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 August 12, 2011
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - August 12, 2011

Obaloc "Troy" Phillips

Rob Garrett

It has been months since we wrote anything about Troy Adams/Troy Phillips/Obaloc Phillips (all names he does and has used), the head of Colabo Youth Theatre (Colabo is this con man's first name spelled backwards), and, sadly, it's not because he has changed his modus operandi or left Southern Nevada. We have been accumulating more information about this guy, thanks to people who have contacted us from around the country, sharing their own personal horror stories. Everywhere this man goes, he leaves a trail of empty promises, debts, and worse. There are unpaid bills and salaries, unproduced shows and disappointed people. Not only is Obaloc a liar and a con man, he is also a thief, having stolen valuable costumes from respected, honest business people from California to Kentucky. After something that happened last Friday, we could keep quiet no longer. On KSNV-Channel 3's morning news program, Waking Up With the Wagners, a spot on Friday's broadcast had us in shock. In a segment called "Making a Difference," Kim Wagner profiled "a local man, changing the Valley, one act at a time." Imagine our horror to learn that the man she was referring to was the above, multi-named, scammer, Obaloc Phillips! How can a NEWS program do any kind of story, without some research? An internet search (using all his names and the word Colabo) would have turned up plenty, none of it good. Perhaps the fact that the Wagners' daughter is one of the children in this youth theater group had something to do with the glowing endorsement delivered to the news-trusting public. Since we first wrote about this man, more than three years ago, we have accumulated a list of his victims. They are as irate at KSNV's glorification of this man as we are. The piece done on Obaloc Phillips was not a news item at all (it might be, if it showed him being arrested and placed in handcuffs), it was a commercial... the kind one would pay for. Shame on Channel 3 for doing anything to give this scoundrel credibility. For the public, we suggest avoiding this man like the plague, and certainly do not expose your children to the influence of a common criminal. Remember his face (one he has tried to hide). Although looks can be altered, changing a face is a little more difficult than changing a name. Obaloc Phillips was run out of San Diego, California, some years back. It is way past time that he be run out of Las Vegas as well. Parents, you have been warned... once again.

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Tomorrow night, Saturday, August 13th at 8 p.m., multi-award winning tribute artist, Rob Garrett, backed by his 8-piece band, returns to The Club at the Cannery for this year's Hot August Night - Vegas tribute to Neil Diamond concert. Like his legendary counterpart, Garrett was born and raised in New York City. While growing up, Rob's main musical influences were Elvis, The Beatles, and, quite naturally, Neil Diamond. In 1974, Garrett moved to Las Vegas with his parents and younger brother. Six years later, he formed Rock 'n' Roll Heaven. For 15 years, Rob achieved prominence as the leader and front man of that premiere oldies and classic rock group. Rob first saw Neil Diamond perform live in July of 1976, when the "Solitary Man" launched the Aladdin's (now Planet Hollywood) brand new 7,500-seat Theater for the Performing Arts, in a weekend of sold out concerts. (Cousin Claire, who lived in Southern California, at the time, was also in the audience for one of those July 4th weekend performances.) "He (Diamond) held the audience. including myself, spellbound, and broke all existing Las Vegas concert records at that time," says Garrett. "I had been a fan since 1969, and I'd always thought that Neil had written some of the most poignant lyrics I'd ever heard, and knew he had a way of expressing his lyrics and music in a way that no other singer/songwriter had done so, before or since." In 1995, Garrett was hired by John Stuart and Paul Revere (of Paul Revere and The Raiders fame) to portray Neil Diamond in Honolulu, Hawaii's Legends In Concert - that city's biggest theatrical show and one of the most popular impersonation-type shows in the world. What was originally expected to be a two-month engagement for Rob, turned into a three year run. "Neil's a phenomenon as witnessed by any of his recent sold out concerts," says Garrett. "Anytime he decides to hit the tour circuit, he breaks attendance records and always ends up as one of the top five money grossing concert attractions of the year. He has become this polished consummate performer who doesn't rely on big production and choreography to make his show work. He's the last of the breed that I refer to as minstrels, the performers who get on the stage for two hours with just their guitars and backup band and can still bring an audience to their knees. He's still got it. Unfortunately, it seems as if he's touring less often these days, and, when he does tour, it's in select places and always sold out way in advance. A lot of people who would like to, never get the chance to see him perform. I love the challenge of re-creating the ‘live' performances of this great musical legend who I hope still has many years of performances left in him," says Rob. Since returning to Vegas in August of 1998, Garrett has kept up a steady schedule of touring around the country (and occasionally the world), and has even opened for Frankie Valli. Rob has developed a large following and is known worldwide as the ‘'King of Diamonds.'' On May 28th, 2008, "The King of Diamonds" was honored by the Entertainment Network, receiving the ‘Male Musical Tribute Artist Award' at the annual Celebrity Impersonator Convention in Las Vegas. It was the first time ever that a Neil Diamond act won such an honor. Admission to see Hot August Night, Rob Garrett's Tribute to Neil Diamond, is $10 at the door. Get to the Cannery, 2121 East Craig Road in North Las Vegas, early on Saturday, lest you get shut out.

And over at the Eastside Cannery, Society of Seven, too long away from Southern Nevada, returns to Las Vegas for a one-night-only performance, 9 p.m. Friday, August 19th, at the Eastside Cannery‘s Events Center. The occasion is the casino hotel's Third "Canniversary," and they want to celebrate in style. Society of Seven is a great way to do that, as wherever and whenever they perform, it's party time! SOS, as the group is called by their loyal fans, is known for their mix of music, singing and lots of humor. The show band got its start in Hawaii, and was quickly embraced by locals and tourists who voted them "Best Show in Waikiki." All seven members - Tony Ruivivar, Bert Sagum, Hoku Low, Wayne Wakai, Vince Mendoza, Roy Venturina and Michael Laygo - are truly talented, and together they can play virtually any instrument. Although the group got its start in the islands, the band has headlined around the world, including on and off the Las Vegas Strip. Joining the Society of Seven "boy band" is former American Idol finalist, Jasmine Trias. Tickets for Society of Seven at the Eastside Cannery, located at 5255 Boulder Highway, on the Boulder Strip, are $20, all-inclusive, and can be purchased by calling (702) 856-5470, or by visiting Tickets can also be bought at the Eastside Cannery's box office.

Shem Schroeck

And back at the North Las Vegas Cannery, next Saturday, August 20th, the pop rock band, Ambrosia, will perform. Ambrosia's fusion of symphonic art rock and a produced pop sound caught the attention of a Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor who featured them in one of his concerts. Within a few years of that performance they had a record contract and two hit singles. Ambrosia, with roots in Southern California, released their first album in 1975. Between '75 and '80, the group achieved multi-platinum status with three easy listening No. 1 Billboard hits, and two more that would make it into the Top 10 and Top 20. The group was honored with five Grammy-nominations and is now celebrating its 40th anniversary. Among Ambrosia‘s most familiar songs are "Holdin' On To Yesterday," "Biggest Part of Me," "How Much I Feel," and "You're The Only Woman." The band has gone through a number of personnel changes over the past almost four decades, with one of the members being a fellow named Shem Schroeck (sometimes known as Shem von Schroeck). Schroeck. Not a common name, but one we have heard, and written about, before. Shem is the eldest son (born in 1965) of Las Vegas-based musician, Artie Schroeck. Obviously, in this family, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Shem learned how to play the drums at the age of 3, then piano, and began playing bass at the age of 12. He stated that at the age of 16, he would sometimes play bass during his father's recording sessions. He attended the Manhattan School of Music, studying composition with a minor in bass-playing, and then moved to Los Angeles in 1989. Shem was a member of Ambrosia from the late '80s into the 2000s. He performed in musical theater for awhile, and was also part of a tribute band to The Police. John Defaria (composer of "Get On Your Feet" for Gloria Estefan) was also a member of the band. Defaria knew Kenny Loggins, and that his regular bassist, Freddie Washington, was going to be busy with another project. Defaria recommended Schroeck for the job. Loggins liked Schroeck's work. As a result, from 1994 to 1996, Schroeck performed off and on with Loggins' band. Over the years, he has also worked with artists such as Steve Perry, Marie Osmond, Tom Jones, Christopher Cross, Tanya Tucker, Peter Cetera, Sheena Easton, Patti Austin, Amy Grant and Jim Messina. In 2004, he won the El Camino Symphony Competition, singing a piece from a Wagner opera. He was noticed by famed opera tenor Jon Vickers, who encouraged Schroeck to pursue his own career in opera. These days, Shem is a principal tenor for the Millennium Wagner Opera Company, and has been a guest conductor at pops concerts and with multiple symphonies. In 2005, he appeared in the documentary Loggins & Messina: Sittin' in Again. In 2010, he was a guest soloist with the Verdi Chorus in Los Angeles. Schroeck continues to tour off and on with Kenny Loggins, and sometimes with Don Felder of the Eagles. Whew! One never knows when this information might come in handy. Showtime for Ambrosia (without Shem Schroeck) at the Cannery is 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are $19.95, plus taxes and fees, and are available at the Cannery box office, online at or by calling (702) 507-5757.

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It's that time of month again (no not THAT time). It's Composers Showcase time. Once again, PK Music and Outlaw Brothers Entertainment are presenting the popular showcase at Garfield's Grand Atrium, 2620 Regatta Drive (on the Lake at Desert Shores), Thursday, August 18th, starting around 10:30 p.m. (after theater). Doors open at 9:30. The August showcase, hosted by the personable Keith Thompson, will feature the songs of local song writers: Jason Andino, Vita Corimbi, Bill Fayne, Susan Haller, Rylan Leo Helmuth, Adam Knaff and Narayan Singh, Richard Oberacker, Nicole Pryor, S. Frank Stringham in his showcase debut, Thompson, Tymara, and The English Channel; and the vocals of: Kelli Andino, Christine Hudman, Tina Walsh and more. Instrumentation will be supplied by the amazing Philip Fortenberry and others. Mary McFadden handles the sound. We have been told that things should be a little more comfortable at Garfield's than they were in July. Just in case, dress for comfort and bring a church fan. A $10 donation is requested at the door. A cash bar and a late night menu are available. All proceeds will benefit the Creative Studios LV, where the motto is Imagine/Create/Perform.

S. Frank Stringham

Lynn Ross

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There is so much happening in Las Vegas these days...and nights. Decisions. Decisions. So many things going on. So little time.
On Monday, August 15th, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., Casa di Amore Restaurant presents Lynn Ross, singing for your dining pleasure. Enjoy delicious Italian cuisine while hearing Lynn perform favorite standards from The Great American Songbook as well as some great vintage Pop tunes you'll know and love! Something a little different and you will love Dan Ellis on keys. Dan, who is musical director for Nunsense at the Las Vegas Hilton, is wonderfully talented. There is a bar for enjoying a drink at this very authentic Vintage Vegas room. Real flavor,...real character,...real fun! Casa di Amore is located at 2850 East Tropicana.

Don't shoot us because this is so last minute, we're only the messenger. This information arrived this afternoon (Friday). Anyway...
The Sondheim Singers of Las Vegas are performing a Sondheim Spectacular on Friday, August 12th, and Saturday, August 13th, at University United Methodist Church, 4412 South Maryland Parkway, starting at 7:30 p.m. on both nights. Alex Mendoza, Andrew Barker, Anthony Rodriguez, Barry Abarquez, Carla Lopez, Cheyna Alexander, Christina Douglas, Erickson Franco, Gianni Becker, Isabella Ivy, Jennie Carroll, Maureen Seymour, Michael Elliot, Miguel Alasco, Sheronda McKee, Spencer Baker and Wendy Moss, will perform a fun-filled night of Stephen Sondheim selections from his musical theatre productions, such as Follies, Into the Woods, Assassins, A Little Night Music, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sweeney Todd, Passion, West Side Story, and more. Admittance is free (although donations are happily and gratefully accepted), and refreshments are provided.

From Wednesday, August 17th, through Sunday, the 28th (dark on Monday and Tuesday), the Riviera Hotel & Casino features Oh What a Night! A Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, in the Starlite Theatre. The musical revue, written by Motown producer George Solomon and directed by award-winning producer-director Michael Chapman, with choreography by Paul Holmquist, features Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hits, including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and many more. From August 17th through the 21st, the cast of Oh What a Night! will be Rob Hyatt, Paul Holmquist, Rick Morgan and Brandon Albright. From the 24th through the 28th, Hyatt, Christian Nielsen, Todd Honeycutt and Seth Bazacas will be interpreting the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Oh What a Night! A Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons will play at 7:30 p.m. in the Starlite Theatre. Tickets are $39.95 for preferred seating and $59.95 for VIP seating. As a special offer, locals will receive 50 percent off tickets. All prices are exclusive of tax and fees. To purchase tickets, visit, call (702) 794-9433, or visit the Riviera Box Office.

Todd Honeycutt


For the second consecutive year, international phenomenon Charice, will be one of many star-studded performers to appear during 98.5 KLUC's End of Summer Block Party at the Henderson Pavilion. In addition to Charice, this year's back-to-school concert, scheduled for Tuesday, August 23rd at 6 p.m., will feature Cody Simpson, Iyaz, Hard Nox, Jackson Gutry, Lex Rox, Denisse Lara and DJ CO-1. "Charice was such an incredible draw at last year's End of Summer Block Party," said Stacie Schmidt, Director of Marketing for CBS RADIO Las Vegas. "Now, with her recent role on the hit show Glee, she's sure to have even more fans come out and see her, as well as other talented acts, at the Henderson Pavilion." Charice's dreams came true when she earned the recurring role as foreign exchange student Sunshine Corazon on the hit Fox television series, Glee. Not only was she able to showcase her acting ability, but also introduce her incredible voice to an entirely new audience. As Sunshine Corazon, Charice presented serious competition for lead character, Rachel Berry. She gave Rachel a run for her money while singing power ballad's such as Celine Dion's "All By Myself," Lady Gaga's "Telephone" and "Listen" by Beyoncé. Charice's true talents shined during the season two finale, performing "As Long As You're There," an original song produced by Glee and featured on the album Glee: The Music, Volume 6. The 19-year-old vocal powerhouse from the Philippines, rose to fame when she was discovered on YouTube in 2007 and deemed the "most talented girl in the world" by Oprah Winfrey. Her debut album, Charice, entered the Billboard Pop Charts at No. 8, making her the first Asian artist to appear on Billboard's Top 10 List. The lead single, "Pyramid," featuring End of Summer Block Party co-artist Iyaz, appeared in the No.1 spot on Billboard's dance chart last year. With the help of other talented songwriters and producers in the music industry, Charice recently released a number of songs on iTunes, including "Before It Explodes," co-written by Bruno Mars, and "One Day," co-written and produced by Nick Jonas. Her single, "Louder," released this spring, is a preview of her second CD, which is scheduled for a fall launch. Additionally, Charice is a featured vocalist on fellow YouTube sensation, Greyson Chance's, new single, "Waiting Outside the Lines." Tickets are $19.85, or $35.85 for premium seating, plus service fee, and are on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, call (702) 267-4TIX (4849) or visit the Henderson Pavilion Box Office, Tuesdays through Saturdays, between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The City of Henderson supports the Americans with Disabilities Act. Advanced notice may be necessary to ensure that appropriate accommodations will be provided. For full telephone, use Relay Nevada by dialing 7-1-1. The Henderson Pavilion is located at 200 S. Green Valley Parkway. For additional information on programs and entertainment, please call (702) 267-2171. Office hours are Mondays through Fridays, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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Our spies tell us that the drama that went on off stage at a recent media event, was more exciting than what happened in the theater. The scenario could be the pilot episode for a new series, "Entertainers Behaving Badly." It seems that one of the cast members in the small musical revue had a sort of meltdown, acting rude and arrogant at the recent after-show meet and greet party. We think it's not really a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you, or to alienate a member of the press. As one of the attendees said to us, "Doesn't this man realize that screaming at people does not influence anyone in any positive way? Maybe it's a good thing that this show will be going on the road for a while. Or maybe Mr. Big Ego should pack it in before people realize what a real rat he can be." Suggestion...How about giving the gent a copy of Dale Carnegie's self-help tome, How To Win Friends and Influence People? We understand that Borders is currently selling books at discounted prices.

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Dean & Deana Martin

Jim Caruso

The legendary Dean Martin's daughter, Deana Martin, entertains in the Rampart's Addison's Lounge this weekend, August 12th through 14th. Accompanied by Vincent Falcone at the piano, Deana will perform a musical tribute to her father, singing favorite Martin hits, including "Memories are Made of This," "That's Amore," "Everybody Loves Somebody," and "Volare," the name of Deana's latest album. Ms. Martin also does some songs made famous by a couple of other Rat Pack members, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., as well as Judy Garland and additional music icons. Showtimes for Deana Martin's Memories Are Made of This, are tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m. Admission is $15 at the cage, or $20 at the door. Call the Rampart at (702) 507-5900 for additional information.

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What has been an ongoing hit in New York for the past eight years, makes a two night stop in Las Vegas on Wednesday and Thursday, August 24th and 25th. Jim Caruso's Cast Party, with musical director, Billy Stritch, has been attracting standing-room-only audiences at Manhattan's famed Birdland, every Monday night since 2003. Cast Party will make its Southern Nevada debut at the newly renovated Alexis Park Resort, 375 East Harmon, just west of Paradise and south of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. One never knows who will show up to entertain and be entertained at a Cast Party. Jim Caruso hosts' the show and keeps the evening's festivities running smoothly, as he guides revelers through the evening like a, "singing, swinging cruise director." Stritch, Liza Minnelli's musical director for more than a decade, will be in charge of providing the music for this special engagement of Cast Party Las Vegas. Cast Party doors open at 9 p.m., and the fun begins at 10. A late supper will be available, along with beverages, until 2 a.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, and are on sale now at, or by calling (800) 838-3006, 24/7.

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Kalin, Jinger & Hobson

Michael Kessler & Melinda Jackson

If you want to experience an evening of fun and amazement, we suggest seeing Carnival of Wonders, playing at The Orleans next weekend, Saturday, August 20th, and Sunday, the 21st. Shows are at 8 p.m. both nights. Even if you are not a fan of magic, we defy you to leave Carnival of Wonders without feeling thoroughly entertained. Carnival of Wonders packs the fun of a traveling carnival into a night of entertainment, hinting at dark mysteries and deep wonders that surround every day life. The World Magic Awards and Fox Television have both named Carnival of Wonders the "Best Magic Show." Magician Mark Kalin and performer Jinger Leigh each had their own shows before they met in Guam and decided to partner as magician and assistant. Their signature illusions - the Fire Spiker, Circle of Fire and Sawing in Half - combined with a unique performing style, quickly earned them recognition among audiences and professional magicians. The Academy of Magical Arts, World Magic Awards and Fox Television have voted Kalin and Jinger "Magicians of the Year." During their brief Las Vegas stay, they will be opening at the industry only ‘Magic Live' convention on August 17th. Comedian-magician Jeff Hobson (quite possibly the missing love child of Liberace and Paul Lynde) is the carnival's tour guide. Hobson is a veteran of the Las Vegas show scene, having performed in numerous variety and magical shows on the Strip. Recently, the Academy of Magical Arts named him "Stage Magician of the Year." According to the New York Daily News, Carnival of Wonders is "A big fat magical hit!," and the Los Angeles Times called it "A magical show with bevy of crowd pleasing illusions. It's a must see for magic buffs of all ages." Tickets start at $19.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and may be purchased by calling (702) 365-7075, (888) 365-7111, or in person at The Orleans box office, Sundays through Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 10 p.m.

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It's M & M, standing for Michael and Melinda, as in the dancing husband and wife team of Michael Kessler and Melinda Jackson, tonight at the South Point showroom. Love 2 Dance is an intimate and original look inside the lives and loves of dancers. Join some of the Strip's top dance performers and choreographers in this funny, touching and passionate new show about the movers and shakers, gliders, fliers and hoofers who have sacrificed everything to step out for your entertainment. The show is based on material gleaned from hours of "on camera" interviews with dancers, about their lives, their triumphs, their struggles, and their love of dancing. "Top notch entertainment," says the Las Vegas Review Journal. M & M's Love 2 Dance - A Romantic Musical Comedy performs (or performed, depending what time you are reading this) tonight at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30/$25/$20. Call (702) 797-8055 for reservations, or show up at the South Point box office.

If you miss Love 2 Dance on Friday, you can see the show at the Starbright Theater in Sun City Summerlin on Sunday, August 14th, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $17 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $22 for non-residents. The theater is located at 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd. Call (702) 240-1301 for additional information.

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If you were in school in the 1950s, (1) you're old, and (2) chances are you danced to songs made famous by Little Anthony and The Imperials. The rhythm and blues/soul/doo-wop vocal group from New York, hit it big, beginning more than half a century ago, with tunes such as "Tears On My Pillow," "Take Me Back," "I'm On the Outside Looking In," "Goin' Out of My Head," "Hurt So Bad" and "Shimmy, Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop." Lead singer, Jerome Anthony "Little Anthony" Gourdine, was noted for his high-pitched falsetto voice, influenced by Jimmy Scott. Gourdine is still singing those familiar favorites. In fact, he will be singing them, plus more, when he and The Imperials perform at the Las Vegas Hilton, nest Saturday, August 20th. Little Anthony and the Imperials were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on October 15th, 2006, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999, and received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award in 1993. Little Anthony and the Imperials was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4, 2009[, 23 years after the group's first year of eligibility for induction. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets range from$39 to $59, plus taxes and fees. For reservations, call (702) 732-5755 or (800) 222-5361.

Little Anthony and The Imperials

Mark Winkler

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Las Vegas Improvisation Players will give their next performance on Saturday, August 20th at 7 p.m. The "all new, every time" comedy improv show is hosted at the American Heritage Academy, located at 6126 S. Sandhill Road in Las Vegas. Tickets are only $10, and available for purchase at the door which opens at 6:40 p.m. This is clean comedy, suitable and fun for everyone from well-behaved youngsters, to well-behaved grandmas.

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The Las Vegas-based Tommy Thompson Project will be performing at the Avi Resort in Laughlin, through Sunday, August 14th. Showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. That's all they sent us. That's all we're printing.

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If you are in Southern California this week, our friend, musician/entertainer Mark Winkler is performing at the Catalina Bar and Grille in Hollywood on Wednesday. It seems that the talented Mr. Winkler has some heavy duty musical competition on the very same night. So, after listening to folks tell him, "We love you Mark, but we're going to see Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl or Adele at the Hollywood Palladium the night of your show, August 17th. Of course you understand!," in a shameless bid to get people over to the Catalina Bar and Grille, Mark has this to say in response. Understand? How little they know about the competitive side of the Winkster. Here are five good reasons to see me, instead of, you know, them.

1. Sorry Herbie, but I'm actually going to sing the lyrics to my songs. An evening of Joni Mitchell tunes without lyrics, well is like an evening of Paul Simon tunes without the lyrics. Do I need to say more- when was the last time you caught yourself humming the melody of "The Hissing of Summer Lawns"? I know he'll sprinkle in a few singers—but really.

2. I'm much less of a bummer than Adele. With her Grammies and millions you think this girl would perk up, but every song is a downer. My show is swinging and a lot of fun. Not idiotic Katy Perry fun, but "smart fun"-- Think "Somewhere in Brazil" or "Like Young" or "Sweet Spot."

3. Have you been to the Bowl lately?. It's big, it's noisy—that faraway bright light in front of you is the stage, and good luck with the parking. Catalina's is cozy, close and the food is delicious. Parking is two steps away.

4. This is my CD release party— the songs and performances are fresh. Adele and Herbie have been flogging their releases for a year or more. Do you really need to hear "Rolling in Deep" one more time this year? Adele has been seen on every show on TV except the Weather Channel and the Casey Anthony trial.

5. We need you! I don't have a Grammy, a multi-platinum record or an attitude!

But I will promise you one great time. My band is fantastic—Eli Brueggemann on keyboards, Tim Emmons on bass, Peter Buck on drums and Ann Patterson on all things horn. Plus a surprise or two. My songs are catchy. You can actually hum them. We're not only celebrating my CD release—but the CD release of my good pal and co-writer, Phil Swann. Two for the price of one. His songs are catchy. And we'll be celebrating the imminent opening of our musical, Play It Cool, in New York City. I haven't had so much to celebrate since 1987—when I got a mullet and unconstructed white jacket for my Ebony Rain LP cover.

Mark Winkler's showtime is Wednesday, August 17th at 8 p.m. There is a special "Recession" cover of $15. Dinner is served and excellent. The Catalina Bar and Grille is at 6725 W. Sunset Blvd. (at McCadden) in Hollywood. For reservations, call (323)466-2210.

And not one to be thinking only of himself, Mr. Winkler recommends that music lovers take in Dolores Scozzesi's Birthday Concert at Vitello's Jazz & Supper Club, 2439 Tujunga Avenue in Studio City. Performance is at 8 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, August 13th. There will be lots of new songs to "taste" and savor. A plate of Randy Newman next to a slice of Cole Porter and some Bettye Carter to spice things up, before a heap of some Rodgers and Hammerstein and Joni Mitchell. What a feast! Tickets are $20. For reservations, call (818) 769-0905.

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Michele Tell


White Star Marketing, LLC. has hired Preferred Public Relations to handle efforts, including strategic planning, promotions and media relations, for the new VIVID Vodka. Preferred Public Relations joins The Cimarron Group, who are managing all aspects of consumer and trade marketing, including traditional, digital and social, to introduce the trendy super premium brand.
"Together Preferred Public Relations and The Cimarron Group are the ideal team to brand and build a fan base with our vodka," says Gino LoPinto, President of Sales & Marketing for VIVID Vodka. "The industry leaders were chosen to represent VIVID Vodka due to their vision, creative thinking and results-driven approach to both marketing and public relations." "We are pleased to have our experienced team assembled and ready to introduce VIVID Vodka," says Carmine (Sam) Marasco, CEO/President of White Star Marketing. "The allure, premium taste and seductive packaging of VIVID Vodka will become a requested lifestyle choice vodka by consumers across the country." VIVID Vodka is a smooth tasting, crystal clear super premium vodka from White Star Marketing. Its personality is hip, provocative, edgy and playful and it has earned a score of 90 from the Beverage Testing Institute. VIVID Vodka is made in America from wheat grain grown in the Great Plains, using pure Cascade Mountains water. Distilled five times, VIVID Vodka is filtered though 12,000 pounds of virgin coconut husks, then further micro-filtered to smooth out the peaks and valleys. VIVID Vodka is distributed by Wirtz Beverage in Nevada and Young's Market Company in the other ten western states including Hawaii. White Star Marketing, LLC. operates two offices, one in San Diego and the other in Las Vegas. Its primary business is lifestyle marketing of premium spirits to nightclubs, restaurants, bars and resort/hotels. For more information, call (858) 678-0078. For more information on VIVID Vodka, visit, or call (702) 491-4466. Preferred Public Relations, owned and operated by Michele Tell and James Woodrow, is a full-service, award-winning agency, located at 2630 South Jones Blvd. in Las Vegas. The agency opened its doors in 1999, and since has been hired to oversee and manage more than 400 grand opening events for new company launches. Preferred Public Relations implements strategic public relations campaigns to include branding promotions, grand openings and crisis communications. For additional information, please visit, or call (702) 254-5704.

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This week's prize for the most clever billing for a local act goes to (drum roll please)... Cashetta! The plus-size female impersonator/psychic/magician/comic bills himself as "The Extra Large Medium." Cashetta combines mind reading, suggestion and psychic demonstrations that has audiences screaming with laughter and dropping their jaws in amazement. Cashetta gets to exercise both extraordinary powers and celebrated quick wit during the fast paced show. Each night, volunteers get to join Cashetta for fabulously fun presentations. Due to the nature of this type of show, no two are ever alike. Cashetta - The Extra Large Medium breaks new ground in psychic entertainment, right up to the mind boggling finale. Cashetta appears at the Wolf Theater in the Clarion Hotel and Casino (formerly the Greek Isles), 305 Convention Center Dr., at 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Tickets are available starting from $47.97, and can be purchased by calling the Wolf Theater Box Office at (702) 990.1524, or visiting

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On Sunday, August 7th, swimmer/actress Esther Williams celebrated her 90th birthday (which officially was on Monday, the 8th) at her Beverly Hills home. In attendance for the milestone occasion was her husband, Ed Bell, other family members and a handful of friends, including former Las Vegan, Toni Andrews. Toni reports that Williams still swims on a daily basis.

Esther Williams & Toni Andrews

Terry Lanni

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We are very saddened to report the death of our friend, Donna Taylor. A longtime booking agent, Donna passed away on August 3rd following a brief illness. She was 71. Donna, who was the widow of musician Dick Taylor, leaves behind two daughters and her beloved pets. Services will be announced shortly.

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At 4 p.m., on Tuesday, August 16th, a service celebrating the life of Terry Lanni, longtime gaming figure, will be held in the Convention Center Ballroom at Mandalay Bay. Lanni, who was president of Caesars World (now MGM Resorts) for 18 years, died of cancer on July 14th. Lanni was 68. An earlier memorial service was held in Southern California on July 22nd.

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