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 June 27, 2014
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - June 27, 2014

Marty Allen, Nelson Sardelli & Steve Rossi

Jasmine Trias, Jerry Jones & Ben Stone by Ira Kuzma Photos

The entertainment community has lost yet another veteran performer. Steve Rossi, who with his partner Marty Allen, made up the popular musical comedy team of Allen & Rossi, passed away on Sunday afternoon, following a battle with cancer. Rossi, born Joseph Charles Tafarella, a longtime Las Vegan, was 82. Steve Rossi and Marty Allen teamed up in 1957, quickly becoming the comedy guest stars on such TV shows hosted by Ed Sullivan, Perry Como, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, and on The Tonight Show. In addition, Allen & Rossi were regular guest stars on What's My Line, Hollywood Squares, Password, and many other game shows. They also starred in the Paramount Film, Last of the Secret Agents, with Nancy Sinatra and Ed Sullivan, which on May 22nd and 23rd, was the movie of the week on 300 American Classics Channel stations. Recently, Allen & Rossi have been on reruns of the Best of the Ed Sullivan Show and the Hollywood Palace and game show repeats on the Game Show Network. They also starred on the 25th Anniversary Allen & Rossi Special with special guest stars Engelbert Humperdinck, Sammy Davis Jr., Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, Redd Foxx, Martin Sheen, Ernest Borgnine, Rich Little and Jack Jones. Steve Rossi and Marty Allen were executive producers of the show. Together, Steve and Marty produced 16 comedy albums, and Steve produced eight singing albums on labels including RCA and Columbia Records. Steve sold two- million copies of his hit record, "More," the theme song of the movie Mondo Cane, which was nominated for an academy award. Services, and a Celebration of Life, for Mr. Rossi were held earlier today, Friday, June 27th, at St. Joseph Husband of Mary Catholic Church, on West Sahara in Las Vegas.

Writing of his former partner, Marty Allen had this to say about Steve Rossi...
RIP Steve Rossi
It is hard to put into words... a great loss of a wonderfully-talented and a genuinely nice guy.
Steve and I were together as Allen & Rossi for over 15 years. We had a thrilling show business career and became one of the top comedy acts. Still, today, the name Allen & Rossi brings a smile to our many fans. I still remember the day Steve told me that we should team up. Steve was physically handsome. He had a warm sense of humor and a singing voice that made him a great straight man to my physically-crazy comedy. We hit the heights of national success. When it was finally over we parted ways amicably and remained close friends throughout the years. Today many of Steve's friends and family mourn his loss. In my heart I say "Thank you God for the gift of a man named Steve Rossi that you sent into my life."

The accompanying photo, by Lorraine Thompson, was taken on May 25h, at Steve Rossi's 82nd birthday party. He passed away on June 22nd.

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Friends, colleagues and local entertainers came together Wednesday night, June 19th, at the Palms Lounge for a surprise party and incredible night of entertainment for Jerry Jones, beloved singer and one of the founders of the award-winning vocal group, Fifth Avenue. The primary reason for the party was to celebrate Jerry's recovery from severe health issues, and to collect funds to help pay down some of his acquired medical bills. Jerry developed a pain in his lower right leg in early April and ended up in hospital. In fact, over a two month period, he was in and out of four different hospitals. It was determined that Jerry had, most likely, been bitten by a spider and, at one point, there was the possibility that he might have to have his leg amputated. Fortunately, that did not happen. He is out of the hospital and doing much better.

Jerry was taken to dinner and a show by friend, John Katsilometes. Afterwards, Kats, who was very much in on the ruse, told Jerry that Jeff Bridges was in town to do a gig with his band, The Abiders, and was "performing a VIP show at the Palms tonight, some sort of corporate gig." Kats said he was invited to the show, and to the delight of Jerry, who is a big fan of actor/singer Bridges, Kats was bringing him as his guest. To say Jerry was surprised as he entered the Palms Lounge, is an understatement. It was very evident from the look on Jerry's face that he had no idea what was in store. Emmy award-winning set designer and show producer, Andy Walmsley, headed up the evening's festivities which featured an hour of top-notch entertainment of comedy, music, and a few surprises. Hosted by Kelly Clinton-Holmes and entertainment reporter, Katsilometes, the lineup of talented performers included Clint Holmes, Jasmine Trias, Ben Stone, Skye Dee Miles, Mike Hammer, Frankie Moreno, Jerry Lopez, Anne Martinez, Savannah Smith, dancer/choreographer Jennifer Romas, Geechy Guy, singer Stephanie Calvert (Raiding the Rock Vault), comedienne Shayma Tash, Dennis Blair, DJ Liz, and Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns, as back up band. During the pre-show party, donations were collected in exchange for special "Jerry Jones Jazz Spider Tour" T-shirts. When a member of the local entertainment community is in need, you can usually count on their friends and coworkers to step up to the plate and, ala Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, find a barn (or Vegas showroom) and "put on a show." That's what happened here on Wednesday.

As we have suggested previously, before writing a check or donating talent or raffle gifts, ask lots of questions and check out the history of the "fundraisers." Unfortunately, and sadly, like in other communities around the country, there are scoundrels in the mix.

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Unfortunately, we didn't learn about this until Tuesday. We will run it anyway, in the hopes that if you didn't already have plans to see this show, you may still be able to do so. Something fantastic is happening this evening at The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz. Broadway veteran and Vegas headliner, Eric Jordan Young, presents Once On A Lifetime, a one- man tour-de-force of song, dance and entertainment. Showtime is at 7 p.m. Eric has been called "a one-man force of nature." He is the proud recipient of the 2011 and 2012 Broadway World Award for Best Performance By a Lead Actor for his work in Vegas! The Show, where he originated the role of "Ernie." Eric has appeared on television (Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Ugly Betty), Broadway (Ragtime ‘98 and '09, Chicago, Seussical the Musical, Look of Love), Off-Broadway (NYSF, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center), in national tours and regional Theater, as well as concerts, commercials and recordings. Behind the scenes, Eric is an accomplished director, choreographer, playwright (Sammy & Me) and songwriter. Eric has appeared with several Symphonies throughout the country, including the NY Pops at Carnegie Hall. His solo album, Once In a Lifetime, finds inspiration from the World's Greatest Entertainer, Sammy Davis, Jr. Share a fun, high-energy evening of music, song and dance that showcases Eric's love for Entertainment. Ticket prices are $32-$38, and may be purchased at The Smith Center Box Office, 3611 Symphony Park Avenue in downtown Las Vegas, or call (702) 749-2000, or go online at Be sure and check out Mr. Young's new CD, also called Once On A Lifetime.

Eric Jordan Young

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Appearing at The Onyx Theatre, this Sunday, June 29th, at 2 p.m., it's The Phat Pack: Broadway at its Best. Broadway singers and former cast mates of "Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular" have created a brand new show! Bruce Ewing (Jinx in Forever Plaid on the National Tour and in Las Vegas), Ted Keegan (The Phantom in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and on Tour), Randal Keith (Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway and on Tour), and Kevan Patriquin (Lead singer in EFX at the MGM Grand, Phantom double and stunt coordinator), all met at Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular, and became...The Phat Pack. The Phat Pack is the best of Broadway -- jam-packed with great MUSIC -- Broadway, American Standards, Las Vegas favorites and original songs -- LAUGHTER -- in song and story -- and DREAMS --as the guys share their personal and career journeys. As well as receiving rave reviews after opening in Las Vegas, The Phat Pack was named Best of Vegas 2013 - Best All Around Performers by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Phat Pack have enjoyed successful appearances at The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz, The Showroom at the Plaza, as well as at Windows Showroom at Bally's Hotel and Casino. The Phat Pack will soon be traveling, taking their unique concert to many theaters and concert series all over the US and Canada! Showtime at The Onyx, 953-16B E. Sahara in Commercial Center, is this Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at The Onyx Box Office. Phone (702) 732-7225.

We might mention that Randal Keith, mentioned above, is currently in Utah, where he is performing in The Wizard of Oz and The Little Mermaid at the beautiful outdoor Tuachan Amphitheatre. Our friend, Bart Williams, is also a cast member in both productions.

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On Tuesday, July 1st, MJ Live, the Michael Jackson tribute show co-produced by Darin Feinstein and Dick Feeney in the 550-Seat Crown Theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, in conjunction with the show's two year anniversary, will donate net proceeds from ticket sales for that day's performances scheduled at 4:30 and 9 p.m., to help the families of the two fallen Metro Police Officers, Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soto, 31, as well as the good Samaritan, Joseph Wilcox, 31, who lost his life trying to protect others. The three men were murdered in a rampage by a couple of young maniacs. The No. 1 Michael Jackson tribute show in the world, featuring his biggest hits, including "Bad," "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "Dangerous," "Smooth Criminal," "Black & White," "I Want You Back," and many others. Relive the energy, excitement, spectacle and pure joy of this legendary superstar and his music. Witness the awesome sound, lighting and effects. Feel the energy from the mega-talented MJ LIVE dancers. Sing along to some of the greatest hits of all time. Ticket prices are $50.95 plus tax and fees for General Admission; $62.95 plus tax and fees VIP; $72.95 plus tax and fees Golden Circle, and may be purchased in person at the Rio Box Office, or call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, or online

MJ Live at Rio

Bill Acosta & Daughter Angela

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The Gordie Brown Showroom at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas, will be the site of I Hear Voices, this Sunday, June 29th at 3 p.m. I Hear Voices is a tribute to longtime singer Impressionist, Bill Acosta. In addition to the Vince Falcone 18-piece orchestra, the concert will feature classic impressionists, Rich Little, Gordie Brown, and Bob Anderson. Tickets are $45 inclusive, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Bill Acosta, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Tickets may be purchased through the Golden Nugget Box Office at (866) 946-5336.

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Lisa and Ron Smith hosted the Sunday, June 15h, Variety Toast of the Town show at Sam's Town by celebrating the music of two great singers of the 1950's, Frankie Laine and Jo Stafford. With his renditions of "That's My Desire" and "Rawhide," Ron touched on some of the songs that graced Laine's 75+ year career. Lisa's beautiful voice paid great tribute to Stafford's memorable "You Belong To Me" and the comical "Make Love To Me," and together the Smiths performed some of Laine and Stafford's most popular duets, including "Hey, Good Lookin'," "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans." Ron and Lisa were accompanied on stage by a talented group of musicians - Ned Mills, Frank Fabio and Billy Wade - led by musical director, Bill Fayne. Fayne's opening performance of "Oh My Papa," in honor of Father's Day, brought both a smile to the faces and a tear to the eye; and Ned Mill's trumpeting solo of Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," added a little spice. The show was rounded out by the very humorous Larry Reeb who offered up stories of what life was like years ago as a kid compared to today, and how any of us ever survived!

Ron & Lisa Smith

Mary Rodgers 1931-2014

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Mary Rodgers, the daughter of Broadway icon Richard Rodgers, passed away yesterday, June 26th, at the age of 83. Mary Rodgers found her own fame as composer of the 1959 musical, Once Upon a Mattress, and as the author of the children's book, Freaky Friday.

Once Upon a Mattress, a musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fable, The Princess and the Pea, made a star of Carol Burnett (Burnett‘s version of "I‘m Shy," was a showstopper). Some of Mary Rodgers other shows include From A to Z, a revue featuring her songs; "Hot Spot"; and The Madwoman of Central Park West, a one-person musical starring Phyllis Newman. The musical, Working, from the book by Studs Terkel, featured songs by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor, Susan Birkenhead, AND Ms. Rodgers. Mary also wrote music for The Mad Show, an Off-Broadway musical revue based on Mad Magazine. The book is by Larry Siegel and Stan Hart. The show's various lyricists include Siegel, Marshall Barer, Steven Vinaver, and Stephen Sondheim. "The Boy From..." Is a clever number from the show, is essentially a parody of "The Girl from Ipanema." The melody and lyrics are relatively close to the original, and Linda Lavin's original delivery of the song was reminiscent of Astrud Gilberto's simple, breathy style. The song's context differs from the original in that it is sung in reference to a male character. Though both songs are about unrequited desire for the title character, the humor of "The Boy From..." stems partly from the fact that the narrator is completely unaware of her crush's blatant homosexuality, as, for example, illustrated in the song's second bridge: "Why are his trousers vermilion? / Why does he claim he's Castilian? / Why do his friends call him Lillian? / And I hear at the end of the week, / he's leaving to start a boutique." The other humorous aspect of the song comes from the fact that every verse ends with a statement of the title character's hometown (hence the title), a fictional Latin American village called "Tacarembo la Tumbe del Fuego Santa Malipas Zacatecas la Junta del Sol y Cruz" ("Cruz" pronounced as "cruth" with ceceo) - with the narrator becoming slightly more out-of-breath with each verse. This is only enhanced by the ending, where the narrator laments that her beloved is "moving to Wales / to live in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch." Sondheim wrote the song's lyrics under the pseudonym of Esteban Ria Nido, which is a literal Spanish translation (from German) of his name. "The Boy From..." was also featured in the Sondheim tribute revue, Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), in which the singer was Millicent Martin. The song has become a favorite for cabaret artists. In private life, Mary Rodgers was married twice and had five children. Her first husband was Julian "Jerry" Beaty, with whom she had three children - Tod, Kim and Nina Beaty. Her second husband was Henry Guettel, former Executive Director of the Theatre Development Fund (TDF). They had to sons - Alec and Adam Guettel. Adam is a Tony Award-winning composer (The Light in the Piazza, Floyd Collins). Henry Guettel died in October 2013 at the age of 85. Mary Rodgers is survived by her sister, Linda Rodgers Emory, her five children, and seven grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

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Five local performers joined the Entertainers Hall of Fame‏ at an afternoon ceremony on Wednesday. This is Vegas. They're all around and most of us don't even know it. ..until they don the wigs, the makeup and the costumes and suddenly you're in the presence of the great legends of show business. They are the Buddy Hollys of the world, the George Burns and Judy Garlands, Elvis' and Rick James‘. These are the impersonators who have taken on the responsibility of keeping alive the music of previous generations. This last week, a select group of Las Vegas' favorite "impersonators" shed the "impersonator" title to become Tribute Artists. These five artists are being recognized by their peers for the outstanding work and performances they present. They have excelled under the makeup and costumes, working for free in many cases to bring their music to the nursing homes, hospitals and benefits to support the community. Jean Bennett, the assistant to Buck Ram who helped develop The Platters, Flares and other musical groups, was a guest speaker. Judy Garland tribute artist, Denise Rose, was among those inducted into the Las Vegas Entertainer's Hall of Fame. Denise was honored for her exceptional contributions, including free performances at Las Vegas facilities, and for her stunning performance in the world premier of her one-woman show in Montreal, Songs and Stories of Judy Garland. Other inductees included Elvis tribute artist, Paige Poole; Rick James tribute artist, Gregory P.; Buddy Holly tribute artist, Jim Mann; and George Burns tribute artist, Dan Ward. Congratulations, one and all.

Gary Anthony, Denise Rose & Mark OToole

Duke Ellington, by Maurice Seymour 1934

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WOW! Attorney Nikolas Mastrangelo, who performs as Nik at Nite after the sun goes down, says, "I didn't think that we could top the previous Sunday at the Tuscany, but last week was a dream. The room was loaded with talent as we celebrated Naomi Mauro's birthday in fine style. First of all, pianist, Bill Zappia, joined Bob Sachs on bass, and Mike Mechem on drums, and the trio was simply outstanding. Much to my delight, Naomi got to sing several songs, which were all great, but her version of Rodgers and Hart's, "It Never Entered My Mind," and "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" (Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf), really took me to another place, a very nice place. I also got the chance to sing several duets with Naomi, which we haven't been able to do in some time. Our old friend, Andy Dimino, came by and helped us celebrate with his renditions of, "The More I See You," and Rodgers and Hart's, "I Could Write a Book." Then, the wonderful, Mark Giovi, sang a moving tribute to the late Steve Rossi, with the song, "More." He also delighted the crowd with David Gates', "If." Naomi's husband, Giovanni Mauro, took a break from his Old School Pizzeria and gave rousing versions of "Volare," and Rodgers and Hart's, "My Romance." Martin Mancuso came in with his alto sax, and we had great fun with Matt Dennis' "Everything Happens to Me." As if all that weren't enough, Alicia Sherman sang the rare original version of Rodgers and Hart's "Blue Moon." I think the crowd hit the jackpot with all of the talent on display. The last two Sundays will be tough acts to follow, but we have the music of Duke Ellington going for us, as Bill Zappia again joins Bob Sachs, Joel Thomasula on drums, and me. As I've mentioned previously, it's likely that more surprises will be in store. Also, please mark your calendars for the return of the fabulous Joe Lano, who will join Bob Sachs, Mike Mechem and I on July 6th, as we celebrate the music of Cole Porter. This promises to be another very special Sunday night at the Piazza Lounge. The Piazza Lounge is located inside the Tuscany (on the hotel side), at 255 E. Flamingo.

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La Voce Totale Performing at Venetian

Tomorrow, Saturday June 28th at 7:15 p.m., romance, intrigue, and laughter, in scenes from Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro," Puccini's "La Fanciulla del West," Verdi's "Il Trovatore," and more, performed by vocalists participating in La Voce Totale, including emerging artists: Ediana Nieves, Dan Dziedziak, Gloria Grev, Eliso Zari, Victor Romero, Valeria Ore, Albert Lee, Wendy Moss, Maria Pinegar, Veronica McCormack, Marco Varela, Joel Drake Allée, and aspiring artists program. Local artists will exhibit works, and the concert will be accompanied by pianist, Spencer Baker. The location of this musical evening is at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2 South Pecos (North of I-215) in Henderson. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call (702) 263-0802.

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Louie Cordone

Rockie Brown

Actor, Singer and Entertainer, Paul X. Campanella, with Special Guests, comic, Louie Cordone, and female vocalist, Rockie Brown, perform at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara, on Sunday, June 28th, at 8 p.m. Enjoy an evening of music and comedy, It's Classic Motown, Memphis Soul and R&B Classics...and Dancing is Mandatory! Tickets are $20. For reservations, call (702) 457-3866.

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Following his A Lonely Stage show at The Onyx last Sunday afternoon, Judy Garland tribute artist, David de Alba, was presented with, not only a number of floral bouquets, but also a Lifetime Achievement Award, issued from Jacques Du Rand who lives in South Africa, and presented after David's bravura performance, by Denise Gyenes. Unlike most female impersonators, David does his own live singing. No lip- synching for the Cuban Legend.
The accompanying photo of David is by Cindy Carlson.

David de Alba as Judy Garland

NeNe Leakes

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As part of the 10th anniversary celebration of Zumanity: The Sensual Side of Cirque du Soleil at New York-New York, reality TV star, NeNe Leakes (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), will join the cast for 10 shows. NeNe, who performed as a stripper in the 2003 Cuba Gooding and Beyonce film, The Fighting Temptations, began her guest-hosting role tonight. Zumanity explores different perspectives of love and is a "leave the kids at home" night. Show times are Fridays through Tuesdays at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Tickets range from $69 to $129, plus tax and fees, with sofa seating available (but only if you are 18 or older). For reservations, call (702) 740-6815.

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Beginning on Monday, July 7th, comic impressionist, Rich Natole, will be hosting his own radio show on KDWN 720 AM. The show will air every Monday, between 2 and 3 p.m., with Rich interviewing entertainers, authors and other folks who might have something interesting to talk about. Plan to give a listen.

Rich Natole

Natalie Cole

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Lisa Gioia-Acres sends along this information about the Las Vegas Media Group and its members. For the June luncheon meeting, Lisa says, "Once again, we had an outstanding speaker at the Las Vegas Media Group monthly luncheon with Marta Beckett sharing her life story. We thank Ms. Beckett for taking the time to come to us and give such an engaging talk. Regarding Murray Westgate, LVMG member, Dina Remeta, has been kind enough to keep us posted on Murray's condition. It isn't good, but he is improving slightly. His family (wife and daughter) from Thailand have been by his side for the last two weeks. It is still an uphill battle, but Murray "is a fighter." He is at UMC, but no visitors outside of the family will be allowed to see him, and unfortunately, they won't accept cards. Dina is happy to provide a mailing address if anyone would like to send something - but as Dina says, "Prayers work - please keep Murray in yours." Send any notes to Murray Westgate, c/o Douglas Remeta, 7505 Barkentein St., Las Vegas, NV 89145. And an update on our friend and member, Buzz Floyd‏. Here is what Buzz shared with me and all of you regarding his health and healing - "After radiation treatments on my tonsil last August through October, I have not been able to eat solid foods and have lost a lot of weight. That's why I haven't been going to the lunches. The cancer is gone, but the side effects have resulted in two or three trips to the hospital for things like congestive heart failure and most recently, pneumonia . I was in the hospital for two weeks, just two weeks ago, with pneumonia, and have been slowly recuperating at home. The pneumonia brought on side effects too, mostly tiredness, and a lot of unexplainable pain. To further complicate things, I had to have my defibrillator/pacemaker replaced in February, and around that surgery is where the pain is concentrating. Nobody knows why. But, it is getting better." Mark Hall-Patton: our resident famous Pawn Star, has been highlighted in an article in the LA Times. Congratulations, Mark! Main Street Station is our venue for the AUGUST meeting. We will meet at Las Ventanas in July, and return there in September. It is nice of Jim Marsh and Main Street Station to have our group in August, but the consensus seems to be that Las Ventanas, with it's great food, customer service, and multimedia capabilities, as well as the great price, is the choice of the majority of our members. These great amenities seem to outweigh the long drive - at least that's what I've been told. Have a great rest of June, everyone! You can e-mail Lisa at [email protected]

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Natalie Cole performs in the Star of the Desert Arena at Primm Valley Resorts, tomorrow night at 8 p.m. Tickets range from a most reasonable $12.95 to $60.95. For reservations, call (800) 745-3000.

And, Queen + Adam Lambert are at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, next Saturday and Sunday, July 5th and 6th. They will reign over a highly anticipated North American summer tour, and Brian May, Roger Taylor + Adam Lambert will come together for the first time in Las Vegas in The Joint at Hard Rock, next weekend. The Hard Rock is located at 4455 Paradise Road. For information about the concert, call (702) 693-5222.

Adam Lambert

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This was sent to us by Jerry V., one of our readers.
, the magazine distributed to theatergoers nationwide, has swapped its iconic yellow and black logo for the rainbow flag synonymous with the LGBT community as part of a campaign called "30 Days of Pride." It's the first time the magazine, which has its 130th anniversary this year, has altered its logo in such a broad format. The move is timed to coincide with Pride Week, which falls on the last week of June. For the month of June, the rainbow logo is appearing on the 1.6 million Playbills distributed at theaters on and off Broadway in New York, along with content inside the magazine about LGBT contributions to theater. The campaign also features daily web stories on the topic. You can read the entire Michael Sebastian article by going to, pride-week/293735/

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On select Wednesdays, through August 27th, talented comedienne impressionist, Bethany Owen, will present lunch and a show at Old World in the Huntington Beach section of Southern California. You can see and hear the Woman of 1001 Voices & Faces, while enjoying a three- course meal, for the reasonable prices of $39 for adults, $28 for seniors (65 and over), and $25 per person in groups of 10 or more. Reservations are a must. To see this Las Vegas headliner, please call (714) 475-9678.

Bethany Owen as Tina Turner

Christopher V. Edwards

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Nevada Conservatory Theatre is excited to announce that Christopher V. Edwards has joined the theater as artistic director. Edwards is a UNLV alumnus and has directed past NCT productions, including Seven Guitars and Arcadia. He is a director, actor, and educator who worked 14 years with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival as associate artistic director and director of education. He has worked in regional theaters across the country, as well as internationally. Professional directing credits include: How to Break with HERE Arts Center, New York City; Collective Consciousness, New Haven, Connecticut; and The National Theatre of Norway in Oslo; Innaviews with Pregones Theater, New York City; Myth Understood, Love's Obsession, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth,and Hip Hop Shakespeare with Lincoln Center's "Meet the Artists." Professional acting credits include performances in London's West End, Ireland, Scotland, Off-Broadway, Ubu Rep, John Houseman's The Acting Company, Atlantic Theater Company, the Guthrie Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, American Stage, Stamford Theater Works, Vermont Stage Company, Penumbra Theatre, and the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival to name a few. As an educator, Edwards has taught at Mont Claire State University in New Jersey, Bennington College in Vermont, the United States Military Academy at West Point, St. Michael's College in Vermont, UNLV, University of Minnesota, John Houseman's the Acting Company on tour nationally, Weston Playhouse in Vermont, Lincoln Center in New York City, and the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in New York. Edwards is a member of Actors Equity Association and is currently on the executive committee for the Shakespeare Theater Association. Edwards received his bachelor of science degree in business administration at UNLV and attended the University of Minnesota in association with the Guthrie Theater for his MFA. He is replacing Brackley Frayer, executive director of NCT and chair of the department of theatre, who was serving as artistic director (in addition to everything else!) following Robert Benedetti stepping down a few years ago.

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