Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column



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

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from March 30, 2012
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - March 30, 2012


Last Saturday, we were among an overflow crowd that turned out at Palace Station to help Marty Allen celebrate his 90th birthday. At 90, Allen still plows through jokes, and dances around onstage like a person half his age. Oh, and did we mention that, in November, he had hip surgery? Among those joining Marty on stage, to congratulate him on this milestone day, were comic Louie Anderson, magician Penn Jillette, current mayor Carolyn Goodman (who presented Marty with a Key to the City) and former mayor Oscar Goodman, along with Marty's bride, Karon Kate Blackwell. Some of the folks we spotted in the overflowing Louie Anderson Theater, enjoying the show and partaking in the birthday cake, were Tempest Storm, Dori "Bambi Sr." Kotzan, Lou Garcia, Gary Oakes, Ms. Senior Nevada of 2010 Marilyn O'Leary, Duke Morgan, Candi Cazau, John Katsilometes, Stephanie Sanchez, Howard Jochsberger, Judy and Stephen Thorburn, Carole Hassell, Laura Blackburn, Nelson Sardelli, Lou Toomin and lots of others. Many people who wanted to be part of the festivities were turned away as the showroom was full. Many happy returns of the day, Marty Allen.


Let Them Eat Marty's Cake

Nelson Sardelli, Marty Allen & Tempest Storm

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On Wednesday night, we got our first look at the new $470 million Smith Center. WOW! We were part of the crowd in the Cabaret Jazz as the six-year-old Las Vegas Composers Showcase had its first showing at the magnificent performing arts facility just west of downtown. The 258-seat cabaret is located in the Boman Pavilion next door to the 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall. The March edition of the Composers Showcase featured Travis Cloer, Vita Corimbi, Bill Fayne, Wayne Green, Christopher Lash, Richard Oberacker, Danny Roque, Keith Thompson, and special guest Frankie Moreno with Lindsey Springer on cello; 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, and Melody Wilson; Dan Falcone, Kevin Stout and Eric Tewalt, Tish Diaz, Philip Fortenberry, Pepe Jimenez, Russ Letizia, Don Meoli, Tony Moreno, Keith Nelson, Mark Pardy, Jeff Ray and The Liberace Quartet - Otto Ehling, Austin Pooley (son of Tina Walsh), Nick Schmitt, and Nick Tulli (these four young musicians are all Liberace scholarship winners). Some of the evenings highlights (for us) included young Christopher Lash's original, "Putting On a Show," performed by six musicians and four singers; Wayne Green's touching song, inspired by a Leonard Cohen poem; Richard Oberacker's "Praise Zoloft," from The Parenting Project; Vita Corimbi's "Blue Collar Mouth;" Bill Fayne's touching piece; and Keith Thompson's songs, including "My Dream," "Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me?," and "The Phat Pack," performed by Bruce Ewing, Randal Keith and Ted Keegan. We hear that these three Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular cast members are putting their own show together, based on The Phat Pack (look out Frank, Sammy and Dean!).


The Smith Center

The Phat Pack - Bruce Ewing, Randal Keith & Ted Keegan

After the show, we went across the street from The Smith Center to Symphony Park, a relaxing showcase for pathways and sculpture. Currently, the Las Vegas Chapter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is presenting Hearts of Las Vegas. This phenomenal exhibit features three-dimensional, five-foot tall heart statues, each one custom created by a professional local artist. The artists give each heart "life" through their vision and interpretation of what a heart or life for a child means to them. This sculpture was expertly crafted by well-known local sculpture artist, Miguel Rodriguez. From there, local fine artists, including Martin Kreloff and Jennifer Main, were tasked with the job of creating their own vision of hope or life for a child. The major corporations of Las Vegas are showing their support by generously sponsoring the Hearts. Sponsors of this project are playing a major role in creating awareness for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and our mission of finding cures and saving children. The citizens of Las Vegas and the millions of tourists that visit our city will enjoy an outstanding artwork exhibition knowing that 100% of the proceeds will benefit the children of St. Jude. These unique art pieces will be auctioned-off at the third annual Las Vegas Honors St. Jude Gala on May 12th, but the public can view these for the next two weeks at 361 Symphony Park Avenue. Admission is free. An Affair of the Art, will feature hosted cocktails, sophisticated silent and live auctions that include a collection of custom artwork by renowned artists, a signature dinner, and star-studded entertainment and appearances. Major corporations, celebrities and the city of Las Vegas are showing their support by generously sponsoring the hearts. We will have more details in the next few weeks.


Richard Oberacker & Sarah Elizabeth Combs

Wayne Green

Earlier this week, The Smith Center announced seven additional Broadway shows that will play at the performing arts center in Las Vegas during the 2012-2013 season. Added to the previously advertised productions - The Color Purple (April 3-8), Mary Poppins (May 22-27), Million Dollar Quartet (June 12-17) and Memphis (July 18-22) - the updated lineup now includes, for this year, La Cage aux Folles (August 13-19), Wicked (August 29-October 7), The Addams Family (November 20-25), and for 2013, Anything Goes (February 5-10), West Side Story (February 26-March 3), Shrek: The Musical (March 19-24), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (April 16-21), Billy Elliott the Musical (May 14-19), Green Day's American Idiot (June 11-16), and Catch Me If You Can (June 18-23).

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Lindsey Springer

Martin Kreloff's Heart for St. Jude at Symphony Park

St. Rose Dominican Hospitals and the St. Rose Dominican Health Foundation celebrated the 55th year of their annual gala, the Mardi Gras Ball, making it the longest-running fundraising ball in Southern Nevada. This year's event, at The Mirage's ballroom on March 17th, raised funds for cardiac services at St. Rose. The carnival-themed black-tie event began with a hosted reception where vaudevillian entertainer Charlie Frye and the Harbor Lights Jazz Band performed while the 745 guests partook of Champagne and passed canapés. A silent auction featured 50 items for bid, and guests could buy an opportunity ticket to win a diamond ring or a $1,500 gift card for the stores in the Fashion Show mall. Charlie and Sherry Frye, who perform all over the world under the name Charlie Frye & Company, are Southern Nevada residents. However, they don't spend much time at home as they work practically all the time. Charlie is the artist who created Claire Voyant's portrait.


Charlie & Sherry Frye

Joe McFate & Bob Mackie

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It turns out that Cousin Claire, who rarely makes a mistake, has been making the same one for decades (pass the crow, please). It seems that nine-time Emmy Award-winning costume designer, Bob Mackie (who also designed costumes for Donn Arden's Bally‘s productions), was not born in 1940, as we had believed for many, many years, but was instead born in 1939. Just about every source on the Internet shows Mr. Mackie's date of birth as March 24, 1940. It took a conversation with Joe McFate, Executive Design Co-Ordinator at Bob Mackie Design Group, to set the record straight.

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Murray Hatfield & Teresa

Michael Goudeau

Paul Stone's Vegas Magic Theatre will wind up its five month run at the Gold Coast on Sunday night, featuring variety performers Murray Hatfield & Teresa, Michael Goudeau and special guest, Jasmine Trias. Ben Stone hosts. Murray Hatfield & Teresa first worked together in 1992 and the result was...MAGIC! Since then they have thrilled audiences in numerous countries on four continents with their signature brand of magic, comedy and stunning, state-of-the-art illusions. Today they are constantly in demand for corporate events, casinos, festivals, fairs, exhibitions...in fact anywhere that exceptional entertainment is required. Murray & Teresa are applauded not only by their audiences but also by their peers. They have won numerous International Awards including being named Canada's Magicians of the Year by the Canadian Association of Magicians. Teresa has twice been named Assistant of the Year by the Society of American Magicians #95 and in 2009 the President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians honored Murray and Teresa with a Presidential Citation for their work. Michael Goudeau is a juggler and an ex-circus clown who graduated from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. He was an Emmy-nominated writer and executive producer for the Showtime series Bullshit! Goudeau juggled for the Lance Burton Show at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, and also in the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana. Goudeau served as co-host of Penn Radio with Penn Jillette which aired weekdays on Free FM until 2007. He currently serves as co-host of Jilette's weekly podcast, Penn's Sunday School. Jasmine Trias was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Mililani Town, Hawaii. She is the eldest daughter of Filipino immigrants to the state of Hawaii from Tanza, Cavite. Trias attended Maryknoll School, a Roman Catholic preparatory school of the Diocese of Honolulu. As a representative of Maryknoll School, she won the Brown Bags to Stardom 2001 state singing competition and the Road to Fame 2003 youth talent competition. Trias graduated from Maryknoll School in June 2004. She was the third place finalist on the third season of American Idol and is a member of the famed Society of Seven musical comedy revue. Singer magician Ben Stone has appeared on International TV with performances aired across the UK, USA, as well as numerous European countries. He has performed at the world famous London Palladium Theatre on no less than five occasions, as well as many other notable West End Theatres. Join the performers in the Gold Coast 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 one hour prior to show time for free show. Show times are Saturday at 5 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are priced from $14.95 plus tax and convenience fees, and are available in the hotel gift shop. The Gold Coast is located one mile west of the Strip at 4000 W. Flamingo.


Jasmine Trias & Ben Stone

Sal Richards

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Comedian/actor/entertainer Sal Richards returns to Vegas after a long absence. Richards will headline The Improv at Harrah's, April 10th through 15th. "Sal Richards is Hilarious, a Must See!" says Cindy Adams of the New York Post. "One of the funniest guys in show biz," declares The Daily News. Brings Tears of Laughter To Audiences young and old," stated the Newark Star Ledger. Variety says, "He is one of the quickest thinking comics on stage, and his ability to ad lib and interact with his audience is flawless." Sal's movie, Mr. Laughs, A Look behind the Curtain, won Best Documentary in several Film Festivals around the country, and he was nominated for Best Actor in the 2011 Staten Island Film Festival for his film Gus.

Brooklyn born Sal Richards has appeared in such films as Rounders, Out for Justice, Fighting Back, and Love Is All There Is. He has also appeared in such television shows as The Sopranos, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, The Fugitive, and Deadline. He just finished shooting a comedy with Vincent D'onofrio and Brenda Vaccaro, Crackers, directed by award winner, Gregory Principato. Although these roles all required his serious side, Richards is also a critically acclaimed professional comedian. He performs at various venues across the United States, including headlining shows in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Sal has just released his autobiography, Behind The Laughter, Hidden Tears, which was received with great reviews. Joining Richards at Harrah's will be comics Flip Schultz and David Gee. Call (800) 834-2690.

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The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas opens at the downtown Plaza tomorrow. Since we haven't seen the musical production yet, we can't give our opinion about the entire cast, but, what we do know for sure is that they have definitely selected the right people for the role of Miss Mona, played in the 1982 film by Dolly Parton. Make that, the WRIGHT people. Kellie Wright and Jacquelyn Holland Wright will share the role of the singing "lady of the house." Showtimes are at 7 p.m. Ticket prices start at $59.95 for general admission, and are available at the Plaza Hotel and Casino box office, online or by phone at (702) 946-8934, or (800) 793-9332.


Kellie Wright

Skye Dee Miles

More Plaza news...Avant Garde, with an impressive list of performers, is on hiatus right now. Hopefully, they will get their behind-the-scenes problems worked out, and be back up and running very soon. Stay tuned.

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A new show opens at the TastySpace gallery, at 520 Fremont (corner of Fremont and 6th) on the First Floor in the Emergency Arts building, at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 6th. World to Come: Futureglyphics, Dollar Store Animals, and Untitled Collages from Doug Pedersen. Seven Styles from Seven Cities exhibit will continue to hang until then.

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Hollywood Star Express continues at the Clarion Hotel & Casino's Star Theater on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. A nostalgic journey of the best of times, utilizing songs, skits, and special guests, paying tribute to your favorite stars of the silver screen. Featuring singer/ actress, Linda Bulgo, who starred in San Francisco's Beach Blanket Babylon; David DeCosta, multi talented singer, and impressionist; Skye Dee Miles, powerful vocalist, actress, who also starred in Beach Blanket Babylon; Joey Ciccone, accomplished singer, actor, song writer; Michael Delano, accomplished actor, singer; and Joan Mullaney, actress of stage and screen, member of the Speeding Theatre Company. Tickets are available at the Clarion Box Office. General admission is $29.95 ( get two tickets for the price of one), and VIP admission $39.95. The Clarion (formerly the Greek Isles), is located at 305 Convention Center Drive. For further information, call (702) 990-1524.


David DeCosta

Glen Campbell

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Some interesting acts coming into the LVH (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) Theater, following a number of false "magical" starts and dry spells. Brian McKnight, with special guests, K'Jon & Case, on April 14th at 9 p.m. Tickets range from $59 to $90. Abracadabra: The Ultimate ABBA Tribute, April 20th and 21st at 8 p.m. with tickets from $19 to $39; Liza Minnelli with special guest, Nicolas King, May 12th at 8 p.m., $89 - $250; Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour, June 1st and 2nd, with shows at 8 p.m., $49 - $79; and LeAnn Rimes, December 13th through 15th at 8 p.m., $49 - $70. Call the LVH Box Office at (702) 732-5755, or (800) 222-5361.

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Las Vegas-based entertainer Kelly Clinton returns to the Metropolitan Room in Freckles and 80-Year-Old Bones, on Monday, May 7th. The singer and comedienne, who currently stars in Nunsense at the Las Vegas Hilton and is a regular on the Strip, introduces a variety-flavored mix of song, comedy, dance and character work. Freckles and 80-Year-Old Bones crossbreeds contemporary and vintage standards, while Clinton acquaints us with some her favorite characters and their unique perspectives. Kelly headlines at Las Vegas' exclusive Stirling Club at Turnberry Towers, where she also serves as entertainment director. Her celebrity nights at the Bootlegger Bistro have been the scene of many Vegas-style jam sessions, attracting numerous entertainment luminaries. Discovered by both Wayne Newton and Engelbert Humperdinck, who hired her as a backup singer and to do special material in their respective shows, the New Jersey-born Clinton went on to become the girl singer with a number of local bands, before creating her own successful act. She's appeared frequently on local television as a celebrity interviewer, and nationally with regular spots on the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon and ABC's America's Funniest People. She is the creator/producer of Shades of Sinatra, a musical tribute to Frank Sinatra that has been seen at many Vegas venues, including the Clarion Hotel where it is currently ongoing. Backing Clinton for this Metropolitan Room engagement are Las Vegan Mike Clark, her music director on keyboards, and New Yorkers Jeff Ganz on bass, and Sherrie Maricle on drums. Among the songs in her set are Christine Lavin's "Bald Headed Men," Johnny Rodgers "One More Moment with You," Ervin Drake's "Good Morning Heartache, and her self-penned "PMS Blues." Freckles and 80-Year-Old Bones plays for four nights on May 7th, 9th, and 10th, at 7 p.m., and May 11th at 9:30, at New York's award-winning intimate concert venue, The Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street. The music charge, with a two-drink minimum, is a $20. For reservations call (212) 206-0440. For more information, or to order online, visit www.metropolitanroom.com.


Kelly Clinton

Clint Holmes

Kelly's hubby, singer Clint Holmes, makes his much anticipated return to New York's Café Carlyle for dates from April 10th through 28th. Show times are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:45 p.m. Cover is $75 per person ($45 bar; $125 premium) Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; and $85 per person ($45 bar; $125 premium) on Friday and Saturday. After his smash hit run a few months ago doing his Remembering Bobby Short show, Clint will comes in this time with a brand new show - "This Thing Called Love," featuring Cole Porter and Paul Simon on love. Tickets should go quickly.

While we were looking up the performance times for Kelly Clinton's May dates at New York's Metropolitan Room (she will be wooing the East Coast audiences with her talent and personality, for four nights between May 7th and 11th ), we were quite surprised to see the names of a couple of other folks with some Las Vegas history on the Metropolitan's schedule. We have to wonder if the booking people at the club know the truth about the act that played the club on March 12th. When it comes to these two performers, you can believe what you see, but you can't believe what you think you hear. There are many people who know the truth, and they are about ready to spill their guts. What really makes this sham pointless is that there is no reason to lie about the show, as it is entertaining for what it is. Pretense is not necessary, and will only cause problems for this duo.

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We have been made aware of access problems at the Cheesecake Factory in the Green Valley District in Henderson. It seems that this busy restaurant, located adjacent to Green Valley Ranch, does not have near enough handicap parking spaces. In its very large parking lot, there are only four designated parking spaces for the disabled. To make matters even worse, there are no curb cuts near the front door of the establishment, for those using wheelchairs, electric scooters or walkers. This situation was brought to the attention of the facility, by one customer, two months ago. More than likely, this wasn't the first complaint. We have been told the problem is "being discussed" among the powers that be. A number of local agencies, including Paul Martin's Nevadans for Equal Access and the Nevada Disability Advocacy & Law Center, are now looking into this issue. We have a feeling that, as a result, something will be done to correct the situation.

We would suggest, that anyone with similar issues, looking for help, not waste any time contacting Suzanne A. Thomas, who calls her "business" A New Day ADA, and advertises herself as "Your ADA & Disability Consultant." We found this woman to be a liar who makes promises that she does not keep. She has all kinds of excuses for not following through on simple things like returning phone calls. She claims illness causes her to ignore her work. We think perhaps it's time for her to retire. You have been warned.

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Mac King

Harrah's Las Vegas Headliner and Comedy-Magician, Mac King, will host the 44th Annual Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show on Sunday, April 1st, at a 7 p.m. gala inside the historic Saban Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. A recipient of the "Magician of the Year" award in 2004, King joins a distinguished list of celebrity emcees, including Neil Patrick Harris and Bob Barker, that have hosted this prestigious ceremony which is considered among many to be "The Oscars of Magic." "It is an honor to return to the stage as host this year," said King. "Winning ‘Magician of the Year' at the AMA Awards show in 2004 is a proud accomplishment and memorable experience in my career and I look forward to being a part of this tremendous experience for other distinguished and outstanding prestidigitators." The Academy of Magical Arts Awards Show, produced this year by Max Maven, is one of the magic community's most highly anticipated events of the year. The event gathers magicians from around the world for an evening of magic, fellowship, laugher and amazement as they honor living legends and celebrate fresh new talent in the world of magic and illusion. The festivities start at the Saban Theatre, formerly known as the Wilshire Theatre, with a cocktail reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. The show will start promptly at 7 p.m. where awards for "Stage Magician of the Year," "Parlour Magician of the Year," "Close-Up Magician of the Year," and "Lecturer of the Year" among several others will be given. The ceremony will also feature an exceptional roster of entertainment including famed magicians as presenters, and international award-winning acts. An after party, including dinner, exclusive to attendees of the awards show, will be held at the Magic Castle. The Academy of Magical Arts Award Show is open to the public and marks one of the few events each year where non-members of The Magic Castle are invited to attend. Ticket prices for the event range from $30 to $90 and include admission to the cocktail reception, awards show, after party and dinner. In addition, a VIP package is available for $180, which includes seating in the first two rows, reserved seating at the after party and a gift bag. All ticket prices are plus tax and service charge, and can be purchased via the Saban Box Office by calling (323) 655-0111 or online at www.sabantheatre.org.

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Two Las Vegas area Ben & Jerry's locations will offer free ice cream to benefit local youth charities. Ben & Jerry's, the company that broke the mold for businesses demonstrating you could make a profit while giving back to the community, will commemorate its 34th Annual "Free Cone Day" at Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops at the District at Green Valley Ranch and inside Sunset Station Hotel & Casino. The Scoop Shops enlist help from some of the city's hottest entertainers who will scoop to benefit Lied Discovery Children's Museum and St. Jude's Ranch for Children. All small cones are FREE with no purchase necessary but patrons are encouraged to make a donation to the store's respective charity partners. Gracious celebrity guests will roll up their sleeves, dig in and work to help raise money by scooping ice cream throughout the day on Tuesday, April 3rd, between noon and 8 p.m. As a way to thank customers for their support and to celebrate 34 years of scooping the chunkiest, funkiest ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet, Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops are happily giving it away! "Free Cone Day" was originally launched to thank the community for their loyalty to Ben & Jerry's and to congratulate the staff on the company's first anniversary. It was such a huge success; it is now a tradition celebrated around the world each year. While the full flavor line-up is up for grabs on "Free Cone Day" featuring "legend-dairy" palette pleasers like, Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Ben & Jerry's will debut its newest offerings as part of the celebration:

Chocolate Nougat Crunch - Sweet cream ice cream with fudge-covered wafer cookies and a chocolate nougat swirl.
Banana Peanut Butter Greek Frozen Yogurt - Banana Greek frozen yogurt with peanut buttery swirls.
Blueberry Vanilla Graham Greek Frozen Yogurt - Blueberry and Vanilla Greek frozen yogurts with graham cracker swirls.
Raspberry Fudge Chunk Greek Frozen Yogurt - Raspberry Greek frozen yogurt with fudge chunks.
The District at Green Valley Ranch is located next to the Green Valley Ranch Casino on I-215 and Green Valley Parkway. Ben & Jerry's is located across from Panera Bread. Sunset Station Hotel & Casino is located at 1301 W. Sunset Road, and Ben & Jerry's is located inside the Food Court.



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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye