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.  
She’s...

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from October 23, 2009
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - October 23, 2009


Sabrina Sloan

Sonny Turner

Clint Holmes by Jerry Metellus

We had a busy week and an especially busy Sunday. At 2 in the afternoon, we attended a benefit concert at the Liberace Museum. The goal was to raise money to assist Lindsay Thomas, a recent member of the Toronto cast of Jersey Boys, who is battling stage 4 lung cancer. All seven of the Jesey Boys casts have done their own fundraisers and, of course, that includes Las Vegas (who did two shows, the first on Thursday and the second on Sunday). Among the local entertainers donating their time and talent - Jersey Boys cast members Leslie Goddard, Kristofer McNeeley, Jonathan Rodriguez, John Ambrosino, Charl Brown, Colin Trahan, David Demato, Andrew Frace, Drew Gehling, Jason Martinez, Travis Cloer, John Salvatore, Carly Thomas, and Sarah Lowe (who is also one of The Apple Sisters); Joan Sobel (Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular), The Apple Sisters (Rebekka Johnson, Kim Gatewood and Sarah Lowe), Robert Jarrett (Mamma Mia!), Alton Fitzgerald White and Matthew Morgan (The Lion King), Darren Voros (Hairspray tour), Sabrina Sloan (Peepshow), who performed only on Sunday; and visitor from New York, Jon Peterson (who performed on Thursday). The band was made up of some of the city's top musicians - Drums: Shawn Elsbernd, Bass: Keith Hubacher, Guitar: Drew Zingg, Tenor Sax: Eric Tewalt, Trumpet: Dan Falcone, Alto Sax: Matt Taylor, Keys: Philip Fortenberry, Tish Diaz, and Keith Thompson.

And speaking of Sabrina Sloan, she was an American Idol competitor on Season Six of the popular TV show and part of the Hairspray touring cast. As for Jon Peterson, look for his upcoming one-man show as part of the Performing Arts Society of Nevada series.

On October 20th, we proudly celebrated our 33rd year as a Las Vegan. This constantly evolving city is the only place where we ever chose to live in. You have no say-so where you start your life...it's wherever your mother happens to be when her water breaks and her labor pains begin. Moves usually occur because of your family's livelihood (or your spouses), or for health reasons. For most of us who live here, we probably made a conscious choice to become Southern Nevadans. After years in the desert, most of us are probably pleased with where we chose to set up housekeeping. Interestingly, Cousin Claire has found that many of the people who complain about living in Las Vegas, never leave...they just continue to live here and complain. On the other hand, a large number who DO make good on their threats to get out of town, wind up moving back. There is something addicting about the city (and the video poker machines, and the buffets, and the 24-hour lifestyle, and the Elvis look-alikes.

On Sunday evening we joined an eclectic group of long time Las Vegans at The Orleans, when we attended, for the first time, the Old Timers Reunion, now in its 14th year. We estimate that the 2009 version attracted approximately 800 people. We spent most of our enjoyable three hours at table No. 1 in the Mardi Gras Ballroom at the property (Cousin Claire has friends in high places) with Lou Toomin; his lovely daughter, Jennifer Sitter; Desert Radiologist's Paul Bandt and his wife, Inora; Piero's Pat Ross; Nelson Sardelli; local real estate developer and humanitarian, Richard (Mac) MacDonald and his wife, Frances; and Brazilian artist, Joyce Markham. Some of the other folks we spotted sitting or milling around, included Maggie Peterson Mancuso, Bill Moore, Jim and Jan Seagrave, Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, Debra Duke, Jim Gibbons, Ed and Carolie Swindle (she in a spectacular original creation that got plenty of attention), Jim Hodge, Jillian (Mrs. Joe) Williams, Jackie Brett and Mel Carter, Tony and Karen Ruivivar, Stan Irwin, Rene DeHaven, Drs. Ted Jacobs and Parvin Modaber Jacobs, Kelly Clinton Holmes, Herb Kaufman, Jim Marsh, Angie Wallin, Adele "ZZ" Zorn, Jim D'Arrigo, Bob Goodman, Frank Leone, and Katrina Sumner. Of course, there were hundreds more, but we don't know and recognize EVERYONE. In addition to a very good dinner, the evening included an interesting entertainment lineup, co-hosted by Dennis Bono and Lorraine Hunt-Bono. The talent, in what was called "The Vintage Vegas Showroom" for the night, included Bono honoring Frank Sinatra, Clint Holmes honoring Sammy Davis Jr., Sonny Turner honoring The Platters, Spectrum (made up of Cushney Roberts, Pierre Jovan, Darryl Grant and David Prescott) honoring The Temptations, Radiance (Wendy Edmead, MarQue Munday, Vivian Scott and Crystal Robinson) honoring Diana Ross and The Supremes, Sharon Owens honoring Barbra Streisand, Louis Prima Jr., the son of the famed Vegas lounge icon, honoring his father; and the fraud, Freddie House/Eckstine, who is no more related to Billy Eckstine than Cousin Claire is. Why in the world this man chose to try and deceive people by claiming to be the "son of..." rather than just use his talent (AND his own name), is a mystery and a big career mistake. And so it goes. There were some side bets going on in the room. Would Mr. and Mrs. Bono sing "Our Love Is Here To Stay"? This was a sucker bet, if ever there was one. Anyone who said "no," obviously had sneaked into this celebration and knew NOTHING about Las Vegas and Las Vegans. Of COURSE they sang it. Weddings. Funerals. Bar Mitzvahs. Ground Hog's Day. If there is an occasion (or not), when these two lovebirds get anywhere near a microphone, the George and Ira Gershwin standard is sure to be heard. In our opinion, Steve and Eydie have nothing to fear. Musicians for the evening included Tommy Deering on the piano during the pre-show/dinner hour), The Bob Rozario Ensemble, with Bob Rozario himself on piano, birthday boy Bob Sachs on bass, Mike Mechem on drums, and Gary Queen on guitar. Tex Richardson, played electric keyboards and served as musical director and conductor for Spectrum's tribute, Radiance's tribute, and both groups honoring The 5th Dimension.

* * * * * * *

It's Clint Holmes' weekend at the Suncoast. With Bill Fayne at the piano, Clint will perform selections from the Modern American Songbook. Holmes hopes to have his new CD, Re-Imagined, available for this engagement. Produced and arranged by Jeff Neiman, the recording will include selections such as Alan and Marilyn Bergman's "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life," Burt Bacharach's "The Look of Love," Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Late In the Evening," Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," "Secret O' Life" and "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor, and "Love Won't Let Me Wait" (written by Bobby Eli and Vinnie Barrett), sung with Mrs. Holmes, Kelly Clinton. There is also a new version of Clint's 1973 hit, "Playground In My Mind (My Name Is Michael)." In this updated rendition, Clint is joined by nine-year-old Cayleigh Capaldi (daughter of show folk Domenick Allen and Leigh Zimmerman), and Clint's six-year-old granddaughter, Asia McCoy. In keeping with this family thing, the jacket for Re-Imagined was designed by Brent Holmes, Clint's son. Show times for Clint Holmes at the Suncoast, are at 7:30 p.m., tonight through Sunday. Tickets start at $29.95 plus tax. For reservations, call (702) 636-7075 or 636-7050.

* * * * * * *


Cobra Starship

Philip Fortenberry & Rebecca Spencer

Cobra Starship will take the stage at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 South Green Valley Parkway, this Sunday, October 25th, during the OP Presents: Boys Like Girls tour. Cobra Starship is making a name for itself in the pop scene with their new album, Hot Mess, which includes their smash single, "Good Girls Go Bad." The collection entered the album chart at No. 4, marking the New York-based band's highest chart ranking to date. Produced by Kevin Rudolf, "Good Girls Go Bad" is proving to be Cobra Starship's biggest hit single thus far, currently ranking among the Top 10 tracks on Billboard's Hot 100. The single, recently certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, with sales in excess of 800,000, is also a favorite at Mainstream Top 40 radio, where it is a bulleted Top 10 blockbuster. The "Good Girls Go Bad" video recently received a pair of prestigious MTV Video Music Awards nominations. The clip, which features a co-starring performance from Meester, known far and wide for her role as "Blair Waldorf" on the CW's blockbuster series, Gossip Girl, has been named in the "Best Pop Video" category alongside such superstars as Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Britney Spears. In addition, "Good Girls Go Bad" remains one of MTV's most popular videos. The show also includes performances by headliner Boys Like Girls and special guests The Maine, A Rocket To The Moon and Versa Emerge. Gates open at 5 p.m. Ticket prices start at $25 and can be purchased at HendersonLive.com, or calling (702) 267-4TIX, or at any UNLV tickets outlet. For additional information, call (702) 267-2171 or visit www.HendersonLive.com. The City of Henderson supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Advanced notice may be necessary to ensure that appropriate accommodations will be provided. For full telephone, use Relay Nevada by dialing 7-1-1.

* * * * * * *

Reminder...
It's God Lives In Glass weekend, on stage in the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre on the Cheyenne Campus (3200 E. Cheyenne Ave. in North Las Vegas) of the College of Southern Nevada. The Saturday and Sunday afternoon benefits feature performers from Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, Menopause the Musical, and Cirque du Soleil's Love. The new musical, composed by Jersey Boys conductor, Keith Thompson, is based on the book by Robert J. Landy, a New York professor who interviewed children worldwide in 2001 about their perceptions of God. The theatrical concert will be performed by 55-60 singers and musicians who work in shows on the Las Vegas Strip. Sixteen songs from pop to gospel to reggae to rap represent diverse faiths from around the world. Pianist Philip Fortenberry, along with a 10-piece band, provides musical accompaniment. The CSN Performing Arts Center and Family Promise of Las Vegas have partnered to present the show, which is a benefit for each organization and includes a silent auction. The show's producer and Family Promise board member, Bruce Ewing notes, "The response we've received from the singers and musicians from the Las Vegas shows has been phenomenal. Because the event benefits such worthwhile causes, everyone has been very generous with their time and talent." Family Promise is a non-profit organization that assists homeless families in the Las Vegas Valley to achieve lasting independence by helping the community mobilize to provide safe shelter, meals, and support services for them. The Performing Arts Center's share of the proceeds will go to its "Friends of the Horn," which is used to enhance productions by bringing in guest artists and more diverse programming for the students and the community. "We appreciate CSN's willingness to host this event," says Ewing. "Both of our organizations share the mission of a desire to build a stronger community and improve the quality of life for residents of Southern Nevada." Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors/students, and include a post-show reception with the performers. Call the CSN Box Office at 651-LIVE (5483) for reservations or visit
www.csn.edu/pac or www.familypromiselv.com

And speaking of Philip Fortenberry, on October 27th and 28th, he will be joined by Rebecca Spencer (former Madame Giry in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular) and cellist Moonlight Tran, for his afternoon shows at the Liberace Museum. Some of the material will be from their CD recording, Fair Warning, which was inspired by ladies of the Red Hat Society. It is hoped that there will be a number of women in red hats in the audience. Get out your fanciest (and reddest) hat, and head to the museum (1775 E. Tropicana at Spencer).

* * * * * * *


Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood

Lance Burton

Direct from the pages of Nevada's Largest Daily Newspaper (last Friday's edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal)...

In a story about Garth Brooks and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, one of the paper's columnists wrote...Yearwood, since marrying Brooks in 2005, has scaled back her career to help Brooks raise his three daughters, 17, 15 and 13. She will join him on stage on occasion before shifting her focus to a Broadway stage. She's seen enough Broadway shows to know which one she one she won't be pursuing. "I saw Reba McIntyre in 'Annie Got Her Gun,' and I won't be doing that because no one could do it any better," Yearwood said. By Saturday morning, one of the three mistakes in two sentences had been fixed...in the online version. The name of the show Ms. Yearwood was talking about was "Annie Get Your Gun," NOT "Annie Got Her Gun." And the actress who Yearwood saw play Annie Oakley, spells her last name, McEntire, NOT McIntyre. We hope that Las Vegas' newest star headliner and his wife don't see this! It makes our big city look so, umm, "amateurish."

* * * * * * *

On Sunday, November 8th at 7 p.m., join host and Hollywood Walk of Fame honoree, Milt Larsen, along with special guests, Lance Burton, Neil Patrick Harris, Romi Dames, David DeLuise, Phill Lewis and Steve Valentine for this year's greatly anticipated annual production of It's Magic! In addition to Burton, the amazing line-up includes masters of illusion such as Jorge Blass, Rudy Coby & Co, Joseph Gabriel, Kevin James, Mac King, and Shimada. It's Magic! will be the highlight of a week-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the structure known today as the Magic Castle. The Magic Castle opened its doors at 5 p.m. on January 2nd, 1963, and is the world's most famous club for magicians and magic enthusiasts, and is home to The Academy of Magical Arts, Inc. The Magic Castle is the showplace for some of the greatest magicians from around the globe and houses one of the largest original collections of Harry Houdini's great tools of the trade including his personal handcuffs, straight jacket, metamorphosis trunk and famous milk can escape. Houdini himself used these props to mystify thousands. Great pride is also taken in showcasing the magnificent building that houses the Magic Castle. Construction was completed in 1909 and this storied mansion has watched Hollywood grow and change for nearly 100 years while never losing its original charm.

Under the direction of Dale Hindman, producers Terry Hill and Magic Castle impresario, Larsen, audiences will witness an impressive array of talents, presenting incredible feats of magic during this one night only extravaganza. The event will take place at the Kodak Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, in Los Angeles. Tickets are $25 to $67.50, and may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (213) 480-3232 or online at ticketmaster.com or kodaktheatre.com. For further information, please visit www.itsmagic.org

And speaking of magic...Young magician, Mark Bennick, recently opened a large scale rehearsal studio called 4440 Club. Suitable for large dance groups, magicians with good-sized illusions, show bands, etc., the space offers and 18'x24' stage and 19'x22' dance floor for rehearsals. The facility is equipped with professional sound and lighting equipment. The ultimate rehearsal and brainstorming studio is located in a secret location in the Nevada desert. Okay, we'll tell you where it is, but don't tell anyone. It's centrally located at 4440 Arville, Suite 28 (that's between Flamingo and Tropicana, not far from The Orleans). Normal hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and evening and weekends by appointment. For additional information, call (702) 384-2760, or toll free at (866) 437-1587. For a limited time, and to introduce the facility to the public, the 4440 Club is offering the first hour of studio time FREE when you book two hours or more.


4440 Club

Frankie Valli & Friends

* * * * * * *

Among those who made the trip to Primm to see Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons last weekend, were Artie Schroeck, Linda November and magician's magician, Johnny Thompson and his bride Pam (of The Great Tomsoni fame). Also seen at the show were the great Johnny Pizza (he was a bodyguard for Frank Sinatra, and for years has been Frank Jr's right hand man) and legendary musician, Sam Melchionne. If you missed the REAL boys from Jersey at the California/Nevada border casino, you can learn their story and hear their music by catching, Jersey Boys, the Tony Award-winning musical, at the Palazzo in Las Vegas.

Shown in accompanying photo (left to right) are: John Thompson, Frankie Valli, Linda November, Artie Schroeck and Pam Thompson, smuggling the infamous Grace, and the newest addition to the Thompson brood, Miss Pearlie Mae. .

It's not polite or nice to mention a lady's age, unless the lady herself is spreading the word. So, with that in mind, we congratulate the above mentioned Linda November (aka "The Empress") who celebrated her 65th on October 16th. Helping the Jingle Lady (she did hundreds of them, including the famous "Meow. Meow. Meow" Meow Mix jingle) over the hump, were the above mentioned John and Pam Thompson and Pam's furry "children." Much like the American Express credit card, Pam never (or rarely ever) leaves home without them.

* * * * * * *

We are always so touched and impressed regarding how those in the local entertainment community are willing to help when the need arises. Whether it's for an ailing performer, improving education, helping the homeless, creating a better theater space...you can pretty much count on the entertainers gather together to help. With that in mind, we acknowledge SPI Entertainment (Adam Steck and Alex Schechter) who represents Louie Anderson, Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas, and Australia's Thunder From Down Under; comic magician, Mac King; The Mentalist, Gerry McCambridge: and Robert Allen, of the Haunted Vegas Tour/Séance and the Mob Tour, for helping raise some funds for one of Clark County's at risk elementary schools.


Louie Anderson

Jeneane Marie

Rhumbar at The Mirage

* * * * * * *

Las Vegas favorite, Jeneane Marie, is in the spotlight at DeStefano's this Friday night, beginning at 7:30. She will be followed at 11 by Kenny Kerr. And on Saturday night, also beginning at 7:30, it's Joni Illi's turn to be fabulous. And, like on Friday night, Kenny Kerr again takes to the stage at 11. There is a $10 cover, plus two drink minimum for Kerr's shows. DeStefano's is located at 3430 E. Tropicana at Pecos. Call (702) 436-3275 for reservations and/or information.

* * * * * * *

Rhumbar, a stylish and romantic new drink spot and outdoor patio at The Mirage, brings the cool mood of the Caribbean to sizzling Sin City. The 3,400 square foot upscale lounge accommodates up to 300 guests and includes a luxurious 2,600 square-foot patio overlooking the Las Vegas Strip, creating a relaxing oasis where guests can sip rum and specialty cocktails. The Rhumbar's hours are Sundays through Wednesdays, from 11 a.m. until midnight, and Thursdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. Rhumbar hosts Pink Sugar Mondays every Monday from 5 to 8 p.m., in which $2 from the sale of each signature Pink Sugar cocktail will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer. In addition, specials include $2 Moet Chandon and Belvedere Vodka cocktails for local ladies with Nevada ID. Call (702) 792-7615.

* * * * * * *

From Spencer Baker, of Naked Boys Singing!, comes this update on the musical comedy that has been entertaining audiences at The Onyx Theater since June. It looks like the show is going to keep going, "at least through November and the Holidays and hopefully right on through until the first of the year or longer," says Spencer. Very impressive, considering that NBS was only scheduled to run for two weeks. Auditions were held about a week ago, and two new boys, Ace (19) and Matthew (Connecticut Opera) are joining the cast. They are in rehearsal to enter the show in November, when Mitch Johnson and Paul Pratt continue on a limited basis, as they are now part of Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas, newly opened at the Imperial Palace. There is still a need for one more cast member, as Ivan Hardin is moving to San Francisco (October 25th was his last day). Nolan Christopher is the new line captain, and Spencer is going from accompanist to Musical Director. Show times for Naked Boys Singing! are every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at 10, and Sunday afternoon at 3. Tickets are $25, with a local residents special discount price of $20 on in store box office sales only. A valid Nevada ID must be presented. The Onyx Theatre is located inside The Rack adult clothing store in the Commercial Center, 953 E. Sahara #16 (in the center's northeast corner). "Our audiences have been wonderful," reports Spencer. For reservations or more info, call (702) 732-7225.


Spencer Baker

Madame & Rick Skye

Society of Seven

* * * * * * *

Stage Door Theatre at Town Square presents a unique performance by the one-and-only Madame (that's with an "E"). At 8 p.m., on Wednesday, October 28th, the outrageous diva is making a triumphant return to Sin City with her incomparably sassy, bawdy and raunchy one-woman show. The evening, which will benefit Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN), also features a musical performance by singer Hillary Boyd. Madame rose to fame in the 1970s and '80s as the puppet creation and alter ego of well-loved ventriloquist, Wayland Flowers. Appearances on shows, including Laugh In, Solid Gold and Hollywood Squares, led Flowers and Madame to headline engagements from Caesars Palace to Radio City Music Hall. Flowers passed away from AIDS in 1988, and Madame has been dormant ever since...until now. Wayland's estate has decided to bring Madame out of retirement for this very special performance benefiting AFAN. The new man behind (or beside) Madame, is Rick Skye. Tickets to Madame are $20 and may be purchased at www.afanlv.org. Brio Tuscan Grille at Town Square will also be donating 20% of proceeds from that evening to AFAN. Town Square is located at 6605 Las Vegas Blvd. So.

* * * * * * *

The Society of Seven has found themselves a new home. Formed in Hawaii and perfected in showrooms throughout the Islands and Las Vegas, SOS brings its lively show to the Gold Coast Showroom for an extended run, beginning November 6. Joined by season three American Idol finalist, Jasmine Trias, Society of Seven is scheduled to appear every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with 3:30 and 7 p.m. shows daily. The famed Hawaiian-bred group, offers an energetic variety show that combines comedy sketches, celebrity impersonations, dance and live music performances, including popular standards, Top 40 and Broadway selections. "We are thrilled to call the Gold Coast home," said SOS's Tony Ruivivar. "This long-term engagement gives loyal fans who have supported us throughout the years, the opportunity to see us on a regular basis. Las Vegas is well-known among Hawaiians as the 'Ninth Island,' and we think our show is a great fit for the community." In what has been called an entertainment experience, Society of Seven has been entertaining fans for more than 40 years. Having performed to more than 10 million fans, these seven elite performers, and one American Idol finalist, make this show a must-see. Tickets, starting from $29.95, plus tax, are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the Gold Coast Box Office at (702) 251-3574 or visiting www.goldcoastcasino.com. Located at 4000 W. Flamingo, the Gold Coast offers a 400-seat showroom, a race and sports book, five restaurants, 70-lane bowling center, a bingo parlor and keno lounge. The property has more than 700 guest rooms and an 87,000-square foot casino with 50 table games including Blackjack-21, Roulette, Baccarat, Craps and Pai Gow, along with more than 2,000 slot and video poker machines.

* * * * * * *

Just in time for Halloween, shock rock icon and innovative showman, Alice Cooper, brings his Theatre of Death Tour to The Orleans' 827-seat showroom for three nights, beginning tonight (Friday, October 23rd) and running through Sunday. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood and boa constrictors, Alice Cooper has drawn inspiration from horror films, vaudeville, heavy metal and garage rock to create a theatrical event that showcases his vast music catalogue. Alice Cooper, real name Vincent Furnier, began his career in 1970 and quickly turned the music world upside down with his blend of outrageous clothing, make-up and performance of loud hard music with sharp-edged lyrics. His recording career has spawned countless gold and platinum albums worldwide, including Love It To Death, Billion Dollar Babies, Welcome To My Nightmare and Trash, featuring popular anthems such as "Eighteen," "Elected," "School's Out" and "No More Mister Nice Guy." His recording career has continued throughout the 2000s, and in 2008 he released Along Came A Spider, reviewed widely as a worthy addition to his musical legacy. In addition to achievements in the record industry, and being well known for elaborate stage spectaculars, Alice Cooper has thrived in other entertainment mediums. He is one of the first rock stars to have his own Marvel comic in the '70s, and his 1994 album, The Last Temptation, was released in conjunction with a trilogy of comics that were based on the concept of the album. He has also appeared in several films, including Wayne's World, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Roadie, John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness, and the TV show, Something Wilder, with Gene Wilder. Cooper has also appeared in several advertisements for companies such as Sony, Staples, Marriott, and Crowne Plaza, among others. He owns Cooperstown, a rock and roll sports bar and restaurant in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, and in 2007 penned an autobiographical book, Golf Monster, that explains how he transferred his alcohol addiction into a golf addiction. Tickets are priced from $79.95, plus tax. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 702.365.7075 or visiting www.orleanscasino.com.


Alice Cooper

Gordon Lightfoot

Soupy Sales

* * * * * * *

Tonight, Aliante Station in North Las Vegas will host a performance with legendary singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. Lightfoot was born on November 17, 1938, in Orillia, Ontario, Canada. His parents recognized his talent at an early age and encouraged his interest in music - his first major appearance coming just before he turned 13. After a background in barbershop quartets, Lightfoot struck out on his own in the early 60s. He had written perhaps 75 songs when he was caught up in the country music scene and folk revival of the time. Inspired by Bob Dylan's music and combined with Lightfoot's sensitivity, inventiveness and beautiful voice, resulted in a unique songwriting and singing style. Lightfoot's music was discovered in 1964 when he was performing on the Toronto folk scene. Fellow Canadians Ian and Sylvia Tyson chose two of his songs, "Early Mornin' Rain" and "For Lovin' Me, for their next record, aptly named for the first song. Ian Tyson introduced Lightfoot to Albert Grossman, their manager and also the manager of Peter, Paul and Mary, Gibson & Camp (Bob Gibson and Hamilton Camp), and Bob Dylan. Peter, Paul and Mary recorded the same two Lightfoot songs as Ian and Sylvia and enjoyed considerable success with them, including a Billboard top 100 hit. Marty Robbins also recorded Lightfoot's "Ribbon Of Darkness," as he says "in Gordon Lightfoot's style," and took it to the top of the Billboard Country charts. Albert Grossman signed Lightfoot and, under that arrangement, he recorded five albums, including four studio albums and one live album, which remains to this day, the only live album he has ever released. Lightfoot later split with Grossman and formed his own company, an arrangement that continues to this day. From 1970 through 1998, he released 14 more original albums and two greatest hits compilations. "If You Could Read My Mind" was Lightfoot's breakthrough on the US charts, reaching No. 5, and was to become one of the most covered songs in popular music history. It has been recorded by artists in genres across the musical spectrum - country, folk, bluegrass, pop, and even disco. But the adaptability of his songs, and his own style, is not limited to this one song. Lightfoot himself evolved from a country/folk sound, to folk/rock, pop, and adult contemporary style. He has always been able however, to move back and forth among the styles, performing his classics from the 60s ("Early Mornin' Rain," "Song For A Winter's Night" and "Canadian Railroad Trilogy"), his hits from the '70s ("Sundown," "Carefree Highway," "Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" as well as "If You Could Read My Mind"), and material from the '80s, '90s and 2000s, with equal ease and credibility. Lightfoot's most recent album, Gordon Lightfoot: Harmony, was released in 2004. It has two live recordings from his 2001 Massey concert series, and nine new studio recordings which he laid down in early 2002. Showtime for Gordon Lightfoot in the Access Showroom is at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $33 to $55. For further information, call (702) 547-5300.

* * * * * * *

At the Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, you can get a glimpse into your future this Halloween at the Psychic Fair 2009. The fair will be held on Saturday, October 31st, from noon until 9 p.m., in the Aquarius Pavilion (2nd Floor of the Arizona Tower). Admission is free and private readings are just $20. Readings may be purchased at the door of the Pavilion. The Psychic Fair is the perfect way to find that lucky slot machine or the perfect set of keno numbers. Love and happiness may await you! "The Psychic Fair is a great way to celebrate Halloween and is an opportunity to see a wide variety of different psychics, palm readers, channelers, tarot card readers and clairvoyants. (Did they say Claire Voyants? We thought there was only ONE!) This year's Psychic Fair shouldn't be missed," said Paul Hobson, Aquarius Casino Resort General Manager. "We even have a toe reader, a tea leaf reader and a shaman this year," he added. "This fair is a lot of fun for everyone. I personally do aura photography and last year I had a line out the door. There are so many interesting things gathered in one place for the Psychic Fair - there's really something for everyone," said Nancy Miller, an aura photographer who will have a booth at the Psychic Fair again this year. "This Psychic Fair is a really great event. I personally do psychic readings and intuitive nutritional readings and last year I was busy throughout the event," said Sunny Dawn Johnston, international psychic medium, spiritual teacher and author. "There is such a diverse group of psychics and healers to work with, that you will find exactly what your spirit needs at this event! The Aquarius Casino Resort is the largest 24-hour gaming resort in Laughlin, providing 1,907 rooms in two 18-story towers and a 57,000-square-foot casino offering nearly 1,300 state-of-the-art slot machines, the market's widest variety of table games and highest posted limits, with a modern race and sports book, keno and live poker. The Aquarius Casino Resort offers multiple amenities including restaurants to serve every taste from fine dining to casual dining. For more information, please call (800) 662-5825 or (702) 298-5111. For further information visit www.theaquarius.com.

* * * * * * *

Our friend, Margaret Kurtz, Publicity Specialist for the City of Las Vegas, reports that the city's Cultural Arts & Community Events is sponsoring a number of fun Halloween-themed activities, from October 26th through November 1st. The Monster Mash At Halloween Dance takes place at the Charleston Heights Arts Center next Thursday, October 29th, beginning at 7 p.m. Adults will enjoy the annual Halloween dance as Boyd Coulter and the Good Times Band take the stage to play big band music from the 1940s to the '60s, including swing, ballads, waltzes, Latin rhythms and more. Tickets are priced at $10 in advance and $12 on event day. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. The center is located at 800 S. Brush St. (near Charleston and Decatur), and has one of the city's finest dance floors. Call (702) 229-6383 for tickets and information. Other upcoming events include the Kooky Pumpkin Creations Workshop (ages 50+) at the Doolittle Senior Center, 1930 N. J St., on Tuesday, October 27th at 10 a.m. The fee is $3, and advance registration required. Call (702) 229-6125. Take your creativity and be ready to have some fun. On Wednesday, October 28th, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., it's the Monster Bash (ages 50+) at the East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave. Dress in costume to enjoy food, games and lots of fun at this spooktacular Halloween party. Fee is $4, and advance registration is required. Call (702) 229-1515. And, on Wednesday, October 28th, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., the Doolittle Community Center, at 1950 N. J St., will host Monstrous Munchies & Movie for children ages 6 to 12. Make a Halloween treat and then watch "Monsters vs. Aliens" family movie. The fee is $3. Call (702) 229-6374.

* * * * * * *

Soupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian whose career was built on pies in the face and 5,000 live TV appearances across a half-century of laughs, died Thursday night at a hospice in New York. Sales, born Milton Supman in North Carolina in 1926, grew up in Huntington, W.Va. Sales began his TV career in Detroit, where he drew a large audience on WXYZ-TV. He moved to Los Angeles in 1961. After moving to Los Angeles, he eventually became a fill-in host on "The Tonight Show." He moved to New York in 1964 and debuted "The Soupy Sales Show," with co-star puppets White Fang (the meanest dog in the United States) and Black Tooth (the nicest dog in the United States). By the time his Big Apple run ended two years later, Sales had appeared on 5,370 live television programs -- the most in the medium's history, he boasted. He had a pair of albums that hit the Billboard Top 10 in 1965; "Do the Mouse" sold 250,000 copies in New York alone. The comic's pie-throwing schtick became his trademark, and celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Shirley MacLaine were willing victims of his aim. Sales remained a familiar television face, first as a regular from 1968-75 on the game show "What's My Line?" and later appearing on everything from "The Mike Douglas Show" to "The Love Boat." He played himself in the 1998 movie "Holy Man," which starred Eddie Murphy. He joined WNBC-AM as a disc jockey in 1985, a stint best remembered because Sales filled the hours between shock jocks Don Imus and Howard Stern. In recent years, Sales had many health problems. He entered the hospice last week. Sales is survived by his wife, Trudy, and two sons, Hunt and Tony, a pair of musicians who backed David Bowie in the band Tin Machine. Soupy Sales was 83.



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


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

Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye