I’m back from a two week trip to Michigan and then an unexpected 3 day trip to Palm Springs. Nothing to report from Michigan – it was too cold and snowy to venture out and explore any entertainment venues. There are a couple stories below from Palm Springs:

Torme’s – Mel Torme’s daughter Melissa and her husband recently bought the popular Italian restaurant in Palm Springs formerly known as Tony’s Pasta Mia. Tony’s had been a landmark in the city for over 25 years with great home-cooked Italian food (I LOVED their meatballs). Melissa and her husband remodeled the interior and changed the menu and the official name is Torme’s Jazz Bar and Restaurant. They have live entertainment nightly and it is a great place to hang out for dinner and enjoy live musicians and vocals. They are closed on Monday nights and you can check out their menu online at www.tormespalmsprings.com


Gateway Foundation Scholarship Winners – Last week, I was invited to attend the awards program for the non profit group Gateway Arts Foundation. This was their second year of recognizing amazing local youth talent and awarding scholarships. Last year they gave out five, one thousand dollar scholarships and this year they gave out seven, one thousand dollar scholarships. I was totally speechless to see the level of talent that this group of students have! Gateway awards the money to the student’s music teacher; that way the student is guaranteed to be able to continue with their private lessons. All of the events which Gateway sponsors throughout the year (which I frequently write here), the monies benefit the scholarship fund for local Las Vegas youth talent. Please support this amazing organization by attending their events. Check out www.gatewayartsfoundation.org AND now, here are this year’s scholarship winners:

  • Jillian Johnson 12 years old Violin
  • Anna-Marie Brim 13 years old Cello
  • Daniel Werth 12 years old Piano / Composer
  • Artem Alexanyan 15 years old Piano
  • Alex Prandecki 17 years old Singer
  • Lindsay Johnson 19 years old Cello
  • Jay Ahn-Benton 19 years old Piano / Composer

Be sure to check out Alex’s performance on February 24 at Suncoast Casino for their weekly variety show. Here are a couple pictures of the kids.

(From Right to Left – Jillian, Alex, Daniel, Anna-Marie, Artem, Lindsay, Jay)

(Jay at piano)

David Copperfield – I saw David Copperfield last week at the MGM and his show is absolutely spectacular. I saw him about 20 years ago in the old showroom at Caesar’s Palace and I had a front row seat – so close that his sweat was hitting our table – and even at that close of a distance I could not see how he did those illusions. His current show is truly an audience participation event. Almost every illusion includes several people from the audience to partake in some form or another with him. I really like shows when the audience is involved because that is a great story for those people to take back home with them – “I was onstage and helped David Copperfield.” He even makes a car appear onstage while two audience members are holding empty pillars and then the car instantly appears sitting on those same pillars above these guy’s heads! This is a must see show!

Funny Bones Fundraiser – It was a star studded backstage experience a week ago for the 2nd Annual Funny Bones Comedy Club Foundation Fundraising event at the Palms Casino. All money raised was donated to animal charities. The event was produced and hosted by legendary comedian Sammy Shore. The three hour non-stop line-up of the best entertainers included: Event Co-host Bobby Slayton, Vinnie Favorito, George Wallace, Kenny Kerr, Sammy’s son – actor Pauly Shore, Dennis Blair, Geechy Guy, James P. Connolly, Doug Starks – Sammy Davis impersonator in Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack, Catherine Hickland, Louie Anderson, Fielding West, Dominic Allen, and a special appearance by Gilbert Gotfried.I might have missed someone too, because after three hours I started to lose track. The event was a huge success and raised ten’s of thousands of dollars for our four-legged friends. Here I am backstage with Sammy Shore.

Breck Wall Memorial – The memorial celebration to honor the life and comedy of legendary Las Vegas Producer / Entertainer will be Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 3pm in the showroom at Southpoint Casino. There is a wonderful of line-up of speakers and entertainers who will be remembering their funny memories of Breck. After the event at Southpoint, there will be a $25 buffet dinner at The Bootlegger for those who wish to continue the memories and entertainment. Please RSVP if you plan on attending due to limited seating in the Southpoint Showroomwww.BreckWallTribute.com

Earl Turner – Las Vegas favorite Earl Turner will bring his live stage show to the Suncoast Casino Showroom on February 19 and 20. This show will include a special tribute to the music of Lou Rawls. Earl is one of Las Vegas’ best musical entertainers and many of you know him from his numerous shows around town. Make sure to get to Suncoast for one of these two performances. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $15.95, plus tax and convenience fees and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 702.636.7075 or visiting www.suncoastcasino.com.Save on convenience fees by purchasing the tickets in person at any Coast Casino property.