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 August 09, 2013
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - August 9, 2013

Rob Garrett

Murray & Chloe SawChuck & Friends For Life

If it's August, and it's hot (it is, and it is), it must be about time for Rob Garrett's annual summer tribute to Neil Diamond at the Cannery! Hot August Night - Vegas, featuring Rob Garrett and the nine-piece King of Diamonds band, returns to the Cannery in North Las Vegas, for one show only, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 17th. Neil Diamond may be on hiatus from touring for the time being, but for Diamondheads who need to get their "Hot August Night" fix, Garrett and the King of Diamonds are the next best thing (and the tickets are a lot more reasonable). Garrett, who has been called "the Best Tribute Act in the Business" by at least one Las Vegas columnist, has been performing his tribute to Diamond in Las Vegas (and around the world) for the last 18 years. Rob has kept his audience spellbound by possessing the uncanny ability to actually make them forget they are watching a tribute act and not the real deal. His physical and vocal resemblance to the iconic singer/songwriter is unparalleled, and Rob 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. In 2008, he was awarded the "Male Musical Tribute Act of the Year," marking the only time that a 'Diamond' act has ever won such an honor. Joining Garrett on stage for this concert are Keith Neal (guitar/ vocals), Daryl Slade (bass), Steve Gerard (keyboards), Jay Boyer (keyboards), Jeff Borree (drums), LJ Harness (percussion), Rosanna Telford and Elisia Tutt (vocals). Elisa just happens to be the daughter of Neil Diamond's (not to mention Elvis Presley's) legendary drummer, Ron Tutt. Garrett has quite a large fan base, and his shows are generally SRO. If you are planning to attend, we suggest you get to the Cannery early on Saturday. Tickets are $10, and available at the Cannery Club door the night of the performance. The Cannery Casino & Hotel is located at 2121 E Craig Rd. in North Las Vegas. If you are a Neil Diamond fan, you won't want to miss this experience. You can't get any closer than Rob Garrett!

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On Wednesday, August 14th, magician Murray SawChuck and his wife, Chloe Crawford, will host a charity show for the Friends For Life Humane Society. The Society saves dogs directly from kill shelters. "We have always helped charities but this is the first time we have ever fronted a charity and taken on the spokesperson position, because I wanted to help make a positive impact," says Murray. "Chloe and I are spokespersons for this charity quiet simply because we rescued a puppy from the Society and learned that they are privately funded and have never had anyone represent them or give them any notoriety. I was so touched by what they did. The two main guys that work for Friends For Life Humane Society, Ron and Robert, were bums on the streets five years ago, close to death themselves. They went to church, where they met the owner of the land and the small shelter in Pahrump. He offered to take them off the streets if they would take care of the dogs needing help. In turn, he would provide daily food for the men. Ron and Robert lived in a trailer for a few years, cleaned up the 35 acres, and now five years later - have a beautiful shelter, a house they live in, and wages. They have found many great homes for the rescued dogs. They have been off the streets and clean for five years while saving dogs that are in the same situation they were in. Ironically they were saving each other. Chloe and I were so touched, that we wanted to find a way to help. So all the profits for my show at the Tropicana Laugh Factory on Wednesday, August 14th, are going to the shelter to help them continue to help both animals and people. There will be no comps, except for press, as I really want people to know about this shelter and give them a push to have people become aware of this shelter and choose to get their dogs there and save them." The show on the 14th, isn't going to be Murray's normal show... It will be a variety show, with guest stars Jennifer Lynn from Frankie Moreno's band playing violin; legally blind juggler, Nino Frediani, who performed 20 years straight at the Flamingo on the Strip; musician Paul Shortino from Rock Vault and Quiet Riot; comedian Harry Basil, the Movie Guy; entertainer Skye Dee Miles; impressionist Peter Pavone; and comedian, Gallagher. Celebrities will walk the Red Carpet beginning at 3 p.m., and the show starts at 4. Among the furry children of Murray and Chloe, is Abby, a now six-year-old Chihuahua-Papillion mix, that they adopted from Friends For Life. Tickets, at $21.45, are available at the Tropicana Box Office, or by calling (702) 739-2411. For more information about the humane society, visit

Murray & Rescue Dog, Abby


And still speaking of the Tropicana...
Acclaimed guitarist, Stephen "Esteban" Paul, and daughter, violinist Teresa Joy, will perform a special engagement in the Tropicana Lounge at The New Tropicana Las Vegas, Monday to Saturday, August 5th through 23rd. The father-daughter string duo will take audiences on a cultural trip, rich with music ranging from classical to flamenco, pop, Broadway and a few very special Spanish ballads. Performances will be held during the Tropicana Lounge's Happy Hour from 5 to 8 p.m. Given the special name "Esteban" by the legendary classical guitarist Andres Segovia during his years of study with the master in Spain, the Las Vegan has since accomplished musical successes never before attained by any guitarist. In addition to his concerts, which have been described as "memorable moments of the heart and soul," Esteban has topped the Billboard charts many times with his numerous albums, videos and DVDs, and established record-setting album sales. He has also been featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, and made appearances on the Home Shopping Network. Admission to the Tropicana Lounge is free, however, all guests in attendance must be 21 years of age or older. For more information, or to arrange hotel and dining reservations, visit, or call (800) 829-9034.

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Jalles Franca in Rio's MJ Live

We didn't know what to expect from MJ Live - Tribute to Michael Jackson in the Crown Theater at the Rio. We have to say that we were most pleasantly surprised and very much impressed by both the entertainment value and the quality of this production. This was not a Michael Jackson look-alike on a bare stage, lip-syncing to prerecorded tracks. Produced by Dick Feeney (who also produces Rio's The Rat Pack Is Back!), MJ Live is an affordable, family-friendly revue. Enhancing the Jackson image is a three-piece musical ensemble - Yves Fruila on keyboards, William "Bill" Carmody on drums, and Michael Ellis on guitar - and eight, obviously trained, well-choreographed by Missy Cochran, high-energy dancers (listed in politically-correct, alphabetical order) - Riley Chin, Anthony "Tony" Garcia, Stephanie Hibbert, Peter Hundley, Adria Lawrence, Michael "Orion" Macayan, Tyrone Perry, and Amy Thomson. The well done lighting is by David Schulman, and music and recording is by Gene Sironen of Golden Song Productions. Since MJ Live plays seven nights a week, two different performers, Jalles Franca and Justin Dean, alternate in the Michael Jackson role. The weeknight that our group saw the show, Franca was in the spotlight. He is talented, hard-working, and a real audience pleaser. The Rio's Crown Theater was almost full on a Tuesday night, and the all-age audience was most responsive. After the show, the MJ clone, whichever one is on that night, happily poses for photos with the audience members, and stays around to sign autographs for the attendees for however long it takes. MJ Live runs at 8:45 p.m., nightly. For reservations, call (702) 777-2782 or (855) 234-7469. The event is definitely child friendly, and the fact that a well-behaved child can get in free with a paying adult (one child free per family, please), makes it adult friendly as well.

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Children's Letters To God

Children's Letters to God winds up its performances at Desert Spring United Methodist Church, 120 N. Pavilion Center Drive (across from Palo Verde High School), this weekend, with shows at 7 p.m. tonight, Friday, August 9th, and tomorrow, Saturday, August 10th. There will also be a 4 p.m. matinee tomorrow. Children's Letters to God (not to be confused with Keith Thompson's God Lives in Glass, a wonderful similar-themed creation), was a Drama Desk Award nominated off-Broadway musical, based on the inspirational best-selling book by Stuart (Stoo) E. Hample and Eric Marshall, with music by David Evans, and lyrics by Douglas J. Cohen. The musical is about five young friends, discussing their beliefs, ambitions, uncertainties, and questions about God. Issues brought up in the musical include holidays, loss of a pet, divorce, sibling rivalry, the struggle of being non-athletic, and first love. The show does not directly address religion, but just asks questions about life. Directed by Scott Miller, with musical direction by Robert Holland, the talented cast of young people for the Desert Spring United Methodist Church production is made up of Katherine Berger as Joanna, Kevin Graeser as Theo, Brady Lanier as Brett, Ava Rogers as Ava, and Bella Smith as Iris. Tickets are $7.50 for all seats, general admission, and are available at the door. This show is suitable for all ages. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please call the Desert Spring United Methodist Church at (702) 256-5933.

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Busy Lon Bronson (in addition to his own shows, Lon also leads the band for Dick Feeney's The Rat Pack Is Back! show at the Rio) will be on the move after this month. After this month, the popular musical conglomerate will be moving from their Friday nights at Boulder Station ...but Lon is being a bit mysterious and not saying exactly where they will be moving to (we will find out and report the information. In the meantime, the Lon Bronson Band has four more Fridays to rock the Railhead Showroom at Boulder Station. Tonight, from 9 to midnight, audience members can revel in the long awaited return of Nina D, as well as Tony Davich, Kenny Jones, Jim Buck and the entire crew. As to where they are going to be in September, as soon as we learn the location, we will gladly share the information.

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We are saddened to report the death last Saturday of burlesque legend, Dixie Evans. She was 86. The veteran performer, who was known as the 'Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque,' passed away at an assisted care facility in Las Vegas on Saturday, August 3rd, just months after she suffered a stroke. Evans shot to fame in the 1950s, and became known for using her act as a tribute to Hollywood actress, Marilyn Monroe, mimicking the star's iconic look and even recreating scenes from her movies on stage. The show infuriated Monroe, who threatened Evans with a lawsuit in a bid to force her to change her act. Evans' famous fans reportedly included Frank Sinatra. There were rumors that suggested Monroe's ex-husband, Joe DiMaggio, went to see Dixie's show in the aftermath of the couple's divorce. Evans was born in Long Beach, Calif., on August 26th, 1926. She worked on an airplane factory line during World War II, then took up the art of burlesque in the 1950s and on into the 1960s, performing across the country. In the early 1990s, she established an Exotic World museum in Helendale, California, and the Miss Exotic World pageant, both tributes to burlesque dancers. Her museum was closed in 2006, and she moved to Las Vegas, eventually establishing the Burlesque Hall of Fame on Fremont Street in 2010. As we go to press, no plans have been announced for a service for Dixie Evans.

Dixie Evans Vintage

Dixie Evans 1926-2013

Dixie Evans was one of the participants in the making of The Last First Comic, a documentary film on the art of burlesque and the comics who were part of that art. Featuring Irving Benson, and partially filmed on location in New York's historic Palace Theatre, The Last First Comic explores a dynamic chapter in the history of our country and its popular entertainment. It's a humorous and heartfelt story of a bygone era; a celebration of a life well lived - both onstage and off. All of the celebrities who were invited to participate in The Last First Comic documentary (Ed McMahon, Alan Young, Don Potter, Mickey Deems, Betty Rowland, Dee Ann Johnston and Suzanne Charney among them), happily accepted, volunteering to share their knowledge, history and experiences of the burlesque world...except for one person, who absolutely refused to contribute to the project, "unless she were paid." Although it was explained that, "This project was a labor of love, and NO ONE was being paid," the answer was still, "no." The creative team, Bart Williams, John C. Brown, Dayvd Daniels and Tyler St. Mark, invested their own money to get this piece of entertainment history made. At this point, not too many people have seen The Las First Comic, yet, this little film has won a number of awards, including winner of the Best Documentary by the Backlot Film Festival (2011), Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Friars Club Comedy Film Festival (2011), and Best Documentary Feature at the Prescott Film Festival (2012). Although we are tempted to name the film holdout, we won't...only to save her from possible embarrassment. It is expected that a DVD of The Las First Comic may soon be available for sale. When that happens, we will let readers know where and when it can be purchased.

From one of the film's writer/producer/directors, Mr. Williams, comes this note on the passing of Ms. Evans..."I'm so sad to hear that Dixie Evans has left us. There goes another of the "precious few" who really knew the bygone world of "Burlesque." Dixie was a great contributor to our documentary, The Last First Comic. She generously gave us invaluable support for our film. Dixie was a knowledgeable and kind lady, and she was an "easy interview." She was more than happy to freely share her memories of the hey-day of "Burlesque" with us. In turn, we are so pleased that she is now forever enshrined on film, where people for generations to come, can see and hear her warmly share her stories about the humor of that bygone era of show business. A generous and sweet lady. We will miss you Dixie!"

Dagny Garner (aka Dagny Duke), 73, of Fallbrook, California, a veteran Las Vegas dancer, also passed away recently. Dagny died in her sleep on July 27th. She was born August 1st, 1939, in Wiesbaden, Germany, the only child of Erwin and Helena Seeger. As a young girl, Dagny studied ballet and loved nature and animals. At age 17, she came to America, where she married George Duke of North Carolina. Duke, a U.S. Air Force serviceman, had been stationed in Germany. Two years later, in 1958, Dagny gave birth to her only child, Randolph Duke, in Las Vegas. Dagny worked briefly as a flight attendant for TWA in the early 1960s, before pursuing a career in show business and becoming one of the infamous Sahara Girls, dancing at the Sahara Hotel. She went on to become a favorite of legendary show impresario, Donn Arden, and appeared in many of his spectacular productions. Dagny performed in the long-running Folies Bergere at The Tropicana Hotel, before retiring from show business in the mid-1980s. In the mid-1990s, with her second husband, John Garner of Chicago, Dagny moved to southern California, and resided in Del Mar and Encinitas, before moving to Hemet and finally Fallbrook, with a second home in Ensenada, Mexico. After her husband passed away, she resided part-time in Forestville, in northern California. Dagny is survived by her son, fashion designer Randolph Duke; and her beloved dogs. As per her wishes, in lieu of flowers or gifts, please make any charitable donations to The Salvation Army.

Irving Benson, The Last First Comic

Welcome Home Dondino

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On Sunday, August 11th, it's Dondino (NOT Don Dino, as he was listed last weekend on a local TV program) performing at the Italian American Club. Welcome Home Dondino is a fundraiser for the 53-year-old newly refurbished social club. For more than 30 years, Dondino has brought laughter, tears and joy to millions; first in Las Vegas where he still holds a record for most shows, appearing in three shows a day, six days a week for more than a decade. For the past dozen or so years, Dondino has been entertaining crowds daily in Branson, with his cast of 30 musicians, dancers, backup singers and an opening act. Now he's back in Las Vegas, where the IAC is privileged to have Dondino head up their annual fundraiser. Dondino first came to Las Vegas in 1980, where he worked at the now defunct Royal American Casino, the Silverbird, and the Frontier, before landing a "temporary gig" at the Four Queens Hotel & Casino, downtown. The temporary gig lasted for years. When the opportunity to open his own theater in booming Branson presented itself, Dondino left Las Vegas for Missouri. In honor of his return, the Italian American Club is presenting the Welcome Home Dondino fundraiser. There are 300 seats available for the elegant evening. The cost is $20 per person for general seating, or $25 for VIP seating. Reservations can be made online, at, or by phone at (702) 457-3866. The Italian American Club, established in 1961, is a non-profit 501c7 organization, whose purpose in part is to exercise, promote, and protect the privileges and interests of its members and residents of the community, state, and country, as well as, to foster interest in the social, charitable, and civic welfare of its members and community. Over the past 53 years, the IAC has donated to Children with Cancer, Shade Tree for abused women and children, Youth Camp of Clark County, Piute Indians of Moapa, Catholic Charities, and many other charitable organizations. The IAC is located at 2333 E. Sahara. Doors open at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, with the show starting at 8. And speaking of the Italian American Club, the Las Vegas social place/restaurant got a big plug in the August 3rd edition of the Los Angeles Times.

The August edition of the popular Composers Showcase takes place in The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz club, next Wednesday, August 14th, beginning at 10:30 p.m. (after theater). Doors open around 9:30. There are some exciting new composers being introduced, along with some favorites and some amazing new music. Participating in the upcoming event are composers Jolana Adamson, Steve Bonino, Angela Chan, Mada Ffank, Wayne Green, Ben Hale, Martin Kaye, Johnny Miles, Frankie Moreno, Richard Oberacker, Danny Roque, Keith Thompson (who also serves as host), Mark Wherry and Rich Wyman. Performers include Megan Arnoldy, Travis Cloer, Pascale Elia, Mike Erickson, Colby Foytik, Kristen Hertzenberg, Niki Scalera, Lauren Tartaglia, Nikka Wahl, Jacquie Holland-Wright and Children of the Moon. Among the players are George Bryant, Gary Cordell, Tish Diaz, Joel Ferguson, Mark Ferratt, Philip Fortenberry, Pablo Gadda, Mikey Hachey, Pepe Jimenez, Laraine Kaizer, Jimmy Keegan, Jennifer Lynn, Tony Moreno, Dave Stambaugh, Kevin Stout, Eric Tewalt and Tyler Williams. For those who have never attended a Composers Showcase before, what it ISN'T is an open mic night with drop-in amateurs. What it IS, is a scheduled night of new and original music, written and performed by the most talented, creative professionals in our community. Tickets for the Composers Showcase, presented by PK Music and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, are $20. They can be purchased by going online at, or calling the Smith Center Box Office at (702) 749-2000. Walk-ups are welcome (if the club has not already been sold out). A Cash Bar and Late Night Menu are available. See you at the downtown Smith Center on Wednesday night.

Keith Thompson by Don Cadette

Jason Forbach in Les Miserables

And speaking of the Composers Showcase, during the time he was a cast member of Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, talented singer/actor, Jason Forbach, was a frequent contributor to the monthly shows. Forbach is classically trained in opera as a lyric baritone and performed at The New York Festival of Song tribute to Hal Prince at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. He has also performed with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Abilene Philharmonic, Boston Lyric Opera, and was a Metropolitan Opera National Council regional semifinalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in vocal performance from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a master's in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. Jason recently self-produced his first solo album, A New Leading Man, and Remembering To Dream, a collection featuring his debut as a songwriter. These nights (and some matinee days), Jason is performing as Enjorlas in the national tour of the 25th Anniversary production of Les Miserables, playing in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center through Sunday.

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Nino Frediani

Maggi Albisani

They call this show Unstoppable, and for good reason. Most of the performers in the revue are veteran professionals, who have been in the spotlight for decades, with the oldest in the ensemble being 89-years-young. Producer/performer, Nino Frediani, has gathered an amazing collection of entertainers, to present an afternoon of magic, cabaret, crooning, and world class juggling at the Onyx Theatre for One Show Only, Sunday, August 25th at 4 p.m. In addition to Nino himself, the talented lineup of performers includes singers, Maggi Albisani and Victor Moea; Judy Garland tribute artist, Denise Rose; and magician, Zaharin (not 100% sure about the spelling of this name). Frediani, member of a nine-generation show business family, began performing in the circus at the age of two and latched on to juggling. He was named the "World's Fastest Juggler" in 1968, toured around the world four times, performed twice for the Queen of England, and worked with Elvis Presley! Tickets for Unstoppable are $20, and may be ordered by phone at (702) 732-7225. The Onyx Theatre is Las Vegas' leading alternative theatrical and performance space for world-class and local artists. They provide space dedicated to personal artistic expression, free minds, and unrestrained entertainment. The Onyx Theatre is located inside The Rack at 953-16B E. Sahara, in Commercial Center.

Denise Rose as Judy Garland

Elvis Presley

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Opportunity Village, Las Vegas' favorite charity, will commemorate the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death on Friday, August 16th, with an Elvis impersonator contest and special performances by the OV Elvi. As the official manufacturer of Elvis' scarves, Opportunity Village will also have hand painted silk scarves created by its OVIPs on display and for sale at the performance. Opportunity Village invites all Elvis impersonators to honor the King and participate for a $600 cash prize. For more information or to register to perform, call (702) 262-1550. Elvis impersonator, Jesse Garon, will be present. This event is free and open to the public. The Elvis impersonator contest will feature a panel of judges, including notable local supporters, members of the OV Elvi and Opportunity Village's Associate Director, Linda Smith. The events will take place, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Opportunity Village Engelstad Campus Multi-Purpose Room, 6050 S. Buffalo Dr.

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Last week, on Jay Leno's Tonight Show, Broadway star (Wicked)/TV actress (Glee), Kristin Chenoweth, accompanied by Michael Orland on piano, performed a parody of the popular "Popular," from Wicked, turning it into a straight-from-today's-news tale/slam of disgraced politician, Anthony Weiner. In December, Chenoweth performed at the American Country Awards held at Mandalay Bay. As for Mr. Orland, in addition to being the Music Director for American Idol, as a pianist and conductor, Michael has worked with many celebrities, including Susan Anton, Lucie Arnaz, Kaye Ballard, Lynda Carter, Sam Harris, Jennifer Holliday, Lainie Kazan, Sally Kellerman, Gladys Knight, Barry Manilow, Maureen McGovern, Chita Rivera, Cybill Shepherd and, when he was barely legal, the late Wayland Flowers & Madame. Michael, who maintains a residence in Las Vegas, also played for the hit shows, Forbidden Broadway, Ruthless, and When Pigs Fly in Los Angeles. The talented Mr. Orland made his Hollywood Bowl debut accompanying the legendary MGM star, Ann Miller. Michael Orland is currently teamed up with Peisha McPhee (mother of Katharine McPhee, American Idol finalist and co-star of the TV series, Smash). Michael and Peisha work together as Southern California vocal coaches, under the name of Find Your Unique Voice. If you need to find YOUR unique voice, you know who to call.

Kristin Chenoweth & Michael Orland

Windy Karigianes

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Tomorrow night, Saturday, August 10th, vocalist Windy Karigianes returns to The Dispensary Lounge for an evening of Eclectic Jazz from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Featured with Windy will be Uli Geissendoerfer on keys, Fred Watstein on bass, and Mike Mechem on drums, along with the lovely Jennifer on cocktails, and Bobby and John serving it up behind the bar. The friendly neighborhood Dispensary Lounge is located at 2451 E. Tropicana. Join the gang at the off-Strip establishment for a night of fun, food and music.

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Comedy-magician and Harrah's headliner, Mac King, is hitting the road again to collect books for kids in at-risk schools during Back to School 2013. King is teaming up with the Las Vegas 51s baseball team and Grimaldi's Pizzeria in Las Vegas to host book drives this August for Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour: Back to School 2013, benefiting Clark County READS, the literacy initiative of The Public Education Foundation. "I am proud to see the literacy tour grow in the past few years as more community partners jump on board," says King. "Thanks to these organizations and to the people who donate books, we are able to provide more reading opportunities to kids. This August, Grimaldi's Pizzeria and the Las Vegas 51s are making it easy for the Las Vegas community to do their part by donating books while enjoying a tasty pizza and an all-American baseball game." The Las Vegas 51s baseball team will host a book drive during the home game on Saturday, August 24th, at 7 p.m. at Cashman Field. Anyone who donates three or more new or gently used children's books will receive a pair of tickets to The Mac King Comedy Magic Show and will be entered into a raffle to win autographed Las Vegas 51s merchandise (Limit one pair of show tickets and one raffle ticket per person. Must be present to win. Winner will be announced during the 7th inning stretch). Additionally, Mac King will be on-site to collect donations, meet and greet with fans and sign autographs from 6-6:30 p.m., and throw out the first pitch at 6:40 p.m. Also, during the month of August, guests who donate three or more new or gently used children's books at any of the five Grimaldi's Pizzeria Las Vegas locations will receive a pair of tickets to The Mac King Comedy Magic Show and a $5 Off Card for Grimaldi's Pizzeria (Limit one per person. Grimaldi's Pizzeria $5 Off Card good for future visit only). Mac King is a fan of Grimaldi's Pizzeria and has created his own signature pizza, Mac King's Magic Pizza. Stop by any Grimaldi's Pizzeria location in Las Vegas to make a book donation and try Mac King's Magic Pizza. "Unlike my comedy magic show, my pizza is probably not for everyone. I like Anchovies and Kalamata Olives. Combine that with Grimaldi's famous secret recipe sauce, handmade mozzarella, and coal fired crispy crust and you have a salty, savory, magical treat," King added. Donated books will be personally delivered by King to kids in at-risk schools during Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour: Nevada Reading Week 2014. Each year during Nevada Reading Week, King visits students at local elementary schools to teach the importance of literacy by reading stories and performing tricks from his show. Thanks to book drives held throughout the year, at the end of the assembly, each child is able to take a book home with them. For many kids, this is the first book they can call their own. Local businesses and organizations interested in joining forces with Mac King by hosting a book drive to benefit Nevada Reading Week 2014 can email [email protected] for more information. Mac King has been a life-long advocate for childhood literacy and, since settling down in Las Vegas, has made it his mission to promote literacy in Southern Nevada. For years, King has visited local elementary schools, spreading the importance of literacy to local students. In 2011, King decided to take his philanthropic efforts to the next level and launched Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour, a citywide literacy initiative to foster the love of reading and rally community organizations to raise books for Las Vegas school children. The tour kicked-off during Nevada Reading Week 2011 and since then has collected more than 5,000 books by partnering with several local organizations including: Las Vegas Wranglers, Springs Preserve, and Winder Farms. Now in his 14th year of headlining afternoons at Harrah's Las Vegas, Mac King has been consistently lauded throughout his impressive run, including recently being named "Best Strip headliner" in the Las Vegas Weekly's 2011 annual Vegas' Best awards. Las Vegas Review-Journal's "Best of Las Vegas" readers' poll named his show the "Best Bargain Show" for 10 straight years (2003-2013), and deemed him "Favorite Male Las Vegan" in 2008. King has also been honored as Magic Magazine's "Funniest Act in Magic," the World Magic Awards' "Best Comedy Magician" and the Magic Castle's "Magician of the Year." Sought after worldwide, King has made television appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, and all five of NBC's The World's Greatest Magic TV specials. King has also made several appearances at the Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, and was a featured performer in the Masters of Magic series at the Luminato Festival in Toronto, Canada. King, one of today's brightest and most talented magicians, takes the stage twice daily, at 1 and 3 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, in the Showroom Theatre at Harrah's Las Vegas. Tickets are $29.95 plus tax. For additional information on The Mac King Comedy Magic Show go to

Mac King

Carmine Mandia

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Join Carmine Mandia and friends for some music and dancing at Ristorante Italiano in the Italian American Club, tomorrow night, Saturday, August 10th, from 7 to 11 p.m. The club is located at 2333 E. Sahara. For more information, e-mail [email protected], or call the IAC at (702) 457-3866.

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