Claire Voyant's Las Vegas Gossip Column



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

Claire Voyant  

Note: This is a past column from March 07, 2014
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - March 7, 2014


Composers Showcase's Keith Thompson by Don Cadette

"Estelle Bernstein" Sings Christopher Lash by Don Cadette

Last week's Composers Showcase was a veritable smorgasbord of music, presenting everything from theater-style and country, to funny stuff and instrumental delicacies that even included a harp. Songwriter, Keith Thompson (conductor of Jersey Boys), who hosts the monthly events, was in rare form, both musically and in talking up the full house audience. He launched the late night presentation with his own tune, "On With the Show." Christopher Lash (a young man, with an older man's musical soul) sang his birthday song, "You're Only As Old As You Feel," and then accompanied Estelle Bernstein on a tune. Newcomer (they are referred to as "Showcase Virgins"), Geoffrey Tozer played piano and sang his "The Perfect Martini," while Michael Brennan (conductor for Le Reve, and cofounder with Thompson of the Composers Showcase) accompanied Niki Scalera (who bears a slight resemblance to Ms. Bernstein) on his "Flying." Mundo Juillerat and Noybel Gorgoy, members of the Hot Club of Las Vegas musical ensemble, performed two songs from their new CD, Summer Score, "Bossa Mundo" and "The Way You Say My Name." Richard Oberacker's creation featured former Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular principal, Kristen Hertzenberg, looking and sounding beautiful (that harp we mentioned, along with three violins, were among the backing instruments). Los Angeles-based composer, Alfred Johnson (another Showcase Virgin) played piano while Michelle Johnson (these two Johnsons are not related) did a beautiful job on Alfred's song "Company," which has been recorded by jazz singer, Dianne Reeves. Alfred Johnson has written around 900 songs. At least 70 have been published. Early in his career, he was a co-writer with Rickie Lee Jones on her platinum Grammy-nominated album containing the hit single, "Chuck E's In Love." In the first week they worked together, the twosome wrote some of Jones's most famous songs, including "Company," and an incomplete version of "Weasel and the White Boys Cool." With a zesty pinch of musical theater, Alfred's tasty compositions combine delectable lyrics with flavors of gospel, pop, "rhythm & bluegrass," and rock 'n' soul. "I think he is a genius lyricist..." claims the lauded songwriter, Dave Frishberg ("My Attorney Bernie, " Im Hip," "Lets Eat Home," Harry the Hamster," "Peel Me a Grape," "Do You Miss New York?," "Bad Attitude," "Another Song About Paris"). The National Academy of Songwriters asserts, "...a talent of this caliber is a rare treat." There were other songwriters and performers - all amazingly talented- but not enough time or space to list. Music lovers will gather in the Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center on April 16th for the next showcase. Details to follow.


Mundo Juillerat & Noybel Gorgoy

Kristen Hertzenberg Sings Richard Oberacker by Don Cadette

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Although he has a home in Las Vegas, singer/actor Brent Barrett spends a lot of his time in Chicago...Chicago the Musical, that is. Brent, who has played in numerous musical productions, including, among others, West Side Story, Candide, Annie Get Your Gun, Grand Hotel, and Dance a Little Closer, is a favorite of casting directors when it come to Chicago's character of the duplicitous, smooth-talking lawyer, Billy Flynn. Barrett is currently back in the role he does so well at New York's Ambassador Theatre, where he will be lighting up the stage until at least April 27th.


Songwriter Alfred Johnson

Brent Barrett

And speaking of Chicago (the city that is)...
Groovin' - The 60's - The Orchestral / Pops Encore came to life at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illionois, outside of Chicago, last month on Valentine's Day. The concert starred Gary Puckett, Carl Giamerese and Nick Fortuna from The Buckinghams, and Christi Copeland, all accompanied by a full orchestra conducted by Mariano Longo. The 900-seat theater, with tickets averaging $65, was a sell out. Getting to this point was an effort of love and determination. As the show's producer, Mariano Longo, arranger/conductor and owner of Orchestral Events, visualized the concept and went to work assembling the show team and putting the pieces together. After contacting Jeanne Bavaro, the two began working toward bringing the concept to life. February 12th of last year, was the "official" documented beginning, if you will, with numerous titles in thought. Bavaro was hired to write and direct the show. Selecting which of the many 60s songs to NOT use was one of the toughest tasks. From writing the script and show order, to generating the segue transitions, either with lighting, black outs and/or creating monologue/dialogues, to staging the entrances, exits, creating light looks to costume concepts, the entire process is of the most rewarding hats she wears. Jeanne states. "Each contract is different. At times I'm hired to market and promote, sometimes I negotiate a contract, I produce shows where I have lots of responsibility and oversee the whole event. Often I am hired to consult and guide with new concepts or am hired to develop a concept. I love all of the many hats I have been fortunate enough to wear over the past 35+ years in this crazy business called show. If I had to pick what I believe is the most rewarding, it would be writing and directing. I love the artistic opportunity a blank canvas presents. What a rush. And then to work with the performers, the technicians, the musicians ...it chokes me up just thinking about it. I am one lucky lady." Almost a year to the date later, the concert went on with grand success. "It was a total flashback for me being back home and amongst those fantastic Chicago audiences," states Bavaro. "It had been years since I wrote and directed a show back home in Chi town, and that was at the Drury Lane South Theatre in Evergreen Park. From the down beat of the 28-piece orchestra, to the, too many to count from wings, standing ovations, the show was a magical journey back in time. The crowd was on their feet from the opening number. Congratulations, one and all.


Mariano Longo & Jeanne Bavaro

Vegas Vampire, Jim Parker

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Although the most recent Halloween occurred more than four months ago, we are now in the midst of March Madness. With that in mind, Jim Parker, the original Vegas Vampire, will be the special guest at the next F.I.O.R.E. luncheon, taking place at the Italian American Club, Thursday, the 13th. The Vegas Vampire is back! Horrors !!! Heavens to Murgatroyd. Mercy even!!! The F.I.O.R.E. guest "spooker" for the March 13th luncheon will be Jim Parker, writer, actor, producer, director etc. The Vegas Vampire was a fictional character invented and portrayed by entertainer Parker as the horror host of late night Shock Theater and Vegas Vampire shows at KHBV/KVVU, Channel 5, in Henderson, Nevada, and broadcast to the greater Las Vegas, Nevada, area from the late 1960s through the 1970s. The Vegas Vampire's show featured grade "B" horror films, monster films, and science fiction films. The show was aired on Friday nights at 11 p.m. Parker, a Wisconsin-native, worked as a disc jockey and stock car racing promoter, and as a news reporter. During a stint as a reporter for an NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, he decided he wanted to do a comedy show, but the station was not interested, nor were the other network affiliate stations. Finally, he sold the show to the local Channel 5 station (KHBV/KVVU). He picked the name "Vegas Vampire" because he liked the alliteration. The show ran on and off for nine years. Parker even claims one cancellation was due to his ending up on President Richard Nixon's enemies list after the Vampire did a routine with a Nixon voodoo doll, stuck pins in it and put the doll in a guillotine in a comparison to Marie Antoinette. The character of the Vampire appeared at the start of each show and at commercial break interruptions. Like other horror hosts, he would critique and ridicule the film being aired. One of his early trademark routines was to stick pins in voodoo dolls of politicians, civic leaders, and celebrities, while needling them verbally. The character became popular enough, that nationally known celebrities, including Red Buttons and Frank Sinatra, Jr., would sometimes appear on the show while performing in Vegas, The Vampire would also read viewer letters on air, then burn them. Early on, the Vampire segments were performed live, but later it was a taped program, allowing it to be played multiple times during the weekend. The host's then wife, P.J. (Paula) Parker (now P.J. Housman), played the part of "Satana" on the show in its later years. In 1977, Variety and syndicated columnist, Forrest Duke, reported plans to do a road show version. Parker's Vegas Vampire was a popular local celebrity. He traveled the streets of Las Vegas and Henderson in a trademark Hearse, and appeared at many local business openings. For many years he hosted the local segments of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, and participated in local shows and charity events like the St. Jude's "Nite of Stars" show, and the Clark County Talent Guild's "Stars of Tomorrow" show. So popular was the character that, at one point, Parker was appointed director of publicity and public relations for TV-5. One Halloween, in the 1990s, the Vegas Vampire was invited to return to Las Vegas' Circus Circus to turn the Grand Slam Canyon (later called Adventure-dome) ride complex into the Dome of Doom. "The Vegas Vampire" is also the title of a novelty song about the character. Written and produced by Parker and Bruce Popka, the recording has been played on the Dr. Demento radio program's 1984 Halloween Show[9] and appeared on the album, Elvira: Vinyl Macabre Oldies (But Ghoulies) (Vol. 1). The afternoon with Jim Parker will happen at the Italian American Club, 2333 East Sahara, beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday. A.M. you say? What self respecting vampire shows himself up around noon?

The menu may or may not include Blood Sausage. Bloody Mary cocktails will be the featured drink. Admission price is $25 per victim (cash or check please). All kinds of Blood Types are welcome and, as always, widows of former Presidents are always the club's guests. There will be plenty of parking spaces for your Hearse. All sharpen wooden stakes must be checked at the door. All mirrors will be covered. If you do not wish to be bitten, don't bat an eye and RSVP to [email protected]...before sun up. We strongly suggest you always visit the "ABOUT US" page in their web site before committing to any of their functions. The F.I.O.R.E. is not for everyone. Note to all non member members: It is already March. The annual dues are over due. Have you paid yours? Learn more about Jim at www.nonclubclubfiore.com.

And by the way, speaking of Jim Parker, we have to apologize for an embarrassing OOOPS in our February 21st column. Observant reader, Grant Philipo, gets the prize for being the only person to ask WHY we had a photo of Mr. Parker in that column, with no explanation as to what the purpose was. Cousin Claire neglected to mention that Parker was at the last F.I.O.R.E. meeting, which he was, and intended to include his picture in conjunction WITH the mention. Just forgot the mention part. A thousand apologies.

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As the result of the water damage incurred in the Sun City Summerlin's Starbright Theatre (mentioned in last weeks column), My Buddy, produced by Mistinguett, and originally scheduled for March 15th and 16th, has been postponed, along with a number of other shows, including Spencer Bakers Keyboard Artistry originally set for March 2nd. There will be no performances, at least through the month of March. For up-to-date information on Starbright Theatre shows, call (702) 240-1301.

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Deana Martin, who last performed in Las Vegas at The Smith Center in December, is performing in concert at The Rrazz Room at the Coral Springs Museum Of Art, 2855 Coral Springs Dr. in Coral Springs, Florida, tonight Friday, March 7th, and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, please call (954) 344-5990. Next Saturday, March 22nd, the daughter of Steubenville, Ohio's favorite son, will perform Reflection of Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts, at 2300 West Clay St. in St. Charles, Missouri. Showtime is at 8 p.m. For tickets, you can call (636) 949-4433. And on Saturday, March 29th, happily busy Ms. Martin will be appearing at The State Theatre Regional Arts Center, at 15 Livingston Ave. in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Showtime for Deana Sings Dino, is at 8 p.m. For tickets, please call (732) 246-7469. During the week of March 24th, Deana will be in New York City doing several National Press Television and Radio Shows. Watch for her.


Deana Martin

Rob Garrett & Rosanna Telford

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Rob Garrett, The King of Diamonds, performs his Neil Diamond tribute show at Costa Rica's Hard Rock Café, for one night only, tomorrow, Saturday, March 8th at 8:30 p.m. Joining Rob, in this "Direct from Las Vegas" production, is songstress Rosanna Telford. Doors for the dinner show open at 8. Tickets are $30 for general seating, and $35 for VIP. We will have more on this event when Garrett and Telford return to Vegas.

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Garry Foy, 58, a consultant for performer flying and sound design, passed away February 26th, in Las Vegas. Garry was involved with Broadway theater for the majority of his life. Born into a theatrical family, the son of Peter and Barbara Warren Foy, Garry enjoyed a broad range of theatrical pursuits from a very early age. He studied acting at UNLV's children's theater, but found a greater interest in sound and lighting design. He earned his Class 1 FCC license while still in high school, and became the youngest DJ in the country, with his own radio show on KLUC FM. Garry graduated from Valley High School in 1974. He soon became a member of IATSE Local 720, worked as a stage technician for Lido de Paris at the Stardust, and toured with Ice Capades as an Audio Supervisor. In 1979, Garry joined his father to create the flying for a Broadway revival of Peter Pan, personally flying Sandy Duncan for the show's run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York and the subsequent National Tour. He returned to Las Vegas to pursue a dual career as a Flying Director for Flying by Foy and a Head Soundman for Las Vegas production shows at the Hacienda and Riviera. In addition to Ms. Duncan, Flying by Foy, founded by Peter Foy in 1957, also flew other Peter Pans, Mary Martin and Cathy Rigby, as well as numerous personalities including Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Michael Jordan, Garth Brooks, Nadia Comaneci and Liberace, piano and all! Peter Foy passed away in 2005 at the age of 79. When Garry became Flying by Foy's President and Chief of Operations, he realized that there were advances that could be made in flying, using new technology without compromising the art. His love of electronics and sound design led to the creation of the world's first self-contained radio-controlled flying system. He spear-headed the addition of a 10,000 square foot studio facility dedicated to improving the art of flying and supervised the development of automated control systems for flying performers. The company remains the industry leader in flying automation today. Garry consolidated his passion for audio engineering and theatrical flying with the creation of Foy Flight and Sound. He was currently serving as Relief Soundman for the Las Vegas Hotel (LVH) and working as an independent consultant for flying and special effects. Among Garry's survivors are his mother, Barbara Foy, and his sister, Teresa Foy McGeough. Our condolences to the family. Services for Garry Foy will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 9th, at Palm Mortuary, 7600 S. Eastern Ave. in Las Vegas.


Garry Foy 1956-2014

Kitty Rodman

On February 27th, at the age of 89, Kitty Rodman, Opportunity Village's greatest champion, beloved heroine and mentor, passed away after a long fight with Parkinson's Disease. Kitty had been the matriarch and hero of Opportunity Village since its inception in 1954. As one of Nevada's most influential women and active philanthropists at Opportunity Village, Kitty was part of various projects at the foundation that will become a part of her legacy. In April of 2000, the Kitty Rodman Center was erected built inside the Walters Family Campus and serves as the only Fine and Performing Arts center for people with intellectual disabilities in the country. She also provided the funds for the Oakey Job Discovery Food Training Program and the build out of the facility's kitchen. Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, helping them to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Opportunity Village was founded in 1954 by seven families who were determined to give their disabled children the best lives possible. Now, 60 years later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected Community Rehabilitation Programs in the United States. Nevada's largest employer of people with disabilities, Opportunity Village serves nearly 3,000 individuals annually, providing vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services that make their lives more productive and interesting. Opportunity Village OVIPs - individuals who were previously considered unemployable - work in jobs throughout the community and at Opportunity Village's Employment Resource Centers, collectively earning wages amounting to more than $7.6 million in 2012. They are hard-working and diligent, proudly paying taxes and happily leading more engaged, fulfilling lives. Primarily a self-funded organization, Opportunity Village generates the majority of its operational funding through its employment contracts and fundraising efforts such as the Magical Forest and Great Santa Run, saving Nevada taxpayers $33.7 million annually. Rodman did not want any services, but the UNLV Foundation will continue a scholarship in her name.

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Vocalist, Nik Mastrangelo, thinks he and his musical cohorts did George and Ira Gershwin proud as they celebrated their music at the Tuscany Suites & Casino's La Piazza Lounge last Sunday. In spite of competing with the Oscars broadcast, they had a great crowd supporting the group. "One of the many things I like about the La Piazza is that we seem to get a good mix of locals and out-of-towners joining in," says Nik. "Last Sunday we were fortunate to have Rick Jones sit in with us on trumpet. This Sunday, Mastrangelo and company will be celebrating the music of Johnny Mercer. Join them from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the coolest, most comfortable lounge in town. The Tuscany is located at 255 E. Flamingo in Las Vegas.


Johnny Mercer

Kaye Ballard

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Camelot Theatres, The Desert's Premiere Theatre, presents the Kaye Ballard is "Going Out Of Business!" Farewell Show, Tuesday, March 11th. Veteran actress, Kaye Ballard, has been performing for more than 64 years! To say she is a survivor is a bit of an understatement. Now, at 88, Kaye has decided to retire. That's the bad news. The good news is that Kaye is giving Palm Springs area audiences one last chance to see her. "I wanted to do one last show before I retired," Kaye said recently. "But the only business I know is show business, so I decided to just say I was going out of business!" "It's one show only," Kaye says. "None of this coming and going and coming and going for me. This is really it!" The show, which features almost two hours of live entertainment, begins at 7 p.m., will have a 15 minute intermission. "There's lots of singing and entertainment," Ballard continued. "Plus some very special guest appearances and, of course, some fun surprises along the way!" Some know Ballard best from the '60s TV series, The Mothers-in-Law. Kaye's film credits include The Girl Most Likely with Jane Powell, A House Is Not A Home with Shelley Winters, Freaky Friday with Jodie Foster, Which Way To The Front with Jerry Lewis, and The Ritz with Rita Moreno and Jerry Stiller. Where Ballard really made a name for herself, was on Broadway in such shows as The Golden Apple, in which she introduced the standard, "Lazy Afternoon," the original company of Carnival! as Rosalie, Molly, as Molly Goldberg, and Ruth in Pirates of Penzance. Other credits include several record albums, including the first recording of Charles Schulz's Peanuts characters with Arthur Siegel, Ado Annie in a best selling version of Oklahoma! with Nelson Eddy, and several Ben Bagley compilations. Kaye has also performed Mama Rose in Gypsy, with both Jack Cassidy and Gavin MacLeod, and been seen in Over the River and Through the Woods, Quartet, Funny Girl, Papermill's Follies, and two all-star versions of Dan Goggin's Nunsense. Camelot Theatres is located at 2300 Baristo Road in Palm Springs. Regular tickets for this show are $55. The Couples Special is $100 (two regular tickets), and Premium Tickets are $88 (reserved front rows + autographed poster). Call the Box Office at (760) 325-6565, order tickets by phone at (888) 718-4253, or purchase online at Camelottickets.com.

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During Women's History Month, to honor the occasion, throughout March, the Neon Museum is updating its regularly scheduled Neon Boneyard tours to include notable facts about Las Vegas' most interesting and influential women. Now, visitors will hear not only about the history of neon signage in Las Vegas and the various hotels, developers and entertainers associated with them, but also additional information spotlighting the contributions of Las Vegas' female city founders, business owners and politicians. Here are some examples of historic female figures to be featured on Neon Boneyard tours - At the Golden Nugget "1905" sign, which commemorates the year Las Vegas was founded, hear how Helen J. Stewart's sale of her ranch to William A. Clark, proved instrumental in the establishment of Las Vegas. Stewart was the city's first postmaster, first woman elected to the school board and first woman to serve on a jury. At the Moulin Rouge sign, learn how trailblazing woman sign designer Betty Willis made significant contributions to Las Vegas' visual landscape. (She would go on eventually to design the iconic "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign currently on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.) At the sign for the Coin Castle King, built on the site of the Northern Club, learn how Mayme Stocker received Las Vegas' first legal gaming license. The Neon Museum is open seven days a week. Its La Concha visitors' center is open daily 30 minutes before the first tour of the day and closes 30 minutes after the last tour departs. Tours are available daily throughout March beginning at 10 a.m. Daytime tours of the Neon Museum are $18; night tours are $25. Special reduced rates are available for Nevada residents, seniors, students, active-duty military and veterans with valid I.D. For more information about the museum, to see the most current available tour times and to book your tour, go to www.neonmuseum.org or call (702) 387-6366. Walk-up visitors without an advance booking may not be able to join a tour due to limited capacity. 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 nine 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 www.NeonMuseum.org.


Betty Willis

Mark Giovi

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Rumor has it that singer Mark Giovi, who left Las Vegas with his family to live and work in New York, has seen the error of his ways and is returning to the city that embraced him.

In a Las Vegas Tribune article by Jerry Fink in July, the scribe wrote...Talented Las Vegas favorite Mark Giovi got an offer he couldn't refuse. The popular local vocalist will be returning to his East Coast roots in August, having accepted a performing opportunity at a Manhattan supper club. Giovi built a loyal following through regular appearances at local lounges, supper clubs and a long-term headlining run in the Stratosphere's show, Bite. Giovi's star rose as a member of the Las Vegas Tenors and through appearances at local venues. Then came the Tap House, a sophisticated-gritty bar and grill on West Charleston with a broken up parking lot... home to Cleveland Browns televised football games. But the Tap House has a back room and that back room was one of the best kept secrets in all of Las Vegas until a reporter from the Los Angeles Times wandered back there and into an era that most people thought had vanished. Monday nights at Tap House... you never know who will show up... and Giovi hosted the whole, crazy, exciting event. As cousin Claire has observed many times over almost 40 years in this city, they may leave, but they almost always come back. There is just something about Las Vegas...

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Release your inner foodie and help a popular charitable organization by dining out during Three Square's Las Vegas Restaurant Week, happening through March 14th. Three Square Food Bank invites the public to explore many of our city's top dining establishments during Las Vegas Restaurant Week - marking the 10th occasion of the popular culinary fundraising event. Since its inception in 2007, Las Vegas Restaurant Week has raised more than $786,000 for Three Square, helping to provide more than 2.3 million meals to Southern Nevadans in need. More than 20 restaurants at Station Casinos properties are participating, including Pasta Cucina at Boulder Station, Cabo Mexican at Sunset Station, Terra Rossa at Red Rock Resort, Hank's Steakhouse at Green Valley Ranch Resort, the Oyster Bar at Palace Station and Fuego Steakhouse at Fiesta Henderson. Additional participating restaurants include, Slice of Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino; Canonita at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino; Andrea's at Encore Las Vegas; Tommy Bahama at Town Square, Pizza Rock in Downtown Las Vegas and The Martini on South Fort Apache. Visit www.helpoutdineoutlv.org for a complete list of Las Vegas Restaurant Week participants and menu details, searchable by type of cuisine, restaurant location or donation amount. During Restaurant Week, diners can enjoy a specially created multi-course, prix fixe menu at price points ranging from $20.14 to $50.14, with a fixed portion of the proceeds benefiting Three Square in the fight against hunger. Three Square, Southern Nevada's only food bank, provides more than 30 million pounds of food and grocery products - the equivalent of more than 25 million meals - per year to more than 600 Program Partners including non-profit and faith-based organizations, schools and feeding sites throughout Southern Nevada. Three Square is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks. For additional information visit www.threesquare.org, or www.helpoutdineoutlv.org.

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REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon will take the stage at Fremont Street Experience for a free performance tomorrow, Saturday, March 8th at 9 p.m. on the 3rd Street Stage. The rock band will rev up crowds during the 11th Annual RaceJam 2014 with iconic songs including, "Can't Fight This Feeling," "Take It On the Run," "Keep on Loving You," "Roll with the Changes" and more. The concert is part of a three-day event celebrating all the NASCAR action with NASCAR merchandise booths and free nightly entertainment taking place through Sunday, March 9th.

Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by Kevin Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon has rocked to the top of the charts with a RIAA-certified 22 million albums sold in the U.S., 40 million around the globe, and a string of gold and platinum records. The group's nine-times certified platinum Hi Infidelity spent 15 weeks in the No. 1 slot. Thirty-plus years later, Cronin and band mates Bruce Hall (bass), Neal Doughty (keyboards), Dave Amato (lead guitar) and Bryan Hitt (drums), are still electrifying concert audiences across the nation. In December, REO unveiled the band's "Great Chicago Fire Hydrant" as part of a citywide Chicago public art installation project to benefit the 100 Club Chicago. Recently, REO Speedwagon and STYX announced that Rock To The Rescue Extends A Hand To Those In Need --a benefit concert to raise funds for central Illinois communities that were affected by the devastating tornadoes-- raised in excess of $400,000. All concerts are free and open to the public. Parking is available at the Fremont Street Experience parking garage located at Carson and 4th Street. RaceJam weekend at Fremont Street Experience is sponsored in part by Crown Royal. The Fremont Street Experience, a five-block entertainment district located in historic downtown Las Vegas features Viva Vision, the world's largest video screen - 1,500 feet long, 90 feet wide and suspended 90 feet above the urban pedestrian mall. Viva Vision features nightly spectacular light and sounds shows with 12.5 million LED lights and a 550,000-watt sound system. Fremont Street Experience is a one-of-a-kind venue that includes free nightly concerts and entertainment on three stages. With direct pedestrian access to eight casinos, more than 60 restaurants and specialty retail kiosks, Fremont Street Experience attracts more than 17 million annual visitors. Visit online at www.vegasexperience.com.

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The UNLV Performing Arts Center welcomes the Haifa Symphony Orchestra - Northern Israel's musical focal point featuring guest conductor Boguslaw Dawidow and pianist Roman Rabinovich - at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 13th. The program includes Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, and Von Weber's Overture to Euryanthe.


Haifa Symphony Conductor Boguslaw Dawidow

Internationally renowned for his musical knowledge, immense enthusiasm, and extraordinarily charismatic stage presence, Maestro Dawidow is a "... conductor of a great stature, musically speaking, with a clear beat and marvelous rapport with the Orchestra... produced a truly magnificent Viennese sound... with romance and humor in hand ... "(Gazette - USA) ; with "...[as] precise and clear baton technique as we've ever seen..."(The Washington Times) and " ...a great Slavic soul..."(Wiener Zeitung). Maestro Dawidow served as the general and music director of the Opole Philharmonic of Poland from his appointment in September 1999 until 2012. He was highly involved in forming the artistic shape and raising the international stature of the Opole Philharmonic in his capacities as both music director and general director of the Philharmonic. Rabinovich is the winner of the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition. He was already praised by critics for the "vivacity and virtuosity" and "the impeccable clarity of execution" and has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Israel in such prestigious venues as Leipzig's Gewandhaus, Wigmore Hall, Lucerne and Davos Fesivals in Switzerland, Carnegie's Zankel Hall, the Metropolitan and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museums, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and Glazunov Hall in St. Petersburg, as well as Jordan Hall in New England Conservatory, Kauffman Center's Merkin Hall in New York, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Salle Cortot and Les Invalides in Paris and the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Tickets to the Haifa Symphony Orchestra are $25, $40, $55, and $75 and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Box Office at (702) 895-ARTS (2787) or by visiting pac.unlv.edu. Student rush tickets are $13 each (not inclusive of the facilities fee), and available one hour prior to each event, based on availability and with valid student I.D. UNLV faculty and staff discounts also are available. A $1.50 facilities fee, in addition to the ticket price, is charged on all Performing Arts Center tickets. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Information about all of the season's performances can be found on the Performing Arts Center website, located at pac.unlv.edu.



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