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 December 11, 2009
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - December 11, 2009


Steve Wyrick Entertainment Complex

Madame

This late breaking news might come as a surprise to some, but, as of last night, the Steve Wyrick Entertainment Complex, in the Miracle Mile Mall adjacent to Planet Hollywood, is closed. The only surprising thing to Cousin Claire is the fact that the place stayed open as long as it did. Theater employees were caught totally off guard and not prepared for this turn of events. A curse has hung over the 500-seat theater since before it opened - a curse named Steve Wyrick. As longtime column readers know, we anticipated this. We even warned acts not to get involved (or their hopes up) when it came to this performance space. They didn't believe our gloom and doom predictions, choosing to take a chance, in the hopes that they could break the spell that befell others before them. Since the theater opened in early 2007, there has not been one act/tenant, whether it be Ronn Lucas, Martin Nievera, Aga-Boom, Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, the Mega Bubble Show, Tom Dane, Wes Winters, Andrew Dice Clay, Trent Carlini, Rockstar: The Tribute, or The Platters, Cornell Gunter's Coasters and The Marvelettes (we are sure we have forgotten someone), that has been successful or happy there. Some (very few) lasted a few months, some a few weeks or just a few days. The smart one was Kevin Burke, star of Defending the Caveman. Burke, who was scheduled to be one of the first acts to rent space in the theater, bailed before the place even opened. He took his little show to the Golden Nugget where it had a respectable run (the Cavemen is now at the Excalibur). We expect this situation with Wyrick to turn into quite a story and get ugly. Stay tuned.

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One of the cast members of last Saturday's Forbidden Broadway's Christmas show at UNLV, was accidentally omitted from our December 4th blurb (we‘re blaming that nasty Christmas Grinch). A thousand apologies to Jeanne Montano, who, along with the rest of the talented performers, Craig Laurie, Kevin B. McGlynn, and Kristen Mengelkoch, put on an evening of comedic parodies, poking fun at some of the Great White Ways' top shows and taking loving swipes at stars such as Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Brightman, Celine Dion, Elvis, Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Steve & Eydie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ann-Margret. Catherine Stornetta conducted the 56-piece UNLV Jazz Symphony.

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"Regrettably, there will be no December Composers Showcase," says Keith Thompson, the show's organizer and host. This is due to the heavy holiday social season, too many conflicts with parties and altered show schedules (some of them actually go dark for a week or two between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so performers can have a little time off), as well as competing events. As a result, there aren't enough available composers to make it happen this month. We will let readers know when the January date is set.

Then there's those F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) folks. They don't let anything get in the way of a party - not even a Las Vegas snow storm, which is what occurred on the night of last year's gathering. The F.I.O.R.E. presidents (no questionable voting practices here, as all of the men hold the title of president) are making a list and checking it twice to see if your name is among those planning to attend their annual holiday party on Saturday, December 19th. Here's the deal. You don't have to be a paid member, and you don't have to be a male (although, if you're not, you need to be invited by one), and, what's most important, you don't have to be Italian (but it helps). Calling themselves the Politically Incorrect Non-Club Club, the gents provide the following information...The party will take place at the Italian American Club, 2333 East Sahara Avenue, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. According to Nelson Sardelli, one of the organizers of this non-club club, "President Kris Kringle suggested charging only $35 per person (Who does he think he is Santa Claus?)." For your $35, you will get a great buffet dinner ("with clean dishes and silverware," assures Sardelli), live music, entertainment, dancing, a 50/50 raffle, surprise gifts for some lucky attendees, and roses and chocolates for the ladies (who are only permitted to attend F.I.O.R.E. meetings a few times a year). RSVP to [email protected], ASAP. Mr. Sardelli promises that "Confidentiality is guaranteed for folks in the Secret Witness Protection Program, just like on the previous years, with exception, of course, of 2006...but we have already apologized for that one." Note from Claire Voyant...Obviously, this is a fun group, so Scrooges should stay home. If fun is your thing, we will see you there - Come Rain or Come Snow.

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That Infamous diva, Madame, along with her newest co-star, Rick Skye, brings the hilarious wit that made her a comic legend to the Suncoast Showroom, Saturday and Sunday, January 16th and 17th, in It's Madame with an E. According to Madame, this comeback show will be "something new, something borrowed and something oh-so-very blue." Part Broadway-style musical and part autobiography, It's Madame with an E is a hilarious romp through the life of the legendary lady. The show combines the double-entendre comedy material of the beloved character, originally created by the late Wayland Flowers, with current event commentary and gossip chatter about Hollywood celebrities past and present. While dressed to the nines in her legendary gowns, and with the help of Skye, Madame tells her life story through comedy bits, original and classic songs, and photography and video of some of her past performances. Madame made her first television appearance on The Andy Williams Show, followed by Rowan & Martin's Laugh In, Solid Gold and Hollywood Squares. She also starred in her own nationally syndicated series in 1982 titled Madame's Place. Prior to the death of Wayland Flowers in October of 1988, Madame was a regular on the Las Vegas entertainment scene, appearing in shows at the Sahara, Sands and Desert Inn. Tickets for the Suncoast shows are now available starting from $14.95, plus tax. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 4 p.m. on Sunday (Note the earlier Sunday time). Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 636-7075 or visiting www.suncoastcasino.com. This show contains adult language and humor.

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There were some mighty unhappy Phantom Phans earlier this week, when Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular performances were canceled due to a flood backstage. The cause, we are told, was firefighting equipment (there was no fire). It took a couple of days to clean up the mess and things at The Venetian are apparently back to normal. No word on whether the cast and crew will be paid for their unexpected, unplanned "vacation."

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There have been a number of show closings in the past few months, including Ice - The Show From Russia, Scarlett and Her Seductive Ladies of Magic, Charo, and Jay White‘s America‘s Neil Diamond Tribute, all gone from the Riviera; Bobby Slayton and Rich Natole, both at the Tropicana, America's Got Talent Live at Planet Hollywood, in for a 10 week run (see more below); and Tony n' Tina's Wedding, recently closed at Planet Hollywood, but opened a short distance away at the V Theatre in PH's adjacent Miracle Mile Mall. Others shows are scheduled to close in the next few weeks - Barry Manilow leaves the Hilton on December 29th (and opens at Paris Las Vegas on March 5th); and Bette Midler is ending her almost two year engagement at Caesars Palace Colosseum on January 31st. Then there are some recent openings, upcoming openings, some returns to the Vegas entertainment scene, and some that have gotten word they have a home for a while longer. Among the lucky ones and/or survivors - Society of Seven (see more on SOS further down in this column), whose last indefinite gig was at the Flamingo with Lani Misalucha (now in her own show in the Hilton Shimmer Showroom) and Martin Nievera sharing the stage, is now going into the Gold Coast for an indefinite run; Wayne Newton and Once Before I Go (he can't Go soon enough, as far as we're concerned) at the Tropicana (don't get us started); Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack at the Sahara, going head-to-head with Dick Feeney's Rat Pack Is Back at the downtown Plaza; The Edwards Twins, opening in a new performance space at Hennessey's, also downtown; Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas in the former Legends In Concert showroom at the Imperial Palace; comic Frank Caliendo is new at the Monte Carlo; another Cirque show, this one centered around Elvis and going into the new CityCenter; and the much publicized Garth Brooks, who made a sweet deal to appear at Steve Wynn's Encore. Garth does his first show at Encore tonight. We have probably omitted some names, but we expect the comings and goings and changes to continue.


American Superstars

Jerry Springer & Kevin Skinner

And we just received this press release...
American Superstars will continue its successful run at the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for at least two more years. The show currently features musical tributes to Michael Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Britney Spears and Elvis. The show claims to have entertained more than 1,000,000 guests. Donny Moore, producer and director of Springtime Productions, stated, "My fellow producer, Mark Callas, and I are extremely proud to be associated with the Stratosphere. We look forward to continuing to provide our guests with exciting live tributes to superstar artists. Every performer in our show gives it their all every night." In addition to the five principal performers, American Superstars features the gorgeous Superstar Dancers and the gifted Superstar Band. Tickets are $39.99. Show times are Sundays through Tuesdays at 7 p.m., and Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the Stratosphere's Theater of the Stars Showroom. The show is dark on Thursdays. For tickets or more information, call (702) 380-7711 or (800) 99-TOWER. The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino is located at 2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South. For more information, call 702-380-7777 or visit www.stratospherehotel.com.

Although America's Got Talent Live, hosted by Jerry Springer, was scheduled to end its limited engagement run at Planet Hollywood on Sunday (December 13th), Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, has announced a change in show schedules. The live show, featuring million dollar winner, singer Kevin Skinner and runner-up, opera singer Barbara Padilla, will return to the CHI Showroom for a week of shows just after Christmas. The newly announced shows will take place beginning on Saturday, December 26th and will run through Wednesday, December 30th. Show times will be at 6:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting PlanetHollywood.com and Ticketmaster.com or by calling (702) 785-5055.

Even if Planet Hollywood's Live show hadn't gotten a reprieve, you have not seen the last of the popular reality show competitors around Las Vegas. This weekend, America's Got Talent competitors, Kevin James and company, will be featured in Paul Stone's World Stars of Magic at the Suncoast this weekend, and on Valentines Day, Sunday, February 14th, the show's 2008 winner, singer, Neal E. Boyd, will perform in the showroom at the Las Vegas Hilton. The unlikeliest of superstars, Boyd won the hearts and votes of millions of fans when he appeared as a contestant, and ultimately the winner, on the popular NBC show. A struggling singer who has overcome a lifetime of setbacks, Neal's journey is a true story of triumph over the odds, finding mega success in the unlikeliest of places. Neal is joined by other America's Got Talent finalists, Eli Mattson and Steve Bridges, for an entertaining evening of opera, impressions, singing and comedy. Eli Mattson, the second place finisher, is a powerful singer/songwriter, while Steve Bridges is best known for his spot-on impressions of President Obama, President George W. Bush and many others. Showtime is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $49 to $89 (plus tax and service charge). The $89 price includes a meet and greet in the Tempo Lounge following the show.


Magician Kevin James

Neal E. Boyd

Grandma Lee

Then, of course, there is the show's biggest winner. Not only did ventriloquist/vocal impersonator Terry Fator take home the big $1 million prize as the result of winning the competition in season two, he landed himself a more than lucrative contract at The Mirage.

And still on the subject of America's Got Talent, if you didn't get enough of Grandma Lee on last season's America's Got Talent, you will have the opportunity to catch her as a headliner, uncensored and uncut, January 7th through 9th, at Bonkerz Comedy Club inside Palace Station. Audience members will also have the chance to be a part of Lee's new DVD, Grandma Lee Unleashed, which will be filming during all five of her shows at Bonkerz. Lee made it all the way to the grand finale on AGT, and just finished appearing in America's Got Talent Live, hosted by Jerry Springer at Planet Hollywood. The sassy 75-year-old senior won the 2003 Las Vegas Comedy Festival at the MGM Grand, and was chosen as a finalist for the 2004 season of NBC's Last Comic Standing. She was so popular with TV audiences that Last Comic Standing had her on as a special guest during three different seasons and chose her as a Top 10 Favorite Comic on the show. Bonkerz Comedy Club presents five headliner shows weekly, with one on Thursday at 8 p.m. and two on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets are $29.95 each. Palace Station hotel guests and locals with a valid Nevada ID receive a $10 discount. The club features a rotating schedule with a new headliner and feature act every week. Doors open one hour before show time and guests must be 21 years and older. Tickets can be purchased at any Station Casinos Reward Center, The Fiestas, Galleria Mall, or by calling (702) 547-5300 or log onto www.stationcasinos.com.

And speaking of TV talent competitions, the grandfather of the 2000s, American Idol, has produced some pretty talented (and pretty AND talented) competitors during its seasons on the air. Alexis Stone Lopez, Nikki McKibbin and RJ Helton were finalists during the program's inaugural season; while Trenyce was on the show's second season; Jasmine Trias the third; Lindsey Cardinale and Nikko Smith season four; Brandon Rogers, Haley Scarnato and Sundance on season six; and Amy Davis and Chikezie season seven. These 12 singers appeared in a special Lincoln Theater Napa Valley production, "American Christmas," in Yountville last Saturday, December 5th. Saturday night's lineup represented the broad spectrum of "American Idol." If you missed that show, you can see at least one of those finalists right here in Las Vegas when she appears three days and nights a week at the Gold Coast. We are talking about Jasmine Trias who, beginning on Friday, December 18th, will perform with Society of Seven at the Gold Coast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, for an indefinite engagement. Society of Seven presents a high-energy variety show, combining comedy sketches, celebrity impersonations, dance and live music performances, from popular standards and Top 40, to favorites from Broadway. Their show times are at 3:30 and 7 p.m., with December performances the 18th, 19th 20th, 26th and 27th. There will be no show on Christmas day, Friday the 25th. Tickets start at $29.95, plus tax. Call the Box Office at (702) 251-3574 or visit www.goldcoastcasino.com.

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If you are a music fan, and misses the TV variety shows of decades ago, if you didn't watch and/or tape Carrie Underwood's Christmas special on Monday night...shame on you! Not only can this American Idol winner sing, she is funny, comfortable in front of the camera, and cute as the dickens (would that be Charles Dickens?). With guests that included Christina Applegate, Kristen Chenoweth, David Cook, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, and Sons of Sylvia, with cameos by Carson Kressley, Ryan Seacrest, and Bo Bice along with Carrie's mother, sister and dog, the two-hours flew by. If one of the networks is looking for someone to host a weekly variety show (if anyone has the guts to try it after the absolutely awful Rosie O'Donnell fiasco), we think Carrie could pull it off. FOX plans to repeat Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special on December 22nd.


Carrie Underwood

Johnathan Isley

Liberace Punch-Out & Play Book

And speaking of Carrie Underwood, she will bring her Play On Tour into the Orleans Arena on May 22nd. The Orleans Arena, a Boyd Gaming facility, is host to more than 200 events each year, including top concerts such as Van Halen, Black Eyed Peas, Akon, Rihanna, Brooks & Dunn, and Panic at the Disco; family favorites Disney on Ice, Harlem Globetrotters, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus; and a variety of sporting events including the Las Vegas Wranglers professional ECHL hockey team, NCAA basketball tournaments, the West Coast Conference Tournament, plus three major motor sports events each year. Tickets for Carrie Underwood, priced at $35, $45 and $55, inclusive of tax and fees, go on sale at 10 a.m. next Friday, December 18th. They can be purchased at the Orleans Arena Box Office by calling (702) 284-7777 or by visiting www.orleansarena.com.

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Next Friday, December 18th, The Third Annual Benefit Concert for the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada will present A Holiday Musical Celebration at The Onyx Theatre. Produced and hosted by Johnathan Isley, the 8 p.m. concert will feature musical performances by Vita Corimibi, Larry Atello, Sky Dee Miles (back in Menopause the Musical at the Luxor), Sheila Wright, Rudalenska, Maggi Albisani, Kitty Litter, Miss Frankie, The Sin City Sisters, and Isley. The event will include entertainment spanning all faiths and will punctuate the spirit of the season and the essence of "community." Tickets are $15 and are on sale at the Center, located in the Commercial Center at 953 E. Sahara, Suite B31 (next to the Green Door). The Onyx, located inside The Rack clothing store, is a few doors down in Suite 16. There will be an after-party at the Fun Hog Ranch, 485 E. Twain. Call The Onyx at (702) 732-7225, the Center at 733-9800, and/or the Fun Hog Ranch at (702) 791-7001. The talent-filled concert should be a quick sell out, so get your tickets ASAP.

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What is REALLY going on at DeStefano's? Enquiring minds want to know.

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Las Vegas residents and authors, Karan Feder and Michael Feder, were delighted to discover that their Punch Out and Play book series was featured in USA Today's hugely popular Pop Candy blog. The Pop Candy Holiday Helper video gives a gift-tip-shout-out to two of their most popular books: Liberace: Your Personal Fashion Consultant and Marilyn Monroe: Your Personal Fashion Consultant. The Feder's book series features dazzling archival punch-out photographs of Hollywood icons dressed in their most famous costumes. The cardboard punch-outs are accompanied by savvy fashion quips and include stands so that you may easily display the Liberace (or Marilyn) punch-outs on your desktop or dashboard. In addition to their Liberace and Marilyn Monroe titles, the couple has coauthored Elvis: Your Personal Fashion Consultant and Star Wars: Your Personal Fashion Consultant - all published by the Abrams imprint, Abrams Image. Karan, a Hollywood costume designer, has worked with the costume archives of many iconic celebrities and conceived the Punch Out and Play book series as a clandestine means to promote classic entertainment costume via popular culture. Abrams Image publishes illustrated books and gifts for savvy readers of all ages who share a discerning sensibility.

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LeAnn Rimes

Men of X

Cowboy Bill Martin

Two-time Grammy Award-winner and recipient of three Academy of Country Music Awards, LeAnn Rimes is scheduled to perform at Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel on Friday, January 29th, at 8 p.m. Rimes has sold more than 37 million albums and earned 12 Billboard Music Awards. Rimes is the youngest recipient of a Grammy, and was the first country recording artist to win in the "Best New Artist" category. Her current album, Family, marks the first time Rimes has written or co-written every song on an album. She recently won the CMT Award for "Collaborative Video of the Year" with Bon Jovi, and the Gospel Music Association's Dove Award for her song, "Ready for a Miracle." Rimes has scored numerous hit singles in her career, including "Can't Fight the Moonlight," which went No. 1 in 11 countries, and "How Do I Live," which is the second longest charting song ever on the Billboard Hot 100. As an actress, Rimes starred in the Lifetime movie Northern Nights, and the ABC telefilm Holiday in Your Heart, based in part on Rimes autobiographical novel. She also guest-starred as singer Connie Francis in the NBC series, American Dreams, and in an episode of the daytime series Days of Our Lives. An accomplished author, Rimes wrote two children's books, Jag and Jag's New Friend, as well as the novel, Holiday in Your Heart, and the inspirational book, What I Cannot Change. LeAnn has long-supported a variety of charity organizations, including advocating for the National Psoriasis Foundation, The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes and Children's Miracle Network. LeAnn is currently in the studio working on her new album due in early summer 2010. Tickets are now available in three levels: Gold at $79.95, Prime at $69.95 and Reserved at $59.95, not including applicable service charges and taxes. To purchase tickets call (702) 856-5470, visit www.eastsidecannery.com, or go to the Eastside Cannery's sales counter located at the front desk.

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Doing their part to spread holiday cheer, the Men of "X" inside Hooters Casino Hotel are offering lower ticket prices as an early present to its patrons. Now the hottest male revue in town is now the most affordable one too. "We understand the holidays can be stressful mentally and financially, so we've stripped down our prices in recognition of that," said co-creator/producer Angela Stabile. "Let Men of "X" cure that holiday stress with more hunks for less bucks! They truly are the gift that keeps on giving!" The sexy "six-pack" of men strut their stuff as everything, from desirable doctors and fierce firemen, to muscular mile-high captains and sexy soldiers. Men of "X" perform Wednesdays through Mondays at 9 p.m. inside the Night Owl Showroom. Tickets are priced at $24.99 for General Admission, $34.99 for VIP seating, and $44.99 for the "VIP Big Package," which includes preferred VIP seating and a meet-and-greet/photo with the cast. Prices do not include tax and fees. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-866-LVHOOTS (584-6687) or going to www.hooterscasinohotel.com. All shows are 21 years of age and over. For more information, please visit www.menofx.com.

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The Comedy Stop, produced by Bob Kephart, is proud to present Cowboy Bill Martin during the National Finals Rodeo. "There is nothing like being in Vegas during the National Finals Rodeo Week," says Martin. "And we are on the Strip. How awesome is that?" Working with Bill, through December 13th, are comedians Dan Davidson and Drew Thomas. Martin and Davidson just returned from entertaining for our troops in the Afghanistan and Iraq on the Red, White and a little Bluer Comedy Tour. The Comedy Stop is located in the famous Congo Room of the Sahara Hotel. From December 14th through 20th, the Comedy Stop will feature funny men, Mitchell Walters, Tom Segura and Al Ducharme, and from January 11th through 17th, Las Vegas' own, Cork Proctor, will entertain, along with Chris Coccia and Jay Black. Show times for the Comedy Stop at the Sahara are at 9 p.m. Tickets are priced at $19.95 plus fees for locals with proper ID (must be booked at box office), $27.45 plus fees for General Admission, $32.95 plus fees for Golden Circle, and $38.45 plus fees for VIP Seating. Call the Sahara Box Office toll free at (866) 830-0287 or local (702) 737-2515. Must be at least 18 years old to attend.

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On December 6th, the always moving and well done Kennedy Center Honors ceremony was taped for airing on CBS, Tuesday, December 29th. The 2009 edition is the 32nd of these annual celebrations of the arts. Held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, this years honorees are: writer, composer, actor, director, and producer Mel Brooks, whose The Producers played at Paris Las Vegas; pianist and composer Dave Brubeck; opera singer Grace Bumbry; actor, director, and producer Robert De Niro; and singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen.


Mel Brooks

Jennifer Hudson

Serena Henry

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For your dining and dancing pleasure, tonight, Friday the 11th, and next Friday the 18th, from 6 to 10 p.m. Lynn Ross will be singing seasonal favorites, standards and vintage pop tunes, during Jazzy Holiday Nights at Captain's Cove, located on the lake at 2902 Lake East Drive, near Durango and Sahara.

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On Tuesday, Mayor Oscar B. Goodman flipped the switch to light Las Vegas' official Christmas tree, bringing holiday cheer to the Fremont Street Experience. The 50-foot tree is garnished with festive decorations and sits below the 12.5 million lights of the Viva Vision screen. Directly following the ceremony, the Candy & The Canes show performed a live song and dance show to holiday music hits. The official Las Vegas Christmas tree, located at Fremont and 3rd Street, between the Fitzgeralds, Four Queens and Fremont casinos, will be on display at the Fremont Street Experience through the Christmas holiday. Candy & The Canes will perform free every night throughout the month of December at 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

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On Tuesday, December 15th at 8 p.m., Academy Award-winning actress and singer, Jennifer Hudson, will perform live, on stage, at Palm Springs' McCallum Theatre's 22nd Annual Fundraising Gala. After receiving tremendous attention as a finalist on American Idol, Jennifer Hudson went on to win a much-deserved Academy Award for her unforgettable role as "Effie" in the 2006 movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Hudson also took home a Grammy for her debut CD, a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG), British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), Broadcast Film Critic's Association Award, a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award and Soul Train "Entertainer of the Year" Award. With her high-powered soulful style, the Chicago native has already achieved feats that are reserved for most young singers' dreams. Also performing for the fundraiser is multi-talented comedienne, author, dancer, producer, actress and talk-show host, Rita Rudner, who is currently headlining at Harrah's on the Las Vegas Strip. The Las Vegas Review Journal has voted her "Comedian of the Year" for eight years running. For tickets, or additional information on this event, call (760) 346-6505, Ext. 126 or 133.

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Upcoming features - On Sunday, December 13th, from 9 to midnight, Serena Henry joins Ronnie Rose in song at the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay. The talented Ms. Henry was a finalist on Fame, the Debbie Allen produced 2003 reality TV talent contest, featuring 24 dancer/singers from across the USA, hand-picked by Allen (who also hosted the show, along with Joey Fatone) to compete in front of judges and a live audience. Serena has worked with Gladys Knight, and currently sings with Smokey Robinson. There is no cover charge at HOB.

Also on Sunday night, starting at 8:30, it's the rescheduled date for vocalist/entertainer (she is a onetime Radio City Music Hall Rockette), MarQue, who will perform at that Italian joint on Las Vegas Blvd. So. MarQue is the recent bride of drummer Darryl Woolfolk.


MarQue

Wynonna

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Wynonna will perform songs from her critically acclaimed holiday album, A Classic Christmas, when she plays the Las Vegas Hilton Theater, Saturday and Sunday, December 19th and 20th. Spreading festive cheer, Wynonna will combine her smooth vocals and tremendous live presence in an unforgettable performance that will warm the heart and inspire the spirit. In addition to her soulful renditions of such traditional holiday classics like "White Christmas," "Winter Wonderland" and awe-inspiring version of "Ave Maria," Wynonna will also perform some of her biggest hits, making this a special evening for the entire family. Tickets for the 8 p.m. shows are $39 and $49 (plus tax and service charge). Call the Las Vegas Hilton Box Office (24 hours a day) at (800) 222-5361.

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Aptly called Nashville Unplugged: The Story Behind the Song, this show is based on the concept of getting to know what's behind the song, similar to the famed Bluebird Café in Nashville. Each month, the Bluebird features a songwriter telling what went into writing a particular song and then performs it at the show. Tonight, December 11th, the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino will feature songwriters Allen Shamblin and Aaron Baker. Shamblin has written several hit songs throughout his career, including Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," Randy Travis' "He Walked on Water" and John Michael Montgomery's "Life's A Dance," among numerous others. Barker has written for several country artists and is a favorite writer of singer George Strait, whose hits together include "Baby Blue," "Love Without End, Amen" and "Easy Come, Easy Go." An added fun aspect of Nashville Unplugged is "Songs from a Hat" where guests that arrive between 7:15 and 7:30 p.m. can make up a title to a song and place the suggestion in a hat. The songwriters will pick one title from that hat and then pen a song throughout the course of the evening, to be performed at the end. This performance starts at 8 p.m. in the Ovation showroom. Must be 21 years or older to attend this free show.

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Las Vegas comedy-magician Mac King will honor Spread the Word Nevada with a magic show and storybook reading at 7 p.m. tonight, December 11th. The organization was recently selected by a local Barnes & Noble bookstore to be the recipient of their annual holiday giving program. All are invited to attend the open magic show and storybook reading, taking place at the Barnes & Noble store at 567 N. Stephanie St. in Henderson. Mac King has been recognized with numerous accolades including "Favorite Male Las Vegan," "Best Bargain Show" by the Las Vegas-Review Journal's 2009, "Best of Las Vegas" readers' poll, "Funniest Act in Magic Today" by Magic Magazine, "Magician of the Year" by The Magic Castle, and "Entertainer of the Year" by the Las Vegas Weekly "Readers Choice Awards." King, one of today's brightest and most talented magicians, takes the stage twice daily, Tuesdays through Saturdays, at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Harrah's Las Vegas Showroom Theatre. Tickets are $24.95 plus tax. Additional information on The Mac King Comedy Magic Show can be found by visiting www.mackingshow.com. Spread the Word Nevada, Inc., is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) corporation, serving at-risk children by providing various literary services. Kids to Kids, a flagship program of Spread the Word Nevada, helps children create home libraries to read and share with family members. While developing a love of reading, these libraries promote future academic achievement and higher self-esteem, which impact lifelong success. Other Spread the Word Nevada programs include Breakfast with Books, family literacy service, and Books and Buddies, reading mentorship. Since 2001, Spread the Word Nevada has distributed more than 1.3 million gently used and new books to more than 150,000 of Nevada's youth. Contact (702) 564-7809 or visit SpreadtheWordNevada.org to learn more about program details.

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On Tuesday, beginning at 9 a.m., the Las Vegas Hospitality Association (LVHA) will be delivering holiday gift bags filled with shoes, shirts, toys and other goodies to at-risk children at the Manuel J. Cortez Elementary School. Manuel J. Cortez is a year-round school which opened its doors to students in August of 1998. It is the first elementary school in the Clark County School District to implement the innovative Single Sex Classroom. The LVHA is a non-profit, Nevada state association made up of more than 400 hospitality industry working professionals. Originally founded in 1962, the LVHA encompasses a broad spectrum of companies supporting the tourism, convention and hospitality fields in Southern Nevada. The group worked closely with the Manuel J. Cortez school's teachers and principal, Mr. Ariel Villalobos, to determine which children needed what help and set about to fill those needs. In spite of the economy and the downturn in tourism, the LVHA is responding to our community's needs.

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The Las Vegas Tenors, Swing City Dolls, Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show, Lisa Dawn Miller, Trent Carlini and Lorena Peril, will be among those taking part in Jonathan Scott and Teddy Davey's Big Broadcast of 2009 - A Salute To the Troops, tomorrow night at 8 in the Las Vegas Hilton showroom. It's $10 cash at the showroom door (free for military personnel with proper ID, or those bringing a new, unwrapped toy) to see this show.



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