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 February 13, 2015
You can find the current column HERE

Las Vegas - February 13, 2015

Deana Martin

Mary Healy by Norman Rockwell

From the delightful Deana Martin comes this exciting news...
Deana's book, Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughter's Eyes, has made it to the Wall Street Journals' Top 10 Non- Fiction e-book bestseller list. "I must tell you; this is like catching lightning in a bottle...again! I'm ecstatic my book is reaching new readers and fans through this format," says the multi-talented Ms. Martin. "I was excited when the hardback version was first released in 2004, and I was very proud when it hit the best-seller lists then. Thank you again for making this girl's wildest dreams a reality. I'm over the moon!" During this month, Deana and her hubby, John Griffeth, are Down Under for her first concert tour in Australia, where the singer/actress/author is looking forward to meeting new fans and making new friends. We are sure that will happen. To read the complete list of Best-Selling Books Week Ended February 1st. Click here sellers.html. Congratulations, Deana, on this impressive accomplishment!

* * * * * * * *

Actress, singer, and variety entertainer, Mary Healy passed away in Calabasas, California, on February 3rd at the age of 96. She was born in New Orleans on April 14th, 1918. In 1935, Mary was crowned Miss New Orleans. She made first screen appearance in Josette (1938), followed a year later by major film roles in Second Fiddle and Star Dust, in which she sang the title song. It was also in 1939 that she met entertainer, Peter Lind Hayes, who was performing in North Hollywood with his mother, vaudevillian Grace Hayes. Healy and Hayes were married from 1940 until his death in 1998. With few exceptions she and her husband worked together exclusively in a succession of films, television and radio shows and on the stage for more than 50 years. Healy appeared in four Broadway shows between 1942 and 1958, and her film appearances included Theodore Seuss Geisel's musical fantasy, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T., which also starred her husband, and actor Hans Conried. The Hayes/Healy family had strong ties to Las Vegas. In the '40s and '50s, Grace Hayes, who performed in Las Vegas during her heyday, owned and operated a nightclub on what became the famed Strip. The site of her Red Rooster establishment is now buried under the Mirage. Over the years, Healy and Hayes were Las Vegas co-headliners. They eventually moved here to be closer to Grace, who died in 1989. In 1979, Hayes and Healy had been honored at the Greater Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce's Entertainment Personalities of the Year Awards, recognizing their 40 years in entertainment. On Sept. 21, 2006, at UNLV's Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, where Healy was well known for having been a longtime patron of the arts, she was inducted into the Nevada Entertainer/Artist Hall of Fame. Healy is survived by a daughter, actress Cathy Lind Hayes and a son, Peter Michael Hayes.

Note: In the early '80s, Cousin Claire was a guest in the Las Vegas home of Mary Healy and Peter Lind Hayes. They had an interesting art collection that included an original painting by the famed illustrator, Norman Rockwell. For those who have been in Artemus Ham Hall at UNLV, they may have seen the portraits of Peter and Mary, done by Rockwell, that hang in the theater lobby.

* * * * * * * *

Lauren Farrah

Rich Natole & Mick Tiano

On Monday, February 9th, comic impressionist Rich Natole's guest on his Listening to the Vegas Voice radio show was rock singer, Lauren Farrah out of Nashville. Tuesday, the 10th, it was singing impressionist, Mick Tiano. Come next Monday, the 16th, it will be Sheree J Wilson, actress, producer, businesswoman, and model, talking about her career. She is best known for her roles as April Stevens Ewing on the American prime-time television series, Dallas, and as Alex Cahill-Walker on the television series, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Tuesday, the 17th, musician Bill Fayne will be Rich's guest. 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. Tune in and give a listen to Rich and company.

* * * * * * * *

Here is what is happening at The Dispensary Lounge this weekend. Tonight, Friday, February 13th, Naomi Mauro is back singing classic jazz tunes and more from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. She is accompanied by the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio. Tomorrow, spend Valentines Day with sultry jazz singer, Selina Baker, and the Uli Geissendoerfer Trio, from 10 to 2. Enjoy songs for lovers, plus champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. It's going to be a great night! Coming up on Wednesday, February 18th, saxophonist Carlos Mata- Alvarez gets his own night at the Dispensary. Jason Corpuz will be on keys, RJ Reyes on bass, Gyasi Greer on drums, and special guest vocalist, Halsey Harkins, playing from 9 p.m. to midnight. The popular Dispensary is located at 2451 E Tropicana, on the southeast corner of Trop and Eastern. Call (702) 458-6343.

Selina Baker

Judge Bill Jansen

* * * * * * * *

Lisa Gioia-Acres tells us that the next luncheon meeting of the Las Vegas Media Group is this coming Monday, February 16th, at Las Ventanas, 10401 West Charleston Boulevard, (702) 360-2662, Clark County Judge Bill Jansen is the speaker. The meeting starts at 11:30 a.m. In 1985, Judge Jansen retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after almost 24 years of service. He was admitted to practice law in the State of Nevada in 1972. Judge Jansen was appointed by the Clark County Commissioners to fill the Department 5 position in September of 1985, and elected to the position in 1986, and reelected in 1990, 1994, 2000 and 2006. A graduate of Michigan State University, where Jansen received his B.S. Degree in Criminology. He later received his J.D. Degree in Law from Drake University. He is a past- president of the Clark County Bar Association, a two term member of the Board of Governor's of the State Bar of Nevada, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA.
Lunch begins at 11:30 am. The cost is $17 each. RSVPs are necessary. PLEASE, contact Lisa at [email protected], or Gretchen Payne at (702) 870-5994.

* * * * * * * *

At 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 17th, the Active Adults 55+ of Temple Beth Sholom will feature guest speaker, Don Cadette, in the temple's social hall. Cadette, who rarely leaves home without a camera, serves as photographer for the Nevada Conservatory Theatre at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. While living in Southern California, for many years, Don was a photographer and musician in the motion picture and television industry. For ten seasons, he was a drummer on the TV series, The Love Boat. He also worked for the Roseanne show, Third Rock From the Sun, Murder, She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and The Dom DeLuise Show. Don, and his wife, Jeanne Lyons Cadette, a veteran dancer/ singer, have lived in Las Vegas since 2002. Back in the day, Jeanne was a member of the Chicago Opera Ballet and Dorothy Dorben Dancers. During that time, she was in touring companies of The Pajama Game and The Music Man. As a singer, Jeanne worked with The Establishment, and performed with stars including Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Burt Bacharach, Engelbert Humperdinck, Liberace, Andy Griffith, Don Knotts and Jerry Van Dyke, among others. The program featuring Don Cadette talking about photography and his career, is free and open to the community. Temple Beth Sholom is located at 10700 Havenwood Lane in Summerlin. For further information, call Adele at (&02) 382-6456, or Florence at (702) 735-0414.

Don Cadette

Acosta/Knudson Wedding

* * * * * * * *

The Historic Fifth Street School in downtown Las Vegas is offering two concerts this spring at 401 S. Fourth St., plus the return of the annual popular DjangoVegas! concert June 20. The season begins with the performance by John McEuen and John Carter Cash in their Will the Circle Be Unbroken and A Tribute to The Carter Family concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 21st. McEuen joins forces with Cash (son of Johnny Cash and June Carter) to share stories and memories and feature the songs of the artists of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 1972 release, Will The Circle Be Unbroken. This concert event takes the audience through the history of two American music icons – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and The Carter Family. Mamo brings a celebration of Hawaiian music and heritage to the venue at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 21st. Mamo is the name of the award- winning Hawaiian musical duo, vocalist Nathan Aweau, and guitarist, Jeff Peterson, with ukulele and traditional Hawaiian percussion. Their repertoire spans a wide range, reaching as far back as the Hawaiian monarchy to new compositions and arrangements that are at the cutting edge of contemporary Hawaiian music. (This program is supported by public funding for the arts through the Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.) DjangoVegas! will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20th. An annual celebration of the music of Django Reinhardt and other gypsy jazz music, past and present, this year's DjangoVegas! concert will feature the New Hot Club of America, the International String Trio with special guests Olli Soikkeli and Leah Zeger, and Las Vegas' very own gypsy jazz group, The Hot Club of Las Vegas. The city of Las Vegas frequently provides free and low- cost performing and visual arts experiences to the Las Vegas community. Tickets for each of the three shows are priced at $10 in advance and $15 on event day. To purchase, or for more information on these and other upcoming programs and classes, go online to, or call (702) 229-3515.

* * * * * * * *

Since this is the time of year when thoughts often turn to romance, we share the joy of Angela Acosta and Brett Knudson's first Valentine's Day together as husband and wife. Angela, the beautiful daughter of producer, Jeanne Bavaro, and singer/impressionist, Bill Acosta, were married in October. Shame on us for not sharing their news with our readers sooner. Following a lovely outdoor ceremony, the reception kicked off with a family and friends style flash mob to "Sweet Home Chicago." It was a total surprise to the bride and groom, as well as to the MOB (Mother of the Bride). There were about 54 guests in from Chicago, and at least half hit the dance floor for a fun filled choreographed routine. There was an entire table of magicians and performers in attendance. Direct from the Magic Castle in Los Angeles, Joel Ward and Allison flew in. Parker, Mark Kalin and Jinger (who delivered an eloquent speech at the ceremony) were among the celebrity guests, along with Anthony Cools and Morea Reveen, Tyas Frantz and his new bride and performer Olivia, Mistie and Tyler Knight and Tanya Popovich. It was hypnotically magical. Another table sported the original cast of Bill Acosta's Lasting Impressions show at the Flamingo - MD and conductor, Vincent Falcone and Annette, business manager and personal assistant to producer/director, Mary Toledo, Tap Master and choreographer, Jay Fagan (who performed an a cappella, tap dance toast) and his wife Melinda, Rock Center for Dance studio owner and featured dancer in Lasting Impressions, Quinn Callahan/Duncan, and husband Moses, the Father of the Bride Bill Acosta, The Man of 1001 Voices, his son, William Michael Acosta and Bill's only sister Sandy Acosta. To top off the "entertaining evening," prior to the sparkler send off, Jersey Boys star, Travis Cloer who portrays Frankie Valli in the popular Las Vegas production, and special female guest vocalist, Niki Scalera, stopped by to sing "The Prayer" in honor of Angela's deceased Grandpa and Grandmother who passed on Angela's 25th birthday this past August. The accompanying wedding photo shows the happy newlyweds, Angela and Brett Knudson, and the mother and father of the bride, Jeanne Bavaro and Bill Acosta. Isn't everybody pretty?

* * * * * * * *

From Tony C. with The NiteKings comes this news that will make the groups many fans unhappy and wondering, "why?"...
I'm sorry to say that I have some sad news today. Even though our contract at Sam's Town extended through the month of March, the "New" management has decided to go "a different way" with entertainment in Roxy's Lounge. Thus, next Sunday, February 15, will be our last appearance at Sam's Town, in Roxy's Lounge. The NiteKings have been connected with Sam's Town for about 11 years, so it's very hard to say goodbye to our fans, friends, and all the employees who became our friends. Who knows, maybe down the road things will change, and we will find ourselves back on stage at Roxy's. So if you are available next Sunday, stop by to see us since it will be our last time there. As always, we start at 7, and go until 11. Let's have one helluva party for our last performance. Hope you can make it. As of now, we are still performing at The Orleans on Wednesdays, from 4 to 8 p.m., however, The Orleans and Sam's Town are both part of Boyd Gaming Properties. Keep your fingers crossed that this is not a new trend from management. We are going to be looking for some new venues to keep our fans happy, and you will be notified of any new dates ASAP. Thanks for all your support at Sam's Town throughout the years. You guys are the best!"

