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 25, 2012
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - May 25, 2012

Liberace & Jamie James

Liberace Hot Pants Costume from Museum

We love our readers. Sometimes, they have questions (which we always try to answer), and sometimes they have comments. And sometimes, like this Liberace fan from Azusa, California, they have information and help us to fill in some blanks. Our Azusa reader passes along this information. (If you have no interest in "All Things Liberace," you may want to fast forward through this section...

Jamie James, Liberace's decades long publicist, and possibly the person who started the annual piano competition at the, now but a memory, Liberace Museum, passed away last month. Here, courtesy of our loyal reader, is the obit:

Jamie George James, January 16, 1937 - April 24, 2012

Jamie entered this life on January 16, 1937, in Heldton, Oklahoma, and entered into rest on April 24, 2012, at the age of 75 years in San Diego, California. He will be deeply missed by his partner Daniel R. Wilcox, sister Freda McGilbery, his two blonde cocker spaniels Max and Zephyr, extended family and friends. Jamie lived the last 10 years in San Diego, California. He enjoyed his 50 year career as a publicist in public relations for Liberace. He was a proud member of the Press Club. Jamie will be laid to rest in Kirbyville, Texas. Should friends desire, in lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in the name of Jamie G. James to the Glenner Memory Care Center, 3702 4th Ave., San Diego, CA 92103 or by calling (619) 543-4700.

In our May 11th column, we wrote about a supposed upcoming Broadway show based on the life of Liberace, and added...
Like just about everything "planned" relating to Liberace and Las Vegas, none of it has materialized. Since the inexcusable closing of the Liberace Museum in October of 2010, everything talked about/promised (a touring exhibit, for example) has yet to occur. How can you tell when the people involved with anything to do with the late entertainer are lying? The answer appears to be, "When their lips are moving." Sadly, there are no surviving family members to oversee what may be left of the assets (what assets?) and inventory in the museum, as well as the almost empty Liberace Plaza on East Tropicana in Las Vegas. We are more than a little surprised that there has been no serious look (investigation) into the operation of the Liberace Museum and Foundation. If that had happened, there might have been some criminal charges filed against some of the people with control over there. What happened to the money...beside what was paid out in outlandish salaries? With what has happened to the Liberace legacy in the past few years (he was robbed), we suspect that Wladziu Valentino Liberace, not to mention his mama and brother, George, must be spinning in their graves.

Our Azusa reader tells us that she believes there are some Liberace relatives still living,
"nephews and a niece from his younger brother (Rudy) that are probably in their 50s. However, since Liberace's will left nothing to them, and basically disowned them, I doubt they would ever have anything to do with Liberace Foundation, etc." The key part of our statement involving Liberace relatives is the " oversee what may be left of the assets (what assets?) and inventory in the museum, as well as the almost empty Liberace Plaza on East Tropicana in Las Vegas." There just is no one to do that.

In 1987, an Associated Press article in the Los Angeles Times stated..
Liberace Niece, 3 Nephews Barred From Estate Share

A niece and three nephews of entertainer Liberace failed today to gain a share of his multimillion-dollar estate, with an attorney calling the four an embarrassment to the famed pianist. Liberace died at his Palm Springs, Calif., home Feb. 4. A will signed by Liberace, 11 days before his death left the bulk of his estate to the Liberace Foundation for the Performing Arts, which provides scholarships in the arts at 22 colleges and universities across the country. Some of the estate also went to his sister, Angie; a sister-in-law, Dora (brother George's wife); a housekeeper and some friends. Not mentioned in the will were four children of Rudy Liberace, a brother of the pianist who died 20 years ago. The four, Ina, Lester, Harry and Rudy Liberace, all of Los Angeles, appeared in probate court in Las Vegas today to contest the will. A lawyer representing the Liberace estate, George Rudiak, told Judge Thomas Foley that the entertainer had "good reasons" for excluding the four. Rudiak said that he had seen other wills drawn by Liberace dating back to 1982 and that each one excluded the niece and three nephews. "I understand they embarrassed him at his mother's funeral in 1980," Rudiak said of the family split. "I think he wrote them off at that time." Foley rejected the claims of the four, saying he was "disappointed these people have received poor advice." When Ina Liberace tried to address the court, Foley told her, "You need and you need desperately for someone to give you some sound advice." Foley approved the will as filed last month. "Liberace didn't like these kids," Rudiak said after the hearing. "They were continually humiliating him. He was embarrassed by them." The mother of the four, Isabel Liberace, was given the deed to a North Hollywood, Calif., home that the entertainer owned. But a provision in the will said that gift could be revoked if she played any role in challenging the will. "They didn't even give us a chance to talk" Ina Liberace said after the hearing. "We were very close to Uncle Lee." She said attorneys for the estate refused to show her previous wills made by the entertainer.

Liberace Hot Pants Costume Cardboard Cutout

Liberace "The Way We Were" Album

B.B from Azusa fills in with this additional information...
Rudolph Liberace ("Rudy", b. 1931, d. 1-May-1967) was the younger brother of Liberace and worked at MGM as a film cutter. He died of fatty liver disease from alcoholism at a young age, leaving his wife (Isabel 1932-2010) and 4 children:
- Rudolph Liberace, Jr. (born 1952)
- Ina Liberace (born 1960)
- Lester Lee Liberace (born 1955) (diagnosed as schizophrenic on or before 1988)
- Harry Liberace (born ?)

The latest news involving Liberace tells of an upcoming auction offering more than 1000 celebrity items, including some personal items from Hollywood icons Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis Jr., Liberace and Michael Jackson. The Liberace items include a "bejeweled velvet and lace tuxedo with tails and matching pants, vest, dickey, and velvet bow tie choker that is pictured on Liberace's album "The Way We Were" (a copy of the album is also part of the package), and "His original Bicentennial costume - a rhinestone covered red, white and blue leather jacket with fringe, matching hot pant shorts, handbag and necklace - that was featured during his 1971 run at Caesar's (sic) Palace. The auction, handled by will take place at Premiere Props, will take place on Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24, at Premiere Props headquarters in El Segundo, California, beginning at 11 a.m. PT, with a preview from 9-11 a.m. PT each day.

The mention of the "original Bicentennial costume" raises more questions. There was a red, white and blue, hot pants, with a long cape costume, on display at the museum (see the accompanying photo). There was also a life-size cardboard cutout of Liberace, wearing the described red, white and blue costume with the fringed leather jacket, just inside the front door of the museum (also shown in accompanying photo). At our column deadline, no photos had been posted of this "Bicentennial" costume. Based on the auction description, it is that outfit that is being offered for sale. Where did it come from? Where has it been all these years? We are also attaching a picture of Liberace's above mentioned The Way We Were album. We see no image of either of the hot pants costumes on the cover.

You didn't think we were finished with the Liberace, and Liberace Museum saga, did you? There are a few subjects, including the COLABO Youth Theater ( that preys on children and their loving parents), and its founder, Obaloc Phillips, aka Troy Adams and other aliases this weasel has used, that we will continue to "investigate" and report on until the issues are resolved, and, perhaps, some people are prosecuted.

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Angela Chan

Kristofer & Ali Spuck McNeeley

Follow-up to the May Composers Showcase follow-up...We did not have the names of the two talented ladies who sang the numbers written by Angela Chan in time for inclusion in last Friday's column. Thanks to showcase organizer, Keith Thompson, we have them now. Celeste Lero (the taller of the two) and Christine de Chavez sang (and danced, with some terrific choreography) "Something Better" and "Lazy White Children," both from Ms. Chan's original musical, Legacy of the Tiger Mother, described in Las Vegas Weekly as, "A (very) politically incorrect, astutely observed comedy about what it's like to grow up musically gifted and matriarchally cursed."

In December, Chantal Corcoran wrote for Vegas Seven magazine...

Theatre7 Explores Tiger Mother Dynamics

Angela Chan was excited and nervous, last Sunday at Theatre7, when the musical she co-wrote with Michael Manly, Legacy of the Tiger Mother- an exaggeration of her own experience being raised by strict Asian parents in America-was about to begin. Excited because the show, directed by Lysander Abadia, had sold out seats on its second day. Nervous because her own Tiger Mother was about to see it for the first time. Cultures clash in this story about Asian-American parenting. Wanting more for her family, Lily presses her daughter, Mei, to more forcefully discipline her granddaughter, Kim. Then the lights dim to reset the stage: It's 1986 (a calendar tells us) where Mei, in ponytails and a girl's jumper, plunks away at the keys, and Lily, in curlers and ironing, demands another two hours. Flashbacks to this room, behind Mei's Chinese laundry, make up much of the story, before the conflict peaks at Kim's present-day piano recital. Despite the three characters, Legacy is a two-person dramatic-comedy (Kim is present in voice over only) that feels much bigger for the thoroughness with which it explores complicated parenting issues. The writing is smart, subtle and funny. Celeste Lero does a terrific job of portraying the young Mei of 1986, and an even better job of depicting the emotionally troubled woman she becomes. Christine De Chavez exposes the Tiger Mother in Lily with a sincerity that highlights underlying suffering. Chan, who composed the music, and co-wrote the lyrics to satirize the Tiger Mother, also played piano-mere feet from where her mother sat in the front row. Did the real Tiger Mother like the show? She hasn't said yet. But she isn't a character in a one-act musical, forced to reach a happy conclusion before the curtain falls-which is the only part of Legacy that rings false.

"Lazy White Children," part of Legacy of the Tiger Mother performed at the Composers Showcase at the Smith Center in Las Vegas on 5/16/12 with original cast members Christine De Chavez and Celeste Lero, and Angela Chan at the piano, can be found on YouTube.

Emerson Lila McNeeley

Sullivan Charlotte McNeeley

And speaking of the Composers Showcase and Liberace, two of the talented folks who participated in the showcase when it was at the Liberace Museum, are the husband and wife team of Kristofer McNeeley and Ali Spuck. Kristofer was a cast member of Jersey Boys when it was here at the Palazzo (it is now at Paris Las Vegas), and Ali, an Ovation Award-nominee, had her own one-woman show, Here I Am, at the Liberace Museum. Currently, Kristofer is teaching Stage/Film/TV Audition Technique in L.A. Ali and Kristofer are the parents of two adorable little girls, Emerson Lila, who just turned two, and Sullivan Charlotte, four-months new. (See accompanying photos).

And speaking of cute kids, we are also including a photo of 5-year-old Dannielynn Birkhead, daughter of the late Anna Nicole Smith and Larry Birkhead. Why? Because we want to and we can.

Dannielynn Birkhead

Barbara Cook

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Early Smith Center ticket buyers were disappointed to learn that Barbara Cook had cancelled her May 24th through 27th Cabaret Jazz club shows. New dates have been scheduled for August 16th though 19th, with show times at 8 p.m. the 16th through 18th, and a 3 p.m. matinee on the 19th. A 2011 Kennedy Center honoree, 84-year-old Cook is an American singer and actress who first came to prominence in the 1950s after starring in the original Broadway musicals Candide (1956) and The Music Man (1957) among others, winning a Tony Award for the latter. She continued performing mostly in theatre until the mid 1970s, when she began a second career that continues to this day as a cabaret and concert singer. She has also made numerous recordings. During her years as Broadway's leading ingénue Cook was lauded for her excellent lyric soprano voice. She was particularly admired for her vocal agility, wide range, warm sound, and emotive interpretations. As she has aged, her voice has taken on a darker quality, even in her head voice, that was less prominent in her youth. Today Cook is widely recognized as one of the "premier interpreters" of musical theater songs and standards, in particular the songs of composer Stephen Sondheim. Her subtle and sensitive interpretations of American popular song continue to earn high praise even into her eighties.

And speaking of Stephen Sondheim, the award-winning Broadway composer will share his memories in A Life in the Theater: An Evening of Music and Conversation at The Smith Center, 8 p.m., Saturday, July 14th. The event will also feature musical performances by Broadway stars, Christine Ebersole and Brian Stokes Mitchell. In recent years, both Ebersole (she with Billy Stritch accompanying), and Mitchell, performed in the 1,832-seat Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall as part of UNLV's Broadway series. As for The Smith Center reservations, call (702) 749-2000.

And speaking of UNLV, and their onetime exciting lineup of Broadway and cabaret talent - Betty Buckley, Michael Feinstein, Bebe Neuwirth, Linda Eder, Bernadette Peters, the late Gregory Hines, Rita Moreno, Lea Salonga, Mandy Patinkin, Patti LuPone, and Faith Prince, come quickly to mind - whether called Best of the New York Stage, or the New York Stage & Beyond series, offers nothing like that in its upcoming 2012-2013 season. What a big disappointment. We wonder, if locals rallied together, and bombarded the powers that be at our institute of higher learning, with requests to bring in some of the equally talented but lesser known names, like Mark Nadler, David Pomeranz, Lucie Arnaz, Brent Barrett, Jason Graae, Amanda McBroom, and Kaye Ballard for example, if it would do any good. Never heard of some of these folks? Ten years ago, a lot of today's big stars were unknowns. And, after all, UNLV is a TEACHING institution. We are sure there are many music-lovers out there who would be happy to make the trip to the southeast Las Vegas campus to see and hear good talent, even if their name isn't Idina Menzel. Keep the ticket prices reasonable and fill up the theater. It isn't all about just the downtown Smith Center. If it were, there would only be one theater, and one big musical, playing on Broadway's Great White Way. Are you listening, Mr. Henley?

Stephen Sondheim

Vita Corimbi

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On Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., singer/pianist/songwriter Vita Corimbi, will fill in for the award-winning sounds of pianist/singer Wes Winters at Envy the Steakhouse's fabulous Mimosas & Music Sunday Brunch in the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel at 3400 Paradise Road. Winters, who has been providing the entertainment on Sundays for three years, will be playing a private party in Los Angeles this weekend, thus Ms. Corimbi will be taking over the piano bench and microphone. The multi-talented Vita Corimbi is a cast member of Menopause the Musical, performs with Killian's Angels, and is a favorite at the popular monthly Composers Showcase. At the Brunch, guests can indulge in the wine and cheese tasting station, or delight in a custom, made-to-order omelet, and lots of other delicious delicacies, all while enjoying live music. The Sunday Brunch, at $29.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity), includes unlimited champagne and mimosas, sparkling wine, and Fruit Smoothies. There is also a "Build your own" Bloody Mary Bar for just $10 additional per person (prices may vary on holidays). Reservations are strongly suggested. Phone (702) 784-5716.

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The music world has suffered another major loss with the death of Bee Gees member, Robin Gibb, who passed away on Sunday, May 20th, the same day as the Billboard Music Awards were held. For two years, Robin, who was 62, had been fighting colon and liver cancer, complicated recently by pneumonia. Thanks to the 1977 film, Saturday Night Fever, the Bee Gees were one of the top disco groups ever. How ironic, that Robin would die only three days after the passing of another disco legend, Donna Summer, known as "The Queen of Disco."

In spite of their monumental musical success, the brothers Gibb were plagued by personal tragedy. Youngest brother, Andy, died in 1988, at the age of 30. Robin's twin, Maurice, died in 2003. Only brother Barry survives. Robin was born in Manchester, England, in 1949, along with twin brother Maurice. (Maurice died in 2003 of complications from a twisted intestine; eerily, Robin had surgery for the same medical issue in 2010.) Along with their older brother Barry, the brothers began harmonizing as a trio in Australia, where the family moved in 1958. Although the Bee Gees had some success in Australia, they didn't truly arrive until they returned to England and signed with manager Robert Stigwood. Robin's distinct voice was featured prominently on several of the group's biggest hits, including "New York Mining Disaster 1941," "I Started a Joke," "Massachusetts," and "I've Gotta Get a Message to You."

Robin and Barry reunited periodically. In 2010, they made an appearance on American Idol, and talked about a duo tour, but nothing materialized. Robin, though, kept his hand in music. With his son Robin-John, he wrote an ambitious piece, "The Titanic Requiem," a mix of orchestral and vocal pieces telling the story of the doomed liner on the 100th anniversary of its sinking. "It's a serious subject and it's not a rock opera," Gibb said before its debut. "There are no backbeats. This could have been written 300 years ago." Featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the work had its world premiere in London on April 10. But in a sign that Gibb's health had taken a turn for the worse, he wasn't able to attend. Ironically, last week's episode of Glee included covers of Bee Gees songs from Saturday Night Fever.

In the 1980s, we saw the Bee Gees in Las Vegas, when they appeared at the Aladdin's Theater For the Performing Arts. Andy performed at the Hacienda (now the site of Mandalay Bay), and at the Riviera as one of the alternating hosts of the live Solid Gold show. We went to see him at the Hacienda more than once. While Andy and his band were working on stage, his father, Hugh Gibb, worked the room, walking through the theater, making sure all was well. The Gibb parents, Hugh and Barbara Gibb, lived in Las Vegas for some time. Hugh Gibb passed away about 20 years ago.

Vintage Bee Gees - Robin, Barry & Maurice

Christine Hudman by Don Cadette

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On Monday evening, the Nevada Conservatory Theatre presented On With the Show!, an intimate evening of Champagne and Entertainment to benefit the NCT. Held in the Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy Gallery at UNLV's Artemus Ham Concert Hall, the $50 per person event featured champagne, wine and hors d'oeuvres, a reception and silent auction, along with the show, featuring special guest performer Clint Holmes with Megan Arnoldy, Bruce Ewing, Graham Fenton, Christine Hudman, Matthew Hydzik, Christopher Lash, Tim Molyneux, Jeff Neiman, Jon Peterson, Billy Reed, Peter Saide, Niki Scalera, Keith Thompson, Nikka Wahl and members of the casts of Jersey Boys, Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, NCT's recent A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and a special performance by pianist Philip Fortenberry. All proceeds will benefit the guest artist program of Nevada Conservatory Theatre, "Elevating Theatrical Arts."

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Reader Chick Hughes gives a condensed report on the sad closing, last Friday night, of the Stirling Club at Turnberry Towers. The economy has hit another well known place in Las Vegas. The Stirling Club was a luxury bar, restaurant, banquet rooms, even a cigar bar, equipped with pool tables, big screen TVs. It was a private club, only for members, and had wonderful events there over the last ten filled with celebrities, beautiful women, and wealthy business people. Kelly Clinton, who had served as entertainment director at the club, hosted performers including Ronnie Rose, Clint Homes (he's everywhere), and Mark OToole (without an apostrophe). It is hoped that a knight, with deep pockets, will ride to the rescue on a white horse, saving the once popular venue from being turned into storage space.

Kelly Clinton & Chick Hughes

Charlie Vespia & Jim Hodge

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Get well wishes to veteran Las Vegas entertainer, Jim Hodge. Now in his mid-80s, Jim was a principal singer in the Lido de Paris at the Stardust. In the early ‘70s, Mr. Hodge played straight man to Top Banana, Charlie Vespia, in the Silver Slipper's Wonderful World of Burlesque show. Jim didn't get into show business until he was about 30. His first time out, the tall, handsome gentleman landed a job with Betty Grable in her Las Vegas act.
Vintage photo of Hodge and Vespia by R. Scott Hooper (Silver Slipper Hotel & Casino Showroom, 1972)

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Tomorrow night, Saturday, May 26th at 6:30 p.m., it's a concert and dinner at the M Resort's Hash House a Go Go. The Cult will be playing at the M Resort and Hash House a Go Go has the best seats in the house, on the patio overlooking the concert venue. Born out of the ashes of the UK post-punk scene, The Cult evolved to become one of the most influential and controversial rock bands of the late 20th century, selling millions of albums, headlining arenas and stadiums around the world, infusing innovative possibilities into the worlds of music and art, and quickly ascending through the ranks of the indie music world to achieve global status.

Tomorrow, at the M, The Cult will play many of their classics - "She Sells Sanctuary," "Fire Woman," "Wild Flower," "Painted on My Heart" - as well as songs from their brand new album, Choice of Weapon.
The Special Cult Dinner Menu offers your choice of:
STUFFED HASH HOUSE MEATLOAF with fresh spinach, roasted red peppers
and mozzarella, marsala cream and griddled mashed potatoes.
PAN SEARED CHICKEN BREAST fried polenta, madera mushroom cream, fried leeks fresh asparagus.
BIG O CHICKEN POT PIE upside down hat crust with roasted chicken, mushrooms,
shaved sweet corn, red potato, fresh Veggies and pan gravy.
CRISPY FRESH SALMON Andy's sweet and spicy Bar b' Que, goat cheese and
red tomato on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes.
All meals served with fresh homemade biscuits, coffee, tea and soda.

The $75 concert package includes a $10 Hash House specialty drink, dinner, concert and all taxes and tips. Call Hash House a Go Go at (702) 797-1500, and ask about The "CULT" Dinner Concert Package.

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Looks like Wayne Newton isn't the only local personality with legal troubles on his hands.

Roy Horn (of Siegfried & Roy fame) and David Saxe have some trouble on their hands. We will wait to report on the Roy Horn issue. As for Saxe...

Steve Green of VEGASINC, reports that...A legal battle is under way over complaints that students and instructors in the popular "Stripper 101" class in Las Vegas were secretly videotaped ''performing very personal and private acts.'' The producer of the tourist-oriented class and show on the Las Vegas Strip is denying the allegations asserted in a March lawsuit, noting that ''security video surveillance is a commonly utilized security tool in any casino and/or show in Las Vegas.'' Five instructors for the class and show at the V Theater filed the suit. The theater is in the Miracle Mile Shops mall at Caesars Entertainment Corp.'s Planet Hollywood. The exotic-dance instructors say in their lawsuit they had been told the "Stripper 101" classroom/showroom was a private venue where they could change in and out of their dance wear - and that signs posted at the venue say no cameras are allowed. The instructors say the classroom/showroom served as their dressing room since a separate dressing room wasn't provided. This created an expectation of privacy, the suit says. On Jan. 14, the instructors accidentally discovered there were two hidden video cameras in the room, their lawsuit says. One of the instructors was bothered by a bright light in the ceiling and tried to use a broom handle to move it upward - leading to the discovery it was actually a camera and not a stage light, the suit says. The suit says one of the instructors, Rachael Carter, complained to management and learned the cameras were feeding video to a back office computer monitored by managers. The instructors' reaction was ''concern, disgust, repugnance and repulsion,'' the suit charges. The exotic dance instructors complained in the suit that "Stripper 101" Producer David Saxe had, without their knowledge, ordered that the video cameras be set up where the instructors and customers dressed and undressed. Saxe and others viewed videos from the feed, the lawsuit alleges. The instructors said in the suit the video cameras captured the instructors ''presenting exotic dance moves including but not limited to poses and gestures creating an erotic but yet comfortable experience using pole dancing, chair moves and sexual postures'' - moves mimicked by the paying attendees. The video feed showed the instructors and attendees ''in various stages of dress and undress'' and performing ''many very personal and private acts,'' says the suit, filed by Las Vegas attorney Eva Garcia-Mendoza in Clark County District Court. Jennifer Arledge, a Las Vegas attorney for "Stripper 101" and Saxe, on Friday disputed the lawsuit allegations. "These allegations are totally and completely false. Mr. Saxe intends to pursue all damages caused by this vexatious litigation," she said. Last month she filed a motion asking that the suit be dismissed. ''The complaint contains misstatements of fact, half-truths and misrepresentations,'' the dismissal motion says. ''It is clear from the colorful unsubstantiated allegations that plaintiffs' intent was to paint a picture of perverse malfeasance hoping to tarnish the reputation of defendants merely by making the accusations in a public record. ''As will be proven, the surveillance cameras in the 'Stripper 101' classroom were installed as part of a systematic and ongoing long-term upgrade of the existing video surveillance system that was already in place at the V Theater and the nearby Stripper Bar where some of the plaintiffs also work as well as the Saxe Theater also in the Miracle Mile Shops. ''The allegation that the video cameras were installed in the 'Stripper 101' classroom surreptitiously and to conduct 'covert video surveillance' of plaintiffs is false. 'They are security cameras installed and used for that purpose.'' The instructors, in their lawsuit, assert legal claims including invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, saying they were so upset to learn of the cameras that they ''suffered severe emotional distress'' as well as shame and humiliation. They're seeking damages that are unspecified but that include more than $50,000 in punitive damages. The "Stripper 101" motion for dismissal, however, said security video surveillance is commonplace at casinos and shows, yet ''plaintiffs somehow believe the defendants violated their rights to privacy and engaged in conduct that is inconsistent with the general rules of civility.'' Arledge on Friday said the five independent contractor exotic dance instructors suing "Stripper 101" still work there and that ''the instructors do have an area other than the classroom where they may change clothes.'' A July hearing is planned on the motion for dismissal. Thousands of female tourists and locals have participated in the class and show, which opened in 2006. It features professional exotic dancers teaching pole dancing, lap dancing and striptease techniques. Nudity is not involved, though participants are advised to wear shorts or a skirt and high heels, the "Stripper 101" website says. Tickets for the class start at $39.99.

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DeMott, Fayne, Righetti & Mills

On Sunday, June 3rd at 3 p.m., Sun City Summerlin's Starbright Theatre, and the talented and creative Mistinguett, will present Pop Opera Swing and Sexy. Bring four award-winning vocalists together. Add a variety of great music, and prepare for one great show. The fabulous George DeMott, Bill Fayne, Joelle Righetti and Lionardo (Ned Mills) join together to perform music from classical opera to Broadway favorites, and from Louie Prima selections to a cappella doo wop numbers, guaranteeing something for everyone. Vocalist George DeMott brings together a mix of classic masculinity and charm, capturing the essence of the great singers of days gone by. Classically trained, George holds degrees from UC Santa Barbara and the prestigious Eastman School of Music. In the opera world, he has performed several classic tenor roles. This year marks his debut with some of the top Pops Orchestras in North America, including Atlanta, Detroit, Edmonton, and Naples. He has also been a featured guest entertainer aboard several cruise ships, namely Crystal Cruises, bringing his love of Pop-Opera to audiences all over the world. Bill Fayne has been musical director of more than 50 theater productions, operas, and TV shows over the past 30 years. He has appeared as a guest conductor with the Atlanta, Columbus, Delaware, and the Buffalo's symphony orchestras. As an arranger, Bill has worked with Clint Holmes, Suzanne Somers, Gloria Loring, Ann Jillian, Hal Linden, Mickey Rooney, and Kathie Lee Gifford. On television, Bill was on various Bob Hope specials, Dick Clark productions, The Tonight Show, and The Joan Rivers Show, among others. Bill's musical association with Clint Holmes spans 33 years. They have a friendship that goes back to their college days, where they first met. The pair has traveled the world making music, creating shows, and sharing some very wonderful experiences. Joelle Righetti, the beautiful member of the cast, currently co-stars in Vegas! The Show at Planet Hollywood and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at the newly renovated downtown Plaza Hotel. The singer, dancer, and comedian, is a triple threat and a delight on stage. Lionardo, aka Ned Mills, is known around Vegas for his Piano Follies show, and Ed Mathews' Hit Parade that plays at the Suncoast weekly. Lionardo has played nearly every venue on the Strip, with his many diverse talents as musician, director, performer, and arranger, plus his famous impressions. Don't miss the opportunity to see this one time only performance. Tickets are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents, and may be purchased from box offices at Pinnacle, (702) 240-1301; Desert Vista, (702) 363-1341; Mt. Shadows, (702) 966-1410; and Starbright, (702) 240-3101. The Starbright Theatre is located at 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd. in Sun City Summerlin.

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The Henderson Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Conductor Taras Krysa, will pay tribute to Charlie Chaplin, 35 years after the loss of the film legend, with a live orchestral screening of the icon's 1936 silent comedy, Modern Times, next Friday, June 1st at 8 p.m., at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway. Tickets are only $10. "We're very excited to bring this concept back to the Pavilion," said Jacob L. Snow, Henderson City Manager. "We saw great success with last year's inaugural event and wanted to recreate this unique experience for Chaplin fans once again." Using an authentic 35mm reel to reel projector, the Modern Times print, which was obtained from Chaplin's estate in Paris, will be played in its entirety above the orchestra. Only available to conductors approved by the Chaplin Estate, the film is considered to have one of the most difficult soundtracks composed by the film star. The Henderson Symphony Orchestra was selected to tackle this challenging task and will synchronize the fast musical score and sound effects with the moving images in an entertaining 90-minute presentation. Released during the rise of talkies, Modern Times, which is on the American Film Institute's Top 100 Movie list, solidified its place in history as the last of the silent film era. Noted as one of Chaplin's greatest accomplishments, the picture follows a factory worker's struggle to survive the modern world of machines and marks the final appearance of Chaplin's iconic character, an awkward man known for his slapstick mishaps, small mustache and bowler hat. In addition, Modern Times contains a captivating catalog of songs, all written by Chaplin, including the beautiful melody, "Smile." Originally composed as the romantic theme for the film, the tune was later given lyrics and became an instant hit for singer Nat King Cole in 1954. Since then, "Smile" has been covered by many artists over the years, from Tony Bennett, Luis Miguel, Michael Bolton, Michael Bublé, Charice, Eric Clapton, Petula Clark, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr., Elvis Costello, Jimmy Durante, Judy Garland, Josh Groban, Michael Jackson, The Lettermen, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Mathis, Julia Migenes, Diana Ross, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder and Timi Yuro, to the cast of Fox's Glee. Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times was the last motion picture of the silent film era resurrected in unique presentation, 35 years after the screen legend's passing. For more information, or to purchase tickets, check out, call (702) 267-4TIX (4849), or visit the Henderson Pavilion Box Office, Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Charlie Frye & Company

The City of Henderson supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Advanced notice may be necessary to ensure that appropriate accommodations will be provided. For full telephone, use Relay Nevada by dialing 7-1-1. The City of Henderson Department of Cultural Arts and Tourism is dedicated to creating and promoting innovative events, entertainment, programming and venues that celebrate diverse cultural arts, enhance tourism, involve and serve the community and enrich the economic and cultural fabric of Henderson. The Henderson Pavilion, Henderson Convention Center and Henderson Events Plaza are all managed by the Department of Cultural Arts and Tourism. For additional information on their programs and entertainment, please call (702) 267-2171. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

And speaking of Charlies...The multi-talented Charlie Frye has created a fabulous commercial for Holland Casino, with 14 casinos located in the Netherlands. It seems that in addition to being a juggler, clown, magician, acrobat and artist (Charlie is responsible for Claire Voyant's portrait), Mr. Frye is also a producer. Who knew? Charlie and spouse, Sherry, work practically non-stop. Charlie Frye & Company is a much in demand specialty act, opening for stars such as Liza Minnelli and Susan Anton, and performing around the world, including for royalty. To see the video of Charlie's creativity and how the Holland Casino commercial was put together, go to... and

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Following the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night, R&B artist Ray J and model Sophie Monk hosted a launch party for PrinceReigns Serum at The Voo inside VooDoo Beach at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Ray J (birth name William Ray Norwood Jr.), is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. He is the younger brother of award-winning, multi-platinum recording artist, Brandy Norwood, and first cousin of multi-platinum recording rapper, Snoop Dogg. Sophie Monk is a London-born Australian pop singer, actress and model. She was a member of the female pop group, Bardot. The duo was recently named the celebrity faces for PrinceReigns Ingrown Hair Serum, which is exclusively sold at the Rio Spa & Salon. Brandy, DJ Paul from Three 6 Mafia, and the Rio's own premiere male revue, Chippendales, were there to support the event.

Ray J & Sophie Monk

Tommy Thompson Project

Photo: R&B artist Ray J and model Sophie Monk by Scott Harrison/Harrison Photos

Late news...
On Monday morning, 31-year-old Ray J checked into a Las Vegas hospital suffering from exhaustion and jet lag. The singer and reality TV star had just returned to the US from a quick 32-hour round trip from China where he performed a concert. He immediately drove four hours to Las Vegas for the two events, his rep said in a statement. Following an extensive battery of tests in Las Vegas, on Tuesday, Ray J got the all-clear from his doctors and is back home in Los Angeles.

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The Tommy Thompson Trio is performing at Garfield‘s, Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m. Stop in for great food, drinks and jazz. There will be a drawing for a free bottle of wine and CD of your choice at 8 p.m. Garfield's is located at 2620 Regatta Drive, Desert Shores.

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Jeff Civillico

Las Vegas-based entertainer and world champion juggler, Jeff Civillico, will entertain and wow audiences in his brand new show at the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino, beginning tomorrow, Saturday, May 26th. Civillico is a dynamic entertainer with a comedy show that blends physical humor, stunts and juggling with friendly audience interaction and insane amounts of energy. Although he is a world champion juggler, it's his zany personality and youthful spirit that creates this unforgettable entertainment experience, great for all ages. Civillico gained notoriety in Las Vegas from his regular guest appearances in Nathan Burton Comedy Magic at Flamingo Las Vegas. His ability to "work the room" was so impressive, he received his own headline show within one year. Jeff Civillico performs daily at 2 p.m. in the Imperial Palace Showroom. Ticket prices are $30 and $40 (plus tax and fees) and are available in-person at the Imperial Palace box office and online at, or by calling (702) 794-3261. For more information on Jeff Civillico, visit

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Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye