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 May 07, 2010
You can find the current column HERE
Las Vegas - May 7, 2010
Happy Mother's Day
Kristen Hertzenberg Satterwhite & Shea
Ali Spuck & Kristofer McNeeley
One of the principals in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, Kristen Hertzenberg who plays "Christine Daae" in the show at The Venetian, is celebrating Mother's Day with her, and hubby Dana Satterwhite's, adorable 17-month old daughter, Shea Mitchell Satterwhite, while entertainers Ali Spuck (Here I Am) and husband Kristofer McNeely (Jersey Boys) anxiously await the due-any-day-now arrival of their brand new daughter. Unless nature pays an early call, Ali will have to wait until next May to officially celebrate Mother's Day, but because she is so close, we are giving her a special mention and sharing photos of both the expectant mom and dad to-be, as well as Kristen and Shea.
If you ARE a mother, hope to ever be a mother, HAD a mother, or ever KNEW a mother, we hope you plan some kind of celebration in honor of the special day on Sunday, May 9th. If so, and you are lucky enough to be in Las Vegas on Mother's Day, here are some of the special things that are available to you and your family...
Make mom's day extra special by taking her to ENVY The Steakhouse at the Renaissance Hotel, 3400 Paradise Road, on Sunday. From 11:30 a.m., to 2:30 p.m., enjoy a delicious buffet brunch and musical magic by pianist/singer, Wes Winters. Only $35 for what might be the best Mother's Day Buffet in Las Vegas. This is expected to be a sellout, so, if you want to be a part of the experience, call (702) 784-5716.
Eva Longoria Parker
The very unique, and fun, Hash House A Go Go will feature Mother's Day Brunch specials, ranging from $8.50 to $22.95, in addition to the mouthwatering, regular priced menu items. The specials include: Roast Chicken "Betsy" (Benny) - a fresh split biscuit with spinach, mushrooms and house roasted chicken topped with scrambled eggs and trimmed with basil pesto cream, all served with griddled mashed potatoes and fresh fruit. Add a glass of bubbly for just $5. Or select from Mama Margie's Brunch Favorite: Fresh Salmon stuffed with shrimp and served on corn mashed potatoes all crowned with sun dried tomato basil cream; Mango/ Peach Cinnamon Flapjack with whipped cream; Sally's Wild Child Mushroom Hash: Portobello, shitake, enoki and oyster mushrooms fresh shaved corn, asparagus, sun dried tomato and queso fresco on crispy potatoes with eggs-your way. fruit garnish and a buttermilk biscuit; Stella's Shrimp Quesadilla: Flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, sautÃ©ed shrimp, market tomato, brie cheese and griddled mash - all topped with basil pesto cream, and more. A special drink menu will also be available, including tasty treats such as blueberry margaritas, Gruet Rose sparkling wine and strawberry brambles, among others. Limited reservation times will be offered at the Sahara location (6800 W. Sahara) from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., and at the Imperial Palace location (3535 Las Vegas Blvd. South) from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. All other times will be first come, first served. For reservations or inquiries, please call the Sahara location at (702) 804-4646, or the Imperial Palace location at (702) 254-4646 or visit www.hashhouseagogo.com. The Imperial Palace location is also open for dinner until 11 p.m.
And also at the Imperial Palace, Japan's top-selling production, Matsuri, is presenting a special dinner and show package for Mother's Day and a month-long, discount ticket price for Las Vegans. Matsuri is offering a complimentary buffet and show ticket for mother's with the purchase of a buffet package. General Admission buffet tickets are priced at $49.99 plus tax and handling. VIP ticket and buffet packages are $59.99 plus tax and handling. Guests wanting to see the show but forego the buffet are also eligible for a free ticket for mom with the purchase of a full-priced show ticket. Showtime on Mother's Day is 4 p.m. Just mention the Mother's Day special when purchasing tickets at the box office. Matsuri can be seen daily inside the Imperial Showroom at Imperial Palace. Show times are 4 pm Saturday - Thursday, with an 8 pm show on Fridays. For more information, please call (702) 794-3261 or visit www.imperialpalace.com.
The Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower is celebrating Mother's Day with a decadent spread of culinary masterpieces at Top of the World restaurant. The Grand Buffet will open at 10 a.m., with seating until 3 p.m., with regular dinner seating starting at 4 p.m. With something for everyone, Top of the World is the perfect way to say thank you to that special woman in your life. Guests can start their meal at the iced shellfish display with shrimp cocktail, Dungeness crab claws, oysters on the half shell, ahi tuna poke and lobster ceviche with assorted sauces. Antipasto selections include heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella with balsamic vinaigrette and basil, Mediterranean olives medley with pickled garlic, Tabouleh salad with bulgur wheat with fresh mint, grilled spring vegetables assortment, bruschetta crostinis with caponata, chili citrus Waldorf salad, baba ghanoush and tatziki, sliced tropical fruit, assorted Danish pastries and a gourmet selection of artisan bread rolls and Caesar salad. The hot station will feature roasted vegetable frittata, crab benedict vol au vent with sun dried tomato hollandaise, petite huevos rancheros with black beans and chorizo, Yukon gold potato gratin with four cheeses, apple wood smoked bacon and chicken apple sausage, seared miso marinated Scottish salmon with baby bok choy, roasted organic chicken breast "Grand-mere" style and bacon wrapped pork dijonnaise and calvados apples. At the hot action station, guests can choose a Belgian waffle with selection of gourmet toppings, ancho chili turkey breast and pepper crusted New York with choice of peppercorn sauce and red wine mushroom. A chocolate fountain with assorted fruits and treats and a selection of petite pastries at the dessert station serves as a sweet ending to the meal. The buffet is $39.99, or $42.99 served with unlimited champagne.
Treat mom to a decadent dining experience at Eva Longoria Parker's elegant Beso steakhouse this Mother's Day. Beso's Executive Chef will introduce three delightful new dishes sure to please mom's palette. The Mother's Day menu, in addition to Beso's steakhouse dining menu, will be available on Sunday, May 9, from 5:30 until 11 p.m. Gorgeous outdoor patio dining options are available. For reservations, please call 702.254.BESO (2376). Beso's chilled avocado soup will tantalize the taste buds, featuring hints of grapefruit, topped with crab and micro cilantro, available for $14. A petite filet and half main lobster paired with potato cake brava, asparagus and a hollandaise sauce is a satisfying main course option, available for $42. And for a decadent and mouthwatering grand finale, Beso will offer fresh plantain crepes spiced with brown sugar and topped with brulee bananas, for $12. Longoria Parker's celebrated steakhouse, Beso, is located in Crystals, at 3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South in CityCenter. Recently named "Best New Restaurant" by the 2010 Las Vegas Review-Journal annual readers' poll, Beso features a flavorful menu with Latin influences. The dining room and patio are open Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until midnight. The lounge is open Sunday through Tuesday from 5:30 to 11 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. For more information about Beso, please visit the website at www.besolasvegas.com or call (702) 254-BESO (2376).
Pianist Danny Wright
will be busy on Mother's Day weekend, appearing tomorrow (Saturday, May 8th
) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Child Focus 7th
Annual Mother's Day Tea, held at the Springs Preserve Crossroads Commons Amphitheater, 333 S. Valley View. On Sunday at 6 p.m., the Ft. Worth transplant will be performing in the Cabaret at the Liberace Museum, 1775 E. Tropicana at Spencer.
Arshiel Calatrava with SOS
At the Gold Coast, the famed show band, Society of Seven, introduces 15-year-old singer, Arshiel Calatrava, to the musical comedy act. Show times are at 7, Fridays through Sundays. For reservations, call (702) 251-3574.
A perfect and appropriate Mother's Day gift will be served up tomorrow (Saturday, May 8th) at 7 p.m., in Sun City Summerlin's Starbright Theatre, by the ladies of Dangerous Curves. Girl Talk is a true potpourri of time-tested audience favorites, from classic songs by artists like the Andrews Sisters and Judy Garland, to the Billboard hits and Broadway melodies you've come to love...plus a special inspirational section dedicated to all the wonderful Moms out there. All this and more, performed by Karen Michaels, Margaret Menzies, and Lisa Smith, the fabulous girls of Dangerous Curves. Tickets are $15 for Sun City residents, and $18 for non-residents (ticket price includes LET), and may be purchased at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle community centers from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. Call (702) 240-1301 for more information. The Starbright Theatre is located at 2225 Thomas W. Ryan Blvd. in Sun City Summerlin.
Over at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater, tomorrow and Sunday (May 8th and 9th), it's ABBACADABRA, the ultimate ABBA concert, presenting 20 of the group's greatest hits in full ABBA fashion and flair. Songs like "S.O.S.," "Super Trooper" and "Dancing Queen" are re-created with such precision, you'll swear you are listening to the originals themselves. The melodies of "Fernando" and "Chiquitita" will rekindle those feelings of first loves. "Take a Chance on Me" and "Voulez Vous" will lift you out of your seats to dance. The show is authentic in music and dress and is performed to live music that will leave you excited and melancholy, at the same time. The members of the five-and-a-half year old ABBACADABRA are Gary Raffanelli, Sandy Shelby, Fred Sampson and Lesley Green. Readers may remember Raffanelli and Selby as the musical duo known as Gary and Sandy. Performing together for 37 years, the twosome were Southern and Northern Nevada lounge favorites. Shows are at 8 p.m., with tickets priced at $29-$39 (plus tax and service charge). Please Call the Hilton Box Office at (800) 222-5361 for tickets, or click here to book online. We will let readers know about Raffanelli's non-singing life as a piano builder in next week's column.
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The Edwards Twins
Derek David's Only You
Hudson & Saleeby
From the pleasant and upbeat to the unpleasant and, in our opinion, unbelievable, comes this Las Vegas tale...
For many years, Cousin Claire has been a friend, fan and supporter of the talented Edwards Twins. We were at the, now but a memory, North Beach CafÃ©, when the identical twin brothers debut their new act - that of impersonating well-known stars. What makes these two so unique is the fact that Anthony Edwards takes on the look and persona of an assortment of male celebrities, with Elton John, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, and Stevie Wonder among them, while brother Eddie Edwards turns himself into ladies of the stage and screen, such as Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler and Cher. The twosome have done quite well for themselves, performing all around the country since joining forces professionally about two decades ago. Although both men have homes in Las Vegas, and their mother lives here, other than a couple of showcase performances in the Club Madrid at Sunset Station, Anthony and Eddie had never had any kind of ongoing Vegas show. Late last year, the duo decided that they would like to take a break from touring and find themselves a local stage where they could settle in for a while. For a short time, it seemed that they might join the Pitbull of Comedy Bobby Slayton, comic impressionist Rich Natole, and Penny Lane (a Beatles tribute revue), sharing space in the intimate upstairs venue at the Tropicana. When the Trop decided they wanted to use the former home of Bob Kephart's Comedy Stop (now conducting business at the Sahara) for something else, everyone was sent packing. The Edwards Twins went looking for another performance space, which they found at Hennessey's Tavern in downtown Las Vegas. With the help of good guy and former Boyd Gaming exec, Howard Jochsberger, they turned a vacant nondescript room in Hennessey's into a cozy little dinner-showroom and opened for business in late December. All appeared to be going well, with decent numbers, satisfied customers and good reviews from the media. In March, we were told that the fellows would be leaving "for a few months," to play some well-paying dates in and around Cape Cod, and they would be returning to Hennessey's in September or October, to pick up where they left off. For the months they were going to be gone, Anthony Edwards told us that they would be subleasing the Hennessey's theater space to singer Derek David for his show, Only You. It was suggested by us that the brothers not change the name of the room, from The Edwards Twins Showroom, to anything else, so their "brand" would still be out there for the show-going public to see. Nothing seemed amiss until we learned that the twins had no real lease agreement with Hennessey's and, therefore, could not legally sublease the space to anyone else. Nonetheless, they (or HE, depending on whose story you believe) tried to do just that. Derek David and his wife Rita were expected to pay a $2000 security deposit, plus $1000 a week, to "rent the room" at Hennessey's. They agreed to do this. The Davids plan was to redo the space to their specifications, with a classy 1940s Ciro's nightclub look, and launch their show, Only You, on Saturday, May 1st. Other than the fact that checks were not made out directly to Hennessey's, nothing about this arrangement seemed suspicious or unusual... UNTIL Hennessey's let the Davids know that they wanted them to open Only You earlier than May 1st. Why? Because, according to a Hennessey's representative, it was costing the restaurant/ brewery money while the theater space was not in operation. How could that be, if they were collecting $1000 a week in rent? It turns out that they weren't. The money was going into an Edwards Twins bank account. Derek David requested a meeting with the brothers. The meeting took place at David's office on Thursday afternoon (April 29th) at 5. Cousin Claire was asked to be there during the confrontation, but could not attend because of Friday column deadlines. Since Mr. David wanted us to be witness to the gathering, he suggested using an out of sight speaker phone so that we could eavesdrop on what took place in that office. That's what happened. For approximately 45 minutes, we listened to the conversation that took place between Derek, Rita, Hennessey's Andrew Northam, and the twins. It was evident that the brothers were caught completely off guard, both by the subject of the meeting and the fact that Mr. Northam was present. There were raised voices, claims of "a misunderstanding," and lots of denial. He wasn't renting the ROOM, claimed Anthony, but the equipment. Four thousand a month to USE lights, a soundboard and some other items? Did Mr. Edwards really think that the Davids, who are sharp business people, would agree to that, when they could BUY or use their own equipment for the job? As we had known Anthony and Eddie for more than 20 years, and had no reason (outside of some occasional exaggerations on their part), not to trust them. We were not only disappointed, but shocked at what these two (or one) tried to pull. We wanted to get an explanation on all of this and called Anthony (it is he who seems to make the business decisions for the twosome), leaving him two messages on his answering machine. We were quite surprised to get a return call from him at 11:19 p.m. on Saturday, May 1st, as earlier we had received an e-mail saying that he had just listened to the two messages we had left over the past couple of days and, because he was so busy, he would not have a chance to get back to us until the following week. We asked how things were going and what was happening in his life. According to him, everything was fine and dandy, and he was happy as a clam. When we asked specifically about downtown, Anthony continued his upbeat, positive tale and reminded us that the Davids were getting ready to open their new show that very night. When we said that we had heard there were some problems between themselves and Hennessey's and the Davids, Anthony denied that, saying everything was great. When we asked about the Thursday meeting, Anthony "didn't know what we were talking about" and denied, over and over, that he was never at a meeting with Derek, Rita and Andrew! He also let us know that all of this (whatever this is or isn't) was "none of our business." Because he had told us of his plans to return to Hennessey's, and we printed that information, we absolutely felt that it became our business. He forbid us from mentioning Derek Davids name, continued to deny any knowledge of a meeting, and told us that any relationship we ever had was over and to never call him again (we won't). He also threatened to take us to court if we wrote anything about this. Mr. Edwards should save his money on an attorney, as we have proof and witnesses that this all really happened. To tell the truth (which we always do) the conversation was frightening, as we felt we were dealing with someone with very serious mental issues. We feel that this type of behavior, and the negative publicity it might generate, could result in some serious consequences for The Edwards Twins, especially in the Las Vegas area. Apparently Anthony Edwards has never heard the saying, "It takes years to build a good reputation, and minutes to destroy it." What we still aren't clear on is whether Eddie Edwards is equally guilty in all of this, as he rarely speaks up for himself. We choose to think that he too is a victim, while some others involved in this think this is a case of "good cop, bad cop. What we know for sure is that the twins really had no intention of coming back to Hennessey's in a few months, as they gave the Davids a one year "lease" on the performance space. And the saga continues.
On a more positive note, currently, the cozy cabaret/theater space at Hennessey's, never more to be known as The Edwards Twins Showroom, houses Only You, a revival of the true dinner show. Derek Davids new revue invites you to take a trip down memory lane with some of the biggest hits ever produced in the '50s and '60s. Starring David, a former member of the legendary Platters, and a collection of some of the greatest singers in Las Vegas including members of the Coasters and Marvelettes. Only You will showcase some of the most popular music in American history and dazzle audiences with such songs as "Only You," "Twilight Time," "The Great Pretender" and "What Becomes of a Broken Heart." This show will also give the audience a rare opportunity, as a never-before heard Motown-inspired track, "Obviously," will be unveiled. Only You will be performed in the intimate, newly designed showroom inside Hennessey's. "This is a resurrection of soulful music from some of the best singers in Vegas and a tribute to the original dinner show," said David, a 40-year member of the Platters. "Only You will fuse Motown, '50s music, '60s music and personal memories together to form a collaboration of good feelings." Only You showcases some of the most distinctive singers in Las Vegas - David, Rheda K. Solo of the Marvelettes, Arnold Parker of the Platters, Terrence Forsythe, Donald Pinkney, and pianist Paul Badia. Choreography is designed by the legendary Papote Varet. Show room and costume design is provided by executive producer, Baroness Rita Bliss. A three-course dinner is served at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m. (dark on Tuesdays). Tickets are on sale at the Hennessey's Tavern Box Office, by calling (702) 382-4421, online at http://www.Vegas.com, or through Prestige Ticketing at (702) 204-5686.
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Tomorrow at 1 p.m., there will be a memorial for the late Paul Szigety. Szigety, the producer/stage manager at the downtown Union Plaza (now known as the Plaza) during the 1970s and '80s, passed away in Las Vegas on February 1st. The service, to be held at the Community Lutheran Church, 3720 E. Tropicana Ave., in Las Vegas, will be followed by a reception at another location (maps will be available at the service), where guests will remember and share stories from the past.
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For those who have lived in or been visiting Las Vegas since the '70s, the name Billow Blues and/or Hudson & Saleeby might be familiar. Good news. Chris Hudson and Doug Saleeby, who left our city for Memphis in 1982 to go to work for game show host, Wink Martindale, in his new restaurant/club, will be performing, in a very rare and very limited Vegas engagement at The Palazzo's Salute Lounge. The dates and hours (we hope) are from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., May 13th, 14th and 15th and 20th, 21st and 22nd. From 1975 to 1982 and their move to Tennessee, Hudson & Saleeby, an outstanding piano-playing/singing duo with beautiful harmonies, performed all over Las Vegas, including at the Riviera, Marina (now the site of the MGM Grand), the Tropicanaâ€˜s Atrium Lunge (now called Celebration), the Barge at Caesars Palace, and the Summa/Hughes properties - Sands, Desert Inn, Landmark, and Frontier- where they shared stages with acts such as Glen Smith, Billy Kay, Kelly Stevens aka Karen Nelson (Bell), and Lee Greenwood (yes, THAT Lee Greenwood!). Occasionally, the duo expanded to a small band utilizing the talents of both Paul Terry and Marty Mahoney on drums (not at the same time), and the late Steamer Adams on guitar. The piano bar, located next door to the Jersey Boys Theatre, offers nightly live entertainment featuring high-energy bands performing a variety of musical styles. Dance the night away to the sounds of rock and roll, Motown, disco, today's top hits or request your own favorites. Amid the impressive retro environment is a full-service bar and comfortable seating to relax or mingle with hottest crowd on the Las Vegas Strip. Chris and Doug say they are very excited to be back after so many years away. Get out there during one or more of their dates, and give Hudson & Saleeby a great big Las Vegas welcome! You're welcome, fellows.
Kristi Holden & Elizabeth Hedman
And speaking of longtime Vegas music men, Doug Taylor, is playing piano at Bar Moderno in the CityCenters' ARIA. You can catch him there, Wednesdays through Sundays, from 7 to midnight, through May 23rd. When he isn't performing in places like ARIA, Taylor is much sought after for convention dates.
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Kristi Holden's Singing Outside the Lines concert last Sunday was a winner on all fronts - the 399-seat Clark County Flamingo Library Theater was just about full, the audience got a great show, and Family Promise of Las Vegas, helping homeless families in the Valley to achieve lasting independence by mobilizing the community to provide safe shelter, meals, and support services for those in need, got some exposure for the good that they do. Between the ticket sales ($20), additional donations, and drawings for some show-themed baskets, the afternoon proved to be a financial success. If you missed this show, watch for Kristi's next turn at bat. We have a feeling that she, like Jersey Boy's Rick Faugno who has appeared in his own shows at the South Point (and who made a guest appearance in Singing Outside the Lines) could develop her own, separate from Phantom, Vegas "side show." In August, Kristi Holden will perform in a Los Angeles benefit where she will be backed by an 18-piece orchestra. We will provide more details closer to August.
Accompanying photo by Kristina Pauman of Limelight Photography.
And speaking of Phantom...On Wednesday night, the 75 cast and crew members chose to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (pronounced My-O), the Mexican holiday, in their own unique and creative way. They called their celebration Cinco de Pie-O. Although everyone was supposed to contribute a pie of some sort, a few "forgot" to bring anything, but hardly anyone forgot to sample the goodies - ranging from quiche and pizza pies, to the traditional fruit and crÃ¨me varieties.
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Bernadette Peters' May 1st appearance as part of UNLV's New York Stage & Beyond series, reminds us about one of our favorite Las Vegas pairings and shows. It was August of 1989, and the place was the Crystal Room at the Desert Inn (now buried under Wynn/Encore). The co-headliners were the winsome Ms. Peters and the Boy From Oz, the late Peter Allen. We were there and have the photos to prove it. Individually, the two entertainers were top-notch. Together they were incredible. Shown with Peters and Allen, in the accompanying picture, is entertainment writer (Hollywood Reporter, Vegas Visitor), Mark Tan. Tan died in April of 1997 at the age of 60.
Mark Tan, Peter Allen & Bernadette Peters
Lily Tomlin & Frank Marino
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Frank Marino and the cast of Divas Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace were very excited when they learned that comic/actress Lily Tomlin was in their audience recently. Tomlin has been a fan of Frank's for some time and took the opportunity to go see him during a visit to our city. After a show business career of more than 40 years, Lily decided that she was ready for Las Vegas and Las Vegas was ready for her. The much nominated 70-year-old Tony/Grammy/ Emmy Award-winner performed here for the first time in November, when she appeared in the Hollywood Theater at the MGM Grand. Ms. Tomlin must have liked the experience, as she just completed her third Vegas engagement.
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On Tuesday (May 4th), comedy-magician Mac King celebrated 10 years of laughter and magic with the Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah's Las Vegas. To honor this momentous occasion, Mayor Oscar Goodman declared May 4th "Mac King Day" in Las Vegas. Rick Mazer, president of Harrah's Las Vegas, presented King with a unique and appropriate cake. "Growing up in a family of magicians, magic has been my life," said King. "I am truly honored to be celebrating 10 years with The Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah's Las Vegas." In the last 10 years, King has performed an incredible 5,200 shows to more than one million audience members in the main showroom at Harrah's. That translates to 2,600 days of plaid suits worn, 15,600 feet of rope used for King's famous rope trick, 270,400 playing cards, 15,600 magically appearing fig newton cookies, and 26,000 audience volunteers! As for those mysterious goldfish? Those numbers remain a secret. If you weren't one of the million people who have seen this show in the past 10 years...what are you waiting for? Show times are at 1 and 3 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tickets start at a reasonable $27.45. Call (702) 369-5111 for reservations.
Mac & Jennifer King
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It's Liberace Birthday Celebration Week at the museum that bears Mr. Showmanship's name. For one week only, from this Sunday through next Sunday, admission to the Liberace Museum is only $3.50, with children under 12 admitted free when accompanied by an adult. (Admission was $3.50 on the museum's opening day, April 15th, 1979.) Special expanded museum hours for the week are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Some of the weeks events include, on Mother's Day:
Abigail Varghese in the Cabaret at 12;30 p.m., Danny Wright at the piano at 1 and 6 ($20 in advance and $25 at the door for show at 6), and the Liberace film, Leapin' Lizards at 4. Monday, it's Timothy Jones and the UNLV Percussion and Marimba at 12:15, and violinist Valeri Glava at 3. Tuesday, UNLV Jazz Quartet from 10 to noon, Philip Fortenberry at the piano from 1 to 2 p.m. ($15), Glava at 2:30, Anna Nateece in Costume Gallery signing photos from 3 to 5 p.m., Liberace Movie (The World of Liberace) at 6, and Christopher Joel Carter IV playing in showroom from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Fortenberry in Liberace and Me from 1 to 2 ($15), pianist Christopher Joel Carter IV in the Costume Gallery at 3, and Travis Cloer and Ann Barr doing Gershwin at 7 p.m. (tickets $20 in advance, $25 at door). Thursday, Valeri Glava joined by Liberace Scholar Christine Riegert 1 to 2 ($10), Anna Nateece in Costume Gallery signing photos from 3 to -5, and Anna Kijanowska UNLV Faculty, Classical Piano at 6. Friday, Andy Wright UNLV String Scholars at noon, Carter in Costume Gallery at 3, Carter and Varghese in Showroom at 6. Saturday, Sirius radio broadcast (John Nash), interviewing Liberace scholars, Christopher Joel Carter IV, Philip Fortenberry, and the museum's executive staff from 10 to noon, Philip Fortenberry Show at 1 ($15), Christopher Joel Carter IV with local students in Costume Gallery at 3, and Lady "J" Huston Concert 7:30 (tickets $20 in advance, $25 at door). And rounding out the week on Sunday, May 16th, cake served in the cafe from noon to 12:30, and the Finale Celebration - with Carter, Phyllis Bell, Dave Haertel, John Kaye, Danny Wright and a special appearance by onetime Liberace protegee, quadruple-threat Domenick Allen, his wife musical theater star Leigh Zimmerman (The Producers, Chicago, Contact), and daughter, 10-year-old entertainer Cayleigh Capaldi (tickets $35, price includes complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres). Madame Tussauds life-size wax figure of "The King of Bling" will be on display for photo ops. There will be museum tours throughout the week and 20% off on gift shop purchases. The Liberace Museum is located at 1775 E. Tropicana Ave. (at Spencer), in Las Vegas, NV 89119. For additional information, call (702) 798-5595.
Domenick Allen, Leigh Zimmerman & Cayleigh Capaldi
The Four Tops
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We got some interesting feedback following last week's item on Frediani's and the unfair dispensing of money from the tip jar. Here are a couple of the comments we received from readers. "Your story about Maggi Albisani not being paid or not even getting the money from the tip jar at Frediani's was heartbreaking. How disgusting! Thanks for exposing them." While another said, "I just read your column. Are you serious? Is that really what happened? Maggi didn't get paid and she also got stiffed on the tips? Who divvied up cash in the jar? My jaw is hanging open in disbelief." We can tell readers that days after the "guilty party' was outed, he
paid Ms. Albisani $40 and apologized. There is no question in our mind that if he had not gotten backed into a corner, Maggi would have received NO money and NO apology. When we said the handwriting was on the wall, and we anticipated the demise of Frediani's, little did we know that the big change would take place within days, not months. Frediani's, as we knew it, is history. The restaurant has been sold and will now be called Happenings. We wish the new owners well and urge them to get off on the right foot and stay there. A "house cleaning" (not of dust or cobwebs, but of people) is in order. We will have more on this new venture, with some familiar names at the helm, next week.
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Our deepest sympathies go out to Frank Rinella and, the Las Vegas Review-Journal's restaurant critic, Heidi Knapp Rinella, on the loss of their 25-year-old daughter, Aynsley. Aynsley Jean Rinella died in a single-car accident on April 10th. A gathering at St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, 204 S. Boulder Highway in Henderson, will begin at 7 this evening. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Drivers Edge, 7435 S. Eastern, Suite 5-165, Las Vegas 89123.
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The Four Tops, whose meteoric rise to fame began with their 1964 Motown hit "Baby I Need Your Loving," bring their soulful songs to The Orleans Showroom this weekend. One of the few groups to have hits in three consecutive decades, The Four Tops' songs were splashed across the pop and R&B music charts from the 1960s through the 1980s. "I Can't Help Myself," a 1965 R&B and pop smash, is one of Motown's longest-running chart toppers. In the years that followed, The Four Tops continued to produce anthems that defined a generation, including such favorites as "It's The Same Old Song," "Reach Out I'll Be There," "Standing in the Shadows of Love" and "Bernadette." Their extraordinary run of classics continued with "Shake Me, Wake Me," "Ain't No Woman" and "When She Was My Girl," which went to No. 1 in 1981. Over the years, The Four Tops' fame grew as they teamed with Motown's top female group, The Supremes, post-Diana Ross. Billing themselves "The Magnificent Seven" for a series of albums, they hit with a cover of "River Deep - Mountain High." Later the group partnered with "Queen of Soul" and longtime friend Aretha Franklin to produce the Top 40 R&B hit "If Ever A Love There Was." Audiences also know the tunes of The Four Tops from their R&B hit "Are You Man Enough," from the movie Shaft in Africa, and the song "Back To School Again," heard in the film Grease 2. Their final solo Top 40 hit, "Indestructible," was heard around the globe as the theme of the 1988 Summer Olympics, held in Seoul, South Korea. In 1990, with 24 Top 40 pop hits to their credit, The Four Tops were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Pegged among the greatest artists of all time by Rolling Stone, The Four Tops have performed a nearly non-stop string of tour dates, dazzling adoring fans with their signature sound. Shows are tonight (Friday, May 7th), tomorrow and Sunday at 8 p.m. Tickets are from $39.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 365-7075, or visiting www.orleanscasino.com. Save on convenience fees by purchasing the tickets in person at Coast Casinos. Look for local sax (and other horns) man, Steve Golden (who also plays in Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show at the Sahara), in the orchestra.
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Steve March Torme
Col. Wally Carson
Ronnie Rose may be "Singing the Blues" (thank you, Guy Mitchell), but it's not because he can't find work. The blues and R&B singer is busy, busy, busy. On Mondays, May 17th and 31st, from 5 to 10 p.m., Rose entertains in the upscale Range Steakhouse at Harrah's. Enjoy the Strip views, fine dining and the music of Ronnie Rose. On Thursdays, May 13th, 20th and 27th, from 7 to 10 p.m., you can find Ronnie at Daddy Mac's, 2920 N. Green Valley Parkway (near Sunset). Call (702) 272-0913 for (suggested) reservations. May 5th, 7th, and 8th, Rose is at Mandalay Bay's House of Blues Restaurant at 9 p.m. On Sundays, the 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th, he is at the same place, with shows starting at 8 p.m.
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Tonight at 8 (pre-show at 7), the City of Henderson presents the United States Coast Guard Band, under the direction of Commander Kenneth W. Megan, in a special performance that includes star soloists, the celebrated Masters of Swing and majestic literature for wind ensemble. The concert, held at the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water Street, will feature an entertaining arrangement of songs from the long-running Broadway favorite, "The Fantasticks," trumpet soloists in "Under Gypsy Skies," a collection of songs from Oscar-winning film scores, as well as works by John Philip Sousa, Jules Massenet and Samuel Barber. The U.S. Coast Guard Band is the premier ensemble of the United States Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. In addition to annual regional tours in the United States, the Band has performed in the former Soviet Union, Canada, England, and in 2008 became the first premier American military band to tour Japan. When not traveling, the Band is based at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.
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In a loving tribute to his father Mel Torme, the multi-talented musician, Steve March Torme, brings Totally Torme to the Suncoast Showroom for two performances, at 7:30 p.m. on May 8th and 9th. Backed by a jazz quartet, young Tormé brings the music and legend of his father to the forefront, performing songs long associated with Mel's celebrated career in the music and entertainment industry. Never-before-seen photography and video of the father and son are featured in the tribute, completing the "Totally Torme experience. Having a famous father isn't all that Steve March Torme is known for. An entertainer and recording artist in his own right, Torme's voice has been described as "seductive" and "effortless" with "a natural ability to connect with audiences." He began his recording career in the late '70s with his first LP, Lucky, followed by producing and singing on Liza Minnelli's release Tropical Nights. On a recommendation by mega-producer Quincy Jones, Torme was tapped to be one of three featured singers for the vocal group Full Swing, which released their own album and toured internationally. Following the tour, Torme left the group to pursue a solo career, releasing several recordings including, Swingin' at the Blue Moon Bar & Grille, The Night I Fell For You, The Essence of Love, So Far and Straighten Up and Fly Right, which highlights a live duet between Steve and his father, showcasing an improvised "scat" lesson between student and teacher. His latest CD, inside/out, is a set of 12 original tunes penned by Torme, where he is not only the singer, but also keyboardist and guitarist. A well-rounded entertainer, Tormé also acted in a mini-series for RAI (Italian) television, as well as a number of variety and music programs, including a three-year stint as a featured singer on $100,000 Name That Tune. He also hosted two Los Angeles-based television programs, Video 22 and Box Office America. Tormé currently hosts his own radio show, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons on the Music of Your Life network (www.musicofyourlife.com). Tickets for his Suncoast shows are available, starting from $19.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 365-7075 or visiting www.orleanscasino.com. Save on convenience fees by purchasing the tickets in person at any Coast Casino.
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Who says you can't go home again? It certainly wasn't Nelson Sardelli. Mr. Sardelli, of F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events, although you don't have to be Italian or too ridiculous to join in the fun) fame, wants it known that, after four months of arduous negotiations, two tons of pasta and 300 gallons of cappuccino espresso, the non club club, described by many (okay, one) as "the world's classiest and most exclusive club ever" (you got a problem with that?), the non existent board of non directors of the non club club F.I.O.R.E., and the no nonsense directors of the Italian American Club, have reached an agreement which they believe is a good deal for all the parties concerned. Henceforth, the meetings and events of the non club club F.I.O.R.E. will, once again, be held at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara. The next gathering (men only, please) will be this Thursday, May 13th, at 11:30 a.m.
Guest speaker will be Colonel Wally Carson (retired). This American hero will share interesting and historical stories that start here in Las Vegas in 1926 and go through World War II, Korea and Vietnam. A question and answer period will follow. Gentlemen, mark your calendars. Check out http://www.nonclubclubfiore.com/index.htm.
And speaking of Nelson Sardelli, another of his family members, daughter Giovanna Sardelli, is in the news again. Although she calls New York home, the young lady is directing the West Coast premiere of Matthew Lopez's The Whipping Man, at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, tomorrow through June 13th. Set in Virginia following the final days of the Civil War, a Jewish Confederate soldier returns to his childhood home, only to find it in ruins and occupied by his former slaves who are preparing for a Seder. Immediately after San Diego, Giovanna returns to New York City to direct a major off-Broadway play. More details on that will soon be on the way.
Giovanna Sardelli & Matthew Lopez
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We especially like the new AT&T commercial, featuring Gene Wilder singing the Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse song, "Pure Imagination," from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Just as it is supposed to do, this 30 seconds (or even better, expanded to 60 seconds) will take you back to your childhood in a clever, creative and entertaining way.
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Let it be known throughout the land...Any press releases not received by Wednesday afternoon will either be used the following week or not at all.
Signed (most respectfully),
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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye