Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column

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

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from May 04, 2012
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - May 4, 2012

Kevin Downey Jr.

On Sunday, we had a full day of much needed laughs. In the afternoon, we were at UNLV's Judy Bayley Theatre, where we saw the Nevada Conservatory Theatre's matinee presentation of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. We felt this was a most enjoyable production, with a strong 17-member cast, led by the excellent Actors' Equity member, New York's Jamie Torcellini, as Pseudolus. The 11-piece orchestra (yes, a real live orchestra), made up of Emilio Rivera, Carlos Matta, Scott McKell, Allison McSwain, Phil Parsons, Justin Bland, Keith Larsen, Jeremy Meronuck, Cameron Knowels, Jason Corpuz and Justin Peterson, was conducted by the amazing Christopher Lash, a very young man with an old soul. The orchestra did an excellent job with the Stephen Sondheim score. Much of the credit for this fine production goes to the talented husband and wife team, Las Vegans Rick Pessagno and Tammy Pessagno, who share directing and choreography credits. Farce, puns, slamming doors, mistaken identities and satirical comment on social class highlight this bawdy musical. The title derives from the line that vaudeville comedians often used to begin a story; "A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre." It must be good theater, as even the Las Vegas Review-Journal's, not too easy to please theater critic, Anthony Del Valle, gave the NCT project an "A" rating. Only a few more chances to see this gem - tonight, Friday the 4th, and tomorrow night at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Ticket prices for reserved seating are $30, $25 and $20. Discounts for seniors, military, UNLV faculty and staff, students, and persons with disabilities. Ticket prices for UNLV students is $10; limit one ticket. Rated PG. To purchase by phone call the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office at (702) 895-2787 (ARTS).

That evening, we were at Big Al's Comedy Club in The Orleans, getting our share of "Comedy Tonight" (one of our favorite Sondheim songs, along with "Lovely" and "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid," from the above mentioned Forum). Located across from the French Market Buffet, in the space the formerly housed the Sazio Italian Dining restaurant, the cozy club provides a small stage (no big dance productions here) and now seats about 200 people in booths, comfortable arm chairs and at familiar Vegas-type showroom tables. On the bill Sunday were New York funny man, Kevin Downey Jr., Las Vegas resident, Kathleen Dunbar, who delivers comedy that prominently hits home with the women, and an unadvertised surprise, comic impressionist, Dave Burleigh. Amy Pittle does a dandy job of handling the room, which had about 160 audience members for the Sunday night show we attended.

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A musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, which premiered in September 2008 at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, is currently playing at London's Charing Cross Theatre through May 12th, to coincide with Dickens' bicentenary. A Tale of Two Cities is directed by the star of BBC sitcom, Just Good Friends, Paul Nicholas. Nicholas' other credits include TV's Bust, Close To Home, Two Up Two Down, and The Lady Killers. He has been seen on the big screen in Tommy, Stardust, The World Is Full Of Married Men, Blind Terror, The Nutcracker and Invitation To The Wedding. He has recently been seen on stage in Keeler, which he also produced and directed, and national tours of The Haunting and The Pirates of Penzance. In addition to originating the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar, Nicholas has also played leading roles in the West End productions of Grease and Cats. Based on the much loved Dickens story, A Tale of Two Cities depicts one man's ultimate sacrifice for love, set against the backdrop of the French revolution and the comparative calm of the 18th century London society. Music is by David Pomeranz, one of the most prolific songwriters on the scene today. David's songs have been recorded and/or performed by scores of major artists, including Barry Manilow (whose renditions of David's classic compositions "Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again" and "The Old Songs" were both No. 1 hits), Cliff Richard, Clay Aiken, Lea Salonga, Kenny Loggins, Bette Midler, Freddie Mercury, Richie Sambora (of Bon Jovi), Harry Belafonte, Isaac Hayes, Edgar Winter, Anna Nalik, Sir Laurence Olivier, Leo Sayer, Mel Brooks, Richard Harris, Richard Marx, Kenny Rogers, John Denver, Phoebe Snow, The Hollies, Kathie Lee Gifford, The Carpenters, Lillias White, The Muppets, Billy Dean, Andrea Marcovicci, Grover Washington, Jr. and hip-hop artist, Missy Elliott, who sampled David's music for her chart-topping hit single, "One Minute Man." A Tale of Two Cities has a book by Steven David Horwich, whose other credits include Pomeranz's Little Tramp, and David Soames, creator of the Cliff Richard musical, Time. Lyrics are by Horwich, with musical arrangements by John Cameron. A Tale of Two Cities is choreographed by Racky Plews. Dickens' tale has been adapted for the musical stage on a number of occasions, with one of the most high-profile being Jill Santoriello's 2008 Broadway staging. That production closed after 60 performances and 33 previews at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, receiving an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Best New Musical.

David Pomeranz, David Soames & Steven David Horwich

Lena Horne/Mary Wilson

Photo caption: The creative team behind A Tale of Two Cities - David Pomeranz, David Soames and Steven David Horwich (a lot of Davids) - are seen in front of London's Charing Cross Theatre on the musicals' opening night.

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The B3 Conspiracy, playing the best of jazz, blues and funk, and made up of Bill Callanan, Hap Smith, Thom Pastor, and Paul Testa, will be performing from 3 to 5:30 p.m. this Sunday afternoon at the Rhythm Kitchen, 6435 S. Decatur, just north of Sunset. Gary Anderson, on tenor saxophone, will be the B3 Conspiracy's special guest. It's a more than reasonable $5 at the door. Hope to see you there!!

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The beautiful $470 million Smith Center For the Performing Arts, which opened near downtown Las Vegas not quite two months ago, still has some kinks to iron of them being show times. It seems that for some shows/performers, the second 9:30 p.m. Saturday show wasn't drawing the numbers that were expected, so a number of them have been cut. It is suggested that if you have tickets for upcoming Smith Center performances, you double check schedules. If you have tickets for one of the cancelled shows, you may be able to exchange them for another date or time. Our suggestion is, and has been, that in lieu of two evening shows a couple of hours apart, on two performance days, how about an afternoon matinee and one nighttime performance. A matinee would allow potential attendees who don't want to go out after dinner, and/or people who are at work on a night shift - other performers around the city, for example - to see things that they don't have the opportunity to see, through no fault of their own. The local production show casts and crews are a whole segment of the population who are ignored potential ticket buyers. We feel the same way about the New York-inspired bookings at UNLV, now down to a precious few. Performers in our city don't get the chance to attend those shows either, because they are still in makeup and costumes and doing their jobs in Cirque shows and other productions on and off the Strip. Is anybody listening?

One of the shows that has changed their originally scheduled times is James Gavin's Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project, starring Mary Wilson of the Supremes. The story follows the career of, Lena Horne, Hollywood's first African-American goddess, from her reign at MGM's "dream factory," to a fabled night club seductress and civil rights icon. Horne died two years ago, at the age of 92. The biography features rare audio clips, video footage, true stories, and thrilling performances. Stormy Weather is based on the celebrated book entitled Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne (Simon & Schuster 2009) written by Gavin, who also narrates this multimedia theatrical experience. Seven-time Emmy Award-winner, Mike Renzi, who served as the musical director for Lena Horne's 1981 Broadway show, The Lady and Her Music, created the orchestrations for this show. Among the songs performed in Stormy Weather are "As Long As I Live" (Harold Arlen-Ted Koehler), "Honey Suckle Rose" (Fats Waller-Andy Razaf), "Where or When" (Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart), "Come Runnin'" (Roc Hillman), "Come Sunday" (Duke Ellington), "Bein' Green" (Joe Raposo), "The Lady is a Tramp" (Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart), "Yesterday, When I Was Young" (Charles Aznavour-Herbert Kretzmer), "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" (Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein), and, of course, "Stormy Weather" (Harold Arlen-Ted Koehler). Show times for The Smith Center's Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project, starring Mary Wilson with The Larry Dunlap Trio, are Friday, May 11th at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 12th, at 7 p.m. There is a slight possibility that a Saturday matinee might be added. Check with the center box office at (702) 749-2000 for details.

Kristen Hertzenberg

Kelly Clinton

And more regarding The Smith Center. For the second time in as many months, the six-year-old Composers Showcase of Las Vegas does its thing there on Wednesday, May 16th. And just what IS its thing? The Composers Showcase of Las Vegas is an entertainment forum that allows local composers and songwriters the opportunity to present original musical material to a supportive audience in an informal cabaret-style setting. Founded and hosted by Keith Thompson (Jersey Boys) and Michael Brennan (Le Reve), the showcase focuses on uniting the theater community of Las Vegas, giving creative spirits an outlet for artistic expression, laughing a lot and having a great time. See it an hear it for yourself, in the Cabaret Jazz space in the Boman Pavilion at the Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Avenue. Show starts at 10:30 p.m. (after theater), with doors opening at 9:30. The Composers featured on the 16th include Angela Chan, Kelly Clinton-Holmes, Amos Glick, Christine Hudman, E.J. and Michael Lackey, Aaron McKenzie, Michael Lackey, Aaron Ramsey, Keith Thompson, Mark Wherry, Tyler Williams, and special guest Clint Holmes. Performers are Megan Arnoldy, Christine De Chavez, Randal Keith, Kristen Hertzenberg, Celeste Lero, Niki Scalera, Nikka Wahl and Scott Watanabe. Instrumentalists are Matt Baldoni, Mike Clark, Dan Falcone, Philip Fortenberry, Ben Hale, 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, Hanna Suk, Geri Thompson, and Moonlight Tran. Sound by Mary McFadden and lights by Jeremy Hodges. Tickets are $20, with advance purchase strongly advised. Cash Bar/Late Night Menu Available. Call (702) 749-2000 for reservations, or go online to Walk-ups are welcome, but there is a good possibility that the showcase will be sold out, come Wednesday night.

And speaking of Kelly Clinton-Holmes (she is married to performer Clint Holmes), mentioned above, the multi-talented entertainer does her second engagement at New York's Metropolitan Room, beginning this Monday, and running through Friday. Freckles and 80-Year-Old Bones, tells Kelly's story in music and humor, with some serious stuff included to present a well-rounded show. Backed by Jeff Neiman, her music director on keyboards; Steve Bescrone on bass; and Sherrie Maricle on drums, the Las Vegan offers some original songs, as well as popular standards, along with clever re-creations of some familiar folks, including Joan Rivers, Carol Channing, Wayne Newton and even Joe Pesci. Show times are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., and Friday at 9:30 p.m.

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On Wednesday night, Mr. B's Bar & Grill at 3824 Paradise Road, was the scene of a musical Celebration of Life to honor the late singer, Michaelina Bellamy, who died on April 7th at the age of 59, following ongoing treatment for leukemia. Among the friends who turned out for this event, organized by Arleen Gibson, and emceed by Ron Garrett, were Rob Garrett (no relation to Ron), Tom and Joni Illi, Reno Bellamy (Michaelina's musician brother), Mark Giovi, Greg Smith, Skip Martin, Larry Frost, Gary Anderson, JoAnn Toranto, Linda Angeline, Jim Marsh, Kat Ray, Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, Larry Hart and his mother Toni Hart, Denny Weddle, Tommy Deering, Ray Borders, Darlene Mea, Ray Streib, LJ Harness, Kid Cary and Sophie, Dennis Casey Park, Mark Richards, Ricco Diamante, Steve Rossi, Keith Neal, Evan and Sandi Davis, Chick Hughes, Renee Hale and mother Eileen, Robert Ensler, and Marlene Koppenhaver, 2002-2003 Ms. Nevada Senior America. Lots of music. Lots of memories shared.

Michaelina Bellamy & Arleen Gibson

Dick Clark with Greg and Rami Smith

And speaking of Greg Smith, he of the longtime Smith Brothers band, was lucky enough to locate a copy of the accompanying vintage photo, showing Greg, along with his brother Rami Smith, and the late Dick Clark, and shared it with us. The photo was taken when the Smith Brothers did a TV show with Clark in the late 1970s. Dick Clark passed away on April 18th at the age of 82.

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The next F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) meeting will take place on Thursday, May 10th (the gatherings almost always take place on the second Thursday of the month). Guest speaker on the 10th will be Susan T. Spencer, and, although F.I.O.R.E. is primarily known as a boys club, ladies are not only welcome to join next week's festivities, they are encouraged to do so. Ms. Spencer is an Entrepreneur, Award Winning Author, and Former General Manager of an NFL Team. She was educated at Boston University (BA), Hofstra University (MA), Villanova Law School (JD). From 1980 to 1985, she was the Philadelphia Eagles Football club's lawyer, Vice President, General Manager and minority owner. She is the only female GM ever in the history of the NFL. In 1986, she started her own food distribution company and, a few years later, purchased several meat processing companies. Her businesses generated annual revenues of approximately $50 million. Her last meat company was sold in 2006. Susan published her first business book, Briefcase Essentials, in March 2011 and was a recipient of the Axiom award, issued by the independent publishers as one of the best business books of the year. Susan's business and leadership articles appear on, where she is a regular contributor and has her own blog. She is a frequent contributor to Bleacher, where she is only one of two women who write about sports for Bleacher. She is well known as a guest lecturer across the country, talking about entrepreneurship and the benefits of owning your own business. Susan is involved with the School of Entrepreneurship at the Lee School of Business at UNLV, and is both a guest speaker, sponsor and donor for a new UNLV program starting sometime this year. Susan continues to run ASCM, a commodity meat trading company, where she buys and sells specialty meat cuts for restaurant chains across the United States. Her latest venture, launched on April 2nd, is a sports radio show, Not Just Sports, based in Las Vegas (airing weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon on KDWN 720 AM). You can learn more by going to, or Live music for the afternoon will be provided by Gary Anderson and the Usual Suspects. Cost for all of this, plus a delicious buffet lunch, is a paltry $22 per person. It happens at the Italian American Club (where else?), 2333 East Sahara Ave, with doors opening at 11:30 a.m. RSVPs are a must. Please contact [email protected]. See you there...CAPISCE?

Susan T. Spencer

Zac Posen Models

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Red Mountain Music Company and Just Barely Entertainment present Secondary Characters: Stealing the Whole Show, performed by Stephanie Bare and Taylor Eliason, with the amazing David Skouson featured at the piano. Show times are 6 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 12th, at the LA Water and Power Building, 465 Nevada Way, in Boulder City. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and students, and can be purchased at the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce or at the LA Water and Power Building door.

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Gaming pioneer and Three Square Board Member, Diana Bennett, daughter of casino mogul, William Bennett (Circus Circus, Sahara), rallied friends and colleagues to raise $528,325 for the children, seniors and families struggling with hunger in Southern Nevada. The event was held on Wednesday at Bennett's home in Dragon Ridge, and featured exclusive Zac Posen fashion designs from his Spring/Fall 2012 collection hosted by Neiman Marcus. Guests were also treated to a personal appearance by the designer himself and four-star cuisine of legendary Chef Gustav Mauler. Funds raised benefit Three Square, Southern Nevada's only food bank. "We are absolutely thrilled to receive a gift of this magnitude and to witness such an incredible outpouring of support and passion for providing wholesome food to hungry people in our community," said Three Square Food Bank President and CEO Brian Burton. "Currently, Three Square through its more than 650 Program Partners serves nearly 100,000 individuals monthly. We simply couldn't do it without the ingenuity of dedicated community leaders like Diana and friends, and their tremendous generosity." According to a recent study by Feeding America, one in six Southern Nevada families struggle with hunger, the equivalent of more than 300,000 people in our community. The evening helped raise awareness about Southern Nevada's hunger problem and the vital role Three Square Food Bank plays in the solution. "As a longtime Las Vegan, I've seen this community grow and change tremendously over the years," said Bennett, President of Paragon Gaming LLC. "My family and I have been very blessed in Las Vegas and I know that's not that case for a lot of families here right now. As a concerned member of this community and a Three Square board member I wanted to do something; provide a hand-up for struggling Las Vegans during these tough times." Guests had the opportunity to support hunger relief in a variety of ways including donations to specific nutrition programs: "BackPack for Kids," Senior Share and the Food Bank/Food Rescue Program. They also had the chance to bid on a trip to Fall Fashion Week which included hotel, airfare, two tickets to view Posen's Spring 2013 line and a personal tour of his design studio in New York City. Friends and supporters of the event include: Neiman Marcus, Zac Posen, Gustav Mauler, Coomi and Southern Wine & Spirits among others. With the funds raised through this event, Three Square was able to meet the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation $5 million Community Challenge Grant. Currently, Three Square has an annual cash operating budget $12 million and distributed more than $42 million worth of food into the community last year.

Three Square was established to end hunger in the valley by providing wholesome, nutritious food to non-profit organizations that serve a wide range of Southern Nevadans in need. A national model project inspired by Eric Hilton with a grant provided by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Three Square is a community collaborative partnership with the gaming industry, businesses, non-profit agencies, food distributors, higher education institutions, the CCSD, governmental entities, the media and thousands of volunteers to efficiently and effectively serve hope to those in our community struggling with hunger. Three Square currently provides more than 24 million pounds of food and grocery product – the equivalent of nearly 18 million meals – per year to more than 650 Program Partners including non-profit and faith-based organizations, schools and feeding sites throughout Southern Nevada. Three Square is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks. For additional information visit

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It's Wynonna & The Big Noise in The Club at the Cannery Casino & Hotel, 2121 E Craig Road in North Las Vegas, Saturday, May 12th at 8 p.m. As one half of the Judds (mom Naomi Judd being the other half), Wynonna Judd became one of the most popular and respected female country stars of her time. On her own since the early '90s, Judd demonstrated an eclecticism that increasingly confounded hardcore country fans and radio programmers, but also helped her retain a core of admiring followers. Her solo records tend to stick with Judds-style country-pop, but also delve into rock, blues, gospel, adult contemporary pop, folk, or Southern R&B. Ticket prices are, Reserved $34.95, Prime $49.95 and Gold $64.95, plus tax and fees.


Liza with a "Z"

On the same night, the incomparable Liza Minnelli will once again perform in the theater at the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly Las Vegas Hilton). One of America's true legends, Liza, winner of four Tony Awards, an Oscar, a special "Legends" Grammy, two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy, is one of the world's consummate performers. In film, on stage and in television, Liza has won critical acclaim, a multitude of fans, and recognition from her peers in show business, giving new dimension and credibility to the word "superstar." In between her many TV and film roles, Liza has never stopped touring, and has long been considered one of the most exciting concert performers. She electrifies audiences around the world and has set records at the most prestigious venues, from the Palladium in London and Opera House in Sydney, to the Olympia Theatre in Paris and New York's historic Carnegie Hall, where one of Liza's greatest triumphs was her unprecedented three-week concert engagement in 1987. Liza was the first entertainer in Carnegie Hall's history to completely sell-out three weeks of appearances. She had earlier appeared in concert at the hall in 1979. That appearance was every bit as unforgettable. On closing night, the police had to disperse the crowd when they refused to leave the auditorium following multiple encores. Both of these concerts were recorded, and are among the music industry's most highly praised live concert recordings. Up-and-coming, 18-year-old singer, Nicolas King, will open for Liza Minnelli. For nine months, King appeared on Broadway with Andrea McArdle, in Beauty and the Beast, when he was only eight-years-old. He went on to appear in other theatrical productions, including A Thousand Clowns, with Tom Selleck in 2001, and Hollywood Arms with Carol Burnett. He also made several television commercials. Nicolas was tapped by Liza to be her opening act when he was only 16. Tickets for Liza Minnelli are $89-$250, plus tax and service charge, and can be purchased at the LVH box office or by logging onto,,, or by phone at (702) 732-5755 or (800) 222-5361.

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The iconic exterior branded signs from the recently-closed O'Sheas Casino were removed from the property's exterior early Tuesday morning. The signs will take residency in the new O'Sheas Casino in its location inside The LINQ, a $550 million dollar entertainment, retail and dining corridor set to open in 2013, while others will be donated for display at The Neon Museum. O'Sheas, the small Strip casino located between the Flamingo and Imperial Palace, closed its doors for business on Monday, 23 years after its opening.

Dismantling O'Sheas

Mitzi Gaynor

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Apparently, Mitzi Gaynor had a such good time and enjoyed the audience response when she played here at The Orleans last October, she is returning to Las Vegas next month. This time around, she will perform in Sam's Town Live, with one show only, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 16th. The legendary star lights up the stage in an intimate evening of laughs, love and music from her show-stopping life and career, with Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins. This unforgettable love letter to a great era of show business is part concert and part autobiography -- a glittering multimedia one woman tour-de-force of side-splitting stories and classic songs, along with stunning video footage culled from her television, concert and film work, and six new breathtaking costume creations by fashion designer Bob Mackie. Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins is an opportunity to experience the electrifying magic and incredible spirit of a true entertainment icon. Ticket prices are $30 and $35, plus tax and fees. $5 discount for B-Connected card holders, one discount per card holder. Valid for ticket sales at Sam's Town and any Coast Casino Box Office locations only (not phone or online sales).

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Too long away from the Las Vegas entertainment scene, the incomparable Jimmy Hopper comes into the beautiful Mizuya Lounge at Mandalay Bay for two shows each night, beginning at 10:30, from May 6th though 9th, and 13th through 16th. About Hopper, one music critic provided the most apt description when he said, "Hopper is Freddie Mercury meets Andréa Bocelli."  The white spiked hair is startling in contrast to the strong opera vocals which flow from his lips, when in the next breath he takes on symphonic rock that brings the house down." Following an engagement in the rooftop VooDoo Lounge at the Rio in Las Vegas, Hopper performed for four years in Bellagio's beautiful Fontana Room. These nights, he does most of his entertaining at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach, California. For this Vegas engagement, he will be joined by his award-winning ensemble. In the Mizuya Lounge, guests can enjoy the incredible music of Hopper and company, while feasting on delicious sushi. What a hard-to-beat combo. Seating is limited. Call (702) 632-7200.

And, while still on the subject of Mr. Hopper...Retired New Jersey school teacher, Florence Maria Matera, who may have been Jimmy's No. 1 fan (and that's saying a lot, as he has many loyal fans), passed away on April 30th at the age of 91. Jimmy, along with his wife Sheri, daughter Priscilla, and G.G. and Chuck Conklin, from Jimmy's East Coast Office in Virginia, join her family and friends in mourning the loss of the most unique Florence Matera.

Jimmy Hopper

Renee Hale

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Songstress Renee Hale passes along this update about her ongoing Tuesday night gigs at Garfield's at Desert Shores...
It's hard to believe May has snuck up on us!! A special thank you to all who have come out to see me! We are playing every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Garfield's. We've had some awesome talent sitting in the past few weeks, including Ronnie Fabre, Joni James, Joni Pettit Illi and Steve Golden. There is lots of dancing every week too! We never know what's going to happen. The food is awesome! There is a Happy Hour menu till 7 p.m. C'mon down and say hello. We would love to see you! Garfield's Restaurant is located at 2620 Regatta Drive, overlooking the water. Reservations are recommended. Call (702) 925-8333.

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On April 24th, Yokel Local Internet Marketing, Inc. (YKL), a fast growing Las Vegas-based online marketing company, celebrated its one-year anniversary with enthusiastic friends, clients and Las Vegas Chamber members who attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the company's new office located at 285 E. Warm Springs Rd. Suite #104. YKL specializes in helping small business owners achieve a BIG online presence at affordable prices. "Our company grew by 20 percent over the past year, due to Yokel Local's efforts, and we've added new staff members as a result," said one of YKL's first customers, insurance company owner, Dean Collotta. He added that some of his colleagues around the country want to know his secret. Founder, Stormie Andrews, who had a prosperous home building and mortgage career, explained how he wasn't even set to start the business when they landed the account with Collotta. "We are not a success unless our clients are succeeding with their online marketing efforts," said the other founding partner, Darrell Evans. The company's other two partners are Matt Paddock and Greg Schueler. YKL's mission is to help customers be seen by more local consumers searching for their goods and services, and for clients to have accurate, highly visible, locally targeted traffic campaigns with measurable results. For additional information, go to, or phone (702) 331-3331.

Yokel Local Darrell Evans

Danny Roque

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Danny Roque's next ShowManiaPalooza takes place at Club 705, at 705 Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach, California, next Friday, May 11th. If you have seen Roque and his supporting cast, you might have some idea of what to expect...but, then again, maybe not. From the Beach Reporter, a community newspaper for the cities of Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and El Segundo, Michael Hixon had this to say about an April version of the revue...
ShowManiaPalooza is a family affair at Club 705
Danny Roque had written songs for a variety of occasions, from his sister's wedding to his grandfather's funeral, even singing telegrams. But he never thought of creating a comedy show until he found out his father had terminal cancer. Three years after he created ShowManiaPalooza, Roque is performing again at Club 705 in Hermosa Beach on Friday, May 11, beginning at 8 p.m., following a sold-out show on April 20. Roque has become well-known for his song, "Lunch at Costco," which can be seen on YouTube. He has hit the comedy club circuit, from Hollywood to Hermosa Beach, as well as performing at Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm's Halloween Horror Nights and Universal Studios. In February he performed at an El Segundo High School Band fundraiser. Roque's three children graduated from El Segundo while they lived in the city. Roque said he's amazed that what was supposed to be a one-night show has turned into a three-year event. "My father had always said you should put a show together with these tunes," Roque said. "A friend of mine had opened up a theater in Long Beach in Shoreline Village called the All American Melodrama Theater. He had been saying, 'Come over and do a show sometime there.' Well, everything seemed to be falling into place so I called some musicians that I know, and we put the show together." The show is also a family affair with his wife, Nora, son Chris, and daughter, Angelica, adding their vocals to the show. His brother, Dwain, is the percussionist in the band that includes Tish Diaz on piano, Rich Cohen on guitar, Jimmy Ford on drums and Duane Benjamin on bass. "If there's a story behind one of the songs I will tell it," Roque said. "And people leave saying we feel like we know your family." The first show was in May 2009, but it quickly caught on. Roque said he and his son went to a Composers Showcase in Las Vegas that was previously held at the Liberace Museum. After performing two songs at the location, he received a call asking them to perform in Vegas. "The night that my son and I were at the Composers Showcase was the night my father passed away," he said. "There's nothing that he would have liked better then knowing what's happened with all of this." Roque is also busy shooting commercials and recording a CD of the show. "It's been really terrific," Roque said. "It's nothing I ever anticipated doing. It wasn't a dream or anything like that. It just kind of happened."
To make reservations for the May 11th show, call (310) 372-9705 or (310) 643-7005.

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On April 18th, Mark Nadler launched his new CD, Crazy 1961, with a performance and a party at New York's Laurie Beechman Theatre, located in The West Bank Café on West 42nd Street. Winkler tells us that he will be taking Crazy 1961, one of his most critically acclaimed shows (the audiences seem to love it even more than the critics), to Los Angeles and Philadelphia this month. Wednesday, May 9th at 8:30 p.m., the Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 West Sunset Boulevard, in Los Angeles, will present Crazy 1961. For reservations, call (323) 466-2210. Friday, May 11th at 8 p.m., Mark will perform Crazy 1961 at Morgan's Cabaret (upstairs at the Prince Music Theater), 1412 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia. For tickets, call (215) 569-9700. Crazy 1961 will be performed in both London and San Francisco this summer. Can a Las Vegas booking, perhaps at UNLV or The Smith Center, be on Nadler's upcoming schedule? We hope so. Stay tuned!

Mark Nadler

Tom Dreesen & Frank Sinatra

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Mother's Day happenings, here and there...
Enjoy a Mother's Day Dinner and Dance at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush Street, near Charleston and Decatur, on Saturday, May 12th. This year's event will be catered by At Your Service Catering, beginning at 6 p.m. Following dinner, participants will enjoy dancing to Swing-era music performed by the Walt Boenig Big Band until 10 p.m. Boenig grew up in Beeville, Texas, where he began his trombone career in high school. He went on to Sam Houston State University, where he devoted all his studies to music. His career as a professional trombonist included performing with such road bands as the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Harry James Orchestra and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Since arriving in Las Vegas in the mid-1970s, Boenig has performed with the house bands in shows at many hotels on and off the Strip, including the Silver Slipper, Desert Inn, Stardust (Lido de Paris), and with the musical Chicago at Mandalay Bay. It was 1981, when Boenig started his own big band in Las Vegas. In addition to the big band, Walt also leads the Walt Boenig Little Big Band (7-8 musicians), The Dynamic Trombone Quartet, and the Brass Roots Quintet, offering a variety of music styles. In 1995, Walt started the Las Vegas All Star High School Jazz Band, and was its musical director for nine years. Learn more about Boenig at Tickets for the dinner/dance are priced at $20, and must be purchased in advance. To purchase tickets or for more information, call (702) 229-6383 or visit

Upcoming events at Charleston Heights Arts Center include the Fourth Annual Jane Austen Era English Country Dance at 7 p.m. May 19th, the Dynamic Trombone Quartet in concert at 2 p.m. May 26th, and Richel Kompst in Blame It on the Walleye at 2 p.m. on June 16th.

As part of Mother's Day observance, on May 12th and 13th, Metropolitan Community Church Las Vegas, is collecting NEW (in packages) underwear and socks for mothers and children to be donated to SafeNest and Shade Tree. Women seeking shelter from abusive relationships often arrive with only the clothes on their backs. The following testimony was sent by one of the members, after the 2010 Pantie Raid, and was shared with her permission. Identifying information has been removed to respect her privacy.
I want to take a moment and commend you for making the panty raid such a success! Five years ago I was a victim of domestic violence. My then husband, took me hostage in a restroom where he proceeded to beat me for 7 hours, with our 4 year old right outside the door. That same day I left. And yes, it's true when you say, "only with clothes on my back." We were homeless for two weeks. During my struggle, I remember a time when I had to choose between gassing my car or buying socks for my sons. I chose the gas because I still had to drive my sons to school and myself to work. I did seek help from the people of Safe Nest. Not only did they offer me a place to stay, they also offered me legal advice. I was fortunate enough not to stay in a woman's shelter because my good friend opened up her home to us. Yet, I am eternally grateful to Safe Nest for the help and support they gave me with my legal issues and paper work. I make it a point to donate to them every chance that I get. I thank you again for helping out such an important organization and for touching the lives of abused women and children in our community!
Respectfully, One of your Members!
Last year, YOU made a difference by contributing more than 1,100 undergarments. Please help again this year as MCCLV continues to Spread the Light & Change the World. The Metropolitan Community Church is the largest and oldest Christian church in Las Vegas, with a primary affirming ministry to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons, along with their families, friends, and allies. Known as "The Human Rights Church," MCC congregations are located in 27 countries around the world. The Metropolitan Community Church Las Vegas, is located at 1140 Almond Tree Lane, Suite 302. For additional information, call (702) 369-4380, or go to

And, if you happen to be in New York, on Sunday, May 13th, you can celebrate Mother's Day at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, 540 Park Avenue in Manhattan, with comedian Tom Dreesen in his spectacular show, An Evening of Laughter & Storytelling of Sinatra. In this unforgettable performance, Dreesen will take you from his childhood in Harvey, Illinois, shining shoes in his hometown, and listening to Frank Sinatra on the jukebox, to one day touring the nation as Sinatra's opening act, flying in his private jet all over the country, and staying up with Frank till dawn, night after night. Tom takes you to Frank's last performance and the last song he ever sang, and then to his last days on earth. Dreesen was a pallbearer, as well as speaker, at his friend's funeral. Dreesen's keen insight into arguably the greatest career show business has ever known, and the lessons he learned from the legendary star, promises to move the Feinstein's audience. About this show, some of the quotes include, "Brilliant, Funny, Poignant."- Chicago Tribune; and "Dreesen is a real pro, and one who can size up an audience in an instant. He is cool, contemporary and topical, and you can tell by his expert pacing that he is sure of himself and his material." -The Hollywood Reporter. Doors open at 6 p.m. for seating, show begins at 8. Premium Seats: $50, General Admission seats: $30,

with a $25 minimum for food or beverage. Purchase tickets at the box office, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 2 to 6 p.m. Call (212) 339-4095, (212) 339-4045, or e-mail to [email protected].

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On a personal, non-entertainment related subject...
Are any of you Las Vegas readers CenturyLink phone customers? If so, and if you pay your bills by snail-mail (you remember snail-mail, i.e. checks, envelopes, stamps), Cousin Claire would like to know how you feel about the new CenturyLink return envelopes.

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