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 May 22, 2009
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - May 22, 2009

Italy Earthquake Benefit Supporters

Gary Olds

Natalie Cole

In spite of a lagging economy, a number of other worthwhile benefits going on at the same time, and only three weeks to put the whole thing together, last Sunday's fundraiser at The Orleans brought out more than 500 people, who for the price of a $35 ticket, had the opportunity to help those ravaged by the early April earthquake in Italy. It also gave attendees the chance to see one helluva show. Nelson Sardelli, his team of hardworking volunteers, and a lineup of top entertainers, must feel very proud of their accomplishments. The afternoon show consisted of the Gary Olds Quintet - with Tommy Deering on piano, Chris Gordan on bass, Dr. George Ritter on saxophone, Don Hill on sax, and Gary Olds on drums - backing up Robert Ensler (Night and Day), Allen Tramont (I Got the World On a String), Joni Illi (You Made Me Love You), and The Swing City Dolls (The Andrews Sisters, Apple Blossom Time) during the 12:30 to 1 p.m. pre-show. Eighty-three-year young Don Hill's version of The Good Life was a real crowd-pleaser. Hill was with the legendary Treniers show band for more than 50 years. For the main portion of the afternoon, the 12-piece Gary Olds Orchestra, with Vince Falcone conducting, Gary Olds on drums, Chris Gordan on bass, Danny Falcone on trumpet (Bette Midler, Jersey Boys), Tom Ehlen on trumpet, Tom Porrello on trumpet, Marty Radunz on tenor sax, Gary Freyman on baritone sax, Dennis Wilson on lead alto sax and doubles, Sam Pisciotta on alto sax, Walt Boenig on trombone, and Randy Crawford (until very recently, with the late Danny Gans) on trombone, accompanied an all-star program. The opening number featured the orchestra playing Sammy Nestico's Ya Gotta Try, followed by host/MC Nelson Sardelli singing Without a Song. The rest of the talent parade (and, for the vocalists, what we were told they sang) was made up of Rich Little, Mafalda, escorted to the piano by Paul Campanella (Sambas), Scott Record (comedy impressionist), Frankie and Chrissi Scinta, with drummer Pete O'Donnell (The Prayer), Cork Proctor, Michaelina Bellamy (Cuando Vuelva Ha Tu Lado, and in English, What a Difference a Day Makes, arranged by award-winning Gary Anderson), Shecky Greene (with his musical director Vic Glazer on piano), Phyllis McGuire (Scandal), Artie Schroeck and Linda November (I Love a Piano), Pete Barbutti, Lena Prima (Buena Sera), Dennis Bono (Please Be Kind), and with Lorraine Hunt-Bono (Our Love Is Here To Stay), Sammy Shore, Babe Pier, Denise Clemente (Birth of the Blues), Frankie Randall (Fly Me To the Moon), Charlie Callas, Ronnie Rose (Bye Bye Blackbird), comedienne Kathleen Dunbar, Mark Giovi (You'll Never Walk Alone/I Walk With God), Peter Anthony, Susan Beaubian (The Best Is Yet To Come), and Kelly Clinton (Baldheaded Men). The program closed with Clint Holmes, and Bill Fayne on piano, for a West Side Story medley. The orchestra members, in tuxedos all, were on stage and playing for more than four hours. If you missed it, you missed it.

Italian Earthquake Benefit photo (from left to right): Frankie Scinta, Bobby Slayton, Babe Pier, Nelson Sardelli, Rich Little, Pete O'Donnell, Vince Falcone, Bill Fayne and Jac Hayden.

We were quite surprised to learn that a local media-type videotaped parts of the above mentioned benefit and, without authorization or permission to tape, has posted some of it (including almost 10 minutes of Shecky Greene's act) on the Internet. Do we smell a lawsuit?

And speaking of Gary Olds, the busy drummer, who has played for the likes of Smokey Joe's Café, Lesley Gore, Little Anthony and The Imperials; and the Saturday Night Live Reunion Tour with Victoria Jackson, Don "Father Guido Sarducci" Novello, and Joe Piscopo; will spend tomorrow night at the Tropicana in Laughlin where he, along with musical director/pianist Chuck Hoover, Brent Alverson on bass, Steve Cantor on guitar, and Olds on drums, will back up comic/impressionist Rich Little in a one-nighter in the Pavilion Theater.

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Yesterday, Las Vegas said its final goodbye to entertainer Danny Gans. Family members, friends, fans and fellow performers gathered to honor Gans inside the 1500-seat theater at the Encore, where he headlined, prior to his untimely death on May 1st. Among those sharing memories at the by-invitation-only ceremony, were Gans' wife, Julie, and children, Andrew, Amy and Emily, along with Encore owners, Steve and Elaine Wynn, Gordie Brown, Gerry McCambridge, Donny and Marie Osmond, and Clint and Kelly Clinton Holmes. We know there were many more notable faces in the crowd. Perhaps by next Friday, we will have a more complete list. Danny Gans was only 52 at the time of his death. The cause is still unknown.

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Natalie Cole will not be appearing tomorrow at the new M Resort on the very south end of Las Vegas Blvd. The 59-year-old Cole underwent a kidney transplant at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday. As a result, her summer tour has been postponed. Last July, Natalie revealed that she had Hepatitis C, saying she probably contracted the liver disease from drug use more than 30 years ago. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne infectious disease that can cause inflammation of the liver, and in extreme cases, liver cancer. It is usually contracted through transfusions of unscreened blood, or by injecting or inhaling drugs. The daughter of Nat King Cole, Natalie has been receiving kidney dialysis three times a week since September. The singer has won nine Grammys in a 30-year career that has included albums such as Everlasting and Unforgettable ...With Love, which featured her singing a duet with her late father via electronic technology. Natalie Cole's latest album is Still Unforgettable. Tickets for Ms. Cole's canceled performances will be refunded at point of purchase.

In a very strange and sad twist of fate, Natalie's sister, Carole "Cookie" Cole, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer just the week before, died on Tuesday, while Natalie was undergoing her kidney transplant surgery. Cookie was 64. The singer was by her older sister's side when she learned that a donor organ had become available. Carole, who went by the nickname of Cookie, was seen on her father's television show in the 1950s, and went on to appear on TV and in movies in the 1960s and '70s. Her credits include Sanford and Son, and the 1974 movie, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

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We told you we were Claire Voyant (If you look up the word clairvoyant in the dictionary, you will see that it means: perceiving things beyond the natural range of the senses; someone who has the power of clairvoyance; foreseeing the future). We knew it was only a matter of time before someone (or a few someone's) came forward with info on this particular subject. Apparently, it was the scary thought of a children's theater mentioned in last week's column that brought a couple of caring and concerned citizens to our aid. The outfit in question calls itself COLABO. It is led by someone using the name "Troy Adams." The fact that "Mr. Adams" claimed to be an actor with lots of credits, and yet we could find no photos of him or any "reviews" for anything he supposedly did, was a red flag. A shy actor? Not likely. No photos of him, anywhere, at any age? Very unusual. Like Judge Judy says, "If it doesn't make sense, it probably isn't true." Mr. Adams' story (or non-story) didn't make sense and, just as we suspected, it proved to be pure fiction. After hearing from some folks in Southern California ("Adams" bio states he is from the San Diego area), we once again got to work checking on this bozo. This is what we now know to be true. "Troy Adams" is, in fact, really Obalac Phillips. Colabo is Obalac spelled backwards. Our sources confirm that Phillips is "shady," and suggest that he left the San Diego area because too many people were looking for him. Guess he figured he could sort of disappear here once he had a new name and no face. According to his bio, found online at on Monday: After Troy Adams (Artistic Director of Colabo) received a BA in Journalism from San Diego State University, he promptly created the non-profit organization UMOJA Theatre Company. Through UMOJA. he produced over 30 stage productions in 10 years, employing over 1200 performers and musicians in large scale productions such as THE WIZ, FAME, ANNIE, and WEST SIDE STORY. He also founded San Diego's first fully integrated independent youth theater (PYT), giving many children of all race, creed and religon (sic) their first taste of the Arts. Troy appeared on Broadway as a swing/understudy in the two time Tony award-winning musical revue 5 GUYS NAMED MOE and often stunned the audience with his 3.5 octave range. He graduated high school from the School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego and is an in-demand choreographer and actor. (The Picture Coming Soon note has been up for more than a year.)
Regarding his claim to have been in Five Guys Named Moe (that would be FIVE, not the numeral as his bio indicates), IBDB (Internet Broadway Data Base), the bible of all Broadway information, has no listing at all for either Obalac Phillips or Troy Adams. The original musical, which ran from April 8, 1992 to May 2, 1993, had a relatively small cast - only a dozen people, including understudies and replacements - and not a one of them was named Phillips or Adams.

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Following our blurb on Forbidden Broadway, presented by Musical Theatre West, and playing at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach, California, from May 1st through 17th, some of our readers decided to believe us when we indicated that seeing this production would be time well spent. A couple of folks who took our suggestion and went to see Forbidden Broadway have forwarded some comments that we will share with you.

FM from Long Beach writes...
Time flies when you are having fun. In Forbidden Broadway time zipped by at the speed of light. How much fun can you have and how much laughter can you muster? Forbidden Broadway affords you plenty of fun and laughs. Here is a show that relies on an extremely talented cast with great enunciation, physical and facial dexterity, in great costumes, with an out of this world piano accompanist and clever potently hilarious lyrics. Add to that an un-relentless pace and well dispersed visual and vocal surprise and voila; Forbidden Broadway shines at every turn and leaves you feeling great about theater, comedy and one's self.

And from HG, also a Southern Californian...
Last Friday night a friend of mine and I attended the performance of Forbidden Broadway at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, and both came away with the same opinion. It was superbly performed by four very talented stage actors (Whitney Allen, Susanne Blakeslee, David Engel and Larry Raben) and beautifully supported by Michael Paternostro, an amazingly gifted piano virtuoso. The cleverly written lyrics came through with clarity, and the dance routines and costuming was superb. We'll be looking forward to their return!

Larry Raben & Whitney Allen

Michael Cassano as Benedict

Lysander Abadia as Romeo

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It's A Taste of Shakespeare at the Springs Preserve this Memorial Day weekend. From noon to 6 p.m., on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, those who like their culture in small doses can have their taste satisfied by heading to the Preserve at 333 S. Valley View (near US 95). For less than $10 admission, visitors can see snippets from Much Ado About Nothing, with actor Michael Cassano as Benedict, and Tracy Blackwell as Beatrice; As You Like It, with Rosalind, Norma Wood as Rosalind and Scottie Scott as Celia; Hamlet, with Brandon McClenahan as Hamlet, and Gary Lunn as Hamlet's Ghost; Macbeth, with Russell Feher as Macbeth, and Clare Paget as Lady Macbeth; King Lear, with Tom Deishley as Lear, and Michael Harnett as Kent; and Romeo and Juliet, with Lysander Abadia as Romeo, and Louisa Lawson as Juliet. For additional information, call (702) 822-7705.

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Blue Man Group

If you are a fan of the blues, and your kids are too, do we have a deal for you! Exclusively for Las Vegas residents, kids (ages three through 12) can see the Blue Man Group at The Venetian for FREE. Here is the deal (and such a deal). Show your Nevada ID at any Venetian/Palazzo box office to take advantage of this offer. Buy one full-price ticket and get one children's ticket free. Children under three are always free, but must sit on the lap of an accompanying adult. This offer is subject to availability and not valid with any other offers and is not good on holidays. Also, this offer is not valid on previously purchased tickets. No refunds; all sales are final. Good through December 31st. Show times are 7 and 10 p.m. nightly. For reservations or additional information, call (702) 414-9000, or (800) BLUEMAN. Mention "KIDS FREE" to receive this offer.

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When it comes to PEEPSHOW, Jerry Mitchell's sexy revue currently at home at Planet Hollywood Resort, changes are underway. Some things are going, and some things are coming. In the "going" department, it's the show's co-star, General Hospital vixen and former Dancing With the Stars competitor, Kelly Monaco, as well as the pasties worn by the dancers in PEEPSHOW. What's coming, is Holly Madison, one of Hugh Hefner's former playmates, and onetime girlfriend of the Luxor's headlining magician, Criss Angel. Next month, Madison will take over the role of Bo Beep in the adult revue. In addition to a cast of talented dancers, singers and specialty acts, former Spice Girl, Mel B (Melanie Brown) also stars. Show times are at 8 p.m., Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8 and 10:30 on Fridays and Saturdays. Dark on Wednesdays. Tickets start at $71.50, all inclusive. For PEEPSHOW reservations, call (702) 785-5000.

Holly Madison

Gloria & Don Hill

Penelope Cruz

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When we mention someone with the last name of Hill in this column, more often than not, it is musician Don Hill, the one-time saxophone player with the famous Treniers, that we are writing about. Today, it's his bride's turn. We want to wish Gloria Hill a belated birthday greeting. We did not know, until this week, that Gloria is a Taurus who celebrates her birthdays on April 30th. Since she looks great, we don't think that Mrs. Hill will mind us telling readers that she just turned 75. These days, isn't 75 the new 50? Happy birthday, Gloria.

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The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Nine, is coming to the big screen. Nine will be directed by Rob Marshall, who didn't do too badly with his 2002 version of John Kander and Fred Ebb's movie musical, Chicago, or with Memoirs of a Geisha. The story of a filmmaker and the women in his life, the musical Nine was inspired by the 1963 Federico Fellini film, 8 1/2. The cast of Nine includes six Oscar winners - Penelope Cruz (best supporting actress for her role in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Nicole Kidman (best actress winner for The Hours), Daniel Day-Lewis (two best actor wins, for My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood), Marion Cotillard (best-actress winner for playing chanteuse Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose), Judi Dench (best actress win for Shakespeare in Love), and Sophia Loren (best actress award for Two Women). Nine is scheduled to be released in the U.S. at the end of the year.

And speaking of new films, musician/producer Dick Feeney, will soon be able to add a new credit to his He will have a small part (there are no small parts, only small actors) in a film called Get Him To the Greek. This movie, which features Russell Brand, Jonah Hill, Colm Meaney and Stephanie Faracy, with cameo appearances by Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, filmed some scenes at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, where Feeney and partner Sandy Hackett are producers of The Rat Pack Is Back! The film's director, Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) decided that he could incorporate the tribute show into his movie. The filming, using the Rat Pack cast - Brian Duprey (Frank Sinatra), Kyle Diamond (Sammy Davis Jr.), Drew Anthony (Dean Martin), and Tom Wallek (Joey Bishop), plus Feeney as himself (producer) - was done last Friday. The fellows were performing Ain't That a Kick In the Head, backed by the revue's 12-piece band (no taped music for this show). On stage with the guys for this scene was actress Faracy doing her Shirley MacLaine impersonation. A second scene, was filmed in the backstage dressing room and featured the lead actors with Diamond and Feeney, as well as Rat Pack musicians, Ron Camire, George Bryant and Dwight Smith. The Universal Picture is scheduled for release sometime next year.

Dick Feeney

Adam Lambert

Kris Allen

As if this wasn't enough, Dick Feeney has another exciting event coming up in his life. On June 10th, he will be inducted into the Rockland High School Academic Hall of Fame. The letter informing him of the honor states that his achievements are "truly noteworthy and are a source of inspiration and motivation for the current Rockland youth." The ceremony will be held at the Abington VFW Hall in Massachusetts and, we assume, that the Feeney family will be present.

* * * * * *

In the world of reality television, anything goes.
Another season of American Idol (its 8th) has come to an end, and a new winner has been declared. From the very beginning, we knew that Adam Lambert would be the one to beat. What we didn't count on was that it would be Kris Allen standing next to Lambert on the Nokia Theater
stage during the final week of the American Idol competition. Weeks ago, we anticipated a vote-off between Adam and Danny Gokey. But, last week, Gokey was sent home, leaving Lambert and Allen to battle it out for the top spot. Like Mine the Bird, the fifty-to-one long shot horse who won the recent Kentucky Derby, quiet, boy-next-door, Kris Allen, not only wound up in a face-off with glam rocker, Lambert, he came from behind, sneaking up along the rail, to take home the season title. We were rooting for Lambert. Idol history may repeat itself, giving the runner-up a bigger career than the winner (Remember winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken?). We have no doubt that Adam Lambert will make a lot of money and go on to have a successful career. As someone said recently (can't recall who that someone was), it may have been in Adam's best interest not to have been declared the American Idol winner. This way, he won't have to spend the next year singing No Boundaries.

The winner of Dancing With the Stars was also unexpected. The odds-makers seemed to favor Gillies Marini, but it was 17-year-old Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson and her partner Mark Ballas who took possession of the big mirror ball trophy on the show's season finale.

It's The Donald's World and we just live in it. What is Donald Trump thinking? Joan Rivers winning Celebrity Apprentice? She shouldn't have even been in the running, after she and her bratty daughter, Melissa Rivers (Rosenberg), made their dramatic, not to mention embarrassing, exit from the show, following Melissa's "firing" a few weeks ago. When a four-year-old has a tantrum in a grocery store, because mommy won't buy him a toy, and mommy caves in and buys him the toy just to quiet him down and avoid the glaring stares of judgmental strangers, what does that teach junior? Anytime he doesn't get his way, just have a meltdown and be rewarded for bad behavior. Apparently that is the lesson young Ms. Rivers learned at the feet of her diva-like mother. And, surprise! It works!!!

* * * * * *

We are sad to report the death of Kevin Davis, son of the late comic, Pepper Davis. We remember Kevin from more than 30 years ago, when his father was a principal in the Ice Fantasy revue at the Hacienda (now the location of Mandalay Bay), and Kevin, a friendly and outgoing young man, worked in valet parking at the same property. Over the last three decades, Kevin worked in hospitality at Caesars, the Aladdin, Riviera, MGM Grand and Venetian. Pepper and Tony Reese were the nationally known comedy team of Davis and Reese. In the '60s and '70s, the duo appeared on most of the popular TV variety shows. Pepper went on to guest roles in film and television, including a recurring role as Manny the Mechanic in the Vega$ series. Pepper passed away in 1990. Kevin Davis died on May 13th at the age of 51. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. tomorrow, at Hope Baptist Church, 180 E. Pebble. Our sincere condolences to his family.

Pepper Davis

Face First

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It seems that folks just can't get enough of the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. In spite of the troubling economy, Jersey Boys at The Palazzo is doing just fine, thank you. And so, it seems, is Chapquist Entertainment's Oh What a Night!, a musical tribute to those boys from New Jersey. Written, staged and directed by George Solomon and Michael Chapman, with choreography by Paul Holmquist, this popular production will return to the Starbright Theatre, next Saturday, May 30th for a 7 p.m. show. Due to audience requests, this will be the fifth time that Oh What a Night has played at the Starbright in the past six months.

When last here in early April, the presentation sold out so fast, a quick-to-follow second date was set at that time. This is it! Interpreting the popular tunes of are Valli and the Four Seasons - including Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like a Man and Can't Take My Eyes Off You - are Brandon Albright, Paul Holmquist, Rick Morgan, and George Solomon. Tickets are $18 for Sun City Summerlin residents and $23 for others. The theater is located in Sun City Summerlin at 2215 W. Thomas Ryan Blvd., west of Rampart, off Lake Mead. For ticket information, call (702) 240-1301. To order by credit card, call (702) 869-2064.

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Local band, Face First, will reunite at the Tailspin Bar & Grill after a 20-year hiatus. Calling this concert its We're Not Dead Yet tour, the band will be bringing down the house tomorrow night, beginning at 9 p.m. Face First will perform songs of Van Halen, Simple Minds, Def Leppard and more. Face First got its start in 1985, when five UNLV students formed the group to cover the giant hits of the day. Face First created a cult following at the time, performing in popular local hangouts of the day – Steak Out, Sneakers and Doc 'N Eddies. In addition, they headlined a UNLV concert that was touted back then as one of the first "dry fraternity rush" parties for the university. "Back in the day, we were college guys in different fraternities that decided to form a cover band in the '80s just for something to do. What started out as a fun side gig, really turned into a full-time experience and we made a name for ourselves that lasted the entire time we were in college, said Steven "Bongo" Doctors, drummer for Face First, and current director of sales and marketing for magicians Penn and Teller. "Face Book has been an instrumental source to help reunite the band with many of our friends and old fans trying to locate us," said Dirk Hanson, lead vocalist (now an account executive at The Geary Company). "The band (Kevin Anderson on keyboards and currently a professional musician; Don Polednak, Esq., lead guitar and current partner/founder of Sylvester & Polednak, Ltd; and Ray Tuntland, bass guitar player, and current managing partner/broker at Tuntland Land & Development in Reno) has always kept in touch, remaining great friends to this day. We thought it would be a great way for us to get together. We had no idea that our former following would be so receptive," he said.
According to Doctors, the Face Book events link (Face First We're Not Dead Yet event listing) has already received hundreds of RSVPs for the reunion gig, with hundreds of former 1980s UNLV alumni set to attend.
Located in Green Valley, Tailspin Bar & Grill (themed with airplane décor and rock 'n' roll flair) is at 6295 South Pecos, just north of Sunset. For more information, please call (702) 436-7925.

* * * * * *

Unfortunately, although we had planned to be there, we missed seeing veteran Las Vegas entertainer Shecky Greene at the Suncoast last weekend. From the reports we got, at 83, Shecky is still in top form. The almost 500-seat showroom was sold out for all three nights, and the full houses loved the man many consider to be the ultimate nightclub performer. Backed by Vic Glazer on piano, Jimmy DeJulio on bass and Clyde Duell on drums, Greene joked and sang his way through the evening, delighting all who came to see a pro in action. Among the fellow show folk who showed up to watch a master at work, were Domenick Allen, Marty Allen, Dennis Bono, Lorraine Hunt-Bono, David Brenner, Bill Fayne, Penn Jillette, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Rich Little, Linda November, Cork Proctor, Nelson Sardelli, Artie Schroeck, Sammy Shore, Johnny Thompson "The Great Tomsoni," and Fielding West.

Shecky Greene by Ed Foster

Sin City Bad Girls

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Sin City Bad Girls, Rock On. Top Off, is the newest show into the Hilton's Shimmer Cabaret. A super sexy, rockin' topless revue, the Bad Girls features a cast of eight gorgeous dancers, lead by knockout songstress Lorena Peril, and an electrifying live band. The sizzling, scantily clad beauties burn the floor with their seductive moves, performing sexy scenes that reveal their best assets. The show's opening number features Lorena with her amazingly unique vocals and her hot topless pro dancers. When the lights go down, the action heats up. The girls taunt and titillate, leaving the audience wanting more. The rockin' live band - guitarist and vocalist, Ray Jon; Jamie Hosmer on keyboards, vocals and guitar; and Kip Mungin, on drums and vocals - provide the sounds of pulsing rock, pop, country and blues. Created and produced by entertainment executive Glenn Medas and Emmy Award-winning choreographer and director, Michael Chambers.

Medas has been involved in entertainment, sports and events for more than 20 years and has been an integral part of the evolution and success of the Las Vegas entertainment industry. Since 1987, he has held several executive positions in Las Vegas, including Director of Entertainment at Bally's Resort and Casino, Vice President of Entertainment at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, and Corporate Vice President of Entertainment at Mandalay Resort Group. Over the years, Medas has produced countless shows and events and booked and contracted numerous touring acts and sporting events, including some of the most memorable championship fights in the history of Las Vegas, such as Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad, and De La Hoya vs. Fernando Vargas, Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield and Lewis vs. Hasim Rahman and the knock-down battle between Erik Morales and Antonio Barrera. In the concert touring and event business, Medas has booked and contracted many prestigious acts such as Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, The Three Tenors, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Jewel, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Jessica Simpson and others. He brought the CBS Academy of Country Music Awards show to Las Vegas which features every major country music star in the industry. Also to his credit, he teamed up with the Tiger Woods Foundation and Tiger's annual charity event, Tiger Jam, which has featured numerous acts such as John Mellencamp, Prince, Train, Seal and Bon Jovi. One of his proudest achievements was bringing Japan's World Sumo Championships to Las Vegas and to the U.S. for the first time in more than 20 years. Medas has produced and been involved with many theatrical productions such as the mega production, EFX at the MGM Grand, Storm and Mamma Mia! at Mandalay Bay, Lance Burton and Hairspray. Through his company, Platinum Productions, LLC, formed with Michael Chambers, Medas creates and produces a variety of live entertainment shows and events. Together, Medas and Chambers have produced and presented a wealth of entertainment events, including their successful long running cabaret group, Sin City Heat, performing nightly at the Las Vegas Hilton. They formed one of the hottest rock/party/dance bands, "Rich & Famous," originally for Station Casinos, currently seen all over Las Vegas including Mandalay Bay, Town Square's Blue Martini and various corporate events. In addition, Platinum Productions manages one of the entertainment industry's most amazing rising stars, Lorena Peril. Currently, they are producing a topless cabaret production, Sin City Kitties, in association with Primm Valley Casino Resorts. Emmy Award winner Michael Chambers is one of the most experienced director/choreographers in the business today. From star acts and production spectaculars, to major corporate events worldwide, Chambers uses his creative imagination in combination with his "get the job done" sensibility to create productions that leave audiences wanting more.  Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Warner Bros., Disney, Ford, Microsoft, Redken, Intel, Mandalay Bay, MGM, The Venetian, Las Vegas Hilton and Planet Hollywood are some of the corporate customers who have called on Chamber's talents.  In addition, Chambers has also worked intimately with industry giants such as Janet Jackson (as one of Janet's original "Nasty Boys"), Diana Ross, Sting, Cher, Gladys Knight, Dolly Parton, Paula Abdul, David Bowie, and Sheena Easton, among others. His production shows are also on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, Caesars Palace, Trump's Taj Majal, Barona Valley Ranch and the Fremont Street Experience. Chambers has worked with some of the great masters of entertainment, including famed choreographers, Twyla Tharp, Kenny Ortega and Michael Kidd, who chose Chambers to help him with the 60th Annual Academy Awards.  Walter Painter also asked for Chambers assistance on the NBC Disney/MGM Television Special, which won an Emmy Award for choreography, as well as an American Dance Award.

Sin City Bad Girls shows are at 9 p.m., every night but Sundays. Ticket prices are $45, general admission and $55 for VIP seating with souvenir. All ticket prices exclude tax and fees, and tickets can be purchased at the Las Vegas Hilton box office, online at,,, or by calling the box office at (702) 732-5755 or (800) 222-5361. Guests must be at least 18 years of age. Through the month of June, as a grand opening special, Las Vegans can purchase tickets for $29.

Sin City Bad Girls photo by Ron Koch. From left to right: Summer, Natasha (kneeling), Veronica, Lorena (lead songstress), Melanie, Elizabeth, Cherry and Angel (she's seated at far right).

* * * * * *

Nearly a decade after sharing a stage as a spellbinding trio act, next weekend, illusionists Mark Kalin and Jinger Leigh are back with comedian and magician Jeff Hobson for Paul Stone's World Stars of Magic at the Suncoast Showroom. The magicians made a name for themselves in the '90s when they mesmerized audiences in Spellbound on the Las Vegas Strip. They later starred in the critically acclaimed Carnival of Wonders in various Reno showrooms, where they amazed and entertained through a showcase of magic, comedy and spectacle. The unbelievable illusions will continue in World Stars of Magic, where the entertainers will introduce a talking-head illusion. Arriving audience members will encounter the living, breathing and talking head – with no body – as they find their seats in the Suncoast Showroom and prepare for an evening of mind-boggling marvels. Early in their career, Kalin and Jinger established a rapport that bucked the traditional "magician and assistant" roles. Their signature illusions, the Fire Spiker, Circle of Fire and the heart-stopping Sawing-in-Half illusion, earned them a reputation that set the stage for a successful career in the competitive world of magic. As they began creating their own shows in the mid-'90s, Kalin and Jinger earned accolades and set records in showrooms throughout the United States. Working with comedy magician Jeff Hobson -- called "a hilarious, chameleon-esque master of entertainment" by Time magazine -- gave Kalin and Jinger the chance to combine breathtaking magic with comedy to captivate audiences. Hobson has served as master of ceremonies for numerous shows including The World's Greatest Magic Show and V-The Ultimate Variety Show. Respected around the globe as powerful performers and creative, trend-setting magicians, the performers of World Stars of Magic suspend belief and leave audiences wanting more. Tickets, starting at $19.95 plus taxes, are expected to disappear fast for World Stars of Magic, so early reservations are suggested. Performances are May 29th, 30th and 31st, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Suncoast Box Office at (702) 636-7075 or visiting
For nine weeks, in July and August, Kalin, Jinger and Hobson will be taking their very entertaining show to Trump Resort in Atlantic City.

This weekend at the Suncoast, it's Clint Holmes. Clint's shows are almost always sellouts, so it may be too late to get tickets for this engagement. You can give it a try, by calling the Box office at (702) 636-7075. Good luck!

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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye