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 July 20, 2012
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - July 20, 2012

Kenny Kerr

Regular readers know about the upcoming comedy roast, set at the South Point, to celebrate funny-man Cork Proctor's 80th birthday. Proceeds from admission donations to Proctor's party will benefit scholarships for persons challenged with severe intellectual and related disabilities at Opportunity Village, according to Linda Smith, Executive Director at Opportunity Village. The roast, honoring Nevada comedy legend Cork Proctor, is set for Sunday afternoon, July 22nd, at 2 p.m. in the South Point Hotel/Casino's showroom. Minimum suggested donation is $40 per person and includes two drinks. Nevada's largest private, not-for-profit community habilitation program, Opportunity Village, serves more than 3,000 people annually through vocational training, community job placement, art and life skill enrichment, advocacy, and social recreation programs. Founded in 1954, Opportunity Village operates a Thrift Store, and three employment training center campuses where disabled adults train for jobs throughout the Las Vegas community. Some of the jobs Opportunity Village scholarship recipients accomplish include staffing the Nellis Air Force Base Post Office, supplying porter services for the C-Gates at McCarran Airport, and preparing and serving meals for Nellis military personnel. "We're dedicated to helping people with severe intellectual and related disabilities become the very best they can be," says Smith. "Through our programs, people with severe disabilities find new friends and future career paths, and realize independence and community integration." She adds that "Sponsoring a scholarship that gives a person with intellectual disabilities the skills necessary to contribute to their community can be a very rewarding experience. Cork has been a long-time friend and supporter, and we're thrilled that he has declared the benefits of his 80th birthday roast, which promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime fun event, to help Opportunity Village." Personalities expected to participate in the comedy roast are Peter Anthony, Pete Barbutti, Gerry Bedknob, Carme, Kenny Bob Davis, Kathleen Dunbar, Jac "Mundane the Grate" Hayden, Bob Larson, Kelly McDonald, Kim Richards, Sammy Shore, the Las Vegas Review-Journal's John Smith, Johnny Thompson, and Bob Zany. And, if they are available, possibly, Tom Dreesen, David Iannaci, and Shecky Greene. To make reservations for this event, call Mary Ferber at Opportunity Village, (702) 880-4081. For more information, call Karen Iglesius, Development Officer, at Opportunity Village, (702) 880-4085, or visit the Opportunity Village website,
Tickets may also be purchased at the South Point.

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He's back and he's Uncensored! It's Kenny Kerr, the star of the long running Boy-lesque, at The Onyx, Tuesday, July 31st, with two shows at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Audience members will get live vocals, quick comic wit, and amazing female impersonation by Kenny Kerr, America's longest running comedy musical female impersonator. From Las Vegas to Hawaii, Seattle to Philadelphia, Florida, and Italy, the response is always the same – instant hilarity and amazement! Tickets are $20. The Onyx is in the Commercial Center at 953 East Sahara Avenue #16, just west of Maryland Parkway. For reservations, call (702) 732-7225.

And speaking of Kenny Kerr, he is selling a Cher wig created by the famed Renate Leuschner, internationally known hairstylist and wigmaker. Renate has been working in the film business since 1978. In the almost 25 years since she started, Leuschner has done wigs for TV's Dukes of Hazzard and Mrs. Santa Claus, and films including Mask, The Witches of Eastwick, Beaches, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Mermaids, Moonstruck, Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Green Hornet and Spider Man, among many others. Well-known actors head to Leuschner's Burbank studio when they need a wig to make them look curly or sexy or prim, when they need a wig to look as if they were born on a different continent or in a different era. Among her famous clients are Sharon Stone, Robin Williams (Mrs. Doubtfire), Bette Midler, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise (Interview With a Vampire), Demi Moore, Ann-Margret, Melanie Griffith, and Carol Burnett. In 1972, Renate was hired to work on The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. She has made more than 100 wigs for Cher over the years. "She has always been my major client," says Leuschner. "And when I was doing that show, everyone wanted to look like Cher, so that's how my business got started." The wig that Kenny is selling is a well cared for, long, straight black hair, Cher-style. It has a lace front and is hand-sewn, strand by strand. He is asking $2,000 for the creation that cost him considerably more.

And speaking of Kenny Kerr's Boy-lesque, we just learned that George Swift, the Silver Slipper's longtime stagehand, passed away on June 7th, after losing his battle with cancer. He was 85. George was born May 3, 1827, in Concord, New Hampshire. He served in the armed forces, became a roller skater in Roller Vanities and was a stage technician in Holiday On Ice. George moved to Las Vegas in 1959, and was a member of I.A.T.S.E. (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) Local 720 for more than 50 years. George also produced Lavender Follies, a female impersonator show that played at the Fremont Hotel in the early ‘80s. George was a devoted husband and father. He is survived by his loving wife, of 54 years, Freddie; sons, George Anthony and Christopher Jay; granddaughter; and many relatives in New Jersey and Atlanta. He will be greatly missed by family and friends. Services were at 12:40 p.m. today, July 20th, at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1900 Buchanan Blvd. in Boulder City.

George Swift

Tex Richardson & Radiance

Yesterday, we learned that musician Tex Richardson had passed away in Virginia earlier in the morning. He was 59 when he died of cancer. Tex was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March. He fought to live and maintained a positive outlook and his sense of humor Wilson (Tex) Richardson was born in Illinois, but raised in Texas, thus the name that everyone knew him by. Tex, a longtime Las Vegan, was the onetime musical director for Lola Falana. Over the years, Tex provided piano accompaniment for Darcus Speed, worked as Tex & Kathy (La Mar), Tex & The Killa Band, featuring Paris Red, who is currently appearing in Zumanity. (The Killa Band killed them with great music.) In 2011, Tex put together some of the finest musicians and vocalists from Las Vegas and performed at The M Hotel & Casino. The place was packed, as he wished it would be. In recent years, Tex was the musical director and arranger for both the Radiance and Spectrum. He also arranged orchestrations that are used for Symphony Orchestras around the U.S. and aboard. Wendy Edmead, a member of Radiance, tells us that Tex was very intelligent, as well as funny, and says, "I will miss him, his spiritual insights, and his sense of humor. Big Brother Rest In Peace." Wilson (Tex) Richardson is survived by his fiancé, Christina Collins.
Thanks to Wendy and Colleen Custer who provided much of the information for this obituary.
Wendy also supplied photos of Tex.

In talking to agent Colleen Custer about Tex, late last night (Thursday), we also got some more sad news (we have had way too much of this lately). Colleen told us that musician, Walter Cunningham, had passed away in Louisiana on July 7th. Walter, who like Tex Richardson, was felled by cancer, was probably best known around here for his association with entertainers, Tony Tillman and Earl Turner. From his hometown obituary...Walter K. Cunningham went to play keyboard and vocalize with the angels on Saturday, July 7, 2012. He was born on October 12, 1947, in East Chicago, Indiana, and was a resident of Slidell, Louisiana. Walter was an accomplished musician, playing keyboard and doing vocals with many well known entertainers in Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Europe. He was Musical Director for Tony Tillman; played for the Earl Turner Show, and Deacon John. He opened for Bill Cosby, Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller and countless other headlines and celebrities. He leaves to mourn and cherish his loving memories: wife, Guylaine Cunningham; two sons, Nathan Cunningham and Brandon Cunningham; mother, Thirlie Cunningham; three brothers, Rev. Doctor Wayne Cunningham (Imogene), Douglas Cunningham (Rob), and Elliott Cunningham. He was preceded in death by his father, Walter K. Cunningham, Sr. A Celebration of Life Service was held on July 14, at Hartzell Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 41040 Highway 190 East, Slidell, LA 70461.

Walter Cunningham

Bob Babbitt reports that Bob Babbitt, the Motown studio bassist who played on hits including Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "Tears of a Clown" and the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)," died Sunday in Nashville after suffering complications from brain cancer. He was 74. Born on Nov. 26, 1937, Babbitt grew up in Pittsburgh before moving to Detroit, where he began playing bass in the late '50s. He joined Stevie Wonder's touring band in 1966. One year later, Babbitt was invited to join Motown's house band, The Funk Brothers, after Motown bassist James Jamerson broke his hand. In that new role, Babbitt added thick, funky bass lines to hits by the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder's "Sign, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" and "We Can Work it Out," and half of Marvin Gaye's 1971 LP, "What's Going On." After leaving Motown in 1972, Babbitt recorded with a diverse group of acts, including Bette Midler, Bonnie Raitt and Frank Sinatra. He scored 25 gold and platinum records in his career and played on more than 200 Top 40 hits, ranging from Gladys Knight and the Pips' "Midnight Train to Georgia," to Elton John's "Mama Can't Buy You Love." More recently, Babbitt was presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, and he played on Phil Collins' 2010 album, "Going Back."

Kitty Wells, the first female superstar of country music, has died at the age of 92. The singer passed away at her Nashville home Monday, July 16th, following complications from a stroke.
Born Ellen Muriel Deason on August 30th, 1919, her recording of "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" in 1952, was the first No. 1 hit by a female soloist on the country music charts. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s. Wells ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of Billboard's country charts, according to historian Joel Whitburn's book, The Top 40 Country Hits, behind Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Tammy Wynette, and Tanya Tucker. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1991, she became the third country music artist, after Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, and the eighth woman to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Wells' accomplishments earned her the nickname, "Queen of Country Music."

Kitty Wells circa 1974

Martin Kreloff by Martin Kreloff

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Opening this weekend at The Onyx, Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts. Busy, busy RagTag Entertainment presents (according to the New York Times), "The funniest heartbreaker in town! Next Fall embodies something theatergoers have been sorely missing, perhaps without knowing it, for years. A smart, sensitive, immensely appealing and utterly contemporary New York comedy." Show times for Next Fall are tonight, Friday, July 20th (although we are too late for tonight), and tomorrow, July 26th, 27th and 28th at 8 p.m., and this Sunday, July 22nd at 2 p.m. This presentation is a benefit for the Las Vegas chapter of The Sin City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), also called Order of Perpetual Indulgence (OPI) in Australia and elsewhere, is a charity, protest, and street performance organization that uses drag and religious imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance and satirize issues of gender and morality. At their inception in 1979, a small group of gay men in San Francisco began wearing the attire of nuns in visible situations using high camp to draw attention to social conflicts and problems in the Castro District. The Sisters have grown throughout the U.S. and are currently organized as an international network of orders, which are mostly non-profit charity organizations that raise money for AIDS, LGBT-related causes, and mainstream community service organizations, while promoting safer sex and educating others about the harmful effects of drug use and other risky behaviors. In San Francisco alone, where they continue to be the most active, between 1979 and 2007, the Sisters are credited with raising over $1 million for various causes. Tickets for Next Fall are $15 and $20. The Onyx Theatre is located in the Commercial Center at 953 E. Sahara Ave. For reservations, go to, or call (702) 732-7225.

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A pleased as punch, Martin Kreloff, sent us this news regarding the follow-up story of his wonderful pop portrait of Stephen Sondheim...
"I'm still glowing from a most incredible evening at The Smith Center. Having Stephen Sondheim visit Las Vegas to share stories and songs of his career was pure magic. It's with great joy that I announce that my portrait of Mr. Sondheim is now a part of his collection.

A dream come true. My thanks to Max Friedland, at DAVID Magazine, and the great John Bucchino for "Putting It Together. We didn't get the meet and greet I'd hoped for...but Sondheim is great at emails. He loved the portrait, and asked if we could send it to him, as he was going on from Vegas to other stops. So, my dream of having Sondheim own one of my works is coming true...not quite the way I saw it. But, bottom line....I'm in Sondheim's collection." Not sure who is luckier, Marty for having done something wonderful that Mr. Sondheim wanted to own, or Stephen Sondheim who now has an original Martin Kreloff work in his collection. We think the real winner is Sondheim.

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Tomorrow night, and ongoing on Saturdays, from 7 to 10 p.m., Nik Mastrangelo, aka Nik at Nite, performs at La Scala Italian Restaurant, at 1020 E. Desert Inn. Nik is accompanied by Larry Millonzi on keyboards. Join the gentlemen for an evening of great music and great food in an intimate setting at La Scala. Reservations are suggested. Call (702) 699-9980.

On Fridays, from 6 to 9 p.m., it's Nik with Uli Geissendoerfer on keys, Bob Sachs on bass, and John Plows on drums at The Lady Silvia, 900 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Suite 140. Lady Silvia in on the ground floor of the high-rise building on Hoover Ave., between Las Vegas Boulevard and 4th Street. (The entrance is off Hoover St., next to the Globe Hair Salon.) There is no cover.

Nik Mastrangelo

Hudson & Saleeby

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Former Las Vegas residents, entertainers Hudson & Saleeby, will be playing pianos and singing at Miss Ollie's in Jackson, Tennessee, next Friday night, July 27th, starting at 6:30 p.m. The Jackson Downtown Development Corporation is sponsoring the musical duo that night. Downtown Jackson is happening, and they want you to see all the great stuff going on.

Miss Ollie was a famous Madame in Jackson, and the club is located in the building that was once Buddy's Pool Hall. Help make more history. If you are in the area, be at Miss Ollie's on Friday. Bring a crowd! Miss Ollie's is located at 111 E Lafayette St. in downtown Jackson. For reservations, or additional information, call (731) 868-1120.

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Lisa Gioia-Acres, of the Las Vegas Media Group, does a great job of getting, and keeping, the word out regarding the organization. Here is what she sent us following Monday's luncheon meeting at The Wedding Room on West Sahara...
I am telling you all right now, a seat at the Las Vegas Media Group luncheon is becoming the hottest ticket in town. Over the last year or so we have had some amazing speakers come and share their storied lives with us. What's even more impressive is the caliber of members that we have that attend each month. I am so proud and humbled to be able to spend time with all of you. With the help of member suggestions, we have a great lineup of future speakers. But, let's talk about today. We had 48 people come to hear Frank Fiedler, former host of the radio show, "Let's Talk Las Vegas" share some of his stories and the people he was privileged to interview during his 12 years on the air. We also had several new faces in the crowd and we hope to see them back again. Our sound system was wonderful today, thanks to Ed Dodrill for sharing his equipment with us. We spent some time talking about our dear friends that have recently passed, as well as sent some thoughts out to those that are presently ailing. Several members shared stories about Ralph Denton, Ron Bell, and Fred Davis, members who we have just lost. Our thoughts went out to Nelson Sardelli who lost his wife, Micki, after a long illness. To the family members who have lost loved ones, please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. We have lots of July Birthdays. Happy Birthday to: Roger Buehrer, Chuck Evans, John Foley, John "Buzzy" Ullom, Sam Upton, and, of course, the above mentioned, Cork Proctor. We haven't set anyone up to speak at the August meeting as of yet, and if we don't have anyone, it will be a great time for all of us to chat and catch up. Watch for Las Vegas Media Group updates in this column...thanks to Lisa.

Frank Fiedler

Sister Sisters - Ina Jo & Lisa Donovan

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The old saying is, "The Show Must Go On." That is what happened earlier this week, during a performance of Nunsense at the LVH Hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton). Alarms started blasting and emergency lights were flashing - not the best backdrop for Lisa Donovan‘s, as Mother Superior, monologue explaining why she became a nun. But that's what Ms. Donovan had to contend with when she was about to launch into the monologue in Nunsense the other day. Being the pro that she is, Lisa stayed in character - Irish brogue and all - kidding with the audience with a mixture of good nature and concern. She told them, "This is a sure way to kill a monologue," while trying to ascertain whether this emergency was the real deal. She even began a joke, "Did you hear the one about Father Gallagher...?", telling the audience that she hoped she didn't get to finish it because she might get in trouble - "It is a really dirty Catholic joke." All the while she kept an eye on the bandleader/musical director, Dan Ellis, looking to see if he was concerned. For whatever reason the audience kept laughing. When the all-clear sounded Lisa went back into her monologue and her song, everybody safe, sound and happy. At the end of the show a couple of audience members said they loved it -- but that Lisa never gave them the punch line! (We hope to have the joke AND the punch line in next week's column!) Nunsense, the world-famous musical, plays at 4 p.m., every day except Friday in the Shimmer Cabaret of the LVH Hotel & Casino. In addition to Lisa Donovan, the cast of Nunsense is made up of Lisa's sister, Ina Jo Donovan, Kathryn Arianoff, Danielle Corley, Margaret "Gret" Menzies Gonzales, Audrei-Kairen and Amanda Kaiser. For show reservations, call (702) 732-5755.

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Glad we held off on mentioning Cee Lo Green's Loberace, which had been scheduled to launch at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on August 29th. On Wednesday, it was announced that the show has been postponed, and will now open in late February and run until mid-April. Can Cee Lo attract enough people for a late night show that is supposed to run for that many weeks? And will this be something that Liberace fans might have any interest in? We will see.

Cee Lo Green

Rob Hyatt

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Yes, that is Rob Hyatt doing some regional TV commercials for Walmart. You may have seen Rob before as a member of the amazing Fifth Avenue vocal group (that also includes Jerry Jones, Bryce Robinson and Jeff Celentano), or as a cast member of Oh What a Night!, or playing piano for Sebastian Anzaldo and Sharon Owens, in Barbra and Frank: The Concert That Never Was.

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Comic Grandma Lee, Anthony Padilla's Happy Hour Comedy Show, and Geechy Guy's Dirty Joke Show, have all departed the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

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From Mark Winkler...
As many of you know, one of the favorite things I've been doing these last few years is teaching songwriting. I thought it would be fun to showcase some of my best students. These three are definitely at the top of my list... Tonight, Friday, July 20th at the M Bar at 8 p.m. For an hour and a half...
Dina Valenz-- is an incredibly talented artist who I first met at my UCLA class. Her voice is strong and clear as a bell, and she writes wonderful songs about what it means to be a young woman in today's world. Falling in love, dealing with "skinny bitches", going to best friends weddings and having a burning desire to sing and play her own songs. No one can write catchier hooks.

Andrew Abaria- A wonderful singer, writing great melodies, and playing terrific piano.... His stuff is truly pop at it's finest. Sort of like Bruno Mars meets the Scissor Sisters.He's been my assistant for a while now and his growth as a writer has been wonderful to behold.

Kilfire Aire (Oliviero)- Mike is another performer I met at my UCLA classes. He's a fine singer and instrumentalist who writes insightful, intelligent and intricate lyrics. Although folk based-- he's having his "Dylan at Newport" moment now-- with guitar loops and more intricate arranging ideas. Very interesting!

Hopefully, this will be my first showcase of many. Please join me. The cover is just $7. If you love good contemporary songwriting and performing you will not be sorry. Please reserve~

The M Bar is located 1253 N. Vine Street in Los Angeles. They don‘t have a sign, but they are in the mini mall next door to El Floridita on the southwest corner of Fountain and Vine...if you happen to be in Southern California.

Mark Winkler

The Phat Pack & Joey Singer

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The Phat Pack will be performing in the Cabaret Jazz room at The Smith Center, in two shows, 2:30 and 7 p.m., on Sunday, July 22nd. The Phat Pack is a new group in Las Vegas. Actually, it's a new group ANYWHERE! Inspired by the spirit of The Rat Pack, three singers who met up in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, realized that the bulk of their careers were supported by three shows. Ted Keegan spent years playing the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera, on the road and on Broadway. Randal Keith spent years playing Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, on the road and on Broadway. And Bruce Ewing sang three of the four roles in Forever Plaid, on the road and in Las Vegas. They have come to the point of their careers where all they want to do is create music, singing the songs they want to sing and having fun! Together with musical director, Joey Singer (Musical Director for Debbie Reynolds), The Phat Pack sings Musical Theater, American Standards, Las Vegas Hits, and some new, fun original music. It's all about great singing, creating good music, and having fun! Tickets are $20 to $35 and are available at, or call (702) 749-2000.

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Steve Lawrence

Tab Hunter

Happy birthday to Cancer celebrants (June 21-July 22) including, Brandon Flowers, Kathy Mattea, Cyndi Lauper, Kris Kristofferson, Peter Asher (Peter & Gordon), Alan Osmond, Jason Mraz, Mick Fleetwood, Jimmie "JJ" Walker, Carly Simon, Billy Davis Jr., Chris Isaak, Gretchen Wilson, George Michael, Drake Bell, Mel Brooks, John Byner, Kellie Pickler, Richard Lewis, Mike Tyson, David Alan Grier, Twyla Tharp, Deborah "Blondie" Harry, Pamela Anderson, Johnny Lee, Betty Buckley, Hunter Tylo, John Waite, Neil Simon, Geraldo Rivera, Bill Withers, Huey Lewis, Marc Cohn, Della Reese, Doc Severinsen, Ringo Starr, Michelle Kwan, Jerry Vale, Steve Lawrence, Ed Ames, John Tesh, Courtney Love, Jerry Herman, Arlo Guthrie, Bela Fleck, Jessica Simpson, Tab Hunter, Richie Sambora, Bonnie Pointer, Peter Cincotti, Bill Cosby, Joey Gian, Louise Mandrell, Cheech Marin, Linda Ronstadt, Eddie Griffin, Michael Flatley, Phyllis Diller, Diahann Carroll, Lucie Arnaz, David Hasselhoff, Cook E. Jarr, Dion DiMucci, Martha Reeves, Ricky Skaggs, Vikki Carr, Brian May, T.G. Sheppard, Kim Carnes, Carlos Santana, Julianne Hough, Steven Lee Cowart, Robin Williams, Jon Lovitz, Damian Marley, Cork Proctor, David Spade, Serena Sobel, Tony Ruivivar, Deano Noto, Bill Acosta, Denyce Tuller, Jennifer Porter, John Argent, Scott Humphries, Loretta Holloway, Lee Plotkin, Jeanette Shead, Michael Cagle, Steve Lippia, Philip Fortenberry, Toni Sandoval, Jeanne Bavaro, Steve Kennedy, Julie Olds, Skye Dee Miles, and Ronnie Fabre.
And happy anniversary to Steve Golden and Ronnie Fabre, and Marvin Lashever and Linda Glynn.

Loretta Holloway

Kristofer McNeeley

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You are invited to join the Kristofer McNeeley Acting Studio for an Acting Intensive workshop, July 28th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Are your goals in focus? Are you using that focus to create a career as an actor? Are you ready to work? The Kristofer McNeeley Acting Studio is pleased to announce we will be offering a master class to kick off the fall season! A limited number of working sessions are available, and we are also offering auditing spaces. "Most actors spend so much thought energy preparing for auditions, that they often end up "thinking" their way out of the role before they get in the room. But there's another way. You can nail the audition having never seen the material before. This is not a shortcut. It's about always being READY. The work is intense and the growth I witness in my students is exponential. I want to help you to become fearless and autonomous as an actor - take the leap and watch how that freedom transforms your work." Special guest, Peter Golden, Executive Vice President, Talent and Casting, CBS. Kristofer says, "We are excited to have Peter Golden with us to speak about casting and tell us what he looks for in actors during the audition process. This is an invaluable opportunity to learn about the business from an industry veteran. Regular classes are Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at J.E.T. Studios, 5126-30 Lankershim Blvd., in North Hollywood, California. For Class Information, please call (818) 850-1595.

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There will be some REAL magic taking place at The Smith Center during this week.
On Wednesday, July 25th at 8:30 p.m., The Las Vegas Magic Experience will take place in Reynolds Hall. The Society of American Magicians proudly presents some of the best Las Vegas magicians appearing together in one "spectacular" show. You would have to visit six different casinos to see these stars, who have all played the major high priced hotels and casinos in Las Vegas over the years. Now, here they are, in one family show with all their manipulations, grand illusions, levitations, quick changes, comedy, and, yes, even the disappearance of a ferocious Bengal Tiger. Fielding West hosts Luna Shimada, Jason Baney, Losander, Ayala and Tanya and Sonny Fontana.

Thursday, July 26th at 8:30 p.m., it's the International Magic Spectacular. The Society of American Magicians Annual Convention invites the public to witness its final Gala Show, featuring top magicians from around the world who have gathered for this event. Prize winning magicians will appear with an array of grand illusion, impossible card manipulations, fantastic comedy acts, plus three home town Las Vegas stars who will entertain you and your family. Bring the kids. Starring R G Smith, John Cassidy,( the man in the balloon), Funtasio, Chris Kenner, The Great Tomsoni and Company, Korean champion Kim Hyun-Joon, and our own Nathan Burton. Tickets are $31 for each show. Call The Smith Center at (702) 749-2000 for additional details and reservations.

Fielding West

Billy Gardell

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Mike & Molly sitcom star and comedian, Billy Gardell, will perform at The Orleans Showroom, Friday and Saturday, July 27th and 28th. In the CBS sitcom, Mike & Molly, Gardell plays police officer Mike Biggs who meets Molly Flynn, played by Melissa McCarthy, at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting where they begin a romantic relationship. From 2007 to 2009, Gardell had a reoccurring role on the NBC television series, My Name is Earl. He has also guest starred on other shows, including Bones, Desperate Housewives and Burning Hollywood. Gardell's additional television credits include Yes, Dear, Judging Amy, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Monk. On the big screen, in 2002, Gardell made his debut alongside Anthony Quinn and Sylvester Stallone in Avenging Angelo, and has since starred in Bad Santa, You, Me and Dupree, and The Deported. Gardell took the long road to Hollywood, stopping at every small town lounge, military base and comedy club along the way. Stories about his rough childhood, wild adolescence and new family life are part of his stand-up routine. Gardell has opened for well-known comedians such as George Carlin and Dennis Miller. Showtime each evening at The Orleans is 8 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $39.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Coast Casinos Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting

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Dana Satterwhite, of TastySpace Gallery, tells us that the Downtown Project announced their first-ever arts contest this week. It extends far beyond visual art to writers, musicians, sculptors, dancers, choreographers, film makers, and more. On top of the personal fulfillment of creating something, there are cash prizes-several of them. We're inspired by the energy and passion of the Downtown community, and we're looking for arts submissions that are inspired by it, too. Through August 15th, we'll be accepting submissions via video from local artists of all types. The requirements are that the submission comes from a local resident and that the submission must be new, original work in any medium that is inspired by Downtown Las Vegas. By any medium, we mean ANY medium. The submission could be a song, a piece of choreography, a poem, a long-form narrative, a sculpture, a painting, a photograph. This list is not meant to be inclusive of all the possibilities. The submissions will be judged by a jury of local artists, writers, and community members. From the submissions, 10 runners-up will be chosen and each will receive $100. The Grand Prize winner will receive $2500. All of those chosen will have their work featured on and will participate in an exhibition/ performance/reading at First Friday on October 5th as part of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of Las Vegas' monthly arts festival. Video submissions must be made through our website and must not exceed three minutes in length. See rules at...

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