Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column



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

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from January 27, 2012
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - January 27, 2012


Bill Moore

Those who knew and loved Bill Moore may find the irony in the fact that services for the late producer will take place in Las Vegas on Valentine's Day. A graveside service and urn placement in a mausoleum will be held in the Garden of Devotion at Palm Downtown Mortuary & Cemetery, 1325 N. Main Street (between Washington and Owens), on Tuesday, February 14th at 10 a.m. This is not an "invitation only" ceremony, as we heard was being planned by someone who shouldn't be put in charge of anything, but is being put together by Moore's family members, and is open to anyone who would like to attend. For additional information, call Palm Mortuary at (702) 464-8300.

More personal memories of Bill Moore...If not for Bill, we probably would never have met the late Jack Gordon (onetime husband of LaToya Jackson), or John Wayne Bobbitt (onetime husband of the knife-wielding Lorena Bobbitt), or Elliot Ames (onetime manager for Lainie Kazan, Chaka Khan, Cleo Laine, and Jane Olivor). If we hadn't met Elliot, we would have never met Jane (Ms. Olivor lived in Las Vegas a number of years ago), and we never would have been able to hang out with Johnny Mathis, backstage at Caesars Palace following his performance in the hotel's original showroom, Circus Maximus. And so it goes.

And Bill Moore continued...
In a January 31, 2011, Las Vegas Review-Journal article by John Przybys, titled The Way We Were, John wrote...
The longer you live in a town, the more changes you see. Nowhere is that more true than in Las Vegas. But not all change is good. Sometimes, old places and things just seem -- for reasons of familiarity, or sentimentality or maybe just nostalgia -- better than their replacements. Here's what we mean.
We miss: Shows with goofy names
We're not so crazy about: Shows with names that sound like they come from focus groups
There was a time when producers were unashamed of coming up with over-the-top names for Las Vegas shows. Take "Dan Sin' Dirdy," a show at the old Marina hotel in the late '80s that capitalized on the success of the film "Dirty Dancing." And then there was "Nudes on Ice," which was so Vegas-perfect on so many levels. Now we have "Ka" and "Zumanity" and other titles that could be the names of just-merged corporations. Blah.
In case you didn't already know this, it was Bill Moore and his creative partner, George Arnold, who came up with the show title of Nudes on Ice, a name that will turn up in print and conversations for many, many more years to come.

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Giovanna Sardelli

Lou De Meis

If you have ever, ever, read this column before, you are more than familiar with the name Sardelli, be it Nelson Sardelli, Pietra Sardelli, or Giovanna Sardelli. We mention members of this creative and talented family rather frequently. This week, it's Giovanna's turn. Currently, she is in Ohio, directing Dead Accounts at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's Robert S. Marx Theatre, Eden Park. Dead Accounts is written by Cincinnati native, playwright Theresa Rebeck. Theresa's career has encompassed theater, film, television and literature. Her world-premiere play, Seminar, debuted in November on Broadway; Mauritius was also produced on Broadway. Rebeck was a Pulitzer Prize finalist as the co-author of Omnium Gatherum. Feature films include Harriet the Spy, Gossip and independent features, Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker, the latter of which was adapted from her play, The Scene. She has a Peabody Award for NYPD Blue, and is the creator/executive producer of the upcoming new series, Smash, debuting February 6th on NBC. Rebeck is also the author of two novels, Three Girls and Their Brother and Twelve Rooms with a View. Dead Accounts is Rebeck's third production at the Cincinnati Playhouse. The audaciously funny Bad Dates was produced in 2005, and the Kafkaesque-with-laughs look at the backstage world of The Understudy was performed in 2010. Ms. Sardelli has directed an array of world-premiere plays, including the recent off-Broadway production of Apple Cove. According to Sardelli, "I was fortunate to attend a very early reading of Dead Accounts, and I loved it the minute I heard it. I thought the play was so smart and filled with humor. It operates on so many levels. There are these intricate and complicated family dynamics that run through the play. I think it is through those relationships that we are able to recognize ourselves in the story." The cast for Dead Accounts features Stephen Barker Turner as Jack, Susan Greenhill (The Clean House) as Barbara, Carly Street as Lorna, Haynes Thigpen as Phil and Victoria Mack as Jenny. The design team includes Set Designer Scott Bradley, Lighting Designer Japhy Weideman, Costume Designer Clint Ramos and Sound Designer/Composer Jeremy J. Lee.

Here is some of what Jackie Demaline, of Cincinnati.com, had to say about the play.
"Dead Accounts gets a first-rate production led by director Giovanna Sardelli. The entire acting ensemble is terrific. Turner bounces off the walls delightfully, giving off a Midwestern vibe no matter how bizarro Jack's slowly revealed secrets; Street's frazzled Lorna is somebody you'd like to have coffee with at least once a week. Thigpen and Mack are spot-on as, respectively, a guy who's never left Cincinnati and has no complaints, and Jenny is a stereotype pill who wishes she were back on the upper East Side where there's no icky fresh air or trees or plastic dishes. Greenhill, who was a standout a few years back in "Clean House," nails it again as the long-beset family matriarch who seems to have found a pleasanter place inside her head than in the world that exists outside it. While mysteries are slowly revealed in the first act, "Dead Accounts" swerves into serious financial issue territory in the second. It evolves into a 'free market' comedy which is a little bumpier in the telling. (Rebeck's draft script preceded the Occupy movement and the rancorous conversation in Congress and on the Republican campaign trail of the last few months, so she was definitely on to something.) The play's title refers to Rebeck's inventive addition to a long list of Wall Street financial finagling. Jack has done a bad, bad thing – depending on how you look at it. As Jack explains, more than a little smugly, it's "so complicated it's hardly worth explaining." The financial talk around the kitchen table in the second act is good talk, but the tone can be as preachy as it is conversational and "be nice" isn't a strong enough resolution for Rebeck's deliciously horrid financial hi-jinks set-up. Rebeck has points to make about Cincinnati nice (or polite, anyway) versus New York nasty, but it's drawn more broadly than a smart audience needs. "Dead Accounts" is a neat piece of work from Rebeck, which, happily, doesn't end entirely neatly. Although a couple of people who deserve it may just have a happy ending." Prices for Dead Accounts range from $25 - $66, depending on day and seat location, and are subject to change. Performances take place, through February 11th, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays. Dead Accounts is suitable for adults and older teenagers. It contains strong adult language and mature themes. For more information, call The Playhouse box office at (513) 421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at (800) 582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. If you happen to be in or around Cincinnati...

A week without a Sardelli mention is like a day without sunshine, or apple pie without cheese, or a fish without a bicycle, so, next week, it will be Giovanna's papa, Nelson Sardelli, who, once again, generates some ink. (He gets grumpy if we ignore him for too long.)

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Richel Kompst

Go, Go, Greta!

RagTag Entertainment presents Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together, Tuesday, January 31st at 8 p.m. in the Ovation Room at Green Valley Ranch. Enjoy about 90-minutes of Sondheim favorites, such as "Pretty Women" (Sweeney Todd), "Could I Leave You" (Follies), "Sooner Or Later" (Dick Tracy), "Being Alive/Getting Married Today" (Company), "Putting It Together" (Sunday In the Park with George), "Old Friends" (Merrily We Roll Along), and more. With musical direction and conducting by Bill Fayne, the revue stars Brandon Albright, Kelly Albright, Lou De Meis, Jay Joseph and Richel Kompst, backed by a live band made up of Karalyn Todd on piano, David Kowelewski on keyboard, Brian Marsh on bassoon, Matt Guschi on oboe, Tallyn Wesner on clarinet, Allison McSwain on trumpet, Fred Watstein on bass, and John Nasshan on drums. Tickets are $15 and available at Green Valley Ranch.

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Singer/actress, Kristen Hertzenberg, who portrays Christine in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, at The Venetian until September, isn't the only talented one in the family. Kristen's hubby, Dana Satterwhite, can now call himself an official author. Dana, along with artist Joseph Watson, has created a children's book called Go, Go, Greta!, about a very, very, busy little girl. Dana's bio describes him as an independent writer, creative thinker, and entrepreneur. He has worked in the advertising industry for more than 15 years. He began his career as an intern at Arnold Worldwide, Boston in 1994, and went on to create campaigns for clients including McDonalds, Volkswagen, and State Farm as art director, writer, and creative director. He has held positions for agencies in Boston, New York, and Austin, Texas, and has worked contractually for some of the most highly lauded shops in the industry. He holds a Bachelors in psychology from SUNY Binghamton and has studied at the School of Visual Arts and Emerson College of Communications. Much of his advertising work has garnered international recognition and over the years has been featured in Communication Arts, CREATIVITY magazine, and Lurzer's Archive. Dana is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. He has recently self-published his first children's book, is owner of creative venture Satterworx Industries, and is currently working towards opening a creative space in the Emergency Arts building in Vegas' rapidly emerging downtown. Any energy he isn't putting towards creativity, he's putting towards spending time with family and friends and positively impacting the world around him, hoping to leave it a more inspired and beautiful place.

We discussed this book project with Dana. Cousin Claire asked the questions, and Dana Satterwhite answered.
CV: When did you start Go, Go, Greta!?
DS: I've got a manuscript dated April 14th, 2008 on my laptop. Can't remember the exact date of our trip to Hickey Elementary School during Nevada Reading Week, but it was late that night and early the next morning.
CV: How long did you work on it?
DS: The story wrote itself in a matter of hours. Then it sat on my desk and that of a publisher for over a year. Once Joseph the illustrator and I connected, it was about another 2 years of conceptualizing and refining.
CV: When and how did you connect with the illustrator?
DS: My wife Kristen and I were downtown for First Friday. She was still expecting at the time, so that has to make it more than 3 years ago. We wandered into Joseph Watson's gallery. I saw his work and loved it. I grabbed a business card and later reached out to him to see if he had any interest in illustrating a children's book. From then on, it's been a very collaborative process.
CV: Has it been professionally editedbr /roofread?
DS: To the extent that I am somewhat of a professional and a perfectionist, yes. Has it been blessed by a legitimate children's book editor or proofreader? No. Children and their parents have read it and expressed nothing but positive remarks. That's acceptance enough.
CV: Inspiration?
DS: The trip to Hickey Elementary was major inspiration. Watching 2nd and 3rd graders light up simply by being in the room is electrifying. Prior to that, I'd always talked about wanting to write a kids' book. Yet, for whatever reason—lack of time, motivation, not knowing where to begin—I'd never done it. I simply put my thoughts down on the page, in hopes of giving something back, and ran with it. My daughter Shea provided inspiration for the actual character Greta. Different name but, in my world, Shea is the busiest kid I know. Joseph worked from a couple of photographs of her as Greta came to life. It makes me happy and proud to be able to share the story with her. She will certainly inspire more. More than anything, I want kids to find encouragement and be left with a positive message that reminds them that, no matter what, if you set your mind to it, anything is possible.
Go, Go, Greta! may be purchased for $12, plus $2.60 shipping and handling. To buy, go, go to http://en.paperblog.com/book-tour-go-go-greta--108469/

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Dana Satterwhite

David Loeb

Next Wednesday, February 1st at 7:30 p.m., the UNLV Department of Music will present the UNLV Jazz Studies Area Concert, directed by Dave Loeb and Nathan Tanouye, and featuring the UNLV Jazz Band I, with Marlena Shaw, The Cunninghams and UNLV JAZZ Student, Carmen Woodruff. The program will take place in UNLV's Artemus Ham Concert Hall, with General Admission $10, and students, faculty, and military, free with proper ID. For additional information, call (702) 895-ARTS.

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Friends/musical mavens, Artie Schroeck, and his bride, Linda "Meow Meow" November, remind us that their dear friend and great colleague, Laura Taylor, is doing a wonderful show, tomorrow, Saturday, January 28th, at 2 p.m. at the Charleston Heights Arts Center. "For those of you who have seen her before, you know what a treat this will be, if you've missed her, by all means make sure you see this," says November. Tickets for the Laura Taylor Band in Concert are $15 at the door. The Charleston Heights Arts Center is located at 800 Brush Street, west of Decatur and just north of Charleston. For additional information, call (702) 229-6383.


Laura Taylor

Joan Collins Joins Jubilee!

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Joan Collins, English actress, author and columnist, checked out the 10:30 p.m. show of Donn Arden's Jubilee! at Bally's Las Vegas on Sunday, Jan. 22. Prior to the show, Collins posed with a cast of showgirls in front of the famous stage. The longest-running show on the famous Las Vegas Strip, Jubilee! celebrated its 30th anniversary in July 2011. Conceived, staged and directed by the legendary Donn Arden, the elaborate retro-glam extravaganza features lavish costumes, dazzling scenery, world-renowned specialty acts, dynamic music, graceful pageantry and of course, gorgeous showgirls wearing their trademark bright shade of red lipstick.

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This week, through Sunday, Vegas Magic Theatre at the Gold Coast is featuring America's Got Talent finalist, magician (not the King of Queens sitcom star), Kevin James; Tom Ogden and singer/magician/host, Ben Stone. The lineup of showroom talent changes every week. In addition, there is a free pre-show in an adjoining comfortable lounge, beginning one-hour before the stage show. Tickets are only $14.95 plus taxes and fees. This is one of the best entertainment bargains in the city. Showtimes are at 7 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, and on Saturdays at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available in the Gold Coast Gift Shop.

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Kevin James

Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith, accompanied by Dan Ellis on piano, will appear in the Upstairs Bar & Lounge (near Club Montelago), next Friday and Saturday night, February 3rd and 4th, from 7 to 10 p.m. in the beautiful Casino Montelago at Lake Las Vegas, 8 Strada di Villagio, in Henderson. Lisa will sing classic jazz, smooth jazz and light pop favorites. Lisa is a cast member of Shades of Sinatra, performing at the Clarion on Convention Center Drive; one-third of the musical trio, Dangerous Curves; and frequently appears in concert with her husband, singer/actor Ron Smith. There is no cover and no drink minimum for Lisa and Dan's Montelago gig.

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The Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada, along with Desert Space Foundation, Saturday, produced the 11th Annual Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival, running through Sunday, January 29th. The film festival aims to inform and strengthen the Jewish community through the art of film. "We are pleased to produce the 11th Annual Jewish Film Festival," said Neil Popish, executive director of Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada. "It is important to showcase these films to educate the community on Jewish culture, history and individuality."
The festival has showcased a variety of films, ranging from the Holocaust, Israel, and Civil War, as well as Jewish filmmakers. They have been shown at different locations throughout the city. Among the films that have already run, are, The Boys, chronicling the lives of Jewish, Academy Award-winning songwriting duo, Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, who introduced the world to favorites such as, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocous," from Mary Poppins, to "It's a Small World After All," The Boys takes audiences behind the scenes of the talented Sherman brothers who were estranged personally from each other throughout their professional partnership. Otto Frank explores the life of Anne Frank's father, the only member of the Frank family to survive the Holocaust. This documentary gives audiences an up close look into Otto Frank's early years, life in the Amsterdam attic and his dedication to keeping his daughter's memory alive. My Australia showcases the lives of a Polish mother and her sons as they migrate to Israel to escape the perils and anti-Semitism of postwar Europe. My Australia won the Audience Choice Award at the 2011 at the Jerusalem Film Festival. Joanna, tells the tale of a young girl named Rose separated from her mother during a roundup in Nazi occupied Poland. Joanna, a piano teacher who is awaiting news of her soldier husband's return, discovers Rose and takes her under her wing. Joanna explores loss, healing and the dangers of hiding a Jewish child during the Holocaust. Mahler on the Couch gives audiences a glimpse into the marriage of Gustav Mahler and Alma Schindler Mahler. Set in Vienna in the early 1900s, Mahler on the Couch explores Mahler's relationship with his wife as she seeks passion with architect Walter Gropius, sending Mahler onto the couch of Sigmund Freud. Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray is a documentary that explores the history of the Jewish community during the Civil War. More than 10,000 Jewish soldiers fought on both sides making a great divide in the Jewish community. In Dolphin Boy, Morad no longer speaks after being bullied by his peers and is sent to Eilat, Israel for a special therapy treatment with dolphins. Morad overcomes his obstacles and recovers after developing a unique relationship with his therapy dolphins. Based on a true story, Dolphin Boy will leave audiences with a sense of hope and renewal. Tango, A Story with Jews, tells the story of Jewish musicians fleeing Russia in the 19th century for Buenos Aires and shows the influence they had on making the tango romantic by adding their festive klezmer music. This documentary is told through family memories and little known historical facts. Tomorrow, Saturday, January 28th at 7 p.m., at the Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus, will screen Intimate Grammar, a coming of age tale that tells the story of Aharon, a lonely and sensitive boy. With his Bar Mitzvah around the corner, he dreads the idea of his initiation into the adult world and finds himself at odds with those around him due to his romantic ideas. Winner of Best Israeli Feature at the 2010 Jerusalem Film Festival. Kid Friendly: Yes. Tickets are $10. On Sunday, January 29th at 1 p.m., at the Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus, it's Love Ect., exploring the trials and errors of finding love through five real stories. Based in New York City, the film displays all romance genres, from teen love, decade-long marriages, newlyweds, divorce and more. Kid Friendly: Yes. Tickets: $10. On the same day, at 4 p.m., the film will be Jews in Nevada - a production of KNPB Channel 5 Public Broadcasting in Reno - is adapted from John Marschall's acclaimed book of the same title. The documentary showcases the history of Jewish presence in Nevada from mining in Virginia City, gaming and tourism to the future. Kid Friendly: Yes. Tickets: $10. The Adelson Educational Campus is located at 9700 West Hillpointe Road. Call (702) 255-4500. The Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada is a 501(c)(3) and is dedicated to providing Jewish culture and identity to all ages and backgrounds with quality events and programs. The JCCSN is a proud collaborative partner and beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas. The JCC facility was made possible by a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas for the capital improvements and renovation of the building as well as a significant grant providing financial resources to help the JCC with start up costs associated with the new location. Patrons can purchase tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/, or at film location. For more information, visit www.jccsn.org, or call (702) 794-0090.

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Mark Nadler & KT Sullivan

Mark Nadler only has one more performances of Crazy 1961, at the Laurie Beechman Theater in New York City. It's this Sunday at 1 p.m. About this show, David Finkle, Huntington Press Writer, Drama Critic, had this to say...
First Nighter: Mark Nadler's Outstanding, Outrageous 'Crazy 1961'
When the amazing Mark Nadler performs, I never fail to find myself thinking about the talent/luck equation. If x (talent) + y (luck) = Big Star, how are x and y measured? Is x regularly bigger than y? You'd think it would be or should be, but considering the myriad no-talents or modicum-talents with significant reputations abounding nowadays, that theory doesn't hold so firmly. The answer, of course, is that x and y undoubtedly differ according to the individual and will never be, and can never be, quantified. In Nadler's case, the x is extremely large and the y is apparently not nearly large enough. Which isn't to say that the outstandingly outrageous and outrageously outstanding entertainer hasn't achieved a notable success. At the moment and as he has been for many years, he's one of few performers appearing regularly in the (too frequently denigrated) cabaret field actually earning a living at the endeavor. Working constantly in New York City as well as across the country and the Pond, Nadler is known but not in the way, say, Al Jolson or Danny Kaye or Victor Borge or Jerry Lee Lewis -- all of whom he resembles in one way or another -- were or are known and celebrated. That's to say, he's not a household word when he should be. After all, he's as brazenly self-aggrandizing as Jolson could be, as delightfully hyper as Kaye often presented himself, as gifted and goofy at the piano as Borge habitually was, and as piano-rockin' as Lewis couldn't stop himself from being. Then what's held Nadler back from consistently landing major bookings? Is it that he arrived at a time when Jolson, Kaye, Borge and Lewis represent show-biz acclaim of a prior era. Maybe, but maybe not. After all, that talent will out should operate in any age, shouldn't it? Is it that, as many have said about him, he comes on too strong? Maybe, but maybe not. Did anyone ever come on stronger than Jolson, whom audiences ate up with a spoon? Is it that there's no one quite like him around now, and consequently there's no easy way to connect him to a wider public? (Elton John may come closest, but he's also a pop-tune composer, which is one thing Nadler doesn't claim to be.) Maybe his uncategorizability does account for the oversight, but maybe not. Nadler's uniqueness should be a prime selling point. Okay, I throw my hands up and can only say that Nadler's current show, "Crazy 1961," which he reprises twice more (January 15 and 22) at Manhattan's Laurie Beechman Theatre, is yet another in his highly diverting, cagily intelligent enterprises. It may not be entirely at the level of his "Tschaikowsky (And Other Russians)" -- during which he takes the famous Danny Kaye list song of composers and spins comedy and information from it. All the same, this one's non-stop fun, too. The premise is that, born October 14, 1961, Nadler has now turned 50 and is wondering about everything that happened of any consequence during that miraculous year. Nothing seems to escape his coverage, including the sending of a chimp into space, civil rights demonstrations, the hit parade and the details of his own arrival. The latter include mentioning that his conception came about as the result of a broken condom, or so his father later informed him. Nor does Nadler stop there with the intimate disclosures, which extend to his deliberately delayed delivery (superstitious Mom didn't want to give birth on Friday 13) and his resulting life as a gay man. (In the age of Elton John, upfront at the 2012 Golden Globes with hubby David Furnish, don't say gayness is a career-deterrent.) Tying songs into the 1961 topics he raises, the tall, thin, tirelessly kinetic, somewhat-George Gershwin-look-a-like Nadler kick-starts himself (and I think I mean with literal kicks) on a "Once in a Lifetime"/"Comes Once in a Lifetime" medley that stokes the fires of those who think it's manic behavior that's stalled him. He knows the criticism so well that he segues into "Hey, Jimmy, Joe, John, Jim, Jack," a forgotten song from the forgotten musical "Let It Ride," about the advisability of tooting one's own horn loudly. He also knows it behooves him to demonstrate he can be restrained and, after a rousing "Cruella De Vil," he pulls way back to a sweet "This is Dedicated to the One I Love." Noting that 1961 is the year body-mikes came to Broadway (from whence he plucks many of his inclusions), he recalls the body-miked Anna Maria Alberghetti with "Carnival"'s 'Love Makes the World Go 'Round," which melts into Noel Coward's "Sail Away" advisory.

Before getting to a fifty 1961 hits medley followed by the most important one he's left out, "Moon River," he sings, among several well-chosen others, Gilbert Becaud's "Et Maintenant" only in French because he dislikes the English translation. He goes "Crazy," because he says he kinda is. Incidentally, the entire set has him at the piano, along with guitarist Scott Johnson, bassist Robert Sabin, drummer Barbara Merjan and Dan Willis on reeds and flute, and maybe it's fronting this hip band that'll make an improved-gigs difference for him. By the time Nadler finishes, he's shown he has it all -- with one exception: the nation-wide, not to say international, recognition he's worked all but the first two or three of his fifty years to attain and unquestionably deserves.

Reminder...
The bad news is, you may miss seeing Crazy 1961. The good news is, if you are in Las Vegas, next Saturday, February 4th, Mark Nadler and KT Sullivan will be performing together at the Historic Fifth Street School, located near downtown at 401 S. Fourth St. Love Is Here To Stay is a celebration of classic love songs, written by Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein and many more. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
Show starts at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7).

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Hash House A Go Go French Toast

Rich Natole

Hash House A Go Go wants Claire Voyant readers to know they are competing as the Best Place for Breakfast in the annual Review-Journal's Best of Las Vegas poll. If you are a friend of Hash House A Go Go, they would love to get your support. Voting runs through midnight, January 30th. To cast your vote, go to the Las Vegas Review-Journal site and click on the Best of Las Vegas Ballot, Part Three. Hash House A Go Go has four Las Vegas locations - the original, free-standing West Sahara restaurant, and in the Imperial Palace, downtown Plaza, and M Resort.

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Reminders...
It's comic impressionist, Rich Natole, at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin, tomorrow, Saturday, January 28th at 7 p.m. Natole's repertoire of hundreds of celebrity vocal and singing impressions will impress young and old alike. Avid television and movie buffs will appreciate Rich's pinpoint accuracy of their favorite stars of yesterday and today. From Chris Rock to Larry the Cable Guy to Jeff Foxworthy to Eddie Murphy, Rich Natole does a multitude of contemporary voices. Political junkies will enjoy his equal opportunity approach to spoofing their favorite (or least favorite) politicians. Rich's rendition of The National Anthem - with every President, from JFK to Barack Obama - is a huge crowd pleaser. You won't have to stretch your imagination to pick up famous singers belting out their signature songs. From Johnny Mathis to Johnny Cash to Willie Nelson -- Rich Natole captures the voice and the essence of these great performers. Tickets, at $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents, are on sale, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle community centers. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. The Starbright is located at 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd. For up-to-date information on Starbright Theatre shows, call (702) 240-1301.

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James Farentino & George Clooney

Joey Gian

One of our favorite actors passed away at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on Tuesday. James Farentino was 73, when he died of heart failure after a long illness. Farentino starred alongside Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen in the 1980 science fiction film, The Final Countdown. He also played opposite Patty Duke in 1969's Me, Natalie, and had recurring roles on Dynasty, Melrose Place, The Bold Ones: The Lawyers, and ER, playing the estranged father to George Clooney's character. Among Mr. Farentino's former wives, are actresses Elizabeth Ashley, Michele Lee, and Debrah Farentino. From 1987 to 1989, Debrah Farentino, was a regular cast member of a very well-written comedy-drama called Hooperman, starring the late John Ritter as Harry Hooperman, a San Francisco plainclothes police officer. Also co-starring was Joseph Gian, playing Rick Silardi, a gay ploiceman. The series, which ran on ABC, was created by Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher, the team responsible for L.A. Law. The pilot episode of Hooperman won the 1988 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.

In 2004, for about a year, the above mentioned Joey Gian, who was a competitor in the Male Vocalist category during the third season of TV's Star Search, appeared one night a week at that Italian Bistro on the south end of Las Vegas Blvd. (we do not mention the place by name). Joey did well for himself on Star Search, winning five weeks in a row and winding up in the semi-finals. As an actor, Joey Gian, or Joseph Gian or Joe Gian, as he is sometimes billed, has appeared in more than 100 episodes of television, including, in addition to Hooperman, numerous appearances on the FOX network's police drama, DEA-Special Task Force, and Aaron Spelling's Beverly Hills 90210; and portrayed mysterious detective Tom Ryan on CBS's long-running night time drama, Knots Landing. There were also guest-starring parts in L.A. Law, Lois & Clark, Highway to Heaven, It's a Living and Pamela Anderson's V.I.P. Gian appeared in two Diana Ross music videos - Eaten Alive, directed by Michael Jackson, and Experience, directed by Barry Gibb. Ross specifically chose Gian to play her leading man in those videos. Movie roles also dot this multi-talented man's resume, with 1988's Mad About You, directed by Las Vegan Lorenzo Doumani, among them. In MGM's Return to Me, a 2000 motion picture, featuring writer/director Bonnie Hunt along with David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, Robert Loggia, Jim Belushi and Carroll O'Connor in his final role, in a bit of typecasting, Joey Gian plays himself. Not only does he sing in the film, two of his original songs, "What If I Loved You" and "Here I Am," are included in the movie and on the soundtrack. Gian the songwriter is very pleased with the fact that Hal Leonard, author of The Best Songs Ever, included "What If I Loved You" among 46 favorites from contemporary films, in this latest , Music From the Movies. The Florida native's real love and interest has always been music. As a singer, he has performed in nightclubs and showrooms from coast-to-coast, among them House of Blues, RIX, The Bitter End, Chasen's, the Roxy, Whiskey, Harrah's at Lake Tahoe and Stone Pony.

Only months after the death of the man many consider to be the world's greatest entertainer, Gian was invited to participate in a Las Vegas tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. Gian shared the Rivera stage with Liza Minnelli and had the opportunity to meet Davis's widow, Altovise. He has also worked with Don Rickles, jazz legend Little Jimmy Scott, Bob Newhart and one of his idols, Ray Charles. In July of 2001, Gian was invited to sing at Milton Berle's last birthday party. Gian is a regular performer at the annual Los Angeles's San Gennaro Festival. Why did we include all this information about Joey Gian? Because we could.


Robert Hegyes

Mark Winkler

Robert Hegyes, who played Sweathog Juan Epstein in the 1970s sitcom, Welcome Back, Kotter, died yesterday of an apparent heart attack after suffering chest pains at his Metuchen, New Jersey, home. Hegyes, who was 60, had not been in good health for the past two years. Though Hegyes also starred on the detective series, Cagney & Lacey (as Detective Manny Esposito) and, in later years, guest-starred on shows such as NewsRadio and Diagnosis Murder, he was best known for his role as Juan Epstein (Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein), from 1975 to 1979. Always scheming and ready with a self-written note signed "Epstein's Mother" to explain his school absences, Epstein stood out among a group of characters that included the super-cocky womanizer Vinnie Barbarino (played by a young John Travolta), Arnold Horshack (played by Ron Palillo, who appeared in the old Riviera Comedy Club some years back), Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington (played by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), and hip but beleaguered high school teacher Gabe Kotter (played by Gabe Kaplan). Hegyes' last listed acting role was in the film, Hip, Edgy, Sexy, Cool, in 2002. He also appeared with most of the original "Kotter" cast members for a reunion at the TV Land Awards last year, as a commemoration for the series' 35th anniversary. He leaves behind two children, Cassie and Mack, and two stepchildren, Sophia and Alex.

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This Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the 2nd Annual Mark Winkler and an Omelette Jazz Brunch will be served at the Twist Restaurant in the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and Spa, 1755 N. Highland Ave., to celebrate the success of Mark Winkler's latest recording, Sweet Spot. Like jazz music? Come experience some of the best artists around and bring your appetite for a delicious buffet at the KJAZZ 88.1 FM Sunday Champagne Brunch series. Each week it's live jazz hosted by KJAZZ DJ's and paired with an all you can eat buffet of cooked to order omelettes, eggs benedict, fresh waffles, carved prime rib, hot entrees salads, desserts, champagne, mimosas, and much more. Enjoy the Mark Winkler Quartet hosted by Miles Perlich. Cost is $39.95 for adults, and $19.95 for children (12 and under). Prices do not include tax and gratuity. Parties of six or more will include 18% gratuity. Discounts and promotional offers do not apply. Reservations at OpenTable.com or call (323) 491-1000 (based on availability). Parking $2 at Hollywood and Highland.

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On Saturday, February 4th at 7 p.m., and Sunday the 5th at 3 p.m., Mistinguett Productions presents Showgirl Follies 2...Life In Feathers & Rhinestones at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin. The heart and soul of Las Vegas is best symbolized with the ladies who grace the stages and work the shows that are unique to Las Vegas. Produced, choreographed and directed by Mistinguett Productions, the newest edition of Showgirl Follies has beautiful dancers, more gorgeous costumes and wonderful musical production numbers tied together with world-class comic relief. This cast of performers, whose average age is 50, is a stunning example of experienced entertainers that will rival any younger performer on the Strip today. Featured in this production are Gabriella Versace, Mark Francis, Sheldon Craig and comic, Fielding West, as host. Mistinguett is a choreographer, director, costume designer, graphic artist and producer. Along with her previous partner, Greg Thompson, she produced and choreographed more than half a dozen shows in Reno/Tahoe and nine shows on the Las Vegas Strip from 1981- 2007, including Erocktica, Showgirls, Skintight, Lipstick Cabaret, Follies, High Voltage and Bareback. She has choreographed over 400 shows on 5 continents in the past 25 years. She has been awarded "Show of the Year" eight times. She was inducted into the American Theatre Roundtable Musical Hall of Fame. She established Mistinguett Productions Inc. in 2010. Tickets are $15 for Summerlin residents and $18 for non-residents. They can be purchased at the Starbright Theater Box Office (800) 595-4849, Pinnacle Community Center (702) 240-1301, Desert Vista Community Center (702) 363-1341 and Mountain Shadows Community Center (702) 966-1410. Tickets must be purchased in person, cash or check only. The Starbright Theater is located at 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd. While the sports fans are watching the big game, come out to the Starbright and have some fun.


Fielding West

Dana Carvey

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Witty impressionist, actor and comedian Dana Carvey brings the laughs to The Orleans Showroom, February 3rd and 4th, at 8 p.m. Carvey rose to national prominence during a six-year run as a cast member of NBC's Saturday Night Live, where he created memorable characters, the "Church Lady," "Garth" and "Hans" and spot-on impersonations of President George H.W. Bush, Johnny Carson, Ross Perot and Regis Philbin. Carvey's work on "SNL" garnered him six Emmy Award-nominations, including a win in 1993 for "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program." He also received multiple American Comedy Awards. In addition to "SNL," Carvey appeared in guest starring roles on several other television programs, including One of the Boys, Blue Thunder, The Larry Sanders Show, Just Shoot Me, The Fairly Odd Parents, and his self-titled 1996 series, The Dana Carvey Show, which also featured fellow comedians Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and Robert Smigel. On the big screen, Carvey appeared in supporting roles in This Is Spinal Tap, Racing with the Moon and Tough Guys. He starred in the films Opportunity Knocks, Wayne's World, Wayne's World 2, Clean Slate, The Road to Wellville and Master of Disguise. Most recently, he had a cameo appearance in Jack and Jill. Tickets start from $54.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Coast Casinos Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting www.orleanscasino.com.

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And the saga continues...
The Sammy Davis Jr. Story, a musical that was originally supposed to be presented at the Family Music Store on West Sahara, in July, but then was rescheduled for November 21st, never played at all. Tickets were advertised at $25 each. We have no idea if any were sold, but we wonder what the excuse was for the cancellation THIS TIME, and if people who might have bought tickets, ever got their money back. Did we mention that this was another COLABO Production (or should we call it a NON Production?)



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