Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column

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

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from July 12, 2013
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - July 12, 2013

Michael Cavanaugh

Dr. Mark Wherry

PK Music and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts present The Composers Showcase in the Cabaret Jazz club, on Wednesday, July 17th. The Summer is heating up with more great original music. For this month's edition of The Composers Showcase, there are several new writers and performers on the line-up, along with many favorites. Tony-nominated singer/ songwriter, Michael Cavanaugh, most well-known for playing the piano/lead vocals in the band for the Broadway musical, Movin' Out, featuring the songs of Billy Joel, will be participating, along with members of the companies of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Rock of Ages, Million Dollar Quartet, and, of course, Jersey Boys! Among the composers featured this month are The Apple Sisters, Michael Brennan, Troy Burgess, Michael Cavanaugh, Philip Drennen, Wayne Green, Christopher Lash, Rob Marnell, Johnny Miles, Richard Oberacker, Keith Thompson, Mark Wherry and Walter White. Performers include Tony Arias, Jen Cantorna, Douglas Crawford, Aaron DeJesus, Mike Erickson, Graham Fenton, Kimmy Gatewood, Ben Hale, Kristen Hertzenberg, Stephen Carter-Hicks, Corwyn Hodge, Christine Hudman, Rebekka Johnson, Nicole Kaplan, Martin Kaye, Jeff Leibow, Sarah Lowe, Jason Martinez, Joan Sobel, Jarvis Moorehead, Brett Palmer, Niki Scalera, Courter Simmons, and others! The Players include Ralph Agresta, Gary Cordell, Mike Epperhart, Dan Falcone, Philip Fortenberry, Dave Hart, David Kancsar, Jeremy Meronuck, James Nelson, Keith Nelson, Mark Pardy, Dave Richardson, Dave Stambaugh, Kevin Stout, Eric Tewalt, and Tyler Williams. Sound is by Kevin Harvey, and lights by Jeremy W. Hodges. Cabaret Jazz is located in the Boman Pavilion at The Smith Center, 361 Symphony Park Avenue in downtown Las Vegas. Start time for the Composers Showcase is 10:30 p.m. (after theater), with doors to Cabaret Jazz opening at 9:30. There is a Cash Bar/Late Night Menu Available. Tickets are on sale at $20, but going fast. For reservations, call (702) 749-2000, or go online to Walk-ups are welcome, if there are still seats available. Check out Composers Showcase information at

Keith Nelson

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

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They (whoever "they" are) say that when one door closes, another one opens. That sometimes seems to be the case with shows, as well as doors, in Las Vegas. In spite of rave reviews from both critics and audience members, the Tony Award-winning musical, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, will end its run at The Venetian considerably earlier than originally announced. The tour had been booked for 11 weeks at The Venetian. It was then cut to nine weeks, and this week, cut to five. The Las Vegas engagement of Priscilla, the show's longest stop on the North American tour, will end after the July 21st performance, with the cast having done 30 performances at The Venetian. From here, the Priscilla bus moves on to the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco.

It has also just been announced that Tony Award-winner, Jerry Mitchell's Peepshow will close at Planet Hollywood, following the performance on Sunday, Labor Day, September 1st, after a more than four year run. Media maven, John Katsilometes, reports that "Peepshow will have performed 1,500 shows by the time it closes in September." Principle performers in the show have included Coco Austin (dancer/model), Spice Girl Melanie "Mel B" Brown (new this season as a judge on America's Got Talent), Shoshana Bean (Broadway‘s Hairspray and Wicked), Holly Madison (model/showgirl, Dancing With the Stars), Kelly Monaco (soap star, Dancing With the Stars winner), Aubrey O'Day (singer/actress/model, Broadway's Hairspray), and Josh Strickland (former American Idol competitor, and star of Disney's Tarzan on Broadway).

Peepshow Closing in September

Over on Paradise Road, a new show has been added at the LVH Hotel entertainment lineup. The D* Word - A Musical (*Ditched, Dumped, Divorced and Dating) opened on Wednesday in the Shimmer Cabaret. From Jeanie Linders, the creator/writer/producer of the smash international hit, Menopause the Musical, comes the new party show of all our lives, The D*Word – A Musical (*Ditched, Dumped, Divorced and Dating!), a 90-minute laugh-aloud, sing-a-long celebration follows the woes and wows of four single and single-again women who learn the art of happily EVEN after with the help of martinis, Mojo Makeovers and girlfriend magic. Featuring songs from "I Will Survive" and "Hot Stuff," to "Before He Cheats" and "Turn Me On!," this party show will have you D*ancing in the aisles.

And speaking of openings at the LVH, the property is proud to announce the grand opening of its new Poker Pit, today, Friday, July 12th. Located in the main casino near the Tempo lounge, the new pit offers a full array of games, including Hold 'Em, Stud, Stud 8 or Better, Omaha 8 or Better and other games upon request. An interesting menu of tournaments will also be offered, including Survivor Tournaments, Ladies Tournaments, No Limit Tournaments and HORSE Tournaments. Tom McEvoy, World Series of Poker Champion and author on poker, is the LVH's celebrity poker host. Players will be able to sit next to him on most days in the Poker Pit. For further information on all of the games and limits offered, and all tournament details, visit, or visit the LVH Poker Pit on the casino floor.

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Due to the forest fires burning in the Mt. Charleston area, we suggest calling Super Summer Theatre before heading in that direction to see the musical, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, or any of the other upcoming offerings (Legally Blonde the Musical, Mel Brooks' The Producers), just to check the status of the roadways and/or the air. The number for Super Summer Theatre is (702) 594-7529.

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Lots of fun, and funny, stuff going on at the downtown Plaza Hotel Casino these nights. Louie Anderson Live! (as opposed to WHAT?) opened in the hotel's main showroom on Wednesday. This engagement follows an almost three year run at the Palace Station for Louis Anderson, that ended in March, and an ABC TV reality diving show called Splash (which, coincidentally premiered in March). In his new live show at the Plaza, the Emmy Award-winning versatile and successful comedian, shares his childhood ups and downs as one of 11 children from Minnesota. From the beginning of his career, Louie crafted comedy routines that rang true for his early club audiences while reducing them to helpless fits of laughter. Johnny Carson invited Louie to make his national television debut on The Tonight Show in 1984, and the rest is history. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comic Relief, as well as Showtime and HBO specials, have all elevated Anderson to a household name. Louie has guest-starred in numerous sitcoms and television dramas, and played feature film roles in Coming to America opposite Eddie Murphy, and the classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In 1995, Anderson put his creative energies to work on the Saturday morning award-winning animated series, Life with Louie. His bestselling books include Dear Dad – Letters from an Adult Child, and Good-bye Jumbo...Hello Cruel World. His latest book is The F Word, How to Survive Your Family. Appropriate for all ages, and timed just right for all at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays, Louie Anderson Live! at the Plaza ticket prices start at $59.95 plus taxes and fees for general admission. To buy tickets, please visit the Casino Box Office adjacent to the front desk, or call (702) 386-2507.

Louie Anderson

Rich Natole

Get ready to laugh yourself silly as Joe Sanfelippo brings hard-hitting comedy to the Plaza, via Bonkerz Comedy Club in the hotel's Zbar. Comic Impressionist, Rich Natole, performs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m.; it's Comedy Italian Style, Thursdays and Fridays at 9 p.m.; and on Sundays and Mondays at 7 p.m., Viva Vegas plays in the Bonkerz Comedy Club.
Ticket prices start at $39.99 plus taxes and fees for general admission. To purchase tickets, please visit the Casino Box Office adjacent to the front desk, or call (702) 386-2507.

And The Phat Pack, a talent-packed 75-minute musical comedy revue, featuring Bruce Ewing, Ted Keegan and Randal Keith, offers shows in the main theater, Wednesdays through Sundays at 5 p.m. Enjoy Broadway numbers, Vegas standards and original music as these three Broadway performers, who all were cast members in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, share their personal journeys through story and song. Ticket prices start at $34.95 plus taxes and fees for general admission. To purchase tickets, visit the Casino Box Office adjacent to the front desk or call (702) 386-2507.

The Phat Pack

Rosanna Telford

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Obviously, word has gotten around about the good times that go on at the monthly F.I.O.R.E. gatherings. What used to be a well-kept secret, attracting about 40 or 50 attendees for each meeting, now generates more than 100 fun-seekers (thank you, Jackie Vernon). Yesterday's evening get-together, at the Italian American Club, attracted approximately 170 compatible people. We will tell about it, and have some photos, in next Friday's column.

And, speaking of the Italian American Club, Sam Wagmeister passes along this info. Since arriving in Las Vegas a year ago, Rosanna Telford has taken Las Vegas by storm. Rosanna has quickly made a name for herself in a town that attracts so many performers. Following a recent appearance at Palace Station, audience members rose to their feet and shouted for "more" from Telford. Considered one of top jazz and contemporary singers in her native Costa Rica, she has expanded her repertoire and now includes tributes to Connie Francis and Patsy Cline. According to Mr. Wagmeister (we weren't there to see and hear for ourselves), last Saturday, July 6th, in Rob Garrett's Neil Diamond tribute show at the Santa Fe Station Chrome Showroom, audiences thrilled to Rosanna's duet with Rob of the Neil Diamond/Barbra Streisand hit, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." Last night, the pretty and talented Ms. Telford took to the stage in the newly refurbished Italian American Club showcase lounge for a 7 p.m. performance, charming the full house crowd with her vocal abilities and charm.

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Opening night for Kona Kozy's Comedy & Magic Show in Kailua-Kona Hawaii was a big success. A very enthusiastic sold out audience showed their appreciation with three spontaneous standing ovations. Producer Dick Feeney is going back to where it all started. After years of touring as a successful entertainer, in 1981 Feeney produced and starred in his very first show, Lullaby of Swing, in Hawaii. Now, after producing more than 32,000 performances of some of the most successful shows in Las Vegas and throughout the world, Feeney has opened a new show on the Big Island of Hawaii. Teaming up with highly successful business owner, tour operator and entrepreneur, Raymond "Squire" Foat, his friend of more than 30 years, along with world famous, multiple award-winning comedy magician, Paul Kozak, the trio opened the Kona Kozy Comedy & Magic Show, July 1st, inside Kozy's VooDoo Room, part of the Humpy's restaurant chain. Catering to tourists and locals alike, Kozak has adopted the name "Kona Kozy" to reflect the local flavor of the islands. Kozy will be performing nightly in the newly renovated showroom aptly named after his new Hawaiian moniker. Since arriving in Hawaii to prepare for the Aloha-style show's opening, Kozak has fallen in love with his new island home in mind, body and spirit. He feels, as he says, "one with the islands and always meant to be here." For more information on show times, and to purchase tickets, visit, or call (808) 430-1957.

Show in the accompanying photo (left to right): Producer Dick Feeney, production assistant Anna McCumsey, star "Kona Kozy" aka Paul Kozak aka "Kozak the Magician," Technical Director Amy Schrage, box Office manager Mychelle Flint and business partner Raymond "Squire" Foat.

Kona Kozy Comedy & Magic Show Opening

Deana Martin

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Beat the heat with the Lon Bronson Band this Friday night, July 12th, from 9 p.m. to midnight at Boulder Station in the Railhead Showroom. Special guest stars will be Keith Nelson and Crystal Yuan! Don't worry, there's plenty of AC for everybody at the Railhead.

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Deana Martin returns to the South Point Showroom for two 7:30 p.m. performances on Saturday and Sunday, July 20th and 21st. Deana, the very proud daughter of the legendary entertainer, Dean Martin, is a singer, actor and performer in her own right. She achieved success early in her career, in films, theater and television, then added to her repertoire as a recording artist, best-selling author, nationally syndicated radio host, licensed pilot, and entrepreneur. Deana's 2006 debut CD release, Memories Are Made Of This, stayed in the Top 10 for 40 consecutive weeks. In 2009, another hit CD, Volare, was released, debuting on the Billboard charts at No. 7, and the Jazz chart at No. 22. White Christmas, was another chart buster. Released in 2011, the CD stayed on the Top 10 throughout the entire Christmas season. A celebrated author, Deana found herself on the New York Times coveted Best Seller list with her 2004 memoir, Memories Are Made Of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughters Eyes. In it, Deana delights in sharing wonderful, never-before-told stories about her father and his cohorts. To her they were known as, Uncle Frank (Sinatra) and Uncle Sammy (Davis, Jr.). Collectively, they were known to the world as The Rat Pack. The book is scheduled to be made into a movie, directed by actor Joe Mantegna, with screenplay written by actor/writer/ television host, Bonnie Hunt, and staring Jennifer Love Hewitt. The busy Ms. Martin is also in the middle of recording a new CD (title to be determined). Seeing Deana Martin in a live performance, you get the sense that there is nothing she can't do. And you're right! With an abundance of success under her belt, Deana seems to excel effortlessly at everything she does. Like her dad, Deana makes it all look so easy, and audiences can't get enough. Deana and her hubby, John Griffeth, divide their time between Beverly Hills and Branson, Missouri.
Tickets for Deana Sings Dino, honoring her father, "The King of Cool," are $15, $20 and $25, and may be purchased at the South Point Box Office, or ordered by phone at (702) 797-8055.
For more information on Deana Martin, her career and upcoming concert appearances, please visit her website at

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From Lisa Gioia-Acres comes this reminder...
Monday, July 15th, is the next Las Vegas Media Group meeting and the speaker is Janet Geary, the publisher of Nevada Magazine. Janet is a true Nevada native with stories about her life and career history here so her talk is going to be one not to miss. She is driving all the way from the north just to be with us! Lisa, who will be unable to attend the meeting, thanks Carl Harley for asking that Janet be a guest speaker. Carl will introduce her to the group. The meeting starts at 11:30 a.m. Lunch is $17, and is at the Wedding Room at 3601 West Sahara on the southeast corner of Valley View. If you know where the Gallery of History is (was?) located and/or The Cellar, then you know where it is; Mariana's Grocery Store on one side and Kaplan College on the other. There is a handicap entrance through the alley between the college and The Wedding Room. The phone number for any questions or directions is (702) 362-6712. Reservations are necessary. Please RSVP to Lisa at (702) 245-9206 or e-mail her at [email protected].

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Tomorrow, Saturday, July 13th 7:30 p.m., it's Jonathan Gorst in Concert with an evening of piano music at Green Valley Presbyterian Church, 1798 Wigwam Parkway in Henderson. Admission is free, but free-will offerings to benefit Henderson Presbyterian Church Food Bank will be gratefully accepted. Don't miss this celebration of music - glorifying God from the Great Classics to Contemporary Praise - while supporting a worthwhile cause. Mr. Gorst is the director of Music Ministries at Green Valley Presbyterian Church, and Spencer Baker is the organist and resident pianist for the church. For additional information, call (702) 454-8484, or go online to

Jonathan Gorst

Neon Boneyard at Night

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Yesterday, Thursday, July 11th, the Neon Museum hosted a "Times of the Signs: Stardust Showgirls" panel discussion, open to the public. "Times of the Signs" programs take place in the famous Neon Boneyard and consist of illuminating lectures, panel discussions, presentations or performances. This special evening commemorated the 55th anniversary of the opening of the Stardust Hotel & Casino on July 2nd, 1958. The Stardust was famous for its lavish French-style production show, Lido de Paris, which ran until 1991 and was then replaced by Enter the Night, an updated production show with Broadway-style theatrics. The monumental Stardust sign is one of more than 150 neon signs preserved and viewed by thousands of visitors each year in the Neon Museum's Neon Boneyard exhibition area. Among the panelists participating in the discussion were former Enter the Night showgirl, Aki, who was dubbed "Showgirl for the 21st Century" back in the mid-1990s - today, she's Akee Levin, an attorney; Joyce Marshall Moore, oral historian, University of Nevada Las Vegas; and Lisa Gioia-Acres, historian and author, College of Southern Nevada. Dr. Michael Greene, Department of Social Science professor, College of Southern Nevada, moderated the evening's discussion.

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Ferraro's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar will offer the "Mt. Charleston Relief Menu," a 4-course menu for $50 (tax included) with proceeds to benefit the American Red Cross. The menu will be available from 11:30 a.m. to close through July 17. The meal will begin with a choice of Agnolotti or Penne Bolognese for appetizer, and either a Mista Della Casa (mixed exotic greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette) or the Zuppa Del Giorno (soup of the day). Entrée options include a choice of the Salmone, Penne Carbonara E Piselli (house made pasta with egg, peas, pancetta, spec, shallots and Parmigiano Reggiano), Risotto Funghi (made with Italian Vialone nano rice, mixed exotic mushrooms, procini and mascarpone) or the Filetto di Manzo (a 6 oz. Filet Mignon with wild mushrooms in a veal demi glaze reduction). The meal concludes with a delicious dessert sampler. The proceeds will go to support personnel involved with the Carpenter Fire incident, as well as homeowner evacuees affected by the fires. Ferraro's is also requesting the community bring sealed cases of water directly to the restaurant located at 4480 Paradise Road (across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino). Ferraro's staff will be accepting water donations Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. "My wife and I just had a little baby girl. We live in Summerlin, and to see smoke every day over our home with a newborn inside and knowing these firefighters are risking their lives, we had to jump to action and we hope everyone in the community joins the efforts to help these courageous men and women," says Mimmo Ferraro, executive chef, Ferraro's.

As Las Vegas' longest running, family-owned and operated restaurant offering authentic Italian cuisine in a fine-dining atmosphere, Ferraro's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar has offered guests a five-star experience since 1985. Specializing in freshly made pastas and sauces, legendary Osso Buco, savory risottos, expertly prepared all-natural meats, Safe Harbor® seafood, as well as an extensive award-winning wine list, Ferraro's is famous for its attention to detail, welcoming environment and passion for food that runs in the family. Owners Gino and Rosalba Ferraro, Chef Mimmo Ferraro and Special Events Director Teresa Ferraro-Marretti devote themselves to ensuring each guest has a memorable experience, whether for lunch, dinner, late-night or private parties and events. Ferraro's is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. For reservations, call (702) 364-5300.

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Got an e-mail from happily divorced Cork Proctor and Carolyn Hamilton, who currently make their home in Ecuador. The longtime former Las Vegans - he is a comic musician, she is a writer artist - report that, "All is well here. Cork is working on a drumming project with a foundation that supports the children of the indigenous families of the Feria Libre market. It will be fun. When it gets started, will send you more details." Carolyn goes on to say, "This Saturday I'm teaching an Art Journaling class, which is inspiring me to publish an e-book on the subject." Stay tuned for more news from far away places.

Cork Proctor & Carolyn Hamilton

Kristen Hertzenberg

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Always something interesting going on at The Onyx Theatre. L.O.V.E 2.0, a revue of some of Broadway's best songs about relationships, love, loss, and friendships! This show will feature some of Las Vegas' talented performers in an intimate and fun setting. You'll laugh; you'll cry; you will absolutely L.O.V.E it! Showtime is Saturday, July 13th at 2 p.m. Ticket are $20.

Straight from a European tour, Zamora The Torture King will appear at the Onyx Theatre for One Night Only...Sunday, July 14th at 8:30 p.m. This is a full length multi-performer show fronted by Zamora and featuring special guest performers. This special show will be video-taped for broadcast on a major UK TV Network. Zamora The Torture King is one of the founders of the modern sideshow revival. He has been called " icon in the modern day sideshow community" and "...the godfather of the modern circus sideshow." Zamora has performed at Knott's Berry Farm's Halloween Haunt, the largest Halloween event in the world, for 17 years in a row, and is the first sideshow performer to headline a show in a Las Vegas casino. He was featured on one of the highest rated episodes of Stan Lee's Superhumans. He has also appeared on Ripley's Believe it or Not and Guinness World Records. Zamora has toured in rock concerts and festivals all over North America and Europe, including OZZFest, Lollapalooza, Metal Town (Swedish Festival, five years in a row), G-Fest (Faroe Islands), The Pedal to the Metal Tour, West Coast Riot Festival (Scandinavia), Peace and Love Fest (Sweden's largest music festival) and much more. They've been featured on shows worldwide, alongside bands including Mudvayne, Static X, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, OZZY Osbourne, Black Label Society, Social Distortion and scores more. Do you have what it takes to see him live and up-close? You'll witness strange, odd, and unusual feats of mind over matter and death defying stunts. You will see Zamora lying on a bed of nails, while four of the biggest audience members stand on top of him. He will even lie on a bed of razor sharp swords and have a giant brick crushed on his chest by a sledge hammer. You will see Zamora perform the feats that earned him the title "The Man Who Feels No Pain" and emerge unscathed and unharmed...all in the name of entertainment. Obviously, this show is not for youngsters or the squeamish. For more information on Zamora, visit, and/or Tickets are $10 online, and $15 at the door. The Onyx Theatre is located inside Commercial Center at 953 East Sahara Avenue #16, in Las Vegas. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit their website at

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After smash reviews for last weekend's premier of Memories of Ed Sullivan, Summerlin Library's Theater for the Performing Arts will host an encore performance, tomorrow, Saturday, July 13th at 7:30 p.m. Right here, on one stage, the audience is transported to the Golden Age of Television, reliving Ed Sullivan and his tribute-guests, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Mario Lanza, Tom Jones and Ray Charles. Adding to the excitement is the high energy quartet of the violin-playing Bella Electric Strings. All seats are $22.50. Tickets are available at the door or on line at Show goers are encouraged to purchase tickets on line. The Summerlin Library Performing Arts Center, 1771 Inner Circle Dr., is conveniently located just minutes from Summerlin Parkway and Rampart.

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Arleen Gibson, who was seriously injured in an accident a few weeks ago, is out of the hospital and back home. She was in ICU for a week and in a regular room for a week. She is now doing her rest and recuperation at home. Arleen's husband, Tony, put her kingsize bed in their family room so she can comfortably watch TV all day and night. "Thank God for Netflix," says Arleen. "I am able to get in and out of bed on my own. My legs and arms are strong. I had my abdominal staples removed last Friday. I will have a very long scar down the middle - I call it my war wounds. But all I can say is I'M ALIVE! It will take time to mend. My pain is mostly in my left rib cage, front and back. It's hard to get comfortable but I am ready for the challenge!" We are sure she is.

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Kristen Hertzenberg performs in Beyond the Stage at Art Square Theatre, Saturday, July 20th, at 7 p.m. Coming off her role as Christine in Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular at The Venetian, Kristen steps beyond her theater background to sing the music that has inspired her behind the scenes. In the intimate Art Square Theatre, 1025 S. First St, #110, alongside world-class musicians George Bryant, Joel Ferguson, Pablo Gadda, Mikey Hachey, Benjamin D. Hale, and Martin Kaye, Kristen brings her own flavor to her favorite Blues, Country, Folk, Rock, and R&B influences. Vegas Seven magazine describes her as "A fantastic, gorgeously voiced singer who knows how to project emotion." Tickets are $15 at, or call (702) 818-3422.

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Following a sold-out debut concert of The Man at the Piano at The Smith Center last month, Philip Fortenberry returns to the Cabaret Jazz club by popular demand. The Man at the Piano is a new intimate acoustic 75-minute cabaret-style concert with Fortenberry's signature virtuoso playing style and personal stories of his life and career as a much sought-after Broadway pianist and a concert artist on prestigious stages from Lincoln Center to Carnegie Hall, from the Kennedy Center to the White House, all told with his own brand of southern charm. As a versatile artist whose styles encompass a wide range of musical genres, Philip Fortenberry is a performer with an equally expansive career. Philip has recorded nine solo albums: Fifth Sunday, Farther Along and Faith are collections of inspirational and sacred songs; two seasonal offerings are entitled "Home for the Holidays" and "Christmas Matters." The Woods is a series of improvisational reflections inspired by Philip's home in south Mississippi. Portraits in Music pays tribute to the essence and aspects of significant individuals in Philip's life, and First Light is inspired by daybreak in the Valley of Fire in the desert north of Las Vegas. His most recently released CD is entitled Broadway My Way, and is a collection celebrating the music from the Great White Way. A number of Fortenberry's selected sacred recordings have been developed as worship tools in a DVD format for Lifeway Christian Resources as part of a series entitled "Transitions." Tickets for the concert on the 21st are $25 and $35. For reservations, call the Box Office at (702) 749-2000. The Smith Center is located at 361 Symphony Park Avenue in downtown Las Vegas.

Philip Fortenberry

Windy Karigianes

Jazz vocalist, Windy Karigianes, returns to The Dispensary Lounge, 2451 E Tropicana Ave at Eastern, tomorrow, Saturday, July 13th from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. This is the off-Strip place for Late Night Jazz, food and cocktails. Join Windy, with Adam Shendal on drums, Matt Green on keys, and some special guests. For additional information, call (702) 458-6343.

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From a winner, to a hopeful loser. That would be Ruben Studdard, beating out Clay Aiken to become the American Idol winner of season two. He received a Grammy Award nomination in December 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Superstar." In the years following Idol, Studdard has released five studio albums. In addition to appearing on various television shows, he has toured with Robin Givens (onetime wife of Las Vegan, boxer Mike Tyson) in the comedy-drama, Heaven I Need a Hug, and in 2008 accepted the role of Fats Waller in a national tour of Ain't Misbehavin'. Known lovingly as The Velvet Teddy Bear, Ruben apparently likes competition. Studdard will participate in the 15th season of NBC's The Biggest Loser as a contestant.

Ruben Studdard

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The Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation will hold its 17th annual Camp Cartwheel Summer Camp for critically ill children and their siblings, July 17th through 20th, and 24th through 27th, at the Torino Ranch in southwest Las Vegas. The event is a medically supervised, outdoor and overnight camp experience for children diagnosed with cancer, or other life threatening illnesses. Camp Cartwheel includes five fun-filled days of swimming, scuba diving, arts and crafts, canoeing, outdoor games, and more. The Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation's staff and volunteers provide more than190 campers, ages five through 17, the chance to form positive peer relationships, develop greater independence and self-esteem, and have the opportunity to feel like a healthy child. "Through this magical week, we witness the true inner strength and courage of the children we serve," said Jeff Gordon, president and CEO of the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. "To see them forget about their illness for a short time and enjoy life through this medically supervised setting at the beautiful Torino Ranch is heartwarming." In the summer of 2012, Camp Cartwheel expanded to two weeks of operation to accommodate the critically ill children living in Southern Nevada. More than 150 camp staff and volunteers helped children overcome the physical, mental and emotional obstacles posed by childhood disease. Children attending Camp Cartwheel are given a cost-free camp experience, thanks to local donations from businesses, community leaders, caring individuals and other generous supporters. Camp Cartwheel's 2013 major sponsors are: PENTA Building Group, Bally Technologies, Hogs & Heifers Saloon, Terra West Property Management, Southern Highlands Charitable Foundation, Brett Torino and the Torino Foundation, and NPFMA (Nevada Professional Facility Managers Association). Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1993, which offers more than 40 programs and services including a variety of educational services, financial support and counseling for critically-ill children and their families living in Southern Nevada. The foundation's mission is to work side by side with the medical community, providing social, emotional, educational, financial and psychological support services and programs to families of ALL children diagnosed with a life threatening or critical illness such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell, hemophilia, renal disorders and other immunologic diseases, as well as to adults touched by cancer. For more information on Camp Cartwheel, please contact the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation at (702) 735-8434, or visit them at for pediatric services. Contact for services for adults touched by cancer.

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, Dion Dimucci, who incorporates elements of doo-wop, rhythm and blues, pop and rock into his music, will perform at The Orleans Showroom, Saturday and Sunday, July 20th and 21st. One of the most popular American rock and roll performers of the pre-British Invasion era, Dion DiMucci, known singularly as Dion, charted more than a dozen Top 40 hits in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. Dion and The Belmonts formed in the late ‘50s and scored their first hit, "I Wonder Why," in 1958. Following up with two additional hits, "No One Knows" and "Don't Pity Me," the group became a national sensation and co-headlined "The Winter Dance Party" tour with Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper. It was during this tour, that the plane carrying Holly, Valens and Bopper crashed, claiming the lives of all aboard. In a coin toss, Dion won a seat on the plane, but later declined, ultimately saving his life. Going solo in 1960, Dion racked up a string of No. 1 hits that many still consider some of the best of the rock and roll era – "Runaround Sue," "Lovers Who Wander" and "The Wanderer." As the first rock and roll artist signed to Columbia Records, he continued his hit streak with "Ruby Baby," "Donna the Prima Donna," "Drip Drop" and "Abraham, Martin and John." In 1989, Dion was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Showtime each evening is 8 p.m. Tickets for Dion are available starting from $39.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting

Dion Dimucci

John Kendrick

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We just learned that entertainer John Kendrick died earlier this week. In 2008, Laura Deni wrote in her Broadway to Vegas online column, "At 55 years of age, John Kendrick is the male "ingénue" of the (Fabulous Palm Springs) Follies cast this season, his first with the show. Inspired by television's Route 66, John packed up his Impala convertible and headed west, landing in Las Vegas. For the next 12 years, he sang and danced in the Lido de Paris at the Stardust Hotel, but also performed on many TV variety specials headlined by such stars as Sammy Davis, Jr., Siegfried & Roy, Juliet Prowse and Ann-Margret. One night, as the line captain for the Lido de Paris, he watched the show from spotlight booths perched high in the ceiling. Siegfried & Roy, the stars, inadvertently showed him the secret to their magical illusions because he was looking down at the top of their heads and "could see everything. If you ever want to saw a lady in half or make an elephant disappear, I'm your man." We have no additional details regarding this sad news. Perhaps we will know more by next Friday. Our sympathies to John's family and friends.

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Will Meat Loaf be the next headliner to sign on for a Las Vegas resident gig? We are hearing rumors that he will have his own room in Vegas by September. Stay tuned.

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Las Vegas Fruits & Nuts Store Opening

Congratulations to Kathy Hussey on the recent opening of her new store, Las Vegas Fruits & Nuts. After months of construction, owner Hussey has opened her first retail store outside of McCarran International Airport, in the McCarran Marketplace next to Fed Ex at 5775 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 104 near Russell Road. Las Vegas Fruits & Nuts features fresh nuts, dried fruits, freshly made cream and butter fudge, gourmet apples, flavored popcorn, snacks and logo merchandise featuring the company's mascot, Lucky P. Nutt. Visitors and customers will have the advantage of being able to watch fudge, candied apples and flavored popcorn being made on the premises in the open display kitchen. Las Vegas Fruits & Nuts, and Hussey's companion wholesale Sin City Confections business, purchased last summer, offers endless ways to create custom-made gift boxes or baskets filled with the perfect products of choice. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. Along with the selection process, prices vary to match a budget, and delivery or shipping is free. Another means for purchasing the wide array of products offered by Las Vegas Fruits & Nuts is through the online store at or by phoning (702) 743-7147.

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