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.  

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from August 22, 2008
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - August 22, 2008

Kelly Clinton

Gerry McCambridge

David Pomeranz

Kelly 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.

Kelly will 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.

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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.

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It’s 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 Gardens Restaurant.

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Michael 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).

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Zavier 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.

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Our 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.

And 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.

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Lenadams Dorris

Clint Holmes

Michael James Scott

Cousin 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…

Are 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.

It took 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.

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Last 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.

On Sunday 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 Tartaglia.

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… 

Steve Lawrence

Arian Black

Robert Maheu

Then it 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. 

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There’s 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.

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Please 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.

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Over the 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.

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Eugene 'Geno' Williams


3T - TJ, Taryll and Taj

Drive a 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.

We were 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 for details. For more Primm Valley information, and for show reservations, call (702) 386-7867, or toll free at (800) 386-7867).

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Many happy 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

Rebecca Spencer

Calamity Jayne

And 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.

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We 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 two. 

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A very 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

Rita Moreno

Vinnie Favorito

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The 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 Individual tickets are also now available.

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After more 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.

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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye