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 December 10, 2010
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - December 10, 2010

Barclay Shaw

Dan Goodwin scales Millennium Tower

Dave Swan as King Arthur

If you were a Las Vegan, or a Las Vegas visitor, on New Year's Eve 1981, you may remember a brand new show that debuted at the Tropicana on that night. It was called Portrait of Dorian, and was produced by the late magician/puppeteer, Barclay Shaw. The production was a mix of magic and drama, and starred a young man that went by the name of Daniel Dorian. Well, we just heard a rumor that Daniel may be making a return appearance in Las Vegas, on, surprise, this New Year's Eve! Thirty years later, though, he will be using his real name, Dan Goodwin, and he will be doing what he does just about better than anyone else in the world...getting high. REALLY high. Plans are for Dan to scale a local high rise building. Just which high-rise it might be, remains a mystery...for now. An incident in November of 1980, changed this man's life. While visiting Las Vegas, Dan Goodwin witnessed the burning of the MGM Grand Hotel, resulting in the death of at least 84 people. Because of a rescue attempt Goodwin had witnessed on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park some time earlier, he believed many of the people trapped in the MGM Grand could be rescued. When he presented his plan, that included climbing up to the trapped individuals and connecting cables to the floors to enable rescue baskets to be ferried to and from helicopters, to the on-location fire boss, he was called a "lunatic" and threatened with arrest. The day after the fire, Dan approached a Las Vegas Fire Department fire chief and once again presented his ideas on rescue. He was told he needed to climb a building himself to learn of the dangers of high-rise firefighting and rescue. As a result, the following Memorial Day, Goodwin climbed, which was at that time, the tallest building in the world, the then-named Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower) in Chicago. Wearing a homemade Spider-Man suit and using suction cups, camming devices, and sky hooks, Goodwin successfully scaled the 110-story building. For seven hours, Goodwin fought severe winds, slippery glass, and repeated attempts by the Chicago Fire Department to stop him. A few feet below the top, Goodwin taped an American flag to the building to honor his father who fought in the Korean War. Chicago's press dubbed him "Spider Dan." Goodwin stated the reason he scaled the building was to call attention to inadequacies in high-rise firefighting and rescue. On November 7th, 1981, Goodwin was in Dallas, Texas, where, disguised as a homeless person, he approached the 56-story Renaissance Tower, stripped to his Spider-Man suit, and, using suction cups, in combination with his hands and his feet, successfully climbed the building. At the ensuing press conference, Goodwin said the reason he made the climb was to keep a promise he made to a young Dallas resident stricken with Cystic Fibrosis. Four days later, wearing a wetsuit and using a climbing device he designed for the building, Goodwin scaled the 100-story John Hancock Center in Chicago. He again met resistance from the Chicago Fire Department, who directed a gushing fire hose toward Goodwin, shattered out windows with fire axes, and blocked his path with long barbed poles. At one point, Goodwin, using a rope, swung across the building in an attempt to elude the fire department. Chicago's Mayor, Jane Byrne, intervened and allowed Goodwin to continue to the top. Once again, Goodwin said he had made the climb to call attention to the inability to successfully fight fires in high-rise buildings. On Memorial Day, 1983, using suction cups for the first four floors, before switching to a homemade camming device on the building's window-washing track, Goodwin successfully scaled the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. Just prior to reaching the top, Goodwin attached an American flag to the side of the tower in tribute to all Americans who died in war. Again, Goodwin said he made the climb to call attention to the inability to rescue trapped building occupants from the upper levels of skyscrapers. On June 26th, 1986, Goodwin successfully scaled, what was at the time the world's tallest structure, the CN Tower, located in downtown Toronto, Canada. Using only his hands and feet, Dan climbed one side, rappelled down, then, seconds later, climbed the far side and rappelled down again. Goodwin's climb was a sponsored publicity event, celebrating the tower's 10-year anniversary. On September 6th of this year, Dan Goodwin scaled the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. Once again, there were reasons for making the climb. One was to call attention to the continued inability to conduct rescue operations in the upper floors of skyscrapers during a major emergency, and the other was that, as a Stage Four cancer survivor, Goodwin wanted to inspire people throughout the world who have been diagnosed with cancer. You can call him Daniel Dorian, Dan Goodwin, Spider-Man, Spider-Dan or Skyscraper-Man, we call him inspirational. His life story, entitled Skyscraperman, was co-written and edited by D. B. Guidinger, with a foreword by Stan Lee, the co-creator of Spider-Man. It was published in January, in e-book format. Which Las Vegas structure would you like to see Dan climb? The new Cosmopolitan, for its Grand Opening Celebration? Planet Hollywood, to kick off the New Year's Eve fireworks display? Vdara, a 57-story wall of glass at CityCenter? Aria Resort, a 60-story five-star hotel? Mandarin Oriental, a 56-story, five-star hotel? The Palms 42-floor Fantasy Tower? The Rio's 42-story Masquerade Tower? The 50-story Encore at Wynn Las Vegas? Trump International, The Donald's 64-story luxury hotel? The 540-foot Eiffel Tower relpica at Paris Las Vegas? Or, the Luxor's 30-story, black glass pyramid? When we know where the Las Vegas climb will take place, we will provide the information...along with more about Daring Dan.

Jim Marsh

Larry Edwards in Santa drag

Lady Haha, Lady Gaga & Derrick Barry

* * * * * * *

It appears, that in an attempt to help raise funds to aid an ailing member of the entertainment community, our last Friday's appeal created some very negative feelings toward Claire Voyant from a handful of people...including the victim herself. That was not our intent. When we learned of the lady's illness, and the fact she had no insurance or money to cover her needed surgery, we had two options. We could ignore the issue entirely, or we could let the public know of the need, without plugging a show that was being held last weekend. Although a number of local entertainers were donating their time and talent, we could not, in good conscience, promote the show as we do not support the venue or its owner, no matter what is going on there. In case there was any misunderstanding, we did not mean to suggest that the musicians who were involved in this particular recent program were being paid. We know for a fact that people were told that the reason for the small amount of money turned over to the then ailing, now deceased, Dave Swan following a benefit for him, in November of 2007, was because of paid for newspaper display ads to promote the event, and the musicians' pay. The day after our article appeared, and the day before the show took place, one of the participants contacted us to let us know that if the event did not attract a big audience, it was our fault. I guess that means we should also be blamed for everything else that has tanked at the place as well. From what we were told, about 75 people showed up, generating about $1,600. Not much, considering how many years the person in need of medical treatment has been performing in Las Vegas. Fortunately, a knight on a white horse, or, more accurately, a wonderful member of our community in a white Kia Optima, came to the rescue. That would be Sky Line Casino owner/auto dealer (Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Kia), generous Jim Marsh. This humanitarian, serving Las Vegas for more than 30 years, has stepped forward to make sure that the down on her luck entertainer, will get her surgery. A couple of days ago, we were told that, now that the money appears to be in place, the surgery would take place on Monday. We have now been informed that the procedure has been postponed until around the 20th...due, we are told, to an infection.

And speaking of good guys, once again, Las Vegas entertainer, Larry Edwards, donned a Santa suit and , wig, to participate in last Sunday's annual Great Santa Run. Why were we not one bit surprised to learn that yesterday, Larry, a cast member of Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas, donned his gay apparel to dress up as Lady Gaga, and attend the unveiling of the REAL Lady's wax likeness at The Venetian's Madame Tussauds. Calling himself "Lady Haha," Larry won two VIP tickets to Lady Gaga's March 25th upcoming show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. In keeping in the Santa Claus mode, Larry, also known as Hot Chocolate, generously gave the tickets to his Divas cast mates, Derrick Barry, who portrays both Britney Spears and Gaga, and Steven Wayne, who plays Cher and Celine Dion, and understudies Derrick's Lady Gaga when Barry is absent from the production. We can pretty much guarantee that if the VIP tickets had been for a Tina Turner or Patti LeBelle concert (two of the characters Edwards portrays), he would have played Scrooge and kept them for himself. Mayor Goodman, not one to miss many local celebrations, was in attendance for the Madame Tussauds ceremony.

Photo of the wax Lady Gaga, Larry "Lady Haha" Edwards and Derrick Barry, by Erik Kabik

Larry Edwards tells us that his friend John Neeland, former Riviera public relations man, is ailing. If anyone would like to send a cheery get well message to John, you can e-mail it to [email protected], and he will see that John gets it.

Frank Marino as Joan Rivers

Mark Nadler

Brent Barrett

And speaking of Mr. Marino...For those that think Frank and Joan Rivers are still feuding, obviously, it ain't so. If you don't believe us, check out this Link on YouTube and see for yourself... You can enjoy Frank Marino, Larry Edwards, and the rest of the talented cast, in Divas Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace. Show times are at 10 p.m., every night but Friday. (Check with the hotel for holiday schedule). Call (888) 777-7664.

* * * * * * *

If we were in New York on the night of Tuesday, December 21st, we know where we would be. We would be at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42nd Street. Why? Because, from 7 to 8:30, one of our favorite performers, Mark Nadler, will be appearing with Heather MacRae, Marta Sanders, Jamison Stern and Tanya Holt, in The Big Holiday Special. The group will spin the holiday standards in all different directions in this merriest of winter-fests. Exploring every element of the holiday season, from TV specials to Christmas parties, and, yes, even those horrible memories of the Christmases we DIDN'T get our heart's desire! This show is at times hysterically funny, at times deeply moving, and always joyously musical. It will leave you with a warm glow that will last long after the Holiday season has come and gone.

And if that isn't reason enough to be at the Beechman, following Mark and friends, at 10:30, our Phavorite Phantom, Brent Barrett, fresh from his run as Billy Flynn in Broadway's Chicago, makes his Beechman debut with Christmas Mornings, a show based on his CD of the same name. Expect tunes ranging from "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Winter Wonderland," to creative arrangements of "I'll Be Home for Christmas/A Place Called Home," and "Christmas Waltz/It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Broadway favorite Barrett's theater credits include Annie Get Your Gun, Grand Hotel, Dance a Little Closer, West Side Story and Candide. He also played the lead in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, for the shows' first two years. Brent last appeared here with Lewis Cleale, Brian Lane Green and Matt Farnsworth, in the wonderful Broadway Tenors concert at UNLV on November 5th. Both shows have a $25 cover and a $15 food/beverage minimum. The Laurie Beechman Theatre boasts state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, and has been the home of some of the hottest Broadway and cabaret performers for more than 30 years. For more information about this charming and comfortable 100-seat venue, call (212) 695-6909 or check the Web site at [email protected].

And, on the subject of holiday music, we attended A Jazzy Christmas concert at the Clark County Flamingo Library Theater on Sunday, and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Presented by the Performing Arts Society of Nevada, the program featured the ladies of Dangerous Curves (Lisa Smith, Karen Merstik Michaels and Margaret Menzies), with special guests, the gals of Swing City Dolls (Robin Berry Vincent, Natalie Carson and Connie Murray, with pianist Bill McClure), the gentlemen of Fifth Avenue (Rob Hyatt, Jerry Jones, Bryce Robinson and Jeff Celentano), and the husbands of The Curves (Ron Smith, Dennis Michaels and Michael Gonzalez). Piano accompaniment was provided by Tony Branco. The selection of music covered traditional holiday tunes, Broadway selections and more...all done exceptionally well. The most moving moment came near the end of the program, when Dangerous Curves did a beautiful rendition of "I'll Be Home For Christmas," with videos of homecoming soldiers surprising their children in school classrooms and their other family members in unexpected circumstances. There was hardly a dry eye in the theater.

A Jazzy Christmas cast

And speaking of Lisa Smith (as we frequently do), on Tuesday, December 14th, thru Friday, the 17th, you can catch this talented vocalist, along with Billy T. on keyboards, and Gary Olds on drums, as they present Gold Coast Classics at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino, 4000 West Flamingo. From 2 to 5 p.m., you can enjoy a fabulous afternoon of jazz, holiday music, cocktails and dancing, with no cover charge and no drink minimum. Help keep live music in the lounges, by supporting programs such as this.

