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 July 16, 2010
You can find the current column HERE
Las Vegas - July 16, 2010
Late breaking news...
We are deeply saddened to report the unexpected death of Marie Marotta Little, wife of comic impressionist, Rich Little. Marie died in her sleep at her home, sometime Wednesday night. Rich and Marie, who would have turned 44 on Tuesday, were married in October of 2003. In December, Marie was honored by the Las Vegas Walk of Stars for her humanitarian work. Quoting from the LVWOS site, Mrs. Little has worked to make a difference in her community, donating funds, goods, services and time to better the lives of children in need, the homeless and abused animals she also has helped American service men and women. Little has expanded her humanitarian efforts beyond Las Vegas and into the national and global arena. Her lifetime commitment to philanthropy also propels her to encourage others to make a difference. "Let's help those in our own backyard," said Marie. "My voice is my essential tool," adds Marie, "and I will continue to convey the needs of the less fortunate to others, in hopes all who can make a difference will make a difference, too." At our deadline, funeral services had not yet been announced. Our deepest condolences to the family.
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Bruce "Big John" Mickelson
B.B. King's concert dates at his B.B. King's Blues Club at The Mirage, originally scheduled for August 5th and 6th, have been rescheduled for August 16th and 17th at 9:30 p.m. B.B., The King of Blues, has released more than 50 albums over the course of his career, many of them classics. King was born as Riley B. King in 1925 in Itta Bena, Mississippi (currently home to a B.B. King's Blues Club), where he would perform on street corners for dimes. King moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1947, and started making a name for himself shortly thereafter on WDIA radio. It was with this station that he developed the more catchy radio name - first "Beale Street Blues Boy" then shortened to "Blues Boy King" and eventually to what he is now known as, B.B. King. In the mid-'50s, King performed at a dance in Arkansas, where two men got in a fight over a woman and set the building on fire. Upon realizing his guitar was still in the building, King raced inside to save his guitar which he aptly named Lucille after the girl the fight was over. This would serve as a reminder to never fight over a woman. Since then, King's entire trademark Gibson guitars have been named Lucille. Shortly thereafter, he had his first No. 1 hit for the song "Three O'Clock Blues" and began an extensive national tour, amassing 342 one-night shows. His career took off from there and King has not looked back since. He has changed the face of blues, bringing it to the mainstream with hit songs, such as "The Thrill is Gone" "My Guitar Sings the Blues" and "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?," all of which he has also won Grammy Awards for. King has won numerous more Grammy's and has been inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At 84, he has yet to take a break, still touring where he performs more than 200 days of the year. B.B. King's Blues Club at The Mirage brings an all-in-one experience, offering music seven nights a week from funky and fast to soulful and smooth. Come for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining to check out Executive Chef Oscar Pena's delicious Creole cuisine, while experiencing the tunes that emanate from the in-room stage. As the night progresses, so will the music as guests turn to the dance floor to dance the night away. The house band, B.B. King's Las Vegas All Stars surpasses the standard of what many know to be a house band and friends of the King are likely to stop by at any time to join them and jam the night away. Doors open at 5 p.m. with the opening act, Grant Garland Trio, taking the stage at 6 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. Guests will be able to order dinner until 8:30 p.m. and King will take the stage at 9:30 p.m. A limited menu exclusive of ticket prices will be offered the night of the show and features a variety of four-course dinner options. Tickets for dinner-show seating are available for $75, $100 and $125 plus tax and applicable fees. A limited number of King's Court tickets are available for $150 plus tax and applicable fees, and include VIP seating and a complimentary glass of champagne. Call B.B. King's Blues Club Las Vegas at The Mirage at (702) 242-KING (5464).
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On Thursday afternoon, July 8th, we attended a media party at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall to introduce invited guests to Ed Mathews' latest project, Variety Talk of the Town. Ed, along with his son Philip, produce both this new venture at Sam's Town, and Hit Parade at the Suncoast as well. Jasen Woehrle, Vice President of Public Relations & Marketing at The Firm, and Boyd Gaming's Kristy Alward, did a fine job with the pre-show meet and greet. Among those we saw enjoying themselves, were (from A to Z) Domenick Allen, Jackie Brett, Jack Bulavsky, Dianne Davis, Terry Jenkins, Norm Johnson, Rod Russell, Ed and Carolie Swindle, Judy Thorburn, Mike Weatherford, Wes Winters and Adele "ZZ" Zorn. The acts for the upcoming Thursday variety shows, free for those with players cards, will change on a weekly basis. The folks that we saw entertain on the afternoon that we joined about 600 other folks in Sam's Town Live! (not all of them were invited media-types, of course) included co-hosts Robin Vincent (of Swing City Dolls) and Jack Walker. The featured acts that afternoon were, Sarah Sutter and Robert Selvin, dancers in Bally's Jubilee!; Henderson's 13-year-old singer/actress, Ellie Smith, who sang "Johnny One Note" and "Tomorrow" from Annie (Ellie played Annie at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre in St. George, Utah, last season); funny man Bruce "Big John" (the Barbeque Man) Mickelson, who had a long run in the Viva Las Vegas revue and did a great job portraying Jackie Gleason in The Great One; former Platters member, Sonny Turner, who sang "Only You," "With This Ring," and "My Prayer," accompanied by Steve Cantor on guitar. The LIVE band members backing up the musical acts were Bill Fayne (looking miraculously healthy following some serious health issues) on piano and serving as musical director, Fred Watstein on bass, Gabriel Falcon on drums, and Jim D'Arrigo on saxophone. Yesterday's offering included the amazingly talented Vita Corimbi from Menopause the Musical. Show times for Variety Talk of the Town at Sam's Town are Thursdays at 2 p.m.
Some of the talent scheduled for upcoming Ed Mathews variety projects include, at Sam's Town on July 22nd: comic Pete Barbutti, vocal group Fifth Avenue, and singer Mark Giovi. At the Suncoast, on the same day, it's husband and wife vocalists, Ron and Lisa Smith, plus Voci Vegas' Mollie Tennant. On July 29th, the Suncoast Hit Parade will feature the popular storyteller, Mr. Barbutti. Also, Greg Kata, formerly of Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas, will be presenting his On With the Show Glee Club. As the Suncoast showroom will be undergoing a makeover during August and September, the Thursday afternoon shows will move over to the Gold Coast, where Variety Cavalcade will play on Friday afternoons at 2. The August 6th offering at the Gold Coast will feature Leonardo (Ned Mills) on piano, singer Mark Giovi from the Stratosphere's Bite, the harmonious quartet known as Fifth Avenue, Las Vegas Tenor Bill Fayne, and Lena Prima, Las Vegas legend Louie's singing daughter.
Lee Roy Reams
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Forgot to mention that, in last Saturday's Girls Day Out at the South Point, in addition to Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas, soap stars Jacob Young (All My Children) and Jason Thompson (General Hospital), also participating in the afternoon festivities were the hunky guys from American Storm. The eye-candy perform at the V Theatre. Unfortunately, this information comes after the fact, so, if you missed it, you missed it. Sorry.
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Claire Voyant fan, Jilan Ricci, wants readers to know that Tony Davich, will be filling in for busy Ronnie Rose this Sunday, July 18th from 8 to 11 p.m. at the House of Blues Courtyard inside Mandalay Bay. Tony, who was the lead singer in Enter The Night, the lavish Ted Lorenz production at the Stardust, is the front man of the classic rock band, Phoenix (playing at Rock Town in Sam's Town Live!, Friday, July 30th from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.), appears regularly with the Lon Bronson All-Star Band, and is also a regular with Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns, will front the Ronnie Rose Band during Ronnie's absence. Jilan, who may be remembered as a dancing Crazy Girl, is more than just a Tony Davich fan - she also happens to be Mrs. Tony Davich.
And speaking of Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns, the popular funk, Latin, rock and jazz ensemble recently returned to The Lounge at The Palms Casino Resort, where they perform each Monday night, beginning at 10:30. Considered one of Las Vegas' crown jewels, tickets for Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns, available at the Palms Box Office or at the door, are $7 for general admission and $15 for VIP seating. This event is for those 21 and over. The Palms Casino Resort is located at 4321 W. Flamingo Road.
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According to one of the reviews, "St. Louis' famed Muny is bringing out their heavy hitters to perform in Damn Yankees. Fan favorite, Eric Kunze, plays Joe Hardy, the young hitting phenomenon who transforms the seventh place Washington Senators into a pennant contender. Muny veteran, Lewis J. Stadlen, plays Applegate, and Lee Roy Reams, another popular Muny vet, is making his 21st Muny appearance as Van Buren." Reams played Roger DeBris in the Paris Las Vegas production of The Producers. The News-Democrat review goes on to say, "They're all pros bringing to life iconic stage characters, and know how to sell a show." The Muny is the nation's oldest and largest outdoor theater. Damn Yankees runs through Sunday. If you happen to be in the St. Louis neighborhood...well, you know the drill.
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Tonight is the anniversary celebration for the much publicized F.I.O.R.E. group (we certainly do our share). The attendees will gather at the Italian American Social Club to toast the 6th year of the organization, where all the male members are presidents, and the purpose of the non-club club is to do no harm and just have fun. There should be plenty of that, with food, entertainment, dancing and camaraderie. Among those scheduled to perform during the evening is the newly resurrected vocal group, Chazz. The quartet is made up of Diane Ellis, Danny Calico, Corky D'Fini and new member, Joni Illi. Inspired by the Four Freshmen, Manhattan Transfer, Singers Unlimited, the Hi-Lo's, and other similar close-harmony groups. Headlining the evening is comic impressionist, Babe Pier (who opens for Bobby Rydell at the Cannery tomorrow night). We will have a "review" of the event, hopefully with a photo or two, next Friday.
FIORE's esteemed leader/organizer, President Nelson Sardelli, is recovering from July 6th back surgery. Although he is still in a lot of pain, Sardelli plans to attend the festivities. He tells us that, earlier in the week, he had two inspiring phone calls from Pat Boone, with Boone sharing words of encouragement with his friend. Sardelli has been extremely moved and grateful by the caring and concern of his large circle of friends. Cast your bread upon the waters...
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Last Sunday night, we were at the South Point to see and hear the 2010 version of the famed Four Freshmen vocal group. It was in 1948, when Bob Flanigan, then a 22-year old student at Butler University in Indianapolis, joined brothers Ross and Don Barbour and Hal Kratzsch, creating a sound that would go on to inspire and influence future generations of musicians. Who knew, that 62 years later, audiences who were around in the '40s to hear the original group, plus those born decades later, would still be able to enjoy the familiar harmonies and instrumentation of the multiple Grammy Award-winning Four Freshmen. Over the course of 62 years, the names and faces of the group have changed, but the unique blend of instrumentation and voices remains the same. Today, the Four Freshmen are Bob Ferreira (bass vocals, drums, flugelhorn), Brian Eichenberger (lead vocals, bass, guitar), Curtis Calderon (second tenor, trumpet, flugelhorn) and Vince Johnson (baritone, bass, trombone, guitar). Last weekend, Flanigan, who turns 84 on August 22nd, introduced the Freshmen of 2010 to the South Point audiences who enjoyed taking a trip back in time via "Something's Gotta Give," "You Stepped Out of a Dream," "Graduation Day," "Young and Foolish," "You've Got Me Crying Again," "It's Alright With Me," "Angel Eyes," "There Will Never Be Another You," "Easy Street," "It Happened Once Before," "Poinciana," "You Made Me Love You," "I'm Guilty (of Loving You)," "Give Me the Simple Life," "Little Girl Blue," "Day By Day," "It's a Blue World," "After You've Gone," "In This Whole Wide World," Bobby Troup's "Route 66," and "Day In, Day Out." The program ended with an a cappella version of the beautiful "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring." If you like songs, with lyrics you can understand, we recommend taking a nostalgic trip back in time with the Four Freshmen.
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Comic Cork Proctor will celebrate his 78th in Reno, where he will be performing at Catch a Rising Star from July 21st through 25th. Timing is everything. While he's in Northern Nevada creating laughs, Mr. Proctor will get the chance to have dinner tomorrow night with some of his fellow classmates from Manogue Catholic High School (circa 1952). The old folks will gather at the Reno Events Center for the occasion. If you want a good time, and you are in the vicinity of Reno, skip the reunion (unless you were a classmate) but check out Cork at Catch a Rising Star at the Silver Legacy.
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We have been told that musician Joni McGowan has passed away. Joni was the banjo player with Wildflower, a talented trio of females that included Toni Sandoval and Teri Klover. We have been unable to get further details. If any readers can help, please make contact and we will pass the information along to our readers.
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For those who have been inquiring (Cousin Claire being one of them), we are happy to let you know that the multi-talented Domenick Allen will finally get his own starring spot in the showroom at the Suncoast, October 2nd and 3rd. There is much more to this fellow than just as a member (with Clint Holmes, Martin Nievera and Susan Anton) of the popular musical ensemble, Vocal Soup. Calling his show It's All About the Music, Domenick will cover the type of music that has colored his career - from his years touring the world with Liberace, to his musical theater roots in both Europe and the U.S. (Blood Brothers with Helen Reddy on Broadway), to his soap opera days on Days (of Our Lives), to his time with the British-American rock band, Foreigner. Expect some special guests (possibly his singer/actress wife, Leigh Zimmerman (The Producers, Chicago the Musical, Contact), and 10-year-old daughter, Cayleigh Capaldi) to join Mr. Allen for what is sure to be a night to remember. Call (702) 636-7075 for reservations.
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Singer/actress Nicole Pryor, with past credits in Ragtime the Musical, and who is currently in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, is also a much respected vocal coach. On August 15th, a number of her students will demonstrate their talents in a recital at that cliquey/snobby, unfriendly Italian joint on the south end of the Strip. Obviously, we don't like the place where this will take place, but we do like Ms. Pryor and hope that her hardworking pupils will generate an appreciative audience who will reward them properly by showing up, listening attentively and responding with genuine enthusiasm. Accompanied by Angela Chan on the piano, the performers are Devon Roberts (Lion King), singing John Lennon's "Imagine;" Rebecca Raun (Phantom - Ballerina), singing Jason Robert Brown's "I'm Not Afraid of Anything" and "When I Look At You" from Scarlet Pimpernel; Jordan Gadziak (Phantom - Ballerina), doing "Before He Cheats," recorded by Carrie Underwood, and "Taylor, The Latte Boy," written by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich; Monique Midgett (Lion King), "Tell Him" (duet sung with Nicole Pryor) recorded by Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand, and Heart's "Alone;" Triston Sanchez (8-years-old), "I'll Be There" by Michael Jackson; Ashley St. George, the jazz standard "Cry Me A River;" Taylor Lee, "Without You" from Rent; Morgan Murphy (14-years-old), "Colors of the Wind" from Disney's Pocahontas;
Ireland Ciechalski (13-years-old), "Popular" from Wicked, and Trisha Yearwood's "The Song Remembers When;" Haley-Anne Hart (12-year-old daughter of Phantom's Marcia Cope-Hart), "On My Own" from Les Miserables, and "The Climb," recorded by Miley Cyrus; and Paul Hansell (Phantom wardrobe) singing Stephen Sondheim's "Buddy's Blues" from Broadway's Follies, and "Being Alive" from Company. Show time is at noon. If you want to sit anyplace where you can see and hear the performers, we urge you to show up around 11 and order lunch. Otherwise, expect to be treated like an intruder and seated in the back of the room. Calling you-know-where to make reservations might not be a bad idea. It makes us very unhappy that we can't, with a clear conscience, recommend this place to either performers or diners/audience members. We have lots of talented friends who perform there, some sporadically and others, such as Kelly Clinton (a favorite of ours), on a regular basis. We are not the only ones who feel this business needs an emergency crash course in hospitality.
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Funny Louie Anderson was a guest on Craig Ferguson's Late, Late Show, Tuesday night. Needless to say, he was plugging his upcoming gig at Palace Station (best known as the site that brought down O.J. Simpson - not for murder, but for robbery). Louie's last performance at the Excalibur, where he has been for more than four years, will be on August 1st. On August 7th, he will open at the West Sahara, primarily locals, hotel casino.
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Although he is "officially retired" after more than 30 years with Boyd Gaming, Howard Jochsberger still gets called upon when certain situations present themselves - like producing a show (Hello, Dere with bushy-haired comedian Marty Allen and his musical wife, Karon Kate Blackwell) or handling a pageant. Howard has extensive experience as a judge in many pageants. This is his 20th year with the Mrs. United States Pageant. He was a Nevada Judge for the 1993 Miss Universe Pageant held in Las Vegas. Currently, he is back in the pageant business, serving as chairman of the judges for two upcoming events. On Sunday at 7 p.m., it’s the Mrs. Nevada-America Pageant, held in the Ballroom at Texas Station. The competing women each represent a neighborhood in Las Vegas, i.e., Mrs. Clark County, Mrs. Summerlin, Mrs. Green Valley, Mrs. Blue Diamond, etc. The Mrs. United States Pageant preliminary pageant will be held in The Orleans Showroom, Wednesday, July 21st, at 7:30 p.m. The National Finals, representing each of the United States and Puerto Rico, will be held at The Orleans at 7:30 on Thursday evening. Actor/singer Jay Joseph (Touch of Mystery) will serve as host. Among the judges are Karon Kate Blackwell; former Miss Denver, Audrei-Kairen; and lyric soprano and former Dean Martin Golddigger, Marilyn O’Leary. Previous Mrs. United States winners have included Nevadans, Alicia Jacobs, TV entertainment reporter, and Michele Burke, wife of Michael Burke, who produced TV’s Baywatch series.
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On Tuesday afternoon, we were in the audience at the Liberace Museum Cabaret for RagTag Entertainment's The Little Things You Do Together, featuring songs from A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Forum, Follies, Company, Sunday In the Park With George, Anyone Can Whistle, and Into the Woods, all by Stephen Sondheim, sung by members of RagTag Entertainment. The group was formed by performers from the Las Vegas Strip and throughout the country, with the idea that "the performing arts are for everybody, not just those who can afford them." These performers have gathered to share their passion and introduce the performing arts and enrich lives through various modes of performance. Throughout the year, RagTag members give free performances at schools and other venues throughout the Valley. Tuesday's talented performers were Danyel Arianna, Kara Aschwege, Tracy Blackwell, Alejandro Mendoza and Michael Vojvodich, who did a great job with some complicated material. Laurence Sobel accompanied on piano, giving his fingers quite a workout on some of those incredibly fast Sondheim melodies ("(Not) Getting Married Today" from Company, "Everybody Says Don't" from Anyone Can Whistle). Kudos to all.
Also, congratulations to Laurence and Joan Sobel (Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular). They are parents of a brand new baby girl.
And speaking of RagTag Entertainment, July 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st at 8 p.m., and August 1st at 5 p.m., they will present Jekyll & Hyde, directed and choreographed by Giulio Scatola, at The Onyx Theatre in Commercial Center. For additional information, call (702) 732-7225.
And speaking of the Liberace Museum, among the things to do and see and hear at the East Tropicana __ are Movies at the Museum, 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Fridays. Tickets are $12 for lunch and movie.
At 1 p.m. on Thursdays, violinist Valeri Glava performs in the museum's Cabaret. Glava was born and educated in the former Soviet Union, in the Republic of Moldova. The beautiful country of Moldova is known for its fine artists and there he received an intense education in music, specializing in the violin and receiving his degree as "Violin Soloist". At the age of 25 he was a professor at the Institute of Art in Chisinau, Moldova, and traveled throughout the world performing in concert and as conductor and soloist in various orchestras. Valeri was a regular on television in his home country. He started his America career when he was invited to Branson by Yakov Smirnoff to perform at his show. He later received high awards and recognition at his own show at the Americana Theater in Branson. Valeri was named "Entertainer of the Year" "Best New Show" and "Instrumentalist of the Year". He came to live permanently in the USA in 2001 and is now a very proud American. Las Vegas was his next goal after Branson and he moved here in December of 2009. The energy and charisma of Valeri's music draws his fans back to fill their souls with his beautiful music from his worldwide repertoire. Tickets are $15. Wednesday, July 21st, at 7:30 p.m., Kaci Machacyk, a singer, dancer, actress, songwriter and local Web television host living in Las Vegas, will perform in the Cabaret. Kaci has played such diverse roles as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Brutus in Julius Caesar, and Maude in Two Gentleman of Lebowski at the Stage Door Theater. Machacyk has also sung on national television with pop idol Deborah Gibson, and studied in Oxford with the prestigious British American Drama Academy. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. At 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the Cabaret hosts Liberace and Me, starring Philip Fortenberry. Guests will enjoy Philip, an extraordinary artist and renowned pianist, improvisational composer and cast member of Jersey Boys, as he performs his intimate acoustic cabaret-style piano performance, while telling the story of his career. Tickets are $17.50. For additional information, phone (702) 798-5595.
The Liberace Museum offers daily complimentary shuttle service to and from several Las Vegas Strip hotels. Participating hotels include Bally's, Bellagio, Treasure Island, The Mirage, Flamingo and Excalibur. A full shuttle schedule is available online. Founded April 15, 1979, The Liberace Museum is a tribute to the great legendary entertainer and pianist Liberace. The museum houses his collections of rare and antique pianos, classic cars, famous sequined and bejeweled costume wardrobes, glittering stage jewelry, rare antiques and other treasures and memorabilia. The Cabaret Showroom at the Liberace Museum serves as a showcase for Liberace's famous nine-foot mirrored Baldwin grand piano, where talented Strip performers entertain intimate audiences. The museum is located in the Liberace Plaza, 1775 E. Tropicana Ave. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
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Less than eight months after opening their first Strip location, it has been announced that Hash House a Go Go will launch its second hotel casino operation at the M Resort Spa Casino in early October. The first Las Vegas restaurant (the original is in San Diego) is at 6800 West Sahara near Rainbow. The second is inside the mid-Strip Imperial Palace Hotel Casino. Hash House will bring its creative menu offerings, over-sized portions and unique presentations to the Four-Star boutique resort. "Hash House A Go Go has a loyal fan base and provides an interesting and memorable dining experience," said Anthony A. Marnell III, Chairman and CEO of the M Resort. "Our goal as a resort is to provide our guests with new and exciting options. Hash House A Go Go delivers that and will be a great addition to our existing dining options." M Resort's Hash House A Go Go will replace the resort's Red Cup Café, which will close at the end of business on Monday, July 12th to begin remodeling for the opening of Hash House A Go Go. To provide guests with a breakfast option, the resort will offer summer breakfast hours in Studio B Buffet, beginning Tuesday, July 13th. A local and tourist favorite, Hash House A Go Go's concept of twisted farm food has become a success throughout the city, since 2005. The restaurant has been featured on The Food Network's Rachael Ray's Vacation, the Travel Channel's Man v. Food, the Fine Living Network's Martha Stewart, NBC's Dr. Phil, and ABC's What Would You Do? Hash House A Go Go offers patrons an exhaustive list of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Some of its standout, signature dishes include Sage Fried Chicken, stacked with bacon waffles, hot maple caramel reduction and crowned with fried leeks; the HH Famous Roasted Chicken Pot Pie, an upside down crust stuffed with house roasted chicken, red potato, veggies and pan gravy served with mashed potatoes; and Andy's Crispy Indiana Style Hand-Hammered Pork Tenderloin with griddled smoked mozzarella, caramelized onions, fresh spinach, Portobello mushrooms, house-charred tomato and bar b'que cream all served with horseradish mashed potatoes and grilled corn o' cobb. The restaurant also features a bar, complete with a full menu of adult beverages and creative cocktails. The first Hash House A Go Go opened in San Diego in 2000 and became an instant success. Years later, Jim Rees convinced owners of the San Diego-based restaurant to expand outside of California. With partners Bill Underhill and Jim Nyberg, RUN Restaurants was created to make way for the Hash House A Go Go opening in Las Vegas in 2005. The M Resort location will operate under the direction of Hash House A Go Go co-owner and Nevada Restaurant Association's 2009 "Nevada Restaurateur of the Year" Jim Rees. "The M Resort is a tremendous location and we couldn't be happier," said Jim Rees. "The new Hash House A Go Go will have great views of the Las Vegas Strip and of the resort's expansive pool piazza. It will certainly be a must-see restaurant destination." Hash House A Go Go brings farm-fresh food with a funky, modern twist to the locals and visitors of Las Vegas. The well-known restaurant is famous for its unusual décor and enormous portions. The restaurant has garnered dozens of local and national accolades and has been featured on the Food Network, "Martha Stewart," "Dr. Phil" and most recently, the popular Travel Channel program, "Man v. Food." For reservations or inquiries, please call the Sahara location at (702) 804-4646, the Imperial Palace location at (702) 254-4646 or visit www.hashhouseagogo.com.
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Jim Caruso is pleased to announce the Birdland debut of Rebecca Spencer and Philip Fortenberry on Monday, July 26th, at 7 p.m. This event will be part of the long-running Broadway at Birdland concert series. Rebecca and Philip perform as solo artists and as a duo with symphonies and in major concert hall and performing arts center engagements nationally. Each performer has Broadway, Las Vegas and Hollywood credits, and their collaboration is a magical exchange that stimulates the mind and enriches the soul. In their Birdland debut, these two remarkable artists will perform music by Keith Thompson (Kooky Tunes), highlights from their award-winning CD, Wide Awake and Dreaming, and their other celebrated CD collaboration entitled, Fair Warning. Ms. Spencer co-starred in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular at The Venetian, where she created the role of Madame Giry in the new $35 million dollar production under the direction of Hal Prince. She is an original Broadway cast member of Jekyll and Hyde, in which she played the principal role of Lady Beaconsfield. Her additional performances in the role of Emma Carew completed a circle that had begun eight years earlier when she created the role at the 1990 Alley Theatre world premiere. She was also in the final Toronto workshop of Ragtime, directed by Frank Galati, and can be heard on the first cast recording. In New York, Rebecca has been featured at Lyrics and Lyricists and the Ira Gershwin Centennial at Carnegie Hall, recorded for PBS, and marked her fifth ENCORES! concert at the City Center in March of 2004. She was featured at the Mabel Mercer Foundation's 2004 and 2005 NYC Cabaret Conventions, and is a 2004 Bistro Award Winner. Philip has numerous Broadway and off-Broadway shows to his credit and can be heard playing on several original Broadway Cast recordings. In addition, he has recorded nine solo albums, including his most recent solo recording entitled Broadway My Way, which is now available online and in music stores. Philip holds a Master of Music degree in classical piano performance, and has performed in concert nationwide at prestigious venues from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, to the White House. Philip is the featured Artist-in-Residence at the Liberace Museum's Cabaret Showroom in Las Vegas, where he regularly performs his critically acclaimed one-man show, Liberace and Me. In addition to his concert and recording career, Philip is currently the associate conductor for the Las Vegas production of the hit musical, Jersey Boys. Birdland is located at 315 West 44 Street, in New York City. Show time is Monday, July 26th at 7 p.m. There is a $25 cover, and $10 food/drink minimum. For reservations, call (212) 581-3080.
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The Performing Arts Society of Nevada presents The Return of the Dynamic Duo at the Clark County Flamingo Library Theater, 1401 E. Flamingo, 2 p.m. Sunday, July 25th. Gary Oakes and Lou Garcia are local favorites. Once again, they will delight with their old and new songs, both sung and danced. Tickets are $15 and may be ordered via phone by calling (702) 658-6741. They may also be purchased at the library box office an hour before show time.
Gary Oakes & Lou Garcia
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Next Sunday, July 25th, Ronnie Crews will perform in An Evening of Blue Eyed Soul at that infamous South Strip Italian joint that we do not patronize and take every opportunity to ignore. Crews (no relation to Tom...oh, never mind), asked for our help so nicely, we are going to give him a break. He says, "I understand your feeling towards that establishment (the one where he is performing on the 25th). Please understand, I am new to the "scene" and this city is a hard nut to crack. I will have a seven-piece band, made up of the finest musicians in town (no names were provided). It will be a stroll down "Old School" Lane, Motown, R&B and Funk in general. I grew up listening to the Four Tops, Smokey, Little Anthony, and Stevie, to name a few, so I feel I have been schooled by the best. In my teens, I played with a band known as Menagerie out of Western Pennsylvania. We had a record out (just regional air play) in the '70s. I guess when Rap came on the scene, I got lost. I played with Kelly Clinton for seven months as her drummer/background singer at Turnberry. I got a chance to meet Clint Holmes and a few other headliners of Vegas. I also met Jerry Lopez and Jamie Hosmer, along with the majority on the Santa Fe Band. Love that sound. Now it's my chance to show this town what I have to offer. If you can help out in any way, It would be appreciated." On July 22nd, Ronnie will be a guest on the Dennis Bono Show, taped in the showroom at the South Point. Mariano Longo, who serves as Mr. Crews' producer and musical director, reports that the show will start at 10 p.m. Okay, Mr. Crews, we did our part. Hope it helps.
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Next Saturday, July 24th at 7 p.m., and Sunday the 25th at 2 p.m., Good Vibrations: The Ultimate Tribute To The Music of the Beach Boys, will play at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin. Previous productions of this revue at the Starbright have been sellouts. This visit should be no different. Presented by Michael Chapman and ChapQuist Entertainment, this musical journey of sun, surf, cars and girls, features impeccable harmonies with the Beach Boys' classic hits like "California Girls," "Surfing USA," "I Get Around," "Help Me Rhonda," "Fun, Fun, Fun" and many other golden-oldie favorites by the Beach Boys. This high-energy show gets the crowd on its feet as it moves to the great hits of America's most legendary band! Tickets are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents. For credit card orders, call (702) 869-2064. Online Credit Card Orders: www.SHOWTIX4U.com. Please visit www.CHAPQUIST.com for more information.
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Shirley Alston Reeves
Little Peggy March
Gary Olds & Lesley Gore
Music icons Lesley Gore, Shirley Alston Reeves and "Little" Peggy March, Legendary Ladies of Rock & Roll, will perform their chart-topping songs on The Orleans Showroom stage July 24th and 25th, each evening at 8 p.m. Lesley Gore is most recognized for "It's My Party," a song that catapulted her to stardom in 1963 at the age of 16. With more than two-dozen hit songs to her credit, Gore's legendary voice and music helped create the soundtrack of the 60s. Other popular Gore songs include, "Judy's Turn to Cry," "She's A Fool," "That's the Way Boys Are" and "You Don't Own Me," just to name a few. She is also an Oscar-nominated songwriter for her co-writing of "Out Here On My Own" from the 1980 film version of Fame. Beyond years as a recording artist, Gore has appeared on the popular television programs The Donna Reed Show, Murphy Brown and Batman. Having also appeared in several musical theater productions, Gore starred on Broadway in Smokey Joe's Café in 1999 to rave reviews. Shirley Alston Reeves burst on to the music scene in 1958 as the original lead singer of The Shirelles. Their establishing hit song, "I Met Him on Sunday," launched a string of hit recordings including "Dedicated to the One I Love," "Tonight's the Night," and what might be considered their biggest hit "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. This popular song was the first of two No. 1 singles, the second being the 1962 hit "Soldier Boy." "Little" Peggy March launched her career at the age of 14 when her song "I Will Follow Him" hit the airwaves in 1964 making her the youngest female artist with a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Though established singer in the United States with several hits to her name, March was gaining significant recognition in the European and Asian markets and she moved to Germany in 1969 where she was a commercial success. March moved back to the U.S. in the 80s, but in 1984, a song she co-wrote for Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora, "When the Rain Begins to Fall," was a No. 1 hit in Germany, France, The Netherlands and Switzerland. Songs she made popular appeared in the films Hairspray and Sister Act. Earlier this year, March began recording her first album of new original songs in more than 30 years. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $29.95, 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. The Orleans Showroom is an 827-seat venue featuring theater-style seating.
Las Vegan Gary Olds, who has worked with Ms. Gore many times since their original pairing in 2004, will be sitting behind the drum set for this next weekend's Orleans gig. Gary is also the drummer for the Gregg Austin produced The King Lives, the Hooters revue featuring Pete Willcox (Wednesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m.). Olds, with Tony Branco on keyboards, Steve Cantor on guitar, Mike Dubay on keyboards, and Mark Kotaska on bass, have also been working with singer Lisa Smith (Dangerous Curves, Shades of Sinatra). Tonight, The Gary Olds Trio - Chuck Hoover (Rich Little's musical director) on keys, Kenny Sieffert on bass, and Olds on drums - is providing the music for the F.I.O.R.E. group's sixth anniversary celebration held at the Italian American Social Club.
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Not surprisingly, America's Got Talent has run a number of Las Vegas connected acts through their audition process. Known by some as The Entertainment Capital of the World, there are plenty of talented people who make their home here (as well as some who THINK they have talent, but should not be allowed to use their names and the word talent in the same sentence). Among the current locals who have already been seen on AGT are magician Murray Sawchuck; 30-year-old singer, Michael Grimm, and Antonio Restivo, whose mother, obviously, did not get the message to her little boy when she warned him not to play with fire. Restivo, would have to qualify as one of the hottest contestants auditioning for America's Got Talent. Last year, he opened his own fire-filled show, Ignite, known then as the Greek Isles (formerly called The Paddlewheel, Debbie Reynolds) and now known as Clarion Hotel and Casino. Grimm, who won over the AGT audience AND the judges (Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff's replacement, Howie Mandel), with his soulful version of "You Don't Know Me." If you want to see Michael Grimm perform in Las Vegas, you have a number of options to do so. Next Friday, July 23rd, he will be at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay from 9 p.m. to midnight. On Saturday night, the 24th, he will be at Green Valley Ranch Resort, 2300 Paseo Verde Parkway in Henderson. Show starts at 7:30. Join Michael inside the Ovation Room for his new CD release party! CDs will be available for purchase, so don't miss out! Monday, the 26th, will find Grimm back at the House of Blues, this time from 8 to 11 p.m. You can also see Michael Grimm with Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns on different dates at multiple locations.
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Gina Eckstine and her trio will be doing some great jazz from her CD, Everything I Have Is Yours, as well as digging up some classic R&B, tonight at The Hip Kitty, 502 West 1st Street in Claremont, California. Show runs from 8 p.m. to midnight. Gina (the daughter of the late Billy Eckstine) says that The Hip Kitty is a fun place to enjoy some fondue and listen to live music. Call (909) 447-6700 for reservations or, if you are in the neighborhood, just drop in.
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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye