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 April 20, 2012
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - April 20, 2012



Buddy Greco & Lezlie Anders Greco

Happy anniversary to Wes Winters who, tomorrow, marks one year of weekend shows in the GrandView Lounge at Michael Gaughan's South Point Hotel Casino & Spa. Join pianist/ singer Winters for free cake and a champagne celebratory toast, beginning at 5 p.m. Gift drawings will also take place during the evening. Mr. Winters' performance starts at 6 and runs through 10. Seating is first come-first serve, and is limited! With Winters loyal fan base, early arrival is strongly recommended. Seats may not be held or saved in advance. See you there.

And speaking of anniversaries, another pianist/singer, Buddy Greco, and his musical bride, Lezlie Anders Greco, just marked their 17th year of wedded bliss. These days, after living in Las Vegas and then Palm Springs for many years, the Grecos make their home in England. Buddy, who is now 85, tells us that he was under the weather for a while, "but being the tough Italian he is," is back to his old self again. "Lezlie is still wonderful and getting more beautiful as she gets older," Buddy reports, "AND she is singing better than ever." He goes on to say, "The best thing we did was to move to England. They LOVE us here. I guess we've become part of the ‘in‘ group, hanging out with people like Elton John, Paul Young, etc. I guess after all these years (60) of coming here, I'm still considered a ‘name‘ performer, and now that Lezlie is also working on a few projects, like FEVER! The Music of Miss Peggy Lee, and sharing the bill with me and a big band on Buddy Greco and Lezlie Anders in Concert, we're pretty busy. Just finished doing TVs Late Late Show from Ireland, which went very well." To see what else the Grecos are up to, check their websites at buddygreco.com, fevertribute.com, and lezlieanders.com.

And STILL speaking of anniversaries...We inadvertently left Tom and Joni Illi, who celebrated their Silver (quarter of a century) anniversary on April 16th. For their special day, Tom was in Las Vegas (where he is Executive Manager DMC Sales AlliedTPro Inc.), while Joni (who has been singing around these parts for decades) was in Tennessee visiting her children. Perhaps that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" theory accounts for the fact that the Illis are still together after 25 years.


Illi's Celebrate 25 Years

Gary Raffanelli & Adbacadabra

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The celebrated music of ABBA returns to the LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino for an extraordinary weekend of performances when Jerry Greenberg presents adbacadabra - the ultimate ABBA tribute, through tomorrow, the 21st. The globally popular ABBA tribute show, with 20 songs, creating 20 memories will have the audience dancing in the aisles. Driven by the dynamic musical vision of group founder Gary Raffanelli, a dead ringer for ABBA's Benny Andersson, adbacadabra (pronounced ABBA-CADABRA) has become an entertainment sensation in its own right. The ensemble, which features Fred Sampson (Bjorn), Christine Shelton (Frida) and Raffanelli's longtime musical partner, Sandra Selby (Agnetha), has been a smash throughout the world. Adbacadabra made their debut at the LVH (formerly Las Vegas Hilton) back in 2009, and received an overwhelming response from the crowd. "A lot of shows that have included the music of ABBA in the past poke fun at their outfits and the music," says Raffanelli, "but ours is unique because we believe the songs are great and we play and perform them with the integrity they deserve. We're up there singing, dancing, laughing and having fun. The show has personality, we interact with each other and the band, and there is plenty of audience participation." "We picked all the hits to cover," he says. "We perform them just like the original records. That was the hard part. ABBA was genius at putting together pop music. We got everything we could on the group and fine tuned the music and outfits down to the last minute detail." Tickets are $19-$39 (plus tax and service charge) and can be purchased at the LVH box office or by logging onto http://www.thelvh.com/, www.vegas.com or www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (702) 732-5755 or (800) 222-5361.

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Bethany Owen & Breakfast At Tiffany's IGT Slot

Rick Faugno at Palms

Impressionist Bethany Owen, who some years ago performed here in a number of hotels, including the Sands, Dunes and Maxim (all now gone from the Vegas landscape), ended her engagement in the King's Room at the Rio earlier this week. She is looking into some other Vegas options. In the meantime, you can still hear an example of Bethany's vocal abilities around the city, as she provides the voice of actress Audrey Hepburn, who starred in the film as Holly Golightly, for IGT's new Breakfast at Tiffany's slot machines. Owen, a two-time winner for "Best Female Voice Impressionist," celebrates the zany and fun side of celebrity personalities through the use of comedic parody and vocal tributes to some of the world's most legendary female superstars of our time. Bethany Owen continues to amaze audiences with her incredible talent to mimic celebrity voices, as well as take on their character look, body language and facial expressions. Bethany does my voice better than I do my own"- Dolly Parton! "Best Female voice impressionist I've ever heard"- Terry Fator! "A World-Class actress and celebrity voice Impressionist" - Sid Krofft!

Another change on the city's entertainment scene...
Rick Faugno, former principal in Jersey Boys where he shared the Frankie Valli role with Travis Cloer, ended his three-month, one man show, run in The Lounge at the Palms on Tuesday. Faugno's Palms gig followed an engagement in the Shimmer Cabaret at the LVH (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton). No news as to what comes next for Rick Faugno.

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New Stooges - Sasso, Diamantopoulos & Hayes

Larry Fine

The Three Stooges live again, thanks to a new Farrelly Brothers film, based on the life and career of the kings of slapstick. Portraying the Stooges are Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes (of Will & Grace fame) as Larry, and Will Sasso as Curly. There is at least one Las Vegan with a connection to the Three Stooges...longtime local resident, Mary Marcella Schwartz. Larry Fine was Mary's mother, Lorraine Lieberman's, first cousin. Larry's mother, Fanny Lieberman, and Mary's mother's father, Nathan (Nate) Lieberman, were brother and sister. Mary tells us, "My mother was 14 years older than Larry and, as he said, she was always his ‘favorite babysitter.' We spent quite a bit of time around Larry and Mabel over the years. My sister and I always called them "Uncle Larry" and "Aunt Mabel." We would visit their house in Los Feliz, where I would "perform" shows from behind a doorway curtain. Then, we visited them at their apartment in The Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel, where Larry would mop the kitchen floor, saying (tongue-in-cheek), "I'm such a big star!" Larry would also come visit us when we lived in Las Vegas. While here, he would comb down his frizzy hair into a subdued style so he could go to the hotels incognito. He drove a Lincoln Continental and when my friends saw his car, they would come around our house to catch a glimpse of him. He was madly in love with his wife Mabel, who he called his "angel." Larry would shop for all of Mabel's clothes and shoes (size 4). After Mabel died, Larry took pottery classes to occupy his time. He would also take my friend and I out on the town occasionally - to see Ann-Margret in Vegas or to the private club Studio 54 in L.A. The last time I visited Larry was in the Motion Picture Country Home where they showed a Stooges film and had a tribute to him. He had suffered a stroke and was wheelchair bound. Larry was always a gentle man and a gentleman - very sweet and kind - and I wish he were here to see this newly-found success."

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Services for Michaelina Bellamy, who passed away on April 7th at the age of 59, will be held at the Guardian Angel Cathedral Catholic Church, located just east of the Strip at 302 Cathedral Way, on Tuesday, the 24th, starting at 10 a.m. Burial will be at the Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City, beginning at 2 p.m. Michaelina, who was a principal singer in the Tropicana's Folies Bergere production for almost 10 years, died as the result of leukemia. During her musical career, in addition to performing in clubs and recording a couple of albums, Mikie worked with both Wayne Newton and Engelbert Humperdinck as a backup singer. She also sang with the U.S. Air Forces' Airmen of Note, and on a USO tour of Vietnam with Bob Hope. Michaelina Bellamy is survived by three daughters and six grandchildren.


Michaelina Bellamy

Clint Holmes

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Las Vegas will be well represented in New York in May and June. Clint Holmes has returned to the Café Carlyle, where he did his tribute to Bobby Short last October. During this engagement, Clint performs This Thing Called Love: Cole Porter & Paul Simon on Love, through April 28th. Show times are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:45 p.m. Cover, Tuesday through Thursday: $75 per person ($45 bar seating; $125 premium seating); Friday and Saturday: $85 per person ($45 bar seating; $125 premium seating). The Café Carlyle is at 35 East 76th Street, in Manhattan. Call (212) 744-1600 for reservations.

Clint's bride, the multi-talented Kelly Clinton, returns to Manhattan's Metropolitan Room, this time around for four nights instead of just one. It's Freckles and 80-Year-Old Bones on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, May 7th, 9th and 10th at 7 p.m., and Friday, May 11th at 9:30 p.m. The Metropolitan Room is located at 34 West 22nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues. For reservations or additional information, call (212) 206-0440.


Kelly Clinton

Bill Fayne

And speaking of Clint Holmes, his longtime friend/writing partner/musical director, Bill Fayne, is doing the musical directing of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella at the Henderson Pavilion. The classic rags-to-riches musical will take guests on a magical journey to a far-away land of happily ever-afters and dreams come true. Watch as poor Cinderella's life turns to royalty with help from her Fairy Godmother, a little magic and a glass slipper! The Las Vegas Shakespeare Company is producing the show, which runs through April 22nd, and Louisa Lemos directs. The cast is made up of New York theater folk, Gail Bennett and Joey DeBenedetto, along with Susan Lowe, Caitlin Shea, Emily Peterson, Francesca Camus, Byron Tidwell, Collette E. Robinson and G. Scott Spence. The remaining shows are this weekend, Friday and Saturday, April 20th and 21st at 8 p.m., and Sunday, the 22nd at 7 p.m. Gates open an hour before show time. Tickets are $10. The open air Henderson Pavilion theater is located at 200 S. Green Valley Parkway in Henderson. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit HendersonLive.com, or call (702) 267-4TIX (4849).

And while still in New York...
For one night only, Tuesday, April 24th at 7 p.m., Eric Comstock will present I Hear Music: A Burton Lane Centennial Songbook, at The Triad Theater. You may not know his name, but chances are that you know his music. Burton Lane (1912-97) composed scores for Finian's Rainbow, Royal Wedding and On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever), plus the standards, "How About You," "Everything I Have Is Yours," "Old Devil Moon," "Moments Like This," "How Are Things In Glocca Mora," "Too Late Now," "What Did I Have That I Don't Have," "Come Back To Me," and the infamous "Begat." As for collaborators, Burton Lane worked with some of the best: Ira Gershwin, Alan Jay Lerner, Frank Loesser and Yip Harburg. Join Eric, along with Marco Panascia on bass, Vito Lesczak on drum, and guest vocalist, Barbara Fasano, for Burton's 100th birthday party. Since April 24th is Barbra Streisand's 70th birthday, it's double the reason to celebrate and sing songs from On a Clear Day. The Triad is at 158 West 72nd Street. Call the Ticket Hotline at (800) 838-3006. The Triad Theater is located at 158 West 72nd Street. Call the Ticket Hotline at (800) 838-3006, or go to www.humanchild.com click here for online tix/reservations.


Eric Comstock

Nelson Sardelli, Duke of Fremont Street & Sal Richards at F.I.O.R.E.

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One of the F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) presidents, Nelson Sardelli, would like to use Cousin Claire's forum to respond to a question that he, and the other presidents, get asked frequently..."WHAT IS THE MEANING OF WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE FIORE LOGO, HERE IT IS: In Sicilian: " Faccitivi i cazzi vostri ca campati centu anni " In Latin: "AGE RES PROPRIAS TUAS, ESSE CENTUM ANNI ET VIVETIS" In English, it simply translates to: "Mind your own "@X$&^?/%#" business and you will live to be one hundred." Now that we have gotten that out of the way...
Last weeks meeting of the non-club club resulted in quite a turnout. Among those who came out to hear Dr. Lonnie Hammargren speak, were Mike Schaefer, Don Nitti, Allan Adar-Burla, James Hatland and Donave Stanley, Dr. Wilfred and Celia Krom, Allen Tramont, John J. Flood, Jerry Cogar, Norman and Arlene Ivans, J .R. Stanley and daughter, Joan Titus, Ishmael and Mar La Guerra and guest, Norm Johnson, Dean Lauer, Nat Schlumpf, Lou Toomin, Bill and Sharon Graziano, Bill Acosta, Sharon Perovich, Dr. George and Shari Ritter, Marilyn Welle Villella, Bambi Jones, Anita Marzorati, Artie Schroeck and Linda November, Pete and Rita Menzaco, John Bakie, Peter Anthony, Cork Proctor, Sal Richards and conductor, Frank Leone, Antoinette Silicato, Len Ubriaco, Eddy and Marta DeVries, Patricia Carollo, Frank LaDuca, Paul Crupi, Bob McCaffery, Giuseppe Donato, The Duke of Fremont Street, Richard Wellington, Donna and guest, John Faulis, Angelo Cassaro, Susan T. and Robert Spencer, Betty Smith, Charlie Licata, Brenda Weems, Charles Carpenter, Dianna Stubbs, Johnny Giles, Bob Shawhan, Don Harten, Rolando Larraz, Ken and Lena Walther, Don Gloude, Tommy Deering, Mike Breglia, Gene and Angela Vitale, Conrad Villella, Felix Silla, Ray Borders, Kathy Beach, Harley Akers, Bobby Moran, Nick Montana, Mr. Sardelli, plus musicians, and, of course, the distinguished guest speaker, Dr. Lonnie Hammargren.


Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events

John Randall

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Busy Mark Winkler is producing a new artist who is doing his first full "live" show in Los Angeles, and he is urging music lovers in the area to check out this talented musician. The artist's name is John Randall, and Winkler says, "he is a wonderful, romantic singer who sings an eclectic array of songs by such writers as Jimmy Webb, John Bucchino, U2, Bruno Mars, Stephen Bishop, Elton John, Alicia Keys, and yes-- me, Mark Winkler! He's not jazz, but a singer who would appeal to anyone who likes "adult" sophisticated music." Winkler goes on to say, "I first met Randall as the pianist for my musical, Too Old for the Chorus, in La Mirada, and as the accompanist of choice for many of the Clifford Bell nights I've attended the last few years. But John came to me wanting to work with me as a singer, and frankly, I was blown away. This show is the culmination of about a year of hard work, and I'm very proud of how far we've come." The show will be at the M Bar, 1253 Vine Street (on the southwest corner of Fountain and Vine), Saturday, April 28th at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7). John Randall will be joined by vocalist Diane Pancel, Peter Smith on piano/keys, Davin Givhan on guitar, Nate Light on bass, and Scotty Lund on percussion. There is a $15 cover and $10 food/drink minimum for John Randall's show at the M Bar.

And speaking of Mark Winkler, one of his songwriting partners, Shelly Markham, served as Andrea Marcovicci's pianist during her last week's gig, Marcovicci Sings Movies, at The Smith Center. Dan Fabricant accompanied on bass. As mentioned in last Friday's column, Markham and Winkler co-wrote songs for Too Old For the Chorus. The two also collaborated on tunes for Naked Boys Singing, which had a respectable (if you can call naked boys respectable) run at The Onyx Theater in Las Vegas.


Andrea Marcovicci & Shelly Markham

Spectrum

Also, over at The Smith Center, Spectrum, Las Vegas' own, award-winning, Motown/R&B vocal group, returns home from national and international touring schedules for their first Vegas appearance in six years, accompanied by a 13-piece orchestra. The group boasts four incredible singers, each with the talent of a solo artist, who combine their voices 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 Las Vegas' 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. Spectrum, presented by Delphine and James Fahringer and Morgan Bray Entertainment, will perform in the 250-seat Troesh Studio Theater on April 28th at 7 p.m. Tickets are $33.


Scott Watanabe

Rick Pessagno

On Wednesday, May 16th, the Las Vegas Composers Showcase will do its second go-round in The Smith Center‘s Cabaret Jazz in the Boman Pavilion. Show starts at 10:30 p.m. (after theater), with doors to the venue opening at 9:30. The showcase will feature the songs of local composers and songwriters Angela Chan, Kelly Clinton-Holmes, Amos Glick, Christine Hudman, E. J. and Michael Lackey, Aaron MacKenzie, Michael Manley, Aaron Ramsey, Keith Thompson, Mark Wherry, and special guest, Clint Holmes. Performers include Christine De Chavez, Randal Keith, Celeste Lero, Niki Scalera, and Scott Watanabe, plus the amazing instrumental chops of Mike Clark, Dan Falcone, Philip Fortenberry, Jim McIntosh, Don Meoli, Jeff Neiman, Keith Nelson, Mark Pardy, Marty Radunz, Jeff Ray, Matt Taylor, Eric Tewalt and The Firenze Strings - Tianna Heppner-Harjo, Jennifer Massey, Rebecca Ramsey, Lindsey Springer, Hannah Suk, Geri Thompson, and Moonlight Tran. Sound is handled by Mary McFadden, and lights by Jeremy W. Hodges. Tickets are $20. A cash bar and late night menu are available. For reservations, call (702) 749-2000, or go to the Smith Center Ticket Office at 361 Symphony Park Avenue.

A special shout out to two Smith Center employees - Security Supervisor, Wayne Leslie, who treats Smith Center visitors the way all people involved in the "hospitality" field SHOULD (but sadly, don't) treat guests, and usher, Jennifer Porter, who is welcoming, friendly and most efficient. Both do an exceptional job in their positions at the $470 million performing arts facility.

We are sorry to learn that Amber Stidham, who had been the Smith Center's Public Relations Manager, has accepted an offer to join the team at the RTC. It has not yet been announced who will take Amber's place. Ms. Stidham did a fine job. Hopefully, her replacement will be as easy to work with.

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Next Friday, April 27th, through Sunday, May 6th, the Nevada Conservatory Theatre presents the musical comedy, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, in UNLV's Judy Bayley Theatre. NCT's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, will be directed and choreographed by Rick Pessagno and Tammy Pessagno. Rick has worked for more than 35 years as a performer, director, choreographer and producer. His former credits include Guys and Dolls, 110 In The Shade, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, and The Angels Sing (the music and lyrics of Johnny Mercer). Tammy began her career as a professional dancer. She is a dance and musical theatre instructor as well as director/ choreographer, with more than 30 years progressive theatre experience. Tammy served on the dance faculty at UNLV, where she staged, choreographed and/or co-directed many of their main-stage musicals. She has been associated with the Las Vegas Academy since 2001, where she has created a dance curriculum for the musical theatre student, as well as choreographed and/or co-directed 13 main stage musicals to date, most notably the International Thespian Society's 75th Anniversary Festival production of Ragtime. Forum performances are April 27th and 28th, and May 3rd, 4th and 5th at 8 p.m., and Sundays, April 29th and May 6th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 and $30, and on sale at the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office. Performing Arts Center Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The box office may be reached at pac.unlv.edu by calling (702) 895-ARTS (2787).


Tammy Pessagno

Dori Kotzan & LouLou D'Vil by Derek Jackson

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During the recent Rockabilly Burlesque show held in Las Vegas, former burlesque performer, Dori Kotzan, also known as Bambi Jones, or Bambi Sr., was most excited to meet Finland's International burlesque showgirl, beautiful LouLou D'vil. LouLou has honored Bambi Sr. by having one of the veteran exotics' icon images tattooed on her arm. Being an equal opportunity public relations person, LouLou also has an inked image of Tempest Storm on the same arm. Both Kotzan and Storm are Las Vegans.

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Pawn Stars regular, Murray Sawchuck, who dazzled the judges on America's Got Talent with his illusions, reaching the semifinals by magically producing a Ferrari, turning a girl into a 450-pound tiger, and performing one of the largest illusions ever, when he vanished a 1918 Steam Train Locomotive in front of more than 22 million people, has signed a limited-engagement residency to kick off the Laugh Factory's new comedy club at the Tropicana. Comedian Brad Garrett, who formerly held court in that theater, opens his comedy club across the street at the MGM Grand. The legendary Laugh Factory in Hollywood has now taken over Brad's former showroom as a multi-venue comedy experience. Murray, who starts his first three-month run on April 30th, is taking on the first-of-its-kind magic challenge, performing in the round for audiences. He'll appear nightly at 7 before the 8:30 and 10:30 standup comics who are yet to be announced. Murray, with his trademark spiky blond hair and black-rimmed glasses, will perform his regular close-up and then perform two signature illusions on a 360-degree platform right in the middle of the audience. Murray's sidekick, and sleight-of-hand artist, Douglas "Lefty" Leferovich, also is part of the show. Murray has performed around the world for more than 25 years, playing at the former Frontier Hotel 10 years ago, and guest starring regularly in Crazy Horse Paris at MGM Grand. Most recently, he headlined the Magic Castle in L.A., and Paul Stone‘s Vegas Magic Theatre at the Gold Coast. Masada's Laugh Factory is known for hosting some of the biggest names in comedy, including, among others, Roseanne Barr, Drew Carey, Jim Carrey, Dave Chappelle, Dane Cook, Rodney Dangerfield, Ellen DeGeneres, Kathy Griffin, Andy Kaufman, Jay Leno, David Letterman, George Lopez, Bill Maher, Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Paul Rodriguez, Ray Romano, Bob Saget, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Chris Tucker and Robin Williams, and will produce live shows and TV specials from the Trop's main showroom.


Murray Sawchuck

Bill Acosta

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We recently received the following e-mail from Claire Voyant readers in Florida...
My husband and I had the privilege of seeing and hearing Bill Acosta at both the Luxor and Flamingo several years ago. He was GREAT, and such a nice man.
We bought his CD and wish we had bought his DVD. We would like to know how he is doing now, and if we could buy his DVD? Thank you for any help you could provide us.
We try to answer all questions and help our readers whenever we can. Here is our response to the Floridians.
Cousin Claire has known singer/impressionist Bill Acosta for 35 years. In recent years, he has had some health issues and is no longer performing. Too bad. As for the DVD, it was done at the Flamingo in 2001, and is titled, Lasting Impressions: Direct from Las Vegas. It costs $15, plus $5 for Priority shipping (three day delivery). To get a copy, e-mail to [email protected], where you will get instructions on what to do next.

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The April gathering of the Las Vegas Media Group was held on a perfect spring day. About 40 members met for lunch and to enjoy one another's company. There was lots of catching up with friends, especially those that hadn't been seen for awhile: Hank Thornley, Sandy Stesch, and A.D. Hopkins, and to meet some new attendees: Harry Mortenson (husband of Helen), Rusty Feuer (along with her brother, Wayne) and Corinne Sidney (former Las Vegas showgirls). The speaker was Las Vegas Review-Journal travel columnist, Margo Pesek, who gave some great insights into Nevada off-the-beaten-path. There were raffle giveaways, which is always a lot of fun. A number of the LVMG members were celebrating birthdays, including Milt Bozanic, Jackie Brett, Kathleen McClean, Gretchen Payne and Jane Pinjuv.

Joe Thomson made an announcement about a tour of the Walking Box Ranch. Look for details in upcoming weeks. In addition to the Walking Box Ranch tour, several other events are taking place: Victorian Casino Antiques Auction (May 4-6). Go to www.vcaauction.com

Hacks and Tracks XV (a Jim Marsh sponsored event). Contact Jim if you are interested and would like more information. Lisa Gioia-Acres is looking for your collection of Las Vegas showgirl memorabilia: photographs, news articles and postcards. She is compiling all for a book on the subject, and would like to have as much variety as she can. If you have any that you would like to see published in a pictorial history of Las Vegas showgirls, please contact her at (702) 245-9206, or e-mail at [email protected]. The next LVMG meeting is on May 21st (always the third Monday of the month). Even Frank Mitrani may show up at the next one! Sad news. With the blessing of Ralph and Sara Denton, we are passing along the fact that Ralph is not well. Last week, he was diagnosed with esophagus and lung cancer. Ralph has refused extraordinary measures with regard to medical care and hospice is now involved. Sara reports that he is being made as comfortable as can be expected. Ralph was very much looking forward to our meetings, and the wonderful lineup of speakers, but of course his health now prevents him from attending. Should you wish to contact Ralph and send him your best wishes, please e-mail him via [email protected]. Please, via whatever method you choose, send your good thoughts and positive energy his way.

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The National Atomic Testing Museum, in association with the Smithsonian Institution, is proud to present Behind The Scenes at Area 51 with George Knapp: An Intimate Look Into America's Most Secret Place. George Knapp is an award-winning investigative reporter who has spent more than 20 years examining the mystery surrounding Area 51. Mr. Knapp will reveal the story behind his stories on Area 51. The lecture will take place at the National Atomic Testing Museum, 755 East Flamingo Road in Las Vegas, Tuesday, April 24th, beginning at 6 p.m. In the 1980s, George Knapp became known nationally for reporting the story of Bob Lazar, who claimed to have worked on extraterrestrial UFOs at the most secret place in America, Area 51. Corroborating some of Lazar's claims through serious investigation, Knapp's work earned him an "Individual Achievement by a Journalist" award from the United Press International. His study of UFOs, and the threads that connect them to Area 51, is one area that Knapp continues to explore. His interest is fueled by stories of strange happenings, aliens and UFOs, and, over the last 20 years, Knapp has received numerous personal recollections that add credence to Lazar's claims. Few of these stories, and little of the massive amount of research that Knapp has conducted on the subject, have been shared publicly. From his earliest days as a journalist, Knapp has grown to become a highly respected and well-versed UFO expert. He has researched UFO incidents worldwide, and believes that UFOs need to be scientifically investigated. Today, he continues to advocate for serious investigation into UFO sightings.


George Knapp

Knapp worked with the National Institute of Discovery Science, a group formed by Las Vegas businessman and aerospace entrepreneur, Robert Bigelow, to scientifically study unusual phenomenon with leading scientists and engineers. Knapp won the coveted Edward R. Murrow Award in 2004, and is the recipient of 19 Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards. Knapp is the co-author of the non-fiction book, Hunt for the Skinwalker, and hosts the nationally broadcast Coast to Coast AM radio talk show twice a month. Space to attend the lecture is limited, so please RSVP early for this one-of-a-kind experience. Tickets are $25 for non-members, $15 for members. For additional information, visit the museum's website at www.NationalAtomicTestingMuseum.org, or call the National Atomic Testing Museum at (702) 794-5150.

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Okay bargain hunters. Set your alarm to get up early, for the Sun City Summerlin Annual Garage Sale, taking place a week from Sunday. This event is attended by hundreds, if not thousands, of folks, young and old, looking for great buys, antiques, and unique items. It will be held on April 28th, from 7 a.m. to noon, at the Mountain Shadows Community Center parking lot, 9107 Del Webb Blvd., manned by Sun City Summerlin residents eager to clean out their closets, cupboards and garages. This annual event is open to the public. There is no admission charge. For more information, call (702) 363-3581.



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