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 April 09, 2010
You can find the current column HERE
Las Vegas - April 9, 2010
Shhh. It's a secret...or it was, until now. Magician Ariann Black will open her new show, Secrets, in the restored 200-seat showroom at the Westin Casuarina (the onetime site of the Maxim on Flamingo, a block east of the Strip) on Thursday, May 20th. Secrets, directed by the much respected Johnny Thompson (of The Great Tomsoni & Co. fame, and as advisor to Criss Angel, Lance Burton, Doug Henning, Penn and Teller, and Siegfried and Roy, among others), will be enhanced by three attractive female dancers/assistants, making for fine adult (over 14 when accompanied by an adult, please) entertainment. In addition, there will be a 4 p.m. Saturday matinee, geared to families. Tickets for children, five and older, will be offered at an affordable price. We will have those prices, and more Secret details, in next week's column. We are pleased to see this theater space, which formerly housed David Brenner and Forbidden Vegas, back up and running.
Incidentally, Ariann, who used to spell her name with one "n," will now be using two. Entertainment writers, take note.
And while one magician is preparing to open, another has just announced his closing...at least at his current venue. Master Magician Lance Burton will end his almost 14-year run at Monte Carlo, Saturday, September 4th, during Labor Day weekend. Lance, who performs in his self-named theater at the south Strip property, has earned the title as the Las Vegas Review-Journal's "Best Magician" for more than 10 years. Known for his astounding illusions and mesmerizing sleight-of-hand, Burton debuted at the Monte Carlo on June 21st, 1996, the day the hotel opened. "Performing at Monte Carlo and introducing thousands of people to the world of magic has been a fantastic experience for me," said Burton. "I have loved every minute of this historic run and look forward to turning my attention to new opportunities."
Lance Burton performs at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday in the Lance Burton Theatre. Tickets may be purchased by calling (702) 730-7160 or at www.montecarlo.com. For more information about Lance Burton, visit his website at www.lanceburton.com.
We are sad to report that, during the same week that Lance Burton announced his plans to leave the Monte Carlo, his mother, Hilma Burton, passed away in her sleep at her home in Columbia, Kentucky. She was 73. Lance will cancel his Tuesday, April 13th, show to be in Kentucky for his mother's private funeral service. He will return to his regular show schedule on Wednesday.
Dame Edna & Michael Feinstein
Christine Andreas in La Cage by Matthew Blank
And speaking of show closings, where Lance Burton will have had an almost 14 year run when he ends his engagement at the Monte Carlo in September, Dame Edna Everage and Michael Feinstein brought down the curtain on their joint Broadway entertainment venture after a disappointing six-week run. All About Me, described as a "Broadway flop," closed at the Henry Miller Theatre on Easter Sunday. It starred the Australian housewife, channeled by performer Barry Humphries, and the sophisticated cabaret performer. All About Me was expected to be a hot ticket, but the pair failed to win over critics and Broadway audiences.
And while we are still in a Broadway mood, the cast of the new Broadway revival of La Cage aux Folles, starring Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge, celebrated its first preview on Tuesday, April 6th, with a post-show reception at Hurley's on West 48th Street in Manhattan. La Cage aux Folles features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play by Jean Poiret. This "freshly reconceived production" is choreographed by Lynne Page and directed by Terry Johnson. The cast also boasts Fred Applegate as Dindon; A.J. Shively, a recent University of Michigan graduate, making his Broadway debut as Jean-Michel; Tony nominee Veanne Cox (Company, Caroline, or Change) as Mme. Dindon/Mme. Renaud; Tony nominee Robin de Jesús (In the Heights) as Jacob; two-time Tony nominee Christine Andreas (My Fair Lady, Oklahoma!, On Your Toes) as Jacqueline; Elena Shaddow (Fiddler on the Roof, Fanny at Encores!) as Anne; Chris Hoch (Beauty and the Beast, Spamalot, Shrek the Musical) as Francis; Heather Lindell (Hairspray) as Colette; Bill Nolte (The Producers, 1776) as Tabarro and David Nathan Perlow (White Noise) as Etienne. Also starring as "the notorious and dangerous Cagelles" are Nick Adams (A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, Chicago), Nicholas Cunningham (La Cage Aux Folles in the West End), Sean Patrick Doyle (Fiddler on the Roof national tour, Wig Out!), Yurel Echezarreta (West Side Story), Terry Lavell (Hairspray in Las Vegas, Smokey Joe's Café national tour) and Logan Keslar (West Side Story in the West End). The production also includes Christophe Caballero, Todd Lattimore, Dale Hensley and Cheryl Stern.
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Longtime Las Vegas businessman, Herb Kaufman, passed away on Tuesday, April 6th, at the age of 80. Kaufman was born in St. Louis and moved to Las Vegas in 1965. For 20 years, Herb operated the WonderWorld stores. He later went on to partner with Johnny Carson in the purchase of KVVU TV-5, the No. 1-rated independent station in the United States. Herb was involved in a number of other independent business ventures. It was Herb Kaufman who "discovered" Kenny Kerr at a talent showcase at the Sahara Hotel. The year was 1977. Within a short time, with Kaufman as producer, Kenny Kerr and Boy-lesque had a home at the Silver Slipper, where the show played until the property closed in November of 1988. "We turned it into a locals hangout," Kerr says, "and sold out three shows a night." The two gentlemen were business partners for more than 15 years, and remained friends up until Herb's death. Kaufman served on countless philanthropic boards throughout his 45 years in Las Vegas, including the American Cancer Society, Sunrise Hospital, Easter Seals and the Clark County Housing Authority. In January of 1978, he was honored with the naming of the Herb Kaufman Community Center. Kaufman was the longtime president of Temple Beth Sholom, where he was instrumental in the growth and progress of the Jewish community in Las Vegas. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Irene; son, Jeff (Kristin); grandchildren, Dylan, Jake and Mia; son, Rick (Deborah); and brother, Bernard (Barbara). Funeral services were held earlier today at Temple Beth Sholom, 10700 Havenwood Lane, with graveside services following at Palm Valley View Memorial Park, 7600 S. Eastern Ave. The family requests memorial donations be sent to Temple Beth Sholom, the American Cancer Society or the Juvenile Diabetes Association.
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Wes Winters & Taylor Moore by Mary Millard
Wes Winters & Arlene Bates by Mary Millard
Almost 400 people turned out to join musician Wes Winters for the Easter Sunday Mimosas & Music Brunch at the Renaissance Hotel on Paradise Road last weekend. Since ENVY the Steakhouse, where Wes does his ongoing Sunday performances, is rather "intimate" (that translates to, not too big), the festivities, including a dancing "pope," took place in the ballroom to accommodate the crowd. The top winner of the Easter Bonnet Parade was young Taylor Moore, while the fun-loving Mad Hatter, Arlene Bates (who loves bunnies, Easter or otherwise), came in third (see accompanying photos). The food was excellent, the music was wonderful, and we were surrounded by lots of good eggs, making for a fun afternoon.
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If you want to see female impersonator, Brian Keith, play emcee to the Divas Las Vegas cast at the Imperial Palace, you only have tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, to do so. Brian, one of the last performers to play at the famed Finocchio's drag club in San Francisco, before the 63-year-old club closed in November of 1999, was born in Cleveland. In the mid-1990s, he ran The Cave nightclub on West Charleston in Vegas, which is where he met Frank Marino. In the late '90s, Brian went on the road as the emcee for a show called Sin City Sisters, before ending up as host/hostess at Finocchio's. Following the closing of the San Francisco club, Brian became a building general contractor, while continuing to perform occasionally for fun. In the early 2000s, he opened a show called Guys 'R Dolls. Realizing that, much like an athlete, female impersonators have a limited shelf life, Brian played it smart - he went back to school to become an RN. Today, he works primarily in an emergency room in the Bay Area, taking a little time off, every once in a while, to step back into his high heels and the spotlight. For the past couple of weeks, Keith has done just that, filling in for vacationing Marino, who has been on a long-planned trip to China. Frank returns to the Imperial Palace stage on April 13th.
Las Vegas' pioneer Queen of the Strip (and stripTEASE), Kenny Kerr, who currently lives and works in Palm Springs, was here to attend today's funeral for Herb Kaufman. Last night, he took in Diva's Las Vegas to see Brian Keith at work. Brian gives Kenny a lot of credit for being his inspiration when it comes to the art of female impersonation. Incidentally, Kenny is currently performing at Look, 139 E. Andreas in Palm Springs, Sundays at 9 p.m. Call (760) 778-3520 for additional information and/or reservations. He will be at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco's Hotel Nikko, on Saturday, May 8th. Showtime is at 10:15 p.m.
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Jazz lovers should be delighted to learn that there are three nights of their favorite genre of music being offered during next week. Beginning on Monday, UNLV will present the Jazz Guitar Ensemble, and Jazz Faculty, with Guest Artist Clay Jenkins on Jazz Trumpet, at 7:30 p.m. in the university's Black Box Theater. Tuesday, at the same time and in the same theater, it's Guest Artist Clay Jenkins once again, this time with UNLV's Jazz Ensemble I & II. Tickets for both concerts are available by calling the Performing Arts Center at (702) 895-ARTS. On Wednesday, at 7 p.m., as part of their Jazz Series, the UNLV Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, will perform a free concert at the Clark County Flamingo Library Theater. Clay Jenkins' career as a jazz artist has covered a wide range of musical experiences and responsibilities, bringing him to the forefront of the jazz performing and teaching arenas. Clay's experience as a performer began at an early age playing with Stan Kenton. He recorded three live albums with the Kenton Band, Artistry in Symphonic Jazz, A Time for Love, and The Lost Concerts, Vols. I & II, and was also involved with the "Stan Kenton Orchestra in Residence Jazz Camps." Clay moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where he was in demand as both a live performer and studio-recording musician. It was at this time that he studied with the renowned trumpet teacher, James Stamp. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra. Since moving to Rochester, NY, to join the Eastman faculty in 2000, Clay has maintained a busy performing, recording, and teaching schedule. He has remained active throughout the United States (especially NYC and LA) and abroad. Clay continues to perform and record with the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, of which he is a charter member (the trumpet section has included trumpet artists Snooky Young, Bobby Bryant, Chuck Findley, Oscar Brashear, Byron Stripling, and Bijon Watson). Clay's solo recordings include Rings, Give and Gather, Yellow Flowers After, Azure Eyes, and Matters of Time. Additionally, his ensemble, with co-leader Kim Richmond, has released three recordings: Range, Look at the Time, and Crossweave. Other artists Clay has recorded with include Milt Jackson, the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Diana Krall, Billy Harper, Lyle Mays, Peter Erskine, Harold Danko, Rufus Reid, Ray Brown, Joe La Barbera, Kurt Elling, Dr. John, Bob Sheppard, Jim Widner, John La Barbera, Pat La Barbera, Eric Reed, Gary Hobbs, Rich Perry, Bill Perkins, Bill Cunliffe, Gary Anderson, Billy Childs, Steve Houghton, Lennie Niehaus, Ernestine Anderson, Karrin Allyson, and Miki Coltrane. His most recent recording project is with Eastman colleagues, Jeff Campbell and Rich Thompson, on their newest Trio East recording, soon to be released. Clay attended the University of North Texas (then named North Texas State University), where he earned his bachelor's degree in music theory and studied trumpet with John Haynie. He received his master's degree in jazz studies from the University of Southern California, studying trumpet with Boyde Hood, and currently studies with Uan Rasey. Prior to joining the faculty at Eastman, Clay held teaching positions at The University of Southern California, California State University at Northridge, California Institute of the Arts, Colburn School of Performing Arts, and The Foundation for the Junior Blind. Clay plays a Besson trumpet and represents this company as a performing artist.
You Could Be Living Here
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The homeowner of a beautiful, just over 1500 square foot, residence in Sun City Anthem, is looking for a compatible roommate (male or female). The lady would prefer an over 19-year-old reliable, non-smoking professional, with a steady job; someone who is neat and tidy and respectful of her lovely home; someone with a car that doesn't leak oil; and someone who likes, and isn't allergic to, cats. Of course, she would like all of these qualities to be in ONE person! The neighborhood is a gorgeous, age-restricted community. It is quiet, clean and safe in Anthem (Heck, Tony Curtis lives in Anthem!). The bedroom for the perfect tenant is just under 12 feet by 12 feet, and they would have their own private bath - with a skylight!
There are three community centers, offering just about any activity that you could imagine - including indoor/outdoor pools, Jacuzzis, workout rooms, classes in yoga/aerobics/dance, pottery-making, sewing, billiards, card clubs - you name it, they probably have it. There is a large theater where they put on concerts and shows, a restaurant, golf course, convention rooms, banquet and meeting rooms, bocce ball and tennis courts, a carpentry room, library, and the list goes on. If you lived in this home, you would have access to all of these amenities! The rent is $600 a month. The owner would require first and last month's rent. A payment plan could be worked out, if needed, for the deposit. A renters agreement would be signed.
For more information, or to see this charming home, call (702) 609-7351. No flakes need call.
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Starting tonight, April 9th, pianist/keyboardist, Dennis Mellen and the multi-talented Herb Rawlings Jr., introduce an "after-the-work-week" Happy Hour at Chianti Cafe in Summerlin. A versatile singer, actor, dancer and playwright, Rawlings, has appeared in a variety of theatrical venues, both nationally and internationally. He made his performance debut at the age of two for Jackie Wilson and Berry Gordy, and his first professional appearance was with Josephine Baker's last world tour. Mr. Rawlings has been a featured soloist with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, under the direction of Mercer Ellington, and has appeared as Sportin' Life in the Radio City Music Hall, national and international productions of Porgy and Bess.
Herb Rawlings Jr.
Mark Winkler & Mary Foster Conklin
He received the Fred Astaire Award for best male dancer in a Broadway Musical, and a Drama Desk nomination for his performance as James Thunder Early in the mega-hit musical, Dreamgirls, and has appeared in the national tour of Showboat with Donald O'Connor. Mr. Rawlings' vast performing experience led to playwrighting. He co-authored the award winning musical Doo Wop Love, and the musical, From My Hometown, which had a successful run at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City. In Las Vegas, Mr. Rawlings appeared as James Brown in the Imperial Palace production of Legends in Concert. He also played Brown in the Martin Sheen, Don Cheadle-starring film, Talk To Me. He has also performed at the openings of The Venetian Hotel and New York-New York Hotel Casino. Mr. Rawlings also impersonates Sammy Davis, Jr., and has appeared as Sammy at the Greek Isles Hotel & Casino and in various venues locally and nationally. Mr. Rawlings has also been a lead vocalist for The Platters, both locally and nationally. Beginning at 5 p.m., every Friday, Dennis and Herb will be performing a range of musical material, from jazz and standards, in the styles of Johnny Hartman, Nat King Cole, Lou Rawls, and Johnny Mathis; to blues, R&B and more, as the evening progresses. Don't forget to stick around for Sean West and the AK Music Band starting at 8:30PM for great dance music. Chianti Café is located at 1916 Village Center Circle (off Town Center, north of Summerlin Parkway). On Saturday, Dennis Mellen performs at Lucio Ristorante, 8615 W. Sahara (southwest corner at Durango, behind Charlie's Lakeside), from 6:30 to closing. Open mic starts at around 8, and all are invited to join in. On Sundays, Mellen performs from 6 to 10 p.m. (and sometimes later) at Salvatore's piano bar, inside Salvatore's Italian Steakhouse at the Suncoast Hotel Casino, with open mic starting around 8:30. Salvatore's has gained a reputation as a gathering place for a lot of great performers, including Sandy Anderson, Gary Anthony, Michelle Johnson, Herb Rawlings Jr., Michael Shane, and Nathan Brian Wine, just to name a few. Lots of fun and surprises at Salvatore's.
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Auditions for the Rainbow Company Youth Theatre's production of Jack and the Beanstalk will take place at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center, 821 Las Vegas Blvd. North, on Saturday, April 17th at 1 p.m. The play will be performed from June 4th through 13th. Adults and children, ages 8 and older, are invited to audition. There is no cost to audition. (If any "theater company" tells you there is a charge to audition, LEAVE.) Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing. For more information call (702) 229-6553 or (702) 229-6211.
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This week, we, along with many others, mourn the death of 92-year-old Thomas Angove. Mr. Angove invented box wine, making it easier to stack supplies in a corner, recycle, lighter to carry, and less expensive than the breakable bottled version of the stuff. The innovation, a resealable plastic bag in a cardboard box, took about two years to develop. Angove's idea was later developed into the cask, with a tap feature commonly seen today. While not necessarily considered the height of class, the wine cask can now be found at just about every North American wine store, as well as just about every North American undergrads party.
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Singer Maggi Albisani's date at Frediani's has been moved from tonight, April 9th, to Sunday, April 25th. We don't know what is going on over at the Green Valley Parkway restaurant, but SOMEONE needs to get more organized!
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Okay, all you Southern California music lovers...singer/songwriter Mark Winkler, with special guest, New Yorker Mary Foster Conklin, will perform tomorrow night at The Gardenia, 7066 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. The 9 p.m. show will feature musicians Eli Brueggemann at the piano, Tim Emmons on bass, and Paul Tavenner on drums accompanying Mark and Mary. According to Winkler, "The last time Mary got off the plane, looking white as a Vampire, it took two days for her to thaw from the Manhattan chill. She is one hip and musical lady, and this is our third time together at the Gardenia," Mark reports. There will be some standards and old favorites too - "Somewhere in Brazil," "This Could Be the Start of Something Big," "My Romance" and "In a Lonely Place" - and lots of new songs, including Winkler's and Marilyn Harris' "Sunglasses in the Rain," which he and Conklin will sing together for the first time. The Gardenia is located on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and La Brea Ave., where street parking is available. Have dinner and see a swinging show. There is a $15 cover charge, and reservations are required. Joe Lange of Jersey Jazz says, "If anyone tells you that there is a hipper gig than the pairing of vocalists Mark Winkler and Mary Foster Conklin, don't you believe it." Call (323) 467-7444 for reservations.
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Lee Roy Reams & Liz Smith
Brad Cummings & Rex
Sorry for this after-the-fact news...Last night, an event was held at the 1100-seat McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert that has Cousin Claire green with envy. We would have loved to see this star-studded lineup of talent, presented by acclaimed photographer of film, stage, journalism and fine art, Michael Childers. Childers did still photos for films ranging from "Grease" to "A Coal Miner's Daughter." He created the mixed media for the off-Broadway musical "Oh Calcutta," was a founding photographer for Andy Warhol's Interview and After Dark magazines, and Graphis magazine named him one of the 100 most important photographers of erotic art. For the last 15 years, he has also produced musical extravaganzas for charity. He called his first local benefit "One Night Only" when Lily Tomlin hosted it in 2002. Eight years later, he's still at it. Last night's SOLD OUT production, benefited Jewish Family Service of the Desert. New York critic, Rex Reed, hosted and sang a Cole Porter song in Childers' first-ever theme show, saluting "Hollywood's Greatest Music" and featuring almost two dozen Emmy and Tony award winning performers. "I just wanted to do something different this year," said Childers, who began producing his shows in Santa Fe, New Mexico. "I think every year from now on we'll have a theme." Thursday nights' entertainers included (in alphabetical order) dancer Phillip Attmore, performing Cole Porter's "Too Darned Hot;" Polly Bergen with "I'm Still Here" from Follies; jazz and Broadway singers Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway (Ann, who had a SOLD OUT concert at the Annenberg Theater in January, came to help sister Liz celebrate her birthday) will sing solo numbers as well as duets; Loretta Devine, a Grey's Anatomy star who sings blues and R& B ranging from Bessie Smith to Aretha Franklin, who will perform "I Believe In You;" Michelle Duffy, who has performed in Putting It Together and City of Angels; Nancy Dussault, a Broadway veteran and Too Close For Comfort star, singing "These Foolish Things;" Davis Gaines, the record-breaking Los Angeles star of Phantom of the Opera, performing "Old Man River;" Tony-nominated Danny Gurwin, singing Johnny Mercer's "An Affair To Remember;" original Star Search winner Sam Harris singing "Don't Rain On My Parade;" Wicked star Megan Hilty, performing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend;" Rancho Mirage resident Alix Korey, an off-Broadway star, singing Judy Garland's classic "The Man Who Got Away;" Carol Lawrence, creator of Maria in Broadway's West Side Story, singing "Top Hat" from the film of the same name; Rita McKenzie, who has portrayed Ethel Merman for more than 20 years, will open the show with Merman's classic "There's No Business Like Show Business;" Marni Nixon, 80, singing two songs she dubbed for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "I Could Have Danced All Night;" Broadway star Valarie Pettiford, singing the Frank Sinatra classic "Willow Weep For Me;" Lee Roy Reams, doing numbers from Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!; 2009 American Idol semi-finalist Von Smith doing the Dreamgirls flag waver "And I Am Telling You;" James Snyder, a star of John Waters' musical Cry Baby, singing "No Matter What Happens" from Yentl; Nita Whitaker performing "I Will Always Love You;" and John Lloyd Young, the Tony Award winning star of Jersey Boys, singing "Something's Coming." Dancers, Seth Belliston, Joel Longenecker, Michael Paternostro and John Todd, are also part of the program. Tickets for the event sold for $75, $95 and $140. VIP theater and dinner packages went for $375.
From Palm Springs, our favorite Roger Debris (The Producers), Lee Roy Reams, heads to Hollywood and the Magic Castle, where he will perform his one man Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance! show at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7) on Tuesday, April 13th. The Magic Castle is the world's most famous club for magicians and magic enthusiasts, home to The Academy of Magical Arts, Inc., and is the showplace for some of the greatest magicians from around the globe. The magnificent Hollywood landmark known today as the Magic Castle recently celebrated in centennial. For more information, visit http://www.magiccastle.com/. Tickets are $30 and $35. A portion of the proceeds from the Cabaret at the Castle event will be donated to the Sealed With a Wish Foundation. The mission of Sealed With A Wish, a nonprofit organization, is to enrich the lives of our soldiers living in combat zones by providing comfort and care items that they would not normally receive. For more information, visit www.sealedwithawish.org. To purchase, call (323) 851-3313, ext. 434. The Inner Circle at the Magic Castle is located at 7001 Franklin Ave. in Hollywood. Then the song and dance man is off to Naples, Florida, where he will present the tour de force look at his musical theater history for TheatreZone, April 22nd through 24th at 8 p.m. and on the 25th at 2 p.m. Reams received a Tony Award nomination for his performance in 42nd Street. Among his other Broadway credits are Beauty and the Beast, The Producers, La Cage aux Folles, Sweet Charity, Applause, Lorelei and Hello, Dolly! His cabaret show has taken him to the White House and around the world, and he considers it an honor to have performed for four U.S. Presidents: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and Bill Clinton. "Like Sophie Tucker always said," jokes the busy man who veteran entertainment columnist Liz Smith calls 'Broadway's Darling,' "I'm one old bag that never gets unpacked!" TheatreZone is located at 13275 Livingston Rd. in Naples. For information, or to purchase tickets, call (888) 966-3352.
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The Las Vegas-inspired production show, Palm Springs Follies, is currently celebrating its 19th season with Let the Good Times Roll! The Follies is close enough to Southern Nevada to attract talent who make their home here. For example, this seasons' lineup included or includes, Susan Anton (October 28th-December 31st), and Mary Wilson (March 30th through May 16th), who both live in Vegas. Also performing during this season, The Four Aces (January 6th through February 6th), Rita Coolidge (February 9th through March 27th), and comic/ventriloquist, Brad Cummings and Rex (October 28th through May 16th). Although we don't know where the Aces, Rita or Brad live, we wouldn't be one bit surprised to learn that some of them also have homes in Las Vegas. Which brings up the question...Why doesn't this city have a show like the Palm Springs Follies? Goodness knows, there are many over 50 dancers and AARP member entertainers who would love to be back on the boards again.
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The Edwards Twins & Trekkies Picardo & Wang
Beginning on April 13th, The Edwards Twins, Anthony and Eddie, will be taking a leave from their show at Hennessey's Saloon, on Fremont Street and Las Vegas Blvd., to trek across the country, where they are scheduled to perform in and around Massachusetts through September. And speaking of the impersonating twins and "trekking," last week, actors Robert Picardo, who portrays The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager, and Garrett Wang, who plays Ensign Harry Kim on the same TV series, were in to have dinner and see the revue and pose for pictures with Anthony and Eddie. We might remind readers that, while The Edwards Twins are touring, Derek David and the musical, Only You, will take over the theater at Hennessey's beginning on May 1st. Look for more details here over the next few weeks.
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Grammy Award winner Michelle Williams has extended her limited engagement as Roxie Hart in the Tony Award-winning revival of Chicago through April 13th at the Ambassador Theatre. Williams, of Destiny's Child fame, had previously been scheduled to depart the production following the March 28th performance. She will join the Los Angeles engagement of Chicago at the Pantages Theatre on April 20th and continue there through May 9th. In L.A., Williams will be joined by Terra C. MacLeod as Velma Kelly, Brent Barrett (our Phavorite Phantom) as Billy Flynn, Tom Riis Farrell as Amos Hart and Carol Woods as Matron "Mama" Morton. In other Broadway Chicago casting news: Gossip Girl star, Matthew Settle, will now make his Broadway debut as Billy Flynn for an eight-week engagement beginning April 19th. Tony Award-nominee, Tom Hewitt, will return as Billy Flynn for a three-week engagement beginning March 29th, Amra-Faye Wright will return as Velma Kelly beginning April 5th, and former Las Vegan, Terri White (Finian's Rainbow), makes her debut as Matron "Mama" Morton on April 26th. There's never been a better time to experience Chicago, Broadway's razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy® and thousands of standing ovations. A sensational tale of sin, corruption and all that jazz, it's no surprise that Chicago has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, and from Sao Paulo to South Africa. And now it's in Southern California. If you missed it during its run here at Mandalay Bay, or would like to see it again, Chicago has everything you could want: knockout dancing, an edge-of-your-seat story and one showstopper after another. If you loved the Academy Award®-winning film, nothing beats the live show, and if you are already intimately acquainted with the musical, experience that sizzle again, Chicago always delivers!
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Marty Allen by Chris Morris
Birthday wishes to Aries (March 21 through April 20) celebrants, including Louie Anderson, Elton John, Katharine McPhee, Shecky Greene, Nicole Pryor, Carole Fishman, Steve Schiffman, Danny Calico (Colica), Marty Allen, Benny Hollman, Susan Meinhold Sobel, John Encinio, Leigh Zimmerman, Mary (Mrs. Bob) Flanigan, Henry Shed (Shead), Christopher Hassell, Mary Marcella Schwartz, Vita Corimbi, Corky DiFini, Ervin Drake, Wayne Newton, Tony Orlando, Jackie Brett, Janis Ian, Barbara Ciarlantini, Grace (Bambi Jr.) Morley, Arthur Lincoln, Lisa Dawn Miller, Jimmy Emerson, Wanda Dee, Michael Cohen, Arthur Shafman, Jerry Fink and Marvin Lashever.
Happy anniversary to Sandy and Lisa Dawn Miller Hackett, and Buddy and Lezlie Anders Greco.
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Lady Gaga is coming into the MGM Grand Garden Arena on August 13th. With Lady Gaga's flair for the theatrical, combined with her innovative and creative spirit, The Monster Ball Tour promises to push the limits of the live concert experience, bringing returning fans a spectacle even more eye-popping than what they experienced before. Her special guests will be Semi Precious Weapons. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at $183.75 and $89.25 and $52 (all prices include 5% LET, plus a $7 handling fee).
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Back by popular demand at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin this Sunday, The Keatings take audiences on a musical journey that spans numerous genres, including pop, jazz, rock, country, opera, Broadway, standards, and even gospel. Audiences are consistently captivated by the unique combination of powerful voices from a father and his teenage son. The Keatings perform regularly at various venues in Las Vegas and throughout the United States. Showtime on Sunday is at 3 p.m., with tickets priced at $12 for Sun City Summerlin residents and $15 for the rest of us. All shows at the Starbright are first come, first served with no limit on the number of tickets purchased. Saving seats is prohibited. Be sure to get your tickets early so you don't miss out! If an event sells out, every attempt will be made to provide additional show times, if possible. Show tickets may be purchased at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle. All ticket prices include Live Entertainment Tax. Tickets are non-refundable. Starbright Theatre shows are open to everyone ages 12 and over. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. For up-to-date information on Starbright Theatre shows, call (702) 240-1301.
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A friend sent this open letter to Jesse James our way. Enjoy...
You Stupid Bastard! You cheated on Sandra Bullock? How in the world can you be so stupid? You are married to one of the most beautiful women in the world; she has a body to die for, and her current wealth and predicted wealth is shadowed only by Oprah, who even Steadman will tell you, isn't attractive. But your wife, who recently beat out Julia Roberts in the polls and is now the named "America's Sweetheart"; you also remember she just won an Oscar (which translates to more money per picture she makes in the future)...while you were shacking with that tattooed freak, who just happens to be a former stripper and is someone's mommy.
You are really a piece of work! You are the most hated asshole cheater on the planet! And while the State of California is a no-fault state whereby you may be able to take half of your wife's wealth, in doing so you would only be hated even more...especially after Sandra's speech during the Oscars in which she did nothing but praise you. How can you live with yourself after she even cared for your children? I only have one thing to say to a despicable, miserable, cheating piece of crap that you are: Thank You!! You really helped to take the heat off of me. Lets do lunch sometime and compare notes.
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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye