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 March 28, 2014
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - March 28, 2014


Jean-Jacques (JJ) de Launay

Chadwick Johnson & Brenda Weems

It was another busy weekend in the Entertainment Capital of the World for Cousin Claire and friends. Last Saturday night, we were at Luciano Gardens on the corner of Pecos and Russell, to see Nino Frediani's Unstoppable. The variety revue is made up of mostly AARP qualifying performers...an idea of Mr. Frediani's, to keep some talented senior citizens doing what they love to do...perform. About 50 people turned out for dinner and the show, with seventy-four-year-old Nino, a juggler since his circus boy youth, serving as MC, introducing, from A to Z, singers Maggi Albisani, Joanie (Brown) Le Belle, Victor Moea, French crooner, Jean-Jacques de Launay, plus 88-year-old magician, Zarrin. In August, Nino debuted Unstoppable at the Onyx Theatre, just east of the famed Las Vegas Strip. The show generated positive reviews, even resulting in a story on Nino, with photos, in the Los Angeles Times. His hope is to find a regular home, where he can do Unstoppable as an afternoon show, geared to the mature audience. Last year, Frediani, who spent 14 years in the Flamingo Hilton's City Lites revue, told Las Vegas Review-Journal's writer, Mike Weatherford, "I've come to the conclusion that there's no more entertainment for the (people) 50 and up. They'll go to see a show but they won't enjoy it."

Late Sunday, we were in the Piazza Lounge at the Tuscany on East Flamingo, for Nik Mastrangelo's weekly show. Known as "Nik at Nite" when he is singing after dark, as opposed to Nikolas Mastrangelo when he is practicing law during the day, the jazz crooner spends his Sunday nights paying tribute to the cream-of-the-crop composers, including Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Cole Porter, Jimmy Van Heusen, George and Ira Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, and Irving Berlin and Cy Coleman, among them, at the Tuscany. Backed by three of this city's top musicians - Joey Singer on keys, Bob Sachs on bass and Mike Mechem on drums - Nik honored songwriter Harry Warren, performing classics such as "Jeepers Creepers," "The More I See You," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "I Only Have Eyes For You," "September In the Rain," "That's Amore," "You'll Never Know," and "There Will Never Be Another You." In addition to Harry Warren tunes, Nik sang "On the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart ("Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"), The Beatles ("Norwegian Wood"), Antonio Carlos Jobim ("Trieste [Sad Is]"), Kurt Weill ("Mack the Knife," "Speak Low," "My Ship"), and others. Lots of singers dropped by. It seems everyone wants to sing with Nik's band (and who can blame them?). Martin (we still think of him as break-dancer, Rabbit) Mancuso, with his high-energy alto sax, joined the trio and treated the crowd to a jazzy version of "That's All," and Martin and Nik had fun with the classic "Body and Soul." Also sitting in were Joyce Carol ("Wonderful"), Peter Pavone ("The Song Is You," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"), Yolanda Quandt ("The More I See You"), Carmine Mandia ("East of the Sun and West of the Moon," and last, but certainly not least, our featured guest for the evening, Chadwick Johnson. His interpretations of "At Last" and "Blame it On My Youth" demonstrated why he is such a rising star on the Las Vegas entertainment scene. Nik couldn't help but join in with him for a bit of "On the Street Where You Live." A real "crowd pleaser." Not only is he a fine singer, Johnson is a nice fellow, happily posing for photos with audience member. Nik would happily welcome Chadwick back. You can see and hear young Mr. Johnson at the Italian American Club on Sunday nights. This weekend, the Nik at Nite Trio will be celebrating the music of Harold Arlen in the Piazza Lounge. Arlen was highly regarded by his contemporaries, most notably, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Alec Wilder. He was one of the most prolific composers of American popular music, having written more than 500 songs, a number of which have become known world-wide, such as "Come Rain or Come Shine," "That Old Black Magic," and "I've Got the World on a String." He is also well-known for composing the songs for The Wizard of Oz, including the classic song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which was voted the 20th century's No. 1 song, by both the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. As always, Nik and the trio will do their best to accommodate your requests (even if it isn't a Harold Arlen tune). Come and join the group in the coolest lounge in town. This Sunday, there will again be a later start time of 9:30 (or maybe even 9 p.m., depending when the hoopsters finish) as they begin the night by celebrating the music of Harold Arlen. The Piazza Lounge is located in the Tuscany Hotel (on the hotel side), at 255 E Flamingo.


Harold Arlen

Marty Allen & Karon Kate Blackwell

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Sam Wagmeister sends out this information about comic Marty Allen and his musical bride/straight woman, Karon Kate Blackwell, performing in downtown Las Vegas this weekend.
Door-to-Door Dance Salesman Returns to The Plaza. Comedy legend Marty Allen celebrates his 92nd birthday...92nd Birthday!!!...with three encore performances at the Plaza Hotel and Casino at the tip of Fremont Street Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 27-29. The husband-and-wife team of Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell drew rave reviews for their Plaza appearance last fall when they filled in for resident comedian Louie Anderson. The couple performed Allen's classic routines, uproarious adlibs, new material and Blackwell's vocals. At one point, Blackwell, who last year released, Hindsight 20/20, an album paying tribute to the great music of the 60's and 70's, sat at the Plaza's grand piano to introduce I'll Be There, the song she wrote for Marty for their wedding. Allen, from the edge of the stage, strolled to the far end of the piano, parted a generous bouquet of flowers and deadpanned softly, "I'm a member of the immediate family," bringing roars of laughter to the packed house. Allen's career began after winning the Soldier's Medal for Bravery in World War II. He traveled the neighborhood streets, going door-to-door with a Victrola under one arm selling dance lessons for a nickel while he was attending college and working in the small Southern California comedy clubs. After teaming with former partner Steve Rossi, the two struck gold when, at a loss for words one night, Allen looked at Rossi and simply stated, "Hello dere." "Hello dere" and Rossi's vocals took the team to the Ed Sullivan Show for more than 40 appearances. Among their many Sullivan highlights was sharing the broadcast with The Beatles on the group's first US television appearance. In later years, Allen humor and hair were staples on hundreds of episodes of TV game shows Hollywood Squares and Password. He became a well respected dramatic actor with guest starring roles on The Big Valley, Rod Serling's Night Gallery and ten made-for-TV movies. Allen and Blackwell, who have been performing together for years and are highly in demand as cruise ship headliners. The Plaza is located at 1 Main Street, the corner of Fremont and Main. The curtain for Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell's weekend shows at the Plaza goes up at 7 p.m.

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Mac King, Dr. Jennifer French & Dr. Beverly Mathis at Tom Williams Elementary School

The Amazing Johnathan

What do Mac King and The Amazing Johnathan have in common, in addition to the fact they are both Las Vegans and both magicians - albeit with very different styles and very different audiences. Both gentlemen are very community minded, especially when it comes to children. Mac is very involved with local schools and reading. Every year, he visit's a number of schools, where he reads one of his favorite books to the students, performs magic, and gives donated books to the kids. As for Johnathan, before Christmas, in the wee small hours of the morning, you can find him and a couple of assistants pushing toy-filled shopping carts around Wal-Mart - not for HIS children, but for underprivileged local youngsters who may otherwise have gotten nothing. This Santa did not want to be outed by Cousin Claire, who has spotted him at work with his elves. We wanted to make folks aware of what kind of man Johnathan is. It was recently revealed that the amazing one is dealing with some heart problems. We think, in very important ways, his heart is just fine. To your good health, Johnathan.
Photo caption: Mac King with the principal of Tom Williams Elementary School, Dr. Jennifer French. Also pictured (far right) is Dr. Beverly Mathis, Director of Clark County READS at The Public Education Foundation.

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A memorial service, organized by The Second City to celebrate the life of Fred Kaz, will be held at The El Portal Theater, 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA, on Monday, March 31st, at 6:30 p.m. (doors will open at 6). Kaz, the music director at The Second City for 24 years and a legendary personality at the famous comedy theater, died from lung cancer on March 12th. He was 80. Parking for the El Portal is available across the street from the theater at the structure belonging to the Art Institute of California. A reception will follow the memorial with light appetizers and beverages. Please RSVP by March 28th. For questions, please call (323) 464-8542. For directions or additional location information: www.elportaltheatre.com. A Chicago memorial for Kaz is also being planned.

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This Sunday, March 30th, at 9 and 10:30 a.m. services, it's Lenten Cantata at Green Valley Presbyterian Church's LIVE! Concert Series. For its 15th Season, GVPC presents Théodore Dubois: The Last Seven Words of Christ. Spencer Baker is conducting the GVPC Valley and Chancel Choirs - with Michelle Latour, Soprano Soloist; Elliot Matheny, Baritone Soloist; Daniel Hunter, Jr., Tenor Soloist; Amy Homer-Smith, Organ; Alex Stopa, Timpani; Emily Barnes, Harp; and Lynn Tsai, Flute. Great Music! Great Acoustics! The Green Valley Presbyterian Church is at 1798 Wigwam Parkway (northeast corner of Valle Verde at Wigwam, just north of I-215), in Henderson. Call (702) 454-8484. or www.greenvalleypres.com.

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Another special announcement, regarding pianist/entertainer, Wes Winters. Ignore last Friday's update. Please note: Due to the Collegiate Basketball March Madness Schedule, Wes will not perform, repeat, NOT PEFORM at the South Point this evening, this Friday, March 28th. Tomorrow, Saturday, March 29th, Wes' South Point Grandview Lounge performance is at his usual 6 to 9 p.m. times. Winters resumes his regular 6 to 9 p.m. South Point schedule, next weekend, April 4th and 5th. Yesterday, Wes was a co-host on The Morning Blend in Las Vegas, ABC local Channel 13. To see Wes' performance dates, please visit www.weswinters.com, and click on Shows & Schedule.

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Reflecting the Company's commitment to sustainable business practices, tomorrow, March 29th, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., Boyd Gaming Corporation will shut down exterior lighting at its Las Vegas Locals properties for Earth Hour 2014. For the duration of Earth Hour, non-essential exterior building and marquee lighting will be turned off at The Orleans, Sam's Town, Suncoast and Gold Coast. The video screen on each hotel casino marquee will display the Earth Hour logo during that period.

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Some of our readers shared memories of observational comic, David Brenner, who passed away in New York on March 15th, at the age of 78. Here are two messages that we received earlier this week.

From longtime Las Vegan, songstress, Loretta Holloway, who lives in South Carolina where she is known as "South Carolina's First Lady Of Song," comes this note. "David Brenner was always so gracious with his time and humor. It was a delight for me to have appeared as his opening act many times in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, NJ. Rest well David Brenner, and thank you for your warmth and kindness."


Loretta Holloway Remembers David Brenner

Tommy Thompson

And from entertainer Annie Gaybis in Florida, comes this..."I worked with David Brenner at the San Francisco Playboy Club. My agent, George Soares, who by the way was also Nelson Sardelli"s agent, was driving in from Vegas to check on a couple of his acts playing in the area. I guess he had driven a long way, and managed to make our second show. The policy at the Clubs were if there were 12 people in the audience, you had to do the show. George made number 12. George was perfectly alert when I saw him before the show, and he was perfectly alert when I opened for David. The next night, as I was passing David in the kitchen after I had just finished performing, I said ‘My agent was at the show last night.' David asked, ‘Was that the guy sitting by himself in a grey suit with black hair and a black mustache?' ‘Yes,' I said. ‘Well,' David said, ‘Your agent (remember there were only 12 in the showroom) slept thru my entire act.' I also remember seeing David in the same suit each and every night for two weeks. In the middle of the first week, I told him I liked his suit. He said, 'I liked it so much I bought two of them,' and that was "the" suit he wore for the entire two weeks. So sorry to hear of his passing...sigh!

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Quickies...
Brian McKnight performs at the Eastside Cannery, next Saturday, April 5th, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at $19.95, plus taxes and fees, and may be purchased at the front desk, or online at cannerycasino.com, or eastsidecannery.com.

There are only a few more chances to see The Jacksons, now performing in the Showroom at Planet Hollywood. The Jackson brothers - Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito - will wind up their current engagement on Sunday, April 6th. The remaining shows take place Fridays and Sundays at 8 p.m., and Thursdays and Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. Tickets range from $54 to $129. Call (800) 745-3000 for reservations.

The NiteKings are performing in the Rampart's Addison's Lounge, tonight, Friday March 28th and tomorrow, Saturday the 29th, from 8p.m. till midnight.

The Tommy Thompson Project will be performing at the Golden Nugget's Grand Ballroom on April 5th, from 7 to 10 p.m., for The Wine Festival.

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Divorce Party Las Vegas made its official Strip debut Thursday, March 13th, with a red carpet event to welcome the show to its new home inside Windows Showroom at Bally's Las Vegas. The ultimate Girls' Night Out experience was attended by many local celebrities and notables.

"A version of this production has played in cities across the country to great success, but I always knew that it was meant for Las Vegas," said Mark Schwartz, lead producer, "My team and I couldn't be happier to be in our new home inside Windows Showroom and we can't wait to introduce the show to a new audience." An 80-minute comedic musical event, Divorce Party Las Vegas centers around Linda, still reeling from her divorce, as her friends turn her despair into a weekend of hilarity. Hailed by the L.A. Weekly as a blend of "Sex and the City with Dr. Phil, Oprah and SNL," the show uses laughs, songs and the occasional shock factor to explore the realities of divorce, long term relationships and moving on. "You don't have to have gone through a divorce to enjoy this show," said Dr. Amy Botwinick, co-author and producer, "The storyline is incredibly funny, heartfelt and at times a little risqué but most importantly everyone in the audience can relate." With the help of a pizza boy, a groping massage therapist, a fabulous makeover guru and others they sing and dance their way through the wildest divorce party ever. Using popular songs with clever new lyrics, a good dose of comic mayhem and a touch of naughty, this heart-felt musical delivers an evening of fun and laughs as the ladies drag their newly divorced friend up by her self-esteem and force her to face the world again. Divorce Party Las Vegas is brought to life by Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran Mark Schwartz and co-authors Amy Botwinick, divorce coach and international author, and director Jay Falzone. Together they have created a wildly hilarious show that spins the "trauma drama" of a break-up into a hysterically lively production. "While creating the experience of Divorce Party Las Vegas, my co-authors and I wanted to make sure you didn't have to be divorced or a woman to love it," said Falzone "The storyline is incredibly relatable, which makes it easy for the audience to connect with the cast and have fun along the way." The talented five member cast of Divorce Party Las Vegas is made up of Michelle Johnson, Robin Berry Vincent, Kelly Ward, Jacquelyn Holland-Wright, and Jeff Brooks. Tickets to Divorce Party Las Vegas are $49 to $65, plus taxes and fees. For guests looking to enhance their experience, for $80, VIP tickets, that include a round of specialty drinks, premier seating and a meet and greet with the cast, are offered. Tickets are available by visiting Divorcepartylasvegas.com, or by calling the box office at (855) 234- 7469, or (702) 777-2782. Performances are Saturdays through Thursdays at 8 p.m.

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Mary Wilson

The Smith Center's Reynolds Hall plays host to Doc Severinsen & His Big Band, featuring Mary Wilson, tomorrow, Saturday, March 29th at 7:30 p.m. Doc Severinsen, leader of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show band for more than 25 years, and one of the queens of Motown, the legendary Mary Wilson of The Supremes, celebrate the classic big band tunes that defined the golden era of television. Last Monday, they were offering a limited number of $35 seats. Use promo code FB35. Standard ticket fees apply. Limited availability. Offer not valid on previous purchases. The Smith Center is located at 361 Symphony Park Avenue in downtown Las Vegas. For reservations, call the Box Office at (702) 749-2000.

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Carol O'Shaunessey & Diane Ellis in Boston

If you happen to be in the Boston area, tomorrow night, March 29th, former Las Vegan Diane Ellis, and her friend, entertainer Carol O'Shaunessey, will be doing a cabaret show at the Club Café's Moonshine Room, starting at 7:30 p.m. Calling their musical comedy revue, Here's To Life!, the Bosom Buddies will be backed by The Tom LaMark Trio, with Tom LaMark on piano, Mike Monaghan on Reeds, and Jim Gwin on Drums. Carol O'Shaughnessy is Boston's leading lady of cabaret, earning the coveted "Cabaret Entertainer of the Year" award. She has been compared to Bette Midler and Ethel Merman, and appeared with legends, Pat Cooper, Joan Rivers, and the late David Brenner, charming audiences from Provincetown to Europe. Diane Ellis has a 30 year history in Southern Nevada, appearing with vocal groups, Chazz and Vocaleze, as well as a member of the Excalibur Hotel Casino's Royal Court Singers. Compared to Lucille Ball, Diane was a cast member of Beach Blanket Babylon at the Sands Hotel, performing on the same stage as the legendary Rat Pack, and more recently played the Reverend Mother in Nunsense at the Las Vegas Hilton. She opened for comedian Don Rickles and sung with the famed Four Freshmen. Diane wears many hats in the field of entertainment. Besides being a chanteuse, she is also an experienced voice over actor. Diane has a home studio where she puts voice over demos together for up and coming artists. Don't miss these two multi-talented ladies if are in the neighborhood. The Club Café is at Columbus Ave at Berkeley St. Show tickets are $20. Call (617) 536-0966 to reserve your tickets, order online or buy at the door. Get 20% off on food in the restaurant if they know you saw the show or are going to the show.

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The Las Vegas Shakespeare Company is bringing a live musical theatrical performance of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka to the Henderson Pavilion stage. Featuring a memorable score (including one of Cousin Claire's favorite songs, "Pure Imagination"), by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, the story follows enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather. The children must learn to follow Mr. Wonka's rules in the factory - or suffer the consequences. The scrumdidilyumptious musical is guaranteed to delight everyone's sweet tooth. Willy Wonka takes audiences on a fantasy ride into the land of pure imagination. The musical will play at the Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway, in Henderson, of course, on Fridays and Saturdays, April 4th, 5th, 11th and 12th at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, April 6th and 13th at 4 p.m. Tickets are only $10. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit HendersonLive.com, call (702) 267-4TIX (4849), or visit the Henderson Pavilion Box Office, Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Complimentary Bike Valet will be available!

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The UNLV Opera Theatre presents Richard Strauss' Ariadne Auf Naxos in the Judy Bayley Theatre, April 4th and 5th at 7:30 p.m., and April 6th at 2 p.m. Linda Lister, director of the UNLV Opera Theatre, directs the production. A wealthy patron has commissioned a young composer to write a new opera, Ariadne auf Naxos, for a soiree at his mansion. When the opera singers learn that a troupe of local comedians is also scheduled to perform on the same program, everyone wonders how the two shows will work together as one evening's entertainment, especially when they learn the two works will have to be performed simultaneously. The composer's new opera depicts the plight of the mythological Ariadne, abandoned on the island of Naxos. Zerbinetta and her commedia dell'arte cohorts attempt to amuse the mournful Ariadne. When her nymphs finally announce the arrival of the god, Bacchus, Ariadne is transformed by his love. And despite the odd permutation of his work, the composer is transfigured by the power of his own music. "Ariadne auf Naxos is an opera within an opera, a show within a show not unlike the musical Kiss Me, Kate, the play Noises Off, or the TV show Smash," explained Lister. "We see behind-the-scenes as singers in a mythological opera are forced to perform simultaneously with a commedia dell'arte troupe. It's ‘high art' vs. ‘low art' as diva and clown must collaborate. Amid this absurdity, the sublime music of Strauss runs the gamut, from the fiendish vocal fireworks of Zerbinetta's 15-minute aria, to the ethereal Nymph trios and the quasi-Wagnerian duet between Bacchus and Ariadne." "In the words of Strauss himself, ‘The human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but the most difficult to play.' And his opera, Ariadne, is a glorious showcase of vocal facility and beauty. May you revel in the "süße Stimme" or sweet voice of Strauss as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth with this UNLV Opera Theater production." Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors/military/ faculty/staff, and $5 for students with ID. Tickets are available at the PAC Box Office, or by calling (702) 895-ARTS.

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The SPERDVAC (The Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio, Drama Variety And Comedy) convention, which had been scheduled for this weekend in Las Vegas, has been postponed until the Fall. SPERDVAC is a non-profit educational public benefit corporation with six goals - To provide the finest collection of quality radio programs that members may listen to and duplicate for their own collections. To seek out and honor the people who made radio's "Golden Age" possible. To promote and encourage drama, variety and comedy programs - old and new - on radio today. To collect and maintain for members and other interested people, a library of radio history and to use this material in the publication of a "newsletter" or special brochures in preparation of an accurate and complete account of radio history from its earliest days to the present. To contribute to the support of non-commercial radio stations interested in and aiding the goals of the society, including broadcasting "old- time" radio programs.

To alert members to trends in drama, variety and comedy broadcasting; and to publish special radio program listings and news releases to inform members and the general public. The get-togethers are usually held in Southern California, and always attract an interesting crowd of performers and attendees. We will have more information about the Las Vegas gathering, when it becomes available. Stay tuned.

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A Las Vegas Easter tradition continues with the help of entertainers, Frank Marino, and Murray SawChuck. The Original Diva, Marino, and Celebrity Magician, SawChuck, would like to put smiles on the faces of children in need this Easter. They know that for thousands of homeless, underprivileged and sick children in Vegas, life can be difficult. So they've each decided to reach out to our community by offering FREE tickets to their shows! For every basket donated between now and April 15th, Frank and Murray will give away two tickets to see their respective productions. Just pick up an Easter basket that a child will love, and donate it to E Bunny, who in turn will deliver all donated baskets to charities and families that can't afford to buy one. E Bunny does not take monetary contributions...only Easter baskets that will go directly to the children! E Bunny, a 24-year-old, all volunteer community outreach group, is holding its Annual Easter Basket Drive For Kids In Need, and is seeking pre-packaged Easter baskets. Pre- packaged baskets, the ones you see at any grocery, drugstore, or retail store are requested. Although we love handmade baskets, store purchased baskets are built to stay intact during handling and travel. Just purchase a basket, drop it off at the Nevada Foreign Trade Zone, located at 6650 Spencer St., Suite 110 (Sunset and Spencer across from the McCarran Airport south runway), and receive two free tickets to Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas at The Quad, or Murray SawChuck's Magic Show at the Tropicana. This offer is only available through the Nevada Foreign Trade Zone drop off location, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. They are closed from noon to 1 p.m. For more info on E Bunny and how to get free tickets: visit https://www.facebook.com/EBunnyLV email [email protected], or call (702) 498-9808. Be part of a community that cares for kids, and enjoy a Vegas show for a good cause!


Frank Marino Dresses Up for E Bunny

Murray SawChuck & Kahlua Support E Bunny

And speaking of Murray SawChuck, who has called the Laugh Factory at the Tropicana Hotel his Las Vegas home for the past two years, the magician returns there on Monday, March 31st, for a very special limited engagement. Murray has appeared on more than a dozen reality shows, and every month, it seems he's on to something new. The internationally acclaimed award-winning magician, impressed the judges and 22 million people as a finalist on America's Got Talent, and currently appears as a magic expert on the History Channel's No. 1 rated series, Pawn Stars. Murray can be seen in the near future on CW's, Masters of Illusion, National Geographic's, Brain Games, and ABC's, Wipeout. On America's Got Talent, produced a Ferrari from thin air, transformed a girl locked in a cage into a 450 pound tiger, and did the largest trick ever on "AGT," by vanishing an entire 1918 steam train locomotive in mere seconds. All of these illusions took place before a live and national TV audience, and brought standing ovations from the judges. In his Tropicana show, Murray performs with ‘Lefty,' the bumbling stage technician that turns into his ‘guest act,' and Chloe, his beautiful assistant (and wife), whom he cuts in half and makes disappear nightly. Murray co-starred on the popular VH1-TV series, Celebracadabra, highlighting pairs of magicians and celebrities who competed for one-hundred-thousand dollars, and the title of "Best Celebrity Magician." Murray has performed in concerts worldwide, and has headlined at the historic Magic Castle in Hollywood. He is honored to be celebrating his second anniversary at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino this year. Tickets for the 4 p.m. show range from $34.95 to $44.95, plus fees. For reservations or more information, call (800) 829-9034 or (702) 734-2411.

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Bike Swap & Ride Rolls Into Henderson This Weekend. Bike expo features all new fun ride with route for beginners. The city of Henderson hosts Bike Swap & Fun Ride, tomorrow, Saturday, March 29th, at Cornerstone Park, 1600 Wigwam Parkway in Henderson, of course, beginning at 7 a.m. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Bike swap, vendor marketplace, bicycle repairs and demonstrations will take place. The free event features a bike swap area, where the public can trade and sell gently used bicycles and bicycle parts; a vendor marketplace with new bikes, gear and equipment for sale; bicycle repairs and recycling; demonstrations; a bicycle safety course; and a free bike valet. The event also features a new 20-mile fun ride sponsored by BikingLasVegas.com. Designed with the novice cyclist in mind, the scenic bike ride starts and ends at Cornerstone Park, and is approximately 20 miles or 90 minutes long. Cyclists may RSVP for the bike ride at BikingLasVegas.com. All participants must sign a waiver before the ride, and minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. For more information, visit BikeHenderson.org, or call the city of Henderson Parks and Recreation Department at (702) 267-4000. Sign up for the bike registry to receive up-to-date information on bike events, programs and activities.

Outdoor bike expo features new fun ride sponsored by Biking Las Vegas.com. The city of Henderson encourages residents to ride their bikes to Bike Swap & Ride, the only event of its kind in the valley. "Henderson is a premier biking community," said Mayor Andy Hafen. "By hosting events such as Bike Swap & Ride, it allows residents of all biking abilities the opportunity to learn and enjoy the biking amenities our premier city has to offer." The bike swap is a chance for bicycle enthusiasts to trade and sell up to five gently used bikes and bike parts for different types of bicycles, including road, BMX, mountain and children's bikes. Bike fans may also shop for new bicycles, accessories and gear, including shoes, clothing and helmets, from local bike shops and businesses in the vendor marketplace.

The event also features a new fun ride hosted by Biking Las Vegas, a local website dedicated to cycling in the valley, at 7 a.m. The 90- minute bike ride begins and ends at Cornerstone Park, and will be approximately 20 miles. Bagels, coffee and juice will be provided post-ride.

Other activities include bicycle repairs, bike recycling, demonstrations and a bicycle safety course. In addition, a free bike valet will be offered for those wishing to park their bikes during the event.

For more information, visit BikeHenderson.org or call the city of Henderson Parks and Recreation Department at (702) 267-4000. Sign up for the bike registry to receive up-to-date information on bike events, programs and activities.

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Fifth Avenue

Music man, Bill Fayne, informs us that next weekend Clint Holmes' monthly show at The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz is very special. First of all, Bill is directing the show. It is the first time the two longtime friends have worked together in four years. The show is called New York Old Friend, and celebrates the relationship that people have with New York City. Clint leads an all-star cast, including former Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular star, Kristen Hertzenberg, and vocal group, Fifth Avenue, with songs by Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, Vernon Duke, Kander & Ebb, and introducing an exciting new body of music by New York composer/lyricist, Ken Laub. The musical director and arranger for the show is Tedd Firth, who according to Fayne is, "a brilliant pianist from New York who has worked with the best singers on earth." Show times for New York Old Friend at The Smith Center are Friday, April 4th and Saturday, the 5th, at 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 6th, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $35 and $45. For reservations, call the Smith Center Box Office at (702) 749-2000.

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Stop the presses...and get out your correction fluid or erasers! Poor Lisa Gioia Acres, who works so hard on keeping members and those interested in the Las Vegas Media Group, informed of future and past LVMG events. Lisa reports that she just received word from the Wedding Room, where the monthly luncheon meetings are usually held, that the plans to remain open and have the group continue to use the facility have fallen through. This is sad news. However, there are some alternative options in mind. The next meeting will be held at the Las Ventanas Retirement Community, 10401 W. Charleston Blvd. in the Tuscany Room. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. Parking is available, however, there are only a few handicapped spots available for the group. Lisa says, "We shall see if this location is a good choice and if so we will continue to hold our meetings there. If not, we have other options on our list. Please make sure to make note that our April 21, meeting takes place at Las Ventanas." The phone number is (702) 207-7982. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Lisa via e-mail at [email protected], or Don and Gretchen Payne at (702) 870-5994.

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Reminder...
Off Strip Productions is presenting Songs For a New World by Jason Robert Brown, the writer of The Last Five Years, and Parade, at The Onyx Theatre. Songs For a New World, the heart-warming, toe- tapping masterpiece, is the show that put Jason Robert Brown on the map.

Musical and Stage Direction is by Chris Lash, while the cast is made up of Christian Escobar, Kim Glover, Amanda Kraft and Brandon Burk. Show times are tonight, March 29th, April 3rd, 4th and 5th at 8 p.m., and this Sunday, the 30th of March at 2 p.m. Tickets are $24. The Onyx is offering Senior, Student and Military discounts of $5 off for this production (Must provide valid ID at the box office).

And speaking of The Onyx...
Attention Musical Theater performers of all ages: Broadway Open Mic Night - Bring your sheet music! This is what you have been waiting for: An evening of strictly Musical Theatre with you at the mic and a live accompanist at the piano, complete with theatrical lighting and sound! It's not complicated. Just buy your tickets, sign up on the list when you get here (the list will be put out at 6:30 p.m.), and enjoy the show. All music must be from a published piece of musical theater - NO POP! If you don't want to perform, you can simply sit and enjoy all of the amazing local talent. This is a great opportunity to put that song you've been working on in front of an audience, or dust off that old favorite that you just love to sing. If you like, the folks at Onyx can even give you feedback after the show if you want it. Tickets are only $10, and all proceeds are going to help support the upcoming season for Off Strip Productions, a non-profit theater company. This will be a monthly event. We will keep readers informed of upcoming dates. The first Broadway Open Mic Night is this Sunday, March 30th at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. The Onyx Theatre is located in the Commercial Center at 953 E. Sahara Ave., Bldg.16. Phone (702) 732-7225 for reservations and additional information.



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