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 May 14, 2010
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - May 14, 2010


Warning

Here is an important warning notice to all tourists and locals who spend any time in casinos. In this case, what we are describing happened at a Las Vegas off-Strip property. Casino crime is probably more common than we know. We have a feeling that much of it goes unreported. Anyway, here is the story. Earlier in the week, following a show and dinner in the mostly locals place, some folks we know decided to do a little gambling (doesn't everybody?). The group kind of split up, with some people playing in one part of the casino and some playing in another part. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and, although not winning any big jackpots, were holding their own. At one point, in the early morning hour, one of the players was approached from behind by a woman who said, "you dropped your credit cards." When the player asked, "what are you talking about?," the "good Samaritan" pointed to the ground where two cards were lying. Although the slot player knew that she had not dropped any credit cards (or, in this case, gift cards), she, nonetheless, bent over to pick them up, with the intention of asking the "kind stranger" to please turn them in to security. When she turned to hand her the cards, the female was gone. So was, as the player discovered about an hour later, the victim's wallet. Surveillance video shows the con artist reaching over the "pigeon," removing the billfold from her purse, and quickly exciting the casino. The ruse was not discovered until the slot player went to tip a cocktail server and found her wallet, along with its contents, missing. There are some lessons to learn from this experience and we strongly urge readers to make a mental note. Do not take your eyes off your property, even for a few seconds. Ignore a stranger who points out a $5 bill, credit cards or anything else that would cause you to let down your guard. A loud noise, someone spilling drinks anywhere near you, bullets whizzing by your head, anything that might cause you to divert your attention. Remember that there are professional criminals lurking out there, and they want your stuff. Keep your possessions in a pocket inside your coat, in a zipped bag or anywhere else where they can't be seen or, more importantly, snatched. We were also very disappointed and saddened to learn that, it seems, the primary purpose of hotel security is to protect their property, NOT the customer. Maybe we have been watching too many Vegas-themed TV shows or movies but, we always thought that an incident, like the one described, would have been seen by those on eye-in-the-sky duty, immediately relayed to casino security who would have magically appeared at the scene of the crime and taken the guilty party into custody. We can assure you, based on what we have heard, It works NOTHING like that. You have been warned.

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Diana Ross

Brian Keith

Matsuri

From May 18th through 20th, Frank Marino will be taking a short leave from his role as host/MC of Divas Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace. On May 19th, Marino, the show's star, will be sitting in an audience instead of performing on a stage, and he will be watching a Supreme diva rather than playing one. Adam Steck, of SPI Entertainment, who produces Divas as well as Louie Anderson, Thunder From Down Under and Human Nature, gifted Frank and his life partner, Alex Shannon Schechter, with tickets to see Diana Ross' Wednesday night show at Radio City Music Hall. Miss Ross is a favorite of Marino‘s, who has seen just about every Diva in captivity. To say that Frank is excited would be an understatement. Ross, the former lead singer for The Supremes, launches her More Today Than Yesterday Tour, beginning tomorrow. The 17-city trek kicks off at the Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston, MA, and concludes June 12th at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA. Other stops along the way include May 27th at Chicago Theatre in Chicago, IL; and June 9th at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. According to a statement, the upcoming sessions will be backed by a live string and horn section, while Ross "will be pulling out all the stops with breathtaking costumes and stage designs." The one-month tour will pull its set list from Ross' hit-filled, 50-year career. During the first decade of her career, Ross recorded iconic hits such as "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "You Can't Hurry Love" with The Supremes. When she moved on as a solo artist in the '70s and later decades, she topped the charts with her version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," as well as original tunes like "Touch Me in the Morning" and "Love Hangover." The singer's most recent studio album, "I Love You," was released in the U.S. in January 2007 and debuted at No. 32 on the Billboard 200.

During Frank's absence, female impersonator Brian Keith will return to Vegas to do the hosting honors in Divas. The San Franciscan is a former cast member of Finochio's, one of the most well-known drag clubs in the country. It might interest audience members to know that, in his "other life," Brian is a nurse.

And while we are still at the Imperial Palace, let us mention that, now through May 26th, Matsuri is offering special savings and deals just for Las Vegans. Residents can purchase tickets to enjoy Matsuri, Japan's famed "Muscle Musical," for just $15 each (two ticket maximum purchase per person). Matsuri is an action-packed, non-verbal production that showcases extreme athleticism through a series of unique variety acts. The 75-minute high-energy show features a cast of 18 Japanese athletes, performing stunts ranging from the "Human Jump Rope" and "Judo Tango," to the "Lion Dance" and "Foot Drums." Extreme variety, extreme beauty and extreme entertainment take center stage at Matsuri inside the Imperial Showroom. Show times are 4 p.m., Saturdays through Thursdays, with an 8 p.m. show on Fridays. For more information, please call (702) 794-3261 or visit www.imperialpalace.com. Tickets can be purchased at the Imperial Palace box office. In order to take advantage of the locals special, proof of Nevada residency must be provided.

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A couple of readers sent us a copy of this ad that appeared on Craig's List last Sunday (we are printing it as it appeared online, with spelling errors intact)...
restaurant-fully equipped and open
Date: 2010-05-09, 9:40 AM
TURN KEY AND OPERATING RESTAURANT WITH FULL LIQUOR.
Beautiful 3,000+ square foot restaurant, fully equipped and open. Restaurant was just acquired but due to health reasons it must be sold or it will be closed in about a week.
Fully equiped with 12 burner range, convection ovens, two fryers, grill, walk in cooler etc. Nicely furnished. End unit with visability on Green Valley Parkway near Sunset Road. Huge hood, handicapped bathrooms, sprinklered. Rent had been re-negociated to include cam, $5,000 per month for two years, then $6,000, then add cost of living increases after that. Landlord will go 20 years and is preparing new lease. Management agreement in place for FULL LIQUOR SUPPER CLUB LICENSE Clark County jusistction. Licensee can continue as manager OR YOU CAN APPLY FOR TRANSFER, cLARK cOUNTY LICENSE FEES ARE UNDER $1,000 TO TRANSFER, YOU PAY QUARTERLY ACCORDING TO GROSS SALES. Fully stocked and ready to go.
Reply to [email protected] or call 954-579-8166, can show it on Monday, May 10th.
Your investment buys all equipment and furnishings and includes all inventory.
Location: Green Valley. it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests.

We know that this was a description of the restaurant formerly known as Frediani's (and Chiante and Trilussa) and now called Happenings. Since the place had just been taken over by new owners days before the ad appeared, we were quite curious. When we spoke to someone at the restaurant, we were told that the ad was run as a "test" of sorts, to prove that the facility had value and potential. Approximately 16 inquiries were made, before the ad was taken down the next day. According to our source, the restaurant is not for sale.

And still speaking of the onetime Frediani's...On Thursday, we got a call from Enrico Santorelli, one of the former owners of the Italian eatery. Mr. Santorelli requested that we inform our readers that, as soon as he got back from a music gig in California (Santorelli is a respected bass player), he did pay singer Maggi Albisani for the fine work that she had done at Frediani's (which it was called at the time) on April 25th. We are more than happy to oblige.


Enrico Santorelli

Connie Francis, Eric Floyd & Dionne Warwick

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Producer Eric Floyd and his Divas of the Grand Stage, Connie Francis and Dionne Warwick, have been hitting the radio and TV talk show circuit (The Joy Behar Show, Larry King, FOX‘s Better), both here and in New York, to promote their upcoming, history-making engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton. The two ladies will perform together, for the first time ever, when they take to the Hilton stage for 8 p.m. shows on May 21st, 22nd and 23rd. Audience members can expect to hear many of the chart-topping songs made famous by the two ladies, who, coincidentally, happen to share the same birth date (December 12th). According to an Internet site, in 1960, Connie Francis became the youngest headliner to sing in Las Vegas. Tickets, which are going fast, range from $59 to $125, plus taxes and fees, for VIP seats and perks. For reservations, call (702) 732-5755 or (800) 222-5361.

* * * * * * *

If we were a betting woman (and sometimes we are), we would put a small wager on this possible scenario. We believe that by July (most likely sooner) we will see the closing of the downtown cafe being mishandled by the man that our esteemed mayor, one Oscar Goodman, named as Entertainment Ambassador of Las Vegas. This pretender wears that pseudo title like a Phi Beta Kappa key. The big difference here is that the key is earned, while this "honor" is a joke and an embarrassment to a community where true entertainment and real entertainers have reigned since the 1940s. This establishment uses House Seats to help attract customers. We have it on very good authority that the place is asking (or almost insisting) that its few unsuspecting patrons provide a business card in exchange for seats to different shows. If the customer doesn't have a credit card, they are asked to provide their e-mail address. It is very apparent that they are trying to build an e-mail list. There is a right way and a wrong way to do that. This is not the right way. Some friends who attended a show at the place one week ago today, found themselves uncomfortably warm and had to use a magazine to fan themselves. They were told that the air conditioning was down and would be back up and running within a few days. Don't know how long that "excuse" will work as, from what we have been told, the entire complex has no working air and hasn't had for well over a year (maybe two). If it's miserable in the place in May, what will it be like in July? Our guess is, over.

* * * * * * *


Travis Cloer

Rebecca Spencer

Philip Fortenberry

We were in the audience at the Liberace Cabaret last Wednesday, when Travis Cloer (he plays Frankie Valli in The Palazzo's Jersey Boys) was joined by Ann Barr and special guest Sandra Huntsman for a Gershwin tribute. Travis did songs such as "A Foggy Day" and "They Can't Take That Away From Me," while Ann sang "How Long Has This Been Going On" and "Someone To Watch Over Me." Barr and Huntsman performed "In His Eyes," from Jekyll & Hyde. Presented by RagTag Entertainment, piano accompaniment was provided by Angela Chan. On Sunday, May 23rd, Cloer will step out of his Frankie Valli role once again, when the Performing Arts Society of Nevada presents the talented young man in his own show at the Clark County Library Theatre, 1401 E. Flamingo, east of Maryland Parkway. Travis, who will perform songs from his CD, Setting the Standard, as well as other classics and original material, will be joined by his Little Big Band - Keith Thompson on piano, Brian Czach on drums, Tyler Williams on bass, Dave Hart on guitar, Kevin Stout on trombone, Eric Tewalt on tenor sax, Eddie Rich on alto sax, and Glenn Colby on trumpet. Showtime is at 2 p.m. and tickets are $15. Much like Kristi Holden's recent library show, this should be a sell out. For reservations, call (702) 658-6741.

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BackStage Bistro Award-winner and Broadway performer Rebecca Spencer ("Jekyll and Hyde") will be the final act for this season's Castle On the Hudson (400 Benedict Avenue, Tarrytown, NY). The performance will take place this Sunday, May 16th, at 8 p.m. Spencer, who portrayed Madame Giry in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular at The Venetian, will be joined by her musical director, Philip Fortenberry, Broadway's most sought after pianist and associate conductor for the Las Vegas production of Jersey Boys. Her special guest star will be Broadway performer John Treacy Egan (The Producers, Little Mermaid). The evening will feature interpretations of the Broadway and American songbooks, as well as original material written specially for Ms. Spencer. Her Phantom performance prompted a review in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that read: "There's a lot of talent on display at "Phantom", but the person I can never stop watching is Rebecca Spencer." Las Vegas Magazine chose her Las Vegas concert debut as its No. 1 pick of the month. Rebecca will return to Las Vegas on June 20th for an encore performance, after her guest starring role as Solange in the Showtunes Theatre Company's production of Follies at the historic Moore Theatre in Seattle, WA. Ms. Spencer will return to the East Coast in July, with appearances scheduled at Harlan's Cabaret in New Hope, PA, as well as her Birdland debut in the Broadway at Birdland series. The Castle on the Hudson offers dinner and show packages. Overnight packages and limited advance purchase show only tickets are both available. Call (914) 631-3646 for cover/minimum information. Friends and family tickets (Concert only) are $ 20. There are ticket packages with and without dinner.
To make reservations, please call (914) 631-3646.

It looks like Philip Fortenberry will be taking a little time off from his duties at Jersey Boys, as well as that mirror-encrusted Baldwin in the Cabaret at the Liberace Museum. Not only will Philip be playing for Rebecca on the 16th, today (May 15th), at 7 and 9 p.m., Philip will be performing Broadway, My Way (also available on CD) in the Bart Howard Room (composer Bart Howard wrote "Fly Me To the Moon (In Other Words)" and "Let Me Love You") at Iowa's Des Moines County Historical Society, 501 N. Fourth St. Fortenberry made his solo debut at 12, attended Julliard in NYC from age 17, and went on to serve as conductor, pianist and arranger for dozens of Broadway musicals (Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Ragtime, The Lion King, Oklahoma! and more). He has played for Laurie Beechman, Harry Connick, Jr., Barry Manilow, and Eartha Kitt, and has performed at Carnegie Hall and the White House. Philip is currently serving as the Associate Conductor for Jersey Boys in Las Vegas and tours the U.S. with his three solo concerts. When at home in Las Vegas, Philip also performs at the Liberace Museum three days a week. Fortenberry has eight CDs to his credit, the most recent, Broadway, My Way, is dedicated to his roots on the Great White Way. Thickets to see Philip Fortenberry in concert are $25. To purchase tickets, or for additional information, call (319) 753-5880.

* * * * * * *


Cynthia Robins by Martin Kreloff

Lena Horne

With his permission, we are giving readers a peek at our friend, the talented artist Martin Kreloff‘s, most recent work. Marty's latest portrait is of his dear friend, Cynthia Robins. Cynthia's other half is Chuck Hoover, the Musical Director for Rich Little. Marty's partner, Tim Olsen, tells us that Cynthia and Marty's friendship goes back to his days in San Francisco, where they met through a mutual friend in 1982. At the time, Cynthia was a real mover and shaker in the city, as she was a feature writer and columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. Her social column, Cyn City, was a must read, and she is an expert on pop culture and fashion. She has also written several books, including the best selling Barbie - Thirty Year's of America's Doll. Now joyfully retired to Las Vegas, Cynthia channels her creative energy into designing colorful jewelry of precious and semi-precious stones. This portrait of Cynthia continues Marty's recent forays into a more graphically minimalist painting style, where he relies on the symmetry between the colors that he has chosen to balance the composition of the piece. Less outlining is involved, as Marty confidently allows the relationship between the colors to play off each other directly. As is typical in a Kreloff portrait, the shapes in the hair are particularly compelling. Marty pays homage to his fascination with traditional Japanese art in the way that Cynthia's hair resembles the gently breaking waves of the Japanese master Hokusai. Some of Marty's work was on display at downtown's First Friday, May 7th. We hope you had a chance to see it.

And speaking of Rich Little, Dana Stern, former Entertainment Manager at the Golden Nugget, is now working with the veteran impressionist.

* * * * * * *

President Barack Obama, along with many, many others, is mourning the passing of singer-actress Lena Horne, who died on May 9th at the age of 92. In a statement, Obama called the legendary Horne a most cherished entertainer who warmed hearts with her beautiful voice and dramatic on-screen performances. The president also hailed her efforts to promote justice and equality. Horne was the first black performer to tour with an all-white band, and she refused to perform for segregated audiences while entertaining soldiers during World War II. On Friday, family, friends and a star-studded roster of guests gathered to pay their respects to the late Lena Horne at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in New York's Upper East Side. At the funeral mass, Horne was remembered not only for her contributions to entertainment, but for paving the way for performers of color by battling racism in her industry. The Brooklyn-born Horne got her start in show biz performing at the Cotton Club in Harlem when she was just 16. She went on to become one of the first African-American singers to perform with a major white band, as well as the first African-American actress to sign a long-term studio contract in Hollywood. Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Chita Rivera, Dionne Warwick, Vanessa Williams, Audra McDonald, former New York Mayor David Dinkins, and Horne's granddaughter, screenwriter Jenny Lumet, were among the mourners.

* * * * * * *

The very funny and clever Mac King recently celebrated his 10th anniversary as a headliner at Harrah's Las Vegas. Friends, including comedienne Rita Rudner, and fellow magicians, Lance Burton and Penn Jillette, attended a party to mark the impressive milestone. Nice guy King performs his Mac King, The Comedy Show, in the main showroom at Harrah's, at 1 and 3 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tickets, at less than $30, are one of the best entertainment bargains in the city. For reservations, call (702) 369-5111.


Mac & Jennifer King

Babe Pier

* * * * * * *

Reminders...
The grand finale to Liberace's birthday week (the popular entertainer would have turned 91 on May 16th) will take place on Sunday, with an impressive lineup of talent scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and will feature Ali Spuck, John Kaye, Phyllis Bell, and Danny Wright, with special guests, the multi-talented entertainer, Domenick Allen (Liberace protégée, member of Foreigner and daytime soap and musical theater performer); his beautiful wife, singer/dancer/actress (The Producers, Chicago the Musical, Contact) Leigh Zimmerman; and their 10-year-old singing daughter, Cayleigh Capaldi. Master of Ceremonies will be Christopher Joel Carter IV. The $25 ticket price includes the show, one complimentary glass of champagne (21 and over) and hors d'oeuvres. The museum is located at 1775 E. Tropicana, at Spencer. For additional information, call (702) 798-5595.

* * * * * * *

After completing their first night, of what was expected to be a six night engagement in The Palazzo's Salute Lounge, Doug Saleeby and Chris Hudson, better known as Hudson & Saleeby, and Palazzo, agreed to disagree on this one. It seems that this was not a match made in heaven. These two musician/entertainers, who had a Las Vegas history from the mid-1970s into 1982, relocated to Memphis where the popular entertainers work almost constantly. Their longtime fans hope they will be back in Vegas, at some point, to perform in a venue where everyone is more comfortable.

* * * * * * *


Dori Kotzan

Darcus

Harvey Goldson

Happy birthday to our Taurus (April 21st to May 20th) friends, including Brian Keith, Brenda Leonard Cowart, Babe Pier, Lucy Shropshire, Howard Jochsberger, Dori Kotzan, Aurora Miller, Gloria Hill, Nancy Archer, Michael Sharon, Clint Holmes, Darcus Speed, Harvey Goldson, Don Rickles, Grant Philipo, Toni Tennille, Stephen Thorburn and Peter Gordon. And anniversary greetings to Sharon Holmes and Phil Mandel and Whitney and Marianne Phoenix.

* * * * * * *

We told the humble and shy Nelson Sardelli that if the Las Vegas Review-Journal didn't print his Letter to the Editor, we would. They didn't (so far), so, their loss is our gain...
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN OR MAY OFFEND:
Before you read what follows let me just say this: I came to this country in 1956. Totally legally mind you. Within 6 months I was drafted into the US Army, served, became a Veteran.... In 1961 I became a naturalized American Citizen..... But I still have an accent... (quite charming, I must add, which, incidentally, matches my extreme good looks....but that is for another conversation another time).... I definitely do not look Irish nor Swedish or Swahili ....and/but I have no trouble whatsoever with anyone, including the Police, asking me to see my identification documents....(and, please, don't give me the "Nazi crap"...that is pure and unadulterated bovine excretion). I will gladly show my ID(s)...including my CCW... to them and we all will go on our merry way. Simple as all that. I will neither be offended nor feel that my rights have been infringed upon.
It is about the Sovereignty of our country.... It is cool. Lighten up.... Big Brother already knows all he needs or care to know about you.... don't kid yourself.
SO..... LET ME SEE IF I HAVE THIS RIGHT:
IF YOU CROSS THE NORTH KOREAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET 12 YEARS HARD LABOR.... (and there is a possibility that they will eat your dog)
IF YOU CROSS THE IRANIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU ARE DETAINED INDEFINITELY. (and I hear... your captors may get romantically involved with your goat...if you have a goat, of course...)
IF YOU CROSS THE AFGHAN BORDER ILLEGALLY, YOU GET fatally SHOT as a warning..... and the Goat thing may also apply.
IF YOU CROSS THE SAUDI ARABIAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE JAILED. .....see Iran and Afghan for the extra possible punishments.
IF YOU CROSS THE CHINESE BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU MAY NEVER BE HEARD FROM AGAIN. and you'll be asked about your dog and your neighbors cat.
IF YOU CROSS THE VENEZUELAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE BRANDED A SPY AND YOUR FATE WILL BE SEALED. .... no salsa for you.
IF YOU CROSS THE CUBAN BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO POLITICAL PRISON TO ROT... whilst forced to listen to all those endless Fidel Castro's ranting.
IF YOU CROSS THE U.S. BORDER ILLEGALLY YOU GET:
1 - A JOB,
2 - A DRIVERS LICENSE,
3 - SOCIAL SECURITY CARD,
4 - WELFARE,
5 - FOOD STAMPS,
6 - CREDIT CARDS
7 - SUBSIDIZED RENT OR A LOAN TO BUY A HOUSE,
8 - FREE EDUCATION,
9 - FREE HEALTH CARE,
10 - A LOBBYIST IN WASHINGTON
11 - BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS PRINTED IN YOUR LANGUAGE
12 - AND THE RIGHT TO CARRY OR BURN YOUR COUNTRY'S FLAG WHILE YOU PROTEST THAT YOU DON'T GET ENOUGH RESPECT ..... IS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY OR WHAT?????
I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE I HAD IT RIGHT......



Toni Tennille

Nelson Sardelli

Susan Haller

* * * * * * *

If you want a religious experience, enhanced by music, here are two options for this Sunday...
At Grace in the Desert Episcopal Church, 2004 Spring Gate Lane in Summerlin, singer/songwriter Susan Haller, and pianist Danny Wright will be featured in a program from 4 to 6 p.m. Every so often we find a pianist of pure radiant talent and generous heart, creative spirit and passionate soul. One that has the uncanny ability to entice a melody line to dance before your very eyes, then sit quietly, allowing you to breath sorrow into a safe space. Danny Wright's obvious love for children, animals, and life comes through strong fingers playing songs of intimate tenderness. He has lifted our lives with undeniably romantic instrumental prose and now has added Susan Haller's lyrics to some of his most dazzling pieces. A donation of $15 is suggested, with proceeds for the Grace in the Desert "Ministry Through the Arts Program." Danny will be autographing his CDs at the close of the show.

While over at Christ Episcopal Church, 2000 Maryland Parkway (west side of the street-parking at the church), the Las Vegas Master Singers, directed by Dr. Jocelyn Jensen, will present the Opera Connection Concert on Sunday, also at 4 p.m. If you missed hearing the Master Singers singing with the Symphony last weekend, you can hear them sing some of the music performed again plus much more including soloists from the choir. Tickets are only $5 at the door of the church. Help support this excellent ensemble of musicians by attending the last concert of the season this week.

* * * * * * *

Reader Judy Thomas wanted to make us aware of a very worthwhile organization called Life Long Dreams, "Where talent is never too small...and dreams are never too big." A Vehicle for Hope, Courage and Determination. A Vision to Share With The World. Life Long Dreams is the home where dreams are conceived. The performing and creative arts program embraces individuals with special needs, who are often overlooked. The mission is to inspire these individuals to realize their artistic potential, enabling them to fully cultivate their talents by participating in a unique and special program. Life Long Dreams students will bring joy to your heart and inspire YOU to dream! On February 13, 2008, co-founders Cathy Warriner and Tshlene Henreid, conceived Life Long Dreams, a breakthrough performing and creative arts program that provides persons with disabilities specialized training and opportunities in the arts and entertainment industry. Words that cannot easily be expressed, find a way to come alive through participation in our performing and creative arts program. By integrating the arts with education, Life Long Dreams creates the foundation for students to develop their self-esteem and social skills. Local entertainers play an integral role in our student's growth too, helping them discover hidden talents and develop their artistic abilities. And, through specialized training in music, dance, drama, art, theater and production, students are given the opportunity to showcase their talents at various functions and public events. Life Long Dreams is bridging the gap between the disabled community and the arts/entertainment industry; creating new opportunities for individuals with special needs; and opening doors that have never before been opened.


Tshlene Henreid & Cathy Warriner

Spyro Gyra

* * * * * * *

The price is right is more than just the name of a TV game show, it is also a fair statement when it comes to Spyro Gyra's FREE 8 p.m. concert at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater Saturday (May 15th). Spyro Gyra brings sounds to the series that have made the group fan favorites for more than 30 years. It started in 1974, when bandleader and saxman Jay Beckenstein, and keyboardist Jeremy Wall developed an ensemble. Through the years, Wall made his mark as a producer, while members Scott Ambush, bass; Julio Fernandez, guitar and Tom Schuman, keyboards joined Beckenstein in the honored Spyro Gyra tradition. Genre icon, Boney James, described Spyro Gyra's music in Jazziz Magazine as combining "accessible pop qualities with happy uplifting tones, bringing together elements of jazz, Latin and R&B effortlessly and unconsciously. What they're doing with electric jazz and unique instrumentation has always had a timeless quality to me." The latest CD, Down the Wire, was released in 2009. The Jazz in the Park series, now in its 20th year, is presented by the Clark County Parks and Recreation Department. The Government Center is located at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in downtown Las Vegas. Picnics, blankets and low back chairs are welcome. Food and drink are available for purchase on site. Sorry, no pets allowed.

* * * * * * *

It's The Magic and Comedy of Rory Johnston in Right Before Your Eyes, tomorrow night at 7 in the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin. Presented by Michael Chapman and ChapQuist Entertainment, this is the Starbright debut of Rory Johnston, who is considered one of the top comedy/magic acts in the world today. Rory won rave reviews as the star of both the Las Vegas production show Cabaret Circus and Bedazzled in Lake Tahoe. His numerous credits include: The Magic Castle, Magic Island, Tropicana's Comedy Stop, The Improv, The Laff Stop, Chippendales Ladies Only Club, Los Angeles Variety Arts Center, Disney World and some of the most prestigious cruise lines worldwide. A sought-after director/consultant, Rory co-wrote and directed the eight-million-dollar production The Maverick Illusion Show for Warner Bros. In addition to the stunning magic and hilarious comedy, there's also Murphy the Wonder Dog. Without giving away too much, let's just say that Murphy is a large old English sheepdog who "reads minds." Don't miss this evening of magic and fun! Tickets are $15 for residents and $18 for non residents. They are on sale (cash only) at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle community centers. To pay by credit card, call (702) 869-2064.


Rory & Cat Johnston

Louise DuArt

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Over at the Las Vegas Hilton, it's funnyman and Carol Burnett's longtime sidekick, Tim Conway, with his friends, comic Chuck McCann and impressionist/comedienne, Louise DuArt, tonight and tomorrow night. For tickets, from $47.91 to $69.91, and additional information, call (702) 732-5755 or (800) 222-5361.

The ever young Smother Brothers (Tom, the Yo Yo Man, is 73, and straight man, Dick, is now 70) are providing laughs at The Orleans tomorrow night and Sunday. Tickets start at $34.95 plus tax. Call (702) 365-7075.



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