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 January 02, 2015
You can find the current column HERE


Las Vegas - January 2, 2015



Frankie Randall 1938-2014

(New Year's Eve photo)
From Irving Berlin's 1942 Holiday Inn, with Bing Crosby,
Marjorie Reynolds, Fred Astaire and Virginia Dale.

We are saddened to report the passing of Frankie Randall. Frank Joseph Lisbona, better known as Frankie Randall, was born in Passaic, New Jersey, on January 11, 1938. He died at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio, California (outside of Palm Springs, where Randall lived), on December 28, 2014, of lung cancer, which he had battled for 16-months. Frankie would have turned 77 on the 11th of this month. Frankie's father played the trumpet as a hobby and Randall proved to be adept at playing the piano, picking up his first local paid performances at 13. His father insisted he get a college education in a non-music field in case he flopped as a performer. Randall earned a bachelor's in psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, but then pursued music in New York. The singer and pianist and actor was a Rat Pack favorite in the swinging '60s, and a staple of TV variety shows of that era. His acting credits include The Dean Martin Summer Show and the 1973 film, Day of the Wolves. He also appeared many times on the Dean Martin TV show, and hosted the summer version of the show when Martin was not available. Randall also starred in Sonny and Cher's first movie, Wild on the Beach, in 1964. He released dozens of RCA singles and albums from the 1960s onwards. After starting out in pop music, Randall began performing material from The Great American Songbook. He recorded several songs, bringing his jazz-inflected, supper-club approach not only to standards like "It Had to be You," but also to the theme from TV's Flipper. Beginning in 2008, Randall hosted The Music Of Your Life, a syndicated radio show. His version of the song "I Can See for Miles" by The Who is included in Rhino Records' album Golden Throats: The Great Celebrity Sing Off. He appeared at casino lounges and clubs across the country, including the Playboy Club in Los Angeles. In 2001, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him. But Randall is most closely identified, not only in his professional, but also in his personal life, with Frank Sinatra.

The leader of the Rat Pack first heard Randall sing at Jilly's, a New York club frequented by celebrities. Sinatra took him under his wing and helped him get a recording contract. Although the "most memorable" gig of Randall's career was his first appearance on the Tonight Show, he told the Palm Springs Desert Sun in 2011, the "best bill" he ever appeared on was with Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in Atlantic City. Later in life, Randall became the unofficial house pianist at Sinatra's Rancho Mirage home. Living nearby, he would walk to Sinatra's house when summoned to play piano for informal gatherings that could go late into the night, sometimes with Sinatra singing. "He called me his favorite piano accompanist," Randall told the New York Daily News in 2007. Melinda Read, Frankie's longtime companion, said that Randall never minded being closely associated with Sinatra for much of his career. In 2007, Randall told the New York Daily News that he never saw Sinatra's legendary temper. "The man I knew was the guy who would invite you to his home and cook you one of his favorite pasta dishes," he said. "Those are wonderful memories." Frankie met Sinatra while playing Jilly's bar in New York and often accompanied him as his pianist. Sinatra "bestowed" some of his original musical orchestrations, by such arrangers as Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Neal Hefti and Quincy Jones, to Randall in 1997, according to Randall's website, and he used them for his "Tribute to Sinatra" nightclub show. He was lured by Sinatra to the Palm Springs area, where he bought a home, and he received a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 2001. For a period of time, Randall served as entertainment director for Steve Wynn's Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. A few years ago, Randall created a show entitled That's Italian, starring Deana Martin, Julius La Rosa, Dick Contino, Pete Barbutti and himself. The very first appearance was to a SOLD OUT audience at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA., where the response was over-whelming. Bookings continued, including a repeat SOLD OUT performance at the McCallum and a return performance at the Cerritos Center For The Performing Arts. That's Italian has also appeared at Trump Marina in Atlantic City, where the casino built a Columbus Day event around the show. It also appeared in Chicago at the North Shore Center For The Performing Arts; Turning Stone Hotel and Casino in Syracuse, NY; Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks, CA; The Venue At Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana, where the talents of special guest, Jerry Vale, were added. To celebrate New Year's 2009, the show played at the Eastside Cannery Casino Hotel in Las Vegas to a standing room audience, again with Jerry Vale as Special Guest Star. It might be interesting to note, that following the death of Frank Sinatra, his son, Frank Sinatra, Jr., took legal action to get the original sheet music back from Frankie Randall, as well from Vincent Falcone, Steve Lawrence and Jerry Vale, who were also gifted with some of these treasures. Here's another bit of (we think) interesting information. Frank Sr. first heard the song "New York, New York," when Randall sang it as his closer in a show he did in Palm Springs. Frank liked it, and asked his friend Frankie to bring the music to his house for Vince Falcone to see. The rest, as they say, is history. In addition to Melinda Read, Randall is survived by daughters Lisa Denicola of Verona, N.J., Laura Lisbona of San Francisco and Ava Lisbona of Los Angeles; son Frank Lisbona Jr. of Maplewood, N.J.; sister Grace Elaine Lisbona of New Jersey; and two grandchildren. His three marriages all ended in divorce. Funeral Services for Frankie Randall will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 10th, at Desert Springs Church, 43435 Monterey Ave. (1/2 block North of Park View Dr.), in Palm Desert, California. A brief graveside service will follow at Desert Memorial Park, 31705 Da Vall Dr., in Cathedral City, California, then back to Desert Springs Church for a reception. For questions, please email [email protected].


Happier Times - Nelson Sardelli, Freddie Bell, Pat Morita, Frankie Randall, Melinda Read and Joey Villa

Chadwick Johnson

* * * * * * * *

Wes Winters resumes his Rampart Casino at The Resort at Summerlin Addison's Lounge engagement on Tuesday, January 6th, from 6 to 9 p.m., and every Tuesday in January. Winters also performs in the Grandview Lounge at the South Point, Fridays and Saturdays, from 6 to 9 p.m. To see all of Wes' performance dates, please visit www.weswinters.com, and click on Shows & Schedule.

* * * * * * * *

Turnabout is fair play. Chadwick Johnson was Pia Zadora's guest at her sold out New Year's Eve show at Pia's Place in Piero's, and she was a walk-on surprise guest on stage with him during his December 30th Champagne Wishes show in a local casino showroom. Young Mr. Johnson has had quite an exciting year. He has been a regular at the Italian American Club (where he has also performed in the Big room there), is now playing at ARIA in the Lift Bar Lounge with his awesome band every weekend, either Friday or Saturday. He is also at the Monte Carlo quite. If you want to see him perform, check his schedule. You never know where the talented Chadwick Johnson may turn up next.


Pia Zadora

Elvis Presley

* * * * * * * *

It's hard to believe that Elvis Presley would have turned 80-years-old on January 8th (but, then again, it's also hard to fathom that Michael Jackson, the boy who never grew up, would be 56-years-old, if he had lived). To commemorate Elvis' birthday, events are taking place around the country (probably around the world), including, or especially, in Las Vegas, including Donny Edwards, starring in The Next Best Thing to The King at the South Point Showroom, on Friday, January 9th, Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th, with all three shows starting at 7:30 p.m. Donny Edwards' admiration and appreciation of Elvis Presley began at an early age. His mama recalls how he tried to dance to Elvis' records even before he could walk. By the age of five, Donny was so passionate about Elvis that he pushed his grandmother's hand away from the radio dial as she attempted to change the station while "Hound Dog" was playing. Little did he know that his devotion would lead him to a beloved career, paying tribute to one of the greatest musical artists in history. Elvis Presley Enterprises granted Donny permission and bestowed on him the honor of being the one and only Elvis Presley tribute artist to have performed his show on the grounds of Graceland since 1977. Among his professional accomplishments, Donny was the star performer at Las Vegas' famous Elvis-A-Rama museum and showroom for three years before it closed its doors in 2006. Today, Edwards is one of the most sought after performers in the business, bringing his show to stages in casinos, theaters, special events, cruises and production shows, world-wide. Donny Edwards maintains a performance of remarkable authenticity. His humility, charm and southern manner, coupled with his uncanny sound and appearance, will make you feel as if you are watching "The King," himself. Las Vegan, Jeanne Bavaro, serves as consultant for The Next Best Thing to The King. Tickets for The Next Best Thing to The King at the South Point Showroom are $20, $25 and $30, and available at the South Point Box Office, or call (702) 797-8055. Get your tickets now.

To celebrate Elvis Presley's 80th birthday, Eccoci Boca Park will hold an "Elvis and You" themed fashion show and Elvis' memoirs book signing with his former road manager and three-book author, Joe Esposito, on Saturday, January 10th, from 1 to 5 p.m. The fashion show, taking place at 3 p.m., will be choreographed to Elvis' music. A pink Cadillac will be parked outside the store, and a life-size image of Elvis will be on display for photo ops. An Elvis impersonator will also provide entertainment. This free afternoon event for the public, with refreshments including Elvis cupcakes, will be held at Eccoci located at 750 S. Rampart, Suite 8. ECCOCI pronounced "echo-chi," meaning Italian for "We're All Here," features four high fashion designers who create easy, edgy, chic and European inspired designs in stunning colors, luxurious fabrics and modern styles. http://www.eccocionline.com/. Call (702) 949- 5999. For media coverage, contact Jackie Brett at (702) 460-1836 or [email protected]


Joe Esposito

John L. Smith

* * * * * * * *

Reminders...
This month's F.I.O.R.E. luncheon, with guest speaker, John L. Smith, is on Thursday, January 8th. Smith, the award-winning journalist will kick of the F.I.O.R.E.'s first get-together of the New Year with a thought provoking and entertaining talk to be held at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara. John L. Smith is a well respected columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the author of 15 books. Born in Henderson, John traces his Nevada roots back to 1882. The non-club club F.I.O.R.E. is honored to have him as their first guest speaker of 2015. Tickets are $25. All widows of past Presidents (all the male members of the non-club F.I.O.R.E. are Presidents) are guests of the non-club club. New boyfriends are on their own. In addition to the guest speaker, enjoy a delicious buffet, live entertainment with Gary Anderson & The Malcontents, the famous F.I.O.R.E. 50/50 and fun giveaways, and socializing with some of the city's most interesting people (of course, there are exceptions to every rule). RSVPs are a MUST. Please contact nonclubclubfiore.com. It is also suggested that you visit the About Us page at www.nonclubclubfiore.com. F.I.O.R.E. is not for everyone.

And, President Nelson Sardelli passes along this friendly reminder in case you have been too busy with the holidays: The 2015 dues are just that...they are due. Have a wonderful and blessed 2015.

We had this part of the column saved for a reminder about the Shades of Sinatra show, scheduled to be at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall next Friday, the 9th. We got a call from Lisa Smith, late Friday afternoon, telling us that the show had been canceled, with no explanation from the property. Awarded the 2012 and 2014 Tribute Show of the Year Award, Shades of Sinatra, starring Carmine Mandia, Ryan Baker, Ron Smith, and Lisa, is an original musical production, celebrating the extensive music and career of the great Frank Sinatra. Backed by an incredible five-piece band, the group pays tribute to more than 30 of the signature Sinatra tunes one would expect, as well as several that may be new to casual fans. In between songs and poignant stories, there is plenty of good-natured ribbing among the cast, creating that vintage, off-the-cuff Vegas show atmosphere associated with Ol' Blue Eyes himself. One thing we know for sure, the show was not canceled by the artists. If we get an explanation (and it better be a good one), we will share it with our readers.

* * * * * * * *


Lano, Mastrangelo, Mechem & Sachs

It was a packed house last Sunday for Nik at Nite in the Tuscany Hotel's Piazza Lounge, complete with birthday, anniversary and holiday celebrations to go along with great music as Joey Singer, Bob Sachs, Mike Mechem and Nik Mastrangelo featured sets of songs by Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen and Kurt Weill. The group also fielded several great requests from the crowd. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed having Sean Carbone sit in on guitar for the Arlen set, as well as Yolanda Quandt and Joyce Carole as guest vocalists during the third set. A good time was had by all. Start the New Year off with a BANG! This Sunday, January 4th, from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., Carbone's teacher and world renowned guitarist, Joe Lano, will be joining Joey, Bob, Mike and Nik for an evening of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's music. Nik is honored to have Lano back with the trio again. As the year draws to a close, Mastrangelo pauses to reflect on a few things. "I am so proud to have such fine musicians with me, both the regulars and those that sat in throughout the year," says Nik. "I'm also proud of the fact that we seem to be the only ones who use the different themes we utilize each week. Thanks to the Tuscany, for not only having us but allowing us to do our thing. Last, but not least, I want to thank all the folks who come out to support and encourage us. Without you it could not have happened. We'll keep it going as long as you'll have us. The Piazza Lounge is located within the Tuscany Hotel (on the hotel side)- 255 E Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169. Help spread the word about the coolest room in town. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

* * * * * * * *

As we watched the Kennedy Center Honors special on CBS, Monday night, it made us wonder if past honorees, who have proven to be unworthy of such recognition, might have their names removed from the records and, instead, put on a Wall of Shame. Of course, we are thinking of the permanently damaged Bill Cosby.

* * * * * * * *

From the Las Vegas Media Group's Lisa Gioia-Acres, comes this message.
Hello All, Joe Thomson was so helpful in facilitating the January event. Here is his information on the speakers replacing Debbie Reynolds. Thank you to all who have responded to my previous email regarding the change in plans. If you have not yet decided on your RSVP (I'm especially to reaching out to those who RSVPd for Debbie and have not yet let me know if they still wish to attend), please let me know. Hope your Christmas was wonderful and filled with love. Happy New Year to all of my dear Las Vegas Media Group friends.

From Joe Thomson:
Unfortunately Debbie Reynolds will be unable to attend the event we had planned for her on January 19. Fortunately, as they say in showbiz, the show will go on, the family will be well represented by Debbie Reynolds son, Todd Fisher, and his wife, Catherine Hickland. Todd, the son of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, is a photographer, director, Cinematographer, and producer of television films and documentaries. Todd has extensive ties to Las Vegas as he has been traveling here since he was a child in the late '50s, and has spent substantial time in Vegas since the Debbie Reynolds Hotel casino venture. Todd has an extensive collection of home movies and photographs tied to various Las Vegas stays and has been tightly engaged in his mothers projects. The two are genetically tied to the art of collecting and Todd will share details of his mother's costume collection as well as his own love of collecting cameras and family memorabilia. Todd is currently working on a feature film, "813 Greenway Drive," which covers his early childhood. For the Soap Opera fans in our group, Catherine Hickland is best known for an extended stay on One Life To Live as Lindsey Rappaport, as well as additional roles in various TV and film productions. The two will provide an insiders view to Debbie's life in what is sure to be an exciting event.

PLEASE, contact Lisa at [email protected], or Gretchen Payne at (702) 870-5994, to inform of us of your intentions - do you want to keep your RSVP as is? Change it? Add or remove guests? The luncheon will take place at Las Ventanas, 10401 W. Charleston. For directions, you can call the facility at (702) 360-2662, or for more information, you can call Lisa at (702) 245-9206.


Debbie Reynolds

Selina Baker

* * * * * * * *

What a year this has been for Rob Garrett! From an unexpected sold out show at the Hard Rock in Costa Rica, to playing for more than 2,000 patrons at both the Texas Station Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, and the Westbury Music Theater in New York, then getting to perform with American Trilogy at new venues such as the main showroom of the Riverside Resort in Laughlin, before ending the last three months of the year with his first ever hotel casino residency at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino and, finally, the honor of closing the annual Toy for Tots show to a packed house in the Main (Elvis) Showroom of the Westgate Hotel (former Las Vegas Hilton) with his American Trilogy co-stars. The new year starts out with Rob and his eight-piece KOD band making their debut in the Grand Events Center of Green Valley Ranch Resort/Casino in Henderson on Saturday, January 17th, and then hitting the road for two months with American Trilogy in the Palm Desert region of California, and culminating in the Phoenix area for two weeks. Rosanna Telford will be opening the American Trilogy shows as "Connie Francis." Busy. Busy.

* * * * * * * *

Here is the lineup at The Dispensary Lounge for the next few days and nights: Tonight, Friday, January 2nd, it's vocalist Selina Baker with the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio - Uli on keys, RJ Reyes on bass, and Angelo Stokes on drums - from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tomorrow, Saturday, January 3rd, Michelle Johnson joins Uli, RJ and Angelo from 10 to 2. On Wednesday, January 7th, it's The Dispensary Lounge Jazz Jam with the Uli Geissendoerfer Quartet fro 9 p.m. to midnight. Uli is on piano, Charles McNeal on sax, Ryan Rose on drums and RJ Reyes on bass. Fabulous music. Fabulous bar food (The Dispensary is known for their burgers). It adds up to fabulous nights. The Dispensary Lounge is located at 2451 E. Tropicana, on the southeast corner of Eastern. No cover charge.

* * * * * * * *


Samantha Hale

Greg Travis

Last week, on Listening to the Vegas Voice, comic impressionist/radio host, Rich Natole, interviewed comedienne Samantha Hale on Monday's show, and comedian/actor/producer, Greg Travis, on Tuesday. Samantha Hale is the granddaughter of Alan Hale, who played the Skipper on the popular TV show, Gilligan's Island. Next week, on Monday, January 5th, actor, Felix Silla, who played Cousin Itt on TV's The Addams Family, will be Rich's guest, and on Tuesday, the members of Shades of Sinatra - Carmine Mandia, Ryan Baker, Ron Smith and Lisa Smith - will share the mic with Rich. Listening to the Vegas Voice airs on KLAV 1230 AM radio, Mondays and Tuesdays, from 10:30 to 11 a.m., and Saturdays from 7 to 7:30 a.m. PT. The local studio call-in number is (702) 731-1230. You can also call Toll Free at 1-866-820-5528. Contact the Vegas Voice off the air at (702) 251-4441.


Felix Silla

Tom Bruny, Jeff Victor, Marty Wood at SlotZilla

* * * * * * * *

What our readers think...
"The December 19th column kicked ASS! Everyone is buzzing about the MKR discussion. What a piece of work she is."

From B. in Las Vegas...
"Many of us thought Steve Wynn's new show was a work in progress. We saw the last one before the official opening and it was only 65 minutes long. It also lacked some slow show stopping music. There are some great songs that don't all have to have the same kind of dancing."

* * * * * * * *

Fremont Street Experience donated 100% of SlotZilla revenue to Opportunity Village for everyone who flew on either the lower Zipline ($20) or upper Zoomline ($40) on Saturday, December 6th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in honor of Opportunity Village's 10th Annual Las Vegas Santa Run. President of Fremont Street Experience, Jeff Victor, and Director of Marketing, Tom Bruny, presented Marty Wood, Director of Marketing of Opportunity Village a check of $15,068 on Tuesday, December 23rd. SlotZilla, at Fremont Street Experience located in Downtown Las Vegas. combines innovative technology with a dynamic themed concept to transcend a traditional Zipline ride, becoming a ground-breaking attraction for the amusement industry. The attraction features two thrill levels, a lower Zipline where flyers travel half the length of Fremont Street Experience in a traditional seated-harness position, and an upper Zoomline where flyers are launched in a horizontal "superman" position 1,750 feet across the entire length of Fremont Street Experience. Both levels deliver an experience unique in the world – flying above thousands of people on Fremont Street Experience and under the four-block-long Viva Vision canopy, which is the world's largest video screen. Zip & Zoom, Vegas Style, on the world's most unique Zipline, open Sundays through Thursdays from noon to midnight, and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 2 a.m. Flights are $20 for the lower Zipline, and $40 for the upper Zoomline. Flight times can be booked in advance at the SlotZilla ticketing, will call and check-in office, located at 425 Fremont St., Ste. 160. Advance ticket purchases can also be made online at www.vegasexperience.com, or by calling 1-844-ZIPVEGAS. Advance group sales for 20 or more tickets can be made by calling (702) 678-5780 or 1-844-SLOTZILLA.
Photo courtesy of Scott Roeben of Fremont Street Experience.

* * * * * * * *

Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc. invite you on magical journey down the Yellow Brick Road when The Wizard of Oz returns to select cinemas nationwide for a special two-day event on Sunday, January 11th, and Wednesday, January 14th, at 2 and 7 p.m. (local time both days). Experience all of the familiar characters in a larger than life way, on the big screen, in this special cinematic event. Make sure to get there on time as TCM host, Robert Osborne, gives a special introduction, illuminating the history of this family classic that has been an entertainment mainstay for the last 75 years. Join Dorothy™, Toto™, and their unlikely friends on an enchanted adventure to the Emerald City™. Experience all the magic that has made this film a classic for generations. In Las Vegas, experience this unforgettable event at the Colonnade 14, Orleans 18, Village Square, Santa Fe Station, Century 16 South Point, and Sam's Town 18 theaters.

* * * * * * * *

The Soul Men of Spectrum, Las Vegas' own award- winning soul and R&B quartet, is back from sea on January 6th, and returns to The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz on Saturday, January 17th at 7 p.m., and Sunday, January 18th at 3 p.m. The group boasts four incredible singers, who combine their voices and dexterity to create the angelic harmonies and deft choreography that has become their trademark. They were voted Best of Las Vegas in 2005 and 2006, received the Las Vegas Living Legends Award in 2009, and were awarded a star on Las Vegas' Walk of Stars in 2012. The look, class, style, choreography, harmonies and costuming are captured as only Spectrum can. Internationally acclaimed, they will leave you wanting more with stirring renditions of classic hits by The Temptations, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Marvelettes, Vandellas, The Miracles, The Stylistics, Donna Summer and more. Tickets are $37 and $40. For reservations, call The Smith Center Box Office at (702) 749-2000.


Spectrum

* * * * * * * *

Mark Nadler is thoroughly honored that his show, Runnin' Wild: Songs and Scandals of the Roaring '20s, has been chosen as one of the Ten Best of 2014 by Times Square Chronicles!
Here's what they wrote:

This show and dance man plays a mean piano. "Runnin'Wild: Songs of the Roaring Twenties" was pure entertainment. For that matter, everything that Mark does is sure perfection. He never disappoints and is always offering a new take on an old style. With Mark everything old is new again. If you want to see this show (for only $20!!!), there are still tickets available for the January 10th at 8 p.m. performance at The York Theatre. Go to www.MarkNadler.com for details and to buy your tickets.

* * * * * * * *

The NiteKings news for January...
We hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and are now ready for some January action. This is a very busy month for The NiteKings which is great since December was so light. So let's start off 2015 with a wonderful month long celebration. Every Sunday, January 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th, they will be performing at Sam's Town in Roxy's Lounge, from 7 to 11 p.m. It's always a fun place to meet friends, have a cocktail, and dance the night away. Sam's Town is on Boulder Highway & Flamingo. Every Wednesday, January 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th, they will be performing at The Orleans in The Bourbon Street Cabaret, from 4 to 8 p.m. Big crowds there, so plan to arrive early if you want a seat. There are still plenty of areas at the bar or standing around the lounge where you will have a fine viewing and listening vantage point too. The Orleans is on Tropicana, just west of The Strip. Friday, January 9th, and Saturday the 10th, The NiteKings will be performing at The Rampart Casino in Addison's Lounge, from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. This is a great opportunity for those fans who live up in that area and/or those that like to get out on the weekends. Hopefully they will have some more dates at this venue in the future. The Rampart is located on Rampart Blvd., right just north of The Suncoast. So there you have it. Ten dates in the month of January for you to put on your dancin' shoes and go to see The NiteKings. Tony C for The NiteKings.

* * * * * * * *

The South Pacific Islands meet the excitement of the Las Vegas Strip at Kahunaville's new Showroom inside the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino. Island Heat LuWow brings the dinner show back to the Strip; combining the excitement of Polynesian dance with a Las Vegas twist. Featuring an Elvis' Blue Hawaii tribute and a Tahitian tribal drum performance to the Black Eyed Peas, this high energy show is pure excitement and fun for all ages. The shows' dinner menu offers traditional Hawaiian flavors and non-native dishes presented by Chef Lira, including white chocolate macadamia bread (paola), Big Island Lua'ai (salad) and the choice of Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi, Teriyaki Flank Steak, Ahi Tuna or Pina Colada Chicken for an entrée. Dinner Show tickets are $59.99, plus taxes and fees, and can be purchased at kahunaville.com or by calling (702) 894-7350. Show only tickets are also available at $39.99, plus taxes and fees. Group discounts and buy-outs available. Two shows daily - Wednesdays through Mondays. Doors open at 6 and 8 p.m. Kahunaville Restaurant & Party Bar at Treasure Island is located near the Treasure Island Theatre, 3300 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

* * * * * * * *


Charlie Frye

Lou Cohen

As promised, here is some more information about The Illusionists 1903 tour, beginning in Australia on January 4th. 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), launching on Sunday. 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. The true art of magic will be explored in exquisite, turn of the century grandeur in this larger than life production from the acclaimed creative team behind international mega hits The Illusionists and The Illusionists 2.0. Viewers will discover first-hand the spectacles that transformed stage entertainment more than 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, including:

· The Immortal (Rick Thomas) - Rick Thomas is well known as one of the most successful illusionists working today, having completed five world tours covering over 50 countries. High honors include the coveted "Magician of the Year' from the Academy of Magical Arts, and "Stage Magician of the Year" by the World Magic Awards. Thomas has performed for 15 years in his own show in Las Vegas and it has become the most successful family show in the history of Vegas.

· The Eccentric (Charlie Frye) - Acknowledging America's rich vaudeville tradition, Charlie Frye astounds and entertains, transforming a classic art form into something undeniably fresh. For the last twenty odd years (some odder than others), Charlie has been delighting audiences worldwide with his singular blend of comedy, magic, juggling, slapstick and acrobatics. He has appeared before distinguished audiences including the Royal Family of Monaco and the Sultan of Malaysia, as well as opening for Liza Minnelli and appearing in the Tom Hanks film, That Thing You Do. The Eccentric never fails to keep audiences laughing and applauding all at once.

· The Daredevil (Jonathan Goodwin) - British born daredevil and escape artist Jonathan Goodwin is widely considered one of the most creative, skilled and crazy stunt performers in the world. Goodwin has been hanged, buried alive, hung by his toes from helicopters, burned at the stake and been attacked by sharks to name just a few of the insane stunts his mother wishes he hadn't tried. Featured on multiple TV shows including The Jonathan Ross Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and 60 Minutes, everything you see him do is very, very real - he really is The Daredevil.

· The Showman (Mark Kalin) - As a young man Mark's specialty was sleight-of-hand magic, but he went on to enlarge his act, with Jinger Leigh, to include tigers, panthers and sensational, split-second marvels. They presented the largest stage illusion of all time, vanishing an American Airlines Jumbo Jet at the Reno Hilton! Mark and Jinger have been featured on numerous TV shows including World's Greatest Magic, Magic on the Edge and Entertainment Tonight.

· The Conjuress (Jinger Leigh) - A unique blend of elegance and theatricality have helped Jinger Leigh redefine the role of the magician. Transforming a very ancient art for a modern audience, Jinger has earned fans around the world and was recently featured in the touring show, Masters of Illusion Live. After beginning her career as a dancer and touring with artists like The Beach Boys and Tony Bennett, Jinger met magician Mark Kalin and the results were magical. Working together as Kalin and Jinger, they appeared in award-winning shows and eventually in their own Reno theatre - Magic Underground.

· The Clairvoyants (Thommy Ten and Amèlie van Tass) - Innovative young celebrities in the world of mentalism, these European shooting stars have won international awards and presented their artful mind reading experience on numerous TV shows. Their ability to reveal your deepest thoughts will make you gasp in astonishment. Even fellow magicians are baffled! This enchanting couple are in high demand worldwide and have just returned from performing more than 300 shows in America. Audiences will be entranced by how easily they connect with their innermost thoughts.

· The Maestro (Armando Lucero) - A commanding stage presence and master of magic, Armando Lucero will have your attention before saying a word. This veteran magician has been performing magic for the past 30 years, excelling in the art of close-up magic with his manipulation of cards and coins. Likened to such greats as Marcel Marceau, David Copperfield and Charlie Chaplin, Armando has performed extensively across the world and appeared at every major casino in Vegas. Armando Lucero really is The Maestro. The Illusionists 1903 features jaw dropping, big tricks that include a deadly bullet catch, amazing levitation and unbelievable mind reading. Witness this all star cast as they try and one up each other performing some of the most dangerous tricks in the book. Come with us on a journey back in time and watch in awe as the impossible is recreated live on stage at QPAC in The Illusionists 1903. Tickets are on sale via www.qpac.com.au. As we often say..."If you happen to be in ___ (fill in the blank)...

* * * * * * * *


Carole Hassell

Cherry Wainer

We have lost way too many friends and acquaintances during 2014. They may be gone, but they are not forgotten. Among those we will miss are Lou Cohen, Carole Hassell, Cherry Wainer, Scott Lewis, and Joe LaVigna. Rest in peace.


Scott Lewis

Joe LaVigna


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