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 September 25, 2009
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - September 25, 2009

Martin Nievera

Shades of Sinatra

Aron Shanley

If you haven't had supper tonight, head over to the Suncoast for some soup...Vocal Soup, that is. The four person musical ensemble, with Vincent Falcone at the piano, consists of Clint Holmes, Susan Anton, Domenick Allen and Martin Nievera. All very well known as individual performers, this quartet combines their talents to make beautiful music together in an entertaining revue they call Vocal Soup. Clint, Susan, Domenick and Martin will be lighting up the Suncoast showroom, tonight through Sunday night. Show times are at 8 p.m. Ticket prices start at $29.95 plus taxes and fees. Showing off their individual skills, Clint Holmes returns to the Suncoast, October 23rd through 25th, while Martin Nievera, known as The Concert King in the Philippines, gets his turn in the spotlight at the Suncoast, November 13th through 15th. We have a hunch that the audiences will be so taken with one of the Philippines' Favorite Sons, Mr. Nievera, like Holmes, will also become a regular in the Suncoast showroom.

And speaking of Vocal Soup, the musical quartet will sing the national anthem prior to the Las Vegas 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway tomorrow. This will be the first time the group has performed the anthem.

And speaking of the Suncoast (which we frequently do), it's Shades of Sinatra, Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd and 4th. Shades of Sinatra - Ryan Baker, Carmine Mandia, Larry Liso, and Lisa Smith - is an original musical production celebrating the extensive music and career of the great Frank Sinatra. Featuring over 30 of Sinatra's biggest hits, this show pays tribute to most of the signature Sinatra tunes one would expect, as well as several that may be new to casual fans. Its cast members create unique characters that celebrate him in their own ways, often drawing on experiences from their own lives; and in between songs and poignant stories, there is plenty of zany humor and good-natured ribbing among the cast, creating the vintage, off-the-cuff Vegas show atmosphere that is associated with Ol' Blue Eyes himself. All the great Sinatra tunes you've grown to love, performed live, backed by the swingin' Ned Mills Orchestra. There are several new arrangements, new multi-media AND, a special appearance by the one and only Lionardo. Show time is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets starts at $19.95 plus tax.

For reservations to any and all the Suncoast's offerings, call (702) 636-7075.

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We were asked if Naked Boys Singing! is still playing at the Onyx Theatre in The Rack at Commercial Center. The answer is a resounding, YES! The little show that could, which opened at the Onyx in June for a two week run, continues entertaining audiences of all ages (over 21, of course), all colors, all sizes and all species, as we speak. Another question with a "YES" answer is, are the boys really naked? Our question is, why would they call the show Naked Boys Singing!, if the boys weren't naked? Helloooo! The newest cast member is Aron Shanley. He joins Nolan Christopher, Ivan Hardin, Mitchell Johnson, Allen Merritt, Paul Pratt, Daryl Roth and Mark White. The shows' accompanist, Spencer Baker at the piano (YES, there's even live music), will be taking a short break from NBS to head to Washington DC where he will perform at Arlington National Cemetery this weekend. Filling in for Spencer, tomorrow and Sunday, is the very talented, creative and funny Vita Corimbi. Ms. Corimbi will also sub for Baker at the Nellis Air Force Base's Sunday services. Michael Morse, the owner of The Rack and Onyx, has asked Vita to write a new number for NBS, to which the lady responded, "I would love to do it!" Producer Jimmy Emerson is working out the details with the famed William Morris Agency. Show times are every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, at 10 p.m., with an added Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. Tickets are now $25, with a special $20 price for locals.

Vita Corimbi

Mommie Queerest

Jason Graae

The Onyx Theatre, a performance space that pushes the envelope in a very good and creative way, is also featuring the outrageous Mommie Queerest through October 11th. We have heard nothing but good things about this show. We were told that we MUST see it, so we're going! Show times are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m., and Sunday, October 4th at 9 p.m. There are special late night performances on October 2nd and 3rd, at 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. As we mentioned above, the Onyx Theatre is located inside The Rack at 953 E. Sahara in the Commercial Center. For tickets or more info, call (702) 732-7225.

We heard that pianist Spencer Baker and cabaret artist Phyllis Bell, may do a couple of numbers during Philip Fortenberry's Liberace and Me show at the Liberace Museum on Wednesday, September 30th at 1 p.m. This isn't a "for sure" at deadline time. Check with the museum at (702) 798-5595.

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And if you are closer to Manhattan, check out Jason Graae at the Metropolitan Room. According to songwriter Ervin Drake ("Good Morning Heartache," "I Believe," "It Was a Very Good Year"), Jason is "the second most talented man on the planet." You've seen him as "Harry Houdini" in Ragtime. You've heard him as "Lucky the Leprechaun" for Lucky Charms. And, to quote Graae (rhymes with Graae), "You've felt him watching you in your living room." Yes, the amazing and hilariously funny Mr. Graae will be performing at the Metropolitan Room for the next two weekends. He will be joined by the lovely Alex Rybeck and his magic fingers (except for on October 3rd, when Billy Stritch will play). Tomorrow night's show is at 7:30, as are those on October 2nd and 3rd. On Sunday night, October 4th, Jason will perform at 9:30 in the Metropolitan Room. He recently performed his Magically Delicious show at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood. The Metropolitan Room is located at 34 West 22nd St., between 5th and 6th, in NYC. There is a $25 cover charge plus a two drink minimum (GO! He's worth it!). For reservations, call (212) 206-0433. Check out Jason at

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Reminder...It's Liza with a "Z" at the MGM Grand Hollywood Theatre, tonight through October 1st. Call (702) 891-7800 for tickets. And, speaking of Ms. Minnelli, Las Vegan (of course he wasn't always a Las Vegan) Artie Schroeck (aka The Maestro) wrote the chart for Liza's version of "Teach Me Tonight." (That information comes to us from the proud Mrs. Schroeck, Linda November.)

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A gala evening is planned at Encore Resort on Friday, October 2nd, beginning at 7 p.m. Called the Volunteers In Medicine Ball, the event will benefit Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada, an agency dedicated to providing medical care to the underserved populations of our community. Within a couple of months, a clinic, operated by more than 60 volunteer physicians, a cadre of nursing professionals, lab technicians and support individuals, is scheduled to open at Paradise Park in southeast Las Vegas. The organization now has more than 300 community volunteers ready to serve. The care center will initially focus on primary care, pediatrics and prenatal care. Additional services will be added in time. The ultimate goal is to eventually open two more clinics that will serve the needs of Southern Nevadans. Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada (VMSN) is a 501c3, established in 2008 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to find a way to provide access to health care for Southern Nevada's working families. It is estimated that one out of seven are uninsured in America, including one out of three in Nevada, in excess of 400,000 people in Southern Nevada. In March of 2008, Family USA decided to use Nevada as an example when writing an article on the uninsured crisis. In an article titled Dying for Coverage in Nevada, it was noted that at least five working age Nevadans die each week because they have no health insurance. VMSN will provide preventative healthcare for the chronically ill. They will help prevent acute hospitalization, reducing hospital costs and decreasing taxpayer burdens. Most importantly, they will care for the neglected and forgotten members of our community who are hurting. The vision of VMSN is to have healing hands to touch underserved lives with love, and in the process, heal ourselves. The mission of VMSN is to identify, understand and serve the health and wellness needs of families in the community. VMSN plans to use both active and retired health care professionals, along with lay people, to run the care center.  The philosophy will be to create a "culture of caring." The Medicine Ball - honoring Dr. Sheikh Saghir (Volunteerism), Dr. Theodore Jacobs (Medicine) and Shelley Berkley (Community/ ) - will include a superb five-course sit-down dinner, fine wines, a silent auction, fashion show and an array of entertainment. Producer/singer, Dennis Casey Park of Casey Entertainment Productions, is putting together a special show for VMSN's Medicine Ball. Among those featured will be Sharon Smith and New Vision Gospel Choir (a favorite at the House of Blues), a 10-piece band conducted by former Tap Dog Rob Stone, Jeremy Fullam and Company, and singer Barbara Blair. John Daly will host the silent auction, fashion show and awards, while Mr. Park will host the entertainment portion. Chairpersons for this event are Dr. Parvin Modaber Jacobs and Dr. Florence Jameson. Tickets are $200 per person, with proceeds from the fundraiser going toward patient care. For additional information, please call (702) 7 p.m. $200. 994-3760.

Dr. Florence Jameson

Pietra, Nelson & Giovanna Sardelli

Sardelli Birthday Swim

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Nelson Sardelli certainly knows how to throw a party...especially when it's for himself to celebrate his 75th birthday. Live music, good food, good company and even valet parking was the order of the day. Everyone had a grand old time. How many homes do you know of with a bridge across the backyard swimming pool? How many homes do you know of with a bridge across the pool and a permanent sign reading, "Going from here to there, or there to here, depending on where you are standing." Among those in attendance were Nelson's wife, Mickey, and their two beautiful daughters, Giovanna and Pietra, as well as Artie Schroeck and Linda November, Gloria and Don Hill, Judy Coco, Babe Pier and Cindy Raft Pier, Michaelina Bellamy, Cork Proctor, Allan Tramont and his lady Marta, Lou Toomin, Angela (Mrs. Freddie Bell) Bello, Vera (Mrs. Robert) Goulet, Mike and Annie Merrick, Teddy Kaye, Norm Johnson and Nancy Barr, Paul Campanella, Conrad and Marilyn Villella, Jerry Lopez, Tommy Deering, Brace Phillips, Dr. George Ritter, Nik Mastrangelo, Roberta (Mrs. Joe) Delaney, Judge Kathleen Delaney, Norman and Barbara Kaye, Felix Silla, Mr. and Mrs. Chick Hughes, Mike Christ, Jim Seagrave, Toni Sandoval, Don and Major Maria Sacco, Phil Carlino, Ronnie Rose, Mr. and Mrs. Don Gloude, Jeanne Bavaro, Bill Acosta, Andrea Gross, Jim Marsh, Kid Carey and his lady Sophie, Rolando Larraz, Mr. and Mrs. Nick Montana, Cindy Doumani and Randy Soard, Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Cassaro, and Jerry Fink. We have left out lots of folks because we are getting older and our memory isn't what it used to be. If those who were unintentionally omitted call to yell at us, or someone helps to fill in the blanks, we will print the missing names next week. At some point during the evening's festivities, a few of the guests decided to take a dip in the backyard swimming their party wear! Also participating in the fun was Auriosvaldo Bento Da Silva Arimateia, who ALONE (as in single-handedly) built the bridge over untroubled waters. We can hardly wait for Nelson's 80th birthday celebration! Many happy returns of the day, Mr. Sardelli.

And speaking of old (timers)...The 14th annual Old Time Reunion Party will take place in the Mardi Gras Ballroom at The Orleans on Sunday, October 18th, from 5 to 11 p.m. The event will be hosted by Bill Boyd and the Boyd Gaming Group. Event chairman is Thalia Dondero, and co-chairs are Lorraine Hunt Bono and Dennis Bono. Longtime Las Vegas residents will gather to talk about the "good old days" and complain about today. More than likely you will hear things like, "I remember when a buffet at the Silver Slipper cost $1.57." Really! Old friends will re-connect while having cocktails and dinner and watching entertainers do their thing. Tickets for the yearly event are $45 per person. Reservations are necessary. Please call (702) 364-4962.

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Even though their press releases say that Charo will return to the Riviera in November, we don't think that will happen. By the time Ms. Cuchi Cuchi heals from the injuries she received after falling while leaving the Jerry Lewis telethon over Labor Day weekend, the original contract for her well reviewed and popular show will be about over.

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Elliot Krane, 80, passed away peacefully in his sleep on September 20th, following a valiant 10-year battle against Alzheimer's, accompanied four years later by Parkinson's disease. He was born Jan. 28, 1929, in Philadelphia. In 1950, Elliot graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. His versatile career included a stint as assistant to then-president of Penn State, Milton Eisenhower, followed by seven years as the traveling producer for the television show, "Romper Room." Having fallen in love with Las Vegas during his "Romper Room" years, Elliot moved here in January 1974. It was here that he met Charlette Eskin in August 1974 and they began working together. Elliot and Charlette married on Thanksgiving Day, 1976. In 1977, the Kranes started the restaurant section in the Las Vegas Sun - the first in a local daily paper. It later became a section in "This Is Las Vegas," a weekend magazine published on Fridays in the Sun. Their feature, "Dining With An Entertainer," combining a restaurant review with a celebrity interview, proved to be very popular. In 1984, the Kranes started the Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant section and, when the R-J's special restaurant sections including "Dining Guide" and "Wine and Dine" debuted a few years later, they contributed to them. For several years, they also published, edited and wrote for "Nevada Hospitality," the official magazine of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging and Nevada Restaurant associations. Elliot was an honorary member of the Food Service Executive Association and the ACF Chefs of Las Vegas. His last job was with Southern Wine & Spirits until his declining health forced him to retire. Elliot was a charter member of the American Institute of Wine and Food, a charter member of the UNLV Foundation, a charter subscriber of Artemus Ham Hall's Charles Vanda Concert Series and the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and an avid fan of Rebel football and basketball. He and Charlette also loved to play tennis. He was preceded in death by his parents, Betty and Samuel Krane; and stepdaughter, Laurie Eskin Brook. Among his many survivors are his beloved wife, Charlette; stepson, Jeffrey Eskin (Darla); grandson, Jonathan Eskin; granddaughter, Lindy Eskin, all of Green Valley; granddaughter, Emily Eskin of Las Vegas; granddaughter, Jennifer Smith (Zach); and great-grandson, Carter Jeffrey Smith, both of Irvine, Calif.; stepson, Andrew Eskin (Sandra); and grandchildren, Naomi, Rebecca and Ben Eskin, all of Bethesda, Md. Elliot donated his body to the MERIN Institute (Medical Education Research Institute) for research by UNLV students. When his body is released, he will be cremated. A memorial service will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to "Keep Memory Alive" in Elliot Krane's name.

Elliot Krane

Kelly Clarkson

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American Idol's first big winner, Kelly Clarkson, goes into The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, for one show only, Friday, November 6th. The Hard Rock is one of the stops on Clarkson's All I Ever Wanted tour. Joining Clarkson is the rising band, Parachute. Clarkson has sold more than 20 million albums since her 2002 debut. Her All I Ever Wanted release shattered Billboard Records, when "My Life Would Suck Without You" jumped from No. 97 to No. 1 in its first week of release. Clarkson premiered her current single "Already Gone" on The Late Show with David Letterman. Concert attendees can expect to hear these latest hits including "I Do Not Hook Up" from the tour's namesake album, along with her signature pop anthems. Show time is at 8 p.m. Tickets starts at $45.50. For more information, call (702) 693-5555.

And still on the subject of reality television, former America's Got Talent host, Jerry Springer, will take that same position with the live version of the show when it comes into Planet Hollywood, beginning on October 7th. The show will play at 7 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays, and Jerry Mitchell's Peepshow will follow at 9. For the first group of performers from the show, audience members can expect to see America's Got Talent's most recent million dollar winner, country singer Kevin Skinner, an out of work chicken catcher from Kentucky; opera singer and cancer survivor, Barbara Padilla from Houston, the runner-up, will also be on the bill. We hear that third-place finishers, Recycled Percussion, the Texas Tenors, and 75-year-old comedienne Grandma Lee (who performs at Palace Stations' Bonkerz Comedy Club. We will have more about America's Got Talent Live in the coming weeks.

And speaking of reality TV talent competitions, Jennifer Joseph, who wound up as one of the top three finalists on the Wayne Newton-hosted The Entertainer (airing on the E! channel in 2005), will join Randy Hendrickson in I've Got a Crush On You, at the Clark County Flamingo Library at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Hendrickson, who is making his 10th appearance in a Performing Arts Center of Nevada presentation, has a background in musical theater, having performed in the national touring companies of The Unsinkable Molly Brown with Debbie Reynolds and Harve Presnell, Meet Me In St. Louis with Debby Boone, and La Cage aux Folles with Larry Kert and Harvey Evans. Randy served as curator of the movie museum at the Debbie Reynolds Hotel in Las Vegas, and currently is the Project Manager for Blair Farrington's Imagination Costumes (supplying wardrobe for Donny & Marie, Bette Midler, Cher and Terry Fator, among others). Randy usually performs at PASN with Dolly Coulter, Laurie Caseres and Bert Anderson. This time around, he has a new to PASN co-star - Jennifer Joseph. Jennifer, a 1989 graduate of Chaparral High School, started singing in major casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, eventually becoming principal vocalist in production shows such as Folies Bergere` and Legends in Concert. In 1995, she won the title of Miss Nevada and went on to win the Talent Award at the 1995-96 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. With that title, she was able to mentor thousands of kids about how to raise their self-esteem and overcome hardships. She has been in many plays and musicals, and has also performed and recorded with Julio Iglesias and Debbie Reynolds. In 1998, Ms. Joseph braved a Harlem audience to get a standing ovation at Showtime at the Apollo. Jennifer competed on the reality TV show The Entertainer, starring Wayne Newton, where she was showcased internationally. She displayed charisma, leadership, talent and professionalism throughout the whole competition, winding up as one of the top three finalists. She didn't win the competition, but she wound up being hired as a backup singer for Newton. Jennifer opened for Don Rickles at the HBO Comedy Festival at Caesars Palace. She was a cast member of the Rio's Show In the Sky, and recently joined the cast of Fantasy at the Luxor. Hendrickson and Joseph will perform their musical revue at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are a reasonable $15 and can be purchased at the library (1401 E. Flamingo) and hour before show time.

Kevin Skinner

Jennifer Joseph

Wayne Newton

And speaking of Wayne Newton, we think his much anticipated "big announcement" on Wednesday in Las Vegas, was much ado about very little. In celebration of his 50 years in show business, the onetime Vegas headliner will take to the stage of the Tiffany Theatre at the Tropicana, beginning on October 14th. Newton, now 67, has been croaking out songs for close to 10 years. This latest effort, called Once Before I Go (hopefully, he won't sing and destroy that beautiful Peter Allen tune), is scheduled to run for six months. Our neighbor, Frank Leone, president of Local 369, the Las Vegas Musicians Union, tells us that Newton is persona non grata with unions around the country, including right here at home. In recent years, Newton's problems involve rehearsal pay (or, in this case, NON rehearsal pay) for musicians. Years ago, during the big Las Vegas musicians strike, Wayne was one of the only performers to cross the picket lines during his engagement at the Hilton. That sure didn't earn him points with the players in the community. This should be interesting. .

And speaking of the Tropicana, there seems to be lots of problems at the property. Without white and black hats to distinguish the bad guys from the good guys, we don't know who to be pissed at. With so many day-to-day changing stories, we also don't know who or what to believe. The cast of players in this ongoing drama include hypnotist/producer, Anthony Cools; comedy pitbull, Bobby Slayton; comic impressionist, Rich Natole; the Beatles tribute show, Penny Lane (who have already departed the room that formerly housed Bob Kephart's Comedy Stop); and The Edwards Twins, male twins who impersonate both male and female personalities (their deal at the Trop was over before it began) who will open at Hennessey's in downtown Las Vegas in a couple of months.

And speaking of Rich Natole, a reader, who saw his Tropicana show a few weeks ago, lets us know that earlier this week Natole was on FOX 5's More morning programming where he announced that locals could see his Voices of a Generation for free, through Sunday. No coupons are needed for this deal, just proper ID. The reader tells us that she thought Natole was "terrific." "Rich has a hundred different voices. Old stars like Jack Benny and Ed Sullivan, etc., as well as newer contemporary performers." Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, a bunch of hardworking performers have gotten caught in the middle of good old big business bullshit.

Rich Natole

Calvin Brooks

Jimmie J.J. Walker

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For all you jazz lovers...Tomorrow afternoon at 2, jazz guitarist/singer, Calvin Brooks, accompanied by Jess Gopen on drums and Millard Jackson on keys and bass, will pay tribute to some greats - Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Forrest Green and Barney Kessell at the Black Label Restaurant Lounge, 3550 S. Decatur, on the southeast corner of Spring Mt. and Decatur. A $7 band contribution is requested. Call (702) 823-2222.

Tomorrow night, it's Marsha K. Ross in the spotlight at DeStefano's. Performance begins at 7:30. DeStefano's is located on the northeast corner of Tropicana and Pecos.

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And out-of-town tomorrow night, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Scherer Forum, there are two great shows in one night, featuring one of the hottest swing bands in Southern California. The first part presents a tribute to the best of the big band era, with Tony Capko's 12-piece swing band. This renowned ensemble pays tribute to Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and other top big bands from the '30s and '40s in this high energy, sizzling hot presentation. Special featured guest is Gina Eckstine, who will perform songs from her newly released CD, Everything I Have Is Yours, a tribute to her late father Billy Eckstine. Vocalist Mark Curran performs hits of the swingin' Las Vegas '50s and '60's in Hooked on Swing: The Best of the Big Bands as he offers up tributes to Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Eckstine, backed by Capko's band. Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors and $30 for students and children (prices do not include facility surcharge). To order tickets by phone, call Ticketmaster at (805) 583-8700.

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Back by popular demand, Jimmie J.J. Walker will be headlining at the Comedy Stop in the world famous Congo Room at the Sahara Hotel & Casino, from Monday, September 28th, through October 4th. Sharing the stage with the Las Vegas resident will be fellow comedians, Paul Lyons and Greg Vaccariello. J.J. Walker opened the Comedy Stop when producer, Bob Kephart moved the famous comedy club into the Sahara Hotel in July, after a 19 year run at another Las Vegas Strip hotel, where the Comedy Stop won the "Best of Las Vegas" award seven times. Jimmie starred in Norman Lear's TV comedy series, Good Times, from 1973 to 1979. "Dyn-o-mite!" was the phrase associated with J.J., and it became famous world-wide. Time magazine named him Comedian of the Decade. Walker did the comedy album, "Dyn-o-mite!" and it was a huge hit and a best seller. When the series ended, Aaron Spelling offered Walker a starring role in the short-lived B.A.D. Cats, and cast him again in 1983 in At Ease, an ABC-TV series about the U.S. Army. But stand up comedy has always remained his first love. Between television appearances or writing scripts for TV and movies, J.J. tours the country, performing 25-30 weeks a year. Greg Vaccariello is a native of The Bronx, attending high school on Long Island. After graduating from college with a teaching degree, he decided to become an actor and enrolled in acting classes in New York. He started doing stand up in 1989. Vaccariello has appeared on such hit TV shows as ED, Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The King of Queens and Hope and Faith. Greg draws on his personal life and his unique point of view to create an original and predominantly clean stand up act. Paul Lyons is a winner. He's been the inspirational coach for the Washington Generals, Lindsay Lohan and Ted Kaczynski. Paul always is looking on the bright side of everything: although his cat won't use the kitty litter box, Paul says, "My cat thinks outside the box." Reviewers agree: "Lyons is a deviously creative funnyman and is wonderfully wholesome, significantly different and just pure gold." Showtime for the Comedy Stop is 9 p.m. nightly. Tickets are priced from $24.95 plus tax and fees, with a special ticket for Nevada residents (with a valid Nevada drivers license) priced at $19.95 plus tax and fees. Call (702) 737-2515 for further information.

