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 November 14, 2014
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - November 14, 2014

Mary's Freckles & Kelly Clinton's Freckles (1978)

We ran out of time, space, and steam, last Friday, so here is a bit more about the Kelly Clinton show, Uh Oh My Half Italian Roots Are Showing, that took place in the main showroom at the Italian American Club on November 2nd. We will just call this, Kelly Clinton Part 2, or We Should Have Taken Notes. The portion of the show where Kelly impersonates her chain-smoking Italian mother, Ellie Clinton Issa, is both funny and touching. Kelly thanks her mother for the support she received growing up, and sang the Gladys Knight hit, "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me." Since we were sitting at the same table as Ellie, we were close enough to see her reaction to her daughter's loving tribute. Kelly's husband, Clint Holmes, joined her on stage for a duet, and then he sang "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." (The twosome celebrated their 7th wedding anniversary earlier this week.) Also, we very much enjoyed comic musician Dennis Blair (who played Sonny to Kelly's Cher) singing "I'm Thinking of Being a Catholic Again." Dennis can frequently be seen on Friday nights at the Tuscany's T-spot Lounge as part of Kenny Davidsen's Celebrity Piano Bar/Bow Tie Cabaret. There was lots to enjoy at Uh Oh My Half Italian Roots Are Showing. We have long felt that Ms. Clinton should have her own show in a nice room in this city…and we don't mean as host to showcase the talents of other people. If you have the opportunity to see her one-woman show, no matter if the title is Freckled For Life, Uh Oh My Half Italian Roots Are Showing, or anything else, we strongly urge you to do so.

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This information comes from Lisa Gioia-Acres of the Las Vegas Media Group. The next meeting, featuring guest speaker, jazz icon and theatrical producer, Maynard Sloate, is on Monday, November 17th, at Las Ventanas, 10401 W. Charleston Blvd. Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m., and costs $17 (cash only, please). Call Lisa at (702) 245-9206 to reserve your seat, and for directions to Las Ventanas, call (702) 207- 7982. Lisa, who is currently living in Oregon, will be in town this week, and hardworking LVMG member, Gretchen Payne, has kindly set up a dinner date with a few of you that said they are available at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, the 18th. If you'd like to join them (please do!), give Gretchen a call at (702) 870-5994. I can't wait to see you - I wish it were the whole group.

Maynard Sloate

Bart Williams

And speaking of Maynard Sloate, our longtime friend, actor Bart Williams, who was a favorite of Sloate's during his directing days at the downtown (Union) Plaza, is dealing with some serious health issues. We urge you to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

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Instead of being at the Italian American Club this weekend, Carmine Mandia and his "Big Band," with musical director Ned Mills, will be performing in the Rampart Casino's Addison Lounge. Carmine says "Come Dance With Me," tonight and tomorrow, November 14th and 15th, from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Carmine Mandia, Mark Giovi & Chadwick Johnson

And speaking of Carmine Mandia, he, Mark Giovi and Chadwick Johnson, will present the premiere of their Three Generations of Music and Song show in the big room at the Italian American Club on Thursday, November 20th at 8 p.m. With these three very talented singer entertainers, and accompanying musicians - Dan Ellis on keys, Fred Watstein on bass, John Plows on drums, and Sean Carbone on guitar - this should be quite a show. It's going to be a great night of music, from the classics to contemporary hits of today. You'll be in for a treat with the fun, light hearted show, loaded with some of the greatest songs of all time. Tickets are $25, and may be purchased through Maxine Gaines at (702) 818-4747, or through the IAC at (702) 457-3866, where you can also make dinner reservations. Tickets are also available at the club, or on line at: For those who don't know, the Italian American Club is located at 2333 E. Sahara.

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Last Saturday night, we were in the indoor pavilion at the M Resort, attending An Evening with the Next Generation, starring Ricci Martin, son of Dean Martin; Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland; Lena Prima, daughter of Louis Prima; and Steve March-Torme, son of Mel Torme. Anthony Lewis, son of Jerry Lewis, served as Master of Ceremonies, and Patty Ascher Lewis was Executive Producer. The vocalists were accompanied by Gary Anderson's 10-piece Big Band. In addition, Jimi Seville was the pianist for Ricci Martin; Steve Rawlins played for Steve March-Torme; Uli Geissendoerfer played piano for both Lena and Lorna, and John Frederick played guitar for Lena's segment. The rest of the ensemble on stage (and backstage) was made up of Bill King and Wes Marshal on trumpets; Graham Berry and Matthew Johnson on trombones; Tom Hall and Steve Johnson on saxophones; Mike Mechem on drums; and Bob Sachs on bass. Holding it all together backstage, was Nancy Hawthorne, stage manager and general traffic director. This accomplished group of artists performed an extraordinary musical celebration, with selections from the American Songbook, in honor of their legendary parents. Here is what music the approximately 1,200 people enjoyed the live performances, along with some rare and historical videos featuring the families of Martin, Garland, Prima, Torme and Lewis. The show opened with a "Smile" Fanfare. Lena Prima was the first act on stage singing "When You're Smiling," "Pennies From Heaven," "A Sunday Kind of Love," "Sit Down An' Join Ya" (from Lena's new CD, Starting Something), and "Just A Gigolo." Steve March-Torme performed "Sweet Georgia Brown," "The Trolley Song/Get Me To The Church On Time" (both songs were from a very revered and critically acclaimed Mel Torme 1988 album, Dektette - Reunion, with arranger Marty Paich), "You Don't Know Me," "The Glory of Love" (accompanied just by Steve Rawlins on piano), and "Swingin' At The Blue Moon Bar and Grille," composed by March-Torme and Rawlins. Ricci Martin was next, singing "When You're Drinking/Bourbon From Heaven," "Volare," "Memories Are Made of This" (it has to be said that Lena's back-up singers, Karen Michaels and Gret Menzies, from Dangerous Curves, did a fantastic job stepping in at the last minute to handle back-up for Ricci), "That's Amore," and "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime." Lorna Luft's closing segment consisted of "Zing Went The Strings of My Heart," "Chicago," "Just In Time," "The Man That Got Away" and ended with "Rock-A-Bye My Baby." The entire cast performed the "Smile" finale, conceived and arranged by Gary Anderson. As for the rest of Mr. Anderson's role in the evening, he served as Music Director/Arranger, and also orchestrated some of the music in order to make the different performer's music fit the instrumentation of the band. In other words, Ricci Martin's music was written for only piano, drums and bass, so Gary added the brass and woodwind parts, and, as mentioned, arranged the opening and closing arrangements of "Smile" and Bows for Lorna Luft and Ricci, designed the "look" of the stage, and also determined the order of the show. One of Gary's most important chores of the night was lending Anthony Lewis a belt (his broke in the dressing room five minutes before the performance.

And speaking of Gary Anderson, on Saturday, November 22nd, the Las Vegas Jazz Society will present his suMMit Big Band, featuring Brazilian vocalist, Patty Ascher, playing the music of Woody Herman, Stan Kenton and more, in the Club Madrid at Sunset Station from 8 to 9:30 p.m. (might start a bit earlier). This event follows the Hip to Sip Wine Walk. Wine tasting starts at 5 p.m. Must be 21 or older. Enjoy a variety of high end wines throughout the property. Ticket prices range from $10 for just Jazz, to $35 for Jazz & VIP Wine Walk, which Includes Hors d'oeuvres and special samplings at the Gaudi Bar.

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Judy Garland Tribute Artist, Denise Rose & Lorna Luft at M Resort

Jimmy Emerson & Tommi Rose

Funny, PHAT & Fabulous, starring Jimmy Emerson and Tommi Rose, plays at Ron DeCar's Event Center on Thursday, November 20th. Both Jimmy and Tommi have worked as female impersonators for more than 25 years, and both have toured the world with their hilarious cast of characters. Jimmy performed and hosted as the comedy star in the long running An Evening At La Cage, and has hosted his own versions of the show over the years. He recently won the "Best MC" in Las Vegas award from the Entertainment community. Tommi performed and hosted in the famous Finocchio's club in San Francisco, and has actually filled in for Jimmy in La Cage. These two seasoned performers got together and decided that, between them, they had MORE than enough material to put on a very fun, bawdy and raunchy show! Singing LIVE for most of the show, both entertainers will share their favorite stories and jokes they've been waiting years to tell! Be forewarned, even though you will see live singing impersonations of famous stars like Carol Channing, Roseanne Barr, Mae West, Dolly Parton, and Kirstie Alley, you will also be exposed to dirty, vile, nasty, inappropriate, shocking and downright offensive humor. Leave the kids at home for this one, but bring grandma! You all will love it!! Show runs from 7:30 to 9 p.m. (doors open at 6). General ticket prices are $25. Add the buffet for only $10 more. The Event Center is at 1201 Las Vegas Blvd. So. For reservations, call (702) 384-0771.

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Tonight, Friday, November 14th, popular jazz vocalist, Karen Jones, will perform with the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio at The Dispensary Lounge from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tomorrow, Saturday, November 15th, jazz vocal master, JoBelle Yonely, with trumpeter extraordinaire Carl Saunders, will join the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio from 10 to 2. Jazz and late night eats have made The Dispensary Lounge a favorite after-hours spot for local musicians and music fans. Stop by and see what all the fuss is about. World class jazz in a low key setting. Great food. Gaming too! The Dispensary Lounge has been around since 1976. It is located at 2451 E. Tropicana, on the southeast corner of Trop and Eastern. For additional information, call (702) 458-6343.

Karen Jones

Shirley MacLaine

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This message from Shirley MacLaine, dated November 8th, was sent to veteran dancer, actress, choreographer, teacher and director, Maria Pogee, who passed it on to us and asked if we would share it with our readers. Happy to oblige, Maria.
Tonight is the opening of a movie that I am very proud of and that, I think, can change the way age is treated in Hollywood. It's called Elsa & Fred. Christopher Plummer and I star in it and Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Noth, and Scott Bakula co-star. It's a romantic comedy that illustrates that it's never too late to enjoy life and experience love. This is a little 'indie' film, as we call them, and is being released today in select theaters around the U.S. But, it IS available on Video on Demand through most cable and satellite providers including: Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Verizon FiOS, AT&T u-verse, Hulu, Cablevision, Charter, Bright House, Directv, Dish, iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Sony play station, Microsoft Xbox, Target Ticket, and Best Buy CinemaNow. I hope you take the opportunity to watch this wonderful picture and tell your friends about it. By spreading the word about Elsa & Fred, I hope to help bring awareness to film-makers that people over 40 want to experience the pleasure of watching films that they can relate to. Help spread the word!
Love & Light,
Shirley, Terry, Buddy Bub, and Trixie Harmony

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UNLV Dept. of Music presents Jazz in November. All events take place in the Judy Bayley Theater. On Monday, November 17th, at 7:30 p.m., it's the UNLV Jazz Vocal Ensemble, directed by Janet Tyler; UNLV Latin Jazz Ensemble, directed by Uli Geissendoerfer; and UNLV Contemporary Jazz Ensemble, directed by Nathan Tanouye. Tickets at PAC ARTS are $10. General Students with ID are Free. On Tuesday, the 18th, at 7:30 p.m., it's Jazz Ensemble II & Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Dave Loeb and Nathan Tanouye, and on Wednesday the 19th, at 7:30 p.m., Jarret Myers directs the UNLV Guitar Ensemble, and Colin Woodford directs UNLV Jazz III. For reservations, call the UNLV Box Office at (702) 895-ARTS (2787).


Marty Allen Book Cover

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Paul Atreides sends us this nice news. Not the Olympics, but...I've been writing theater reviews and a monthly column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In addition to that, I've been writing stage plays, as well as fiction. I submitted my debut novel, "(Marvin's) World of Deadheads," to the Writer's Digest annual self-published awards. Each submission was guaranteed a Report Card with a written review. My book received perfect scores in all six categories, and a very lovely review. "This is a great entry into comedic literature. I like that the author shares an excerpt of his next book. I have no doubt his readers will follow him willingly." Speaking of the next book... Book two in the World of Deadheads series, "(Jenna's) Gang of Deadheads," is looking good for a December release. I hope you'll keep in touch and pick up a copy! Feel free to pass the info along to your friends and family. After all, you'd want to be able to say, "I told you so." when I hit the Best Sellers Lists. LOL. Thanks for letting me brag!
You are most welcome, Mr. Atreides. Keep up the good work.

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Sam Wagmeister reminds us that Marty Allen was funny before comedy turned blue. With two words, "hello dere," the befuddled wired haired comedian and partner Steve Rossi made comedy history. Over an 11-year period, beginning in 1957, the duo is credited with more than 700 television appearances including 44 on Sunday night TV staple, The Ed Sullivan Show. Saturday, Allen is scheduled to appear at the latest event sponsored by The Vegas Voice at the newspaper's Elder Empowerment Event. At 92-years-old, Allen has recently released his autobiography, appropriately titled Hello Dere!. Available on Amazon, Allen will have books at The Vegas Voice event ready for personalization and autographs. In addition to Allen's appearance, Elder Empowerment promises to mix the comedy of host Rich Natole with the awe-inspiring magic of Ariann Black and educational presentations in quick, 15 minute segments. "We wanted to keep the educational portion of the event quick and impactful," said Vegas Voice publisher, Dan Roberts. The entertainment portions will be interspersed with the educational portions. Between segments, there will be raffle drawings for free turkeys. "Our newspaper reaches nearly 100,000 seniors," said Roberts. "These people are being targeted by scams, swindles and stings. We teamed with our partner, Medicare supplemental provider CareMore, to provide an afternoon of entertainment and education for Las Vegas seniors. CareMore's Matthew Engstrom will present a program on Medicare Protection. Steve Miller and The Vegas Voice political editor Rana Goodman will discuss The Perils of Nevada Guardianship. There will be presentations by the newspaper's travel editor, Stu Cooper and consumer columnist Richard Warren. Also scheduled to appear is comedian Barbara Brighton. A meet and greet and session with Marty Allen has been scheduled from 12:30 to 1 p.m., for attendees to purchase his book and have them autographed and personalized. At 1:30, Rich Natole will host the Vegas Voice Game Show. Raffles for FREE turkeys and prizes take place after every segment. The Elder Empowerment Event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, November 15th, in the 2nd floor Grand Ballroom at Palace Station (near the buffet), 2411 W. Sahara Av., just off I-15 and Sahara. Admission is Free.
For more information and/or to reserve seating, call (702) 463-0966, or go online to

Kelly & Rick Dale with Rich Natole

John Pate

And, while on the subject of comic impressionist Rich Natole, his Monday in-studio guests on Listening to the Vegas Voice were Rick and Kelly Dale of American Restoration TV show.
American Restoration is a reality series airing on the History channel. It is recorded in Las Vegas, where it chronicles the daily activities at Rick's Restorations, an antique shop, with its owner Rick Dale, his staff, including wife Kelly, and teenage son, Tyler, as they restore various vintage items to their original condition. The show is the first spin-off of Pawn Stars, in which Dale has appeared several times as an on-camera expert and restored various items. The series has featured cameo appearances by the cast of Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Counting Cars, magician Lance Burton, NASCAR driver Greg Biffle, and musicians Sammy Hagar, Billy Joel, and Jason Mraz. Rich tells us that call-ins were heavy for the Dales. Radio listeners had lots to say and plenty of questions. As for Tuesday, Robin Leach, who was scheduled to do a phone-in interview, was a no show, no call. Go figure! Comedian/author/ songwriter, John Pate, who was on the air with Rich a couple of weeks ago, bailed him out on Tuesday, coming to the rescue with practically no notice. As the song goes, "That's What Friends Are For." Mr. Pate has a most impressive and extensive resume. The accomplished entertainer and writer's career spans more than 35 years, including numerous national television appearances as an actor/comic and spokesperson, as well as stand-up comedy appearances from coast to coast. He has served as the opening act or performed with Jay Leno, Frankie Avalon, David Letterman, Jackie Vernon, Bill Maher, Jack Carter, Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, Phyllis Diller, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser, Charlie Daniels, Rosie O'Donnell, Charo, Pat Paulson, John Tesh, Robin Williams, Platters/Coasters/Drifters, Gary Muledeer, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Loretta Lynn, Mickey Gilley, Norm Crosby, and Henny Youngman. His most treasured experiences were the final six years of performances with the legendary comic icon, Red Skelton. John also has some songs published, including the 1986 award-winning "One Day When You Swing That Skillet, My Face Ain't Gonna Be There" (Lyrics by Pate, Music by Dick Hardwick and John Jorgenson - ASCAP). We have to ask, "Who needs Robin Leach, when you have the likes of John Pate?

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Joe Lano, Mike Mechem, Nik Mastangelo & Bob Sachs

Nikolas Mastrangelo, the Nik of Nik at Nite, thanks all who came out to the Piazza Lounge in the Tuscany Suites last Sunday to hear guitar great, Joe Lano, join with Bob Sachs, Mike Mechem and himself, for a celebration of the music of Johnny Mercer. "We were pleased to see that the audience enjoyed our mix of both the familiar and obscure songs in the Mercer book," says Nik. "Thanks also to our guest drummer, Andy Weiss, visiting us from the Bay Area. This Sunday, from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., Joey Singer will be back on keys to help Bob, Mike and me as we present a musical buffet featuring the "best of" composers Frank Loesser, Kurt Weill, Vernon Duke, Matt Dennis, Victor Young, Arthur Schwartz, Ray Noble and Dave Tull. I think we 'cherry picked' some great music for you." The Piazza Lounge is located within the Tuscany Hotel (on the hotel side) at 255 E. Flamingo. Help spread the word about the coolest room in town.

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After a number of years away, living in the Palm Springs area and then Across the Pond, Buddy Greco and Lezlie Anders Greco have returned to Las Vegas. Over the almost four decades we have lived here, we have seen people move away, but, most of the time, they wind up coming back here to live. Something about this city. It's not perfect (but what place is), but something draws them back. The late entertainment columnist, Forest Duke, used to call it, TBCOTA (The Best City of Then All).

Buddy & Lezlie Greco

Mickki Brown 1958-2014

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The Las Vegas entertainment community has suffered another loss with the death of vocalist, Mickki Brown. "Ms. Mickki," as she was often referred to, was born in Cleveland on February 4, 1958. She died on Wednesday, November 12th, a victim of cancer. Michelle Johnson sent us this note about Mickki, and said we could print it, which we are doing. Mickki Brown sang with Tex Richardson, Woody Woods, and many other musicians. She had her own jazz trio at the Allegra Room in the Bellagio. The Silversea Cruise Line built an intimate cabaret showroom just for her. She also sang for Disney Cruise Lines and others, and traveled the world singing for various international promoters in high end hotels, jazz clubs, and casino showrooms. Mickki was a well loved, incredible jazz vocalist with a huge local following. Her classic album, Standard Truth, can be found on Amazon and iTunes. Mickki was a one of a kind. Mickki sang with my choir for Golden Rainbow, Streisand at the MGM and many other events, and she used to sit in on my Dispensary gigs. She was a great soloist or part singer. She did it all. I can't believe she is home. Velvet, sultry, fluid voice, great pitch and a unique sound that touched your heart. I will miss my friend. Michelle

In 1996, Mickki had the opportunity to perform under the direction of Mr. Quincy Jones at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Geneva, Switzerland. With positive reaction to her performance, she returned to do the festival in July 1997 and July 1998. Ms. Brown had performed with such legendary greats as Patti Austin, Chaka Khan, Phil Collins, Dennis Edwards (former lead singer of The Temptations), and Harry Manx, just to name a few. Mickki also toured with Wayne Newton as a featured soloist. A celebration of life is planned, with the date as yet to be announced. When we have that information, we will print it. To learn more about Mickki Brown, you can go to her website is

Murray Hertz passed away in Las Vegas on November 6th, following a short battle with lung cancer. He was 86. Murray resided in Las Vegas and in Manila, Philippines, where he spent most of his time for the last 36 years. He was born June 24, 1928, in New London, Connecticut, and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. He moved to Las Vegas in 1954. Some of his many accomplishments include writing daily columns for the Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Valley Times. In 1956, he began publishing TV Log, which was renamed What's On in Las Vegas Magazine in 1982. What's On was the largest and most successful tourist publication in Nevada until it was sold in 2006. Murray also owned Scootersville, which sold Vespas, Lambrettas and motorcycles. It eventually became the first Honda dealership in Nevada. In 1969, he opened Murray Hertz Honda on Boulder Highway, and was responsible for bringing the first Honda car to Nevada. Murray was an innovator who opened the Palomino, the first all-nude nightclub in North Las Vegas. He was also an award-winning travel writer for many magazines and newspapers, where he covered locations all over the world. He especially loved to write about skiing, which he continued to enjoy well into his 80s. In 2003, he received the Joe Delaney Award for Distinguished Journalism. He was an award-winning member of SATW (Society of American Travel Writers), for many years and a member of the International SKAL club. In his thirties, he organized tours to Asia and Europe. This is where he discovered the Philippines and his love for the culture and the people there. During his travels to Asia, he became the first American to introduce Korea to the casino business. At the age of 80, his love for motorcycles gave him the courage to ride from Pattaya, Thailand, to Cambodia, along with a couple of his "over the hill" buddies. Murray was instrumental in building the legacy of Las Vegas and counted many leaders, movers, and shakers of Las Vegas as friends, as well as having close friends all over the world. He was known for his great sense of humor and was always smiling. He seemed immortal and invincible and will be missed by so many people. Murray is survived by his three daughters, Stacey Hertz, Haley Hertz Kraft (Douglas), Pamela Hertz Garcell (Paul); three granddaughters, Zoey Hertz, Gabriella Garcell and Havana Garcell; former wife, Diane Hertz; and best friend, Joey Velardi. Private services will be later in the week. Friends who would like to attend should contact the family.

Murray Hertz 1928-2014

Eric Jordan Young

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Eric Jordan Young salutes those who have served our country with 2-for-1 tickets to see his new production, Shakin', at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. To redeem the tickets, guests can show a VIC ID (Veteran Identification Card), DAV ID card (Disabled American Veterans ID) or Common Access Card (CAC) at the Sin City Theatre Box Office, or enter the code EJYLOCAL241 during Ticketmaster checkout. This offer is ongoing for all active and retired military personnel, now through December 30th. "I wouldn't be on stage doing what I love if it wasn't for the men and women of our military," said Young. "This ticket special is just a small token of my appreciation for all of their sacrifice to protect and defend our country." Eric Jordan Young brings a little piece of Broadway to Sin City with his new production. Shakin' features the multitalented "triple threat" Young, dazzling choreography and a live band. Young transforms a collection of quintessential pop, rock, funk, R&B and jazz songs, resulting in a fresh, current spin on some of the most recognizable and influential tunes. Young is known for his theater work that includes Chicago, Sammy & Me, Dreamgirls, Ragtime, Seussical the Musical, and many more. In the spring of 2014, Young completed a run of more than 2,300 performances of Vegas! The Show at the Saxe Theatre. Shakin' is produced by his own company, EnJoY Productions, in association with Vegas Java Entertainment. The two-time Broadway World Award-winner takes the stage Saturday through Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. General admission tickets are priced at $44.95, and VIP tickets are $54.95 plus taxes and fees, and can be purchased by visiting For a complete biography on Young, visit

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On Friday evening, November 21st, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Tuscany Hotel and Casino, 255 E. Flamingo Rd in the T-Spot Lounge, Kenny Davidsen's Celebrity Piano Bar/Bow Tie Cabaret will present Jassen Allen and Kirbi Long. They will sing the music of Whitney Houston and Luther Vandross. Dennis Blair will be on bass. This promises to be a very special evening. Come and enjoy an evening of wonderful music and singing. No Cover.

Kenny Davidsen

Enoch Augustus Scott by Jon Estrada

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In the October 31st edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, entertainment writer, Mike Weatherford, gave Zombie Burlesque a B+ grade (that's practically a rave for Mr. Weatherford). Here is much of what Mike wrote.
'Zombie Burlesque' dares to be fun, original
"Zombie Burlesque" finally got around to its "official grand opening" last week. Even though it has been running since January and I reviewed it then, I went back, for two reasons.
First, what other Las Vegas show do you want to read about on Halloween? Second, I wanted to. I do get paid to see this stuff, and a lot of it does feel like work. But "Zombie Burlesque" is just fun, a bright spot in a dim year for traditional Las Vegas shows. And so far it's the only new one to stick. Who would have guessed that in January? The show's producer says the cabaret-style revue has been selling out its 200-seat theater. There's even a cast album now for the original songs and customized covers (Harry Belafonte's calypso standard "Jump in the Line" becomes "Jump in the Grave"). All positive reinforcement for thinking outside the box and not scrimping on things like a seven-piece band for this "little" show. Las Vegas doesn't have defined "previews" like Broadway, so "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" doesn't have to worry about the zombies breaking that infamous musical's record of 183 shows before it declared itself open. But "Zombie" has changed and become slicker in its months in front of paying customers. That isn't a perfect way of doing things, but in this case it did allow a show created from scratch to keep getting better. Not that the concept is 100 percent original. It basically takes "Cabaret" - the Nazi-era Berlin club inhabited by the metaphoric walking dead - and makes it literal, down to the ghoulish emcee (here played to the hilt by Enoch Augustus Scott). But the idea provides a greet meeting ground for B-movie and the retro burlesque cultists. Both elements fold into the '50s-style film intro, which explains how a zombie war comes to a truce after the living agree to feed their prisoners to the dead. Co-existence creates Club Z, in which zombie guys and gals alike try to raise the blood pressure of those of us still living. (The makeup is light and the dancers wear pasties, so it's not like this is superkinky or weird.) A few numbers include the stripper pole and silk acrobatics familiar to Las Vegas cabaret dance shows, but "Zombie" has become just as much an off-Broadway musical. If the word "story" goes too far, there are at least a few plot threads to create forward motion and allow the show to not be stolen by one of the curvaceous women, but by the learning curve of a new zombie named Mikey (Patrick Leahy). During the year, Saxe and director-choreographer Tiger Martina have added a fancy new opening that mixes the live-actors with rear-screen video versions of them (good thing the original eight-person cast remains intact). And separate sequences devoted to '50s B movies are now presented as an actual drive-in double feature, complete with the dancing-candy concession ads. The songs take the less-chosen path as well, letting Sophia Monica tear into "It's Oh So Quiet," the Betty Hutton swing tune resurrected by Bjork. A string version quartet of the Cranberries' - wait for it - "Zombie" leads Antenor da Silva and Amber Snow's almost touching ballet. This is the kind of creativity that might have kept a lot of other Las Vegas shows from eating themselves over the years. It's easy to make the nightclubs into the monsters when all the show producers were too busy copying other shows to give us something different. It's for this reason I wish "Zombie" would relax and take more confidence in its success. The one thing that hasn't changed since January is the cast overselling the concept and forcing the fun that happens anyway. It's like the players have spent too much time in the proximity of "Evil Dead The Musical," their willfully bad roommate musical. Hey, a show called "Zombie Burlesque" is the year's most unlikely hit, and it's good. The most punk-rock thing it could do now is dare not to be so silly. "Zombie Burlesque" plays 8:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 8:30 and 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, at V Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort, 3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Tickets are $43.95 to $65.95. Call (866) 932-1818 for reservations.

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News from our talented friends, Hudson & Saleeby in Memphis. Chris Hudson and Doug Saleeby were lounge favorites in Las Vegas before relocating to "Elvisland" in 1982, to go to work in game show host, Wink Martindale's, restaurant/club. The club didn't last very long, but Hudson & Saleeby have built the same kind of strong loyal following in Tennessee as they did in Southern Nevada. If you happen to be in their neighborhoods, you can see and hear the gentlemen at Jim's Place on Wednesdays. Jim's Place in Memphis on Perkins at Poplar has a great neighborhood feel and plenty of TVs to watch the games. The musical duo plays in the lounge, starting at 8 p.m., where they also serve a complete menu. Great drinks, food, music, and staff at Jim's Place on Perkins at Poplar. The new Zebra Lounge in Memphis, located in Overton Square, only uses one piano player each night, but Doug will be there on Tuesday, November 25th, and also on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 27th. If you have not checked this new place out, come over! On New Year's Eve, Hudson & Saleeby will be playing music and bringing in the New Year at the Capital Grille in Memphis, so make your plans and get a group together. The fellows will be playing from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Call the Capital Grille at (901) 683-9291 for more details. And Chris and Doug send out a special thanks and congratulations to the new 2015 President of the National Association of Realtors, Chris Polychron, who invited them, along with President Bill Clinton, to help celebrate his recent inauguration at the New Orleans Convention Center. They had a great time, along with about 3,000 of their closest friends! If you are having a party, or know of anyone planning a holiday event, and want to add some class and fun, let them know about Hudson & Saleeby. They would love to be a part of the festivities. Have equipment, will travel. They can be reached at (901) 763-2928.

Jim's Place in Memphis

Renee Hale

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It's been a busy, fun couple of weeks for songstress Renee Hale. It was another fabulous weekend of music, friends and fun at Piero's, where Renee has been filling in for recovering Pia Zadora, who was injured in an accident in September. Renee sends a special thank you to the wonderful talent who came by and sat in, including the incredible Jay Joseph and my gorgeous, multi-talented Asian/American sisters, Mary Ball and Rita Lim. "Thank you to all the friends who stopped by too, including Sandi Davis and Evan Davis, Heather Ellen Glusman, Romy Ashjian , Chris and Terri Meyer, Jackie and Mollie Miller, and the beautiful, talented, Pia Zadora herself," says Renee. "Delighted to hear Pia is on the road to recovery and will be back performing at Pia's Place at Piero's. We were delighted to keep the stage warm as you healed. Off to Italian American Club on Wednesday night, with Ned Mills, and Friday night with Michael Shane and Michael Tramontana." At the last minute, on Wednesday, Renee was asked to host a birthday bash at IAC for Neil Diamond tribute artist, Rob Garrett, after his show at the Westgate. There were lots of show folk, including Mark Giovi, Jay Joseph, Former Ms Senior NV, Kathleen "Kat" Ray, Keith Neal, Michael Tramontana, Craig Canter, Peter Pavone, Rosanna Telford and the Birthday Honoree, Rob Garrett. So many friends too, among them Heather Ellen Glusman, Tony Costanza, Carolyn Jacobs, Steven Jacobs, Evan Davis and others I'm sure I forgot to mention but will remember later!! We're back at the IAC tonight. Stop by for a great time! No telling who may drop by.

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