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egas! The Show” now playing inside the new Saxe Theatre in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood is a musical extravaganza that pays tribute to the entertainment that made Las Vegas great. Producer, David Saxe is a native of Las Vegas. David was born into a family of entertainers and has been producing shows in Las Vegas and has always been great at finding good talent, but he outdid himself with this production. Vegas! The Show is Vintage Las Vegas at its best.
I was extremely surprised to see how great this show was and the caliber of performers. Unfortunately, in these times with the economy being so bad, and shows being cancelled, many great performers may be out of work. Thus, many top notch headline performers are in the show. The singers, Reva Rice, Gabriel Burrafato, and Eric Jordan Young are extremely talented, the dancers and choreography, outstanding, the specialty acts, sets and costumes are all exceptional. Two Show Stoppers captivated the audience. Identical twin tap dancers, Sean & John Scott make you think of the STEP BROTHERS who were the very greatest of tap dancers. An amazing magician, Joseph Gabriel performed mind-blowing magic. Another plus is the 11-piece band, under the direction of Jerry Lopez and musical director, Pat Caddick. Imagine! Live musicians—rarely is that seen anymore, and it really makes a difference.
All this makes for a very fine production for all ages to see. Especially those people who remember the talents, and glamour of going to a Las Vegas show of yesteryear wearing gowns, jewels, furs and men wearing tuxedos.
By the way, Vegas! The Show segments appeared on the Jerry Lewis Telethon.
[Editor’s note: KSNV is reporting that locals get a 50 percent discount on tickets through the end of September. Watch the KSNV news story on YouTube.com]
Penn Jillette, the outspoken half of the comedy-magic duo Penn & Teller, sheared 10 inches of his signature ponytail with the help of his devious cohort Teller to benefit Locks of Love at the RIO Spa at the RIO Hotel & Casino. It has been noted that Penn has been sporting the look for almost 25 years, and while he has not had it insured like other stars and their famed attributes, the locks were considered priceless
Just saw Shecky Greene at his closing night performance at the SOUTHPOINT CASINO. To an audience of packed fans, he proclaimed that now at age 84, this was his last performance. And what a performance he gave! He is as good as ever and hopefully we will see more of his remarkable talents.
Here are some facts about his life as a performer. Shecky Greene began his show business career nearly fifty years ago. This was his second choice of career following a Navy discharge in 1944 after three years of service aboard an aircraft carrier based in the Pacific. He had originally planned to become a gym teacher and he took a summer job at a resort that paid $20 a week with a fancy title of ‘Social Director.’ He would get up and tell a few jokes, do pratfalls and whatever came to mind, and got a few laughs. He then went to college and kept doing club dates and put together an act.
In the late ’40s a mutual friend recommended him to a club owner in New Orleans who was in desperate need of a comedian. Shecky had a contract for two weeks and stayed three years. He eventually wound up owning a share of that club, called Prevue, and planned to settle permanently in New Orleans. Then the club burned down, so he went back to Chicago and Wright Jr. College.
He was in the dorm one night when Martha Raye called from Miami and asked him to play her Club. He quit school again when they held him over for six weeks. He was only 25 years old, making $500 a week. But his money went to betting on Horses!
When the Golden Hotel in Reno offered him over a $1,000 a week, Shecky went out West. The owners tore up his four week contract on opening night and made him a deal which insured him $20,000 a year. Although he was making good money, Shecky’s money now went to the Crap Tables.
Those were the days headliners like Joe E. Lewis, Sophie Tucker, Harry Richman and Ted Lewis were making salaries as high as $15,000 a week in Nevada Casinos and Shecky signed with the Last Frontier, one of the hottest casinos in town at that time. His original four-week engagement in the main showroom was extended to 16 weeks. The Riviera and New Frontier Hotel made Shecky an offer he could not refuse. He would play both hotels over a period of three years at a salary which would eventually total $3,500 a week. Great money, but Shecky added Alcohol to his love of Craps and Horses.
The Tropicana offered him a deal which included five points in the hotel or $5,000 a week salary. Shecky chose the cash and says it was the biggest mistake of his life. By that time he was the biggest name in Lounge entertainment in Nevada. Films, Game Shows, hosting TV shows have all been part of his remarkable talents. Shecky Greene has won numerous awards for “Best Comedian.”
TITANIC: The Artifact Exhibition Twenty-five years after the wreckage of the most infamous ship was discovered at the bottom of the North Atlantic, the voyage of RMS Titanic is revived through passenger stories, elaborate room recreations and authentic artifacts respectfully presented in Las Vegas at the LUXOR. Throughout the month of September, the Exhibition is giving guests a chance to rediscover the fateful journey of Titanic’s maiden voyage and put the findings to the test in a trivia challenge.
Remaining a mystery to scientists and historians for 73 years, the wreckage was finally discovered 2.5 miles down in the dark waters off the coast of Newfoundland on September 1, 1985. To celebrate this milestone, guests can learn more about the Ship’s secrets and treasures by reading information displayed throughout the Exhibition galleries and answering trivia questions on a scratch-off card. Guests who answer all questions correctly can return the card to the gift shop for a Titanic keepsake and to be entered to win a grand prize.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the LUXOR provides guests with the opportunity to become a passenger as they move through expanded Exhibition galleries and view more than 20 never-before-seen authentic artifacts including gaming chips, passenger personal papers and decorative sections from Titanic’s famed Grand Staircase. Experience the Ship’s historical journey in chronological order: from the construction yards, her launch, first and third class room recreations, the Promenade Deck, the Grand Staircase, the fated sinking, to modern day recovery efforts.
Scratch-off cards and gifts available while supplies last. Tickets to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition are available at the Luxor box office or by visiting www.titanictickets.com. Ticket prices are $27 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for children 4–12 years of age. The Exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with last admission at 9 p.m.
The most breathtaking part of “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” on display at the Luxor in Las Vegas through 2018, is a piece of the hull simply called “the big piece.&rldquo; Measuring more than 26 feet and weighing 15 tons, it’s the largest piece of the Titanic wreck recovered to date. This photo doesn’t do its magnitude justice. It's truly awe-inspiring. Amy Robinson, Charleston Gazette
“NUNSENSE,” the international hit musical comedy celebrating its 25th anniversary, is coming to the HILTON’s Shimmer Cabaret starting Sept. 15. A hysterically funny show about a group of nuns putting on a fundraiser has entertained people around the world. After it’s record-breaking, 10-year run in New York, Dan Goggin’s musical comedy has been presented in more than 8,000 productions. A guaranteed laugh riot, you will be rolling in the aisles from this outrageously farcical, side-splitting show.
“Nunsense” is comprised of an outstanding cast of the most talented musical comedy actresses in Las Vegas. They are: Diane Ellis, Michelle Johnson, Janien Valentine, Kelly Clinton-Holmes, Robin Berry Vincent, Kathryn Arianoff, Natalie Carson These exceptional actresses are all under the talented direction of award-winning, director-choreographer, Nancy Gregory. A former professional ballerina, Gregory has directed, written and choreographed everything from more than 40 television specials, to dozens of films, music videos and commercials, to three Super Bowls. The “Nunsense” production team includes Stuart Ditsky & Adam Ditsky, who are currently producing “The Addams Family” musical on Broadway, and veteran producer Jay Harvey.
Shows are daily at 4 p.m. (dark Tuesday). Tickets start at $39 (plus tax and service charge). Enjoy the Sisters for all the hand-clapping, foot-tapping, belly-laughing, singing and dancing joy.
Famed magician Dirk Arthur debuts his new show at O’Sheas Casino on Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, at 7 p.m. You can get an up-close, in-your-face look at a majestic cast of exotic cats and be amazed by never-before-seen illusions. Promising fast-paced excitement and spectacular illusions, Dirk Arthur’s Wild Magic is a high-energy show that blends comedy, dance, magic and a rare opportunity to see the largest collection of awe-inspiring large, exotic cats in Las Vegas. Audiences can experience the uncaged animals from as close as 10 feet away and no farther than 40 feet away.
One of my favorites, infamous celebrity roaster and sharp-tongued comedian Vinnie Favorito is keeping his edgy style and impromptu, comedy genius at the FLAMINGO for an additional six years after the end of his current contract which runs until 2011. Known nationwide for his masterful ability to improvise and crack off-the-cuff jokes, Favorito will continue his run in Bugsy’s Cabaret at Flamingo through 2017. Vinnie Favorito has been making audiences laugh in Las Vegas for more than a decade. He recently marked his fifth year anniversary and 3,000th performance with Harrah’s Entertainment. Over the years, the comic has roasted many well-known celebrities including Tom Arnold, Larry King, Jerry Springer, Magic Johnson and Pat O’Brien, earning him the well-deserved reputation in Hollywood for being among the best celebrity roasters.
Favorito’s comedy genius plays on current events and preys on the audience. With no pre-planned skits or notes, Favorito relies on his stellar memory and quick wit to keep the show going and the audience roaring with laughter. Each audience member provides potential comedy fodder. Vinnie’s shows are never the same, yet they each result in the same hysterical laughter. Favorito performs inside Bugsy’s Cabaret at Flamingo Las Vegas nightly at 8 p.m. Tickets are $54.95 or VIP $65.95 (all inclusive).
Just in time for the start of the professional and college football season, the M Resort’s Vig Deli and 32° Draft Bar will hold a special grand re-opening on Thursday, September 9 from 5 to 7 pm to celebrate the expansion of both venues and a new menu in Vig Deli. Between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. guests can enjoy $2 Miller and Coors draft pints and receive complimentary tasting cards to sample some of the 96 coldest beers on tap at 32° Draft Bar. KKLZ 96.3 on-air morning personality Mike O’Brian and the Miller Girls will be on-hand to welcome guests and handout giveaways. Open 24 hours.
Not to be out-done, the near-by Vig Deli is designed with the consummate bettor and sports buff in mind. The Vig offers views of the sports book screens and walls covered with some of the greatest sporting lists from Triple Crown winners to football’s elite. The Vig offers a classic menu of made-to-order deli favorites including the Club Sandwich, Philly Cheesesteak, Grilled Chicken Pita Wrap and Slice of Pizza. Vig Deli is open Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 a.m. and Saturday–Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 a.m.
THE LAS VEGAS EPICUREAN AFFAIR is open to the public and will be held Thursday, September 9, 2010 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at The Pools at THE PALAZZO. Founded in 1982, the Nevada Restaurant Association is the leading business association serving the needs of food service operators in Nevada. As an affiliate of the National Restaurant Association, and together with the NvRA Educational Foundation, the Association’s mission is to promote, protect and educate the restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 5,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets employing more than 150,000 people. General admission tickets are $100 each. VIP tickets are available at $150 per person for early admission at 6:00 p.m. To purchase tickets visit any Venetian or Palazzo box office or call (702) 414-9000.
FREE BEER: Club Fortune Casino continues to offer locals a variety of weekend entertainment. Audiences can enjoy music from various genres with a different band each Friday night. For the month of September, Club Fortune Casino will feature Monday Night Mayhem from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for football fans around the valley. Players club members will receive free Budweiser and Bud Light draft beer.
A FUN NIGHT WITH GOOD FOOD FOR A GOOD CAUSE. In celebration of Restaurant Week, Chef Kerry Simon hosted an event at KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers at HARRAH’s Las Vegas raising profits for Three Square. The soiree hosted a packed house, raising enough money to provide 2,343 meals to locals who look to Three Square for assistance. Rock ’n’ roll Chef Simon mingled with guests as they sampled his Iron Chef sliders, popcorn shrimp, BLT chicken sliders, Captain Crunch milkshakes, cotton candy, assorted cupcakes and specialty cocktails, among other offerings. The evening wrapped up with a raffle with great items with all the money going directly to local charity of Three Square.
And, another great cause was benefited when Rock & Rita’s joined forces with American Cancer Society’s Young Professionals Against Cancer and the world’s top flair bartenders to “Flair for the Cure.” The brand-new “Great American Party” dining and entertainment venue at Circus Circus put on a live bartender auction, featuring the talents of twelve of the highest ranked flair bartenders from across the country, raising $6,387 for the organization. Several Las Vegas entertainers came out to walk the red carpet and show their support including Lorena Peril and the cast of FANTASY, Thunder From Down Under, Recycled Percussion and New York-New York spokesperson Vinny. Reigning Mrs. Nevada Susie Monahan emceed the event, which showcased amazing bartenders who put their skills on the line to raise money for the fight against cancer. Each “flairtender” flipped, spun, juggled, balanced and even danced, to create crazy concoctions which were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Prize packages included hotel, show and dinner packages to some of the Strip’s best hotspots, autographed UFC memorabilia and two electric guitars. I was there and it is amazing to see these bartenders flair.
NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO listeners and members have the rare chance to support public radio and experience the wonder and majesty of Disney’s The Lion King for one special performance on September 25 at 8 p.m. The Lion King is a breathtaking adventure that stretches the boundaries of Broadway, from the heart of Africa to the plains of your imagination. Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life by an enormous company of international performers, whose detailed costumes, carved masks, and intricate makeup will transport you to the gorgeous vistas of the African savanna. The critically acclaimed production includes a powerful musical score with music from Tim Rice and Elton John.
Current Nevada Public Radio members and listeners may purchase multiple tickets at the special price of $75 for Tier II seating or $50 for Tier III seating. The special pricing equates to saving of $50 to $58 off regularly priced tickets. Tickets must be picked up at the will-call and may not be resold. To purchase tickets, visit www.knpr.org, www.classical897.org or call (702) 258-9895 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. All proceeds benefit Nevada Public Radio.
The VILLAGE LAKE LAS VEGAS and the Fern Adair Conservatory of the Arts invite guests to enjoy a production of “Willy Wonka Jr.” based off of the popular book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on September 11 and 12 at 4 p.m. The Fern Adair Conservatory of the Arts opened in 1974 and has become the largest school of the arts in the state of Nevada. Guests are encouraged to bring a low-back chair to the performance. The stage will be located near the gazebo on the platform in front of Sonrisa Grill. The Village is at 15 Costa di Lago, Henderson, NV 89011.