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Vinnie & Gloria Calderone

Tomy Maugeri

From entertainer Diane Ellis comes this sad news...She says, "It is with great pain that I tell you that my daddy, Vinnie passed away recently. My dad touched so many hearts; family, friends, acquaintances; even strangers. Dad always had a song to sing and a joke to tell. He always made everyone feel loved. This hole in my heart, I know, in time, will mend and this fog will be lifted. Daddy left us with a great legacy. He always, ever since I can remember, recorded us. He took lots of footage, and pictures. My dad was a very gifted musician. He totally amazed schooled musicians, because he couldn't read music - he played the accordion by ear and with his heart." Vincent J. Calderone, called "Vinnie" by some and "Jimmy" by others, passed away on September 7th in Everett, Massachusetts. Vinnie was a 40 year member of the Everett Kiwanis Club, longtime and well known local musician, a member of the Maine Country Western Hall of Fame, and a former winner of the Chance of a Lifetime music talent show. During visits to Las Vegas, he was often called upon to stroll through the local San Gennaro festival, smiling and playing his accordion. He is survived by Gloria, his wife of 62 years, and children Marianne Ciarlone, Vincent, and Diane. He also leaves behind his sisters Phyllis Varricchio and Claire Williams, and brothers George and Joseph (another brother, Edward, preceded him in death), eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held on September 11th. Condolences can be sent to Mrs. Vincent Calderone, 19 George Street, Everett, MA 02149. Our sympathies to the entire family.

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The Sahara Hotel & Casino has announced new show times for The Magic & Tigers of Rick Thomas, starring (surprise), illusionist Rick Thomas. The show will now be seen daily at 7 p.m. in the Theatre at the Sahara. There will no longer be a 4 p.m. performance on Saturday and Sunday. Ticket prices are $49.95 plus tax and fees (includes preferred seating) for adult VIP admission, $39.95 plus tax and fees for adult general admission, and $19.95 plus tax and fees, general admission, for children under the age of 12. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit, call (888) 696-2121, or visit the Sahara box office. The Web site and phone number are accessible 24 hours a day and the box office is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

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Last Sunday, one of the segments on CBS's Sunday Morning was entitled Puppy Love, and was hosted by Bill Geist. Geist takes his new puppy to be groomed in a doggy salon owned and operated by former Las Vegan, Tomy Maugeri, considered one of New York City's top groomers. You can't buy that kind of advertising. Well, maybe you can, but it would cost a bundle...a really BIG bundle. And speaking of Sunday Morning (a favorite of ours), this Sunday will feature a segment on Barbra Streisand, in conjunction with the release of her newest album, Love Is the Answer.

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The Nathan Tanouye Sextet will perform tomorrow (Saturday, September 26th) at the West Las Vegas Arts Center Amphitheatre, 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd., at 2 p.m. Composer, arranger and trombonist Nathan Tanouye brings his jazz sextet to perform in the intimate outdoor amphitheatre. This program, presented by the City Of Las Vegas Cultural Arts & Community Events, is free, and all ages are welcome. For additional information, call (702) 229-4800.

Nathan Tanouye

Mark Nadler

Jimmie Ray & Cyndi Cantrell

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The Sun City Summerlin Fall Arts & Crafts Fair 2009 will take place at the Desert Vista Community Center, 10360 Sun City Blvd., on Saturday, October 3rd from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Arts & Crafts Fair is a great time to start holiday shopping. There will be a lot of great gifts for home and office. The items you will find at the Arts & Crafts Fair can not be found anywhere else, since they are all made by the talented residents of Sun City Summerlin. Come and do your shopping early and give someone a very special hand-crafted gift that they will enjoy for years. Admission is free. For more information, call (702) 63-3581.

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And on the other coast...Once a week, through an organization called Art Start, Mark Nadler leads a music workshop for kids in a homeless shelter. You can't believe how joyous it is and how much it means to the kids and their families, and to Mark! On Thursday, October 1st, Mark is doing a benefit for Art Start at the National Arts Club - a magnificent landmark building on Gramercy Park. He is going to do a show similar to what he used to do at Sardi's (although it won't last four hours), which will be followed by a champagne and dessert reception and silent auction - all this for 50 tax-deductible dollars. Thanks to the generosity of the National Arts Club, (not to mention a donor or two), every penny of the $50 contribution goes to Art Start. And just think...there's no two drink minimum. Your 50 bucks includes all the show you can handle and all the champagne you can drink! For tickets, go to If you are in New York and this interests you, please buy your tickets sooner than later (like, NOW), as the event is also open to the membership of the NAC and seating is limited. We would hate for you to miss what promises to be an incredibly special evening. For those who aren't in the neighborhood, a tax-deductible contribution to Art Start would be graciously accepted. Check out the organization at

And speaking of children and the arts...
The city of Las Vegas' award-winning Rainbow Company Youth Theatre will open its 2009-2010 season with a production of The Witches at Reed Whipple Cultural Center on October 2nd. This staged version of Roald Dahl's modern children's classic, which runs through the 11th, retains all the warmth and sly humor of the book. It's a fun fantasy, just in time for Halloween, wrapped up in a frivolous treat of puppetry, intriguing illusions and surprises. Ages 8 through adult will be riveted by this riotous romp, where the witches of nightmares are reduced to the ridiculous. Performances are scheduled at 7 p.m. October 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th and 10th, with 2 p.m. shows to be held October 4th, 10th and 11th. The Reed Whipple center is located at 821 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Tickets are priced at $3 for children age 12 and under, $5 for teens and seniors, and $7 for adults. Three- and five-show season tickets are available at additional savings and offer special privileges. Tickets are available by mail, telephone or in person. Call Reed Whipple Cultural Center at (702) 229-6211, or Charleston Heights Arts Center at (702) 229-6383 for tickets and more information. For a brochure or more details on the Rainbow Company, go online to, or call (702) 229-6553. The Rainbow Company is part of the City of Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services Arts & Community Events Division.

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American music icons, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, left an indelible mark on American society with their passing. In honor of this legendary duo, Jerry's Nugget Casino is presenting A Tribute to the Life and Legend of Johnny Cash on Sunday, September 27th. The 90-minute show features Jimmie Ray & the Ring of Fire starring Jimmie Ray as Johnny Cash and Cyndi Cantrell as June Carter. Something magical happens when the first notes of "Folsom Prison Blues" are heard and Ray begins singing, "I hear the train a comin'...." The same emotion is felt as Cantrell delivers a heart-rending version of Carter singing, "Help Me Make it Through the Night." Together, they kick into the always crowd pleasing "Jackson." The show is a musical journey from Cash's days in the Arkansas cotton fields, through the very last song he wrote and recorded, "Like the 309." A Tribute to the Life and Legend of Johnny Cash and June Carter will be a special one-night performance, with shows at 5 and 8 p.m. inside the Royal Street Theater. Guests must be at least 21 to attend. Cover is $10 with a two-drink minimum. Entry is first come, first served and based on venue capacity. For information, visit Jerry's Nugget is located at 1821 Las Vegas Blvd. North.

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By next Friday, we hope to have all (or most) of the details regarding the departure of talented Erich Bergen from his role as Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys.

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