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 February 24, 2012
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - February 24, 2012

Diane Sutton with Godfather Screenplay

Merryl Jaye & Jillean Williams

In our column of February 10th, we wrote of an item dropped off in a Catholic Charities donation bin in Las Vegas. How the screenplay ended up at the Catholic Charities' donation warehouse remains something of a mystery. It might have been purposely donated, or unwittingly dropped off along with other donations by the previous owner, whoever that might have been. Catholic Charities employee, Diane Hutton, was sharp enough to know that the copy of the screenplay for the blockbuster 1972 movie, The Godfather, might be something really special, so, instead of lumping it in with other bargain books, last summer Hutton took the leather-bound copy to the downtown Las Vegas Gold & Silver Pawn, where the reality show, Pawn Stars, is filmed for the History Channel. Hutton, manager of warehouse operations for Catholic Charities, remembers the day the screenplay was discovered. She was giving instructions to an employee about how to sort through boxes of donated books, and what to look for that might make one more valuable than another. Inscriptions and autographs, she said, can be huge bonuses. "Like this one?" the worker asked later, handing her the screenplay for The Godfather. Inscribed on the red leather cover was the name Robert Evans, who headed production at Paramount Studios at the time. The inscription read, "Bob - It cost me a lot ... but there's one thing that I got ... ulcers - Thanks - Al." Because Al Pacino starred in the movie, it was thought it was his signature. The pawn shop brought in a signature authenticator, who said it was Pacino's. Hutton was offered $500 by the fellows on the cable TV show. She thought she could do better, and turned them down. Good move. "That's my signature," Godfather producer Al Ruddy exclaimed when he saw the Pawn Stars show on TV. He contacted Catholic Charities and said he wrote the note. That made sense, as Ruddy was the one spending the money and getting the ulcers. (The signature authenticator apologized to Catholic Charities for the bad call and donated $1,000 to the organization.) After the charity decided to sell the screenplay at auction, Ruddy, a big supporter of the work done by the organization, contributed some extra Hollywood memorabilia, photographs from The Godfather movie set, even videotaped congratulatory remarks for the eventual owner, thinking the goodies would boost the value of the screenplay on behalf of the charity. On February 9th, the rare material was auctioned at Catholic Charities' Heart of Hope Award luncheon, celebrating the agency's 71 years of helping Southern Nevada, held at The Mirage casino and hotel in Las Vegas. Bids from out-of-towners were taken electronically. Thanks in part to the resulting publicity from Hutton's TV appearance, bidding on the screenplay, signed by the producer, was active. By the time the auction ended, the item had sold for $12,000. Ruddy was very pleased when the screenplay generated that amount of money. As it turns out, the buyer had no need for any of the movie memorabilia, photos or the congratulations that Ruddy added to the package. On February 16th, Tom Gorman of the Las Vegas Sun, printed what is probably the final, and best, chapter of the Godfather script saga. Unbeknownst to Al Ruddy, the screenplay was bought by his wife, Wanda McDaniel. On Wednesday morning, at their Beverly Hills home, she carefully set it down on the table next to Ruddy's omelet. Ruddy reported that he was "flabbergasted." When asked what motivated his wife to buy it for him, Ruddy replied, "I have no idea. You want me to be the first guy to explain how a woman's mind works?" McDaniel said she had a very creative and talented husband who managed to win two Oscars (best-picture awards for The Godfather in 1972, and Million Dollar Baby in 2004), and likes to have things in twos to make their two children happy. Therefore, she wanted a second studio copy of the 'Godfather' screenplay. McDaniel, who is an executive vice president of Giorgio Armani, said she learned of the wayward screenplay after she received a Google news alert about her husband that linked to a Las Vegas Sun article explaining that it was him, and not Godfather actor Al Pacino, who had autographed the screenplay. She placed her $12,000 bid during the final minutes of the auction, winning the copy of the screenplay. When asked how much she was willing to pay for the treasure, she replied, "I don't know. It's priceless." Of her winning bid, McDaniel said, "It was for a wonderful charity, and this is a wonderful legacy for our family." Looks like almost everyone comes out a winner in this tale.

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When Southern California artist, Merryl Jaye, participated in a four day Jazz party at the Marriott in Newport Beach, she took along her giclée (fine art digital images made on ink-jet printers) portrait of the late jazz legend, and longtime Las Vegan, Joe Williams. Lo and behold, Joe's widow, Jillean Williams was at the Jazz Festival, saw the work and bought it. "She's a lovely lady," stated Merryl. "What a treat."

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F.I.O.R.E. Presents Bakie & Bakie

On Thursday, March 8th, the F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) folks are throwing another fun-tastic luncheon at the historic Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara. The special guest will be President John Bakie, who, with his wife, Laury Bakie, authored The World of Las Vegas Dining. Chef by chef, restaurant by restaurant, and cuisine by cuisine, the Bakies uncover the mystique behind Las Vegas' culinary landscape in their book. Two years in the making, The World of Las Vegas Dining, will immortalize the city as a first-class epicurean wonderland. With cameras in hand, voracious appetites, and never faltering persistence, two of the country's most passionate food ambassadors give you Las Vegas on a silver platter. Within a very colorful and exciting 280 pages, every facet of Las Vegas' restaurant industry is explored. Readers will journey through restaurants of every imaginable style, take a closer look behind the scenes, and meet some of the most famous, most talented, and most cutting-edge chefs of our time. At Thursday's meeting, President Bakie will be presenting a top notch program/ event, that includes wine tasting and gourmet delicacies (and even horses de ovaries), prepared by some of the leading Las Vegas' Chefs. These treats are in addition to the tasty buffet created by the Italian American Club. Live entertainment will be provided by Grammy Award-winner Gary Anderson and the Usual Suspects. Ladies are welcome, with widows of former Presidents as the guests of F.I.O.R.E. All of this for the measly price of $22 a person. Nelson Sardelli, who, of course will be present with some guests, tells us that among the more than 80 people (plus about 10 folks who are providing wine and the hors d'oeuvres, and the cooks, sommeliers and members of the press), there will be around 100 friendly folks. So far, those who have already indicated they will be attending this special co-ed luncheon are (in alphabetical order, from A to Z), Bill Acosta, Allon Adar-Burla, John Amato, Peter Anthony, the Bakies, Angela Bell (Freddie Bell's widow), Constable John Bonaventura and Gloria Bonaventura, Ray Borders and Kathy Beach, Mike and Barbara Breglia, Phil Carlino and guest, Angelo Cassaro, Joe Cino and guest, Al Ciricillo, Judy Coco, Ed and Heidi Coleman, Paul and Lana Crupi, Joe Del Popolo and guest, Nannette DiMascio, Mr. and Mrs. Eddie DeVries, Tony DiVietro, John Faulis, John J. Flood, Mel Guerra, Mr. and Mrs. James Hatland, Don and Gloria Hill, Chick Hughes, Len and Kaye Indelicato, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Ivans, Norm Johnson, Dr. Wilfred Krom and Celia Krom, Charlie and ViVi Licata and guest, Aldemio Mancuzo Jr., Jim Marsh, Anita Mazorati, Joe Moreno, James A. Morganti, Don Nitti, Babe Pier, Cork Proctor, Dr. and Mrs. George Ritter, Constable Gary P. Rogers and Melissa Rogers, Mike Rosetto, Don and Maria Sacco, Ken Sands, Pietra Sardelli, Ira "Ike" Schab, Jerry Schafer and guest, Artie Schroeck and Linda November, Sasha Semenoff, Felix Silla, Betty Smith, Joseph Stanley, Mike Sullivan and guest, Laura Taylor, Lou Toomin, Allen Tramont and guest, Len Ubriaco, Conrad and Marilyn Welle Villella, Gene Vitale (who is recovering from recent surgery, but wouldn't dare miss this meeting), Ken Walther, Brenda Weems, Richard Wellington, and Marc Zuckerman. In addition to the interesting program, the F.I.O.R.E. attendees will help Dr. Krom celebrate his 76th birthday (with or without those famous trombones). If you or your nice friends, if you have any nice friends, would like to spend some time with this bunch of interesting people, RSVP to Nelson at [email protected] ASAP. RSVPs are a must, as the chefs need to know how much food to prepare.

And speaking of the Italian American Club, Angelo Cassaro, president of the IAC (and a F.I.O.R.E. president as well), tells us that tomorrow night, Saturday, February 25th, at 8, Jukebox Live! will get the Italian American Club jumping, with live musicians and singers providing music from the '50s, '60s, and '70s. The price is $20 at the door. For pre-show dinner reservations, call the Club at (702) 457-3866.

Also, another F.I.O.R.E. president, Nik Mastrangelo (aka "Nik at Nite"), will be performing at La Scala Italian Restaurant, tomorrow night from 7 to 10. Larry Millonzi will accompany on keyboard. La Scala is located at 1020 E. Desert Inn. Join in for an evening of great music and great food in an intimate setting. Call (702) 699-9980.

Nik Mastrangelo

KJ Kitchen at Rio

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The cast of Dick Feeney's The Rat Pack is Back has just returned from a sellout engagement in Montreal, at the Theatre Maisonneuve during the "Montreal en Lumiere" Festival. Each show received numerous standing ovations from the crowd. The Rat Pack is Back has been invited to return to Montreal this summer to perform at the world famous Montreal Jazz Festival 2012. In the meantime, The Rat Pack Is Back is ongoing at the Rio, with nightly shows at 7 p.m. Call (702) 777-7776.

And speaking of the Rio, KJ Kitchen Dim Sum & Seafood Chinese Restaurant is now open at West Flamingo property. The Rio location is the second for the traditional Chinese restaurant, which has a great reputation for serving high-quality, fresh seafood dishes. The new eatery will also debut its first dim sum menu, available during lunch, which will bring a special element of the Chinese culture to casino guests and loyal KJ Kitchen diners. Danny "Leung" Nhan, the owner of KJ Kitchen, is excited about the expansion, especially the dim sum menu which provides a one-of-a-kind experience for many visitors. "KJ Kitchen offers a high quality dim sum and fine-dining experience set in a comfortable atmosphere," said Nhan, referring to the magnificent 4,600-square-foot location, which seats up to 350 people, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. Exclusive to the Rio location, the dim sum experience includes a customary tableside cart, allowing guests to visually select their options. Guests can also enjoy the various shrimp, lobster, crab and giant clam dishes that have made KJ Kitchen a local favorite. Head Chef, Loy Lee, who has lead the original KJ Kitchen for more than five years, was born and raised in China, and perfected his craft in Hong Kong. Chef Lee has relocated to the Rio, joined by Chef Pui Wong, who contributes more than 30 years of restaurant experience, working in both China and Hong Kong. The menu includes many favorite dishes from the original location, including XO Salt & Pepper Crab and Stir-fry Mongolian Beef, as well as new menu items exclusive to Rio, utilizing Chef Wong's signature assortment of fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients.

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Beginning in May, guitar legend Carlos Santana will launch a two-year headlining gig at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Santana recently completed a headlining engagement at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Representatives for the House of Blues say Santana will have a run of shows in May and June, then return in September with the residency running through 2013. Santana says he's happy to call the venue home, and plans to honor the diversity and culture that the House of Blues promotes as a company. Tickets go on sale March 3rd, with part of each ticket sale going to Santana's foundation, which supports children's art, education and health.

Carlos Santana

Bill Nolte is a Prick

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In 2004, the Gold Dust Orphans took their first stroll through the South when they presented the Elliot Norton award-winning Pussy on the House, their own twisted take on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Well, the South is about to rise again. Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans present The Little Pricks, based on Lillian Hellman's masterwork, The Little Foxes. Cue the music! Dim the lights! Close your eyes! ... LISTEN! ... There's a low, sweet song comin' though the cottonwood trees, and the smell of hot pecan pies cooling in the warm night air. You're in the South, my friend. The Deep South. It's 1900. The Civil War is over and everything seems sorta peaceful in town, don't it? "Nice night, Mr. Smith!" ... "Yer' lookin' mighty purty Mrs. Jones!" ... And then you see THEM coming 'round the corner, noses in the air. The Pricks! The same sort of greedy, avaristic type folks you might run into today, fighting tooth and nail for more, more, MORE! Only these folks happen to be family. That's right. They're related. They're known around these parts as The Little Pricks, and they'll destroy anyone or anything that gets between them and a dollar. But why am I tellin' ya'? You know who they are! There's Regina: Evil in a corset. Once she was beautiful. Now she's just dangerous. Ben: A snake with a grin. Would cheat a kid out of his candy ... or worse. Oscar: Dumb, ignorant violent. Loud, but with nothing to say. A bigoted creep. Leo: An excellent reason why people like Oscar should never have children. There are others too. Others who try as they might will never stop the Pricks of this world from getting what they want. But more to the point, will the Pricks ever get what they deserve? These questions and others will be answered by The Little Pricks, sent through The Gold Dust Orphans' glitter filled parody machine, Hellman's brilliant, heartbreaking story is ripe for an Orphanizing, and this is the cast to do it. The Little Pricks not only features Broadway's Bill Nolte (who played the pigeon-raising Nazi, Franz Liebkind, in the Las Vegas production of Mel Brooks' The Producers) as Ben, and local legend, Ryan Landry, as Regina, but the show also stars Penny Champayne, Chris Loftus, Bill Hough, Margaret Ann Brady, Grace Carney and Jake Egan. They invite you to join them in Boston, as they bring you one of the finest theatrical events of this or any other winter season. The Little Pricks plays at Machine, 1254 Boylston Street, every Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m., and every Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m., through March 11th only. General admission tickets are $35, and VIP reserved seating tickets are $45, and can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets

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To go along with the newly remodeled downtown Plaza Hotel & Casino, there is a new production in the hotel casino's showroom. The show is called Avant Garde and it offers an amazing lineup of talent. Directing and starring in Avant Garde is Juliana Chen. Juliana is the only woman to ever win First Place at the F.I.S.M. Magic Championships. She took home the gold. She is sharing the stage with Kevin James, Ed Alonzo, Michael Finney and Sonny Fontana. Kevin James had the honor of doing a Command Performance at the White House for the First Family and 500 friends and relatives. He was also a finalist on TV's America's Got Talent, and is known for his creativity and originality. Ed Alonzo is fresh off a Britney Spears tour, and has a huge list of credits. Ed is also very high in demand with his crazy style of comedy magic. He is truly "The Misfit of Magic." Michael Finney is a very funny man. His dry sense of humor will leave your sides hurting from laughter. He is easily considered one of the top comedy magicians working today. Sonny Fontana is a one-of-a-kind. He is an expert in the ancient art of hand shadows. He will delight you with the simplicity and dexterity of this seldom seen form of entertainment. Showtimes are 7 p.m. nightly, dark on Friday. The Plaza is anchored at the end of Fremont Street downtown

Ed Alonzo

Alton Fitzgerald White CD

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Anton Fitzgerald White, who portrayed Mufasa in The Lion King that played here at Mandalay Bay, tells us that his first CD, Ecstasis, which he wrote and co-produced himself, is now available digitally. Ecstasis, is described as "Part Soul, Part Alternative, Gospel and Classic House Groove with a Rich Blend of Baritone. Poetic Rhythms, filled with Ear-catching Harmonies that Tickle the Spine and Challenge the Mind!" Before originating the role of Mufasa on The Lion King's first national tour and in Las Vegas, Alton was featured in the ensembles of Miss Saigon and The Who's Tommy. White also served as a replacement Coalhouse Walker in the original production of Ragtime, and took over the role of Mister in The Color Purple before landing the role of Mufasa on Broadway. The talented entertainer's newest release, Disney On Broadway: My Way, is due out in early summer.

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Mark Nadler's Broadway Hootenanny, featuring, in addition to Mark Nadler, Heather Mac Rae, Marta Sanders and Jamison Stern, takes place at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:15) on Monday, February 27th, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, at the West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd St. (between 9th and 10th Aves.) in Manhattan, to support Cabaret Cares 6. All proceeds go to children living with HIV and AIDS. Cost is a $20 cover/$15 food and drink minimum. See a great show and support a wonderful cause. For reservations, call (212) 695-6909.

Mark Nadler

Dana Daniels

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Johnita Ejercito, a practicing attorney and nurse from Woodland Hills, California, hit the 6 Card Bonus™ jackpot last Sunday morning, resulting in a $1 Million payout for the single hand. She was staying at Paris Las Vegas and has been a fan of the game for eight years. Ejercito says she usually stays at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, but because she is a Total Rewards diamond member, she decided to stay at Paris Las Vegas for a change. Earlier in the weekend she had attended Jubilee! at Bally's. "We would like to congratulate Ms. Ejercito for winning the $1 Million jackpot," said Jeffrey Kowalchuk, Enterprise Vice President of Table Games for Caesars Entertainment. "The popularity of Three Card Poker has skyrocketed in the last few years, and Caesars Entertainment is proud to be the exclusive destinations for the $1 Million six card bonus. Our goal is to offer fun and unique table games for our guests, and being able to offer a jackpot comparable to what you see in progressive slots is a perfect fit." The 6 Card Bonus™ side bet on Three Card Poker gives players the chance to win $1 Million with a total wager as small as $15 if they hit a super royal flush in diamonds: 9, 10, J, Q, K, A. Additionally, $100,000 payouts are available for the super royal in hearts, clubs or spades. Analysts estimate a $1 Million winner approximately three times a year in both the Las Vegas and Atlantic City markets. Ejercito is the first to win the $1Million jackpot in Las Vegas and now the third lucky $1 Million winner Caesars Entertainment has paid out since the game debuted in Las Vegas last spring with two lucky winners already taking home the $1 Million prize in Atlantic City. Ejercito says she plans on using the money to send her two daughters to London to get their Masters in Economics, and perhaps a few flights to visit them as well.

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Las Vegas Restaurant Week returns, February 27th through March 4th. This is the first ever spring edition of the popular culinary event. Locals and tourists have the unique opportunity to dine at many of the city's best restaurants at affordable prix fixe prices while helping to support Three Square Food Bank. Taking part in Las Vegas Restaurant Week is simple. Diners can visit any participating restaurant during the specified dates and enjoy a multi-course, prix fixe menu specially created for Las Vegas Restaurant Week. Each restaurant will create their own delicious menu offering at one of the following price points: $20.12, $30.12 or $50.12, with a fixed portion of the proceeds benefiting Three Square and the fight against hunger in Southern Nevada. This spring, diners have the opportunity to make their dollar count twice. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation pledged $5 million towards Three Square Food Bank's 2011-2012 annual budget. Three million dollars of the pledge is specifically designated as matching funds, meaning each dollar will be matched one-to-one by the grant, through April 30th. There are more than 70 participating restaurants including previous Restaurant Week mainstays: Bar + Bistro @ the arts factory, Rick Moonen's rm seafood at Mandalay Bay, TAO at The Venetian, and DW Bistro in the Southwest. New to this year's line-up are Grape Street Café Wine Bar & Cellar in the Northwest, Grotto in the Golden Nugget, NOVE Italiano at The Palms Casino & Resort and Beso Steakhouse at Crystals at City Center, among others. For a complete list of Restaurant Week participants and menu details, go to The easy-to-navigate site allows diners to search by type of cuisine, restaurant location or donation amount. In addition to spring Restaurant Week, Three Square will get a jump-start on Hunger Action Month with the fall edition of Restaurant Week, August 27th through September 2nd. Las Vegas Restaurant Week began in 2007 as a way to give locals and tourists the opportunity to help out by dining out each fall. This year marks the first annual Spring Las Vegas Restaurant Week, featuring an additional week of fine dining at prix fixe prices at some of the city's finest eateries. Proceeds from Restaurant Week benefit Three Square, Southern Nevada's only food bank. Three Square currently provides more than more than 24 million pounds of food and grocery product – the equivalent of nearly 18 million meals – per year to more than 650 Program Partners including non-profit and faith-based organizations, schools and feeding sites throughout Southern Nevada. Three Square is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks. For additional information visit or

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A cast of award-winning magicians, masters of illusion and outstanding variety and specialty acts from around the world, will mystify audience members in the Vegas Magic Theatre, a Paul Stone production, at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino. Hosted by Ben Stone, Vegas Magic Theatre seamlessly blends the exceptional abilities of three to four acts into a fast-paced 70-minute showcase of skill, guaranteed to amuse and confuse. Every week, Vegas Magic Theatre presents a completely new line-up of creative, trend-setting acts from across the globe, creating a an original experience each time audiences visit. One hour prior to show time, audiences are invited into the Magic Lounge in the front of the Theatre to enjoy superb close-up magic performed by sleight-of-hand artists, adding a unique twist to the Vegas Magic Theatre experience. Performing through Sunday are Dana Daniels, John Ekin and Sonny Fontana, with Ben Stone as host. Vegas Magic Theatre show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7 p.m., and Saturday at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Magic Lounge entertainment begins one hour prior to listed show times. Tickets start at $14.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Coast Casinos box office, at the Gold Coast Gift Shop, by calling (702) 367-7111, or by visiting

John Ekin

Jimmy Emerson

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La Cage, the original and world famous female impersonator show, is coming back home to the Riviera Hotel & Casino, back by popular demand, opening Wednesday February 29th at 7:30 p.m. in the Crazy Girls Showroom. Longtime producer and director of the show, Norbert Aleman, said, "I am so excited and proud to be opening La Cage back at the Riviera. The cast is just incredible, you won't believe your eyes of the authenticity of the talent, and La Cage is, of course, "the original," and one of the longest-running shows on the Strip, running 27 years and strong. It's a must-see!" La Cage star, Jimmy Emerson, has performed as the comedy lead and alternate host of the show for many of those years. He is overjoyed to be coming back home to the original venue inside the Riviera. Emerson heads the talented cast as the show's hilarious emcee, impersonating the outrageous trailer-trash bimbo, Tammy Spraynette. The show is fabulous and funny. Emerson has the kind of incredible sense of humor that draws you to him and makes you feel like you've known him all your life. Other unbelievable talents in the show impersonate celebrities Britney Spears, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Reba McEntire, and Bette Midler. La Cage, starring Jimmy Emerson, will play Wednesdays through Mondays at 7:30 p.m.

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Award-winning country music group, The Oak Ridge Boys, bring their decades of hits to The Orleans Showroom, Saturday and Sunday, February 25th and 26th, each evening at 8 p.m. The Oak Ridge Boys - Richard Sterban, Duane Allen, William Lee Gordon and Joe Bonsall - began as gospel singers in 1973, playing shows with Johnny Cash before signing their own record deal in 1975. The Oak Ridge Boys released their first album, Y'All Come Back Saloon, in 1976, and have since released more than 35 additional albums – 12 of which have been certified gold. The group has charted more than 30 top 10 hits and a dozen No. 1 singles, including their crossover hit, "Elvira," in 1981. "Elvira" helped the group win a Grammy® award in 1982 for "Best Vocal Performance by a Country Group of Duo," and the song was certified double platinum. The Academy of Country Music named The Oak Ridge Boys a 2008 recipient of the "Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award," an award honoring pioneers in the country music genre. They are only the third group in Academy history to receive this accolade. In August 2011, The Oak Ridge Boys were inducted into the revered home of country music, the Grand Ole Opry®. The next month, the group released "It's Only Natural" through the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's® exclusive music program. Tickets are available starting from $29.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Coast Casinos Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting

The Oak Ridge Boys

Myram Borders

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Tomorrow, Saturday, February 25th, at 7 p.m., The Perfect Gentlemen offer the perfect blend of harmony and humor, featuring 100 Years of Musical Styles, at the Starbright Theatre, located in Sun City Summerlin at 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd. Preserving America's great vocal sounds from a time when music was music, The Perfect Gentlemen re-create the close harmonies of the legendary groups The Ink Spots and the Pied Pipers, while including the era's great comic songs made famous by the likes of Louis Jordan and The Hoosier Hotshots. Their unique brand of harmony and humor sets them apart from other vocal groups. This family friendly show is not to be missed. Critics describe the show as "... a rollicking performance of topnotch harmony liberally laced with laughs," David Bly, Desert Valley News; "... four witty men with incredible voices and an overall entertaining family-friendly act," Jessica Robison, Moapa Valley Progress. Tickets are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. Shows at the Starbright are first come, first served with no limit on the amount of tickets purchased. Be sure to get your tickets early so you don't miss out! If an event sells out, every attempt will be made to provide additional show times, if possible. Show tickets may be purchased at Desert Vista, Mountain Shadows and Pinnacle community centers. All ticket prices include Live Entertainment Tax. Tickets are non-refundable. Starbright Theatre shows are open to everyone ages 12 and over. Just a reminder to all our residents that there is no reserved seating at the Starbright Theatre. Saving seats is not permitted. Please remember, there is not a bad seat in the theatre so everyone can enjoy the performances no matter where they are seated. Tickets are on sale, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For up-to-date information on Starbright Theatre shows, call (702) 240-1301.

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On February 20th, the Las Vegas Media group met again for a great lunch and to hear Las Vegas High School alumni and long-time news correspondent, Myram Borders, tell some great stories of her "beat" years. Myram reminded us all of the "good old" days, when reporters had to "try and find a phone" in order to be the first to call in a great news story. It was great to hear about her experiences. The group had numerous questions for her, and she generously answered all of them. An interesting fact is that Myram was instrumental in getting the Open Meeting Law passed in Nevada. It was also great to see Myram recognize several members of our group. LVMG co-founder, Frank Mitrani, made a surprise appearance, as did a few other members we have not seen in a long time. There were 47 people for lunch and the numbers just keep growing and growing. The next Las Vegas Media Group meeting will take place on March 19th, with none other than Las Vegas icon, Thalia Dondero, as special guest. Her talk is sure to be a crowd pleaser. We will have more about the LVMG March meeting, in, surprise, March!

Frank Mitrani & Jewel Mayhew

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Have fun playing bingo with local celebrities and support the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, tomorrow, Saturday, February 25th at noon. The Silverton Casino is hosting the Bingo Bow Wow bingo tournament to support the lifesaving, no-kill work of Nevada SPCA. All animal lovers are welcome! Players must be 21 years of age to play bingo though. The event will be held inside the Veil Pavilion, with a celebrity Red Carpet beginning at noon, and The Nevada SPCA Celebrity Bow Wow Bingo tournament beginning at 1 p.m. Win money and prizes. There will be performances by the women of Fantasy and the men of Thunder from Down Under. There will also be guest appearances by Racardo Laguna, "The Old Man" from Pawn Stars, Angel Porrino, Robin Leach, and many more. The first 100 guests to arrive will receive a free gift bag worth over $300. The tournament entry fee is $30, which includes one Blue Promo Paper Pack and a free dauber. Come out and have fun while helping the homeless pet population in Southern Nevada! For more information on NSPCA events please go to

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Bill Raggio

Dennis Gomes

As we approach our Friday deadline, we have learned of the deaths of two high profile men, long associated with Nevada.
Former State Senator, Bill Raggio, died Thursday while traveling in Australia with his wife, Dale. He was 85. Raggio, a Reno Republican, was the longest-serving state senator in Nevada history, retiring in 2011 after 38 years. Funeral arrangements are pending. Flags at the Legislature are at half staff and will remain that way through Raggio's funeral, which is yet to be announced.

Dennis Gomes, co-owner of Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, died at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, last night, or early this morning. He was 68. Gomes had a long career in the casino industry. Over the years, he was in casino management at the Silver City; Silver Nugget; Golden Nugget; Tropicana, both in Las Vegas and Atlantic City; the Flamingo Hilton and Las Vegas Hilton; Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Resort in Atlantic City; and was associated with the Aladdin during the Ginji Yasuda years. Dennis Gomes is survived by his wife Barbara and his children Mary, Danielle, Aaron, and Gabrielle. His oldest son, Douglas, passed away less than a month ago, on January 28th.

Our sympathies go out to the families of both of these gentlemen.

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