Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column

Displaying keen perception and great insight.  
She's a little bit naughty. Shes a little bit nice.  
She calls em like she sees (and hears) em.  

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from August 28, 2009
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - August 28, 2009

Rick Faugno

Kelly Clinton by Shawn Flint Blair

Michael Jackson

First things first. We made a mistake last Friday when we wrote that Rick Faugno's September back-by-popular-demand show date would happen on the 30th (an error that was quickly corrected by our very patient and cooperative Web man, Frank Sener), when, in fact, it was really scheduled for September 20th. At this time, there isn't much point in letting readers know what a wonderful show the 30-year-old Faugno put on in the South Point showroom on Sunday afternoon. And there is no reason to tell readers how much the second show tickets cost and where to buy them. Why? Because, by last Friday, before the August 23rd Songs My Idols Sang (and Danced) one man tour de force was even seen by the public, the South Point's 404-seat showroom was once again, completely sold out. Tickets for the second show were gone in less than 48 hours. If you didn't see last weekend's performance, or don't already have your tickets for the September 20th show, we will torture you by letting you know that you missed the solo debut of one of the two actors who portrays Frankie Valli (the other is Travis Cloer) in the Vegas production of Jersey Boys. Rick is a true Renaissance Man when it comes to the performing arts. He does it all - sings, dances and acts - and, we might add, does it all very well. Accompanied by Keith Thompson on piano (who also served as musical director), Tyler Williams on bass, Don Meoli on drums, Drew Zingg on guitar, Danny Falcone on trumpet, Kevin Stout on trombone, and Matt Taylor on sax and flute, Rick sang and danced songs associated with his idols - Frank Sinatra ("Fly Me To the Moon," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "I Feel a Song Coming On," "The Way You Look Tonight," "All I Need Is the Girl"), Fred Astaire ("I Want to Be a Dancing Man," "Cheek to Cheek," "Stepping Out With My Baby," "Putting On the Ritz," "Let's Face the Music and Dance"), Nat King Cole ("Straighten Up and Fly Right," "Embraceable You"), Tony Bennett ("I Left My Heart In San Francisco"), Sammy Davis Jr. ("Mr. Bojangles," "I Wanna Be With You" from Golden Boy), and Gene Kelly ("Our Love Is Here To Stay"). The only minor criticism we have with the presentation is, we wish Mr. Faugno had more room on the stage to display his strong dance abilities. Anyone who has seen him in his role in Jersey Boys, knows how well Rick sings. What they really don't see in the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, is how really well he dances. Based on the interest in Songs My Idols Sang (and Danced), perhaps the South Point should seriously consider booking Rick Faugno for ongoing, once a month, appearances.

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One of our favorites, the multi-talented Kelly Clinton, pays a return visit to the Starbright Theatre next weekend, where she will, once again, do her one "person" revue (we say one "person" instead of one woman, as, in addition to Cher and "Madonnica," there are a few men, including "Kelvis," Wayne Newton, and "Joe Joe Spaghetti Moretti," who might show up on the Starbright stage on Saturday, September 5th, at 7 p.m. Many folks who think they know Kelly Clinton and have seen her talents, probably have no clue how many sides of this lady there are. It seems most of the time that Kelly is in the spotlight, it's to introduce other performers. In her own show, it's to introduce herself. Do yourselves a favor. If you haven't seen his lady do her thing, we suggest you do so, The Starbright is located at 2215 W. Thomas Ryan Blvd., in Summerlin. Tickets are $18 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $23 for outsiders. To purchase by credit card, call (702) 869-2064. For general information, call (702) 240-1301.

And speaking of Ms. Clinton...One of the places where she spends many of her nighttime hours (introducing others) - that Italian joint on the South Strip - will play host to the talented Mark Giovi on Sunday night at 8:30. For newer readers (the old-timers already know this), although many very talented performers entertain at this establishment, it is not one of the places we patronize...or mention by name. If you know the establishment we aren't mentioning by name, and you don't mind what can often feel very cliquish and snobby, head south and give Mark a listen.

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Tomorrow, on what would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday, there will be a number of tribute type performances going on around the city. Probably the most elaborate of them will take place at 3 p.m. inside the 2,500-seat Pearl at the Palms, when a group of Las Vegas entertainers get together to honor the late King of Pop. Headed up by Jersey Boys' Erich Bergen and journalist Steve Friess, performers from Jersey Boys, PEEPSHOW (including Holly Madison), Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular and The Lion King, as well as headliners such as Australia's Human Nature boy band and Terry Fator, will contribute their time and talent for Las Vegas Celebrates the Music of Michael Jackson. This will not be an attempt to impersonate of duplicate the songs of Jackson (although a Jackson impersonator may be one of the performers), but will put new spins on the familiar hits. Tickets start at $29. The money generated will be used for music programs in area schools. Call (702) 942-7777.

Also, tonight and tomorrow night, at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., to commemorate Jackson's birth date, Michelle Johnsons's Desert Angels Gospel Choir will join the talented cast of American Superstars at the Stratosphere in a grand finale featuring Michael Jackson's song "Heal the World." This dynamic group is comprised of professional vocalists who have with headliners that include Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Sheena Easton, Paul McCartney, and Elton John. Together, the Desert Angels members create an amazing vocal sound. The renowned choir has performed for numerous corporate clients (IBM, AT&T, Mercedes, Toyota), has been featured on national television (NBC's Last Comic Standing, HBO's Comic Relief), and wowed audiences worldwide, bringing spirit, energy and an incredible wall of sound to concerts and special events. It is the only group of its kind in Las Vegas. Choir director and founder Michelle Johnson said, "I'm thrilled to be celebrating Michael Jackson's legacy with the most talented cast on the Las Vegas Strip. It is such an honor to have been asked to be a part of this celebration, as Michael Jackson was a source of inspiration to so many of our members. His life and his work were and will continue to be a beacon to so many of us who have gone on to pursue wonderful careers in music. We can't wait to sing our hearts out for Michael."

The special edition "American Superstars" tribute shows surrounding the weekend of Michael Jackson's birthday, promise to bring even more electricity and emotion to what is sure to be a highly-charged weekend in Las Vegas and throughout the world. For American Superstars reservations, call (702) 380-7711.

And, while still on the subject of Michael Jackson, last Monday, almost two months to the day since the pop star's death, it was announced that the Los Angeles County coroner had ruled the entertainers' death a homicide. This finding makes it more likely that criminal charges will be filed against Vegas-based physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who was with Jackson when he died on June 25th. We have to wonder, if the Jackson's were not such a high profile family, would Michael's death have become just another case of "a doctor burying his mistake"? When Delores "Dee Dee" Martes Jackson, the former wife of Michael's older brother, Tito Jackson, died in what appeared to be an accidental drowning, that might have been the end of the tragic incident - IF it didn't involve the world-famous Jackson family.

Delores "Dee Dee" Jackson

Eric Michael Gillett

Mac King & Lucky Pearl Lee

We knew Dee Dee Jackson quite well and, ironically, much like the late actress Natalie Wood, who also died by drowning, Dee Dee did not know how to swim and was afraid of the water. On August 27th, 1994, at the age of 39, the mother of recording artists Taj, Taryll and TJ Jackson, known professionally as 3T, was found dead in the bottom of a swimming pool at the home of her companion, Donald Bohana. Bohana, told police that he and Dee Dee had been swimming, when he left for a short while to go to the store. He claimed that when he returned home, he found Dee Dee drowned in the pool. No one who knew the lady believed the story. Because the authorities were not doing anything, in August of 1995, a year after her death, the Jacksons filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bohana. In 1997, he was arrested and charged with second degree murder in the death of Delores Jackson. In early 1998, Bohana was put on trial, found guilty and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. If not for the persistence of the Jackson family, Donald Bohana might have gotten away with murder.

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This weekend, the Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel is hosting its one-year "Canniversary" with complimentary cake and champagne. The festivities started today (Friday, August 28th) and will continue on Saturday and Sunday, from 2 to 6 p.m. Located along the Boulder Highway gaming corridor, the Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel features a 16-story hotel tower with 307 guest rooms and suites that showcase floor to ceiling glass windows. The casino offers 65,000 square feet of gaming space with more than 2,000 slot machines, 26 table games, a 450-seat bingo hall, a live keno lounge, a first-class poker room and a top-of-the-line Race & Sports Book. For meeting planners, the Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel has 20,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space to service a variety of meeting and convention needs. In addition, the property offers an array of dining options including Carve, Casa Cocina, the brand new Cannery Row Buffet, The Deli, and Snaps 24-Hour Café. The picturesque ONE SIX Sky Lounge, on the 16th floor, offers amazing panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip in addition to a cozy atmosphere, serving cocktails, appetizers and tapas.

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On Tuesday and Wednesday, September 1st and 2nd, onetime Las Vegan, Eric Michael Gillett, will introduce his new show, Widescreen - Songs From and About the Movies, to audiences at Feinstein's at Loews Regency during performances at 8:30 p.m. "It's an evening of songs for anyone who has ever stumbled into a darkened movie house to escape the tumult of everyday life," says the MAC and Bistro Award-winning Broadway vocalist. "Widescreen uses the silver screen as a jumping off point, borrowing songs written specifically for motion pictures ("What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" from The Happy Ending, "Theme from Valley of the Dolls", "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's) and marrying them to music from the theater ("I Can't Make This Movie" from Broadway's Nine), and contemporary pop tunes ("Widescreen", and Amanda McBroom's "Erroll Flynn"), to explore the world of the movies and the fantasies, illusions, and lies that fill our lives." Gillett continues. The show features Eric's protégés, Nina Kaneko and Kelly McDonald. Arrangements are by Don Rebic, with onstage music by Jeff Cubeta and Matt Wigton. If you are in New York, call (212) 339-4095 for reservations.

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Tomorrow night (Saturday, August 29th) at 7:30, it's busy Ronnie Rose and the Joe Darro Trio at DeStefano's Italian Restaurant, 3430 E. Tropicana (on the northeast corner at Pecos) Call (702) 436-3275 for reservations. On Thursdays, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., Ronnie, with Billy T at the piano, entertain at the new Daddy Mac's restaurant, 2920 N. Green Valley Parkway, Building #6, on the easy side of the street, just north of Sunset in Henderson. Call (702) 272-0913. Rose is back at Mandalay Bay's House of Blues restaurant, September 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 9th, 9 p.m. to midnight, weekdays, and 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Labor Day weekend. Accompanying him on this gig is the All Star Blues Band, made up of Tex Richardson on keyboards, Chris Gordan on bass, James Davis on guitar, and Harvey Hughes on drums on the 2nd, 7th and 9th, and Darryl Woolfolk on the 4th and 5th. Ronnie informs us that, starting on September 13th, he will be performing at the HOB, every Sunday night from 9 p.m. to midnight. He will be featuring some of Las Vegas' finest female R&B singers as they deliver a mixture of Blues, Soul and Motown.

And speaking of DeStefano's...Those Red Hot Redheads - Diane Ellis, Susan Haller and Kellie Wright - perform at the place tonight, beginning at 7:30. The girls will be accompanied by the Joe Darro Trio. Reservations are suggested.

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Cousin Claire is always very pleased when a reader writes to give their opinion on a show that we have touted. From Las Vegas entertainer, Joni Illi, and husband Tom, comes this "review."
Thank you for your recommendation. We just enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of pure entertainment at Harrah's with "The Mac King Comedy Magic Show." I can see why he's been awarded "The Funnies Magic Act Today." He had Tom and I laughing to tears. Rarely do you see a performer walk out on stage, introduce himself and put you in the palm of his hands and not let you go until he runs by you headed for the lobby to graciously sign anything and everything and take pictures with adults as well as children. That man is Mac King. His show was truly amazing. We were in total awe from the first trick. Mac had us laughing through the entire show. My jaws ached. The kids loved him so much. He has a certain way with children, kinda like a pied piper. I think it's because they loved the fact that he had children on stage as helpers. His tent trick, that he had a little girl up on stage doing shadow puppets with, was so funny and mind boggling at the same time. And what can I say about his cloak of invisibility? You'll just have to go and see it for yourself. Since I was an assistant in my fathers' magic act growing up, I had to make a pact that I would never divulge any magic tricks. Well that's no problem with Mac King. My husband kept asking me through the show, "how did he do that"? I couldn't figure out any of them. I can assure you, the tricks are fascinating for any age. Young or old, you will be magically entertained with Mac King. Don't miss this show.

And speaking of Mac King...
On August 25th, The Mac King Comedy Magic Show celebrated its one-millionth audience member. Lucky Pearl Lee, of New Paltz, New York, was the winner of the ultimate prize package that included a two-night stay at Harrah's Las Vegas, a complimentary dinner for two at The Range Steakhouse, a spa treatment for two at Harrah's Spa, Mac King Magic in a Minute magic kit, a T-shirt, and a meet and greet with Mac. The Mac King Comedy Magic Show plays at 1 and 3 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Call (702) 369-5111 for reservations.

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New Barbra Streisand album

Lisa Landry

Mystery Musician

Last Sunday's (August 11th) Parade magazine (inserted in many daily newspapers), featured a story about the often elusive Barbra Streisand. Welcome to Barbra's World is in conjunction with the release Bab's new CD, Love Is the Answer. The first track on the CD, and the only song mentioned by name, is Artie Butler and Phyllis Molinary's beautiful, Here's To Life. Mr. Butler, who used to play the piano for Suzanne Somers when she performed regularly in Las Vegas, still usually makes it here at least once a year. Artie is usually on the entertainment lineup for the annual Joe Williams Scholarship Concert. Here's To Life was a successful recording for the late jazz artist.

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Next Monday through Sunday, Bob Kephart's Comedy Stop, inside the Congo Room at the Sahara Hotel & Casino, features three outstanding comedians on stage. Heading the bill is Louisiana native Lisa Landry, whose sharp wit and well-crafted humor landed her a television special entitled Comedy Central Presents Lisa Landry. Ms. Landry came up through the famed New York City comedy circuit, where her early training helped her to become an audience favorite. Punchline magazine described Lisa best: "She's an incredibly skilled comedian, a controlling presence on stage and a master of pacing and delivery." Landry has appeared on a variety of television programs, including CBS's The Late Show with Craig Ferguson and MSNBC's Scarborough Country. She was also featured on the Brett Butler Presents: The Southern Belles of Comedy DVD. Brad Williams may be small in size (he born with achondroplastic dwarfism), but he stands tall in the comedy clubs of America. Williams' routines hinge a lot on his diminutive size, and his attitude and stage presence is one of the main reasons for his growing popularity. Brad was a regular on Comedy Central's television show, Mind of Mencia. Williams has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel Live! A dare, while attending the University of Notre Dame, launched the comedy career of Michael Somerville. Somerville, who was headed to a life in advertising before he turned to comedy, has appeared on numerous television shows and hosted a number of specials, including Starz's Stand Up or Shut Up, Encore's What Guys Want, and Nick at Nite's Road Crew. Michael's dating column, Jake: A Man's Opinion, can be read monthly in Glamour magazine. Showtime for the Comedy Stop is at 9 p.m. nightly. Tickets are priced from $24.95, with a special $19.95, plus taxes and fees, ticket price for Nevada residents with a valid Nevada drivers license. For further information call (702) 737-2515.

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Does anyone recognize the horn playing kid in the accompanying photo? Wonder whatever happened to that boy. Readers?

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Encore Follies Dancers by Don Cadette

Anyone, age 10 and older, is invited to enjoy the Encore Follies - Broadway Our Way IV show at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center, 821 Las Vegas Blvd. North, tomorrow, August 29th, at 2 p.m. Songs and dances from Tony Award-winning musicals will be performed. There will also be comic interludes, by 20 seasoned entertainers with professional backgrounds in musical comedy theatre. The Encore Follies are presented by former Broadway and Las Vegas professional dancers, singers and entertainers in spectacular costumes. All now 65 and older, they have shared the stage with top stars like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, Carol Channing, Donald O'Conner and Mickey Rooney. Some of the dancers previously performed in Broadway and touring shows such as Sweet Charity, The Music Man, The Pajama Game, Hello, Dolly! and A Chorus Line. The group has been performing together for conventions, trade shows and charity events for more than five years. They recently returned from successful engagements at the Grand Ole Opry, the Wildhorse Saloon, and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Tickets are priced at $7 for all seats. For tickets or more information, call (702) 229-6211.

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After five years away, is there still a Vegas audience for Joan Rivers, or has she worn out her welcome with her bitchy, often juvenile, behavior? Time will tell, as Rivers has dates at The Venetian, tonight and tomorrow night, and then again next weekend, September 3rd through 5th. Show times are at 7 p.m., with ticket prices starting at $48. Personally, we would much rather see her counterpart Frank Marino's new show, Divas Las Vegas, playing in the main showroom at the Imperial Palace, Friday through Monday over Labor Day weekend. This 75-minute energetic revue, starring one of Las Vegas' longest running headliners AS Joan Rivers, presents an all star cast of top female impersonators who recreate the likeness of today and yesterday's top stars. Joining Marino in Divas Las Vegas are, Chris Woods as Diana Ross; Sammy Gonzalez as Liza with a Z; Coco Vega as Bette Midler; America's Got Talent competitor, Derrick Barry as Britney Spears and Lady Gaga; Larry Edwards as Donna Summer and Beyonce; Kenneth Blake as Madonna and Dolly Parton; Steven Wayne as Cher and Celine Dion, and Jimmy Emerson as Wynonna. In addition to the look-alikes, Divas Las Vegas presents the Frank Marino Dancers - six males, expertly executing the MTV-style choreography of Brad Barnes and Gary Thomas. You won't believe your eyes, these gals are really guys! In a unique bit of business for a producer, Marino (in conjunction with SPI Entertainment) is welcoming suggestions from his cast and artistic directors, feeling it makes for a better show and a happier more involved crew. Throughout this all boy revue, Frank "Glamarino," in his role as Diva Las Vegas' emcee and star, puts on a fashion show to rival the catwalks of Paris and Milan as he changes costumes between every act, bringing an international whirlwind of couture to the stage. Marino credit's the insightful Don Marrandino, Harrah's president (Harrah's owns the Imperial Palace), for giving Divas the opportunity to showcase their all new production in the IP's theater. It is hoped that this will lead to a more permanent booking for Marino and company. Showtimes are at 6 and 10 p.m., on all four nights. Tickets are $69 and $79 (plus tax & fees). Call (702) 794-3261 for reservations.

Joan Rivers

Frank Marino

Liza Minnelli by Rick Day

And speaking of Liza...
Liza Minnelli (is there ANOTHER Liza?) will play the intimate 740-seat Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand, September 25th through October 1st. In this engagement, she will perform her well-known hits "Cabaret," "Some People" and her signature song, "Theme from New York, New York." Minnelli recently appeared on Broadway in Liza's at the Palace, for which she received a 2009 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event, as well as a special award from the Drama Desk Award for career achievement. She also won additional Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for Flora the Red Menace and The Act, as well as a special Tony Award in 1974. She was also Tony-nominated for The Rink, and has starred on Broadway in Chicago and Victor/Victoria. She won the Academy Award for Cabaret and the Emmy Award for Liza With a Z. Showtimes will be at 8 p.m. nightly. Tickets range from $75.35 to $113.85, all inclusive. The Hollywood Ticket Office is open from 3 to 9 p.m. daily. To order by phone, call (800) 929-1111 or (702) 891-7777.

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Phree Bartley reports that she will have Mike Vidal as the Labor Day Weekend entertainment aboard the elegant 80-foot La Contessa yacht at Lake Las Vegas. Vidal has been an entertainer and singer for quite some time. In his younger years, he had the great opportunity to become one of Lenny Cocco's Chimes. The Chimes are best-known for their hit, "Once In a While." Next Friday night, September 4th, and Saturday night, September 5th, host Phree Bartley invites you, along with your friends and family, to bring "your fun selves" and "your dancing shoes" to join Mike Vidal at beautiful Lake Las Vegas, for two fabulous evenings aboard the La Contessa. You will be embraced by the breathtaking splendor of the lake, as the elegant La Contessa navigates the calm, blue waters with grace and majesty. La Contessa features two decks, a bar, plasma TVs, and a tastefully decorated interior. Sculpted from the colorful desert terrain of Southern Nevada, Lake Las Vegas lies nestled within the desert mountainside just 17 miles from the world renowned Las Vegas Strip. Launching from the Monte Lago Village dock, guests will board the beautiful La Contessa at 8:15 p.m. where they will be personally greeted by Vidal and friends At 8:30, as the yacht sets sail for two hours, enjoy delicious appetizers and hors d'oeuvres, prepared by world famous Chef Bernard of Bernard's Bistro by the Lake. Arriving back at the dock at 10:30 p.m., the public is welcome to join the After Party on the La Contessa, where there will be more music, singing and dancing, going until 11:30 p.m. There is no charge for the After Party. A cash bar will be available. Cost for the two hour cruise is $25 per person. Reservations are required. Call (702) 856-0078 to reserve your spot or to charge by credit card. As another option, visitors can pay cash at the door.

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Tony Arias & Lloyd Ziel

Jami Edwards as Modern Marilyn

Jason Andino

Cousin Claire wants to assure those who freaked (and she was one of them) when they saw, in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Tony Arias had died. Fortunately, for all who know and care about the entertainer of Tony and Lloyd fame (or notoriety), we are pleased to say it was NOT the singer/comic who passed on. Needless to say (but we are saying it anyway), we were greatly relieved when the Tony we know answered the phone when we called his home. Mr. Arias has received many, many phone calls since the Tony Arias obit appeared in the newspaper. The very much alive Mr. Arias tells us that he is very comforted to know (1) how many people care about him, AND (2) that those people might have thought he was 36-year-young, the age of the other Tony Arias who did pass away in Las Vegas last week. Our sympathies go out to the family of the other Tony Arias.

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Producer Dick Feeney informs us that Jami Edwards has joined the cast of Las Vegas' Rat Pack is Back revue (there are also touring companies of the tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey and Dean). Jami portrays Modern Marilyn (as in Monroe) in the show, currently playing in the NEW Copa Room at the downtown Plaza hotel. Not only does the show recreate the Vegas of old, in a room renamed for the fun spot at the Sands where the Rat Pack performed, the downtown Plaza is one of the only Las Vegas showrooms that still offers a dinner show! Showtimes for The Rat Pack is Back are at 7:30 p.m. (dinner at 6), seven days a week. Tickets start at $49.99. Call (702) 386-2444 for reservations.

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Last night was the August edition of the Composers Showcase. As usual, the Cabaret Showroom at the Liberace Museum was overflowing, both with music loving audience members and creative and performing artists. Among those displaying their composing skills were local songwriters Susan Haller, Kamilah Marshall, Jason Martinez, Bonnie Mizell, Richard Oberacker, Niles Rivers, Danny Roque, Shayna Steele, Keith Thompson and Tyler Williams. Song stylists and vocalists who performed included Jason Andino, Charl Brown, Travis Cloer, Bruce Ewing, Kristen Hertzenberg, Christopher Roque, Tim Searcy, Joan Sobel and Carly Thomas Smith. Outstanding musicians, adding to the mix, were Tish Diaz, Philip Fortenberry, Joe Malone, Rebecca Ramsey, Moonlight Tran and Drew Zingg. Although you never know what you are going to hear, these monthly showcases are so impressive, as they show another side to an individual who is best known for leading one of the big theater orchestras (Ka, Jersey Boys, etc.) or performing in the same role during 10 shows a week. There is just so much hidden talent in this community.

We have to give a special mention and plug to regular showcase contributor, Jason Andino, and his Formality Band. Although you would never suspect it when you hear this young man rock and roll, Jason is the musical director for the Northstar Church (Maybe we could call him a Holy Roller?). They hold their services at Heckethorn Elementary school, 5150 Whispering Sands Dr. in the far north Valley, at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday. In addition to his performances at the church and the Composers Showcase, lead vocalist/guitar player, Jason, along with his band mates - wife, Kelli Oster Andino on keyboards and background vocals; Dawson Holliday on guitar; Fontana on drums and background vocals; and Antonio Watts on bass and background vocals - Formality will be playing the LV ROCKFEST at the Cheyenne Saloon, 3103 S. Rancho) tomorrow, Saturday, August 29th at 10 p.m., and at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, they will be performing in the upstairs Country Saloon at downtown's Hennessey's Tavern, 425 Fremont Street, Suite 110, across from the currently closed Jillian's and Neonopolis movie theater. Check them out. It's just a Formality.

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At the Black Label Bar & Lounge, between 2 and 5:30 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, the 29th), the W.N.F.A. (We're Not Fooling Around) Big Band will provide an abundance of music at the club, located at 3550 S. Decatur, on the southeast corner of Spring Mountain Rd. Band co-leaders are Matt Johnson and Mario Pino, and playing tomorrow will be Tom Ehlen, Pino, Doc Little, and Lance Phelps on trumpets; Johnson, Ron Textor, Bobby Scann, and Randy Crawford on trombones; Sonny Hernandez on bass trombone; Garrett Hypes, Soeren Johnson, Rick Torcaso, Arno Marsh, Tony Osieki, and Dan Johnson on woodwinds; Steve Flora on bass; Joe Malone on drums, and Moises Sol on piano. 823-2222

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Two-time Grammy Award winner Petula Clark will perform at the Rampart's JW Marriott Grand Ballroom, this Sunday at 4 p.m. Petula first broke into the limelight during World War II as a child where she entertained troops both on the radio and in concert. Clark has appeared in more than 30 British and American films, and also in musical theater (Sunset Boulevard, Blood Brothers), but she is best known for her amazing recording career. During the 50 plus years she has been performing, Petula has sold in excess of 68 million records. Her breakout hit "Downtown" launched her American career, going straight to No. 1 on the charts and earning her a Grammy Award in 1964. Clark quickly followed with "I Know A Place." which went to No. 3 on the charts and earned her a second Grammy Award in 1965. In addition to her two No. 1 hits, Clark has had 15 Top 40 hits in the United States. Internationally, she has charted 159 top 40 hits. Tickets for Petula Clark are $40, all inclusive, and include the Rampart buffet. Tickets can be purchased at the Rampart Casino cage.

Petula Clark

Clint Holmes by Jerry Metellus

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Tomorrow afternoon at 2, dancers from the cast of Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular will present HOPE 2: An Afternoon of Classical Ballet at the Clark County Library Theater, on Flamingo Road just east of Maryland Parkway. This one day concert event will benefit Family Promise of Las Vegas, a local non-profit organization that assists Las Vegas homeless families to get off the streets and back into homes. Admission is a $20 donation per person. For reservations or more information, call 563-7507.

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Busy Jimmy Emerson reports that he is readying his latest Spokane show, Vegas Nights, for its Labor Day weekend opening at the Northern Quest Casino. The revue, playing from September 2nd through September 12th, features the very funny and clever juggler, Michael Holly; comedy magician, Fielding West; Rolla Bolla balancing act (kids, don't try this at home), Tino Ferreira; Michael Jackson tribute artist, Chris "Rasean" Johnson; and those two wild and crazy guys (no, not Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd), the very much alive Tony Arias and Lloyd Ziel, serving as hosts. Gary Thomas, of Ooh La La and Monster Circus fame, is choreographing Vegas Nights, and Las Vegas showgirl-style dancers are Rebecca Shipley, Beth San Miguel, and Kelly Long. As if that isn't enough to keep Emerson who produces Vegas Nights busy, he is also the co-producer (with Michael Morse) of the musical comedy, Naked Boys Singing!, at The Onyx Theatre in Las Vegas, hosts former An Evening at La Cage cast members in a revue at Goodtimes on east Tropicana, Monday nights, and is performing as a serious Wynonna in Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace. We say "serious," as Emerson is best known for his comedy takeoffs on characters such as Roseanne Barr, Anna Nicole Smith, Kirstie Alley and Madonna's secret sister. On occasion, and to step in for a missing "regular" (including Mr. Marino), Jimmy has been known to do his unique take on stars like Britney Spears and Cher. All of this, and Mr. Emerson is still recovering from gallbladder surgery!

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Back by popular demand, this weekend, the smooth, charismatic Clint Holmes returns to the Suncoast Showroom in An Evening of Romance with Clint Holmes, musically directed by Bill Fayne. Audiences can look forward to hearing a variety of songs with the shared theme of romance. Holmes will perform a range of old standards, treasures from "The Great American Songbook" � featuring songs that tell the story of the first 50 years of American popular music from New Orleans jazz to Broadway musicals � and selections from the likes of Sting, John Mayer, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder. Holmes will also sing romantic originals from his own repertoire. In addition, singer and guitarist Jerry Lopez of the popular group Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns will make a guest appearance. Holmes and Lopez are expected to perform an exciting duet that embodies the evening's theme � romance. Holmes returns to the Suncoast Showroom on the heels of the wildly popular debut of Vocal Soup, in which he partnered with long-time friends Susan Anton, Domenick Allen and Martin Nievera for a showcase of solo performances, duets and group numbers. The show had a sell-out weekend in June, a testament to Holmes' singing and showmanship skills, plus the realization of the group's dream of rekindling the Las Vegas tradition of entertainers coming together in an "anything can happen" atmosphere. Holmes' fans know him as more than just a singer. He's famous for making every performance an original and captivating audiences with his signature style. Among his many recordings is the Top 10 smash hit "Playground In My Mind (My Name Is Michael)." His album "Edges" produced many other standout songs, including "Feel Like Makin' Love," the romantic "Shouldn't It Be Easy By Now," the playful "Gotta Get Up" and the thought-provoking "Let My Son See Africa." Known best in Las Vegas for his recent six-year run in Clint Holmes at Harrah's, during which he was named Las Vegas' "Best Singer" by readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Holmes' fame stretches far beyond Southern Nevada. Named Atlantic City's "Entertainer of the Year" three times, Holmes starred in Clint Holmes' Sophisticated Rhythms, a dynamic stage show that traveled through music from the 1940s to the present. His 1996 critically acclaimed musical Comfortable Shoes, which opened in New Jersey, was a poignant and uplifting journey into Holmes' interracial family's struggle to find its identity. In 2002, an updated version of the musical opened at The Royal George Theatre in Chicago. Among the show's rave reviews, the Chicago Tribune called it "a night of fully realized theatrical entertainment." In a career that began with an invitation from Joan Rivers to be her sidekick and announcer on The Late Show, Clint Holmes has proven himself as a well-respected performer, even earning the honor of being the featured performer at the Democratic National Convention on the evening of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential nomination. Showtime tonight, tomorrow and Sunday is at 8 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $29.95, plus tax, and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 636-7075 or visiting

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On Sunday (August 30th), John Meren and Tom Gallagher's Performing Arts Center of Nevada will present the debut of The Den and Stu Show at the Clark County Flamingo Library Theater, 1401 E. Flamingo, just east of Maryland Parkway. The musical comedy revue stars California transplants, Dennis Michaels and Stewart Daylida, who met when they were part of The Young Americans. The twosome will be backed by Tony Branco on piano, Bob Sachs on bass, and Brent Barnes on drums. The three-girl vocal group, Dangerous Curves, will be special guests. (We don't want to start any rumors, but we hear that the reason the Curves are part of the Den and Stu Show is because one of the girls has a very close relationship with one of the boys.) Stu was last seen on the Las Vegas Strip in Tease at the Blue Note Jazz Club (now the Krave/Harmon Theater). He also appeared with Michael Crawford in EFX at the MGM Grand, and co-starred at the Rio, with David Cassidy and Sheena Easton in At the Copa. Dennis performed in the Columbia Artists' production of Riverboat Ragtime Revue and was part of a three-man musical comedy show that played the Princess Cruise lines. Both entertainers have worked for Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and Tibbies Music Hall. Stu has appeared on TV in Golden Palace and BC Palace, and Den has WATCHED shows such as Golden Palace and BC Palace. Stu worked with the High School of Performing Arts Musical Theater Department in Southern California, and Den has HEARD of the High School of Performing Arts Musical Theater Department in Southern California. Stu's solo work, as well as backup vocals can be heard on a number of records, such as the cast recording for EFX with Michael Crawford, and The Young American's Christmas Album. Den WISHES he was Stu. Hey folks...we just write this stuff, we don't make it up! The show starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at the library, beginning an hour before show time, or ordered by phone at (702) 658-6741.

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Beloved around the world and celebrating 50 years in entertainment, The Osmonds - Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Jimmy - will perform in concert at The Orleans Showroom, tonight through Sunday. Having thrilled millions with their signature brand of entertainment, the legendary brothers have mastered a range of musical styles, including barbershop, pop, rock, country and jazz. Known for such classic hits as "One Bad Apple," "Yo-Yo," "Down By The Lazy River" and "Love Me For A Reason," the Osmond brothers' close harmonies are unrivaled in the music world. The gentlemen have sold millions of albums over their long careers and have several gold and platinum records to their credit. Five decades ago, the young Osmond boys were flashed across national television screens on The Andy Williams Show, in what was meant to be a one-time shot at the big time. That single appearance led the family to seven seasons as regulars on the show. The Osmond brothers enjoyed professional gigs at Disneyland and with The Jerry Lewis Show before they signed with MGM Records and skyrocketed to worldwide recognition. Known for their versatility and for shaping musical styles to fit their talents - they mastered 28 musical instruments - the Osmonds gained further exposure with the 1976 advent of The Donny and Marie Show. With the Osmond brothers as executive producers, the show was a true example of their abilities to project the unified quality of their own family relationship, and in 1979 the show transformed into The Osmond Family Show. Success continued and, in 1982, the Osmonds transitioned their sound from pop to country music. Billboard magazine honored them with the "1982 Breakthrough Award" and acknowledged them as the "Number One New Singles Group of the Year." A decade later, after almost 40 years of concert tours, the Osmonds purchased a theater in Branson, Missouri, and began performing 12 shows a week at the Osmond Family Theater. They have been recognized as "Best Vocal Group" and "Best Show in Branson" numerous times over the years.
Few have had the staying power or broad musical range as the Osmonds. In 2003, the family was honored for their achievements in the entertainment industry with a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Osmonds keep the spirit of "America's favorite family of entertainment" alive by performing regularly in Branson and by touring the United States and Europe. Showtime at The Orleans is 8 p.m. Tickets start at $34.95, plus tax, and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 365-7075, or visiting

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The Liz Lieberman Dance Group and friends take over the theater at the Winchester Cultural Center and Gallery (3130 McLeod, just north of Desert Inn) for a show at 2 p.m., Wednesday, September 2nd. Liz Lieberman's dancers are all over the age of 55 in human years, but, in dancer years, they believe they are 20! "After all," says Liz, " age is but a number and when you are dancing, all your troubles melt away...mainly because you are thinking about your aching back, knees, ankles, hips etc!" "Seriously," she says, "we love what we do and if we can bring joy and happiness to those who watch us, then it's an added plus." Liz has been a dancer all her life, and won a scholarship to train at the prestigious Arts Educational School in London, UK. After graduation, she performed in West End musicals, TV and film. Liz became a Principal dancer for the famous Miss Bluebell and Donn Arden, and danced all over the world before coming to Las Vegas to be a lead dancer in Jubilee!. After retiring from performing in 1992, she assisted the company manager in Jubilee! for two years, before becoming company manager for EFX at the MGM Grand Hotel. During its run at the MGM, EFX starred Michael Crawford, David Cassidy, Rick Springfield, and Broadway legend, Tommy Tune. In 2000, Liz formed her own entertainment company and has represented shows such as The Legend of Kung Fu from Beijing, China, Magic on Ice at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, and Jeb Rand's Holiday Ice Spectacular in Reno and his Fremont Street Experience holiday ice shows. Special events in Las Vegas keep Liz busy, but her favorite job is teaching and dancing with her senior dance groups. She is currently at work on a book about her old boss and mentor, the late Donn Arden, creator of Jubilee! and many other Las Vegas spectaculars. During the dance show at the Winchester on September 2nd, Liz will be filming some of the dance sequences with her dancers. Audience members are invited to watch this process. There will be intervals during which several of the dancers and guests will speak to the audience, and Liz will also explain what each number is about. The dancers will be changing into different costumes, so there may be some stops and starts in filming, but there will always be something interesting happening! Guest speakers include Lesley Bandy, John Rothman and Sandy Runkle. Bandy will speak about her years at The Royal Ballet School in London and her exciting career as a principal dancer in Paris, Reno, Las Vegas, Australia and New Zealand. She also was principal ballerina for Nevada Festival Ballet in Reno where she performed all the great classical roles. Rothman, who hails from Johannesburg, South Africa, will speak about his prolific career as a composer, writer, director, choreographer and star of his own show, and the special honor of being chosen to write a song for Nelson Mandela's birthday shortly after his release from imprisonment. Runkle is one of Liz's dancers and very active with her volunteer work at the newly opened Brain Institute here in our city. She is going to speak about this exciting new research and treatment facility that Las Vegas is proud to have in our ever evolving community. This is a free event. Seating is on a 'first come, first serve' basis. This should be a truly varied, fun and informative afternoon. Call (702) 455-7340 or 378-6300 for additional information.

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