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.  

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from July 23, 2010
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - July 23, 2010

Marie Litttle

Corey Allen with James Dean

Larry "Wild" Wrice

On Wednesday, services were held for Marie Marotta Little, wife of impressionist, Rich Little, at Palm Mortuary on South Eastern in Las Vegas. Marie, who would have turned 44 last Tuesday, died on Thursday, July 15th, following a brief illness. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her mother, Tonette Marotta, and brother, Joey Marotta, both of Las Vegas. Donations to Child Haven may be made in Marie Little's name.

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Unless you were coming of age in the 1950s (as we were), you may not have picked up on the death notice, last month, of actor/director, Corey Allen. As an actor, Allen would have been best remembered for his role as "Buzz" in the 1955 film, Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean and Natalie Wood. Buzz was the teen who lost his life when his car, with him in it, went over a cliff during a "chicken race" with Dean's character, "Jim Stark." Many folks, especially Southern Nevada newcomers, probably don't know that there was a Vegas connection involving the late Corey Allen, who died on June 27th, two days before his 76th birthday. He became the last surviving member of Rebel's principal cast when Dennis Hopper died on May 29th. Allen, whose real name was Alan Cohen, was the son of veteran Vegas gaming executive, Carl Cohen. Carl, who died in 1986, was a former vice president at the Sands Hotel. In 1967, he gained celebrity status for punching Frank Sinatra in the face, bloodying his nose and knocking out two front teeth. Sinatra's split with the Sands after its purchase by Howard Hughes points out how difficult the star could be. When Hughes cut off the singer's credit line, a drunken Sinatra confronted Cohen in a Sands restaurant. After Sinatra turned over a table and apparently swore at him, the usually easy-going Cohen, who weighed about 250 pounds, took a swing at Sinatra. The confrontation, and its bloody end result, made headlines around the country and still makes for good Vegas lore today.

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From Louise Wrice comes this information...The Chicago Blues Busters are back with a new sound. You can see and enjoy Mike Vaughan on vocals and guitar, the soulful King Bartel on sax, and the smooth brushes of Larry "Wild" Wrice, tonight (Friday, July 23rd) from 8 to midnight, at The Bar, 1987 N. Nellis at Lake Mead in the Food4Less shopping center. We are told that the air conditioning at The Bar is excellent and the atmosphere, intimate. Call (702) 938-2272. Also, tomorrow night, beginning at 7, the Chicago Blues Busters will entertain at The Hitchin' Post Saloon & Steakhouse, located at 3640 Las Vegas Boulevard No. (between Cheyenne and Lamb). The Hitchin' Post has an extensive menu and guests can dine in the covered Beer Garden, kept cool during the summer with fans and misters. We understand the food is great and the service friendly. Tell Scott AND Larry "Wild" Wrice, that Cousin Claire sent you. For additional information, call (702) 644-1266.

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CHAZZ - Corky, Diane & Danny


Aurora Snow

Thanks to a still recovering from back surgery on July 6th, a wincing Nelson Sardelli, with "the show, and party, must go on" attitude, last Friday's anniversary party for the F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) group was a success. In spite of the "Excessive Heat Warnings" we have been getting around here (the Health Department issues those when summer temperatures hover around 110), the F.I.O.R.E.'s 6th anniversary party drew about 70 fearless and determined fun seekers (thank you, Jackie Vernon) to last Friday's soiree (that's French for something a little fancy and a lot of fun). Mixed in among those 70 brave souls, that on this occasion welcomes the ladies, were a number of entertainers, some who got up to do their things, including singers Allen Tramont and Michaelina Bellamy, comic Peter Anthony, vocal group Chazz (Corky DiFini, whose name was accidentally misspelled in last Friday's column, Diane Ellis and Danny Calico), comic/impressionist Babe Pier, harmonica player Dr. Wilfred Krom, the musical comedy team of Linda November and Artie Schroeck (their "I Love a Piano" bit is always a winner). It was an enjoyable evening, with no ulterior motives and, as a result, a good time was had by all.

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Bringing a new and dynamic style of improv comedy to the stage, Matt Donnelly's Executive Monkeys delivers big laughs to The Palms Lounge at 9 p.m., every Wednesday through July. Produced by Emily Jillette, wife of magician Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame, and some of the supreme improv comedians hailing from Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, Improv Olympic, Peoples Improv Theatre and Improv Vegas performing a two-act 70-80 minute show. The first set calls on audience participation, encouraging them to use social media outlet Twitter via their cellular phones as the performers create characters and sketches based on the pictures and words from the tweeting audience. The suggestions are tweeted and are broadcast to an on stage screen to keep the audience up-to-speed. The second act offers a comedic tarot reading of a celebrity guest that will result in an outpour of spontaneous sketches created around the reading. Donnelly's past celebrity guests have included Robin Leach, former host of TV's Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous; actress (American Pie) and former fashion model, Shannon Elizabeth; actor/comedian/filmmaker, Paul Provenza; mixed martial artist/wrestler/actor, Randy Couture; reality TV's, Tiffany Michelle from Amazing Race, and Trishelle Cannatella from Real World Las Vegas; and even Teller, the silent half of magicians Penn and Teller. Next Wednesday's special guest is adult film star and AVN (Adult Video News) Female Performer of the Year (the "Oscars" of porn), Aurora Snow (leave the kids at home). Ticket are $25, with a special $15 price for locals. They may be purchased at the Palms Box Office. The Pearl Box Office is open Sundays through Wednesdays, from noon to 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 9 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. For more information on upcoming shows, please call (702) 944-3200. Ms. Jillette reports that Matt Donnelly's Executive Monkeys, originally scheduled to run just in July, has been extended indefinitely and will continue their shows as long as they are doing well.

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Kenny Kerr will help bartender, Darrin, and club owner, Shelly, celebrate their respective birthdays at FLEX Cocktail Lounge tomorrow night. Kerr, who is one funny dude - in or out of a gown - will emcee the party, starting at 9 p.m. Expect Go-Go Boys, food, drinks and plenty of fun. FLEX is located at 4371 W. Charleston. For additional information, call (702) 385-FLEX (3539).

Kenny Kerr

Charly Raymond

Ron & Lisa Smith

And over at that Italian joint on Las Vegas Blvd. So. (the place we don't mention by name), it's Ronnie Crews on Sunday, July 25th, at 10 p.m. Calling his show Blue Eyed Soul, singer Crews will be backed up by Mariano Longo, on keys and vocals (Longo also serves as musical director); Idalberto Perdomo on percussion; Paul Ringenbach on drums; Chris Coleman on bass; James Davis on guitar; Jim Spoto on sax; Charly Raymond on trumpet; and Marilyn James on vocals. Trumpet player, Raymond, is a recent transplant from the Florida area, where he spent three years as band leader/MC/soloist at the Innisbrook Resort in Tarpon Springs. For the past eighteen years, between landside engagements, he has been a featured performer/entertainer on most major cruise lines world wide. Over the years, Charly has accompanied many celebrity entertainers including Charo, Bobby Rydell, Connie Haines, Eddie Fisher, Little Anthony, The Four Lads and Joanne Castle. Connie Haines, former singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, compares Charly's technique on the trumpet with that of greats, Clyde McCoy, Al Hirt, Doc Severinsen and James. He will have a couple of small solos and a lot of charts to play on Sunday night.

In Back to Broadway, the handsome and talented husband and wife team of Ron and Lisa Smith will make beautiful, and sometimes humorous, music together at the Starbright Theatre next Saturday, July 31st, at 7 p.m. The first-rate musical production features songs and stories from more than 20 of the most beloved Broadway musicals of all time. Lisa and Ron will present songs from classic Broadway shows, including The Music Man, Show Boat, and 42nd Street, and introduce audience members to some of the popular musicals of the last few years, such as Wicked, Smokey Joe's Café, Les Miserables, Monty Python's Spamalot, and Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World. Filled with poignant and witty stories from the Broadway world, and featuring many all-time favorite tunes, Back to Broadway is a show that appeals to everyone who loves musical theater. The Starbright is located at 2225 Thomas Ryan Blvd. in Sun City Summerlin. Tickets are $15 for Sun City residents and $18 for non-residents. Tickets are on sale seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle community centers. Tickets can also be purchased prior to show at the Starbright Box Office...unless of course they are already sold out. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. Ticket price includes LET (Live Entertainment Tax). Call (702) 240-1301 for more information and directions to the theater.

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Here is what we know regarding the sudden departure of Derek David's Only You dinner show from Hennessey's Tavern in downtown Las Vegas. The musical revue, featuring David, Terrence Forsythe, Donald Pinkney, Arnoldo Parker and Rheda K. Solo (who all were part of The Platters, Cornell Gunter's Coasters and The Marvelettes productions that played the Sahara for almost eight years, and the trouble-plagued Wyrick Theatre for about three months), and Paul Badia at the piano, in a tribute to the Platters and other singing groups of the era, opened at Hennessey's the beginning of May, closing, with no warning, the end of June. The story we were told is that the agreement with Hennessey's called for David to pay $1500 a week for the use of the theater space, by the, hoped for, sale of 100 dinners per week. If less than 100 dinners a week were sold, Derek had to pay the difference. A complete and very well done makeover of the performance space, taking it from flashy via the previous tenant, to classy under the direction of Mrs. Derek David, businesswoman Rita Bliss. From the looks of things, the transformation came with a hefty price tag. During the two months the show ran downtown, we saw virtually no advertising for Only You. As a result, business was weak and, although they were collecting their money, Hennessey's was not happy. They opted to use their 30 day "out" clause. Rather than stay, AND pay, for another month, David decided to cut his losses and leave following the next night's show. We can't imagine what Mr. David was thinking (or not) when he decided to transport the showroom contents - stage, curtains, redone mirror-covered piano, and all the rest - not to a temporary warehouse somewhere in the city, but across the sidewalk to the floundering Kiss of Death Café. The plan was to re-launch Only You just days later in its new location. It didn't take Derek David long to realize that he had jumped from one frying pan into a much, much hotter one (as in no central air conditioning in a commercial building during triple-digit July temperatures in Las Vegas). Then, we were told, there was the fact that the owner of the Kiss of Death Café would not give up any wall space in the showroom to display some photos that were part of Only You's theatrical presentation. Knowing of the outrageously inflated ego of said café owner, one should not be surprised that he would be reluctant to do anything that would take the spotlight away from move or eliminate any photos of himself to make room for something without his face in it. How come others would realize that, but Derek David didn't? So, within days after moving their showroom across the Fremont Street Experience sidewalk, it has all been moved, once again, to storage space at the popular DuBarry Fashions, a successful business owned by Derek and his wife, the lovely Rita, as they seek a new performance space. And so it goes.

Derek David & Rita Bliss

David Andino as Jekyll & Hyde

Carly Thomas-Smith

We hear that the Kiss of Death Café is closed tonight (this isn't the first time that has happened) due to yet more "cooling" (if you can call it that) problems. So if you had plans to go there...

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RagTag Entertainment is proud to present their innovative, new production of the hit Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde at Las Vegas' very own Onyx Theater, located at 953 E. Sahara Ave. #16 inside The Rack in Commercial Center, is known for it's wildly varied entertainment offerings. A true musical theatre phenomenon, Jekyll & Hyde has attracted legions of loyal fans even before the show began its smash-hit Broadway run. An evocative tale of the epic battle between good and evil, Frank Wildhorn's musical gothic thriller, with book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, Jekyll & Hyde, is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story about a brilliant doctor whose experiments with human personality create a murderous counterpart. Convinced the cure for his father's mental illness lies in the separation of man's evil nature from his good, Dr. Henry Jekyll unwittingly unleashes his own dark side, wreaking havoc in the streets of late 19th century London as the savage, maniacal Edward Hyde. Experience the multi-award winning sensation that features such hit songs as "This is the Moment," "Someone Like You," and "A New Life." Beginning its run tonight (July 23rd), Jekyll & Hyde promises to be that one show that will prove to this town that theater is not only alive and kicking, but well worth supporting. Director/choreographer Giulio Scatola (no stranger to the Vegas theater scene, himself, rising from the cast of Notre Dame de Paris, to become an important cog in the Cirque Du Soleil machine), and associate director/producer, Andrew Wright (founder of RagTag and veteran actor/singer of many past productions), have re-envisioned the show as something much more akin to art than to a conventional "book musical". They say of their new creation: "The show already had the stigma of being thought of as a 'Gothic melodrama' based purely on its subject matter, which we were aware may have kept people from experiencing it before. But the story and this gorgeous music draw on you; making you want to take an almost voyeuristic peek at that world. We knew our version had to be quite different from the way it was originally conceived so that there would be no chance of it falling into melodrama. We decided to eschew any semblance of the 'literal' world of Jekyll & Hyde, and create a new one that anybody - young or old, male or female, intellectual or artistic - could identify with and escape to. It had to be sincere, it had to be grittier, and it had to inspire you to take that journey with us." Their decision led to the creation of a spectacle rich with otherworldly scenes to spark the imagination. The age-old theme of man's conflict with himself is presented in a conceptual manner, rather than a more representational one: while Jekyll voices his earnest hopes and his darkest fears, the two halves of his very own psyche argue in an athletic pas-de-deux to his heartbreaking lament; dancing couples breathe graceful life to the soaring ballads, creating lyrical tableaus that take otherwise uninteresting stage moments and turning them into a kind of visual poetry. Leave your expectations at home...this is not the Gothic thriller that theatergoers are already familiar with. Scatola and Wright have turned the show on its ear; adding and subtracting, streamlining and refining - all in an effort to present a more definitive version of the show than it's ill-received prior incarnations. The enthusiastic and magnetic cast that has been culled together for this production represents a new direction for theater: a diversity that definitely makes the overall texture of the show quite unlike other productions that has been mounted before. With vocal styles ranging from operatic to pop; a veritable rainbow of ethnicities; and experience that spans the globe, the cast and crew of RagTag's Jekyll is set to take the familiar story of the doomed Dr. Jekyll out of its stuffy Victorian world and bring it into the 21st century. David Andino, already a fixture in the local theater scene even at his young age, has taken on the demanding role of Jekyll/Hyde. Andino said of the show: "Jekyll & Hyde is that one show that gives a person the chance to play two dream roles at the same time. That's what I love most about the musical - its character work holds such potential. It's a challenging dual-role that can either make or break an actor, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love a good challenge." And, indeed, his resume proves that his preference for challenges has landed the actor fairly substantial and wide-ranging parts, such as Rosencrantz in the comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Jamie in the moving musical The Last Five Years, and Sparky in the crowd-pleasing Forever Plaid. The ever-charming soprano, Sandra Huntsman, plays Jekyll's unfortunate intended, Emma Carew. Sandra performs the role with a stately grace and illuminates the often-gloomy tale with considerable talent. She says about the hit musical: "I have been a huge fan of Jekyll & Hyde for many years and have always taken great interest in the role of Emma. It's a privilege to portray such a strong, devoted woman and to perform this beautiful, powerful music." Huntsman has recently thrilled audiences with her portrayals of such memorable characters as Miss Dorothy in Signature Productions' Thoroughly Modern Millie, the irrepressible Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, and Andrea in Once On This Island. Also an award-winning costume designer, Sandra spends her weekends as a 'professional princess,' entertaining children throughout the Valley. The wife of theater director, Steve Huntsman, her favorite performance to date is mother to four beautiful and boisterous children. The saucy 'third' of this tragic love-triangle, Lucy, is being brought to colorful life by accomplished chanteuse, Anne Barr. Anne was instantly intrigued by the show and by the character she portrays. "This is a very unique musical. It isn't afraid to be dark, to discuss and dissect human nature. Lucy is a character I've always wanted to play. She shares the theme of struggling with duality. She has a sexual front about her, but underneath she has a deep desire to love and to be loved." Barr's gift for performance has earned her plum roles, such as Patty Simcox (understudying Sandy and Rizzo) in a yearlong European tour of Grease. Her talent and charm also won audiences over as Millie in the sold-out run of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the famous Bucks County Playhouse. Rounding out the principals of Jekyll & Hyde are Michael Vojvodich as Jekyll's legal counselor and closest confidant, John Utterson, and Alex Cheney as Sir Danvers Carew, Emma's father and the only champion of Jekyll's important works. Vojvodich, who also serves as the show's musical director, has performed across the globe, putting his perfect tenor voice to good use as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Danny Zuko in Grease, as well as being a lead performer for Stiletto Entertainment and Holland America Cruise Lines. Cheney's precise vocals have allowed him to traverse the gamut of musical theater possibilities, with roles such as Papageno in The Magic Flute, George Nowak in She Loves Me, and Pish-Tush in The Mikado. The ensemble contains familiar faces to the Vegas theater scene, many of them past cast members of critically lauded regional productions. The show will make its debut at The Onyx Theatre on Friday, July 23rd, and runs through August 1st. Showtimes on the 23rd and 24th are at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and benefit RagTag Entertainment and Off-Strip Productions. Next Friday, July 30th, tickets are $10, with proceeds to benefit GLBT Center of Southern Nevada. There will be a Mixer with art, wine and cheese at the Center after the performance. On Saturday, July 31st, show is at 8 p.m. and Sunday, August 1st, at 5 p.m. Tickets for both performances are $10, and will also benefit the GLBT Center. RagTag Entertainment was formed with a single thought in mind: "The performing arts are for everybody, not just those who can afford them." With that single philosophy fueling our company, we have gathered performers from the Las Vegas Strip and across the country who share our vision. Their goal is to introduce, educate, and enrich children and adults to various modes of live arts through the use of music, theatre, and dance. As audiences are introduced to each art form, they are also educated in its specificities. Lastly, they enrich the lives of the communities by providing exposure to new cultures through live performances in numerous concerts, cabarets, and fully staged musicals and plays. Visit or call (702) 732-7225 for tickets and info.

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For those have inquired, and you know who you are, the next Composers Showcase will not take place until late Thursday night, August 26th. Keith Thompson, who, with Michael Brennan, Wynn Las Vegas Le Reve's musical director, came up with the idea of Las Vegas' Composers Showcase more than four years ago. Keith is the blood, sweat and tears (tears, after hearing an especially poignant or extremely funny, composition) behind the popular (primarily with late night show folk), usually, monthly gathering. The very busy Mr. Thompson will be in New York, working on IDAHO-related stuff (IDAHO, a clever musical comedy written by Thompson, had a couple of previews in Las Vegas some time back), on the last Thursday of this month, and then will be out of the city twice in August conducting God Lives In Glass (another Thompson creation) business. Also, Jersey Girl, Carly Thomas-Smith, is leaving the Vegas production of Jersey Boys ("a tragedy for me," says Keith), meaning lots of rehearsal time for her replacement, AND Thompson, leaving him lots less time to learn his own songs for the upcoming showcase.

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Rebecca Spencer

More signs of the times...
We like ink, but if the current trend continues, newspapers and magazines may go the way of telephones with rotary dials. A couple of local examples involve the decades old What's On magazine (a publication with which we have some history) and the Las Vegas Review-Journal/Sun (where we also have some history). Less than two years ago, What's On was a magazine of some substance, with more than 160 pages, a "spine," and some experienced and qualified writers. Today, Murray Hertz's baby, originally just a TV guide, is down to 82 pages, with a "columnist" that couldn't even put together an interesting grocery list, let alone do restaurant reviews. As for the R-J, now referred to as R-J Lite, last Monday's edition, still calling itself "Nevada's Largest Newspaper," consisted of a total of 44 pages, plus the eight page Las Vegas Sun insert. We knew there was trouble when our favorite comic character, Tom Wilson's poor Ziggy, was replaced by the absolutely unfunny, often offensive, Argyle Sweater, and Mac King's weekly Magic In a Minute - showing simple tricks, using readily available household objects, and cleverly illustrated by Mac's cousin, Bill King - disappeared from the pages of the Sunday comics...all, we imagine, to save money. Since you can get just about everything you would find IN the paper, online, as far as we are concerned, the only reason to still buy the paper is for the Jumble puzzle. When that disappears, so do we.

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Just because we live in Southern Nevada, doesn't mean we can't cover entertainment in other parts of the world, especially when it involves some of our talented friends, most with connections to Las Vegas, so...
Once again, we remind those in the Manhattan area that two of our favorites (we DO have our favorites, you know), Rebecca Spencer and Philip Fortenberry, are making their Birdland debut this Monday, July 26th. Rebecca, who created the role of Madame Giry in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, returns to New York City to appear in concert at the historic Birdland Jazz Club, as part of the Broadway at Birdland series presented by Jim Caruso. Rebecca will be sharing the stage with her musical director and pianist, Mr. Fortenberry. The long-time collaborators perform as solo artists and as a duo with symphonies and in major concert hall and performing arts center engagements nationally. Both have 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 Las Vegas Jersey Boys' Musical Director, Keith Thompson (Kooky Tunes), along with highlights from their celebrated recordings, and their signature art song interpretations of the American Songbook and Broadway repertoire. Rebecca recently relocated to Seattle, Washington, where she has quickly established herself in her new home base as both a working actress and concert performer. Over the past year, she has appeared as a featured guest at the Fifth Avenue Theatre's Spotlight series, acted as the Musical Consultant for A Broadway Symphonic Spectacular, produced by the Broadway Bound Children's Theatre and Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, and co-starred in a staged reading of a new musical at the Village Theatre, where Broadway's current Next to Normal got its start. In May, she debuted a new concert as part of the Panache Jazz Series at the Blue Heron Art Center on Vashon Island. In June, Rebecca was a guest star at the historic Moore Theatre, in a concert presentation of Follies for Martin Charnin's (Annie) company, Showtunes, directed by Victor Pappas. This fall, Rebecca will co-star in The Full Monty, directed by Jerry Dixon for the Village Theatre. Rebecca has appeared regularly in concert in Las Vegas, most recently in June, and was Las Vegas Magazine's No. 1 Pick of the Month in their Datebook Calendar, and a Las Vegas City Life 'DIVA' preview pick of the week. While in Las Vegas, she served as the co-host for the Liberace Foundation Piano Competition, and was invited to perform at the 30th Anniversary Liberace Museum Gala. She was also featured in readings of Richard Oberacker's (conductor for Ka at the MGM Grand) musical, Ace, and Wayne Green's (conductor for Spamalot, that played at Wynn Las Vegas) new musical, Beyond the Abbey Gates. Her two solo recordings are Fair Warning, and Wide Awake and Dreaming, her debut solo recording which was honored with a Back Stage Bistro Award. Philip has numerous Broadway and off-Broadway shows to his credit and can be heard playing on several original Broadway cast recordings, including Side Show. In addition, he has recorded nine solo albums, and is a featured recording artist on the Watchfire Music label. He recently released a new 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

Tickets for Rebecca Spencer and Philip Fortenberry Live at Birdland, show time at 7 p.m., are priced at $25 (plus a $10 food/drink minimum), and may be purchased by calling Birdland at (212) 581-3080, or through their Web site at Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street in Manhattan.

Mark Winkler

Deana Martin

And while you are in the neighborhood, Mark Winkler, who performed here last Valentine's Day as a guest of the Las Vegas Jazz Socirty, will be returning to New York to perform with his friend, Terese Genecco, described in a San Francisco review, as "The love child of Judy Garland and Dean Martin," and her Little Big Band, for two shows, at 8 and 10 p.m., on July 27th. The twosome have worked up some new material that is sure to delight. Mark will be doing a full set of a mix of his tunes and some swinging standards, backed by a smoking horn section. Terese will join him for some duets.

And speaking of Dean Martin...
Internationally acclaimed entertainer, Deana Martin, pays homage to her iconic dad while setting her own standard for exemplary showmanship in Deana Martin in a Tribute to Her Father Dean Martin at the Suncoast Showroom, tomorrow and Sunday (July 24th and 25th). For two evenings at the Suncoast Showroom, Martin will be singing songs from the Great American Songbook. In delivering her father's songs "Everybody Loves Somebody," "Memories Are Made of This" and "That's Amore," Martin plans to capture the same "Studio A" magic her father and Rat Pack pals embodied. Growing up surrounded by the Hollywood elite, it could be said singing is in her blood. In 2005, Ms. Martin came back to the concert stage on her tour, Deana Sings Dino, playing to sold-out crowds around the world. A year later, she released a top-selling album of jazz standards, titled Memories Are Made of This, that remained on the Top 10 charts for more than 40 weeks. Following her album and a successful tour, she used her business savvy to found Deana at Capitol Studios where she recorded her most recent album Volare. In 2009, the album burst onto the Billboard Heat Seeker chart at No. 7, Billboard's Top Jazz Albums chart at No. 22, and appeared on iTunes Top 10 chart. Like her father, Deana has found great success in many areas outside of music, including film, theater, syndicated radio, and television. In 2004, she broke ground as a writer, earning the title, "best-selling author," for her book, Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughters Eye's. Deana and her husband, John Griffeth, divide their time between homes in Beverly Hills and Branson, Missouri. Suncoast showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $24.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 636-7075, or visiting Customers can save on convenience fees by purchasing tickets in person at Coast Casinos.

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Dining With Diva Marino

Wes Winters

Gerry Bedknob

Frank Marino will be signing copies of his new cookbook, Dining With the Diva, following his Divas Las Vegas shows at the Imperial Palace. A portion of the proceeds from this whimsical book will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Nevada. The book offers a collection of over 120 vibrant photos and delightful recipes. This unique and entertaining cookbook is sure to become a kitchen's centerpiece, with meals fit for a king...and queen! Cook books are also available for purchase at the Imperial Palace box office for $20. Divas Las Vegas plays at 7 p.m., now through August 5th, before returning to its regular showtime.

Frank has entertained Las Vegas audiences for more than 25 years. Prior to opening Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace, he starred in An Evening at La Cage at the Riviera. Marino is an accomplished author, columnist, spokesperson and America's favorite male actress. He starred in the blockbuster hit, Miss Congeniality 2, alongside Sandra Bullock. As a long-time member of the Las Vegas community, Marino has a Las Vegas street named after him (which he jokes 'also goes both ways'), the key to the City, two stars on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, and his own day, as proclaimed by Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

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There has been a change in the musicians who back up the talented comic/impressionist/ singer Gordie Brown at the Golden Nugget. Former keyboard man, Bill DeLoach, has been replaced by Jamie Grant.

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Want to go cruising with entertainer Wes Winters? Although the actual trip won't take place until November 1st, we want to get the word out now, before the August 1st price increase. Here's the drill. The Vegas Voice newspaper has contracted with Wes and Carnival Cruise Lines for a terrific five day roundtrip jaunt from Los Angeles to Baja, Mexico, November 1st through 5th. They have even arranged for bus transportation between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The following are the cruise fees: Total cost, with bus transportation, from Las Vegas is Inside Cabin $539, Ocean View Cabin $579. Cost, without bus transportation, is Inside Cabin $489, Ocean View Cabin $529. If anyone desires Single Occupancy, the rate increases as follows: Inside Cabin, add $204 for a total of $743 w/bus fare, $693 cruise only. Ocean View Cabin, add $239 for a total of $818 w/bus fare, $768 cruise only. There is only one requirement - people must book through the Vegas Voice to be considered part of "Wes Winters/Vegas Voice group." As part of the group, you will be entitled to two private "command performances" by Wes; a separate, invitation-only additional meet and greet cocktail party; plus dinner with the group every night with Wes stopping by to say hello. Anyone who books directly with Carnival or any other Travel agency unfortunately will NOT be deemed part of this exclusive group. The Vegas Voice is handling all reservations, so please call their Travel Editor, Stu Cooper, and/or his wife, Sharon, at (800) 698-1101 if you have any questions, require additional information, or to reserve your spot. A $100 per person deposit is due at time of booking, which is 100% fully refundable until September 15th, when final payment is due. The ship is the Carnival Paradise, and it departs from Los Angeles at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 1st, and returns to Los Angeles at 8 a.m. on Friday, November 5th. November 2nd, the Carnival Paradise will port for the day at Catalina Island, then at Ensenada, Mexico, on Wednesday, November 3rd. Thursday, November 4th, is spent at sea, sailing back toward home. If you are planning to join in on this fun, whacky, sunny, musical, entertaining and beautiful cruise, please call to book your cabin before the end of July. On August 1st, the prices increase by $40 per person. Please note that you have to book through The Vegas Voyagers Travel Club, at (800) 698-1101, to have access to the two private Wes Winters performances and the private cocktail party for the group.

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The performance of Tommy James & The Shondells with Felix Cavaliere's Rascals at Cannery Casino & Hotel on Saturday, August 28th at 8 p.m. has been canceled.

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Gerry Bedknob headlines the Riviera Comedy Club, August 9th through 15th. An accomplished comedian and actor, Gerry has starred on several television shows including Seinfeld and The George Lopez Show. He has performed on VH1's Free Radio, A&E's An Evening At The Improv, and USA Network's Comedy On The Road. His film credits include The 40 Year Old Virgin, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Death Becomes Her, and Encino Man. Felicia Michaels, who also appears, has performed her brand of stand-up comedy on MTV, A&E, Comedy Central, VH1 and Showtime. A two-time nominee of the American Comedy Award, Felicia won the award for the Funniest Female. She also wrote and directed a short film entitled, In The Weeds, which received a Cine Eagle Award. Her comedy CD, "Lewd Awakenings," is available on iTunes, and has landed her on XM Satellite's list of the top 100 jokes. Sam Kwasman began his career as a dancer in such movies as Mame with Lucille Ball and At Long Last Love with Burt Reynolds, as well as in stage musicals like The Music Man with Van Johnson, and Hello, Dolly! with Martha Raye. Kwasman says, "I'm proud to be the only actor to be cut out of the movie Airplane." Show times for the Riviera Comedy Club are 8 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $24.99 plus tax and fee. Ask about the dinner/show combinations. For more information call the Riviera Box Office at (877) 892-7469, or go to All guests must be at least 18 years of age.

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Randy Riggle

Jay White as Neil Diamond

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 28th, the Liberace Museum Cabaret will feature the nationally touring production of Nostalgia. The revue takes audiences down memory lane with a '57 Chevy remembering the times and people who changed our lives. Guests will be taken back to that fateful day at Pearl Harbor and travel through the '40s, '50s and '60s with stand-up comedian Randy Riggle as the tour guide on a trip filled with songs and laughs in this 90-minute show. Riggle entertains audiences with stories, dancing and pantomime. His observational humor is complimented with more than 50 impersonations and a special tribute to veterans. He has written for many comedians, including Jay Leno and Joan Rivers, and has served as opening act for Dennis Miller, Kenny Chesney, Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, and Weird Al Yankovic. Randy has appeared nationally on all three major networks, and is also a regular performer at the world famous IMPROV Comedy Clubs. In Las Vegas, Randy has performed at Sam's Town, Westward Ho, Palace Station, Riviera, Flamingo and Stardust Hotels. The Nostalgia revue is accompanied by a multi-media slide presentation. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. 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. Liberace Plaza, 1775 E. Tropicana Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday

Known throughout the world as a premier Neil Diamond tribute artist, Las Vegan Jay White will perform as Diamond at the Suncoast Showroom, July 31st and August 1st, at 7:30 p.m. Performing as the "Sweet Caroline" singer since his first professional gig at Mr. F's Supper Club in Michigan in 1982, Jay White's physical and vocal embodiment of Diamond landed him a nearly nine year stint in Legends in Concert at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. White followed with an eight year, 2,000-show run, at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, where he performed as Diamond in his own show. White has appeared in many theaters, casinos and hotels throughout the world, has performed for President Ronald and Nancy Reagan, sung the "National Anthem" at dozens of professional sporting events, and appeared on a bill with Bob Hope for the American Legion. Jay even portrayed Diamond in the Oscar-nominated 2008 Ron Howard film, Frost/Nixon. In addition to music and performing, White is an accomplished hockey player. As a goaltender at age 21, he played in a couple of semi-professional games in the International Hockey League, and, in his 30s, Jay was a practice goalie for the IHL's Las Vegas Thunder team. Showtimes for Jay White's Suncoast performances are at 7:30 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) 636-7075 or visiting Save on convenience fees by purchasing the tickets in person at Coast Casinos.

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