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 16, 2012
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - March 16, 2012

Forrest Duke

Marty Allen & Karon Kate Blackwell

A couple of things to mention, regarding last Friday's column (possibly one of the sloppiest we have done in a long time). We don't want to make a bunch of lame excuses, but we broke our own rule about not making plans to do anything, except stay at the computer and aim for an early Friday evening deadline, on Thursdays and Fridays. Instead, on Thursday we spent much of our day at the F.I.O.R.E. luncheon, instead of work, work, working. We had a fun time that Thursday afternoon, but paid for it that night and on Friday. Way too many mistakes, for which we hang our head in shame. First, some of the names that should have been in bold type (as we know the bold-typed names, and/or seeing photos of familiar folks, is how most people decide what to read and what to ignore in a column like this), weren't. So, to Candi Cazau, mentioned in the Houston MacPherson paragraph, our apologies. And to Darcy Oake and Tim Gabrielson, who had been scheduled to appear this week in Paul Stone's Vegas Magic Theatre at the Gold Coast (Gabrielson is still in, but Oake is out for this week), you get a little extra coverage, due to our "haste makes waste" oversight. Reader Peter Anthony (yes, THAT Peter Anthony) called something to our attention that we never realized before. He wrote, "While reading that last paragraph or so of your column, Forrest Duke came forcefully to mind. As you recall, he was one of the nicest people in the world and would never get riled up about anything. Well, the one thing that would cause him to raise his voice was when someone said Daylight SavingS Time instead of Daylight Saving Time. He would say 'Savings are for the bank, saving is for daylight,' or something like that." We will not forget that, Mr. Anthony, nor will we forget the late Forrest Duke, aka the "Duke of Las Vegas," an entertainment columnist in this city, in the "better old days." The DLV, a friend to many, passed away in April of 1988 at the age of 69. Dr. Wilfred Krom's age (he and comic Marty Allen, were both celebrating birthdays at last week's F.I.O.R.E. luncheon), should have been listed as 76, NOT a fill-in-the-blank space. Also, we inadvertently misspelled the first name of the current president of the United States. Those mistakes didn't happen very often, when our presidents had first names like Harry, Ronald, John, Bill, Jimmy, William, and even George. To those we offended... sorry. To those that we didn''re welcome.

Speaking of the amazing Marty Allen (he must be related to the Energizer Bunny), the funny fellow turns 90 next Friday. Is he thinking of retiring? Not on your life. In spite of having hip replacement surgery a couple of months ago, and more birthdays than many of us will ever have, Marty keeps right on working. Why? Because he loves to entertain. Next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, the 24th and 25th, Allen and his bride, the musical straight woman, Karon Kate Blackwell, return to the Louie Anderson Theater inside the Palace Station for shows at 4 p.m.

If you are asking yourself, "What in the heck is this F.I.O.R.E. thing, anyway?," it means you are a new reader of this column, in which case, we will happily explain. In fact, here are the "formal" rules regarding this informal non club club. When you read this, keep in mind it was put together by a bunch of well as a lot of non Italians.



The NON CLUB CLUB F.I.O.R.E. is a NON CLUB CLUB which holds NON MEETINGS for NON MEMBERS for no other reason than to gather a bunch of friends once a month for a good time and to have something to eat in a semi quasi disorganized chaotic atmosphere with no pressure of any kind with the sole purpose of doing just that. It is mostly a guy's thing.

Occasionally we will hold a special event which welcomes ladies. (Occasionally being the operative word). The word FIORE in Italian means FLOWER .... So what? We couldn't care less...We use the word FIORE as an acronym for: Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events.

To be a member of this suspicious organization, you must have an extremely good attitude and very low expectations. Every member becomes President the moment he joins. We have No purpose, No rules and No regulations. We have No Board of Directors, No advisors, No nothing. We are Not a charity. We are Not a political organization. We have No agenda other than that which we, as a non group group, decide upon at any given time. It is a real fun and totally irreverent Non Club Club which caters solely and exclusively to Italians and Non Italians. This rule is strictly enforced. Call us racists if you want to, we don't care. We are adamant and intransigent about this rule. You MUST BE Italian or NON Italian, period. That is that, like it or not. No exceptions. Capisce? More importantly, if you are an uptight individual or just anal retentive, the NON CLUB CLUB F.I.O.R.E. is definitely not for you. Go somewhere else. There is a lot of good serious clubs in our city for you to join. We do not have an open membership. It is not open to the public. To join us you must be invited by a member in good standing...or be somewhat connected..... It is required that all new applicants have, at least, the signature of 2 sponsors (or know the pass word and tokens) who are already "made presidents" of this non organized leaderless group. Condition Si ne qua non.


To join this highly exclusive, very selective and dubious organization the fees are as follows:

An initial fee is $ 1.00 and automatically makes you a president. No one escapes this fee.

There is an annual due of $ 25.00 (This fee will be pro-rated according to the month in which you join, but never less than $10.00). Our fiscal year ends on December 31st.

If you wish you may acquire our F.I.O.R.E. Name Badges. They look good but they are optional. ($ 12.00) Your first lunch as a member will cost you $48.00, and all subsequent luncheons only $22.00 if you eat or $29.95 if you don't. If, however, you are 75 years old, or older, you are exempt from the annual fee. You are only required to pay the $1.00 to join and expected to pay for your own lunch and that of your guests. (No one will stop you, if you are a classy guy and, insist on contributing towards the annual dues. Far be it from us to stop you from such pleasurable satisfaction). We require you RSVP, ASAP, when you are attending any of our luncheons and/or events so we can inform the venue of the number of meals to prepare for said event. (Should you have trouble understanding the concept of RSVP we will gladly explain it to you)


Ungentlemanly behavior OR eating pizza with a knife and fork, will cause you to be immediately expelled from our midst. (We like the word MIDST. We also like the word WHILST but we seldom have a chance to use it in one of our Edicts or regular announcements.)

Please, read this letter carefully and familiarize yourself with its contents. (There may be a test)


If you feel you do not agree with any part of this letter, there is a very strong possibility that you would not feel comfortable and would not want be among us - The F.I.O.R.E. is nothing but a group of friends who get along - chances are, we would also prefer you would not be among us either. Life is too short to dance with ugly people. Plain and simple...and a little harsh.

We felt this explanation is necessary. We plan ahead trying to avoid any future testicular detonation on all parties concerned.

Finally, should you already have joined us and feel disenchanted with our group and wish to demit, please contact Conrad and he will gladly return the unused portion of your paid dues.


The Non Board Board of Non Directors Directors

Speaking of the F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) group, it's time for those that want to continue hanging out with these folks, to pay their dues for 2012. Where else could you buy this much enjoyment for a measly $25 a year?

* * * * * * * *


Indina Menzel

Yesterday, KISS By Monster Mini Golf, an indoor amusement attraction at 4501 Paradise Road (at Harmon) in Las Vegas, officially opened for business. This family fun center consists of an 18-hole miniature golf course with laser effects and more, arcade games (including KISS pinball machines), event rooms, a KISS gift shop, a café and the wedding chapel. We will have more on this in upcoming weeks.

Also, another opening took place in Las Vegas. You may have heard about it. The long anticipated, three years in the building, $470 million (or $480 million, depending where you get your news) Smith Center for the Performing Arts, welcomed guests to a star-studded event on Saturday night. Rubbing shoulders and touring the facility with the media and local VIPs, were Broadway, classical, musical and country stars, including the likes of Neil Patrick Harris (who hosted the evening), Joshua Bell, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Jennifer Hudson, Cheyenne Jackson, Carole King, Martina McBride, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Willie Nelson and Mavis Staples. The opening was produced and directed by George Stevens, Jr., and Michael Stevens, who produce the annual Kennedy Center Honors. The festivities will be broadcast on national television at a later date. The official outdoor opening on Sunday, which was to present live music, including a performance by the Lon Bronson Band, has been postponed, due to this weekends impending unpleasant weather.

Among the latest additions to an already impressive lineup of talent at The Smith Center, are Tony Award-winning Indina Menzel (Wicked, Rent, TV's Glee) in June, and, we hear, Pia Zadora. In the 1980s, Pia performed here at the Riviera (owned at the time by her then husband, Meshulam Riklis) as opening act for Charles Aznavour. We were there, and saw and heard it with our own eyes and ears.

Delphine and James Fahringer, and Morgan Bray Entertainment, presents Cushney Roberts' vocal group, Spectrum - In a Tribute to Motown and R&B Music at The Smith Center's Troesh Studio Theater on April 28th at 7 p.m. Las Vegas' own, award-winning vocal group returns home from national and international touring schedules for their first local appearance in six years. They will be accompanied by a 13-piece orchestra. The group boasts four incredible singers - Roberts, Darryl Grant, David Prescott and Pierre Jovan - each with the voice of a solo artist, who combine their talent and dexterity to create the angelic harmonies and deft choreography that have become trademarks of Spectrum. They were voted Best of Las Vegas in 2005 and 2006, and received the Las Vegas Living Legends Award in 2009. Originally formed to recreate the sound and style of the Four Tops in the multi-million dollar production shows, American Superstars and Legends In Concert, the group has developed the versatility to credibly cover the music of groups from the Platters to The Temptations to Boyz 2 Men. It is this versatility that has propelled them to the status of headlining their own shows in which they perform stirring renditions of the best cover tunes of the '60s and '70s era of soul music by male artists.


Travis Cloer

Also taking place this month at the new Smith Center is the almost six-year-old Composers Showcase. The Web site, found at, tells the tale (via Keith Thompson)...
It's official, we're doing the showcase in the beautiful Cabaret Jazz Room at the Smith Center, and we are SO excited! Because we're in a new venue, some of the details are changing, so "HEAD'S UP!!!" They are charging $20 per ticket to get in. I know this is more than you might be used to, but this is what the Center needs to keep their doors open and so that they can be good hosts to us. I will do my best to make sure the show is worth the price. IF THERE IS any profit, we will donate to a charity, a non-profit that will be appropriate to our mission. We will announce the non-profit at the showcase. But we will have to pack the house in order to have anything to donate! There will still be festive libations and light bites on the late night menu, and those prices are quite reasonable (the Culinary Institute caters for the Smith...YUM!). The doors open at 9:30, so come early and have some food and some happy beverages! The biggest change for us is that it will not be "open seating." All tables are 4-tops, (except the mezzanine...2-tops around the balcony rail...really great seats, by the way!) and SEATS ARE ASSIGNED per I won't be the Maitre'd this time around! You can purchase tickets in advance by going to the Smith Center box office and selecting your table. OR you can show up that night and get best available. You can order in advance online or by phone, but there will be a $3 surcharge and all you will be given is "best available"....but at least you know you'll have a seat. The line-up is really strong, and we have some fun and surprises in store. I hope you'll come out and support this effort at the Smith Center....we're very excited about this beautiful room! Here are the details:
PK Music and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts present The Composers Showcase of Las Vegas, Wednesday, March 28th, 10:30 p.m. (after theater). Doors open to the Cabaret Jazz in The Boman Pavilion at 9:30. Tickets for the showcase are $20. Reservations Suggested. Tickets available at the Smith Center box office. Assigned seating per ticket. A Cash Bar and Late Night Menu are available. To order by phone, call (702) 749-2000, or Online at The upcoming edition of the Composers Showcase will feature the songs of local composers and songwriters - Travis Cloer, Vita Corimbi, Bill Fayne, Wayne Green, Christopher Lash, Richard Oberacker, Danny Roque, Thompson, and special guest Frankie Moreno. The performers include Jordan Bondurant, Courtney Combs, Sarah Elizabeth Combs, Bruce Ewing, Jordan Fenn, Christine Hudman, Ted Keegan, Randal Keith, Jason Martinez, Nicole Pryor, Angelica Roque, Nikka Wahl, Tina Walsh, Lisa Wilson, Melody Wilson and more. Instrumentation is provided by Tish Diaz, Philip Fortenberry, Pepe Jimenez, Russ Letizia, Don Meoli, Tony Moreno, Keith Nelson, Mark Pardy, Jeff Ray and others. Sound is by Mary McFadden. The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is located at 361 Symphony Park Avenue, just west of Main Street downtown.

And speaking of showcase favorite, Vita Corimbi...The multi-talented entertainer informs us that the NEW Killian's Angels are extra busy this week. In addition to their regular gig at Brendan's Irish Pub inside The Orleans, tonight and tomorrow, St. Paddy's Day, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., the band will also perform on the main stage (200 Water Street) at the Henderson's St. Patrick's Day Festival, from 2 to 3:15 p.m. In the accompanying photo (from left to right) are: Ginger Bruner, Anne Donohue, Nan Fortier, Vita, Beth Mullaney (the Angels' fearless leader) and Willy Wainwright. Vita describes the group as "An all girl band with a Willy."

Killian's Angels

Thalia Dondero

And, over at Nine Fine Irishmen, the pub at New York-New York Hotel & Casino, will host a weekend long St. Patrick's Day celebration, when they light the Las Vegas "Chrysler Building" green, through Sunday, and kick off the day with the Bag Pipers Parade. Starting at noon, the hotel will spread cheer with a bag pipers parade. Led by New York-New York Hotel & Casino's Employee of the Year, other hotel executives, Desert Sky Pipe Band, and firefighters from around the country; the parade will begin at Coyote Ugly and wind its way through the casino, ending outdoors on the Brooklyn Bridge. As a participant in Tourism Ireland's three-year initiative to turn the world green for St. Patrick's Day, New York-New York Hotel & Casino will join other global landmarks, including the London Eye, The Sydney Opera House, The Moulin Rouge and Niagara Falls. New York-New York Hotel & Casino will also turn the property's exterior water green.

* * * * * * * *

This Monday, the 19th, is the March luncheon buffet meeting of the Las Vegas Media Group. The guest speaker is Thalia Dondero, who will share some (there wouldn't be enough time for all) of her life stories and experiences with the attendees. The meeting takes at The Wedding Room, 3601 West Sahara on the southeast corner of Valley View. If you know where the Gallery of History is (was?) located, and/or The Cellar, then you know where it is; Mariana's Grocery Store on one side and Kaplan College on the other. There is a handicap entrance through the alley between the college and The Wedding Room. Cost of the lunch is $15 (please plan to leave a couple of dollars for the server). RSVPs are a must. Contact Lisa at (702) 245-9206, or e-mail [email protected].

* * * * * * * *

Mark OToole

Joni Illi, Ronnie Fabre, Renee Hale & Joni James

At the Starbright Theatre, 2215 Thomas W. Ryan Blvd., in Sun City Summerlin, Mistinguett Productions presents Mark Otoole (without an apostrophe), starring in It's Vegas Baby! A Salute to the great Las Vegas Crooner. Any first time listener is likely to be struck by the quality of Mark's powerful voice. Part velvet, part gravel, and all taut emotion, it's a voice that seems ideally suited to perform the songs of the Great American Songbook. Star Search-winner and 2011 Las Vegas Male Vocalist of the Year, Mark OToole brings back the vintage Las Vegas lounge show. Mark's voice and charismatic personality are ideally suited to take the audience through a musical history of the acts and shows that made Las Vegas the entertainment epicenter of the World. Join Mark and cast as they revive the great songs of the Las Vegas lounge era. Tickets for It's Vegas Baby! are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents.

Also at the Starbright, on Thursday, March 29th at 7 p.m., it's Simply Ballroom. Watch out, Dancing with the Stars! The Utah Ballroom Dance Company is coming to town with their award-winning showcase. Audiences will be treated to breath-taking lifts, hundreds of beautiful costumes, engaging theatrical story lines and a variety of ballroom dances that will captivate your heart. Simply Ballroom features such dances as the elegant American foxtrot to Gene Kelly's "Singing in the Rain," the intense Spanish Paso Doble to the music from "The Legend of Zorro," the majestic Austrian Waltz to the timeless "Moon River," and so much more. This 90-minute on-stage production has majestic and scintillating choreography from some of the top ballroom dancers in the world. Simply Ballroom is a show that everyone will love. It is dance theatre: comical and dramatic, sensual and lyrical, acrobatic and romantic, all in one package. Tickets for Simply Ballroom are $13 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $17 for non-residents. All shows at the Starbright Theatre are first come, first served with no limit on the number of tickets purchased. Saving seats is prohibited. Be sure to get your tickets early so you don't miss out! 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.

All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. For up-to-date information on Starbright Theatre shows, call (702) 240-1301.

* * * * * * * *

Bob Kelly, Kirby St. Romain, Jerry Brown & Jay Ramsey

Tuesday nights at Garfield's (2620 Regatta Drive at Desert Shores) has become a popular place to hang out, for both music lovers and performers, thanks to vocalist Renee Hale and musician Frank DeVito, who entertain at the restaurant from 6 to 9 p.m. Last Tuesday, saxophone player, Steve Golden, and his singing wife, Ronnie Fabre, sat in with Renee and Frankie for much of the night. Renee's sister, Jodi Hale Fonfa, her cousin Marlene Henry, and so many friends including Denise Cashman, Deon Blaney, Michelle Stuhmer, Karen Finlayson, Lynn H. Weidner, Rhonda Mona, and Tina Immormino, were among those dancin' and groovin' all night long. The joint was jumpin'! The Tuesday before, Joni Illi, Ms. Fabre, and Jerry Brown, joined in the festivities. In recent weeks, a number of veteran lounge performers - including Hale, Fabre, Illi, Joni James, Bob Kelly, Kirby St. Romain, Brown and Jay Ramsey - who were members of bands, such as Ray Anthony, Perfecto & Motion, Al Sebay & Diamondhead, Expression, Vegas Company, and Wholly Smoke, have gotten together to sing, play and reminisce. These names should bring back fond memories forsome of the Vegas old timers. Can a big musical reunion be in the offing? For more info about Garfield's, call (702) 925-8333.

And speaking of Renee Hale, we spotted her at the Dispensary Lounge last weekend, where she and some friends were enjoying cool jazz songstress, Windy Karigianes, backed by Uli Geissendoefer on keyboard, Fred Watstein and bass, and Mike Mechem on drums, with Emanuel Schmidt sitting in on guitar for a few numbers. The Dispensary is located at 2451 E. Tropicana in the Marketon Center, on the southeast corner of Tropicana and Eastern. Music starts at around 10 p.m. Check the place to see who is playing on what nights. Call (702) 458-6343.

* * * * * * * *

The Plaza welcomes Avant Garde, a show featuring a collection of music, mirth, magic and mayhem, to the historic showroom. The new show, created specifically for Las Vegas, is directed by Juliana Chen, the only woman to win the World Championship of Magic in the last 50 years. With veteran producer Jon Fondy, who has produced more than 600 television shows and more than 400 live shows, the production brings together award-winning acts in one unforgettable entertainment experience. The show's name reflects its modern and innovative collection of creative acts. While cutting-edge, the show is family-friendly and appeals to all nationalities since talking is minimal. From a hip-hop violinist, thrilling special effects, to world champion magicians, Avant Garde cast members hail from around the world, including China, Belgium, Spain, France, and the United States. Current rotating performers include:
Juliana Chen (China) – World Champion Magician and Juggler
Ed Alonzo (U.S.) – "The Misfit of Magic" and Performer in Britney Spears' "Circus" Tour
Michael Finney (U.S.) – Comedian/Emcee
Jerome Murat (France) – "The Living Statue" and a Pantomime Artist
Kevin James (U.S.) – "The Wizard of Odd" Comedic Illusionist
Rudy Colby (U.S.) – "The Labman" and Comedic Magician
Aaron Crow (Belgium) – Suspenseful Stunt Artistry
Lindsey Stirling (U.S.) – Hip-Hop Violinist
Sonny Fontana (Venezuela) – Hand Shadow Creations
The show is live six nights a week at 7 p.m., and dark on Friday nights. Ticket prices start at $35.70 for general admission, and are available at the Plaza Hotel & Casino box office located next to the Plaza showroom, online or by phone at (702) 946-8934, or (800) 793-9332.

* * * * * * * *

Kevin James

Keely Smith

James Lee Reeves aka Milo Tremley

Happy birthday to Pisces celebrants (February 20th, through March 20th), including...
David Geffen, Kelsey Grammer, Michel Legrand, Johnny Winter, Carrot Top, Sean Astin, Chelsea Handler, Fats Domino, Michael Bolton, Corinne Bailey Rae, Josh Groban, Tommy Tune, Bernadette Peters, Gilbert Gottfried, Tempest Storm, Harry Belafonte, Roger Daltry, Justin Bieber, Jay Osmond, Jon Bon Jovi, Penn Jillette, Mary Wilson, Tom Arnold, Wanda Sykes, Taylor Dayne, Micky Dolenz, Keely Smith, Mickey Gilley, Jeffrey Osborne, Matthew Gray Gubler, Lance Burton, Jasmine Guy, Liza Minnelli, Marlon Jackson, Al Jarreau, Jon Provost, James Taylor, Neil Sedaka, Quincy Jones, Walter Parazaider (Chicago), Billy Crystal, Eva Longoria, Mike Love, Bret Michaels, Dee Snider, Jerry Lewis, Nancy Wilson (Heart), John Kander, Charley Pride, Dane Cook, Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Ruth Pointer, Hal Linden, Candi Cazau, Joey Pero, Harry Goldson, James Lee Reeves (Milo Tremley), Dan Rafferty, Brent Barrett, Jed Allen, Don Cadette, Cherry Wainer, Tyler Cohen, Carole Hassell, Margaret Kurtz, and Toni Andrews.
And happy anniversary to James and Amber Reeves, Robert and Deborah Danielson Allen, and John and Lisa Gioia-Acres.

And speaking of Lisa Gioia-Acres...
At the last Las Vegas Media Group luncheon, Lisa made an announcement regarding the Nevada History Student LVMG Interview Project. She indicated that several Media members would be interviewed by students in the coming weeks. Plans were to contact each member individually to make arrangements and provide details. We are pleased to report that the event was a big success. This was an idea inspired by the fact that Lisa wanted to gather as many life and career histories of the members of the Las Vegas Media Group that she could, but knew that it was an effort she might not achieve as there just wasn't enough time. When her friend, Dick Taylor, passed away in 2011, Lisa realized just how crucial it was to gather the memories and stories of individuals that made and documented Las Vegas and Nevada history. Thankfully, she had the opportunity to conduct two interviews with Mr. Taylor before his passing, but she was worried that she wouldn't be able to gather all the stories of this eclectic group of individuals in time. That's when Gioia-Acres decided to utilize the students that are her "captive audience" two times a week in her Nevada History class at the College of Southern Nevada. This semester (spring 2012) the, students research paper project involved doing oral histories. Lisa urged the class to consider interviewing members of the Las Vegas Media Group, and most complied. Of the 16 students in her class, all but two chose the group as their research "subjects!" Gioia-AcresI was thrilled. As the day approached, she felt a great deal of stress: one student dropped out just before the interview date, a couple of students (as students tend to do) didn't show up for several classes in a row, and at the last minute one of the interviewees could not attend; this is just to name a few of the instructors worries. She did not want interviewees to come on the appointed date only to have the student not show up for class. "I'm proud to say all of the students came through," said Lisa, "and the result was amazing." Her one and a half-hour class was abuzz with noise. Students were listening to the older generation tell their life and career stories, while Lisa Gioia-Acres sat and observed, like a proud parent witnessing a real life-changing experience for her kids.

Las Vegas Media Group Interviewees

In the accompanying photo, some of the "pioneer" interviewees who shared their historical Nevada stories include (from left to right): Carey Burke, Rich Newman, Jackie Brett, Norm Johnson, Thalia Dondero, Lisa Gioia-Acres (professor of the class), Judge Lloyd George, Betty Bunch, Helen Mortensen, Rich Friedland, and Len Yelinek. Missing from the group photo are Don and Gretchen Payne.

Some of the Las Vegas Media Group members are seeking items to help with stories and history documentation. Harold Larson is working on a project and seeks photographs of Red Rock and surrounding area. For more information on what he is looking for, contact Harold at [email protected]. Also, member Phil Hodson is hoping one or more of you have old pictures of the following Las Vegas buildings: the Shell Station on Fremont and 3rd Street; Bob's Big Boy at Evergreen and Decatur; and the Bright Spot Café, at 3rd and Stewart. If you have any of these items, and are interested in sharing copies, please send to: Hap Co., PA Hodson, P.O. Box 7400, Las Vegas, NV 89125.

Cork Proctor

Linda Bulgo

Michael Delano

Funny man Cork Proctor, an active member and contributor to the above mentioned Las Vegas Media Group, will share some of his tales of growing up in Southern Nevada in a show at the Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino, tomorrow night, Saturday, March 17th, beginning at 7:30 (doors open at 7). Tickets for True Tales of Classis Las Vegas are $20, plus entertainment tax, and includes a beverage of your choice. In addition to seeing this entertaining show, the first 50 audience members/ticket buyers will get a copy of Proctors' vinyl comedy album, What Have I Got To Lose, circa 1976. Even if you have no means to listen to the recording, the cover photo is a keeper, showing Cork in the historic Carson City Gas Chamber. Prior to January 1st, 1912, the law prescribed hanging as the means of carrying out the death sentence in the State of Nevada, however, upon revision of the statutes in 1911 the condemned were allowed a choice between the gallows and the firing squad. This remained the law until March 28th, 1921, when an amendment was adopted providing for execution by means of lethal gas. Nevada was the first state to sanction the use of the gas chamber. The first execution by use of lethal gas took place on February 8th, 1924, and has been used as the means of carrying out the death sentence a total of 32 times. The last execution was held October 22, 1979. The Nevada State Prison in Carson City finally closed its doors, all inmates transferred or released on early out, on January 9, 2012. Must be 21 or older to attend. Free drink is only good at show. The Railroad Pass is located at 2800 South Boulder Highway in Henderson. Call (800) 654-0877.

* * * * * * * *

Hollywood Star Express, an exciting variety show, is currently playing in the Star Theater at the Clarion Hotel & Casino, Wednesdays at 2 p.m. The revue features singer/actress Linda Bulgo (Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco); multi-talented singer, and impressionist David DeCosta (Rat Pack tribute); powerful vocalist, actress Skye Dee Miles (Beach Blanket Babylon, Menopause the Musical); accomplished singer, actor, songwriter Joey Ciccone; actor, singer Michael Delano (Johnny Venture in Rhoda, Ocean's Eleven, General Hospital); and actress of stage and screen Joan Mullaney (member of the Speeding Theatre Company). Music is by Michael Dubay on keys, and Tony DeAugustine on drums. Hollywood Star Express takes the audience on a nostalgic journey of the best of times, using songs and skits, portraying your favorite stars of the silver screen, with special surprises each week. Tickets are: General Admission - $29.95 (2-for-1); VIP - $39.95 per person, and includes preferred seating and two drinks. The Clarion (formerly the Greek Isles), is located at 305 Convention Center Drive, between the Strip and Paradise.

* * * * * * * *

From former Las Vegan, Carme Pitrello, now a Florida resident, comes this follow-up regarding his recent show with Paul Salos in Tampa. Carme reports the show was a huge success. "The eight-piece orchestra played the charts to perfection. It was like old home week. The front row was taken up with The Chez Louie crowd - the two brothers who opened the club, and the acts that started there. They were responsible for getting me and Paul together. The Chez Louie was the only night club in Tampa in 1960. In the crowd were, Mickey Finn and his wife Cathy; Jimmy Teter and Ken Lucas, both ventriloquists; Pat Cappuzzi, an Italian comic; and Freddie Bell's friend, Berri Lee, a long time Las Vegas comedy magician. The show ran an hour and a half. No intermission. And with these senior citizens, their wasn't a dry seat in the house. All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon." Good going, fellows!

Carme Pitrello & Paul Salos

David Pomeranz

* * * * * * * *

If you happen to be Across the Pond during April and May, A Tale of Two Cities, a new musical of Charles Dickens' novel, is to open at London's Charing Cross Theatre. Preview performances start April 5th, with the official opening scheduled to open on April 17th. A Tale of Two Cities will run through May 12th. Multi-platinum award-winner David Pomeranz wrote the music, with lyrics by Emmy-winner Steven David Horwich, who also co-wrote the book with David Soames. John Cameron, who orchestrated the original production of Les Miserables, did the musical arrangements. It is directed by Paul Nicholas, and produced by PNPF Associates Ltd in association with Ovation. As an actor, Nicholas is best known for his TV role as Vince in Just Good Friends, and stage roles include creating the role of Rum Tum Tugger in the original production of Cats. He also regularly produces and directs, including co-producing revivals of Grease and bringing Saturday Night Fever to the stage with David Ian. Casting has not yet been announced. If you plan to be in the neighborhood, to book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7907 7075, or visit

* * * * * * * *

This week, through Sunday, Paul Stone's Vegas Magic Theatre at the Gold Coast, presents Tim Gabrielson and Ty Reveen, with Ben Stone hosting. Comic magician Gabrielson has one goal in mind when he steps on stage: Keep it Funny! Tim's quick wit and instant likeability, combined with clever comedy and offbeat magic, will leave everyone with an unforgettable experience. Regardless of the crowd size, Tim leads the crowd on a laugh-filled adventure where audience members quickly evolve from spectators to participants. Whether he is on stage in Las Vegas or entertaining a small group in Wisconsin, Tim has an amazing ability to captivate and hold a crowd throughout his entire performance. His wide appeal makes his show enjoyable for every imaginable audience. Check out his video, and you will quickly see why. With a laugh-packed schedule of more than 150 shows each year, Tim is a must-see favorite whose universal appeal makes him the perfect entertainment choice for your next important event! Funny, hip, non-offensive and cool...just a few words used to describe the comedy magic of Tim Gabrielson. Tim has been performing professionally for more than ten years and, after repeated national television exposure, he is no longer the best-kept secret in the Midwest. Find out why Campus Activities magazine recently named Tim among their Top Ten Picks for campus comedy entertainers. Ty Reveen grew up around magic. He is the son of world famous stage hypnotist and illusionist, Peter Reveen. Ty invented the world's first Portable High Performance Confetti Cannons. He also invented the world's first Streamer Effects Cannons as an alternative to fireworks. His revolutionary ideas have changed the entertainment industry forever. They safely simulate pyro effects in a manner that can be used from small room celebrations to giant stadium events. Ty will provide unusual effects and illusions to entertain the Gold Coast audience. Ben Stone is proving himself to be not only a fine singer, but a skilled magician and charming host as well. Vegas Magic Theatre offers a well produced evening of entertainment for a bargain price. Not only do attendees get a terrific stage show in the Gold Coast Showroom, in addition, starting one hour before the main show, there is a free pre-show in the comfortable adjoining lounge, that features a presentation of close up magic, card readings and other fun. Vegas Magic Theatre show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets, from $14.95 plus tax and convenience fees, are available in the Gold Coast Gift Shop.

Tim Gabrielson

Peter Foy

* * * * * * * *

On Thursday, March 22nd, the UNLV College of Fine Arts presents the 9th Annual Nevada Entertainer/Artist Hall of Fame honoring legendary illusionist team Penn & Teller; the "father of theatrical flight" Peter Foy (posthumously); and KGA Architecture founder George Garlock. Also recognized are Edward D. Smith, who receives the College of Fine Arts Dean's Medal for continually demonstrating commitment to education and extraordinary contributions to the College of Fine Arts, and president of Marnell Architecture, David Howryla, College of Fine Arts Alumnus of the Year. The evening begins at 6 p.m. in the UNLV Student Union Ballroom. Recipients receive the Sidney Award, named for the Nevada Entertainer/Artist Hall of Fame's first inductee, George Sidney, who epitomized the term artist-educator. Sidney, a three-time Academy Award-winning director and producer, worked with such legends as Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Howard Keel, Ann-Margret, and Lana Turner. Sidney was a frequent guest lecturer in UNLV film classes, providing students with priceless insights into the industry. For 35 years, Penn & Teller have defied labels - and at times physics and good taste - by redefining the genre of magic and inventing their own very distinct niche in comedy. With sold out runs on Broadway, world tours, Emmy-winning TV specials and hundreds of outrageous appearances on everything from David Letterman to Jay Leno, Friends to The Simpsons, Chelsea Lately to Top Chef, comedy's only team show no signs of slowing down. With an amazing six wins, including 2011, as "Las Vegas Magicians of the Year," their 10-year run at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino makes them one of the longest running and most-beloved shows in Las Vegas history, outselling every other resident magician on The Strip. The history of theatrical flight dates back over two millennia, but the art of stage flying took a quantum leap in the second half of the 20th century, thanks to Foy. "Flying By Foy" has provided theatrical flying effects for thousands of stage productions, musicals, operas, ballets, rock concerts, film and television shows worldwide. The company has flown Liberace, three Broadway productions of Peter Pan (with Mary Martin in 1954, Sandy Duncan in 1979, and Cathy Rigby in 1990) and originated the flying for Angels in America, Tommy, Aida and The Lion King, among others. Foy flew Nadia Comaneci from the NASDAQ Building 170' over Times Square for the 2004 Olympic Torch Relay Event in New York. Recent Broadway projects include Man of LaMancha and Dracula the Musical. Foy flying effects are also featured in Spamalot, the stage musical adaptation of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Garlock met Ed Kittrell, Jr. in 1975 and together, the two became founding principals of Kittrell Garlock and Associates, Architects AIA, now known as KGA Architecture. Their partnership is among the longest-standing in Nevada architectural history. Under the leadership of the founding principals, KGA Architecture grew from its initial five employees to more than 80 employees, including the opening of an additional office in Austin, Texas, and is recognized as of one of the leading architectural firms in the Southwest. Smith has been affiliated with giving to the College of Fine Arts since 1995. The Smith Family Scholarship supports both Fine Arts and Athletic scholarships. Smith's greatest contribution to the College of Fine Arts was his donation of funds to build the pipe organ now located in the Doc Rando Recital Hall inside the Beam Music Center. The funds to build the pipe organ were donated in memory of his late wife, Maurine Jackson Smith, a UNLV alumna and organ aficionado who, at age 59, graduated magna cum laude with a bachelors degree in history in 1995. The handmade organ has 38 stops, three manuals and 53 sets of pipes, which at that time made it the largest pipe organ in the state. Smith has also committed to provide funds for the lifetime maintenance and repair of the organ. As president of Marnell Architecture, Howryla is responsible for all phases of major projects. He has designed and coordinated the design for large-scale resort, entertainment, and mixed-use projects by a wide range of owners, architects, engineers, and specialty consultants located throughout the world. Through a substantial gift and pledge from The Marnell Foundation, the David G. Howryla Building Technologies Lab for the UNLV School of Architecture has been established. The creation of this program furthers students' abilities to engage architecture at a one to one scale and to connect to the community through constructed ideas. Tickets for the event are $75 and include cocktails, dinner, ceremony, and performances. All proceeds benefit the UNLV College of Fine Arts. For tickets, please contact the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office at or 895-ARTS (2787). For information on how to sponsor a table, please contact Lori Slinn at 895-2455.

* * * * * * * *

From Grant Philipo comes this sad news...
Errol Manoff, of Errol Manoff's Fantasy Factory, passed away on Wednesday. He was the Creator of Grant's, Camelina, in 90 Degrees & Rising. He also was an instant friend to Philipo, without any hesitation. Grant says, "We had many wonderful times together and he had always been extremely healthy! He was the guy who designed and made all the Upstairs Decor and Shows for the Excalibur Hotel & Casino, from the day it opened, through the first 4 years. He also created, Madame Rowena, a Black-Art show that mystified young and old.
He was even more famous as The King Of Black Art! His Specialty Act played at the Lido de Paris in Las Vegas to rave reviews, and he had many more shows, all over the world!
There has never been anyone that I ever met in my life that instantly liked me, except for him!
He will be incredibly missed as he is and was incredibly Loved!"

Mark Moreno, an entertainment attorney who loved show business, passed away February 29th, at the age of 64. He was born May 11, 1947, in Florida, and was a 55-year resident of Nevada. Mark graduated first in his class from the Business and Hotel School at UNLV, and continued his education by earning his law degree at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. He then began his legal career as an associate, and later became a partner in one of the most prestigious law firms, then practicing in Las Vegas. Mark founded and managed one of the most successful investment firms focusing on the entertainment industry in the southwest. Mark was manager and entertainment attorney for Wayne Newton, Lola Falana, and Clint Holmes, and entertainment attorney for Elvis Presley and Col. Tom Parker. Mark was preceded in death by his father, Rickey Moreno; and mother, Mildred Moreno. He is survived by his half-sister, Donna Moreno of Denver; and former wife, Lollie Moreno of Las Vegas, and godson of Dean Martin. Graveside services were held Wednesday, March 14, at Palm Valley View Memorial Park, 7600 S. Eastern Ave. Donations can be made to American Cancer Society , Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association, and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada.

Michael Hossack, longtime drummer for the Doobie Brothers, died of cancer at his home in Wyoming, on Monday, March 12th, at the age of 65. Hossack played with the group from 1971 to 1973 and rejoined in 1987. His drumming can be heard on early hits including "Listen to the Music," "China Grove" and "Black Water." He stopped performing with the band two years ago while battling cancer. Hossack grew up in New Jersey and served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He is survived by a son and a daughter.

* * * * * * * *

As a follow-up to last Friday's story about the Clark County School District and specifically, Nevada Reading Week (and comic magician, Mac King, and Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular principal, Kristen Hertzenberg's, involvement), we received this e-mail from reader, Judy Thomas. "I was happy to read about the reading program in your column this week. About 6 1/2 years ago, SAG had a program called Book Pals that read at local schools. Although I'm not SAG, I participated in the program and began reading weekly to a class of second graders. The program ended within a couple of years. It became such a part of my life that I continued. This is my 6th year reading to a class at Fong Elementary. The first group of second graders that I read to have graduated and I'm now reading to many of the kids' younger brothers and sisters. I absolutely love this and everyone that knows me knows that this is my first priority every Friday afternoon, so any plans are made around this commitment. PS: Last year, the teacher was moved to third grade so I'm reading to third graders now." The point is, that those who would enjoy doing something like this, as Judy does, do not have to wait until March every year to volunteer to do so.

* * * * * * * *


Have a question about Las Vegas? Want to make a comment (be nice, now)?
If so, drop an e-mail and ask. Click Here
Cousin Claire will do her best to find the answer for you.
You can find Past Columns HERE

     Like to be notified when Claire Voyant's next column is available?
Then join Claire Voyant's announcement mailing list!
Enter your email address below, then click the 'Join List' button:

Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye