Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column



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

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from September 20, 2013
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - September 20, 2013


Patty Ascher

Vita Corimbi as Fanola Pettit, by Don Cadette

Mistinguett Productions is proud to present, from Sao Paolo, Brazilian jazz sensation, Patty Ascher and Friends at the Sun City Summerlin Starbright Theatre, on Saturday, September 28th at 7 p.m. Brazilian performer, recording artist and jazz sensation, Patty Ascher, will debut in Las Vegas at Sun City Summerlin's Starbright Theatre for one performance only on Saturday, September 28th at 7 p.m. The show, Patty Ascher and Friends!, will include Las Vegas' Enrique Lugo and his dance group, plus a three-piece band directed by Michael Tramontana. Lugo is a principle dancer and choreographer for the world-famous Spanish-American actress, comedienne and flamenco guitarist, Charo. He has also performed in shows, television commercials, film and special events, both on the Las Vegas Strip and around the world. Surprise guest star singers will join Patty Ascher on stage. In the 90-minute show, Patty will perform bossa nova, jazz and samba song styles. She will also sing selections from her best-selling CD, Bossa, Jazz ‘n' Samba. Patty Ascher has performed in New York at Feinstein's at Loew's Regency and the famed Blue Note Jazz Club. She also has toured nationally with the award-winning composer, director and arranger, Michel Legrand and performed at Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Patty Ascher hails from Sao Paolo, Brazil, where she studied with bossa nova pioneer, Roberto Menescal. Tickets for the Starbright Theatre performance are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents. They can be purchased at the box offices at Pinnacle, (702) 240-1301; Mountain Shadows, (702) 966-1410; Desert Vista, (702) 363-1341; and the Starbright Theatre, 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd., all in Sun City Summerlin, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. All shows at the Starbright are first come, first served with no limit on the amount of tickets purchased. Be sure to get your tickets early so you don't miss out! If an event sells out, every attempt will be made to provide additional show times, if possible. All ticket prices include Live Entertainment Tax. Tickets are non-refundable. Just a reminder to all our residents that there is no reserved seating at the Starbright Theatre. Saving seats is not permitted. Please remember there is not a bad seat in the theatre so everyone can enjoy the performances no matter where they are seated. All ticket sales are check or cash (exact change required). No credit cards accepted. The Starbright Theatre is wheelchair accessible and is equipped with listening devices for the hearing challenged? To obtain a listening device please ask at the Pinnacle Monitor Station. No one under the age of 12 allowed in theater. For up-to-date information on Starbright Theatre shows, call (702) 240-1301.

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The lineup of talent at the most recent Composers Showcase was, as usual, topnotch. Among the musical selections, Keith Thompson's "Call 911," Clint Holmes' "Who Will Stand," Martin Kaye's "You'll Be Alright," and Richard Oberacker's "This Is Still Our Country." Others, but certainly not everyone (we just don‘t have enough room or enough time to name the entire group) who contributed their talents, were The Phat Pack, Nikka Wahl, Jacquelyn Holland-Wright, Uli Geissendoerfer, Vicki Van Tassel, and The Firenze Strings. As promised, all was not serious and depressing in the September 11th Composers Showcase. If anyone can create a mood with humor, it‘s the amazingly talented and very creative, Vita Corimbi. In the case of last week‘s showcase at The Smith Center, Corimbi, as her alter ego, "Fanola Pettit" (dressed in a Transportation Security Administration uniform), did an original song called "Workin' For The TSA." As host/composer Keith Thompson reminds, "Nothing says comedy like 9/11."

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On Tuesday morning, Britney Spears' non-secret secret became general public knowledge when the pop princess announced on Good Morning America that she would become a resident Las Vegas headliner, beginning December 27th. Spears is scheduled to perform at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, doing 96 shows over a two year period. Tickets for "Britney: Piece of Me" go on sale today, with prices ranging from $59 to $179. As for her take on this deal? It has been reported that the 31-year-old Spears will be paid $310,000 per show (get out that calculator)! Will this big financial investment result in a major payoff for Planet Hollywood? Are there enough people interested in seeing Ms. Spears perform live, to make a two year Las Vegas residency at the property profitable? Don't forget, it was Planet Hollywood that paid Pamela Anderson $3 million for 12-minutes a night, times four nights a week, to deliver (or not) painfully unfunny schtick (purportedly written by comic Bruce Vilanch), as the "assistant" to Dutch magician, Siegfried look-alike, Hans Klok in The Beauty of Magic. Time will tell. Maybe THIS blonde will be a winner for Planet Hollywood.


Britney Spears, Million Dollar Girl

Ken Norton Jr. 1943-2013

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We "lifted" this story about the F.I.O.R.E. group from the September 18-24, 2013, issue of the Las Vegas Tribune (WITH permission from founder/publisher, Rolando Larraz). Written by a Las Vegas Tribune staff writer, it says...
A local non-club club is reaping the benefits of its new membership...non-membership membership, that is. Confused? Well, it all began nine Adding the bloom to the flower years ago when entertainer Nelson Sardelli and a few friends decided it was time for a non-club club. A club with no agenda, no purpose, no affiliations of any kind; just a group of Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events. From this, F.I.O.R.E. was born. Like any organization, this non-organization has strict rules. All members must be Italian or Non-Italian. The non-club club takes this rule very seriously and will not waiver. It is suggested that all nonmember members have low expectations and a great attitude and sense of humor. Also, every man who joins is immediately a president and, until very recently, that would have been a quick encapsulation of their non-member membership. While The Non-Club Club F.I.O.R.E. presidents have been meeting once a week for the past nine years, women were not included, except on special occasions, such as various holiday parties — including, but not limited to, St. IRS Day. Enter the Bloom. Recently, First Ladies have become welcome and active nonmember members of this unique non-club club. So from its humble beginnings, with non-meeting meetings, in various private event spaces around town, the Non-Club Club F.I.O.R.E. has grown to an impressive group of locals who now meet monthly at The Italian American Club (which is an actual club, not to be confused with the non-club club). To be a part of this non-club club, you need to be invited by a current non-member member... and you might want to find one you know as F.I.O.R.E is gearing up for their next big event — their Annual Halloween Party, Saturday, October 25. For more information about this ridiculously fun non-group group, please visit, http://nonclubclubfiore.com, and be sure to check the "About us" page.

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Former heavyweight boxer and former WBC world Heavyweight Champion, Ken Norton, 70, died Wednesday at a Las Vegas care facility. Norton had been in poor health for the last several years after suffering a series of strokes. Norton was best known for his 12-round victory over Muhammad Ali, when he famously broke Ali's jaw, on March 31, 1973, becoming only the second man to defeat a peak Ali as a professional. He and Ali would fight twice more in their trilogy, with Ali officially narrowly winning both return bouts. Norton was awarded the WBC title when Leon Spinks declined a mandated title defense against Norton, the No. 1 contender. However, Norton lost it in his first defense on a split decision by one point to Larry Holmes in a great contest (Holmes-Norton is ranked as the 10th-greatest heavyweight fight of all time by Monte D. Cox, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization).

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Actor Bill Nolte, is a most happy fella. Nolte, who portrayed Franz Liebkind in The Producers when it played here at Paris Las Vegas, is starring in the Frank Loesser musical, The Most Happy Fella, at the famed Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut. Directed by Rob Ruggiero, the show opened earlier tonight, with the Press Opening scheduled for Wednesday, October 9th, and will run through December 1st. Broadway's Mamie Pariss will play "Rosabella" to Bill‘s "Tony." We will have more about this production next Friday. In the meantime, for ticket information, call the Goodspeed Box Office at (860) 873-8668.


Bill Nolte & Mamie Parris

Three Dog Night

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It's Three Dog Night at the Cannery in North Las Vegas, tomorrow night, Saturday, September 21st. Still rocking after more than 40 years on the road, Three Dog Night will hit The Club at the Cannery Casino & Hotel, 2121 E. Craig Road, at 8 p.m. The Grammy-nominated group had 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including three No. 1 singles: "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)," "Joy to The World," and "Black and White." The band also owns 11 Top 10 records, 18 straight Top 20's, seven million-selling singles, and 12 straight Gold LPs. Three Dog Night's hits have appeared on the pop, rock and country charts. Among their hits are the instantly recognizable smashes, "An Old Fashioned Love Song," "One," "Shambala," "Easy To Be Hard," and "Celebrate." Always working to expand its audience, Three Dog Night continues to record new material. In fact, the group's releases from this decade alone have sold more than 1.5 million albums and the band's continued popularity has landed "The Best of Three Dog Night : 20th Century Masters" on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart for nine of the last 12 months. Three Dog Night still performs more than 80 dates per year. The band is comprised of founding members, Cory Wells and Danny Hutton on lead vocals, as well as original keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon and guitarist Michael Allsup. Paul Kingery (bass and vocals) and Pat Bautz (drums) complete the lineup. Tickets start at $17.95 and can be purchased at www.cannerycasino.com, or by calling the Cannery Casino & Hotel at (702) 507-5700.

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Neil Patrick Harris

Bob Newhart

During Sunday night's Emmy Awards Ceremony, Elton John, a resident performer at Caesars Palace Colosseum, will pay tribute to another former Caesars headliner, Liberace. Elton, a multiple Grammy Award-winner, will be performing for the first time at the Emmys, airing on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, to honor the late pianist,. Liberace is the subject of the HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra. The film has received 15 Emmy nominations, including outstanding miniseries or movie. During his lifetime, in addition to performing in the Circus Maximus showroom at Caesars (dismantled and replaced by the Colosseum), Liberace also played in a number of other Las Vegas venues, including the Riviera and Las Vegas Hilton/International. Also taking place during this year's ceremony, after five decades of losses, comedian Bob Newhart will receive his very first Emmy...not for a role on any of his own TV shows, but as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, for his performance as a scientist in an episode of The Big Bang Theory (he plans more guest appearances on The Big Bang Theory next season). Newhart has won a Peabody Award, the Kennedy Centers Mark Twain Award for American Humor, and a spot in the TV Academy's Hall of Fame. Most surprising is the fact that Bob Newhart was never even nominated for The Bob Newhart Show, his classic sitcom that ran for six seasons, between 1972 and 1978. Bob Newhart also has a long Las Vegas history doing standup comedy on stages around the city. Glee's Cory Monteith, along with James Gandolfini, actress Jean Stapleton, comic Jonathan Winters and producer Gary David Goldberg, will be among the late stars remembered during a special tribute section at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday. Each one will be honored by a close co-star or former colleague - Glee star, Jane Lynch, will remember Monteith; The Sopranos matriarch, Edie Falco, will speak about Gandolfini; actor/director, Rob Reiner, will pay tribute to All In the Family's Jean Stapleton; Robin Williams will share his memories of Winters; while Michael J. Fox will talk about the life of Family Ties creator, Goldberg. Monteith died following a heroin and alcohol overdose in July, Gandolfini suffered a heart attack during a trip to Italy in June, Stapleton died at age 90 in May, Winters passed away in April, and Goldberg lost his battle with brain cancer in June. The extremely multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris will, once again, host the ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. We'll be watching.

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Attorney by day/singer by night, Nik Mastrangelo, will be appearing at Kelly's Steakhouse at 3900 S. Paradise Rd., on Saturday, September 28th, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Joining Nik in providing the entertainment, will be his good friend Larry Millonzi on keys, plus some surprise guests. They will be featuring the music of Johnny Mercer on the 28th, however, as usual, they will be taking requests from the audience. A lovely dinner and music of your choosing. What more could one want on a Saturday night in Las Vegas? Call Kelly's Steakhouse at (702) 791-7011 for reservations. Also, congratulations to our friend Nikolas Lamont Mastrangelo who was just named among The Best of the Best Lawyers in Southern Nevada by VegasInc publication.


Nikolas Mastrangelo

Bob Anderson

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Singer impressionist, Bob Anderson, showed the Las Vegas what they had been missing for most of the past 10 years. Except for a few engagements over the decade since he left these parts to live in Branson, Anderson has done much of his performing elsewhere. The turnout for his weekend performances at the Italian American Club was pretty much a sellout for both shows. Among the showbiz-types who turned out to welcome Bob "home," were Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell, Bill Acosta, Clint Holmes, Rich Little, Bill Fayne, Nelson Sardelli, Linda November and Artie Schroeck, Jerry Tiffe, Rob Garrett, Johnny Thompson (also known as The Great Tomsoni), Frankie Scinta, Steve Rossi and Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie. Backed by Vinnie Falcone on piano, Joe Lano on guitar, Bob Sachs on bass, Mike Mechem on drums, and Vinne's brother Mike Falcone on keyboards, much to the delight of the crowds, Anderson performed for more than two hours. He opened singing a number of songs - including "You Make Me Feel So Young," "This Is My First Affair," Anthony Newley‘s "Once In a Lifetime," Stevie Wonder‘s beautiful " You & I," "One At a Time" and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick Out of You" - using his own voice (which sure ain't a bad thing), but, we think it would be fair to say that the audience was waiting for the vocal impressions. And Anderson did not disappoint. From Tony Bennett's version of "Sunny Side of the Street" and "For Once In My Life," though Dean Martin's "When You're Drinkin'," Sammy's "Hey There," Steve Lawrence's "Room Without Windows" (written by friend Ervin Drake, mentioned elsewhere in this column), Jack Jones' "Roses and Lollipops" and "Wives and Lovers," Mel Torme's "Mountain Greenery," Andy Williams‘ "Days of Wine and Roses," and Bobby Darin/Nat King Cole/Louis Armstrong's "Mack the Knife," to Tom Jones' "Till," Frank Sinatra's "Angel Eyes," Paul Anka's "Put Your Head On My Shoulder," and Buddy Greco's "The Lady is a Tramp." A few more Anderson vocals - "Over the Weekend," "The Touch of Your Lips." "Send In the Clowns," and "I Remember You" - were followed by a trip into the audience, where someone requested a Johnny Mathis impression. Bob obliged with "Misty." Anderson ended his show with the appropriate "The Curtain Falls," a Bobby Darin song sung in Bob Anderson's voice. A curtain call, after "The Curtain Falls," generated "Pennies From Heaven," and the Sunday afternoon show ended. We doubt that anyone felt they hadn't gotten their money's worth. Quite an afternoon. What is next for Mr. Anderson in Las Vegas? When he tells us that we can let the cat out of the bag, we will. If it comes to fruition, it should be a winner!

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Wes Winters Off & Running

Due to his exotic corporate travel plans, pianist/entertainer, Wes Winters, will not be performing in his usual Las Vegas places during the following dates: September 24th at the Rampart; and September 27th and 28th, and October 4th and 5th at the South Point. To see Wes' upcoming performance dates, please visit www.weswinters.com, and click on the new calendar.

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Harold Larson by David Becker

As she usually does, Lisa Gioia-Acres keeps us informed about what's happening with the Las Vegas Media Group and its members. Here is her recent news. Las Vegas Media Group friend and member, Harold Larson, is famous for his wit, smile and knowledge, but now he will be famous the world over for his AMAZING fossil discovery here in Southern Nevada. An article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday, September 16th tells you all about it. There was a full house at last Monday's Las Vegas Media Group meeting, with more than 40 people there (it‘s not a great big venue). Many visitors from UNLV came to support Special Collections director, Michelle Light. Michelle, who was introduced to the attendees by Thalia Dondero, talked about the treasures housed at the library, brought some of the items from the collections, and explained how members could donate their own Las Vegas history so it would be accessible to the general public and cared for professionally. It was a great, informative talk. After the meeting, several members sought more information from Michelle, Claytee White, and Su Kim Chung - faces that will hopefully attend future LVMG meetings! Rich, who usually handles such things, was not at the meeting, so a big THANK YOU to Joe Thomson for facilitating. We had a great raffle of prizes (as always, thanks to Phil Jensen for always bringing in books!), a great meal, and wonderful conversations, including SKYPE visits from Frank Mitraini (from Kanab, Utah) and Cork Proctor and Carolyn Hamilton, all the way from Ecuador. Remember, Cork will be the LVMG speaker on October 21st. A couple of upcoming events of interest: Former Mayor Oscar Goodman will be signing copies of his book at a fundraiser for the Doberman Rescue organization. Members, Pat and John Getter, are very involved, so contact them for more information. On October 20th, UNLV is hosting an event to celebrate the Oral History Research Center's 10th anniversary with a meet and greet of members of the Las Vegas music community who were interviewed for the project, All That Jazz. To find out more and to RSVP, contact Claytee White at 702 895-2222. UNLV is also presenting and Author Series of events. The first author to speak, on October 6, is Rex J. Rowley, who wrote Everyday Las Vegas: Local Life in a Tourist Town. For more information and to RSVP, go to wwwl.library.unlv.edu/author-rsvp. Happy birthday to LVMG supporters Carl Harley, Marlene Adrian, Lisa Gioia-Acres, Judy Reich, Nelson Sardelli, Rollie Gibbs, Wally Carson and Z.Z. Zorn. Lisa has a favor to ask. As many of you know, she won't be at the next few meetings, so in order for her to send out these recaps, hearing from the members who do attend about what took place at the meeting will be much appreciated. Just send her a quick email with who and what happened and she'll include it in the recap email and on the LVMG blog. Thanks in advance for your help! http://lasvegasmediagroup.blogspot.com/


Michelle Light Courtesy of Joe Thomson

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Tomorrow, Saturday, September 21st at 7:30 p.m., the Live at Green Valley Presbyterian Church Concert Series will feature Mark Thomsen, Ken Allan Phillip and Spencer Baker in Fall Serenade. Thomsen, critically acclaimed tenor; an Phillips, well-known baritone of film and television; with Baker, acclaimed choral, operatic, chamber and ballet collaborative pianist and musical director, present an enjoyable evening of Classics, Broadway, Standards and Neapolitan Songs. Green Valley Presbyterian Church is located at 1798 Wigwam Parkway, on the northeast corner of Valle Verde at Wigwam (just north of I-215), in Henderson. The facility Offers great music and great acoustics. Admission is complimentary, but a Free-Will Offering to Benefit Henderson Presbyterian Church Food Bank will be gratefully accepted. Call (702) 454-8484, or go to www.greenvalleypres.com for additional information.


Thomsen, Phillip & Baker in Fall Serenade

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On Tuesday, Scobar Entertainment presented A Tribute To Ervin Drake at The Iridium in Manhattan. The evening celebrated the music and life of legendary American songwriter, 94-year-old Ervin Drake. His works include "I Believe," "Good Morning Heartache," "It Was A Very Good Year," "Tico-Tico," "Perdido," "Now I Have Everything," "A Room without Windows," "AL DI LA," and "Quando Quando," to name a few. Ervin is also the composer and lyricist of the 1964 Broadway show, What Makes Sammy Run. The special variety show at Iridium featured the Barry Levitt Trio, with performances by outstanding musical theater and cabaret acts, including Ervin and Edith Drake's granddaughter Nina Berman, Joyce Breach, Kat Gang, Jeff Harnar, Allan Harris, Hilary Kole, Dana Lorge, Sidney Myer, Ron Raines, Rex Reed, Steve Ross, Warren Schein, Richard Skipper, KT Sullivan, Stacy Sullivan and Sal Viviano.


Edith & Ervin Drake, Nina Berman by Stephen Sorokoff

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Art Square Theater, 1025 S. First St., #110, will present Me, My Uke and Some Friends, on Sunday, September 29th at 3 p.m. This delightful show will feature four talented musicians from up and down the Las Vegas Strip, performing tunes from songwriters such as Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George and Ira Gershwin, "Fats" Waller, Rodgers and Hart and more. Adam Kozlowski is the "Me" with the uke. He will play his ukulele as he leads his friends, Joan Sobel, Lisa Viscuglia, Kristen Hertzenberg and the audience, through this collection of amazing tunes from the American songbook. Kozlowski moved to Las Vegas to play Pumbaa in Disney's The Lion King at Mandalay Bay. He is delighted to be performing with these three talented ladies. Watching them and listening to them should be just as delightful for the audience. Tickets are $15, and may be ordered through...
https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=7edc13bb48eceea2c49e60d74336104b


Joan Sobel

Cynthia Pepper

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Happy birthday to the following VIRGOS (August 23-September 22) Rick Springfield, Rex Allen Jr., Lee Roy Reams, Mason Williams, Dave Chappelle, Regis Philbin, Gene Simmons (Kiss), Elvis Costello, Billy Ray Cyrus, Valerie Simpson, Branford Marsalis, Daryl Dragon (Captain & Tennille), Tommy Sands, Wayne Osmond, Scott Hamilton, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Jack Black, Robin Leach, Dan Truman (Diamond Rio), Lewis Black, Michael Chiklis, Vera Goulet, Itzhak Perlman, Van Morrison, Deborah Gibson, George Maharis, Lily Tomlin, Barry Gibb, Gloria Estefan, Linda Purl, Al Jardine, Steve Schirripa, Valerie Perrine, Cynthia Pepper, Mitzi Gaynor, Merald "Bubba" Knight, Beyonce, John Neeland, Bob Newhart, Carol Lawrence, Robbie Howard, Jeff Foxworthy, Mark Chesnutt, Macy Gray, CeCe Penniston, Gloria Gaynor, Chrissie Hynde, Michael Feinstein, Willie Tyler, Pink, Michael Buble, Jose Feliciano, Lola Falana, Harry Connick Jr., Leo Kottke, Tom Dreesen, Maria Muldaur, Ruben Studdard, Jennifer Hudson, Louis C.K., David Clayton-Thomas, Peter Cetera, Fiona Apple, Joey Heatherton, Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, Mary Crosby, Norm Crosby, Britain's Prince Harry, B.B. King, David Copperfield, Richard Marx, Jennifer Tilly, Rita Rudner, Jimmie Rodgers, LaMonte McLemore, Frankie Avalon, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), Jason Sudeikis, Adam West, Freda Payne, Bart Williams, Bill Medley, Paul Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Matthew & Gunnar Nelson, Paul Hansell, Nelson Sardelli, Leonard Cohen, Faith Hill, Andrea Bocelli, Debby Boone, Joan Jett, Bruce Mickelson, Billie Ann Sabala, Gail Lucas, David Kancsar, Barbara Winters, Fielding West, Mark Winkler, Indrani Sardelli, Lenadams Dorris, Gary Olds, Randy Carlson, Sharon Prier, Oliver Richman, Joe Pellegrino, JoAnn Toranto, Montel Brian "Gooch" Williams, Kelly Clinton-Holmes, Michelle Rohl, and Lisa Gioia-Acres.
And anniversary greetings to Bob and Lien Shemeligian, and Greg and Susie Smith.


Bart Williams

Paul Hansell

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Reminders...
Don't miss the Performing Arts Society of Nevada's September variety program, Play It Again Sam! The Music of Casablanca and Other Songs Too Well Loved To Ever Be Forgotten, Sunday the 22nd at 2 p.m. at the Winchester Theater. Performers in this program include, Alison Ward, Graham Fenton, Nicole Kaplan, Phillip Drennen, Carlynn Mazon, Chris Racine, Joe Marshall, and Megan Kovitch. The PASNV 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 of the Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod Dr., just north of E. Desert Inn and east of S Eastern Ave. Doors for the Sunday afternoon programs open at 1:30. Tickets are $15 in advance, and $18 at the door with open seating. For more information on how to purchase tickets, please call PASNV at (702) 658-6741 or email [email protected].

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On Wednesday, September 25th, a cast of Hollywood stars will take the stage for a special ensemble reading of Act 1 of Surviving Grace, an original play penned by comedy writer Trish Vradenburg (Designing Women, Family Ties, Kate and Allie), who is the co-founder of USAgainstAlzheimer's, a national advocacy organization committed to stopping Alzheimer's by 2020. Based on Trish's experience as a caregiver to her mother who died of Alzheimer's in 1992, Surviving Grace is a brutally honest, irreverent and moving story, laced with humor, that sheds light on the emotional ups and downs that 15.4 million Alzheimer's caregivers go through each day in the U.S. The play comes to California after being produced at The Kennedy Center, off-Broadway, cross-country and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The first star-studded reading was at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC last fall. The Los Angeles performance will take place at the Stephen J. Ross Theatre at Warner Bros. Studios, with honorary director James Burrows at the helm, and boasts a legendary cast including Carol Burnett, Marilu Henner, Loni Anderson, Helen Reddy and Lou Gossett, Jr. The host committee for the September 25th event also features a diverse group of performers dedicated to the cause, among them are Ann-Margret, Ann Archer, Elizabeth Banks, Diahann Carroll, Richard Chamberlain, Joan Collins, Chace Crawford, Donna de Varona, Morgan Fairchild, Michael Feinstein, Carrie Fisher, Peter Gallagher, Phyllis George, Whoopi Goldberg, Linda Gray, George Hamilton, Samantha Harris, Tippi Hedren, Joanna Kerns, Donna Mills, Stefanie Powers, Seth Rogen, Maria Shriver, Molly Sims, Jill St. John, Maura Tierney, Joan Van Ark, Robert Wagner, and Henry Winkler, among others. Following the Los Angeles performance, Surviving Grace will travel to San Diego for another benefit show on September 27th at the Shiley Theatre on the campus of the University of San Diego. The San Diego production also features marquee names, including philanthropist Darlene Shiley, Helen Reddy, Diane Rehm, Marilu Henner, Susan Taylor, Robert Foxworth and Jim Laslavic, and is being presented by USAgainstAlzheimer's and B.A.B.E.S "Beating Alzheimer's By Embracing Science," an organization dedicated to harnessing the power of women to beat Alzheimer's by raising funds to support the most promising Alzheimer's research. Both events will feature a celebrity red carpet, followed by the play reading and receptions with the casts. To purchase tickets in advance or to learn more about becoming a sponsor, please visit www.survivinggrace.org.

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Don Rickles

Robert Davi

Returning to Las Vegas for a record-smashing 54th consecutive year, internationally renowned comedian, actor and entertainer, Don Rickles, is back at The Orleans Showroom, Saturday and Sunday, September 28th and 29th. Teaming up with Rickles will be well-known singer and actor, Robert Davi, who will open both evenings with a selection of songs by the legendary Frank Sinatra. Having earned the nicknames "The Merchant of Venom" and "Mr. Warmth," (the latter coined affectionately by Johnny Carson), Rickles' style of comedy is never mean-spirited and all part of his act. It has been said that being "zinged" by Rickles is like "wearing a badge of honor." Rickles took his first step toward national fame in 1957, when he spotted Sinatra in the audience at a nightclub in Miami Beach. The still-unknown Rickles eyed Sinatra and said, "I just saw your movie, ‘The Pride and the Passion,' and I want to tell you, the cannon was great. Make yourself at home, Frank. Hit somebody." Sinatra, whose pet name for Rickles was "bullet-head," enjoyed Rickles so much, that he returned to see him when he was performing in Los Angeles, and encouraged other celebrities to see his act. Rickles soon became the "in" comic among Hollywood stars, who flocked to see him to become a target of his insults. Sinatra's continuing support helped Rickles become a popular performer in Las Vegas, where he first started in 1959, and has been a headliner ever since. Shortly after being discovered by Sinatra, Rickles made his acting debut in 1958's Run Silent Run Deep. The movie was a hit, launching Rickles towards a celebrated career as a movie, television and theater actor. His still-growing television and film resume includes roles in Casino, Kelly's Heroes, The Rat Race, all three Toy Story films, HBO's Tales From the Crypt, and Bravo's My Life on the D-List with Kathy Griffin. In 2011, he made a surprise appearance in a "cliff-hanger" episode as the "thought to be dead" husband of Betty White's character on the TV Land comedy, Hot In Cleveland. Later in the year, he returned to the show for the "payoff." He recently appeared on Showtime's new series, Inside Comedy, where fellow comedian, David Steinberg, interviewed him. In 2000, Rickles received one of the highest honors in the entertainment business, when he was presented a star on the famed Hollywood Walk of Fame. Rickles has received two Primetime Emmy® Awards, including Best Individual Performance in a Variety or Musical for the 2008 HBO special Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project. In 2009, cable network TV Land honored Rickles with the "Legend Award." Rickles' best-selling memoir, Rickles' Book, was released in 2007, and was followed up with the 2008 title, Rickles' Letters. In spring 2012, Rickles joined David Letterman as the only two performers to receive the prestigious "Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence" at The Comedy Awards, aired on Comedy Central. The award was presented to Rickles by Jon Stewart and Robert DeNiro. In June, Rickles was honored with the Friars Club's Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy at a star-studded awards gala at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Among those participating in honoring Don through their songs or words were Lewis Black, Louis C.K., Natalie Cole, Bob Costas, Tony Danza, Robert DeNiro, Kathy Griffin, Diana Krall, John Mayer, Bob Newhart, Regis Philbin, Joan Rivers, Bob Saget and John Stamos. In addition to recurring dates in Las Vegas at The Orleans, Rickles continues to be a popular performer in venues throughout the country. Opening for Mr. Rickles is entertainer Robert Davi, a recognizable and applauded entertainer who has appeared in more than 100 film and television roles. Davi was handpicked by Frank Sinatra to play Mickey Sinardos in the 1977 NBC television drama, Contract on Cherry Street. Since then, Davi has appeared in many hit films including License to Kill as Bond villain Franz Sanchez, Die Hard, Showgirls, and The Goonies, along with well-known television series' such as Profiler, Stargate: Atlantis and Criminal Minds. Davi recorded the album, Davi Sings Sinatra, On The Road To Romance, and worked with music legends: producer Phil Ramone and mixing engineer Al Schmitt. About Davi Sings Sinatra, Quincy Jones said, "He (Davi) absolutely touched me down to my soul and brought back the essence and soul of ‘Ol Blue Eyes himself." And USA Today raved, "Listening to it, you just know Sinatra would have smiled, given Davi a light tap on the cheek, and said, ‘Nice job, kid'." Showtime at The Orleans each evening is at 8 p.m. Tickets are available, starting from $79.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting www.orleanscasino.com.

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