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 30, 2011
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - December 30, 2011

Frankie Laine

Team Frankie Laine

As promised in last weeks' column, here is Part II showing some of the holiday greetings (some sent electronically, others, the old fashioned way) that we have received over the past few weeks. Included in this bunch are those from Team Frankie Laine, made up of Jimmy and Barbara Marino, Mary-Jo Coombs, and Benny and Dorothy Hollman, keeping legendary singer, Frankie Laine's, memory alive; Kenny Mazlow, artistic director of San Francisco's famed Beach Blanket Babylon; Handy Girl, Mary Marcella Schwartz, who sent a photo of her housemate, Freckles; the Natole family - Rich, Sue, Mickey and Mia; veteran funnyman Marty Allen and his musical bride, Karon Kate Blackwell; former pro ice skater turned clothing designer, Gisela Head, and her hubby, comic skater/actor, Terry Head; and our favorite Beatle, Mary Agnes Grierson.

Kenny Mazlow

Freckles Schwartz

Also received a beautiful calendar full of colorful photos of Chicago (where we were born) from photographer Dan Elias and music man Doug Saleeby. The ladies of Dangerous Curves - Lisa Smith, Karen Merstik Michaels and Gret Menzies - sent an attachment of them singing "I'll Be Home for Christmas," accompanied by a very touching video of homecoming soldiers.

Gisela & Terry Head

Marty Allen & Karon Kate Blackwell

Speaking of Rich Natole, the comic/impressionist will be performing his act at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin, at 7 p.m., Saturday, January 28th. Tickets are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents. The Starbright is located at 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd. Call (702) 240-1301. We will have more details about this engagement in mid-January.

Mia & Mickey Natole

Mary Agnes Grierson

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This week, tonight and Sunday, January 1st (no show on Saturday night, New Year's Eve), Paul Stone's Vegas Magic Theatre, presented in the Showroom/Lounge at the Gold Coast, features Kip Reynolds, Tino Ferreira and his Rolla Bolla act, Luna Shimada, and Adam Flowers. Paul Stone serves as host through Sunday. Luna Shimada, known and revered as a performance artist and magician, has been performing in top venues across four continents from Europe to Japan to America. She has appeared in Las Vegas showrooms, and has also been featured in countless American network TV specials, such as, the PBS series, Art of Magic and Mystery's of Magic; Magic's Greatest Illusions on TLC; and Grand Illusions, The Story of Magic for Discovery. Most recently, Luna was featured in two new documentaries, Women in Boxes, and A Magical Vision, about the great magical philosophers, by Montrose Productions. Luna was also the recipient of the prestigious "World Magic Award" as "Best Female Magician" of 2007, which aired on prime time Fox network. As the bright lights of Las Vegas begin to glow, Adam Flowers has spent the last couple of years performing nightly, not on a stage... but down at the Freemont Street Experience where Adam enraptures thousands with magic they have never seen before! His unique blend of eye-catching street magic along with witty improvisational comedy, often involves his audience. Adam's unequalled floating cigarette routine is not to be missed... even marveling other magicians! Kip Reynolds has wanted to be a comedy entertainer since he was six years old. After attending the circus for the first time as a child, Kip knew that this was his calling. He grew up in a small town and so he had to teach himself many of the variety skills he uses in his show, such as juggling, magic and unicycle riding. He later perfected his skills as a student of the world famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. Upon graduating Clown College, Kip went on to perform with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus for three years, where he developed his silent comedy act that he has now performed around the world. Tino Ferreira has appeared on the Las Vegas Strip on literally hundreds of occasions. His Exciting Rolla Bolla Act is one of the best specialty acts in Show business. Tino will have you sitting on the edge of your seats and shouting for more! Disappearing weekly! A new show every week. Join performers in the Showroom Lounge one hour prior to the show for a FREE pre-show presentation of close-up magic, card readings and lots of other fun things. Showtimes are Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 5 and 7:30 p.m. (no magic show on New Year's Eve Saturday). Tickets are $14.95 plus tax and convenience fees. Showroom doors open an hour prior to show time for free pre-show.

Luna Shimada

We received an e-mail from a local family who recently attended Vegas Magic Theatre. The parents, and a nine and 12 year-old, wrote to say that they had a wonderful time. They went on to say, "We have seen almost every magic show in Vegas and this was way, way up there in terms of enjoyment. Paul Stone knows how to book acts - each act was different and they were all great. The pre-show was very good and comfortable and the showroom was focused, comfortable and professionally run. I think it is one of the best values in town and perfect for all ages. I'm sure I sound like an "ad" but seriously - it was a really, really good show. We ate at the Gold Coast's Ping Pang Pong before the show. It was the best Chinese we have had in Vegas - and very reasonable."

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We may sound a little catty regarding this information. It comes as no surprise, because it has been known since October of 2010, that Disney's The Lion King would be ending its Las Vegas run at Mandalay Bay after tonight's performance. Winner of six Tony Awards, the Broadway musical opened here in May, 2009. What IS a surprise, is this week's announcement that the MGM Grand would be closing their Lion's Habitat on January 31st. Hotel officials have not said what will replace the $9 million, 5,000-square-foot, glass-enclosed exhibit, which opened more than 12 years ago. Through the end of January, the free family attraction is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The 20 cats, owned and trained by Keith Evans, will be returned to his ranch located outside of Las Vegas. The MGM is making a number of changes during extensive remodeling. In addition to the Lion's Habitat, another casualty of the hotel makeover is the first mega-club in Las Vegas, Studio 54. The 14 year old nightclub will close its doors to the public on February 4th. Details on what will replace Studio 54 will be announced at a later date.

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Henderson WinterFest Parade

The City of Henderson set record-breaking attendance at this years' WinterFest. More than 35,000 residents came out last weekend for WinterFest, the annual Christmas celebration. They enjoyed two days filled with holiday festivities, ranging from horse-drawn carriage rides, to strolling carolers and Santa Claus, and closing the event with a spectacular grand finale – the INAUGURAL WinterFest Evening Light Parade, which included more than 60 entries. Below is a list of winners from the parade, gingerbread house contest and Festival of Trees.

Parade Float Winners

1st Place: McCaw School of Mines
2nd Place: Christmas Memories
3rd Place: Paradise Church
Parade Marching Band, Special Interest Vehicle & Equestrian
1st Place: Foothill High School
2nd Place: Green Valley High School Marching Band
3rd Place: Coronado High School Band
Gingerbread House Contest
Best Individual/Family: Old-Fashioned Christmas at the Ranch
Best School/Organization: PTA Families of Walker School
Festival of Trees:
Empowered Life Church

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If you donate blood, through tomorrow, you can receive a voucher for two to see Penn & Teller at the Rio. To schedule an appointment, call United Blood Services in Las Vegas at (702) 233-9620, or do so through Walk-ins are also welcome. In Las Vegas, the United Blood Services office is located at 6930 W. Charleston Blvd. Call (702) 228-4483. In Henderson, the UBS address is, 601 Whitney Ranch Dr. Bldg. D, Ste 20. Call (702) 434-1838. There are some basic rules of magic...Never tell your audience how a trick is done. Don't show the audience the preparation for a trick. And never, ever perform the classic cups & balls with transparent cups. Penn & Teller manages to break all of these rules and more in their show. Penn & Teller's edgy show is unlike any other magic production in Las Vegas. The tall, lanky Penn serves as a narrator, providing a running comedic commentary on just about everything they do, while the diminutive Teller provides a lot of the show's action, all without saying a single word. Penn & Teller's show relies heavily on audience interaction. Several audience members are chosen to come up and be part of some tricks & to help confirm the authenticity of others. Must be 5 years of age or older. For more information, please contact the Penn & Teller Theater Box Office located in the Rio Hotel & Casino at 3700 West Flamingo Rd., (702) 492-3960. Find the hero in you... give blood three times per year!

Donors who receive a buffet voucher or alternate donor gift at a community blood drive will not receive a Penn & Teller voucher.

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Diana Saunders & Tony Arias

Raul Rodriguez

On December 18th, entertainer Wes Winters performed at Freedom Hall for Sun City Anthem residents. You can count on pianist/singer Winters, to add some variety to his shows. His audiences don't know what they are in for, but it's always something fun and unexpected. During the Anthem performance, a couple of surprise guests were introduced during Wes' version of "Mele Kalikimaka" (the Hawaiian phrase meaning Merry Christmas), a number sung by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, the Beach Boys, Don Ho, Jimmy Buffett, and Bette Midler. None of those artists had the added attraction of Hula dancers like Diana Saunders and the outrageous Tony Arias, who brought down the house when they joined Wes on stage. On December 19th, the versatile Mr. Winters provided entertainment for Siegfried and Roy's Christmas party. You can catch Wes in the South Point's Grandview Lounge on Friday and Saturday nights, and at ENVY the Steakhouse (Renaissance Hotel on Paradise near Desert Inn), during the Sunday Mimosas & Music Brunch. In October, Wes Winters will, once again, be featured on an upcoming Hawaiian Cruise. We will have more on this later in the year.

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Raul R. Rodriguez has many friends in Las Vegas, which is one of the reasons why he gets some space in this week's column. The other reason is because of his talent. This artist of international acclaim has pioneered the design of hundreds of magnificent floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. A third generation native of Los Angeles, Raul's career began at the age of fifteen, when he created his first Rose Parade float. He has won more awards than any other designer in the history of the Parade. A classically trained artist in drawing and painting, Raul was raised in East Los Angeles, studied at the Art Center School of Design, and graduated from Cerritos College, and California State University Long Beach. Raul has designed scores of grand scale private and public celebrations throughout the nation. Among his accomplishments are as Designer for the opening stage set of the World's Fair in New Orleans, Art Director for Philadelphia's "We the People 200" United States' Bicentennial Parade, and Consultant to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Raul's concepts over the years have illuminated and imaged prestigious gaming establishments in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Reno and Laughlin. They include: The Flamingo Hilton, Tropicana, Caesars Palace, Eldorado, Circus-Circus, and Commerce Casino and Crown Plaza Hotel. Additionally, he has created major concepts and images for numerous retail establishments, restaurants, wineries, and entertainment companies. These works include Harley-Davidson, and Ferrari Carano Winery (labels and villa). Raul has worked with the Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Landmark Entertainment, and Radio City Music Hall in New York. Raul designed all the floats in Disneyland's 50th anniversary "Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams". The parade runs twice daily at Disneyland. He also designed Six Flags' "Glow In The Park" parade, a nighttime electric parade. Raul has illustrated several children's books. In this year's Rose Bowl Parade, Raul's designed floats (in the order they will appear) are Macy's, Indonesia, Paramount Pictures, China Airlines, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc., Discover Financial Services, Dole Package Foods, City of Torrance, Kit-Kat California Clock Company, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente. Raul and his beautiful Blue Hyacinth Macaw, Sebastian, will be riding on the Indonesia float.

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On New Year's Eve in Las Vegas, among all that is musical, it's Little Anthony & The Imperials at the North Las Vegas Cannery; Stevie Wonder at The Cosmopolitan; Mary J. Blige at the Tropicana's RPM Nightclub; Vanessa Williams at the Riviera; The Commodores at the Eastside Cannery; John Legend at the Palms; and Guns N' Roses at the Hard Rock Hotel. Speaking of Roses, Ronnie Rose's South Point New Year's Eve gig is sold out. If you didn't get your tickets to any of these events (too pricey, or too late), there is always the impressive fireworks display

Not all of the New Year's attractions happening in Las Vegas are taking place tomorrow night. Some of the entertainment will take place during the day on Saturday, and on Sunday, New Year's Day. Among the options, vocal groups, Voices 3 and the Las Vegas Tenors. Voices 3 - with Bill Fayne, Chris Coyne, George DeMott and special guest, Mollie Tennant - performs in the Suncoast Showroom at noon. Tickets start at $19.95, plus taxes and fees. The Las Vegas Tenors - made up of Bobby Black, Chris Riggins, and Corwyn Hodge - perform in the South Point's Grand Ballroom, tomorrow at noon. The show will include party favors and a champagne toast. Cost is $25.

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Kaye Stevens

Caesars New Octavius

Reader Jerry Vann e-mailed to inform us of the death of entertainer Kaye (or Kay) Stevens.
"Another star burns bright in the sky," writes Vann. On Wednesday, the singer and actress, who was a frequent guest on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, died at the Villages Hospital north of Orlando, Florida, following a battle with breast cancer and blood clots. She was 79. Stevens, a longtime South Florida resident, frequently appeared with Rat Pack members, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop. She also performed her own act at venues including Caesars Palace and the Riviera in Las Vegas, and the Plaza Hotel's Persian Room in New York City. During the Vietnam War era, Stevens performed for American soldiers with Bob Hope's USO tour. Born Catherine Louise Stephens in Pittsburgh, her family moved to Cleveland, where, as a teenager, Stevens got her start as a drummer and singer. She later married bandleader and trumpet player, Tommy Amato, and the couple performed throughout the eastern U.S. In addition to singing, Stevens also acted in film and television. She appeared in six movies, earning a Golden Globe nomination in 1964 for The New Interns. She was a regular celebrity player on game shows, and, from 1974-79, appeared as Jeri Clayton, mother of Trish Clayton (played by Patty Weaver) on Days of Our Lives. During the past two decades, Stevens started her own ministry and began performing only Christian and patriotic music. She staged benefits to help build St. Vincent Catholic Church in her longtime home of Margate, Florida, where city officials named a park in her honor. According to Stevens "trivia," listed on the Internet Movie Data Base site, the brassy, redheaded singer/actress/ comedienne was a close friend of singer Connie Francis. Her 1962 album on Liberty Records, "(Not So) Great Songs (Which Were Left Out of) Great Movies (For Obvious Reasons)," includes such truly bizarre (but funny!) songs as "Splendor in the Grass (or, Lawn Parties Can Be Fun)," "Frankenstein (in 3/4 Time)," and "Judgment at Nuremberg (or, A Hun and His Honeybun)." While performing for troops in Vietnam, she gave each serviceman a pair of her trademark elbow-length gloves, telling them that, if they presented them anywhere where she was performing, their whole evening would be on her. Over the past 40 years, she had gotten almost two-thirds of those gloves back from grateful former servicemen. What we, personally, find most interesting and/or confusing is the different ways of spelling Kay/Kaye when referring to the entertainer. Although record album covers show her name spelled Kay, other sources show it with an "e" on the end.
On a personal note, in the early '80s, we remember watching Stevens gambling one night at the Dunes (now the location of Bellagio). We also remember when she and Trini Lopez were an item.

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Octavius Tower, the sixth hotel tower at Caesars Palace, scheduled to open on January 2nd, will raise the industry standard with an innovative technology package. The exclusive Octavius Tower web application and in-room technology features will create a unique, interactive and high-touch service experience for hotel guests, unlike any other on the Las Vegas Strip. With the addition of Octavius Tower, Caesars Palace will offer guests a private, luxury boutique hotel experience within the resort. Upon arrival, Octavius Tower guests will have immediate access to the exclusive interactive guest directory bringing the wondrous offerings of the world-class destination resort direct to their fingertips. Accessible through any mobile browser, the web application, developed by Runtriz, will allow direct communication with concierge, housekeeping, room service, transportation, valet, bell and butler services, along with resort information and insider offers. Additionally, the in-room MediaHub will allow even the most tech-savvy guests of Octavius Tower to feel right at home. The user-friendly multimedia device will offer convenient plug-and-play capabilities allowing guests to connect and stream direct from any mobile device to the 42-inch high-definition television screen. Guests will have the ability to watch videos, play music, browse the internet, check emails, give presentations and much more with USB, VGA, HDMI, iDock™ and audio-visual connectivity options. The technology automatically senses when a guest connects a device and switches to the correct input allowing seamless integration; when a device is disconnected the technology automatically switches the television back to its previous state. The MediaHub is compatible with any iDevice and works with popular customer apps including Pandora, Netflix, Hulu and Keynote. "As a premiere destination resort with a vast array of entertainment, dining, gaming and leisure activities, Caesars Palace will offer the Octavius Tower web application as an interactive tool for hotel guests to access resort experiences from the convenience of their mobile devices," said Ramesh Sadhwani, vice president of hotel operations for Caesars Palace. "As one of the first resorts to offer this integrated technology package, Caesars Palace is pleased to elevate the guest experience by making this service readily available to hotel guests." Octavius Tower rooms are on-sale now. The 668-room hotel tower will offer guests a private entrance, separate hotel lobby and direct access to the Garden of the Gods pool oasis and gardens. The opening of Octavius Tower will mark a major milestone in the two-year renaissance of Caesars Palace, which began in March 2011 with the return of Celine Dion, and encompasses the recent launches of Elton John and Rod Stewart at The Colosseum. New projects also include Old Homestead Steakhouse, Nobu Hotel, Restaurant and Lounge (to open in the fall), and Shania Twain's Colosseum headlining residency (to premiere in December 2012). Reigning at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace features 3,960 hotel guest rooms and suites, including the 180-room Nobu Hotel set to open in 2012; and 25 diverse restaurants and cafes, including the 24-hour Central by James Beard award-winning Chef Michel Richard. The 85-acre resort offers nearly 129,000 square-feet of casino space including a 14,000 square-foot poker room; a five-acre Garden of the Gods pool complex showcasing eight pools and two gardens; the 50,000 square-foot award-winning Qua Baths & Spa and Color Salon by renowned celebrity colorist Michael Boychuck; five elegant wedding chapels and outdoor gardens; 300,000 square-feet of premium meeting and convention space; and the acclaimed 683,000-square-foot Forum Shops offering more than 180 boutiques and dining establishments. Caesars guests enjoy Cascata, one of the world's most exclusive golf courses; and the 4,300-seat Colosseum spotlighting world class entertainers. Caesars Palace, along with all Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas resorts, including Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah's, Bally's, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Imperial Palace and Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon, proudly prohibits adding hidden resort fees to hotel guest room rates. Find Caesars Palace on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

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Darryl Grant

Loretta Holloway & Norman Lewis

Darryl Grant has released his debut solo CD, All I Need Is You Tonight. Although Grant was born in Oakland, California, the experience he had in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was a major turning point in his life. While living there, he had the good fortune to record with legendary greats such as The Rolling Stones, Eddie Kendricks, Blue Magic, Major Harris and Fat Larry's Band, to name a few. Before relocating to Las Vegas, he moved back to the Bay Area and did a short stint there with The Natural Four. For the past ten years, Darryl has performed with the vocal group Spectrum, a Las Vegas Motown Tribute group performing in the States as well as internationally. In addition to headlining on Royal Caribbean cruises, Spectrum works the Symphony "Pops" Circuit. Gaining popularity in the UK with the release of his CD, Darryl recently spent more than three months on Starpoint Radio's UK Top 30 Soul Chart. During that time, he remained in the Top 10 for more than a month, spending two consecutive weeks in the No. 5 position. Darryl worked with a dynamic team to put together his CD. The Producer and Arranger was McKinley Jackson. McKinley was Marvin Gaye's musical director, and did the horn arrangement for Gaye's monster hit, "Sexual Healing." Over the years, Jackson has also worked with Lamont Dozier, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Helen Reddy, Norman Connors, The Impressions, First Choice, Tower of Power, and various other recording artists. Other power house members of the production team were twin brothers, Melvin and Mervin Steals, the writers of The Spinners' classic hit, "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love," Gloria Gaynor's "Honey Bee," The Tramps' "Trusting Heart," and "Love Thang" by First Choice. Some songs on Grant's new CD have been recorded previously, and others have not. The All I Need Is You Tonight CD is available on Itunes, Amazon, and CDBaby.

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Former Las Vegan, songstress Loretta Holloway, was recently honored with a gala event put on by her hometown of Belton, South Carolina. The Independent Mail newspaper described the December 17th festivities thusly...
About 90 guests got together Saturday evening at the Belton Depot for an invitation-only celebration for Belton resident and celebrity Loretta Holloway to honor her work in music and in the community. "A home girl is being recognized for taking music around the world," said Norma Hughes-Smith. Holloway, who is known as "South Carolina's First Lady of Song," has traveled all over the United States and the world singing jazz and has also appeared on Broadway and in movies. She played showrooms in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, opening for Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno and Don Rickles and met Queen Elizabeth in Australia after performing at the 1982 Commonwealth Games. During her travels she has promoted the Belton area and often posed for photos holding the local weekly paper, the Belton Honea Path News-Chronicle. "She (Holloway) has brought tourism to town to see her performances," said Hughes-Smith as she spoke about her performances at the Standpipe Festival and performances at the Depot. During the celebration Holloway received state legislature resolutions from Rep. Mike Gambrell and Sen. Billy O'Dell for her accomplishments in music and her many contributions to the Belton area. Council member Eddie Moore said she would be recognized at Tuesday's Anderson County Council meeting with a resolution for what she has done. "She means a lot to me. She's a very fine person," said Belton Council Member Hattie Green. Jazz singer Skipp Pearson, South Carolina Ambassador of Jazz Music, was on hand for the event and Norman Lewis flew in from New Jersey to be part of the celebration. Attendees also got to see a trailer from the movie "Rev. Scrooge," which Holloway appears in along with most of the Upstate movie cast. A public premier of the movie was held Sunday at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Belton Depot. Ms. Holloway, looking radiant in a black Stephen Yearick gown, was escorted by her longtime friend, New Jersey businessman, Norman Lewis.

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Annie Gaybis Byner

Katherine Jackson & William Hall

Annie Gaybis Byner informs us that she recently finished up a tour with the First Coast Ballet's production of the Nutcracker, which was accompanied by the Jacksonville (Florida) Symphony. Annie danced the principal part of the "maid," and was described in one review as "brilliant." She performed alongside major talents such as Yumelia Garcia and Ogulcan Borova, guesting from the famed Joffrey Ballet, and Brian Palmer from the Suzanne Farrell Ballet Company. A most excited Annie tells us that every choreographer sets their own tone and image to the Nutcracker, and Rhonda Stampalia created "the dancing maid" in this production just for her, after they had worked together. "These adorable children stand outside and want to meet the maid and have me sign autographs," the very happy performer says. (You can catch a bit of it on Annie's website,, and click on Video.) Her hubby, veteran comic impressionist, John Byner, who last who performed here with Connie Stevens at the Riviera in July, continues to entertain around the country. Annie and John make their home in Florida these days (and nights).

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Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson family and mother of the late Michael Jackson, checked out Legends in Concert at Harrah's Las Vegas two days before Christmas. Following the show, Mrs. Jackson posed for a photo with Legend's Michael Jackson tribute artist, William Hall. Legends in Concert, which has been playing on the Las Vegas Strip since 1983, first at the Imperial Palace and now at Harrah's, features highly-talented performers who pay tribute to some of the most iconic entertainers from yesterday and today.

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We forgot to mention that Lee Roy Reams' (Roger DeBris in The Producers) good friend, Miss America 1981, Susan Powell, was in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. Although she didn't perform, she did attend the local Composers Showcase in November. Her primary reason for being here, though, is because she is working on a CD with pianist extraordinaire, Philip Fortenberry. In addition to singing, Susan is also a songwriter, receiving credit, along with Keith Thompson and Dale Matthews, on "Christmas Matters," one of the tracks on Kristen Hertzenberg and Philip's, Holidays from the Heart. Also at the showcase were dancers, Rick and Tammy Pessagno. Rick is back in Vegas after three years on the road. Among the jobs he had while he was away, was a role in the touring company of Fiddler On the Roof, starring Topol as Tevya. Also in the Fiddler cast was Bill Nolte. Nolte appeared with Reams in The Producers, playing the part of Franz Liebkind, the pigeon-raising Nazi.

Susan Powell

Elly Brown

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Commercially speaking...
Pretty brunette Elly Brown is all over the tube these days and nights. The former Jubilee! principal singer can currently be seen in the Auto Insurance America's Pay My Way TV commercials, and is the spokesperson for Planet Hyundai. And, yes, that's entertainer, Larry Atello, in the new CenturyLink prism television spots. In addition to doing TV commercials, Larry portrays Donny Dolce, the wedding singer, in Tony n' Tina's Wedding at the V Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino. He is also the lead in a Bon Jovi tribute band called Have a Nice Day. Then, there is Nathan Ferrier, who appears to have gone to the dogs (and cats). Nathan can currently be seen on television, promoting the Spaying and Neutering of pets, as well as Sniffany & Co., a full service dog grooming facility and fun pet supplies (including canine clothing).

Larry Atello

Nathan Ferrier

Johnna Adams

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In November of 2011, Off-Strip Productions and Original Works Publishing teamed up with The Onyx Theatre to create a new type of play contest, one that would allow for submissions from older works, established playwrights, new playwrights, and pieces that have never seen the light of day before. The contest would be free and open to all residents of the United States, and would accept electronic submissions. And, to keep with the times, the finalists would have their scripts read publicly - and broadcast live over the internet - over the course of a weekend in November. The goal was to find the best script submitted, and in the end hundreds of submissions were received, making the going through them a daunting task. Eventually, five plays were chosen as semi-finalists, and each play was given a reading at The Onyx Theatre. Based on audience response, plays were rated on a variety of attributes, and feedback was gathered to be given back to the playwrights. At the contest's end, one play has risen above the rest - Nurture, a daring comedy by Johnna Adams, a script that unanimously received accolades from those watching the readings. As the winner of the Sin City New Play Contest, Nurture will receive a full production this summer at The Onyx Theatre, the playwright will receive a cash prize, and once the production has been staged the script is eligible for publication by Original Works Publishing. Those who put the contest together want to congratulate Johnna on her outstanding play, and everyone looks forward to seeing it fully staged in 2012. Off-Strip Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit theatre production company dedicated to bringing exciting works to the stage, to educate the public on the theatre arts, and to expose and develop the talent found in the greater Las Vegas area. Located near the famous Las Vegas Strip, the Onyx Theatre is Las Vegas' leading alternative and performance space for world-class and local artists. It is dedicated to personal artistic expression, free minds, unrestrained entertainment, and socially relevant art. About Original Works Publishing
The mission of Original Works Publishing is to publish, produce, foster, and support bold, original, and adventurous playwrights from around the globe. For more information please contact Sirc Michaels at (702) 573-8335, or by email, at [email protected].
The Onyx Theatre is located at 953 E. Sahara Ave., #16.

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During this past year, we have mourned the passing of too many friends. Among those who left us in 2011 - Scotty Dockswell, Bob Flanigan, Anita Griffin, Dennis Grillo, Audrey Holmes, Joey Lomelo, Luke Manfredi, John Meren, Eve Quillin, Ted Quillin, Amy Roberts, Jerri Spencer, and Donna Taylor. And a special mention regarding 19-year-old Anthony Rivera, who was murdered in August of last year. We did not learn of his death until earlier this year. We knew Tony from the time he was about six-years-old. A sweeter kid would be hard to find. He moved from our southeast neighborhood about seven years ago, and we had only seen him once since then. Anthony's burned out car was found near Sahara and Maryland Parkway, and his body was found along a roadway in the San Diego area, about four days after he went missing. His last known whereabouts was at the Las Vegas Speedway. They will continue to be missed.

Rest In Peace

Vintage Donna Taylor

Jerri Spencer

Tony Rivera

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