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.  
Shes...

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from April 27, 2012
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - April 27, 2012


The Jacksons 2012

Vintage Jackson 5

If you haven't heard about this already, we are happy to let readers know that the surviving members of the Jackson 5 - Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito - now calling themselves The Jacksons, are coming to Las Vegas, to perform at The Cannery on July 20th. The Unity Tour, their first in almost 30 years, will launch in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 18th, and continue through the end of July, hitting cities in the U.S. and Canada. According to a press release, the summer Unity Tour 2012 will showcase the Jacksons' classic hits like "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "I'll Be There," as well as honor the legacy of Michael Jackson, who died in 2009. We will have more on this subject in upcoming weeks, including the price of tickets for the Cannery show, and when they will go on sale. Stay tuned.

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We attended another funeral this week, this time for Las Vegas entertainer, Michaelina Bellamy, "Gone (much( Too Soon." Michaelina, who had been a principal singer in the Tropicana's Folies Bergere, passed away on April 7th, following a valiant battle against leukemia. As with the church service for musician Bruce Zarka, held at St. Thomas More on April 11th, many friends from the show business community turned out to say goodbye to Michaelina. We didn't see everybody, but among those that we did spot and recognize at the Guardian Angel Cathedral, now located in the shadow of the Encore Hotel, on Tuesday morning (some who we also saw at the Zarka services), were Don and Gloria Hill, Michelle Johnson, Ray Borders, Paul Stevenson, Lance Burton, Fielding and Janice West, Ron Garrett, Linda November, Lou Toomin, Arleen Gibson, Donny Lee Moore, Joni Illi, Denise Clemente, Renee Hale and her mother Eileen, Greg Smith, Bill Fayne, Ed Mathews, Bob Sachs, Joey Singer, Erwin Flack, John Nasshan, Dr. George and Shari Ritter, Mike Tramontana, Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, Paul Stubblefield, Bob Ashman, Ray Strieb, Don Martinez, and former Folies Bergere dancers, Debbie Lee and Debra Stefan. Interment followed at the Veterans Cemetery in Boulder City, that afternoon.

That night, singers Renee Hale, Joni Illi and Joni James, paid tribute to Michaelina with some three-part harmony at Garfield's Restaurant at Desert Shores, where Renee and Frankie D. entertain on Tuesdays, from 6 to 8 p.m.


Michaelina Bellamy

On Wednesday evening, May 2nd, Michaelina's good friend, Arleen Gibson, has organized a musical Celebration of Life gathering in honor of the late entertainer. It will take place at Mr. B's, 3824 Paradise Road (former location of Z ' Tejas Grill, just south of Twain), beginning at 6 p.m. There is expected to be a big turnout, including a number of musicians who will raise their voices in song. Among those anticipated to attend are Gary Anderson, Ricco Diamante, Bill Fayne, Rob Garrett, Mark Giovi, LJ Harness, Skip Martin and Lady V. This is not a fund raiser or a benefit. It is an occasion to remember Michaelina and her glorious voice. There is no charge to attend, but you do have to pay for your own food and drinks if you choose to partake from the menu. Valet parking will be available.

Sadly, the Las Vegas community is mourning the loss of two more musicians. Phillip J. Volturo, age 55, passed away suddenly on Easter Sunday, April 8th, at Valley Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada. Born on August 13, 1956, and raised in Chester, Pennsylvania, Phil attended grade school at St. Robert's and was a graduate of St. James High School, class of 1974. He also spent two years at Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia. He was a lifelong musician, playing in many popular establishments in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Jersey Shore. He found great success as the guitar-playing band member with Cook E. Jarr and the Krums. They relocated to Las Vegas in 1983, where they were named Las Vegas Review-Journal's "Best Lounge Act" five times throughout the '80s and '90s. For the last 15 years, Phil was known for being a vocalist and guitarist with bands such as The Reflex, Blonde Sided, Front Page, Darren Michael, and, most recently, performing regularly on the Fremont Street Experience Main stage with The Party Rockers. He enjoyed fishing on Lake Mead, camping, hiking, and spending time with his family. He was pre-deceased by his parents Michael and Jean Volturo. Survivors include his companion of 19 years Bonnie Kimbril, and their three daughters, Krista, Katie, and Kayla; his three brothers Michael (Diane), John (Debbie) and Tom; his sister Mary; many loving nieces and nephews and their children. Visitation with the family and a Celebration of Life will take place on Sunday, April 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Nolan-Fidale Funeral Home, 5980 Chichester Avenue, Aston, PA 19014. Davis Funeral Home, on West Charleston in Las Vegas, handled local arrangements. Interment is private. Online Condolences: www.nolanfidale.com. In lieu of flowers, donations to benefit his children may be made to: The Phil Volturo Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank - Savings Account #9247633010.


Phillip Volturo

Tommy Marth

And saxophonist Tommy Marth died in Las Vegas early Monday morning. Marth, a Vegas native, was featured on The Killers' second and third albums, 2006's Sam's Town, and 2008's Day & Age. He also toured with group, and played on albums by The Big Friendly Corporation and Black Camaro and served in Halloween Town's live lineup for a time. Marth was also known through his work in a variety of roles at local music venues over the years, including the Freakin' Frog, Revolution Lounge, the Royal Resort and the Hard Rock Hotel. Since November, the Chaparral High and UNLV grad had been the Hard Rock's nightlife marketing manager. Tommy Marth was only 33.

And condolence go out to Las Vegan Artie Schroeck on the death of his brother, Harold.
Harold Schroeck, age 88, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, died on Friday, April 20, at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge. Born in Irvington, Harold lived in Cliffwood Beach for many years and lived in Las Vegas before returning to Old Bridge. Prior to his retirement, he was a truck driver for many years for Van Brunt Trucking, Sayreville. He was also an accomplished musician who could play many instruments, but was primarily a saxophonist. He was a member of the bands "Dot Dad and the Side Men" and "The New City Slickers." Mr. Schroeck was a Navy veteran of WWII, and was a member of Teamsters Local 701, Musicians Local 373, and was a fundraiser for Deborah Heart and Lung Center. He was predeceased by his wife, Sally and daughter, Dorothy Maxted, both in 1999. He is survived by his children, Carol Prendergast, Susan Mott, Jeryl Chorma, and Kenneth, Thomas, and Mark Schroeck; his brother, Arthur; 19 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren. Visitation was on Wednesday in South Amboy, with funeral services on Thursday. Interment took place at Brig. Gen WC Doyle Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Arneytown. Memorial contributions to Deborah Hospital (www.deborah.org) or to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (www.cff.org) would be appreciated.

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Speaking of Ray Streib, aka "Crazy Ray, he was a leader/comedian/guitarist/vocalist with popular groups such as Funnesse, Mad House and Amusement Park. He was also a sideman with Smooth and Rebbie Jackson (the No. 1 Jackson family member) and the Joel Dane Show. A few years ago, Ray suffered two strokes. It has taken a while, but Ray is slowly getting his speech back and is working with his guitar. Ray says telling jokes is therapy for him, and he hopes to return to the stage again. "Watch me," he says. "Not maybe. I will. I'm a fighter." Although we have been a Las Vegan for almost 36 years, we didn't know Ray Streib from the old days, but we believe him!


Ray Streib

Penn Jillette & Thom Reilly

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Penn Jillette may have been fired from Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice competition last weekend, but you sure can't call the magician a loser. On Wendy Williams Show, Jillette announced that Caesars Foundation had gifted $250,000 to Opportunity Village. "When I got pretend fired, my real bosses, the ones who really could fire me for real no-kidding, decided to give the full winning $250,000 to "my" charity. I had a blast on the show and a lot of people learned about what a great organization Opportunity Village is. I have the best bosses in the world - thanks Rio (Caesars)!" The Caesars Foundation donated $250,000, the amount Jillette would have secured had he won the competition, to Opportunity Village, a Las Vegas nonprofit that serves people with intellectual disabilities. Penn and his silent partner, Teller, have headlined at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino for more than a decade. The Rio is owned by Caesars Entertainment. The Caesars Foundation is funded by operating income from Caesars Entertainment. A portion of the gift was designated to purchase two new employee transit vehicles that will play a part in helping the more than 1,700 persons with disabilities in Southern Nevada. Each day, the 2012 Ford Transit 10-passenger van will transport custodial trainee employees to work sites around the valley including eight Veteran Administration centers. The Sparcraft All Star mini bus is being used for community outings and for use by Project Enable that transports individuals with complex disabilities (including severe autism) to volunteer sites like Three Square, the Las Vegas Mission and various city parks. In addition to the vehicles, funding will be used to help expand program and employment resource center space to accommodate the increasing number of people who need services. The nonprofit provides vocational training, job support and recreational services to hundreds of clients. Opportunity Village was founded in 1954 by seven families who were determined to give their disabled children the best lives possible. Fifty-Eight years later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized habilitation organizations in the country. It serves 1,700+ families daily and is Nevada's largest employer of people with disabilities. Opportunity Village is primarily a self-funded organization and does not depend upon state and federal dollars. Rather, through its contracts and fundraising, it relies on its own resourcefulness. Opportunity Village is responsible for saving Nevada taxpayers $22 million every year and pays over $4 million in wages to people who are considered to be unemployable. In addition, Opportunity Village places many individuals into community jobs where, in 2011, they collectively earned wages amounting to more than $7.5 million. Since 2004, Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Foundation have supported Opportunity Village, gifting more than $1.5 million to help develop programming and facilities for individuals with disabilities. In addition to philanthropic gifts, Caesars Las Vegas resort casinos are the nonprofit's largest paper-recycling client in Southern Nevada. Caesars is proud to support Opportunity Village in providing vocational training, employment and social recreation services to hundreds of Southern Nevadans each day, said Thom Reilly, Executive Director of Caesars Foundation. We applaud their many programs that provide much needed opportunities for people with disabilities to enrich our community. Since its inception, Caesars Foundation has given more than $58 million to organizations like Opportunity Village to create a greater quality of life for Caesars Entertainment employees, guests and operating communities. The Foundation's charitable efforts are centered on helping older individuals live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives; promoting a safer, cleaner environment and improving the quality of life in Caesars operating communities. The Caesars Foundation is a private foundation funded by a percentage of operating income from Caesars Entertainment's resorts. The Foundation is the entity through which Caesars Entertainment funds programs and projects of $10,000 or more, as well as not-for-profit giving requirements imposed by certain operating jurisdictions. The Foundation's objective is to strengthen organizations and programs in the communities where our employees and their families live and work. For more information, please visit www.caesarsfoundation.com.

Shown in the accompanying photo is magician Penn Jillette and Thom Reilly, Executive Director of Caesars Foundation.

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Nik Mastrangelo had an especially fun evening at La Scala last Saturday due, in no small measure, to the presence of some special people who dropped in. Deana Martin (Dean's daughter) was in attendance and, although she didn't sing, she inspired Nik to reminisce with some of the great songs of her dad. Later in the evening, Mastrangelo was joined by international recording artist Kristine W., who sang a few songs. Nik was thrilled to have her join him for a couple of duets. "The girl can really sing!," declares Nik. He doesn't do so bad himself. La Scala, a fine dining establishment, open for lunch and dinner, is located on the ground floor in the Mark I Tower at 1020 E. Desert Inn.


Nik at Nite

Vince Neil

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Let's see if we have this right...
Vince Neil, the very same Vince Neil who has had numerous run-ins with the law, and in March of last year, was ousted from the Shimmer Cabaret at the, then, Las Vegas Hilton, now known as the LVH Hotel, is now the owner of Vince Neil's Tres Rios Cantina, a tequila bar, located in that very same property? Neil allegedly stormed into a Hal Sparks concert in the Shimmer Cabaret, and screamed obscenities at his ex-girlfriend, who is also an ex-local entertainment news reporter (we won't mention her name, to save her from further embarrassment and to curtail any more free publicity), along with her two friends. Much like actress Lindsay Lohan, the Mötley Crüe lead singer commits crimes (including a DUI resulting in the death of another human being), and gets off basically with a fine, a slap on the wrist, and a new business in the place where the musician was escorted out of the hotel by the security. Who says crime doesn't pay? Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

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Internationally acclaimed, award-winning magician, Murray SawChuck, will headline in the Laugh Factory's new comedy club at the Tropicana Hotel, beginning, Tuesday, May 1st. Murray will perform a first-of-its-kind magic challenge in the round for audiences, seven nights a week, starting at 7 p.m. Murray dazzled the judges on America's Got Talent, and appears on The History Channel's No. 1 rated TV series, Pawn Stars, as the show's resident magic expert. He also co-starred on VH1's popular TV series, Celebracadabra. Murray recently completed filming five episodes of a new kids' TV series called The Jadagrace Show, filmed entirely in Las Vegas. He plays a comical role as "Murray the Magician." Murray has performed in shows worldwide, and headlined at the historic Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. His unique blend of comedy and magic, along with his numerous TV appearances and 20 years of touring globally, is a perfect partnership for the Laugh Factory's Las Vegas multi-venue comedy experience. Murray will perform his regular comedy magic, and two signature illusions, on a 360-degree platform right in the middle of the audience at the Tropicana. You can't get any closer to magic than this, and it's almost as if the audience is part of the show. Murray has headlined in a number of Las Vegas hotels, including the former Frontier Hotel and Casino, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino's Crazy Horse From Paris show, and Paul Stone's Vegas Magic Theatre at the Gold Coast. This should be a great opportunity for Murray, After all, it was at the Tropicana where magic man Lance Burton launched his successful career.


Murray SawChuck

"Weird Al" Yankovic

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Tomorrow night, quirky artist and music parody king, "Weird Al" Yankovic, performs at Star of the Desert Arena, Buffalo Bill's, in Primm, Nevada, on the California border. Show time is 8 p.m., with tickets at $42.95 and $54.95. Call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 to purchase.

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We got this too late for last Friday's column, but since it's quite an honor, we are using the info AFTER the fact. Spencer Baker was invited to play a 12-minute classical piano solo, Felix Mendelssohn's "Variations Sérieuses, Op. 54," on the stage at the fabulous Smith Center for the Performing Arts last weekend, as part of the Nevada Ballet Theatre's Spring Program, One Step Closer: The Studio Series. The ensemble number was choreographed by members of the NBT company.


Nevada Ballet Theatre Spring Program

Michelle Johnson

NBT photo by Virginia Trudeau

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Check out the talented Michelle Johnson, at the Gold Coast on May 2nd, where she sings for your listening pleasure, backed by Mike Tramontana and Billy T. On May 18th and 19th, Michelle returns to the intimate (that means "small") Dispensary Lounge, located at 2451 E. Tropicana (on the southeast corner of Eastern), backed by Uli Geissendoefer on keys, Fred Watstein on bass, and Mike Mechem on drums. In addition to the fine musical performance, there is a late night food menu with some tasty bargains available.

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The Nevada Conservatory Theatre at UNLV presents the musical comedy "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" - music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart - tonight through May 6th, in the Judy Bayley Theatre. The play is directed and choreographed by the husband and wife team of Rick Pessagno and Tammy Pessagno. The title derives from the line that vaudeville comedians often used to begin a story: "A funny thing happened on the way to the theater." The cast includes Equity actors Jon Peterson as Senex and Jamie Torcellini as Pseudolus. Others in the cast are Gerrad Taylor, Justin Quintos, Sean Cancellieri, Jennifer Johnson, Billy Reed, Tony Blosser, John Maltese, Natalia Formisano, Jennifer Bonilla, Dhyana Dahl, Paris McCarthy, Melissa Ritz, Melody Wilson, Paul Neal, and Jordan Bondurant. Performances are Apr. 27, 28, May 3, 4 and 5 at 8 p.m., and Apr. 29 and May 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20-30 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 895-ARTS (2787). Remaining performances are April 28th, May 3rd, 4th and 5th at 8 p.m., and 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 895-ARTS (2787).


Jon Peterson

Dick Clark Vegas Tribute

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On April 18th, Las Vegas paid tribute to the late radio and television personality, Dick Clark, via the downtown Fremont Street Experience's overhead Viva Vision. Viva Vision, the world's largest video screen, featured a pictorial retrospective of the legendary man's life and career, shown at 8 and 11 p.m. In the past, Fremont Street Experience has paid tribute to Tony Curtis, Danny Gans, Robert Goulet, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor. Clark passed away earlier that day at the age of 82.

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Reminder...
Author Thomas Wolfe was wrong. You CAN go home again...at least in the case of Roslyn Kind. The multi-talented entertainer returns to her Brooklyn roots tomorrow night, Saturday, April 28th, when she performs at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts in an 8 p.m. show.

With a successful career that has spanned all facets of show business, from critically acclaimed recordings to sold-out performances on Broadway and other top concert venues and nightclubs the world over, this Brooklyn-born songstress returns home to perform an unforgettable evening of popular song. Tomorrow's concert concludes Brooklyn College's

2011-2012 Solo Sensations series. Here is some of what has been written about Roslyn Kind, including from the Broadwayworld.com site...
A vibrant musical artist, Ms. Kind is familiar to both national and international audiences for her headlining appearances at some of the most prestigious venues including Lincoln Center, The Greek Theater and London's Café Royal. The London Times noted "To say she is superb would be an understatement." In 2006 she made her long awaited and rapturously received Carnegie Hall debut with her frequent musical collaborator and friend, Michael Feinstein. Like her famous sister, Barbra Streisand, she also began her performing career while still in her teens with the release of her first album, Give Me You. A whirlwind of performing activity followed including engagements at the nation's top nightclubs, acclaim from Time Magazine and three appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show leading up to her show-stopping New York debut at the Plaza Hotel's legendary Persian Room. Her follow up singles and a second album, This is Roslyn Kind, showcased her growth as a recording artist comfortable in a wide range of musical genres. Ms. Kind's latest CD release, Come What May, which the New York Times described as "splendid and sizzling", further establishes her reputation as a virtuoso vocalist possessing impeccable phrasing, a richness and clarity of tone and an undeniable emotional connection to her always first-rate material. In addition to her recording career, Ms. Kind is an accomplished theatrical performer. On Broadway, she starred in the crowd-pleasing musical revue 3 from Brooklyn. Additional theatrical credits include the Off-Broadway production of Show Me Where the Good Times Are, Leader of the Pack and Ferguson the Tailor. She also stopped the show in a critically lauded Los Angeles production of William Finn's Elegies; The Hollywood Reporter noted, "Roslyn Kind sings like a dream..." Ms. Kind's extensive list of television credits include the film Switched at Birth, multiple episodes of NBC's Gimme a Break, Throb starring Jane Leeves and a humorously memorable turn as herself on CBS's The Nanny. This appearance also showcased her talent as a songwriter in a performance of her composition, Light of Love. She also performed the title song for the made-for-TV movie Not Just Another Affair. Ms. Kind has appeared on virtually every major talk/variety show including the Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and Good Morning America. Among her international television credits are England's Pebble Mill Show, Canada's Musique Plus, and For Me - Formidable, a Charles Aznavour special for European TV co-starring Dusty Springfield. In motion pictures, Ms. Kind has had starring roles in The Underachievers and I'm Going to Be Famous and just completed working on a Hallmark movie for TV called Ladies of the House starring Donna Mills and Florence Henderson. Roz can also be heard singing Hold On While You Can in the 2008 movie Truloved. She just completed a biography for TV called Unscripted on Vision TV. Ms. Kind also takes pride in her work for various animal welfare, Alzheimer's and AIDS related charitable organizations including HSUS, APLA and Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS for which she contributed a song selection to Cabaret Noel, a recent volume in their annual series of holiday CD releases. One of the premiere interpreters of popular song, Roslyn Kind continues to succeed in every new facet of her performing career delighting audiences with her spellbinding talent. Roslyn's unique artistry is equally at home on stage, screen and disc. The Brooklyn-native currently resides in Los Angeles.

