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 October 31, 2008
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - October 31, 2008

Gerry McCambridge

SQuire Rushnell

Criss Angel

Trick or treat! Sometimes both.

Cousin Claire could try to weasel her way out of this one and say that her omission of a certain entertainer from last Friday's very short Scorpio birthday list was a deliberate action. She is not that kind of gal, so she will admit that it was an unintentional oversight. But, for Gerry McCambridge, the omitted one, it works out to his advantage. Not only does he get his own paragraph, it's at the top of today's column! So, happy birthday, to The Mentalist, who celebrates his 46th TODAY...on Halloween. How cool is that? Is it just a coincidence that our mentalist/magician was born exactly 36 years, to the day, after the Halloween death of the great Harry Houdidni? According to SQuire Rushnell (yes, with a capital "S," AND a capital "Q"), author of When God Winks, there are no coincidences in life. (Mr. Rushnell, by the way, is the husband of comic/impressionist Louise DuArt, who performed here regularly with Tim Conway and the late Harvey Korman during the Stardust days.) McCambridge tells us that he will spend part of his birthday (his show at Hooters is dark on Friday nights) trick or treating with Gerry's kids (that's McCambridge‘s kids, not Lewis‘), after which he will walk the red carpet and attend the official opening of Criss Angel's new show at the Luxor. We are hoping that Mr. McCambridge will share his honest thoughts on Mr. Angel's show after his viewing.

Also, birthday greetings to Rolando Larraz, publisher of the Las Vegas Tribune, The Only Independent Newspaper in Clark County.

To say that most of the early reviews of Criss Angel's multi-million dollar Cirque du Soleil show, Believe, have been lukewarm, would be putting it mildly. Did you ever notice that whenever a show opens to less than raves (Celine Dion‘s A New Day, Le Reve, Zumanity), the spin doctors describe it as "a work in progress"? If those same shows opened to glowing reviews, would they STILL have been deemed "works in progress"? We think not. The good news is that the three shows we mentioned went on to do well and are still up and running. Hopefully, the same will happen with Believe.

Incidentally, CBS TV's new series, The Mentalist, has achieved high ratings, much like Gerry McCambridge's very entertaining offering at Hooters. Two weeks ago, McCambridge performed his 600th show in Las Vegas. Prior to his current engagement at Hooters, Gerry performed at the Rampart, and then at the Stardust, until that hotel/casino's closing exactly two years ago.

A little (sort of) personal Harry Houdini story on the anniversary of his death...
In 1953, a VERY young Claire Voyant and her family were given a VIP tour of the Paramount Studios lot in Los Angeles (our family was in the movie theater business in Chicago). It was during the time that they were filming Houdini, starring Tony Curtis and his then wife, Janet Leigh. To say that we were excited at the prospect of seeing the oh so handsome Mr. Curtis in person is an understatement. To our great disappointment, they happened not to be filming that day (timing is everything). As we crossed the studio lot, feeling very blue, a shiny convertible, carrying two gentlemen, comes roaring into the area. Tony Curtis was the driver! We were thrilled, calling out, "Hi, Tony!" as he got out of the car. When I told him the tale decades later during a chance meeting at the Desert Inn, Mr. Curtis asked me, "Did I answer you?" When I said, "yes you did." He laughed and said, "I'm glad this little story had a happy ending." And so it did.

Tony Curtis (then)

Nobody Famous & The Infamous Horns

Tina Walsh

And also on the subject of Houdini (real name Erik Weisz or Erich Weiss)...
Tonight, Halloween, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., and again tomorrow (Saturday) at the same times, Jeff McBride, Master of Masks magician will display numerous masks from his extensive collection at Wonderground, in the Palace Station's Sound Trax Showroom, this weekend. McBride has collected masks from all over the world during his travels and currently owns more than 400 masks. Special guest magician Jon Randall will be back by popular demand to lead another Houdini séance on Saturday. Wonderground, a magical club experience hosted by Jeff McBride, features interactive close-up magic, uncommon variety acts, performance art, a psychic sideshow and DJ Leo Diaz spinning house, mash-ups and down-tempo techno. In addition to the mask display, UK magician Jon Randall will return to lead a Houdini séance on Saturday night. The séance will be a historical recreation of the final séance held by Harry Houdini's widow in 1936. Entrance is $10 at the door and costumes are encouraged. Those who have attended McBride's Magic at the Edge show earlier in the evening can show their ticket stub for free admission. For more details, visit

Maybe Cousin Claire needs a long nap...or a short vacation. Not only did she forget (did we say "forget"?) to put Gerry McCambridge in with the other Scorpio birthday folks, she also neglected to mention the fact that the Nobody Famous & The Infamous Horns Las Vegas Dance and Show Band was playing for dancing and listening at the Italian American Club last night. Nobody Famous performs the greatest dance hits of the past 50 years. The group's musical director is Steve Phillips (Filippini), from Spokane, WA. Steve has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry. As a solo trumpeter, he toured extensively with the famous Sounds of Nine. His show bands have played for high society dances, major events, festivals, and the Worlds Fair. Steve has performed with such stars as Bobby Vinton, Mel Torme', Liberace, Bobby Rydell, Bob Hope and others. Lead vocalists, Kat Downey and Ray Lopez are seasoned show performers with extensive tours around the world. They bring a wide variety of vocal styles to the band. Together, Kat and Ray sing love songs, rock n' roll, soul, country and party medleys. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kat was formerly a member of the legendary New Christy Minstrels. She has toured the U.S. and Canada, appearing with Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller and Pat Boone. With an incredible four octave range, her repertoire includes the music of Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, Trisha Yearwood, Patsy Cline, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, and Gloria Estefan among others. Ray, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, became a tribute artist in Las Vegas with the show Memories of the King. He has toured extensively in England, Jamaica, Hawaii and throughout the U.S. Known for his vocal artistry and energetic stage presence, Ray performs tributes to Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, K.C. and The Sunshine Band, and The Blues Brothers. His repertoire includes music by such artists as Hank Williams Jr., Michael Bolton, Huey Lewis, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and others. The Infamous horn players are Kim Ehrnman from St. Charles, Illinois, on alto sax and vocals; Russell Burt from Los Angeles on tenor sax; Tony Babecka from Church Hill, Tennessee, on baritone sax and vocals; Alan Hott from Peoria, Illinois, on trombone; Ray Underwood from Long Beach, California, on trumpet; and Phillips. The fabulous four piece rhythm section is made up of Rachel Delgado from New York City on keyboards; Mike Fredrickson from Wood River, Illinois, on lead guitar; Rick Hemphill from Cleveland on drums; and Mike Batchelder from Merrill, Wisconsin, on bass guitar and vocals. Together, the group dazzles audiences wherever they perform. When you see the name on a marquee (or in an online column), go see and hear Nobody Famous & The Infamous Horns.

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Singer/actress Tina Walsh and pianist Philip Fortenberry's Burt Bacharach tribute, presented by the Performing Arts Society of Nevada, last Sunday (October 26th), offered some nice surprises. Walsh and Fortenberry are pros (she is in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular at The Venetian, and he is with Jersey Boys at Palazzo and is also currently performing in his own show, Liberace and Me, three afternoons a week at the Liberace Museum) and did a fine job of interpreting some of the 80-year-old Bacharach's music. There were some unadvertised bonuses to the program, with vocalists Kristen Hertzenberg (on maternity leave from Phantom as she awaits the birth of her first child), Lisa Richard and Victor Wallace (both with Mamma Mia! at Mandalay Bay) adding their talents to the program. A real treat was a jazz quintet, made up of five high school students from the award-winning Las Vegas Academy of International Studies Performing and Visual Arts. Calling themselves Narrative, the musicians are Eric Andrews on bass, Kyle Henry on tenor sax, Austin Pooley (Tina Walsh's son) on drums, Mohammed Shakir on alto sax and flute, and Steven Van Betten on electric guitar. The performers earned a well-deserved standing ovation from an appreciative and impressed audience.

And speaking of the Performing Arts Society of Nevada, who have been presenting top talent at affordable prices to the Las Vegas community for almost 20 years...
Our friend Bill Nolte, who played Nazi Franz Liebkind in the Paris Las Vegas production of Mel Brooks' The Producers, will perform his one-man show, All of Me, at the world famous Birdland at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 10th. Bill Nolte's All of Me is presented by Jim Caruso's Cast Party, as part of the award-winning Nightlife series, Broadway at Birdland. It was in Las Vegas last February that Nolte debuted the music and comedy show as part of the PASN series. The singing actor sheds his helmet (The Producers), feline makeup (Cats), wigs (1776), and dance belt (Joseph...) to present his solo cabaret act. Directed by Mark Waldrop (When Pigs Fly), with musical direction by Pam Drews Phillips (Crazy for You), All of Me features original material along with standard tunes by Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Fats Waller, Johnny Cash and others. Using both music and comedy, Nolte puts his unique spin on his varied 32-year stage career, touring and travel, life in Las Vegas, and reality TV (Dancing With the Stars) in his thoroughly entertaining revue. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street in Manhattan. There is a $25 cover and a $10 food/drink minimum. Tickets can be ordered by phone. In New York, call (212) 352-3101 or (212) 581-3080, or call toll free at (866) 811-4111. If you are in New York, check him out. Tell Bill that Claire Voyant sent you.

Bill Nolte

Jennifer Hudson

Laura Bell Bundy & Linda Hart

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Regular readers know how much we love the monthly Las Vegas Composers Showcase. Unfortunately, we didn't have the list of last night's participants early enough to give them advance publicity, so we will give them a little ink now. As usual, the evening was wonderful. The Cabaret Showroom inside the Liberace Museum was, once again, standing room only, as audience members listened to original material by local composers and songwriters, Jason Andino, Michael Brennan, Erich Bergen, Travis Cloer, Clint Holmes, Christopher Lash, Jeff Leibow, Keith Thompson and Tyler Williams. The songs were performed by vocalists Nathalie Gauvin, Kristofer McNeeley, Renee Marino, Paige Pardy, Elizabeth Share, Tina Walsh, Lisa Wilson, Melody Wilson and Renata Renee Wilson, accompanied by musicians Jean Ainsley, Patricia Diaz, Philip Fortenberry, Rebecca Ramsey and Fred Watstein. We are always excited to see how a newcomer to the showcase reacts. Last night, we sat next to a show business maven, experiencing this phenomenal experience for the first time. At the end of the evening (actually it was early morning as the last composer presented his work), she exclaimed, "I will never miss one of these again." Yep, that's the kind of reaction we expected.

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Don't forget that Saturday the 1st is Don Hill's birthday party. The former member of the legendary Treniers group for more than 50 years, is turning 87. Age hasn't diminished Hill's musical chops at all. The onetime Louis Armstrong band member can still play the sax with the best of them. Help Don celebrate by joining him, and a few of his closest friends, at Caylix Jazz Supper Club, 4760 W Sahara Blvd.(at Decatur), Ste 13 (formerly the location of Café Nicole). Hosted by Jeanne Brei, there will be live music (paid for by Don's friends and offered at no cost to Caylix and their other customers), dancing and birthday cake for the guests. Be prepared to cough up $10 for a cover charge, and buy a couple of drinks. This is not Don's doing, but that of the new club owner. What do we say about the lady's business practices? Hmmm. For many people, this will be their first visit to Caylix. Wonder how many people will go back there after the birthday party. There is plenty of competition out there, and in this economy one would think that a savvy club owner would be doing whatever they could to get new customers and keep them. Wonder how long Caylix will remain open with these kinds of house rules. For additional information, call the club at (702) 645-5299. Happy, happy birthday, Don Hill!

* * * * * *

Piero's, at 355 Convention Center Drive (between the famed Las Vegas Strip and Paradise), has given Carmen Mandia & Friends an additional night to entertain customers at the popular five-star Italian eatery. Now, in addition to Friday and Saturday night shows, you can also catch Mandia and his talented cronies on Thursdays as well. Show times run from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Call Piero's at (702) 369-2305 for additional information.

* * * * * *

What a tragic situation for Oscar-winner (Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Effie" in Dreamgirls) Jennifer Hudson and her surviving family members. As you more than likely have read or heard, the onetime American Idol competitor's mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew were murdered in Chicago. For the past few years, Ms. Hudson seemed to have the world at her feet...until this unimaginable chilling crime that has taken this young lady from the highest high to the lowest low. We can't help thinking about the story of local Monte Carlo cocktail server Cynthia Jay-Brennan, who on January 26th of 2000, after investing $27 in a Megabucks machine at the Desert Inn (now buried under Wynn Las Vegas), won what was then the largest Megabucks jackpot ever...$34.9 million. Weeks later, on March 11th, the then 37-year-old Jay-Brennan was sitting at a red light, when her Camaro was rear-ended by a drunk driver. The accident killed Brennan's sister, Lela, and crushed Jay-Brennan's fifth vertebra and severed her spinal cord, leaving the Megabucks winner paralyzed from her chest down to her toes and confined to a wheelchair for life. It is said that everything happens for a reason. Very often, like in these cases, there is no explanation for the reasons.

* * * * * *

Next Friday, November 7th, at 8 p.m., it's C. H. at C. H. - that would be Clint Holmes at Carnegie Hall. Yes, THAT Carnegie Hall. Do you know how you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, baby, practice. Holmes, who is making his very first appearance at the mid-town Manhattan concert venue, has been practicing for this moment since he was a kid. Here are the details...With Eric Stern (Rags, The Will Rogers Follies, Tyne Daly's Gypsy) and Vegas' own Vincent Falcone on piano (Frank Sinatra, Steve & Eydie and MANY others) and sharing conducting duties, the New York Pops is celebrating its 25th anniversary with classic songs of New York and the world premiere of original works about the city by Kenneth Laub, with some help from Holmes. Calling the concert New York Songs: A Love Letter to the City, in addition to Holmes, Ashley Brown, star of Broadway's Mary Poppins; Laura Bell Bundy, from Broadway's Hairspray and Legally Blonde; and former Las Vegan, Linda Hart (daughter of Vegas socialite Toni Hart and sister of Larry Hart), also from Hairspray, will provide the vocals. Along with the new original works, favorites including Jule Styne's Funny Girl Overture; Stephen Sondheim's What More Do I Need? from Saturday Night, and Broadway Baby from Follies; Roger Edens/Ralph Blane/Hugh Martin's The Joint is Really Jumpin' Down in Carnegie Hall, from Thousands Cheer; Leonard Bernstein's Times Square from On The Town; Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's Manhattan from The Garrick Gaieties; Cole Porter's I Happen To Like New York from The New Yorkers; Gordon Jenkins' New York's My Home; Jule Styne and Bob Hilliard's Every Street's a Boulevard in Old New York from Hazel Flagg; and Laub's A Love Letter to the City, will be performed in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. Tickets range from $29 to $100, and may be purchased through the Carnegie Hall Box Office, or by calling CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800.

* * * * * *

Last Sunday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal debuted the first in a series of profiles on stars who have played the Las Vegas Strip. At this point, there are 20 tales scheduled to run. The byline reads Stephen Michael Shearer. Shearer is the author of Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life. The subject of the first of the Review-Journal profiles was Rose Marie, best known for her role as Sally Rogers on television's popular Dick Van Dyke Show, and the perpetual bow in her hair. Readers of this series might be very surprised to learn some of the entertainers with a Las Vegas history. How many folks, besides Shearer, would have known that Rose Marie was the first act to play Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's new Flamingo Hotel. If you missed the Rose Marie piece, you might be able to find and read it online by going to We are looking forward to reading more of Mr. Shearer's work.

An Unquiet Life by Stephen Michael Shearer

Jerry Lewis

Donny & Marie Osmond

* * * * * *

The fact that he is 82-years-old (and perhaps not thinking or speaking with his full faculties), does not excuse Jerry Lewis for his continuing insensitive, anti-gay remarks. We have no idea if this is Mr. Lewis' feeble attempt at humor, or if he is just dumb (we suspect the latter). Most recently, (there was a similar "incident" during last year's Labor Day Telethon), his statement occurred following a news conference to promote his current stage show in Sydney, Australia. Lewis was asked by a Network Ten national TV reporter for his opinion on the sport of cricket. "Oh, cricket? It's a f-- game. What are you, nuts?" Lewis replied. The network broadcast the comment in full on its evening news, along with footage of Lewis handling an imaginary cricket bat with an effeminate gesture. In 2007, Lewis apologized for using a similar anti-gay slur in Las Vegas during his annual telethon that raises money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lewis has performances booked in Australia through tomorrow (November 1st). His show, with a 24-piece band, is a retrospective of his career. We find it interesting that Lewis is able to travel as far as Australia to work, but has not fulfilled his dates at The Orleans in Las Vegas, only miles from where he maintains a home. We have never liked Mr. Lewis, either as a performer or a person. This recent type of bad behavior only goes to confirm our decades long feelings about him. We might also suggest, in our opinion, that homosexuality is not a conscious choice. Stupidity is.

* * * * * *

After less than two months, of what was supposed to be an eight month gig, Donny and Marie Osmond have decided to take advantage of a good thing. This early into their current engagement (the show debuted on September 9th), it has been announced that their musical variety show has been extended for two more years. The 90-minute multimedia show is now scheduled to run through October of 2010 at the Flamingo. The toothy siblings took over the theater that was previously the home of Toni Braxton. Braxton, if you recall, took time off in April to deal with her health issues. She was supposed to return and perform at the Flamingo until her contract ended in August. She never came back. Apparently Ms. Braxton didn't recovered enough to complete her commitment to the hotel, but did recover enough to become a competitor on this season's Dancing With the Stars. We are happy to report that the diva was voted off the show...even before 82-year young Cloris Leachman, who was ousted from the show earlier this week.

* * * * * *

Over the years, Aree Bray mastered all areas of stage production, becoming one of the best "high riggers" in the business. His reputation, along with his responsible and reliable ethics, led to touring with hundreds of artists like Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Wayne Newton, U2, Britney Spears and War, to name a few. In August of last year, Aree was involved in a horrible accident at the Las Vegas convention center. Using a snorkel lift, the piece of equipment malfunctioned, pinning Bray between the metal cage of the lift and a water pipe. The result was a fractured and crushed kidney. Upon examination, it was discovered that Aree had a four pound cancerous tumor in the kidney. As a result of the accident, the tumor broke loose, releasing cancer cells throughout his body and infecting all his organs. Mr. Bray is a determined man who has tried and explored almost every available treatment - from experimental chemotherapy and holistic approaches, to aggressive cancer treatments. We all know that the healthcare industry is unforgiving and expensive. In the entertainment field, medical insurance is generally not provided, and Aree, who has been out of work for more than a year, has no coverage. His medications and other treatments are becoming impossible for him to manage. As a result, friends in the community have banded together to help. From 6 p.m. to midnight, on Sunday, November 9th, a benefit concert will be held to assist Aree as he struggles in the most difficult fight of his life. This extravaganza, to be held at Stoney's Rockin' Country, will feature almost a dozen musical acts that include some of the finest talent in Las Vegas. This event is not only an important cause for a friend, but promises to be an important gathering of music industry professionals. The event will be emceed by "The Soup Nazi" from TV's Seinfeld, actor Larry Thomas. Entertainment will be provided by the Louis Prima Orchestra (from 6 to 6:30 p.m.), Lydia Vance (from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m.), Five Cent Rides, with Shelley Miller and guest of honor Aree Bray on blues harp (from 8:15 to 8:30 p.m.), Dario Lorina and Karneval (from 9 to 9:30 p.m.), Heart guitarist Roger Fisher, featuring Lenita Erickson from Vixen and Helles Belles (from 9:45 to 10:15 p.m.), Rock of Ages, classic rock show (from 10:30 to 11 p.m.), Santa Fe (from 11 to 11:15 p.m.), Skip Martin, performing his new single When (from 11:20 to 11:30 p.m.), and The Stoney Curtis Band (from 11:30 p.m. to midnight). In addition to helping a member of the community, you probably won't find a better entertainment bargain. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Stoney's Rockin' Country is located at 9151 Las Vegas Blvd. South #300. Sponsors for this event include Stoney and Chris Lowden (son of Vegas hotel man, Paul Lowden) at Stoney's Rockin Country, New World Audio, Vegas Rocks magazine, and Cowtown Guitars for their contribution to this important cause. All proceeds will be processed through a 501C non-profit account entitled "Frankies Dream" into a separate trust account with funds to be dispersed for Aree's care. Las Vegas attorney Bob Kortland is donating his services. To help, or for additional information about the benefit, please call Greg Fox at (702) 326-7973.

Aree Bray

Darrin Memorial flowers by Botanica

Estelle & Carl Reiner

* * * * * *

To Philip of Philadelphia, who e-mailed to ask who the florist was that provided the beautiful arrangements for the July 29th memorial service for his late cousin, Emmy Award-winning dancer/choreographer/designer Michael Darrin, we have the answer to your question...thanks to some of Michael's close friends. Robert Craig responded almost immediately to say that MD's "favorite florist," and the one that provided most of the beautiful arrangements for the service, is called Botanica and is owned by Michael Flach and Larry Hart (yes, that would be entertainer Larry Hart). Charlie and Sherry Frye came in second, providing some clues that helped us do our detective work. Darrin, who died on July 2nd at the age of 62, had exquisite taste, so you know this outfit has to be damn good. To see just HOW good, note the attached photo and check out their Web site at, and prepare to ooh and ahhh. We hope this information will help to make Philip's friends' Las Vegas wedding one spectacular event.

And speaking of Charlie and Sherry Frye, the talented twosome, with one of Cousin Claire's favorite specialty acts, will perform "at home" in mid-November. Under the name Charlie Frye and Company, these two work almost non-stop...but rarely in Las Vegas, where they maintain their home. Charlie Frye and Company will be part of the lineup for Variety Live!, coming into the Suncoast November 14th, 15th and 16th. We will have more details on this show next Friday.

* * * * * *

Are you a Dancing With the Stars fan? Do you like to do a little fancy footwork yourself? Do you like the opportunity to dress up a bit? If so, get out your glitz and glamour duds and head for the VZ Ballroom Academy at 8390 W. Sahara on Sunday, November 2nd, when Jeanne Bavaro of Bavaro ETC (Exclusive Talent Concepts) presents An Evening of Rhinestones & Rhythms. From 6 to 7 p.m., it's a Red Carpet Wine and Cheese Reception, followed by a Beginning and Intermediate Group Lesson from 7 to 7:45, Open Social Dancing from 7:45 to 8:45, and a Professional Ballroom Dance Exhibition from 8:45 to 9:15. Tickets are required. They are $25 per person. Call Bavaro at (702) 367-9805 or the ballroom at (702) 823-1063 for more details.

* * * * * *

Tomorrow evening at 7, and Sunday afternoon at 2, jazz great Richard McGee returns to the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin with the Classic American Songbook, Part II. Presented by SFS Entertainment, McGee will be joined by some of the Valley's most exciting musicians. It's Henry Mancini to Gershwin to Cole Porter, plus a special tribute to Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Richard McGee, associate conductor for the Las Vegas Philharmonic, has performed and conducted on the Las Vegas Strip for more than 20 years - eight of them at the Tropicana, and 11 at Caesars Palace. The recipient of the 2002 Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Community Achievement Award in Arts and Entertainment, Richard brought cheering Starbright audiences to their feet last March with the Classic American Songbook, Part I. This weekend's program is expected to generate the same reaction. Tickets are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents and $20 for non-residents, and may be purchased at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle. Starbright Theatre shows are open to everyone ages 12 and over. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. For additional information, call (702) 240-1301.

* * * * * *

Estelle Reiner, wife of comic/actor/director Carl Reiner (they had been married for 65 years) and mother of actor/director Rob Reiner (known as "Meathead" on the TV series All In the Family), died last Saturday at the age of 94. Although she had roles in a number of films (Fatso, directed by Anne Bancroft and starring Dom DeLuise; The Man With Two Brains, directed by her husband and starring Steve Martin), was a painter, and, in her later years, built a reputation as a jazz singer, performing in clubs in Los Angeles and New York even into her late 80s, Estelle Reiner will mostly be remembered for one unforgettable movie line. In 1989's When Harry Met Sally, directed by her son, Rob, actors Meg Ryan, as Sally, and Billy Crystal, as Harry, are sitting in a restaurant, arguing over whether women can realistically fake orgasms, when Ryan loudly demonstrates that they can. After Ryan's vocal display, Reiner's character, seated at another table, tells her waiter, "I'll have what she's having."

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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye