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 September 27, 2013
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - September 27, 2013

Philip Fortenberry

Freckles Gets Booked

In June, Philip Fortenberry's debut solo performance of The Man at the Piano in the Cabaret Jazz club at The Smith Center sold out quickly. As a result, he was scheduled back for a second concert in July. No surprise, that too sold out within a couple of weeks. Also, no surprise is that Mr. Fortenberry returns for a third show, this time on Monday, October 3rd at 7 p.m. If you missed out the first two times, or want to see it again, don't miss this chance to see the critically acclaimed Philip Fortenberry, The Man at the Piano. Reviews for the cabaret-style show included, "Superb storyteller, spectacular pianist!" - Las Vegas Review-Journal. "A fantastic man at the piano, one of our great treasures!" - John Katsilometes, The Kats Report, LV Sun. "Philip Fortenberry was incredible! The show was so moving!" - Dayna Roselli, Hold the Phone. Tickets for the October 3rd performance are $25 and $35, and may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (702) 749-2000.

* * * * * * * *

Freckles, the Irish Papillon, a book by Las Vegan Mary Marcella Schwartz, written under the name Mary Marcella O'Schwartz, is the true tale about how the unconditional love of a wee pup connected ones that had passed on. Freckles, the Irish Papillon is available as a Kindle e-book for only $4.99. If you don't have a Kindle, it can be downloaded for FREE with the Kindle reader for your iPad, iPhone, computer, or other tablets. The story tells how fate, or the grace of God, brought Freckles together with his human mommy, a Jewish girl from New York, and his human daddy, an Irishman from Castleblayney, County Monaghan, named Michael "Mickey" Gerard O'Neill. Although Mary and Mickey were from different worlds, their lives intertwined like a Celtic knot, and Freckles held them together. Nothing, not even death, would untie their bond. Freckles takes the reader through a journey of birth, life, and death. And, in doing so, reveals how he found his purpose in life...and his Irish roots. Freckles, the Irish Papillon is a tribute to Mary's longtime boyfriend, Mickey, a drummer with Brendan Bowyer's Royal Irish Showband, an ensemble that performed in Las Vegas for many years. Mary bought Freckles to help ease Mickey's pain after the loss of his 21-year-old son, Michael. Freckles has become Mary's constant companion since Mickey's passing three years ago. The author says, "This was a true story that had to be written, but I didn't know where to begin, or end. After giving it much thought, I felt that the story had to be told by Freckles, not me." Mary was born in New York's Jewish Memorial Hospital in 1945. Her father, David "Herbie" Schwartz, was a suave professional gambler, 25-years older than her mother, Lorraine. After giving birth to Mary and her older sister, Amy, Lorraine hired a young Irish nanny from Roscommon, Ireland, to live in and take care of the girls. Delia Kelly soon became "Aunt Della," and her Irish influence had a lasting emotional impact on Mary's life. Mary Schwartz is the co-creator, with Barbara Ciarlantini, of the award-winning children's book, The Handy Girls Can Fix It!, selected for the International Reading Association/Children's Book Choices List. Here is the link to The Handy Girls Can Fix It!, originally published by Random House in 1984 - It is now available on as a full-color picture book for $8.99 or Kindle for only $2.99. Here is the link to "Freckles, the Irish Papillon" Kindle e-book: Check out and "like" Freckles' Facebook page (of the same name) and feel free to leave a comment.

* * * * * * * *

Condolences go out to former longtime Las Vegan, Diane Ellis, on the death of her mother. Gloria M. (DelVecchio) Calderone passed away in Everett, Massachusetts, on Saturday, September 21st, at the age of 88. The Wake/Viewing was held at Salvatore Rocco & Sons Funeral Home in Everett on Wednesday, September 25th, from 4 to 8 p.m. Funeral Mass was at The Immaculate Conception Church, yesterday at 11 a.m., with interment following at Glenwood Cemetery in Everett. Breaking of bread and rejoicing and reminiscing Gloria's life took place at Anthony's Restaurant in Malden, Massachusetts. Gloria was the beloved wife of the late Vincent J. Calderone; loving mother of Marianne Ciarlone (Robert) of Everett; Diane Ellis of Everett; Vincent A. Calderone (Catherine) of Wakefield; John F. Calderone (Mary) of Saugus; beloved sister of Mary B. DelVecchio. She is survived by her loving grandchildren, Gina, Kristin, Vincent M., Michael, Nicholas, Daria, Nicole, and Hannah; and two loving great grandchildren, Dylan and Jordan. Friends can send messages of sympathy to Diane at [email protected].

Diane Ellis & Mom Gloria Calderone

Mackie Designed/Philipo Restored

* * * * * * * *

Costume collector/Las Vegas Showgirl Museum owner, Grant Philipo, sends along a photo of a Bob Mackie finale' costume from Donn Arden's Hallelujah Hollywood that he just finished restoring. The cast tells Grant that it looks as good, if not better, than it did in the show!

And speaking of costumes...
Want to do something really special to make your Halloween Party an event? There are still a few open dates available to add comic impressionist Bethany Owen's Club Ghoul & The Monsters Ball Halloween revue to the mix. Shows can be customized for your needs. For more information, go to, and/or contact Jim Whirlow at JRW Group - A Screen to Stage Image Company. Call (310) 251-1546, or e-mail to [email protected].

Bethany Owen Enjoys Being a Ghoul

Rob Garrett Earns Award

And, still speaking of costumes...and witches, and ghosts, and skeletons and all those other frightful and delightful creatures...
Mark your calendar. Save the date. The F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) annual Halloween Party is on approach. This will be an evening event, taking place at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara. The moat bridge will be raised and the screeching doors will open at 5 p.m., on Friday, October 25th. Grub will be devoured at 6 or 6:30 (sooner if the carcass stops quivering). A monster at the door will extract from attendees, $25 per live body (which, hopefully, all will be). As usual, widows of past presidents (all the male members are presidents, as there is no favoritism at F.I.O.R.E.) are guests of the non-club club. Dress in style, or in your usual drag (no one will know the difference), and bring your mummy friends with you (where they will come to life). Count Gary Anderson and The Disinterested Ghouls will provide eerie sounds for you to dance to "The Monster Mash" (and possibly, "Witchcraft," "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You," "Werewolves of London," "Thriller" and "Time Warp"). Unless you want to be fed to the buzzards, RSVPs are a must. Please contact either [email protected] or [email protected]. We will have more scary details about this much anticipated event in a couple of weeks.

* * * * * * * *

The Entertainment Consumers Exchange Inc. honored a number of Las Vegas entertainers, with a ceremony held at a Henderson club on Tuesday, September 17th. Among those being recognized for their contribution to the community are: Gregg Austin and Second Wind - Male Vocal Group of the Year, Rob Garrett - Tribute Artist of the Year (Neil Diamond), Anthony Rias and Totolino - Puppeteer and Puppet of the Year, Bob Sachs - Jazz Musician of the Year, Sammy Shore - Male Comedian of the Year, and Larry "Wild" Wrice - Drummer of the Year. Congratulations to the winners.

Anthony Rais & Totolino by Richard Faverty

Author Larry "Wild" Wrice

In addition to being a top musician, Larry "Wild" Wrice is also an author. His new book is called, 28 Steps to Life. He has been signing and selling copies around the city. Larry also has a second book, on skiing, to his credit. We will be writing more about this multi-talented man in an upcoming column.

* * * * * * * *

Character actress, Jane Connell, passed way last Sunday, September 23rd, at the age of 87. With her comedic flair, Jane performed in a dozen Broadway shows, including the revue New Faces of 1956, Me and My Girl, Jerry Herman's Dear World, and two productions of Herman's Mame with Angela Lansbury. In addition to the 1966 and 1983 stage versions of Mame, Connell also played Agnes Gooch in the 1974 movie version, starring Lucille Ball. There were nearly as many off-Broadway shows, including the acclaimed 1954 production of The Threepenny Opera, starring Lotte Lenya, as well as national tours, regional productions and a great deal of television. In more recent years, Connell appeared on Broadway in Lend Me a Tenor, Crazy For You and Moon Over Buffalo. Jane's last performances on the Great Bright Way were in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer The Full Monty, both in 2001). She appeared on sitcoms like All in the Family, M*A*S*H", Bewitched and Law & Order. In the 1980s, Connell appeared as Miss Hannigan when the musical, Annie, played here at the Desert Inn (now the site of Wynn Las Vegas). Jane Connell is survived by her husband of 65 years, actor Gordon Connell, and daughters Maggie and Melissa Connell.

Jane & Gordon Connell

Beverly Washburn in Star Trek

* * * * * * * *

This weekend, the Las Vegas Comic Expo (LVCE) returns to the Riviera on the Las Vegas Strip. The 2013 expo features comic book, pop-culture, cosplay (short for "costume play," an activity in which participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea from a work of fiction), gaming and more! Among the celebrity guests expected to attend are Dyanne Thorne (Star Trek) and Howard Maurer, Beverly Washburn (Star Trek, The Adventures of Superman), Cleve Hall, Constance Hall, Donna D'Errico, Sean Kanan, Camden Toy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), Karl Altstaetter, Neal Adams (Batman), Valerie Perez, Ivy Doomkitty, The Fillbach Brothers, Ken F. Levin, Orlando Harding, Dan Cote, Stephen L. Stern, Joel Adams, Sylvester McCoy, Scott Lobdell, Joe Rubenstein, Bobby Clark (the original Gorn on Star Trek) Carlos Ramirez, and Linda Blair (The Exorcist). Toni Darling will be showcasing her costumes at the show. A face painter will entertain the children. Expo hours are Saturday, September 28th, from 10a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, September 29th, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission cost for Saturday OR Sunday, is $25 per day per person. For BOTH days, it is $45 per person. Children, 8 years and under, are free with a paid adult ticket (limit two children per paid adult).

Dyanne Thorne & Howard Maurer

Neon Museum

* * * * * * * *

Acknowledging its fast-growing reputation as one of Las Vegas' most photogenic venues, the Neon Museum has introduced the Golden Hour Photo Tours, special one-hour-long photo shoots in the Neon Boneyard. These sessions, timed to coincide with the golden hour of sunset or sunrise, allow up to 12 individuals to have access to the Neon Boneyard for one hour. During that time, participants may shoot photographs for personal use from anywhere in the Boneyard, as long as they stay on the designated rock-lined paths. The next Golden Hour Photo Tour is scheduled for Thursday, October 3rd, at 5:30 p.m. Examples of personal use include social media, personal (not commercial) websites and blogs, home décor, custom stationery and holiday cards. Photos taken during these tours may not be used to promote any business, for publication by media or sold to a third party. To register for the October 3rd Golden Hour Photo Tour, or to be alerted when future dates and times become available, send an email to [email protected]. The cost for Golden Hour Photo Tours is $75; Nevada residents, students, active military, veterans and seniors pay $60 with valid I.D.

Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic and cultural enrichment. In addition to an approximately two-acre Neon Museum campus, which includes the outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard, the museum also encompasses a visitors' center housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby, as well as 15 restored signs installed as public art throughout downtown Las Vegas. Public education, outreach, research, archival preservation and a grant-funded neon sign survey represent a selection of the museum's ongoing projects. Both the Neon Boneyard and the La Concha Visitors' Center are located at 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North in Las Vegas. For more information, visit

* * * * * * * *

Me, My Uke & Some Friends, featuring Adam Kozlowski, who portrayed Pumbaa in Disney's The Lion King at Mandalay Bay, playing the ukulele, plus his three talented friends - Kristen Hertzenberg, Sam Lemos and Benjamin D. Hale (note change in lineup) - performing tunes from songwriters such as Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George and Ira Gershwin, "Fats" Waller, Rodgers and Hart and more, at Art Square Theater, Sunday, September 29th at 3 p.m. The theatre is located at 1025 S. First Street #110. Tickets are $15. To purchase, go to:

Kristen Hertzenberg

Nik at Nite

Nik Mastrangelo, aka Nik at Nite, has added a couple of additional musicians to his 6:30 to 10 p.m. show at Kelly's Steak House tomorrow night. Joining Nik and his good friend Larry Millonzi on keys, will be John Plows on drums and special guest, Chadwick Johnson, a new-to-Las Vegas singer from California, who is now calling this city home. Nik believes Chadwick will be a welcome addition to the local music scene. Also, expect some surprise drop-in guests. Kelly's Steakhouse is located at 3900 S. Paradise Rd. Call (702) 791-7011 for reservations.

And, it's veteran comic, Don Rickles, and vocalist, Robert Davi, tomorrow and Sunday at The Orleans showroom. Rickles took his first step toward national fame in 1957, when he spotted Frank 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 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, who earned the nicknames "The Merchant of Venom" and "Mr. Warmth," become a popular performer in Las Vegas, where he first started in 1959, and has been a headliner ever since. Opening for Mr. Rickles is Robert Davi, an award-winning actor, writer, director and singer. He is considered by many to be one of the top James Bond villains of all time, and has more than 100 films to his credit. He recently released his first music album, Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance, produced by the late Phil Ramone. Davi's debut record charted at No. 6 on the Billboard jazz music chart. Shows on both nights start at 8. Tickets range from $88 to $110 and may be purchased at The Orleans Box Office, or by calling (702) 284-7777 or (888) 365-7111.

* * * * * * * *

Everyone is invited to enjoy the fifth annual Oktoberfest celebration, downtown at Centennial Plaza, on Saturday, October 5th, from 2 to 9 p.m. at 401 S. Fourth St. Located on the campus of the Historic Fifth Street School at Fourth and Clark streets, the outdoor event is free and open to the public. A children's activity area will feature face painting, music, magicians, balloon artists, games and other activities. The plaza will come alive with Alpine music by Salzburger Echo and master yodeler, Kerry Christensen, and German folk dancing by The Las Vegas Bavarian Dancers throughout the day. Salzburger Echo brings the Alps to their audiences, playing Old World and contemporary folk music from the regions of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. They continue to amaze audiences with their 12-foot alphorns, Swiss cowbells, holzernes g'lächter and harmony yodeling. Christensen specializes in all styles of yodeling, offering his fans cowboy, alpine, Cajun, Latin, Jewish, Hawaiian, jazz, classical, and his always-popular humorous yodeling renditions. Traditional food and drink will be available for purchase. Limited free parking is available at the Historic Fifth Street School parking lot. The metered parking garage, across from the school, and the lot south of the school, will offer parking for a flat $3 for the day. The Oktoberfest celebration is presented by the city of Las Vegas and the German-American Social Club of Nevada. For more information, call (702) 229-3515 or (702) 649-8503, or visit or

Salzburger Echo

Krysztof Nemeth's Blue Angel

Also taking place in the downtown area of Las Vegas, Krysztof Nemeth will exhibit a 10-year retrospective of his pinup work entitled, Live, from Sin City, at Sin City Gallery October 3rd through 27th. Nemeth's Pin-Up Art Is Always Flirty, Never Dirty. After 10 years of making a name for himself as a notable Low-Brow Pin-up Artist in Seattle, Washington, Nemeth has relocated his base of operations to Lawrence, Kansas. Working primarily in black-and-white pen-and-ink, he has published two collections of his pin-up art and been featured in Juxtapoz Magazine. Along with the commissioned work he creates, Nemeth has had his work in magazines such as Skin Two, Swag, Fetish and Rubbertimes, and been in many group shows, including the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, Pittsburgh's Blue Ruin Gallery, Vancouver's Tart Gallery, and the shows he curated while in Washington at the Westside Burrito Connection in Bremerton. While Nemeth had a day-job as an eLearning Interaction Designer in Washington, it didn't keep him from illustrating and designing pin-up art for his own business, Charm School Art & Design. He's done pin-ups of all kinds, including pirates and roller derby girls, lady devils, librarians, nurses, witches and has a penchant for mermaids with one of his most famous being Coney Island Mermaid Parade. In addition to doing amazing pin-up art, Nemeth plays the guitar and writes songs for the cool electro-noir-lounge Kansas City band, The Latenight Callers, that produced a noir video. While in Washington, he was a member of Abney Park, a steampunk band based in Seattle that mixes elements of industrial dance, world music, and steampunk-influenced lyrics in their work. "With exciting exhibits by creative people like Krysztof Nemeth," said gallery curator, Dr. Laura Henkel, "Sin City Gallery is becoming internationally recognized for presenting art experiences of the highest caliber." On Thursday, October 3rd, there will be a reception at the gallery, with Nemeth available for a Q&A session with attendees from 6 to 11 p.m. Sin City Gallery is located off the Strip in the famous Arts Factory, situated in the heart of downtown Las Vegas' thriving arts community, at 107 E. Charleston Boulevard, Suite 100. Gallery hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 1 to 7 p.m. Sin City Gallery's TV exposure includes Oxygen Network's Bad Girls Club, and the Travel Channel's The Ethical Hedonist episode featuring Las Vegas. For information, updates and exhibition calendar, call (702) 608-2461, or visit

* * * * * * * *

The Lisa Smith Jazz Trio, with Lisa Smith (a member of Shades of Sinatra playing at the off-Strip Clarion) on vocals, Dan Ellis on keyboards, and Darin Presley on drums), is back at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino to present Gold Coast Classics in the showroom, for three Wednesdays in October, the 2nd, 9th and 23rd. Show times are from 1 to 4 p.m. As always, there is no cover charge, and no drink minimum. The Gold Coast is located west of the Strip at 4000 Flamingo.

Lisa Smith

Carmine Mandia

And Carmine Mandia, also one of the Shades of Sinatra members, will be singing in the Ristorante Italiano at the Italian American Club, Thursdays and Fridays from 7 to 11 p.m. Come listen and dance with Carmine and his friends. The IAC is at 2333 E. Sahara. Call 457-3866.

Shades of Sinatra, which also includes Larry Liso and Ryan Baker in the ensemble, performs several nights a week at the Clarion Hotel & Casino, 305 Convention Center Drive. Call (702) 990-1524, or by visiting, for show times, ticket prices, and to buy your tickets.

* * * * * * * *

Readers, book clubs and residents are invited to mix and mingle with local and nationally acclaimed authors during the Books, Bubbles & Brews Readers Event, Monday, October 7th, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Now Café on the second floor of Las Vegas City Hall, located at 495 S. Main St. Admission is free and open to the public. Wirtz Beverage Nevada has donated beer and sparkling wine, which will be served along with complimentary coffee, tea and light appetizers during the event. Featured authors will include: Oscar Goodman - Being Oscar; * Vicki Pettersson - New York Times best-selling author of The Signs of the Zodiac and Celestial Blues series; Lauren Blakely - New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Caught Up In Us, Pretending He's Mine, Trophy Husband, and Playing With Her Heart; Dr. My Haley - Roots (in collaboration with husband, Alex Haley) and The Treason of Mary Louvestre; Brian David Bruns - Cruise Confidential series, Rumble Yell, and Comstock Phantoms; Victoria Kilbury - Disenchanted; and Alison Packard - Love in the Afternoon and The Winning Season. Scheduled for October 30th through November 2nd, the 2013 Vegas Valley Book Festival will bring together more literary and cultural programs than ever before. The festival is expected to feature more than 165 authors and 100 events, with special sections for adults, children, young adults and comic book aficionados. Enjoy panel discussions, readings, book signings, workshops, vendor exhibits, art exhibitions, spoken word performances and other programs for a diversity of genres, ages and cultural backgrounds. Most events and activities are free and open to the public, and will take place at the Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St., and Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. For details on festival and pre-festival events, visit

* * * * * * * *

Oh What a Night!

Last week, Chapquist Entertainment's Oh What a Night!, a tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, reopened at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, for the third year. The show will play in Branson through October 24th. In addition to the Branson production, there are a number of touring companies of the popular musical revue playing nationally and internationally. Las Vegas resident Michael Chapman, the "Chap" part of Chapquist (Paul Holmquist is the "Quist" part), tells us that Oh What a Night! will do a one-nighter at Santa Fe Station's Chrome Showroom on December 7th. We will have more about this local engagement as we get closer to the performance date.

* * * * * * * *

Cher (67) & Mother Georgia Holt (87)

According to Andrea Domanick of the Las Vegas Sun, both Cher and Garth Brooks will be making return stage stops in Las Vegas. Cher, who is all over the tube these days promoting her new CD (her first in almost a dozen years), Closer to the Truth, will perform at the MGM Grand Arena on May 25th as part of her 40-city North American Dressed to Kill tour. The 67-year-old looks amazing. Garth Brooks will return to the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas for performances at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. on October 18th and 19th, and November 8th and 9th. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased by calling (702) 770-9966 or (888) 320-7110, or e-mailing [email protected].

* * * * * * * *

On Saturday, October 5th, enjoy Groove al Fresco on the back lawn at the Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod Drive (north of Desert Inn), from 5 to 8 p.m. The annual VegasJazz picnic features the Ronnie Rose Quintet, the Dixieland stylings of Dave Poe, and Michito Sanchez and his Jazz In Clave salsa. Food and drink are available for purchase, but the fun and the music is Free!

* * * * * * * *

Wilson Phillips

Vocal group, Wilson Phillips, will perform at the Eastside Cannery Casablanca Events Center, Saturday, October 5th at 8:30 p.m. Made up of Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips, Wilson Phillips 1990 self-titled debut album sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, and placed three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, making the trio the best-selling female group at the time. In 1990, the group won the Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year for "Hold On," and in addition was nominated for four Grammy Awards and two American Music Awards. Tickets start at $17.95, and may be purchased at the Eastside Cannery front desk, or online at or, or call (702) 856-5300 in Las Vegas or toll free at (866) 999-4899.

* * * * * * * *

The Tommy Thompson Project is performing at The MonteLago Village Concert Series Saturday Night Jazz on the Lake (30 Strada Di Villaggio, at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson) on October 5th, and again on November 2nd, from 7 to 10 p.m. Present a receipt from any vendor at Lake Las Vegas and enter the concert for free. Portable chairs are permitted on the grassy hill. Please, no pets and no coolers. For additional information, contact the Village events team at (702) 289-7007. Lake Las Vegas is a dandy place to be on Saturday evenings.

* * * * * * * *

Next Saturday and Sunday, October 5th and 6th, the Boulder City Hospital Foundation presents the 51st annual Art in the Park event. Hundreds of fine artists and craftsmen, from all around the country, display and sell their works during the two day festivities held in the city by the dam's downtown parks. There is no admission charge. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, maps and directions, please visit or call (702) 293-0214.

* * * * * * * *

Buster Keaton

For you vintage/silent movie fans, you may be interested in knowing that the 19th Annual Buster Keaton Convention will be held in Muskegon, Michigan, October 4th and 5th. Events over the two days will include fun and interesting things including a baseball game at Buster's Field, a walking tour of Bluffton Actors' Colony, and a viewing of Buster Keaton rarities at the Muskegon Museum of Art. There will also be presentations by British film historian David Macleod - Buster Keaton's "College," Michael O'Hea - "It Ain't Rocket Science: Buster's Comedy in Light of Humour Theory," Matt Phelan - Bluffton Book, and Susan Buhrman - Medicine Show Days. Films - Our Hospitality and The Iron Mule (featuring several uncredited appearances by Buster), plus the documentary, Making Comedy Beautiful - will be shown on the big screen at the Frauenthal Center, with live music by theater organist Dennis Scott.

Special guests include Buster's nephew Harry "Jingles Jr." Keaton, Buster's granddaughter Melissa Talmadge Cox, and his daughter-in-law Barbara Talmadge. Unfortunately, due to health issues, The Earl Twins (Ruth and Jane), dancers who worked with Buster on stage and became close family friends, will be unable to attend this year. Actor Bart Williams will do some "silent-film" novelty songs originally performed in big vaudeville theaters, from the 1910s and ‘20s. He will be accompanied by Dennis Scott, on "The Mighty Wurlitzer." Bart Williams began his acting career at 11. Credits include (film) Bye, Bye Birdie, Hello, Dolly! and Tunnelvision; (TV) General Hospital, America's Funniest People, Weird Science, Mad TV, Stanley's Smogless Steamer (as co-host), and Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld; (theater/stage) many national and regional productions, USO tours, and title role in The Wizard of Oz at Radio City Music Hall. Bart has won two Drama-Logue Critic's Awards. In New York, he re-created Classic Burlesque Comedy with Irving Benson for the documentary, The Last First Comic. Scottish born David Macleod, has worked for Channel 4 Television in London for 20 years. The author of two books on Buster and editor of a third, he runs the UK Buster Keaton appreciation society, The Blinking Buzzards, which he founded in 1996. The society meets quarterly at, most appropriately, the Cinema Museum in Lambeth. Barbara Talmadge, a former championship tennis player, was the daughter-in-law of Buster Keaton and the mother of Melissa Talmadge Cox and her brothers. Barbara knew Buster and his wife, Eleanor Keaton, well, and is a witty and delightful guest with many a fine tale to tell. Harry Keaton lived with the Keaton family from birth until his parents moved to Nevada during WWII. During the 1950s and 1960s, Harry worked for Buster as a driver and assistant, and spent many hours with Buster on various film sets, and in television studios and performance venues. Harry currently lives in Nevada and is dedicated to researching his Keaton family history and helping others to learn more about "Uncle Buster." Melissa Talmadge Cox is not only Buster Keaton's granddaughter, she is also a talented artist and a member of the board of directors of the International Buster Keaton Society, Inc. She always surprises with the way she generously shares her memories of "Grandpa Buster." Dennis Scott is president of the Chicagoland Theater Organ Society and the Silent Film Society of Chicago. In demand as a silent film organist, he began accompanying silent films in the 1970s, and has been staff organist at Chicago's Music Box Theater, plus having performed at the Travoli Theatre Guild, the Oriental Theater in Milwaukee, for the Racine Theater Guild, and is a regular for the Sound of Silents Film Festival in Three Oaks, Michigan. Since 2000, he has been featured in the Silent Film Society of Chicago's Silent Summer Film Festival. He recently recorded a CD with the West End Jazz Band of Chicago.

* * * * * * * *

Legendary Motown group, The Temptations, return to The Orleans Showroom for shows on October 5th and 6th. Otis Williams, Bruce Williamson, Terry Weeks, Ron Tyson and Joe Herndon will bring classic Motown back to The Orleans for two weekend performances. For more than 40 years, The Temptations have shined as pioneers of popular music, with decades of smash hits and sold-out performances. An essential component of the original Motown machine invented by Berry Gordy, The Temptations began their musical career in Detroit in the early ‘60s. In 1964, Smokey Robinson wrote and produced "The Way You Do the Things You Do," the first major hit for The Temptations. An avalanche of hits followed, including "My Girl," "It's Growing," "Since I Lost My Baby," "Get Ready," "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" and "I Wish It Would Rain." Beyond their fabulous singing, The Temptations became known for smooth stepping and flawless presentations. "The Temptation Walk" became the staple of American style, flair, flash and class. When the ‘60s and ‘70s turned political, The Temptations got serious. They changed their tone, dress and music with such hits as "Runaway Child," "Cloud Nine," "I Can't Get Next To You," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Psychedelic Shack." The Temptations explosion continued in the '80s with their appearance on Motown 25 in 1983, and into the '90s with an NBC mini-series in 1998 that chronicled the group's early days and rise to fame, earning them a coveted Emmy® Award. This April, the group performed on "Dancing with the Stars" as part of Motown Week. Show time at The Orleans is 8 p.m. Tickets are available, starting from $34.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting

* * * * * * * *

Have a question about Las Vegas? Want to make a comment (be nice, now)?
If so, drop an e-mail and ask. Click Here
Cousin Claire will do her best to find the answer for you.
You can find Past Columns HERE

     Like to be notified when Claire Voyant's next column is available?
Then join Claire Voyant's announcement mailing list!
Enter your email address below, then click the 'Join List' button:

Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye