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.  
She’s...

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from September 09, 2011
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - September 9, 2011


Tony Curtis Auction Catalog

John Wayne

Going. Going. Gone.
If you are/were a fan of Tony Curtis, John Wayne and/or Elizabeth Taylor, you might want to try to get the credit limit raised on your Visa card. Within the next few months, many of the possessions of the three stars will go on the auction block. The Curtis Estate auction features property spanning from his World War II Naval stint through the first decade of the 21st century. Fine art highlights include the Andy Warhol Some Like it Hot Shoe, given to Curtis as a gift by the artist. There will be many selections from Tony Curtis's secondary career as an artist, including paintings, drawings, prints, ceramic vases, and a tapestry. Also available for the first time are a selection of assemblage shadowboxes, a type of artwork very personal to Curtis and never before exhibited or sold to the public. Items from Curtis' acting career, also being sold, include a yachtsman's jacket from the famous shipboard kissing scene with Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, a rosewood Rudall and Carte flute given to Curtis by Frank Sinatra, Tony's Photoplay 14k gold medal award for Most Popular Male Star won in 1958, and Hanna/Barbera's own depiction of Stoney Curtis in an animated cel from an appearance on the Flintstones. Curtis died at his Henderson, Nevada, home in September of last year. He was 85. The Estate of Tony Curtis Exhibition runs through next Friday, September 16th. The public can view the collection, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT, Monday through Saturday. The live and online auction will take place on Saturday, September 17th, with Session I at 10 a.m. PDT, and Session II at 2 p.m. PDT. Location is, Julien's Auctions, 9665 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 150, in Beverly Hills. For more information, e-mail to [email protected], or call (310) 836-1818. Registration is required to bid in this live auction and can be done either in person at the exhibitions and auction, or visit the Registration page at www.juliensauctions.com. Julien's Auctions has quickly established themselves as the premier auction house in high profile celebrity and entertainment auctions. Previous auctions include the collections of Cher, U2, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Star Trek, Bob Hope, Ann Miller, Debbie Reynolds, Edith Head, Judy Garland, the estate of Marilyn Monroe and many others.

Cowboy hats, costumes and saddles from John Wayne's estate are among the items that will go up for auction in Los Angeles next month. Heritage Auctions spokesman Donn Pearlman said the auction will include more than 700 personal and professional items, including an eye patch worn by Wayne during his Oscar-winning performance in True Grit. Following public exhibitions in Dallas and New York, the auction will take place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and online from October 3rd to the 6th. John Wayne died in 1979 at aged 72.


Elizabeth Taylor in Emeralds & Diamonds

Amy Roberts

Elizabeth Taylor's dazzling jewelry collection, worth an estimated $30 million, is heading to the auction block later this year. The iconic pieces, featuring rubies, diamonds, emeralds and sapphires, will be sold at New York's Christie's auction house on December 13th and 14th. Here are some of the standouts from the collection: The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond - A 33.19 carat diamond set in a platinum ring, given to Taylor by Richard Burton and estimated at $2.5 million-$3.5 million; The Taj Mahal Diamond - The famous 17th-century diamond pendant Burton purchased for Taylor's 40th birthday in 1972. The pendant, which sits on a gold and ruby chain by Cartier, is estimated at between $300,000 and $500,000; La Peregrina - One of the largest and most symmetrically perfect pear-shaped pearls in the world. The early 16th century pearl, a gift from Burton, is set in a ruby and diamond necklace by Cartier and is estimated at $2 million to $3 million; The Mike Todd Tiara, estimated at $60,000-$80,000; A ruby and diamond necklace, a gift from then husband, Mike Todd, estimated at $200,000-$300,000; A gold, diamond and emerald "Snake" watch from Bulgari, estimated at $12,000-$15,000; Kunzite, amethyst and diamond "Triphanes" jewelry by Van Cleef & Arpels, valued at $70,000-$100,000; and The Duchess of Windsor diamond brooch, which Taylor purchased for herself at auction for $620,000. The brooch is estimated to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000. The entire collection will be exhibited from December 3rd through 10th at Christie's New York galleries. If these sound like bargain prices, bear in mind that auction items often sell at many times more than their estimated value.

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We are shocked and saddened to report the sudden, unexpected death of Amy Roberts. Amy, who with her husband, Dan Roberts, ran the Vegas Voice publication, passed away earlier this week. The monthly Vegas Voice is the age 50+ newspaper that's in tune with your "grown-up" lifestyle. It features articles on the political scene, financial tips, entertainment options, travel destinations, staying healthy and beautiful - as well as interesting reports on people, places and events. New York transplants, the Roberts' publication made its debut in March 2003 and now circulates more than 35,000 copies; including direct mail/delivery to "age-qualified" communities, including Sun City Summerlin, Aliante, Anthem and MacDonald Ranch; Solera at Anthem and Stallion Mountain; Siena, Quail Estates, Seven Hills, the Anthem Country Club in Henderson; and all Destinations Active Adult Living Centers. The publication features columns by a number of Las Vegas personalities, including Marty Allen, Louie Anderson, Ron Shock, Beverly Washburn and Wes Winters. Amy was a young, vibrant, funny, beautiful wife and mother. Her passing is a tragic loss. Our condolences to the Roberts family.

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This weekend, talented comic impressionist Gordie Brown marks his 500th performance at the downtown Golden Nugget. In honor of the milestone, tonight and tomorrow night, locals can get tickets to see one of the hardest working men in show business (JAMES Brown is no longer working) for only $15, plus tax and fees. To take advantage of this offer, call (702) 386-8100 and mention code 500. There is a limit of four tickets per person, based on availability.


Gordie Brown by Terry Thompson

Michaelina Bellamy by Ellie Clinton

And speaking of Gordie Brown, he will be among the talented participants donating their talent to a fundraiser to benefit ailing entertainer, Michaelina Bellamy. Michaelina, a former member of Airmen of Note, the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force, and a onetime principal singer in the Tropicana's Les Folies Bergere, is battling leukemia and has been in and out of hospitals for months. The fundraiser, headed up by journalist/publicist, Norm Johnson, will take place in the South Point Showroom, beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 16th. At our Friday deadline, those confirmed to participate in the variety show are Domenick Allen and his wife Leigh Zimmerman, John Katsilometes, Bill Fayne, Rob Garrett, the husband and wife team of Artie Schroeck and Linda November, Deana Martin, Vinnie Falcone, and the 18-piece Gary Anderson Orchestra. Others will be added, and ticket prices will be announced over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

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If you are in or around the Big Apple this weekend, check out renowned pianist/vocalist, Kathleen Landis, and special guest, Frank Dain, at Nino's Tuscany Steakhouse, 117 W. 58th Street, near 6th Avenue. Not only is New Yorker Dain a fine singer, he is also a talented graphic designer and, since 2003, the Editor-in-Chief of Cabaret Scenes magazine (a personal favorite of ours). Two nights of wonderful music. Great food and great atmosphere. Have supper or drinks at the bar. Perfect for after theater or after cabaret. Show times are tonight (Friday, September 9th) and tomorrow, from 9:30 p.m. until 12:30 am.

Photo of Landis and Dain by Rose Billings.


Kathleen Landis & Frank Dain

Ronnie Rose

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Lynyrd Skynyrd in Concert, next Friday September 16th at the M Resort. Reservations are now being taken so guests can enjoy a Hash House A Go Go dinner on the patio while listening to the concert. Hash House a Go Go has the best seats in the house...a patio with breathtaking views overlooking both the concert stage and Las Vegas. No additional charge for concert with dinner purchase. The Lynyrd Skynyrd concert is at 9 p.m. Hash House a Go Go is hosting the official after concert party. Sounds like a great way to spend an evening.

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Tomorrow (Saturday, September 10th) night, from 8 to midnight, Ronnie Rose entertains at Turnberry's members only (unless you know someone) Stirling Club. On September 11th, 18th and 25th, from 8 to 11 p.m., busy Mr. Rose is in the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Earlier in the day (at 2 p.m.) on September 25th, the talented musician performs as part of the Hit Parade at the Suncoast. September 30th, from 7 to 10 p.m., Rose is at Tivoli Village on South Rampart, across from the Suncoast. October 3rd, it's a Salvation Army Fundraiser Luncheon at The Orleans. Tickets for the luncheon are $45. Call (702) 870-4430. On October 7th and 8th, starting at 8 p.m., Addison's Lounge at the Rampart will host Ronnie. While many other entertainers struggle to find work, this guy seems to be having no problem getting gigs. Maybe, in addition to his career as a performer, he should also think of become a booking agent.

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Saturday, September 17th is the, rescheduled, date for the 7th anniversary celebration of the popular non-club club, F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events). This event should prove to be really fun and ridiculous, with a handful of victims, er, pillars of the community being toasted and roasted. Among those being acknowledged for their good or questionable deeds are (alphabetically, not necessarily in order of importance) Bill Acosta, Johnny Amato, Peter Anthony, Nannette DiMascio, Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, Don Hill, Esther Lynn, Aldo Natoli, Babe Pier, Artie Schroeck and Felix Silla. Longtime Las Vegas businessman, Jim Marsh, who received the F.I.O.R.E. Wilted Flower award earlier this year, will return the flower (if he has not disposed of it) and receive a new one. The anniversary festivities will take place at the Italian American Social Club, located at 2333 E. Sahara, beginning at 6 p.m. A great dinner buffet, live entertainment (including a belly dancer), the award-winning 12-piece Gary Anderson orchestra, raffles, gifts, 50/50, and a no host bar are part of the evenings activities. Cost is $35 per person (F.I.O.R.E. widows are free, and get roses and chocolates to boot), and reservations are a must, as an exact headcount is needed for food preparation (we hate it when they run out of cake). Nelson Sardelli, who leads this band of party animals, asks that those who are interested in attending, please "RSVP, ASAP or sooner, to [email protected]." Check out the group at www.nonclubclubfiore.com. See you at the Italian American Club on the 17th.


Don Hill

"Weird Al" Yankovic

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If you are a "Weird Al" Yankovic fan, get yourself over to the Cannery in North Las Vegas tomorrow night. The weird one's latest album, Alpocalypse, contains "Perform This Way" (Al's take on Lady Gaga's "Born This Way"). Tickets to see the man who brought you "Eat It," "Another One Rides The Bus," "She Never Told Me She Was a Mime," "My Bologna," "I Think I'm a Clone Now," "Like a Surgeon" and "I Love Rocky Road," are $19.95, $39.95 and $79.95 (for a table), plus taxes and fees. For reservations, call (702) 507-5757.

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Celebrate PRIDE weekend at the Onyx Theatre with Moe Bertran in Love Scenes. Love Scenes, written by David Pumo and directed by Donna Jean Fogel, finally comes to Vegas, September 15th through 17th, after sold out runs and outstanding reviews in New York, London, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, Dublin, and Atlantis Cruise Lines. This play offers a sexy, touching and funny look at gay New Yorkers falling in and out of love. Bertran, who was the Best Male Solo winner at the 2005 San Francisco Fringe Festival, plays six characters in six brilliant scenes. The first scene as a Latino activist who crashes his ex-lover's wedding to a woman is very poignant. Bertran tugs at your heartstrings when he recounts his first love affair with a person who takes him to a Barbra Streisand concert. His take on a hustler with a Brooklyn accent is hilarious. The character tells how he met an older sadomasochistic photographer who, like Dr. Henry Higgins, gave him a home and educated him in a world he never knew. He talks about their trip to Paris when they go to the Père Lachaise cemetery and he learns about such great personalities as Gertrude Stein and Oscar Wilde, whom he describes as "a white dude." He even gets an appreciation of Chopin. The ending of this scene is wonderful, as he has stolen the photographer's French language tapes and is now learning French while hustling for a new "john." Bertran's take on a middle-aged, vodka martini drinking man in a 22-year relationship, who is shocked when his partner wants to start seeing other men, is priceless. He wisely and contemptuously expresses what he feels about the altercation of their lives. Moe plays a very well developed young man in a boxing training gym talking about a man he has met during the rehearsals for a stage production of Grease 2. He smoothly switches his character to 30ish Daniel who is directing Grease 2 and has just found out that the muscular lead actor has fallen in love with his voice coach husband. The last scene is beautiful, as he portrays a drag diva doing a Torch Song Trilogy-type scene before a mirrorless frame, getting ready to put on a wedding dress. Critics have said things such as, "Bertran rips up the stage in the raw, real, controlled fury of Pumo's Love Scenes;" "A mesmerizing tour de force full of black humor, action and raw emotion;" "An irresistible sextet of solo slices of lavender life;" "A well-honed piece of unexpected emotional depths and sharp humor;" "He's eye candy, and he'll break your heart if you listen to him;" "Love wears many masks, and they all look damned good on Bertran;" "Vivid, touching, and infused with humor and insight: It's superb;" and "Frisky, fun and touching." The Onyx is at 953 E. Sahara, #16, in the Commercial Center. Tickets for Love Scenes are $25 for general seating at all three shows. Performance dates and times are at 8 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Call (702) 732-7225 for reservations. Check out the Onyx at http://www.onyxtheatre.com.


Moe Bertran

(Not the Vegas) Naked Boys

And speaking of the Onyx...
Vegas' long-running nude musical revue, Naked Boys Singing, is coming to a close. After 200 successful performances at the Onyx, the show will be enjoying its final performance on September 30th. Not to worry, though. There are still seven performances left to get your titillation on before the Naked Boys disappear. The title for this stage show is self-explanatory. Eight buffed and butt-naked guys, with camera-ready bods and perky personalities to match, sing and dance their way through 16 musical numbers dedicated to stripping you of your inhibitions in a glorious celebration of the altogether. After the initial shock wears off, you get so accustomed to the nudity that it no longer gets in the way of the entertainment. The effect is strangely liberating. It's only 90-minutes long, and by the time it is over, you'll feel overdressed in a tank top. Performances are on Fridays at 10 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $45 for VIP Seating, and $40 for General Admission (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover or Cash). To purchase, call (702) 732-7225. Catch it before it's gone!!

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Wish we had put a money bet on this one. We were pretty sure that the American public would not let the absence of Jerry Lewis hurt the Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon this year. On the contrary. The message came through loud and clear. In spite of a floundering economy, rampant unemployment and major national disasters around the country, this year's telethon surpassed last years figures...even without Jerry Lewis, and maybe because of his absence. In six prime-time television hours, the telethon raised more than $61.4 million, up from $58.9 million generated during last year's 21.5-hour telethon, according to a statement from MDA. Personally, we think that the 85-year-old Lewis had become more of a liability than an asset in recent years. Perhaps the perpetual child feels that because of his advanced age, he has the freedom and unwritten permission to say whatever he pleases, whenever he pleases...no matter how offensive, insensitive or rude. On more than one recent occasion, he has made some very unfunny anti-gay remarks. And following Charo's cuchi cuchi guest appearance on the 2009 telethon, Lewis announced that he "didn't know what they were going to do about the erections in the audience." Embarrassed co-hostess, Nancy O'Dell, reminded Jerry that "this was a family show." It was a new low for the former MDA telethon host, even for someone who has hit more than his fair share of lows. This man ignores the rules of common decency. In our opinion, Jerry Lewis had long ago worn out his welcome in many homes around the country. His unexplained absence ended a 45-year run in which he raised $1.66 billion. The 2011 telethon's hosts included American Idol executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe; Entertainment Tonight host, O'Dell; NBC's The Biggest Loser host, Alison Sweeney; and entertainment journalist Jann Carl. Talent included performers such as Lady Antebellum and Boyz II Men, along with celebrities Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. Just before the show's closing, a two-minute montage showed Lewis dancing, singing, mingling with famous faces, and interviewing children. His voice was never heard. It was a stark contrast from previous years, when the show was as much about Lewis as the donations themselves. In lieu of Lewis' tearful "You'll Never Walk Alone" closing, this years' finale was a medley of patriotic songs featuring Jordin Sparks, Jon Secada and Maureen McGovern, along with 70 children from a Las Vegas choir. Our longtime friend, Eddie Foy III, who has worked on the telethon as a talent consultant since the '70s, claims to have no knowledge of what happened to end the relationship between Lewis and MDA. A couple of years ago, we asked Foy how long he planned to continue working with Mr. Lewis. His response? "Until one of us dies." Maybe Eddie should have added, "or until Jerry is no longer involved with the telethon. And the mystery continues.
Note: Frankly, we were quite surprised that the South Point Hotel allowed Lewis to return to their property after 2009, when he publicly criticized his host property, saying he couldn't see the big donation board because "South Point's goddamn sign was in the way."


Nancy O'Dell

Keith Thompson

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Another reminder...
Don't miss God Lives in Glass: Reflections of God As Seen Through The Eyes of Children (book and lyrics by Robert J. Landy, Ph.D., with music and additional lyrics by Keith Thompson), at UNLV's Judy Bayley Theatre, 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 10th and 11th, commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Seventy incredible performers, from Jersey Boys, The Lion King, LOVE, Tony 'n TIna's Wedding, Peepshow, Menopause The Musical, Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, and the Departments of Music and Theatre at UNLV. Tickets are $25. This concert benefits Family Promise of Las Vegas (helping homeless families in Las Vegas) and Nevada Conservatory Theatre (Elevating Theatrical Arts in Las Vegas). There will be a post show wine and hors d'oeuvres reception, featuring a Silent Auction (show tickets, services from local vendors, and special vacation packages). Tickets are $25. Reserve your tickets by calling (702) 895-2787, or online at unlvtickets.com.

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New York's famed Jim Caruso's Cast Party, presented by Dennis Ritz and hosted by Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch, will make a return visit to Las Vegas' Alexis Park All-Suite Resort on Wednesday, September 21st and Thursday, the 22nd. Caruso and musical director Stritch were dazzled by the extraordinary talent that showed up last month, including Clint Holmes, Frankie Moreno, Reva Rice, Eric Jordan Young, Dezmond Meeks, Moya Angela, Douglas Crawford, Deven May, Travis Cloer, Bill Fayne, Kelly Clinton-Holmes, Joelle Righetti, Cortes Alexander and George DeMott, along with magician Joel Ward, guitarist/songwriter Conrad Korsch, and the vocal groups Dangerous Curves and Fifth Avenue. A real treat was a performance by 78-year-old show business legend, Mimi Hines. Cast members and musicians from the city's productions hang out, meet new friends and share social time before and after the show, which is what makes it a Cast Party. The upcoming September Cast Party promises even more celebrities. Jim Caruso's Cast Party has been dubbed "an extreme open mic" by ABC-TV, "the gold standard of open mics" by The Wall Street Journal, and "the place to be for those with songs on their lips" by The New York Times. Now in its 8th year, and selling out every Monday night at Birdland in Manhattan, Cast Party participants represent all aspects of the entertainment industry. Caruso, who made his Broadway debut in the Tony-winning Liza's At the Palace, guides the festivities like "a cross between David Letterman and Joan Rivers." Musical director/accompanist Stritch is a Grammy-winning composer who also dazzles in the singing department. Vocalists from the Las Vegas Strip, Broadway, the concert stage, TV and recordings are most prevalent, but there are also magicians, comedians and instrumentalists taking the stage. Talented locals are encouraged to perform. To participate in Cast Party, plan on arriving at 9 p.m. to sign-up. Please bring sheet music for upbeat songs in the correct key. The Cast Party evenings offer an intimate setting, food and beverage table service, and a welcoming staff. Alexis Park Master Chef, Joseph Rawls, has created a tasty late-supper menu especially for Cast Party, serving from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, and $40 at the door, and are available at www.brownpapertickets.com, or by calling (800) 838-3006, 24/7. All major credit cards and debit cards are accepted. Doors open at 9 p.m., with the Cast Party running from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. Guests are welcome to continue partying until 2 a.m.


Billy Stritch, Mimi Hines & Jim Caruso

Jersey Boys

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On Wednesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took a swipe at Las Vegas while promoting tourism in Atlantic City. In referring to Southern Nevada's heat, Christie said,
"There is no reason people should go to Las Vegas in the summer. Why would you go to the middle of the desert in the summer? You'd have to be stupid to do that." Talk about "stupid." Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman's response to the governors comments were right on the mark. "A little heat with our state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, climate-controlled resorts, is certainly much more inviting than having to deal with some of the weather they have had to endure in New Jersey recently," Goodman said. "We certainly wish those who have suffered through the hurricane, flooding and recent earthquake the best as they work to rebuild their lives. We wish the gaming industry nothing but the best in New Jersey, because many of the hotel-casino operators in Las Vegas also have a presence there. Las Vegas is nirvana. We are the world's top tourist destination with the best hotels, five-star restaurants, fabulous entertainment and incredible boutique shopping. We have beautiful weather year around for outdoor recreation at our parks and world-class golf courses. I invite the governor to join us in Las Vegas for a visit, I'm sure he'll have a great time and he won't have any worries because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) had this to say..."Well Governor Christie is right about one thing: Las Vegas is the hottest destination on the planet. We've got the hottest clubs, the hottest restaurants, and the hottest entertainment. " Nevada Senator Harry Reid chimed in as well with the following:
"Whether it's Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, there's no place like the world's premier tourist destination: Las Vegas. The only thing stupid would be to not come and enjoy the top notch restaurants, hotels and gaming our city has to offer." Stewart Bybee, Communications Director for Senator Dean Heller, issued this statement: "With the cold northeastern winter approaching, Senator Heller would like to invite Governor Christie to Las Vegas so he can see why we are a world class destination twelve months out of the year." And Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval issued the following statement: "Governor Christie is a friend and he's pushing for his state, but 37 million people can't be wrong." Hey, even Robin Leach, who traveled the world and saw everything with his Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous television show, chose to make his home in Las Vegas after his retirement. That should tell you something, Governor Christie!

And speaking of Jersey...
The boys from Jersey are heading south...but not to South Jersey. Early next year, the popular Jersey Boys production will move from the Palazzo, down the Strip, to Paris Las Vegas. It will be like going home for Jersey Boys musical director/conductor Keith Thompson. Thompson held the same position for The Producers when it played in the theater at Paris in 2009. As for Barry Manilow, the current on again, off again headliner at Paris, ends his current commitment in December.

And speaking of The Producers...
Congratulations to Takis and Katrina Loncaric Chliaras on the birth of their first child, James Ioannis Chliaras. Baby James, weighing in at 5 lb. 13 oz, arrived on August 8th. Katrina was a cast member of The Producers, playing opposite David Hasselhoff and Tony Danza, during the shows' one year run at Paris Las Vegas. Prior to that, she was a showgirl and then a featured singer in Donn Arden's Jubilee! Before her role in the Vegas version of the Mel Brooks musical comedy, Katrina was the Pretzel Showgirl and the Ulla understudy on Broadway. Prior to living in Las Vegas, Katrina studied and performed improv comedy at The Upright Citizen's Brigade and Second City in New York. She also freelances as a singer, dancer, model and actress. Katrina has been seen in theater, bands, and dance companies in New York City, Los Angeles, DC, Atlanta, and Montana. Some of her favorite regional theatrical roles include Lola in Damn Yankees, Irene in Crazy for You, and Jeanie in Hair. An accomplished voiceover artist, and the former promotions voice of TeeNick on Nickelodeon, Katrina was also New York City's Semi-Finalist for Yahoo's Favorite Amateur Yodeler. Originally from Atlanta, GA, the new mother holds a B.A in Communications from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.


Sweet Baby James Chliaras

Dixie Evans by Leila Navidi

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Brass Transit, a tribute act to classic rock-jazz band Chicago, will perform at the Suncoast Showroom, this weekend, with shows on Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Brass Transit's show includes hits from Chicago's golden age (1969-1976), including "Does Anybody Know What Time It Is," "Saturday in the Park" and "25 or 6 to 4." With a world-class horn section, a rocking rhythm section and vocals stacked sky-high, Brass Transit transports its audience back to the freewheeling days of the '70s. Based in Toronto, Brass Transit consist of eight members: Neil Donell, lead vocals; Tony Carlucci, trumpet; Don Breithaupt, keyboard and backing vocals; Paul Delong, drums; Doug Gibson, trombone; Bob McAlpine, guitar and backing vocals; Phil Poppa, saxophones and backing vocals; and Jay Speziale, bass and backing vocals. Brass Transit members have performed with the likes of legendary rock and soul groups and singers such as The Drifters, Sam and Dave, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, The Marvelettes, Frankie Valli, Mary Wilson and The Mamas & the Papas. Tickets are available from $15.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Coast Casinos box office, by calling (702) 636-7075 or visiting www.suncoastcasino.com.

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Diverting slightly from their normal schedule, this month, the popular Lon Bronson Band is playing at Green Valley Ranch on September 15th and 22nd. In October, their dates are on the 13th and 27th. Bronson usually has some very talented drop-in musicians wherever they are playing.

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Remedy's, a popular tavern chain with two locations in Henderson, will sponsor and host the Fourth Annual Kennedy Kares fundraising event, a benefit for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, at its 3265 St. Rose Parkway location, on Saturday, September 17th from 1 to 5 p.m. The event, which raised more than $21,000 last year (and more than $50,000 since its inception) for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, is the brainchild of Henderson residents and proud parents Anthony and Nikki Aukofer. "What a thrill it is to bring this event back for the fourth year. This community and the customers at Remedy's always step up to help us raise a lot of money for St. Jude," said Anthony Aukofer, event organizer and Remedy's bartender. "Our daughter, Kennedy, is four-years-old and we are very fortunate that she was born healthy and continues to be a very healthy little girl. We want to do our part to help those parents and families with children fighting cancer, and raising money for St. Jude is a great fit." The management of Remedy's invites the public to celebrate Kennedy's birthday and make a donation to St. Jude. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction with items including: two round trip tickets to London; membership to Dragon Ridge Golf Course; show, hotel and restaurant certificates and a mini-video poker machine, and more. Remedy's will also host a dunk (DUNK, not drunk) tank during the event, providing guests an opportunity to dunk their favorite Remedy's employees. The tavern will also award a $1,000 bonus to the guest who hits the first Royal Flush during the hours of the event. For a limited time, a complimentary buffet of sandwiches, pastas and salads will be available to those who make a donation during the event. One hundred percent of the donations will go directly to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. "This year, in addition to accepting donations at the event, we launched a website (www.kennedykares.com) so the fundraising party can happen year-round," said Aukofer. For further information about the Kennedy Kares event, visit www.remedystavern.com, www.kennedykares.com, or call Remedy's at (702) 982-3026.

Because there are so many "benefits" taking place, and so many people asking for money for "worthy causes," we are checking EVERYTHING before passing any info along to our readers. The folks at St. Jude assure us that Kennedy Kares is, in fact, a legitimate fundraising entity.

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It was a birthday celebration fit for the reigning queen of burlesque, Dixie Evans, when some of the best performers from past and present gathered for a glamorous gala to commemorate the living legend's 85th birthday on Saturday, September 3rd at the newly-renovated Royal Resort. Evans was dubbed the "Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque" by Harold Minsky. No one has inspired generations of performers and done more to preserve the history and art of burlesque than Evans. Produced by Frederic Apcar Productions, the "Dixie Evans Birthday Bash" featured an all-star line-up to honor the icon, including Mistress of Ceremonies Kitten on the Keys and such starlets of shimmy as Las Vegas' troupe Cabernet Dance, Kitten DeVille, Kalani Kokonuts, Renea' LeRoux, Angie Pontani, Rita Star, and Vi Vacious; along with legends Miss Nude Universe 1975, Tiffany Carter, Shannon Doah, two-time Miss Nude Universe and Russ Meyer vixen, Kitten Natividad, and "Queen of the Fire Tassels," Satan's Angel, who last graced the Royal's stage in 1975. During the show, Evans sipped champagne and shared her star table with friend Tempest Storm. The intimate cabaret revue was followed by a champagne toast and cupcakes provided by Sloppi Jo's Roving Eatery at a private party poolside, with performances by local lovelies Cha Cha Velour who popped out of a big cake, burlesque contortionist Miss Charlamay, Miss Karla Joy and Absinthe's Melody Sweets. The "Shimmering Chanteuse" closed the night with a rousing rendition of "Slice of Heaven" before joining others in the pool. "They say big girls don't cry, but I sure cried," said Evans. "I'm overwhelmed with gratitude to all of my girls and everyone with Frederic Apcar for making this amazing party possible." At 85 years youn,g with no signs of stopping, Evans is already planning for a Christmas Spectacular in Las Vegas this December.

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Itzhak Perlman

Mistinguett's Motown Divas

UNLV Performing Arts Center announces its 2011-2012 Season, which includes performances by violin superstar, Itzhak Perlman, and Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight! The Performing Arts Center at UNLV, located on the north end of the campus, has been Southern Nevada's premier performing arts venue for more than 35 years. It includes the longstanding Charles Vanda Master Series, New York Stage & Beyond Series, and UNLV Classical Guitar Series. The season opens on September 16th with the New York Stage & Beyond performance of Corea, Clarke & White: Forever. Pianist Chick Correa, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White, re-define the jazz landscape with incredible improvisational skills and musicianship, acoustic bliss, and funky "jazzitude." Additional performances within the New York Stage & Beyond Series are, Complexions Contemporary Ballet on November 5th; Neil Berg's Broadway Holiday on December 3rd; and the legendary Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight! on May 19th. Within 14 hours of material, Holbrook tailors each performance to the times and the town he's visiting, making every Mark Twain Tonight! performance brand new. October 1st opens the Charles Vanda Master Series with the Utah Symphony, featuring conductor David Lockington and pianist Jeremy Denk. Called "one of the best pianists of his generation" (Denver Post), Denk joins the Utah Symphony for a stunning concert that includes Mendelssohn's The Hebrides, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, and Dvorak's Symphony No. 8. Other performances within the Charles Vanda Master Series include Argentinean pianist Ingrid Fliter, and 19-year-old cellist, Julian Schwarz, with the UNLV Symphony Orchestra on November 22nd; the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet on January 7th; Europa Galante with Fabio Biondi, featuring mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, on January 26th; master classical musician and international superstar, Perlman on February 11th; and Houston Ballet II on April 14th. The UNLV Classical Guitar Series, held in the Doc Rando Recital Hall of the Lee & Thomas Beam Music Center, features The Falla Guitar Trio on October 12th; Elena Papandreou on November 9th; Xuefei Yang on March 14th; and Luis Zea on April 11th. UNLV and KLVX Channel 10 are graciously sponsoring the season. For information on purchasing a season subscription, please call (702) 895-ARTS (2787), or visit pac.unlv.edu.

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On Sunday, September 18th at 3 p.m., Mistinguett Productions presents Motown Divas at Sun City Anthem, Freedom Hall, 2450 Hampton Rd, in Henderson. Motown Divas, an 80-minute tribute to the all-time great female Divas of R&B, is the newest production from producer, choreographer Mistinguett. The cast includes Gwendolyn Moore Forsythe, Rheda K. Solo, Annetta Bonner and Terrance Forsythe. The show includes musical hits made famous by the Supremes, Shirelles, Marvelettes, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Thelma Houston, Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Patti Austin, Etta James, Pointer Sisters, En Vogue, Roberta Flack, and Betty Everett, just to name a few. Featuring the Divo tributes, Forsythe brings in the hit songs by Percy Sledge, Lionel Richie, Donny Hathaway, Barry White, Ray Charles, James Ingram, Marvin Gaye and Lou Rawls, and together this cast of four brilliantly performs 30 popular songs in this fast-paced, high energy revue. Packaged with gorgeous costumes, video production, clever transitions and soulful duets, this show is guaranteed to please and have the audience singing their favorites as they leave the showroom. Tickets are available, and can be purchased at the Sun City box office, for $18.

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On Sunday, September 18th, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., UNICO Las Vegas Chapter will be holding a brunch, silent auction and raffle at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara, with some of the proceeds to benefit John F. Miller School for multiply handicapped children. The John F. Miller students are eligible for special education services as Multiply Handicapped: which by definition in Nevada requires some level of mental retardation, in addition to other disabilities. All but two of the 220 students are in the profound range of mental retardation. The students are the most medically fragile in the Clark County district. All students range in age from 3 to 22 years of age. The nurses at school conduct over 110 scheduled medical procedures every day plus numerous emergency procedures each month. Ninety-five percent of the students are non-ambulatory, 80% have a seizure disorder, 99% are non-verbal, and 75% have some type of visual impairment. All students at John F Miller require total adult care and support in all aspects of their lives. Last May, UNICO was able to present a check for $1000 to the school, thanks to the generosity of the community. A portion of the monies raised will also go to awarding a number of Italian students with music scholarships. Entertainment will be provided. Allen Tramont will be featured as host and singer. There will be an open mic. Tickets are $20 per person. Join UNICO for an Italian fun-filled afternoon. RSVPs are a must. E-mail [email protected]. For further details, call (702) 630-1695, or visit www.lasvegasunico.org.

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Fantasia

Coming into the Las Vegas Hilton Theater on September 16th, is 2004 American Idol-winner, Fantasia, with special guest, Jon B. Fantasia is an American R&B singer, Broadway and television actress who rose to fame as the winner of the third season of the reality television series. Following her victory, Fantasia released her debut single, "I Believe," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Subsequently, she released her debut album, Free Yourself, which went on to be certified Platinum by the RIAA and garnered her three Grammy nominations in 2006. That same year, she released her second album, Fantasia, which featured the single, "When I See U," which topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for eight weeks. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA and received three Grammy nominations in 2008. She then played the part of Celie in the Broadway musical, The Color Purple, for which she won a 2007 Theatre World Award. Her third studio album, Back to Me, was released worldwide on August 24th of last year. It features the single, "Bittersweet," which peaked in the Top 10 on the R&B chart. The single won her a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Jon B. (born Jonathan David Buck) is a Grammy-nominated American R&B singer and songwriter. Born in Rhode Island and raised in Pasadena, California, Buck comes from a musical family, with his father David, a professor of music, his mother Linda, a concert pianist and his siblings Deborah, a violinist and his brother Kevin, a cellist. Jon first started singing at the age of four, and learned piano and keyboard by nine. By 16, he played bass and drums as well. Because his grandparents also owned a record store, Buck was raised on a varied musical diet that included influences like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. Show time for Fantasia and Jon B. is at 10 p.m. Tickets are $69 and $79, plus taxes and fees. Call (702) 732-5755, or (800) 222-5361 for reservations.



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