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 July 04, 2014
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - July 4, 2014


Bill Acosta & Nelson Sardelli by Ed Foster

Gordie Brown Acting Up by Randy Soard

Sunday was a day to celebrate singing impressionist, Bill Acosta. In addition to it being his 67th birthday, a show to honor him and raise money for his treatment for Parkinson's disease, took place in the Gordie Brown Theater at the Golden Nugget. With Nelson Sardelli as producer and host, the event featured impressionists Gordie Brown, Rich Little and Bob Anderson, backed by some of this city's top musicians under the direction of Vincent Falcone. The audience got plenty of bang for their bucks ($45 per person, with ALL of the proceeds going to assist with Bill's high medical expenses). Every ticket was paid for (no comps for anybody). The man of the hour was escorted to the showroom by his beautiful daughter, Angela, and her fiancé, Brett Knudson (they are marrying on October 4th). Among those in attendance at the afternoon show (we didn't see, and can't remember everybody) we spotted Vera Goulet, Bill Fayne, Judy Coco, Angelo and Nancy Cassaro, Gary Anderson, Conrad Villella, Artie Schroeck and Linda November, Rick Michel, Don and Gloria Hill, Ed Foster, Johnny and Pam Thompson (The Great Tomsoni & Co.), Spike Measer, Arlene Bates, Pia Zadora, Jeanne Bavaro, Lou Toomin (who graciously and generously purchased tickets for some people who would otherwise not have been able to attend the event), Dana Stern, Cindy Doumani and Randy Soard, Nancy Barr, Pietra Sardelli, Lorraine Thompson, Norm Johnson, Cathy Bittinger, Angela Bello, Antonio Fargas, Clint Holmes and Kelly Clinton Holmes, Teddy Kaye, Dondino and Donna Gummelt. A tip of the hat to the Golden Nugget's head of entertainment, Ron O'Neal, for a job well done. As an added touch to the afternoon, proclamations by Nevada State Governor Brian Sandoval, and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, honoring Bill for his contributions to the state, were read to the crowd. The event attracted about 200 to the theater. Proceeds from show ticket sales, plus contributions from those who couldn't attend, but wanted to help, will make a dent in Bill Acosta's medical expenses.

Show finale photo (from left): Vincent Falcone, Rich Little, Bob Anderson, Gordie Brown and Nelson Sardelli.


Bill Acosta Tribute Finale

If you would like to see the talented Gordie Brown at work (and work he does), his show times at the Golden Nugget are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Gordie will be off, tonight, July 4th through19th, August 8th and 9th, and September 27th.

* * * * * * * *

On Tuesday night, we joined an enthusiastic crowd to celebrate the two year anniversary of MJ Live in the Crown Theater at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Much of the audience was invited to see the Michael Jackson tribute show, following a party beforehand. For the paying crowd, we are sure it did their hearts good to know that their ticket money was donated to the families of two local police officers and a civilian, murdered in a senseless crime in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. Before the show started, MJ Live co-producers, Dick Feeney and Darin Feinstein, along with comic Eddie Griffin, who performs in The Kings Room at the Rio, welcomed the audience. Many had seen MJ Live before, so they knew what they were in for. For the others, they were surprised and very impressed with the quality of the show, and the skill and talent of the hardworking cast. Live musicians and a group of male and female dancers lend support to Jalles Franca, who does an outstanding job, singing and dancing as the King of Pop. This is a show for the entire family. It helps if you were a fan of Michael Jackson, but it isn't necessary to enjoy the experience. If you haven't seen MJ Live, the Michael Jackson Tribute Concert, plan a night out with the kids (those 12 and under are free with a paid adult ticket - one child per adult ticket, please). For reservations, call (702) 777-7776.
Note: We loved the show. The video poker machines at the Rio? Not so much.


Producers Dick Feeney & Darin Feinstein & Comic Eddie Griffin

MJ Live Star Jalles Franca

In addition to the success of MJ Live, Dick Feeney, who also produces The Rat Pack Is Back at the Rio, is celebrating the popularity of his Kona Kozy show in Hawaii. Now one year old, Kona Kozy, starring comedy magician Paul Kozak, was just named No. 1 of 50 attractions in Kailua-Kona by tripadvisor, the travelers choice. Tripadvisor says, "Experience ‘Big Island Magic‘ and the ‘Aloha Spirit‘ with multiple award-winning magician and funniest man on the islands, Kona Kozy (Kozak). Kick back, be amazed and laugh your "okole" off in Kozy's Voodoo Room in The King's Grille at the Golf Course Country Club. Enjoy the tropical breeze and Shangri-La cocktails as Kona Kozy entertains you with his World Class Magic and Hilarity." When you're in the Islands...

* * * * * * * *


Paul Kozak is Kona Kozy

Nik Mastrangelo

Last Sunday, Nik Mastrangelo and the Nik at Nite Trio had another fun and exciting night at the Tuscany's Piazza Lounge. The excellent band consisted of Bill Zappia on keys, Bob Sachs on bass and Joe Thomasula on drums, and the boys kept the room swinging all night long. They also had more surprise guests stop by and lend their talents to the evening. Marlene Coker not only gave a song, but also sat in on keys accompanying Russine Zellner. Then the talented couple of Linda November and Artie Schroeck provided the audience with some great entertainment. Artie not only accompanied Linda on keys, but then sat in on drums as well. (Did you know that the hit song, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, and recorded by Frankie Valli, was arranged by Artie and Gaudio, and that Artie wrote "Here's To the Band," which was recorded by Frank Sinatra?) Last, but not least, good friend Joey Singer stopped by and, despite a grueling day, sat in on keys, which included a fascinating duet with Bill Zappia on playing the Beatles song "Eleanor Rigby." Everyone had a blast. This Sunday, July 6th, from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., renowned guitarist Joe Lano, a true musician's musician, returns to the Piazza Lounge to help Nik and the trio celebrate the wonderful music of Cole Porter. Putting a fitting end to the Fourth of July weekend will be Bob Sachs on bass and Mike Mechem on drums. This one is not to be missed. The Piazza Lounge is located inside the Tuscany Hotel at 255 E Flamingo Road.

* * * * * * * *


Joe LaVigna 1944-2014

Joe LaVigna & Handy Girls 1984

We are saddened to report the passing of longtime Las Vegan, Joe LaVigna. Joe died yesterday, just 16 days after his 70th birthday, following a battle with cancer. In the early 1970s, Joe was a principal singer in Harold Minsky's famed production at the Aladdin. In recent years, he loved performing in senior revues at places such as the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin. LaVigna was the owner of the Gourmet Factory on Tropicana and Eastern, and later was the head of Affairs Catering. Known as the "Singing Chef," Joe was always willing to lend a hand to a needy friend or worthy occasion. He invited us to attend a gathering at a church where he did the catering and sang a couple of songs. He also volunteered to participate in Career Day at Lewis E. Rowe Elementary School, where he spoke to about 100 children about what it was like being a chef and a baker. Dressed in his custom-made Singing Chef apron and chef's hat (a gift from a fan), Joe brought a few hundred homemade cupcakes, plus frosting, to the school so the kids could decorate and eat their own treats. When Las Vegas resident, Dolores Fuller, actress and songwriter best known as the one-time girlfriend of the low-budget film director Ed Wood, had to leave her eastside home to live in a retirement community, Joe put together a party at the facility so the residents could meet and get to know Dolores. He catered the event and decorated the recreation room. Most of the ambulatory residents attended the meet-and-greet. At a point, Joe sang one of his favorite songs, Artie Butler and Phyllis Molinary's Here's To Life, to the failing Ms. Fuller. It was a touching moment, and one we will always remember. Although Joe had no surviving family members (his mother, Rosalie, passed in April of 2011), he leaves behind many friends.

From Handy Girls, Mary Schwartz and Barbara Ciarlantini, comes this note and accompanying photo...Our Handy Girl book party in May of 1984 launched Joe into his catering career. He loved life and lived it fully. RIP. Services for Joe LaVigna are expected to take place next Friday.

* * * * * * * *

The Clinton Club, starring Kelly Clinton, with Musical Director Michael Clark, will be featured at the Viva Las Vegas Event Center on two upcoming Fridays, July 11th and 25th. The Las Vegas entertainer may be best described as "a kaleidoscope of talent." No matter which performing direction she takes - singer, actress, comedienne, impressionist, television personality, MC, or events host - her charismatic rays always shine through. For eight years, Clinton was the headliner at the exclusive Las Vegas Stirling Club at Turnberry Towers, where she also served as entertainment director. Being an "entertainers' entertainer," Clinton drew many of Las Vegas headliners and performers to her shows. Saturday nights often turned into old Vegas-style jam sessions, with Clinton sharing her stage with the likes of Bill Medley, Jack Jones, Clint Holmes (who just happens to be Kelly's husband), The Scintas, Gordie Brown, Mary Wilson, and other Strip entertainers. Enjoy music, comedy and special guests, from 8 to 11 p.m. (doors open at 7). Dinner and cocktails are available for purchase beginning at 7. Tickets are $15 for General Admission Seating. General Admission seating is not assigned or reserved, and are occupied on a first-come, first-served basis. So arrive early for best options. For First Row VIP at 4-Top Bistro Table, and for Second Row 8-Top Table "Golden Circle" seating, the tickets are $25. Those under 21 must be accompanied by an adult parent, and are required to order a meal. The Viva Las Vegas Event Center is at 1201 Las Vegas Boulevard South. For reservations, call Toll Free: +1 (800) 574-5406 / Local Phone: +1 (702) 384-0771. To learn more about Kelly Clinton, check out her website at http://kellyclinton.com.


Kelly Clinton

* * * * * * * *

Frances Kirk, longtime manager of the Society of Seven, and a former entertainment director at the Outrigger Hotel in Hawaii, has put pen to paper to tell her story, and theirs, in The Society of Seven: Last of the Great Show Bands. For more than four decades, from their early years in Hong Kong as the Fabulous Echoes, to SRO performances in clubs and concert halls around the world, the saga of the Society of Seven has been one of the most enduring success stories in show business. In a career that has spanned Las Vegas showrooms and more than 30 years at Hawaii's Outrigger Waikiki Hotel, the SOS has charmed and captivated audiences worldwide, often performing with the best in the business - Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Patti Page, Sammy Davis, Jr. and many others. With wit, warmth and remarkable recall, Frances Kirk, the group's confidante, recounts the wild ride of this revolving cast of world-class entertainers, who overcame dramatic turnover and personal tragedy to build a unique legacy in the rough-and-tumble world of entertainment. The Society of Seven: Last of the Great Show Bands is the unforgettable tale of this brotherhood of born showmen, still performing today in the finest show-business tradition.
The Society of Seven: Last of the Great Show Bands. Legacy Isle Publishing. Author: Frances Kirk. Softcover; 368 pp. Release Date: December 2013.

* * * * * * * *

Congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy life together, to entertainer Vita Corimbi and Randy Drew who were married on June 28th.

* * * * * * * *

Signs of the times in Las Vegas...
As we approach our Friday deadline, the letters on the big Paradise Road LVH sign are being removed to make way for the property's new name - the fourth, after the International, Las Vegas Hilton, LVH (Las Vegas Hotel). The resort will now be known as the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Westgate Resorts is proud to announce the acquisition of the LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino as the newest addition to its portfolio of 28 resorts. Westgate LVH, LLC, which is wholly-owned by Westgate Resorts, Ltd., has acquired 100% of the membership interests in 3000 Paradise Road, LLC, the owner of the LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. At one time, the landmark property was the largest hotel in the world and was home to such legendary greats as Elvis Presley and Liberace during Vegas's golden age. The new Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is located just one block off the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, is adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center, and is one of seven stations on the Las Vegas Monorail. David Siegel, Founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, proudly announced, "Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino will set the standard for service in Las Vegas. We are very excited to be taking this important part of Vegas history and reinventing it for the next generation of Las Vegas visitors." This iconic resort is 30 stories tall and is home to the largest freestanding sign in the world at 279 feet. With nearly 3,000 rooms, including 300 opulent suites, Westgate will convert some of the rooms to luxury timeshare villas while still operating the resort hotel rooms and suites. Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino features a 95,000 square foot casino with a wide array of table games and slot machines, 200,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, incredible restaurants - including the largest Benihana restaurant in the United States, endless entertainment, a spa and fitness center, expansive pool with luxurious cabanas, access to golf at the exclusive Las Vegas Country Club, and the world's largest race and sports SuperBook®. "Although a selection of our rooms will be converted into timeshare villas, it is important to know that our resort hotel and legendary luxury suites will remain open to Las Vegas visitors and tourists, for vacations and conventions," explained Siegel. "We will be providing the best of both worlds on our resort property. Las Vegas is the center of the universe for luxury destination resorts and the new Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is at the center of the Las Vegas renaissance." Westgate Resorts closed on the property on June 30th, and will retain Navegante Group, a well-known casino management company that has been managing the property since October 2012, to continue to operate the property. One of the largest privately owned timeshare companies in the world, Westgate Resorts features luxury resorts in premier travel destinations such as Orlando, Florida; Park City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; Miami, Florida; Branson, Missouri; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Williamsburg, Virginia; Mesa, Arizona; and Tunica, Mississippi. Founded in 1980 by David A. Siegel, Westgate Resorts develops and operates uniquely themed destination resorts that include luxurious accommodations, destination health spas, water parks, restaurants and retail shopping outlets. For more information about Westgate Resorts, visit www.westgateresorts.com. To book accommodations at the new Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, call toll free at (800) 732-7117 or log on to www.westgatelasvegasresort.com.


Bye Bye LVH Name

Clint Holmes

And the past and current changing property names saga continues. The Cromwell, at Flamingo and the Strip, used to be the Barbary Coast and later Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon, and downtown, the former Fitzgeralds is now the D Las Vegas Casino Hotel, and the Lady Luck is now the Downtown Grand (not to be confused with the MGM Grand). On October 30th, The Quad, formerly known as the Imperial Palace, will become the Linq Hotel & Casino, keeping in step with the relatively new shopping, dining and night life center, and High Roller next door. And, don't forget the property at the north end of the Strip, that used to be the Sahara, will be called SLS when it reopens at the end of next month. Some have suggested that SLS translates to "Sahara's Last Stand."

* * * * * * * *

Beat the heat this Fourth of July weekend with the cool stylings of Clint Holmes in The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz. In his musical revue, This Thing Called Love, Clint pairs the music of two of America's most prolific and celebrated songwriters, Cole Porter and Paul Simon, bringing together such classics as "Night and Day," "The 59th Street Song (Feelin' Groovy)," "Have a Good Time" and "It's Alright With Me" plus many, many more. Show times are tonight, Friday, July 4th, and tomorrow, Saturday, the 5th, at 8:30 p.m., and Sunday, the 6th, at 2 p.m. Tickets for Clint Holmes: This Thing Called Love, The Music of Cole Porter & Paul Simon, are $36-$46. For reservations, call the Smith Center Box Office at (702) 749-2000. The Center for the Performing Arts is located at 361 Symphony Park Avenue, in downtown Las Vegas.

* * * * * * * *

Vocalist, Danielle Biaggi, will be performing on the Floating Stage at MonteLago Village in Henderson, next Saturday, July 12th, from 7 to 10 p.m. Danielle and her band - made up of Mariano Longo on keys, Danny DeMorales on bass, Gary Olds on drums, and James Davis on guitar - cover a wide variety of music, including pop, jazz, standards, country and current top 40. Danielle, who sings in three languages, will probably include some of the tunes from her new CD, From My Heart, in her Lakeside show. Head east to Lake Las Vegas for a change of scenery, a change of pace and a delightful evening of fine music.


Danielle Biaggi by Kelly Garni

David Copperfield New Slot Machine

* * * * * * * *

On June 26th, David Copperfield unveiled his newly-released signature slot machine, The Magic of David Copperfield, at the MGM Grand. During this media-exclusive event, Copperfield was joined by executives from Bally Technologies and MGM Grand. The event featured remarks from Copperfield and Jean Venneman, Vice President of Product Management and Licensing at Bally Technologies. Venneman shed light on The Magic of David Copperfield's enthralling features, including the stunningly crisp visuals and an interactive feature known as The Death Saw. After the unveiling, attendees were invited to Whiskey Down, located adjacent to Hollywood Theater, to enjoy complimentary cocktails, beverages and hors d'oeuvres. Recognized by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history, Copperfield has stunned audiences worldwide with more than 40 million tickets sold and more than $4 billion grossed throughout his career. Upcoming show dates for David Copperfield at the MGM Grand are, through August 31st, and September 1st through 8th. Tickets start at $69.99.

* * * * * * * *

‎Tastyspace is proud to present Floss & Gravity from artist Yasmina Chavez, on display through August 16th, Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. This is Yasmina's third and final solo exhibit before she heads east to pursue her MFA at Alfred University, ranked No. 11 in the nation for their Fine Art graduate program and No. 1 for their ceramics school. Yasmina (and TastySpace) would like to extend a special thanks to ClayArtsVegas for being so open and accommodating during the creation of her ceramic pieces. TastySpace. 520 Fremont St, suite 150. 617.513.7336 // tastyspacelv.com. <
We hope many of you can make it by to see the show.

* * * * * * * *

Performer Nate Estimada died in a California car crash on June 18th. Reports showed that Estimada drove his Mustang off a cliff at a landfill near Industry, and died during the crash.
Known as the Midnight Cowboy, the 25-year-old Estimada was a former Chippendales performer at the Rio, and a member of the touring male revue, Men of the Strip, founded by 98 Degrees singer, Jeff Timmons, who posted a tribute to Estimada on social media. "I am heartbroken at the passing of my brother Nate Estimada," wrote Timmons. "Nate was a gift to all of us, and will be missed not only personally as a friend, but as a member of Men of the Strip. My love, prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones. He will be missed dearly, and we will keep him in our hearts forever." Men of the Strip was the focus of the E! "reality movie event" which premiered on June 1st on the network. In the special, Timmons, and choreographer, Glenn Douglas Packard, searched the country for men to join the strip show. A Las Vegas resident, the San Jose native was a graduate of Sierra Vista High School and attended University of Nevada in Reno. Estimada's handsome good looks, incredibly ripped physique and killer smile are obvious, but one friend and former colleague of his will remember "his little brother" in another way. "You would never have found a bigger heart in someone."


Nate Estimada RIP

Dick Foster

* * * * * * * *

Take a deep breath. This is a long, long paragraph, but, hopefully, interesting enough to hold your attention...
After 25 years of having one of the Las Vegas Strip's leading production companies, Dick Foster Productions (DFP) is relocating its main office to Hollywood. "At this point in my career, it's time to do those things I've always promised myself I would do," said Dick Foster. He has started on a book about his memoirs and working relationships with some of the entertainment industry's most famous stars, including: Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Perry Como, Carol Burnett, Judy Garland, Flip Wilson, Peggy Fleming and Andy Williams, to name only a few. The book, tentatively entitled The Tap Dancer, is scheduled for release in early 2015.

Foster is also consulting on projects involving the life and career of his former mother-in-law, Peggy Lee. A stage production tribute to the mega-singing icon, starring cabaret "Performer of the Year," Stacy Sullivan, is currently touring the United States and England. Plans are underway to introduce the show at a Las Vegas venue, and also to produce a BBC documentary on Peggy Lee. "It is actually my intention to increase DFP productivity, utilizing new operational directions, co-production opportunities, theatrical consultancy and personal career management," said Foster. "I will also soon announce the beginning of a new department that will direct and manage the career development of well-known and super talented performers." DFP has produced many award-winning shows worldwide, along with Las Vegas productions, including: Alakazam at the Aladdin (now the Planet Hollywood Hotel); The Dorothy Hamill Show at Caesars Palace; The Flip Wilson Show at Bally's; Spellbound - A Concert of Illusion and Hats at Harrah's Hotel and Casino; Imagine at Luxor; and Show in the Sky at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. DFP also created the highly successful cocktail serving "Bevertainment" program at the Rio, which won the Review-Journal's "Best Of Las Vegas" recognition eight times. DFP's Lake Tahoe and Reno productions include: Mystique, Hot Ice, The Peggy Fleming Show, The Gordie Brown Show, and many more. "Change has always been an important and necessary part of show business," said Foster, "and I have always believed in and welcomed the opportunity of new challenges." Foster has lived and breathed television and stage entertainment virtually his entire life, beginning professionally in New York City as a 3-year-old prodigy. At 12 years, he was already a veteran actor, dancer and vocalist performing on many live television shows, in stage musicals and commercials. When his family moved to California, Foster continued his career in Hollywood, appearing on many TV shows, such as The Donna Reed Show, Walt Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club, Leave it to Beaver, The Andy Williams Show, and several motion pictures, including Gypsy and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. While performing on The Andy Williams Show, Foster was asked by renowned choreographer, Nick Castle, if he would be interested in assisting him on future projects. In this capacity, Foster worked with many stars. It was while working on The Carol Burnett Show, that Foster met Bob Banner and joined Bob Banner Associates (BBA) as a production associate. Having now decided that behind the camera was where he wanted to be, Foster spent the next nine years with BBA, producing television shows including: two Perry Como specials; Hallmark Hall of Fame; The Ice Follies; The John Davison Show; and four Peggy Fleming specials. These specials received three film festival awards, five Emmy nominations and three Emmy awards. In 1976, Foster formed his own company, Dick Foster Productions (DFP) and began by producing a series of television specials and live ice stage shows such as: Nadia Com neci's From Romania With Love; Flip Wilson's Sun Valley Olympiad; Dorothy Hamill's Festival on Ice; Scott Hamilton's Ámerica on Ice; and Ice, starring Tai Babalonia and Randy Gardner. The success of these shows led the 7 Network to employ the services of Foster and his company to produce international television projects based out of Australia. During his three-year tenure there, he produced shows that were nominated for seven and won five Australian awards. Following his time Down Under, Foster returned to the United States and continued to produce television specials and ice stage productions. In 1989, Foster relocated his company to Las Vegas where he developed a new magic production show entitled Spellbound: A Concert of Illusion. Spellbound played theaters across the United States and in 1992 DFP opened a version of the show at Harrah's Las Vegas for a 13-week run that lasted eight years. In 1995, Spellbound won the two most prestigious awards the Magic Academy and International Magic Society can bestow, "Best Magic Show of the Year" and "Best Production Revue of the Year." In 1996, DFP created and produced a new stage spectacular, Mystique: A Magical Journey Through Time. The production opened at Harrah's Lake Tahoe and traveled to Atlantic City for an extended run and then to New Zealand for three months. In 1997, the show was retitled Imagine, and opened to rave reviews at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Imagine played for three years at the Luxor and has and is still enjoying touring the world. DFP also produced: The Gordie Brown Show and Whisper at Harrah's Reno; Eclipse at Caesars Gauteng in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Manila in the Philippines; a five-show series for Celebrity Cruise Lines; Masquerade at Harrah's New Orleans; and Show in the Sky and the "Bevertainer" program for the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. The company also initiated the "T-Mate" program at Rio Secco Golf Club. Foster is also involved in several community projects and is an active member of Rotary International. He sat on the foundation board for 12 years, and is now on the advisory board of Opportunity Village where he has helped raise millions of dollars for the organization. Former VP and COO of Dick Foster Productions (DFP), David Gravatt, will now head up his own production company, Epic Creative Solutions (ECS), and will expand on producing and directing musical production shows and developing new theatrical endeavors for the casino environment. In addition, DFP has assigned its Rio Secco T-Mate program to ECS and also plans to enter into co-productions with Gravatt's company for both United States and overseas presentations. Gravatt has worked with his mentor Dick Foster for nearly 30 years. Starting as a singer, dancer and musician performing on USO tours, in theme parks for Kings Productions, and other shows, Gravatt's life was changed when he auditioned and worked for Foster's first edition of his Spellbound show produced in Philadelphia. After the show closed, Foster saw the young man's potential and offered him the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and work on skater Dorothy Hamill's production show at Universal Amphitheater. Gravatt hesitated, because he had an upcoming modeling gig, and Foster said to him, "I'm not offering you a gig, I'm offering you a career." Gravatt thought about it overnight, took the job and never looked back. "It was amazing," said Gravatt. "Dick and his wife and business partner, Lynne, took me under their wings. It was a family environment with the offices connected to their home and I lived with them. It turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime." Now, while Foster is downsizing his company to take on new projects and to consult, it is Gravatt's turn to upsize. "The difference in some ways I'll be working for David rather than him working or me," commented Foster. "Now we're both being freed up for different reasons." Epic Creative Productions is located at 2830 S. Jones Blvd., Suite 1, Las, Vegas, NV 89146, phone (702) 387-0900, and email: [email protected]


David Gravatt

Comic Earthquake

* * * * * * * *

Actor and comedian, Earthquake (Everybody Loves Chris, Clerks II, The Longshots), will headline Comedy Blast, a hilarious night of performances by popular comedians. Comics, including Deray Davis (Barbershop, Semi-Pro, 21 Jump Street), Gary Owen (Ride Along, Think Like a Man, Rebound) and Arnez J (Comedy Central, All-Star Comedy Jam, BET's Comicview) are set to entertain audiences at the Orleans Arena, tomorrow night, Saturday, July 5th, starting at 8:30 p.m. Admission prices range from $49 to $74, based on seating level. Tickets can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming box office, by calling (702) 284-7777, or visiting www.orleansarena.com. The Orleans Arena is located behind the hotel at 4500 West Tropicana Avenue in Las Vegas.

* * * * * * * *


The Zapp Band

Renowned funk music makers, Zapp Band, along with the Original Stone City Band, will join special guests, including dance hit maker, Trinere, and local spin master, DJ R.O.B, for a performance at Sam's Town Live!, tomorrow, Saturday July 5th. Zapp Band is known for hits such as "More Bounce to the Ounce," "Dance Floor" and "Computer Love." During their career, the group emerged as a source of inspiration for the West Coast hip-hop and G-funk genres.

Show time is at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are available from $25, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming box office, by visiting www.samstownlv.com, or by calling (702) 636-7075. Sam's Town Live! is located inside of Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, 5111 Boulder Highway.

* * * * * * * *

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND FROM DEANA MARTIN




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