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 June 28, 2013
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - June 28, 2013

Kristen Hertzenberg

Dolly Coulter

Would you like some incredible music with your fireworks? The Las Vegas Philharmonic presents 4th with the Phil at The Smith Center on Thursday. There will be activities and music taking place both outdoors at Symphony Park, and inside Reynolds Hall. Matt Catingub (the son of jazz singer/recording artist Mavis Rivers) will conduct the Philharmonic in an exciting Independence Day concert, featuring guest vocalists, Clint Holmes and Kristen Hertzenberg. Following the 7:30 outdoor concert, fireworks will take place in the park. Family Fun Day takes place from 4 to 10 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets for the Pops Concert in Reynolds Hall are $25, $50 and $75. VIP Packages at $125 (includes a BBQ in the Courtyard). Call (702) 749-2000 for additional information.

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Trunk Songs, the critically acclaimed original musical revue that had its Las Vegas premiere at The Onyx Theatre in February, is coming back to The Onyx for encore performances on Friday, July 5th, and Saturday the 6th, at 8 p.m. The production, directed by Jay Joseph, with musical direction by Karalyn Clark, is filled with songs that were cut from shows during try-outs on their way to Broadway or cabaret productions. The songs were written by three critically acclaimed composers - Gerald (Jerry) Sternbach, Faye Greenberg and John Kroner. Produced by ATOM Las Vegas, Trunk Songs stars some of Southern Nevada's finest talent: Lysander Abadia, Karalyn Clark, Dolly Coulter, Jay Joseph, Benjamin Loewy, Margaret (Gret) Menzies, and Kellie Wright. Tickets are only $20, and available at You won't want to miss the encore performances of Trunk Songs.

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The Dollies

The Performing Arts Society of Nevada proudly presents Salute to the Red, White and Blue, Sunday, July 7th at the Winchester Cultural Center Theater. The show, which starts at 2 p.m. (doors open at 1:30), will feature the nostalgic singing group, The Dollies, a trio of beautiful, young, female vocalists who deliver a close harmony blend on par with the unmistakable sound of the legendary Andrews Sisters. The Dollies will take the audience on a patriotic joyride, performing beloved songs from the World War II including the sensational swing version of the Yiddish "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon (To Me You Are Beautiful)," the ever popular "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and many other American favorites. Joining The Dollies will be Australia's musical theater trouper, Bally's Hotel & Casino lead singer and tenor extraordinaire, James Allen, from Donn Arden's Jubilee! Allen's training and artistry transcends the ordinary. His high notes soar like fireworks in the sky as he performs beloved hits like "Give My Regards To Broadway" and "I'm A Yankee Doodle Dandy," and when James delivers patriotic classics like "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Over There," even the stars stand at attention! A program highlight will be several performances by some of Las Vegas' most extraordinary dancers. This troupe of five, led by Florida State University Golden Girl veteran, Holly Lauren Dayton, are all currently performing in either Jubilee! at Bally's Hotel & Casino, or in Vegas! The Show at Planet Hollywood. The PASNV is proud to have enlisted these patriots to perform some very Star-Spangled hoofing to hits from Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. 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. The society has been conducting programs and educational trips for more than 20 years. Winchester Theater is located inside the Winchester Cultural Center at 3130 McLeod Dr., just north of E. Desert Inn and east of S. Eastern Ave. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $18 at the door with unreserved seating. For more information, please call PASNV at (702) 658-6741, or e-mail [email protected]. Don't miss PASNV's Salute to the Red, White and Blue.

James Allen

Holly Lauren Dayton

And still speaking of Dollies...
After more than two decades of enthusiastic, wall-to-wall audiences and worldwide acclaim, The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies will be closing its doors forever at the end of its 23rd season. The Follies final edition, The Last Hurrah!, will open on November 1st, with its closing performance on May 18th, 2014. When the final curtain falls in May of next year, some three million people will have seen the Follies - whose cast members range in age from 55 to 83 - perform pieces from the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Past headliners have included (in alphabetical order) Anna Maria Alberghetti, Kaye Ballard, Lou Christie, The Four Aces, Annette Funicello, Lesley Gore, Gogi Grant, Buddy Greco and Lezlie Anders, Howard Keel, Frankie Laine, Lorna Luft, Little Peggy March, Peter Marshall, Maureen McGovern, Barbara McNair, The Mills Brothers, The Modernaires, Donald O'Connor, Kay Starr, Ralph Young of Sandler and Young, and the Supreme Mary Wilson. Specialty acts included Las Vegans juggler Nino Frediani, and the late comic impressionist, Babe Pier. "It has been an amazing, wonderful ride," said producer and co-founder, Riff Markowitz." We have a feeling that Flo Ziegfeld would have also enjoyed the ride.

Fabulous Palm Springs Follies Ending Run

Mary Wilson

And, while still on the subject of Dollies, of a sort, showbiz maven, Grant Philipo, passes along this report on the campy musical, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, playing at The Venetian through August 18th.
I must say I didn't want to go into the Venetian Showroom fearing they had destroyed all the Incredible ambiance in the room itself. To my utter surprise and delight the showroom for the most part is Un-Touched! That in itself was a pleasure since as we all know, Vegas loves to destroy evidence of its past, even if the past was only a few years ago! From the beginning to the 120-minute end, the show was phenomenal! Unlike at the Smith Center, I heard almost every word and was overjoyed how closely the Musical resembled the plot of the Film. The performers could have been cast in, Donn Arden's "JUBILEE" they were that stunning! Flawless Dancing, Bodies and Voices. It was so wonderful to experience! The costumes were Fun and also stayed close to the Film's image, but for me the absolute star that wasn't a singing or dancing performer was that spectacular bus. OMG, what a visual Kaleidoscope of sheer beauty, it almost made me cry. Being a gay man, that is pretty easy but I think even straight men would have teared up! The three main characters were spot on perfect! The Ralph character looked so much like Terrence Stamp that it made you wonder. This one was a little softer but my god were they all this talented before they entered this show? I don't know but they are busting out with talent now. The other thing that really blew me away is they wore these miniature masks that without any make-up instantly gave them Drag-Queen Eyes, Lashes, etc... although you could see the clear band holding them on it was really smart of whoever came up with the idea. It added Magic to an already Magical experience! I highly recommend you go and see it before it leaves. It far surpasses any Circus-Style show we have in this town! So nice to see real singers, dancers and a majority male cast proving you don't need acrobatics, specialty acts and dangerous stunts to truly entertain an audience!
When they remake a Film into a movie I have Loved it always makes me hesitant to see the Musical. I'm happy to say I will add, "PRISCILLA" to "SUNSET BLVD." and "PHANTOM OF THE OPERA" for my very short list of Spectacular Successes! That is what I thought of the show. Now go and see it!
Thank you, Mr. Philipo.

And speaking of Mary Wilson, the entertainer has been in Australia for the Melbourne Jazz Festival, where she performed in a tribute to Lena Horne. Written by James Gavin, Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project, was seen in Las Vegas at The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz club in May of last year. Mary does not attempt to impersonate Lena Horne, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 92. In conjunction with Gavin‘s story, she honors the legendary entertainer by singing some of the songs associated with Ms. Horne‘s long and varied career. Among the Horne favorites heard in Stormy Weather are the title song, "Stormy Weather" by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler; "A Lady Must Live" by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart; "Why Was I Born?" by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II; and "Honeysuckle Rose" by Fats Waller and Andy Razaf. If you have the opportunity to see Stormy Weather with Mary Wilson, we recommend it.

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Our condolences go out to entertainer Marty Allen. His beloved sister, (Selma) Elaine Robin, passed away in Jupiter, Florida, on Monday, June 17th. Marty and his wife Karon Kate flew from Las Vegas to Florida, where they were joined by former Las Vegas friends, Howard Jochsberger (retired Boyd Gaming employee) and Ronald Labarbera. Edgley Cremation Services in West Palm Beach handled the services.

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If you missed Philip Fortenberry's first solo debut performance at The Smith Center last Sunday, the loss was yours. The sold out Cabaret Jazz club was full of notable members of the business and entertainment communities, enjoying Philip's life and career stories and piano selections by The Man at the Piano that included Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jellicle Ball" and "Memory" from Broadway‘s Cats, and "I Only Want to Say (aka John 19:41 from Jesus Christ Superstar; "Wayfaring Stranger;" Harold Arlen's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow;" "Malaguena" (Lecuona); "Rosamund's Dream" from Alfred Uhry and Robert Waldman‘s The Robber Bridegroom; "Whirling Leaves" (Burnham); "Prelude in G# Major" (Rachmaninoff); "Great is Thy Faithfulness" (Chisholm/ Runyan); "Sabre Dance" (Khachaturian); Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens‘s "The Gettin' Ready Rag" from Ragtime; "Sonata in B Major-Allergo ma non troppo" (Bortkiewicz); "Nola" (Arndt/ arrangement: Liberace); "Chopsticks" (de Lulli/ arrangement: Liberace); and a beautiful Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II medley consisting of segments from The Sound of Music, South Pacific, The King and I, and Oklahoma!, including, "The Sound of Music," "People Will Say We're in Love," "Some Enchanted Evening," "Younger Than Springtime," "We Kiss in the Shadows," "I Have Dreamed," "If I Loved You," "Something Wonderful," "Carousel Waltz," "Honey Bun," "Oklahoma!" (with a little Chopin Polonaise in A-flat added in), "Nothin' Like a Dame" and "Do Re Mi." Fortenberry ended his Sunday performance with an emotional encore, "The Lord's Prayer" (Malotte), dedicated to an important childhood influence in Fortenberry's life, "Little Bit."

Philip Fortenberry at Smith Center

Among those in the audience were Anna McNeely (from the original Broadway cast of CATS, and Beauty and The Beast); Eric Jordan Young (Broadway veteran who plays Sammy Davis in Vegas! The Show); Kristen Hertzenberg, Joan Sobel, Rebecca Spencer, and Tina Walsh (all former principle performers in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular); stars of The Phat Pack, Bruce Ewing, Randal Keith and Joey Singer (Joey also conducts for the ever-young, Debbie Reynolds); Tony Arias (of Tony & Lloyd fame); Richard Oberacker, conductor for Cirque du Soleil's KA; Keith Thompson and Aaron Dejesus (from Jersey Boys); Gail Bennett (The Producers and national tour of Mary Poppins); Frank Leone, president of the Musicians Union of Las Vegas Local 369; Dave Richardson, conductor/pianist for Rock of Ages and also a member of Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns; Will Adamson, President & Chairman of the Cockroach Theatre; Rebecca Spencer‘s hubby, Director of Production at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Jim D'Asaro; Dana Satterwhite, husband of Kristen Hertzenberg and owner of the TastySpace gallery in downtown's Emergency Arts building; and Las Vegas' most observant journalist, John Katsilometes. We were most honored to have shared our table with Smith Center for the Performing Arts Founders, Norman Forrester and Bill Griffin. It was a lovely, inspirational afternoon. For those who missed Philip‘s Smith Center solo debut, good news. Mr. Fortenberry's Man at the Piano returns to for an encore performance at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 21st. Tickets are $25 and $35. We suggest you order them, sooner than later. Call the Smith Center Box Office at (702) 749-2000.
(Thank you, Shelley Mansholt, for providing the song list.)

Tina Walsh, Keith Thompson, Joan Sobel & Tish Diaz

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Funny man, Rich Natole, who always makes a good and lasting impression, is doing just that, at 7 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays, in the Bonkerz Comedy Club at the Plaza Hotel downtown. Natole showcases more than 100 celebrities in his Voices of a Generation show.
Rich presents a people pleasing, fast moving show. Whether you love comedy, love impressionists, or just love to be fully entertained, Rich Natole will exceed your expectations with Voices Of A Generation. Tickets are $48.94 ($21.44 for locals, $25.84 for 2 for 1. Call (800) 634-6575.
The Phat Pack, made up of musical theater stars, Bruce Ewing, Ted Keegan and Randal Keith, who were all cast members of Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, perform in the Showroom at the Plaza, in shows at 5 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. If you time it right, you can see both Rich Natole and the charming cabaret revue in one trip to the Plaza. Tickets for The Phat Pack are $34.95. For Phat Pack reservations, call (702) 386-2507.

Rich Natole & Kermit

And speaking of funny men...If you have been watching the audition portions of TV's America's Got Talent, you probably saw comic, Taylor Williamson, who won over the reality show's judges - the Howie/Howards, Mandel and Stern; Heidi Klum, and Spice Girl Melanie "Mel B" Brown - earlier this week. Williamson is currently appearing at the Improv Comedy Club at Harrah's, along with Jeff Dye and Matt Markman, in shows at 8:30 and 10 p.m., through Sunday. Must be at least 18 to attend. Contact 855-234-7469 702-777-2782
Visit The Improv online at We have seen some very impressive talent during the audition weeks. We predict an interesting, very competitive season.

Taylor Williamson

David Romero

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David Romero, musician and percussionist to some of the biggest names in the music industry for more than 30 years, is suffering from congestive heart failure. David has suffered with this heart condition for most of his life. He was first diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of three. Over the years, his condition has worsened and he is now in need of a heart transplant. David's wife of 21 years, Marilyn, is also dealing with serious health issues and is permanently disabled. The Romeros are in serious medical debt and in need of help.

On Sunday, June 30th, from 2 to 6 p.m., there will be a star-studded fund raiser for the Romero Family, in association with the Hispanic Museum of Nevada (501c3) at the V Theater located in the Miracle Mile shops at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino. Among the performers scheduled to appear are, Grammy Award Winner and Latin Jazz Super Star, Poncho Sanchez; Pete Escovedo; the cast of Hitzville the Motown revue, featuring Jin-Jin Reeves; Jerry Lopez with Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns, and The David Romero Salsa All Stars; the Michito Sanchez Salsa Orchestra, Rosa Penichet, Jiovanni Cofino, Willie Tanon, and more; the Latin All Star Orchestra, and Latin Breeze. Rick Arroyo and Joe Torres and D.J. Jose Munoz will be proving music throughout the concert. All of the talent is volunteering their time to help the Romero family. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door, with $75 V.I.P. tickets offering special privileges. Advanced tickets may be purchased by calling "Carmen James" at (702) 372-6754. There will be raffles, silent auctions and giveaways throughout the event. A Cash Bar will be available. To get to the V Theater, 3663 Las Vegas Blvd. at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino on the Strip inside the Miracle Mile Shops, we suggest parking in Valet or the Garage of Planet Hollywood. Look for the Miracle Mile Shops leading to the V Theater!

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Some of the fireworks you see and hear on Thursday might be to honor entertainer Frank Marino and his partner Alex Schechter, vice president at spi entertainment, as they celebrate 20 years of togetherness on the 4th.

Alex Schechter & Frank Marino

Paula Deen on Today Show

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On Wednesday, in a pair of landmark decisions, the Supreme Court struck down the 1996 law blocking federal recognition of gay marriage, and allowed gay marriage to resume in California by declining to decide a separate case. The court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to gay couples who are legally married in their states, including Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave. The act wrote inequality into federal law and violated the Fifth Amendment's protection of equal liberty. Rainbows are beautiful things.

Maybe, if people who did ugly, as in the recent case of "southern belle" Paula Deen, had to pay through the wallet, as Deen will do following a number of companies who have severed their business ties with her, some of the hateful talk would stop. The Food Network issued a statement saying it will not renew the contract for Paula Deen, who has been embroiled in controversy over the last week, after she admitted to using racial slurs in the past and failed to show up for a scheduled interview on the TODAY show last Friday. On Monday, Deen lost another part of her empire when Smithfield Foods said it was dropping her as a spokeswoman. And, then on Wednesday, a couple of hours following her rescheduled visit to the Today show (we feel she would have been ahead of the game had she NOT done that interview with Matt Lauer at all), Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced that it had reached an agreement not to continue a business relationship with Deen's company, Paula Deen Enterprises. Caesars operates Paula Deen's Kitchen in four of its casinos - in Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina and Mississippi - which it intends to re-brand. Wednesday afternoon, Wal-Mart moved to sever ties with Deen, while Home Depot followed suit shortly after. Yesterday, Thursday, QVC‘s president and CEO, Mike George, wrote a blog post saying that, "For now, we have decided to take a pause. Paula won't be appearing on any upcoming broadcasts and we will phase out her product assortment on our online sales channels over the next few months." Diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk and Target also distanced themselves from Deen on Thursday. Deen, who has Type 2 diabetes, had been a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug, Victoza. Target announced that it is ending its relationship with Deen entirely. "We have made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on,'' the company said in a statement. "Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory." Sears and Kmart say they are exploring next steps as they pertain to Deen's products. Do the punishments fit the crime. Maybe yes. Maybe no. But there is a very costly lesson to be learned here. After acknowledging that she had used the racial slur on occasion, in more recent statements, Deen claimed that she had only used the N-word once. Does anyone believe that? In our experience, we have found that people who use degrading and hateful words of that nature, use them regularly or not at all. When Deen was asked about racist jokes, she responded that she could not determine what offended various groups of people. Lauer specifically asked Deen if she had any doubt that African-Americans found the N-word offensive. "I don't know," she responded. "I have asked myself that so many times." The woman is 66-years-old, and doesn't know that the N-word is offensive to many people, not just African-Americans? Is she really THAT ignorant? Maybe she could have followed up that brilliant statement with, "Some of my best friends are ___ (fill in the blank)." Paula never really did make much of and apology during her interview with Lauer. To our way of thinking, it didn't really matter. We don't think she was sorry for what she said. We think she was sorry for getting caught, and what it will cost her. An apology would have been too little, too late anyway. Sometimes, "I'm sorry" just isn't enough. Payback is a bitch.
We have to wonder how Paula Deen feels about Wednesday's Supreme Court decision, and if she has ever used the F-word in casual conversation.

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Late on Thursday, we were told that veteran Vegas entertainer Jim Hodge had passed away. As we reach our deadline, we have no other information.

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Last Chance to see the Lon Bronson Band at Aliante in North Las Vegas, tomorrow, Saturday, night, June 29th, starting at 9:30.

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Sunday's Golden Rainbow Ribbon of Life production, celebrating 27 years of service to the HIV/AIDS community, will include a tribute to the late Kenny Kerr. Some of the top female impersonators in the city - including Jimmy Emerson, Toni James, Larry Edwards, Sammy Gonzales, Crystal Woods, Andrew Ryan, Shawn Magby, Ryan Zink and Alex Sherpa - will participate. There will be a short video of Kenny, followed by three of the "ladies" doing some of Kenny's famous "toasts."

Wes Winters & Showgirls Rehearse

Add entertainer Wes Winters, and company, to the list of performers donating their time and talent to the Sunday afternoon spectacular. Wes doesn't usually do "subtle," so it isn't too surprising to learn that his appearance in Tributes 2013 will include a quartet of lovely, beautifully costumed dancing showgirls - Andrea Avruskia, Alexandra Zevalking, Brittany Guinane and Stephanie Deppensmith. They will join Wes in a tribute to Liberace production number, complete with a grand piano, vocals and of course a little soft shoe, built around Jerry Herman's "Mame." The group has been rehearsing in Wes' tropical back yard to prepare for the event.

Golden Rainbow's 27th annual Ribbon of Life show, called Tributes 2013, will take place in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, this Sunday, June 30th, beginning at 1 p.m. Tickets prices range from $38 to $212. For information and reservations, visit, or call The Smith Center Box Office at (702) 749-2000.

And speaking of Wes Winters, the South Point is adding a special July 4th performance by Wes in the Grandview Lounge, so you can see him for three evenings in a row next week - Thursday, Friday and Saturday - from 6 to 9 p.m. Take your out-of-town holiday guests to the South Point Grandview Lounge for Las Vegas entertainment at its best. Wes also resumes his Rampart Casino Addison's Lounge Tuesday shows, beginning on July 2nd. Show times are from 6 to 9 p.m., through July.

And speaking of Jimmy Emerson, he might be one of the busiest fellows around! Here is his schedule this weekend...
This morning (Friday), Jimmy was rehearsing for his Sunday appearance in Golden Rainbow's Ribbon of Life, where he will be part of a tribute to the late Kenny Kerr. This afternoon Jimmy was rehearsing for his 11 p.m. show tonight at Badlands Saloon, 953 E. Sahara. He serves as host of the weekly Fabulous Funny Fridays Variety Show, featuring talented guests such as Vita Corimbi, Kellie Wright (Vita and Kellie both performed with Jimmy in Bill Fayne's The Book of MERMAN), Paul Pratt, John Isley, Brent Allen, Ryan Zink, John XXX, Toni James, Valli Attaya, and Des'rea (not sure about this spelling) St. James, who stop by with a song or a joke. Pier Marini does piano duties. Reserve a seat for $5 by calling (702) 792-9262. Tomorrow, Saturday, June 28th, following another Golden Rainbow rehearsal, Jimmy will fill in for Frank Marino as host/hostess of Divas Las Vegas at The Quad (formerly the Imperial Palace). On Sunday, it's Golden Rainbow starting at 1 p.m. (Jimmy will be hosting Divas July 4th, 6th and 7th, and then again on August 3rd and 4th.) Jimmy also hosts Rainbow Sunday's, an open mic show at the Tuscany on East Flamingo. We TOLD you he was busy!

Jimmy Emerson

Nelson Kole

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We inadvertently omitted Nelson Kole's photo in connection with our blurb about him. If you wondered what he looks like, we are including his picture this week...just because.

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Neil Diamond/Rob Garrett fans are in for treat, as this summer promises to be a hot one! Las Vegas' "King of Diamonds" returns to the Chrome Showroom in Santa Fe Station after an eight-year absence (Rob actually opened the place). He will perform one concert on Saturday, July 6th at 7 p.m. Garrett, who has actually been described by at least one local columnist as being "Best Tribute Act in the Business," has been a working Las Vegas performer for more than 30 years, and possesses the uncanny ability to actually make audience members forget they are watching a tribute act. His physical and vocal resemblance to the "Jewish Elvis" are unparalleled, and he manages to do it with a talented array of local musicians as opposed to the standard bells and whistles that are generally associated with tribute production shows. He has accumulated quite a fan base in Las Vegas and around the USA. In 2008, Garrett was awarded the title of "Male Musical Tribute Act of the Year," making him the only Neil Diamond act to ever win such an honor. Joining Garrett on stage are Keith Neal (guitar/vocals), Daryl Slade (bass), Steve Gerard (keyboards), Jay Boyer (keyboards), Jeff Borree (drums), LJ Harness (percussion), and Russine Zellner and Rosanna Telford (vocals). There is a $15 per person charge to see this show. The Santa Fe Station Casino is located at 4949 N. Rancho Drive. The "Solitary Man" cometh...

And speaking of Rob Garrett and Rosanna Telford, they were among some of the folks who performed at Mandalay Bay's Foundation Room last night. Steve Hart, the Room's General Manager, welcomed the Vegas Underground and their guest performers to a night of great music, drinks and one of the most breathtaking views of the city. The Monday night Tap House open mic, hosted by the Vegas Underground, has quickly blazed a trail that led to a front page story in the Los Angeles Times. Also entertaining at the Foundation Room were Sandy Anderson, Dolly Parton tribute artist; Lydia Ansel and her electric violin; Ricco Diamante, Las Vegas showman/vocalist; Kent Foote, lead vocalist of The Vegas Good Fellas band; Mark Giovi, host of the Vegas Underground; LJ Harness, drummer for the Vegas Underground; Steve Hart, who showed his rock 'n roll vocal roots; Sherri Klein, lead singer of the Red Velvet Band; Marc Love, vocalist and host of Jukebox Fridays at the Italian American Club; David Perrico, trumpeter who headlines at the Stratosphere; Chris Phillips, Red Rock headlining vocalist and leader of Zowie Bowie; Sam Riddle, country and western headliner at Gilley's and Sunset Station; Frankie Scinta, member of the iconic Scintas headlining at downtown's the D Casino & Hotel (formerly Fitzgeralds); Paul Shortino, vocalist formerly of Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot, current star of Raiding the Rock Vault at the LVH (formerly Hilton); magician/ vocalist Ben Stone, Liverpool native; and Jasmine Trias, Season Three's American Idol finalist.

Rob Garrett

Windy Karigianes

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Vocalist Windy Karigianes will perform at The Dispensary Lounge, 2451 E. Tropicana at Eastern, tomorrow night, Saturday, June 29th, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Windy will be accompanied by Uli Geissendorfer on keys, Fred Watstein on bass, and Mike Mechem on drums. Expect some drop in guests to add to the mix. Call (702) 458-6343.

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Kellie Pickler will perform in the Veil Pavilion at the Silverton Casino Hotel, 3333 Blue Diamond Rd., next Friday, July 5th at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7). Pickler, who celebrates her 27th birthday today, is a country music artist and television personality. The North Carolinian gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of American Idol, and finished in sixth place. In 2006, she signed to 19 Recordings and BNA Records as a recording artist, releasing her debut album, Small Town Girl, later that year. As of 2009, the album has sold more than 800,000 copies. Small Town Girl, which was certified gold by the RIAA, produced three singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, "Red High Heels" at No. 15, "I Wonder" at No. 14, and "Things That Never Cross a Man's Mind" at No. 16. She released her self-titled second album in Fall 2008, and has produced the singles "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" at No. 21, "Best Days of Your Life" (which she co-wrote with Taylor Swift) at No. 9, becoming her first Top 10 hit, "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You" at No. 14, and "Makin' Me Fall in Love Again" at No. 30. In 2012, she was ranked as the 14th best American Idol alumna. In October 2012, she signed with Black River Entertainment. On May 21, 2013, Kellie Pickler and her partner, Derek Hough, were declared the winners of the 16th season of Dancing with the Stars. Tickets for Kellie Pickler at the Silverton are $40 General Admission, $50 VIP Admission and $85 VIP Meet and Greet. Call (702) 263-7777.

Kellie Pickler

Paula Poundstone

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Comedienne, writer, actress and author, Paula Poundstone, is bringing her unique stand-up act back to The Orleans Showroom, Friday, July 5th and Saturday, the 6th. Poundstone began nurturing her stand-up comedy talent in 1979 on the Boston comedy scene before heading to San Francisco. By 1990, she had moved to Los Angeles, starred in multiple HBO comedy specials and appeared on Saturday Night Live. Poundstone was the first woman to receive a Cable ACE Award for a comedy special, her one-hour HBO special, Cats, Cops, and Stuff. She received her second Cable ACE Award for her self-titled HBO talk show series. Continuing with many successes throughout the 1990s, Poundstone starred in The Paula Poundstone Show on ABC, appeared in her second one-hour special on HBO titled Paula Poundstone Goes to Harvard, and appeared on camera and as the voice of characters in several television shows, including Cybill, Science Court, Hercules and Home Movies. In 2007, she appeared in a BRAVO comedy special, Paula Poundstone: Look What the Cat Dragged In. Poundstone is the recipient of an Emmy® Award for her field pieces on the PBS program, Life & Times, and most recently appeared in the television documentary, Why We Laugh: Funny Women. Poundstone is a regular panelist on NPR's weekly quiz program, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me, where her impeccable timing is key to the show's format. She has written several magazine articles, including five years of writing the back page column in Mother Jones, and has authored multiple books, including There's Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say. Her first comedy CD, I HEART JOKES: Paula Tells Them In Maine, is available at The Orleans show time each evening is 8 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $19.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting

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What, pray tell, is going on over at the LVH? It seems to be the house of many changes. Not only does the name of the place change every few decades (the International, the Las Vegas Hilton, the LVH), main room shows come and go...sometimes going before they even open, i.e. the disappearing magic shows, Steve Wyrick and Triumph (which sure wasn't a triumph). The musical comedy revue, Nunsense, quietly closed at the LVH at the end of March (listings for the show are still running in some of the tourist magazines). In the past couple of weeks, Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show departed the LVH, as did classical guitarist Esteban and his violin-playing daughter, Teresa Joy. And Rich Little ends his Jimmy Stewart & Friends show on July 1st.

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One of Las Vegas' hottest comedy venues is on the move. Starting July 3rd, Big Al's Comedy Club, named "Best Bargain Show in Las Vegas" by the staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, will move from The Orleans to a larger venue at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino. In its new home in the Gold Coast Showroom Lounge - formerly the location of shows and acts including, Paul Stone's Vegas Magic Theatre, Hello Dere starring Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell, Society of Seven, Forever Plaid, and Debbie Boone - Big Al's Comedy Club will have additional seating and state-of-the-art equipment. Tickets will remain $19.95 (including one drink); show times will move to Wednesdays through Saturdays, 7 p.m. each evening. "In just a couple of years, Big Al's Comedy Club has grown into one of the most popular comedy destinations in Las Vegas," said Terry Jenkins, Corporate Director of Entertainment for Boyd Gaming. "The Gold Coast will provide additional space to accommodate larger audiences, as well as a better experience for guests and performers. And with a location closer to the Strip, we'll have the opportunity to introduce Big Al's to an entirely new group of customers." The line up for July includes: Bob Golub with Penny Prince (July 3-6), Mike Marino with Murray Valeriano (July 10-13), Rob Sherwood with Jen Murphy (July 17-20), and Paul Ogata with Yoursie Thomas (July 24-27).

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Forget your troubles. Come on get happy. All is right with the world, with the news on Sunday, that Twinkies, and other Hostess snack cakes, will be back on store shelves, and, the company hopes, on your shopping list, come July 15th. The company that went bankrupt, after an acrimonious fight with its unionized workers last year, is back up and running under new owners and a leaner structure.

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Coming up at the Mad Greek Café, 8565 W. Sahara at Durango, on Tuesday July 9th, are Mark Giovi and Nik Mastrangelo performing Broadway hits. And, if you are planning ahead, on Thursday, August 1st, it's Kristen Hertzenberg, singing with the Tyler Williams Trio at the Mad Greek. Kristen played Christine Daae in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular during the productions' run at The Venetian. There is never a cover charge at the Mad Greek. Show times are from 7 to 10 p.m. Since the place fills up quickly on music nights, reservations are suggested. Call the café at (702) 242-7669.

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Cheryl Bentyne and Mark Winkler will be opening the Syracuse Jazz Festival on the Verizon Main Stage, Thursday, July 4th from 5 to 6 p.m. They are appearing on the same bill as The Preservation Jazz Band, the Brubeck Brothers, Taylor Dayne and the Doobie Brothers. It's free!!! Cheryl and Mark are so excited to be bringing West Coast Cool (the name of their fantastic album) to East Coast Hot!!! After they knock 'em dead in Syracuse, Winkler and Bentyne (an original member of the vocal ensemble, Manhattan Transfer) are taking some West Coast Cool to the Arizona desert! Join them at the Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson on Friday, July 5th.

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Doug Davidson Wins Daytime Emmy

For only the second time in 40 years (the first time was in 1978), Days of Our Lives won drama series honors at the Daytime Emmys on Father's Day Sunday, June 16th. The NBC soap opera, that began in 1965, beat out defending champion General Hospital and former three-time winner, The Bold and the Beautiful, among others. The category included the only four remaining soaps still airing on the broadcast networks. One Life to Live has found new life on the Internet after being canceled. Doug Davidson of The Young and the Restless won lead acting honors. Davidson earned his first career trophy for a role he has played since 1978. He had been nominated seven times in various categories for playing Detective Paul Williams on the CBS soap. "It suddenly occurs to me that the presenters are younger than my tux," he said. "I would like to thank the viewers. They have been more than fans, they've been like family to me. They've supported my character in some very difficult times." From 1998 through 2003, Davidson served as a host of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. He also hosted the stage show adaptation of The Price Is Right Live!, at Harrah's in Las Vegas. Other than this connection to our city, why, you may wonder, are we including this item in our column? Because, Mr. Davidson has been married to someone we have known since around 1967, when she was just a little Valley Girl. Doug and actress, Cindy Fisher, have been husband and wife for almost 30 years. They are the parents of two children, daughter Calyssa, an award-winning violinist, and son Caden. Congratulations on your long overdue win, Doug Davidson.

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