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.
Note: This is a past column from August 22, 2008
You can find the current column HERE
Las Vegas - August 22, 2008
Clinton (also known, lovingly, as “Kelvis” by some of
her fans…Cousin Claire among them) has a busy upcoming
schedule. Tomorrow, August 23rd, she will be
performing for the Nevada Broadcasters Association Gala, held in the
Summerlin Ballroom at the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa.
Kelvis promises that the Rock is going to rock! This event -
the 13th Annual NBA Hall of Fame Gala and Dinner Dance -
is an important night for Nevada's broadcasters. After a tough
year, having the public join together with the leaders of our media
is going to be so nice, so wonderful, so exciting and so much fun.
Thom Porterfield, KTVN-TV and Chairman-Elect of the NBA, said
it best, "Congratulations NBA on the fine planning and effort
that each of you have put into the Gala. I anticipate that the
finished product will be enjoyed by all of those who are so deserving
of recognition and the broadcasters and guests who attend.
While times are indeed tough, I think it worthwhile to enjoy an
evening together --as broadcasters and not competitors."
With one of the largest Hall of Fame Classes ever assembled,
there is truly a reason to celebrate. And celebrate they will,
thanks to Kelly Clinton, her band and some of the stars of the Las
Vegas Strip. Among the confirmed talent, Sky Dee Miles
(Menopause the Musical), Sandra Benton (Menopause
the Musical), Gayle Steele (The First Lady of Song), Elisa
Fiorillo (National recording star), and Ronnie Rose (Stirling
Club and JAM). The evening schedule will include a
networking and cocktail hour, with hors d’oeuvres and a silent
auction. Music and entertainment will be provided by Kelly
Clinton & Friends. The honoring of America's Veterans and
Presentation of Colors will take place, with Congresswoman Shelly
Berkley and Nevada Army National Guard participating.
Achievement Awards and Hall of Fame Inductions will include Governor
Jim Gibbons, Congressman Jon Porter, local anchors and
DJs. A steak and halibut dinner combo, followed by dessert and
dancing will take place, with music provided by Kelly and friends.
The cost for the evening is $149 per person, with the funds
benefiting Homeland Security, Emergency Planning, AMBER Alert and
Public Service. For information about the event including
placing an ad in the Program Journal, or donating a silent auction
item, please contact Bob Fisher at (702) 326 5808.
also be performing on the Jerry Lewis National Telethon, airing on
August 31st and September 1st. This won’t be
the first time that Ms. Clinton has participated in the telethon, but
the other two appearances have been as a backup singer for Wayne
Newton. This time, however, Kelly will be the one in the
spotlight, doing two songs accompanied by her own band. To say
that she is thrilled, is like saying that Michael Phelps is an
average swimmer. On November 15th, Kelly Clinton
will perform her one woman/multi-character show at the Starbright
Theater in Sun City Summerlin. We will have more about this
closer to the performance date.
* * * * *
One of our
favorite entertainers, Gerry McCambridge, has just been named
as the recipient of the prestigious Merlin Award. The
International Magicians Society, a worldwide organization, which was
established in 1968 and currently has more than 37,000 members, just
announced Gerry as the recipient of this honor. The Merlin
Award is to magic, what the Oscar is to movies. Some of the
previous winners of the Merlin Award are Harry Blackstone,
Doug Henning, Siegfried & Roy and David
Copperfield. The voting members begin with approximately
one hundred names, and narrow down to one. The criteria that the
voters have to consider are talent, showmanship, originality, skills,
and, above all, the rare ability to entertain under any conditions.
Gerry is the very first Mentalist in history to receive the Merlin
award. The award will be presented to Gerry on August 25th,
immediately following his performance at
Hooters Casino Hotel. McCambridge performs at 7 p.m., every
night but Friday. Call (866) 584-6687.
* * * * *
that time of month again…time for the Composer’s
Showcase. The August edition will take place on Thursday,
the 28th, in the Liberace Museum Cabaret Showroom, 1775
East Tropicana at Spencer. Although the day of the week may
change (sometimes Sunday, sometimes Wednesday, sometimes Thursday),
the start time is always announced as 10:30 p.m. (after theater).
This month will include music by local composer/songwriters Ashia,
Michael Brennan, Thom Culcasi, Ben Hale, Rylan
Leo Helmuth, Jason Martinez, Keith Thompson and
Dale Vernon, presented by vocalists Natalie Bradshaw,
Julia Krohn, Michael James Scott and Lauren
Tartaglia among others. Accompaniment will be provided by
the amazing instrumental chops of Philip Fortenberry, Patricia
Diaz, Keith Hubacher, Don Meoli and Drew Zingg.
A $5 hors d’oeuvres buffet is provided by Keg and Cork
Catering. There is also a cash bar (no credit cards, please).
Donations for the Liberace Foundation are happily accepted. The
mission of the foundation is to help talented students pursue careers
in the performing and creative arts through scholarship assistance.
The Liberace Museum is located adjacent to Carluccio’s Tivoli
* * * * *
Chapman and ChapQuist Entertainment will present Oh What a
Night! A Celebration of the Music of Frankie Valli and The Four
Seasons at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin. An
exciting musical revue written and directed by independent Motown
producer and creative consultant, George Solomon, and
award-winning producer/director, Michael Chapman. Choreography
is by Paul Holmquist. Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry,
Walk Like A Man and Can't Take My Eyes Off You, are
just a few of the many hits audience members will enjoy from the
dynamic songbook of those boys from Jersey, Frankie Valli and The
Four Seasons. The high-spirited cast stars Solomon,
Holmquist, Rob Hyatt and Rick Morgan. Great
choreography, boundless energy, humor and, of course, instantly
recognizable classic pop songs will make this, Oh What a Night!
ChapQuist Entertainment will also present Supreme Reflections,
a loving tribute to the most famous female singing group of all time,
The Supremes. This sparkling trip down Motown’s memory
lane is also written and directed by Solomon and Chapman, with
choreography by Holmquist. Learn the true story of the original
dream girls’ rise to fame while enjoying an endless string of
irresistible, toe-tapping hits and the eye-popping glamour of Diana
Ross & The Supremes, including Baby Love, Stop! In
The Name Of Love, You Can't Hurry Love, Love Child.
The stellar cast is made up of Wendy Edmead, Cheaza
Figueroa, Tai Lewis and Tezz Yancey. You'll
love, love, love this stylish, fun and informative musical gem!
Show times for Oh What a Night! are Saturday, August 30th
at 7 p.m., Sunday, August 31st at 2 p.m., and Sunday,
September 7th at 4 p.m. Show times for Supreme
Reflections are Saturday, September 6th at 7 p.m. and
Sunday, the 7th, at 2 p.m. Because a number of
people wanted to see each of these shows, but weren’t able to
attend both weekends, ChapQuist has made it possible to see both
shows on Sunday, September 7th, with Supreme
Reflections starting at 2 p.m., followed by Oh What a Night!
at 4 p.m. Make one trip, see both shows - just like a
double feature movie matinee! Tickets for each show are $18 for
Sun City Summerlin residents and $23 for non-residents. They
are on sale at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle Community
Centers in Sun City Summerlin. For show information and credit
card orders, call (702) 869-2064, or the Starbright box office at
(702) 240-1301. The Starbright is located at 2215 West Thomas
Ryan Blvd. (west of Rampart on Lake Mead).
* * * * *
Blue, who we have touted on more than one occasion, will be doing
a special "Unplugged" show, Thursday, August 28th,
from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Wolfgang Puck Cafe at the Las Vegas Springs
Preserve. The Preserve is located on Valley View just south of the
95. If you have not visited the educational and beautiful
Preserve, this may be the perfect opportunity to do so. You can
also hear ZB play regularly at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
in The District at Green Valley Ranch - call Lucille’s at (702)
257-RIBS (7427) for dates and times. Cousin Claire apologizes
for any earlier misspells of the name Zavier Blue. It is Zavier
with a “Z” (like Liza), not an “X,” and it is
Blue, without an “S” on the end. Reviewers and
editors, please take note.
* * * * *
talented friend, David Pomeranz, has composed the music for a
new musical version of the Charles Dickens classic, A Tale
Of two Cities. The show will have its London premiere next
month. With lyrics by David Soames (Dave Clark’s
Time the Musical), and book by Soames and Steven David
Horwich (Emmy-winner at 17 for My Littlest Revue, and
co-writer, with Pomeranz, of the book Little Tramp the Musical,
for which Pomeranz wrote the music), and direction by
producer/director Paul Nicholas (Grease), A Tale Of
Two Cities will have a special pre-West End run at the Gatehouse
Theatre, from September 25th through November 2nd.
In recent years, David collaborated with Kathie Lee Gifford on
two musicals, Under the Bridge and Saving Aimee.
We are never surprised to learn of a new Pomeranz project. What
DOES surprise us, though, is that his Little Tramp musical,
based on the life of Charlie Chaplin, has not made it to
Broadway. The reviews for a June production of the show in
Florida were excellent, and eluded to the fact that Little Tramp
may tour before winding up in New York. Keep your eyes and
ears open. Incidentally, in 1992, in the hopes of creating
interest in bringing Little Tramp to the stage, Pomeranz
gathered together what he referred to as his "dream cast"
and recorded a concept CD of the score. Artists participating in the
project included Petula Clark, Lea Solanga, Tim
Curry, Mel Brooks, and Treat Williams. This
is a tough CD to find, but if you are a fan of musical theater,
Charlie Chaplin or David Pomeranz (who wrote Tryin’ To Get
the Feeling Again and The Old Songs, both No. 1 hits for
Barry Manilow), seek it out. If you have the chance to hear it
or own it, take the opportunity to do so.
speaking of Petula Clark, the lady who doesn’t sleep in
the subway, especially when she is downtown, returns for her second
engagement at the Craig Road Cannery Hotel Casino’s Club on
Saturday, September 6th. Tickets start a more than
reasonable $9.95 (plus taxes and fees). For reservations, call
(702) 617-5585 or toll free at (866) 287-4643.
* * * * *
Michael James Scott
Claire is constantly amazed and surprised at how the Internet can
connect one to lots of information as well as connect, or reconnect,
people from all around the globe. In the two years that this
column has been up and running, we have “found” long lost
friends and acquaintances, or they have found us. On August
31st of last year, we posted this plea…
there any readers who know or knew Lenadams Dorris, the creative
fellow who ran The Newsroom coffee shop across from UNLV, and later
the Enigma Café near downtown Las Vegas? Cousin Claire would
like to know where he disappeared to, so if anyone can help, please
make contact. Thank you.
almost a year but, the uniquely named Lenadams Dorris (who is,
in fact, a very unique individual), actually contacted us via
e-mail. The onetime Las Vegan is currently making his home in
Michigan. For those that knew Lenadams during his years here,
and those of you who didn’t, here is some information on our
formerly missing friend. Calling himself a horticulturist,
scribbler and back-alley raconteur, Lenadams was the host of KNPR's
Desert Bloom for 12 years, was a restaurant critic for Las Vegas
CityLife for six years, and was part of Outdoor Nevada on Channel
10 and the "Garden Guy" for Channel 3. For a period
of time, Mr. Dorris ran Rancho Nursery and was part of the management
team of the Star Nursery chain. In 1994, he was a Democratic
candidate for Nevada Assembly (losing to John Bonaventura).
Lenadams was a Nevada Fellow in Literature. As a businessman,
he opened The Newsroom in downtown Las Vegas in 1986, moving to the
Kinko’s center across from UNLV the following year.
Dorris and his partner, the late Julie Brewer, enlarged the
downtown Enigma Garden Café in 1996. Two years later,
Lenadams became the sole owner of the South 4th Street
business. The Enigma closed at the end of 2001. Dorris
now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he “fled to escape a
persistent dust devil.” He says he giggles every time it
rains in Ann Arbor, which means he is constantly giggling. He
also says he is still trying to figure out how many different kinds
of snow there are, and has given up bestowing names on individual
trees, a malady he describes as “a peculiarly desert-born
habit.” Like we said earlier (in case you missed it),
Cousin Claire is constantly amazed and surprised at how the Internet
can connect, or reconnect, people from all around the globe.
* * * * *
weekend was fun-filled and entertainment-filled. We saw three
terrific shows in two days and enjoyed a great Sunday evening meal
with friends. On Saturday night, it was Clint Holmes in
the Judy Bayley Theater at UNLV (this is the same performance space
where Clint premiered his bio-musical, JAM - Just Another Man, for
22 performances in June of last year). Backed by his co-writer
Bill Fayne at the piano, Keith Nelson on bass, Jeff
Neiman on keyboards, Davy Nathan on keys, Adam Shendal
on drums, Richie Rodriguez on percussion, and Tommy Steele
on, just about everything, including sax, clarinet, flute,
harmonica, piano, organ, and goodness knows what else. Joining
Clint on vocals were the outstanding Reva Rice, Gayle
Steele, Elisa Fiorillo, and Ronnie Rose (Earl
Turner, who winds up a gig in the Fiesta Showroom at Harrah’s
in Laughlin on the 28th, was also part of the show for
some of the performances). Opening with a Broadway medley
(Broadway Baby, Lullaby of Broadway, Give My Regards
to Broadway and On Broadway), the cast moved into a great
West Side Story medley (Leonard Bernstein and Stephen
Sondheim’s Something’s Coming, Jet Song,
Cool, Maria, America, Tonight, A Boy
Like That, I Have a Love and Somewhere).
There were also numbers from Fred Ebb and John
Kander’s Chicago (All That Jazz), Stephen
Sondheim’s Company (Being Alive),
and Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s
South Pacific (You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught).
The rest of the program was made up of tunes from JAM.
On Saturday night, audience members got a bonus when four students
from the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies Performing &
Visual Arts, opened Clint’s show. Accompanied by former
student and current faculty member, Michael Spadoni on piano,
four young people, Caitlyn Cerza,
Gianni Becker, Lynda DeFuria and Primrose Martin,
each did a solo turn, much to the delight of the crowd. Some of
the proceeds generated by the five performances of Clint Holmes
Sings Broadway will go to the Nevada Conservatory Theater and
some will go to the award-winning Las Vegas Academy. Be sure
and check out Clint’s clever Web site.
afternoon, we spent an entertaining couple of hours at the Liberace
Cabaret (located inside the museum that honors Mr. Showmanship), at
1775 E. Tropicana, enjoying the talented Michael James Scott in
a show he calls …In Progress. Scott, who is
currently in Jersey Boys at The Palazzo, was assisted by the
oh so terrific Keith Thompson (musical director for Jersey
Boys) serving as musical director and playing piano, Don Meoli
on drums, and Keith Hubacher playing bass, and “Black-Up”
(no, that’s not a typo) singers, Valisia Lekae Little,
Joseph Anthony Byrd (both from Mamma Mia!) and Lauren
We had two
complaints regarding our Sunday afternoon at the Liberace Museum.
Numero uno…it was uncomfortably warm in the showroom. Do
we attribute that to the hot performers, or to the fact there was a
full SRO house there to see Mr. Scott and company? Maybe it was
a combination of both. Thank goodness for the Liberace
“church-type” fans that were provided for the attendees.
And number two…the sound, when it came to the vocalists,
needed to be increased. It was very difficult to hear some of
the lyrics and almost impossible to hear most of the spoken dialog.
When the problem was mentioned after the show, we were told that
because the performers were all strong singers, this was a conscious
decision. In defense (and in an attempt to keep people from
running for hearing tests), we say this…professional vocalists
know how to use microphones and know when they should pull the mic
away from their mouths when they are going for the “big
notes.” We never miss the monthly Composers Showcase at
the museum. We have never experienced the sound problem on
those nights that we encountered on Sunday. A word to the wise
for the next time…
was off to The Orleans for a dandy dinner in the second floor Prime
Rib Loft (very nice menu, good food and reasonable prices) before
heading to the hotel/casino’s showroom to see and hear Steve
Lawrence, flying solo for the weekend engagement (Steve was in to
fill the dates left open by the death of comic George Carlin).
It is no secret that Cousin Claire is a big fan of Steve and Eydie’s
(that would be Eydie Gorme, Steve’s songstress wife of
more than 50 years). Even if we weren’t already a fan,
the 73-year-old would have won us over on Sunday night. Backed
by a 27-piece orchestra, with Vincent Falcone conducting,
Lawrence’s song choices are impeccable. Not only is Steve
still in amazingly good voice (he may even be better than ever), he
is genuinely funny and can hold his own with the best of them,
delivering a joke as well as the best of the veteran standup comics.
We don’t know if Steve had a good enough time on stage to do it
again. If he does, and you are a music lover, we urge you to
get out of your comfort zone and head to the venue where he is
performing. We assure you, you won’t be disappointed.
* * * * *
magic in the air at the Krave nightclub‘s Harmon Theater.
Female magician (you will know that if you see her attached photo)
Arian Black is the opening act for Amazing Johnathan,
when he performs his unique form of magic, Fridays through Tuesdays
at 9 p.m. Arian, who is doing her bird illusion at the Harmon
Avenue venue, joined the Amazing One in April. For
reservations, call (702) 836-0836. As for Arian’s future
plans, the pretty blonde magician may have some other exciting career
opportunities on the horizon. Stay tuned.
* * * * *
note, An Evening with Lucille Ball starring Suzanne
LaRusch, scheduled at the Suncoast
Showroom for October 17th through 19th, has
been cancelled. At this time, we don’t know why.
* * * * *
past few weeks, the Las Vegas community has suffered the loss of a
number of its well-known citizens. Robert Maheu, who
worked for the FBI and the CIA before he became billionaire Howard
Hughes' confidant and right-hand man, has died. According to his son,
Peter, the cause of Maheu’s death was congestive heart
failure. Bob Maheu died on Monday, August 4th, at
Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas. He was 90. A funeral was
held at St. Viator’s Catholic Church in Las Vegas.
Frederic Apcar, producer of the long-running Casino de
Paris and ground-breaking Vive Les Girls at the Dunes,
died on August 2nd in Las Vegas. He was 93. Apcar is
survived by his wife Olga, daughter Elisabeth and son
Frederic Jr., all of Las Vegas. Young Matthew Munari
passed away in Las Vegas on August 8th. The son
of well-known magician/business man (Houdini’s Magic Shops),
Geno Munari, Matthew followed his father’s career path,
performing magic professionally beginning when he was just seven
years old. Matthew was only 36 at the time of his death.
In addition to his father, Matthew is survived by his son, Mason;
sister, Kayla; Brenda Gervais, Penny Munari;
stepbrothers, Jimmy Ciccarelli and John Batelle;
grandmother, Gretchen; aunts, Madeline Lee and Janet
Mason; uncle, Lance Mason; and many cousins. Matthew’s
mother, Penelope Scales, preceded him in death. A Funeral Mass
was held on August 15th at St. Viators in Las Vegas.
Edwin Cook, of Cornell Gunter’s
Coasters, informs us that Eugene “Geno” Williams
passed away on Tuesday, August 5th, as the result of
complications from pancreatic cancer. For the past seven years,
Williams’ resonating bass voice was the foundation of the
Coasters. Prior to his association with the Coasters, Williams
spent 25 years with the Buck Ram Platters, recording for one
of the most famous groups to ever come out of the 1950s.
“Geno's booming voice was as smooth as velvet, with clarity in
those low tones like no other bass singer in our time,” says
Cook. “We will miss him, and there will be no replacing a
voice like Geno's. He was...and still is... definitely one of a kind!
He may not be with us any longer in person, but the music he recorded
will never die.” Our sincere sympathies to the families
and friends of the departed.
* * * * *
Eugene 'Geno' Williams
3T - TJ, Taryll and Taj
little, see a lot. Terrible’s Star of the Desert Arena,
located at Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino in Primm, south
of Las Vegas at the Nevada/California border, is offering a
surprisingly good concert lineup through the rest of the year (we
only have the acts listed through December 6th).
Depending on the configuration, The Star of the Desert Arena can
accommodate anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 people. Most of the
upcoming Saturday night shows will be presented in the 3,000-seat
venue. Tomorrow night August 23rd, it’s Hootie
& The Blowfish, followed on August 30th by Bill
Cosby, on September 9th by Brian Wilson,
September 13th by Al Green, September 20th
by Foreigner, October 4th by The Beach Boys,
October 11th by Wynonna, Miranda Lambert and
Blake Shelton on October 18th, Patti
LaBelle on November 1st, Lee Ann Womak on
November 15th, Dwight Yoakum on November 22nd,
and Three Dog Night and Herman's Hermits on December
6th. All shows start at 8 p.m.
sorry to hear that a group of friends who made the trip from Vegas to
see Liza Minnelli in the arena on
Saturday (August 16th), were so disappointed, they left
shortly after the show began. Among other problems, Liza
appeared to be suffering from a cold and was not in good voice.
We are glad that we had the opportunity to see Liza many times when
she was up to the task and put on one helluva show. With
gasoline prices still hovering close to $5 a gallon, and folks
spending less on “fun things,” to encourage travel to
Primm, a limited number of free concert tickets (about 500 for each
show) are being made available. Go to prim concerts.com for
details. For more Primm Valley information, and for show
reservations, call (702) 386-7867, or toll free at (800) 386-7867).
* * * * *
returns of the day to some of our favorite Leos (July 23rd
through August 23rd) - Liberace look-alike Will
Collins, Deano Noto, actor/singer Kevin Spirtas,
Tom Wilson (creator of Cousin Claire’s favorite cartoon
character, Ziggy), Robert Allen, Angelo Tolentino, Taj
Jackson (son of Tito Jackson and one third of musicians
3T), Taryll Jackson (Taj’s younger brother who is also a
member of 3T), Buddy Greco (the Palm Springs nightclub
owner/musician is now 82), Perry Palmer, Bob Flanigan (the
lead voice of the famed Four Freshmen celebrates his 82nd
today), while Broadway veteran, Lee Roy Reams, late of The
Producers in Las Vegas, celebrates number 66. Happy
birthday one and all.
Haunted Vegas Tour
speaking of Robert Allen, the entrepreneur announces that his
Haunted Vegas Tour and Vegas Mob Tour has moved from
the Greek Isles to the Royal Resort, just west of the Isles at 99
Convention Center Drive. The Vegas Mob Tour begins at 6
p.m., and The Haunted Vegas Tour launches at 9:30 p.m.
General Admission tickets, for either show, are $56.25. Call
toll free at (866) 218-4935 for reservations.
* * * * *
received a nice newsy e-mail from Rebecca Spencer, late of
Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular where she played the role
of Madame Giry for two years. “Yes,
I do miss every bit of my Vegas family and creative community,”
writes Rebecca. “As I lifted off from Vegas, after
embracing so much creative freedom, my hope was that I would pursue
original projects and to hopefully be a vital instrument, as an
actor, to bring new stories and scores to life. The Composer's
Showcase certainly kept my chops in shape and remains one of the most
impressionable and valuable tools for my forward motion. You never
know how time can catch up to you and where your career leads you,
but it is for sure that I am proud to remain in contact with so many
fantastic artists.” Rebecca will be performing in Heaven
In Your Pocket, one of the 14 shows (along with Keith Thompson
and Buddy Sheffield’s IDAHO!) to be
presented at the upcoming New York Musical Theatre Festival. We
will have more on the festival, AND Rebecca, in the next week or
* * * * *
interesting article on old friend Calamity Jayne in the August
14-20 issue of Las Vegas Weekly. Writer Spencer
Patterson’s story, called Calamity Jayne, take two, did
a dandy job on the tale of a lady who changed the Las Vegas music
scene in the late 1980s with her Nashville Nevada nightclub on
Fremont Street, across from what used to be the Showboat/ Castaways.
Unfortunately, CJ (real name Claudia Rae) hooked up
with the wrong people. As a result, she wound up in a federal
penitentiary for a few years. She has been back in circulation
for sometime now and even got a band together to put on a show a
couple of months ago. We have a couple of Calamity stories.
In October of 1982, when former Nevada Governor (1979-1983) Robert
List was campaigning for his reelection bid, we were the talent
coordinator of a big fundraiser, held at a Tennis Club on Blue
Diamond Highway just west of Las Vegas Blvd. The talent lineup
included Wayne Newton (who arrived at the site in his own
helicopter), Robert Goulet (on the day before his wedding to
Vera Novak) and Lola Falana. Also entertaining
that afternoon, JTO and Bobby Duck and Calamity Jayne. A
number of seniors had been bussed to the location from retirement
communities scattered around the Valley. The folks were not
sure what to make of CJ, decked out in a miniskirt, leather cowboy
hat, and sporting a good sized “Calamity Jayne, A Legend in Her
Own Mind” sticker on her guitar. The blue hairs had no
idea what to expect from this lady who, definitely, marched to her
own off-beat drummer. Not surprisingly, Calamity won them
over. On another occasion, right before Nashville Nevada was
set to open, she invited friends over to be part of a video they were
shooting in the still unfinished club. We were among the
invitees. When she learned that we had lost our job with
“Nevada’s Largest Newspaper” the day before, CJ was
very concerned. We assured her that all was well and she
needn’t worry about us. Later in the evening, when we
went to get money out of our handbag, there was a $100 bill that
didn‘t belong there. Most people know when they have a
$100 bill in their possession. We knew that we didn’t.
There was only one way that money could have gotten in our purse…the
outlaw cowgirl had put it there. We called her to tell her we
were returning her money, which she claimed to know nothing about and
stated it must have been “God’s money.” We
were meeting up with some friends at the Hotel Continental (now
Terrible’s) and they wanted to do a little gambling. We
decided to invest a little of “God’s money” in a
video poker machine. We broke the hundred with the intent of
playing $10. A few minutes after sitting down at a machine, we
hit a Royal Flush for $1000! God’s money, indeed.
God and Calamity Jayne.
JTO & Bobby Duck
* * * * *
Performing Arts Center at UNLV, Southern Nevada’s premier
performing arts venue, recently announced its 2008-2009 season.
The season opens on September 8th with the Charles Vanda
Master Series performance by The 5 Browns. The five
piano-playing siblings from Utah have been featured on The Oprah
Winfrey Show and Good Morning America and were called “
… the biggest classical music sensation in years” by the
New York Post. Additional performances within this
season’s Charles Vanda Master Series are the Jerusalem Symphony
Orchestra on October 30; violinist Joshua Bell January 29;
Russian National Ballet February 11; Munich Symphony Orchestra
February 22; and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra March 24.
October 3 opens the New York Stage & Beyond Series with Oscar,
Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award-winning performer Rita Moreno,
one of only nine performers ever to win all four prestigious show
business awards. Other performances within the New York Stage &
Beyond Series include American Ballet Theatre II October 29; Song and
Dance Ensemble of West Africa November 19; Defying Gravity: The
Music of Stephen Schwartz in Concert January 31; The Dublin
Philharmonic Orchestra March 12; Neil Berg’s 100 Years of
Broadway April 25; and Tony Award-winning Broadway star Lea
Salonga May 1. The UNLV Classical Guitar Series, held in
the Doc Rando Recital Hall of the Lee & Thomas Beam Music Center,
features Scott Tennant, a founding member of the Grammy
Award-winning L.A. Guitar Quartet September 13; Montreal
Guitar Trio (MG3) November 4; multiple award-winning Anabel
Montesinos February 17; Brasil Guitar Duo March 17; and
Roman Viazovskiy April 23. As a special addition to the
season, celebrate the holidays with David Benoit’s A
Charlie Brown Christmas, a new show from this three-time Grammy
nominee, contemporary jazz pianist, and Peanuts composer. Don’t
miss this collection of holiday favorites and Peanuts classics by
legendary Vince Guaraldi, including the instantly recognizable
Linus and Lucy. Founded in 1976, the Performing Arts Center at
UNLV continues to be Southern Nevada’s premier performing arts
venue. Located on the north end of the UNLV campus, the PAC hosts a
variety of performances each year in three distinct series –
the Charles Vanda Master Series, the New York Stage & Beyond
Series, and the Classical Guitar Series. UNLV and KLVX Channel 10 are
graciously sponsoring the season.
For information on purchasing a
season subscription, please call 895-ARTS (2787) or visit
pac.unlv.edu. Individual tickets are also now available.
* * * * *
than three years at O’Sheas, comedian and celebrity roaster
Vinnie Favorito has made a big move. Okay, it may not be
a BIG move. Maybe we can call it a lateral move. Favorito
has taken his acclaimed comedy show to the Flamingo Las Vegas, just a
few steps south of O‘Sheas. Favorito is now performing
inside the intimate 220-seat Bugsy’s Cabaret nightly at 8 p.m.
Until very recently, Bugsy’s was the home of the Second City
comedy troupe. According to his manager, Bill Voelkner,
“Favorito’s skillful blend of stand-up comedy, racy wit
and relentless audience banter is the perfect fit with the theater’s
adult-centric programming, which is also home to the Strip’s
raciest topless show, “X Burlesque. The Harrah’s
group has been waiting for the right opportunity to move Vinnie
Favorito to a bigger venue. We really feel this to be the
perfect time and location for him to continue aggressively walking
the comedic line.” Favorito has been making audiences
laugh along the Las Vegas Strip for more than 10 years. His
quick-witted insults and improvisational skills make him a natural
for roasting many well-known celebrities, including Jerry
Springer, Pat O’Brien, Larry Flynt and Magic
Johnson. Tickets for Vinnie Favorito are $49.95 and $39.95
(plus tax and fees), and may be purchased at the Flamingo Las Vegas
box office or by phone at (702) 733-3333.
Have a question about Las Vegas? Want to make a comment (be nice, now)?
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Cousin Claire will do her best to find the answer for you.
You can find Past Columns HERE
Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye