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 December 18, 2009
You can find the current column HERE
Las Vegas - December 18, 2009
Following the closing (temporary or otherwise) of the Steve Wyrick Entertainment complex last Thursday, December 9th, comes this December 11th "announcement" from the disappearing magic man's own Web site...
"We would like to clarify the misinformation in circulation regarding reports that the Steve Wyrick Theatre has closed. The Theatre is temporarily dark, but it is expected to re-open and resume full operation before the end of the month. The unannounced closure was due to unexpected circumstances. Our goal and intent is to retain our current staff and continue to provide live entertainment from the Steve Wyrick Theatre located in Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood," commented Steve Wyrick, Headliner and Owner, Steve Wyrick Theatre.
Mr. Wyrick has been performing in Las Vegas since 1997, and has successfully operated his magic/illusionist stage show at the Steve Wyrick Theatre since January 2007."
This doesn't explain WHY no employees were notified of any "unexpected circumstances" or told that the theater would be closed "temporarily."
The Las Vegas Sun's Steve Green has been writing about Steve Wyrick for some time (although not quite as long as Cousin Claire). Here is a story that appeared in the Sun on November 3, 2009...
"Miracle Mile tenants in legal battle over promotion deal"... with this headline, Green goes on to write, "A federal lawsuit has been filed in a dispute among big-name tenants at the Miracle Mile Shops at the Planet Hollywood resort on the Las Vegas Strip. The owner of the Hawaiian Tropic Zone restaurant and nightlife destination on Monday sued magician Steve Wyrick and his Wyrick Magical Productions Inc., claiming Wyrick has failed to comply with the terms of an August 2008 cross-promotion deal. New York-based HT Rest Vegas LLC, owner of Hawaiian Tropic, said Wyrick provided it with 3,000 "VIP complimentary vouchers" to Wyrick's Real Magic show for re-sale to the public. A year after the contract was signed, Hawaiian Tropic said it held 2,927 unsold show vouchers and that Wyrick has failed to re-purchase them at the agreed price of $30 per voucher or $87,810. Hawaiian Tropic also charges that Wyrick agreed to reimburse Hawaiian Tropic for any dinner vouchers that were presented by Hawaiian Tropic customers who had purchased a dinner and show package from Wyrick. The suit says Wyrick has failed to reimburse Hawaiian Tropic for 36 vouchers valued at $45 apiece, or $1,620. "Wyrick and Wyrick Magical have further breached the agreement by failing to advertise the dinner/show package as agreed, and failing to use their best commercially reasonable efforts to sell the dinner/show packages," the lawsuit charges, asserting claims of breach of contract. An attorney for Wyrick said Tuesday he couldn't comment at this time on the Hawaiian Tropic lawsuit."
Last Saturday, December 11th, the Sun carried this Steve Green story...
"Steve Wyrick sued by performers after shutting theater...Illusionist Steve Wyrick was sued Friday by entertainers at his Steve Wyrick Theater demanding to be paid — one day after sources say he closed the theater and magical show at the Miracle Mile Shops at the Planet Hollywood Resort on the Las Vegas strip. National Concerts LLC filed suit Friday in Clark County District Court against Wyrick Magical Productions and Wyrick, charging they failed to turn over all the required net ticket revenue for one of the last groups to perform at the theater before the closure: the 1950s/1960s-style production of the Platters, Cornell Gunter's Coasters and the Marvelettes. The suit alleged breach of contract and conversion and demands an accounting of revenue and expenses for the show. "Wyrick Magical Productions was failing to timely and properly bill ticket brokers for the tickets they had sold, was failing to collect all funds that were due for ticket sales, and had failed to properly account for all revenue and expenses at weekly settlement meetings," the lawsuit charged. The suit says Wyrick Magical Productions has acknowledged it should have paid at least $23,000 at the Dec. 1 weekly settlement, "but Wyrick Magical Productions has admitted to National Concerts that it does not have the funds to pay the undisputed portion of the settlement." Calls to Wyrick's office Friday were not returned and the Miracle Mile Shops had no comment on the situation. The closure came as little surprise, as lawsuits filed earlier this year against Wyrick over unpaid bills indicated business wasn't good for Wyrick and the performers who contracted to use his stage. One suit was filed in March by the Marketing Factor LLC, alleging unpaid advertising bills. Another was filed last month over a cross-marketing deal by fellow Miracle Mile tenant Hawaiian Tropic Zone. Wyrick's $34 million theater, seating 500 people, opened in early 2007 – right before the recession reduced visitation to Las Vegas and activity at Planet Hollywood. Acts that failed to take hold at the theater include vocalist Martin Nievera, ventriloquist Ronn Lucas and longtime Elvis impressionist Trent Carlini.
As regular readers of this column know, we have been concerned and writing about this place for more than two years. We wonder why it took so long for word to get out regarding the business tactics (or lack of ethical business tactics) of Mr. Wyrick. Helen Keller could have picked up on the signs that something was very wrong at this "pay to play" establishment. We will stay on top of this.
And here's another ugly story...
After too many tales, coming from too many people, we can no longer ignore or close our eyes to what has been going on at DeStefano's, a neighborhood restaurant located in southeast Las Vegas. This "Bootlegger Bistro (a place we usually don't usually mention by name) wannabe" has been trying to build a reputation and regular following by offering entertainment seven nights a week. Nothing wrong with that...sometimes. In this case, though, we have been hearing some pretty awful stories about restaurant employees and entertainers either not being able to collect their money at all, or being paid with bad checks. There are many questions about this place...like who owns it. Public records show the "manager" as Michael Germano, although the person who seems to be running things at DeStefano's is a fellow named Patrick Kavanaugh. According to Mr. Kavanaugh, he has a background in the Broadway theater and knows lots of celebrities very well. This remains to be seen. What we do know for sure is that this character is not listed anywhere on the IBDB (Internet Broadway Data Base), a very complete and reliable site for all things Broadway, either under the name Patrick Kavanaugh or Tim Kelly, the name he claims he used when he performed in The Fantasticks, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Wildcat with Lucille Ball and other shows on The Great White Way. Kavanaugh also informs that he was the casting director for the TV series Will & Grace. Anyone who knows how to Google on the Internet can find that Tracy Lilienfield held that position from 2000-2006. What we do know for sure is, that prior to his connection with DeStefano's, Kavanaugh (or Kelly, or whoever he is) was a waiter in the coffee shop at the Tuscany Suites & Casino on East Flamingo. One of the victims of Mr. Kavanaugh's way of doing business, is longtime Las Vegas entertainer, Kenny Kerr. Kenny, who was supposed to perform his one-man-show at DeStefano's on Friday and Saturday nights for at least six months, has been unable to collect money owed him for weeks that he worked and, as a result, has stopped performing at DeStefano's. When we asked for some explanations from Mr. Kavanaugh, he danced around any real answers. Oh yes. He also threatened to "sue our ass" (a direct quote) if we wrote about all of this. We say, "bring it on." A law suit would result in even more people learning about what is happening at Trop and Pecos, which, in our opinion, would be a good thing. It will be very interesting to see how much longer DeStefano's can operate in this manner. Okay, you local entertainers. You have been warned.
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And lest you think we are playing Scrooge and have no holiday spirit, here's a warn and fuzzy item. Earlier this week, on one of our very late night trips to an open-around-the-clock Wal-Mart, we spotted a very recognizable local entertainer, and two "accomplices" on a shopping spree. Unlike what happens when Oprah does something generous (and even Donny and Marie), there were no camera crews present to capture these Christmas elves as they filled three carts full of toys. In this case, Mr. Nice Guy was buying new toys (about $1,000 worth, we learned from our Wal-Mart spies) to quietly contribute to Toys For Tots. Those same Wal-Mart spies tell us that this is not the first year that the Vegas Santa has done this. At his request, we are not using his name. As we have said before, many of the performers in this city have hearts as big as their talent. And, like the toy shopper, choose to do their good deeds very quietly.
Of course, for the entertainers in our community, when it comes to helping out those in need, the way they do that is to do what they do best - perform - to raise money for a worthy cause or someone in trouble. Such is the case for an event going on at that Italian joint on the south end of Las Vegas Blvd., this Sunday night. Musician Jeff Neiman, who is celebrating his 35th year in show business, has gathered together a group of his talented friends who will be featured in the Celebrity Spotlight. Neiman, an award-winning composer and keyboard artist, will be joined by some special guests - Clint Holmes, Kelly Clinton, Gayle Steele, Teddy Davey, Steven Lee, and violinist Judith Pinkerton, and others - join him and his Live Wire Band - drummer Adam Shendal, bass player Keith Nelson, and sax player Rocco Barbato. The group will be doing everything from jazz to funk to Broadway, plus some originals from Neiman's new CD and everything in between. During his 35 years in the entertainment field, Jeff has worked with Jerry Van Dyke, Trent Carlini, Frenz, Martin Nievera, Gordie Brown, and Clint Holmes, among others. Sunday's show, which had been scheduled for some time, has unexpectedly turned into a fundraiser. Musician Bill Fayne, most notably associated with Clint Holmes and the Las Vegas Tenors, is in trouble. In mid-November, Bill underwent surgery at UC Irvine in Southern California. Although the surgery appears to have been successful, Bill developed a very serious infection. As a result, he has been put into an induced coma. Needless to say, after more than a month in the hospital, the medical bills are mounting and there is no telling when Bill will be able to return to Las Vegas and to work. His friends are very concerned. Donations will be graciously accepted and monies raised from CD sales by the participating performers will go to help Fayne. If any readers would like to contribute, please e-mail Neiman at [email protected].
Opportunity Village Magical Forest
Brent Barrett & Julie Wilson
And here's another example of local community kindness...Marnell Corraro Associates, an Architecture and General contracting services company based in Las Vegas, arranged to transport first graders from Lewis E. Rowe, an at risk elementary school in southeast Las Vegas, to Opportunity Village's Magical Forest for a daytime romp in the "snow." Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities by providing them with vocational training, employment and social recreation services that make their lives more productive and interesting. Through Opportunity Village's programs and services, hundreds of people with disabilities are learning vocational skills and being placed in jobs throughout the community. Marnell Corrao Associates specializes in large scale projects, concentrating their efforts in the casino arena. Among their projects are Caesars in Vegas, Tahoe and Atlantic City; Borgata in Atlantic City: the Avi Resort & Casino, on the banks of the Colorado River, between Laughlin, Nevada, and Needles, California; and The Mirage, Bellagio, Forum Shops, Stardust, Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, Treasure Island, Texas Station, Wynn Las Vegas and, most recently the M Resort ("M" standing for Marnell) that opened in March of this year, all in Vegas. Readers can see, by the happy faces in the accompanying photo, that the children from Lewis E. Rowe had a wonderful time.
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We got our copy of Brent Barrett's new CD, Christmas Mornings, and think it's one that anybody who likes Christmas music would happily add to their holiday CD collection. Most people who are familiar with Brent's name, know him from his role as the original Phantom in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular. They may never have seen or heard him "unmasked."
Christmas Mornings, Barrett's third solo recording, primarily features his beautiful voice without a lot of lavish orchestration. It's the kind of sound that could be generated in your living room...provided that you had six top musicians handy and someone who could sing like Mr. Barrett. You can almost "see" Brent smiling as he sings the lighthearted selections "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Winter Wonderland" and Cy Coleman's "Lovers On Christmas Eve." Then there are the "pretty" songs like "I'll Be Home For Christmas/A Place Called Home," "O Holy Night," "Christmas Waltz/It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and two new ones, "A Star To Guide Me," written by Brent, Bernard Blanks and Barry Kleinbort, and the title track, "Christmas Mornings," by Blanks. The CD also contains old favorites, "Silent Night" (a duet sung with Bernie Blanks), "The Christmas Song," "White Christmas" and Charlie Brown's "Christmas Time is Here." Thanks for the gift, Brent.
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One of our favorite dining establishments, Hash House A Go Go, is making a holiday offer that regular customers will find hard to resist. For those not familiar with Hash House A Go Go, this might be the way to introduce themselves to this unique restaurant. With the purchase of $100 in Hash House A Go Go gift cards (which you can use yourself), you will get a free $25 gift card (which you can also use yourself). These gift cards would make great stocking stuffers. They are available in a number of denominations as a present for a regular Hash House A Go Go guest, or for someone new that you want to treat to the "twisted farm food" experience! This offer is good only through December 24th. Gift Cards are available for sale and redemption at the Sahara location only (6800 West Sahara), and can only be used at that store, not at the new Imperial Palace site. For additional information, call (702) 804-4646.
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The Nutcracker at Paris
The Nevada Ballet Theatre presents its annual holiday classic, The Nutcracker, a beloved family tradition in Las Vegas for almost 30 years, in the beautiful 1,533-seat Paris Theatre inside the Paris Las Vegas on the Strip. With choreography by Peter Anastos, this all-new production features members of the Nevada Ballet Theatre and students of the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre. Performances are Friday, December 18th at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 19th at 2 and 7 p.m., Sunday, December 20th at 1 and 5 p.m., and Thursday, December 24th at 1 p.m. Tickets are priced at $30, $45, $60, $85. Special group pricing is available for groups of 15 or more and can be purchased by calling Joel Mann at (702) 967-4938. To purchase tickets, call the Paris Box Office at (702) 946-4567 or online at www.nevadaballet.com.
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Last Sunday, we attended Paul Stone's production of World Stars of Magic at the Suncoast. The variety of magicians included acts from around the world (guess that's why they call it WORLD Stars of Magic) - Juliana Chen from China, Victor & Diamond from the USA, Paolo Guia (loved his choice of music) from Italy, Richard McDougall from England, and America's Got Talent competitor, Kevin James & Co. from the USA. In the audience, we spotted a number of personalities from the magic world, including Connie Boyd, Jason Byrne, Joseph Gabriel and his lovely wife Katalin, Nanci Keener (who, with her late husband Ed Keener, had their own magic act), Mark Kornhauser, Roy Shank, and Joanie Spina, as well as show folk, tour and production manager Bob Kaz, and Broadway actor, Bill Nolte (Franz Liebkind in The Producers, and most recently in the touring company of Fiddler On the Roof, The Road To Qatar and On the Town at the famed Paper Mill Playhouse). We should have some news about Nolte's next project in next Friday's column.
And speaking of Bob Kaz, last weekend, his uncle, Fred Kaz, joined entertainers, mostly comedians, who gathered in Chicago to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famed Second City. Fred Kaz was the longtime music director for the improv theater. Second City is the place where Steve Carell, the star of NBC's The Office, and other big-name comics got their start. Other alumni, referred to as Second Citizens, include Bill Murray, John Candy, Chris Farley, Stephen Colbert, Shelley Long, Mike Myers and Tina Fey. Saturday afternoon's red carpet event at the theater on the city's North Side was followed by special performances, panel discussions and screenings. Among the many in attendance were Bonnie Hunt, Richard Kind, Jim Belushi and son Rob, Nia Vardalos, George Wendt, Fred Willard and Eugene Levy.
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FIORE Holiday Party Greeting Committee
The number of people planning to attend the F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Enjoying Ridiculous Events) holiday party tomorrow night, had surpassed 100 when last we checked. This could be one of THE events of the season around these parts. Word of the upcoming annual gathering has traveled far and wide, attracting folks from as far away as Colorado. (What do you mean, Colorado isn't THAT far away?) The Presidents putting the evening together (all of the gentlemen members of the non-club club are Presidents), guarantee that a good time will be had by most (You can‘t make EVERYBODY happy!). For $35 a person, guests will be treated to a buffet dinner, live music, dancing, entertainment, raffles, prizes and roses and chocolates for the women (ladies are only invited a few times a year - Christmas, Valentine's Day, and the F.I.O.R.E. anniversary celebration). The celebration takes place at the Italian American Club, 2333 East Sahara Avenue, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. If you want to join the crowd, RSVP to [email protected], immediately, if not sooner.
Shown in the accompanying photo are some of the "official" F.I.O.R.E. greeters - (from left to right) Presidents Nelson Sardelli, Santa Felix "Cousin Itt" Silla, Aldo Natoli and Conrad Villella.
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The Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation will host its last collection days for the 8th annual "Fill the Truck" Toy Drive tomorrow, Saturday, December 19th and Sunday, December 20th, at the Wal-Mart locations listed below. In 2008, the "Fill the Fire Truck" Toy Drive provided toys to more than 18,000 children of low-income families throughout Southern Nevada. For 2009, the Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation hope to provide toys for 21,000 children. You can take your new, unwrapped toys to Wal-Mart at 8060 West Tropical Parkway, off of Centennial Parkway and Highway 95; 6464 N. Decatur, at I-215; 7200 Arroyo Cross Parkway, at S. Rainbow and I-215; 540 Marks St., at I-95 and Sunset; or 4350 N. Nellis Blvd. at Las Vegas Blvd. Thank you.
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Johnny Dark will headline at the Riviera Comedy Club, December 21st through 27th. Due to his record-breaking appearances on Late Night With David Letterman, Johnny can now be called CBS' Oldest Living Television Usher. The multi-talented Philadelphian brings his subtle humor to the Riviera's famous venue. Dark's many television credits include Touched By An Angel, Growing Pains, Just The Ten Of Us and The Tonight Show, both with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. Personally, we remember seeing Johnny, very early in his career, at The Horn in Santa Monica (probably in the mid-'70s). Joining Dark will be comics, Jodi Weiner and Vinnie Mark. Jodi brings a likeability and cuddly persona that could defrost the most difficult of audiences. She has appeared nationally at Funny Bones, Improvs, Punchlines, Caesars Resorts and Catch A Rising Star. Jodi has also performed for the troops in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and has several television credits, including ABC's The View. Joining in on the fun is Mark, who offers up a comedic spin on traditional magic. Las Vegas slick and Sunday school proper, alchemist Mark transforms audience participation, one-liners and a few surprises into pure platinum. 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 combination packages are also available. For more information, call the Riviera Box Office at (702) 794-9433, or go to www.rivierahotel.com. All guests must be at least 18 years of age for admittance.
Also at the Riviera, is Rockstar, The Tribute. Show times are at 8 p.m. (dark Tuesdays), and tickets are $39.99 for children (ages 5+), $49.99 for general admission, $69.99 for premium (includes one well or fountain drink), and $99.99 for VIP (includes meet and greet, photo or signed poster, and one well or fountain drink). All prices plus tax and fee. Rockstar plays in the Mardi Gras Showroom, on the Riviera's Level 3. Show reopens on December 26th. For all Riviera shows, please call the Box Office, toll free, at (877) 892-7469.
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From Chris in Florence, South Carolina, comes this e-mail question..."I'm hoping you could clear up a wager my sister-in-law and I have. On December 12, Antonio Bocelli performed at the MGM Grand. We were both there and he performed a duet on stage with a female that I swear was Celine Dion. They sang the song "The Prayer" and the two of them are the artists that sang the duet but she claims that at THIS performance, it was a different female singer on stage with him. I watched it also and swear it was Celine Dion. Hope you can be of some assistance. Thanks."
Okay, Chris. We can say for sure that it was not Queen Celine on stage with Mr. Bocelli during his performance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last Saturday. Although we could not get a positive answer to your question before our deadline, there is a possibility that the young lady that you saw and heard with Bocelli was 16-year-old Filipina singing sensation, Charice Pempengco, who, professionally, just uses her first name. If we are wrong about this, we will surely hear about it from other readers and do a follow up answer to your question next Friday.
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Martin Kreloff's Truman
Norm Johnson's Jet
Two friends, artist Martin Kreloff, and writer/journalist (who also happens to be an artist) Norm Johnson, are both mourning the loss of beloved pets. Norm's beautiful cat, Jet, got out of the house last Friday. Although he searched high and low and put out flyers, he had no luck in finding his furry roommate of three years. Johnson's friend, Nancy Barr, who had been out of town when Jet got lost, went on her own search Monday and found the cat in a busy intersection, the victim of a driver who is also probably grieving, about a mile-and-a-half from Norm's residence. Nancy stopped traffic so she could retrieve Jet who was later laid to rest in a grave in Nancy‘s back yard. In the case of Martin, last Saturday, Martin and his partner, Tim, made the difficult decision to put their ailing cat, Truman, to sleep. Truman was a rescued cat, found on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. He had been caged for a long time when Marty and Tim adopted him, and was frightened and very distrustful of people. Truman spent the first months under a bed, coming out only for meals and the litter box. Lots of love finally brought the boy around, and he became Marty's soul cat...sleeping across his arm and enjoying every minute of his new life. The name Truman comes from the character "Will Truman" of the Will & Grace TV show. The name James was incorporated to add some dignity, and all of Marty's cats have the middle name of Louise in honor of Ethel Merman and the character in Gypsy... and Newman just rhymed with Truman. And so their pet was reborn as Truman James Louise Newman. Marty and Tim think the beautiful white cat was about five years old when they adopted him. They enjoyed the pleasure of Truman James Louise Newman's company for nearly ten years. We would like to think that maybe Jet and Truman are playing together in a lovely meadow, somewhere far away.
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Tomorrow and Sunday nights, it's Wynonna in A Classic Christmas at the Las Vegas Hilton, and then on December 23rd and 24th, it‘s Andy Williams taking the Hilton showroom stage. Christmas just isn't Christmas without Andy Williams. So, the Hilton is bringing the Andy Williams Christmas Show into their 1,700-seat theater next Wednesday and Thursday. This promises to be one of the most beautifully choreographed and musically arranged events of the season. The show recalls the classic television specials of this legendary singer who has amassed 18 gold and three platinum records during his illustrious career. Williams' vocal technique and easy-listening sound made him one of the most popular singers of his era. His rendition of Henry Mancini's "Moon River," from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, won an Oscar in 1962. Also appearing with Andy is former Las Vegas resident, singing impressionist Bob Anderson. We presume that, in keeping with the holiday theme, Bob will feature his popular interpretations of singers such as Nat King Cole, Mel Tormé, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, and others, doing their famous Christmas songs. Since Anderson also does a dead-on takeoff of Williams, we have to wonder, who will sing what. It should make for some fun entertainment. Shows are at 8 p.m. Call the Las Vegas Hilton Box Office (24 hours a day) at (800) 222-5361 for ticket prices.
Bob Anderson by Ed Foster
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Ed Mathews, who produces the Thursday afternoon Hit Parade series at the Suncoast, sent along this bit of musical information...
SONGWRITERS BIRTHDAYS - DECEMBER
Dec. 1 (1896-1970) Ray Henderson Music: The Best Things in Life Are Free, It All Depends On You, Birth of the Blues, Bye Bye Blackbird, The Thrill Is Gone.
Dec. 2 (1915-2002) Adolph Green Lyrics: Never Never Land, The Party's Over, Just In Time, Make Someone Happy.
Dec. 3 (1909-1987) Dana Suesse Music: The Night is Young and You're So Beautiful, My Silent Love, You Ought To Be in Pictures.
Dec. 6 (1896-1983) Ira Gershwin Lyrics: 'S Wonderful, Embraceable You, I've Got a Crush On You, The Man I Love, Fascinating Rhythm, Someone To Watch Over Me, But Not For Me, Soon, Who Cares?, They All Laughed.
Dec. 7 (1949) Tom Waits Music & Lyrics: Yesterday Is Here, On The Nickel, Downtown Train, Grapefruit Moon, Dead And Lovely.
Dec. 9 (1903-1981) Matty Malneck Music: Goody Goody, I'm Through With Love, Stairway to The Stars, I'll Never Be the Same.
Dec. 10 (1893-1958) Lew Brown Music: Birth of The Blues, Lucky In Love, That Old Feeling, The Best Things In Life Are Free, Button Up Your Overcoat, Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries.
Dec. 10 (1906-1980) Harold Adamson Lyrics: This Is a Lovely Way To Spend An Evening, It's a Most Unusual Day, Time On My Hands, How Blue The Night, Everything I Have Is Yours.
Dec. 12 (1923) Bob Dorough Music & Lyrics: I've Got Just About Everything, But For Now, There's Never Been a Day. Music: Devil May Care, Nothing Like You.
Dec. 15 (1911-2003) Gladys Shelley Lyrics: How Did He Look?, Just Like Taking Candy From a Baby.
Dec. 16 (1895-1973) Andy Razaf Lyrics: Ain't Misbehavin', S'posin, Honeysuckle Rose, Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You?, Stompin' At The Savoy.
Dec. 16 (1899-1973) Noel Coward Music & Lyrics: A Room With a View, Mad About The Boy, If Love Were All, Poor Little Rich Girl.
Dec. 19 (1928-1974) Morris Charlap Music: You Only You, I Won't Grow Up, Great Day in the Morning, I Gotta Crow, Love Eyes, Young Ideas
Dec. 20 (1907-1984) Paul F. Webster Lyrics: I've Got It Bad and That Ain't Good, The Shadow of Your Smile, Baltimore Oriole, Secret Love, Jump For Joy, Love Is a Many Splendored Thing.
Dec. 21 (1905-1958) Harry Revel Music: There's a Lull in My Life, Stay As Sweet As You Are, And So To Bed, Never In a Million Years.
Dec. 24 (1893-1981) Harry Warren Music: At Last, Jeepers Creepers, There Will Never Be Another You, I Only Have Eyes For You, September In The Rain, The More I See You, This Heart Of Mine.
Dec. 26 (192-2000) Steve Allen Music & Lyrics: This Could Be The Start of Something, Impossible, Gravy Waltz, Pretend You Don't See Her.
Dec. 27 (1902-1982) Sam Coslow Music: Cocktails For Two, I'm In Love With The Honorable Mr. So and So, My Old Flame, Just One More Chance.
Dec. 27 (1906-1972) Oscar Levant Music: Blame It On My Youth, Afterglow, Pardon My Love.
Dec. 27 (1916-2007) John Frigo Music: Detour Ahead, Seeing You Like This, I Told Ya' I Love Ya' Now Get Out.
Dec. 28 (1899-1966) Abner Silver Music: With These Hands, How Did He Look?, The Mood That I'm In, There Goes My Heart.
Dec. 28 (1906-1993) Ann Ronell Music & Lyrics: Willow Weep For Me, Linda, My Heart Is Showing.
Dec. 31 (1885-1976) Edgar Leslie Lyrics: A Little Bit Independent, For Me and My Gal, Among My Souvenirs, Lost In a Dream.
Dec. 31 (1905-1994) Jule Styne Music: Just In Time, Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry, People, Time After Time, It's You Or No One, Three Coins In The Fountain, It's Magic, The
Music That Makes Me Dance.
Tiger Woods' Christmas Card
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And from reader Mike Christ comes a copy of Tiger Woods' 2009 holiday card (see the accompanying photo). Not sure why, but a number of expressions come to mind regarding Mr. Woods and his bad boy behavior, i.e., "Hold that tiger," "Put a tiger in your tank," "Eye of the Tiger."
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New Year's Eve, which falls on a Thursday this year, will be here before you know it (can it really be 10 years since all the scare stories about what would happen the second it became 2000???). But we digress. There probably isn't a more exciting place to be on the last night of ANY year, than in Las Vegas. Here are some of the things that will be taking place in this city, as the hours and minutes tick down to 2010...
Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria (Parker) will be here at her new nightclub at the incredible $8.5 billion CityCenter. For New Year's Eve tickets and VIP table reservations at Eve the Nightclub, call (702) 227-3838. Must be 21+ with valid ID. Dress code will be strictly enforced (no tank tops and flip-flops?).
Join the Shades of Sinatra at the Suncoast Showroom for an early New Year's celebration. There will be one show only, at 12 noon, Thursday, December 31st. Shades of Sinatra is an original musical production, made up of Larry Liso, Lisa Smith, Carmine Mandia and Ryan Baker, celebrating the extensive music and career of the great Frank Sinatra. Featuring more than 30 of Sinatra's biggest hits, this show pays tribute to most of the signature Sinatra tunes one would expect, as well as several that may be new to casual fans. Its cast members create unique characters that celebrate him in their own ways, often drawing on experiences from their own lives. In between songs and poignant stories, there is plenty of zany humor and good-natured ribbing among the four performers, creating the vintage, off-the-cuff Vegas show atmosphere that is associated with Ol' Blue Eyes himself. Tickets are available at the Suncoast box office for a reasonable $19.95. Call (702) 636-7075.
And over at the Cannery Casino & Hotel in North Las Vegas, they will celebrate New Year's Eve with a concert by the legendary Frankie Avalon. The Hollywood Icon will entertain guests with his classic hits and will lead the crowd in counting down the final seconds of 2009. The festivities will be held at The Club inside the hotel on Thursday, December 31st, with a performance at 10:30 p.m. Born Francis Thomas Avallone in South Philadelphia, Avalon's first single was "Cupid." His third release, "Dede Dinah," made it to the Top Ten. He had his first No. 1 single in 1959 with "Venus." That same year, "Why" went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has the distinction of being the last No. 1 hit of the 1950s. Incredibly, Avalon had 31-charted Billboard U.S. singles from 1958 to late 1962, including "Just Ask Your Heart," "I'll Wait For You," "Bobby Sox to Stockings" and "A Boy Without a Girl." In 1962, he teamed up with Annette Funicello and reinvented himself as a clean-cut, pretty-boy surfer in a wildly successful batch of Beach Party movies. As a symbol of his era, Avalon appeared in the 1950s-themed musical Grease in 1978, singing "Beauty School Drop-out." In April of 2009, Avalon appeared as a guest on the hit television show, American Idol, singing the song "Venus." Tickets to the New Year's Eve concert are on sale now. Special dinner and a show packages are also available for the evening. Tickets to the concert include a complimentary champagne cocktail. The package prices are as follows - $79.95 per person for Gold Circle seating and dinner at Waverly's Steakhouse or Vino's Italian Restaurant; $59.99 per person for reserved seating and dinner at the Gourmet Buffet; and $44.95 per person for the show only. Prices do not include applicable taxes, gratuities and fees. Waverly's Steakhouse and Vino's Italian Restaurant dinners are four-course pre-fixed menus, including pre-selected wine or champagne. For reservations, call (702) 507-5757 or toll free at (866) 999-4899.
We will add more local New Year's Eve entertainment options in next week's column.
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Just in time for the holidays, the Winchester Players Musical Theater troupe has updated the classic White Christmas with a twist in their performance of Saving Christmas. There will be two shows, at 7 p.m. on both December 22nd and 23rd at the Winchester Cultural Center Theater, located at 3130 S. McLeod Drive, just north of Desert Inn. All tickets are $5. In Saving Christmas, all adventures lead to Thunder Mountain, as a cast of characters help Arthur King save his magical Christmas mountaintop resort for children. The characters go through plot twists and turns to save the resort in time for the holidays. The brother and sister team of Susan and Christopher Swanson direct the two shows. Susan Swanson brings Broadway experience to the troupe from shows such as No, No Nannette, Pajama Game and Anything Goes, while Christopher Swanson has performed in Donn Arden‘s Jubilee! at Bally's on the Strip, among others. The new 12-week session of Winchester Players Musical Theater I begins on January 12th, with classes from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Cost is $80. Winchester Players Musical Theater II classes take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Cost is $90. For additional information, call the Winchester Cultural Center at (702) 455-7340 or visit the Web site at www.accessclarkcounty.com/parks.
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The talented husband and wife team of Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano return to Manhattan's Metropolitan Room to present their musical program, Cold Comfort, at 4 p.m., this Sunday, December 20th. The Metropolitan Room is at 34 West 22nd Street. For reservations, call (212) 206-0440.
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The City of Las Vegas Cultural Arts presents the Tenors For U Concert (suitable for all ages), tomorrow< December 19th, from noon to 1 p.m., at the historic Fifth Street School, which, oddly, is on Fourth Street at 401 S. Fourth. Enjoy holiday music, from classic to pop, at this lunchtime concert. The program is free and open to the public. Call (702) 229-3515 for additional information (like, "Why is the Fifth Street School on Fourth Street?"). Also tomorrow, at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St., it's a Big Band Pops Christmas featuring Tony Scodwell, with a guest appearance by Lisa Mayer. The all ages program starts at 2 p.m. If you play your cards right, you might be able to catch both presentations. All seats are $5 for this one. Call (702) 229-6383.
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Neil Diamond's Christmas CD
Fremont Street Experience Christmas Tree
From Jean Scigliano, Iris Gerhardt and Eydie Ruth, administrators of www.iaisnd.com, a Neil Diamond Fan Club, comes this news...Neil will be performing on the Christmas In Washington TV special. Annually attended by the President and First Lady and other Washington VIPs, Christmas In Washington is a holiday musical celebration benefiting the National Children's Medical Center. The show was taped at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, December 13th. The concert premieres exclusively on TNT, Sunday, December 20th, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). You may want to check local listings for the exact time in your area. A Cherry Cherry Christmas, Neil's new holiday album, was released in October. The title track is now at No. 8 on Billboard's Top 100 Adult Contemporary Chart. You may be able to see a video of Cherry Cherry Christmas online. At this time, it is only available for viewing in the United States. The link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJiCFE3EFF4. Another video which is currently being shown is a cartoon version of Neil singing Adam Sandler's, "The Chanukah Song" (which is on Neil's new album). See the video on the official Neil diamond Web site, at www.neildiamond.com.
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Still time to check out the Fremont Street Experience Christmas Tree and holiday ambience.
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