Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column

Displaying keen perception and great insight.  
She's a little bit naughty. Shes a little bit nice.  
She calls em like she sees (and hears) em.  

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from April 22, 2011
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - April 22, 2011

Lewis Simonoff by Ramade

Clint Holmes, Liza Minnelli & Michael Feinstein

Sad news...

Following some years of medical problems, retired math professor Lewis Joseph Simonoff passed away at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas on Wednesday, April 13th. Known by his friends as "Prof. Ly," Simonoff was born in New York in 1928. He attended Syracuse University, Columbia University, and the University of California in Berkeley. Ly moved to Las Vegas in the 1960s, where he was a Mathematics Professor Emeritus at UNLV and also taught courses in magic. Simonoff, who invented a number of illusions used by others, was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians. He was much admired by many well-known members of the magic community, including Paul Draper, Jimmy Grippo, Johnny and Pam Thompson (The Great Tomsoni & Co.), Gary Darwin, Mac King, Jeff McBride, Paul Harris, Jon Racherbaumer, Ricky Dunn, Alan Ackerman, Lee Asher, Doug Henning, Lance Burton, and Dan and Dave Buck. In an article to be published in Stan Allen's Magic magazine, Draper describes Ly thusly, "If you found yourself at the Gary Darwin Magic Club (The Darwinian Society: Magicians and human's welcome, as Ly referred to it.) in Las Vegas any week for the past 45 years, you would have found it hard to miss Professor Ly Simonoff. He sat at a close up table with a deck of cards, often wearing a pith helmet, usually surrounded by Paul Harris or others. When asked how he was doing, Ly, in a deep base voice would reply, "Terrible, terrible," followed by a wry smile. If you told him to have a good day, he would raise his voice and smilingly respond, "Don't tell me how to live my life!" Ly loved magic, stating, "I like the insights into the mind that come from learning to deceive it. A magician is a story teller. He tells you a fairy tale, and for a little while you almost believe it." When asked who his favorite audience was, he replied, "A skeptic who is open-minded." Draper reports that Ly donated his extensive Jimmy Grippo collection to the Conjuring Arts Research Center in New York. Looy, who was married once and divorced, is survived by his brother Jerry Simonoff and sister-in-law Carol; nephews Michael and Zachary Simonoff; niece Rachael Wexler; three grand-nephews; a grand-niece; and all of the math students and magicians that he mentored and taught throughout his life. Lewis Simonoff was interred in Southern California. No local services were held. Instead, a Celebration of Life memorial will take place here tomorrow, Saturday, April 23rd, at 5 p.m. Friends will gather in the Marietta Tiberti Grand Hall, inside the Richard Tam Alumni Center (at the northwest corner of Maryland Parkway and Harmon, on Maude Frazer Way). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the American Heart Association, or a charity of your choice.
The accompanying caricature of Lewis Simonoff is by Ramade.

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This week, we make a stop in the Big Apple on the way to Southern Nevada.
On Tuesday, Las Vegas resident Clint Holmes made his first appearance at Feinstein's Loews Regency. From the reports we have received, and the reviews we have read, we have a feeling that this will not be the last Manhattan performance for the Las Vegas entertainer. Among those in Clint's audience on opening night were the club's proprietor himself, Michael Feinstein (and, no, Mr. Feinstein does not hang around for all of the shows), Liza Minnelli, Leslie Bricusse, Harry and Pamela Belafonte, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gloria Reuben, former New York City Mayor (1990-1993) 83-year-old David Dinkins, and, of course, Clint's bride, Kelly Clinton Holmes (taking the week of from her role as Sister Amnesia in Nunsense at the Las Vegas Hilton). About Clint's Feinstein's debut, here is what the New York Times' Music Reviewer, Stephen Holden, had to say...
Former One-Hit Wonder Shows His Staying Power
Clint Holmes is an entertainer determined to give the proverbial 150 percent. Or is it a thousand? You get the idea. To the uninitiated, he is an obscure one-hit wonder whose identifying song, "Playground in My Mind," rose in 1973 to No. 2 on the charts, where he said it got stuck between Paul McCartney's "My Love" (No. 1) and Elton John's "Daniel" (No. 3). But under the aegis of (Las Vegas hotel mogul) Steve Wynn, Mr. Holmes, now 64, has become a major Las Vegas attraction who might be described as the next generation's Wayne Newton.

Clint Holmes brought the energy of his Las Vegas show to the first of his series of concerts at Feinstein's at Loews Regency on Tuesday. Mr. Holmes, fortunately, has more talent than Mr. Newton. And on Tuesday evening at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, his aggressive, sweaty showmanship had the opening-night crowd on its feet. His high-energy singing is a friendly frontal assault whose sheer enthusiasm softens your resistance. He was backed by a trio that included Jeff Neiman on keyboard, Steve Beskrone on bass and Jess Gopen slam-banging the drums. The son of a white British opera singer and a black American jazz man, Mr. Holmes presented himself as the proud descendant of a show business lineage he traced from Nat King Cole through Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Harry Belafonte (who was in the audience), Bobby Darin, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. Among those names Davis stands out as the ultimate inspiration for Mr. Holmes's I-can-do- everything attitude. Because the club's tiny stage precluded much movement, his tap dancing consisted of complicated glottal clicks. Vocally, Mr. Holmes is a solid belter who pays close attention to lyrics. He doesn't simply recycle oldies with the blasé suavity of standard lounge singers. Rethinking them from the beginning, he turns them into personal dramatic monologues. In a medley of fragments from "West Side Story," every phrase was packed with so much strenuous acting that you barely noticed that they were fragments. Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" had a beginning, a middle and a soaring end in which praise triumphs over strife. "Bluesette," a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, showcased his flashy, rapid-fire jazz scat yodeling. If Mr. Holmes's performance indicates a trend, the new lounge lizard has a trait not commonly found in the old: sincerity, or at least the appearance of it.

And, on April 20th, TheaterMania's Frank Scheck wrote...
Unless you've spent time in such casino towns as Las Vegas or Atlantic City, you may not be aware of Clint Holmes, who is playing a six-night stand at Feinstein's at Loews Regency. True, he had a #2 hit on the pop charts in 1973 with his smash single "Playground in My Mind," served as Joan Rivers' sidekick on her short-lived talk show, and hosted his own TV show, "New York at Night." -- but he's rarely been seen here, in part because his brand of old- fashioned showmanship is better suited to larger venues than the intimate cabarets in town. Nonetheless, as he proved in his wonderfully entertaining show, no matter the venue, Holmes is an entertainer's entertainer, a throwback to such all-around performers as Sammy Davis, Jr., Bobby Darin, and Harry Belafonte (one of the many celebrities in his opening night audience).

The charismatic performer, here accompanied by a pianist, bassist and drummer, boasts a powerful voice and a wide-ranging vocal style that is showcased to excellent effect. From his slam-bang opening number "Orange Colored Sky" (made famous by Nat King Cole) to his emotive rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," he pulls out all the stops. He displays an Al Jarreau influence on his jazzy rendition of "All the Way"; a talent for Ella-style scatting on Toots Thielemans and Norman Gimbel's "Bluesette"; and a dazzling vocal dexterity on an intricate medley from West Side Story that brought the crowd to its feet. The show also includes two self-penned numbers: the nostalgic "1944" and "If Not Now When," the latter inspired by his successful bout with cancer. He dutifully sang his only hit, noting with pride that it rested on the charts between Paul McCartney's "My Love" and Elton John's "Daniel." "If I had another hit, I'd do it now. We'd have a medley," he joked. True, some numbers, such as "What Kind of Fool Am I?" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," suffer from bombastic arrangements that seem out of place in this venue. But any missteps are compensated for his charming and humorous stage patter, which includes affectionate reminiscences of his parents. It takes guts for a performer to sing calypso right in front the singer who popularized it on these shores so many years ago, but Holmes pulled it off with a joyous medley of Harry Belafonte classics. It was but one of many highlights of a triumphant show that should guarantee this terrific performer a return engagement. Clint Holmes performs through Saturday at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Avenue, at 61st Street; (212) 339-4095,

Last Sunday, April 17th, before his opening at Feinstein's, Clint joined comic Eddie Brill, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Larry Gatlin, Tony Award-nominee Christiane Noll, and MAC award-winning jazz singer and pianist Daryl Sherman, at that very same club, to help Jamie deRoy celebrate the 20th anniversary season of the MAC Award-winning variety performers, Jamie deRoy & Friends. Barry Kleinbort directed the evening with musical direction by Ron Abel. Jamie deRoy, a stand-up comic, singer and hostess, has been a longtime fixture on the New York cabaret scene. She is the winner of eight MAC Awards, four Back Stage Bistro Awards, nine Telly Awards and is an Emmy-nominated producer of New York's Channel 13's CityArts. About Clint, Times Square Chronicles' Sandi Durell writes, "A major popular singing star in Las Vegas, with a show room named after him, and someone I had booked 25 years ago on a corporate gig and haven't seen in all that time, was up next; the powerful, haunting and talented Clint Holmes. Sammy Davis, Jr. was someone he always admired and Holmes wowed the audience with 'Birth of the Blues" and a soul-searching "What Kind of Fool Am I." With a unique version of "Bo Jangles," that included vocal tap sounds, it was non stop cheers and shouts. Why isn't this man starring on Broadway?"

Photo of Clint Holmes, Liza Minnelli and Michael Feinstein by Michael Stewart

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Travis Cloer

Composers Showcase Location

Dinner at Conductor's Room

Composers Showcase fans will be pleased to know that it's time for another edition. On Thursday, April 28th, PK Music and Creative Studios LV will present the popular showcase, featuring the original works of local composer/songwriters at Creative Studios LV, 6415 S. Tenaya, Suite 140 (just north of the 215, between S. Rainbow and Buffalo, on the corner of Sunset and Tenaya, in the LoftWorks complex). Among the talented folks who will present their creations are Jolana Adamson, Travis Cloer, Vita Corimbi, Susan Haller, Christopher Lash, Danny Roque, Keith Thompson, and The Yucca Mountain String Band. Vocalists include Jason Andino, Mackenzie Bell, Merissa Haddad, Christine Hudman, Reva Rice, and Nikka Wahl. Contributing their instrumental talent will be Jay Alger, Tish Diaz, Philip Fortenberry, Keith Hubacher, Derek Jones, Don Meoli, Joey Singer, Kevin Stout, Matt Taylor, Eric Tewalt, and Joe Thomasula. The cost is $10 at the door, with all proceeds benefiting Creative Studios. A cash bar is available, and there are complimentary hors d'oeuvres. The late night Composers Showcase starts at 10:30 (after theater). For additional information, call Creative Studios LV at (702) 376-9650.

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The personable Sean Grady has himself a new job. The longtime Vegas host - the downtown Top of the Mint, the Sahara, and, most recently, that snobby Italian joint at the south end of the Vegas Strip (where, in our opinion, he was about the only good thing at the place) - is now the maitre d' in the Conductor's Room at the Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino. The Conductor's Room could be one of the best kept secrets in town. This restaurant has a friendly quiet atmosphere, great personal service, pleasant dining and superb cuisine, that you and your friends will enjoy. The menu offers an array of selections including specials from the chef, whose inspiring selections will certainly please the pallet. If you're looking for a pleasant dining experience, good times, and great food - whether you're in a casual mood or having a special occasion - the Conductor's Room is the ticket. The property's director of operations, Curt Thompson, another Vegas hospitality veteran, tells us that we will be hearing lots about the Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino during the next few months, as the establishment on Boulder Highway approaches its 80th anniversary of operation in August. The Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino, which holds the oldest active gaming license in Southern Nevada, is nestled in the hills of Henderson, at 2800 S. Boulder Highway, just north of Boulder City and beautiful Lake Mead. Call (702) 294-5000, or (800) 654-0877.

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Peter Anthony

Joni Illi

For the sixth consecutive year, humanitarian (that means doing something nice for someone or something, with no ulterior motive) Nelson Sardelli, has been asked to round up and organize the talent for the annual Father's Day show that takes place at the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City. Sardelli and friends - singers, comics, magicians, dancers, jugglers, look-alikes, high wire acts (okay, maybe not high wire acts) - provide approximately four hours of entertainment for the people who have given much for their country. The show will take place inside the Town Hall Dining Room from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with setup starting at 9. Even with the high price of gasoline, we know the troops will make the trip to Boulder City to provide enjoyment for some of the heroes in our community. Only a day after Sardelli put the word out, he was being bombarded by caring citizens and entertainers generously offering their services and talent. Among those who will be at the Veterans Home on Sunday, June 19th, are The Great Tomsoni & Co., Paul Campanella, Linda November, Michaelina Bellamy, Dr. George Ritter, Fielding West, Joni Illi, Dr. Wilfred Krom, Peter Anthony, Roy "Willie Nelson" Hammock, Cork Proctor, Gary Olds and The Usual Suspects, Renee Hale, Lou Toomin, Don Sacco and Pietra Sardelli. We have no doubt that, between now and June 19th, this list will grow. If you would like to be involved in any way, please e-mail Nelson at [email protected]

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Roy Hammock as Willie Nelson

Frank Marino

Although we didn't break the story, we knew, late last Friday, about female impersonator Frank Marino's audition as a possible member of the upcoming Real Housewives of Las Vegas TV series. Frank published a cookbook last year, and, we imagine he looks great in a frilly apron. In our opinion, that makes him a perfect candidate (and one much more deserving of the role than a former local television personality). And speaking of the star of Divas Las Vegas, we hear that Mr. Marino is none too happy about another female impersonator copying, not only parts of Frank's act, but also the "diamond" Divas logo used in their advertising. What balls (or not)! Frank has little to fear. The copycat will never have the career that Marino had/has, even if he learns to do the singing impressions using his own voice.

And speaking of Divas Las Vegas, once again, San Francisco resident, Brian Keith, comes in to sub for Marino next week. While Frank is in Florida, scouting theaters for the Divas January tour, Keith will take over the host/hostess role in the Imperial Palace showroom, starting on Sunday and running through next Saturday. When he isn't filling in for Marino, Brian works as an emergency room nurse at a hospital in the City By the Bay (and, no, he doesn't wear the drag while he is on duty). Show times for Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas are Saturdays through Thursdays at 10 p.m. For reservations, call (888) 777-7664.

And speaking of Brian Keith, we unintentionally omitted him from the Aries birthday list last Friday. Brian wasn't the only one that was overlooked. We also left Rich Rizzo and Jerry Fink off the list. Sorry gentlemen. Hope you celebrated in style.

Brian Keith

David Engel

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ORIGINAL CAST 2, the 27th Annual musical presentation of the Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.), took place for one night only on Saturday, April 2nd at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex of California State University, raising money for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). S.T.A.G.E., the world's longest continuously running AIDS benefit, brings together names in theater, television, film and cabaret who donate their time and talent to the star-studded benefit, and this year was no exception. The show's concept, which was launched last year, was performers doing songs they originated in musical productions. The show began with a video tribute to the late Broadway star, Betty Garrett, who served as S.T.A.G.E. chair for many years and was preparing to perform in this year's show when she passed away in February at the age of 91. The video montage, compiled by David Engel and David Shine, featured highlights from Garrett's performances at S.T.A.G.E. events throughout the years. Then came a dance production number of 42nd Street, followed by Pamela Myers singing "Another Hundred People" from Stephen Sondheim's Company. Mary Jo Catlett and Doug Carfrae then performed "I'll Never Be Jealous Again" from The Pajama Game, followed by Bill Hutton's rendition of "Close Every Door" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Jane Kean sang "Nothing Can Replace A Man" from Ankles Aweigh, Dale Kristien and Danny Gurwin and dueted on "You Are Love" from Showboat and Philip Casnoff belted "Pity the Child" from Chess. Next up was Liz Callaway doing "The Story Goes On" from Baby, followed by Jonelle Allen and Obba Babatunde singing "Night Letter" from Two Gentlemen of Verona and Gurwin doing "Take a Chance on Me" from Little Women. The legendary Patricia Morison sang "Hello Young Lovers" from The King and I, and Barbara Deutsch closed the first act with the show-stopping "Day by Day" from Godspell. Act Two began with Patrick Cassidy performing "Lullaby of Broadway" from 42nd Street, while Rita Moreno reprised her Tony®-winning turn as Googie Gomez from The Ritz by performing an uproarious version of "Everything's Coming Up Roses" with two dancers. Charlotte Rae sang "Ballad of Dependency" from Threepenny Opera, Willy Falk did "Why God Why?" and was joined by Jennifer Paz for "The Last Night of the World," both from Miss Saigon. They were followed by Vicki Lewis belting out "Don't Rain on My Parade" from Funny Girl. Robert Morris, now known to audiences for his role on television's Mad Men, reminisced about his first Broadway role by singing "9 O'Clock" from Take Me Along, followed by his classic "I Believe In You" from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Valerie Pettiford sang and danced through "The Fosse Suite" from Fosse, after which Babatunde did "The Good Things In Life" from Sammy, and Tyne Daly performed two songs from Ballroom, "Job Application" and "Fifty Percent." Rounding out the evening were performances by Lee Roy Reams of the title song from 42nd Street, after which he was joined by Carole Cook for "You're Getting to Be A Habit with Me" from the same show. Closing the evening was Carol Channing reprising her starring role as Dolly from Hello, Dolly! wearing the original costume from the show. David Galligan directed the production, his 27th, with musical direction from Mary Ekler. Lee Martino and Dan Mojica, Jon Engstrom and David Engel shared choreography credits. Over the last 27 years, S.T.A.G.E. has raised millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS organizations throughout Southern California. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from ORIGINAL CAST will go to AIDS Project Los Angeles. One of largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the United States , APLA provides bilingual direct support services, prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. Founded by four friends in 1982, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach.

Carole Cook, Lee Roy Reams & Tyne Daly

Doug Carfrae

Doug Carfrae, David Engel, Rita Moreno, Jane Kean and Lee Roy Reams, all have Las Vegas connections. Carfrae performed with Jack Jones, Frank Gorshin, Maureen McGovern, and Bart Williams in Guys and Dolls, when it played at the Desert Inn in 1995. Doug is currently in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular at The Venetian. Engel was a Forever Plaid cast member when the show was at the Flamingo and then the Gold Coast. Rita Moreno was a part of UNLV's New York Stage & Beyond series in 2008. Sometime in the '70s, Jane Kean appeared with the late Phil Ford in Maynard Sloate's Mind With the Dirty Man at the Union Plaza. As for Mr. Reams, anyone who has read this column over the past few years, knows that he played Roger DeBris in The Producers, during the show's one year run at Paris Las Vegas. We have mentioned the fact at least a dozen times, and we ain't through yet.

Phil Ford, who with his onetime wife and stage partner, Mimi Hines, was a Las Vegas resident for many years. Ford and Hines were a popular comedy and music act, appearing on the major TV variety shows, including those hosted by Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin, Ed Sullivan and Mike Douglas. Ford passed away in 2005 at the age of 85.

Photo of Reams, Cook and Daly from Chris Kane Photography/Gil Kaan

Vintage Phil Ford & Mimi Hines

Phil McKinley

And, while we are talking Broadway, we might mention that the much troubled Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, is officially on "hiatus," as producers of the budget-busting musical scramble to rescue a show that has made headlines for the numerous accidents to its cast and crew members. Reports, from some critics who have seen it, describe Spider-Man as one of the "worst" in theater history. The original director, Julie Taymor (The Lion King), left the project, and the show's production team brought in The Boy From Oz director, Phil McKinley to design a more family-friendly version. Longtime Las Vegans may remember McKinley for his involvement as an actor and director with the old Meadows Playhouse. The theater was located in a Maryland Parkway shopping center, just south of UNLV.

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We had a busy three days this last week. On Sunday, we were at the fabulous Mimosas & Music Brunch, at ENVY The Steakhouse inside the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel, to see and hear the talented Diane Ellis, accompanied by Paul Stevenson on piano, fill in for traveling Wes Winters. Diane did a great job. Like Mr. Winters, Diane knows how to work a room, winning friends as she sings and shmoozes with the audience. We spotted Steven Lee and Brenda Cowart, and Tom and Joni Illi, enjoying the brunch and the entertainment. The Illis were winding up their weekend of wedding anniversary celebrations (they chalked up their 24th on the 16th) with the Sunday feast. The night before, they took in Frankie Randall and Pete Barbutti at the Rampart, and Jersey Boys at The Palazzo. Those two know how to celebrate.

Diane Ellis

Jane Ann Morrison & Cork Proctor

Monday we attended our first Las Vegas Media Group meeting at The Wedding Room on West Sahara. The monthly gatherings have been taking place since 1991, when former Las Vegas Sun photographers, Frank Mitrani and Ken Jones, saw a need to bring together those who documented Vegas history in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. This bunch definitely does not want to let go of the past. On the contrary. They want to preserve it. They want to embrace it.

Regular attendees included retired and current photo and print journalists, as well as other professionals in the media field. Since that first meeting in January 1991, the group has grown to include anyone interested in the past, present, and future history-making of Las Vegas and Nevada. The luncheon meetings feature interesting guest speakers, and provide time for the attendees to reminisce, share photos and swap stories. Monday's luncheon was a nice affair with a great meal and terrific speaker. Las Vegas Review-Journal General Interest columnist, Jane Ann Morrison, shared her career history with the group, as well as some stories that were very interesting. There was an informative question-and-answer session, as well. Jane Ann's columns appear on the front page of the R-J's Nevada section on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Great to see Murray Westgate, home from Thailand. Also enjoying the afternoon were Harriet Trudell and local author, Rich Newman. We recognized Rich Friedman (who acted as MC), Mark and Jane Massagli, Betty Bunch, Norm Johnson and Jim Marsh in the crowd. A lot of credit goes to Lisa Gioia-Acres, who not only keeps the group members informed and involved, she also serves as historian. Cork Proctor, who has lived in Las Vegas since the 1940s, has taken on the responsibility of securing speakers for the meetings. Cork promises another interesting speaker in May. Guests are going to learn about the paranormal in Las Vegas! Mark your calendars (Monday, May 23rd) for this meeting. The Las Vegas Media Group welcomes anyone who has an interest in preserving or learning more about the history of Las Vegas. The group meets at 11:30 a.m., every third Monday, at the Wedding Room, located at 3601 West Sahara. Lunch is $15, and RSVPs are required. To find out more, or be placed on the mailing list, contact [email protected].

Photo of Jane Ann Morrison and Cork Proctor was provided by Lisa Gioia- Acres (an upcoming telethon will be held to raise money to get Cork a haircut).

On Tuesday, we got over to the Winchester Cultural Center to check out the exhibit of portraits by pop artist, Martin Kreloff. His Made In Las Vegas show is a treat. We urge art lovers to visit the facility, located at 3130 McLeod, just north of Desert Inn, between now and June 3rd. Call the Winchester at (702) 455-7340 for hours of operation. Say hello to hard-working Patrick Gaffey while you are there.

Martin Kreloff at Work

Joe Locatelli

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The UNLV Percussion Ensemble performs in concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 28th and 29th in the university's Black Box Theatre. The concert of contemporary music is a collaboration featuring electronic violinist and UNLV music professor Wei-Wei Le, UNLV Jazz, the UNLV Lighting Design Studio, and UNLV dancers Jenna Wurtzberger, Cheryl Snow, Katy Veneris, and Zack Davis. Tickets are $13 general admission, $8 for students, seniors and military, and available at the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office or by calling 895-ARTS (2787).

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Following a successful weekend at The Orleans Showroom in January, comedienne, writer, actress and author Paula Poundstone brings her hilarious stand up act, along with engaging audience interaction, to the Suncoast Showroom, April 23rd and 24th. Poundstone began nurturing her comedy talent in 1979 as part of the Boston comedy scene before moving to San Francisco where she continued to hone her craft. By 1990, she had moved to Los Angeles and had starred in multiple HBO comedy specials and appeared on Saturday Night Live. Poundstone was the first woman to receive a Cable ACE Award for a comedy special for her one-hour HBO special Cats, Cops, and Stuff. She received her second Cable ACE Award for her self-titled HBO talk show series. Continuing with many successes throughout the '90s, Poundstone starred in The Paula Poundstone Show on ABC, appeared in her second one-hour special on HBO titled, Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard, and appeared on camera and as the voice of characters in several television shows, including Cybill, Science Court, Hercules and Home Movies. In 2007, she appeared in a BRAVO comedy special, Paula Poundstone: Look What the Cat Dragged In. She is the recipient of an Emmy® Award for her field pieces on the PBS program Life & Times. Poundstone is a regular panelist on NPR's weekly quiz program Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me, where her impeccable timing is key to the show's format. She has written several magazine articles, including five years of writing the back page column in Mother Jones; and has authored multiple books including her first in 2006, There's Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say, and three math text books for children, co-authored with her high school math teacher. In 2009, the lady released her first comedy CD, I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them In Main (the CD may be purchased through Show times for Paula Poundstone are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $15.95, 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.

Paula Poundstone

Ryan Ahern

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It pays to be a Las Vegan. Piano! Las Vegas, at V Theater inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, is now offering half-price tickets to all locals. Tickets for residents start at $14.99 for general admission, and $19.99 for VIP seating. "I really wanted to show my appreciation to local fans and the community I grew up in by giving them the opportunity to enjoy great piano music at an even better price," said Ryan Ahern, star of Piano! Las Vegas. Piano! Las Vegas is backed by six of Las Vegas' finest musicians who entertain audiences with exciting and lush arrangements. From contemporary medleys, such as Maroon Five's "This Love," and Seal's "Kiss From a Rose," to favorite hits including Ray Charles' "Mess Around," Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire," and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," to timeless movie themes from John Williams' "Theme from E.T.," to Bette Midlers' "Wind Beneath My Wings," and the exciting classics, "Malagueña" and "Flight of the Bumblebee Boogie," all topped off with Ryan's own award-winning Boogie Woogie. Ahern presents a masterful showcase of piano technique and artistry that speaks to every audience member. Piano! Las Vegas plays, Saturdays through Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29.99 for general admission, $39.99 for VIP seating, and $12.99 for children 12 and under. For tickets, call the V Theater Box Office at (866) 932-1818 or visit

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For the next two months, Fremont Street Experience is the place to pay tribute to the Motown Sound with The Jacks & Fives free stage show. Dancers and incredible singers bring the groundbreaking era to life. The Downtown Motown revue features the mega-hits and meteoric rising stars that gave us music's most distinctive sound. The Jacks & Fives, which is playing on the 1st Street stage, has three nightly shows, at 8:10 p.m., 9:10 p.m. and 10:10 p.m., and runs until May 27th. The Jacks & Fives set list offers an array of classic songs that everyone adores, including Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," The Four Tops' " Sugar Pie Honey Bunch," Martha and the Vandellas' "Heatwave" and "Dancing In The Streets," The Temptations' "My Girl," an incredible Jackson 5 medley, and so much more. Produced by Face Productions, the classic stylized Downtown Motown revue captures a great time in music history. The Fremont Street Experience is a five-block entertainment complex located in historical downtown Las Vegas. In 1995, Fremont Street was closed to vehicular traffic and a giant screen was suspended 90-feet over the street to display spectacular light and sound shows on its 1,500 foot surface. The 12.5 million lights of the Viva Vision screen dazzle 365 nights a year and make the Fremont Street Experience a one-of-a-kind venue. With direct pedestrian access to 10 casinos, more than 60 restaurants, specialty retail and free nightly entertainment, the Fremont Street Experience attracts more than 18 million annual visitors. The Fremont Street Experience can be found online at

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Locals get special treatment at McFadden's, today, Friday, April 22nd. The restaurant and saloon, inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, loves locals and they are ready to show it. All Las Vegans with a local ID will enjoy special treatment at the crazy Irish pub today. The first 50 locals to walk through the doors will drink for free, from 8 until 10 p.m., and remaining slowpoke Las Vegans will drink all they can for only $10. Once Nevadans have warmed up, all patrons will enjoy an open bar from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m., priced at $20 for ladies and $30 for guys. Guests will also receive $4 shots of Jameson and Ambhar, as well as $5 cherry and grape bombs. Plus, the party heats up with the JV All Stars hitting the stage from 10 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. McFadden's presents nightly specials including: Laid Back Mondays, Ultimate Karaoke Tuesdays, Totally Trivia Wednesdays, Beerfest Thursdays, McFadden's LIVE Fridays and 'The Party' Open Bar Saturdays. McFadden's gorgeous Lucky Charms and jovial Ministers of Hospitality ensure everyone has fun, whether they're there to watch the game, throw back a few drinks, play beer pong, or simply enjoy a bite to eat. Best known for its beers and libations, McFadden's offers a full bar featuring dozens of favorite draught beers, 90-ounce fishbowl cocktails and frozen drinks. McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon is open from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 4 p.m. until 4 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays; Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 4 a.m.; and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. For more information, call (702) 270-6200 or visit

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Tomorrow, Saturday, April 23rd, it's the Las Vegas Improvisation Players at the American Heritage Academy, 6126 S. Sandhill Road (just south of Patrick). Performance starts at 7 p.m., with box office opening at 6:40. Only $10, with a special 2 for 1 discount if you say the word "Vegas" at the door.

And speaking of the Las Vegas Improvisation Players...Stretch your mind, body and funny bone! The Las Vegas Improvisation Players offer a great place to work on comedic improvisation skills, whether you are brand new to improv or a seasoned veteran. Workshops are held every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the American Heritage Academy, 6126 S. Sandhill Road. Founded in 2001 by John Kinde, the Las Vegas Improvisation Players perform "clean-burning" improvised comedy shows full of fun, laughter and music. The troupe regularly performs in venues throughout the Las Vegas area. The Players are available for private functions, meetings and banquets. Weekly workshops are also offered for anyone interested in tapping into their improvisation skills or just looking to have a good time. Contact us [email protected] for more information or just drop in!

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Sugar Ray with Mark McGrath

Next week, the City of Henderson presents Jesse Cook on Thursday the 28th, and Sugar Ray on Friday the 29th. Platinum-selling, award-winning flamenco guitarist, Jesse Cook, will dazzle audiences with his fiery, passionate guitar work, Latin rhythms and smoldering on-stage charisma. Cook has produced seven impressive albums over the last 15 years. In addition, he has sold more than one million albums worldwide, and more than 400,000 in the United States alone. Cook has collaborated and performed with some of the world's best musicians, including B.B King and Ray Charles. Show time is at 7 p.m. Sugar Ray, the multi-platinum rock band from Orange County, California, led by front runner and current contestant on Celebrity Apprentice, Mark McGrath, became popular with infectious summer singles of the late 1990s that crossed several genres of music including pop, funk, hip-hop and reggae. The band's hit songs include "Fly," "Every Morning," "Someday," "Falls Apart" and "When It's Over."

Show time for Sugar Ray is at 8 p.m. Performances take place at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway. "As entertainment experiences geared for the entire family grow more challenging to come by, the City of Henderson has seized an opportunity to create a series of quality, family-friendly concerts, priced affordably," said Andrea Primo, Director of the Cultural Arts & Tourism Department. Tickets for either show are just $10 and are available by calling (702) 267-4TIX (4849), or contacting

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