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 December 12, 2014
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - December 12, 2014

Philip Fortenberry & Kristen Hertzenberg

Zowie Bowie's Chris Phillips

Tomorrow, Saturday, December 13th, is scheduled to be a music-filled day and night.
Kristen Hertzenberg and Philip Fortenberry will perform two shows at The Smith Center, and that same night, the annual Toys for Tots variety event will take place at the Westgate Las Vegas (formerly the Hilton, LVH, etc.). Luckily, because of the varying show times, those who would like to attend both, may do so.
Songstress, Kristen Hertzenberg, and critically-acclaimed virtuoso pianist and composer, Philip Fortenberry, reunite in concert to perform music from their Holidays from the Heart album at The Smith Center's 250-seat Cabaret Jazz showroom, tomorrow, December 13th, at 2 AND 7 p.m. The intimate concerts of these widely popular and respected artists will highlight a selection of their favorite holiday songs, along with music from their 2011 album, Holidays from the Heart, including "Christmas Time is Here" from A Charlie Brown Christmas, "Go Tell It On The Mountain," "Silent Night," "I Pray On Christmas," and many more. Hertzenberg has dazzled audiences on the Las Vegas Strip, most recently in the cast of the Broadway musical, Million Dollar Quartet, and for five years in the role of Christine in the stunning production of Phantom – the Las Vegas Spectacular. She toured Europe as a cast member in the musical Hair, and has performed as a soloist with orchestras across the country, including several appearances with the Las Vegas Philharmonic. A classically trained soprano, Kristen is also known for her graceful versatility as a singer, and has recently performed a series of sold-out solo concerts with her own band, singing rock, jazz, country, folk, and blues, and garnering her own critical acclaim by being named "Best Torch Singer" for 2014 by Desert Companion magazine. The Texas-born singer grew up listening to hip-hop before going on to earn a master's in Opera Performance at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass. For more information on her career, visit Fortenberry has performed four sold out concerts at The Smith Center since summer 2013, when he debuted his own solo show, The Man At The Piano, showcasing his signature playing style with the music surrounding his life story, beginning as a child pianist at the young age of four in rural Mississippi to becoming a sought-after Broadway pianist, a concert artist at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, The White House, and on to giving command performances for royals and dignitaries including President Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev and the late Margaret Thatcher. In 2013, he was the hand and body double for Emmy and Golden Globe-winner, Michael Douglas, who portrayed Liberace in the HBO Films biopic, Behind The Candelabra. Earlier this year, Fortenberry was the recipient of the inaugural "Ghostlight Award" as Best Musician on Broadway, following his work as associate conductor for the Broadway musical, Rocky. Since 2004, Philip has served as the associate conductor of the hit musical, Jersey Boys, on the Las Vegas Strip. In 2009, his one-man show as an artist in residence at the famed Liberace Museum, with more than 300 performances of Liberace and Me, brought him more critical acclaim, along with eight solo CD releases and numerous concerts around the U.S. Visit his website at Tickets are priced at $26 and $36, and are available at The Smith Center Box Office, by phone at (702) 749-2000, or online at

Also tomorrow, at the Westgate Hotel Las Vegas Resort & Casino, Cadillac of Las Vegas presents the 6th Annual U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots Benefit Concert, POP! GOES LAS VEGAS!, performed by Las Vegas stars. Produced by Jonathan Scott, LJ Harness and Mary Shriver, the program will be hosted by Zowie Bowie's Chris Phillips. Musical direction is by David Perrico & Pop Evolution - Laura Shaffer and Naomi Mauro. Opening the show with her emotional rendition of "God Bless America," will be Vegas! The Show star, Lorena Peril with the Marine Corps. Honor Guard. Comedians Dennis Blair, Paul Scally, and Geechy Guy; British singing sensation, Ben Stone and American Idol star, Jasmine Trias; Zowie Bowie violinist, Lydia Ansel, and the sultry, songstress, Nieve Malandra; star of stage and screen, Pia Zadora, accompanied by Frank Sinatra's longtime conductor and piano player, Vinnie Falcone. Additional headline talent includes pop star, Maren Wade; Eric Jordan Young, with a tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr.; the cast of American Trilogy, with Rob Garrett, Justin Shandor and Gary Anthony; Purple Reign, the Prince tribute show at the Westgate; actor, singer, dancer, Adrian Zmed; powerhouse vocalist, Lyssa Lynn; Kent Foote and the Vegas Good Fellas; Rosanna Telford, and a special appearance from the lead singer of Motley Crue, Las Vegas resident philanthropist, Vince Neil. There are also the names of some entertainers on one list or billboard, but not on others, including Lynn Baker, Anne Martinez, Robert Nash, and Savannah Smith. Jason Tenner, the star of Purple Reign is not listed some places, although Purple Reign is. Maybe thy will b there and maybe they won't. And what about a special tribute to the late Michael Jackson from The Rock Center for Dance. That is mentioned in some places and not in others. And how about Santa? Yay or nay? Doors open at 6 p.m., with a celebrity Red Carpet taking place at 6:30 p.m. Pre- show entertainment will be provided by the amazing pianist, Wes Winters. The main show starts at 8 p.m. After the concert, attendees can head to Tempo Lounge for the Open Mic After-Party sponsored by Stoli Vodka and starring the versatile musical style of Lisa Gay, guitarist Tony Drake and the Gentlemen of Thrill band. Last year, this event raised enough money to distribute more than $200,000 worth of toys to the US MARINE CORPS. Toys For Tots organization. This year, the event has a goal to raise $250,000. Executive Producer, Jonathan Scott is quoted, "Our goal is to have every child in Las Vegas wake up on Christmas morning with a new toy!" And, L.J. Harness, Marketing Director, Cadillac of Las Vegas, Co- Producer, and performing drummer reminds everyone, "The Toys that we collect in Vegas, Stay in Vegas!" Active and retired military personnel and first responders with a valid ID will receive free admission. Those who bring a new and unwrapped toy valued at $20 or more will also receive a free ticket. Tickets can be purchased for a $20 donation at the Westgate Box Office. For additional information, please call (702) 732-5111.

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And if music lovers don't already have enough decisions to make, here are some other things to choose from. All kinds of good things going on at The Dispensary Lounge. On Wednesday, guitar player Doug MacDonald performed with the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio, and yesterday, the 11th, it was a Special Mingle Jingle holiday party for Dispensary customers. There were raffles, free appetizers, open bar for first hour, and live music with Michelle Johnson and the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio (if you missed it, you missed it). Tonight, Friday, December 12th, it's Naomi Mauro from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., with the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio. Tomorrow, December 13th, Karen Jones will sing from 10 to 2 with the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio, and Sunday, at 6 p.m., there will be a Food Drive for the Salvation Army! Get a free drink with non-perishable food donations. Live music will be provided by JoBelle Yonely and the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio. Michelle will be back at the Dispensary a week from tomorrow, on Saturday the 20th. The Dispensary is located at 2451 E. Tropicana, at the southeast corner of Trop and Eastern.

Karen Jones

Honoring Frank Sinatra

And over at the Tuscany's Piazza Lounge, this Sunday from 7 (note earlier start time) to 11 p.m., help Nik at Nite and His Trio Celebrate the Birthday of Francis Albert Sinatra (Old Blue Eyes was born on December 12th, 99 years ago). Nik reports they had a great crowd enjoying some fantastic music last Sunday, as he, Joey Singer, Bob Sachs, and Mike Mechem, celebrated the music of Nat King Cole. "I simply cannot say enough about the profound talent of the gentlemen who accompany me every Sunday," says Nik. "And when you have a delightful crowd that knows and appreciates this talent, it certainly makes our Sundays a joyous occasion. Helping us out last Sunday were Martin Mancuso, who sat in on alto sax, and Joyce Carole shared a couple of vocals with us as well. This week marks what would have been Francis Albert Sinatra's 99th birthday, and the guys and I plan to celebrate it in fine fashion. It has been three months since we last celebrated the man who I was fortunate enough to become acquainted with, and I'm really looking forward to this event. His music is always in demand and a crowd favorite." Nik wants to also thank all those who came out to the Piazza Lounge to hear Jake Langley help Bob Sachs, Mike Mechem and himself honor the music of Sammy Cahn. Several great guitarists were in attendance to dig Grammy Award-winning Jake as he kept knocking each number out of the park. There was also a guest appearance by Jim Spoto on alto who sat in with the group for several songs. They had a blast!!! Nik is excited about the upcoming special holiday show at the Piazza lounge on December 21. In addition to celebrating the music of Irving Berlin ("White Christmas," "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," etc.), the fellows will be performing plenty of other holiday favorites in keeping with this wonderful, magical time of year. There will also be some surprises in store, so mark your calendar for December 21 at 7 pm. The Piazza Lounge is located within the Tuscany Hotel (on the hotel side) at 255 E Flamingo.

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Last week's Composers Showcase was one of the best we have seen (and we have not missed one in eight years!). There was a variety of original songs, from traditional-types, "story" songs, instrumentals, something very modern created with violins and a computer-type device, and Richard Oberackers' brilliant piece that he wrote for a version of Peter Pan some years ago. It is also the season to be jolly, and thanks to songwriters including Dr. Mark Wherry ("White Trash Girls at Walmart Turn Me On"), Vita Corimbi Drew ("All I Want for Christmas Is to Be Left Alone"), Keith Thompson ("Happy Christma-Hannuk- Kwanzaa-kah!," sung by The Phat Pack - Bruce Ewing, Randal Keith and Kevan Patriquin), Danny Roque (a Santa song whose title w missed), and Dennis Blair (Santa's Got It Easy"), there was plenty of laughter. At a point in the program, Keith Thompson, who with Michael Brennan launched the Composers Showcase more than eight years ago, gave this little speech...
"OK, I have a question- "Have You Ever Been Mellow?" Well, "Sam, Sam, You Know Where I Am" so "Please Mr. Please," "Let Me Be There" and "Let's Get Physical" in "Zanadu"...of course I am just listing song titles from one of my favorite singers, and I'm not just a fan of this singer, I am "Hopelessly Devoted" to her...I always said if I ever got to meet her, I'd walk right up to her and say "I Honestly Love You!" ...But I never got to meet her..until tonight. She's here with us! Who ever thought one day I'd be working at the Paris in Las Vegas and just a couple of buildings up the street she'd be headlining in her own show, "Summer NIghts"....which is basically just a cavalcade of all her big hits. She has a fantastic band and fabulous back-up singers...a couple of them write songs, and they heard about this little party we throw here once a month, so they contacted me to see if they could come play with us. But I'm not going to introduce them...I'm going to let her do it! Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome one of the biggest pop music's biggest superstars, Olivia Newton John!!!"
At a point, Jersey Boys cast member, Buck Hujabre, took the mic and said, "I can't believe I am about to sing this song in front of Olivia Newton-John." Then he sang a composition about what it feels like to be a penis. The song, "Sad Penis Christmas," was composed by Angela Chan (a notably nutty artist who has performed for myriad Las Vegas shows, including Jersey Boys and Ka), and indeed Newton-John was in the room, laughing it up with her husband, John Easterling. It was a late night but a great night, as Newton-John introduced her band from Flamingo Las Vegas, led by music director Dane Bryant and backing singers Steve Real and Marlen Landin. It was the second superstar visit within the year at Composers Showcase, following that of Priscilla Presley in January. There was a time when the Composers Showcase was a fully underground affair. But as Newton-John said from the stage, "This is great! I feel like I am in New York!" We love the you- never-know-what's-going-to-happen of these nights!

Buck Hujabre

Olivia Newton-John at Composers Showcase

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We spent part of our pre-holiday partying at The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz club, where Travis Cloer's Christmas at My Place was presented on December 8th. The room was virtually sold out as this Jersey Boy and guests entertained the crowd. Opening with "Christmas Is My Favorite Time of Year," written by Keith Thompson who was at the piano, Travis soloed on "Sleigh Ride," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "The Christmas Song," "Santa Baby" (sounding much like Frankie Valli, who he portrays in Jersey Boys), "Hallelujah," "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." The show's star was joined by tenor Paul Vann on "Mary, Did You Know?," Niki Scalera on "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and "The Prayer" (which generated a standing ovation), and with the "Jersey Girls" on "Jingle Bells." Zowie Bowie's Chris Phillips did Richard Cheese's funny and clever, "Christmas in Las Vegas," and his lady, violinist, Lydia Ansel, did a beautiful version of "Silent Night." Travis encored with "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas." leaving those musically satisfied and in a holiday mood. Good job, Travis.

Travis Cloer & Jersey Girls

Debra Meier 1956-2014

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We will have a report on the FIORE Holiday Party, which took place yesterday, next Friday.

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We are most saddened to report the passing of Debra Meier on November 13th. Debra was born April 3, 1956, and raised by Robert and Margaret Guier-Coomes. Debra was an accomplished dancer and a talent agent. Her dancing accomplishments include appeared in Splash, Diamonds & Pearls, Rainbow Dancers, Moulin Rouge, Viva Las Vegas, the Suzanne Somers Show, with Charo, and many other shows. Debra is survived by her domestic partner, William Huddleston; stepdad, Robert Coomes; stepmom, Marge Nettles; half-brothers, Richard and Ronald Coomes; niece, Katrina Coomes; nephews, Nicholas and R.J. Coomes; and sister-in-law, Sharon Coomes. A celebration of life will be at 3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, December 13, at Unity of Las Vegas, 222 S. Rainbow Blvd., Suite 215. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Debra's name to St. Judes, 100 St. Judes St., Boulder City, NV 89005, or a charity of your choice.

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Las Vegas Media Group's Lisa Gioia-Acres, sends along this information.
Can you believe it? It is the end of 2014! Where did the year go? I think we can all agree that this past year has been an amazing one for the Las Vegas Media Group. And, it is just going to keep getting better. The next meeting of the group will be on Monday, December 15 (remember, ALWAYS the third Monday of the month). Our speaker is Mr. Stanley Paher, noted author (just look at all his work: w.-paher).

Lunch begins at 11:30 am. The cost is $17 each. This month we can show our appreciation by tipping the Las Ventanas wait staff (we don't tip all other months of the year), so please be sure to bring a few extra $ to say, Thank you! Next - and pay attention here - our January speaker is sure to make for a full house. Now, you know I always ask for RSVPs, but don't always get them. For January, it will be imperative that you RSVP. No RSVP, no lunch or seat that day. Why? Because our guest speaker for Monday, January 19, 2015, will be Ms. Debbie Reynolds. I will take RSVPs for both December AND January. Or, you can tell the Paynes and Dodrills, who take your money and check you off at the next meeting, that you will be in attendance at the January 19 meeting. What is important is that you MUST RSVP. Debbie, I'm sure, will fill the house. Las Ventanas is located at 10401 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89135. Okay. That's it for now. Have a great luncheon on Monday, December 15. Have a WONDERFUL Christmas with family, friends, and loved ones. Remember that I send my best hugs to each of you.

Debbie Reynolds

Rich Natole & Pia Zadora

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This week's guests with comic impressionist/host, Rich Natole, on his Listening to the Vegas Voice radio show were comic George Lopez on Monday, and actress/singer Pia Zadora on Tuesday. Next week's guests are singer impressionist, Bob Anderson, on Monday, the 15th, and veteran comic Marty Allen, and his musical bride, Karon Kate Blackwell, on Tuesday. You can listen in on KLAV 1230 AM, Mondays and Tuesdays, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and Saturdays from 7 to 7:30 a.m. (PT). You can CALL in and be a part of the fun, at (702) 731-1230 or Toll Free at 1-866-820-5528.

Marty Allen & Karon Kate Blackwell

Evil Dead - See It Free

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Claire Voyant reader, Gary Anderson, took a little time way from his horn playing to drop us a note with a correction regarding a mistake in last Friday‘s column. We are grateful for the opportunity to right the wrong, AND that people are reading and paying attention. Here is what Mr. Anderson had to say...
After much internal debate, I have decided to bring a misspelled name to your attention. I do realize it came from another source regarding the recent passing of Joe Locatelli. Joe attended the world-renowned music school in Boston named "Berklee" -- not Berkley. Being a summa cum laude graduate and former faculty member, it is one of my life's missions to make this correction whenever possible. Berklee was founded by Lawrence and Alma Berk and the College is named for their son... Lee. I know you will appreciate this information however trivial it might seem to most, if not all, of your readers because it is one of your missions in life to always get it right.

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Ten talented vocalists will bring beautiful harmonies to the Ten Tenors Holiday Show, returning to The Orleans Showroom, next Saturday, December 20th. The group assembles some of the best male singers in the Las Vegas Valley – Ken Young, Bruce Williamson, Antone Dotson-Parson, Giloh Morgan, Reggie Gonzales, Mark McCuthen, Markevius Faulkner, DeShawn Horne, Nate Pointer and Mathew Goins. Joe Pigee will serve as musical director, and Aaron Arrington returns as producer and creative director for the group. The concert will feature holiday classics, jazz, Motown and more, all with a gospel twist. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets start at $32 (LET included) plus convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box Office, by calling (702) 365-7075 or visiting

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Get FREE tickets to EVIL DEAD!

Shut Up and Take Our Tickets! It's the most wonderful time of the year, and the biggest, baddest, BLOODIEST show on the Strip is celebrating the holiday by offering fans FREE tickets to the show. You read that right, screwhead - FREE. This time of year, everyone spends a bit more than they should, and experts report that stress levels are at their highest during the holidays. This means everyone is broke and stressed out. So relieve that stress - and ease the tension on your wallet - by kicking back and enjoying the campiest show on the Strip for free. This offer is for any performance from now through the end of the year. How do you get your grubby meat hooks on your free tickets?

1. Send an email to [email protected] Put "FREE TICKET OFFER" in the subject line. Be sure to include the date you want to attend, and add a fallback date just in case no seats are available for your first choice.

2. This offer is good for 2 seats at any performance to EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL during the month of December. Tuesdays through Fridays at 10pm, Saturdays at 11:30pm.

3. We will respond with your confirmation number and the performance date your tickets will be waiting for you.

4. By taking advantage of this offer you are agreeing to have your email address added to our mailing list so you can get updates on all the EVIL DEAD kickassery we have going on!

Why make seats available for FREE?

Why the hell NOT?! We've been kicking ass and taking names in Las Vegas since October of 2011 and we wanted to do something extra-kickass for our fans this year. So, in the spirit of Christmas, we are making our General Admission seats available for free. What's even better is you can upgrade to VIP seating or the coveted Splatter Zone for just a few more bucks. So if you want to buy a Splatter Zone seat or two, THIS is the perfect chance to do so and save some hard-earned greenbacks. Show times for EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL are Tuesdays through Fridays at 10 p.m., and Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. at The V Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Call (866) 932-1818 or go to m/evildead.cfm.

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Mr. Music, Spencer Baker, reminds us that the Las Vegas Men's Chorus is presenting, in concert, Jingle All the Way!, tomorrow and Sunday. Saturday, at 7 p.m., the concert will take place at The Center, 401 S. Maryland Parkway, just north of Charleston. On Sunday, at 4 p.m., enjoy the holiday music at Christ Church Episcopal, 2000 S. Maryland Parkway. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Get Booked, 4640 Paradise Road. Call (702) 737-7780 for store hours.

And speaking of Mr. Baker, by taking off the Friday after Thanksgiving, we inadvertently omitted news that he sent us on Handel's Messiah that took place on December 3rd at Green Valley Presbyterian Church in Henderson. The 9th Annual "Do It Yourself" Charity Fundraiser & Sing-Along, benefiting the Henderson Presbyterian Church Food Bank, featured members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, soloists, including Shakeh Ghoukasian, Eric Gonzalez, Mark A. Thomsen, Nathan Van Arsdale and Joan Sobel, with Spencer Baker conducting from the Harpsichord. Spencer informs us that the event was a big success (even without our help).

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Dangerous Curves

Celebrate the warmth of friendship and the cherished memories of tradition this holiday season, as two of Las Vegas' most critically acclaimed vocal groups join forces to bring you a holiday show you are not likely to soon forget! Mistinguett Productions presents Fifth Avenue, with Jerry Jones, Rob Hyatt, Bryce Robinson and Jeff Celentano, and Dangerous Curves, with Lisa Smith, Margaret Menzies, and Karen Michaels, in, One More Holiday With You, a musical spectacular featuring rich seven-part harmonies, time-honored holiday tunes, and some good old-fashioned Christmas cheer! With a long history of friendship and collaboration between these groups, their camaraderie and kinship is sure to be infectious. Their powerhouse vocals and dynamic harmonies will be the perfect soundtrack to bring the spirit of the holidays to life this season. So invite a friend or two, and make merry at One More Holiday With You! Show times and locations are Saturday, December 20th at 7 p.m., at the Starbright Theatre, 2115 Thomas Ryan Blvd, in Sun City Summerlin. Call (702) 240-1301. Tickets are $15 To purchase tickets online, actions=8&p=151.

Sunday, December 21st at 3 p.m., see One More Holiday With You at the Freedom Hall Theatre, 2460 Hampton Road, in Henderson. Call (702) 614-5864 for reservations. Tickets are $15, Earlybird Special through December 14th. After the 14th, tickets are $18. To purchase tickets online: actions=10&p=154. For more info, go to http://ww

Fifth Avenue

Vincent Herring

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Next Wednesday, December 17th, at 7:30 p.m., the Las Vegas Jazz Society is presenting a Holiday Jazz Concert featuring Vincent Herring on alto sax, Tony Branco on piano, Ken Seiffert on acoustic bass, and Peppe Marello on drums, at the Scullery, in downtown Vegas. Portions of the proceeds to benefit the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. Vincent is a saxophone virtuoso with a uniquely intense and vigorous musical voice. He is considered one of the premier saxophonists of his generation. Vincent first toured Europe and the United States with Lionel Hampton's big band in the early 1980s. As he developed his musicianship working with Nat Adderley, a partnership blossomed that continued for nine years. Along the way, he worked and/or recorded with Cedar Walton, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Louis Hayes, Horace Silver Quintet, Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, Larry Coryell, Steve Turre, The Mingus Big Band, Kenny Barron, Nancy Wilson, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carla Bley, and John Hicks. Vincent has appeared as guest soloist with many artists and ensembles, including Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center and John Faddis with the Carnegie Hall Big Band. While amassing these impressive credentials, Vincent continued to develop his own voice and style. Inspired by a collage of diverse musical influences, Vincent is also involved in Jazz education and is currently on the faculty of William Patterson University. He conducts master classes and jazz workshops at conservatories and universities around the world. Scullery is located at 150 Las Vegas Blvd North (between Fremont Street/South Las Vegas Blvd and E. Ogden). Tickets are $15 General Admission and $12 for Seniors/Students, and may be purchased online at Portions of the proceeds to benefit the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. For further information, please contact Rocky Gordon at (702) 521-7665.

Look for Vincent's eBooks and/or take private lessons (in-person or online) at his web site

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Signs of Lon Bronson

After a wild last Friday, The Lon Bronson Band is back at the Club Madrid inside Sunset Station, tonight from 10 p.m. If you are not reading this too late, head over to see the All-Stars jamming for one long set. There is an earlier show in Club Madrid before Bronson and company, called Nashville Unplugged. Once they finish at 9:30 p.m., the doors will open for the All-Stars. See you there!

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We had intended for this paragraph to be in last Friday‘s column, but...
We missed seeing Jack Jones on the weekend of November 22nd. A favorite of ours, if Jack had been performing at any other property, we would have been there. Some of our readers were in the audience, and they described Mr. Jones as "flawlessly superb." Nelson Sardelli (there's that name again), Paul and Sue Lowden, and Jillean Williams, who was celebrating her 93rd birthday that night, were among those in attendance. FYI...Jillean is the widow of the late jazz great, Joe Williams. And speaking of Jack Jones, would you believe that a couple of weeks ago, a local entertainment columnist referred to him as a "Country icon" in his "news" column? Would we/could we make this stuff up?

Jack Jones Fans

Photo caption - Taking in Jack Jones' recent show (from left to right): Sue Lowden, Nelson Sardelli, Jillean Williams and Paul Lowden.

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Las Vegas Showbiz Network, in conjunction with The Vegas Voice and the Italian American Club, is producing Happy Birthday, Mr. Sinatra, starring Gary Anthony, and featuring Denise Rose as Judy Garland, on Thursday, January 29th at 7 p.m., at The Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara. Tickets will be $20. We feel it is most important to note that the Las Vegas Showbiz Network has absolutely no connection in any way to another similar named local operation. Stay tuned. We will have more information about this event in upcoming weeks.

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The mind blowing spectacular, The Illusionists, is currently showcasing the jaw-dropping talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth - Dan Sperry, Aaron Crow, Adam Trent, Kevin James, Jeff Hobson, Andrew Basso and Yuho-Jin - at The Marquis Theatre on Broadway in New York City, to January 4, 2015. The Illusionists has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions. Audiences will Witness the Impossible - stunning acts of grand illusion, levitation, mind-reading, disappearance and for the first time ever in history, a full view water torture escape. This group of world-class performers take their cue from the showmanship of the great illusionists of the past - such as Harry Houdini – and pair it with a new and updated contemporary aesthetic, whose set and costume design lend the genre a theatricality and artistry that has rarely been seen before. Collectively, these performers have been seen by millions of people around the world and this production showcases their incredible talents together on stage for the very first time. Ticketmasters are the official sources for The Illusionists - Witness The Impossible tickets in New York City. Student tickets are available for purchase online in advance for members of TIX4STUDENTS.

The team behind the biggest selling magic shows in the world will hold the world premiere of their brand new production, The Illusionists 1903 in the Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from January 4th, 2015. Featuring brand-new, world class Illusionists handpicked from across the globe, The Illusionists 1903 promises to transport the audience back to the golden age of magic, a time when conjurers were the true rock stars of the day. Showcasing the origins of some of the greatest and most dangerous illusions ever built, the show also unveils never-seen-before experiments drawn from a treasure trove of long-forgotten mysteries. In this world premiere at QPAC audiences will discover first-hand the spectacles that transformed stage entertainment over 100 years ago. The Illusionists 1903 features a cast of world famous magicians playing incredible characters, with each embodying the magical greats of the past. In this company are Rick Thomas, Jonathan Goodwin, Mark Kalin, Jinger Leigh, Thommy Ten and Amèlie van Tass, Armando Lucero, and Southern Nevada resident (when he isn't working somewhere else in the world), Charlie Frye. We will have more about The Illusionists 1903 in upcoming weeks.

Charlie Frye

Michael McDonald

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Michael McDonald, former lead singer with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers, performs This Christmas - An Evening of Holiday and Hits, at the Eastside Cannery beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 20th. Tickets start at $32.95, and may be purchased at the hotel‘s front desk, or online at, or eastside

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ABC's newest Dancing With the Stars mirror-ball champion, actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Alfonso Spears on the sitcom, Silver Spoons, and Carlton Banks on the NBC sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, will join the upcoming live tour with his pro- dancer partner, Witney Carson, who won in her first year of competition. They are set to perform at The Venetian in Las Vegas on Saturday, February 7th.

Alfonso Ribeiro

Lorenzo Lamas

And while on the subject of "reality television," the new season of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice has a varied assortment of people competing against one another in Donald Trump's 2015 boardroom, beginning on January 4th. The contestants competing for charity are: Kate Gosselin (Jon & Kate Plus 8), Brandi Glanville (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills 90210, Sharknado), Geraldo Rivera, Kenya Moore (Real Housewives of Atlanta), Sig Hansen (Deadliest Catch), Keshia Knight Pulliam (Cosby Show), Olympian Jamie Anderson, Lorenzo Lamas, Johnny Damon, Gilbert Gottfried, Shawn Johnson, Leeza Gibbons, Kevin Jonas, Vivica A. Fox and Terrell Owens.

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Downtown Cultural Series Concert, Meshuggina Klezmorim, will take place next Friday, December 19th, from noon to 1 p.m., at the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse Jury Assembly Room, 333 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Meshuggina Klezmorim is Yiddish for crazy musicians. They play fun and lively klezmer-style music and will be performing some favorite Chanukah melodies like "I Have a Little Dreydl" and "Chanukah O Chanukah." The event is free and open to the public.

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Get in the holiday spirit with festive lighting ceremonies and holiday themed entertainment at Fremont Street Experience this season. Once again, the famous neon lights of the Viva Vision canopy will be complemented with a touch of holiday spirit as Fremont Street Experience kicks-off the holiday season with the annual Grand Menorah Lighting Ceremony on December 16th at 4 p.m. This will take place at Fremont and 4th Street. Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman will light the Grand Menorah. A ceremony will be led by Rabbi Shea Harlig, Director of Chabad of Southern Nevada to welcome the holiday known as the Festival of Lights. The Grand Menorah will be on display at Fremont Street during the Holiday Season.

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