo prices start at $40, and go up, depending on how many celebrities are in the shots. Admission prices to the show, range from $15 to $40. The photo session times will be scheduled. Every effort will be made to get guests in the photo room at the appointed time. They will not page throughout the casino, so they ask that you please be near the room at the scheduled time of your shoot.

And on the same weekend as The Hollywood Show Vegas, Jack Gallery in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Hotel is pleased to announce a special three-day exhibition of original works of art, and special unique works in mixed media, by Adam Scott Rote, which will also feature the preview showing of co-signed works of art by legendary Hollywood actresses Barbara Eden and Tippi Hedren on Friday and Sunday. On Friday, November 18th, between 8 p.m., Ms. Eden, best known for her title role in I Dream of Jeannie, will unveil Rote's painting, Flaming Star. On Sunday, November 20th, between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m., Tippi (best known for her starring role in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds), will unveil Rote's painting, The Wild Ones, in addition to a limited edition mixed media work of art featuring The Birds. Rote himself will be in attendance for both events, in addition to spending much of Saturday painting new works of art in the gallery. Showing for the first time in Las Vegas, Adam Scott Rote's work is the perfect match for a city that's well known for its unique mixture of entertainment and the arts. Both Flaming Star and the limited edition image, The Birds, are a part of Rote's Drive-In Daze series of artworks, which capture the magic of long summer nights in spacious cars when stars such as Eden and Hedren lit up screens at the local drive-in theaters. Rote's artwork attempts to capture the essence of those cherished nights. The Wild Ones honors Hedren's intense dedication to animal rescue and her work at her wildlife refuge in Southern California. "Today we marvel at 3D images jumping off an IMAX screen," Rote says, "but nothing replaces great storytelling. With my Drive-In Daze artworks, I'm telling a uniquely American story and honoring those unforgettable women who brought those films to life." Identifying himself as a modern romanticist, Rote adds that these co-signed artworks are the result of a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between these iconic actresses and an accomplished artist. A native of South Florida, Adam Scott Rote has earned several awards for his artwork, as well as a loyal following of collectors who cherish his signature technique. Collectors of Rote's work include such well-known figures as Academy Award-winner the late Patricia Neal, Grace Jones, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Burt Reynolds, and Hugh Hefner. Collectors who acquire artwork will receive a special dedicated work of art. Jack Gallery is located in the Grand Canal Shoppes of the Venetian Hotel, adjacent to Barneys, at 3377 Las Vegas Boulevard South. For more information on Jack Gallery, or to set up an interview with Adam Scott Rote, please call (877) 252-2122, ext. 102, or visit www.jackgallery.com.


Tippi Hedren by Adam Scott Rote

David Hasselhoff

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The Hoff is off...off the schedule in The Orleans showroom, that is. We learned yesterday that David Hasselhoff's dates at The Orleans, scheduled for next weekend, have been canceled. This was a four-wall deal, which means that the performer "rents" the room and makes their money based on the number of tickets sold. Although no reason for the cancellation was announced, we have our own theory...and it has nothing to do with Boyd Gaming who owns The Orleans. We suspect that lack of pre-publicity, due, we feel, to The Hoff's New York rep dropping the ball, resulted in poor early ticket sales. Someone probably got nervous and opted to cancel, rather than take the chance on three nights of low numbers. We don't buy the "he got a movie offer" excuse. If, in fact, a movie offer did come up, requiring Hasselhoff to start immediately (highly unlikely), we are pretty sure the movie crew would have understood and gone along with the "Hey, you guys, I have a weekend of shows, my first as a Vegas headliner, scheduled. I can start on Monday, the 21st." Instead, the cancellation, one week before the engagement, leaving the hotel no chance to promote a last-minute replacement. As a result, the showroom at The Orleans will probably be dark for three nights next weekend.

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Reminders...
Cork Proctor performs at the Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino tomorrow night. Show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are only $10. Head south on Boulder Highway for a night of fun. There is a fine dining room and a 24-hour coffee shop, so have dinner and some laughs with the veteran comic.


Cork Proctor

Ryan Gallagher

It's the always entertaining Society of Seven, featuring American Idol finalist, Jasmine Trias, at the Suncoast, tomorrow and Sunday nights. SOS newcomer, cutie Ryan Gallagher (see accompanying photo), joins the musical comedy show group for this engagement. If you don't have a good time at an SOS show, you have a serious problem. The cast is musically talented and very, very funny. Shows are at 7:30. Tickets start at $15.95, plus tax and fees. Call (702) 636-7075 for reservations. And speaking of the Suncoast, the property celebrated its 11th anniversary on 11/11/11.

Comedian Marty Allen and his musical bride, Karon Kate Blackwell, are back at Palace Station this weekend, with 8:30 shows on Saturday and Sunday. Performing in the Louie Anderson Theater, these two are a match made in entertainment heaven. Tickets start at $49.95, plus taxes and fees, with a $15 discount for Las Vegans. Call (702) 547-5300 for reservations. We might mention that the Grand Café at Palace Station is excellent, offering a great selection, delicious food, reasonable prices and fine service. The café is open 24/7.


Marty Allen & Karon Kate Blackwell

James Dimmare

The Gold Coast presents Paul Stone's Vegas Magic Theatre, this week featuring Dimmare, Jason Andrews and Scott Land, through Sunday. Singer/musician, Ben Stone, hosts. There is a new lineup of magic, comedy, escapology, illusions, mind reading and more, every week. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 5 and 7:30. Tickets for the family-friendly shows are only $14.95, plus taxes and fees. Call (702) 367-7111.

The Village People are performing in the Starlite Theatre at the Riviera through November 20th. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets start at $39.95. Call (800) 745-3000 for tickets.


Village People

Mr. Jimmy Emerson

And the musical, Hairspray, directed by the multi-talented Larry Raben (Leo Bloom in The Producers, when it played at Paris Las Vegas), continues at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, California, through Sunday.

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Never one to rest on his laurels, performer/producer, Jimmy Emerson, always has more than one iron in the fire. In addition to his current starring role in An Evening at La Cage at the Four Queens (hold the jokes) Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas, Jimmy is involved with other productions and makes occasional guest appearances in other cities. On Sunday, November 27th, and Tuesday the 29th, he will be performing at the F Bar, 202 Tuam Street in Houston, Texas, followed by an appearance at Crystals, 112 West Broad St., in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on December 3rd, and at Tonic, 2013 Pinhook in Lafayette, Louisiana, on the 4th. Emerson began his career in live theatre and is well versed in acting, dancing and singing; but, it was his flair for comedy when portraying his original character Tammy Spraynette as a member of Breck Wall and Patrick Maes' Bottoms Up that impressed producer Norbert Aleman. Aleman saw Emerson's performance in 1986 and asked him to join the La Cage cast the very next day. An Evening at La Cage is the world's most famous female impersonator show, and Emerson has appeared in the La Cage cast on three continents. However, Jimmy was born and raised in Texas and fine-tuned his talents on stages throughout the state, including Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange, Dallas, San Antonio, Galveston, Bryan College Station and many others. Of course he was a very popular performer in Houston where he lived for several years. For his special appearances in Houston and Lake Charles, Emerson plans to bring Tammy to the stage as well as giving the audience a taste of Wynonna, Roseanne Barr and Anna Nicole Smith. When asked if he gets bored or tired of doing Tammy Spraynette, Jimmy simply says with a smile, "Tammy has helped me buy four homes, many cars, and made it possible for me to start up my own company." The F Bar is a high-end experience with European sensibility and Texas hospitality that offers boutique clubbing with an active dance floor and a friendly patio. Emerson will be a guest of the club's two female impersonation shows, Drag LIVE starring the Dreamgirls and Legendary Ladies. Legendary Ladies on November 27th starts at 9 p.m. sharp, and Drag LIVE on November 29th begins at 10-ish. There is never a cover at the F Bar. Crystals is a super friendly bar with an active dance floor that caters to the GLBT crowd, but truly welcomes everyone. December 4th, Jimmy will appear at Tonic, an all-purpose bar with a friendly vibe and ongoing live performances, catering to the GLBT crowd, as well as anyone else who wants to have a great time. There might be a cover at Crystals and Tonic. While he is on the road, Tommi Rose will be filling in for Jimmy at La Cage, from November 27th through December 3rd. Ginger Grant will do the hosting duties on December 4th.


Mr. Tommi Rose

Dwight Yoakam Oops Sign, 1999

Beginning on Tuesday, November 15th, The Strangeminds open at the Four Queens Hotel & Casino. The Strangeminds features Dr. Thurston Strangemind and his eccentric wife, Duchess Mesmerelda, who are "secretly" performed by world-famous mentalist, Brent Webb, and female illusionist, Tommi Rose. The Strangeminds is an unforgettable night of amazing mental magic with a generous heaping of comedy. At the start of the show, a locked strongbox is raised high above the heads of the audience, where it remains in full view throughout the program. In the fast-paced finale, the box is lowered and unlocked by an audience volunteer, and what is inside is truly astounding. Brent Webb has performed to sold-out crowds from Miami to Madrid, and just completed a headlining run at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. He has performed with a number of stars, including Dionne Warwick, Don Rickles, and Chaka Kahn. Johnny Carson once said of Brent, "He's the best I have seen." Tommi Rose has toured and starred in various variety shows on two continents. Tommi was the emcee of Puttin' on the Glitz at Finocchio's in San Francisco, as well as serving as emcee and comic for An Evening at La Cage, in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. The show also has the talents of creative director, Wesley Eure, star of Land of the Lost, Days of Our Lives and Finders Keepers. Eure is an award-winning actor, director, author and producer. He created the smash PBS kids' show, Dragon Tales. Show times are 9 p.m., Tuesdays. For tickets, buy online at tickets.fourqueens.com, or contact the Four Queens box office at (800) 634-6045 or (702) 387-5175.

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Good old country boy, Dwight Yoakam, comes into the Las Vegas Hilton, December 6th and 7th. Hopefully, this time around, the big marquee at the entrance to the hotel on Paradise, will spell his name correctly, unlike what happened when he appeared with Merle Haggard, Jewel and Connie Smith in October of 1999 (see accompanying photo).


Dwight Yoakam

Trace Adkins

Another country boy, Platinum Recording Artist Trace Adkins, takes his boots to the Riviera Hotel & Casino's Royale Pavilion, for one night only on Friday, December 9th (December is rodeo time in Vegas, you know). His instantly recognizable baritone has earned 30 charted singles and 15 Top Ten hits gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums with total sales surpassing 10 million. He is the author of A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck. Adkins was a finalist on NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice, where he charmed millions, while his recent role in The Lincoln Lawyer put him in the company of Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillipe, Jon Leguiazamo and William H. Macy, in the box-office-topping theatrical release. A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Adkins was raised on Country and Gospel and is known as a traditionalist who speaks his mind and honors the past. The 6'6" star is the father of five daughters and a family man to the core. He is a former oil rigger who still works his farm himself. His "gruff" demeanor hides a self-deprecating, humble man with the coolness that comes from defeating death (more than once), and realizing everything else is small stuff. When a fire claimed his home in June 2011 in Tennessee, Trace first made sure his family was unharmed, then immediately redirected his fans' offers of support to the Red Cross. Trace Adkins' latest hit single, "Just Fishin'," is the first from his tenth studio album, Proud To Be Here, which was released on August 2nd. The show at the Riv begins at 10 p.m. and offers three different ticket options: General Admission is $44, Preferred Seating is $54 and the VIP Package is $75. All ticket prices include taxes and fees. Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting www.rivierahotel.com, calling the box office at (702) 794-9433, using Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Riviera Box Office.

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The Las Vegas Hospitality Association (LVHA) is holding an open election mixer at Aria's Gold Lounge on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, from 6 to 8 p.m. At the mixer, an election will be held for the 2012 LVHA Board of Directors and the results will be announced that night. In addition, LVHA is holding its annual Fill A Bag With Holiday Cheer promotion where members and friends sponsor a child and fill a holiday bag with needed items (shoes, coats, toiletries, toys, etc.) for underprivileged children at the Manuel J. Cortez Elementary School. Even non-members can sign up on the LVHA website to adopt a child of which there are more than 200.
Cost is $40 for members, and $55 for non-members ($5 credit card fee applies). To RSVP, go to the LVHA Web site, www.lvhospitality.org.

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Hash House A Go Go features Turkey Dinner to Go Go for Thanksgiving. Why cook on Thanksgiving when Hash House A Go Go can do it for you! Completes Turkey Dinner for a family of six includes, 10 Pound Deep Fried Turkey; Fresh Green Beans and Carrots; Stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce; Homemade Garlic and Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes; Hash House Biscuits with fresh strawberry jam and Homemade Snickers or Pumpkin bread pudding for $89.95. Place your order by calling the restaurant, at (702) 804-4646, before November 21st at noon, and pick up Wednesday, November 23rd between noon and 8 p.m. Includes complete reheating instructions. Available at the 6800 W. Sahara location only. Also available throughout the holidays, at the Sahara location, homemade buttermilk biscuits and housemaid strawberry jam, featured as a bakers dozen (13) for $12.95. Check out Hash House A Go Go on Black Friday, November 25th, Saturday the 26th, and Sunday the 27th, for a holiday brunch. The M Resort, Imperial Palace, and the Plaza Hotel, are open for brunch from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., while West Sahara is open form 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All locations are open for dinner, beginning at 5 p.m. On Thanksgiving Day, M Resort, Imperial Palace and the Plaza Hotel locations will be open. The West Sahara location will be closed.

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Andy Rooney

Shelley Berman

Andy Rooney so dreaded the day he had to end his signature "60 Minutes" commentaries about life's large and small absurdities that he kept going until he was 92 years old. Even then, he said he wasn't retiring. Writers never retire. But his life after the end of "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney," delivered on October 2nd, was short. He died November 4th, less than five weeks after delivering his 1,097th and final televised commentary. For his final essay, Rooney said that he'd live a life luckier than most. "I wish I could do this forever. I can't, though," he said. He had gone into the hospital for an undisclosed surgery. Major complications developed and he never recovered. Rooney and his wife, Marguerite, were married for 62 years before she died of heart failure in 2004. They had four children. Emily is a former executive producer of ABC's World News Tonight, Brian was a longtime ABC News correspondent, Ellen a photographer, and Martha Fishel is chief of the public service division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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Comedian, actor, writer, teacher, lecturer, and poet, Shelley Berman, takes his act into the Improv at Harrah's, with two shows at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. nightly, from Tuesday through Sunday, November 20th. Berman started as a straight actor, receiving his training at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, honing his acting skills in stock companies in and around Chicago and New York. In the mid-1950s, he became a member of Chicago's Compass Players, which later evolved into The Second City. While performing improvised sketches with Compass, Berman began developing solo pieces, often employing an imaginary telephone to take the place of an onstage partner. In 1957, he landed his first job as a comedian at Mister Kelly's in Chicago. This led to other nightclub bookings, and a recording contract with Verve Records. Berman's comedy albums would earn him three gold records. He was the first artist to win the Grammy Award for a non-musical recording, and the first standup comedian to play Carnegie Hall. Berman, who is now 86, would go on to appear on numerous TV specials, and all of the major variety shows of the day. Tickets for Shelley Berman are $36, plus taxes and fees. For reservations, call (702) 349-6315.

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On Fridays from 8 to 11 p.m., Larry Liso performs jazz favorites at La Scala Ristorante Italiano, located in the Mark I Tower at 1020 E. Desert Inn. According to Liso, La Scala offers "great food, romantic atmosphere, reasonable prices, and wonderful service," and on Friday nights, it offers him. For Reservations call (702)699-9980. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night, you can see Larry Liso in Shades of Sinatra, currently at the Clarion Hotel (formerly the Greek Isles) on Convention Center Drive, between the Las Vegas Strip and Paradise.


Larry Liso

Anthony Rais & Rigga Mortease

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Anthony Rais and his marionettes will be featured in Ed Mathews' Variety Toast of the Town at Sam's Town, at 2 p.m. on Thursday, November 17th. Singer, Denise Clemente, will also guest.

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Jaymie Valentine is making quite a name for herself on the California music scene. For Halloween 2010, she provided the music for the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor Annual Haunted Event. She went over so well, she was asked back for this year, and was given a bonus over what she asked for. One of Southern California's largest and most popular Halloween haunts, it takes place inside a purportedly haunted location - the Queen Mary, permanently docked in Long Beach. Now in its 17th year, the event features three mazes on the ship and two on land. On the ship, the mazes snake their way through the hallways and creepy abandoned entertainment areas. Imagine if they pulled the Titanic out of the water and let you walk around...in the dark...with only your best instincts on how to get out! One maze begins with a trip down the stairs into the lower levels of the ship, while another maze is at ground level, and yet another just one floor up. The costumes and makeup are well done and fright-inducing. This event features fright beyond the monsters themselves. The backdrop, which is already scary enough, is further intensified through the imagination of the creators. Even the Village of the Damned on land has more of an authentic haunted house feel than some of Southern California's biggest theme park attractions. Music for the 2010 and 2011 Dark Harbor Haunted Event was composed by Valentine. In addition to composing, Jaymie plays and sings her own music, has done a number of albums, and toured the country. Jaymie grew up in Las Vegas, attending school here before heading to the coast. Her proud grandparents, Carlo and Edie Profico, are longtime Las Vegans.


Jaymie Valentine

Luke Manfredi

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Final Curtain...
Dennis J. Grillo, a onetime member of the Four Freshmen vocal group, passed away on October 31st. He was 81. Grillo grew up in Brooklyn, and graduated with high honors from the Julliard School of Music. He later served in the U.S. Army. Dennis was a jazz composer and arranger who played flugelhorn and trumpet in several well-known orchestras, including those led by Russ Morgan, Freddy Martin and Stan Kenton. He became a professor in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he retired. He is survived by three sons, Dante R. Grillo of Las Vegas, Sunny K. Grillo of San Francisco, and Mark Grillo of Baltimore, and a daughter, Dione C. Grillo of Albuquerque, N.M.

Luke Manfredi, 86, of Henderson, passed away on November 4th. He was born April 16, 1925, in Cleveland, and was a 30-year resident of Nevada. A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he was a loving son, husband father, grandfather, uncle and cousin. A true "Renaissance Man" and entrepreneur, Luke owned and operated his own businesses beginning in the late 1940s, including, Cream Town, a classic American diner. In the mid-'50s, he opened Manfredi's Dress Shops with new wife, Michelina "Mickey" Guarino, daughter of Vincent and Mary Guarino, founders of Cleveland's landmark Guarino's Restaurant. From the mid-'60s, into the 1970s, Luke turned his creative talent towards high-end jewelry, as a designer with the Rudolph Deutsch Company. His interest in fine food led to a collaboration with cousins, Carl and John Quagliata, who, in 1976, developed Ristorante Giovanni, which was an overnight success and set a new standard in gourmet continental dining in Cleveland. In the early '80s, Luke and Mickey migrated west to Las Vegas and opened Manfredi's Limelight Restaurant, located at Eastern and Tropicana. The Limelight received national recognition and was featured in the Los Angeles Times and Bon Appetit magazine. Luke was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Carmela (nee Pagano) Manfredi; sister, Marianne (nee Manfredi) Grano; wife, Michelina (nee Guarino) Manfredi; and son, Luke Manfredi Jr. Luke is survived by his nephew, James Grano; sons, Joseph and Vincent; daughter, Marianna Rivera; son-in-law, Wilfredo Rivera; daughters-in-law, Jodi (nee Jacober) Manfredi and Heide (nee Aungst) Manfredi; and grandchildren, Lindsey Breslauer, Michael Manfredi, Marcos Rivera, Joseph Manfredi, Jr., Alessandra Manfredi and Carolina Manfredi. Memorial services were held earlier today at The Legacy Golf Club, 130 Par Excellence Drive, in Henderson, NV. Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, November 12th, at Palm Mortuary, 7600 S. Eastern Ave. in Las Vegas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice of Las Vegas, or the charity of your choice .

Joe Frazier, the former heavyweight champion whose epic rivalry with Muhammad Ali included a trilogy of fights, died last Monday night after battling liver cancer. He was 67. In June, Frazier, billed as a blues singer, was on the bill with Tom Jones tribute artist, Harmick, and vocalist Marva Scott in the Hilton's Shimmer Cabaret.


Smokin' Joe Frazier

Michael Remer

Michael Remer, 78, passed away in New York on November 6th. Specializing in entertainment law, Remer was the attorney for the Tennessee Williams trust. Michael Remer is survived by his wife Patricia, children Abby and Harry, sister Rita Mendelsohn, and cousins in Tucson, AZ, Lakewood, CO, and Las Vegas. Donations in Remer's memory may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering or Visiting Nurse Service of New York.



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