* * * * * * * *

In our not so humble opinion, the Suncoast (a place we have not mentioned in print, or been inside of, for some time) has taken a step in the right direction by replacing Joe Fuscaldo, the property's former COO, with Ms. Kerrie Burke. We have watched, what used to be one of our favorite properties, go steadily downhill, to the point where we consider it to be very possibly the worst run hotel casino in the city. The issues are not minor - involving a once 24-hour coffee shop that now closes from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.; an incompetent and rude showroom manager, with no people skills, who was brought out of valet parking; potentially dangerous accessibility issues, especially involving elevators, with differently abled hotel guests; and inexcusably long waits for service (cocktails, slot technical problems: and more. We hope Ms. Burke can help turn the place back into a property the city can be proud of. This sure ain't it!

We are delighted that the very talented Martin Nievera, who had been performing at the above, rarely mentioned, property during 2014, will be at the M Resort on Saturday, April 4th, giving us the chance to enjoy being in his audiences once again.

Martin Nievera

Judy Alberti

While we were quite delighted to see that personnel change at the Alta Drive hotel casino, we are very sorry to learn that Judy Alberti is no longer Vice President of Entertainment for the Station Casinos properties. Alberti had been in this position with the Stations for about 20 years, and appeared to have a good track record. We would be curious to know whose idea the breakup was. Good luck to Judy, in whatever it is that she does next.

* * * * * * * *

This past Saturday, Larry Millonzi, Steve Johnson, Kenny Seiffert, John Plows, and Nikolas Mastrangelo, known when he's got a microphone in his hand as Nik at Nite, had a great time playing to a packed room for the residents of Rhodes Ranch. Lots of love and appreciation flowed throughout the night. "They already asked us back for the third time. We're more than happy to oblige" says Nik. "We had a full house at the Tuscany's Piazza Lounge last Sunday to help us celebrate our One Year Anniversary there. Those who came out to support us were treated to a cavalcade of great surprise guests to go along with our stellar quintet of Joey Singer on keys, Steve Johnson on reeds, Bob Sachs on bass, Mike Mechem on drums and Joe Thomasula on percussion. The following special guests graciously lent their talents to the festivities: Jake Langley on guitar, Mike Bacich on keys, and John Menniti, Corrie Sachs, Terry James, Naomi Emmerson and Naomi Mauro on vocals. Thanks to all who joined in our celebration!" This Sunday, from 7 to 11 p.m., Joey, Bob, Mike and Nik will be performing the music of Jimmy Van Heusen, which they last did more than three months ago. That's too long to go without the man who composed such great songs as: "Here's That Rainy Day" (Johnny Carson's favorite song), "I Thought About You," "It Could Happen To You," "My Kind of Town," "But Beautiful," "Call Me Irresponsible" and so many more. Nik and the Trio will also be taking your requests. The Piazza Lounge is located within the Tuscany Hotel (on the hotel side)- 255 E Flamingo. Help spread the word about the coolest room in town.

Photo caption - Nik at Nite Tuscany First Anniversary Band (from left to right) Joey Singer, model, Steve Johnson, Nik Mastrangelo, model, Bob Sachs and Mike Mechem.

Nik at Nite Anniversary

* * * * * * * *

If you aren't sure which celebrity you would like to see on a Valentine's night outing, you can see a multitude of them if you head to the Eastside Cannery, where veteran impressionist, Rich Little, will be entertaining. Little's cast of characters will be backed by four of Las Vegas' top musicians - Chuck Hoover, conductor/keys; Brent Alverson, bass; Rob Goldsmith, guitar and Gary Olds drums. See Rich and company for $25 plus fees. Seating at 7:30. See the show AND enjoy dinner, starting at 6:30, all for $60, plus fees. Purchase tickets at the Eastside Cannery front desk or call (702) 856-5470.

* * * * * * * *

Green Valley Presbyterian Church will present Desert Harmonies - Harp and Piano Harp Duo, with Lynn Tsai on flute, and Emily Barnes on harp, and featuring John Pollock on viola, and Spencer Baker on piano, Sunday, February 15th at 5 p.m. The ensemble will play the music of Bach, Mozart and Debussy. Great Music. Great Acoustics. Free-Will Offering. Green Valley Presbyterian Church is located at 1798 Wigwam Parkway (on the northeast corner of Valle Verde at Wigwam (just north of I-215), in Henderson. Call (702) 454-8484.

* * * * * * * *

Friends of Maxine Gaines gathered at the IAC (one of her favorite hangouts) on Wednesday night to help the socially active Las Vegan celebrate her birthday. It's not polite to tell a lady's age, but let's just say that this busy senior is "Younger Than Springtime." Happy birthday, Maxine!

Happy Birthday Maxine Gaines

Mark OToole

* * * * * * * *

Next Monday, February 16th, Chadwick Johnson will be one of the performers in this month's Mondays Dark show at the Hard Rock's Vinyl. This edition will benefit the Blind Center of Nevada. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. Donations are $20 and $30. Wednesday, March 18th at 8 p.m., Chadwick's Golden show will be performed at the Italian American Club. Tickets are $20. Call the IAC at (702) 457-3866 for show and/or dinner reservations.

And speaking of Mr. Johnson, he will be joining host Mark OToole and other guests at Ron DeCar's Event Center on Thursday, February 19th, when The Vegas Voice introduces the Las Vegas Showbiz Network, with the first of what is to be a series of monthly variety shows. In addition to Chadwick Johnson, performers for the launch of the series will include Denise Clemente, Corrie Sachs and Cici (or is it CC?) Spencer. The Event Center is located at 1201 Las Vegas Blvd. South, between the famed Strip and downtown. The show runs from 9 to 9:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $35 for VIP. VIP tickets include a buffet dinner. A 10% L.E.T. tax is added on to all ticket prices. For reservations, call the IAC at (702) 384-0771.

* * * * * * * *

Bye Bye Clarion Hotel

We watched on TV, in the middle of the night/early morning Monday/Tuesday, as the Clarion Hotel met its end in a loud explosions (which we heard and felt about four miles away from the site) and a huge cloud of dust. The implosion of the 45-year-old structure, a few minutes before 3 a.m., held a special meaning for us, as we worked at the property in 1986, when it was the Paddlewheel. What's next for the Convention Center Drive property, Mr. Doumani?

* * * * * * * *

Mistinguett Productions presents Tommy Ward "Baby Bublé" at the Starbright Theatre, 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd., in Sun City Summerlin, on Saturday, February 21st at 7 p.m.
Tommy Ward is a critically acclaimed 18 year-old singer, musician, and entertainer with a take on modern music that is rooted in his love and appreciation of great musicians. Tommy was first introduced to music by his percussionist Grandfather. His earliest love was Jazz and the Big Band sounds of the '30s and '40s. By 16, Tommy was a veteran entertainer performing nightly in casinos, restaurants, and galas. A soulful jazz influence meets a contemporary pop sound, anchored together by a voice that evokes an era of time gone by. Within the past few years, Tommy Ward has conquered Las Vegas stages and made a headlining name for himself in arenas generally reserved for entertainers who are generations older. Respect for the past and its legendary crooners are always present in Tommy's music and lyrics. Within the past few years, Tommy has made a headlining name for himself in arenas generally reserved for entertainers who are generations older. Respect for the past and its legendary crooners are always present in Tommy's music and lyrics. A soulful jazz influence meets a contemporary pop sound, anchored together by a voice that evokes an era of a time gone by. "Tommy is the epitome of great music. He reminds me of working with Frank in some strange way," Grammy Award-winning Producer, Quincy Jones. "It's a classic powerful sound that comes along only now and again," Jessica Moore, NBC. Tommy and his very impressive big band of musicians, bring to the music of Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, and many others...a perfect mix of music, lyric, showmanship and variety. Tommy has opened for comic legend, Louie Anderson and Frankie Moreno, and has been featured in shows with Michael Bublé, Clint Holmes, Matt Goss, Jeff Civillico, Mac King, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and cast members from The Million Dollar Quartet, Jersey Boys, Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, and Rock of Ages. In the Spring of 2014, Tommy had the opportunity to play at the Power of Love gala for Keep Memory Alive at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. That night he performed in front of record producer and music legend Quincy Jones. A month later Quincy and the Quincy Jones Production team became Tommy's management team. Tickets for Tommy Ward are $18. Call the Starbright Box Office at (702) 240-1301.

Tommy Ward

* * * * * * * *

And taking place out of town...
If you happen to be in Southern California, Eric Comstock + Barbara Fasano - Masterful. Magical. Married. - are making the American Songbook, Living. Lasting. Lovable. - in a rare visit to that part of the country The musical duo will be performing on the West Coast, Monday, February 16th at 8 p.m., and Tuesday, the 17th at 4 p.m., at Vicky's of Santa Fe, at Highway 111 and Club Drive, in Indian Wells (near Palm Springs). For reservations, call (760) 345-9770.

* * * * * * * *

Happy birthday fellow Aquarians (January 20-February 19) - Bill Maher, Paul Stanley (Kiss), Lorenzo Lamas, Stephen Michael Shearer, Mac Davis, Placido Domingo, Guy Fieri, Mariska Hargitay, Chita Rivera, Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Anita Pointer, Anita Baker, Yakov Smirnoff, Neil Diamond, Aaron Neville, Ray Stevens, Alicia Keys, Eddie Van Halen, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Wynn, Joey Fatone ('N Sync), Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys), Alan Alda, Adam Lambert, Ann Jillian, Irlene Mandrell, Harold Prince, Phil Collins, Brett Butler, Carol Channing, Johnny Rotten, Justin Timberlake, Harry Wayne Casey "KC", Don Everly, Lisa Marie Presley, Pauly Shore, Tom Smothers, Graham Nash, Shakira, Adam Ferrera, Shelley Berman, Nathan Lane, Alice Cooper, Oscar De La Hoya, Florence LaRue (Fifth Dimension), Clint Black, Bobby Brown, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Natalie Cole, Fabian, Axl Rose, Garth Brook, Miguel Ferrer, Chris Rock, Frankie Moreno, John Williams, Robert Klein, Vince Neil, Sue Lowden, Carole King, Travis Tritt, Joe Pesci, Roberta Flack, Catherine Hickland, Burt Reynolds, Kelly Rowland, Aubrey O'Day , Sergio Mendes, Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, Chynna Phillips, Lou Christie, Haylie Duff, Jerry Springer, Keith Thompson, Wyntergrace Williams, Paris Hilton, Yoko Ono, Jim Seagrave, Terry Jenkins, Walter Mason, Doug Saleeby, Pietra Sardelli, Nino Frediani, Ariann Black, Irving Benson, Ashleigh Hackett, Jim Semmelman, Marlene Ricci, Ron Andrews, Nancy Lee Parker Andrews, Cindy Raft, Martin Nievera, Eddie Foy III, Maxine Gaines, Norm Johnson, Joey Zarzecki, Phyllis McGuire, Dacoda Clayton Collins, Karen Ruivivar, Sean Grady, Ben Stone and Lin Stone.

* * * * * * * *

The Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino announces the newest casino promotion that will have one lucky MY POINTS Downtown Grand winner driving away in a brand new 2015 Audi A5 or receiving $20,000 cash. This casino promotion began on January 30th, and will continue through March 28th. All MY POINTS Downtown Grand members will receive one virtual drawing ticket for every 1,000 points earned daily. Players who earn 50 drawing tickets will receive a two-night stay during the drawing weekend. In addition, each Monday and Wednesday, players will receive 5X drawing tickets. The drawing will be held at 8 p.m. on March 28th, and winners must be present at the time of the drawing to claim his or her prize. A total of 10 winners will be selected. Each winner will choose a box to reveal their prize. Nine winners will receive $1,000 in free slot play or promotional table game chips, and one winner will receive a choice of the Audi A5 or $20,000 in cash. The Audi A5 is a German made luxury two-door coupe that's engineered to combine a sleek design and sports performance with practicality, featuring Xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED taillights, leather seating, three-zone automatic climate control, music interface with iPod® integration and more. Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is the anchor and crown jewel of Downtown3rd, the new metropolitan center of Las Vegas. The 18-story Casino Tower and 25-story Grand Tower feature 634 guest rooms ranging in size from 350 to more than 1,200 square-feet with high-definition flat- screen televisions, presidential pillow-top mattresses and high-thread-count linens, setting a new standard for luxury, sophistication and style in downtown Las Vegas. The exterior design of Downtown Grand blends multiple storefronts with a brick and granite façade, creating a series of inviting indoor/outdoor experiences. The "industrial chic" interior features the raw energy of a factory juxtaposed with ornate fixtures and canopies. Downtown Grand offers 25,000 square feet of gaming space with nearly 600 new slot machines, 30 table games and a fully featured sports book powered by William Hill. Downtown Grand boasts a variety of unique bars and restaurants, providing a wide variety of cuisines and price points. PICNIC, an urban rooftop pool experience, is Downtown Grand's signature entertainment/dining venue encompassing more than 35,000 square feet and featuring an infinity pool, full restaurant and bar, private cabanas, a fire pit and a grass seating area. Downtown3rd is just steps away from the world- famous Fremont Street Experience and The Mob Museum, within walking distance of Fremont East Entertainment District, and less than one mile from the Las Vegas Premium Outlets and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, call (702) 719-5100 or go to

* * * * * * * *

Neil Sedaka

Legendary singer, performer, producer and songwriter, Neil Sedaka, will perform at The Orleans Showroom on February 21st and 22nd. Sedaka is recognized as one of rock and pop music's legendary pioneers, with songs that continue to stand the test of time. Starting in high school, Sedaka formed a vocal group, The Tokens, which recorded two hit singles. Later Sedaka was introduced to Howard Greenfield, and together they began a successful songwriting partnership in the late 1950s, selling more than 25 million records during their 30-year collaboration. In 1958, at the age of 18, Sedaka was catapulted into stardom after Connie Francis performed his song, "Stupid Cupid." Francis then sang the theme song Sedaka and Greenfield had written for the 1960 MGM spring break movie classic, Where the Boys Are, which would end up becoming her biggest hit. Sedaka parlayed these hits into a contract with RCA as a writer and performer, and began recording his own material. Sedaka's chart-toppers included "The Diary," "Oh, Carol," "Stairway to Heaven," "Calendar Girl" and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do." In addition, Sedaka continued writing for other performers, including Tom Jones' album Puppet Man, The Fifth Dimension's album Workin' on a Groovy Thing, and The Monkees' album When Love Comes Knocking at Your Door. Later in his career, Sedaka returned to the classical roots of his early years. With original romantic lyrics written by Sedaka and set to the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky, Classically Sedaka went on to earn a gold record in Europe. Sedaka has been recognized for his musical contributions by numerous prestigious organizations including receiving recognition by the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, a street named after him in his hometown of Brooklyn, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2013, Sedaka released The Real Neil, which includes new material, along with a few classics. A documentary entitled "Neil Sedaka: King of Song," which tells the story of Sedaka's life and career, made its world premiere on BBCFour in 2014. Showtime each evening at The Orleans is at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $44.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming box office, by calling (702) 365-7075, or visiting any Boyd Box Offices.

* * * * * * * *

Barbara Cook

Neil Diamond

On approach - get your tickets early.

Barbara Cook at The Smith Center - March 13th, 14th and 15th.

Bobby Vinton at the Golden Nugget - March 20th.

Barry Manilow at the MGM Grand Garden Arena - April 10th.

Neil Diamond at the Mandalay Bay Events Center - May 17th.

* * * * * * * *

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2014 and will take place February 22nd at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. EST/01:30 UTC). During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present Academy Awards in 24 categories. The ceremony will be televised in the United States by ABC. Actor Neil Patrick Harris is scheduled to host the ceremony. Get out the popcorn.

* * * * * * * *

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