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 September 12, 2008
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - September 12, 2008

Gordie Brown

Rob Sutton & Elena Shaddow in IDAHO!

Susan Lucci

The name "Downtown Gordie Brown" had a nice ring to it, and a few years ago, it fit the situation. The talented Gordie Brown was doing good business in the 400-seat theater at downtown's Golden Nugget. When the hotel's new owners shut down the theater for a redo, Gordie found himself a home in a nice theater space at The Venetian. After more than a year at the Strip property, the Venetian room was taken over by Base Entertainment, who handles Wayne Brady (and Jersey Boys and Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, both at The Venetian/Palazzo; and Stomp Out Loud at Planet Hollywood; and Defending the Caveman, at the Golden Nugget until Gordie comes in). After leaving the Venetian, Gordie went to work in the V Theater at Planet Hollywood. While there, he performed "accompanied by" prerecorded tracks instead of with a hot live band like the ones he had at both the Nugget and The Venetian. Things started looking brighter for Brown when Celine Dion asked him to join her five-month tour as opening act, and he left the V last month. Now comes news that Gordie Brown will return to the Golden Nugget. Beginning on February 3rd, the now 600-seat room that has hosted Defending the Caveman for the past two years, will become known officially as the Gordie Brown Theater. Comic/impressionist/singer Brown will once again headline at the growing by-leaps-and-bounds property. He will entertain audiences five nights a week, 44 weeks a year, for at least two years. We are delighted to see one of our favorites back at a venue where he will get the respect he deserves. Welcome back home, Gordie!

Oddly, during the entire month of September, Wayne Brady, who displaced Gordie in the Showroom at The Venetian, has only five performance dates scheduled.

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In last weekend's New York Times Arts & Leisure section, Steve McElroy had this to say about the upcoming New York Musical Theatre Festival. "...For clever ideas on paper, though, let's award the prize to IDAHO!, a bawdy song-and-dance love story set on the potato-lovin' prairie (with both satirical and reverential nods to OKLAHOMA! and the like), it seems almost irresistible." We saw two readings, done here at UNLV, and found IDAHO! to be a real hoot! A number of the actor/singers who participated in the local teasers are part of the full-scale New York production. Directed by Matt Lenz and choreographed by Michele Lynch, the cast for the NYMF, described as "the Sundance of musical theater," features Rob Sutton (Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas, Beauty and the Beast) as Whip Masters, Elena Shaddow (Light in the Piazza tour, The Woman in White) as Cassie Purdy, Beth Curry (Legally Blonde) as "I Do" Ida Dunn, Stacey Todd Holt (Cry-Baby) as Slim Johnson, Bill Nolte (The Producers) as Jed Strunk, Jennifer Perry (Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas) as Aunt Pearlie, Jay Rogers (The New Century, Kooky Tunes, When Pig's Fly) as Uncle Fate, Ramona Keller (Caroline, or Change) as Mavis, James Tabeek (Taboo) as Manny Meany, Blake Hammond (Hairspray) as Doc Generic, Robbie Roby (Hairspray) as George Meany, Wendy Fox (Rent) as Sukey, Joe Grandy (Sound of Music, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma) as Dream Whip, Jessica Hershberg (Beauty and the Beast at MUNY) as Belle, Holly Holcomb (Of Thee I Sing) as Betty Felter, Daniel Frank Kelley (Parade tour) as Yank Daley, Tom Richter (Grease!) as Hank O'Hare, and Lori Eure (Cabaret) as Anita Polk. Jessica Sheridan (Les Miserables, The Producers in Vegas), who was scheduled to be part of the cast, had to withdraw as she got a role in the Broadway version of Mary Poppins. Idaho! features book, music and lyrics by Buddy Sheffield and music by Keith Thompson (musical director for the Las Vegas production of Jersey Boys). The musical, according to press notes, is a "tale of love and sex on the prairie, baked to bawdy perfection and set during the 'Golden era' of Broadway. From a land where men were men, women were for sale to the highest bidder and the laws of musical comedy were meant to be broken, Idaho! is an original 'high-steppin' song and dance musical ripped from the earth like a fresh dug spud." The creative team also includes musical director Christopher Littlefield, set designer Charlie Smith, lighting designer Julie Duro, costume designer Linda Fisher and sound designer Lew Mead. Sharon Carr, who is fulfilling a life-long passion to present live theater, is General Partner and Lead Producer of IDAHO! IDAHO! will play at the 37 Arts Theatre, located in Manhattan at 450 West 37th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenue. Show times are September 25th at 8 p.m., September 26th at 5 p.m., September 29th at 5 and 9 p.m., September 30th at 9 p.m., and October 4th at 9 p.m. Tickets are priced at a very reasonable $20, and may be purchased by calling (212) 352-3101. For more information, visit

And speaking of Sharon Carr, she has optioned the rights to Edith Wharton's novel, Glimpses of the Moon, which will reopen in the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel next month. Earlier this year (January 21st to March 10th), Glimpses of the Moon - A tale about a couple of friends who devise a clever scheme to live beyond their means. They will marry and live off the wedding presents, while they help one another trade up to suitable millionaires. The plan works perfectly...until they fall in love - debuted in the Oak Room. The experiment, of having a play in a performance space usually occupied by cabaret acts, proved successful enough to bring it back for another go-round. This jazzy musical manages to combine both a play AND cabaret by bringing in guest artists with "marquee value." Among the artists who took on guest roles in last winters' production were Joyce DeWitt, Susan Lucci, Liz Larsen, Jana Robbins, KT Sullivan, and Jane Summerhays.‘s Duncan Pflaster called Glimpses of the Moon, "One of the best new musicals I‘ve seen in ages." We will write more about Sharon Carr and her upcoming projects, including Glimpses of the Moon, over the next few weeks.

KT Sullivan

Bonnie Hunt

Joey Gian

And speaking of KT Sullivan, we received a nice note from the chanteuse, announcing her upcoming September 23rd through October 11th engagement in the Oak Room at New York's Algonquin Hotel (59 W. 44th Street). KT, who has appeared numerous times with the incomparable Mark Nadler at the Charleston Heights Arts Center in Las Vegas, will celebrate the music of Jerome Kern in her All the Things You Are presentation, directed by former Las Vegan, Eric Michael Gillett. Tedd Firth accompanies KT on the piano and also serves as musical director. Andy Farber is on reeds and Steve Doyle is on bass. KT's Oak Room show times are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 and 11 p.m. Call (212) 419-9331 for reservations.

Jack Jones, who performed at the South Point recently, plays the Algonquin's Oak Room through September 20th.

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With the new Bonnie Hunt Show (airing in Las Vegas weekdays at 4 p.m. on Channel 5), we are hoping that the show's host will bring her friend, the talented Joey Gian, on as an occasional guest. Gian, in case you don't remember or know, was a finalist in the singing category on the predecessor to American Idol, the original Star Search. Joey went on to become better known as an actor, with recurring roles in TV's Knots Landing, Beverly Hills 90210, and the Emmy-winning Hooperman (1987-1989), created by Steven Bochco and starring the late John Ritter. Gian, who performed regularly at an Italian eatery and in the Stardust lounge during the year he lived in Las Vegas, appeared with Bonnie Hunt, David Duchovny and Minnie Driver in the film, Return to Me, for which Joey also wrote some of the movie's music.

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Brenda K. Starr

Jeneane Marie

Harvey Kaye & The Larks with Kynne Winston

Last Monday night saw a nice turnout of family, friends and fellow musicians who gathered to celebrate the life of Harvey Kaye (Kaplan). Kaye, the keyboard player for Spiral Starecase (I Love You More Today Than Yesterday), passed away on August 17th at the age of 69. Held at the Elks Lodge in Las Vegas, we spotted some familiar faces (many that we hadn't seen in years), among them musicians Dave Barnard (who played trombone with one of the later Spiral Starecase groups), drummer/agent Mark Barrett, Bill Callanan, sax player Steve Golden, and drummer Joe Locatelli, as well as vocalists Bonnie Graham and Jeneane Marie. Comic/impressionist Babe Pier and Cindy Raft (daughter of comic/actor, Tommy Moe Raft) attended. Members of Spiral Starecase, drummer Vinnie Parello (Panariello), and lead singer Pat Upton were also present. Needless to say, the celebration was full of music and dance. With all the pros there, it probably isn't surprising that they nearly blew the roof off the Elks Lodge on West Charleston. Tap dancer Terry Brock did a great bit of choreography to Fascinatin' Rhythm. The lady, who performed with Harvey Kaye, can definitely heat up the floor. Steve Golden did beautiful renditions of Over the Rainbow, Tears In Heaven and some other songs. John Anthony (boy, we hope we got his name right) sang The Prayer and That's Life, while Jeneane Marie, who kept things moving along at a good pace, did a wonderful job on Peter Allen's Once Before I Go, Over the Rainbow and Read It In My Eyes. Upton and Parello did Spiral Starecase's big hit, I Love You More Today Than Yesterday, and Harvey Kaye's daughter, Brenda K. Starr, performed her 1988 chart topper, I Still Believe (recorded later by one of her backup singers, Mariah Carey). In the late 1980's, Brenda was the undisputed queen of freestyle and house music, with hits such as I Still Believe and What You See Is What You Get. Bob Collins, childhood sweetheart of Jeneane Marie and her current husband, provided the audio support. Among Harvey's family members in attendance were his very attractive 90-year-old mother, Adeline Banks; sister, Brenda Guarino; and daughter Debbie Wiggins. Harvey's widow, Candace Kaye, did a very nice job of putting the celebration together. The photos and videos brought back many memories for the guests. Harvey would have loved the tribute.

Still on the subject of Harvey Kaye, we received another e-mail regarding Spiral Starecase (we printed a couple in our September 5th column). This one came from Kynne Winston of Stockton, California (by way of Columbus, Ohio), who wanted to share these memories...

First of all, our prayers are with you, Candy.
Now: 1965. Harvey Kaye and the Larks first came to "The Embers" Showroom in Redwood City, CA. Don Zirrili was the owner. Don combined me (Kynne Winston) and Harvey's band and we became "Harvey Kaye and the Larks Featuring Kynne Winston" ("Front man"). This "Act" left the Embers and played "The Red Velvet" in Hollywood, then to Las Vegas (first time for all) at the Pussycat A Go Go. Booked for 4 weeks...was there for 14 weeks. We played Las Vegas (and everywhere else) together approx 2 years. Then Harvey went with Pat and the guys. The rest is explained, in detail, in your other e-mails. Harvey and I have/had remained "best" friends throughout the years. If you check at the Vegas Library (1965-1968) in the Las Vegas Sun and the small magazine (can't remember the name) you will see our pictures, reviews and accomplishments. Just letting you know.

Thank you for making contact, Kynne.

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Wes Winters stepped away from his beautiful piano long enough to make a trip to the Hilton to catch Barry Manilow's show. Wes, who currently calls the Wyrick Theater home (performing there, at 1 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays, and Saturdays and Sundays), visited with Manilow after a recent show. We don't know what they talked about but there was enough time to snap the attached photo. Hey, maybe these two should try a dueling piano act! For Wes Winters reservations, call (702) 777-9974.

Wes Winters & Barry Manilow

JTO & Bobby Duck

Mary Wilson

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On Sunday, we had a call from a longtime friend and onetime Las Vegan, who now lives in Indianapolis. She informed us that her former husband, and his comedy "partner," can be seen and enjoyed on YouTube (isn't YouTube an amazing resource?). For Scruffy, who e-mailed us in 2003, and Ken Lewis, who we heard from in 2006, this might be especially good news (hope you are still reading). The Indiana friend is Melissa Miles. Her late husband's act was called JTO & Bobby Duck. JTO (James Thomas Organ) was a clever comic/writer/ ventriloquist. For a number of years, he was a very popular act around Las Vegas. In addition to performing at the old Paddlewheel (now the Greek Isles), JTO and Bobby, his wise cracking "baby duck," performed in revues at the Maxim and Holiday Casino (now Harrah's) among others. He also had some TV exposure, on the Gong Show (he won), a game show (he won), and a couple of shots on Budd Freidman's Evening at the Improv (hosted by onetime MTV video jockey, Martha Quinn, and actor Ron Perlman), where he also one...the approval of the audience. At the end of Star Search's '88 season, JTO & Bobby Duck were once again winners, this time in the Comedy category. JTO was scheduled to be the returning champion in that category at the beginning of the following season. Sadly, in late March of 1989, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died on June 17 of that year, 16 days after his 45th birthday. James Thomas Organ was a bright, talented, and funny man. He was also our friend.

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The 700-seat East Tropicana Community Lutheran Church chapel was respectably filled last Saturday afternoon when a group of talented pros performed Listen to My Heart: The Songs of David Friedman. With Jack Gaughan (musical director for Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular) at the piano, the wonderful voices of Greg Davis (Forever Plaid), Keith Dotson (Little Shop of Horrors, Smokey Joe‘s Cafe), Bruce Ewing (Forever Plaid, Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular), Lisa Fair-weather (Phantom), Russ Thomas Grieve (Mamma Mia!, Tournament of the Kings), Dana Rogers Martin (City Lites), Kevin Sherrell (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, Jubilee!), Mollie Tennant (Jubilee!), and Tina Walsh (EFX, Mamma Mia!, Phantom), did a great job of interpreting the music of David Friedman. The songs, ranging from serious and inspiring, to clever and funny, were real crowd-pleasers. Among our personal favorites was He Comes Home Tired, If You Love Me, Please Don't Feed Me, I'm Not My Mother, My Simple Wish, and Listen to My Heart. The concert, directed by Michael Piontek (EFX, Forever Plaid, Mamma Mia!), was a fundraiser for Family Promise, an organization dedicated to getting homeless families off the streets of Las Vegas and back into comfortable housing. We are constantly impressed by how the Las Vegas entertainment community comes together to donate their time and talent for a worthy cause.

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Producer Dick Feeney's (that's with three "e"s) World's Greatest Magic Show has done a permanent disappearing act from the Greek Isles Hotel. He has had a great run at the off-Strip, non-casino property. Bigger shows in busier places could take a lesson from Feeney when it comes to marketing. Offering reasonably priced tickets, and even allowing children accompanied by an adult to see family-type shows free, are among the ideas that keep Feeney productions alive and well. The Rat Pack is Back is doing brisk business in its new home in the showroom, recently renamed the Copa Room (the name of the showroom at the Sands where the real Pack made memories and history), at the downtown Plaza. The Plaza showroom, and Frank, Sammy, Joey and Dean, are a good match - both traditional Old Vegas. Feeney's afternoon show, the long running Viva Las Vegas, returns to the Plaza on after a vacation break for the show's cast. In addition to The Rat Pack is Back, Viva Las Vegas and the World's Greatest Magic Show, Feeney, a Las Vegan since 1985, was connected to the early versions of Crazy Girls and An Evening at La Cage. Also on his list of credits is producer or co-producer of Playboy's Girls of Rock & Roll and Forbidden Vegas, among others. He is also the owner of the famous Flying Elvi (Honeymoon In Vegas). For his two-decade history on the Las Vegas entertainment scene, Dick Feeney will receive a star on the boulevard, to be installed sometime in October.

* * * * * *

The Supreme Mary Wilson makes her South Point Hotel Casino debut this weekend, performing tonight through Sunday, with shows at 7:30 p.m. We caught Mary's version of Artie Butler's wonderful song, Here's To Life, on YouTube, and hope she includes it in her repertoire for this engagement. We plan to be there on Sunday. For reservations, call the South Point at (702) 797-8055.

* * * * * *

Michelle Rohl

Hudson & Saleeby

Elayne Boosler

Happy birthday to singer/entertainer Michelle Rohl. Michelle, who some years ago portrayed Gloria Estefan in Legends in Concert, will celebrate her September 19th natal day by singing for her supper at a Las Vegas Blvd. Italian eatery that Cousin Claire refuses to plug, due to their rude treatment of some (too many) patrons. The only reason we are even hinting about the place is because of Michelle's appearance there...and it's less expensive than buying the pretty and talented lady a birthday gift. Many happy returns of the day, Ms. Rohl.

* * * * * *

Throughout September, the piano-playing/singing duo of Hudson & Saleeby will be performing every Thursday night at the Flying Saucer at 1400 N. Germantown Parkway in Cordova, Tennessee. Chris Hudson and Doug Saleeby, who built quite a following during the years they lived and worked in Las Vegas, will also be a part of the 15th Annual Charity Golf Tournament/Celebrity Gala to benefit the Dream Factory of Memphis. A pre-tournament party, hosted by national spokesperson for Dream Factory, Wink Martindale, will be held in the ballroom at the Ridgeway Country Club in Germantown, on Sunday, September 28th. Hudson & Saleeby, will provide the evening's musical entertainment. The event will also feature a live and silent auction. Dream Factory, the all-volunteer organization, grants wishes to children, between the ages of three and 18, who are battling critical or chronic illnesses. A number of the dream recipients and their families will be on hand. Tickets are $50 per person, with golf tournament participants admitted at no cost. If you happen to be in the Memphis/ Cordova area, check out both the Flaying Saucer and the Dream Factory Gala. For additional information on Dream Factory, call (901) 481-4170.

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In September, the kids go back to school and the new television season begins. Some older shows disappear and some new ones pop up. New and old names. New and old faces. New and old ideas. Vegas odds makers might start taking bets on who and what will see a second season and who and what will see the door. When it comes to court-based "reality" shows, there is plenty of variety available. There are the ongoing (and outgoing) "stars" of the genre - like sweet and gentle Judge Judy (Sheindlin), Marilyn Milian of the People's Court, Glenda Hatchett (ended after eight seasons), Joe Brown, and Greg Mathis. Among the new, or almost new, faces are Alex Ferrer, Karen Mills-Francis, Christina Perez of Christina's Court, and David Young, promoted as TV's first openly gay judge. One of the more interesting of the newer entries in the court field is Jury Duty. The concept of Jury Duty is similar to many of the other court shows, with two litigants in a civil case present themselves before a judge (former defense attorney Bruce Cutler). What makes Jury Duty unique is a panel of three jurors who are, or at onetime WERE (sometimes for only 15 minutes), public figures. Judge Cutler is in control, but the celebrity jurors are permitted to ask questions. The audience gets to watch the jurors deliberate. As in a regular criminal case, the jurors must come to a unanimous decision. If they can't, Cutler renders his own verdict (just like in most small claims cases and TV court shows). In its first season on the air (the show debuted in some markets a year ago), it was personalities such as Ed Begley Jr., Phyllis Diller, Lainie Kazan, Paula Poundstone, Dick Van Patten, and Bruce Vilanch, who decided the fate of the battling litigants. In the first week of the new season, we spotted Debbie Reynolds (yes, Debbie Reynolds), the Exorcist's Linda Blair, Bruce Jenner, and an almost unrecognizable Elayne Boosler. It was one of those, "the voice is familiar, but I don't recognize the face" deals, before hitting ourselves on the forehead with an exclamation of, "OMG, it's comic Elayne Boosler!" Whatever happened to funny Elayne, who used to play Vegas every once in a while? Now we know. TV, or not TV. That is the question. For some slightly out of sight, out of mind personalities, the answer is, "TV."

Also on the subject of court TV, we have to wonder who thought Eye for an Eye and Judge Maria Lopez would make for good viewing. Eye for an Eye, in syndication since 2003 (WHY?), is presided over by Judge "Extreme Akim" (Anastopoulo). His bailiff is former boxer Big Sugar Ray Phillips. When Big Sugar Ray instructs the audience to rise as Judge Akim enters the room carrying his bat of justice, the audience cheers and chants "Extreme Akim" over and over (much like Jerry Springer's audience). In addition to ordering how much the defendant has to pay, Extreme Akim frequently also orders them to do ridiculous things. For example, in one case, he ordered a man who got a girl pregnant to wear a fat suit for a month. In another, he ordered a landlord, whose apartments were not suitable for living, to write a new policy while sitting in a truck full of garbage. How low have TV execs sunk...not to mention the viewers? As for Maria Lopez (who asked, "You know what?," dozens of times during her half-hour stints in front of the camera), months ago, we mentioned this unbelievably awful example of really bad TV. Her show debuted in September of 2006. According to Wikipedia (who on occasion has their information correct), after one year on the air, Lopez ranked last among nine syndicated judge shows. Among 160 syndicated TV shows, the Judge Maria Lopez Show placed 118th in rankings. Despite the show's pitiful ratings, Sony Pictures renewed the series for a second season, but (you know what?), in February, thankfully, the show was canceled. You see, there is justice in the court after all. And then there was the primetime Cavemen TV series, based on the horrible, hairy Geico Insurance pitchmen. That one was dumped after six episodes. Six episodes? What took them so long? What does all of this have to do with Las Vegas or most of the topics we usually cover? Not much, but we feel oh so much better after having had our say.

Judge Maria Lopez

Little Anthony & The Imperials

Fielding West

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The "Man who can make anything talk," talented Ronn Lucas, is on the move. In recent years, the amazing ventriloquist who has entertained audiences at Harrah's, the Rio, Steve Wyrick Theatre, Luxor and, most recently, the Excalibur, has opted to go back on the road. We hope Lucas isn't soured on Las Vegas and will decide to plant himself back here in the not too distant future.

And speaking of the Luxor AND moving, Bodies, the Exhibition, that had been at the Trop since June 23rd, 2006, has now relocated to the Luxor. Who would have thought that these kinds of bodies (and body parts) could have competed with, and co-existed with, live beautiful bodies (both male and female), and survived in a city like Las Vegas. Bodies, the Exhibition showcases real human bodies that have been dissected and preserved. It offers the public the chance to examine the inner workings of real organs and other body parts. More than 260 organs and partial body specimens are on display. And just to make things a little more confusing, in June, the King Tutankhamen Exhibit that had been a part of the Luxor for 15 years, closed. The Bodies exhibit will now take over the space. The Luxor is seeking a change of image (how do you disguise a 30-story high pyramid?) and has donated the collection of mostly reproductions of Egyptian artifacts to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum. Yes, readers, Las Vegas DOES have a Natural History Museum. And to confuse you even more, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, currently housed at the Tropicana, will move into the Luxor's 12,800-square-foot space that was home to the King Tut collection. Whew!

And for all you Trekkies out there, you will now have to find somewhere else to go to get your fix. After more than 10 years, on September 1st, the Las Vegas Hilton sent their Star Trek: The Experience attraction off into space...possibly where no man has gone before. Live long and prosper.

And, on the subject of the more than 50-year-old Tropicana, the property seems to be coming out of limbo and has some interesting things on their upcoming agenda. On Saturday, September 27th, Little Anthony and The Imperials will perform an 8 p.m. show in the Trop's Tiffany Theater. Currently celebrating their 50th year in show business, Little Anthony and The Imperials are the only 1950's vocal group that still performs with all of the original members. Best known for favorites such as Tears On My Pillow, Shimmy, Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop, I'm On the Outside Looking In, Going Out of My Head, and Hurt So Bad, the group offers a unique blend of doo-wop, soul, and rhythm and blues. Their superior performance and distinctive vocals have earned Little Anthony and The Imperials a variety of accolades throughout the years, including the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, and induction into both the Long Island Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Little Anthony and The Imperials are set to release a new album entitled You'll Never Know. Tickets for Little Anthony and The Imperials are $24.95, and $34.95 for booth seating (plus applicable taxes and fees). The community-minded property will also host Laugh for a Cure, a fundraiser to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). On Sunday, October 5th, the Trop's Tiffany Theater, home of the long running Folies Bergere, will turn into a comedy room from 6:30 to 8 p.m., when Rob Sherwood plays host to five comics - Jon Manfrellotti, Pam Matteson, John Padon, Bobby Slayton and Fielding West - each performing 10-12 clean minutes of material, plus a "very special guest" who will close the show with a 20 minute set. Although ticket prices haven't been announced yet, they are expected to be in the $20, $30 range (we will keep you posted on this). Laugh for a Cure will coincide with the JDRF Walk-a-Thon, and all proceeds will be going to the JDRF and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Nevada. As part of their continued community involvement efforts, the Tropicana will not only donate their theater for this special program, but will absorb the labor costs as well. We like these kind of stories. For reservations to either of these events, call (702) 739-2411.

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Reminder...The Nevada Screen Actors Guild 75th Anniversary Gala will take place at Dream Vision Studios, 6705 S. Eastern, from 7 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, September 20th. Tickets are $15 each for SAG Members and one guest; $25 each for Members of WIF, IATSE, AEA, AFTRA, SAG Conservatory, and college/university students; and $50 for the general public. A portion of the evening's proceeds will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas. Women in Film (a charitable organization) are hosting the party. Dress attire for the evening will be upscale and a ‘30s look is encouraged. Dress like your favorite movie star. The theme will be Then & Now. You'll leave the lights of ‘Vegas for a short jaunt through the history of S.A.G. and with the right password you'll cross the threshold to a plethora of entertainment (Cork Proctor will emcee), drinking, eats, torch singers, vaudeville acts and silent auctions with the most coveted bounty and many surprises through-out the evening. For more Information, call (702) 370-0458 or (702) 403-7366.

* * * * * *

We are sorry to learn that Ben Ardito has closed his downtown Take 1 Restaurant. In addition to the performers who found a stage to perform on at Take 1, and customers who regularly stopped in for a meal and a drink at the downtown establishment, among those who will be deeply affected by the demise of Take 1 are the Presidents (and their First Ladies) of F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events). The non-club club had been holding their F.I.O.R.E. gatherings at Ardito's restaurant/club for quite some time. Future F.I.O.R.E. get-togethers will take place at the Italian American Club on East Sahara. As for Mr. Ardito, we wish him success on whatever he does next.

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