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 February 05, 2010
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - February 5, 2010


Lindsay Thomas

Marie Osmond by Erik Kabik

Larry Edwards

Last October, members of the Las Vegas entertainment community gathered together in the Cabaret Showroom at the Liberace Museum to present two performances of Seasons of Love, benefit concerts featuring actors from the casts of Jersey Boys, Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, and The Lion King, along with guest artists from National Tours and New York - including (in alphabetical order): The Apple Sisters - Sarah Lowe, Rebekka Johnson, Kim Gatewood; Charl Brown (Jersey Boys); Travis Cloer (Jersey Boys); Philip Fortenberry (Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, Liberace and Me); Leslie Goddard (Jersey Boys, Hairspray); Robert Jarrett (Mamma Mia); Lowe (Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, The Apple Sisters); Kristofer McNeeley (Jersey Boys); Matthew S. Morgan (The Lion King, Hairspray); Jon Peterson (Cabaret, Song Man, Dance Man); John Salvatore (Jersey Boys, A Chorus Line); Sabrina Sloan (Hairspray, American Idol); Carly Thomas Smith (Jersey Boys, We Will Rock You, Rent); Joan Sobel (Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular); Keith Thompson (Jersey Boys, Hairspray, We Will Rock You); Darren Voros (Hairspray); Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King, Ragtime, The Color Purple, The Who's Tommy, Miss Saigon); and others. The goal was to help actress Lindsay Thomas, who was battling stage-four lung cancer. Additional benefits were held - to raise funds for the young actress who was being treated at Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital - by all of the show's companies around the U.S. and Canada. We are saddened to report that Lindsay lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday. She was only 31. Thomas worked frequently at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where she played Ado Annie in Oklahoma! Her other Stratford credits included My One and Only, The Music Man, Fuente Ovejuna, Oliver! and Don Juan. Her stage credits include the Broadway, national tour, and Canadian productions of the hit musical Hairspray, and the original Toronto production of Jersey Boys. She also appeared in Anne of Green Gables, Somewhere in the World, Grease, Aladdin, The Boy Friend, City of Angels, and The Crucible. Lindsay's friend, Leslie Goddard, who was part of the Vegas Jersey Boys cast and helped organize the local fundraiser, reports from New York, "Many of you know this already, but Lindsay passed away after a long, hard fight with cancer. Please keep her in your mind as you move through your days- she was a glowing soul and all of you carry a little bit of her light with you. Thank you again for participating in the benefit. I am motivated anew to get the video footage up as an homage to a great life that was cut way too short. I am loving you all and missing you from a city that is way too far from you!!" According to friends who organized a Charlottetown event, Lindsay's cancer diagnosis was particularly upsetting because she wasn't a smoker. Lindsay is survived by her partner, actor Gareth Potter, her parents, Marilyn and Derek Thomas, and her brother, Gareth Thomas. A memorial service will be held at Parkview United Church, 470 Ontario Street, Stratford, on Monday, February 8th. Visitation at the church begins at 2 p.m. The service will begin at 3 p.m. Friends and family will gather afterwards at the Paul D. Fleck Marquee in the Festival Theatre, 55 Queen Street.

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On Saturday, in its 26th annual gala, the Nevada Ballet Theatre honored singer, author, television personality, Broadway performer and philanthropist, Marie Osmond, as its 'Woman of the Year' for its 2010 Black & White Ball. As half of the performing duo, Donny & Marie, this all-around entertainer was honored in the Champagne Ballroom at Paris Las Vegas. For the past 25 years, the Black & White Ball has been a much anticipated event in Las Vegas. The annual fundraiser supports the state's largest professional ballet company. Since it began in 1985, previous honorees have included Elaine Wynn (1985), Nancy Houssels (1986), Dr. Parvin Modaber Jacobs (1987), Marjorie Barrick (1988), Thalia Dondero (1989), Kathy Giovenco (1990), Barbara Gomes (1991), Christina Hixson (1992), Yvonne Franchi (1993), Phyllis McGuire (1994), Jan Laverty Jones (1995), Claudine Williams (1996), Kitty Rodman (1997), Jeanne Hood (1998), Lorraine Hunt (1999), Toni Clark (2000), Debbie Reynolds (2001), Chita Rivera (2002), Carol Channing (2003) Celine Dion (2004), Ann-Margret (2005), Rita Rudner (2006), Paula Abdul (2007), Twyla Tharp (2008) and Bette Midler (2009). Proceeds from the yearly events support the Nevada Ballet Theatre's main stage productions by its professional company; quality dance training within its affiliated school, the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre; as well as through its Education and Outreach program, Future Dance.

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Las Vegas' own (via Florida), Larry Edwards, is especially "Proud Larry" these days, after coming in first in the Drag Directory (the Nation's Premiere Directory of Gay Talent) competition. The winner, using one of his pseudonyms, "Hot Chocolate," was determined by internet voters. This is not the first of Larry's big wins. In 1976, he won the Miss Gay Florida competition. In 1978, he was named both Miss Gay Atlanta and Miss Gay Texas. He earned the title of Miss Gay East Coast in 1979, and in 1982, he was declared Entertainer of the Year in Texas. Oh, and did we mention that in 1980, Edwards was the winner of the Miss Gay America title? Edwards is currently performing in Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace. Show times are at 10 p.m., Saturdays through Thursdays (dark on Fridays).

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Dangerous Curves

We Are the World 2010

Unfortunately, due to previous commitments, we were unable to attend the most recent presentation by the Performing Arts Society of Nevada. We thought we had provided the names of all of the performers. It turns out we didn't. So, for those who were missed the first time, here we go again. Performing in the New York In Music & Song program on January 24th, were (in no particular order) Wes Winters; Gary Oakes; Lou Garcia; Jim Hodge; Laurie Caceres; Dangerous Curves, with Karen Merstik-Michaels, Lisa Smith and Grett Menzies; Tony & Lloyd; Randall Patterson; Lee Hughes and The Classic Quintet, with Lenka Hajkova (violin), Lauren Cordell (violin), Tianna Harjo (viola) and Zoe Ley (cello). If we missed anyone this time around, sorry.

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Twenty-five years after the original "We Are the World" was recorded to raise money for USA for Africa (the 1985 effort raised $63 million and became a template for famous-face fund-raising), on Monday night, February 1st, about 80 of music's biggest stars gathered at the Jim Henson Studios to do it again...this time to raise money in support of Haitian earthquake relief.

Among those taking part in the current project are Patti Austin, Tony Bennett, Brandy, Toni Braxton, Jeff Bridges, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr., Miley Cyrus, Celine Dion, Jamie Foxx, Josh Groban, Julianne Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Enrique Iglesias, LL Cool J, Al Jardine, Wyclef Jean, Jonas Brothers, Gladys Knight, Benji and Joel Madden (Good Charlotte), Katharine McPhee, Freda Payne, Pink, Nicole Richie, Snoop Dogg, Carlos Santana, Jordin Sparks, Barbra Streisand, Robin Thicke, Tyrese, Usher, Vince Vaughn, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), and Brian Wilson. Surprisingly, the only Jacksons that we spotted, other than American Idol judge, Randy Jackson, were Tito Jackson's sons, Taj, Taryll and TJ, also known as 3T. The new single will premiere on NBC, February 12th, during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. The original recording session, on January 28th, 1985, featured 46 pop and rock stars, including Harry Belafonte, Kim Carnes, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Hall and Oates, Al Jarreau, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Loggins, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson, The Pointer Sisters, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Jackie, LaToya, Marlon, Randy and Tito Jackson. The song "We Are the World" was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie (who were among those singing on the 1985 recording), and the single was produced by Quincy Jones, who also helped put together Monday's anniversary session.

Photo credit for 2010 We Are the World: Kevin Mazur / WireImage.


Taryll, Taj & TJ Jackson (3T)

Gary Olds

Mentalist Gerry McCambridge

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The Gary Olds Trio will be appearing in the Addison Lounge at the Rampart Hotel and Casino for two nights, this Friday and Saturday (February 5th and 6th), from 8 p.m. to midnight. Joining drummer, Olds, on stage are Chuck Hoover (Rich Little's musical director) on piano, and Jeff Davis on upright bass. Singing artists are welcome to join in, with or without charts, and musicians are invited to join in during the last set of the evening. Please send an e-mail to Gary at [email protected], prior to the engagement. Incidentally, Gary recently wrote the music for the film, Walk of Death, shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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On Tuesday (February 2nd), the FX network ran the movie, Next, with Nicolas Cage. The plot is about a mentalist. Recently the FX network came to Las Vegas to interview the REAL mentalist, Gerry McCambridge. They were out on Las Vegas Blvd., better known around these parts at the Strip, interviewing and reading minds of passing tourists. FX aired the segments with McCambridge during commercial breaks. McCambridge performs at the V Theatre, adjacent to Planet Hollywood, 7:30 p.m., Thursdays through Tuesdays, off on Wednesdays.

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Joni Illi steps up to the mic at Frediani's on Sunday night. Backed by the Joe Darro Quartet, made up of Darro on piano, Jimmy Racey on drums, Norm Ross on bass and Robbie Robinson on sax, Joni will do songs such as "The Nearness of You," "Sunday Kind of Love," "You Made Me Love You," a Doris Day medley of "I'll Never Stop Loving You" and "Love Me Or Leave Me," Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why," "Unforgettable," "When I Fall In Love," "Orange Colored Sky," "Just In Time," "I've Got the World On A String," "Almost Like Being In Love," "Come In From The Rain," "Mood Indigo" with Tom Illi on Keys, and "Why Do People Fall In Love," many from her CD, from 6:30 to 9:30. Frediani's Authentic Italian Restaurant is in Henderson, at 2895 N. Green Valley Parkway, just north of Sunset and next to 24 Hour Fitness. Call (702) 433-1494 for dinner reservations.


Joni Illi

Jeneane Marie

Masters of Rock

And another chick singer, local favorite Jeneane Marie, will be performing at BB King's club inside The Mirage, tomorrow night from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Both of these talented ladies bear checking out.

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Masters of Rock, the ultimate '80s rock experience, opens at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on February 12th. The hotel's press release describes "Incredible tribute artists and famous musicians from rock bands will be featured in limited engagements." Masters of Rock performs in the Mardi Gras Theatres, Level 3, nightly at 7 p.m. (dark Tuesday). General admission is $39.99, and VIP seating is $54.99, both plus taxes and fees. For tickets, call the Riviera Box Office at (702) 794-9433, or toll free at (877) 892-7469.

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Last weekend, we attended Wes Winters' show at the Suncoast. Both the Saturday night and Sunday afternoon shows were sellouts. The pianist, instrumentalist, singer, songwriter has a very strong and loyal fan base, many of whom were regular audience members during his almost five years performing at the Liberace Museum and Carluccio's restaurant, and have followed him to the Renaissance on Paradise where he entertains for the scrumptious Sunday brunch at the ENVY Steakhouse. In addition to himself, Winters' most recent show (actually a revue), called Las Vegas Saturday Night, featured six long-legged beauties in vintage Vegas showgirl costumes (courtesy of Karen Burns), and the magic of Joseph Gabriel and his stunning wife, Katalin. Wes has quite a stage wardrobe himself. Mary Millard helped him through his costume changes. Among the familiar faces we spotted in the crowd were Mafalda, John Meren, Denny Weddle, Lou Anne Harrison Chessick, Jillian Hrushowy, Tempest Storm, Joe LaVigna, Jerry Ritholz-Jarvis, Cindy Doumani, Karen Ruivivar, Randy Soard, and Barbara Winters. By the audience reaction, it appeared that a good time was had by all, including the piano virtuoso himself.


Ray Jarvis

Petey

Mark Winkler

Speaking of Jerry Ritholz-Jarvis, on January 23, he hosted about 150 of his nearest and dearest friends at a gathering to celebrate the life, in dance, song and love, of his longtime partner, Ray Jarvis, who passed away on July 15th, following a valiant 14 year battle with cancer. The event, held in the lovely southeast Las Vegas home that Jerry and Ray shared, featured ongoing videos of Ray's entertainment career and a wonderful banquet provided by Affairs Catering's Joe LaVigna and his capable staff. Some of those sharing memories of Ray, in a Blast from the Past, were former Folies Bergere (Ray was a Folies singer) performers as well as folks from as far away as Chicago and Canada, including (in somewhat alphabetical order) Nancy Lee Parker Andrews, Laura Blackburn, Bob Bond, Rene DeHaven, Jose Dornini, Cindy Doumani, Bob Dowey, Debra Duke, Jerry and Sharlene Engel, Carole Fishman, Barbara Fleming, Barbara Foy, Lou Garcia, Theresa Graham, Carole Hassell, Tracey Heberling, Jim Hodge, Sherry Hudson, Carol Hunter, Pam Kriechbaumer, Renee Lee, Sandra (Dale) Lundy, Eddie McArthur, Mary Millard, Bill Moore, Gary Oakes, Marlene Pendleton, Nicky Powers, Rod Russell, Joni Sailon, Bruno and Terry Scarrone, Lana Schubeis, Walter Shatwell, Randy Soard, Sonia Stinson, Tempest Storm, Cathy Triffon, Barbara Winters, Dan Worsley, and Moira Yurmanovic. We apologize for any omissions and/or misspells.

And speaking of Wes Winters, he and his partner, Rod Russell, are mourning the loss of their pet, Petey, an Akita/Golden Retriever rescue dog they adopted almost 11 years ago. The severely abused puppy was found on the side of a road in southern Mississippi. The veterinarian did not think the pup would survive. After weeks of medical care, he was on the mend. The once terrified Petey became a part of Wes' family, bonding with his other dog, Buster. Winters worked with Petey for months, teaching him that he could trust that there were people who would care for him and not mistreat him in any way. Wes says, that as Petey grew and settled in, he became one of the most loving, happy and beautiful animals, both physically and personally, you could wish for. "In Kansas City, people would stop their car in the street and ask, "What kind of dog is that? That's the most beautiful dog I've ever seen!'" As Buster did for him, Petey did for Shadow and Bandit (actually named Sir James), teaching them how things worked in his home after they had been adopted. As Petey aged and slowed down these past couple of years, Shadow and Bandit (King Charles Cavalier Spaniels) made sure his face was kept clean and tidy, and that he was warm in the colder months by cuddling up with him to sleep and nap. "In recent months," says Wes, "we noticed Petey was slowing down and aging very quickly. We'd started talking about the inevitable. What I had hoped and prayed for was that when his time came, it would involve no or very little pain, peaceful and quick. He'd suffered enough at the beginning of his life." Wes states, "It goes without saying that there is an empty space in our home today, along with an empty space under my piano when I practice. His absence is heart wrenching and hurts like hell, but I know that incredible kind soul is touching somebody else who needs him." Rest in peace, Petey.

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If you live in Las Vegas, or plan to be here around or during Valentine's Day (Sunday, February 14th), there are a number of fun (and romantic) things on the agenda - some involving music and some involving dining. For example...

On Saturday, February 13th, beginning at 7 p.m., it's the annual F.I.O.R.E. Valentine's Day Dinner Dance. This year, the event will be held at Bugsy's Speakeasy, 6145 W. Sahara (on the southwest corner of Jones). Live music by Gary "The Beater" Olds and crew, with special guest Dr. George "Bone Cracker" Ritter. Additional performers, to be announced as soon as they are paroled. No host bar. Delicious buffet. Gifts. Raffles. Prizes for best costumes. Flowers and chocolates for the molls and flappers. Dress for the evening: Flapper and Guido attire, or evening elegant. Small arms must be checked at the door. Cost is $35 per person. Widows of past F.I.O.R.E. presidents are guests of the non-club club (new boyfriends, if any, must know the password). Please RSVP to [email protected] See you at Bugsy's.

The Cabaret at the Liberace Museum presents Serenade of Love on Friday, February 12th at 7 p.m. You can enjoy cast members from Disney's The Lion King in a One Night Only celebration of love at the Liberace Museum. Spend an evening with Andrew Arrington, Allison Blackwell, Kelvin Clayton, Sandra Donatelle, Adam Kozlowski, Mduduzi Madela, Monique Midgette, Matthew S. Morgan, Brenda O'Brien, Jelani Remy, Niles Rivers, Devin Roberts, Alexander Viazovtsev and Marvette Williams, as they perform selections including "Anyone Can Whistle" (Stephen Sondheim), "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries" (George Gershwin), "Flight" (Craig Carnelia), "You and I" (Stevie Wonder), "Yesterday" (Paul McCartney), "Flying Without Wings" (Steve Mac/Wayne Hector) recorded by Westlife and American Idol's Ruben Studdard, "Make You Feel My Love" (Bob Dylan) and Toto's "I'll Be Over You." Musical directors are Jay Alger and Christopher Lash.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, with proceeds going to the preservation of the Cabaret Showroom at the Liberace Museum. The museum is located at 1775 E. Tropicana at Spencer. For information, call (702) 798-5595, ext. 14.

For a Valentine's Day dining experience, Canal Street in The Orleans offers an elegant, relaxing ambiance where you can reserve your fireside booth. The chef has chosen the freshest of seafoods and carefully aged meats to lovingly prepare memorable dinners for the most discriminating palate. Unique entrees and steaks or chops all await you nightly at Canal Street, voted "Best Hotel Steak House In Las Vegas" in Las Vegas Review-Journal Dining Editors' Poll. On this night, the special menu consists of, Starter: Seasoned Prime Rib Stacked Inside Puff Pastry with Roasted Peppers, Tear Drop Tomatoes and Italian Cheeses Topped with Apple Béarnaise, Appetizer Selections, served With a Glass of Louis Jadot "Pouilly Fuisse" � Burgundy � France. Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms - Grilled and Stuffed with Maytag Bleu Cheese, Wilted Baby Spinach and Heirloom Tomato Slices Drizzled with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette, or Chicken and Avocado Spring Rolls - Shredded Chicken, Cabbage, Bamboo Shoots, Carrots, Garlic and Ginger Served with Sweet Chili Sauce. Soup or Salad, served with a glass of Cakebread "Sauvignon Blanc," Napa Valley. Lobster Bisque or Tuna Nicoise Salad - Seared Ahi Tuna, French Beans, Hard Cooked Eggs, Olives, Fingerling Potatoes and Capers with a Lemon and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette. Entrée Selections, served with a glass of Cuvaison � Merlot � Napa Valley, include a choice of Chateaubriand for Two ($85) - Center Cut Tenderloin of Beef Carved Table Side, Served with Duchess Potatoes, Vegetable Bouquetiere, Béarnaise and Bordelaise Sauces, or Orleans Short Loin of Beef ($37) - A Very Special Prime Cut of Bone-In Filet Mignon and New York Sirloin Lightly Rubbed with Ancho Chili Peppers Over a Semi-Sweet Chocolate Demi-Glace Sauce and Served with Grilled Vegetables and Croquette Potatoes, or Seafood Pescatora ($38) - All the Treasures of the Sea Including Lobster, Shrimp, Crab and Scallops Over Sundried Tomato Pesto Sauce, Artisian Style Pasta, Grilled Asparagus and Artichokes. For Dessert, it's Chocolate Ganache Heart - Whipped Cream Filled Chocolate Cake with Fresh Berries with Coffee or Tea. Guests can also select from the regular menu. Call The Orleans at (702) 365-7111, for Canal Street reservations.

If you are in a jazzy mood, or want to get in a jazzy mood, here are some options. On Saturday, February 13th at 2 p.m., the Winchester Cultural Center at 3130 S. McLeod Drive, north of Desert Inn, presents the Nevada Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Barry Ross. Tickets are $12 general admission, and $10 for seniors, Las Vegas Jazz Society or Las Vegas Guitar Society members. Call (702) 455-7340.

Sunday, February 14th at 2 p.m., at the Summerlin Library Performing Arts Theatre (1771 Inner Circle Drive) the Las Vegas Jazz Society presents My Funny Valentine, featuring Mark Winkler and Judy Wexler with the David Loeb Trio. "You've heard them on KUNV. Now Hear them Live!" Winkler is a platinum award winning singer/lyricist who has had over 150 of his songs recorded and/or sung by such artists as Dianne Reeves, Randy Crawford, Liza Minnelli, Bob Dorough and Lea Salonga. He has written lyrics for tunes by such esteemed composers as Wayne Shorter, Dexter Gordon, Joshua Redman and David Benoit. A composition he co-wrote with Benoit, "Land of the Loving," is featured in all of the Philippine National Tourism Board's 2008/2009 TV commercials. Mark has released nine CDs in the US. His newest, of mostly original Winkler lyrics, "Till I Get It Right" was released in March of 2009 on Freeham Records. It features such musicians as Anthony Wilson, Bob Sheppard, Jamieson Trotter and Cheryl Bentyne, of Manhattan Transfer fame, who will duet with Mark on an original Winkler composition, "Cool." He is the co-writer of the hit musical revue, Naked Boys Singing!, currently in its 10th year playing off-Broadway, and in its seventh month at The Onyx in Las Vegas. There is also a Naked Boys Singing! DVD available. Mark is also the creator and co-writer of Too Old for the Chorus, which has played successful engagements in Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego. He has won both L.A. Weekly and Backstage West awards for best score for "Naked Boys Singing!" Winkler has also co-written songs for the musical revues "Bark!" and "Hangin' Out." His jazz musical, Play it Cool, which premiered in Los Angeles in 2007, got a Critics Choice honor in the Los Angeles Times. It was chosen to be part of the prestigious New York Musical Theatre Festival in September of 2008, where it sold out all performances and got excellent reviews. It has just been nominated for Best Musical-Off Broadway by GLAAD. As an educator, Mark has taught seminars in lyric writing at The Songwriters Guild and the Learning Annex. He now teaches Crafting Great Lyrics: A Songwriters Workshop, at UCLA Extension. Las Vegas transplant, artist Martin Kreloff, did the cover art for Winkler's CD, Tales From Hollywood. (See accompanying photo.)


Tales From Hollywood cover by Martin Kreloff

Hugh Fink

Richard Marx

Nat Hentoff says, "...to merit being called a jazz singer you have to have something to say-your own story - as it moves you then and there." Wexler is a natural storyteller, with a distinctive voice, full of shadings. She knows how to dig into a song and find its essence. She is also "one of the most focused, unpretentious, no-nonsense, bop-oriented jazz singers around," according to Harvey Siders in JazzTimes, with an "instinctive ability to bring out the best in each song, often taking it into unfamiliar territory," wrote Ken Dryden in All Music Guide. Wexler's 2005 debut, Easy on The Heart, made radio waves and introduced her to a wide jazz audience; now comes the follow-up...debuting at No. 2 on the national JazzWeek chart, Dreams & Shadows, confirms her ability to find great songs and effortlessly bring them to life. Judy was interviewed on NPR Weekend Edition by Susan Stamberg, who said, "From the evidence on her new second album, Dreams & Shadows, Judy Wexler can sing almost anything." Dreams & Shadows was the No. 2 new release for 2008 on KKJZ's (L.A.'s jazz station) Top 88 List, No. 51 in all new releases for 2008 on the national JazzWeek chart, and was named on several Top 10 lists for 2008. Judy has sung at the Blue Note in New York, Blues Alley in Washington, DC, Jazz Alley in Seattle, the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, and the Temecula Valley International Jazz Festival, where she opened the show for the legendary Mose Allison; she has also headlined in venues as diverse as Montreal, Istanbul, Vancouver and , Miami, the Sundance Film Festival, and the 2006 IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education) conference in New York, garnering rave reviews and building audiences along the way. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for LVJS or LVGS members. For additional information, call (702) 507-3860.

Enjoy Valentine's Day weekend at Stratosphere Hotel & Casino, one of the most romantic and popular spots in Las Vegas. To help couples celebrate, Stratosphere is featuring unparalleled room and dining specials all weekend. Due to popular demand for Top of the World restaurant, Stratosphere has added Dining With a View, a private room seating located on level 104 of the Tower. The Top of the World chef has created a special menu specifically for Dining with a View in celebration of Valentine's Day. Stratosphere is offering three impressive and affordable room packages for a memorable Valentine's Day. In the Valentine's Day Three-Night Package (February 12th, 13th and 14th), loved ones can celebrate the entire weekend together, in a premier view room, with a champagne toast at Level 107 Lounge, brunch at Top of the World, private seating for Valentine's Day dinner, and $25 off an in-room massage from Roni Josef Salon & Spa. Rates are $629 inclusive, based on double occupancy. Valentine's Day Two-Night Saturday and Sunday Package (February 13th and 14th). enjoy each other's company with this two nights stay in a premier view room, private seating for Valentine's Day dinner and $25 off an in-room massage from Roni Josef Salon & Spa. Rates are $445 inclusive based on double occupancy. In the Valentine's Day Two-Night Sunday and Monday Package (the 14th and 15th), the holiday will be one to remember for those who choose this package, a with two nights stay in a premier view room, private seating for Valentine's Day dinner and $25 off an in-room massage from Roni Josef Salon & Spa. Rates are $349 inclusive based on double occupancy. For reservations call Stratosphere at (800) 998-6937.
In addition to the room packages, Stratosphere will feature specials to please any palate.
Level 107 Lounge Sweetheart Package � Toast the holiday with a glass of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries at Level 107 Lounge on Friday, February 12th from 5 to 9 p.m. The music of Afterglow, and the breathtaking views of the city in the background, set the mood for an enchanting evening. Price is $22.70 per person and includes tax and gratuity. Top of the World Brunch � After a night of romance, enjoy a decadent brunch at Top of the World restaurant on Saturday, February 13th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The three-course meal starts with a choice of lobster bisque or market greens salad. For the main course, guests have mouthwatering options of roasted free range chicken breast, seared organic Scottish salmon or ricotta gnocchi bolognese. An assortment of mini desserts offers the perfect ending to the meal. Brunch prices are $36.57 per person and include tax and gratuity. The Valentine's Day dinner offers Dining with a View, with two seatings on Sunday, February 14th, at 6 and 8:30 p.m. While sipping on a complimentary glass of champagne, guests can indulge in appetizers of roasted red pepper and lump crab tartlet, tomato bisque shooter with a Valentine smoked cheddar grilled cheese sandwich and ahi tuna carpaccio with wasabi caviar. The Top of the World chef has specially prepared a dinner presentation beginning with a shrimp and scallop love puff with shiitake mushrooms and a baby frisee salad with dried cranberries, roasted red apple and champagne vinaigrette. Diners will feast on a duet of oven baked petite lobster tail filled with an artichoke risotto and a char-grilled filet of beet with peppercorn sauce accompanied by chef's vegetable selection for the main course. Decadent red velvet Valentine cake with raspberry coulis and crème anglaise completes the meal. To commemorate the day, ladies will be presented with a single rose. Dinner prices are $108.89 per person and include tax and gratuity. Reservations are required at Top of the World and Dining with a View. Call (702) 380-7711 to enjoy a great Valentine's Day brunch or dinner. The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino is located at 2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South.

Over at the Cannery Casino & Hotel, Valentine's Day dining specials include, Waverly's Steakhouse will offer a special four-course Valentine's Day menu for $35.00 per person that includes a free glass of red or white house wine or champagne with all entrées. The first course appetizer will be Fried Oysters featuring lightly breaded oysters with a ginger wasabe beurre blanc. The second course will be a Strawberry Spinach Salad featuring tender baby spinach with sliced fresh strawberries, spiced pecans, mushrooms, red onions and sweet poppy seed dressing. The main course will consist of Beef and Lobster Napoleon featuring beef tenderloin medallions layered with spinach and lobster topped with a lemon hollandaise, or Crab Stuffed Chicken featuring avocado and lump crab stuffed chicken breast served with a crab cream sauce. The meal will be topped off with a Raspberry Decadence dessert. Vino's Ristorante will offer a special "Vino's Valentines" Three-Course Dinner for $30 per person featuring a free glass of red or white house wine or champagne with all entrées. The first course consists of a Roasted Beet Salad featuring hearty roasted beets with arugula, pear tomatoes and sesame crusted goat cheese bouchon lightly drizzled with a honey and orange vinaigrette. The entrées will be a choice of Baked Salmon Fillets with Mustard and Herbed Breadcrumb Crust featuring salmon filet with a crisp Dijon infused breadcrumb crust accompanied by a sweet pea risotto and sautéed broccolini or Mushroom Stuffed Roulade featuring roasted lamb loin stuffed with a seasonal mélange of exotic mushrooms finished with Piquant Red wine nage, served with potato, onion and cheese gratin and sautéed spinach leaves. The meal will be topped off with a Chocolate Reflection dessert. Casa Cocina will offer a special Valentine's Day promotion with two for one "Sweet Heart Casa Ritas." For reservations, please call (702) 507-5805. Please note: full menus will still be available at all restaurants.

Eastside Cannery will celebrate Valentine's Day on Sunday, February 14th, with dining specials at Carve Steakhouse, Casa Cocina and the Eastside Cannery Buffet. Valentine's Day Menus
Carve Steakhouse will offer a three-course dinner for $49.95 per person. The first course appetizer will be a choice of Seafood Cocktail with chilled jumbo shrimp, crab claw and lobster medallion with dijonnaise, cocktail sauce and lemon garnish, or Bleu Cheese and Baby Iceberg Wedge Salad with pancetta crisp and shaved red onions, or Heirloom Tomato with Buffalo Mozzarella, basil and aged balsamic vinaigrette or Lobster Bisque, crème fraiche rosette. The main course will include a choice of Chateaubriand (for two) featuring 20 oz. Roasted Tenderloin of Beef with bouquetiere of fresh spring vegetables, Yukon gold truffle potatoes, classic béarnaise sauce, or Beef Filet Mignon "Rossini" and Broiled Lobster with a beurre blanc medley of fresh spring vegetables and garlic roast whipped potatoes, or Lobster Thermidor au Gratin'e with wild mushroom Risotto and sautéed baby vegetables. Dessert will be a choice of Sweet Heart Chocolate Cake, a red velvet cake with chocolate Grenache and white chocolate drizzle or Crème Brul'ee Sampler with fresh seasonal berries. Casa Cocina will be offering a Valentine's special consisting of a three-course Surf and Turf meal for $24.95 per person.
The first course will be a choice of Albondigas Soup or Seafood Ceviche Salad. The entrée will be Grilled Rib Eye Steak and two Mexican Style Crab Cakes with Mexican papas bravas, refried beans and grilled Pepper Escapeche. Dessert will be Crema de Dulce, Tia-Maria Caramelo. Eastside Cannery Buffet will have a special Valentines Buffet from 3 p.m-9 p.m. for $12.99 for adults and $10.99 for children 12 and under. The Valentine's Day dinner will have a variety of dishes including Honey Glazed Ham, Crab Legs, Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb, Pork Won Tons, Mahi- Mahi & Balsamic Tomato Relish, Sliced BBQ Brisket, Fried Chicken and much more. There will also be a Carving Station, a Salad Bar and a Dessert Bar. In addition to the regular desserts, specialty desserts will include Valentine's Chocolate Heart Decadence Cake and Red Velvet Cake. For Carve reservations, please call (702) 856-5432.

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Hugh Fink headlines the Riviera Comedy Club, February 8th through 14th. As an Emmy Award-winning comedian, writer and producer, Hugh has established himself as one of the leading voices of cutting-edge humor in late-night television. Hugh made several appearances as a commentator on NBC's "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update," and has performed on "Late Night With David Letterman," "Conan O'Brien" and had his own half hour comedy special on Comedy Central. A trained classical violinist, Hugh had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall as the opening act for Jon Stewart. Ed Driscoll has contributed his writing skills to "The Drew Carey Show" and various feature films such as "National Security" and the "Scooby Doo" movie franchises. His television credits include "Politically Incorrect" and NBC's "Comedy Showcase." Ed also wrote music for Barry Manilow's Las Vegas show "Music and Passion." TK Matteson's no-holds-barred comedy has been said to be an infusion of Lenny Bruce meets Bill Hicks. TK is a regular at the Hollywood Improv and the Spotlight Comedy Club in Los Angeles. TK also received an Emmy nomination for his writing on "The Best Damn Sports Show." He tours the comedy club circuit and is creating a reality show entitled "Face The Family." Show times for the Riviera Comedy Club are 8:30 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $24.99 plus tax and fee. Ask about our dinner/show combinations. 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.

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Multi-platinum album selling and award-winning singer, songwriter and producer, Richard Marx, comes to The Orleans Showroom for two nights, Valentine's weekend, February 13th and 14th. With more than 20 years in the music industry, Richard Marx has established himself as a hit-making singer/songwriter with career highlights that include selling more than 30 million albums and writing, as of 2009, 13 No. 1 songs. Marx's self-titled debut album and his first single in 1987 "Don't Mean Nothing" was where it began for the performer as a solo artist. Combined with his follow up CD two years later Repeat Offender, Marx sold more than 10 million albums. From his debut through 1990, Marx became the first male solo artist to have his first seven singles reach the top five on the Billboard singles chart, including the well-known hits "Hold On to the Nights," "Satisfied" and "Right Here Waiting." The hits kept coming in the early '90s as Marx released the double platinum selling CD Rush Street and 1994's Paid Vacation, which included the worldwide hit, "Now and Forever." The song spent 13 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart. In addition to writing and recording hit after hit on his own albums, Marx has written and produced songs with some of the biggest names in music including Barbra Streisand, Daughtry, LeAnn Rimes, Travis Tritt, Natalie Cole and Josh Groban, among many others. In 2004, Marx won the Song of the Year Grammy Award for "Dance With My Father," which he co-wrote with the late Luther Vandross. In 2005, he collaborated with Keith Urban for the country singer's hit song "Better Life" and in 2007 the duo teamed up again to co-write another chart-topper for Urban titled "Everybody." Marx and Vertical Horizon lead singer, Matt Scannell, partnered in 2008 as an acoustic duo and will soon release a CD of one of their recent live performances and plan to follow it up with an electric rock record. Marx also co-wrote a song for Ringo Starr's upcoming CD to be released in 2010. In late 2009, Marx released his latest solo CD, Emotional Remains, a modern rock record that features collaborations with Matt Scannell, Jennifer Hanson and Kenny Loggins. Tickets are available now and are priced from $24.95, plus tax. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 702.365.7075 or visiting www.orleanscasino.com. The Orleans Showroom is an 827-seat venue featuring theater-style seating.



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