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 March 09, 2012
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - March 9, 2012

Mac King, Hergit Llenas & Shelley Kresyman

Kristen Hertzenberg at Lewis E. Rowe School

This city is filled with generous entertainers. When called upon to help out for a worthwhile cause or charity (even some NOT so worthwhile "charities"), many of the talented men and women of the community are the first to volunteer. One example involves the Clark County School District...most specifically, Nevada Reading Week, which takes place annually, usually in March. Harrah's Comedy-Magician, Mac King, made a special visit to five local elementary schools as part of Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour: Nevada Reading Week 2012. King held assemblies at each school, reading short stories to the students, performing tricks from his show, and discussing the importance of reading. During his scheduled visits, King hand-delivered books collected from book drives, held throughout February of this year with the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team, The Springs Preserve, Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada and The Public Education Foundation. Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour has collected more than 6,000 books for local elementary school students. Donations benefit Clark County READS, the literacy initiative of The Public Education Foundation. "I'd like to thank the community partners that helped make Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour: Nevada Reading Week 2012 really special," said King. "I greatly enjoyed sharing the love of reading with my new pals and the enthusiasm was priceless. I look forward to making new pals next year." Mac King has been a long-time supporter of childhood literacy. For years, he has visited Las Vegas elementary schools to highlight the importance of literacy to students. During a recent week, Mac visited Linda Rankin Givens Elementary School, Ruben P. Diaz Elementary School, Edith Garehime Elementary School, Helen Jydstrup Elementary School and John W. Bonner Elementary School. The Mac King Comedy Magic Show plays at Harrah's, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 1 and 3 p.m. Tickets are $29.95 and $39.95, plus taxes and fees. Kids, and their grownups, are entertained by the antics of Mac King. For reservations, call (702) 369-5111.
Shown in the accompanying photo with Mac King, are Hergit Llenas, Director of Clark County Reads, and Shelley Kresyman, principal at Edith Gareheim Elementary School.

In addition to Mac King, and quite a number of other local personalities, Kristen Hertzenberg, who performs as Christine in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, took time out of her busy schedule (she is a wife, and mother of three-year-old, Shea) to read to Clark County school children. Two of the schools where Kristen charmed the students and the staff, were Steven Schorr and Lewis E. Rowe, where Mrs. Decker and Mrs. Pero's classes were among those lucky enough to, not only get a story read to them, but also a song from the lovely lady as well. Not surprisingly, one of the books that Kristen Hertzenberg read to the second grade children was Go, Go Greta!, written by Kristen's creative husband, Dana Satterwhite. For the older kids, she read When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson, written by Pam Munoz Ryan, and illustrated by Brian Selznick. You can see Kristen in Phantom at The Venetian. The award-winning Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will end its successful Nevada run in September. Dana can frequently be found at his new art gallery, TastySpace, located in the downtown Art District at 520 Fremont, Suite 150. Joseph Watson, who did the wonderful illustrations for Go, Go Greta!, is among the artists who have original work at TastySpace.

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Yesterday afternoon, the F.I.O.R.E. group (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) hosted a very successful luncheon at the Italian American Club. About 126 folks, plus guest chefs, wine experts and other presenters, came out to see John Bakie, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of NJR Publications, and his wife, Laury, talk about dining in Las Vegas. NJR Publications has been covering the food industry since 1991. They take great pride in producing quality publications that present the culinary world in an astonishing fashion. A list of the special guests appearing at Fiore Club's Extravaganza of Good Taste, included Chef Geno Bernardo, the executive chef of Nove Italiano located in Palms Casino and Resort on the 51st floor of the Palms Fantasy Tower. Chef Geno Bernardo prepares classic Italian fare with contemporary accents, including an extensive selection of seafood crudos, freshly made pastas, bistecca florentina, fresh fish and shellfish. One of Las Vegas most talented culinary craftsman, Chef Geno Bernardo has served countless celebrities and runs one of the most popular restaurants in Las Vegas.

Origin India is represented by owner Raj Majid, an international restaurateur who has been the force behind successful Indian restaurants in London and Las Vegas. Raja's London restaurant Origin Asia (a "Best in Britain" or BIBA award-winner) was invited to cater former Prime Minister Tony Blair's Annual Summer Garden Party, one of London's social events of the year, and an event Raja would cater for the following seven years. Raj Majid is the deliverer of refined Indian cuisine.

Ventana great wines are made in the vineyard, and the Ventana Vineyard has the perfect combination of water, soil, climate, art and science to create superb, world-class wines. Their success is evidenced by the number of awards they have won over the years on wine made from this remarkable property. Wines from our Ventana Vineyard have earned more medals and awards than any other single vineyard in America.

Le Mistral Vineyard's Joseph Phelps, founder of the Napa Valley winery most known for the Bordeaux-style "Insignia," was also a pioneer in California Syrah. He planted some of his own in the Napa Valley. Local grape growers farmed the vineyards for over 10 years and in 2008, the Le Mistral Vineyard farmers purchased the vineyard and the Le Mistral brand from Phelps, bringing the production and bottling "back home" to Monterey County.

Stick E Rice is a Thai restaurant hailed by the masses for being one beguiling house of taste. Straddling the fence between formal and casual and fast food and leisurely dining, Stick E Rice defies comparison and sets a new style of contemporary dining.

Don Pablo Cigar Company will demonstrate the fine art of cigar rolling. Welcome to one of the last non-industrial cigar factories! Every step of the confection is by hand in the traditional Cuban style. Their cigar makers, each with 30+ years experience are masters in their field. Every cigar sold is handmade in their factory in Las Vegas. Don Pablo is constantly evolving their cigars, discovering new tobaccos, and researching new blends, to bring the finest, most enjoyable smoke.

George Racz from Las Vegas Distillery will be on hand to offer samples from the first legal distillery in Nevada and answer questions about the art of making spirits. The distillery even got the attention of Governor Brian Sandoval who recently paid a visit.

John Deiss is known as the man that can make the perfect cup of "Joe." He is a senior rep for Nespresso and will be filling cups with coffee like you've never had.

Chef Franco, The Italian American Club's very own culinary talent will be side by side with some of Las Vegas' most renowned chefs and restaurateurs. Chef Franco will be featuring something truly inspired by his Italian upbringing and demonstrating his know-how in the kitchen.

Laury Bakie, co-author of The World of Las Vegas Dining, will be on hand to share straight forward dining advice and a passionate view on the enjoyment of food. Her passion is people and sharing any aspect of the food world with others is a delight for her. She is extremely disciplined and has a true passion for food. She believes it's not just about eating, it's about the celebration. She says, "Food leaves a lasting impression. In an instant you can be back in time when the smell of something reminds you of days-gone-by."

Artisanal Foods is both a distributor to the trade and a retail location for consumers to find the highest-end ingredients used by chefs.

Lagunitas Brewing Company is a brewery founded in 1993 in Lagunitas, California, USA. Lagunitas Brewing's flagship, IPA, is consistently the best-selling IPA in the state of California.

Moutai (USA), is importer of Bai Jiu, the national drink of China and Moutai beer, a beer made from the same spring water of Moutai Bai Jiu.

SakeOne is a leading premium brewer of Sake located in Forest Grove, Oregon. They also have Sake from Japan within their portfolio.

Chef Aleta provides personal chef services. She also has launched a very successful line of dessert items. Chef Aleta graduated from the United States Personal Chef Institute.

Devotion Vodka is going to be represented as well. It is a low calorie, gluten free, no sugar vodka made in America. It is the world's first protein infused vodka. It will be served at the event either straight up or mixed with pomegranate juice.

Joni Illi, Nelson Sardelli & Tom Illi at F.I.O.R.E.

There were a number of people who waited until just a few days before the event to RSVP. Among those who made it over to the club were Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, Jesse Cantero who is running for State Assembly (loved the Picasso tie), and the irrepressible Marty Allen (a big hit with his unique "hair don't"). Since many of the FIORE members and supporters, are talented entertainers, including the busiest president, Nelson Sardelli, it is not surprising that attendees are often treated to many forms of show business. Among those who added a musical touch to the festivities were sax player, Gary Anderson and his band of Usual (and unusual) Suspects; and vocalists, Susan Haller, who has a new CD, 88 Keys & Me, available; Nik Mastrangelo and Joni Illi. Then there was a little bump and grind number by 80-year-young, Dori (Bambi Jr.) Kotzan, fondly known in some circles as "Boom Boom."

Actor Felix Silla, Dori "Bambi Sr." Kotzan & Comic Marty Allen at F.I.O.R.E.

Two of the FIORE presidents were celebrating birthdays - Dr. Wilfred Krom, who is now an active _, and veteran comic, Marty (Hello Dere) Allen, attending his very first FIORE meeting, who turns 90 on March 23rd. Marty, who has made a speedy and amazing recovery from recent hip replacement surgery, is still sharp and funny...and busy. He and his musical bride, Karon Kate Blackwell, don't get a chance to spend much time in their Southern Nevada home, as they are in high demand on cruise ships and clubs around the country. A word of caution: Hide your cell phone when Mr. Allen is in the vicinity.

Cousin Claire has been at a number of these fun events at the Italian American Club on East Sahara. We have to say this was probably the best buffet we have had there. A tip of the hat to the new food and beverage man, Tony Runco, and IAC president, Angelo Cassaro. The next step to making the 52 year old club a top spot for events, would be an improved sound system. Hopefully, that will be done, sooner than later.

Leprechaun Cork Proctor

Michaelina Bellamy by Ed Foster

Funny man, Cork Proctor, who is one of the FIORE presidents, makes a return appearance at Henderson's Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino, on I-95, the road to Boulder City, to perform on Saturday, March 17th, St. Patrick's Day. This time around, Mr. McProctor (we are calling him this in honor of the holiday) will be presenting his True Tales of Classic Las Vegas, about growing up in this unique city. Sometimes hysterical, always historical, the stand-up comedian, emcee, actor, and auctioneer, has literally watched Las Vegas grow, from a small town of around 25,000, to a metropolis of more than a million residents. Among the tales, Cork tells how his father once rode a horse into the old Thunderbird Hotel, how lobsters used to be smuggled into Las Vegas, how he was fired from five vintage hotel/casinos (one time on his opening night, by veteran journalist, Norm Johnson, then director of the hotel's public relations), what onetime Sheriff Glen Jones kept in his desk drawer, about Dick Clark's 50th birthday party at the Union Plaza Hotel and Casino, and many more highlights (and lowlights) that occurred in this growing city. He was there. He has seen it. He has lived it. Now Cork Proctor is sharing his experiences with an audience. It should be an unforgettable night of Southern Nevada history and comedy. Showtime for this very rare performance at Railroad Pass will be at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, priced at $20 all inclusive, are on sale now at the casino cage.

Another F.I.O.R.E. supporter and attendees (when the ladies are welcome at the meetings), is Michaelina Bellamy. Unfortunately, she was not able to be there yesterday. "Mikey" is fighting a serious illness, and is a patient at San Martin Hospital. It has been one year since the former principal in the Tropicana's Folies Bergere was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Since March 4th of last year, the talented singer has spent more than 200 days in hospitals. Although she has lost most of her hair, Mikie has lost very little of her sense of humor. She would like to see some friendly faces, and/or get some uplifting e-mails (you can send them to Cousin Claire, who will make sure that they get to Mikie).

And speaking of hospitals, Kenny Kerr, who was the reigning Queen of the Strip for many years (not only did he work on the famous Boulevard at places like the Silver Slipper, Sahara, Stardust and Frontier, as well as the off-Strip Debbie Reynolds Hotel, for decades, he also did a real striptease as part of his act), who had been hospitalized with pneumonia at Sunrise Hospital for the past two weeks, was sent home on Tuesday. You can e-mail Kenny at [email protected].

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Skye Dee Miles

It's called Hollywood Star Express. It's an exciting Variety show that can't be missed, and yet you probably know nothing about it. The revue, starring the multi-talented Linda Bulgo, and featuring a number of other equally talented performers, opened on Wednesday, in the Star Theater at the Clarion Hotel & Casino (formerly the Paddlewheel, Debbie Reynolds and Greek Isles), 305 Convention Center Drive, between the Las Vegas Strip and Paradise Road. A resident of San Francisco (where she makes the weekly trip between there and Las Vegas, to run her successful Musical Theatre Workshops for Kids), Linda created and starred in her own one-woman show which played in San Francisco. She began performing in Beach Blanket Babylon in 1985, and currently is part of their traveling shows. While in Beach Blanket Babylon, Linda performed for Prince Charles and Camilla, and also appeared in Christmas With the Crawfords. She has made numerous television appearances, and has even sung at the World Series. Linda performed on a comedy television show called SUTN, which aired on the UPN Network. She was the opening act for the Emmy Award Show for Northern California with a country number, and also performed as Judy Garland. Her film credits include Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg, and Armistad Maupin's Tales of the City. She is renowned for her incredible singing voice, as well as her impressions of Garland, Bette Davis, Vikki Carr, Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop, Julie Andrews, Cher, Katharine Hepburn, the Wicked Witch of the West, and even Dr. Ruth. Linda wrote and sang all of the music on her CD, Original Country. She received rave reviews for her Las Vegas performance as Judy Garland from the concert years, in One Night Only. Joining Linda in Hollywood Star Express are special guests, David DeCosta, multi-talented singer, and impressionist; Skye Dee Miles, powerful vocalist/actress, who also was a member of San Francisco's Beach Blanket Babylon cast, as well as Menopause the Musical; Joey Ciccone, accomplished singer, actor, songwriter; Michael Delano, accomplished actor, singer; and Joan Mullaney, actress of stage and screen, and member of the Speeding Theatre Company. Show times are on Wednesdays, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., through the end of March. Introductory General Admission tickets are $29.95, plus taxes and fees, buy one get one free. VIP tickets are $39.95 per person, plus taxes and fees, which includes preferred seating and two drinks. Wednesday's debut had a small but enthusiastic crowd. As Bulgo says, "the audience 'got' the humor in the revue," and were very responsive to her characters, including "Judge Judy Garland." Hopefully, positive word of mouth will help build a crowd and encourage Bulgo and friends to extend the Las Vegas run of Hollywood Star Express. For reservations, call the Clarion Box Office at (702) 990-1524.

And speaking of Skye Dee Miles, the lady is back at the Tropicana, fronting her band, Skye 5, on weekends at the beautiful Ambhar Lounge. See them on Fridays and Saturdays, from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Houston Mac Pherson

O'Sheas Closing

And speaking of the Clarion, Candi Cazau send us this information...
Singer and comic impressionist, Houston MacPherson, is an entertainer who packs more than 50 celebrities into his multi-faceted and well executed family show. Houston's extraordinary talent masters the powerful voices, such as actors Clint Eastwood, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Al Pacino, and Jack Nicholson; comedians George Burns, Rodney Dangerfield, Jackie Mason, Jack Benny, and Paul Lynde; presidents Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, George H. W. Bush, George Walker Bush, and Barak Obama; TV personalities Ed Sullivan, Andy Rooney, and Dr. Phil; singers Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Robert Goulet, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Fats Domino, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Julio Iglesias, Tony Bennett, Roy Orbison and many others. The show is brilliantly paced, hilarious and truly an electrifying experience. The Las Vegas Review-Journal called MacPherson's show, "A stunning vocal performance by an amazing entertainer," while producer Gary Wayne Bridges said, "Houston hosted my Legends Show in Nashville, and was the finest impressionist I have ever worked with. He does the absolute best Jack Nicholson impression in the world." Bernie Fiedler, promoter for Gordon Lightfoot, had this to say about the entertainer, "Over the years I have seen all the singing comic impressionists live and in concert, Houston MacPherson, along with Danny Gans of Las Vegas are at the top of their field." Houston MacPherson comes into the Clarion in a few weeks. We will have show times and ticket prices shortly. The motto is, "When in Las Vegas...See Houston."

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O'Sheas Casino, the small, popular Strip property owned by Caesars Entertainment, will close on April 30th. Located between the Imperial Palace and Flamingo on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard, O'Sheas will disappear to make way for construction of The LINQ, a retail and entertainment corridor that will open in 2013. O'Sheas employees were given written notification of the official closing date late last week; however, they had been previously notified the property would close during construction of The LINQ project. Casino management is meeting with the 285 employees this week to discuss options for employment at other Caesars Entertainment resorts in Las Vegas. All employees have been provided the option to apply online for open positions within the city, and will be given priority and sent directly to hiring managers for interviews. Additionally, many of the O'Sheas dealers will remain with the company, filling open positions available at Harrah's, Imperial Palace, Flamingo and Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon, as well as the company's upcoming World Series of Poker tournament. "It is never easy to share with employees they will need to seek new positions," said Jan Jones, Caesars Entertainment senior vice president of communication and government relations. "We are doing everything we can to assist with new job placement for those who are impacted by the closure. While it is difficult to communicate the official closing of O'Sheas, we look forward to the opening of The LINQ and the addition of thousands of new jobs in the Las Vegas market." The LINQ project will create 3,000 construction jobs and add 1,500 permanent, full-time positions to the city when it opens in 2013.

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Windy Karigianes

Michael Turco

Vocalist Windy Karigianes, who mostly uses just her first name, performs at the Dispensary Lounge, 2451 E. Tropicana (on the southeast corner at Eastern), tonight and tomorrow, March 9th and 10th, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Accompanying Windy is Uli Geissendoerfer, on piano; Mike Meacham, on drums; and Fred Watstein, on bass. Thanks to first class entertainment, and good food (we have heard lots of good things about the $3.99 hamburger) at very reasonable prices, the Dispensary is becoming a popular late night hangout, especially with musicians. One never knows who might turn up to sit (or stand) in.

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A couple of weeks ago, we attended a birthday party held at the Heart Attack Grill in downtown Las Vegas. People around the country know about this place, due to the fact that a diner had some kind of medical episode there while having a meal there a couple of weeks ago. For those that don't know, the menu is pretty much limited to hamburgers of different sizes, French fries cooked in lard, and milk shakes with butter as one of the ingredients. A lot of folks who live here, or are familiar with downtown, might be surprised to learn that the restaurant is located at Neonopolis, where the last restaurant/lounge/theater did not survive, due to lack of customers (for whatever reasons the proprietors used as excuses), while at the Grill, people are lined up outside the door, just waiting to get in. We wonder if the lack of interest in the previous business just might have had something to do with the fact that the former owner/operator is a no-talent, pompous jerk. Hmmm.

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Viewers of America's Got Talent may remember magician Michael Turco. Using five beautiful young ladies, he made them appear, disappear, and reappear, with lightening speed, impressing the judges as well as the audience. Not too surprising that Mr. Turco has found himself a home in Las Vegas. The impressive magician is currently headlining in Magic and Mayhem at the Saxe Theater, six days a week, Wednesdays through Mondays at 4 p.m. Michael and Dancing With The Stars famed choreographer, Lacey Schwimmer, have joined forces to create a fusion of awe-inspiring illusions, high-energy dance numbers and fun audience interaction that's perfect for all ages. The press release calls Magic and Mayhem, "The hottest evening entertainment show seen in the afternoon." Michael Turco has placed his stamp on "classic" tricks and illusions by adding a fun, edgy flair to his spectacular show. The Saxe Theater is located inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

General Admission tickets are $39.99 (plus taxes and fees), VIP Packages, that include a VIP line pass and seating, are $59.99 (plus taxes and fees). Children's tickets are $31.98 (plus taxes and fees). For reservations, call (866) 932-1818. To see Michael's performance on America's Got Talent, go to

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Mary Wilson

The excitement has been building for more than three years. Tomorrow night is the all-star opening of the dazzling $470 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts downtown in Symphony Park. There will be a star-studded black-tie gala, which should generate plenty of press (including right Friday). The event is being taped, and is expected to air nationally shortly. Last Friday, the media was given the opportunity to take a peek at the new $470 million Smith Center for the Performing Arts, under construction for the past three years, near downtown Las Vegas. Before the doors opened to the public, tomorrow, some VIPs took a "behind the scenes" tour of the facility and interviewed key individuals. Highlights included a look at the breathtaking grand lobby, the 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall, The Boman Pavilion, the unique Cabaret Jazz club, the education wing and Symphony Park. A week before the official opening, Randy Travis became the first entertainer to perform on one of the Smith Center stages, when he did a concert for the designers, builders and employees of the impressive building. Cabaret Jazz will showcase legendary names in entertainment and music history, including three-time Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year, Clint Holmes, SFJAZZ Collective, three-time Grammy® winner and saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and cabaret vocalists Barbara Cook and Andrea Marcovicci. Patrons can purchase individual tickets for all shows at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts by calling (702) 982-7805 or by visiting Tickets for most shows in Cabaret Jazz start at $35. Golda's Balcony, featuring Tovah Feldshuh as Golda Meir, the fourth Prime Minister of Israel, plays at the Smith Center on April 1st (no fooling), while The Color Purple is the first of the touring musicals to launch the season at the new Center, with performances from April 3rd through 8th.

James Gavin's Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project, comes into the Cabaret Jazz on May 11th and 12th. Starring Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Stormy Weather is about Hollywood's first African-American goddess, Lena Horne, from her reign at MGM's "dream factory," to a fabled night club seductress and civil rights icon. Stormy Weather is a living, breathing biography featuring rare audio clips, video footage, true stories, and thrilling performances. It is based on the celebrated book, Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne (Simon & Schuster 2009,) written by James Gavin, who also narrates this multimedia theatrical experience. Mike Renzi, seven-time Emmy Award-winner, who served as the musical director for Lena Horne's 1981 Broadway show, The Lady and Her Music, created the orchestrations for this show.

And speaking of the Supreme Mary Wilson, on Tuesday, March 6th, the entertainer celebrated her 68th birthday in Beverly Hills, with friends a group of friends, including Freda Payne and Natalie Cole. "I had a ball," says the Southern Nevada resident.

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Race fans are converging on Las Vegas, where the Riviera Hotel & Casino is hosting a series of events as part of NASCAR March Race Weekend. The busy weekend officially began, yesterday, with a slot tournament benefiting the Kyle Busch Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to providing essential tools for less fortunate children throughout the country. KBF will concentrate its efforts on assisting organizations in fostering a safe environment for children to live, learn and challenge themselves as well as seeing that day to day needs are met. Guests who earned their way into the finals will face off with Kyle Busch. Half of the proceeds benefit the Kyle Busch Foundation and the other half goes into the prize pool. All participants must be at least 21 years of age. Check contest rules at Nationwide and Sprint Cup drivers from various teams will be on-hand today, Friday, March 9th, at 8 p.m., for an autograph session. Sprint Cup drivers scheduled to appear include Las Vegas native Kurt Busch, David Reutimann, Dave Blaney, Kenny Schrader, Robert Richardson, Jr., and Scott Riggs. Representing Nationwide is Eric McClure, Jennifer Jo Cobb, and Johanna Long (subject to change).

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From friend, actor/director/song and dance man, Lee Roy Reams, who portrayed Roger DeBris, "the worst director that ever lived," in the Mel Brooks musical comedy romp, The Producers, when it played at the Paris Las Vegas, comes this news. "I am here in LA with Kaye Ballard and Liliane Montevecchi in Doin' It For Love at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, March 9th and 10th at 7:30 p.m. Presented by Testa Dura Production Company, all proceeds benefit animal charities. Lots of celebs attending, like Shirley Jones, Bonnie Franklin, Nancy Dussault, Mitzi Gaynor, Carole Cook, George Clooney, Michael Feinstein, etc." Here is a bit more about this project, via a press release. Join Hollywood and Broadway legends Kaye Ballard, Liliane Montevecchi, and Lee Roy Reams in "Doin' It For Love," an evening of song, dance, and timeless comedy acts from the best of Broadway and New York cabaret. Combining Ballard's musical talent, comedic wit and timing, Montevecchi's cabaret-style performances, and Reams' song and dance routines, and featuring a full 10-piece orchestra led by David Geist, "Doin' It For Love" is a Broadway-style tribute to the standards and the stories behind the music from some of the most beloved entertainers in show business. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Texas Humane Legislation Network, an organization dedicated to promoting the humane treatment of animals through legislation, education and advocacy. "I am honored to perform and work with two of Hollywood and Broadway's most celebrated performers. 'Doin' It For Love' tells the personal stories behind the music by Kaye, Liliane, and myself. Not only will we perform the music, but entertain the audience with stories about the entertainment world then and now," said Reams. Kaye Ballard starred on Broadway in "The Golden Apple," "Carnival," "Molly," "Pirates of Penzance," "Gypsy," "Funny Girl," "Nunsense," and Stephen Sondheim's "Follies." She has been in numerous films including "The Girl Most Likely," "A House Is Not A Home," "Freaky Friday," "Which Way To The Front," and "The Ritz." Ballard has guest starred in numerous television programs including "The Doris Day Show," "The Muppet Show," "Match Game," "The Tonight Show," "Carol Burnett Show," and the live telecast of Rodger & Hammerstein's "Cinderella." In addition, she co-starred with Eve Arden in the NBC sitcom "Mothers-in-Law" which was recently re-released on DVD. Receiving a Tony Award for her portrayal of Liliane La Fluer in "Nine," Liliane Montevecchi began her career as a prima ballerina. Inspired by dance, she started a film career in the 1950s and starred in "King Creole" with Elvis Presley, "Meet Me in Las Vegas" with Cyd Charisse, "The Sad Sack" with Jerry Lewis, and "The Glass Slipper." She left Hollywood for a leading role in "Follies Bergére." Montevecchi's Broadway credits include starring in "Nine," "Grand Hotel," "La Plume de Ma Tanta," and Stephen Sondheim's "Follies." She also appeared in the films "Wall Street" and "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." Montevecchi recently starred in "Love, Chaos and Couture" and is currently performing in "Teatro ZinZanni" directed by nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune which has received rave reviews from the critics. Nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the original Broadway production of "42nd Street," Lee Roy Reams has starred in several Broadway shows including "Show Boat," "Hello, Dolly!," "Oklahoma," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Producers," and more. Reams has also directed several shows including "An Evening with Jerry Herman." Receiving a Master of Arts degree from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, Reams made his Broadway debut in 1966 in "Sweet Charity." He was most recently featured in the 2011 documentary "Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age." David Geist has starred in several Broadway shows including "Cats," "Les Miserables," "Wicked," and "The Lion King." He has also performed alongside and coached several top performers within the music industry including Hugh Jackman, Sarah Brightman, Michael Crawford. Geist has also worked with composing legends Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Next up for Mr. Reams...he will direct Kiss Me Kate with Susan Powell and Richard White for the Key West Pops on March 25th.

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Rebecca Spencer

Philip Fortenberry

Broadway veterans Rebecca Spencer and Philip Fortenberry will make their Montana concert debut when the acclaimed musical collaborators present From Broadway to Las Vegas in four venues across the state between March 11th and 16th. The concert will feature both artists, with Rebecca as vocalist and Philip as concert pianist. Their magical and musical artistry has been described by BackStage as "collaboration at its finest." Rebecca and Philip's signature style creates a musical conversation featuring two voices, which combined reflect a contemporary expression of the art song in its purest form. From Broadway to Las Vegas breathes new life into the American songbook, introducing musical passages and suites inspired by composers including Jerry Herman, Stephen Flaherty, Marvin Hamlisch, Frank Wildhorn, and Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as new works by Keith Thompson. Collectively, their performance careers span more than 50 years, from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center, from Lincoln Center to the Liberace Museum, and from Broadway to Las Vegas, and they have worked first hand with many of today's Broadway composers on first cast recordings and productions. The Monthly Herald of London proclaims their performances "redefine romanticism, vocal virtuosity and human warmth for the world of contemporary Cabaret." Rebecca has appeared in concert with Mr. Fortenberry across the country, from the Panache Jazz Series at the Blue Heron Art Center on Vashon Island, WA, to Manhattan's venerable jazz club, Birdland, in the Broadway at Birdland series. Rebecca's solo concert career exploded onto the scene during the two years she lived in Las Vegas performing in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular. Her Las Vegas debut with Philip was Las Vegas Magazine's No. 1 Pick of the Month in their Datebook Calendar, and earned a Las Vegas City Life 'DIVA' preview pick of the week. She was featured on the cover of the Las Vegas Review Journal's Neon Magazine, and in their popular IMAGE fashion section. Upon the release of her second recording, the paper noted: "There's lots of talent on display at 'Phantom -- The Las Vegas Spectacular,' but the person I can never stop watching is Rebecca Spencer...The actress gets to show her sensuous side in a new CD, Fair Warning, and it's difficult to believe that this passionate vocal performance comes from the same body and soul as our Madame Giry." Rebecca Spencer ( has been a guest soloist for numerous orchestras under the batons of Keith Lockhart, Marvin Hamlisch, and Rob Fisher, and has appeared in NYC at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, and in five Encores! concerts at the City Center. Rebecca was awarded the BackStage Bistro Award for her debut solo recording, Wide Awake and Dreaming. Her second recording, Fair Warning, was released in 2006. She originated the role of Madame Giry in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, which reunited her with Broadway legend Harold Prince. Spencer previously played the role of Carlotta for the Hamburg, Germany Company. She was an original Broadway cast member of Jekyll and Hyde, and created the role of Emma Carew in the Alley Theatre world premiere. Rebecca has performed principal roles in over 60 opera, national tour, regional and Off-Broadway productions. Philip Fortenberry has numerous Broadway and off-Broadway shows to his credit, and can be heard playing on several original Broadway Cast recordings. Philip gained the respect and admiration of many well-known Broadway composers and conductors while performing in such favorites as Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Ragtime, The Lion King, Seussical: The Musical, and Mamma Mia! He has performed in concert nationwide at venues from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to the White House, and his reputation as a gifted classical pianist led to prestigious engagements accompanying internationally renowned Metropolitan Opera Star, Frederica Von Stade, as well as such legendary Broadway icons as Eartha Kitt, Betty Buckley, Donna McKechnie, and Laurie Beechman. He has recorded nine solo albums, and is currently the associate conductor for the Las Vegas production of the hit musical, Jersey Boys. From Broadway to Las Vegas will be performed on Sunday, March 11th at 6 p.m. in Helena at The Gateway Center, 1710 National Avenue (call 406-227-9911); Tuesday, March 13th at 7:30 p.m. in Havre at the Havre High School Auditorium, 900 18th Street (call 406-265-3732); Wednesday, March 14th at 8 p.m. in Fort Benton at the Fort Benton Elementary School Auditorium, 1406 Franklin Street (call 406-750-2918); and Friday, March 16th at 7:30 p.m. at the Polson High School Auditorium, 111 Fourth Avenue East (call 406-676-2427). If you are in the vicinity...

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Chipper Lowell

Tim Gabrielson

The Gold Coast hosts Paul Stone's Vegas Magic Theatre. Through Sunday, it's Nico Studer and Chipper Lowell, with Ben Stone hosting, singing and showing his magical talents. Next week, March 15th through 18th, Ben Stone will host Tim Gabrielson and Darcy Oake. 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 other fun. Showroom doors open 1 hour prior to show time. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $14.95, plus taxes and fees, and can be purchased at the Gold Coast Gift Store.

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Bob Feldheim, Compass columnist, had this to say about the recent performance of Bus Stop at the Hollingsworth Gallery, 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Palm Coast, at City Market Place in Florida. "Annie Gaybis' Cherie exudes 'That Old Black Magic' at City Repertory Theatre Production in Palm Coast. The William Inge classic was presented as a full-bodied simulated radio broadcast, enhanced with costumes, theatrical lighting, limited action and a full range of sound effects. Directors John Sbordone and Bobbi Fouts have assembled a terrific cast of veteran actors: Annie Gaybis stars as Cherie. Ancient City theatergoers were recently treated to her stage craftsmanship as Maggie in last year's "Cat On a Hat Tin Roof." Here, (no surprise) she blows the roof off the place with a dynamite performance that culminates in her all-stops out rendition of "That Old Black Magic." Although somewhat dated, "Bus Stop" has a lot to offer, particularly in the hands of such a topnotch, professional ensemble, in such a warm, intimate ambience." The talented lady is the wife of veteran comic impressionist, John Byner. Good going, Annie!

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Chris Morris' John Katsilometes & Tricia McCrone

Chicago the band, is at the LVH (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton), tomorrow night at 8. For tickets and information, call (702) 732-5755, or (800) 222-5361.

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Award-winning caricature artist, Chris Morris, who spent some time in Las Vegas while he was at the Sun, now makes his home in Ohio, where he is Art Director for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. You can still see some of the talented Mr. Morris' work locally, in the Greenspun Media publications, including the Las Vegas Sun and VegasInc.

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Bakelite Alarm Clock

According to the Kovel (Antiques) site, the 4 1/4-inch orange General Electric Bakelite clock seen in the accompanying photo, was sold for $360 at a recent auction. Benjamin Franklin first suggested the idea of a time change. He published an essay about the thrift of natural versus artificial light during his stay in Paris in 1784. A century later, in 1907, an English builder, William Willet, suggested it again. Daylight Savings Time became the law in the U.S. during World War I to conserve resources for the war effort. It was observed for seven month in 1918 and 1919. It wasn't popular, so it was repealed. Congress reinstated it in 1942 during World War II. Time remained one hour ahead year-round until September 30, 1945. States and towns were then free to observe Daylight Savings Time or not until the passage of The Uniform Time Act of 1966. Remember to set your clock ahead one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. on March 11th, so "spring forward" (and then "fall back" as the saying goes, in November).

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