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 December 04, 2009
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - December 4, 2009

Philip Fortenberry Broadway CD

Brent Barrett Christmas CD

David Pomeranz Holiday CD

Last Friday, we ran out of time, space, steam, etc. and put a hold on this after-the-fact item regarding Philip Fortenberry's Broadway, My Way solo concert, presented by the Performing Arts Society of Nevada on November 22nd. If you missed this performance at the Clark County Flamingo Library, you missed something very special. Pianist extraordinaire Fortenberry's offering was a rousing success...both in the number of audience members and their response to the show. Philip did Broadway My Way his way, with music from Cats, Oliver, Irene, The Robber Bridegroom, Side Show, Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime, Seussical: The Musical, Mamma Mia!, A Chorus Line, and a beautifully put together Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein tribute, among the selections. Mr. Fortenberry, who serves as assistant musical director for Jersey Boys at The Palazzo, and performs Liberace and Me, three afternoons a week at the Las Vegas museum honoring Liberace, has a new CD, also called Broadway My Way, that was released to coincide with his most recent concert. That CD, along with some of Philip's earlier recordings, are available for purchase in the gift shop at the Liberace Museum, 1775 E. Tropicana at Spencer.

And speaking of Broadway, following a successful performance in Palm Springs, for the city's art museum, our Phavorite Phantom, Brent Barrett, is back on the Great White Way, reprising his role as "Billy Flynn" in the Tony-winning musical, Chicago, playing at the Ambassador Theatre. He is scheduled to play the shady lawyer through March 27th. Brent has been a leading man on Broadway, in London, in Las Vegas, and all over the world, in such shows as Grand Hotel, West Side Story, Annie Get Your Gun (in which he starred opposite Reba McEntire), The Pajama Game, Candide, Dance A Little Closer, Camelot, Closer Than Ever, and many others. He starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular at The Venetian, and was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance in the London version of the hit revival of Kiss Me Kate, which was taped for and shown on PBS, and is currently available on DVD. As a soloist, Barrett has received national and international acclaim with the Boston Pops and the Berlin Philharmonic, and in concerts at Carnegie Hall and London's Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls. Jim Caruso, host of Birdland's Cast Party, is proud to announce that Brent will be performing two very special concerts there, to celebrate the season and the release of his new Holiday CD, Christmas Mornings. The shows, part of the Broadway at Birdland concert series, will take place on Sunday, December 13th at 6 p.m., and Monday, December 14th at 7 p.m. Christmas Mornings follows the success of Brent's first two solo recordings, The Kander and Ebb Album and The Alan Jay Lerner Album. This latest offering, on the Kritzerland label, is an intimate and personal holiday experience for Brent. In addition to classic favorites such as "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "White Christmas," "Winter Wonderland," "Christmas Waltz/It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "O Holy Night," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Silent Night," and "The Christmas Song," and two new songs, "A Star To Guide Me," and the title track, "Christmas Mornings." About this CD, Brent says, "Like most kids, Christmas-time was always my favorite time of the year. I loved everything about it: Mom's Christmas candy, the parties, the decorations, the presents, and the music. The music was everywhere. Christmas Mornings, is a combination of songs that I loved listening to growing up and some that I have grown to love over the years. The recording also includes two new Christmas songs, one written by yours truly. So, this is my tribute to the 'most wonderful time of the year.' I hope you enjoy it." The CD is produced by Bruce Kimmel, with musical direction and arrangements by Christopher Denny, orchestrations by Larry Moore, and Barrett co-producing. It's an intimate, beautiful, heartfelt, and fun look at the sights and sounds of Christmas by one of the best singers working today. It's a perfect stocking stuffer and an album that's sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Tickets for Brent's holiday performances are $30 and $40, with a $10 food/drink minimum. Birdland, currently celebrating its 60th year, is located at 315 West 44 Street, in New York City. For reservations or additional information, call (212) 581-3080.

And speaking of holiday CDs, another one of our talented friends, also has a lovely recording available. Singer/musician/songwriter David Pomeranz's The Eyes of Christmas, contains 14 seasonal favorites, including "O Holy Night," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Joy to the World," "Silent Night/This Little Light of Mine," "Toyland" and "My Grown-Up Christmas List." There are also some original Pomeranz compositions - "Christmas Star," "The Power of Giving," and the title track, "The Eyes of Christmas" - destined to become classics. Did we happen to mention that Mr. Pomeranz wrote two of Barry Manilow's No. 1 hits? He did. "The Old Songs" and "Trying To Get the Feeling" were both written by David Pomeranz. Based on that, and the fact this fellow can really sing, you might want to add The Eyes of Christmas to your music collection.

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Don't Tell Mama Vegas

Monique Midgette

Craig Laurie

Don't Tell Mama, approaching its one year anniversary in downtown Las Vegas, has added something new to the mix. On Sundays, it's Classical Cabaret, with Richard Weiss at the piano. During the week, entertainers Michael Spadoni, Michael Dubay, Robbie Winfield, Christopher Lash, Emily Miller, Shanon Bond, Bianca Alanis, Sandy Geiger, Savannah Thomas, Justin Rodriguez and Andrea Whitt are among those featured. The piano bar/cabaret, where professionals from many Las Vegas shows take to the stage for a song or two, is at 517 Fremont Street, a half block east of Las Vegas Blvd. Call (702) 207-0788 for hours and special events.

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Lots and lots of wonderful things going on this weekend. Some that we haven't mentioned earlier, and some that we have. We would rather repeat the information, lest readers (or writers) forget...
We remind you that tonight, Friday the 4th, it's Alton Fitzgerald White's turn in the Liberace Cabaret spotlight as he presents An Evening of Holiday Music in two shows, one at 8 and the other at 10:30 p.m. Accompanied by Keith Thompson at the piano, Alton, who portrays "Mufasa" in The Lion King, will be joined by fellow cast members, Derrick Davis and Monique Midgette (whose name we inadvertently misspelled, last week), in a concert to raise funds to upgrade and maintain the performance space at the Liberace Museum. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. As we mention frequently, the Liberace Museum is located at 1775 E. Tropicana at Spencer. Call (702) 798-5595, ext. 14, to reserve your tickets NOW!

Tomorrow night, it's Forbidden Broadway's Christmas show at UNLV. Based on the Forbidden Broadway production, Forbidden Broadway Christmas includes spoofs of The Great White Way's greatest shows and performers. From Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, and Fiddler On the Roof to Mary Poppins, The Lion King and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, nothing or no one is safe from the cast's comedic parodies. For the holidays, celebrities such as Cher, Bing Crosby, Britney Spears, Elvis, Barbra Streisand, and even Frank Sinatra, are likely to be among those skewered. Fear not. You don't have to be a Broadway expert or aficionado to "get" or enjoy this lighthearted romp. Produced by John Freedson and Harriet Yellin, the cast for this production is made up of Craig Laurie, Kevin B. McGlynn, and Kristen Mengelkoch. Catherine Stornetta will conduct the 56-piece UNLV Jazz Symphony. Tickets are $40, $55 and $85. Call (702) 895-ARTS (2787) for reservations.

Joni Illi

Diane Ellis

Nicole Pryor

Also tomorrow night, at DeStefano's, it's Joni Illi, Matt Riggs and Patrick Kavanaugh in Diva & Divos. Showtime is at 7:30. Call (702) 436-3275 for dinner reservations. (On Monday night, also at 7:30, songstress Diane Ellis is guest host and will perform.) The Italian eatery is located at 3430 E. Tropicana, on the northeast corner of Pecos.

And then there's Sunday afternoon, with two musical programs in the southeast part of the city competing for ticket buyers at just about the same time (we hate when that happens). This dilemma may require a toss of the coin. Isaias Hiram Urrabazo will spend A Sunday Afternoon With Friends, as he and some of his Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular cronies join in song for a holiday-inspired concert. Beginning at 3, Isaias, along with Jason Forbach, Benjamin Hale, Paul Hansell and Nicole Pryor, accompanied by Michael Wineski on piano, will sing selections from Sondheim to The Beatles, followed by favorite seasonal classics. The concert will take place at Trinity International School, 2525 Emerson Ave., near Desert Inn and Eastern. Tickets for this presentation are $15, with proceeds benefiting the Gateway Gallery - A Public Art Collection (a 501-c-3 non-profit organization). Doors open at 2:30 p.m. For additional information, call (702) 255-0695.

And during the same few hours, the almost 20-year-old Performing Arts Society of Nevada's annual Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza show will be taking place. Your Holiday Hit Parade will feature the talents of many of this city's favorite artists. Among those scheduled to perform are (in alphabetical order), Laurie Caceres, Dolly Coulter, the ladies of Dangerous Curves - Grett Menzies, Karen Merstik-Michaels and Lisa Smith; Tom Gallagher, Lou Garcia, Jim Hodge, Kevin Koelbl, Randy Hendrickson, Cyndi-Lee Mack, Harold Meeker, Dennis Michaels, Gary Oakes, Len Talarico, Wes Winters and Kellie Wright, with Greg Bosler accompanying on piano. Pianist Winters, who will close the program (with a trio of real dolls joining him), will make a mad dash from ENVY The Steakhouse at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel, where he performs on Sundays during an elegant brunch, to the Clark County Library Theater, at 1401 E. Flamingo, for a show that begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15, with monies benefiting the PASN Artists Fund. For reservations or additional information, call the PASNV office at (702) 658-6741. Tickets may also be purchased at the library box office, beginning at 1 p.m. the day of performance. The theater doors open for seating at 1:30 p.m.

Kevin Koelbl

Wes Winters New CD

Lee Greenwood

And speaking of Wes Winters, where some entertainers are having trouble securing work, this talented piano man manages to stay quite busy. Last night, Winters performed at the Rose Theater in Brampton Ontario, and tonight he is at the Mississauga Living Arts Center, also in Ontario. On Sunday, he's at his regular weekly gig at ENVY The Steakhouse, followed by a guest spot in the Performing Arts Society of Nevada's Holiday Hit Parade Benefit Show mentioned above. Next Friday, December 11th, Wes provides the entertainment for the Italian American Club Holiday Concert and Dinner Dance. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m., with show and dinner dance starting at 8. Tickets are $27.50 per person. Call (702) 457-3866 for reservations. The club is at 2333 E. Sahara. For New Year's Eve, Winters is at the Mar Club in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and January 30th and 31st, Wes returns to the Suncoast Showroom.

Regarding ENVY The Steakhouse, Wes performs there from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. as part of the very fine Mimosas & Music Las Vegas Sunday Brunch. Cost is $29.95 per person (price includes unlimited beverages). Prices may vary on holidays. ENVY is in the non-gaming Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel at 3400 Paradise Road (just south of Desert Inn). When he isn't racking up frequent flyer miles, or performing for private parties or corporate events, Mr. Winters is working on his latest CD.

Also on Sunday, December 6th, Lee Greenwood's Tennessee Christmas comes to the 827-seat Orleans Showroom. For more than two decades, Greenwood has created and embodied the sound of America. Most well known for his single "God Bless the USA," Greenwood will be performing traditional Christmas songs in Tennessee Christmas. With more than 20 albums and countless hit singles like "I.O.U," "It Turns Me Inside Out," "Somebody's Gonna Love You" and "Dixie Road," Greenwood's distinctive voice, insightful lyrics and unparalleled showmanship has earned him countless awards including two Male Vocalist of the Year awards from the Country Music Association. While growing up on a farm near Sacramento, California, Greenwood began studying music as a youngster, learning to play 10 instruments. After finishing high school, Greenwood began to perform in Las Vegas, becoming one of the most popular entertainers on the competitive casino circuit. As he matured and honed his craft, he was discovered by Larry McFaden who brought him to MCA Records Nashville, skyrocketing his solo career. In 1982, Greenwood burst onto the country music scene with his first gold album Inside Out cementing him as a star with hits such as "Ring on Her Finger, Time On Her Hands" and "She's Lying." A year later, he released his platinum album Somebody's Gonna Love You, with popular singles "Hearts Aren't Made to Break (They're Made to Love)," and "Going, Going, Gone." On his album You've Got A Good Love Comin' in 1984, Greenwood penned "God Bless the USA," which today is the most recognizable patriotic song in America. With other hit albums, such as with Love Will Find Its Way To You, This Is My Country and American Patriot, Greenwood has perfected his music and touched young and old audiences alike. Today he continues the tradition of songwriting as he embarks on two new recording projects. Having recently completed a collection of pop standards in "Proven," including Ray Charles' "I'm Busted" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," Lee has proven he is a versatile musician and performing artistic. Greenwood is staying true to his country roots as he works on a new album that will introduce him to younger mainstream country fans. Tickets for his 8 p.m. Sunday (one show only) are priced from $29.95, plus tax, and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 365-7075 or visiting

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We don't usually run "Personal Ads" in this column, but, in this case...Single again, steadily employed, stable, handsome, 40-something-year-old Las Vegan, seeking attractive, interesting woman for companionship and possible romance. Must have all her own teeth and like children, as he has six. To check him out for yourself, go to the V Theatre in the Miracle Mile Mall, adjacent to Planet Hollywood, Thursdays through Tuesdays, when Gerry McCambridge, aka The Mentalist, takes the stage for shows at 7:30 p.m. If you wind up on a date with this entertainer, chances are you won't have to tell him what you want for dinner or when your birthday is, as this guy knows practically everything!

Gerry McCambridge

Barry Manilow

Bill Acosta

And speaking of Gerry McCambridge, The Mentalist was scheduled to take a vacation from his show at Planet Hollywood during the first two weeks of December. But, he was made an offer he couldn't refuse. Instead of lying on the beach in some tropical paradise, Gerry will be Barry Manilow's special guest opening act for eight performances - five at the McCallum Theater in Palm Springs on December 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th, and three at the Rosemont Theatre in Chicago on December 17th, 18th and 19th. In Palm Springs, the singer/songwriter, together with the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, will present "A Gift of Love." The five-night holiday concert series will honor 25 local charities in the singer's hometown - each night benefiting five of the beneficiary charities. The Manilow Fund for Health &: Hope is a nonprofit organization that was created by Barry Manilow to support local, grassroots organizations that promote education, health and care. The fund donates to organizations that focus on cancer, AIDS, children's issues, victims of abuse, the homeless and music education. For the performances in Chicago, Gerry says, "I have some new routines that I designed just for Barry's show, since the Rosemont seats 4,400 people." Not surprisingly, he says, "We are very excited!" Barry M and Gerry M, together at last. Has kind of a nice ring to it! Perhaps this will become an occasional, ongoing thing. As a result of this unexpected honor, Gerry McCambridge's December schedule at the V Theatre are as follows - shows on the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and New Year's Eve. Congratulations, Gerry!

And speaking of Barry Manilow, he won't be going too far after he ends his five year run at the Las Vegas Hilton on December 30th. We were wrong about the date, but right about where he would go after the Hilton. The man who writes the songs (some of them, at least) will move from Paradise Road to the Strip, opening his brand new show in the 1,500-seat theater at Paris Las Vegas, not on Valentine's Day as we suspected, but on March 5th. Except for an occasional special event, the theater at Paris has been dark since The Producers closed in February of 2008, following a one year run.

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Cousin Claire has had a variety of people calling to ask about singer and vocal impressionist, Bill Acosta, this week. According to Jeanne Bavaro, his onetime manager and former wife, The Man of 1001 Voices is happy and well and doing one of his favorite things, relaxing. Bill is retired after 46 years in entertainment. His last local performance was at the South Point in June of 2008. Borrowing a quote from Mark Twain, good-natured Bill says, "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." We hear that Bill and Jeanne's pretty daughter, Angela Acosta, is training to compete in the Las Vegas Showdown Ballroom Dance Competition at the Las Vegas Hilton in March. You can bet Angela's proud parents will be in the audience, cheering their girl on. Bill has even been known to pop in and watch some of Angela's rehearsals at the VZ Ballroom on Sahara. We will have more on this after the first of the year. We have to mention that Jeanne Bavaro is quite the dancer herself. Last April, with handsome Brent Barrett as her dancing partner, Jeanne participated in the Dancing With the Las Vegas Stars competition/fundraiser. Our favorite couple were the second runners up.

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Peter and Lissette, of Neon Venus fame, report that they have opened a second theater in Hollywood. Although they haven't had their "official" opening yet, they are already teaching at their 7023 Melrose location. As readers can see in the accompanying photo, the big billboard above the theater makes them easy to find. The local Neon Venus is in the art district, at 1404 S. 3rd Street, a 10 minute walk from the Stratosphere. Look for a production of Alice in Wonderland to open at the Vegas Neon Venus Art Theatre on December 11th. The children's theatre program, taught by Emily Donn, Dani Meyer and Jesus Morales, already has produced many performances, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, and original sketches and stories at our summer theatre program in Las Vegas.

Neon Venus Hollywood Theatre

Mac King

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We missed seeing Erich Bergen's initial guest spot on the CWTV's Gossip Girl. The former "Bob Gaudio," in the Las Vegas version of Jersey Boys, appeared in an episode of the popular series that aired on November 16th. Erich's friend, and co producer of the Michael Jackson tribute held at the Palms on August 29th (which would have been Jackson's 51st birthday), journalist Steve Friess, informs us that the singer/actor has two more episodes yet to be seen. We have contacted Mr. Bergen and will pass the information along as soon as we get it. We just went to the Gossip Girl Web site and, surprise! If you are interested, you can watch the entire episode that Erich appeared in! It is called The Last Days of Disco Stick! (Season 3, Episode 10). In addition to Bergen, you can also see Hillary Duff and Lady Gaga.

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On Wednesday, December 2nd, Mac King celebrated his 50th birthday with a surprise party held at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at the Flamingo Hotel. The party was thrown by Mac's longtime business partner and manager, Bill Voelkner of Voelkner Productions. The party included Lance Burton, Jeff Hobson and Vinnie Favorito as guests. In addition, Mac received a lap dance from a female impersonator dressed as Cher. Happy birthday, Mac!

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Celebrate the holidays with American pop music icons, The Vogues, in Marilyn's Lounge at the Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel. On Friday, December 11th and Saturday, December 12th, this unforgettable group will perform some of the best holiday classics, as well as their original timeless hits that fans have grown to love. Following the release of their first smash hit, "You're the One," The Vogues still continue to attract sellout audiences at concerts and club appearances across the country. "You're the One" quickly rose to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, followed by "Five O'Clock World." Many hits followed, including the Top 10 releases, "Turn Around, Look At Me," "My Special Angel," and "Magic Town." The Vogues created a sound that was a fresh, original blend of vocal harmony that left an indelible mark in the world of popular music. Inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001, The Vogues remain one of the top vocal groups of today. The shows start each night at 8 p.m. Admission is $10 at the front desk.

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Brannon Rees at Hash House A Go Go

Chris Morris

Jerry Fink

Although we were unable to attend the Tuesday morning gathering to announce the location of a new Hash House A Go Go restaurant in Las Vegas, on Saturday, we already knew where the second home of "twisted farm food" was going to be. After all, we are Claire Voyant...that, plus the fact that two people - one a local restaurateur and the other a local headliner - who had no idea this was supposed to be a "secret" until the Tuesday press conference (even Brannon Rees, manager and the owner's son, would say nothing when questioned) spilled the beans. By now, it is no longer a secret, but, just in case you hadn't heard, on December 10th, this unique dining establishment will launch it's Las Vegas Strip venue at the Imperial Palace. Personally, we feel this restaurant, plus the three main room shows - Matsuri, Human Nature and Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas - will give the IP just the boost it has needed for some time. "It's a fresh, funky dining experience, and there's not currently anything like it on the Strip," Rick Mazer, president of Imperial Palace, said in a news release. Mazer feels the restaurant, popular for its unique menu, unusual layout and huge food portions, will not only draw in locals, but tourists as well. "The pricing will be the same (as the West Sahara location). The concept will be the same. The portions will be the same. And we really feel that the value is very important to our concept today, and one of the reasons why, in a market as difficult as it is right now, we're expanding," said Hash House A Go Go co-owner, Jim Rees. The restaurant, which has a bar, will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of its signature dishes include Sage Fried Chicken, stacked with bacon waffles, hot maple caramel reduction and crowned with fried leeks; the HH Famous Roasted Chicken Pot Pie, an upside down crust stuffed with house roasted chicken, red potato, veggies and pan gravy served with mashed potatoes; and Andy's Crispy Indiana Style Hand-Hammered Pork Tenderloin with griddled smoked mozzarella, caramelized onions, fresh spinach, Portobello mushrooms, house charred tomato and bar b' que cream, served with horseradish mashed potatoes and grilled corn on the cob. The restaurant has garnered dozens of local and national accolades, and has been featured on the Food Network, Martha Stewart, Dr. Phil and, most recently, the popular Travel Channel program, Man v. Food. If you can't wait until the 10th, visit the original Vegas location at 6800 W. Sahara Ave., just east of Rainbow. For West Sahara reservations or inquiries, please call (702) 804-4646, or visit

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On Tuesday, Greenspun Media Group (Las Vegas Sun newspaper, In Business Las Vegas, Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas Magazine, Vegas2Go, and the now discontinued Boulder City News, Henderson Home News and Las Vegas Life magazine) announced more layoffs. Some of the very best reasons for reading what is left of the newspaper - award-winning artist Chris Morris; Sun entertainment writer for about 15 years, good guy Jerry Fink; Richard Abowitz, with Las Vegas Weekly and, who, in a Los Angeles Times article, had the guts to tell the truth about how really bad Wayne Newton's Tropicana show is; seven year employee, Josh Bell, movie critic for Las Vegas Weekly; and Sun columnist Jeff German, who had been with the paper for at least two decades - were among the casualties. Also let go were Las Vegas Sun sportswriters, Ron Kantowski, Steve Silver, and Rob Miech, along with environmental writer for the Sun, Mary Manning; David Clayton, Abigail Goldman, Melissa Arsenuik, Timothy Pratt, Brenden Buhler, Mark Damon, Billy Steffens, Scott Den Herder, and Richard Serrano, all with the Sun. Others who will be collecting unemployment benefits for a while include John Paul McDonnall, Fred Cohen, Marcia McMillan, Joe Boswell, Pat Teague, Paul Szydelko, Chris Mason, Bethany Acree, Jeff Simpson, Jeff Haney, Mark Whittington, Sam Skolnik, Brian Sodoma, Beverley Poppe and Natasha Shepard. We have to thank (or blame) Steve Friess for this list, which we "borrowed" from his site. As we approach our deadline, Friess is the only one who has come up with a list names of Greenspun Media Group victims. We wish all of these people (many who are prize-winning professionals) well in their future.

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Paul Stone will be making magic at the Suncoast, when his World Stars of Magic "reappears" in the hotel casino's showroom, next weekend, December 11th through 13th. A cast of award-winning magicians and masters of illusion from around the world join together to present three evenings of wonder and amazement,. The Paul Stone production, seamlessly blends the exceptional abilities of five acts into a fast-paced showcase of skill, guaranteed to amuse and confuse. This elite cast of performers includes Las Vegas' dynamic magic duo, Victor and Diamond, who have earned rave reviews in venues around the world. Back by popular demand is Kevin James and Company, known for their appearance on America's Got Talent. The group will perform sensational illusions that will leave audiences in awe and wonder, just as their leader Kevin James did in October at a White House Halloween celebration for the First Family. Hailing from London, Richard McDougall charms audiences with his clever illusions and quick wit, while master manipulator, Paolo Giua of Italy, captivates onlookers with his elegance and skill performing amazing magical feats. The unbelievable illusions continue in World Stars of Magic with World Champion Juliana Chen's high-energy magic that leaves audiences breathless. Respected around the globe as powerful performers and creative, trend-setting magicians, the World Stars of Magic suspend belief and leave audiences wanting more. Tickets are now available, starting at $19.95, plus tax, and may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 636-7075, or visiting Friday, Saturday and Sunday show times are at 7:30 p.m.

Kevin James & Antonio Hoyos

Wally Broadnax

Michael McDonald

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For all of you local animal lovers, the Paradise Pet Hospital in Las Vegas is hosting a Microchip Clinic on Sunday, the 6th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their 1060 E. Flamingo (just west of Maryland Parkway) facility. You can have your pet Microchipped free with a donation, in any amount, to Nevada State Friends for K-9. Microchipping helps animal owners permanently protect their pets. Approximately 90 percent of pets who are lost are never recovered. It is the best way to prevent this from occurring to you and your beloved animal. For a donation to Nevada State Friends for K-9, a permanent microchip is placed in the animal so it can be easily identified in the event it is lost. Registration of the microchip costs only $15, and is highly recommended at the same time. All donations from the event go directly to Nevada State Friends for K-9, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to assisting Nevada law enforcement in supporting a K-9 program that prevents dangerous drugs from reaching the local community. Paradise Pet Hospital and Nevada State Friends for K-9 are partnering to curb the flow of drugs, particularly methamphetamine, into and through the state, with the usage of a police K-9 program. This public-private partnership seeks funds to purchase and deploy 25 specially trained police dogs across the state for use by the Nevada Department of Public Safety in its campaign to reduce drug traffic and use in Nevada. For more information, please call (702) 734-1711, or visit

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From Mike Christ comes this news...Mike "Bear" Forche, Wayne Newton's longtime bodyguard, passed away early Wednesday morning, the victim of pancreatic cancer and complications from diabetes. Bear, as he was fondly called, had retired from working about the time Wayne ended his run at the Stardust. Forche is survived by his wife, Brenda, who also worked for Newton, a son, Mike (who looks just like his late father), one grandchild and a great grandchild. Bear was 61. Mike Christ anticipates that there will be a memorial "Party," as Bear didn't like somber funeral services.

Also, condolences to Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular cast member, Bruce Ewing, on the death of his 76-year-old father, Edgar. We just learned that the elder Ewing, a resident of Dunnellon, Florida, passed away in Las Vegas on November 18th. Edgar Ewing became ill while visiting his son here. On the 22nd, a memorial service was held at the Community Lutheran Church on E. Tropicana in Las Vegas. A memorial service was also scheduled to be held in Ocala, Florida, after which Mr. Ewing's remains would be laid to rest at the Bushnell Veterans Cemetery in Florida. Ed is survived by his wife, Shirley; sons, Ed, Michael, Bruce and Greg; four grandchildren; sister, Virginia; brother, William; and many in-laws, nieces and nephews. In lieu of floral offerings, the family requests donations in Edgar Ewing's name to the American Heart Association. Our condolences to the Ewings.

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Spencer Baker, the musical director and pianist at Naked Boys Singing! (and the only one who keeps his pants on), tells us that the show is still running strong at The Onyx Theatre in the Commercial Center. Spencer informs that there are three new cast members - Joe Patrick, former dancer with Celine Dion's A New Day and the national tour of Fosse; JD Jensen, from the national tour of the King and I and Sesame Street Live; and Wally Broadnax, Royal Caribbean Vocal Director, and in the Grease national tour. These three newcomers join Nolan Christopher, Allen Merritt, Daryl Roth and Mark White in the musical revue with a twist. Spencer mentions that the multi-talented (she sings, plays piano, writes music, acts, does a myriad of voices...hell, the woman does everything) Vita Corimbi (currently appearing in Menopause the Musical at the Luxor) will be subbing for him on December 13th. In addition to the song "Muscle Addiction" from the original score, Dr. Mark Wherry (College of Southern Nevada) has written a number for the show, "More Than I Wanted To Know." Both will be added into the show sometime this month. For New Year's Eve (Thursday, the 31st), The Onyx will feature a special, humorous cabaret performance by the cast of Naked Boys at 9 p.m., followed by their regular performance at 10. Complimentary champagne will be served to ring in the New Year. Unlike some shows that raise their prices for the holidays, ticket prices for Naked Boys Singing! will stay the same, reasonable $25 per person ($20 for locals with ID - must be purchased at Onyx box office). There may also be a New Year's Eve cameo appearance by J.Son (pronounced, J Dot Son), who hosts the popular Web series, Naked Boy News, as well. The Onyx is inside The Rack leather and fetish clothing store in Commercial Center, 953 E. Sahara. Call (702) 732-7225 for reservations or additional information.

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Michael McDonald, former lead singer with the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, plays at Buffalo Bill's Star of the Desert Arena in Primm, south of Las Vegas, on Wednesday at 8 p.m. McDonald's distinctive voice will perform songs from his new holiday CD, This Christmas, along with favorites from his lengthy career. The gold and platinum-selling soul singer/R&B artist and songwriter, has had solo and group hits with "Takin' It To The Streets," "It Keeps You Runnin'," "Minute By Minute," and the triple-Grammy'-winning No. 1 smash, "What A Fool Believes." McDonald scored gold with his 1982 solo debut LP, If That's What It Takes, and its No. 4 single, "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)." His career has since taken him back to the rootsier rhythms he explores today. The Very Best Of Michael McDonald includes hits from movie soundtracks, and collaborations with James Ingram, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Loggins, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, David Foster, Peter Wolf, Joe Walsh, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, John Tesh, and Don Was, plus a previously unreleased version of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." Tickets for the Primm concert range from $38.45 to $49.45, all inclusive. For reservations, call (800) 386-7867.

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