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 November 18, 2011
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - November 18, 2011

Marty Allen

Timothy McDarrah

Mea culpa (that means "my mistake," in Latin, for you non-multi-linguists). In last week’s column, in trying to give the musical comedy team of Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell a plug, we inadvertently listed their Palace Station show time incorrectly. We are going to partially blame friend, R-J entertainment columnist Mike Weatherford for that one. Last Fridays’ Neon had an interesting cover story, written by Weatherford, on three veteran comedians - Shelley Berman (86), Don Rickles (85), and Marty (89). Allen and Blackwell perform at 4 p.m., that's 4 p.m., during their monthly gigs in the Louie Anderson Theater, NOT at 8:30 p.m., as Mike and Cousin Claire indicated. The talented show biz twosome are scheduled to return to Palace Station on the 10th and 11th of December. When you go to see them, and if you enjoy good, clean fun, then you should go, whatever you do, DON'T go at 8:30 as we (that would be Weatherford and Cousin Claire) suggested last weekend.

Note: We have learned that Marty and Karon didn't perform their Palace Station gig at all. It seems that, on Thursday, Marty injured his leg at the gym (the octogenarian goes and works out almost every day). As a result, he spent the weekend on bed rest. We wish him a speedy recovery.

* * * * * * * *

We were more than a little surprised to receive the following e-mail yesterday (Thursday)...
From: Timothy McDarrah Location: Gotham City

Read your mention of me from a few years ago. Thanks for the ink. Remember, just because something is in an FBI press release doesn't make it accurate. I am back and better than ever. Please do mention my book when it comes out. I'll send you a copy.
Regards, Tim
For those of you who are not familiar with the name Timothy McDarrah, here is what Wikipedia has to say about him...
Timothy S. McDarrah is a former magazine editor and gossip columnist from New York who was convicted and imprisoned after a U.S. federal sting operation for soliciting sex with a minor in September 2005. Before his arrest, he co-authored three books -- Kerouac and Friends: A Beat Generation Album, Gay Pride: Photographs from Stonewall to Today, and Anarchy, Protest & Rebellion -- with his father, Fred McDarrah, a longtime staff photographer for the Village Voice. From 2002 to 2004, he wrote a gossip column for the Las Vegas Sun newspaper titled "VegasBeat." Before going to the Sun, he had been a writer since 1985 for the New York Post's "Page Six" column and a writer for a chain of community newspapers in Long Island, New York. McDarrah left the Sun to take a position as editor of the "Hot Stuff" column for Us Weekly. He was suspended without pay from that job after his 2005 arrest. McDarrah was arrested after an investigation by the FBI Crimes Against Children Squad in New York in June 2005 on charges related to solicitation of sex with a 13 year old. His attorney blamed his client's conduct on an Internet addiction. The criminal case was heavily covered by the national media, including entertainment news outlets, because McDarrah, a high-profile gossip writer, had himself become the subject of entertainment news he would typically cover.

He was convicted in December 2006 of one count of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity after an eight-day jury trial. He was sentenced in April 2007, at age 43, in Manhattan federal court to 72 months in a federal prison for the attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. He is a Federal inmate at the Loretto Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania. McDarrah is scheduled for release from prison in March 2012, at age 50, when he will begin serving a four-year supervised release.

Was Mr. McDarrah released early? Is he e-mailing from the Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania? We have no idea.

* * * * * * * *

Susan Olsen

Beverly Washburn in Hans Christian Andersen

Tomorrow, Saturday, November 19th, it's The Hollywood Show Vegas, the first autograph show to ever be presented in a property of the famed Las Vegas Strip. Meet and greet, have pictures taken with, and get autographs, from more than 60 stars of film and television, including (in alphabetical order) Nancy Allen, Loni Anderson, Susan Anton, Ernest Borgnine, Edd "Kooky" Byrnes, Joan Collins, Gary Conway, Bruce Dern, Barbara Eden, David Faustino, Jenilee Harrison, Richard Hatch, Tippi Hedren, Bo Hopkins, Christopher Knight, George Lazenby, Mike Lookinland, Barbara Luna, Carol Lynley, Pamela Sue Martin, Howard Maurer, Denny Miller, Susan Olsen, Cynthia Pepper, Valerie Perrine, Rodney Allen Rippy, Felix Silla, Stella Stevens, Tempest Storm, Dyanne Thorne, Charlene Tilton, The Village People, Beverly Washburn, and Lana Wood. All of this excitement takes place in the upstairs convention space at Harrah's, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket prices are $20 for general admission, and $30 for VIP admission (enter an hour ahead of the crowd, by paying an extra ten bucks for VIP admission). Note: Photo charges with your favorite stars are additional.

Vocalist, Kristen Hertzenberg (Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular), and pianist, Philip Fortenberry (Jersey Boys), celebrate the release of their new recording, Holidays From the Heart, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 20th, at Captain's Cove, 2902 Lake East Drive (near Sahara and Durango). The $25 cover charge includes: the concert, complimentary champagne, and an advance copy of the CD. Cash bar and light menu also available. Enjoy the Lakeside post-show reception, with a beautiful mountain view at sunset.

Philip Fortenberry & Kristen Hertzenberg

Don Hill (90) & Prince Spencer (94)

* * * * * * * *

Following Don Hill's musical 90th birthday party at Green Valley Ranch on November 8th (Don's actual birthday is on November 2nd), where people like legendary Prince Spencer of the Four Step Brothers turned out to honor the musical pioneer, the celebrations continued. The non-club club, F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) honored the longtime musician at their November meeting. Nelson Sardelli, one of the F.I.O.R.E.'s many presidents, presented Don with a lovely, loving plaque that was inscribed thusly...

(F.I.O.R.E.s Friendship Award)
A Most "Non-Coveted" Award
Presented to
For Having Gone To High School
With Methuselah And Playing Flute On A
Camel's Back At The Grand Opening Of
The Khafre Pyramid...With the Treniers,
Of Course.
We Have Loved You Through The Ages
The Presidents
Of The Non Club Club

We must thank producer/magician/funny man, Paul Stone, for this inspiration. Regarding Mr. Hill's 90th birthday, "It's all Don Hill from here."
Photo of Don Hill and Prince Spencer by Chick Hughes.

Don Hill Receives F.I.O.R.E. Honor

Adam Flowers

And speaking of Mr. Stone, this weekend, the busy Brit has shows playing in two different locations. On Saturday, November 19th, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, November 20th at 3 p.m., he is presenting Variety Live, a world class show direct from London, at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin. Tickets are $12 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $15 for non-residents, Live Entertainment Tax included. All shows at the Starbright Theatre are first come, first served with no limit on the number of tickets purchased. Saving seats is prohibited. Show tickets may be purchased at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle Community Centers, and are non-refundable. Starbright Theatre shows are open to everyone ages 12 and over. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. For up-to-date information on Starbright Theatre shows, call (702) 240-1301. The Starbright is located at 2215 Thomas W. Ryan Blvd.

Over at the Gold Coast, Stone is making magical things happen. His Vegas Magic Theatre presents some of the world's top magicians and variety artists in the West Flamingo property's showroom. Appearing through November 20th are Andrew Goldenhersh, James Dimmare and Adam Flowers. From November 24th through 27th, it's Jon Armstrong, Dimmare (Illusions) and Flowers; and December 15th through 18th, Farrell Dillon, Dimmare (Classic Act), and Adam Flowers are in the spotlight. Jay Alexander and Losander take to the stage, December 22nd through 25th. Ben Stone serves as host for the shows. Tickets are $14.95, plus taxes and fees, with show times, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Doors open an hour before show time, with drinks and sideshow entertainment in the lounge/lobby area. For reservations, call (702) 636-7075. The show will be dark, from December 1st through 14th, and will resume Thursday, December 15th.

* * * * * * * *

Larry Raben, who appeared as Leo Bloom in the Las Vegas production of Mel Brooks' musical comedy romp, The Producers, is directing Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings at the Annenberg Theater, at 101 Museum Drive in Palm Springs, over Thanksgiving weekend. Presented by Coyote Stageworks, Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings is a harmonious musical comedy wrapped in a yuletide package. The Plaids, portrayed by Stan Chandler, David Engel, David Humphrey and Raben, don't know why they've returned to earth until a message from the heavenly Rosemary Clooney tells them they're needed to put a little harmony into a discordant world via their own Holiday Special. Showtimes are Friday, November 25th at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, the 26th at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, the 27th at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $49. For reservations, call (760) 325-4490.

* * * * * * * *

Las Vegas businessman, Jim Marsh, will be guest speaker at next Monday's Las Vegas Media Group luncheon. A holiday meal will be served at The Wedding Room, located at 3601 West Sahara, at 11:30 a.m. The cost of the lunch is $15.00. RSVPs are required. It's simple – just call Lisa at (702) 245-9206, or e-mail to [email protected]

Jim Marsh


* * * * * * * *

We have to wonder just what is going on over at the Suncoast, and the bigger question is...does Boyd Gaming Chairman and CEO, Bill Boyd, know, and more importantly, does he care? What used to be one of our favorite hotel casinos (even though it was clear across the city from our neighborhood), has now become but a hint of its former self. What is wrong over there? Where do we start? Maybe, with something basic. The once 24-hour coffee shop at the Suncoast closes at 11 p.m. Yes, there is a self-serve bagel place, and a TGIF on premises, but neither of them are a substitute for an old-fashioned Las Vegas, or Station Casino's Grand Café-type, coffee shop. We might also mention, that if you happen to be staying at the Suncoast, and want prime rib or eggs benedict in the middle of the night, you can't walk to the hotel/casino next door to get it. There is no place within walking distance of the Suncoast, which means either taking your car or taking a taxi. Then there is a problem that we became aware of in early July. It seems that if you happen to be a guest who is staying at this particular property, and you happen to use mobility equipment to get around, or are a little person, using the buttons to call an elevator to your floor, could be a real problem, because of the large combination ashtray/trash receptacles placed directly under the buttons. We called this to the attention of the powers that be, who said they would check into it and get back to us. When weeks went by, without hearing anything, we made contact again. This time we were told they had looked into it, but didn't see where there was a problem. When we tried to explain that there most certainly was a problem, and one that could be solved very easily and at no cost, by simply sliding the receptacles a foot or two to the side of the buttons. We were asked to make a special trip across the city to "show" them the problem. It took until mid-October, more than three months after we reported it, for the hotel to make the correction. Why? Last Sunday, we were at the Suncoast to see the wonderfully entertaining Society of Seven. As a "longtime member of the media," one of the perks is being able to attend many shows as a guest of the property. We have been seeing shows there, with no problems, for a number of years. Unfortunately, the last visit was problem-plagued. The new Showroom Manager did not handle this well at all. The gentleman who formerly held that position, was welcoming, efficient and knew what he was doing. The 14-year Boyd (formerly Coast) employee has been replaced by someone who was moved from valet parking to the podium inside the Suncoast. This person has no business, or skills, to hold that position. He has no clue how to deal with the public, let alone how to handle what should be a relatively minor problem. If not for a very good employee, a lady named Laura who usually is in the Box Office, this would have not been handled at all. Our group of three were separated, with two of us sitting at one table, and another by herself at another table. It is apparent to us that some of the newer showroom workers do not have a clue what they are doing. Once again, we ask why? With so many competent people looking for work, we so no reason why the "hospitality" industry shouldn't have their pick of qualified caring people to serve their customers. That is sure not the case at the Suncoast. A number of Suncoast employees, who knew how to deal with the public, and actually seemed to like their jobs and do them well, are gone. The personable Director of Player Development, who had worked for the company for more than 25 years, was a victim of budget cutbacks. At a time (like NOW) when the place could use a personable liaison to smooth things over between inept employees and frustrated customers, there appears to be no one there to do so. Hospitality? Customer relations? Almost non-existent at this far west hotel casino. Unless the problems at the Suncoast are corrected, and soon, it might become known as the SunTOAST. In this case, and at this place, we hope that "What happens here, DOES stay here."

* * * * * * * *

Looks like the honeymoon might be over, not just for Ashton and Demi, but for Oprah and Gayle, as well. Over at Oprah Winfrey's OWN, we may not know exactly what is doing ON there, but we do know what is going OFF...Oprah's best friend, Gayle King. King has left the media mogul's cable network to join a new CBS morning show. King, whose last episode of The Gayle King Show, aired yesterday, will join fellow hosts, Charlie Rose and Erica Hill for a new program set to replace the Early Show. OWN, Oprah's cable network, launched the first of this year. It has struggled to attract projected ratings targets. So far, OWN has attracted fewer viewers than its predecessor, Discovery Health. Not a good sign. Oprah has been unusually silent regarding King's departure.

Oprah Winfrey & Gayle King

John Byner

* * * * * * * *

Cousin Claire got a nice, newsy e-mail from Annie Gaybis Byner, the singing, dancing wife of comic impressionist, John Byner. She passed along this review, written by Kevin T. Baldwin, and published in the Massachusetts Telegram & Gazette.
"John Byner and fellow comedian-emcee Norm Crosby equally entertained the crowd with humor that was not only funny but clean. Mr. Byner regaled the audience with his repertoire of impeccable impersonations, which included John Wayne, James Cagney, Ed Sullivan, Walter Brennan, Jackie Mason, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Lawrence Welk, Dean Martin and Rodney Dangerfield. Mr. Byner had microphone problems at the start of his act and had to have the microphone removed from his clothing. Being a true professional, he worked the problem into the routine by doing a hysterical "strip tease," then ordered a technician helping him to take the mic home 'and bury it.'"
In addition to Byner and Crosby, among those who performed during the four-plus-hour Celebrity Gala: A Night of Stars, at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, were singer and actress Connie Stevens and her daughters, actresses and singers Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher; actress Terry Moore and her son, actor and producer Grant Cramer; Broadway star Theodore Bikel; Irish Tenors founder John McDermott; actress Anne Jeffreys; the Original World Famous Platters lead singer Virgil S. Gibson; and the acting, writing and directing team of Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna. "We might be oldies, but we're goodies," Gibson told the audience. He was absolutely right, as he and the other stars continuously wowed the audience. The event was to benefit Food for the Poor.

* * * * * * * *

It was a cold and windy evening in 1936, when famed bandleader, composer, Isham Jones, went up to his 23-year-old saxophonist/vocalist, proclaimed he was retiring and that the youngster could take over the band. And that, as legend has it, is how Woodrow Charles Herman, better known as Woody Herman, began his career as one of the world's most successful and beloved big band leaders. On Saturday afternoon, November 19th, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of that day in '36, The suMMit Big Band, under the direction of Gary Anderson, will pay tribute to Woody and all of his "herds" at a bar and grill near Sunset and Mt. Vista. (As with the Italian joint on the south end of Las Vegas Blvd., we choose not to plug this establishment, not for the same reasons, but because we don't like the way the female "entertainment coordinator," or whatever title she may use, does business.)

Gary Anderson by Mark Bowers

Doug Davidson

Playing the original Herman arrangements, the first set will feature the music of the First, Second and Third Herds. The second set will showcase the music of the Swingin' Herd ('60s) and the Young Thundering Herd ('70s). A Grammy Award-winning arranger and prolific writer of some of television's best known themes, Anderson toured with Herman's Young Thundering Herd, from 1973 to 1978, serving as arranger, producer and music director, as well as playing tenor saxophone in the famed "Four Brothers" sax section alongside fellow brothers, Frank Tiberi, Joe Lovano, Gary Smulyan and many other jazz saxophone icons. During that six year road-trip, the Herd recorded more than eight albums, and worked with Frank Sinatra (including the Main Event tour), Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Torme, Pete Barbutti and many others. Featured arrangements by Anderson will include Herd staples "Fanfare For The Common Man," featuring Domenick Allen playing Woody Herman's horn part, and "Pavane." Other arrangements will include the work of Neal Hefti ("The Good Earth," "Early Autumn," "Bijou"), Bill Holman ("After You've Gone"), Bill Chase ("23 Red") Bill Stapleton ("Giant Steps"), Tony Klatka ("La Fiesta"), Nat Pierce ("Opus de Funk," "Days of Wine and Roses") and much, much more.

And speaking of Domenick Allen, we are sorry that we were unable to be at the Suncoast last Thursday afternoon for the special Hit Parade Veterans Salute, that featured Allen, Rob Garrett and Mark Giovi. Also performing were Jay Joseph and Natalie Carson (emcees/ singers), Barbara Brighton (comedienne/singer), Larry Liso, and Bobby Brooks. Musicians included Ned Mills (keyboards/conductor), LJ Harness (drummer/co-producer), and Keith Neal (guitar). Mr. Garrett, who is a popular Neil Diamond tribute artist, reports that the showroom was full, and that the audience members were both crying and cheering throughout.

* * * * * * * *

Happy birthday to some of our favorite Scorpios (October 23rd or 24th through November 22nd), Eileen Zillman, Chris Hudson, Greg Smith, John Wertz, Gary Anderson, Gerry "The Mentalist" McCambridge, Don Hill, Roseanne Barr, Elliot Ames, Rob Garrett, Rick (Wells) Smith, Melissa Feeney, Charlette Krane, Dolly Coulter, Kid Carey (Joseph Degrosa), Josh Strickland, Frank Marino, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Dwight Yoakam, Doug Davidson, Helen Reddy, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Lee Greenwood, Charlie Daniels, Brad Paisley, Grace Slick, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Vanilla Ice, Lyle Lovett, Larry Flynt, Kinky Friedman, David Foster, kd lang, Dennis Miller, Terry Hernandez, Harry Elston, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Bob Gaudio, Kathy Griffin, Peter Noone, Art Garfunkel, Andrea McArdle, Joni Mitchell, Patti Page, Bonnie Raitt, Mary Hart, Nick Lachey, Sinbad, Whoopi Goldberg, Yanni, Petula Clark, Diana Krall, Gordon Lightfoot, Dick Smothers, Goldie Hawn and Andy DiMino.

Patti Page & Friend

Domenick Allen & Leigh Zimmerman

And anniversary wishes to Don and Gloria Hill, Dan and Liz Pero, Ron and Nancy Lee Parker Andrews, Domenick Allen and Leigh Zimmerman, Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton Holmes, and Jim Semmelman and Ray Disco.

And, speaking of Andy "Dandy" DiMino...On November 13th, longtime Las Vegas entertainer, Diane Ellis, traveled from the Boston area (where she is currently living), to Waltham, Massachusetts, where DiMino was performing as Dean Martin in a Rat Pack tribute show. The two friends got to spend some time together, and even posed for a photo (shown somewhere on this page).

* * * * * * * *

Diane Ellis & Andy DiMino

Kris Kristofferson

Actor, musician and songwriter, Kris Kristofferson, brings his award-winning talents to The Orleans Showroom, November 25th and 26th at 8 p.m. Signed to his first record deal in 1967, Kristofferson has released 30 singles and more than a dozen albums. He won his first Grammy® award in 1971 for "Help Me Make it Through the Night" as Best Country Song, and went on to win Grammys in 1973 and 1975 for "Best Country Vocal Performance By A Duo or Group" for his collaborations with Rita Coolidge. Throughout the years, many Kristofferson-penned songs were hit singles, including "Me & Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin; "From the Bottle to the Bottom" by Billy Walker & the Tennessee Walkers; and "Once More with Feeling" by Jerry Lee Lewis. Kristofferson is a member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame. In 1971, Kristofferson made the transition to cinema, starring in "The Last Movie." Five years later, he won a Golden Globe® for Best Actor for his role in "A Star is Born," in which he co-starred with Barbra Streisand. Other notable films include "Convoy," "Heaven's Gate," all three films in the "Blade" series, Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes," "He's Just Not That Into You," and the recent hit, "Dolphin Tale." Tickets are available starting from $32.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Coast Casinos Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting

* * * * * * * *

Wednesday, November 23rd, will be the last chance, in 2011, to see and hear Lisa Smith (vocals), Billy T (keyboards) and Darin Presley (drums), as they present Gold Coast Classics, an afternoon of fabulous Jazz, Cocktails and Dancing, at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino. There is no cover charge, and no drink minimum. Show times for the Lisa Smith Jazz Trio are from 2 to 5 p.m., in the showroom/lounge. Spend a relaxing few hours listening to some of your favorites, pre-Turkey day selections.

Lisa Smith

Mac King & Tyler Wallis

* * * * * * * *

The students at Dr. C. Owen Roundy Elementary School recently received a special surprise visit from Winder Farms, Comedy-Magician Mac King, and The Public Education Foundation.
During a special assembly, Winder Farms and the winner of the "Delivering Magic" Book Drive & Contest, Crystal Oliver, presented the school's principal, Rod Knowles, with a $2,000 check to help support the school's various programs. Then the students enjoyed a special performance by Harrah's headliner, Mac King. King performed some magic tricks and talked with the students about the importance of reading and the impact it had on his life. King attributes his career in magic to his love for reading magic books as a kid. After the assembly, Winder Farms representatives were on site to hand out fresh fruit and milk to the students for a special treat. Winder Farms partnered with Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour and Clark County READS to provide local public elementary schools with much needed funds and books. The three-week initiative collected an astounding 1,500 new and gently used books for local elementary school children. Book donors were rewarded for their generosity with free tickets to The Mac King Comedy Magic Show, and a chance to win free groceries and the opportunity to direct money to the public elementary school of their choice. Immediately following the assembly, Mac King and Winder Farms made a second stop at The Public Education Foundation's Book Depot to deliver the books collected during the book drive. Through the foundation's Book Re-Use Program, first and second year teachers can get free books from the Book Depot to fill their classroom libraries and hand out to students as prizes.

Winder Farms delivers more than 175,000 farm-fresh products to its homes in Utah and Las Vegas every week. As a "farmers market on wheels" product choices includes all natural dairy items, fruits and vegetables, salads, meats, freshly made pasta, dinner entrees and much more. It is easy to get started -- customers simply place a standard order for delivery each week, and can make changes online by 8 p.m. the night before the scheduled delivery date. The items are then delivered in a cooler outside the customers' home before 8 a.m. Learn more by visiting Customers can order by calling 1-800 winder1 (946-3371) or log on to Now in his 12th year of headlining afternoons at Harrah's Las Vegas, Mac King has been consistently lauded throughout his impressive run, including recently being named "Best Strip headliner" in the Las Vegas Weekly's 2011 annual Vegas' best awards. Las Vegas Review-Journal's "Best of Las Vegas" readers' poll named his show the "Best Bargain Show" for eight straight years (2003-2011) and deemed him "Favorite Male Las Vegan" in 2008. King has also been honored as Magic Magazine's "Funniest Act in Magic," the World Magic Awards' "Best Comedy Magician" and the Magic Castle's "Magician of the Year." Sought after worldwide, King has made television appearances on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and all five of NBC's "The World's Greatest Magic" TV specials. King has also made several appearances at the "Just For Laughs" comedy festival in Montreal, and was a featured performer in the "Masters of Magic" series at the Luminato Festival in Toronto, Canada. King, one of today's brightest and most talented magicians, takes the stage twice daily, Tuesday through Saturday, at Harrah's Las Vegas at 1 and 3 p.m. in the Showroom Theatre. Tickets are $29.95 plus tax. Additional information on The Mac King Comedy Magic Show can be found by visiting Shown in the accompanying photo are Mac King and Tyler Wallis, Marketing Director for Winder Farms.

* * * * * * * *

On November 20th, Betty Bunch will be signing copies of her recently published, High Heels and Headdresses: Memoir of a Vintage Showgirl, at the Mesquite Club House, 702 E. St. Louis Ave, from 2 to 4 p.m. Betty Bunch began dancing professionally as a college student while earning her degree in dance from the University of Texas. She soon began working with the Moro-Landis dancers and made her home in Los Angeles. She danced in the evenings, and worked on movies during the day. In 1956, Bunch landed her first job in Las Vegas at the Sahara Hotel as part of the opening line for Donald O'Connor. After that show closed, she returned to Los Angeles, where she made her permanent home. She went on the road with Louis Prima. Betty also worked with Tony Martin, Jimmy Durante and Dean Martin. After one show closed, Bunch came to Las Vegas to vacation. While waiting in a coffee shop for her ride back to Los Angeles, she was offered a position at a show in Las Vegas, and she decided to move permanently to Las Vegas. She continued to dance, sing, and do comedy, until after the birth of her second child. At that time, she retired from the Las Vegas showroom, but not from show business. She continues to be involved in the entertainment industry in Las Vegas.

Betty Bunch


* * * * * * * *

The dynamic musical trio, Poperazzi, blurring the boundaries between classical and popular music, returns to the Suncoast Showroom, November 25th and 26th, each evening at 7:30 p.m. Poperazzi, committed to maintaining and preserving the core traditions of the classical music style, infuses each performance with rock and pop-inspired energy, resulting in pure aural adrenaline. Poperazzi's Symphony Pops shows feature a captivating and varied span of musical styles, celebrating the music of Italy and songs popularized by Italian-Americans, including Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli and others. From opera to rock, Pavarotti to Jersey Boys, Sinatra to The Rolling Stones, these young, versatile entertainers perform a delicate musical mix of opera with a twist. Tenors George DeMott and Cody Shawn Gay, joined by soprano Janien Valentine, make up Poperazzi. This trio's original style is uplifting and energetic with performances that are not only relevant to today's Pop-Opera genre but groundbreaking in its originality. These diverse entertainers have worked in some of the premier opera houses in North America and Europe, as well as being featured in some of the top shows on the Las Vegas Strip. During this performance, they will also kick off the holiday season with a handful of Christmas and Hanukkah favorites. Tickets are available from $19.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Coast Casinos box office, by calling (702) 636-7075 or visiting

* * * * * * * *

Jan Rouven, the star of Illusions, playing at the Clarion, suited up this weekend in the official KISS boots that are currently touring Las Vegas in celebration of the upcoming opening of KISS® by Monster Mini Golf®. Jan Rouven added a little magic to the KISS® Boots during a photo shoot at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. On the heels of the announcement about KISS® by Monster Mini Golf® opening in January 2012, the KISS® boots have been brought to Vegas for a limited engagement throughout the city. In Europe, Rouven is known as "The Man with Nine Lives." His new show features some of the most dangerous and thrilling acts known to this day and gives the audience a front-row seat into the imagination of a master illusionist. Magic, mystery and imagination, set to current hit music such as Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and Katy Perry's "ET," Rouven will transport the audience on an unforgettable journey into his world of Illusions. Show times are at Thursdays – Tuesdays at 7 p.m. (Dark Wednesdays). For more information visit

Jan Rouven in Kiss Boots


KISS® By Monster Mini Golf® is the first of its kind and will include an indoor glow-in-the-dark custom-designed, rockin' 18-hole miniature golf course, a state-of-the-art arcade, the largest KISS® gift shop in the world, A KISS® Gallery, "Hotter Than Hell" Wedding Chapel, a private VIP Room, FANtastic KISS® themed event rooms and the "Rock 'n Roll All Nite" Café.

About Monster Mini Golf®
Monster Mini Golf is the leader in cutting-edge indoor glow-in-the-dark Monster themed entertainment centers. Founded in 2004, the company boasts 30 (and counting) 18-hole miniature golf courses across the country. Each custom-designed course also features an arcade game area, private event rooms, an in-house DJ, and fantastic entertainment for the whole family. For additional information visit, or contact Christina Vitagliano, at 401-454-8100. For updates on the KISS® By Monster Mini Golf project, visit our Facebook page at: .

About KISS®
KISS, the legendary American rock band formed in New York City in 1972, is one of the most influential bands in the history of rock and roll. Their career milestones are staggering. KISS is one of America's top gold-record champions who recorded 37 albums over 36 years and has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. More than 30 years of record-breaking tours around the globe include high-profile appearances at Super Bowl XXXIII, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the 2005 Rockin' The Corps concert dedicated to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, most recently, the 2009 finale of American Idol that boasted 30 million viewers. The KISS legacy continues to grow, generation after generation. The unparalleled devotion and loyalty of the KISS Army to the "Hottest Band in the World" is a striking testament to the band's unbreakable bond with its fans. In 2009, KISS was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For all things KISS, visit

About Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Paradise Platinum Penthouse
Graced with deep ebony wood paneling, a gold coffered ceiling and an iridescent tile Jacuzzi tub, the living room of the Paradise Platinum Penthouse suite offers of some of the most dramatic views of the Las Vegas Strip. Plush furnishings abound in a variety of textures and shades of gray across the nearly 4,000 square feet space. Guests can sit in comfort while watching the multiple LCD screen entertainment center in the living room, complete with DVD player and a Sounds Matters sound Bar. Living Art is projected onto the ebony pool table while several major works from the Hard Rock's collection of vintage posters and rock and roll photography adorn the walls. The master bedroom features a spacious foyer entrance and large bathing area. From the king size four-poster bed, one can choose to enjoy a view of the Strip or one of the two 58" flat panel TVs.
Photo of Jan Rouven in official KISS boots, by Erik Kabik.

* * * * * * * *

We are mourning the loss of a favorite, McDonald's annual McRib. Yep. It's gone...again (unless one of the McDonald's outlets just happens to have one or two left). Although the ads stated the tasty sandwiches would be available through November 17th, alas, it was not to be. When the buildings with the famed Golden Arches ran out of product, even if it was days before November 17th, that was it. We made inquiries of a number of McDonald's operators to ask about the popularity of the McRib. They all said it was a really good seller, "much better than the double Filet O Fish," one employee told us. McRib is a sandwich that features boneless pork with barbecue sauce, slivered onions, and pickles, was first seen in test-market stores near interstate highways around Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, in the late 1970s (along with early tests of personal-sized pizza). The McRib was more widely released in 1981, but pulled from the menu in 1985. It is now released annually in the US as a limited time promotion. Since 2005, the McRib has reappeared in late October and stays on the menu for one month. This limited time marketing strategy was parodied on The Simpsons, with the "Krusty Burger Ribwich." The McRib was released in Canada as a promotional sandwich, from March 18 through April 8, 2008, and again in the summer of 2011. The McRib is presently on some European menus, e.g. Germany. One never knows when this information might come in handy.

* * * * * * * *

No column next Friday, November 25th. We're spending Thanksgiving weekend with family. We will be back on December 2nd. Enjoy your holiday turkey, but watch out for the tryptophan after-effects!

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

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

Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye