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.
Note: This is a past column from November 06, 2009
You can find the current column HERE
Las Vegas - November 6, 2009
Kevin James with the Obamas
On Halloween, magician Kevin James spent his night, not trick or treating or handing out candy form his Las Vegas home. No, instead he was hanging out at the White House (yes, THAT white House), doing a command performance for the Obamas and several hundred family members and friends at their Halloween Party. Highlights of the evening for Kevin was meeting the First Family and White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel and his family. Kevin describes it as a very magical evening. During Kevin's performance, President Barack Obama turned around to the people behind him and said, "Are you guys believing what I am seeing? This is some serious magic!!!" James did a 20-minute show for the 300+ crowd in the East Room of the White House. Before the show, the President and First Lady met with Kevin and his crew, shaking their hands, thanking them for bringing their show to the nationâ€˜s capitol, and taking some photos with us. Kevin commented that both the president and Michelle Obama were very sweet, and that Barack has a very good hand shake. He also noted that they were both taller than he expected. Being that it was a Halloween show, James and company included The Amputated Arm illusion, Charlie Chaplin Doll Production, The Floating Rose routine, The Egg and Chicken, and closed with the Operation. The East Room was full of electricity and the audience reaction was very strong. Everyone seemed to have a good time and were very complimentary to the performers. "All in all," says Kevin James, "it was a great day."
And, while still under a magic spell, we remind you that Master Magician Lance Burton is in the lineup of performers in It's Magic, taking place at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday (November 8th). The event highlights performances from the best illusionists in the world of magic and will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the legendary Magic Castle. In addition to Burton, other magicians scheduled to perform during the 53rd anniversary of Phil Larsen and Terry Hill's It's Magic, are Mac King, Rudy Coby, Joseph Gabriel & Katalin, the above mentioned Kevin James & Company, Jorge Blass of Spain, and Shimada of Japan. The special guest host is Neil Patrick Harris. Show time is 7 p.m. Tickets, available at www.ticketmaster.com and the Kodak Theater Box Office, are $95, $67.50, $52.50 and $25. Burton performs at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino at 7 p.m. Tuesdays thru Saturdays. Mac King is at Harrah's, Tuesdays through Saturdays, at 1 and 3 p.m.
Bee Gees - Barry & Robin Gibb
And still speaking of magic AND Mac King...
We love CBS' Sunday Morning. We would love it even more if it were called Late Sunday Morning or Sunday Afternoon and aired a little later on Sunday. We would watch it more often if it were a better fit for our crazy schedule. Nonetheless, last Sunday, after turning our bedside clock back an hour, we set the alarm for the ungodly time of 6:30 a.m. Why? Because Las Vegas was being well represented and/or there were stories that connected to our city. The first segment, It's Magic, featured Mac King and Penn and Teller (with Louie Prima and Keely Smith singing "That Old Black Magic" in the background) in a segment about neuroscientists and magicians studying how sleight of hand affects the brain, and Its potential to diagnose Autism. A piece on the Sistine Chapel followed. Then, to maintain the Halloween spirit for an extra day, there was a story on Jack O' Lanterns (also called "Funkins" in the report), their history, and a "funkin patch" that attracts about 4,000 people each night. A touching segment on the friendship between basketball greats, Magic Johnson and Larry Byrd; a beautiful story on an American family who adopted a blind child from India; a piece on the new movie, Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire, with newcomer 26-year-old Gabby Sidibe in the title role, Mo'Nique, an almost unrecognizable Mariah Carey, and Lenny Kravitz, all doing dramatic turns; and something on Zombies. Viewers learned that the two surviving Bee Gees, Barry and Robin Gibb, are going back to work after a seven-year absence. When Robin's twin brother, Maurice, died suddenly in 2003, Barry and Robin decided, after 50 years of recording, that the Bee Gees sound should come to an end. Good news for Bee Gees fans everywhere...they have changed their minds. We remember seeing the threesome - Barry, Robin and Maurice - in concert at the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts, and baby brother, Andy (who died in 1988, two days after his 30th birthday), appeared in both Solid Gold at the Riviera, and in his own show at the Hacienda...all sometime in the 1980s. The last portion featured Sunday Morning regular, Bill Geist, reporting on the American Moustache Institute's handing out the 2009 Robert Goulet Mustached American of the Year award. Like the late mustachioed entertainer for whom the award is named, all entrants (and their facial hair) must contribute to the "mustached way of life" to be a contender, according to the organization's Web site. Last Friday (October 30th), at the organization's 'Stache Bash party in St. Louis, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher, Clay Zavada (and his handlebar), won the competition by a hair. More than 100,000 online votes were cast. "I am humbled that so many people in America care about mustaches," Zavada said, who added his grandmother was "really fired up about me winning." The event was a benefit for Challenger Baseball, a St. Louis baseball league for kids and adults with developmental disabilities. Coincidentally, or not, October 30th marked two years since the passing of Las Vegan Robert Goulet.
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Joe Locatelli & Kenny Kerr
Songstress Diane Ellis is back at DeStefano's tomorrow night (Saturday, the 7th). Diane will be backed by the "awesome" Joe Darro Trio. Performance times run from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Expect Diana and Joe to sing some tasty duets. And speaking of "tasty," Ms. Ellis shares that her favorite DeStefano's dish is the yummy Eggplant Rollatini, made with Ricotta cheese. She also recommends the Fried Calamari and a shrimp and pasta dish (there are at least three of those to choose from) that's wonderful. Diane and Joe will be on from 7:30 to 10:30 and will be followed at 11 by the one and only Kenny Kerr.
And speaking of DeStefano's, on Wednesday night, the restaurant/lounge hosted an open house to introduce members of the media and travel professionals to their menu (prepared by Chef Tommy Allegretti), and seven-nights-a-week entertainment lineup. Among the singers who performed for the invited guests were Nina Bjornstad, Joyce Carole, Robyn Coco, Rene Davis, Ronnie Fabre, Amanda Flahive, Ilyana G (no relation to Kenny G), Joni Illi, Victor Moea, Mary Oliver, Yolanda Quant, and Christine Wiltshire. The vocalists were backed by Joe Darro on keys, Dick Straub on bass and Jimmy Racey on drums. Also sitting in was Gary Anderson on saxophone, and Joe Locatelli on vibes. Special guest was comic/female impressionist/singer, Kenny Kerr, who performs Friday and Staurday nights at DeStefano's, beginning at 11 p.m. And speaking of the southeast Vegas restaurant and Locatelli, Tuesday, the vibraphonist will present world class guitarist and renowned recording artist, Doug MacDonald, at the Italian eatery, beginning at 7:30 p.m. DeStefanoâ€™s is located at 3430 E. Tropicana at Pecos. Phone (702) 436-3275.
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Bette Midler will perform her final show at the Caesars Palace Colosseum on January 31st.
Midler's The Showgirl Must Go On, has been at Caesars since February 20th, 2008. The remaining 7:30 p.m. show times are from tomorrow (November 7th) through the 15th, and December 30th through January 31st. There are no performances on Mondays, Thursdays and some Fridays. Call (877) 235-4634 for tickets.
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Treniers - Cousin Harry Walker, Don Hill & Skip Trenier
Sometimes, things that appear to be done out of kindness, really cover (or try to cover) ulterior motives. Such is the case, we think, with Don Hill's last few birthday parties. Oh sure, we believe the hostess of these November gatherings really does care about Don and his bride of 16 years (they have been together for 34), Gloria. Anyone who knows the Hills would have to like them, as they are terrific people. But, and this is a very big but, Don Hill is the bait to get people together to watch the hostess perform. If the real motive behind this was to provide the guest of honor with a good time, we think the birthday boy should have had more input and say-so about WHO was invited and what their part in the evening would be. For example, why wasn't Skip Trenier, a member of the famous Treniers show band where Don spent more than 50 years of his career, invited to the stage to do a number? This is only a rhetorical question as most people know the answer. Skip was one of a number of friends who came out to the Rhythm Kitchen on Tuesday night to toast Don on his 88th birthday. Some of the other partiers (many who are musicians and entertainers) included, from A to Z, Robert Allen, Gary Anthony, Sonny Charles (of the Checkmates fame), Joni Illi, Teddy Kaye, Ollie LeMay, Carmine Mandia, David Poe, Cork Proctor, Jim Racey, Cecilia Richardson, Robbie Robinson, Ronnie Rose, Bob Sachs, Bob Scann, Charlie Shaffer, Paul Stubblefield, Allan Tramont, Michael Ray Tyler, Cousin Harry Walker and Adele "ZZ" Zorn. A number of Don's close friends - including Artie Schroeck and his Mrs., Linda November, Nelson Sardelli (who, although he stayed home, did his best to get the word about the function out to his mammoth mailing list), and Cousin Claire (who plugged the party in last Fridayâ€˜s column) - chose to skip the gathering rather than be subjected to The High Kicker. A "guest book," that should have been presented to Mr. Hill as a memento of the occasion, was instead a way of gathering more names and e-mail addresses for the overly self-promoting, spotlight-hogging hostess. Someone (no name is necessary) needs to learn that too much of a good thing is NOT a good thing, and too much of a mediocre thing can be worse than long fingernails scratching on a blackboard or burning in hell. And to add insult to injury, during the festivities, the hostess suggested that the party guests donate money to cover the cost of the birthday celebration. Happy birthday, Don Hill.
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FINALLY...after an almost three month drought, the usually once a month Composers Showcase returns, Thursday (November 12th) at its current home, the Cabaret in the Liberace Museum, and at its normal/abnormal time of 10:30 p.m. (after theater). Why the break in the schedule? We would have to blame Keith Thompsonâ€˜s busy itinerary for that. Not only is Keith (along with Michael Brennan, musical director for Le Reve), responsible for putting the almost four-year-old showcase together (which includes, among other things, rounding up the songwriters and performers, managing the Web site, acting as MC/host and accompanying others and/or doing one or two of his own songs), Thompson is musical director for Jersey Boys and very involved with many charitable events including recent productions of God Lives In Glass (for which he wrote the music), raising funds for Family Promise, and the Seasons of Love concert, held to assist Lindsay Thomas, cast member of the Toronto production of Jersey Boys, who is battling cancer. He is also working on and promoting his clever musical, Idaho, and even took a few days off to produce and perform at his Alma Mater, William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in a concert to honor his former voice professor, Josephine D'Arpa, who is retiring after 45 years. The November edition of the Composers Showcase will include (among others) the songs of local composers and songwriters: Michael Brennan, Vita Corimbi, Wayne Green, Rylan Leo Helmuth, Christopher Lash, Sarah Lowe, Jason Martinez, Richard Oberacker, Niles Rivers, Thompson himself, and others, and the delightful song stylings and vocal powers of John Ambrosino, Drew Gehling, Leslie Goddard, Kristofer McNeeley, Nicole Pryor, Lauren Tartaglia, Alton Fitzgerald White and other special guests. Among the talented instrumentalists accompanying the singers are Jim Campbell, Shawn Elsbernd, Philip Fortenberry, James Harvey, Ryan Jacobs, Alan Larson, Ray Pancarowicz, Naldo Posello, Melanie Schiemer and Eric Tewalt. Sound is handled by Richard Camuso and Mary McFadden. The cover charge for all of this amazing talent is a measly $5 at the door (free with student ID). There is a cash (no credit cards, please) bar right outside the performance space. They will be testing a couple of new ideas on Thursday. Instead of the $5 all you can scarf down buffet (where there was a lot of food waste at the end of the night), there will be a $5 Liberace CafÃ© Special that includes a cold sandwich, chips and dessert. Soup, salad and some hot sandwiches will also be available. This works better for the museum, because if the food does not sell that night, it can be sold the next day instead of being disposed of. Also, Carluccio's piano bar, right next door to the museum, will stay open past their usual closing time, for after the showcase socializing. The primary mission of the Liberace Foundation is to help talented students pursue careers in the performing and creative arts through scholarship assistance. The Liberace Cabaret Showroom is located at 1775 East Tropicana (at Spencer) next-door to Carluccio's Tivoli Gardens Restaurant.
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76 Trombones + 4
Tim Olsen by Martin Kreloff
They're back! The Society of Seven, with American Idol finalist, Jasmine Trias, has found a new home for their high-energy variety show. Beginning today, the versatile group, who combines comedy sketches, celebrity impersonations, dance and live music performances, will be performing, indefinitely, in the Gold Coast Showroom on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30 and 7 p.m. SOS does great interpretations of popular standards, Top 40, classical and Broadway, with some mischief and plenty of laughs thrown in. Tickets start at $29.95, plus tax, and may be purchased by calling the Gold Coast box office at (702) 251-3574. The Gold Coast is located off-Strip at 4000 W. Flamingo.
Note: Due to previous commitments, SOS will not perform on November 27th, 28th and 29th, or on December 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th and 13th. Plan accordingly.
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Harry Basil, who is literally a human movie trailer, will return to Bob Kephart's Comedy Stop, inside the Congo Room at the Sahara Hotel, the week of Nov. 9-15. Basil, who takes his audience on a trip through Hollywood with his crazy impressions (often in costume) of such movies as Superman and Star Wars, will share the stage with Tim Harmston and Tom Clark. Basil recreates and spoofs memorable moments from classic hit movies, by physically and vocally taking on a wide variety of unforgettable actors and movie characters, and even pulling unsuspecting audience members up on stage to act as costars. Harry was discovered by Rodney Dangerfield, who picked him for the "9th Annual HBO Young Comedian's Special." Basil became Dangerfield's exclusive opening act, and also opened for such superstars as, Liza Minnelli, Gloria Estefan, Chuck Berry and Julio Iglesias. Harry is not only a stand up comedian, but a producer, director and writer for some of the funniest movies generated out of Hollywood, including three of Dangerfield's classics: "Ladybugs," "Meet Wally Sparks" and "My Five Wives." He directed, "The 4th Tenor" and the prison comedy, "Back by Midnight." Basil is in demand as an actor, having appeared in classics such as: "Peggy Sue Got Married" and "The Seventh Sign." Tim Harmston won the Acme Comedy Company's Funniest Person in the Twin Cities 2003 contest, after only a year as a stand up comedian. Since then, Clark has won a Rusty Nail award at the 2008 Rooftop Comedy Festival in Aspen, Co. Tim has appeared in some of the finest clubs in the country, including an appearance this year at the Great American Comedy Festival at the Johnny Carson Theater. His wry sense of humor - which turns whimsical, satirical and abstract - combined with his amiable stage persona, has established Tim as a winner on the comedy circuit. Tom Clark has lived in total disillusion since he was a young child attending school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His first real clue, according to his bio, was when he was living in Mexico City and dating a beautiful young Mexican lady. Within six months, he found out that she only spoke Spanish. Tom sadly recalled, "I thought she was just talking really fast, but then I got the â€˜Dear Juan' letter and that's when I knew it was over." Over the years Clark has performed with a variety of talented people including, Jake Johannsen, Nipsy Russell, Brian Regan and Lewis Black. Show time for the Comedy Stop in the Congo Room 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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It's 76 Trombones + 4, on Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall at UNLV. With about 100 trombone players, the all-age musical extravaganza features soloists Bill Booth, Elliot Mason and Irv Wagner and special guest conductor and arranger, Harry Betts. The very funny Nelson Sardelli serves as master of ceremonies. Tickets are on sale at the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office. Tickets purchased in advance are $10 general admission, and $5 for students, seniors and military; day-of-concert tickets are $12 general admission and $7 for students, seniors and military. Proceeds from 76 Trombones + 4, now in its 25th year, benefit the Abe Nole Scholarship Fund to assist trombone music majors. The concert is presented by the UNLV College of Fine Arts and Department of Music and the Abe Nole Scholarship Committee. For more information, call the UNLV Box Office at (702) 895-2787.
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D'Arte Designs POP-UP Gallery, at the Holsum Design Center, 241 W. Charleston, presents artist Marty Kreloff, whose hard edge style paintings are internationally known. His brightly colored, witty canvases are in museums and public collections, including New York's Museum of Modern Art. Martin is nationally known with more than 30 years as a professional artist and more than 20 solo exhibitions to his credit. Martin Kreloff, a New York native, has created commissioned works for such corporate clients as Circus Circus, Las Vegas; Warner Bros; Universal Pictures, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Burger King, Esther Williams Swimwear, Harley-Davidson, Bloomingdale's, Intercontinental Banks and the Miami Design Preservation League. Most recently, he was commissioned to create the poster for The Las Vegas Festival of Jewish Film, and the logo and poster for the CASA Foundation. The exhibit begins at 5 p.m.
For a taste...visit his website: http://martinkreloff.com
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Wayne Newton by Justin M. Bowen
In a very rare Las Vegas appearance, Canadian-born singer/songwriter/musician/poet and novelist, Leonard Cohen, performs at the Caesars Palace Colosseum on Thursday, November 12th. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956, and his first novel in 1963. His work often deals with the exploration of religion, isolation, sexuality and complex interpersonal relationships. Famously reclusive, Leonard spent years in a Zen Buddhist monastery. He is extremely well-regarded by critics for his literary accomplishments and for producing an output of work of high artistic quality over a five-decade career. Musically, Cohen's earliest songs (many of which appeared on the 1967 album, Songs of Leonard Cohen), were rooted in European folk music. In the 1970s, his material encompassed pop, cabaret and world music. Since the 1980s, his high baritone voice has evolved into lower registers, with accompaniment from a wide variety of instruments and female backing singers. More than 2,000 renditions of Cohen's songs have been recorded. He has been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Leonard is also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honor. While giving the speech at Cohen's induction into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10th of last year, Lou Reed described Cohen as belonging to the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters" Show time is at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $29.50 to $275. Call (702) 731-7333 for reservations.
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If we had known that singing impressionist Bob Anderson was performing at The Rampart last weekend, we certainly would have shared the information with our readers. The bad news is that we, along with a number of other media-types, never received announcements regarding the booking. The good news is that Mr. Anderson, one of the best in the business at what he does, didn't need our help in promoting his shows - all three were completely sold out. More good news. If you wanted to see him at the Rampart in Summerlin, and missed the opportunity, you will get another chance when he comes back here, to the North Las Vegas Cannery (the Rampart and Cannery are both under the same ownership), February 19th and 20th, which will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until February, and don't plan to be in Charleston, South Carolina (where Anderson currently makes his home) anytime soon, you can catch Bob as part of the Andy Williams Christmas Show, playing at Andyâ€˜s theater in Branson, Missouri, through December 7th (Pearl Harbor Day). Then the Williams show, with Bob, is off to California, and Palm Springs and Newport Beach, before landing here at the Hilton where they will perform on December 23rd and close out this year's tour on Christmas Eve. Since Bob does Andy as well as Andy does Andy, it will be like stereo. About working in Las Vegas, Bob says, "I guess if you live there, as I did for 28 years, they just see you as a local but, when you're gone, they miss you." Yes, we do miss you, Bob, but us loyal locals wouldnâ€˜t dream of living anywhere else. We will keep readers posted on other Las Vegas dates for Bob Anderson.
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We have to give a hand to the Las Vegas Sun's Joe Brown, who didn't sugarcoat his review of Wayne Newton's Once Before I Go show at the Tropicana. The entertainment critic told it like it is (and it ainâ€˜t pretty). On the other hand, the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Mike Weatherford, who we like, was too kind in his take on the show. Maybe if Mike had spent between $91.99 and $168.99, like the unsuspecting public will (or won't) do, to sit through the remnants of Wayne Newton, he might have looked at (and listened to) things differently. And on the subject of Newton reviews, we sure hope that the Los Angeles Times' Richard Abowitz, didn't lose his job due to his honest assessment of the current Tropicana hotel's headliner. Abowitz told it like it is and hit the nail on the head in describing the onetime Midnight Idol, who can no longer speak, let alone sing.
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Shecky Greene by Chris Morris
That's Italian! - LaRosa, Martin & Randall
After many years out of the Vegas spotlight, last May, Shecky Greene came back to work in the city that made him an entertainment icon. His engagement at the Suncoast was so successful, the comic has decided to make a return appearance in Las Vegas...only this time at the South Point. Shecky will perform January 8th through 10th in 7:30 p.m. shows. Ticket prices are $45, $50 and $55, and may be purchased by calling the South Point at (702) 797-8055 or Toll Free at (866) 796-7111.
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OOOPS! Last Friday, we mixed up the ticket prices for Lynn Ross's gig at the Captain's Cove on Thursday, November 12th. The correct amount should have read, $6 per person and $10 for couples. Accompanying Ms. Ross in this Las Vegas Jazz Society evening on Thursday, November 12th, are Frank Leone on keys, Jeff Davis on bass and Jim Belk on drums. We had the prices (actually called a Live Music Contribution) mixed in last Friday's blurb. The correct figures are $6 per person and $10 a couple. Show time is from 7 to 9 p.m. The Captain's Cove Bistro is located at 2902 Lake East Drive.
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On Wednesday, November 11th, in honor of Veterans Day, the Galaxy Theatres at the Cannery Casino & Hotel will host a free public viewing of the award-winning documentary film, Who Will Stand. There are many films about the war in Iraq, but this small team of Las Vegas filmmakers decided that soldiers would be better served by addressing the issues they deal with after they return home. The movie focuses on more than a dozen soldiers who are either physically or psychologically wounded and the several charities - some of them local to Las Vegas - who assist them. Director Phil Valentine and Director of Photography Michael Bedik traveled across the United States to find soldiers who were willing to talk candidly about their issues. Who Will Stand is a call to action and inspires the community to help those brave men and women of our military. Startling statistics show there are many real consequences of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) going undiagnosed and untreated. More American soldiers are killing themselves after they return home than ever; the divorce rate has tripled since the beginning of the war and substance abuse among veterans has grown to four times the national average. Executive Producer Gerald Gillock, a Las Vegas Attorney, originally set out to make a film to highlight amputees and their physical struggles. But as Valentine explains, "We found that veterans deal with a wider scope of issues that went beyond the physical. The psychological scars are not as apparent but a lot harder to heal. When approached by Valentine to change the point of view of the film, Gillock was flexible and told the crew to follow their instincts. "They definitely made the right decision and created a film that is eye opening, heart wrenching and inspirational," added Gillock. A portion of the DVD sales will go to support organizations that help veterans anonymously, immediately and without cost. This includes the Wounded Warrior Project, Canines for Combat Wounded, The Soldiers Project and Help USA. The local affiliate of the national not-for-profit organization, HELP USA, was created to oversee the housing development and property management activities in Southern Nevada. In the late 1990's, HELP was invited by the Mayor of Las Vegas to address the City's rapidly growing need for temporary housing for the homeless. Since that time, HELP has developed 4 residential properties with a total of 320 units, with 75 additional units currently in pre-development. Committed to the Las Vegas community, HELP USA LAS VEGAS has been building better lives for more than 10 years by providing affordable housing and assistance programs for individuals in need. Las Vegas-based entertainer, Clint Holmes, sings the poignant title song. The free screenings will take place at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Attendees are invited to provide a donation as the price of admission with proceeds going to HELP USA LAS VEGAS, a Las Vegas-based organization that finds housing for homeless veterans.
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On Sunday (November 8th), at 3 p.m., Frankie Randall will present That's Italian! at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center, 21700 Center Court Drive in Cerritos, California. What is That's Italian!? Take fun, comedy, and music. Mix them all up and you have...That's Italian! The Big Band musical extravaganza whips up a winning recipe of humor and camaraderie, served by Sinatra-era entertainers, including vocalist/pianist Randall, singer Julius LaRosa, Dean Martin's singer-actress daughter Deana Martin, and accordionist Dick Contino. Vincent Falcone will conduct Jack Poster's Harry James Tribute Band. For tickets, from $46 to $70, call (562) 916-8500 or (800) 300-4345. As Randall says, "We are the FBI, Full Blooded Italians. Don't make us come and get you." So, if you're in the neighborhood...
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Leigh Zimmerman & Domenick Allen
Billy Elmer headlines the Riviera Comedy Club, November 9th through 15th. Elmer's comedic style can be seen in roles in The Wedding Singer, Rock n' Roll Mom, Inspector Gadget and Day Of the Dead. Billy was awarded an exclusive spot on The Tonight Show during the final weeks of Johnny Carson's reign. A regular headliner in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, Billy also performs before sell-out crowds at clubs and colleges across the nation. Russ Rivas has played the Stanford Comedy House and Laffs Club circuits, as well as Froggy Bottoms (Lubbock, Texas), Pepperoni's (Sioux City, Iowa) and Wise Crackers (Kankakee, Illinois). His television credits include KTLA's Comedy Compadres, PBS' Miss Fiesta Pageant and Colorado's Hispanic Education Telethon. Joining the line-up is comedienne Wendy Hammers. Wendy has extensive television and movie credits including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Bernie Mac Show and All My Children. She also co-hosts the New Jewish Cuisine show for the Jewish Television Network. Show times for the Riviera Comedy Club are 8:30 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $24.99 plus tax and fee. Dinner and show combinations are available. For more information, call the Riviera Box Office at (702) 794-9433. All guests must be at least 18 years of age.
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Birthday greetings to Scorpios (October 23rd through November 22nd) Eileen Zillman, Chris Hudson, Greg Smith, John Wertz, Gerry McCambridge, Don Hill, Roseanne Barr, Elliot Ames, Charlette Krane, Dolly Coulter, Kid Carey, Frank Marino and Byron Wolfe.
Happy anniversary wishes to Ron and Nancy Lee Andrews, Dan and Liz Pero, Domenick Allen and Leigh Zimmerman and Clint and Kelly Clinton Holmes.
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On Sunday, at 2 p.m., the Garold Gardner Scholarship Foundation presents An Afternoon of Disney at the New Song Lutheran Evangelical Church, 1291 Cornet Avenue in the Sun City Anthem section of Henderson. The program will feature the artistry of Spencer Baker (Naked Boys Singing!), Allen Merritt (Naked Boys Singing!), Cindy Stock, Kelly Lacoff, Sherry Burnett, Rossana Cota, Enoch Augustus Scott (Shear Madness), Stormi Caprice and Daniel Frank, who will perform music from Walt Disneyâ€˜s Cinderella, 101 Dalmatians, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan and The Lion King, among others. Musical director Baker will be featured in a special Disney-inspired piano piece, "Reminisces of Aurora," by Earl Wilde. The non-profit Scholarship Foundation, founded by dancer/choreographer Garold Gardner in 1992, helps young performers with tuition, supplies, and living expenses as they reach toward their goals. Tickets for this all-age program are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. For additional information, please call (702) 492-1771.
Kelly Clinton & Clint Holmes
Ice Capades Reunion
Roseanne Barr & John Argent
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Okay all you Ice Capades alumni...Get ready to unpack your memories. On June 21st and 22nd, the Ice Capades 2010 Reunion will take place in Las Vegas. Mark the dates on your calendars. We will have more about this in upcoming weeks.
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According to one reviewer, John Argent's version of "Lady Madonna," from the charity CD Yellow Submarine, is a big hit in the UK. Yellow Submarine, produced by Marino De Silva, contains tracks by some of the greatest names in rock, including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Bill Champlin, Keith Richards, Roger Daltry, Bill Wyman, Duncan Faure, Jethro Tull, Ronnie Wood, Steven Swinford, Mick Fleetwood, Fools for April, Argent and De Silva. The CD, benefiting children with autism, was played on BBC Radio Liverpool a couple of weeks ago and Argents version of "Lady Madonna" was called "a fabulous and unique version of the popular Beatles song," and was hugely popular with the Liverpool listeners. In the 1980s, John Argent was the keyboard player for the musical group, My Generation, who played a number of lounges in Vegas. Since then, John has written the music for a children's album called Peanut Butter and Jellyfish, along with other special musical material and comedy bits, mostly for Roseanne Barr, his lady for the past half-dozen or so years. He serves as Roseanne's musical director and accompanist, wrote a number of things on her children's DVD, Rockin' With Roseanne: Calling All Kids. John describes Marino De Silva as "a musician's musician who knows and is known to all the giants of R&R." The Yellow Submarine CD is available exclusively online, at http://www.YellowSubmarineCD.org, where you may also make a donation to the cause. Check out John's take on the Beatle's tune at http://www.MySpace.com/YellowSubmarineCD.
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Popular Las Vegas entertainer, and "The Concert King" of the Philippines, Martin Nievera, returns to the Suncoast Showroom for a weekend of solo performances, November 13th, 14th and 15th. Nievera has dazzled crowds with his diverse repertoire, including his signature "On the Right Track," Broadway medleys and his swing renditions of Michael Jackson songs. The Suncoast performances will showcase Martin's distinct talents and amazing vocal abilities. He also plans to raise awareness about the devastation in the Philippines caused by Super Typhoon Ondoy. Earlier this year, Nievera twice shared the Suncoast Showroom stage with fellow entertainers, Clint Holmes, Susan Anton and Domenick Allen in Vocal Soup, blending solo performances, duets and group numbers, and rekindling the Las Vegas tradition of entertainers coming together in an "anything can happen" atmosphere. Nievera is a popular recording artist with several platinum albums, including Martin...Take One, The Best Gift, Forever, and its sequels, Forever, Forever and Return to Forever. He has appeared in 11 films and seven television series and specials, including Penthouse Live!, Martin and Pops Twogether, and Martin After Dark, which ultimately became Martin [email protected] In between frequent Las Vegas appearances, Nievera tours the United States and Canada with his so-called Filipino archrival, Gary Valenciano, known as "Mr. Pure Energy." Despite the hype surrounding their rivalry, concerts featuring the two stars are focused on their extremely popular music and are typically sold-out. Tickets for Martin Nievera's Suncoast show are available starting from $19.95, plus tax. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 636-7075 or by visiting www.suncoastcasino.com.
Two Gals and a Geezer
And on the same weekend, at Boyd Gaming's sister property, The Orleans, it's Neil Sedaka in the spotlight. For more than four decades, Sedaka's timeless standards have influenced the sound of popular music. Renowned for his work as a singer, performer, producer and songwriter, Sedaka will entertain in the Orleans Showroom, November 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th at 8 p.m. With countless hit singles, platinum and gold records, Sedaka is recognized as one of rock and pop music's legendary pioneers, with songs that continue to stand the test of time. Starting in his high school years, Sedaka formed a vocal group, The Tokens, which recorded two hit singles. Soon to follow was Sedaka's introduction to Howard Greenfield, and together they began a successful songwriting partnership in the late 1950s, selling more than 25 million records during their 30-year collaboration. In 1958, at the age of 18, Sedaka was catapulted into stardom after Connie Francis performed his song, "Stupid Cupid." Francis then sang the theme song Sedaka and Greenfield had written for the 1960 MGM spring break movie classic, Where The Boys Are, which would end up becoming her biggest hit. Sedaka parlayed these hits into a contract with RCA as a writer and performer, and began recording his own material. His chart-toppers included "The Diary," "Oh, Carol," "Stairway to Heaven," "Calendar Girl" and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." In his later years, Sedaka continued writing for other performers, including Tom Jones' album Puppet Man, The Fifth Dimension's album Workin' on a Groovy Thing and for The Monkees' album, When Love Comes Knocking at Your Door. Most recently, Sedaka returned to the classical roots of his early years. With original romantic lyrics written by Sedaka and set to the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky, the Classically Sedaka album went on to earn a gold record in Europe. In October 2007, Neil was honored at Avery Fisher Hall with a tribute entitled Neil Sedaka: 50 years of Hits. The gala evening featured such notable performers as Elton John, The Captain and Tennille, Lou Christie, Barry Manilow, Natalie Cole, Clay Aiken and Connie Francis. Tickets are available now and are priced from $39.95, plus tax. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 365-7075 or visiting www.orleanscasino.com. The Orleans Showroom is an 827-seat theater.
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On November 6th and 7th, Marilyn's Lounge at the East Side Cannery will feature Two Gals and a Geezer at 8 p.m., and Swing City Dolls at 10 p.m. that same night. There is a $10 charge for Two Gals and a Geezer, but for your $10, you get a very funny Geezer named Sammy Shore (Elvisâ€˜ onetime opening act), and a couple of talented Gals - comic Kathleen Dunbar, and impressionist Kathy Walker who, with her brothers, Bill and Greg Walker, was one third of the popular comedy act, The Walkers. Sadly, Greg Walker passed away in January at the age of 58.
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It's the Dennis Mellen Italian restaurant tour this weekend. Tonight, from 7 to 11, Dennis will be sitting in with Carmine Mandia at Piero's. Tomorrow night, Dennis and friends are back at Lucio Ristorante from 7:30 until closing. Contrary to the rumor, Lucio's is still open for business and has no intentions of shutting down. Singers and musicians are welcome to join in. The Las Vegas Good Fellas jazz band will be performing Thursday, November 12th, at 8 p.m. On Sunday, from 6 to 10 p.m., Dennis Mellen and friends are at Salvatore's Italian Restaurant in the Suncoast. Among those gathered around the piano last Sunday were Sinatra tribute artist, Gary Anthony, and Frankie Scinta. You never know who might drop by.
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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye