Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis
Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz Provides Needed Venue in Vegas.
Clint Holmes Shines in Monthly Shows. Each Show is Unique. Next Show on Friday Oct 5
The Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz Theater's literature declares that, “Cabaret Jazz is where an urban jazz club meets an elegant cabaret in a room made for live music.” I've been there twice. I love it. I enjoyed a performance by Pia Zadora and returned to hear the outstanding vocals of the talented Clint Holmes.
The question: How is the venue? The answer: Excellent. The 258 seat two story room appears sparse with its bare floors, raised tables, and chairs. But the acoustics are first class and the entertainment is excellent. And you can even order a light dinner or “small bites.” Clint Holmes, the resident headliner has committed to one weekend each month.
Smith Center President Myron Martin and Holmes discussed his residency during a special Q & A in the Jazz Center. Martin, a long time friend of Clint's, is to be congratulated for pinning Clint down to this arrangement.
Clint is the consummate performer and has never been better. Here's a guy who has showcased his talents in venues like New York's Feinstein's and Cafe Carlyle and in 1,000 plus seat theaters. He promised a new show each month and has honored that promise. That means his fans can return to hear new numbers on a regular basis. Clint did a salute to Bobby Short whose home base was the Cafe Carlyle and did a show spotlighting Gershwin's songbook. Then there was “Songs you would want on a dessert island.” Then Cole Porter tunes. In addition, Clint shares the stage with people like his talented wife Kelly Clinton Holmes and the renown Deniece Williams.
When the lights dim in the Cabaret Jazz Theater at the Smith Center, the magic begins. The venue suits Clint. He is an outstanding vocalist, a mesmerizing singer, a true showman who interacts with the audience. Yes, Clint Holmes could fill a larger theater and belt out the songs, but this room gives the audience much more of a feeling of intimacy. It is to your advantage to catch his act in a venue that feels up close and personal. Clint Holmes brings his sophisticated talent to the Smith Center's Cabaret Jazz Room on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.
Pia Zadora's show was another excellent choice and evidence that the powers that be know just what kind of base they are building. Her name may have been one of the jokes of the trade long ago, but this diminutive lady has a voice and stage presence that equals the best of them. Her performance included standards like “Start All Over Again” and ”Who Knows Where or When.” She used her stage presence to full advantage as she recounted her life history on and off stage dropping a few good names like Frank Sinatra (she opened for him) and bringing us up to date with charm and music. Look for this talented performer to do more shows in Vegas.
Visit the Cabaret Jazz Room at the Smith Center for one of Clint's memorable performances or one of the other outstanding shows. October's schedule includes Doc Severinsen & The San Miguel Five, An Evening with Christine Ebersole, Laura Taylor, and John Pizzarelli, For more information, call 702 749 2000.
Fright Dome at Circus Circus is a Scary Good Time!
I loved the Fright Dome at Circus Circus. I'm of retirement age, but fun loving with a young spirit, so when Judy Thorburn asked if I wanted to write about the Fright Dome at the Adventuredome at Circus Circus again this year, I didn't hesitate.
I knew that the crowds were thick last year and that I might get bumped by young people racing past me to the next scare. But I remembered that it was fun. Well, this year the crowds were thick again on opening night, The place is dark and smoky in keeping with the atmosphere of the attractions and yes, I did get bumped a few times by the exuberant young people racing around in the semi darkness. But no big deal.
Admittedly, there are sometimes privileges for the press. We did not have to wait in the lines for the haunted houses. Good thing.
So the question is, was it worth it? Yes. The Fright Dome is even better than it was last year. The partnership with iconic horror film producer and zombie expert George A. Romero (Night of The Living Dead) has taken the attractions up a notch on this the tenth anniversary year. According to Romero, “It's been fun to scare people on the big screen all these years, now I get to do it with the real deal!”
The zombie themed haunted house, appropriately named “Ward of the Dead” immerses guests in a real life zombie apocalypse. You've got to fight off the zombies as you make your way through. Look out, they're jumping out at you from every one of the many twists and turns. There's just enough light to allow you to appreciate their ghoulish features. Not to worry, no touching either way. Unfortunately, the only images I've come away with from the haunts are those in my mind. No cameras in the Zombie house, or any of the others for that matter.
“The Infected” is a zombie quarantine area. The nurse who guided us through cautioned us to stay clear of the inhabitants lest they lunch on us, in us, well, you get the picture.
“Camp Massacre” is a twisted, chainsaw-ridden summer camp. You wouldn't want to invite those kids over to play.
Two other horror houses provide enough scares to last the year. While each of these attractions requires a wait in line, just walking around is a thrill in itself as ghoulish cast members roam the hall scaring one and all (and posing for photos if you aren't too frighted to ask.) It's dark, it's loud, it's fog filled. The strobes and multi-colored lasers create five acres of fright.
I made some new friends.
Along the way, there are gruesome side shows going on.
On opening night we got to say hi to the one and only Elvira.
Fright Dome is open from 7 p.m. to midnight through October 31 on select nights. General admission tickets are $37.95 and fast pass tickets are available for an additional $15 allowing express line entry for all five haunted houses. Kids under 12 not allowed. I recommend the Fright Dome for a good scary time.
Erotic Heritage Museum Announces October Programs
No, this isn't a joke. Where else but Las Vegas would you find an erotic museum? Here's a sample of the October programs.
On October 13, from 8 p.m. To midnight, the public is invited to the celebration of the winning films from the Inaugural Erotikos Film Festival that was held this past September at Hedonism Resort in Negril, Jamaica. The films are being inducted into the Erotic Heritage Museum where they will be forever enshrined.
There will be music, a cash bar and an induction ceremony for the EFF winning films. The films will be show in the museum's movie theater throughout the evening. A $5 minimum donation is suggested for the Museum.
The next day, Sunday, October 14, from 12 noon to 1 p.m.,you can enjoy a complimentary introduction to Tantra with Laurie Handlers.
According to the literature, “Tantra is an ancient form of Yoga and is unlike most forms of Yoga today. It is non-postural yet it activates, clears and balances the energy centers of the body. When these centers are balanced, you feel more alive; you look more attractive and sexy, you manifest what you desire.” Laurie Handlers www.ButterflyWorkshops.com is a sex educator, author, film producer and intimacy coach.