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 17, 2010
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - December 17, 2010

Domenick Allen

Martin Nievera & Jenevi Bakch

Frank Sinatra

Although we didn't make it over to the Strip's Hard Rock Café on Sunday night to see multi-talented Domenick Allen lead a group of local entertainers in a Toys For Tots benefit concert, about 800 other rock lovers did. Joining Domenick and his Vinyl Rock Show, were, among others, Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie fame, Billy Hinsche from the Beach Boys and Dino (Martin), Desi (Arnaz Jr.) and Billy, and Sonny Turner formerly with The Platters, Regi Brown of Rose Royce fame, plus Cher impersonator Heidi Thompson and hubby Gene Sironen, who does the Bill Medley part in a Righteous Brothers tribute act. The members of Vinyl included Dave Marinelli, Rich Taylor, Jozef Bobula, Brian Czach, Jim D'Arrigo, Garrett Hypes, Eric Sande, Mike Robb and Steve Meyer. About 800 people showed up, bringing lots of new, unwrapped toys for local children who might otherwise have gotten nothing for Christmas. Domenick returns to the Suncoast on January 29th and 30th. We will have more about that in a few weeks.

We did get ourselves over to the Suncoast the next night to see the equally amazing Martin Nievera's show. The Concert King, as he is known in the Philippines, did himself proud, performing everything from Christmas music, to rock, to Broadway to a Sinatra medley in honor of the Chairman of the Board's December 12th birth date, and, of course, some of the songs for which Martin is best known, such as "Be My Lady," "Forever" and "Ikaw" (You). Vocalist Jenevi Bakch, who formerly worked with Wayne Newton, joined Martin for a number of songs. They were backed by nine outstanding musicians - Lorrie Ilustre, Musical Director/Piano; Cocho Arbe, Keyboard 2; George Bryant, Drums; Blaise Sison, Bass; Carlos Perez, Percussions/ Vocals; John Wedemeyer, Guitar; Danny Falcone, Trumpet; Gerry Merra, Alto Sax/Flute; and Nathan Tanouye, Trombone. Ruben Laxamana served as Sound Engineer. Martin had his own show at both the Golden Nugget and the former Wyrick (now Saxe) Theater. He also did a stint with Society of Seven during their Flamingo Hilton run. Nievera needs another long term deal in a showroom in this city. ..somewhere where he would be properly promoted. Not only is Martin an incredible singer, he is also very funny and wins the audience over quickly with his personality. Martin Nievera could easily become a major Vegas headliner.

And speaking of Ol' Blue Eyes, the 95th anniversary of his December 12th birth is being acknowledged and celebrated around the city, all month long, in numerous ways, including Sinatra Dance With Me, the Tony-winning Twyla Tharp creation, playing at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas through January 29th. The production features 14 of the world's finest dancers, most from Tharp's Broadway Sinatra-inspired Come Fly Away, including Karine Plantadit, Keith Roberts, Laurie Kanyok, John Selya, Laura Mead, Charlie Neshyba-Hodges, Marielys Molina, Matthew Stockwell Dibble, Todd Burnsed, Michelle Camaya, Kyle DesChamps, Meredith Miles, Mark Myars, Candy Olsen, Justin Peck, Carolyn Doherty, Amanda Edge, Cody Green and Ronny Todorowski. Blending the legendary vocals of Frank Sinatra with a big band and spectacular choreography, Sinatra Dance With Me weaves classic standards including "Fly Me to the Moon," "My Way," "I've Got the World on a String," "You Make Me Feel So Young," "New York, New York," "Witchcraft," "One for My Baby," and "That's Life," in a soaring dance fantasy of romance and seduction. The band is made up of all local musicians - Dave Loeb (Conductor/Piano); Alan Lawson, Tony Osiecki, Dan Philippus, Marty Radunz and Dave Stambaugh (Reeds); Gary Cordell, Tom Ehlen, Wes Marshall, and Tom Porrello (Trumpets); Sam Cernuto, James Nelson, Ralph Pressler and Kevin Stout (Trombones); Jeff Davis (Bass); Joe Lano (Guitar) and Paul Ringenbach (Drums). Music Contractor is Joe Soldo. Emily Grishman handles Music Copying and Music Preparation, along with Katherine Edmonds and Holly Carroll. Ticket prices are $81.40 and $103.40, including taxes and service charges. Sinatra Dance With Me plays at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas at 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The theater is dark on Sundays. To reserve tickets for Sinatra Dance With Me, please call (888) 320-7110 or (702) 770-9966, or visit Groups of 10 or more persons may contact (702) 770-3724 or [email protected].

You can also get your Sinatra-fix, and relive the music of Ol' Blue Eyes, next Friday, December 31st, BEFORE all the nighttime festivities begin. Shades of Sinatra will do one performance in the Suncoast Showroom for a special New Year's celebration...beginning at noon. The revue - featuring Ryan Baker, Larry Liso, Carmine Mandia and Lisa Smith - offers an original musical production, celebrating the extensive music and career of the great Frank Sinatra. Presenting more than 30 of Sinatra's biggest hits, this show pays tribute to most of the signature tunes one would expect, as well as several that may be new to casual fans. Its cast members create unique characters that celebrate him in their own ways, often drawing on experiences from their own lives; and in between songs and poignant stories, there is plenty of zany humor and good-natured ribbing among the cast, creating the vintage, off-the-cuff Vegas show atmosphere that is associated with the man himself. For $19.95, plus taxes and fees, in addition to a fun show, guests will get party favors and join in an early champagne toast (must be 21+ years to attend). Tickets are available at the Suncoast box office, or call (702) 636-7075, or (877) 636-7111 for reservations. Save convenience fees by purchasing tickets in person at the Suncoast.

Shades of Sinatra

Larry Liso

Jackie Brett & mom Kay Brett

And, speaking of Larry Liso, fans can catch the Vegas singer at Siena Italian Authentic Trattoria, 9500 W. Sahara Ave., as he performs a wide variety of music including hits made popular by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, Barry White, and many more of your favorites, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 7 p.m. to closing. For additional information, call (702) 360-3358.

Here's a bit of musical show biz trivia, regarding Sinatra's December 12th birthday. As we have mentioned in previous columns, also sharing December 12th birthdays are Connie Francis (born in 1938) and Dionne Warwick (born in 1940).

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Last May, while playing slots in an off-Strip casino, someone we know had their wallet lifted from their purse in a diversion tactic practiced by an, obviously, experienced criminal. This was not seen by any security people and the pickpocket got away. We wondered, at the time, if the crime had taken place at a large Strip casino, would the perpetrator have been able to commit the deed and get away? Based on what happened at the luxurious Bellagio resort, in the wee small hours of Tuesday morning, the answer, apparently, is "yes." How could a man, dressed all in a jumpsuit and wearing a motorcycle helmet with a portion covering his face, enter the casino, and get all the way to the gaming tables without being stopped by security? It happened. Brandishing a gun, the Easy Rider was able to grab $1.5 million in casino chips, run from the casino and escape on a motorcycle. Makes us want to go, "hmmmm."

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Longtime publicist/columnist, Jackie Brett, is mourning the death of her mother, Kay Brett, who passed away in Las Vegas last Friday, December 10th, at the age of 86. We will let Jackie pay tribute to her mother in this space, as no one knew her better or loved her more...

Catherine Cecilia Brett, known as Kay or "Irish" to most people, came into this world in Chicago on July 16, 1924. She was the only child born to Mattie "Mamie" and John Patrick Gaughan. She was raised by two adoring parents who exposed her to what a marriage should be. Unfortunately her fate wasn't the same. She was a "daddy's girl" and loved to hang out with him. Her dad worked for the Pennsylvania railroad and she often traveled back to his home state of Pennsylvania with him. She attended Longwood Academy of Our Lady in Chicago. The first day of school, she sat on a bench and met her lifelong friend Mary Corcoran who was called "Corky" because there were too many "Marys" around then. Kay asked Corky why she was sent to the academy and learned her dad had been transferred from Minnesota to a Sherman Williams store in Chicago. Kay said her dad sent her to "try and make a lady out of her." Kay's friends aren't sure that happened; however, from that fateful day forward, Corky and her family of eight children, of which a couple are today, and Kay, her mother and daughter had their lives happily intertwined even though Corky married and moved back to Minnesota. NO miles could separate those two "funsters." Their high school years were adventurous, maybe too much so, for on graduation day they were put at the end of the line just in case they got into more trouble and wouldn't graduate. What changed everyone's lives was World War II. Kay always tells the story about returning a car to a friend who imbibed too much the night before and arriving at his family's home to learn that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. She always said, "We didn't even know where or what Pearl Harbor was." Kay's dad wanted her to go to college but she said she couldn't with her friends fighting a war and dying for our country. Instead, she worked at the Ford Plant where Ford City is now and helped build B42 Bomber Engines. After the war, the biggest tragedy of her life happened when she was only 23, her father died in his early forties of cancer and just one month after she gave birth to Jackie. Kay only weighed 100 pounds from all the stress and falling down the back stairs before giving birth really did a number on her. Many surgeries followed in the next few years. In addition, she was going through a divorce and her mother grieved uncontrollably for five years until Kay convinced her to go to work and she did at the Chicago Park District. However, for Kay and Mamie, Jackie was God sent. After the war, Kay worked at a telephone company for a while and sold clothes at a fine clothing store before there were any shopping malls. Eventually she got her dream a man's working world at the Telephone Supervisor for the Chicago Park District, where she worked for 30 years until retiring at age 70. She was so well respected that she was asked to coordinate all the phones for the infamous 1960 Democratic Convention held in Chicago. Kay worked weekends to make extra money to help put her daughter through college at the University of Illinois. Always being associated with phones, she and Jackie visited a telephone company in Dublin in 1967 and took a "real step back into a time capsule." Until the day Kay died, football was her passion and she adored "DA Bears." She always called them DA Bears and when they won the Super Bowl, she was ecstatic. Being homebound this past year, she was delighted when she was presented with her new big screen TV because she wanted to watch her football. In fact, many friends here today think the Minneapolis Stadium roof caving in was a sign from Kay. She was always known for doing things in a big way. Kay had many friends, but there were four ladies in particular who she called "The Mother Truckers" that traveled, partied hardy, drank a lot, visited hundreds of bars, and caused havoc with her: Mary O'Connell, who passed a few years back, and Dolly Wicht and Carrie Jacobson, who are with us today and traveled from Florida. Kay was always about fun and laughter and could light up a room. She could be quite the "Drama Queen" and tell great stories. Even in the hospital she made nurses and doctors crack up, that was, when they figured out she was kidding. She loved it when people came back at her. The running joke the past 10 years between Jackie, her husband Mel and Kay was always to tell Mel when they were jokingly sparing, "You're not in the will." Kay always had to make big decisions until 10 years ago when she passed the torch to Jackie, who got her to move to Las Vegas because of her failing health. Being stubborn, she didn't make new friends but enjoyed Jackie's friends and adored being with the Healy family especially Eddie who went to high school with Jackie and his sisters Elaine and Pat. Kay and Eddie could always tie one on especially when they started on her favorite drink - Irish Mist. In fact, many of Kay's hangovers are legendary especially two different ones in California about 15 years apart. Being a household of three generations of women living together from 1947 to 1965, long before it was the norm, made Kay, her mother Mamie and Jackie unbelievably close. When Mamie was dying from Cancer, Kay took a leave of absence from her job and moved to Las Vegas so Mamie could spend her remaining days with Jackie. Mamie died 27 years ago and Kay and Jackie made this exact same trip then and Kay will at last rest in the same grave as her father and next to her mother. Like Sinatra, Kay "always" did things her way and she is definitely an irreplaceable part of The Greatest Generation. Kay also leaves behind her beloved nine-year-old Chihuahua, Teco. Funeral services for Kay Brett were held in Chicago earlier this week, with interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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Since we ran the item a couple of weeks ago, we have had a number of e-mails from readers, along with lots of comments, regarding the entertainer with no insurance to cover surgery situation. One of them asked this question...
I am sorry that woman had to have surgery. What I don't understand is why don't they have coverage? What are these entertainers thinking of ? Don't people realize they need coverage?
I sometimes wonder about their ability to think ahead. Do they think they are exempt from illness? If they were smart they could form a group and apply for insurance to help them. Just a thought!
And a very GOOD thought, we might add. Since we have some family members in the insurance business, we will do some checking into the possibilities.

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Lynn Ross

Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas

The Onyx Restaurant presents Lynn Ross, singing from 6 to 9 p.m. for your dining and dancing pleasure. Enjoy the delicious cuisine while hearing all your favorite standards from the Great American Songbook, as well as some great vintage pop tunes you know and love. The Onyx also features a beautiful bar for enjoying your favorite beverage. It's a cool place to start off the evening, tonight. The Onyx Restaurant is located at 7770 West Ann Road (just off I-95) inside Bogey's Bar and Grill.

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Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas will be diverting from its regular schedule, from Sunday, January 2nd, through Sunday, January 23rd, performing shows at 8 p.m. in the Imperial Palace Theatre . Divas returns to its regular 10 p.m. show time on Monday, January 24th.

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If you are anywhere near New York City on Tuesday, December 21st, you can catch The Big Holiday Special, with Mark Nadler, Heather MacRae, Marta Sanders, Jamison Stern and Tanya Holt, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, inside the West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd at 9th Avenue, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The performers 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 past.

Mark Nadler

Brent Barrett

Loretta Holloway in Shanghai

Also at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, on the very same night, is one of our favorites, Brent Barrett, who will be doing selections from his Christmas Mornings CD. Brent, who played the lead in Phantom - The Vegas Spectacular for two years, will perform beginning at 10:30 p.m. There is a $25 cover and $15 food and beverage minimum for each show.

And in case you happen to be in the Shanghai, China, neighborhood, you might want to check out the Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel's second floor bar, where Loretta Holloway is performing. The South Carolina-native was a Vegas regular for a number of years, singing at places such as the Landmark (now gone), Dunes (gone), Desert Inn (gone), Alexis Park, the Luxor, Las Vegas Hilton and other rooms around the city. She also opened for headliners including Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Merv Griffin, Jay Leno, Don Rickles and Garry Shandling, both in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Holloway, accompanied by pianist Bobby West, bassist Sebastian Meyer and drummer Brian Duke, is winding up an almost four month gig in Shanghai. The group entertains six nights a week, Mondays through Saturdays, from 9:30 p.m. until midnight, through January 3rd. The Portman Ritz-Carlton Hotel, is at 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu. Tel: 6279 8888 x 5777.

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Lon Bronson All-Star Band

The Lon Bronson All-Star Band, described as "Industrial strength R&B, Rock, Soul and Funk, performs in the Ravello Lounge at the M Resort, on Las Vegas Blvd. So., this weekend - tonight, from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and tomorrow night from 10 to 1. Home Cookin' joins the Bronson band as special guest artists tonight. Bronson reports that the last time, "they tore the roof off the place." About the Lon Bronson All Star Band, one fan was quoted as saying, "First saw the LBASB at The M Resort in early October. I was shocked that a "lounge band" could play so well, covering tunes I've loved for 30 or 40 years. The next night, I saw Donald Fagen perform at The Joint with Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald. Frankly, the LBASB was a shade better than The Dukes of September - especially the horns. Harmonies, punctuation, solos - the LBASB horns work for me. The rhythm section is its own 'engine room'. As close to perfection as I've ever heard. Now I'm a devotee. Enjoyed the 20th Anniversary show at The Ovation Room as well as the 12/9 performance. Looking forward to The M show Thursday. I'm draggin' along all my buddies to infuse a little energy into their lives too. What's not to like about the LBASB as my local band? Keep cookin'!" The group needs the public's support this weekend to ensure future dates.

And, over at Green Valley Ranch, last season's America's Got Talent-winner, Michael Grimm, returns to Las Vegas for a Sunday concert in the Ovation Lounge, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $24.95, plus taxes and fees. For information or reservations, call (702) 547-5300.

Michael Grimm

Indrani Sardelli

Joni Illi

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And speaking of Nelson Sardelli, he and the other 137 presidents of the dubious Non Club Club F.I.O.R.E., reminds all that the F.I.O.R.E.'s 6th or 7th (they can't remember which) annual Christmas party takes place at the Italian American Social Club located at 2333 East Sahara, tomorrow night, Saturday, December 18th, beginning at 6:30. There will be live music (performed by mostly live musicians), entertainment (provided by mostly professional entertainers), and a dinner buffet (prepared by real chefs) starting at 7. There will be gifts to some, and flowers and chocolates for the ladies. Also, we are told that there will be an opportunity to have your photo taken with the "Christmas Bunny" and hunt for colored eggs. Dress code is Smart Christmas Casual for the boys, and Dress Up to Kill (as usual) for the girls. Cost is $35 per person. Come and reconnect with old, er, longtime, friends, and/or make some new ones, among this group of "user friendly" folks. Please RSVP, immediately if not sooner, to [email protected]. See you there.

And speaking of Nelson Sardelli (which we frequently do), the proud grandfather is sharing the accompanying photo of his granddaughter, Indrani Michaela Francesca Domenica Fledia Felice Sardelli, who just graduated from the William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri, following Equestrian Studies. Ms. Sardelli recently participated in a horse show in Kentucky, where she placed in more than five classes. The day after her graduation, Indy, as she is called by her family and friends, headed for Jacksonville, Florida, accompanied by her aunts, Giovanna and Pietra Sardelli, where the youngest Sardelli has landed a great job training horses. The very impressed grandpa tells us that he can't even get his dogs to sit or stay on the paper.

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Birthday wishes to Sagittarians (November 23rd through December 21st), Kenny Kerr, Mark Giovi, Beverly Washburn, Shea Satterwhite, Larry Henley, Johnny Pate, Joni Illi, Wes Winters, Doug Breniser, Skip Trenier, Larry "Wild" Wrice, Donny Osmond, Roger Caldwell, Bill Fayne, George Verbiwski, Gene Balmain, Rich Little, Mac King, Danny Cohen, and Tim Olsen.

Dick & Melissa Feeney

Tim Olsen by Martin Kreloff

Glenn Miller by Merryl Jaye

And happy anniversary to Ken and Melissa Miles Gardner, Steven Lee and Brenda Cowart, and Dick and Melissa Feeney.

And speaking of birthdays, well-known female impersonator/ entertainer Kenny Kerr is a "grandmother"! Little (he weighed in at only 5 lb. 10 oz.) Alexander Jameson Vidal was born at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas on November 26th, two days after Kenny's birthday. The baby's parents are Katharine "Kat" and Kris Vidal. Kris is Kenny's son. The star of the long-running Boylesque promises us a photo of he and his new grandson very soon.

We are using his birthday as an excuse to show a photo of the wonderful present that Freeman Exhibit Services' Production Coordinator, Tim Olsen, received for his November 13th birthday. Ten years ago, artist Martin Kreloff, did a painting of his partner, Tim, and presented it to him as a gift. During the past few years, Tim had, not so subtlety, hinted, on numerous occasions, that something more current was in order, so, this year, "Frisky" Olsen got his wish...a new portrait. This time, though, the likeness was done in pencil. We feel it is a wonderful work and are urging Kreloff to promote these pencil portraits, along with the paintings (mostly commissioned works) that he does so well. One of his paintings can take Martin months to complete, while a drawing can be done in less time, making them more affordable for those who would desire something with more creativity than a photo. Since we have been involved with the fine arts for more than 50 years, we feel qualified to express our opinions on subjects of this nature. But, then again, we fell we are qualified to express our opinions on many subjects. To see more of Martin Kreloff's wonderful work, go to his Web site at

And, while still on the subject of talented artists...
Southern California artist, Merryl Jaye is a multi-talented artist/musician who has created an extensive body of tribute paintings to jazz masters, past and present. Her work is a fine blend of accomplished realism and lively impressionism that adds a unique depth of feeling to her portraits. Her portrait of Glenn Miller is a good example of her work. On December 15th in 1944, Miller's plane disappeared over the English Channel while the bandleader was traveling to entertain WWII troops in France. Miller's big band was one of the top selling acts in America from 1939 to 1943 until he sidelined the group to join the war effort. Hits like "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "Pennsylvania 6-5000," "In The Mood," and "Moonlight Serenade" were wildly popular with the public, but were less well-received by the critics and jazz aficionados. His legacy today is more associated with his impact on popular music than as a swing-era artist. Jaye's Miller portrait is from a publicity poster, but her sensitive treatment has infused it with a new life and warmth. To see more, check her online studio at

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Scott Mervis, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, asks "Is there room in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a boa constrictor?" The answer is, apparently, "yes." The Alice Cooper (Vince Furnier, 62) Band, along with Neil Diamond, 69, who started writing songs in the Brill Building in 1962, has hit the charts more than 70 times and keeps stadiums rocking with "Sweet Caroline;" New Orleans boogie man Dr. John, 70, best known for the hit "Right Place, Wrong Time;" singer Darlene Love, 72, who debuted with the Blossoms in the late '50s and was used by Phil Spector on the Crystals' singles "He's a Rebel" and "He's Sure the Boy I Love;" and gruff-voiced Tom Waits, 61, who debuted in the '70s as a jazzy singer/piano man and all but innovated a new genre of experimental rock in the '80s, received word on Wednesday that they were the latest inductees into the Hall of Fame. Among the nominees who didn't make the cut were Bon Jovi, the Beastie Boys, Chic, Donovan, LL Cool J, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer, Joe Tex and Chuck Willis. Maybe in 2012. The Award for Musical Excellence goes to Leon Russell. The 26th annual ceremony will take place on Monday, March 14th, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Neil Diamond

Greg London

Jim Brickman

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In the spirit of giving, Cannery Casino & Hotel has once again teamed up with United Blood Services to host a blood drive at the property during the Holiday season. On Sunday, December 19th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday, December 20th, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., guests who donate blood will be compensated for their generous gift with complimentary Cannery Row Buffet for two. As an extra thank-you to all who participate, Cannery Casino will automatically enter donors in a drawing for a chance to win two tickets to any concert of their choice featured at the Club in the Cannery. While the entertainment lineup has not been determined, past concerts included Willie Nelson, The Guess Who, The Spinners and War. Tickets must be used before March 31, 2011. To make an appointment to donate blood, please visit and enter the sponsor code "Cannery," or call United Blood Services at (702) 562-2166. Walk-ins are also welcome. In 2009, Cannery Casino Resorts, LLC was the number one Casino Blood Drive sponsor for United Blood Services. From December 1st, 2008, through November 30th, 2009, Cannery Casino & Hotel, Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel and Rampart Casino, sponsored Blood Drives that resulted in 2,074 life-saving donations. Rampart Casino placed No. 1 on the list with six blood drives that collected a staggering 806 life-saving donations. Cannery Casino & Hotel reached the No. 2 spot by hosting four blood drives that netted 703 pints while Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel placed third on the list, sponsoring three blood drives that contributed 565 pints.

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After entertaining audiences at the Riviera for the past six months, Greg London, Impressions That Rock! moves over to the Las Vegas Hilton's Shimmer Cabaret, beginning on January 31st. After a number of years as a top act in Northern Nevada, London has been entertaining Vegas audiences with his spot on impressions of everyone from Johnny Cash to Joe Cocker to David Bowie, since June. The high energy production includes a live band and gorgeous showgirls.

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Tomorrow night, Saturday, December 18th at 8, recording artist, Jim Brickman, will perform a holiday concert in UNLV's Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. Since the release of his debut album, No Words, in 1994, Brickman's romantic piano sound has made him the best-selling solo piano artist of our time. His signature style of playing and songwriting has also brought him two Grammy nods, six Gold and Platinum albums, and 28 charted adult radio hits. He recently tied for most No. 1 CDs on Billboard's New Age chart, and currently holds four of its Top 10 spots. Brickman's best-known compositions include the chart-toppers "Valentine," "The Gift," "Love of My Life," "Simple Things" and "Peace." He has established a reputation for his collaborations with many gifted musical artists that include, Martina McBride, Gerald Levert, Lady Antebellum, Matt Giraud, Michael W. Smith, Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon, Herb Alpert, Collin Raye, Michael Bolton, Sara Evans, Donny Osmond, Olivia Newton-John, and four American Idol finalists. Appearing with the pianist at UNLV will be special guests, Anne Cochran, Mark Masui and Tracy Silverman. Tickets are $75, $52, $42, and $32. Call the UNLV Box Office at (702) 895-2787 for reservations.

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In conjunction with its December 22nd fifth anniversary celebration, today, Michael Gaughan's South Point Hotel and Casino adds a Steak n' Shake eatery to the dining options at the resort. Steak 'n Shake is most widely known for their Steakburgers, a trademarked name for a hamburger that owes its name to founder Gus Belt's practice of grinding strip, sirloin and T-bone steaks into burgers in full view of customers. The company, with more than 400 locations around the country, maintains that their burgers are still made from "the finest of steaks " They are also known for their "hand-dipped, real-milk" shakes, available in several flavors. Other milkshake varieties include malts, Sippable Sundaes (milkshakes with toppings), Side-By-Side milkshakes (containing two flavors in one cup), and Bits n Pieces milkshakes (containing candy mixed inside the shake). Steak 'n Shake also serves chili (including chili over spaghetti, much like Cincinnati-style chili), melts, Steakburger shooters and a number of other products such as sandwiches, chicken fingers, and steak franks. Hours of operation for the first Nevada Steak 'n Shake are Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Fridays and Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

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