THREE TENORS, AVENUE Q &
This was a busy week for some of us in the media. First there was the "Avenue Q" press conference at Wynn Las Vegas. Then there was a meeting with the Pacific Records Jazz Festival people and, the best part of all was watching and listening to a special group of local singers at the Stirling Club inside Turnberry Towers. Oh, yeah, they're known as the "Three Tenors."
I thought I would start out with the "Tenors," who I must say is a wonderful group of men who, independently are most talented. Combined they are without a peer group (except for the real three tenors).
Kelly Clinton is the lady in charge of bringing various entertainers to the Stirling Club and has done a terrific job. She also hosts the Celebrity Karaoke on Monday nights at the Bootlegger.
Bill Fayne, who brought the group together, is Clint Holmes' buddy and conductor at Harrah's on the Strip. If you've seen that show then you know just how talented Fayne is as a musician, conductor and of course as a singer. Mark Giovi, who works in a show at the Stratosphere Hotel and, Ted Davey, who performs in the show "Ba Da Bing" comprised the group I saw the other evening.
"We'll probably have to change the name to the 'Four Tenors' when Bobby Black gets back from working on a cruise ship," Fayne commented.
All three singers performed individually and as a group: "La Donna Mobile", "Let the Good Times Roll" and "My Way" were just few of the numbers performed as a group. Bill sang "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot and "Unchanged Melody" but the big hit was when he did the entire score of "The Soliloquy" from Carousel. That brought the filled to the rafter's crowd to their feet with a continuous standing ovation. Mark performed a brilliant "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables followed by a fabulous "Bed of Roses" by Bon Jovi. Ted sang "Vesti La Giubba" from Pagliacci as well as John Groban's "You Raise Me Up." All toll the three super entertainers performed for over two-hours with not one person leaving the room. That's how much the crowd appreciated what they heard.
The Bootlegger shows have all been SRO crowds the last three times, with a waiting list already forming for its next un-announced show. Plans call for them to return to the Stirling Club as well as the Bootlegger in September. Watch this space for other venue announcements. Damn, they are great!
As written in last weeks column, the Toni Award winning Broadway show "Avenue Q" opens its preview run beginning August 27 in its own theatre, inside Wynn Las Vegas. Steve Wynn was personally on hand to make the official announcement along with his wife Elaine. Tickets for this very unusual show are priced at $88 to $99 including tax. One thing the producer and Wynn agreed on right-off-the-bat was that the show would run just as it does on Broadway, nearly two-hours with a 15 minute intermission.
"We (Elaine) looked high and low for just the right show to bring into our hotel," Wynn said during the announcement. "When I was in New York on a different matter I went with some friends to see 'Avenue Q' and was blown away. I called Elaine and told her we had found the show. A couple of weeks later we (Elaine) saw it again and began negotiations.
"And now it's ours!" the man, who began his climb to the top of the ladder at the old Golden Nugget downtown in the mid-seventies, smiled. "The quest is over."
The Broadway Theatre was specially designed by Marnell Architecture and seats 1,200, with no seat further than 88 feet from the stage.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY: The lineup for the first Newport Pacific Records "Jazz at the Highlands" has been finalized for the two nights of great entertainment at the DrangonRidge Country Club Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27-28. Topping the list of "A" class entertainers is the Number One Jazz guitarist Nils, who has the chart topper "Pacific Coast Highway" to his recent credits. Devoted Spirits with the original Earth, Wind & Fire members Larry Dunn, Morris Pleasure and Sheldon Reynolds will perform a tribute to the group. Susan Anton, who this writer has reviewed many times, will be on hand as will Rick Latham and the Groove Doctors. Other performing during the two evenings include the Larry White Band, guitarist Doug MacDonald, David Van Such, Len Levine and Jump, Jive & Wail, John Nasshan's Quintessence, Rick Arroyo and the Latin Percussion Ensemble, singer / songwriter Shelley Fisher, songstress Shelly Taylor, Motown natives The Brothers Ali, piano twins Mark & Clark, local 11-year old Malia Civetz plus a possible surprise guest artist or two. There will also be guest appearances by radio personalities from both The Oasis and KUNV. Sharon Osbourne will be on hand with a friend or two so I've been told. One hundred percent of ticket sales on Saturday and Sunday will go directly to the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra respectively. Showtimes are at 5:00 to 6:45 pm. at the outdoor Stage One, with Stage Two set to begin at 7:00 pm. There will also be a fine arts display in a special area of the club property along with various other tent venues. Tickets may be obtained via the festival website: www.newportpacificjazzfestival.com... Robert Goulet and Tony Orlando (not at same time) took a recent tour of Trump International Hotel & Tower with Trump friend and partner Jack Wishna... The Las Vegas Lions Club will hold its annual "The Eye Ball" on Saturday, Aug. 27th in the Arizona Ballroom at the Gold Coast to benefit its SightFirst Campaign. Donation is $60.00... Local resident Kim Bland won "The Great Condo Giveaway" by Club Renaissance condominium skyscraper being built downtown...
Well, gang, that's about it for this week.