For The New York Theatre Wire, Paulanne Simmons wrote this...
For some people appearing in concert at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts might be just one more stop on a tour. For Roslyn Kind it means coming home. Raised just one subway stop from Brooklyn College (at Newkirk Avenue), Kind has fond memories of Brooklyn: attending Hebrew school at B'nai Jacob Synagogue on Glenwood Road, learning to swim at the St. George pool in Brooklyn Heights. Kind also remembers a home filled with music. "My mother had a beautiful, soprano voice, and she sang in the house all the time," says Kind. And of course, Kind is Barbra Streisand's younger sister. But it was Kind's mother who introduced her to an older generation of singers such as Nelson Eddie and Dinah Shore. Curiously, Kind claims her mother did not like belters. When she or her sister would sing at home, her mother would ask, "Why are you screaming?" Go figure! For young people growing up in Brooklyn of the 50s and 60s there was the ever-present transistor radio playing the hits of the day and frequent visits to Mel's Record Rack. Although in the 7th and 8th grades Kind imagined herself a math teacher, she says she soon discovered "my talents lie elsewhere." The afternoon after she graduated from Julia Richmond High School, she had a recording session at RCA Studios, where she cut her first record. After the release of her first album, "Give Me You," Kind embarked on a whirlwind of performing activity, including engagements at the nation's top nightclubs and three appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, leading up to her New York debut at the Plaza Hotel's legendary Persian Room at the age of eighteen. Kind has continued to release albums that showcase her talent, including "This is Roslyn Kind" and her latest, "Come What May." She has also been seen in the theater ("Three From Brooklyn" at the Helen Hayes Theater and the Off Broadway musical "Show Me Where The Good Times Are") and on television ("Switched At Birth," "Gimme a Break," "The Nanny," "Saturday Night Live" and "The Tonight Show"). Kind moved to L.A. in 1973. It was a time when many New York nightclubs were closing down and the coast looked more promising. Back in Brooklyn, Kind says she will sing "a little jazz, pop, ballads... songs that I can communicate to an audience." According to Kind, one of the biggest challenges is bringing today's music into her world. "I'm known for a certain type of music," she says. "I try to find songs of today for my style." Kind says she loves lyrics that touch her heart, and she loves making people happy because "that's what entertainment is all about." "I love looking in people's eyes," says Kind. "And knowing that I've touched someone's life in a positive way."

Tickets for this special show in the Walt Whitman Theatre are $35. VIP tickets are $175, and include the performance, plus an exclusive, elegantly catered reception and the opportunity to meet this internationally-acclaimed star following the concert. For tickets, call (718) 951-4500.

We had the opportunity to see Roslyn Kind in Las Vegas, when she appeared here at the Cannery (bright Kathie Spehar, corporate director of entertainment for Cannery Casino Resorts, has great insight and is a leader in booking acts, rather than a follower) in November of 2008. We were most impressed, not only by her talent, but by her outgoing, approachable off-stage personality. Do we see a Smith Center gig in her future? We certainly hope so.


Roslyn Kind

Clint Holmes

Also taking place in New York tomorrow night, is Clint Holmes' closing night of his current two week Café Carlyle engagement. If you don't already have written in stone plans, and aren't going to be in Brooklyn seeing Rozzie, based on the reviews we have read for Clint Holmes current show at the Café Carlyle, This Thing Called Love, saluting the songs of Cole Porter and Paul Simon, you might try and get in for Saturday night's closing performance. New York Times music critic, Stephen Holden; New York Calling's William Wolf; Stephen Sorokoff; and Sandi Durell of NY Cabaret Examiner, couldn't have been more glowing if they had been Clint's paid publicists, which they aren't. Show is at 8:45 p.m. Call the Café Carlyle at (212) 744-1600 for reservations, if they aren't already sold out, and prices. And, if you miss him in Manhattan, you can see and hear Clint Holmes in the Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center in Las Vegas, the first weekend of every month. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m., with ticket prices at $35 and $45. As far as we know, Holmes is the only resident act (we are not counting the Nevada Ballet Theatre or Las Vegas Philharmonic) on the Center's schedule.

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Mark Winkler and Mary Foster Conklin return to Vitello's Jazz & Supper Club, 4349 Tujunga Ave. in Studio City, California, for a show on Friday, May 4th. Mark and Mary will once again join forces to do an evening of the old and new. Mark will be doing tunes from his CD, Sweet Spot, which was just named as one of the top five Jazz Vocal CDs of the Year by Jazz Times Magazine, as well as lots of new songs, while Mary will undoubtedly uncover the "sweet spot" in a great American songbook gem or two. Since these two met over their love of Bobby Troup and Matt Dennis, and have been singing together in New York and Los Angeles for the last few years, you can bet there will be some Troup and Dennis tunes in the mix as well. Mary, being a true New Yorker, is loathe to leave the chill of Manhattan, so her Los Angeles visits are always rare and special occasions. Critics love these two, saying things such as, "Smart, swinging and just a little bit dangerous." '"When a pair of beyond-definition singers get together for a vocal jam session, expect an unusually enlightening evening of song. Both Winkler and Conklin move with deceptively casual ease from cabaret to standards to jazz. Toss in Winkler's always well-crafted originals and Conklin's convincing storytelling qualities, and a single set may well be too short." - Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times. "If anyone tells you that there is a hipper gig than the pairing of Jazz vocalists Mark Winkler and Mary Foster Conklin, don't you believe it." - Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz. "It is such a joy to experience two pros in action! Mary & Mark were completely satisfying and extraordinarily entertaining." - Susan Frances, Nightlife Exchange. For this Vitello's engagement, Mark and Mary will be joined by the wonderful Peter Smith on piano, Tim Emmons on bass, and Peter Buck on drums. Showtime is at 8 p.m. There is a $20 cover charge. Dinner is available. Reservations are recommended. Call (818) 769-0905. There is valet and on-street parking. The last two times Mark Winkler has played at Vitello's, the place was sold out.


Mark Winkler & Mary Foster Conklin

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Legendary comedian and impressionist, Rich Little, is returning to the Las Vegas stage with his one-man show, Jimmy Stewart & Friends. And where will the onetime headliner be performing? In a hotel lounge. A NICE lounge with a small theater feel, but a lounge, nonetheless. Rich Little's show will premiere Monday, April 30th, in the Shimmer Cabaret inside the LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton). We will have more on this entertainment trend, as well as some others, next Friday.

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Reminders...
Sun City Summerlin's Annual Garage Sale takes place tomorrow, Saturday, April 28th, from 7 a.m. to noon, at the Mountain Shadows Community Center, 9107 Del Webb Blvd. The sale is looked forward to and attended by hundreds, if not thousands, of people, young and old, looking for great buys, antiques, and unique items. It will be held on April 28 at the Mountain Shadows Community Center parking lot, manned by Sun City Summerlin residents eager to clean out their closets, cupboards and garages. This annual event is open to public attendance. For more information, call 363-3581. Free Admission.


Best Little Whorehouse In Texas Cast

And The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas continues at the downtown Plaza Hotel and Casino.
Based on the true story of the legendary Texas brothel known as the Chicken Ranch, the risqué musical chronicles how the town's sheriff and regular patron of the brothel fights to keep the historical whorehouse open as a crusading do-gooder television commentator seeks to close its doors. The full production show at the Plaza takes audience members on a trip through history, while watching some of the sexiest girls in Las Vegas sing, dance and act.

Based on the book by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson, with music and lyrics by Carol Hall, the original Broadway production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas debuted in 1978. Directed by Peter Masterson and Tommy Tune, the Broadway show was nominated for seven and won two Tony Awards®. In 1982, it was adapted into a major motion picture, starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at the Plaza is produced locally by SFS Entertainment, LLC under the direction of William Freyd and Bob Sperling, along with the artistic direction of Betty Sullivan-Cleary. The show is co-produced by Matthew Resler, with Vegas Java Entertainment locally. Show times are at 7 p.m. nightly. Ticket prices start at $59.95 for general admission, and are available at the Plaza Hotel and Casino box office next to the showroom, by phone at (702) 946-8934, (800) 793-9332, or online at www.plazahotelcasino.com.

Then, there's Insurgo Theater Movement's Cannibal the Musical, playing in the Plaza's third floor showroom. This marks the first time a local repertory theater has been offered a residency at a major hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Cannibal the Musical is the creation of South Park and Tony Award-winning Book of Mormon co-creator, Trey Parker. It's 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 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! Insurgo Theater's adaptation has played to standing room only crowds around Las Vegas, and features the very best of Las Vegas talent, including Cory Goble as 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. Performing on Fridays and Saturdays at 10 p.m. General admission is $29.99, plus taxes and fees. Locals get a price break at $19.99, plus taxes and fees. Add an additional $5 to any ticket prices, if you want to sit in the "Splash Zone" (use your imagination). For more info, or to make reservations, call (702) 772-3897, or visit InsurgoTheater.org.



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