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 February 01, 2013
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - February 1, 2013

Vita Corimbi by Don Cadette

Doug Saleeby

The first Composers Showcase of 2013 will take place on Wednesday, February 6th. Presented by PK Music and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the showcase takes place in the Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center's Boman Pavilion, 361 Symphony Park Avenue. Show time is 10:30 p.m. (after theater). Doors open at 9:30. Wednesday's Composers include Erich Bergen (former Jersey Boys cast member, currently appearing in the touring company of Anything Goes, playing at The Smith Center), Michael Brennan, Angela Chan, Vita Corimbi, Bill Fayne, Joel Ferguson, Christopher Lash, Brian Less, Aaron MacKenzie, Anna Nichols, Joey Pero, Keith Thompson and Mark Wherry. Performers include Kris Coleman, Douglas Crawford, Chris Fore, Ben Hale, Kristen Hertzenberg, Clint Holmes, Renata Renee Micatrotto, Nikka Wahl, Tina Walsh and Virginia Woodruff. Players include Allen Applegate, Jim Belk, Gary Cordell, Steve Flora, Philip Fortenberry, Frank Gardner, Alex Jackson, Michael Joy, Kevin Lyon, Don Meoli, Keith Nelson, Dave Philippus, Mickey Roemer, Ridge Salguero, Eric Tewalt and Tyler Williams. A Cash Bar and Late Night Menu is available. Tickets are $20 at the Smith Center Box Office, call (702) 749-2000 for reservations, or go online at Walk-ups are welcome, but if you wait until Wednesday, the club may be sold out.

And speaking of Clint Holmes, his show in Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center this weekend (tonight, Friday, the 1st, and tomorrow night at 8:30, and Sunday, at 2 p.m.) is called Inspired. It is a musical journey through the artists and writers that have inspired Clint, from Sammy Davis, Jr., Harry Belafonte and Frank Sinatra, to more current artists, including Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and even Stephen Sondheim. Tickets are $35 and $45. Call (702) 749-2000 for reservations. As mentioned above, The Smith Center is located at 361 Symphony Park Avenue, in downtown Las Vegas.

Renee Hale

Peter Pavone

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Doug Saleeby, one half of the musical duo of (Christopher) Hudson & Saleeby, who performed around Vegas in the '70s and early '80s, celebrated his January 28th birthday number 60, here during the past week. Over the weekend, Doug, who now makes his home in Memphis, was joined by friends and family members - Dan Elias (from Memphis), Sharon Wicks Chaput (former director of sales at the Golden Nugget, who now resides in Springfield, Missouri), Doug's brother Gary and wife Debi Saleeby (from Chapel Hill, North Carolina), Doug's sister, Anne, and hubby Mark Selna (Danville, California), and Dan's sister, Catherine Elias and her husband, Moussa Arroud (from El Cerrito, California) - for dinners, over a period of three nights, at the Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower Restaurant, Aria's Café Vettro, and Paymon's Mediterranean Café. On Tuesday, some of the birthday partiers were at Garfield's, on the water's edge at Desert Shores/Summerlin, to see and hear vocalist Renee Hale and pianist Ned Mills (aka Lionardo) perform. A handful of audience members, who also happen to be singers themselves, were invited to do a couple of numbers. Joni Illi sang "Come In From the Rain" and "Orange Colored Sky;" Frank Sinatra tribute artist, Peter Pavone, did "One For My Baby" and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square;" while birthday boy Saleeby performed "There Will Never Be Another You." Many happy returns of the week, Mr. Saleeby.

And speaking of Garfield's...For those who have had a bad experience there, regarding the (dis)comfort of the place (much too hot in the summer, and way too cold in the winter), we are happy to report that the restaurant seems to have solved the problems by moving the seven-nights-a-week entertainment out of the Grand Atrium (where, according to a Garfield's spokesperson, they no longer hold concerts), and into the restaurant section. Stop in on Tuesdays, between 6 and 9 p.m., have dinner and drinks, and enjoy live music by songstress Renee Hale and friends. For reservations, call (702) 925-8333. By the way, we were also told that the Grand Atrium has been redone and NOW has air conditioning. Can anyone, who lives or visits in this part of the world, imagine any building around here with no air conditioning? Neither could we.

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dr.a.g. Book

Female Impersonator Elaine Lancaster by Howard Austin Feld

We would like to recommend a new book that we found to be most interesting. Two of our loyal readers (and writers), Donald and Ray from Kansas City, suggested we might check out dr.a.g., a beautifully photographed collection of female impersonators from around the globe. We took their suggestion and sent for the impressive tome. Las Vegas show goers will recognize a number of made-up faces seen on stages around the city over the years. Among the subjects, with past or current Vegas connections, are (in politically correct alphabetical order) Joey Arias (former Mistress of Ceremonies in Zumanity), legendary drag icon Jim Bailey, Jackie Beat (who appeared with comic Roseanne Barr during her performances at New York New York in 2007), Mr. Kenneth Blake (Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas), Eddie Edwards (An Evening at La Cage), Larry Edwards (Divas), Jimmy James, Christopher Kenney is Edie ("The Mistress of Sensuality" in Zumanity), Frank Marino (Divas), Chad Michaels (An Evening at La Cage), and Christopher Peterson (last seen here in Eyecons at The Onyx). Dr.a.g (for dressed as girl) also features top names in the New York impersonator scene, among them Lady Bunny, Sherry Vine, Hedda Lettuce, Charles Busch; cast members from RuPaul's Drag Race, including Nina Flowers, Raja, the above mentioned Chad Michaels, Tammie Brown, Jujubee, Bebe Zahara Benet, Shannel, and Ongina; along with Miss Coco Peru and Montreal legend, MADO. Photographers, whose work fill the pages of dr.a.g., include Austin Young, Magnus Hastings, Mike Ruiz, Peter Palladino and Jose A. Guzman Colon, among others. Dr.a.g. was compiled by Canadian actor (Connie and Carla, Saving Silverman, Tron Legacy, Alcatraz), Christopher Logan, in conjunction with Graphic Designer, Mamio Marais, and published worldwide by Tectum Publishers. The 160-page, approximately 12"x12" Coffee Table Book, celebrating the beauty and diversity of drag, and featuring top performers from all over shot by celebrity and fashion photographers, was created to raise money for independent film production. This collectible book is now available for sale through the dr.a.g website at, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other sites.

Christopher Logan

Roseanne Barr

And speaking of Roseanne Barr, she took a little time off from her stand-up gig at the Tropicana's Laugh Factory to play a character in one of the final episodes of TV's The Office.
Roseanne, whose scenes were taped earlier this week, will guest star as a talent agent on the popular nine-year-old series. The comic is back on stage at the Laugh Factory tomorrow night. Show times are at 7 p.m., Saturdays through Thursdays. Tickets are $60.95 to $82.95. For reservations, call (702) 739-2411.

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Travis Cloer steps away from his role as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys for one night to do his own thing in the Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center. At 7 p.m., on Monday, February 4th, Setting the Standard will showcase the talents that earned Cloer the lead as Valli in the Las Vegas production of the popular Tony Award-winning musical. For Setting the Standard, Travis will be backed up by the amazing piano work of Keith Thompson, who also serves as Musical Director (and just happens to hold that same position with Jersey Boys), along with Steve Flora on bass, Brian Czach on drums, Eric Tewalt on sax, Danny Falcone on trumpet, and Kevin Stout on trombone. Ticket prices are $25 and $35. Call (702) 749-2000 for reservations. See you there.

Urgent...As we approach our deadline, we have just gotten word that Travis Cloer, his wife Jen, and their baby daughter, are all quite ill. Travis has missed some Jersey Boys performances this week, and he will be unable to perform at The Smith Center on Monday night. A new date, Monday, March 4th, has been scheduled for his makeup show . If you already had reservations/tickets for next week, contact the box office about switching your evening at The Smith Center to March 4th.

Travis Cloer

Ted Keegan & David Thiergartner

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Good news...Members of The Phat Pack tell us that they will have a start (back) date SOON. The revue - featuring three former cast members of Phantom- The Las Vegas Spectacular (thus the PHat Pack name), Ted Keegan (the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and on Tour), Randal Keith (Jean Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway and on Tour), Bruce Ewing (Jinx in Forever Plaid on the National Tour and in Las Vegas), along with Joey Singer (Debbie Reynolds' Musical Director for more than 25 years) - were caught up in the mess at the downtown Plaza Hotel & Casino that resulted in the closing of the showroom, resulting in The Phat Pack and three other shows becoming homeless at the end of last December. Personally, we don't buy the story about the showroom "going dark to undergo some renovations involving lighting and sound equipment." We feel, if that were the case, there would have been advance notice for both the cast members of the shows, as well as potential audience members. In the "old days" of Las Vegas, it was common for almost all the shows in the city to go dark right after Thanksgiving, and reopen for the Christmas/New Year festivities. This gave, not only the performers and showroom crew members some vacation time, but the hotels "quiet time" to do whatever "sound and lighting renovations" or thorough cleaning that needed to be done. In the case of the Plaza, there was no warning. We don't know the real story, but if and when we do, we will share the information with our readers. In the meantime, stay tuned for news on The Phat Pack.

And speaking of the talented Phat Pack cast members...
There have been 16 Phantoms in the 25 year history of The Phantom Of The Opera on Broadway - and Ted Keegan (currently of The Phat Pack in Las Vegas) is one of them! Ted was invited to, and attended, the 25th anniversary performance of Broadway's Phantom on Saturday, January 26th, at the Imperial Theater in NYC, followed by a gala anniversary party at the NY Public Library. It was January 26th, 1988, when The Phantom of the Opera celebrated its Broadway opening night at the Majestic Theatre, after taking London audiences by storm a year prior. The romantic, Victorian-set melodrama would also capture U.S. audiences, earning seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The 25th gala anniversary performance left no question as to why this musical, which floats on Andrew Lloyd Webber's lush score, has continued to enthrall audiences a quarter of a century after it was first unmasked. The Phat Pack, starring Mr. Keegan, Randal Keith, Bruce Ewing, and Joey Singer, opened in Las Vegas last November, and is currently dark (not by their choice), supposedly, while the Plaza Showroom goes through renovations (see paragraph above).

Seen in accompanying photo is Ted Keegan with partner David Thiergartner at the 25th Anniversary Party for Broadway's The Phantom Of The Opera at the NY Public Library. David Thiergartner is half of the award-winning New York City interior design firm, Bradley Thiergartner.

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Some Liberace news...
What we HEAR is that the closed up Liberace Museum, on East Tropicana in Las Vegas, will be moving a portion (whatever will fit) into the former Jillian's at Neonopolis in downtown Las Vegas. We also heard, and saw photos from the Internet, of Liberace's former home on Shirley Street, not too far from the old museum, and very close to UNLV. It is in terrible disrepair, and bears very little resemblance to the place where Mr. Showmanship lived for many years. If we had to guess, or use our clairvoyant powers, we suspect that it would be too costly to bring the home back to its former glory, and the building (two houses next door to each other, that were connected years ago, forming one larger residence) will be demolished. What we KNOW. Remember the case of the missing desk? That would be the 18th century Louis XV-style desk that turned up missing from the Liberace Museum about three years ago? Try as we might, we could never get an honest explanation about WHERE it went, and WHY it was removed from the collection. Darin Hollingsworth (or perhaps Hollingsworthless, would be a better name for the onetime Executive Director of the museum, who was later named President, did a good job of trying to cover this up with lies. We suspected at the time, who might have been the mystery buyer of the piece of furniture. When we suggested who it was, more lies. In a 2010 story by Kristen Peterson for Las Vegas Weekly, she wrote, "Critics also complained last year about the sale of an ornate wooden desk, referred to as an 18th century Louis XV-style desk, purchased by Liberace from a museum in Florida. The desk, part of the museum collection for years, sat in a glass-enclosed nook off the costume room at the museum. It was sold to a buyer who saw it mentioned in a newspaper article. Hollingsworth and board members wouldn't say how much the museum received or who made the purchase. They said the money would be used to care for the museum's other artifacts, including pianos.

Liberace Desk

Lisa Smith

Hollingsworth, at the time, denied that the sale had anything to do with the museum and foundation's financial status. "It (the desk) was kind of out of place in the collection," he said. "Most people don't think antiques when they think Liberace. It's Liberace cars, costumes and pianos. "Deaquisitioning happens all the time in museums around the country, particularly for curatorial and preservation needs. From a curatorial standpoint, we were not able to care for that piece in the way that a collector can. I did it for the best intent of the artifact. I have no curatorial expertise for antiques." If he had "no curatorial expertise for antiques," and no experience running a museum, we have to wonder why Hollingsworthless was paid $120,000 a year! Anyway, we digress (we do that a lot). As we suspected, the desk was purchased by the often financially troubled Wayne Newton. We know people who have seen the piece in Wayne's Casa de Shenandoah home (or maybe FORMER Casa de Shenandoah home, as we are not sure who owns the property these days). Newton can't pay for the care of his horses and other creatures, but can, somehow, afford to own the historical desk? Amazing. Simply amazing.

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Lisa Smith on vocals, and Gary Peterson at the piano, will be performing in the lounge at Kelly's Prime Steak & Seafood (formerly Ruth's Chris Steakhouse), 3900 South Paradise Road, tonight, Friday, February 1st, and tomorrow, the 2nd, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. No cover charge, one drink minimum. There are Happy Hour Specials, from 3 to 7 p.m. Save 50% on well drinks, house wine and specialty martinis, as well as on the bar menu too. Go early to order your food and drinks, then stay for the live music. Call (702) 791-7011 for reservations.

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Alton Fitzgerald White, Mufasa in The Lion King, performs at New York City's Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd Street in Manhattan, at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 4th. Calling his show Winter Romance, Alton will present a musically diverse celebration of songs about love, sung in his deep, rich baritone voice. Ticket prices start at $20, plus a two beverage minimum. Get out of the cold and warm up with Alton for an Intimate Evening of Song at the Metropolitan Room on Monday. Save the date, and maybe even take a date! Please call (212) 206-0440 for reservations.

Alton Fitzgerald White

Stephen Caplan

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UNLV music faculty Stephen Caplan, oboe; Timothy Hoft, piano; and Janis McKay, bassoon, present a recital at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 4th in the Doc Rando Recital Hall. The program includes: "Trio #2 for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano" by Bill Douglas, commissioned by Caplan and McKay as part of a consortium and contains a variety of jazz elements including a "Bebop Waltz;" Henry Cowell "Three Chorales with Ostinati" for oboe and piano; "Andy Warhol Sez:" by Paul Moravec for bassoon and piano (will include visual media); Jean Francaix "Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano." Bill Douglas is a bassoonist-pianist-composer who toured and recorded for 30 years with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. As a bassoonist, he has played with the Toronto and New Haven Symphonies, and has recorded three RCA albums with Peter Serkin and Tashi. As a jazz pianist, he has toured and recorded with vibraphonist Gary Burton and bassist Eddie Gomez. Admission is free.

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The ladies are back by popular demand! Vienna to Weimar brings together two of New York's favorite cabaret artists, KT Sullivan and Karen Kohler, in a provocative blend of voices and feminine sensibilities. Journey with them from 1870s Vienna and the operetta of Strauss and Lehar to 1930s Berlin and the cabaret music of Hollaender, Weill, Brecht, Spoliansky and more. These two award-winning interpreters of the Great American and European songbooks, prove that love, lust, power and illusion are as timeless today as they were nearly 100 years ago. Shows are at Stage 72 (formerly The Triad) 158 W. 72nd Street in New York City, on Sundays, February 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th, and March 3rd and 10th, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Two drink minimum. Cash only. For online tickets, go to, or call (800) 838-3006.

Karen Kohler & KT Sullivan

Lysander Abadia

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From Lysander Abadia, Onyx Theatre Manager, comes this news...
Effective immediately, the upcoming run of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years has been cancelled at the Onyx Theatre. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the production team is no longer able to continue the production process. All other shows planned for the rest of 2013 at the Onyx Theatre will continue as planned. We at the Onyx thank everyone for their patronage, and we will see you in the audience for our current run of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, now until February 10th, and Next to Normal, a co-production between Huntsman Entertainment and Off-Strip Productions, running March 8th through 23rd. There will be more information to follow on these specific shows and the rest of our exciting season, including Patrick Marber's Dealer's Choice, Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, Cabaret, and Into the Woods. The Onyx Theatre is thrilled to be bringing Broadway to Las Vegas, and we are committed to provide high-quality entertainment at affordable ticket prices. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit our website at

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The Dollies

On Sunday, February 10th at 2 p.m. (doors open at 1:30), the Performing Arts Society of Nevada (PASNV) will present In The Mood For Love, in the theater at the Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod (east of Eastern, and north of Desert Inn). The program will feature the nostalgic singing group, The Dollies, a trio of beautiful, young vocalists who deliver a close harmony blend that is positively electric and emulates the unmistakable sound of the legendary Andrews Sisters. The Dollies will perform a bevy of romantic tunes, guaranteed to warm hearts, i.e. gorgeous ballads, mid-tempo floor shufflers and, of course, upbeat numbers like the ones that made the Andrews Sisters famous overnight including the sensational swing version of the Yiddish "Bei Mir Bist Du Shon" (translates "You're Beautiful To Me"), and their ever popular "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree." Joining The Dollies will be Sidney, Australia's, musical theater trouper, James Allen. An impassioned tenor, Allen's training and artistry transcends the ordinary. His high notes soar like Cupid's arrows when he delivers masterful renditions of classics such as "If Ever I Would Leave You" and "Danny Boy." Highlights of the program include the singers joining forces to perform a Broadway love song medley, including beloved hits like "Night and Day," "This Can't Be Love" and "Some Enchanted Evening," as well as a Gershwin love song medley, with favorites "S'Wonderful," "I've Got Rhythm" and "The Man I Love," along with many other reminiscent tunes that will never fade from our hearts. Also featured will be two extraordinary dance numbers from veteran hoofer, Brigid Kelly, including an East Indian Love Dance. Kelly began her career in Chicago's Mangam's Chateau (Al Capone's old haunt), and has performed for audiences around the world, from Tokyo to Suriname. With beautiful songs, spectacular vocal harmonies, and some of Las Vegas' most entertaining performers, this pre-Valentine's Day extravaganza, all in the key of romance, is sure to get you ready for love. Don't miss PASNV's In The Mood For Love variety program at the Winchester Theater. The Performing Arts Society of Nevada is a non-profit organization, dedicated to affordably bringing the Performing Arts to the public, and creating a venue for artists to explore new work and hone their craft. PASNV has been conducting programs and educational trips for more than 20 years. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $18 at the door with unreserved seating. For more information on how purchase tickets, please call PASNV at (702) 658-6741, or e-mail [email protected]

The Andrews Sisters

Patty Andrews 1918-2013

And speaking of the Andrews Sisters, Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of the singing trio, died of natural causes at her home in Northridge, California, Wednesday, January 30th. Steve Jones, of USA Today wrote, As lead singer of the Andrews sisters, Patty Andrews could warm the hearts and lift the spirits of GI's abroad, while keeping fans at home in a swinging mood. Andrews, the last surviving member of the sibling trio that ruled the pop charts in the 1930s and 1940s, died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 94. She was the youngest of the group, which included LaVerne and Maxene Andrews, and her dancing and humorous antics made her a crowd favorite. The sisters were the best-selling female vocal group in pop music history, selling an estimated 75 million to 100 million records, and were in constant demand for concerts, radio shows, films and product pitches. Among their familiar hits were "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," "Shortenin' (sic) Bread," "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "(I'll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time." They also had hits with Danny Kaye, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman and their bands. They worked most frequently with Bing Crosby, with whom they made "Don't Fence Me In," "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" and "Accentuate the Positive." But their influence went beyond the numbers, which included 113 charting Billboard hits, 46 of which made the top 10. They influenced a wide range of artists: Mel Torme, the McGuire Sisters, the Lennon Sisters, Manhattan Transfer, Barry Manilow and Christina Aguilera. Bette Midler's first No. 1 hit was a cover of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" in 1973, which sparked renewed interest in the sisters' music. Though their close, three-part harmonies were sublime, the sisters' working relationship was not always that way. Patty joined another group in 1951, and Laverne and Maxene learned about it from gossip columns. They would reunite five years later, but underlying tension would always be there. They continued to work together until 1967, when LaVerne died. Patty built a solo career playing variety shows and working in Las Vegas. Maxene went her own way as well, touring until she died in 1995. The sisters, who were raised near Minneapolis, developed their act from listening to the Boswell Sisters (a jazz vocal trio popular in the 1920s and early 1930s) on radio. They studied singers at the vaudeville house near their father's restaurant and soon began singing and performing with bands. When the family moved to New York, their mother got them a radio gig. That led to them signing with Decca Records and their careers took off from there. Patty Andrews married Martin Melcher, an agent who represented the sisters and Doris Day, in 1947. They divorced two years later, and he married Day. Patty married the band's pianist, Walter Weschler, in 1952. He became their manager and demanded more money for himself and Patty. The other two sisters rebelled, and lawsuits were filed between the two camps.

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What is wrong with THIS picture (or, perhaps we should ask, this "artwork")? As shameful as the above information is, equally shameful (in our opinion), is the fact that this artist of note, Martin Kreloff, has created a pop portrait of our current mayor, Carolyn Goodman, that he has not been allowed to present to her directly. Since this is a gift from Mr. Kreloff, the only "payment" (his works can fetch thousands) he would receive (and all that he wants), is to see the expression on the subjects' face when she sees the likeness that Kreloff has created of her. Is that too much to expect? Apparently, it is.

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Busy Gina Eckstine & Her Trio perform at Vicky's of Santa Fe, 45-100 Club Drive in Indian Wells, California, on Monday, February 4th. Vicky's of Santa Fe is the locale for the most exciting jazz series in the Desert, presenting six Jazz Programs by The American Jazz Institute, proceeds of which benefit The American Jazz Institute's in-school mentoring and music scholarship program in the Coachella Valley. These unique Supper Concerts headline international jazz personalities. This season features celebrity performers, both instrumentalists and vocalists, as well as tributes to famous songwriters and the musicians who record and perform their songs, all in an intimate and elegant setting. It starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Supper Club Lounge with no-host cocktails, followed by a special 3-course dinner and show. Gina is the youngest child of model/actress Carolle Drake, and legendary jazz singer, Billy Eckstine. Her career began at the age of 7, when she was invited on stage with her father during his nightclub act. Gina says, "From then I was hooked. I knew what I wanted to do...SING!" With family friends like the Four Tops, Quincy Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sarah Vaughan, Gina's household was a constant source of inspiration and guidance. At age 13, Gina began extensive vocal training and music study. She was a student at Ira Lee's Studio, Phil Moore's "For Singers Only" Workshop, and the Dick Grove School of Music. After witnessing Gina's graduation performance, her father decided that Gina was ready for his "College Of The Road." She joined her father in his show and traveled the world, sharing the stage with the likes of Count Basie, Sammy, and Bill Cosby. She also had the distinct pleasure of performing on The Tonight Show. After three years with The Billy Eckstine Show, Gina moved to California and started her own nightclub act, working exclusively for the La Costa Resort Hotel. Her show was a tremendous success and the Las Vegas connection was made. For nine years, Gina performed in all the major hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Gina performs as an opening act for major performers in Las Vegas, most recently for Brad Garrett, at both The Mirage and MGM Grand hotels. Gina performs a tribute show to her late father, and is working on a recording project.

Gina Eckstine

Gina Eckstine is a true artist. She performs all styles of music beautifully and her powerful presence and unique voice will captivate you. In one of her many reviews, Don Heckman, of the International Review of Music, wrote "Eckstine, whose father was Billy Eckstine, has the spunk, the spirit and the soul of her family's patriarch. At her best, she delivers a song with the same intense ability to tell a musical story."

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The January 16th edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal carried this story by Chris Sieroty.
Cirque du Soleil announces 400 layoffs
Cirque du Soleil, which operates seven shows in Las Vegas, announced it will lay off about 400 employees, or 9 percent of its staff, over the next three months, with the first round of job cuts happening before the end of the month. Cirque spokeswoman Renee-Claude Menard said Wednesday that almost 50 percent of the cuts will take place at the company's Montreal headquarters. Menard did not discuss how the layoffs will affect its Las Vegas business.
Cirque is scheduled to open its eighth permanent residency show locally, when "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour" debuts in mid-May at Mandalay Bay. Messages left with Cirque's Las Vegas-based spokesman Jeff Lovari were not returned. At a news conference Wednesday, Menard said the company was in good financial condition, but the company's growth, the strength of the Canadian dollar and production costs are causing it to review expenses. The company made almost $1 billion in revenue and sold 14.2 million tickets last year. Despite Cirque's profitability, five of the 19 shows produced by the company were canceled in the last year, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Dubai World, which invested in MGM Resorts International's CityCenter on the Strip, owns a 20 percent stake in Cirque du Soleil.
Apparently, even Cirque isn't immune from the current economy.

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The popular Las Vegas classic rock cover band, Crossfire, will perform at a special event at Sam's Town Live! to benefit the Police Unity Tour on Friday, February 8th at 8 p.m. The Police Unity Tour is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to raising awareness of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, through an annual bike ride. Crossfire features Dave O'Leary on guitar, Maurice David Crutcher on keyboards, Joey Hicks on drums, Brad Grover on guitar, Harold Madden on bass and Eric Knight singing lead vocals. Tickets are $10 in advance, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming box office, by calling (702) 284-7777, or visiting Tickets will be available at the door for $15, starting at 7 p.m. the night of the show. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Police Unity Tour. Sam's Town Live! is located inside Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, 5111 Boulder Highway.

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