Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column

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

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from April 06, 2012
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - April 6, 2012

Bruce Zarka

Bruce Zarka with The Goofers

We are very saddened to report the death on Monday of musician Bruce Zarka. A native of St. Louis, with a degree from the St. Louis Institute of Music, the keyboard player had a history with both Louis Prima and Sam Butera. Bruce was only in his twenties when he became a part of the Prima band in 1972. Three years later, he was performing with them in Chicago when Prima collapsed on stage. Louis never recovered, dying in 1978 as the result of a brain tumor. When we first met Bruce, he was a member of The Goofers, playing the Hammond B-3 organ/piano for the group, joining Roland J. "Rolly Dee" DiIorio on bass; Morgan Thomas on alto sax, valve trombone, clarinet, trumpet, flute and piccolo; and Jimmy Vincent on drums. In 1980, Zarka was the winner of the Liberace Keyboard Entertainment Search competition. He had his own band from 1980 to 1990. Shortly after the Bellagio opened in late 1998, Bruce made the move from the Mirage to the piano in Bellagio's Baccarat Bar. Until his illness, he had played piano there since January 1999. Joined by bass player, Geralyn Lee, five nights a week, the twosome provided instrumental versions of classical, pop standards, jazz, and show tunes - no singing and no rock 'n' roll in the classy Baccarat Bar. Zarka also wrote music. In addition to a number of romantic ballads ("I'll Always Be In Love With You," "You're My Love of Life," "We Started Out As Two"), Bruce also created a tune called "Tark the Shark," just a few months before UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian and the Rebels won the NCAA championship. Bruce Zarka was a nice man. Never heard anyone say a bad word about him. He is survived by his wife, Debbie, and daughter, Shelley, both of Las Vegas. At our deadline, we have heard no information about any upcoming services. When we learn something, we will share it with our readers. Rest in peace, dear Bruce.

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Comedy-Magician Mac King recently performed two special assemblies for the students at Lomie G. Heard Elementary School. His appearance was part of the school's Career Week 2012 festivities. During the show, King performed some magic tricks, read a few books and talked about how reading literally changed his life. King shared with the students that he "checked-out" a magic book from his elementary school library, creating the initial interest that lead to his career in entertainment. King encouraged the students to visit their school library and check out a book on any career they may be interested in. All during the year, King dedicates his personal time to showcasing magic and discussing the importance of reading at various Las Vegas schools. The community-minded King is now in his twelfth year as a headliner at Harrah's Las Vegas. He has been recognized with numerous accolades, including "Favorite Male Las Vegan," and "Best Bargain Show" by the Las Vegas-Review Journal's "Best of Las Vegas" readers' poll, "Funniest Act in Magic Today" by Magic Magazine, Magician of the Year by The Magic Castle, and "Entertainer of the Year" by the Las Vegas Weekly "Readers Choice Awards."

Mac King & Heard Principal Traci Dyer

Mac King Writes Again

Shown in the accompanying photo: Mac King donates an autographed copy of his book, Tricks With Your Head, to Lomie G. Heard Elementary School principal, Traci Dyer, for the school's library.

An accomplished author, Mac King announces the sequel to last year's smash ebook, Mac King's Magic in a Minute Mysteries 2. The thrill-packed eBook series is now available on Kindle, and NOOK and Smashwords. Magic in a Minute Mysteries features Mac King and his sidekick, Lewis T. Monkey, from the popular and syndicated comic strip, Magic-in-a-Minute. They are joined by Harry Zimmerman, the narrator; Kelly Diaz, the heroine; and Contessa Vanessa D'Messa, an eccentric snooty pants and the Clubhouse O' Magic's landlord. Through the narration of Harry Zimmerman, the book's interactive format takes the reader on a path encouraging them to perform a few of Mac King's illusions, which are then used to help solve the mystery. "Creating these books has become a passion. The characters have become important to me and I knew they were ready to take on more mysteries," said Mac. "Magic in a Minute Mysteries 2 is engaging and I hope will captivate kids with its interactive storyline." In Mac King's Magic in a Minute Mysteries 2 The Club House O' Magic gang is back in action as the world-famous Kitch & Fire cooking contest heats up the city. Magician Mac King finds himself in a high-tech magical bake-off with a swarm of ice bugs, a van eating snake, an ancient curse thrown in for good measure, and many other challenges. Learn how to fake gulp a goldfish; defy gravity with a glass of water; or make a snake dance to help solve the mystery. Suited for children in grades 5-8, with a reading level of 9-12, Magic in a Minute Mysteries is a thrill-packed interactive book written by Mac King and R.G. Wyatt and is published by Mac King Industries. Magic in a Minute Mysteries features illustrations by Bill King that translates effectively to both color and black and white eReaders, and is available to download for $4.99 on Kindle and NOOK. Additionally, it is available for smart phones and tablets via Smashwords the world's leading eBook publishing and distribution platform. More information on the book series can be found at In June of 2004, Mac King, with his cousin, illustrator Bill King, launched "Magic In a Minute" a Sunday comic strip that runs in major national newspapers. The success of "Magic In a Minute" led to magic toys, magic sets and instructional videos that are sold in major box retailers nationwide. King debuted his first book, Great Big Ol' Book-O-Magic, in 2007, which quickly became a hit among children. In 2009, Suitcase-O-Magic, a miniature suitcase filled with magic tricks and instructions, hit store shelves. Continuing the success of his bookstore endeavors, Mac King released Mac King's Campfire Magic in March 2010, followed by Mac King's Campfire Magic App for iPhone and iPad. In May 2010, King released his newest magic set, Lunchbox-O-Magic.

Now in his 12th year of headlining afternoons at Harrah's Las Vegas, Mac King has been consistently lauded throughout his impressive run, including recently being named "Best Strip headliner" in the Las Vegas Weekly's 2011 annual Vegas' best awards. Las Vegas Review-Journal's "Best of Las Vegas" readers' poll named his show the "Best Bargain Show" for eight straight years (2003-2011) and deemed him "Favorite Male Las Vegan" in 2008. King has also been honored as Magic Magazine's "Funniest Act in Magic," the World Magic Awards' "Best Comedy Magician" and the Magic Castle's "Magician of the Year." Sought after worldwide, King has made television appearances on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and all five of NBC's "The World's Greatest Magic" TV specials. King has also made several appearances at the "Just For Laughs" comedy festival in Montreal, and was a featured performer in the "Masters of Magic" series at the Luminato Festival in Toronto, Canada.

King, one of today's brightest and most talented magicians, takes the stage in the Showroom Theatre at Harrah's Las Vegas, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 1 and 3 p.m. Tickets are $29.95 plus tax. Additional information on The Mac King Comedy Magic Show can be found by visiting

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Dr. Lonnie Hammargren

Michael Holly

A message from F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) president (one of many) Nelson Sardelli: To all pleasant polite people, presidents, past presidents, promoters, prevaricators, procrastinators, prestidigitators, paupers, pirates, poets, pawns, piano players, piccolo players, piper players, pedestrians, Peruvians, parents, pediatricians, professionals, performers, profiteers, painters, policeman, politicians, pilferers, protestants, Professors, plus a plurality of proficient Puerto Ricans. Please peruse properly and promptly. Cousin Claire says: No pretenders or phonies need to read phurther. For the rest of you...Let's get really real. Where else in the world can you get an enlightening musical lunch for a lousy $22? Nowhere else but at a F.I.O.R.E. non-meeting meeting. You must be a president, or the welcome guest of a president, to attend. For the upcoming, Thursday, April 12th gathering of the non-club club, Nevada's former Lt. Governor, Dr. Lonnie Hammargran, a true American icon, will be the guest speaker, revisiting M.A.S.H. and much more. Music will be provided by award-winning Gary Anderson, and the Usual Suspects. All of this fun will take place at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara, with doors opening at 11:30 a.m. You will not want to miss this luncheon, and ladies are welcome. Reservations are a must. Please RSVP to [email protected], or [email protected], at your earliest convenient opportunity. Learn more about F.I.O.R.E. at

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We spent Sunday night at the Gold Coast, attending closing night of Vegas Magic Theatre. Paul Stone's production, featuring a new lineup of variety acts each week, had been playing in the Showroom Lounge since early November. We were in the audience a number of times during the show's five month run. On the final night, it was an almost full house in the 200-seat room, and the audience was very responsive, laughing in all the right places, and oohing and aahing when they should. Among those enjoying the entertainment were show folk magicians Kevin James, Juliana Chen and James Cielen; retired 85-year-old musician, Dave Loban; and radio man, Cat Thomas, his wife, Amberly, and their two very well behaved children, 11-year-old, Robbie, and 10-year-old, Jillian. The final week of performers included the magic act of Murray Hatfield & Teresa, comedy juggler Michael Goudeau, special surprise guest, American Idol's Jasmine Trias, and host/singer/magician, Ben Stone. As Goudeau had another commitment for part of the week, the clever and hysterical Michael Holly more than adequately filled in for Goudeau. Holly, for those that missed it, was the very best thing about the Tropicana's Les Follies Bergere, especially during the production's final days. Providing the free pre-show entertainment in the adjoining Vegas Magic Theatre lounge space on Sunday, were close-up magicians, Jeff Corn and Jacob Jax. Two shows for less than the price of one. We can't imagine what the Gold Coast will bring into their performance space that would be more entertaining and more affordable than what was presented at the Vegas Magic Theatre for the past five months.

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Spotted some familiar faces while at the Palms around lunchtime on Tuesday. Longtime Vegas DJ (18 years at the Gold Coast), Larry Taylor, who now makes his home in the Laughlin, NV/Bullhead City, AZ- area, was playing host to a group of his friends, including Jac "Mundane the Grate" Hayden, Bobbie Antunovich, Donna Booth Koger, Margie McCann, and Slade Rivers, at the West Flamingo hotel casino. It was apparent there were lots of memories being shared and a good time was had by all. We have learned that one of the projects on busy Larry Taylor's "To Do" list, is finding a more permanent Las Vegas home for the interactive dinner show, Wacky Wake. The musical comedy, with quite a cast of characters - including the above mentioned Hayden and McCann, along with the late Fay McKay, Carme, Suzanne Speich, Irish Chase, Linda Angeline, Frankie 'Dee' DeMatto, Charles Vecchi, Marty Ann O'Roark, Walt Turner, Melvin "Shorty" Rossi, and others. Music was provided by The Dummkopf's (also known as Irish Stew) - had a short run in an upstairs room at the Gold Coast in 2005-2006. Taylor thinks it is a good time to dust Wacky Wake off and get it up and running again. We wish him luck.

Margie Drew McCann

Kristen Hertzenberg & Ricardo Laguna At Ben & Jerry's

Later that night, we stopped by The Lounge (that's the room's imaginative name) at The Palms, where singer/dancer/musician (he plays piano and drums), Rick Faugno, with musical director, Brian Czach on drums; Mike Johnson on guitar; Jozef Bobula on bass; and Dan Walker on keyboards, was performing in when we were there on Tuesday night. We stayed for about an hour - long enough to hear a unique arrangement of "You Go To My Head," "Body and Soul" (what Rick called his show when it was in the Shimmer Cabaret at the LVH (formerly Las Vegas Hilton), a hint of "Springtime for Hitler" from The Producers, a jazzy version of George Gershwin's "Summertime," and some songs made famous by Elton John, Styx, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Faugno was one of two actors who alternately played Valli in Jersey Boys at The Venetian (the other was, and still is, Travis Cloer). In his own show, when he does Four Seasons songs, which he does, it is not in the falsetto "girl's voice" that Faugno used in Jersey Boys, but in his more comfortable vocal range. Rick, who is a dance man, as well as a song man, also paid tribute to Michael Jackson with some fancy footwork. A nice touch was an instrumental interpretation of Beatles' John Lennon and Paul McCartney's, "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," played by Mike Johnson. We recognized some folks enjoying the show, including journalist/TV host, nice guy John Katsilometes, and attorney Ed "Enough Said" Bernstein. Tickets for Rick Faugno's show, Tuesdays at 10 p.m., are $10 and may be purchased at the box office or The Lounge entrance. Call (702) 944-3200.

Note: We were very impressed with the professionalism of Oliver Porter, the Lounge Manager at the Palms. Mr. Porter could give lessons to the inept, unqualified, so-called "Showroom Manager" at the Suncoast, who has no people skills and no idea what the word hospitality means. He could certainly benefit from some kind, ANY KIND, of training.

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Ben & Jerry's 34th Annual "Free Cone Day," held on Tuesday at the District at Green Valley Ranch and Sunset Station Hotel & Casino Scoop Shops, was a great success, giving away more than 6,500 free cones! Each year, the Henderson shops enlist the help of local celebrities to scoop ice cream to benefit children's charities, and this year, the Lied Discovery Children's Museum and St. Jude's Ranch for Children earned more than $2,000 in combined donations over the course of the day's event. The District at Green Valley Ranch Scoop Shop welcomed a star-studded scooper lineup including the members of Recycled Percussion; Steph MacKenzie and Chris Foxx, from 97.1's Foxx and MacKenzie in the Morning; Kyle and Nate, from Chippendales; Jersey Boys' Travis Cloer and Deven May; hypnotist Marc Savard; Kristi Holden and Kristin Hertzenberg, from Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular; Thunder From Down Under blokes, Leigh, Marcus and Matty; Fantasy's Tracey and Koree; Cody Collins, from Country Superstars; BMX pro, Ricardo Laguna; and Davey D and Lady G from Hot 97.5's Morning Show. Some of Nevada's pageant royalty stopped by to help assist St. Jude's fundraising efforts, including Mrs. Nevada-America 2012, Kristie Jelinsky; Little Miss Nevada Princess 2012, Adajah Milam; Young Miss Nevada Princess 2012, Nicola Timmons; Pre-Teen Nevada Princess 2012, Jia Bleu Harris; and Teen Nevada Princess 2012, Chelsea Williams. Additionally, the District at Green Valley Ranch location featured a DJ, face painting and balloon artists and welcomed back GAMES2U, a mobile unit featuring a variety of interactive games and activities. At the Sunset Station scoop shop, Lied Discovery Children's Museum had an interactive display and a visit from Curious George. For 21 years, Lied Discovery Children's Museum has been Las Vegas' favorite family fun and education destination. Located at 833 Las Vegas Blvd. North in downtown Las Vegas, the museum features more than 100 interactive exhibits based on science, art and culture for children and families. For more information, visit, or call (702) 382-3445. St. Jude's Ranch for Children, located in Boulder City, serves abandoned and neglected children and families, creating new chances, new choices and new hope in a safe, homelike environment while working to break the vicious cycle of child abuse and provide help and hope to children and families. For more information, please call (702) 294-7100, or visit

Deven May & Travis Cloer at Ben & Jerry's

Karen Mason & Brent Barrett

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Being an equal opportunity columnist, and not wanting to ignore our talented friends who perform on other coasts, we are always happy to give plugs to them, so show business fans can make plans to see what they can. Therefore, here is some news for Brent Barrett (our Phavorite Phantom) and Karen Mason fans, or just those who love good music. On Monday, April 9th, the talented twosome will perform the music of John Kander and Fred Ebb in Sing Happy! at Birdland in Manhattan. Brent's Kander and Ebb Album is one of our phavorites (we even keep a cassette copy in our vehicle). These two great friends will combine their spectacular voices to celebrate the music of their lives, with a special emphasis on the songs of the great songwriting team Kander & Ebb. Karen Mason is a ten-time MAC Award-winner and has won for Major Female Vocalist of the Year, six consecutive years. She has also won the 2006 Nightlife Award for Major Female Vocalist, and has three Bistro Awards. Ms. Mason most recently originated the role of The Queen of Hearts in the Broadway production of Wonderland. She originated the role of Tanya on Broadway in Abba's Mamma Mia!, and was awarded a 2002 Drama Desk nomination as Best Actress. Her other leading roles include Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, which she performed to critical acclaim and standing ovations on Broadway and in Los Angeles for three years; Velma von Tussel in the final Broadway company of Hairspray; "Monotony" singer, Mazeppa in Jerome Robbins Broadway; Rosalie in Carnival (earning another Drama Desk nomination); plus featured roles in Broadway's Torch Song Trilogy; and Play Me a Country Song. Karen won the Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in And the World Goes 'Round, and starred Off-Broadway in her own show, Karen Mason Sings Broadway, Beatles and Brian. Her television appearances include the hit dramas, Ed and Law & Order: SVU. Film credits include Sleeping Dogs Lie and A Chorus Line. In regional theatre, Karen starred in the world premiere of the stage production of White Christmas, playing the Rosemary Clooney role (St. Louis Muni Opera), Side By Side by Sondheim (Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida), Gypsy (Sundance Theatre in California), the world premiere of One Tough Cookie (Apple Tree Theatre in Chicago), Heartbeats (Goodspeed Opera House in NY) and Company (Huntington Theatre in Boston). Most recently in New York, Karen starred in the one-woman musical about Dorothy Parker, You Might As Well Live. In 2005, Karen released her fifth universally acclaimed CD, Sweetest of Nights, after winning the 2002 MAC Award for Major Female Recording of the Year for When the Sun Comes Out. Her other CDs are Better Days (featuring the 1998 Emmy winning song, "Hold Me", by Brian Lasser); Not So Simply Broadway; and her live recording Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! (all on Zevely Records). Brent Barrett has entertained millions of fans around the world from the stages of Broadway, the West End, concerts halls, recording studios and television. He most recently reprised his role as Billy Flynn in the Tony Award winning hit, Chicago -The Musical, for which he received a LA Drama Critics Award. Brent relocated to Las Vegas where he was asked to open the new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom-The Las Vegas Spectacular. Barrett starred in the title role in the brand new $40 million theater, at the Venetian Hotel, for two years of sold-out houses. Brent received an Olivier Award nomination for his starring role in the London premiere of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate. His acclaimed performance was recorded for broadcast on PBS, and is available on DVD. He also starred in the City Center Encores! production of The Pajama Game, and as King Arthur in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of Camelot. Other Broadway roles include "Frank Butler" in the Broadway revival of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun opposite Reba McEntire, "Charles Castleton" in the Alan Jay Lerner musical, Dance a Little Closer, and "Baron Felix Von Gaigern" in Grand Hotel. Brent made his Broadway debut as "Tony" in the 1980 revival of West Side Story, which he subsequently reprised in the International Tour. Additional New York performances include "Maximillon" in the Broadway revival of Candide, and "Tommy Albright" in New York City Opera's production of Brigadoon. In New Zealand, he appeared as "Archibald" in that country's production of The Secret Garden. On the road, Brent played "Victor Duchesi" in the pre-Broadway tour of Busker Alley with Tommy Tune, and he starred opposite Cathy Rigby in the National Tour of Annie Get Your Gun. Brent has received critical acclaim when he performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls in London, with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, Minnesota Opera, Opera Pacific, Michigan Opera, Kentucky Opera, and the Birmingham Symphony. Brent is the founding member and producer of The Broadway Tenors. Brent has recorded three solo albums - The Alan Jay Lerner Album, The Kander and Ebb Album, and Christmas Mornings. Brent can also be heard on studio recordings of Brigadoon, Grand Hotel, Dance a Little Closer, Closer Than Ever, Show Stoppers, The Busby Berkeley Album, Lost in Boston IV, Unsung Musicals, Vol. III, and The Maury Yeston Songbook. On television and in film Brent was featured in The Producers, Hercules, Longtime Companion, All My Children, Another World and Guiding Light.

Karen Mason & Brent Barrett in Sing Happy!, featuring songs from Chicago, Cabaret, New York-New York, Funny Lady and more. Birdland NYC, is located at 315 West 44th St. Doors open at 6 p.m. and show starts at7. Tickets are $30. There is a $10.00 food or beverage minimum per person, per show. Dinner is served between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Also, for all you East Coast folks, especially those in the Brooklyn area (and we know you're out there)...Roslyn Kind, the Brooklyn-born entertainer, returns to her roots, and her former home, for a concert at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 28th.

Roslyn Kind

Spencer Baker

With a successful career spanning all facets of entertainment, from critically acclaimed recordings to sold-out performances on Broadway and in top concert venues and nightclubs the world over, this songstress returns to perform an unforgettable evening of popular song.

Don Heckman, of the Los Angeles Times, had this to say after seeing her show, "Forget that Roslyn Kind is Barbra Streisand's kid sister. She is too good -- and too special -- to have to worry about comparisons." Showtime is 8 p.m. Single tickets are $35. Buy in multiples for $33 each.

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From pianist Spencer Baker comes this news.
Presenting the return of Insurgo's Las Vegas production of the infamous B-Movie cult classic, Cannibal the Musical!, by South Park and Book of Mormon co-creator, Trey Parker, is now in residence at the Insurgo Theater at The Plaza Hotel & Casino. Cannibal the Musical! is the true story of the only person convicted of cannibalism in America, Alferd Packer. The sole survivor of an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory, he tells his side of the harrowing tale to news reporter Polly Pry as he awaits his execution. And his story goes like this: While searching for gold and love in the Colorado Territory, he and his companions lost their way and resorted to unthinkable horrors, including toe-tapping songs! Featuring mass carnage, horse love, and the fearsome Cyclops, Cannibal! is the greatest freaking musical since Friday the 13th Part II! Insurgo's stage adaptation has played to standing-room only crowds throughout the city. The production has been restaged for a brand new residence in downtown Las Vegas.

The cast features the very best of Las Vegas local talent including Cory Goble as Alferd Packer; Evil Dead the Musical's Ben Stobber as Shannon Bell; Enoch Augustus Scott as Israel Swan; Gus Langley as Frenchy Cabazon; and audience favorite Sandy Stein returning as Chief, Sheriff and the Janitor. Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 10 p.m., through July 14th. General admission is $29.99, and Locals admission is $19.99. Splash zone seating (with poncho!) is an additional $5. Cocktail Service available. Free parking is offered at The Plaza. For reservations, call The Plaza Box Office at (702) 772-3897. For more information, contact

As for Spencer Baker himself, he is finishing up this school year - one more year until Dr. Baker - and has been accompanying many recitals at UNLV and writing his dissertation. He made his debut playing organ at Green Valley Presbyterian Church for the John Rutter Choral requiem on a recent Sunday. Spencer tells us that Nathan Tanouye has written a piano trio for piano, soprano saxophone, and tuba. Baker premiered it last year the National Saxophone convention and it has since been published and recorded. It will be performed again, Monday April 16th at 7:30 p.m. in UNLV's Doc Rando Hall, for the NEXTET Alumni recital. NEXTET is a new music ensemble at UNLV. The musicians are Tanouye, Stephen Kunzer on tuba, Mark McArthur on soprano sax, and Spencer on piano.

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Don Rickles

Lon Bronson All-Star Band

On April 28th, Don Rickles will be the recipient of a special honor at the second annual Comedy Awards. Jon Stewart will present Rickles, who is 85, with the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence. Rickles first appeared with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show in 1965. He went on to be a frequent guest, appearing more than 100 times (almost as many times as that one-hit-wonder, legend in his own mind, who calls Vegas home these days), and would even fill in for Carson. Rickles is the second recipient of the award. Last year it went to David Letterman. The Comedy Awards will take place April 28th, and will air on Comedy Central, May 6th. The event celebrates the world of comedy, from stand-up, to film, to TV. Don Rickles has been a Las Vegas staple since 1959. He is a recurring headliner at The Orleans, appearing their most recently on March 24th and 25th.

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Big week for the Lon Bronson All-Star Band! They are Prime Time, this Saturday night, April 7th, at Green Valley Ranch's Ovation, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. (doors open at 10). The popular musical ensemble could really use your support, as this could lead to further Saturday night gigs. Lon is conducting and the song selection is incredible. Many people may be coming from the, sure to be epic, Yellow Brick Road Symphonic Rock Show at the Henderson Pavilion, earlier that night. After the Yellow Brick Road performance, party with the Lon Bronson Band at Ovation! It will be wild, with members of the Rock Show sitting in, special guest stars, and more. Don't miss this special night.

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The public is constantly being bombarded with requests for support for charitable organizations. Unfortunately, especially in these financially troubled times, many of these "causes" are questionable. Here is one that we, definitely, know is for the birds...specifically Parrots. Michael Feder, a founding board member and the current president of the Southern Nevada Parrot Education, Rescue, and Rehoming Society (, calls our attention to a need we never thought about. SNPERRS, a 501c3 charitable organization, is very active in the area of helping find new loving homes for parrots, not warehousing them in a "sanctuary." Feder tells us that parrots differ from dogs, in that a five-year-old dog is not typically worth money, so when someone wants to adopt such a pet, they are typically sincere. On the other hand, a five-year-old parrot (depending on species) could be worth quite a bit of money, opening up the horrible practice of fraudsters pretending to want to "adopt" a parrot, and then selling it on the open market. SNPERRS is made up of all volunteers (meaning no salaries), so all of the money raised goes for the parrots - vet checks, new cages and toys, and the like. More volunteers, who want to "foster" a parrot, providing a temporary home until a permanent adoptive family is found who want to adopt a wonderful companion. The economy and real estate melt-down has resulted in an unprecedented number of parrots that need help, and while well-known groups like the ASPCA has big funding, SNPERRS is down to pennies. They are desperately in need of small contributions. Contributors will get the organization's newsletter, and the knowledge that 100% of their donation goes to help the parrots. Even $10 means a lot to this group, and donations are fully tax deductible. Here is what Madeleine Franco, SNPERRS Executive Director, has to say about the situation the group currently finds itself in.
As some of you know, I was the founding president of the Southern Nevada Parrot Education, Rescue & Rehoming Society (SNPERRS;, and I am currently its vice president and executive director. It has been for us a very "successful" year; we have rehomed many birds--mostly cockatoos and conures that don't share walls very well at a time when so many people are downsizing their homes and moving into apartments--and we have provided support for several families who had hit "bumps in the road," help that has enabled them to modify behaviors and keep their birds. However, this success came at great price, and the SNPERRS coffers are dangerously depleted. We have never demanded donations from relinquishing parties in the past, and until this year people have been rather generous. And, in the past, I have donated all my speaker fees to SNPERRS, but those sources have also slowed down, not because people think I don't have anything valuable to say, but primarily because so many clubs have retrenched in this economy, which remains lackluster at best. In the event you might be wondering, my attitude remains: Have PowerPoint...will travel!

Michael Feder's Olive

Windy Karigianes

Notwithstanding all that, what we do takes money...not a lot of money, but money just the same. Each bird we place receives a vet check prior to placement, and most are placed in new, loving homes with their own cage, which often must be refurbished, toys and a "care package" to make their transition easier. All work is done by volunteers, who don't even request reimbursement for the many gallons of fuel they use to get the job done. If you are in any sort of position to assist an organization that conducts one of the most needed and efficient bird rehoming programs in the western region, SNPERRS could use your help. Maybe you're thinking to yourself that it takes a lot of chutzpah to ask for your support. Well, depending on one's perspective, it probably does; but do know that asking for money always takes a fair amount of humility. That said, we're not asking for something for nothing. For your donation of $15 or more, we will enter a one-year electronic subscription for yourself or a friend to the SNPERRS newsletter, Wings West. We've been told it's one of the best parrot-related newsletters out there, and we hope you agree, but we invite you to be the judge. If you believe in what we do for some of the longest lived pets on the planet, and helping SNPERRS is something you can afford, you may visit our web site at, to make a donation, or you may send your donation to the Southern Nevada Parrot Education, Rescue & Rehoming Society, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, at PO Box 81483, Las Vegas, NV 89180. If you make your donation by check, please be sure to include the email address to which you want the newsletter sent. All monies received will be used to provide vet checks and care packages for parrots admitted into our rehoming program. Thank you for your consideration of this appeal. We hope you never need us, but if you do, we want to be there for you.

Note: Madeleine Franco, has a wonderful parrot "act" she can bring to birthday parties and libraries, etc., and Michael Feder has a book out, Olive Parrot Shares Her Birthday. All proceeds, from both, go to SNPERRS.

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The Dispensary Lounge provides a lot of good music in the southeast part of the city on Friday and Saturday nights. For example, tonight and tomorrow, jazz singer Windy Karigianes is back at the Dispensary Lounge mic, and next weekend, Friday, April 13th and Saturday the 14th, the versatile Michelle Johnson will be in the spotlight. Both ladies perform from 10:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m., and both use the same talented musicians - Uli Geissendoerfer on keyboards, Fred Watstein on bass, and Mike Mechem on drums. The Dispensary is located at 2451 E. Tropicana, in the Ocotillo Plaza shopping center at Eastern

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Michelle Johnson

On Saturday, April 14th at 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 15th at 3 p.m., the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin, hosts Motown Divas. This 80-minute tribute, to the all-time great female divas of R&B, is the newest production from producer/director Mistinguett. The cast includes Gwendolyn Moore Forsythe, Rheda K. Solo, Annetta Bonner and Terrence Forsythe. The show features hits made famous by the Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Patti Austin, Etta James, The Pointer Sisters, En Vogue and Roberta Flack. Terrence performs hit songs by Percy Sledge, Lionel Richie, Donny Hathaway, Barry White, Ray Charles, James Ingram, Marvin Gaye and Lou Rawls. The show is packaged with gorgeous costumes, video, clever transitions, soulful duets and a storyline that pulls together the four characters and sets up the scenes for the music of this talented cast. "This cast of four performs 30 popular songs in this fast-paced, high energy revue," says Mistinguett. "The Motown Divas played to sold out houses last September at the Sun City Anthem Freedom Hall Theatre and ended with standing ovations." Tickets are $15 for Sun City residents and $18 for non-residents, cash or check only, exact change requested. They can be purchased in person only, at the following locations: Starbright Theater, 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd.; Pinnacle Community Center, 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd.; Desert Visa Community Center, 10360 Sun City Blvd.; and Mountain Shadow Community Center, 9107 Del Webb Blvd. Tickets are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents.

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Over at the Clarion, Hollywood Star Express continues on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. A nostalgic journey of the best of times, with songs, skits, and your favorite stars of the silver screen. Featuring Linda Bulgo, with David DeCosta, Skye Dee Miles, Joey Ciccone, Michael Delano, and Joan Mullaney. An exciting variety show that can't be missed. General Admission, $29.95 (online special, 1/2 off $14.95), and VIP Admission, $39.95.

Houston McPherson

And new at the Clarion is Celebrities, starring Houston McPherson, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 4 p.m. Singing and comic impressionist MacPherson is an entertainer who packs more than 50 celebrities into his multi-faceted and well executed comedy and family show. Houston's extraordinary talent masters the powerful voices of your favorite actors, 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 Bush Sr. and Jr., and President Obama; TV personalities, Ed Sullivan, Andy Rooney, and Dr. Phil; and 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 more. General Admission is $29.95 plus tax, and VIP Admission is $39.95 (includes Preferred Seating and two Drinks. For reservations for either show, call the Clarion's Wolf Theater at (702) 990-1524. The Clarion Hotel Casino is located at 305 Convention Center Drive, between the famed Las Vegas Strip and Paradise. When in Vegas...see Houston!

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Have you ever wanted to dance and sing while covered in blood? Do you know what a boom-stick is? Do you want to be a part of the wildest show in Vegas? Now is your chance!
Sirc Michaels Productions is holding open auditions for Evil Dead: The Musical!, presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. Dust off your favorite tunes and come prepared to have fun! Needed: Men and women of various ages. Please come prepared to sing no more than 16 measures of two songs (one comic, one dramatic - not from this show). Bring your own instrumental accompaniment on CD. If you bring sheet music, an instrument, and someone to play it, that would work as well. There will be cold readings from the script. There may be some movement so please wear appropriate clothing. The show will be directed by Sirc Michaels. The show will be a resident production with an open-ended run beginning in summer 2012. This is a non-union, paid gig.
Where: The Insurgo Theater at The Plaza Hotel & Casino, 1 Main Street in downtown Las Vegas. When: Monday, April 9th at 7 p.m., and Tuesday, April 10th at 7 p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected], or call (702) 573-8335.

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