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 July 04, 2008
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - July 4, 2008

Michael Darrin

Ione Losander


On Wednesday evening, Las Vegas and the world lost another creative genius. After a valiant battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), at the age of 62, Michael Darrin passed from this life. Ironically, the brilliant dancer/choreographer/designer, was watching TV's So You Think You Can Dance when, surrounded by family and friends, he slipped away from the pain that had gripped him for the past couple of years. An Emmy Award-winner, Michael was known as a taskmaster. As hard as he was on his dancers, he was even harder on himself. Decades ago, Darrin (whose real name was James Lentini) was hit by a car while crossing Paradise Road. The fact he survived was miraculous. Even more of a miracle was the fact that he kept his leg (he fought the doctors to avoid amputation). He could be so difficult and demanding, one might wonder why dancers would return to work with him, again and again. The answer is, because of the end result. He knew exactly what he wanted, and if it took bullying to get it, that's what he gave. But, oh what he got. His shows and projects always stood out from the rest of the pack. His resume is full of mentions of awards that he won over the years. He worked with the best - including Martha Raye, Jane Powell, Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope, Jessica Walters, Richard Chamberlain, Diana Ross, Cher, and Lucille Ball among others. For four years, Darrin partnered the legendary Juliet Prowse all over the world, including many television appearances. He also partnered the famed Cyd Charisse, for three years, including an engagement at the London Palladium. He designed and choreographed for Miss Charisse as well. Michael did 56 Broadway and stock musical comedies and choreographed Paula Abdul's video, Cold-Hearted Snake. It was the first video to ever debut on the Top 20 Countdown, at No. 1, and remained in that position for several consecutive weeks. He received Billboards Music Video Award, as well as the American Dance Award for Best Choreography for that 1989 video. Cold-Hearted Snake was voted one of the Best 10 Videos of the Decade. Michael later collaborated with Abdul again, choreographing the outrageous opening number of the 1990 American Music Awards and also the 1990 Academy Awards. Darrin and Abdul received television's highest honor when they won the coveted Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for their American Music Awards number. Michael Darrin was also named Choreographer of the Year by Variety. He was responsible for creating, directing, choreographing, lighting and designing the extravagant costumes, for Celebration, a multi-million dollar extravaganza for Sun City's Tenth Anniversary, in South Africa. He directed, costumed and choreographed America's Salute to the Astronauts, a lavish stage spectacular, starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood and television. He directed and choreographed seven television specials in Rome, Italy. Darrin earned 26 Best Show of the Year awards for daring and unique productions, including Rage, Pazazz, Les Vamps, Passion, Wild Things, Sassy Class, Magic 2010, Country Fever (versions 1 and 2), Bottoms Up ( for several years), Night Beat, and Aireus. High-flying Aireus, Michael's complete concept and first of its kind creation, generated rave reviews from critics all over the country and won six Best Show of the Year awards during a two-year smash hit run at the Reno Hilton (now the Grand Sierra). Michael Darrin starred in, conceived, directed, choreographed, and designed all the costumes and extreme special make-ups for his own HBO-Special, Les Sorcery, with Vincent Price as his guest star. He also choreographed, costumed and designed and executed the unusual make-ups for the television special Penthouse Pet of the Year Awards, hosted by Tony Curtis. Michael was the resident choreographer for Lorimar Production's hit ABC television series Homefront, for which he created and choreographed the series' award-winning Thanksgiving Day Special, The Dance Contest. He also choreographed several episodes of Rosie O'Donnell's TV series, Stand By Your Man. Added to his credits was a commercial for Z. Cavaricci jeans, that he staged and choreographed. His films include The Only Game in Town with Elizabeth Taylor and Warren Beatty, Dream Lover with James Spader, and Fire Down Below with Steven Seagal. Michael was director/choreographer for the world famous Chippendales, including a documentary film on the beefcake revue, shot in Amsterdam. He created, directed, choreographed and costumed the lush production of Glamour, for the Maiden Inaugural Voyage of the Grand Princess, which, at that time, was the largest luxury liner in the world. His bold and risqué production of Passion-2000, in Lake Tahoe, stunned and shocked audiences and was proclaimed an "Innovative Smash-Hit," on its opening night, again winning numerous awards as Best Show of the Year. Darrin created, directed, choreographed, costumed and was lighting designer for X-Treme, that played in the main room at Caesars Tahoe. Once again, Darrin pushed the limits of innovation and received sensational reviews. X-Treme was hailed by critics as "brilliant," and broke all house records for that room. He was also responsible for directing and choreographing Midnight Magic, a stunning production show at Conrad Jupiter's, on Australia's Gold Coast. In 2003, Michael Darrin was one of fourteen "Legends of Las Vegas" invited to dance and perform the show-stopping Tony Award-winning number from The Will Roger's Follies in the Golden Rainbow AIDS Gala, featuring hundreds of performers and celebrities, in the theater at the Paris Las Vegas. In May of last year, although confined to a wheel chair due to his declining health, with the help of an assistant, Michael was the creative force behind Zingara (it's the name of a Gypsy Queen), a lavish spectacular at Australia's Conrad Jupiter. The production featured 14 female dancers, eight Cossack dancers, singer Alissi, female magician Galina, comic/trampoline artist Dubon Nicloe, a five-man Globe of Death act from France and Stefon La Statue from Paris among its large cast. Michael Darrin was considered one of the most dynamic director/choreographers, costume and lighting designers in the business. He knew how to take the elements of sensuality and add it to the world of dance. His trademark consisted of style, class, glitz and glamour, with a unique twist for the avant-garde. Whether it's G, R, or X-rated, Michael Darrin's work remains innovative and creative. Michael Darrin is survived by his mother, Betty Switenko, and his brother, Bob Lentini, both of Las Vegas. He is also survived by the many dancers who pushed themselves to be better. A memorial service for Michael Darrin will be announced at a later date.

In a bit of irony, on the day of Michael Darrin's death, some of the cast members of Bottom's Up, with which Darrin was associated, joined together at Bahama Breeze for the show's 50th anniversary.

* * * * * *

In her two weeks of life, baby Ione Losander has experienced more than many people will experience in four score and seven. Born at home in the early morning of June 20th, the beautiful little girl weighed in at a healthy 8 pounds and 10 ounces. Her mother and father, magicians (Dirk) Losander and Luna Shimada, were delighted. Baby Ione was checked out at a hospital and given a good bill of health. When the midwife who delivered the infant stopped by the Losander house a few days later, she was concerned and suspected that all was not well with the newest member of the Losander family. She suggested taking Ione back to the hospital. There it was discovered that, indeed, there was a problem and it was serious. Little Ione needed heart surgery to save her life. The Losanders have health insurance, through a German provider. As they work all over the world, the Losanders pay extra for an optional plan that covers the family wherever they may be...or so they were told. The company now says they won't cover the operation, claiming they should have been notified of the impending birth. The insurance company did offer to fly the baby to Germany for the operation, but the heart surgeon and two others consulting heart specialists in Las Vegas said it was too dangerous and the surgery needed to be done immediately. The surgery alone was $20,000. With additional costs and follow-up, this is quite a financial undertaking for any family. There were no options. The surgery was done here on June 30th. The great and most important news is that little Ione came through the surgery well and her future looks bright. Needless to say, she will need ongoing care. The unfortunate part is, although the Losanders did everything right and thought they, and their family, were covered, that is not the case. They are faced with mounting medical bills. To help, Losander and Luna's fellow magicians in the World's Greatest Magic Show have taken up a collection. So far, they have raised about $10,000 in donations and as the result of purchases from Losanders‘ Web site. If you have any interest in magic (there is a new DVD available called Las Vegas‘ Greatest Magicians), check out the site at for yourself. If you have ever thought about buying any magic supplies, now might be a good time to do so. Every dollar counts and the family really needs all the support they can find right now! Dick Feeney, producer of the World's Greatest Magic Show, writes...I have known Losander for more than four years. He is a terrific father and one of the most caring individuals I know. He always goes out of his way for everyone and is a total professional at work. I am making a personal and company donation and would ask you all to please make even a $5-10 donation. You can send cash or a check to Losander Inc. at 1802 East Pyle, Las Vegas, NV 89183. Thank you ALL for whatever you feel you can do.

You can also send a donation through PayPal to [email protected]. If you can't contribute anything, please keep Ione in your thoughts and prayers. We will let readers know how she is progressing.

* * * * * *

Here's the latest on the COLABO saga. Remember all of those performances of An Evening With Billie Holiday, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Light My Fire, scheduled to run at the Family Music Center on West Sahara through June and into July? They have been canceled, a week or two at a time. Instead of six performances of the Billie Holiday show (that Lainie Kazan had absolutely NOTHING to do with, in spite of what you may have read in one of COLABO's releases), there were only two done. We are not sure exactly what happened with Hedwig and the Jim Morrison tale. If any readers saw ANY of these productions, we would love to hear from you. We would also be interested in hearing from anyone who may have bought tickets for shows that never saw the light of day (or the dark of night).

* * * * * *

Monty Python's Spamalot is a comedic musical "lovingly ripped off from" the 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Like the film, it is a highly irreverent parody, but it differs from the film in many ways, especially in its parodies of the Broadway theater. The Tony-winning musical pokes fun at everything and everyone, from Andrew Lloyd Webber to Man of La Mancha, West Side Story, Fiddler On the Roof, Company, Les Miserables, The Producers, and, of course, Camelot. Nothing escapes the wit of Eric Idle, a member of the Monty Python team, who wrote the musical's book and lyrics. The Las Vegas version of Spamalot, starring John O'Hurley, opened at Wynn Las Vegas in March of 2007. It is scheduled to end its run here a week from Sunday. It's great fun, especially for those who know anything about Broadway musicals. The entire cast is terrific. We urge you to see Spamalot before it closes on the 13th. For reservations, call (702) 770-9966 (there are some price reductions available during the next week). If you see the show, and don't leave the Holy Grail Theater singing and whistling Always Look On the Bright Side of Life, we will be surprised.

* * * * * *

Blockbuster Video is sponsoring a DVDs and Games for the Troops drive in conjunction with the July 4th holiday. They will be raising money and gathering DVDs to bring some much-deserved entertainment to our overseas U.S. service men and women. From now, through July 14th, purchase new or previously viewed DVDs and games at participating Blockbuster stores, then drop them in convenient USO drop boxes on site. Blockbuster will then match the donations and work with the USO to get the titles to the troops through centers located both stateside and abroad. Those who cannot donate a DVD or game are invited to purchase a $1 American Flag Antenna Ball/Pencil Topper at participating Blockbusters. The company will donate 100% of the purchase price to the USO to help entertain and support the morale of the troops, guaranteeing a minimum cash donation of $100,000 at the end of the drive, and matching all donations with up to 20,000 DVDs for our troops in uniform to enjoy. Blockbuster would love to get as many Las Vegas residents involved as possible.

* * * * * *

The Las Vegas Tenors are performing in concert at the Suncoast Hotel/Casino this weekend. The Tenors will be joined by special guest stars each evening, beginning with Clint Holmes tonight, followed by the a cappella group Mosaic and tenor George DeMott on Saturday, and Chris Coyne, principal singer in the Tropicana's Les Folies Bergere on Sunday. For this engagement, the Tenors are backed by an orchestra that includes a string section. They will present an eclectic mix of music, including Broadway tunes, audience favorites such as You Raise Me Up, The Prayer, Be My Love, Nights in White Satin, and Nessun Dorma, a new medley of Beatles music, and some patriotic numbers in keeping with the Independence Day weekend. After being sidelined following emergency surgery, Teddy Davey rejoins Bill Fayne and Bobby Black for this engagement. Tickets for the Las Vegas Tenors and friends are priced from $22 to $44, plus applicable fees and taxes, with show times set for 7:30 p.m. To purchase tickets or make reservations, call the Suncoast box office at (702) 636-7111.

* * * * * *

Joey Gian

Steve Lawrence

George Carlin

Best wishes to the following Cancer birthday celebrants...Emory Hodges, Bruce Zarka, Deano Noto, Denyce Tuller, Jennifer Porter, Lewis "Professor Looy" Simonoff, John Argent, Loretta Holloway, Lee Plotkin, Michael Cagle, Steve Lawrence, Jerry Vale, Jeanette (Mrs. Henry) Shead, Jerry Herman, Steve Lippia, Jeanne Bavaro, Joey Gian, Cook E. Jarr, Steven Lee Cowart and Cork Proctor.

And speaking of Steve Lawrence, it is the man himself who will fill in the open August dates at The Orleans, left by the recent death of George Carlin. As he turns 73, we have to say that Steve Lawrence has never sounded better, singing as if he drinks honey on a daily basis - smooth and rich and sweet. Mrs. Lawrence, Eydie Gorme for those born yesterday, is sitting this one out. So it's Steve solo, August 15th through the 17th. Vince Falcone, who has worked with Steve and Eydie for a number of years (as well as with Paul Anka, Charles Aznavour, Tony Bennett, Debbie Boone, Diahann Carroll, James Darren, Eddie Fisher, Connie Francis, Robert Goulet, Jack Jones, Julius LaRosa, Jerry Lewis, Al Martino, the McGuire Sisters, Joe Piscopo, Frankie Randall, Frank Sinatra, Sylvia Syms, Andy Williams, and Pia Zadora), will be at the piano and conducting the orchestra. For reservations, call (702) 365-7075.

* * * * * *

Jeanne Brei's recent birthday and CD launch party at Bugsy's Supper Club, 6145 W. Sahara at Jones, went so well, the establishment wants her, and her company, back on a regular basis. Most of the musicians who played on the Jazzin' with Jeanne CD were jamming at Bugsy's, among them Corey Gemme from Los Angeles, 86-year-young Don Hill from the Treniers, Charlie Shaffer (12 years at the Desert Inn), Jimmy Racey from the Dummkopfs, Ty Lemley from the Sorta Dixie Jazz Band, and Dehner Franks from the Galleria Bar at Caesars (Fridays and Saturdays). Newly retired trombonist Bob Scann was part of the musical fun. Shaffer's daughter, singer Laura Shaffer, and his son Michael also took in the festivities. The place was packed nearly all night (probably between 100 and 150 people). Among those enjoying the experience were Bill Nolte, Philip Officer, Paul Hansell (the yoga teacher) and Rolanda Jezzard. "Cousin" Harry Walker from the Treniers got up and sang I Want A Little Girl, saxophonist Rick Morano sat in on the Duke Ellington medley and jammed with Don Hill (he told Don he had memorized all of Don's solos when he was a kid). Other musicians in the room included pianists Ron Simone and Dennis Mellen, and trombonist Ken Levine (from Jump, Jive & Wail). Michael Kessler and Melinda Jackson, from M&M Dance Company, stopped by, as did Valisia LeKae, after her performance in Mamma Mia! Other singers who were there included John Hayes, Gary Anthony (Frank Sinatra impersonator), and Lou Martinez, who appears at Bugsy's on Thursday nights. There were a couple dozen of the fabulous Swing Dancers, and Crystal Gwaltney (who rounded up all the dancers) and her partner Nicholas Barkley, enjoying the dance floor and putting on quite a show for Bugsy‘s patrons. According to what we have heard, Jeanne Brei and her musician friends will become a regular Saturday night (from 7 to 11 p.m.) feature at Bugsy's, beginning on July 19th.

Jeanne Brei

Martin Kreloff

* * * * * *

There's a summer community of painters and writers in Italy that is known to only a select few who hear of Art Workshop International, now in its 28th year, via word-of-mouth...and now you're in on it. From July 24th through August 20th, for 1, 2, 3, and 4-week sessions, you can live and work in a 12th century Hill Town. Stay in a 3-star hotel, air-conditioned room and bath, two meals, studio while participating in critiques, lectures, field trips and communicating with visiting artists. There will be classes in visual arts taught by Edith Isaac-Rose ((Watercolor Plein Air; Drawing: Learning to See as an Artist Sees), Bea Kreloff (Art-Making, All Media, All Levels), Ellen Eagle (Pastel Portraiture) and Annie Shaver-Crandell. Creative writing (poetry, memoir, fiction and non-fiction, crime novel, playwriting and publications) will be taught by Rosellen Brown (Many Ways to Tell a Story), Scott Edelstein (Living the Writing Life), Leslie Garis, Ronald Rand (Writing for the Performer), S.J. Rozan (Constructing the Crime Novel), Amy Schor Ferris (Journalism, Magazines, Blogs), Dinitia Smith (Wrestling Ideas into Stories /Memoir), and Jayne Wenger (Playwrights' Intensive). Special programs (culinary arts and immersive Italian language) will be taught by Arianna Calzolari, Valerio Mogliana and Caterina Bertolotto. There will be independent programs for professional and advanced artists and writers. Since "Kreloff" is a familiar name to us, we made contact with current Las Vegan, artist Martin Kreloff, to inquire if there was a connection to the above mentioned Bea Kreloff. "Yes indeed," says Marty. "My Aunt Bea has been running the workshops for many years." He goes on to say, "Way back, when I was 12-years-old, Aunt Bea, who is a wonderful artist, gave me my first oil paint set and easel. I used that easel for over 20 years." Marty was invited to join the current group in Italy, but since his dad is almost 94, Kreloff felt this was not a time for him to travel out of the country. Visit the Web site at [email protected] for more information. Sign up online, You can also call (866) 341-2922 toll free, or e-mail [email protected]. "(This is) the best thing I've ever done," states Linda Stasi, NY Post columnist and TV host. Due to the interest, deadline to register for any of the programs has been extended to July 8th.

* * * * * *

After more than four years in the performance space at the Liberace Museum (at one time called the Wes Winters Showroom and now called the Liberace Cabaret), the talented Wes Winters moves his 9-foot grand piano (which he has spent the last 21/2 months decorating with crystals and mirrors) into the Steve Wyrick Theatre in the Miracle Mile section of Planet Hollywood. A Musical Tribute to Liberace starring Wes Winters opened on July 1st and will play at 1 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays. On Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., Winters will perform his nightclub act, including taking requests, in the Triq Nightclub and Ultra Lounge adjoining the Wyrick theater. The winner of the Liberace 2003 Play-A-Like Contest, Winters makes the most of all 88 keys with his homage to Liberace, also known as Mr. Showmanship, creating great theatrics and wonderful music in his new home at the Steve Wyrick Theatre. Tickets are $24.95 per person and are available at the Steve Wyrick Theatre box office, or by calling (702) 777-9974. We will have more about A Musical Tribute to Liberace starring Wes Winters after we see the show.

Wes Winters

Joe Jackson & Nelson Sardelli

* * * * * *

From Nelson Sardelli comes this announcement...On Tuesday, July 15th, beginning at 11:30 a.m., the non club club F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) will be celebrating its 4th birthday with a luncheon at Ben Ardito's Take 1 Nightclub. The F.I.O.R.E. Presidents (everyone in this group is a President), would like you and friends with good attitude to be a part of this event. Like all of their previous functions, this one promises to be a memorable event. Although we are still open for some brilliant suggestions, we can guarantee that it will be lots of fun - with live music, surprise guest entertainers, dancing, flowers and chocolates for the ladies. All the 50/50 money collected will be given back as prizes, and some other prizes will be given to some lucky participant. There will be birthday cake. Please plan to attend. It is YOUR club, and that is what makes it great. Bring your wife. Bring your girl friend. Bring them both. With your wife's lawyer, it will make it four right there. The place can seat 180 comfortably. Bring your other friends. The luncheon (buffet style), as always, will be first class and fit for a king. (Here King. Here King.) No host bar. Ample parking. Indoor plumbing. Doors will open (exclusively for this function) at 11:30 a.m. Spread the word, but please do not forget to RSVP in an ASAP manner to Nelson and/or Conrad ([email protected] and [email protected]). Just a minor detail...$25 (twenty-five American bucks) per person. (All the widows of former presidents are F.I.O.R.E. guests.) Take 1, F.I.O.R.E.'s headquarters, is located at 707 E. Fremont St. (on the southeast corner of Fremont and 7th St.). For questions, call Mr. Sardelli at (702) 646-1813.

And speaking of Nelson Sardelli, on June 28th, he was one of two Las Vegans to receive the Golden Pillow Award from the International Entertainer School of Las Vegas (we have never heard of it either). The event took place downtown at Take 1 on Fremont and 7th street. Sharing the honor with Sardelli was Joe Jackson, father of Rebbie, Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon, LaToya, Michael, Randy and Janet Jackson. According to the information we received, the Golden Pillow is made of the old curtains from New York's famed Radio City Music Hall. As the story goes, when new curtains were installed in 1987, some of the unique fabric was donated to the non-profit International Entertainers School. Sardelli reports that among the other recipients who have been bestowed with the Golden Pillow are Bill Acosta, Ben Affleck, Dennis Bono, Ernest Borgnine, New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, Billy Crystal, Jerry Fink, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Isaac Hayes, James Earl Jones, B.B. King, Jay Leno, Jennifer Lopez, Lou Rawls, Joe Theismann, Alex Trebek, George Wallace (the comedian, not the governor), and Denzel Washington. Sardelli says that "They must have either run out of true celebrities to honor or they have an enormous amount of gold pillows." In any case, he humbly accepts the honor (and a gold pillow) and states he is happy someone thought enough of him to suggest him as a recipient.

And speaking of Janet Jackson, tickets for her September 19th show at the Mandalay Bay Events Center are now on sale.

And speaking of Michael Jackson...Last Fridays' mention of awful cosmetic surgery jobs on well-known personalities, leaving the victims almost unrecognizable, generated a list of suggestions for Worst Faces of the Century. We don't want to scare the children, and we want to protect the unborn, so we strongly urge any impressionable youngsters and/or expectant mothers NOT to look at the attached photos. On our list, in no particular order, are the winners of the unofficial contest (including those mentioned last week)...Bruce Jenner, Wayne Newton, Priscilla Presley, Joan Rivers (who is now looking very much like Wayland Flowers' puppet, Madame), Barry Manilow, Kenny Rogers, Burt Reynolds, Mickey Rourke, Michael Jackson, and Scott "Carrot Top" Thompson, who looks like a scientific experiment gone very, very wrong (can we say steroid abuse???). So as not to overwhelm our readers, we will save the Michael Jackson photo for another time. Remember's not nice to fool (with) Mother Nature.

Bruce Jenner

Wayne Newton

Priscilla Presley

Joan Rivers

Wayland's Madame

Kenny Rogers

Burt Reynolds

Mickey Rourke

Carrot Top

And speaking of Wayne Newton, after a lapse on a Vegas stage (and for good reason), the onetime Mr. Las Vegas/Midnight Idol goes into the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand, from July 31st through August 6th. If you have any interest in Mr. Newton, and are willing to buy a ticket, don't expect the fellow you recall from days of old, or you will be mighty disappointed. If you want to see a hard-working entertainer, who has perfected the art of schmoozing as a way to avoid doing too much vocalizing (or whatever that sound is), you might leave the theater feeling that you got your monies worth.

* * * * * *

Reminder...As mentioned in an earlier column, tomorrow

Dancers from the cast of Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular are presenting HOPE: An Afternoon of Classical Ballet, to benefit Family Promise of Las Vegas, a local non-profit organization that assists local homeless families. For the past 11 years, Family Promise has been housing four families at a time, helping them to get off the streets and back into homes. This summer, the agency is working to expand its services from helping four families at a time, to helping eight families at time! The money raised at this concert will help Family Promise to expand services at a time when budget cuts are hitting all agencies, county wide. Coordinated and choreographed by Phantom dancers Erina Noda and Rebekah Rahn Hale, this concert will take place tomorrow, July 5th, at 2 p.m. in the Clark County Library Theater, on Flamingo Road, east of Maryland Parkway. Admission is a $20 donation per person. Tickets to the event are limited. They may be purchased at For reservations or more information, call (702) 245-0992.

* * * * * *

Producer Tim Molyneux, who has shows around the world, has worked with Dolly Parton, Playboy, Crystal Cruises, is currently featured on TV's E! Entertainment and the Lifetime Channel, and is the creator of Bite at the Stratosphere, debuts his newest original work, All In, The Poker Musical, at the Rio, through July 6th. "There have been many Broadway musicals to come to Vegas, but none have been organically Vegas. It's been proven time and time again that you cannot force the Broadway musical model into the Las Vegas marketplace. We have created a new genre of entertainment – The Las Vegas Musical," said Molyneux. "What we have created embraces the spirit of Vegas while mixing my passions of poker, music, dance, and entertainment. The Poker Musical is a first for Las Vegas; its own musical that opens in Vegas and then goes to Broadway. ‘All In' will creatively seduce the hardcore theatre aficionado, as well as the passive spectator." Featuring such Broadway show veterans as Jimmy Lockett (Big River, The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Starlight Express, Cats); Reva Rice (Starlight Express, Smokey Joe's Café, Fosse, Chicago, and Spamalot); and Brandon Nix (We Will Rock You), All In, The Poker Musical compares the game of Poker with the game of Life. The story revolves around the final nine tournament players who are real people from all walks of life – the professionals and the common man. These clearly identifiable characters sing songs that are interlaced with poker analogies, quotes, lingo, and situations that also apply to the game of life and the cards we are all dealt. Phil Hellmuth, the 11-time World Series Of Poker bracelet winner and international poker icon, is not only a character in the show, but has invested in the show and has worked closely with Molyneux to help bring the poker player's characterization to life. "Through the lyrics of the songs and styles of music, we see not only who these final nine players are, but we are able to see ourselves, our families, and our world," explained Hellmuth. The show is fast paced, witty, very sexy and fun. It is full of double entendres and suggestive situations, while allowing the songs to tell the story. Molyneux's music is as varied as the different characters themselves with a mix of styles ranging from pop, country, rock, blues, jazz and musical theater. According to Jennifer Harmon, one of the world's greatest female poker players, "Tim Molyneux has done what others have tried to do. He captured the global phenomena of poker by brilliantly tying it to one of the most powerful forces on Poker is life and Tim shows us this in a very powerful and entertaining way." The one hour Poker Musical Concert, premiering during the 2008 World Series of Poker, will showcase the songs from the full 90-minute version. Tickets to All In, The Poker Musical concert can be purchased at the Rio Box Office or by calling (702) 777-7776, or visit

Have a question about Las Vegas? Want to make a comment (be nice, now)?
If so, drop an e-mail and ask. Click Here
Cousin Claire will do her best to find the answer for you.
You can find Past Columns HERE

     Like to be notified when Claire Voyant's next column is available?
Then join Claire Voyant's announcement mailing list!
Enter your email address below, then click the 'Join List' button:

Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye