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 November 05, 2010
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - November 5, 2010

Brent Barrett

Lewis Cleale

Erich Bergen

Wish we had gotten this info earlier, but, if by some small miracle you are reading this before the 8 p.m. curtain at Artemus Ham Concert Hall at UNLV tonight, our Phavorite Phantom, Brent Barrett, sent us a sneak peak on some of the musical theater favorites that the Broadway Tenors will be doing on November 5th. Audience members can expect Brent and his three fellow tenors - Brian Lane Green, Lewis Cleale and Matt Farnsworth - to perform "Something's Coming," from West Side Story; "All That Jazz," from Chicago; "Mac The Knife," from The Threepenny Opera; "Someone To Watch Over Me," from Oh, Kay!; "Being Alive," from Company; "Luck Be a Lady," from Guys and Dolls; "The Impossible Dream," from Man of LaMancha; "This Is the Moment," from Jekyll and Hyde; an Irving Berlin medley, a Rodgers and Hammerstein medley, and more.

Also, we received a nice e-mail from Las Vegan Patty Spelman regarding the Broadway Tenors. Patty says, "I remember Lewis Cleale from Mamma Mia here--he was Sam to Jacquelyn Holland's Donna. Looking forward to hearing him and MY favorite Phantom, Brent Barrett. We drove to LA to see Brent in Chicago at the Pantages Theatre. He was born to play Billy Flynn--awesome!"

We like to keep our readers informed on what the performers who leave here after lead roles in production shows do as a follow-up. Here is a sampling...

Brent Barrett, formerly the Phantom in Las Vegas, was back on Broadway and also doing the national tour as Billy Flynn in Chicago. This weekend, as mentioned above, he joins other Broadway Tenors as part of the New York Stage and Beyond series at UNLV.
Since leaving Las Vegas, Erich Bergen, who formerly portrayed Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys at The Palazzo, has appeared on TV's Gossip Girl and, in celebration of his first solo CD release, in September, debuted his new club act at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles. On November 15th, Erich will be a special guest in the One Night Only benefit, featuring the National Touring cast of West Side Story, at the Marines Memorial Theatre in San Francisco. The 7:30 p.m. concert, which benefits one of Erich's favorite charities, The Richmond/Ermet Aids Foundation, will also feature guest performances by Welsa Whitfield, Jai Rodriguez, and Kalil Wilson. For tickets, call (415) 273-1620 or visit

Jason Forbach, who departed Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular earlier this year, is currently on the national tour with Les Miserables, now celebrating the show's 25th anniversary.

Bill Nolte, who played Franz Liebkind in The Producers, is currently on Broadway, portraying Tabarro in the Kelsey Grammer-starring La Cage aux Folles.

Bill Nolte

David Engel & Larry Raben

Alton Fitzgerald White

Business and life partners, Larry Raben, formerly Leo Bloom in The Producers, and David Engel, who played Smudge in Forever Plaid here, have launched Coyote StageWorks, the first professional not-for-profit theater company in Palm Springs. The fellows tell Cousin Claire that this is their dream. "As more and more theater companies across the country have closed their doors in the last few years, it has become harder and harder for professional actors to make a living at their craft," says David. Coyote StageWorks' inaugural production was the critically acclaimed Greater Tuna, which is nominated for three Desert Star Awards, including Best Production and Best Director - a wonderful recognition by the local theater critics for their first production out of the gate. They are getting ready to embark on their second season, opening with A Tuna Christmas, the hilarious sequel to last years hit. Starting a theater company takes funding. A lot of funding! Our first show was produced on a "shoe-string", and we are committed to fiscally responsible producing. Since we are presenting two productions this season we really need help. They have set a fundraising goal of $10,000, calling it "Tuna Helper." With all that goes into producing quality theatre (performance rights, theater rental, equipment rental, actor's salaries, publicity etc.) the duo needs a minimum of $25,000 per show, which means they actually need $50,000 for this season. Ticket sales only account for about 20% of this figure. so they really need the 50K, but will take what they can get. Every donation dollar is tax deductible. No Donation is too small or too great. Larry and David are still living in Los Angeles and are not planning to move to Palm Springs anytime soon. But they love spending time in the desert and so are happy to come get to Palm Springs and cultivate a theater out here. In addition to working on building Coyote StageWorks, both gentlemen have been doing other things. Larry directed Falling For Eve in New York, and also played the David Hyde Pierce role in Curtains in Wichita. He also just did a demo recording of a new musical version of Moon Over Parador, with Paul Mazursky directing, and performed in a star-studded benefit for Breast Cancer, called "What A Pair." David was in Sacramento doing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and then went to Goodspeed in Connecticut to do Carnival. He is now in rehearsals for a mini tour of Plaid Tidings, which Larry will direct.
The fellows have a goofy video up on Youtube. You can see it by going to

Lee Roy Reams, formerly Roger DeBris in The Producers at Paris Las Vegas, and, most recently, Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray at the Paper Mill Playhouse, doesn't have much time to rest on his laurels, as he stays pretty darn busy. On Saturday, Lee Roy does his salute to Jerry Herman at the Century Village Theater in Pembroke, Florida. Throughout the rest of November, Reams will do the Florida Condo Circuit, performing in West Palm Beach, Hunting Lakes, Coral Lakes, Boca Raton, Wynmoore and Deerfield.

Rebecca Spencer, formerly Madame Giry in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, is currently co-starring as Vicky in The Full Monty. The show was directed by Jerry Dixon and opened on September 15th. It closed in Issaquah, WA, on October 24th, and reopened in the Village Theatre's Everett, WA, venue on October 29. The show will run in Everett until November 21st.

And Leigh Zimmerman, formerly Ulla in The Producers at Paris Las Vegas, is currently playing Velma Kelly in Chicago on Broadway.

Shannon Tavarez

Closed Liberace Museum

Alton Fitzgerald White, who played Mufasa in The Lion King at Mandalay Bay, is now playing the same role on Broadway. On Monday, December 13th, Alton had scheduled a benefit holiday show at The Triad, 158 W. 72nd Street in Manhattan, as part of the Lee Summers' Just a Piano Concert Series, to benefit 11-year-old singer/actress, Shannon Tavarez, who beat out hundreds of hopefuls to win the role of young Nala in Broadway's The Lion King. This bright and talented child was part of show's cast for seven months, until she was diagnosed with AML, a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. Stars, including Alicia Keys, Rihanna and 50 Cent, had campaigned to help find a bone marrow donor for Tavarez. Lion King cast members held donor registration drives. A perfect match was not found, and Tavarez was forced to quit the show in April. Tragically, Shannon lost her battle with cancer on Monday (November 1st). She died at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, on New York's Long Island. Alton, whose Broadway credits include leading roles in The Color Purple, Ragtime, Miss Saigon, Smokey Joe's Café and The Who's Tommy, tells us that the concert, with pianist/ musical director, Doyle Newmyer, and special guest, Yolanda Wyns of The Color Purple, will go on as planned, beginning at 7 p.m. All of the proceeds will go to Shannon's mom, Odiney Brown. White has received many calls and e-mails from folks around the country who cannot make it to the benefit in December, but want to help. For those who would like to contribute, any donations can be made to Odiney Brown, and sent to Alton F. White, c/o The Lion King, Minskoff Theatre, 200 W. 45th St., New York, NY 10036. Our thoughts go out to Shannon's family, friends and Lion King cast and crew.

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You didn't think we would skip the Liberace Museum as a subject this week, did you? First of all, a number of the talented entertainers, mentioned above, performed in the museum's Cabaret at one time or another, including among them Rebecca Spencer, Alton Fitzgerald White, Erich Bergen and Jason Forbach. And, second of all, on Thursday evening, we had a two hour phone conversation with the museum's former director, Tanya Combs, and a number of the other, now out of work, museum employees. They had plenty to say, one of which included an explanation of why a customers complaint regarding Liberace Foundation President, Jack Rappaport, was not made public for about a year. It seems that an anonymous letter, sent to Liberace Foundation Board of Directors Chairman (and at UNLV), Jeff Koep, describing what took place at the museum when Rappaport made very unwelcome advances toward a female teenage guest, was torn up by Koep, and disposed of and, even though there were witnesses to the incident, the charges were never investigated. On numerous occasions, Rappaport has called female employees the most disgusting names and appeared "over served" at functions held at the museum. In spite of this, while other paid employees have been terminated, Rappaport is still on the payroll ($90,000 a year) and permitted access to the property and collection. What is wrong with this picture? You can bet that we will have more on this controversial subject next Friday.

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Paige O'Hara

RagTag's I Do! I Do!

Rod Stewart

Most people know that menopause means change. It seems that Menopause the Musical, currently at the Luxor, is going through its own changes. We hear that Susan Anton will be taking the place of Paige O'Hara as the Soap Star, and that there may be some other cast changes on the horizon. Kind of puzzling, as even though the show has been running in Las Vegas for five years, it seems to be doing quite well. Whatever happened to that, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory?

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After a sold out run of Jekyll and Hyde in July, RagTag Entertainment returns to the Onyx Theatre with I Do! I Do!, an intimate romantic comedy about a couple's 50-year relationship.

By Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, the same authors of The Fantasticks, I Do! I Do! takes a nostalgic and comedic look at the ups and downs of marriage. The show begins with Michael and Agnes on their wedding day, and follows their life together over a half century, until the day they pass their house to the next pair of newlyweds. Through the years, audiences will watch Michael and Agnes go through their wedding night jitters, survive pre-baby stresses, raise a family, negotiate mid-life crises, quarrel, separate, reconcile and grow old together, all lovingly to the sounds of a delightful and charming score. Popular local director, David Andino, recently appearing as Dr. Jekyll in the RagTag production of Jekyll and Hyde at the Onyx Theatre, helms the popular Broadway musical comedy. I Do! I Do! stars Patrick Matzig as Michael, and Kara Aschwege as Agnes. The show plays at the Onyx Theatre through Sunday, the 7th, with show times on Friday an Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 5 p.m. Located just east of the Las Vegas Strip, the Onyx Theatre is located at 953 East Sahara #16, inside The Rack clothing store, in the Commercial Center. Tickets are $15 and $20. Call (702) 732-7225.

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"Tonight's the Night"...Well, actually, tomorrow's the night when Rod Stewart opens at the Caesars Palace Colosseum. Stewart will perform many of his hits from November 6th through 21st.

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Marty Allen & Karon Kate Blackwell

Jerry Bock's Fiddler

Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell performed at Feinsteins at Loews Regency in New York for the very first time, last night (Thursday, November 4th), and return for a second show, tomorrow night, the 6th. If you happen to be in, or close to, Manhattan, check out the clown and the musician. Tell them that Cousin Claire sent you.

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Jerry Bock, who composed the music to some of the most memorable shows in Broadway history, died Wednesday, November 3rd, at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., of heart failure. He was 81. Together with lyricist Sheldon Harnick, Bock wrote the powerful score to "Fiddler on the Roof," one of the most successful productions in the history of the American musical theater. Fiddler had an initial run of eight years, and earned Bock and Harnick Tony Awards in 1965. The two songwriters, who worked together for 13 years, had their first success for the music and lyrics to "Fiorello!," which earned them each Tonys and a rare Pulitzer Prize in 1960. In addition, Bock was nominated for Tonys in 1967 for "The Apple Tree" and in 1971 for "The Rothschilds." He won an Emmy Award this year for helping pen a children's song. Born Jerrold Lewis Bock in New Haven, Conn., Bock was the son of a traveling salesman father and a mother who played the piano by ear. The young composer took up the piano at age 9, but admitted he was often impatient with formal lessons and preferred to improvise. At the University of Wisconsin he found his first collaborator, Larry Holofcener, a fellow student who became his lyricist. The two collaborated on the Broadway musical "Mr. Wonderful" in 1956, a vehicle for Sammy Davis Jr., who was making his Broadway debut. Bock and Harnick were first introduced at a restaurant by actor Jack Cassidy (father of David and Shaun Cassidy). They would form one of the most influential partnerships in Broadway history. Producers Robert E. Griffith and Hal Prince contracted Bock and Harnick to write the score for their next production, Fiorello!, a musical about the mayor of New York City, Fiorello LaGuardia. Bock and Harnick then collaborated on Tenderloin in 1960 and She Loves Me, three years later. Neither was a hit, but their next one was a monster that continues to be performed worldwide, Fiddler on the Roof, based on stories by Sholom Aleichem. It starred Zero Mostel as Teyve, had an almost eight year run and offered the world such stunning songs as "Sunrise, Sunset," "If I Were a Rich Man" and "Matchmaker, Matchmaker." Bock and Harnick next wrote the book as well as the score for The Apple Tree, in 1966, and the score for The Rothschilds, with a book by Sherman Yellen, in 1970. It was the last collaboration between the two: Bock decided that the time had come for him to be his own as a lyricist and he put out two experimental albums in the early 1970s.

Bock, who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972, also wrote dozens of children's songs and won an Emmy this year for "A Fiddler Crab Am I" from the show The Wonder Pets! Survivors include Bock's wife, Patti, daughter Portia Bock, son George Bock and granddaughter Edie Mae Shipler. Funeral services will be private, his lawyer said.

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Keeping up with singer/musician Ronnie Rose isn't easy, but we try. Upcoming dates include, 11/5 Stirling Club at Turnberry 8 to 12 (Members & Guests Only), 11/7 Mandalay Bay House of Blues Courtyard Restaurant 8 to 11, 11/10 Mandalay Bay (Crossroads Lounge) Restaurant 8 to 11, 11/12 Mandalay Bay House of Blues Courtyard Restaurant 9 to 12, 11/13 Mandalay Bay House of Blues Courtyard Restaurant 9 to 12, and 11/14 Mandalay Bay House of Blues Courtyard Restaurant 8 to 11.

Check out the article on Ronnie in today's Neon section of the Review Journal.

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The Men of Chippendale's

Vienna Girardi

Tonight, Friday, November 5th, the Men of Chippendales will be joined by Vienna Girardi, winner of the ABC hit series, The Bachelor, as part of the Chippendales® ongoing celebrity guest host series for "The Ultimate Girls Night Out!" Showtime is at 8 p.m. The stunning bachelorette, who received national attention after her public break up with co-star Jake Pavelka, will host the "Ultimate Girls Night Out!" at Chippendales® for one night only. Vienna will join the Chippendales® onstage as part of the show's ongoing celebrity guest host series which was launched by super model/actress Estella Warren. In addition, she will be escorted on the red carpet by the iconic men who have recently been voted the "Best of Las Vegas 2010 – Best Male Revue" by both editors and readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal. In addition to winning "The Bachelor," Girardi has been seen on Ellen, Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight and, has been featured in numerous magazines including People, UsWeekly and Star. Perhaps Vienna will find her new "bachelor" within the handsome cast of Chippendales? Chippendales® is the premier provider of entertainment for women and is currently the #1 Male Revue in the World. The Company produces Broadway-style shows worldwide and licenses its intellectual property for select consumer products ranging from apparel and accessories to mobile content. The Company also currently operates and controls over 50 other domain names, providing an online lifestyle and entertainment destination for women. features a free site offering a wide array of editorial and pictorial content and the Chippendales'® store, which sells branded products. Chippendales® was established in 1979 and has headquarters in New York, with offices in Las Vegas and London. For more information, please visit Chippendales performs in the Chippendales Theatre, located at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, nightly at 8 p.m. (dark Wednesdays), with additional shows on Friday and Saturday at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $39.95 and $49.95. For tickets, call (702) 777-7776. Locals can receive tickets for $25 nightly with a valid Nevada I.D. for any performance.

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Tomorrow at 3 p.m., it's Lisa and Ron Smith with their Back to Broadway musical revue at Grace In the Desert Episcopal Church at 2004 Spring Gate in Summerlin. The talented team will perform favorites from Les Miserables, Wicked, Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Little Shop of Horrors, 42nd Street, Monty Python's Spamalot, Phantom of the Opera, The Music Man, Show Boat, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Songs For a New World and more. Tickets are only $15 and are available at the door. Call (702) 838-7444 for more information about Back to Broadway, as well as the Grace in the Desert Fall 2010 Afternoon Concert Series.

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The Tiffany Theatre at Tropicana Las Vegas is alive, well and ready to showcase the most exciting acts to grace her stage in decades. Eagle Group Holdings, owner of the soon to be opened Las Vegas Mob Experience, has taken over the management of the Tiffany Theatre, and plans to make it the premier entertainment venue in Las Vegas in 2011 and for many years beyond. With a rich history and prime location on the Las Vegas Strip, the showroom will become part of Tropicana's new image as a destination location. First to shine in the showroom's spotlight is Yesterday: A Tribute To The Beatles. Founded in 1986 by John Lennon impersonator, Don Bellezzo, Yesterday has performed their critically acclaimed Beatles tribute show, The British Are Coming!, for audiences around the world. Produced by Yesterday Productions, the band's most recent gig ran for three years at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City. The Atlantic City Weekly said of the show, "Everything is right; four men with shaggy hair, drainpipe trousers and Cuban heels. As for the music- 'Twist and Shout', 'I Want to Hold Your Hand", 'Help,' it's all faithful, right down to the last guitar riff and drum flourish. If you never saw The Beatles, the tribute show band, Yesterday is as close as you'll get to the real thing." Yesterday has been featured on various radio and television shows and in many print publications including Rolling Stone magazine. Editors and producers alike have given the show rave reviews! "An Explosion! A Wonderful Blast from the Past!" The New York Daily News, " Yesterday gets it right!" The New York Times. "The performance was electric! What a Group!" The LA Times. According to Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other recording artist. It is unfortunate that they only stayed together until 1970, but their music will forever be timeless. Although audiences will not have the chance to see The Beatles perform today, "Yesterday" helps to keep their spirit alive. Performing the Beatles original hits with spot on accuracy in both voice and instrumentation, this show is not to be missed! Yesterday can be seen in the Tiffany Theatre at the recently renovated Tropicana Las Vegas, Tuesdays through Sundays, at 5:30 pm. For tickets and information, please call the box office at (702) 739-2417.

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Gerry McCambridge

Don Hill

Roseanne Barr

Birthday greetings to Scorpios Eileen Zillman, Chris Hudson, Greg Smith, John Wertz, Gerry McCambridge, Don Hill, Roseanne Barr, Elliot Ames, Rick Smith, Dolly Coulter, Joseph "Kid Cary" DeGrosa, Frank Marino, Byron Wolfe, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Gary Anderson, and Lee Greenwood.
And anniversary greetings to Don and Gloria Hill, Liz and Danny Pero, Ron and Nancy Lee Andrews, Domenick Allen and Leigh Zimmerman, Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton Holmes, and Louise and Larry "Wild" Wrice (celebrating their 10th by renewing their wedding vows).

Domenick Allen & Leigh Zimmerman

Monette Marino

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The 10-member Monette Marino-Keita Band will perform at Belly Up in Solana Beach, California, on Sunday, November 14th, from 8 to 10 p.m. Joining percussionist Monette, in what is described as "an instrumental explosion of funk, Latin & African-inspired melodies and rhythms," are Nathan Brown on bass; Nikki Campbell on percussion; Irving Flores on keyboards; Mike Holguin on drums; Larry Mitchell on guitar; John Rekevics on sax and flute; brothers, Keli Ross-Ma'u and Tonga Ross-Ma'u, on steel drums; and Brad Steinwehe on trumpet. Monette began drumming in 1976 at the age of eight, when her father, Frankie Laine's longtime manager/producer, Jimmy Marino, initiated her on his sparkle blue Ludwig drum set. In 1981 her father gave her a lesson on the congas and it was at that moment that she fell in love with the skin on skin contact and began to immerse herself into the world of hand drumming. She spent the next 12 years developing her skills on the congas with local San Diego percussionists. In the spring of 1993, her interest in traditional West African drumming was sparked when she saw Malian drummer Yaya Diallo perform at the University of California at San Diego with the ensemble, African Troubadours. That same year, Monette was introduced to traditional Korean drumming by Mr. Kim Duk Soo, Founder/ Director of Samul Nori, who came to UCSD to complete a weeklong teaching residency. At the end of the residency, Kim Duk Soo invited Ms. Marino to attend their World Music Festival in Seoul, South Korea in 1995 and to compete in a Kyorugi, a traditional Korean drum competition, for which she placed 4th place in 1995 and 2nd place in 1997. Monette's professional playing career began when she met local composer and musician Semisi Maíu, originally from Tonga. Semisi encouraged Monette to express her musical talents by joining his band Semis and Fula Bulaî (which translates to Semisi and a Big Hello). Semisiís music was the perfect blend of his native South Pacific island grooves with a little reggae, blues, rock and even Latin spice. This was Monette's first outlet for her reservoir of skill and knowledge that had accumulated over the last 15 years. After a few months of shows with Semisi, Monette realized that she was destined for a career in music. Though she continued to study traditional drumming from Africa, Cuba, Brazil and Korea with Master Drummers from these respective countries and traveled to Guinea, Cuba and Korea to deepen her understanding, she was simultaneously building her reputation locally as a strong performer. Monette began her apprenticeship with Master Djembe Drummer Mamady Keita, from Guinea, West Africa, in January of 1997 when she made a one- month trip to his home in Conakry to study the percussion of the Manding. After three years of intensive studies with Mr. Keita, she received a Certificate from his school of percussion, Tam Tam Mandingue in recognition of her knowledge and skill in traditional Manding percussion. Monette was then granted permission by Mr. Keita to open the 11th branch of his school Tam Tam Mandingue in 1998. In 2001, Monette won the National Hand Drum-Off competition at Drum Day LA, sponsored by the Guitar Center. Participants competed all over the country and three finalists were chosen from New York, Miami and Los Angeles to perform at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Since 2004, she has been touring with Master Drummer Mamady Keita teaching classes and performing with him and his band Sewa Kan around the world. Together they have visited over 20 countries on 6 continents. She is now branching out as a Solo Artist. She has written and produced her first album titled "Coup d'Eclat" which blends African and Latin rhythms and melodies inside Funk and Rock grooves.

Her all-star band includes Grammy Award winning guitarist Larry Mitchell and Grammy Nominated Producer/ Arranger Allan Phillips on keyboards, James East on bass and National Drum-Off finalist Mike Holguin on drums. Also featured on her debut CD is her husband, Master Djembe Drummer, Mamady Keita. Monette's music highlights traditional African instruments such as the Djembe, Kora (known as the African Harp) and Balafon, as well as the Caribbean Steel Drum, and of course loads of Latin percussion instruments. It is truly World Music. Monette continues to explore many drumming systems from around the world and has a deep respect for the cultural heritage preserved and passed on through the language of the drum. There is a $10 cover charge and attendees must be 21 or older. Belly Up, voted the San Diego area's Best Live Music Venue, is located at 143 S. Cedros Ave. For more details, call (858) 481-9022.

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In honor of Veteran's Day GI JAMS presents the musical talents of the United States military troops and veterans at the Cannery Casino & Hotel, on Friday, November 12th at 8 p.m. The concert only includes veterans and active military members, many of whom have just returned from deployment or will be deployed after the concert. GI JAMS, a Nevada based company co-founded by songwriter/producer/artists Denny Randell and his wife, Biddy Schippers, is dedicated to providing the men and women of the armed services an opportunity to showcase their musical talents. The participating bands - American Attitude, Joe Speed Band, Potter's Gamble, Jerard Brewer, Destruction Evolution, Ric Ulsky, Cory Bower, and Dark and McDermid - play all original music. American Attitude is made up of active military men from Jacksonville, Florida, who currently serve in the Air Force and the Navy. The band originally started to entertain other servicemen at their base NCO club. American Attitude became such a hit with their base, they were soon asked to play at other military bases as well as civilian venues. Starting off as a cover band American Attitude now have their own original sound. They have become popular for their fun feel good music and can ensure their audience will have a good time. American Attitude's members include: Chris Henderson on lead vocals, Matt Smithers on bass, Marc Meyers on drums, and Shawn Watchorn on guitar. The Joe Speed Band, part of the Wyoming National Guard, recently finished their spring deployment in Iraq. Joe Speed Band, which consists of Jeremiah Eaton, Nathan Harvey, and Dusty Scott recently had the great privilege to play for Senator John McCain. Joe Speed Band was originally stationed in Ft. Lewis, Washington, and that is where they created their band. This last Christmas, while in Iraq, the band recorded "Cowboy Solider" in their tent on site. Adrian Manuel, also known as Potter's Gamble, recently arrived home from Iraq. A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot, he describes music as one of his greatest passions. During his recent station in Iraq, Adrian Manuel was still able to record his music, which he describes was his outlet while he was stationed. Jerard Brewer, a Lieutenant Colonel, has spent the last 24 years in the Marines. He is currently stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Jerard Brewer first learned to play the guitar in college and became hooked. After he finished college he began his career in the Marine Corps and continued his love of music. He is currently working on his second album. Corey Bower, a member of the Air Force, is currently stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. When he was just a little boy, Corey's dad introduced him to the guitar and that is where he developed his passion for music. Ever since his first experience with music, he uses his spare time to play guitar and write lyrics for his songs. Destruction Evolution is made up of Air Force and Army Veterans. A metal band with a heavy blues sound, they find inspiration for their music from Black Sabbath and Metallica to name a few. They describe their newest album, Relentless, as high energy. They have opened for numerous rock and metal bands, such as Saxxon Dokken and Texas Hippie Collection. Destruction Evolution's members include, Steve "Sin" Sinatra the lead vocalist, Jimmy "The Freak" Littleton on the bass and guitar, Chris "Penga" Peng on lead guitar and backing vocals, Richie "IKBPM" Ibanez on drums, and Donny Nall on rhythm guitar. Ric Ulsky is an Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War. During his service he entered the "All Army Entertainment Contest" and won first prize. From there, he went on to establish a professional music career. He first joined the band, The City Zoo, and then went on to start his own band, Epicentre, that he describes as a "funk-rock tower of power style band." Ric currently resides in Las Vegas. Dark and McDermid was created by Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, Don Dark. Together with his hometown friend, Cullen "Rick" McDermid, he wrote all of his music. Recently, after joining GI JAMS, Don Dark passed away, but his friend Rick McDermid will be at the showcase to play their music. Tickets are $15 for those with a valid military ID, and $22 for others, and can be purchased at the Cannery Casino & Hotel's ticket sales counter located at the front desk, by calling (702) 507-5757 or online at For more information on the bands and GI JAMS, please visit

Denny Randell, Sen. John McCain & Biddy Schippers

F.I.O.R.E. Halloween Ghouls & Boys

Denny Rendall, along with Sandy Linzer, wrote many hits for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, The Monkees, The Toys and other pop recording artists.

And here are two other Veterans Day-related items...
Over at the Riviera, Greg London - Impressions That Rock! will offer free show tickets to all veterans on Thursday, November 11th.

The November gathering for the F.I.O.R.E. gang falls on Veterans Day, Thursday, the 11th. Since many of the presidents (all the FIORE men are presidents), they will celebrate the day with appropriate reverence. The meeting place is at the Italian American Social Club, located at 2333 E. Sahara, starting at 11:30 a.m. As Gene Vitale will be out of town until the 9th, please RSVP to Nelson Sardelli at [email protected].

And speaking of the F.I.O.R.E. group, their annual Halloween party, held last Friday night at the Italian American Social Club, proved to be a fun night for all the attendees, especially the ones who wore costumes. As is their usual style, a live band provided music for listening and dancing pleasure, a number of entertainers shared their talent with the crowd, and everyone enjoyed a delightful buffet supper. These folks sure know how to throw a shindig.

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