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 April 18, 2014
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - April 18, 2014

American Trilogy

Last Sunday, we were in the audience of the second sold out night of American Trilogy in the showroom at the South Point. The musical evening featured Sebastian Anzaldo, Justin Shandor and Rob Garrett, paying tribute to Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Neil Diamond, respectively, in songs and memories. Backed by a band made up of Steve Gerard (musical director/keyboards), Keith Neal (lead guitar/vocals), Jay Boyer (keyboards), Daryl Slade (bass/vocals), Steve Poncar (sax/flute/vocals), LJ Harness (percussion), Jeff Borree (drums), and Rosanna Telford (vocals), the ensemble performed many favorites made famous by the three entertainment icons. Among the songs included in the night's repertoire, sung by the individuals or in groups, were "My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)," "Luck Be a Lady," "That's Life," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "Witchcraft," "Strangers In the Night," "My Way," "Love Me Tender," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You," "Suspicious Minds," "Caught In a Trap," "In the Ghetto," "And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind," "Cherry, Cherry," "I'm a Believer," "Cracklin' Rosie," Forever In Blue Jeans," "Holly Holy," "I Am...I Said," "September Morn," and a patriotic medley sung by the three performers. Based on the ticket sales and audience response to this show, we have a feeling American Trilogy will become a regular staple around these parts.

Magic of Motown & More

And ongoing in the showroom at the South Point, it's The Magic Of Motown & More...starring Gregg Austin & Second Wind with special celebrity guest stars, on Tuesdays from 8 to 11 p.m.

And still on the subject of the South Point, the public is invited to join the party in the hotel's Grandview Lounge next Friday, April 25th, as Wes Winters celebrates his 3rd year anniversary of entertaining at the property. Complimentary cake and champagne will be available from 5 to 7 p.m., with Wes performing from 6 to 9 p.m. The popular piano man fills the Grandview Lounge with music on Friday and Saturday evenings, between 6 and 9. Bring your dancing shoes. The South Point Hotel/Casino & Spa is located at 9777 Las Vegas Blvd South.

Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart

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We will do our April Composers Showcase follow-up next Friday.

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The Sunday night "tradition" continues at the Tuscany, with Nik at Nite in the Piazza Lounge. Each week, Nik (he's attorney Nikolas Mastrangelo during the day), and his trio of top musicians - Joey Singer on keys, Bob Sachs on upright bass, and Mike Mechem on drums - pays tribute to the cream of the crop songwriters for a good portion of their show. Last Sunday it was the beautiful creations of Antonio Carlos Jobim. "I believe that Señor Jobim would have been pleased (even though I sang Portuguese on only one of the songs and Italian on another)," says Nik. "You can just get a sense when the band is enjoying the music, and this seems to happen every week. I just can't give enough praise to my band. Because I have a penchant for performing some obscure tunes at times, every week I will have the band playing songs they have never performed before, or some familiar songs that I ask them to do in an unusual way. It always amazes me that they make it seem as though they have been playing those songs in that way all of their careers. We always love to have other musicians drop by to share their talent with us, and we were fortunate to have Gary Peterson stop by and sit in on keyboards for several songs. We also had Maggi Albisani and Joyce Carole lend their vocal talents to the evening. This Sunday, we will reach back to our first night at the Piazza Lounge some 12 weeks ago, and will, once again, feature the music of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. The songwriting team of Rodgers and Hart was, perhaps, the most successful and prolific of all time. Together, they worked on 28 stage musicals and more than 500 songs, many of which have become some of the most recognizable standards of the Great American Songbook and favorites of jazz musicians and singers everywhere. It is always surprising to our audiences to realize how many of the songs they know were written by this team, such as "Blue Moon," "The Lady is a Tramp," "My Funny Valentine," "Manhattan," "Isn't It Romantic?" and "Where or When." Join the gang at "the coolest lounge in town." The Piazza Lounge is located inside the Tuscany Hotel, 255 E. Flamingo. Shows are from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Sundays.

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Musician Charly Raymond, sends along this info...
Just a heads up that I'll be playing as part of a great classic rock band, Sinful Pleasures, on Saturday, April 26th, at the Viva Las Vegas showroom, 1205 S Las Vegas Blvd. This band really has the potential to be the best classic rock horn band in Las Vegas. I got in the band after the photo op, so I'm not in the picture. Two of the best singers in the city are fronting the band, and the musicianship is 5 star throughout. The repertoire includes the music of Marvin Gaye, Chicago, Donna Summer, Aretha, Al Green, and even some Bruno Mars! The personnel are: Treasure Guffy (lead vocals), Andrew Scott (lead vocals), Jack Harman (guitar), Eddie Regal (bass), Rebecca Burt (keys), John Plows (drums), Russ Burt (saxes), Steve Scheck (trombone) and myself, Charly Raymond (trumpet). The newly created showroom is adjacent to the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel.

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Artist Graham Knuttel

The planning, the strategy, the creative brainstorming, and the deliberations about colors and design have all been sounded out between young art students from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and Graham Knuttel, the highly acclaimed figurative painter. Knuttel, a native of Dublin who originally rose to fame in the art world as a sculptor before transitioning to painting, opened the Knuttel Gallery at The Venetian-Palazzo Resort last year. Knuttel and the students will begin work on their huge downtown mural at 7 a.m., Monday, April 21, at the Las Vegas Academy, 315 South 7th Street. Knuttel, Ireland's most successful living artist, is planning to produce one of his largest works ever, which will be permanently displayed on the southeastern corner of the iconic Neonopolis building that faces Fremont Street East at Las Vegas Boulevard. "Painting is so often a lonely calling, but this project is different," Knuttel said. "Of all the works I've ever undertaken, I've never felt more inspired to see these kids and listen to their thoughts and exchange ideas with them about art. This is something I will remember for the rest of my life." Knuttel first proposed the idea for the high-profile mural after visiting downtown Las Vegas last fall for the Life is Beautiful Festival and becoming enchanted by the Las Vegas Arts District. "Downtown Las Vegas feels so real to me, like a second home," Knuttel said. "I knew I wanted to become involved in the scene, and I couldn't wait to get started. When I learned this world-class school was just a couple of blocks away, I knew I had to include these gifted young students." Anita Ward, marketing and foundation director at Las Vegas Academy, said the students and Knuttel hit it off immediately. "Art students all over the country are studying Graham Knuttel's work," Ward said. "He truly is one of the most gifted artists of our time. Here at LVA, our students are actually sitting with him, having lunch with him, and having discussions about art with him. Everyone here is so excited about his visit and the fact he is going to be doing his painting right here on campus." Rohit Joshi, the owner of Neonopolis, was ecstatic about the mural proposal. "I love Graham Knuttel's work, and as soon as I heard he wanted to do a mural downtown, I insisted it be at Neonopolis. I told him to paint the whole building! Our tenants are elated," Joshi said. "This is yet another part of the feeling of new energy that is emerging downtown." Knuttel and the LVA students plan to work at the school for two weeks to create a painting that will be 4 feet by 8 feet in size. That painting will then be screened and vastly enlarged into the huge piece that will be affixed to the wall of Neonopolis. In honor of the kickoff to the mural and Knuttel's contribution to the downtown scene, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman has named April 21, Graham Knuttel Day in Las Vegas. Knuttel established a presence in Las Vegas at the urging of Victor Chaltiel, a Summerlin venture capitalist who has collected Knuttel's work for the past 30 years. Chaltiel felt that Knuttel's distinctive style—marked by bold strokes, vivid colors and evocative characters—in many ways epitomizes the essence of Las Vegas. Prints of the completed mural will be available for sale at the Knuttel Gallery, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Friends of Las Vegas Academy. Knuttel Gallery made its inaugural venture in Las Vegas as a result of the city's growing art scene. In order to bring Knuttel to Las Vegas, Redhills Ventures LLC, a leading local private investment vehicle, committed its financial resources and successful management experience to opening the high-end gallery, dedicated exclusively to Knuttel's artwork. The Knuttel Gallery of Las Vegas promises to be a leading art center of imagination and inspiration. For more information on the gallery, call (702) 228-8808 or visit Las Vegas Academy (LVA) is a nationally recognized, award-winning magnet high school, dedicated to education in performing and visual arts and serving approximately 1,700 students in Clark County, Nevada. The academy is a public school, located in the center of the Las Vegas Historical District, and serves students in grades 9 through 12. LVA is a five-star, high-achieving, and exemplary academic school of distinction offering major courses of study in the performing arts along with rigorous academic courses.

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Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve

"We're Baaaack! The wait is over," says Pietra Sardelli, Preserve Events Specialist- Springs Preserve, "and there is, once again, a beautiful spot for lunch at the Springs Preserve!" Come celebrate the opening of Divine Cafe at the Springs Preserve with Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brunch will feature soups, salads, pasta, stromboli, omelets, waffles, fresh fruit and an assortment of pastries and desserts. Brunch also includes fresh juices, coffee, hot tea and a mimosa for adults. Easter Brunch is $24.99 for adults, $9.99 for children ages 5-10, and free for children ages 4 and under. Make reservations online today!

The cafe will reopen for regular service on Monday, April 21. The Divine Cafe menu offers a nice variety of reasonably priced selections. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Whether choosing to dine comfortably indoors, or enjoy the fresh air and scenic surroundings on the patio, visitors will love Divine Cafe's breathtaking view of the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding valley. Visit the Springs Preserve at 333 S. Valley View Blvd. at US 95. Open Daily From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Springs Preserve Voted Best Place To Take Out-Of-Town Visitors, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Staff Pick, 32nd Annual Best of Las Vegas. Call (702) 822-7700.

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One more change regarding the upcoming Las Vegas Media Group luncheon...
The next meeting of the Las Vegas Media Group takes place on Monday, April 21st at 11:30 a.m. It was already announced that the new meeting place is at Las Ventanas, located at 10401 W. Charleston Blvd., west of Hualapai. The cost of the luncheon is still just $17, and RSVPs (if you have NOT already submitted) are needed. What's different? Unfortunately, Burton Cohen will not be able to attend or speak at this month's luncheon. He will be a speaker in the near future. Luckily, we are fortunate to have an AMAZING pool of Las Vegans that wish to come and share their history with us (we are that popular!). So, Jeanne Sharp Howerton will be the guest speaker at this Mondays‘ meeting. Jeanne is a fourth-generation Nevadan who grew up on the Blue Eagle Ranch in Railroad Valley, Nevada, north of Las Vegas. Her mother is Lina Pinjuv Sharp, who graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1937. Jeanne taught in the gifted and talented programs in the Clark County School District for more than 30 years. Now retired, she pursues her lifelong interests of writing about Nevada history, photography, music, and birding. Jeanne, co- author of A History of Railroad Valley: Too Tough For Others, Just Right For Us, has just penned another book, 1957: The Diary of a Nevada Ranch Girl, an autobiography written from a diary she kept as a ten-year girl in 1957. It recounts growing up in very rural Nevada without electricity, indoor plumbing, phones, TV, or close neighbors. The ranch was on the northern edge of the atomic Test Site and, in 1957, twenty-nine tests were conducted, including a hydrogen bomb, and much of the fallout traveled over their ranch. Jeanne has lived in Las Vegas since 1969 and makes frequent trips to the ranch. It will be a great talk! Thank you, Jeanne, for coming to the rescue! The Las Ventanas facility does not have a cash machine, and LVMG does not accept checks for the luncheon, so please bring cash to pay at the door. The good news is, we are not allowed to leave tips for the wait staff, so you will go home with a little extra moola in your pockets! Don't forget to say Yay or Nay as to your attendance plans. Email [email protected], or call Lisa at (702) 245-9206.

Jeanne Sharp Howerton

By the way, as you are traveling across the city...
Did you locals ever notice that some of the major streets heading west (toward Las Ventanas) are named alphabetically? Lots of people, who have lived in Las Vegas for years, never noticed this. Here is how it goes. Beginning at "A" for Antelope Way, it's Buffalo Drive, Cimarron Road, Durango Drive, El Capital Way, Fort Apache Road, Grand Canyon Drive, Hualapai Way, and Indigo Drive. There are other streets between, but having this information helps you to know if you have passed a street you are looking for. Handy, eh? You're welcome.

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TastySpace gallery will hold an opening reception, tomorrow, Saturday, April 19th, from 7 to 10 p.m., for Just Make Me Pretty: A collaborative examination and deconstruction of the ideals of beauty, presented by 3 BAAAD Sheep. Alexander "Sky" Carranza, Eddie Canumay, and Alexander Huerta share their latest body of work, exploring the worlds of fashion, plastic surgery, and other superficial industries. They challenge the notion of what's pleasing to the eye, breaking down high-gloss fashion imagery and reconstructing it to intrigue the beholder.
Join them for the opening at TastySpace, Emergency Arts building, 520 Fremont Street, suite 150 (first floor). For additional information, call Dana Satterwhite at (617) 513-7336.

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Karole Foreman

The Rat Pack Is (Still) Back

Karole Foreman, who played Tanya in Mamma Mia! during the show's run at Mandalay Bay in 2003, and stars as Diana in the California Repertory Company production of Next to Normal, sends along this information.
California Repertory Company concludes its 2013-2014 season with the Tony® and Pulitzer prize-winning musical, Next to Normal, running through May 10th at the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary. With music by Tom Kitt, and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, this groundbreaking contemporary musical is an emotional powerhouse that centers on a family's ability to cope with crisis and their attempts to preserve their love for one another. Next to Normal is an unflinching look at the life of Diana Goodman, a wife and mother who struggles with intense emotional anguish and the effects it has on her family. As Diana's condition deteriorates, her husband and children are forced to confront the stark reality that perhaps their expectation of a "normal" family life is misguided. With provocative lyrics and a thrilling rock score, this intense, emotional, and poetic musical aims right for the heart with its story of a family coming to terms with their past and their journey as they seek hope for their future.

Seasoned Cal Rep director Joanne Gordon leads a cast of graduate and undergraduate actors from Cal State Long Beach, featuring current MFA actor Karole Foreman in the lead role of Diana, and well known alum Jeff Paul as her husband, Dan. Gordon brings an experienced hand to the many themes of the show, including the oft-misrepresented problems associated with mental health. Gordon notes, we survive, "By not accepting norms, but finding a parallel course - a next to normal or an alternative to normal." However, for Gordon the depth of Next to Normal extends well beyond the issues of mental health and family struggle. "We all can identify with family plays that are based on family pain, but it is the dynamic of love that is so powerful." In spite of this family's struggles, she believes it is their desire to "Need love, give love, give love in the wrong places, and to be broken by love" that truly drives the show. Watching the Goodman family search for answers of how to love, deal with their loss, and find a light in the darkness will make for an evening that will inspire and move audiences of all ages. Cal Rep performances are in the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary. Next to Normal runs Tuesdays through Saturdays, April 18 to May 10 at 8pm. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for students, military, and seniors (55 and older). Parking at the Queen Mary is $8 for patrons of Cal Rep performances, $6 for CSULB students and patrons who have dinner aboard the ship. Long Beach Public Transit also runs directly to the Queen Mary. For tickets and information please call (562) 985-5526 or visit The Queen Mary is home to a 314-room Art Deco Hotel, where guests relive the excitement of cruising in the style of the 1930s without leaving port. She has played many roles during her illustrious career- from an elegant ocean liner to a World War II troopship. Now permanently docked, yet still afloat, her operation and preservation are entrusted to Evolution Hospitality, a leading independent management company. Located at 1126 Queens Highway in beautiful Long Beach, California, The Queen Mary is a must-see attraction. The historic ship offers a variety of historical, paranormal and educational tours, unique shops, meeting & banquet facilities, three award-winning ocean view restaurants and much more. For more information, please visit, or call (800) 437-2934.

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Dick Feeney and Art Petrie's The Rat Pack Is Back revue was voted The Best of Las Vegas 2014 Tribute Show by the Las Vegas Review-Journal staff. The award certificate, signed by R-J publisher, Ed Moss, states, "We are proud to recognize you as one of Las Vegas' best. Congratulations on being selected by the Las Vegas Review-Journal staff. You are a big part of the reason why Las Vegas is a great place to live and work." The Rat Pack Is Back, which currently plays at the Rio, has been entertaining Las Vegas audiences for more than 15 years. Show times for The Rat Pack is Back at the Rio are 7 p.m. daily. Call (702) 777-7776 for reservations.

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Is It Sinatra or Is It Anderson?

Bob Anderson as Frank Sinatra

And speaking of The Rat Pack...Although we were told that he wanted this information kept quiet for a little while longer, a local newspaper columnist (who never lets the facts or accuracy interfere with his "reporting"), let the cat out of the bag regarding singer/impressionist Bob Anderson's next project. According to this so-called columnist..."On May 4th, The Venetian will present a showcase of Anderson portraying Frank Sinatra, backed by Vince Falcone's 32-piece orchestra (Falcone worked with Sinatra during the ‘70s and ‘80s)." With the help of an award-winning makeup artist, Anderson has been working on this concept for more than two years. Although you couldn't tell it by the photo used in the paper recently (which doesn't look much like either Frank or Bob), the created resemblance is truly remarkable! The two accompanying pictures should make fans of Old Blue Eyes and Anderson very anxious to see his new show.
Note: This afternoon, as we approached our Friday deadline, we contacted The Venetian box office to find out what room this showcase would take place in, at what time, and how much (if anything) tickets would cost. Surprise! The box office has "heard rumors" about a show, but has nothing on their schedule. We were given a phone number for Langdon Flynn, an outside ad agency, who says they will have no information on this project until next week. Makes us want to go "hmmm." We are running the photos of Anderson as Sinatra anyway.

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Chef Mayra Trabulse

Until the end of April, vegan powerhouse and owner of Pura Vida Bakery & Bystro, Chef Mayra Trabulse, is assisting Rainbow's End, a natural foods and health market, with an attached vegetarian cafe, in business since 1979 and located at 1100 E. Sahara Ave. Chef Mayra wants to contribute her expertise and flavor to one of the first veggie cafes in town. She's introducing "more flavor" to their current lunch offering and added a few signature dishes inspired by Pura Vida Bakery & Bystro's Chef Mayra to the new menu. She has also retrained the staff and hired a new kitchen manager to continue to develop and maintain the systems she's created for them. The new menu, launched April 15, will include Chef Mayra's two burgers and two Paninis. Two more irresistible new dishes will include "Vegan Avocado Mango & Chick Bowl" and the "Cajun Fusion Avo Veggie Nori Rolls." You can also experience Chef Mayra live in action this month in the following places: April 19 Chef Guest for Fresh52 Spring Festival - Vegan Food Samples all day by Chef Mayra; April 25 Earth Day at Rainbow's End free samples; April 27 "Seeds of Peace VegGourmet Dinner" benefit event will feature new items from the fusion menu created for Rainbow's End Vegetarian Café by Pura Vida Café & Bystro's Chef Mayra. Chef Mayra's menu is inspired by the first yama in the Yoga Sutra--Ahimsa. Literally translated, Ahimsa, from the Sanskrit, means non- injury or non-violence. Bon appetit!

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The first Smokin' Notes Jazz and Barbecue Event will debut tomorrow, Saturday, April 19th, at Providence, a master-planned community in northwest Las Vegas. The event is free and will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the community's Knickerbocker Park, 10695 Dorrell Lane. The public is invited to enjoy music, food and other festivities against the backdrop of city views. While barbecue and smoked meats are available for purchase at this family-friendly event, participants are welcome to bring picnic baskets and blankets. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome, too. The Tommy Thompson Project will perform. The local jazz band is a former winner in the Las Vegas Review-Journal Best of Las Vegas poll. The Tommy Thompson Project will also be performing at The Village at Lake Las Vegas on May 31st, from 7 to 10 p.m., for the first Wine Walk of 2014. Smokin' Notes is presented by Providence, Providence Master Homeowner's Association and KXPT-FM (97.1) "The Point."

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The Rippingtons

The UNLV Performing Arts Center welcomes Grammy-nominated, American contemporary jazz band The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman - celebrating more than 25 years and 18 studio albums - at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 26th. The titles of each hit Rippington's album have often reflected Freeman's deep wanderlust, whether he had actually been to the places he wrote about or was just dreaming of them in musical terms. These include Kilimanjaro, Tourist in Paradise, Welcome to the St. James Club, Weekend In Monaco, Live in L.A., Sahara, Brave New World, and Live Across America. In 2006, the band celebrated two decades of instrumental magic with The Rippingtons 20th Anniversary, a remarkable CD/DVD package that included a CD of all new Rippingtons' music and a DVD featuring a colorful retrospective as well as exciting videos from over the years. Tickets to The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman are $25, $40, $55, and $75 and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 895- ARTS (2787) or at 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. Founded in 1976, the Performing Arts Center at UNLV is Southern Nevada's original performing arts venue, celebrating nearly 40 years of arts in Las Vegas. Located on the north end of the UNLV campus, the PAC hosts a variety of performances and is home to the Charles Vanda Master Series. At the UNLV PAC, Southern Nevadans can enjoy the arts nearly every day of the year. The Performing Arts Center is home to productions presented by the Nevada Conservatory Theatre at UNLV and the UNLV music and dance departments, the Desert Chorale, and the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society. The center also hosts more than 50,000 Clark County School District students yearly for productions, festivals, and concerts.

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Tom Williams Elementary School

Opportunity Village, Las Vegas' favorite charity, announces the launch of OV Nation, an auxiliary committee comprised of rising Las Vegas professionals who are committed to expanding the organization's reach to future generations. The mission of OV Nation is to identify, develop and engage a new generation of Opportunity Village brand ambassadors, donors, board members, volunteers and supporters. Formed in September of 2013, OV Nation has developed its own Board of Directors, who will spearhead the committee's initiatives including special events, fundraising, and supporting Opportunity Village's ongoing programs and goals. OV Nation's Board of Directors include: Co-Chairs - Eve Breier, Ed.D., Campus College Chair at University of Phoenix; and Robert Charles Barton II, Medical Student at Touro University; Finance Chair - Barry Bosacker, Assistant Principal of Tom Williams Elementary School; Events Chair - Kelly Ann Gorman, Luxury Concierge and Pro Makeup Artist; Recruitment Chair - Jennifer Breed, Marketing Manager for Las Vegas Monorail; Membership Chair - Erin Morrissey, Agent at Morrissey Insurance; Media Chair - Glen Scott, Founder of Scott & Company; Promotions Chair - Loren Jobe of Emeril's New Orleans Fish House; Public Relations Chair - Gina Yager, Vice President of Preferred Public Relations; Board Members: Brittany Anderson, Account Executive for Lotus Broadcasting; Jason Demuth, Marketing Manager at Trump International Hotel of Las Vegas; Jennifer Mahar, Managing Partner of Eventure; Jim Reding, Senior Director at Robert K. Futterman & Associates; Marty Weinberg, Financial Advisor at UBS Financial; Michelle Dahan, Marriage & Family Therapist with Harmony Healthcare; Rachel Feinberg, Account Executive for Kirvin Doak Communications; and Cydni Hornsby, Director of Billing/Operations Supervisor at Nevada Alternative Solutions. In addition to planning special fundraising and networking events, OV Nation will also be teambuilding, fundraising and volunteering for annual and ongoing Opportunity Village events and initiatives, including the BBQ at the Bitter Root Ranch, HallOVeen, Camelot, The Las Vegas Great Santa Run, Magical Forest and more. "We are so proud that a new generation of future Opportunity Village leaders has emerged to create OV Nation," said Ed Guthrie, Executive Director of Opportunity Village. "As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, it is important for us to not only reflect on how much we've grown, but focus on our goals of taking Opportunity Village to new heights. This new committee has taken the initiative to be committed to help grow our organization." Membership to OV Nation is open to the public. Board members are selected annually through a nomination and voting process. For more information on how to get involved with OV Nation, visit [email protected] Mission: Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, 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 children with disabilities the best lives possible. Now, 60 years later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected organizations of its type 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 purposeful and interesting.

Opportunity Village citizens - individuals who were previously considered unemployable - work at Opportunity Village's Employment Resource Centers and in jobs throughout the community, 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 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.

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Bob Mackie

Marilyn Maye

Larry Atello

Happy birthday to Aries celebrants (March 21-April 19): Eddie Money, Stephen Sondheim, Rosie O'Donnell, George Benson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Marty Allen, Chaka Khan, Perez Hilton, Bob Mackie, Louie Anderson, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Vicki Lawrence, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, John Ensign (Former Nevada Senator), Danica Patrick, James Caan, Diana Ross, Steven Tyler, Martin Short, Kenny Chesney, Fergie (Black Eyed Peas), Mariah Carey, Dave Koz, Reba McEntire, Lady Gaga, Eric Idle, John Astin, Peter Marshall, Warren Beatty, Eric Clapton, Celine Dion, Norah Jones, Gabe Kaplan, Debbie Reynolds, Herb Alpert, Leon Russell, Lee Dewyze, Ervin Drake, Doris Day, Janis Ian, Wayne Newton, Tony Orlando, David Hyde Pierce, Sebastian Bach, Eddie Murphy, Clive Davis, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, John Oates, Shecky Greene, Julian Lennon, Joel Grey, Peggy Lennon, Hugh Hefner, Jackie Evancho, Dennis Quaid, Marilyn Maye, Vince Gill, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Brian Setzer, Herbie Hancock, David Letterman, Al Green, David Cassidy, Loretta Lynn, Brad Garrett, JD Nicholas (Commodores), Peabo Bryson, Roy Clark, Bobby Vinton, Jimmy Osmond, Peter Mark Richman, Danny Calico (Colica), Steve Schiffman, Luis Miguel, Benny Hollman, Susan Meinhold Sobel, John Encinio, Leigh Zimmerman, Mary Flanigan, Carole Fishman, Mary Marcella Schwartz, Vita Corimbi, Corky D'Fini, Jackie Brett, Rich Rizzo, Jessica Gerstein, Barbara Ciarlantini, Jimmy Emerson, Lisa Dawn Miller Hackett, Alton Fitzgerald White, Grace (Bambi Jr.) Coronel, Arthur Shafman, Larry Atello, and Michael Cohen.

Tom & Joni Illi

And happy anniversary wishes to Buddy and Lezlie Anders Greco, Tom and Joni Illi, and Sandy and Lisa Dawn Miller Hackett.

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A presentation of Eve Ensler's groundbreaking work, The Vagina Monologues, takes place in UNLV's Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, tomorrow, Saturday, April 19th, beginning at 7 p.m. The Tony Award- winning play has been performed in more than 140 countries, and translated into 48 languages. The New York Times calls it "Probably the most important piece of political theater of the last decade." General seating tickets for this event are priced at $10.50 plus a $1.50 facility improvement fee. No discounts are available. To purchase tickets, call the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office at (702) 895-2787 (ARTS), or to purchase online visit the UNLV Performing Arts Center's website. Event Sponsor: Jean Nidetch Women's Center at UNLV. For more info on this event, check out center/.

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Jeff Tracta (or is it Trachta?)

John McEntee presents Jeff Tracta at the Las Vegas Hotel Theater on Thursday, April 24th. Impressionist Tracta is sharing the One Night Only show with rising country a cappella quintet, Home Free. Home Free are the winners of the fourth season of NBC's The Sing- Off. They just released their major label CD, Crazy Life. Jeff Tracta remembers watching the legendary Rich Little on TV, and hearing his dad say, "This guy is the greatest impressionist in the world. When he goes to work, he makes people happy. Whatever you do in your life, make people happy."

Since debuting his explosively funny, cutting edge multi- media show, A Journey Through Pop Culture, as the opener for Liza Minnelli in October 2011, the master impressionist has been incorporating that poignant seminal moment of his life into a whirlwind tour impersonating favorite celebrities from TV, film and music. On April 24, Tracta brings his 100+ hilarious spot on impressions - from Bruno Mars, Usher, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler and the entire cast of Family Guy, to Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel and Elton John - back to the room where it all began, the LVH Theater (when the property was still called the Las Vegas Hilton). A Journey Through Pop Culture is co-created and produced by John McEntee, President and Founder of TEI Entertainment, who is one of the nation's leading talent buyers and producers; McEntee negotiated and secured a 5-year contract (with options) for America's Got Talent-winner, musical ventriloquist Terry Fator, to perform at the Mirage. LVH tickets are priced between $49 and $100, plus tax and service charge. Premium seats ($100 tickets) include a VIP meet and greet with a CD giveaway. For reservations, contact the LVH Box Office at (702) 732-5755 or (800) 222-5361.

And speaking of Jeff Tracta (or, is it Trachta?), what do he, Janie Fricke (Frickie), Dionne Warwick (Warwicke), and a number of other entertainers all have in common...beside the fact that they are all in show business? We have given a big hint. At one time or another, they all have changed their professional names, or how they spelled them...confusing the public (and editors). The reason given for the change is usually because of "numerology," or to get the public to pronounce the name correctly via phonetics. Whatever the reason, it is not a good idea, and the celebrity often goes back to the most well-known spelling. Are you listening Mr. Trachta/Tracta?

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