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 April 25, 2014
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - April 25, 2014


Cocho Arbe

Marianne Phoenix

We are most embarrassed, and very sorry, that we forgot to give a plug for a musical event that took place last Saturday. At last weeks Composers Showcase, we had picked up a postcard touting the Midnight Muse Concert Series. Although we are not familiar with this series, we do know a couple of the talented people who entertained in the show. The featured performers, "Where Hip Meets Hot," included (in the always politically correct alphabetical order) Cocho Arbe, Mike Candito, Toscha Comeaux, Jeff Davis, Chadwick Johnson, Ann Parenti, Marianne Phoenix and Art Vargas.

As it does every month, the most recent Composers Showcase offered up a variety of music and subjects, starting out with a musical tribute to the late Jeff Ray by Keith Thompson. Dr. Mark Wherry sang about "Riding the Dream Horse," Chris Lash and company performed "It's a Hell of a Day," there were a couple of numbers from Thompson's Idaho!, a Richard Oberacker production number and more. Because it took place on April 16th, even taxes were sung about. There were a number of showcase virgins (first-timers, if you will), including the above mentioned Chadwick Johnson, who, accompanied at the piano by Michael Hepner, sang "The One Who Loves You," which he co-wrote with Kalani Queypo. (We are not playing favorites. It is virtually impossible to name all the songs and the talented folks performing them. We do the best we can under the circumstances. Please bear with us.)

And still speaking of the Composers Showcase, Keith Thompson, who is the Musical Director for Jersey Boys at Paris Las Vegas, and, along with Michael Brennan, the co-creator of the Composers Showcase (Keith also hosts and performs) has been in New York for much of this week. Today, Friday April 25th, two readings of Idaho!, a musical, with book and lyrics by Buddy Sheffield, and music by Sheffield and Thompson, took place at Pearl Studios, 500 8th Ave. in Manhattan. Idaho!, a bawdy, original, laugh-out-loud musical comedy that pays homage to Broadway's Golden Age classics, has had a couple of readings in Las Vegas over the past few years. The cast for today's New York readings included Rob Sutton (Beauty and the Beast), Jessica Hershberg (Cinderella), Jennifer Perry (Kinky Boots, Nunsense), Jay Rogers (When Pigs Fly), Matt Loehr (Book of Mormon), Alle-Faye Monka (A Chorus Line tour), Bill Nolte (Cats, La Cage aux Folles, The Producers), Rosalind Brown (One Mo' Time, Footloose), Leslie McDonel (Hairspray, American Idiot), Robbie Roby (Hairspray, Billy Elliot), Courter Simmons (Jersey Boys), Chris Dwan (Harmony), Blake Hammond (First Date, Hairspray), Allison McDowell (Chicago, La Cage), Billy Tighe (Pippin, Wicked), Jessica Sheridan (Follies, Mary Poppins) and Trista Dollison (Lion King), some of who also participated in the Las Vegas readings. We won't be one bit surprised if Idaho!, a twisted tale of wife stealin', spud peelin' and double dealin' at a time when men were men and Aunt Pearlie carried the shotgun, turns up on a New York stage.



Erich Bergen

And still speaking of Jersey Boys, Erich Bergen, who played Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, will reprise his portrayal of Gaudio in the film version, directed by Clint Eastwood. Bergen also played the role in the First National Tour of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical. Erich's recent stage work includes as Billy Crocker in the National Tour of Anything Goes, that played here at The Smith Center in February of last year.

By the way, the next Composers Showcase will take place in the Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center, late night on Wednesday, May 28th. Get your tickets early.

* * * * * * * *

After almost five years as a Las Vegan, LJ Harness is giving up the excitement of living in the Entertainment Capital of the World, and returning to Florida, from whence he came. During his time in Las Vegas, LJ made many friends and created a lot of good will in the community. His primary job here was as the Marketing & Promotions Manager for Cadillac of Las Vegas, but he also has been known around the city as a fine musician and an avid supporter of worthy causes. When it comes to the music part of his life, LJ just celebrated 50 years as a professional drummer. Even though he doesn't play full time these days, he still finds himself performing four to five times a month in Las Vegas. LJ has been able to combine his entertainment career and his position with Cadillac to promote live entertainment and raise awareness through sponsorship of Cadillac to benefit many worthy charity causes. He has cultivated many relationships in the Las Vegas entertainment family, some who have become his Cadillac clients. LJ is also very proud of his relationship with the Las Vegas media. In his time here, he has been able to raise about three million dollars for the Las Vegas community with the help of his entertainment family, including Nicolas Cage, Pia Zadora, Paul Shortino, Chris Phillips of Zowie Bowie, David Perrico, Domenick Allen, Steve Rossi, Gordie Brown, Frankie Moreno and Rob Garrett, just to name a few. Some of the many charities that LJ has been involved with include: Opportunity Village, Wounded Warriors Project, Homeless Disabled Veterans and the Nevada SPCA. For five years, he has Coordinated the annual Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive, along with producing a star studded concert sponsored by Cadillac of Las Vegas. On April 10th, LJ, representing Cadillac, was at Spanish Trails Country Club, where for the third year he was helping the SPCA to raise money and awareness in support of "No Kill" animal shelters. He was honored by the Nevada Helping Hands charity the prestigious "From the Heart Award Person of the Year" for all of his community efforts. It is obvious that LJ is led by his heart and passion to give back to the community. He appreciates all the blessings he has received in his life. We will miss his presence in Las Vegas, and hope his decision to return to Florida is a good one. If you change your mind, LJ, the Welcome to Las Vegas sign is at the south end of the Strip.


LJ Harness

Assemblywoman Michele Fiore

* * * * * * * *

Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 8th, the date of the next F.I.O.R.E. (Fun Italians Organizing Ridiculous Events) luncheon meeting. The May speaker is a natural for this group. Nevada Assemblywoman, Michele Fiore, will be the special guest. As usual, the gathering place will be the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara, and the fun will start at 11:30 a.m. Don't miss Fiore at F.I.O.R.E. RSVPs are a must. E-mail to [email protected]. We will have more details about the F.I.O.R.E. gathering in the May 2nd column.

* * * * * * * *

Last Sunday, Nik Mastrangelo, who goes by the name Nik at Nite when he is singing in clubs and showrooms, had a fantastic evening in the Piazza Lounge at the Tuscany as ha and the band celebrated the music of Rodgers and Hart. The wonderful Tom Hall dropped in with his alto sax and shared his prodigious talent with the audience for the second and third sets of the evening. The enthusiastic crowd was really appreciative of this added treat. Joyce Carole also came by and gave us splendid versions of Rodgers and Hart's "Little Girl Blue" and "Dancing on the Ceiling." Last, but not least, Brendan Paul, owner of Graceland Wedding Chapel and an Elvis tribute artist, sang "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" This Sunday, Nik and the band will revisit the music of George and Ira Gershwin, which they celebrated several weeks ago. This weekend they will add some additional Gershwin tunes to the mix. Join Joey Singer on keys, Bob Sachs on bass, Mike Mechem on drums, Nik at Nite as they pay homage to this team of musical giants. Nik also informs us that the group has a special Mother's Day performance at the Piazza lined up for May 11th. On that date, from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., they will have the honor of performing with world-renowned guitarist Joe Lano, who will be joining with Bob Sachs and Mike Mechem as they feature the music of Jimmy Van Heusen. Make plans now and don't miss this special evening of music. The Piazza Lounge is located inside the Tuscany Hotel (on the hotel side), at 255 E. Flamingo Rd.


George & Ira Gershwin

* * * * * * * *

A theatrical production honoring the life and music of the legendary Frank Sinatra, FRANK The Man The Music, will take the stage for one-night-only, Sunday, May 4 at 7 p.m., inside the Venetian Theatre. Conceptualized and brought to life by an all-star creative team, FRANK The Man The Music is the most authentic recreation of a Frank Sinatra concert in recent history. Produced by Broadway veteran, Stephen Eich, and starring the most revered Frank Sinatra tribute artist in the world, Bob Anderson, the production benefits from musical direction by Sinatra's own Vincent Falcone, and features an impressive 32-piece live orchestra. "Our goal in hosting this showcase is to find a permanent home for FRANK The Man The Music," said its star Bob Anderson. "We are confident that this production will provide a new spark on The Strip, filling a void for an upscale and authentic Sinatra tribute show." Transformed by the same Oscar-nominated makeup artist who aged Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Anderson (as Sinatra himself) takes audience members on a dramatic musical journey through some of the famous crooner's greatest hits, from "Come Fly With Me" and "One for My Baby" to "My Heart Stood Still" and "My Way." Public interested in attending may order tickets through The Venetian Box Office. Tickets to FRANK The Man The Music are complimentary and can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis by calling (702) 414-9000.

* * * * * * * *


The Phat Pack

The Performing Arts Society of Nevada proudly presents The Phat Pack at the Winchester Theater, Sunday, May 4th at 2 p.m. Broadway singers and former cast mates of Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, Bruce Ewing (Forever Plaid), Kevan Patriquin (EFX), Randal Keith (Les Miserables), and Alec Bart on piano, make up the members of The Phat Pack. The show is jam-packed with great Music - including Broadway, American Standards, Las Vegas favorites and original songs. In addition to receiving rave reviews after opening in Las Vegas, The Phat Pack members were named Best All Around Performers by the Las Vegas Review-Journal BEST OF VEGAS 2013 poll. The show has enjoyed successful appearances at The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz, the Showroom at the Plaza, and the Windows Showroom in Bally's Hotel and Casino. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Parking is Free. The Winchester box office and lobby opens one hour before the show. Seating begins at 1:30 p.m. The theater is located at the Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod Dr. - north of E. Desert Inn Rd. / East of S. Eastern Ave. For more information, call (702) 658-6741, or e-mail [email protected]. The Performing Arts Society of Nevada is a 501 (C)(3) not for profit corporation.

* * * * * * * *


The Cal Celebrates Lei Day

The historic downtown California Hotel and Casino celebrates May Day with its 17th Annual Lei Day Polynesian Festival on Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday, May 4th, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. The Polynesian festival brings together musicians, dancers, artists, craftsmen and food and beverage vendors, to showcase the very best of Hawaii. Entry to the two-day event is Free. Throughout the festivities, a continual flow of Hawaiian and Polynesian musicians and dancers will entertain attendees. Special demonstrations and activities will highlight Hawaiian culture, and a number of vendors will be on hand to display and sell arts and crafts. Traditional Hawaiian dishes and delicacies will be available for purchase, including kalua pig, lau lau, poi, beef teriyaki sticks and hot malasadas. Two exciting concerts will also take place during the special event weekend. On Friday, May 2nd at 7:30 p.m., inside the Ohana/Maile Room at the California Hotel and Casino, Hawaiian recording artists and musicians, Gary and Sheldeen Haleamau, Keao Costa, George Kuo and Mike Ka'awa will perform, with Makani Tabura emceeing the event. Tickets are $20 in advance, and $25 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 3rd at 7:30 p.m., on the festival grounds, Hawaiian recording artists and musicians Kata Maduli, Brother Noland and Beyond Country will perform. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Gates open at 7 p.m. Parking is available at Stewart and Main Street, adjacent to the California Hotel and Casino. Further event information is available at www.thecal.com, or by calling (702) 385-1222, or (800) 634-6505.

* * * * * * * *

Lots of art news going on in Las Vegas. American surrealist artist, Geoffrey Gersten, unveiled his latest work, Mona Peachy, in Las Vegas at Art encounter™, the exclusive and unique art gallery in The Forum Shops at Caesars, at his most recent visit. Gersten's stand out artwork is quirky and usually features humanoid machines resembling images of robots from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. People are doing a double take when they see, hanging among his more recognizable themes, a captivating cat posed exactly like Mona Lisa, Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci's acclaimed masterpiece and most parodied work of art in the world. While Gersten's takeoff probably won't become nearly as famous, his original can claim to being the "cat's meow." "We've had Geoffrey Gersten visit our gallery a couple times, and his intriguing work always captures attention and evokes conversation," said Art encounter's executive director, Scott Ferguson. "His latest original painting, Mona Peachy, is really fascinating people." Gersten is a self-taught surrealist artist based out of Tempe, Ariz., who started painting when he was 21 years old. He paints using oil paints mixed with natural resin. Mona Peachy is an original oil on board, framed size 18 x 22 and priced at $3,200. Gersten has established his unique original style with classic robots that have a naive "mechanicality" and real innocence like the toy and cartoon characters they resemble. They are people, and essentially children. While not a robot, making Mona Lisa an irresistible cat face, perpetuates the same whimsical nature as his other works.


Geoffrey Gersten Unveils Mona Peachy

Jota Leal at Art Encounter

Surreal portrait artist, Jota Leal, will make an exclusive in-person visit at the Art encounter™ gallery in The Forum Shops at Caesars, today, Friday, April 25th, through Sunday, April 27th, from 3 to 6 p.m. each day. The work of Jota (pronounced Hota) is highly-stylized and easily identifiable. His Superstar Creations cover many notable subjects, including music, movies, art and literature, politics, history, Wild West and sports. People passing by the art gallery can't help but notice Jota's portraits of famous figures, such as Clint Eastwood, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and Al Pacino, to name only a few. "On his last visit, Jota painted an amazing Jack Nicholson portrait," said gallery owner, Rod Maly. "He's a master at capturing the essence and personality of the superstars he depicts. His works always spark conversation." Jota, who is 37 years old, started drawing and painting when he was very young, and is completely self-taught. He was the second of three brothers, whose parents worked in the oil fields of Venezuela. Jota studied electrical engineering, graduating with honors, but that didn't last long. He was always painting, especially people's faces, and it soon became his full-time career. In Venezuela, he received the 2003 Caricaturist of the Year Award. Jota's art follows the tradition of the great portrait painters of the past, as well as the more recent caricature masters. His sense of humor shows through his art work with the whimsy of Al Hirschfeld or Max Beerbohn, but with a more complete rendered painting style. His originals are being added to major collections in the United States. Art encounter is located in The Forum Shops at Caesars, 3500 South Las Vegas Blvd., R40. Phone (702) 733-2000. The gallery maintains regular mall hours, opening at 10 a.m. daily and closing at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and midnight on Friday and Saturday.


Artist Graham Knuttel, Teacher Kelly Mabel & Las Vegas Academy Students

On Monday, world-renowned Irish artist, Graham Knuttel, and art students from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, a magnet high school located in downtown Las Vegas, began work on a project that will result in a huge mural to be hung on the downtown Neonopolis building. Kelly Mabel, Visual Arts Department Chair at the Las Vegas Academy, is teacher of the art class that is working with Knuttel. The original painting will serve as the basis for the massive mural. When completed, in approximately two weeks, the work will be about 4 x 8 feet in size. It will then be vastly enlarged into the piece that will be affixed to Neonopolis, at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Blvd. (Note: the exact date for the actual hanging is yet to be determined. The final piece is expected to be approximately 30 x 60 feet.) It is expected to be influenced by Fremont Street and the places and characters of downtown Las Vegas, and will be greatly inspired by Knuttel's unique style of painting, with bold and vivid colors. Knuttel, who opened the Knuttel Gallery at the Venetian-Palazzo Resort on the Strip last year, decided to do this project because he wanted to make a contribution to the city's downtown arts scene. April 21st was officially named "Graham Knuttel Day" in Las Vegas by proclamation of Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman.

* * * * * * * *

Mimi Williams, who handles PR/Communications for the Las Vegas Jazz Society, wants Cousin Claire's readers to know about the upcoming Patio Party at the Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod. The Jazz Society is trying some new things to attract more folks, starting with an evening Jazz and Wine tasting on Friday, May 2nd, from 7 to 9 p.m. This is the first of Winchester's Jazz on the Patio concerts, outdoors with Vegas Jazz. The Ambience Trio - Cocho Arbe, Jeff Davis, and Mike Candito - will be featured. Ambience plays Latin and straight ahead jazz. The experience of Ambience runs deep: Arbe has worked with Frank Sinatra, Alex Acuna, Wayne Newton and many others; Davis has worked with Joe Williams, Pete Christlieb, and Richie Cole; and Candito has worked with George Benson, Stanley Turrentine and Ron Carter. Admission is $9. Wine tickets are $10 for 6 tickets=6 sips or 2 glasses. Food will be available from Friends of Winchester. Reservations are available thru PayPal, or by calling (702) 313-6778. Let the Summer Fun Begin!"

And speaking of Jazz...
We received a note from Lezlie Anders Greco, saying that her hubby, Buddy Greco, who was dealing with some health issues recently, has recovered well and is back to work. The twosome, who celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary on April 14th, are working The Hippodrome Casino (formerly the old Talk of The Town, where everybody performed, and is one of the last places that Judy Garland worked just before her death in 1969). Buddy and Lezlie, who now make their home across the pond, will be back at The Hippodrome Casino on August 23rd with their show, Fever, a tribute to Peggy Lee. They just booked a weekend in Marbella, Spain, for the fall, and are still working on a book of Buddy‘s life. Busy. Busy.


Buddy & Lezlie Anders Greco

David de Alba as Boy-Chic

And speaking of Judy Garland...
On Sunday, May 11th, Mother's Day, David de Alba, Garland tribute artist with a long history at San Francisco‘s famed Finocchio Club, will be one of the performers featured in a show at the Rubicon Club & Grill, located at 9151 Las Vegas Blvd. So. (between Agate and Serene). For this event, de Alba will be singing a set of five well-known Cuban songs as ‘Boy-Chic," a character David created during his golden days at Finocchio's. He is scheduled to perform at around 8 p.m. If you would like to see de Alba as Judy Garland, you will have the opportunity to do so on June 22nd, when he will be paying tribute to the icon on the 45th anniversary of her death at The Onyx Theatre. We will have more information on this engagement closer to June 22nd. Singer Claudine Castro, who appears regularly in Marilyn's Lounge at the Eastside Cannery, will also be among the entertainers performing with David de Alba at the Rubicon's Mother's Day event.

And speaking of The Onyx Theatre...
Beginning at 8 p.m. this Sunday, April 27th, and continuing at 8 p.m. on every fourth Sunday of the month, The Onyx will host Broadway Open Mic Night to support Off-Strip Productions. This is what you've been waiting for - an evening of strictly Musical Theater with you at the mic and a LIVE accompanist at the piano, complete with theatrical lighting and sound! Here is what you get for a $10 donation: A free cocktail or soda; the option to receive a video copy of your performance at no charge, the opportunity to perform your song for a live audience, and a casual evening of fun and entertainment. It's not complicated. Buy your tickets at the door or via onyxtheatre.com. Sign up on the Performer List when you get here (the list will be put out at 7:30 p.m. - first come, first served). Enjoy the show! You must bring your own sheet music, and all music must be from a published piece of musical theater. 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. We're all friends, we 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. Here are some of the shows on the 2014 schedule that you would be supporting: Song-Poems Wanted! The Musical (Las Vegas Premiere); The Telephone/The Human Voice (Sin City Opera); The Importance of Being Earnest; The Graduate (SRO Productions); Cabaret; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Poor Richard's Players) and Merrily We Roll Along....and that's just through September! For additional information on Broadway Open Mic Night, contact Brandon Burk, Artistic Director. Phone (702) 732-7225, or e-mail to [email protected].

* * * * * * * *

As regular Claire Voyant readers probably already know, the Las Vegas Media Group had to leave their long-standing luncheon meeting place, the Wedding Room on West Sahara, because the facility closed on March 31st. The group was invited to try a few places and chose Las Ventanas Retirement Community, at 10401 West Charleston Blvd., as their first new venture. "There were some concerns," says Lisa Gioia-Acres, spokesperson for the LVMG, "the distance to get there (it's not far from the Red Rock Casino), the parking, and the unfamiliar. According to those I've spoken to about the experience," Lisa says, "it was ‘A homerun‘ and ‘A long drive, but well worth it!' We had 46 members attend on Monday. The food was great, the room had much to offer; we can use the projector for future speakers and it's clean and inviting. I hope that as we continue to grow, it will be large enough to accommodate all of us! So, for now, the Las Ventanas site is our new home." Thanks go to: Warren Esselstrom, Arnold Miller, Mark Miller, and Terry Serrato from Las Ventanas for the hospitality and great service. And to Don and Gretchen Payne, Carey Burke, Rich Friedland, and Mark and Joan Massagli, for checking out the place beforehand and for all their hard work in the search. And to all those that RSVP'd so Lisa could give a fairly accurate headcount, she says, "You are all getting really good at letting me know." The next meeting is on Monday, May 19th at the new Las Ventanas Retirement Community location. We will have more details in May. Don't let the driving distance keep you from attending these amazing meetings. Maybe some of you can car pool next time!

And while still on the subject of the Las Vegas Media Group, Lisa is asking if there are any longtime Las Vegans familiar with the name, Ewa Wight? Ewa Wight built and lived in the first house in the this city's Rainbow subdivision. In the late 1940s, she was a chip-hustler on the Ohio riverboats. When the mob got kicked off the riverboats, and opened the Sands, Ewa served the first cocktail there 1952. She was married seven times, the first to the owner of the Mt. Charleston lumber mill, the last to Edwin Wight, who was the chief steward on Air Force 1 during JFK's presidency. No idea about the middle five husbands, but she and they built the house known as the Sky-Shack. It's possible the Rat Pack used the house as a recreation spot, and the mob as a tune-up spot. The house was a cat-house during some period, and a party house at least until the mid-1990s. This is a request from Don Posson, the current owner of the house Ewa Wight built. The house is to be featured on the HGTV show, Who Lived in that House? When it comes to seeking history about Las Vegas, the LVMG members sure are popular with researchers!

* * * * * * * *

Reminder...
Sinful Pleasures will be playing at the Viva Las Vegas Event Center, 1201 Las Vegas Boulevard South, tomorrow, April 26th, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The classic rock horn band is made up of 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 Charly Raymond (trumpet). The repertoire includes the music of Chicago, Marvin Gaye, Donna Summer, Aretha Franklin, Al Green and even some Bruno Mars. General seating tickets are $10.


Charly Raymond Performs with Sinful Pleasures Band

* * * * * * * *

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nevada, and the Laugh Factory at the Tropicana Hotel, have teamed up for a very special evening of comedy on Saturday, May 3rd, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The lineup of laugh makers consist of headliner Max Amini, with co-stars Tom Clark and Robbie Pickard. The gentlemen will be donating their performances, and the Laugh Factory is donating 100% of the door, to help make Vinnie's wish come true. Vinnie is a sick little boy whose wish is for a swimming pool in his back yard. Max and his co-stars are performing at the Tropicana, Monday, April 28th through Sunday, May 4th, with regular shows at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Tickets for the special show and all regular Laugh Factory performances are $39.95 and $49.95. For reservations, please call (702) 739-2411.

* * * * * * * *

Following a memorial service on Friday, April 18th, last Saturday, Mickey Rooney, who passed away on April 6th, at the age of 93, has been laid to rest. Family and friends of the star bid farewell to the beloved actor at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday. The funeral comes a week after Rooney's conservator and attorney, Michael Augustine, and Rooney's estranged wife, Janice Rooney, debated on where to hold the burial. The two parties finally settled on the popular site, where other show business legends - including Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks (Sr. and Jr.), Estelle Getty, George Harrison, Jayne Mansfield, Tyrone Power, Nelson Riddle, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, Rudolph Valentino, Fay Wray and Al, Harry and Jimmy Ritz - are buried. RIP Mickey Rooney.

* * * * * * * *

Mark Nadler's I'm a Stranger Here Myself - Musik from the Weimar and Beyond, has been nominated to receive a Drama Desk Award in the category of Outstanding Revue! The show played at The York Theater last May and June. "Given all the extraordinary theater that has come down the pike this season since then, I can't even put into words how grateful I am that the Drama Desk nominators not only remembered the show, but chose to give it a nod," says Nadler. He goes on to say, "And to think ...it all started at 54 Below where I'm opening a new show THIS SUNDAY!! Who knows what will happen with this one? Come be at the beginning of THIS adventure..." Mark's latest adventure is Runnin' Wild: Songs and Scandals of the Roaring ‘20s. About Runnin' Wild, Clive Davis of The London Times wrote, "With Mark Nadler as your guide, you get a rich sense of what it was like to live, or rather party, through the Jazz Age. By the time he has sung his last song and thundered through his final piano solo, you may want to text your local bootlegger and order a fresh supply of illicit gin!" Show times at 54 Below, located at 254 W. 54th Street, are April 27th and 30th, and May 7th, all at 9:30 p.m., and May 14th at 7 p.m. If you are in New York, and want to attend Nadler's party at 54 Below, use the code CABARET54 to get 35% off the cover charge! For tickets and additional information, call (646) 476-3551, or go to www.54below.com.

Incidentally, the Drama Desk Awards will be given out on June 1st at Town Hall. We already consider this multi-talented entertainer to be a winner, and would love to see him back on a Las Vegas stage.

* * * * * * * *

Country music legend, Glen Campbell, has been moved into an Alzheimer's care facility as he continues to battle the condition that robbed him of his career. The "Rhinestone Cowboy" has been suffering from the memory-stealing disease for more than three years. In 2012, he did a "farewell tour," while he could still recall the lyrics to some of his songs. In June, one of the tour stops was at the former Las Vegas Hilton, now the LVH. A documentary about the now 78-year-old singer/songwriter's final tour, titled Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me, debuted at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival on April 22nd.


Glen Campbell

The Temptations

* * * * * * * *

Local theater group, Desert Spring Theatre Arts, will present The 39 Steps - Adapted by Patrick Barlow, from the novel by John Buchan. In 1935, the film The 39 Steps, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, was released. It's a hilarious, fast-paced, physical comedy about a man in London working to stop a wicked spy network from stealing top secret information. Fun for the whole family! Performances will take place at Desert Spring United Methodist Church, located at 120 N. Pavilion Center Drive (across from Palo Verde High School). Performances are scheduled for Friday, May 2nd at 7 p.m., and Saturday, May 3rd at 3 p.m. The schedule will be repeated on Friday and Saturday, May 9th and 10th. Tickets are $7.50 each, or $5 each for groups of 4 or more, and are available at the door or via will-call at (702) 528-4483.

* * * * * * * *

Legendary Motown group, The Temptations, return to The Orleans Showroom, this weekend, April 26th and 27th. As The Temptations, Otis Williams, Bruce Williamson, Terry Weeks, Ron Tyson and Joe Herndon, will bring classic Motown back to The Orleans Showroom tomorrow and Sunday. For more than 40 years, The Temptations have shined as pioneers of popular music, with decades of smash hits and sold-out performances to their credit. An essential component of the original Motown machine, invented by Berry Gordy, The Temptations began their musical career in Detroit in the early ‘60s. In 1964, Smokey Robinson wrote and produced "The Way You Do the Things You Do," the first major hit for The Temptations. An avalanche of hits followed, including "My Girl," "It's Growing," "Since I Lost My Baby," "Get Ready," "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" and "I Wish It Would Rain." Beyond their fabulous singing, The Temptations became known for smooth stepping and flawless presentations. "The Temptation Walk" became the staple of American style, flair, flash and class. When the ‘60s and ‘70s turned political, The Temptations got serious. They changed their tone, dress and music, with such hits as "Runaway Child," "Cloud Nine," "I Can't Get Next To You," "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Psychedelic Shack." The Temptations explosion continued in the '80s with their appearance on Motown 25 in 1983, and into the '90s with an NBC mini-series in 1998 that chronicled the group's early days and rise to fame, earning them a coveted Emmy® Award. In 2012, the group performed on Dancing with the Stars, as part of Motown Week. Show times at The Orleans are 8 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $34.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting www.orleanscasino.com.

* * * * * * * *


Freckles the Easter Dog

Easter Sunday follow-up...
While the Easter Bunny was napping, Freckles the Easter Dog took over the delivery chores for a little while. Hope you enjoyed the eggs he left you. If the weather is nice where you are, enjoy the rest of Spring.



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


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

Claire Voyant's portrait by Charlie Frye