Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column

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

Claire Voyant  

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

Las Vegas - December 9, 2011

The Jolly Jovers

Mark Nadler & KT Sullivan

Grant Philipo passed along this sad news...Wilfred Halliwell died in the mid-afternoon of Friday, November 18, 2011 at his home in Show Low, Navajo County, Arizona with his loving family at his side. He was 82 years old. Wilfred was born on March 11, 1929 in Darwen, Lancashire, England to the late Lawrence Henry and Mary (Heywood) Halliwell. Throughout his working career he and his wife, Fe, worked as duo comedian entertainers in Las Vegas, Nevada. They toured regularly with the well-known Liberace and thoroughly enjoyed their working life together. Wilfred moved to Arizona in 1989 from Las Vegas and spent the last several years in Show Low. He loved the beauty of this community and appreciated the diverse seasons of the White Mountains. Wilfred is survived by his wife, Fe Florentia Halliwell of Show Low; and a daughter, Wendy Hartmann. Private family services were planned by his family.

Bill Moore, who with his partner, the late George Arnold, produced shows in Las Vegas for almost half a century, is ailing in a local hospital. Among the Moore and Arnold creations were Rhythm On Ice (at the downtown El Cortez in 1960), Playgirls On Ice, Bal du Moulin Rouge, Razzle Dazzle, City Lites, and cleverly-named, publicity-generating Nudes On Ice, a Hilton hit of almost 30 years ago, which still gets mentioned in TV shows and movies. In addition to top ice skaters, dancers and singers, the lavish productions featured some of the top specialty acts anywhere, including the above mentioned Jolly Jovers. Bill can use your positive thoughts and get well prayers.

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From Will Friedwald's column in today's Wall Street Journal comes this review of Mark Nadler's Crazy 1961 show. When is a one-man show a three-ring circus? "Cabaret" doesn't only imply Julie Wilson in her suave feather boas or Mabel Mercer enthroned on her singing stool: Pianist-singer Mark Nadler shows how the Great American Songbook can be reanimated with the frenetic, verbal-physical energy of Danny Kaye and the Ritz Brothers. In "Crazy 1961," he brings his explosive style to bear on the hit songs from the year of his birth, with an emphasis on show tunes (including two, coincidentally, titled "Once in a Lifetime") from hits and flops alike. "I Believe in You" shows that the full-speed-ahead funnyman does indeed have a tender and sensitive side, but the exuberant high point is his medley of 50 pop hits from that year, in which he breathlessly traverses the musical map from the Brill Building to tuxedo folkabilly to Anthony Newley's British invasion to Elvis's Italianisms.
There are two more performances of Crazy 1961 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, located in Manhattan's West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd Street. The two Sunday brunch shows will take place on December 11th and 18th. There is a $25 cover and a $15 food/beverage minimum.
Call (212) 695-6909 for reservations. Mark promises that "you will have the time of your life ...or, at least, a time of your life!"

If you can't see Mark Nadler in New York, we have good news for those of you in Las Vegas.
Tickets are now on sale for Love is Here to Stay, a celebration of classic love songs, which will be performed by KT Sullivan and Nadler on Saturday, February 4th, at 8 p.m. at the Historic Fifth Street School, located at 401 S. Fourth St. The concert will feature hits written by Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein and many more. Sullivan and Nadler co-wrote and starred in the Off-Broadway American Rhapsody. Their show, Always: The Love Story of Irving Berlin, won the 2004 Nightlife and Manhattan Association of Cabarets Awards. Sullivan's Broadway credits include The Threepenny Opera with Sting, and the leading role in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She has performed with the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and has headlined at Caramoor, Spoleto, The Chichester Festival in England, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Australia, and La Nouvelle Eve in Paris. Nadler has received six Manhattan Association of Cabarets Awards, three Backstage Bistro awards and a New York Nightlife Award. He has performed at New York's Town Hall, Carnegie Hall, and every major cabaret in New York City, from the Algonquin to Sardi's. He has been a soloist with the New York Pops Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Ft. Worth Symphony, the Ottawa Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Tickets for Love Is Here To Stay are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. To purchase tickets, and for more information, call the Fifth Street School at (702) 229-3515, or visit

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Anita Griffin

Sarah Ralston

Gone, but not forgotten...
Our deepest condolences to vocalist Joni Illi on the passing of her beloved sister, Anita Griffin. Anita, 77, died at St. Rose Dominican Hospital, San Martin Campus, on December 3rd, following a valiant fight against a number of medical issues. In the 1950s, beautiful Anita was a model and exotic dancer, performing under the name Joni Arnold. In addition to Joni, Anita is also survived by sister, Miesha Johnston, of Las Vegas; brother Wiley Fenner of Omaha, Nebraska; brother-in-law, Tom Illi of Las Vegas; and son, Kevin. Services will be held at Palm Mortuary, 1600 S. Jones Blvd. near Oakey, on Saturday, December 17th. More information to follow.

Larry Hall lost his three-year, hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer on December 2nd. Larry was born in England, Arkansas, on November 26th, 1943. He was a talented baseball player who achieved All-American status as a stand-out catcher. He attended Henderson State Teacher's College in Arkadelphia on a baseball scholarship before beginning a decorated career in publications. His successful career journey landed him in executive roles in such well-known newspapers as Herald Examiner, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Times Herald, New York Post, Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was also a well-known business owner, with Phil Hevener, of the Las Vegas Style magazine, real estate publications, Chili Etc. restaurant and retail clothing shops. He lived his life with dignity, honesty, compassion and zest. He had a strong affinity for new cars, big sporting events and classic western movies. He fought until the end and provided hope for the life expectancy of all future victims of this dreaded disease. He is survived by the love of his life, and wife of 47 years, Annetta; his pride and joy, sons, Jeffrey (Colleen) and Derrick (Amy); and his beautiful grandchildren, Logan, Cooper, Hayden, Kylie and Dash. His beloved grandkids will forever miss, but always love their wonderful, "Poppie."

Sarah Ellen Hoeveler Ralston died on November 23rd, after a brief illness. She was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, and moved to Las Vegas in 1986. She worked at two Las Vegas television stations - Channel 13 and Channel 3 - winning an Emmy in 1990 at Channel 3. She was a popular anchorwoman/reporter who also started a series about health violations at local restaurants. After her television career, she helped John Ensign pull off one of the biggest upsets in Nevada history in 1994, when he won a seat in Congress. She later became an executive with Mandalay Resort Group and also was instrumental in creating the nation's first City of Asylum, where exiled writers could find safe haven. She later worked for Americorps, helping to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Sarah is survived by her daughter, Madeline Sonja; father, David Hoeveler; brother, Andy (Jessica); sister, Amy (Jim) Onofrey; and nephews, Andy and Mark Onofrey. Sarah was formerly married to local political journalist, Jon Ralston. There will be a memorial, from 2 to 5 p.m., at Mandalay Bay, Tradewinds EF, tomorrow, Saturday, December 10th. Thoughts and memories are welcome at 3 p.m. Contributions may be made to Americorps.

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Tony Arias, looking very handsome and much slimmer in Liberace white, did a fine job of hosting last Saturday's Celebration of Life concert in honor of John Meren. The event, held at the Clark County Flamingo Library Theatre, brought out approximately 300 people to remember John, who, with his partner, Thomas J. Gallagher, founded the Performing Arts Society of Nevada. Meren, who loved theater and music, was 72, when he passed away on October 5th. The afternoon show, hosted by Tony Arias, opened with Greg Bosler playing "There's No Business Like Show Business" (something John Meren truly believed), followed by Gary Oaks and Lou Garcia, with Lillian D'Honau, singing and dancing to "Mame;" Keith Thompson, playing and singing "As Time Goes By" and his own beautiful composition, "The Memories;" Ms. Senior Nevada of 2010, Marilyn O'Leary, "The Impossible Dream;" pianist Maurice Crutcher, a new face for Cousin Claire, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness;" Lenny Talarico, "What I Did For Love;" Dolly Coulter, Randy Hendrickson, Bert Anderson, and Laurie Caceres, "The Rose;" Kellie Wright, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas;" Harold Meeker, playing a lovely medley of "More/Maria Elena/Let Me Call You Sweetheart/I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles/I've Written a Letter To Daddy;" Paul Stubblefield, singing "What A Wonderful World;" Ms. Lee Hughes with Bing Young on piano, "Poor Butterfly;" Philip Fortenberry, playing "Over the Rainbow" and Chopin's "Aeolian Harp, Etude in A-flat Major;" Joan Sobel, singing Laura Story's "Perfect Peace;" Wes Winters, singing and playing "Goodbye My Friend;" Rebecca Spencer, with Fortenberry on piano, sang Cynthia Clawson's "Hymn/Amazing Grace" (Rebecca traveled from Washington state to for the occasion); and Tony and Lloyd Ziel closing the beautiful program with "This is the Moment."

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Kristen Hertzenberg & Travis Cloer

Tim Molyneux

On Saturday, December 17th, POPS II, the Las Vegas Philharmonic Pops Series presents, vocalists Kristen Hertzenberg ("Christine" in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular) and Travis Cloer (Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys), with the Las Vegas Master Singers and Philharmonic, in A Holiday Celebration. There will be two performances on Saturday, one in the afternoon at 2, and the other at 8 p.m., in the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall on the UNLV campus. Tickets are priced at $38, $53 and $78, plus $1.25 facility fee. Seniors, 62+, and youngsters under 18, receive a $10 discount. If ordered by phone, add $2.25 each. UNLV box office number is (702) 895-2787 (ARTS).

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And speaking of Grant Philipo (mentioned at the top of this column), he also informed us about this distressing seasonal information...There will be no Nativity Scene in Washington this year! The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in the United States' Capitol this Christmas season. This isn't for any religious reason. They simply have not been able to find Three Wise Men in the Nation's Capitol. A search for a Virgin continues. There was no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.

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Reader Maureen sent the following message...
Thought you might find this interesting. Heard they will begin the 'Liberace National Tour of Artifacts' in the Spring, which is great news! The exhibit will include; 20 costumes, 3 pianos, 1-4 cars, assorted candelabras & collectibles and so much will cover 5,000 - 7,000 sq. ft. in all.
As we say, regarding anything to do with the museum, we will believe it when we see it. And we will believe it when we see it last.

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Last night's Composers Showcase, the Holiday edition, was a joy. It covered musical selections ranging from touching and emotional subjects, to hysterically funny topics. The late night concert featured the music of local songwriters, Bryan Chan, Vita Corimbi, Wayne Green, Clint Holmes, Christopher Lash, Tim Molyneux, Phil Randall, S. Frank Stringham, Keith Thompson (who also serves as host) and Mark Wherry, and the vocal styles of, Jordan Bondurant, Sarah Elizabeth Combs, Kristen Hertzenberg, Christine Hudman, Sarah Lowe, Renata Micatrotto, Brianne Morgan, Tim Searcy, Emily Thrasher and Melody Wilson. Instrumentation was provided by top musicians, Philip Fortenberry, Jimmy Lockett, Jeff Neiman, Dan Philippus, Joey Singer, Laurence Sobel and The Firenze Sextet (Tianna Heppner-Harjo, Rebecca Ramsey, Lindsey Springer, Hanna Suk, Geri Thompson, and Moonlight Tran) whose strings added a beautiful touch. Thankfully, unlike some of November's badly behaved audience members, last night's crowd was attentive and appreciative of the talent they were witnessing and other words, they were polite, like a concert audience should be. Garfield's was toasty warm, thanks to heaters, and we had very good seats. Our big complaint (and it seems we always have something to be unhappy about), was the pineapple juice. It tasted fine, but unless they had to pay for a Garfield's employee to fly to Hawaii to pick up a pineapple, we see no reason on earth to charge $7 for a glass of plain, un-spiked, pineapple juice. Ichabod's, a nice southeast neighborhood spot with entertainment, charges $2.39 for theirs, while the swanky Four Seasons on the Strip, charges $5.50 plus tax. A soft drink at Garfield's costs $2. Why should juice be $5 more? Shame on them!

A big surprise at last night's Composers Showcase was first-timer, Tim Molyneux. The man can sing, and he proved it with a self-penned song called (we think), "Here I Am." Molyneux, who divides his time between Las Vegas and Nashville, is best known as the producer of Bite, a Classic Rock vampire show that has been running six nights a week for about eight years at the Stratosphere Hotel & Casino on the Vegas Strip. In 2008, another of his creations, All In: The Poker Musical, previewed at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Molyneux has a number of other original creations that have been running for more than a decade on Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, the Queen Mary 2, and Crystal Cruises.

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Domenick Allen

Toys For Tots is getting quite a bit of help from some Las Vegas entertainers. The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Tomorrow, Saturday, December 10th, Domenick Allen and VINYL will rock the Suncoast Showroom for two performances, a matinee at 2 and an evening show at 7:30 p.m. The concerts will be the culminating event of a 16-day Toys for Tots drive at the Suncoast. Allen, the Suncoast, and Cadillac of Las Vegas, are inviting all attendees to bring an unwrapped toy to the concert for donation to Las Vegas-area children this holiday season. Anyone donating a toy will receive a 2-for-1 buffet coupon from the Suncoast. Allen brings powerhouse vocals and unique interpretations of classic rock's most popular songs with VINYL - made up of some of the city's top musicians: Brian Czach on drums, Dave Marinelli on keys, Rich Taylor on guitar, Jozef Bobula on bass, Jim D'Arrigo on alto sax, Gary Hypes on tenor sax, Bill King and Eric Sande on trumpets, Steve Meyer on trombone, and Ginger Bruner on tuba. The celebration of music utilizes video, laser lighting and effects and state-of-the-art sound design. Allen and the musicians will perform famed anthems first recorded by Foreigner; The Beatles; The Who; Jimi Hendrix; Eric Clapton; Journey; The Rolling Stones; The Allman Brothers; The Eagles; Aerosmith; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Bon Jovi; The Doobie Brothers; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Rush; and, of course, Ludwig van Beethoven. Allen is a former member of the multi-platinum rock group, Foreigner, known best for such hits as "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Double Vision" and "Cold As Ice." Allen also recorded and performed with the legendary Buddy Rich Big Band, and toured the world for four years with the famed pianist Liberace. In addition to appearing on London's West End for several productions, Allen co-starred with Helen Reddy in the musical, Blood Brothers, on Broadway. Daytime audiences will recognize Allen for his long run as the evil Simon Prescott on NBC's Days of Our Lives. Allen has partnered with long-time friends, Clint Holmes, Susan Anton and Martin Nievera, as Vocal Soup, a showcase of solo performances, duets and group numbers. Tickets for Domenick Allen and VINLY are priced from $15.95, plus tax and convenience fees. Call the Suncoast at (702) 636-7075 for reservations. Cadillac of Las Vegas is a co-sponsor of both performances.

At the off-Strip Clarion Hotel & Casino, 305 Convention Center Dr., Ray Wolf Productions (in association with the Artanis Group) will present two special performances of Shades of Sinatra to benefit Toys For Tots. The shows, featuring Carmine Mandia, Larry Liso, Lisa Smith, and Ryan Baker, will take place tomorrow, Saturday, December 10th, at 6 and 8 p.m., in the Clarion's Wolf Theater. Donate a new, unwrapped toy to receive a General Admission ticket for only $9.95 (normally $47.95)!!! Tickets must be purchased at the Wolf Theater box office, between 4 and 8 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call (702) 990-1524.

Shades of Sinatra

Jerry Lewis & family

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Jerry Lewis, his wife SanDee "Sam," and their daughter, Danielle, recently attended a special preview in Los Angeles of the documentary film, Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis. Also at the screening were comics Norm Crosby, 95-year-old Phyllis Diller, Richard Lewis (no relation to Jerry), and Rip Taylor. Produced and directed by Gregg Barson (Goodnight, We Love You), Madness will take an in-depth look at the career of Lewis and the impact he has had on contemporary entertainment. Jerry Seinfeld, Alec Baldwin, Eddie Murphy and Quentin Tarantino are a few of the notables that make guest appearances in the film. Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, is scheduled to premier on ENCORE-TV, Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 8 et/pt. You have been warned.

Phyllis Diller

Pat DiNizio

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Pat DiNizio, lead singer of The Smithereens, recently launched his latest show, entitled Confessions of a Rock Star, at the Riviera Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The production is a hybrid of a one-man show, rock concert and multimedia event covering DiNizio's 32-year career in rock and roll. A live band performs the hits that shaped DiNizio's childhood, paying tribute to his musical heroes, such as Buddy Holly and The Beatles, and includes chart-topping songs from The Smithereens. Video screens show rare footage and photos that accompany the musical journey, from life in New Jersey to rock and roll stardom. "This show is a chance for me to pay tribute to the kings of rock and roll," says DiNizio. "After more than three decades of performing, I am excited to bring this experience to the Las Vegas Strip and Riviera Hotel & Casino." "I have been a long-time fan of The Smithereens, and having Pat DiNizio perform six nights a week at the Riviera is great for music lovers," said Andy Choy, president and CEO of Riviera Hotel & Casino. "Pat has a very interesting story to tell, from his humble beginnings to performing in Las Vegas." The Smithereens hit the rock charts with "Blood and Roses," "Only a Memory" and "A Girl Like You." Tickets to Confessions of a Rock Star are $29.95 and can be purchased at the Riviera box office, online at, or by calling (702) 794-9433. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays (dark Tuesdays). We were told that Confessions of a Rock Star has been booked for one year.

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Last weekend, Las Vegas had a serious case of the runs. On Saturday, it was the 7th year of the Great Santa Run, benefiting Opportunity Village. About 8,123 participants ran the 5K and one mile walk at Town Square, according to organizers. Early estimates showed more than $350,000 was raised in the run. On Sunday, starting at 4 p.m., more than 40,000 runners participated in the Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half-Marathon. The sold out run down the Las Vegas Strip was reported to be the largest nighttime race in the entire world.

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Larry Raben

Rev. Scrooge Cast

Regarding friend Larry Raben...A few weeks ago, Larry directed a production of Hairspray for Musical Theatre West (MTW) at the beautiful 1,070-seat Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. Adapted from John Waters' 1988 film, Hairspray, with book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman, musical direction by Dennis Castellano, and choreography by Lee Martino, was deemed a "Critics Pick." Broadway World's Don Grigware had this to say about the musical production.

MTW presents a longer lasting Hairspray with more body!
Hairspray, can't get enough of that Hairspray! 60s girls lacquered up their dos - hair, that is, with oodles and oodles of it until their hair was a sticky, gooey mess; well, the musical of the same name has been seen close to a half dozen times in the last several months, and few seem to tire of it...why? It's a stroll down memory lane, it's nostalgia... that is pleasant - even when it's about issues that aren't... like segregation, it's a far cry from the unpleasantness in today's world, so it goes down easier... and, it has all those crazy song and dance tunes of the era...well, an original score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, but one that sounds exactly like the hit tunes of the 60s. Musical Theatre West's (MTW) current production of the now classic Hairspray is about the best there is or has been, bar none! With an evenly spectacular cast, super direction by Larry Raben and stupendous choreography by Lee Martino, its star shines ever so brightly. Without a flaw to be witnessed, Victoria Morgan (Tracy), Jim J Bullock (her mother Edna), Barry Pearl (her father Wilbur) and the rest of the cast just sparkle. Morgan's role is a hefty one to be sure, no pun intended, and she is definitely up to the tremendous amount of dancing and singing - is she ever off the stage? - that she is called upon to perform. Bullock has never been better, letting all the sweetness inside of him pour out as the caring mother, and Pearl, never funnier, making Wilbur stand out as an interestingly eccentric character, something that Drew Carey failed to do with the role while at the Hollywood Bowl last August. Derek Klena, such a wonderful actor and singer, comes through triple time here, with his dancing totally on a par with the other disciplines. Gwen Stewart as Motormouth is glorious; Tracy Lore, the most naturally witchy Thelma Von Tussle for the record. Praise as well to Todrick D. Hall, a smokin' Seaweed, Erin Watkins as Penny, and Lauren Smolka as Amber. Karla J. Franko is hysterical in not one, not two, but three roles as Prudy, Penny's mom, the girls' gym coach and the warden in the women's prison. She makes each one distinct and is a hoot in the process! Last but never least is David Engel who brings so much color and suave, sophisticated good nature to Corny Collins. Raben and Martino's work is flawless and the whole show, an ode to the '60s and to those who stood up to make a difference in the way we think and live, is an exuberant, joyous dessert. MTW's Hairspray is ultra clutch, ranking among the best of the crop.

5 out of 5 stars

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The Gospel Underground Network Ministries will present the red-carpet premiere of the movie Rev. Scrooge, featuring former Las Vegan, Loretta Holloway. Rev. Scrooge was written, created, and stars, the Rev. Joseph "JoJo" Williams Jr. as the corrupt and money hungry minister Rev. Scrooge, and Benetra Calhoun-Crawford. Rev. Scrooge tells the story of a power hungry minister who inherits his father's (Calvin Simpkins) church, and gains control of all the churches in Scroogeville. His bitterness for Christmas and all things related comes as a result of his memory of being abandoned on Christmas Eve by his mother, played by Belton native, Holloway. Powerful performance by Nivia Ladson-Booker as the loving and supportive wife. Other stellar performances by Micah J. Oliver as Rev. Scrooge's son, Alda Smith as Rev. Billy, and Ti Barnes, just to mention a few. This made for television Christmas Special adds a new "spiritual" twist to the Charles Dickens "Christmas Story" and is sure to become a Christmas Classic unto itself. Rev. Williams is CEO of The Gospel Underground Network (GUR Networks Production), writer, director and creator of The Bishop's House and Let's Go To Church TV shows, A Fall From Grace...Relationship's & DUI, national stage production, and the Christmas television special, Rev. Scrooge. Benetra Calhoun-Crawford is Rev. Williams' business partner, and COO of the company. The Red Carpet Premier will be held Sunday, December 18th, at 4 and 7:30 p.m., at the Historic Belton Depot, on Main Street in Belton, SC. Tickets are $7 per person, and my be ordered through Ms. Crawford at (864) 227.1555. Rev. Scrooge will be televised on Belton's WGGS-DT (channel 16 or 5) for the Christmas Season. If you are in the area, check local listings for air times. See a preview on YouTube by going to

Shown in the accompanying photo are (left to right): Benetra Calhoun-Crawford, Rev. Joseph "JoJo" Williams, Jr., and Loretta Holloway.

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Neil News (and there is plenty of it)...
If you are a Neil Diamond fan, or have one on your gift list, we have a number of suggestions for you. Tickets for Mr. Diamond's Las Vegas concert went on sale Monday. Yes, we know. It is almost nine months until his September 1st appearance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, but the 70-year-old (he turns 71 next month) is still a major concert draw. Tickets for the Summer 2012 Tour, launching on June 1st, are expected to sell quickly. Performance dates (subject to change) include, June 1st, Sunrise, FL; June 3rd, Tampa, FL; June 6th, Atlanta, GA; June 8th, Wantagh, NY; June 14th, Washington, DC; June 16th, Uncasville, CT; June 18th, Philadelphia, PA; June 21st, Montreal, QC; June 23rd, Boston, MA; June 26th, Toronto, ON; June 28th, London, ON; July 1st, Cleveland, OH; July 3rd, Clarkston, MI; July 6th, Chicago, IL; July 8th, Milwaukee, WI; July 11th, Saint Paul, MN; July 13th, Saskatoon, SK; July 16th, Edmonton, AB; July 18th, Calgary, AB; July 21st, Vancouver, BC; July 23rd, Seattle, WA; July 28th, Sandy, UT; August 7th, San Jose, CA; August 29th, Phoenix, AZ; and September 1st, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Sunday night, The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts honored its 2011 recipients of their prestigious prize. This year's honorees include Barbara Cook, Yo-Yo Ma, Sonny Rollins, Meryl Streep and Diamond. President and Mrs. Obama received the Honorees and members of the Artists Committee who nominated them, along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the gala performance. The gala concluded with a supper dance in the Grand Foyer. The Kennedy Center Honors medallions were presented, Saturday, December 3rd, the night before the gala, at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The gala will be broadcast on CBS, Tuesday, December 27th, from 9 to 11 p.m., ET/PT. Neil's new album, The Very Best of Neil Diamond, went on sale Tuesday, and on Wednesday, he appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, singing "Solitary Man."

Neil Diamond & Katie McNeil

Frankie Valli, Linda November & Artie Schroeck

In September, Neil announced that he will marry Katie McNeil. McNeil, 40, executive produced the 2009 TV documentary, Neil Diamond: Hot August Night/NYC, and works at Diamond's management company. This will be Neil's third marriage. The legendary singer and his second wife, Marcia Murphy, divorced in 1994 after a marriage of 33 years. After filing for divorce, the settlement cost nearly $150 million, half of Diamond's fortune. Diamond has been quoted saying that Marcia "earned every penny" and that "she's been through thick and thin with [him] and deserves half of [his] fortune". Perhaps Mr. Diamond should consider taking Katie's last name. That would make him Neil McNeil (Sorry. I join in your groaning).

If you can't wait until September to see the real deal, Las Vegan, Rob Garrett, will be performing his King of Diamonds tribute on February 25th, in The Club at the North Las Vegas Cannery. Admission is $10 at the door.

For serious Diamond fans, a Las Vegas resident has a leather guitar strap, embossed/ stamped with Neil's name on the front, and autographed by the music icon on the back, to sell. This piece of rock and role memorabilia was used by Neil in concert performances during the early '70s. For further information on the unique item, or to see photos, interested parties can e-mail Cousin Claire at [email protected].

And, speaking of divorces, there is Frankie Valli, the lead singer of The Four Seasons, and Randy Valli, his wife of more than 25 years. Valli's divorce, probably won't cost as much as Diamonds, but it will be expensive. Fifty-one year old Randy, the mother of three of Frankie's children, is seeking attorney's fees to help cover her legal tab in their divorce case which has been brewing since 2004. Randy is currently receiving $30,000 a month for spousal support and her share of royalties from the band's hit musical, Jersey Boys, one version that plays in Las Vegas. Randy claims that Frankie, 77, makes more than $515,000 a month, presumably a big chunk is from Jersey Boys. And this is interesting. Even though Randy is pulling in more than a third of a million bucks a year, documents say she is getting $810 a month in public assistance. It looks like that money is for a portion of Frankie's SSI because she's taking care of their minor children.

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Michele Tell Woodrow

Ludwig Von Panzer & Lady Liebscheim Sardelli

Congratulations to Michele Tell Woodrow, owner of Preferred Public Relations, who, yesterday, was installed as a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees member at a luncheon held at The Four Seasons. Kevin T. Orrock, is the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Orrock is President of Summerlin, and Executive Vice President of Master Planned Communities for The Howard Hughes Corporation.

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Animal-lover, Nelson Sardelli, is grieving the loss of two of his dogs. In less than two months, his prize dogs, 11-year-old Ludwig Von Panzer, Der Fuehrer, and Ludwig's nine-year-old wife, Lady Liebscheim, died. Nelson reports that they were both German Shepherds educated at Harvard. "I will miss them terribly." He has two surviving dogs, Zebo (née Je' Bostinha), and Diesel Von Schtoop, along with 12 unnamed fish and two birds. "Noah would have been proud of me," says Sardelli.

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Larry "Wild" Wrice and The Gents of Swing will be making music at Daddy Mac's, 2920 N. Green Valley Parkway in Henderson, on Sunday afternoon from 1 to 5. If you make it over there, be sure to wish Larry a happy birthday. The veteran musician turns 85 next week. Wrice and The Chicago Blues Busters perform at Daddy Mac’s on Tuesdays from 7 to 10 p.m.

Larry "Wild" Wrice

Barbara Cook by Mike Martin

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Michael Feinstein and Tony Award-winning Broadway legend, Barbara Cook, have a new show, running through December 30th, at Feinstein's at Loews Regency. The nightclub, proclaimed "Best of New York" by New York Magazine, and "an invaluable New York institution" by The New York Post, will close their Fall 2011 season with the return engagement of the club's founder, Mr. Feinstein, and Ms. Cook, to celebrate her 2011 Kennedy Center Honor. Feinstein's is rolling back prices, to when the club opened in 1999, for the month of December: $60 cover and no minimum. Feinstein and Cook will feature gems from the great American songbook, Broadway hits and holiday classics. All shows take place at the Loews Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street). For reservations, call (212) 339-4095 or (212) 339-4045.

If you aren't going to be anywhere near that coast, and are fans of Michael Feinstein, and/or Barbara Cook, good news. Both of them will be appearing here at the Smith Center - with Feinstein doing his Sinatra Project on March 15th, and Cook performing May 24th through 27th. There are lots of exciting things scheduled for the Smith Center, opening in downtown Las Vegas in just three months. More details to follow.

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The City of Henderson is getting in the spirit of the holiday season, taking families back in time for this weekend's WinterFest. This old-fashioned Christmas delight will feature exciting festivities for all ages, from horse-drawn carriage rides to visits with Santa, strolling carolers to popular Dickens characters roaming the streets, carousel rides, concerts and more. Admission is complimentary. The event will conclude with a dazzling grand finale celebration, the first-ever WinterFest Evening Light Parade. Taking place at 5 p.m. on Saturday night, the procession will feature a colorful display of spectacular entries, all decked out in lights, illuminating the streets of Henderson's historic Water Street District. For more information or a complete schedule of events for this year's WinterFest - An Old-Fashioned Christmas Delight, visit or call the City of Henderson Cultural Arts & Tourism Department at (702) 267-2171. Office hours are Mondays through Fridays, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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