* * * * * * *

Popular Las Vegas entertainer and "The Concert King of the Philippines," Martin Nievera, returns to the Suncoast Showroom, this weekend, with shows Friday through Sunday, December 10th through 12th, each evening at 7:30. Nievera has dazzled crowds, selling out concert stadiums and casino showrooms around the world with his diverse repertoire. He performs his own hits, including his signature "On the Right Track," movie and soap opera theme songs, and his own adaptations of music from Broadway to Buble. Nievera is a popular recording artist with several platinum albums, including Martin...Take One, The Best Gift, Forever, and its sequels, Forever Forever and Return to Forever. He has appeared in 11 films and seven television series and specials, including Penthouse Live!, Martin and Pops Twogether, and Martin After Dark, which ultimately became Martin [email protected] Nievera regularly joins fellow entertainers Clint Holmes, Susan Anton and Domenick Allen as Vocal Soup-blending solo performances, duets and group numbers, and rekindling the Las Vegas tradition of entertainers coming together in an "anything can happen" atmosphere. In between frequent Las Vegas appearances, Nievera tours the United States and Canada with his so-called Filipino archrival Gary Valenciano, known as "Mr. Pure Energy." Despite the hype surrounding their rivalry, concerts featuring the two stars are focused on their extremely popular music and are typically sold-out performances. Tickets are available 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.

Martin Nievera

Rick Faugno & Domenick Allen

Clint Holmes

Tomorrow night, Saturday, December 11th, it's Domenick Allen at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip in a Toys For Tots Concert. Allen will take the Hard Rock Cafe stage to perform his classic show, Vinyl, featuring musicians Lorrie Illustre, Marcus Vann, John Wedemeyer, Brian Czach, Mike Robb, Eric Sande, Mike Turnbull, Jeff Jordan, and Jim D'Arrigo. Joining Domenick and Vinyl will be Jersey Boy Rick Faugno, Billy Hinsche, Cat Hickland, Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie, and Heidi Thompson. As part of the event, guests are encouraged to bring a new and unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots, the United States Marine Corps Reserve's program that collects toys and distributes holiday gifts to needy children in the community. If you show up without a toy, prepare to spend $20 for admission. Members of the United States Marine Corps, as well as local celebrities and program supporters, will be in attendance at the event. Co-sponsored by Cadillac of Las Vegas and Lier Entertainment Group, the show runs from 8 p.m. to midnight.

And, don't miss the Clint Holmes Holiday Show at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino, next weekend, December 17th through 19th. Clint and his wife, Kelly Clinton-Holmes, along with his sister, Gayle Steele, will perform songs of the holiday season each of the three evenings at 7:30. Holmes and family create a warm and inviting show, perfect to share with your family and friends this holiday. Together, they will put their own spin on traditional holiday favorites, as well as performing by popular request, "William the Angel." In the weekend of performances, Holmes is certain to perform songs that have long been associated with him throughout his career. He will also release his first ever holiday CD, Hallelujah, in conjunction with these Suncoast appearances. Holmes' fans know him as more than just a singer. He's famous for making every performance an original, and captivating the audience with his signature style. Among his many recordings is the Top 10 hit "Playground In My Mind (My Name Is Michael)." His album, Edges, produced several standout songs, including the single "Feel Like Makin' Love." Clint has a long history of entertaining audiences in Las Vegas, including his six-year run at Harrah's. Named Las Vegas' "Best Singer" for four times, and "Entertainer of the Year" three times in the Las Vegas Review-Journal readers poll, Holmes' fame stretches far beyond Southern Nevada. He was also Atlantic City's "Entertainer of the Year" three times, and starred in Clint Holmes' Sophisticated Rhythms, a dynamic stage show that traveled through music from the 1940s to the present. His 1996 critically acclaimed musical Comfortable Shoes, which opened in New Jersey, was a poignant and uplifting journey into Holmes' interracial family's struggle to find its identity. In 2002, an updated version of the musical opened at The Royal George Theatre in Chicago. Among the show's reviews, the Chicago Tribune called it "a night of fully realized theatrical entertainment." In a career that began with an invitation from Joan Rivers to be her sidekick and announcer on The Late Show, Clint Holmes has proven himself as a well-respected performer, even earning the honor of being the featured performer at the Democratic National Convention on the evening of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential nomination. Also familiar to fans' ears, Holmes was the voice of Lowenbrau Beer for four years. Holmes and long-time friends, Susan Anton, Domenick Allen and Martin Nievera, regularly unite as Vocal Soup to perform a showcase of solos, duets and group numbers. Tickets are available for the holiday show, 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.

And speaking of Clint Holmes...
On Sunday, December 12th, he will be the featured entertainment for the Renaissance Cancer Foundation's Christmas Show at the McAllen Convention Center in McAllen, Texas. For more information, or for ticket pricing, please call the Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Marketing Department at (956) 362-3100.

And speaking of Domenick Allen, look for his brilliant drummer, Brian Czach, to be performing with the 10-piece Absoludicrous ensemble at the Motor City Café, 4080 S. Paradise, Monday, December 13th, beginning at 11 p.m., and going until the cows come home, whatever time that may be. For additional information, call (702) 307-1731.

Brian Czach

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Nelson Sardelli & Marty Allen

* * * * * * *

Sheee's back. Vamp queen, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, has returned to TV, hosting, Elvira's Movie Macabre. Elvira, a.k.a. Casandra Peterson, got her start as the original "scream queen" back in 1981, as hostess of a local Hollywood horror movie show on station KHJ-TV. The show later went on to became nationally syndicated. Gothic clad Elvira, was devilishly wicked, hosting really awful B movies and cracking hilarious jokes you never could concentrate on, because you were too distracted by her ample cleavage. Her beauty is offset by her comical character, quick personality, and valley girl vernacular. In 1979, she joined the improvisational troupe The Groundlings, where she created a valley girl character, that Elvira is based on. Peterson had auditioned for the role of Ginger, for the third Gilligan's Island television movie. She didn't get the part, but instead snagged her KHJ horror hosting duties a short time later. We caught one of her shows a couple of weekends ago, featuring a movie called The Terror. The 1963 film starred an old Boris Karloff, and a young Jack Nicholson. It was produced and directed by Roger Corman, along with the uncredited help of one Francis Ford Coppola.

Here's a bit of trivia with a local spin. Cassandra Peterson was a fan of Ann-Margret. After seeing A-M in the movie, Viva Las Vegas, Peterson knew she wanted to be a dancer. Shortly after graduating from high school, Cassandra came to Vegas where, at the age of 17, she became one of the youngest showgirls in Las Vegas history. You never know when information like this might come in handy.

* * * * * * *

Before he took of for Florida with his musical wife, Karon Kate Blackwell, funny man, Marty Allen, was seen having lunch with fellow entertainer Nelson Sardelli at Levy's Bagels & Deli on West Sahara. There, to the delight of other diners, the two big boys got into a fight over the same pickle...and we happen to have a photo capturing the Deli Dill Duel. Could this have been a rehearsal for the new comedy team of Allen & Sardelli? That Sardelli guy is everywhere! We spotted him earlier this week, lunching with statesman Lou Toomin, journalist Norm Johnson, and comic Cork Proctor. As for Marty and Karon, tomorrow, Saturday, December 11th, they are performing at Century Village Theater in Boca Raton, Florida, for one show at 7 p.m., and at the Century Village Theater in Pembroke Pines, Florida, for another show at 9 p.m. (WHEW!). Sunday, December 12th, it's an 8 p.m. show at the Century Village Theater in West Palm Beach, Florida.

While in Florida, the Allens may run into song and dance man, our friend Lee Roy Reams, as he is also playing the condo circuit there. Lee Roy tells us that the Florida dates are really working out well and leading to more bookings in other venues. "It's my audience," he says, "and I'm loving it." Reams goes on to inform us that they saluted The Theatre Guild and Theatre At Sea last Monday, with Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris, Tammy Grimes, Loretta Swit, Celeste Holm and others. The week before was The Hammerstein Award, presented to Tom Meehan of The Producers and Hairspray. Last week, Lee Roy was part of the 2010 Gypsy Of The Year Award, honoring 90-year-old Carol Channing. The Gypsy of the Year competition was held at the New Amsterdam Theatre, with Seth Rudetsky hosting. The annual benefit raised $3,776,720 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. It's the third highest amount in the 22-year history of Gypsy. The winner of this year's Best Stage Presentation went to Rock of Ages for its acrobatic presentation of "Puppet Master," featuring cast members Julie Nelson and Rudi Macaggi. Runner up went to Adam Riegler of The Addams Family for his spoof of the "It Gets Better" campaign, assuring upcoming Broadway shows that, like the Addams Family, they can survive harsh bullying by the critics. As has become custom in the past 22 years, Gypsy of the Year featured a mix of satirical skits, songs and impressive dance numbers, all performed by the "gypsies" of the respective shows - with occasional appearances by the show's stars.

Lee Roy Reams, Carol Channing & Tyne Daly

Christmas at Fremont Street Experience

Larry Atello

Photo of Lee Roy Reams, Carol Channing and Tyne Daly by Krissie Fullerton

And speaking of Nelson Sardelli, he reminds us that the F.I.O.R.E.'s 6th or 7th (can't remember which) annual Christmas party takes place at the Italian American Social Club located at 2333 East Sahara, next Saturday, December 18th, beginning at 6:30 p.m. There will be live music, entertainment, a dinner buffet starting at 7, gifts to some, and flowers and chocolates for the ladies. Also have your photo taken with the "Christmas Bunny" and hunt for colored eggs. (Don't ask us. We only copy what we're given.) Dress code is Smart Christmas Casual for the boys, and Dress Up to Kill (as usual) for the girls. Cost is $35 per person. "Your presence would honor us and lend a certain amount of needed class to this event," says Sardelli and the other 137 presidents of the dubious Non Club Club F.I.O.R.E.. They request that, "You kindly RSVP to [email protected] at your earliest convenient opportunity."

* * * * * * *

On Wednesday night, Mayor Oscar B. Goodman flipped the switch to light Las Vegas' official Christmas tree at the downtown Fremont Street Experience. Santa Claus and his elves were on hand to help officiate the ceremony and light the 50-foot tree. Santa and a few of his elves surprised the crowd by ditching the sleigh for a ride on the new FlightlineZ (zip line). Mayor Goodman, and Jeff Victor, president of Fremont Street Experience, entered the ceremony in a parade of red convertibles. After the tree lighting, Candy and the Canes entertained the crowd with festive holiday music. Las Vegas' official tree will be on display through the Christmas holiday.

Photo courtesy of Larry Burton

* * * * * * *

Next Friday, December 17th, for the fourth year, Johnathan Isley will produce and host a holiday musical celebration concert to benefit the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. The show will take place at 8 p.m. at the Onyx Theatre, inside The Rack, 953 E. Sahara, Suite 16 in the Commercial Center. Among those donating their talent are (in politically correct alphabetical order) Maggi Albisani, Larry Atello, Vita Corimbi, Miss Frankie, Isley, Kitty Litter, Skye Dee Miles, Rudalenska, The Sin City Sisters, Tim Tucker, and Sheila Wright-Del Monte. Tickets are $15. An after-party will be held at Crews'N, 1000 E. Sahara, Suite 105. Call (702) 732-7225 for more information.

* * * * * * *

Holiday Happenings in Henderson...
The public is invited to enjoy holiday activities as Henderson presents WinterFest, from December 9th through 11th. Take the family to WinterFest for a jolly good time that includes a winter wonderland of holiday activities including a Henderson Symphony Orchestra performance, parade, snow play, petting zoo, storytelling, pony rides and more. And, of course, Santa Claus will be visiting from the North Pole! There will also be, new this year, Ferris wheel rides, reindeer games, a life-sized snowball adventure, a giant kids' art mural and "Town Sing," where, every hour on the hour, carolers lead the crowd in a sing-along of holiday classics while snow falls. Admission for the WinterFest activities and entertainment is complimentary. Scheduled activities at the Henderson Events Plaza and Henderson Convention Center, 200 S. Water Street in the Water Street District, include: Thursday, December 9th, at 7 p.m., the Henderson Symphony Orchestra at the Henderson Convention Center; Friday, December 10th, from 6 to 9 p.m., Henderson Tree Lighting with Mayor Hafen, and Holiday Activities and Entertainment, at the Henderson Events Plaza & Henderson Convention Center; and Saturday, December 11th at 10 a.m., WinterFest Parade (Theme: "Comic Strip Favorites") in the Water Street District (Water Street - From Ocean to Victory), followed by Holiday Activities and Entertainment, from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Henderson Events Plaza and Henderson Convention Center. For additional information and a complete event schedule, visit or call (702) 267-2171.

* * * * * * *


Alton White Triad Benefit

Donny & Marie

Mooseltoe: A New Moosical is an enchanting holiday treat, created by Jim Semmelman (book/lyrics) and George Kramer (music). It is the story of a moose with a dream to fly with Santa's reindeer. Hero moose, Mooseltoe, pursues his seemingly impossible quest ,while learning many valuable lessons that are important for us all. The moose and his friends, all 16 unforgettable characters which include three snobby penguins, a walrus, and a talking snowball, not to mention two elves and Santa Claus himself, come to life in this colorful, magical, and whimsical tale. The ‘moosical' includes eight original, delightfully melodic songs that accompany this hour-long odyssey of self-discovery. Celebrities from Broadway, television, and the movies, provide the voices of Mooseltoe and his friends. John Cullum, of TV's Northern Exposure; Al Roker, of TODAY Show fame; Tony Award-winner Faith Prince; Carole Shelly; and the leading ladies from Broadway's Mamma Mia!, Karen Mason, Judy Kaye, and Louise Pitre, are just some of the celebrities whose voices are featured. An imaginative set, designed by leading New York set designer, Edward Helbig, of NBC's TODAY Show, creates the magical world that Mooseltoe and his friends inhabit. Costume designer, Randy Carafagno, who is responsible for building and maintaining many of the costumes for the Broadway hit, The Lion King, has designed 16 amazing and intricate costumes for the show. Parents will be able to take pictures of their children with Mooseltoe after the show. If it isn't coming to a neighborhood near you, ask some of your local theaters to hunt it down and book it...for NEXT season.

* * * * * * *

The Just A Piano Concert Series presents Broadway's Alton Fitzgerald White in a holiday benefit at Triad Theater, 158 West 72nd Street in New York, for The Lion King's Shannon Tavarez. White's Pianist/Musical Director is Doyle Newmyer, with special guest, The Color Purple's Yolanda Wyns. Shannon played "Young Nala" in The Lion King on Broadway for seven months before she was diagnosed with AML, which is a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. Since her diagnosis last spring, she had been through extensive chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Shannon lost her battle with Leukemia on November 1st. All proceeds will benefit her family. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Get your tickets in advance at ASAP. For those that cannot attend, but wish to help, contributions can be sent to Odiney Brown (Shannon's mom), to the attention of Alton F. White, c/o The Lion King, 200 West 45th St., NYC 10036. Thank you.

* * * * * * *

Evelyn Ali sent us this message, telling us to check out The Brothers Ali jazz trio/duo at and She goes on to say, "Twin brothers, Jerome and Jimmy Ali, are self taught musicians and have a wide array of songs in their repertoire. They are performing at The M Resort tonight, December 10th, and also on the 11th, 17th and 18th, in the Lobby Lounge from 7 to 11 p.m. There is no cover.

* * * * * * *

Donny and Marie Osmond have switched stages, taking some time off from their Flamingo show to perform at Broadway's Marriott Marquis Theatre. The show, titled Donny & Marie - A Broadway Christmas, marks the first time the siblings have shared a Broadway stage. They will be singing favorite hits and holiday songs with a live band. Donny starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Toronto for six years, and made it to Broadway as Gaston in Beauty and The Beast. Marie made her Broadway debut in 1997 as Anna in The King and I, and toured as Maria in The Sound of Music. The 12-performance run ends on December 19th.

* * * * * * *

Brandon Flowers

The Judds

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has tapped Las Vegas native Brandon Flowers and other musicians to help open the new Strip resort on December 15th. The Killers front man will perform songs from his new album, Flamingo, at Cosmopolitan's Boulevard Pool at 10 p.m. on opening night. The show will be broadcast live on the Strip through the resort's 65-foot digital marquee. Also performing on the same night will be Mayer Hawthorne, Beats Antique and Australian sisters, Liv and Mim Nevro, known as Nevro. The musicians will each perform at separate entertainment venues throughout the night beginning at 8 p.m. The performers, with the exception of Flowers, with perform twice a night through December 18th. "This entertainment experience is an indication of what's to come," said Cosmopolitan Chief Executive John Unwin. The opening night performances will be followed by an unlikely pair of musicians, Coldplay and Jay-Z, on New Year's Eve for the $3.9 billion resort's grand opening celebration.

* * * * * * *

Naomi and Wynonna Judd, known as The Judds, will perform their Last Encore show at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Saturday, December 18th beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets range in price from $35 to $85, and may be purchased through TicketMaster. Call (800) 745-3000.

Have a question about Las Vegas? Want to make a comment (be nice, now)?
If so, drop an e-mail and ask. Click Here
Cousin Claire will do her best to find the answer for you.
You can find Past Columns HERE

     Like to be notified when Claire Voyant's next column is available?
Then join Claire Voyant's announcement mailing list!
Enter your email address below, then click the 'Join List' button:

Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye