Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column



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

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from January 25, 2013
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - January 25, 2013


Martin Kreloff Says "ART" 1976

Martin Kreloff Still Says "ART" 2012

When Las Vegas resident, artist Martin Kreloff, was honored in Florida early last month, the news was picked up and carried in major papers around the country, including USA Today. Some international publications also felt the event was quite newsworthy. So, we have to wonder, why wasn't anything carried in Las Vegas, where Mr. Kreloff has resided since 2004?
Here is some of the news that local media-types missed...
Miami's cultural leaders gathered to kick off Art Basel Week at the JW Marriott Hotel Miami for a tribute to the City's arts pioneers who helped transform the community into a global art destination. Visionary artist Martin Kreloff's 1976 retrospective is the talk of the town, as he repeated history by once again uniting Miami's arts champions to look into his camera and exclaim: ART! The JW Marriott Hotel Miami presented "Miami Says ART/The Retrospective" by artist Martin Kreloff, attracting more than 100 of Miami's arts leaders to the opening reception on December 3rd, ushering in Art Basel Week. According to Miami Herald's Visual Arts Editor, Jane Wooldridge, who praised the event on day one of her Art Basel Week blog: "Art Week Miami has kicked off as perhaps it always should but never has - with a tribute to the city's arts-loving pioneers. It was something of an Old Home Week scene Monday morning at the JW Marriott Hotel on Brickell Avenue when a few hundred of Miami's arts pioneers and current cognoscenti turned up for a reprise of Martin Kreloff's 1976 Miami Says Art project."

The list of Miami's arts VIPs who showed up to say "Art!" reads like a cultural hall-of-fame, including: Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council's chairman Adolfo Henriques, and executive director Monty Trainer (also president of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival); director of the Brooklyn Museum, Arnold Lehman; New World Symphony CEO, Howard Herring; Dr. Carol Damian, director of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum at FIU; president/CEO of the Arsht Center, John Richard; Wolfsonian director, Cathy Leff; Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson, New World School of the Arts Provost; Ruth Shack; Dahlia Morgan; Swannee DiMare, Frances Sevilla-Sacasa; Carmen Betancourt-Lewis; Deborah Hoffman; Harvey Burstein; Dennis Edwards; Mark Steinberg; Roberta and Eric Fliss; Marc Levin; artist, Lynn Gelfman; gallerist, Virginia Miller; Mary Luft; Rosie Gordon-Wallace; Beth Boone; Charlie Cinnamon; David Leddick; Michael and Mary Ellen Peyton, and Iran Issa-Kahn. City of Miami Mayor, Tomas Regalado, presented a proclamation, declaring it "Miami Says Art Week." The artist Martin Kreloff said: "It was clear to me back in 1976 that I could capture Miami's cultural leaders each saying "ART" and turn it into the ultimate group show. I was thrilled to present this tribute to Miami's cultural spirit that has blossomed into a world-class art destination. I am so proud of you, Miami." The exhibition also launched "Miami Says Art-2," a new cultural time capsule honoring Miami's New World School of the Arts' 25th anniversary. "This is a terrific opportunity for our students," says Dennis Edwards, Foundation Board Chair for the NWSA. "We are honored to be representing the future in this time-capsule honoring Miami's arts leaders." Art Miami maintains a preeminent position in America's contemporary art fair market. With a rich history, it is the original and longest-running contemporary art fair in Miami and continues to receive praise for the variety of unparalleled art that it offers. It is the "can't miss" event for all serious collectors, curators, museum directors, and interior designers providing an intimate look at some of the most important work at the forefront of the international contemporary art movement. Last year, Art Miami attracted 11,000 collectors, curators, artists, connoisseurs, and designers during its Opening Night, and 60,000 attendees over a six-day period.

Martin Kreloff's work is held by the New York Museum of Modern Art and dozens of other prestigious galleries, museums and corporate collections across America. Kreloff first sprang onto the American art scene in Miami in 1976, when he captured Miami's arts leaders in a pioneering collective portrait series expressing the passion and emotion of the word "ART" for his first museum solo show "MIAMI SAYS ART." Captivating the community, it helped the young city learn to celebrate and promote the arts. Many of his paintings found their way into the personal collections of some of the nation's most accomplished celebrities including Cary Grant, Joan Crawford, Ann Miller, Esther Williams, Cary Grant, Estelle Getty, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lauren Bacall, Elaine Stritch, Dixie Carter, Matthew Gray Gubler (TV's Criminal Minds), and Stephen Sondheim. Kreloff has been commissioned to create artwork for corporate clients such as Warner Brothers (sic); Universal Pictures; Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines; Harley-Davidson; Nielsen/National Research Group; Bloomingdale's; The American Civil Liberties Union; The Miami Herald; and The San Francisco Chronicle.

On December 3, 2012, Chuck Fadley of The Miami Herald wrote, An insider's view of Art Week Miami, saying, Art Week Miami has kicked off as perhaps it always should but never has: with a tribute to the city's arts-loving pioneers. It was something of an Old Home Week scene Monday morning at the JW Marriott Hotel on Brickell Avenue when a few hundred of Miami's arts pioneers and current cognoscenti turned up for a reprise of Martin Kreloff's 1976 Miami Says Art project, in which dozens of Miami art pioneers were photographed saying the magic word, "Art!" The crowd included rarely seen photographer David Vance. Kreloff is now based in Las Vegas, and though he isn't sorry he moved, he did allow that he's wistful for Miami and its burgeoning new scene. So just how much has the city changed, art-wise? "Miami has become everything we ever anticipated and hoped for," said Ruth Shack, photographed in the original project and in this week's reprise. "It keeps on growing and getting better." Carole Damian, director of the Frost-FIU museum, and longtime arts supporter Debi Hoffman spoke of a sweeping shift since those early days. "Miami has become a cultural happening where people want to be," Hoffman said. Lehman, who left Miami in 1979 and is now head of the Brooklyn Museum, had a slightly different take: "Nothing has changed or everything has changed." Asked to expound, he said, "What Miami is about is sun, water, blue sky and when it gets dark or cloudy, art."

It is Kreloff's desire to be the catalyst in creating something similar to the events in Miami, right here in Southern Nevada. Las Vegas Says "Art"! Has a nice ring to it!


Marty Kreloff Honors Stephen Sondheim

Tina Walsh by Dana Allen

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PK Music and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts present The Composers Showcase of Las Vegas, Wednesday, February 6, 10:30 pm (after theater). Doors open at 9:30 in the Cabaret Jazz club in The Boman Pavilion at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, 361 Symphony Park Avenue. Tickets are $20 (assigned seating). The February talent lineup features the original works of Erich Bergen, Michael Brennan, Angela Chan, Vita Corimbi, Bill Fayne, Joel Ferguson, Rylan Leo Helmuth, Christopher Lash, Brian Less, Aaron MacKenzie, Anna Nichols, Joey Pero, Keith Thompson, Mark Wherry and more! The performers include Kris Coleman, Douglas Crawford, Chris Fore, Clint Holmes, Renata Renee Micatrotto, Nikka Wahl, and Tina Walsh. The players include Gary Cordell, Steve Flora, Philip Fortenberry, Frank Gardner, Alex Jackson, Kevin Lyon, Don Meoli, Keith Nelson, Dave Philippus, Ridge Salguero, Eric Tewalt and more! Sound by Kevin Harvey and lights by Jeremy W. Hodges. There is a Cash Bar and Late Night Menu available. Reservations strongly suggested. Tickets available at the Smith Center box office, by phone at (702) 749-2000, or online at www.thesmithcenter.com.


Keith Nelson

Rita Lim

And speaking of Bill Fayne, he is keeping busy. Bill and Rita Lim, accompanied by John Nasshan on drums, and Fred Watstein on bass, will be performing from 7 to 10 p.m., at The Mad Greek Café, on Wednesday the 30th. The Mad Greek is located at 8565 W. Sahara (in the Smith's center, just east of Durango). They claim "Gourmet food. Fast food prices. Never a cover." All that, and live music too. Sounds like a win win proposition. Then, on Saturday, February 2nd at 7 p.m., Bill will perform at the Starbright Theatre, 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd. in Sun City Summerlin, with Tara Palsha, Ayler Evan and Anne Barr, in A Love Story, written and directed by Fayne and Mistinguett. "Sometimes You Have To Go Through Hell To Get To Heaven".....looking at love through the journey of four people... a Thirty-something married couple, a young single entertainer, and their older divorced friend and confidant...we see their lives and loves go through every emotion and many changes, as A Love Story unfolds in song favorites from the last 60 years of music! Tickets are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents. Call (702) 240-1301for additional information.

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The still adorable Mitzi Gaynor is being honored as 2013 Woman of the Year by the Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) at their annual Black & White Ball tomorrow night, with a gala event at the Bellagio. The legendary dancer, singer and actress received world-wide acclaim for her iconic performance as Ensign Nellie Forbush in the 1958 motion picture adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's, South Pacific. The role presented Gaynor at the zenith of a film career which included starring roles in some of the most revered musicals of Hollywood's "Golden Age," including Les Girls, Anything Goes and There's No Business Like Show Business. An Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated star of both stage and screen, Gaynor last performed in Las Vegas at Sam's Town Live! This is a well deserved honor for this show business veteran.


Mitzi Gaynor

Sam Boyd

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Problems at Boyd Gaming Corporation? No surprise to us, especially when it comes to the amazingly badly run property in the northwest part of the city. On Tuesday, an undisclosed number of Boyd employees were let go, including some terrific people, at least one who had been with the company for decades. As we have been saying for about two years, gaming pioneer Sam Boyd, who built the company before dying in 1993, must be spinning in his grave.

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Wondering what our Phavorite Phantom, Brent Barrett, might be up to? These days (and nights), the darling Mr. Barrett, who played the lead in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular during a portion of its run at The Venetian, is performing the roles of both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in the national touring company of Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby. The popular musical production, with book by Sir James Barrie, lyrics and music by Carolyn Leigh and Moose Charlap, with additional lyrics and music by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and Jule Styne, is directed by Glenn Casale. Following Peter Pan's opening in Los Angeles earlier in the month, one of the reviewers wrote, "The opening night performance of the show at the Pantages on Tuesday, January 15 was top-notch. Rigby remains at the very top of her form and over the last 6 months of the tour Brent Barrett has grown better and better in his delicious delivery of Captain Hook's acerbic wit and caustic, egomaniacal demeanor, the very epitome of raging cowardice, reminding me more and more comedically of the original Cyril Ritchard." Another critic had this to say, "New to this tour is Brent Barrett as Captain Hook. Cyril Richard (sic) was so campy and over-the-top, but director Glenn Casale has assured that this Hook will be a real pirate, a dashing, debonnair (sic) swordsman, who just so happens to be a coward who's running away from a crocodile. Brent Barrett brings first class charm to the role, making it totally his own. He's a great singer to boot!" Check the arts calendar in your area, to see if Peter Pan might be heading your way. Among the scheduled stops are: Los Angeles, through January 27th, at The Pantages Theatre; Chicago, January 28th through February 10th, at Cadillac Palace Theatre; Tulsa, OK, March 5th through 10th, at Tulsa Performing Arts Center; Cincinnati, OH, March 11th through 17th, at Procter & Gamble Hall - Aronoff Center for the Arts; Ft. Worth, TX, March 25th through 31st, at Bass Hall; St. Louis, MO, April 2nd and 3rd, at Peabody Opera House; Scranton, PA, April 5th through 7th, at Scranton Cultural Center; Schenectady, NY, April 8th through 14th, at Proctor's Theatre; and in Boston, MA, April 22nd through 28th, at Wang Center. Check the Peter Pan touring company site for complete schedule.

It might be mentioned that director Glenn Casale has been a half-time faculty member at UNLV, where he has taught in the theater department since 2005.


Brent Barrett is Mr. Darling in Peter Pan

Glenn Casale

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Blue Heron International Pictures has announced that Beverly Washburn, a Las Vegas-area resident and television's first child super-star, will appear in Our Forever Friends, the company's soon-to-be-released pet documentary. The premiere for the feature film is set for January 26th at the Cinematique Theatre in Daytona Beach, Florida. At that time, Washburn will be honored with the company's coveted Lifetime Achievement in Film Award, to be presented by Johnny Martino, who starred as Paulie in The Godfather. "Beverly was the guest star on almost all of the classic television shows from the 1950s and 1960s," said award-winning director Gary Lester. "We are honored to have her participation in this important documentary project." "She was a regular on The New Loretta Young Show, and a guest star on such early TV shows as Playhouse 90, Dragnet, Thriller, Father Knows Best, The Lone Ranger and Leave It To Beaver," said associate producer and Las Vegas resident Ted V. Mikels. "Plus, she was cast in such great movies as Shane, and as Lisbeth in Old Yeller." Mikels served as second unit director and cinematographer for the Las Vegas part of the shoot. Wendy O. Altmamura, also of Las Vegas, was the talent coordinator. "Beverly's scenes in Wagon Train were with comedian Lou Costello of Abbott & Costello – his only dramatic acting role ever," said Gary Lester. "Her own comic skills were evident when she appeared as a very young Margaret Truman with Jack Benny, and kept Jack's audience in stitches. My kind of actress!" Beverly's impressive movie career also includes working with Kirk Douglas in The Juggler – the first movie filmed in the new State of Israel. However, fans at celebrity events may remember her as Lt. Arlene Galway on Star Trek, or Lisbeth in Old Yeller. "What a sweetheart!" said Mikels. "Not only is she one of America's most beloved actresses, but she also happens to be a life-long animal lover. She treats her own rescued animals as treasured family members. Beverly knows the true meaning of a forever friend." For more information about this week's world premiere and awards ceremony in Daytona Beach, please contact producer/director Lester at [email protected], or associate producer Mikels at [email protected]


Beverly Washburn & Bobby Rydell

Loretta Young Still Beautiful in Her 80s

And speaking of Beverly's association with Loretta Young, the Las Vegan was among the notable attendees at the Hollywood Museum when Ms. Young's 100th birth date was celebrated on January 6th. Beverly played Young's daughter, Vickie Massey, in The New Loretta Young Show (1962-1963).

And during Bobby Rydell's recent Las Vegas engagement, the twosome got together after his show to reminisce about the good old days. Beverly and Bobby Rydell have known each other for many years. They had a good time catching up on what they had been doing for the past few decades, and posing for pictures together (see accompanying photo).

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Tonight and tomorrow night, January 25th and 26th, at 8 p.m., popular local vocalist, Mark Giovi, will be the opening act for comedian Brad Garrett at Garrett's Comedy Club in the MGM Grand. Call (866) 740-7711 for tickets.


Mark Giovi

Ariann Black

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Award-winning magician, Ariann Black, was truly honored to have been invited to Washington DC to perform for the President's 2013 Inaugural Ball. She had an opportunity to meet and entertain several Medal of Honor recipients. "All of them had endured hardships and triumphed over insurmountable odds, yet they were all remarkably humble and happy people with a profound sense of gratitude for life," says Ariann. "It reminded me that the challenges we battle must never silence our prayers of thanks, because real happiness is an expression of gratitude." This is another nice honor for Ariann Black's impressive resume, and overflowing scrapbook.

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From Lisa Gioia Acres, comes this Las Vegas Media Group meeting follow-up...
"What a great way to begin a new year, hanging out with members of the Las Vegas Media Group!," said Lisa. "We had our average turnout of nearly 40 attendees, with a few news faces and the pleasure of seeing some people who haven't been to a meeting in a while." Just before we lined up for lunch of roast beef, chicken and noodles (yum!), Lisa shared some experiences with the group, regarding her Nevada History students and the interviews they conducted with LVMG members in October. Lisa was really nervous that (1) technology would fail, and (2) her Power Point presentation would be a bust. But, with the help of wonderful Helen Mortenson, who brought her projector and screen and set it all up, the presentation was a great success. It was very touching to share the students' impressions of the individual's they interviewed. Each of the interviewees received a DVD with the student's paper, presentation and audio recording. After lunch, Thalia Dondero's guest spoke before the group. Howard Rosenberg came to the meeting all the way from Reno, Nevada. Howard, who teaches at University of Nevada, Reno, was once an entertainment critic. His talk was most interesting, especially his wonderful, funny, and entertaining stories of his experiences growing up as the nephew of famed singer, Sophie Tucker. It was a treat to hear such intimate memories. We welcome Howard back any time to keep those stories coming! Happy Birthday wishes go out to LVMG participants, Thalia Dondero, Tom McCormick, Joan Massagli, Frank Mitrani, Helen Mortenson, Rich Newman and Ralph Pressler. The next Las Vegas Media Group meeting is on Monday, February18th (another holiday so some of you scarce members might make it!). We will have more details about the February meeting in this column in a couple of weeks.


Howard Rosenberg

Sophie Tucker

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We are saddened to report the death of actor Paul Ainsley, who passed away in Los Angeles on January 19th at the age of 67. Paul was born on April 11, 1945, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Paul created the role of King Herod in the original production of Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway. Herod sings only one tune in the show, "King Herod's Song," but it's a showstopper, a jazz-tinged vaudevillian number in which the supercilious king taunts Jesus will lyrics like "Proved to me that you're no fool/Walk across my swimming pool." In more recent years, he received rave reviews as Thenardier in the National Tour of Les Miserables. Other stage credits include Hello, Dolly! (opposite Sharon McNight), Gypsy (starring Karen Morrow), 1776, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, La Cage Aux Folles, and The Phantom of the Opera. Paul played Big Jule in Guys and Dolls with Maureen McGovern and Jack Jones. On tour, Paul was the Sergeant in The Pirates of Penzance, Hook in Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby, the Priest in Lunch with Barney Martin, and Throttle in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. His TV appearances include The Bold and the Beautiful, Babylon 5, The Young and the Restless and Wings. From 1977 to 1980, Paul had a recurring role on TV's Three's Company, where he played Jim the Bartender. Paul's voice can be heard in the animated films Quest for Camelot and The Swan Princess. Ainsley appeared as a pirate, along with his longtime friend, Bart Williams, in an episode of the Weird Science TV series. The two actors also performed together in Guys and Dolls at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, co-starring with Jack Jones, Frank Gorshin, and Maureen McGovern. Mr. Ainsley was also a member of the Improvisational Theatre Project at the Mark Taper Forum. He was a councilor on the board of Actors' Equity Association for many years, and was on the board of The Actors Fund. Our sympathies to Paul's family.


Paul Ainsley 1945-2013

Gina Eckstine

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Hello Singers and Friends,
Gina Eckstine is pleased to invite you to the "For Singer's Only Workshop." For Singer's Only Workshop is a 12 week intensive performance workshop. The most innovative place for singers to learn and refine your voice and stagecraft.
· Beginners to Professional Singers are invited
· Learn performance techniques
· Vocal class
· Expand your range and repertoire
· Professional stage, lights and sound
· Rehearse with pianist/accompanist
· Guest speakers: Pro artists, performers, industry professionals
· Performance recital with live band on nightclub/cabaret stage and setting
For Singer's Only Workshop will be held for 12 Saturday's from, 11 a.m. to 1p.m, starting on January 26th, at The Guitar Merchant, 7503 Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Canoga Park, California. Tuition/Registration: $600 (paid in 3 installments if necessary). Can be paid online at www.forsingersonlyworkshop.com, or call (818) 429-2837 to register or for any questions.
"Like"us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ForSingersOnlyWorkshop.
And for those who might be wondering, Gina is the daughter of the famed Billy Eckstine.

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Nik at Nite, that would be daytime attorney/nighttime singer, Nikolas Mastrangelo, had to cancel his scheduled gig at Blue Fire last Saturday. Not his fault. When he showed up at the place, prepared for a night of live music, good food, and fun, Nik found the place locked up. It seems that the flame has burned out at Blue Fire...at least for now. Stay tuned.

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Nevada Public Radio listeners have a unique opportunity to support public radio while enjoying Soul2Soul, starring country music superstars, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, at The Venetian Las Vegas. A limited number of specially priced tickets are available for the Friday, February 1st and Saturday, February 2nd, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. performances. Ticket prices are $250 for Orchestra seating (normally $305), and $200 for Parterre (normally $263), with 100 percent of the purchase price benefiting Nevada Public Radio. Soul2Soul at The Venetian marks the first time in six years that McGraw and Hill have performed together in the United States. The show will feature an all-new production with innovative lighting and set design technologies that were synonymous with the Soul2Soul concerts. The Venetian Theater will also be modified to accommodate this new production. These concerts will include many of the No. 1 hits that have made them, both in their own right, two of the most significant entertainers of our generation. Proceeds will directly benefit, and must be purchased through Nevada Public Radio, picked up at will-call, and may not be resold. To purchase tickets, call (702) 258-9895 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, or visit www.classical897.org, or www.knpr.org. Nevada Public Radio (NVPR) was established in 1975 as an independent, not-for-profit, public benefit corporation. NVPR signed on the air in 1980 with one station serving the Las Vegas area as Nevada's first National Public Radio (NPR(r)) affiliate station. For more than three decades, NVPR has remained true to its mission to enhance the quality of life and foster civic engagement by informing, educating and inspiring a growing audience through public media – including content on air, in print and online. NVPR's broadcast network includes seven FM stations serving the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area with News 88.9 KNPR and Classical KCNV 89.7. Combined with five associate stations, 10 translator stations and associated HD digital channels, KNPR serves a geographical area of more than 66,000 square miles - plus parts of California, Utah and Arizona. NVPR is the publisher of the award-winning Desert Companion monthly magazine, and the producer of KNPR's State of Nevada. Further information is available at www.knpr.org, www.classical897.org and www.desertcompanion.com.


Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

Paul Campanella

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Paul X. Campanella, Las Vegas actor and entertainer, and President of 231 Productions LLC, is excited to announce that current MMA/UFC fighters, Mike Pyle and Jay Hieron, are attached to Paul's film, Power Play, and former UFC Champ and actor, Randy Couture (The Expendables), just endorsed the project with his Tweet to more than 250,000 followers worldwide. Mike Pyle won his last UFC match in December, and Jay Hieron is scheduled to fight February 2nd. What is unique about this indie film is it's funding mechanism. Paul and his team are seeking to break the record and redefine the indie film making process through "Crowd Funding." Go to http://www.rockethub.com/projects/13479-fund-power-play, and in Paul's words, "watch the short video, read the info, click on a reward and join the team! Then, spread the word through your network of contacts." Additional information can be found at www.powerplaythemovie.com.

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Reminders...
Good news for you Lon Bronson fans. The Lon Bronson Band has been extended at the Aliante's Access Showroom. They will continue their Friday night gigs at the North Las Vegas resort, at least through February. Show times are from 9 to 11:30 p.m. Regarding the popular musical ensemble, Bill from Vegas writes... "I was there last Friday night. This band just gets better and better. I was blown away once again. Kudos to the Aliante Casino for being smart enough to book this band. It was well worth the drive out from the Strip to hear the show." You just never know who might show up there (see accompanying photo for an example)! There is a reasonable $5 cover.


Lon Bronson & Drew Carey

Sasha Semenoff & Bill Clinton

Some more good news, and maybe some bad. Tomorrow evening, it's Rob Garrett doing his tribute to Neil Diamond at the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin. That's the good news. The bad news is, that if you don't already have your tickets for the show, you're not going to see it...at least, not at the Starbright tomorrow. Chances are that Mr. Garrett, known as "The King of Diamonds," will be performing at The Club inside the North Las Vegas Cannery (where he is a favorite and appears there twice a year) during the summer...most likely on a Hot August Night. Stay tuned.

As we mentioned last week, on Sunday, January 27th, at 1 p.m., family, friends and fans of Sasha Semenoff will gather at Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant in the Fashion Show Mall to remember and celebrate the life of this kind and talented man. Sasha was loved, admired and respected by those who knew him. He had a way of brightening your day just by saying Hello. His smile was contagious. His kind words were uplifting; and when you consider what he lived through during WWII, you realize the inner strength, character and heart he had. He will be terribly missed.

And later on Sunday, at Don't Tell Mama, the New York-style piano-bar 517 E. Fremont Street, A Touch of Mystery presents Music Can Be Murder at 7 p.m. Journey back in time with us to 1945 for an interactive adventure. This hysterical musical murder mystery features the world acclaimed singing group, Dangerous Curves. Tickets are $18 per person at the door. The show runs approximately 90 minutes. If you have any questions, please feel free to call (702) 497-7936.

And speaking of Neil Diamond, yesterday the singer/songwriter celebrated his 72nd birthday. Born on January 24th, 1941, Diamond‘s career has spanned more than five decades. As of 2001, Diamond had sold more than115 million records worldwide, including 48 million in the United States alone. He is considered to be the third most successful adult contemporary artist ever on the Billboard chart, behind Barbra Streisand and Elton John.

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Nevada Conservatory Theatre at UNLV continues its 10th Anniversary Season, February 1st through 10th, Albert Innaurato's Gemini. Michael Lugering directs. On the eve of his twenty-first birthday, Francis is paid a surprise visit from two of his college friends, whose elevated social background contrast painfully with Francis's own humble circumstances. During the visit, an unsettling discovery leads to a series of amusing, heart-warming and revealing incidents that occur in quick succession until the final, joyous moments of the play. Lugering is a master teacher of voice, movement and acting at UNLV. He has spent more than 15 years researching the physical, psychological, behavioral and aesthetic aspects of human expression. His book, The Expressive Actor: An Integrated Method of Voice, Movement & Actor Training, is published by Heinemann Drama Books. Lugering has served as a professional voice coach for the Utah Shakespearian Festival and the NCT. The Gemini cast includes Christopher Rosado as Francis Geminiani; Barbara Brennan as Bunny Weinberger; Jordan Bondurant as Randy Hastings; Victoria Spellman as Judith Hastings; Michael De la Rosa Jr. as Herschel Weinberger; Equity Actor, Alan Ball, as Fran Geminiani; and Melissa Ritz as Lucille Pompi. The production and design team include scenic designer Molly Bailey, lighting designer Glen DiNicola, sound designer Irma Chavez, costume designer Judy Reyerson, technical director Megan Morey, and production stage manager Kylen Wijayasuriya. Show times are at 8 p.m. on February 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9. Matinees are at 2 p.m. on Sundays, February 3rd and 10th. Tickets are $20-$30 for adults, and 10 percent off for those under 18. For tickets or additional information, visit pac.unlv.edu, or call (702) 895-ARTS (2787).

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Stand By for the allegedly quasi humorous F.I.O.R.E.s 8th Annual Valentine's Day Luncheon announcement. In the meantime, save the date - Thursday, February 14th! For information about this organization, go to http://nonclubclubfiore.com/about-u/.

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The rest of the latest news about Rebecca Spencer, as promised in last week‘s column, will have to wait. Since Ms. Spencer is still in Seoul, Korea, re-creating her role as Madam Giry in Phantom of the Opera, perhaps she won't know that we are putting her on hold. Shhh. Don't tell. She will be back in the United States very soon. That is when we will catch readers up on the singer/actresses recent doings...very soon.



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