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 November 14, 2008
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - November 14, 2008

Susan Egan


Roslyn Kind

As long as Cousin Claire has a couple of bosses who put no restrictions on her (thank you gentlemen, for believing in Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Speech, and freedom on the Internet), she feels free to say what is on her mind. We have no qualms about saying that we voted with our gut instincts and heart. The man whose name we checked on our ballot will be our next president, come January 20th. We have strong feelings about Proposition 8 as well. In case you aren't aware, Proposition 8, a ballot measure looking to overturn the May, 2008 California Supreme Court decision granting marriage equality, was approved by a narrow margin on November 4th. It means the state has rescinded the right of same sex couples to marry. It means that was okay for the last five months is now not okay. Legally, what does this mean for the couples who said their vows between May and now? Susan Egan, a very respected Broadway star - Thoroughly Modern Millie (playing Millie Dillmount), Cabaret (as Sally Bowles), Triumph of Love (Princess Leonide), Beauty and the Beast (Belle, for which Egan received both a Tony and Drama Desk nomination as Best Actress in a Musical), State Fair (Margy Frake), and the national tour of Bye, Bye Birdie (Kim MacAfee) - started a fire, via blogs and the Internet, regarding what she felt was a betrayal by a member of the entertainment community. Because we like what she had to say, we are printing Ms. Egan's, now, widespread message.

Dear Friends --
I thought you might be interested to know that Scott Eckern, Artistic Director of California Music Theatre (Sacramento Music Circus) contributed $1000 in support of California's divisive Proposition 8, which eliminates (not just bans) the right for same-sex couples to marry and receive all of the emotional, economic, and social benefits that married couples often take for granted. Mr. Eckern's affiliation with CMT, as well as his title and the amount donated to legislate the lives of others, is public information that can be found (by clicking on the Link below). Marc Shaiman, composer (most notably of "Hairspray", which was produced at CMT last year) has already contacted Sacramento's CMT and expressed his disgust with the idea that a theatrical organization, employing and making money from gay artists and audience members, harbors an executive who uses a portion of his income to publicly support hate legislation (my term). I believe Mr. Shaiman may have told them they would no longer be allowed to produce his work, and has contacted the creators of "Avenue Q" (to be produced in March of '09) to enlighten them. I am deeply troubled by the news about Scott, as I have worked for and known him since 1993. I find his behavior hypocritical at best and, more likely, distressingly prejudiced. Many of you friends who, like myself, have worked for Scott might be floored to know this news. I think at this point I shall do my best to "out" him and any others like him. Folks who show (and make money) playing one game, but with an inner intolerance that denies everything our industry represents. I have personally been in contact with Marc Shaiman to confirm all the information. In his words: "Yes, it's all true! Of course, there is nothing much I can do since they've already done HAIRSPRAY, but the AVE Q guys (at least one of them) may do something, perhaps picket his own show! But, as I hope people realize, it is not really up to a writer to cancel a production that has already been licensed. What I could do I did, which was to call Mr. Eckern directly and say what I had to say. Reading this past week how people still actually think being gay is a choice (the only choice we make is not to lie about who we are) and that that one line from a beautiful book proves we are sinners (a book that also allows for the stoning of wives and of people who wear two different kinds of fabric at the same time), well, I am starting to feel that the only way to make people change is, I think, to now greet every person I meet and say "Hi, I'm Marc, God made me gay and I think that that He and I are both fabulous!" and leave the rest up to them." Sacramento Music Circus holds a cherished place in my heart, primarily because of Leland Ball and the inspirational talents he would gather for his productions. I feel the spirit of Leland is lost under Scott's leadership. As a private citizen, I choose not to support California Music Theatre while it operates under Mr. Eckern's tenure. I support Marc Shaiman in his boycott of CMT, and hope others will follow -- as ticket-buyers, writers, musical directors, crew, designers and performers and more. I feel compelled to write because I have heard from so many beloved friends the last few days. People who are in every way caring and generous citizens. Friends who are for the most part very quiet on the political front, who have had to awaken because of last Tuesday, due to their shock that their lifestyles are not "accepted" by so-called friends!! The irony of electing Obama and Prop 8 passing astounds me. I am not ordinarily a political fighter, but I do believe in information for all, and let them decide. And more than anything I believe in "holding the space" for what is right. In support of my gay and lesbian friends, I find it a travesty that the entire arts community is not standing in solidarity for equal rights. Shame on Scott. That our industry should be the first to raise money and awareness for AIDS to the result of awakening a country and world to the issue...well then, marriage (and every other sort of) equality is a no-brainer ...and a duty and obligation. I hope with this email to find others to "hold the space" with me...full equality in marriage rights. If you should feel compelled to pass the information about Scott Eckern on to all means, do.
Hoping for change...still,
Signed Susan Egan

California Musical Theatre is Sacramento's oldest professional performing arts organization and state's largest nonprofit musical theater company. It has 32 full-time employees and its budget for 2007 was $16.5 million. The CMT produces the Music Circus, presents Broadway Sacramento, and recently opened Forever Plaid at the capital's newest performing venue, the Cosmopolitan Cabaret. Scott Eckern, who had been with the company for 25 years, was named CMT's artistic director in July 2002 after longtime producing director Leland Ball stepped down. Eckern also holds the post of chief operating officer. As a result of Egan's letter, and those of many others, by Monday (November 10th), gay and lesbian show folk were calling for an artistic and audience boycott of California Musical Theatre. "I feel so sad that someone from within my field and someone from within my community, who actually knows me, would contribute to an initiative that reduces me to second-class citizenship," said openly gay composer Gregg Coffin. "I feel so sorry that he (Eckern) chose to support divisiveness and hatred rather than equality and inclusion; especially a man of the theater who works with gay actors, dancers, directors, designers and staff at CMT. The duplicity of it makes me so incredibly sad." In a post on one Web site, Mark Shaiman relayed what he told Eckern during a Thursday (November 6th) phone call: "The idea that your donation came from a salary that for a short amount of time was drawn from profits from a show I wrote upsets me terribly and I would never allow anything I write to play there and will encourage my colleagues to consider doing the same." Shaiman has contacted colleagues in the theater, including Jeff Whitty, whose show, Avenue Q, comes to Broadway Sacramento next spring. Whitty's Web site details a telephone conversation he had with Eckern on Friday. "There's a great degree of hue and cry over getting Mr. Eckern fired," Whitty wrote. "I've searched my soul about this. I'm instinctively not comfortable with the idea of his dismissal, though my activist side still whispers, 'Punish!' "I fear for what Mr. Eckern's dismissal would say about theater: that there's only room for the pro-gay crowd. In a way, if we only allow people we agree with, if we only allow people who share a broad sympathy for the human condition, then we become one of those dreaded fantasy 'elites.' "

Epilog...On Wednesday, Scott Eckern announced his resignation from CMT and stated that he was leaving the organization, saying "I chose to express my views through the democratic process, and I am deeply sorry for any harm or injury I have caused in doing so. I want to support not only my friends and loved ones, but everyone in their efforts to receive equal rights." He also stated that he was making a comparable donation ($1,000) to the Human Rights Campaign. Personally, we would have liked to see Mr. Eckern donate $5,000 to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS or a similar organization.

Cousin Claire knows how she feels about this issue. If you would even consider donating money to a campaign of discrimination and hate, or are sitting on the fence and don't have an opinion about Proposition 8, one way or the other, maybe connecting to this site (see Link below) and listening to the heartfelt words of a straight, and straight thinking man, MSNBC‘s, Keith Olbermann, might help you understand what it is you are being asked to do. PLEASE, open up your mind and take the six minutes and 30 seconds to listen to Mr. Olbermann's emotional editorial.

And speaking of Susan Egan, folks in the Southern California area can see the talented lady, a Seal Beach gal, at the Catalina Bar & Grill Jazz Club, 6725 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, as she performs The First Farewell Tour this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, plus dinner or a two-drink minimum. Call (323) 466-2210 for reservations and/or additional information. (Lainie Kazan is at the Catalina through tomorrow night, and Roslyn Kind, at the North Las Vegas Cannery tonight, performs at the Hollywood club on December 30th and New Year's Eve.)

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To Sheila in Los Angeles who wrote asking,
A few years back I went to see an R&B group called Spectrum. Are they still performing in LV? If so where? Do they have a web site?
We went right to the source for the answer. Cushney Roberts, the founding member of Spectrum, informs that the group works regularly, although since the closing and destruction of the Boardwalk Casino on the Strip, most of their work has been headlining on cruise ships (primarily the Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian lines) and as the featured vocalists with symphonies around the country. In past months, the gentlemen - Darryl Grant, Pierre Jovan, David Prescott and Roberts - have appeared with the Long Beach Symphony (CA), Claremont Symphony Orchestra (CA), Tampa Bay's Florida Orchestra, Hartford Symphony (CT), and Huntsville Symphony (AL). Upcoming for the musical quartet are dates with the Syracuse Symphony (NY), Symphony of Southeast Texas, Virginia Symphony, Augusta Symphony (GA), and Charlotte Symphony (NC). In California, where Sheila lives, Spectrum will perform the hits of the Temptations, Four Tops, Drifters and other "boy" groups with the Santa Rosa Symphony, March 21st and 22nd, and the San Diego Symphony, July 17th and 18th. You can keep tabs on the fellows by clicking onto their Web site at Hope that helps, Sheila.

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Weekend reminders...Singer/actor Bruce Ewing (Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular) and musical director/pianist Joey Singer (Mamma Mia! and Debbie Reynolds) are presenting songs from their brand new holiday CD, Remembering to Dream. This Sunday (November 16th), at 1:30 and 3 p.m., the gentlemen will perform in the Cabaret Showroom at the Liberace Museum, 1775 E. Tropicana (at Spencer), presenting songs from the album that includes old and new holiday favorites such as O Holy Night, Mary Did You Know, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Christmas Song, All Those Christmas Clichés, I'll Be Home For Christmas, Just In Time For Christmas, Joy To The World and others. Ewing and Singer will also introduce an original song, the title track of the new CD, Remembering to Dream, written by Joey Singer and Ewing's fellow Phantom cast member, Jason Forbach. For additional information, call the museum at (702) 798-5595. If you can't make it to the Liberace Museum this weekend, you will have another chance to see and hear Ewing and Singer the following Sunday (November 23rd) at the Community Lutheran Church, 3720 E. Tropicana, just west of Sandhill. Show time at the church is at 2 p.m. Admission is free on both weekends, but a "free will offering" will be accepted, with proceeds going to the Liberace Foundation and Family Promise of Las Vegas. The CD will be available for purchase at the three concerts, and in the Community Lutheran Church Bookstore throughout the holiday season.

It has been more than 30 years since Roslyn Kind performed in Las Vegas. She will have to change her bio after this weekend, when she goes into the North Las Vegas Cannery Club for shows tonight and tomorrow. The good, almost unbelievable news, is that the cost to see this talented singer/actress is a mere $10! The not so good news, it's on a first come, first served basis (as in no reservations). We have a feeling that, unless you get to the Cannery, and into the line outside the Club entrance, very, VERY early, you will miss the opportunity to see Ms. Kind in performance. (Show starts at 8 p.m. Maybe you should go REALLY early, and with a sleeping bag!) We have to wonder, why so long away for Mz. Rozzie? If the response is as good as we think it will be for this booking, maybe Kathie Spehar (the Cannery's entertainment maven) will bring Roslyn Kind back to our city...and not 30 years from now!

Kelly Clinton

Bill Nolte & dancing partner

Pam Drews Phillips

And don't forget, singer/dancer/comedian Kelly Clinton (presented by Michael Chapman and ChapQuist Entertainment), who makes her Starbright Theatre debut tomorrow night, beginning at 7 (NOT 7:30, as Cousin Claire learned after arriving late for one of the Starbright's terrific productions). Not that this multi-multi talented lady needs any assistance (she can more than carry a show on her own), but Kelly will be joined by Reva Rice (late of Spamalot and Just Another Man), and Lena Prima (yes, Louis Prima is her dad). The Starbright is located in Sun City Summerlin at 2215 West Thomas Ryan Blvd. (take Rampart to Lake Mead and head west, way west). Tickets ($18 for Sun City residents, $23 for the rest of us) are on sale at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle Community Centers. To purchase by credit card, call (702) 869-2064. For additional information, call (702) 240-1301.

This weekend, it's talented entertainers, such as funnymen Jeff Hobson and Rob Torres, magic man Joseph Gabriel, foot juggler (she juggles FEET???) Antje Pode, hoopster Larissa Youens, singing man Ben Stone, and put-upon man (thanks to his lovely assistant, Sherry) Charlie Frye and the Company he keeps, all in Variety Live! at the Suncoast. Tickets start at $19.95 plus taxes and fees for the 7:30 p.m. shows, through Sunday. Call (702) 636-7075. Since the Suncoast is much easier to get to than the London Palladium, we will see you there.

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From friend Bill Nolte comes a report on his debut at New York's famed Birdland. Says Bill, who performed his one man show, All of Me (seen in Vegas in February as part of the Performing Arts of Nevada's Brown Bag series), for the New York crowd last Monday. Some East Coast references were added and Bill‘s Dancing With the Stars homage took on a new twist, when, at the end of the choreographed number, Nolte discarded his "partner" (see accompanying photo), thanking Cloris Leachman. It brought down the house. "It was fantastic," says Nolte. "I really didn't expect a crowd, but the club was almost full." His accompanist, Pam Drews Phillips, was thrilled to be playing at Birdland on the late jazz great, Oscar Peterson's, Royal Blue Bosendorfer grand piano. Jennifer Perry ("Rosie" in the Vegas version of Mamma Mia!) was there, Mark Sendroff (famous theatrical lawyer and agent), Patrick Parker from Paper Mill Playhouse, Stephen Berger, Mark Waldrop, Jan Herndon, Mary Murfitt (Oil City Symphony), Jill Geddes (Into the Woods, Delphi Or Bust), Carl Baldasso (art director/set designer), Jim Geyer and Pat Bases (ukulele act), Carol Purkiss, and several people from Calgary, Australia, England, Turkey, and Greece. (Boy, I hope the names of the people I don't know and am not familiar with are spelled correctly.) At the end of this month, Nolte will be going cruising on Seabourn for two weeks, traveling to Oman, Dubai and India. He will perform two different shows, All of Me and a Broadway-themed one-man revue. Bill hopes to do his new Broadway show in Las Vegas, perhaps in the spring. He says he is missing his Vegas home and family, "especially now that the leaves have fallen and it's getting chilly in New York." (We didn‘t tell him that, although we don't have as many falling leaves, it‘s getting cooler here as well.)

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Tomorrow (Saturday, November 15th) at 2 p.m., The Glenwillow String Trio will present their Simple Gifts program of classical chamber music and American folk music in celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center, 821 Las Vegas Blvd. North. The program will begin with the Serenade in C for String Trio by Ernst von Dohnanyi. The concert will include the music and arrangements of American composer and fiddler, Mark O'Connor, from his award-winning CD, Appalachia Waltz. The trio is composed of Las Vegas Philharmonic members Rebecca Ramsey (violin), Hanna Suk (viola) and Moonlight Tran (cello). Ramsey has played first chair for many orchestras and recording projects. A composer, she has enjoyed presenting her original works at the Liberace Composers' Showcase. This concert also will include her arrangement of the traditional Shaker tune, "Simple Gifts," and her composition, "Before the Dawn," from the CD "The Stone Sanctuary, Silhouettes of Zion."

Suk has a master's degree in music from the National Music Academy of Ukraine and was an artist with the Kiev Chamber Orchestra and the National Ukraine Symphony Orchestra. She toured Europe and Ukraine as a solo performer and as a chamber musician. Tran has a bachelor of music performance degree in cello from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. She teaches for the Nevada School of the Arts, the College of Southern Nevada and in her own cello studio. Admission is free. Call (702) 229-6211 for more information.

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White Lion

Giovanna Sardelli

Bette Midler

The Canyon Club, located inside the Four Queens Hotel & Casino in downtown Las Vegas, presents White Lion tomorrow (Saturday, November 15th) with doors opening at 9:30 p.m. Formed in 1983, the Brooklyn-bred rockers left their distinctive mark on the MTV generation in the late 1980s with smash hits such as Wait, Tell Me, Broken Heart and Little Fighter. The band was also recognized for meaningful songs that transcended social and political themes such as Cry For Freedom, Lights and Thunder, and Warsong. Their most memorable classic hit, When the Children Cry, reached double platinum. In March, White Lion released Return of the Pride, their first record in more than 16 years. Tickets for White Lion are $15 for locals and $25 general admission, and can be purchased by calling The Canyon Club box office at (702) 387-5175, or online at The box office is open Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 9 p.m.

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Nelson Sardelli has instructed us to "Start Spreading the News...It's Up to You New York, New York." Although we are Las Vegas, Las Vegas, not New York, New York (but there is a pretty good replica on the corner of the Strip and Tropicana), we certainly don‘t mind spreading the news. Sardelli‘s daughter, Giovanna Sardelli, has won the 2007-2008 Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Director of her production of Rajiv Joseph's Animals Out of Paper. What makes this honor especially impressive is the competition that Giovanna faced. The finalists for the award were: Walter Bobbie (Footloose, Sweet Charity, Tony Award winning director for Chicago), for Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo, produced by The Roundabout Theatre Company; former Chicagoan, David Cromer, for Adding Machine, A Musical, produced by Scott Morfee, Tom Wirtshafter, and Margaret Cotter; Michael Greif (Rent, Grey Gardens, Never Gonna Dance, Jane Eyre), for Next to Normal, produced by Second Stage Theatre (they also produced Animals Out of Paper); and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Oscar-winner as Best Actor for the lead role in Capote), The Little Flower of East Orange, produced by The LABrynth Theatre Company, The Public Theatre. "I can't tell you how thrilled and honored I am to be included in this amazing company of talent," said the delighted Ms. Sardelli. Established by Equity member Joe A. Callaway in 1989 to encourage participation in the classics and non-profit theatre, the awards are administered by Actor's Equity Association. The winners, selected by a panel of critics, receive $1,000 and a commemorative plaque...and, of course the honor itself.

Coincidentally, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (mentioned above) is playing at UNLV's Black Box Theatre through Sunday. The Las Vegas Review-Journal's theater critic, Anthony Del Valle, gave the production an "A" rating. It must REALLY be good! Tickets are $15. Show times are tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Call (702) 895-2787 for reservations.

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We want to remind you about the upcoming Thanksgiving Semi-Formal Dance at the Italian-American Club, on Thursday, November 20th. Mark the date on your calendar and plan to attend a wonderful evening of dancing and entertainment. Dancing and Mingling on the Sahara features the music of Nobody Famous and The Infamous Horns. In addition to playing for your listening enjoyment, the group will also be playing dance music - everything from the Foxtrot, Two Beat, West Coast Swing, Waltz and Latin, to Shuffle, Polka and more. Robert Baumann, from Dance Charisma, will teach free dance moves and routines from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Open dancing will be from 7:30 to 10:45 p.m. The Italian-American Club is located at 2333 E. Sahara near Eastern. Admission at the door (the club opens at 6 p.m.) is $12 for singles, and $20 for couples. Save a couple of bucks by making your reservations in advance ($10 for singles, and $18 for couples). Call (702) 220-6325

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A sure Bette? Since we rarely, if ever, saw commercials promoting Celine Dion's shows at Caesars, and don't recall seeing any for Elton John, or Cher, or Jerry Seinfeld, we have to wonder if the fact that we are seeing plenty of TV ads for Bette Midler's The Showgirl Must Go On, means that the Divine One is not doing the big business the Colosseum is set up for. We know that Ms. Midler is one helluva dandy entertainer and this is a gambling town, but was this long term booking a bad Bette or is it just a case of the poor economy jitters?

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Jeneane Marie

Mark Giovi

Lou Garcia

And speaking of divas, it's Jeneane Marie at the new Eastside Cannery next Friday and Saturday, November 21st and 22nd. Delivering pop, rock, blues and R&B in her own unique style, Jeneane Marie has been a Las Vegas favorite since the 1980s. Show times are at 9 p.m. in Marilyn's Lounge. Marilyn's is a great place to dance or listen to the sounds of incredible live local bands, unbelievable tribute acts, classic lounge crooners and some headliners while quenching your thirst on the coolest cocktails and the most twisted tequila libations. The room, with a state-of-the-art audio and lighting system, can accommodate 200 people in a cocktail table configuration, and 300 in concert style. If you haven't checked out the Boulder Strip at Tropicana property (where the Nevada Palace once stood), the sultry Jeneane Marie is a good reason to do so.

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The glitz and excitement of early Vegas is coming back to town with the launching of a new series of Classic Cabaret Nights at the glamorous new banquet facility, View 215. Opening night is Sunday, November 23rd. The first presentation will headline singer Mark Giovi. The evening of dining and entertainment will begin with flashbulbs popping, as a bevy of lovely costumed showgirls welcome guests to a bright red-carpeted entranceway. At 5 p.m., cocktails and complimentary Hors D'oeuvres will be served on the View 215 terrace. As the name suggests, the facility features a spectacular view of the Las Vegas Valley for the enjoyment of its guests. A three-course dinner - offering a choice of Chicken Picatta with Lemon Caper Butter sauce, Mahi Mahi with Teriyaki glaze and mango tropical salsa or
Penne Pasta Primavera - will be served at 6 p.m., with the show following at 7:30. The dinner and show package price is $50 (plus tax and gratuity). Reservations are required. Call (702) 307-4959 or email to
[email protected]. Recently opened View 215 is located at 9130 W. Russell Road at the 215 freeway. The facility is available for all types of special events. For details, check out their Web site at

Giovi will draw upon his vast array of musical genres - from rock to opera and everything in between. A founding member of the Las Vegas Tenors, Mark performs six nights a week as the featured vocalist in the long-running Strip show, Bite. He has toured internationally, sharing the stage with Michael Jackson, Mark Anthony, Vanessa Carlton, Alanis Morisette and Shakira, among others. Since leaving the Tenors, Giovi has been spreading his artistic wings. In recent months, he has performed his own show at the upscale MacDonald Ranch Community Center; contributed his talents at the Aree Bray Cancer Benefit, where he sang an original song called Rise, written by Roger Fisher (Barracuda), Heart's founding guitarist who also performed; and at Nellis Air Force Base's Aviation Nation air show, Giovi sang the National Anthem as 15 parachutists drifted from the sky to the ground. Mark has become a favorite of Opportunity Village. At a black-tie event for the organization‘s 2008 Magical Forest launch, Giovi sang This Is the Moment (from Frank Wildhorn's Broadway musical, Jekyll and Hyde) and Puccini's Nessun Dorma, bringing the crowd to its feet before the big finish. On Tuesday, the married father of two will be featured as part of Opportunity Village's Golf Tournament, at the fabulous Cascata Golf Course in Boulder City. Calling him "The Voice of Opportunity," Mark, who was born with cerebral palsy, exemplifies the mission statement of Opportunity Village. Since 1954, the organization has been serving disabled people in the Las Vegas community, providing them with programs and services to help enrich their lives. If you are interested in learning more about Opportunity Village, taking a daytime tour of the campus, or getting involved with Opportunity Village or the Magical Forest, please call (702) 259-3741. We will have more information about the Magical Forest next Friday.

Classic Cabaret Nights is a presentation of Bavaro ETC, Exclusive Talent Concepts, headed by producer Jeanne Bavaro. Bavaro, who is the personal manager of singer/impressionist Bill Acosta, tap phenom, Jay Fagan, and Giovi, is a woman on a mission. Her goal is "to bring back the golden days of the Supper Club era" - top quality talent and good food at affordable prices - reminiscent of early Vegas.

And speaking of the Las Vegas Tenors, they have performance dates scheduled at the Suncoast, January 30th through February 1st.

Also on Sunday, but in the afternoon...Singer/dancer/actor Lou Garcia, who often appears with his Amigo in Song, Gary Oakes, will go solo for his 2 p.m., Sunday, November 23rd show at the Clark County Flamingo Library Theater, at 1401 E. Flamingo. Calling his one-man-show From Havana to Broadway, the accomplished Cuban-born singer/dancer/actor presents a repertoire of material, ranging from Latin love songs and rhythmic calypso melodies, to popular American standards and favorite show tunes from popular Broadway musicals such as Follies, Gypsy, Mame, The Roar of Greasepaint-The Smell of the Crowd and Cats. Lou's show business career has spanned more than 40 years, beginning with his stint as principal vocalist with the United States Navy Steel Band. From there, it was on to nightclubs, television, trade shows and summer stock productions, culminating in appearances on Broadway in musicals Ilya Darling and Zorba. His first Las Vegas appearance was in the cast of the musical Mame with Juliet Prowse at the International Hotel (now the Las Vegas Hilton) and later as a principal in Donn Arden's musical extravaganza, Hallelujah Hollywood at the MGM Grand (now Bally‘s). Many years as a headliner on numerous cruise lines attests to the versatile talents of this accomplished performer, who is sure to entertain audiences in his entertaining nostalgic song and dance journey From Havana to Broadway. Presented by the Performing Arts Society of Nevada, tickets for From Havana to Broadway are $15 per person. For further information or reservations, call the PASN office at (702) 658-6741. Tickets will also be available at the Clark County Library Theater box office, at 1 p.m. The performance begins at 2 (doors open for the unreserved seating at 1:30).

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The Association

Next weekend, November 21st through 23rd, it's The Association at the Suncoast. Starting in the mid-1960s, the California pop music band had numerous hits at or near the top of the Billboard charts, among them, Cherish, Along Comes Mary, Never My Love, Windy, Goodbye Columbus, and Darlin' Be Home Soon. The Association is notable for being the leadoff band at 1967's first multi-group rock festival, the Monterey Pop Festival. Known for their tight vocal harmony, The Association was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003. Tickets are from $19.95 plus taxes and fees. Shows are at 7:30. For reservations, call (702) 636-7111, or toll free at (877) 677-7111.

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Matisyahu will perform at Mandalay Bay's House of Blues on November 22nd. What is a Matisyahu, you may ask? If not for certain young relatives, we wouldn't have the answer. But since we do, we know that Matisyahu (born Matthew Paul Miller) is an American reggae musician who blends traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip-hop sounds. The 39-year-old stands out for wearing the traditional clothing of Hasidic Jews and not performing on Shabbat (Friday evening and Saturday). Since 2004, he has released two studio albums as well as one live album, two remix CDs, and one DVD featuring a live concert, and a number of interviews. Through his short career, Matisyahu has teamed up with some of the biggest names in reggae production, including Bill Laswell, and duo Sly & Robbie. Since his debut, Matisyahu has received positive reviews from both rock and reggae outlets. Most recently, he was named Top Reggae Artist of 2006 by Billboard. Matisyahu appears with the Flobots and Chester French. Tickets range from $28 to $35, plus taxes and fees. For reservations, call the House of Blues at (702) 632-7600.


Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano

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Cutting-edge magician Jeff McBride will end his Magic at the Edge run in the Sound Trax Showroom at the Palace Station on November 22nd. We give McBride an "A" for effort (or should it be an "E" for effort?), for taking his classy act to an off-Strip property, not really known for "cutting-edge" entertainment. Actually, in spite of entertainers such as Earl Turner who have worked the West Sahara hotel/casino, the place is probably best known as the location of OJ Simpson's most recent notoriety. However, we digress (we do that often). Tonight and tomorrow, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., McBride will host the next to last weekend of Wonderground at Palace Station. The magical, interactive club experience will be putting on a spectacular end to its run with special guests Ross Johnson and young Berk Eratay, a student of McBride's. Johnson is a psychic entertainer specializing in mind reading, magic, fortune telling, telepathy and mentalism. He has been honing his craft for more than 20 years, performing for hundreds of top corporations. Berk, a mentalist from Istanbul, Turkey, recently won TV's Uri Geller's Phenomenon - Turkey. Wonderground is a magical club experience that 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. The performers have been different every week and you never know who might show up. Past celebrity guests include our favorite mentalist Gerry McCambridge (Hooters), Lance Burton (Monte Carlo), Criss Angel (Luxor) and Keith Barry (at Planet Hollywood through the 27th). Entrance is $10 at the door, or half price for patrons showing up in magical costumes before 10:30 p.m. Those who have attended McBride's Magic at the Edge show earlier in the evening can show their ticket stub for free admission.

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Okay, you New Yorkers, or Big Apple visitors...This Sunday, it's the husband and wife musical team of Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano remembering John Wallowitch, Lew Spence and Murray Grand at the Metropolitan Room. Join Barbara and Eric as they salute three masters of the art of theater and café music. David Hurst of Cabaret Scenes magazine writes about the presentation, "A triumph in every sense of the word, Remembering... is a showcase not only for the composers of the title, but for Comstock and Fasano as well. For those unfamiliar with Wallowitch, Spence and Grand, here's a quick synopsis: Singer-songwriter-pianist Murray Grand, who died March 7, 2007, at the age of 87, created the first café revue in New York City and had his most famous composition, Guess Who I Saw Today, included in the Smithsonian Institute's collection of "the 25 most important night-club songs of all time." John Wallowitch, a singer-composer of thousands of songs and a familiar face on New York television's cable-access show, John's Cabaret, died August 15, 2007, at the age of 81. Best known for songs that reveled in word play and witty social observation, such as Bruce, which was popularized by Blossom Dearie, Wallowitch was often compared to Noel Coward and Cole Porter for his smart and snappy tunes. Lew Spence, who didn't publish his first song until he was almost thirty, was best known for Nice ‘n' Easy, a smash hit for Frank Sinatra, died January 9, 2008, at the age of 87. He was also notable for becoming a full-time lyricist in his late forties after almost two decades of providing only melodies for other people's words. (Thanks for your help, Mr. Hurst.) The Metropolitan Room is at 34 West 22nd Street. Show time is 7 p.m. You don't want to miss this one. Call (212) 206-0440 for reservations.

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