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By Dianne R. Davis
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Photo credit: Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis

Piano! Las Vegas Brings Local Pianist to the Vegas Stage

Ryan Ahern is one of those lucky people who achieved his goal, and it’s to our benefit. This 32 year old man is a “local”. Growing up in Vegas, he said his dream was, “to one day have my own show on the Strip.” He has achieved his goal with his show, Piano! Las Vegas, currently playing at the V Theater inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

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Ryan Ahern

Ahern is an international recording artist and World Champion Pianist. He is an expert at the keys with a pleasant low key personality that is sure to blossom into fuller bloom as his run continues. This is one of the rare breed of Vegas shows that is suitable and enjoyable for audience members under 18. I brought my two granddaughters, Lilah, 4 ½, and Kayla, 7, to the show, hoping they would sit through it, and perhaps even enjoy it. Kayla has just begun piano lessons and I was confident she would be impressed watching the two large screens on either side of the stage showing Ahern’s fingers moving rapidly across the keys.

I asked Kayla if she would help with the review and she conscientiously took notes - good ones at that. So, let’s take a look at what she said:

“fast hands” Absolutely. With large screens showing the fingers at work, it’s clear that this guy has fast fingers. In fact, four year old Lilah turned to me and remarked, “Look how fast his fingers are going.”
“Sparkly outfit.” Right again. Ahern first appears in the requisite sparkly jacket.

“piano shoes”
“piano socks”
“piano tie”

Well, the candelabra thing has been used and after all, ya gotta have a gimmick, right!
“curtain like stars, blinking lights. Cool stage.” Hey, it’s Vegas.
“Other instruments” Ahern is backed by six fine musicians.
“rock ‘n roll… songs he likes….sometimes sings”

Ahern’s repertoire ranges from Maroon Five’s “”This Love” and Seal’s “ Kiss from a Rose” to Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” which he sings as well as plays. He is in rare form when he presents Malaguena and Flight of the Bumblebee Boogie. His repertoire also includes Wind Beneath My Wings which he plays as scenes from Superman are show on the large screens. Scenes from ET compliment the music from that movie. Ryan does move off the piano to play the drums and even does some well-received harmonica playing for us

It’s possible that you have seen this talented pianist before. He did a three and half year run at Las Vegas’ Fremont Street Experience, His headliner show has won the hearts of millions of fans around the world with his unique piano styling in sold out showrooms, large corporate events, and headliner showrooms on eight different major cruise lines.

Ahern is a graduate of the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts and the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles. He is also a South Bay Music Awards Adult Contemporary Artist of the Year and a two-time recipient of the Crystal Piano Award, the coveted prize given to First Place winner of the International Liberace Piano Competition produced by the Liberace Foundation and Museum.

Make no mistake. This is not a glitzy large Vegas production. In fact, the production might benefit from a little more in the way of special effects or visuals on the screens as he plays. But if you see Ryan’s show – and hear it - you get what is advertised: Piano- played by a talented young man doing what he does so well, play the piano, for an audience of all ages who appreciates this type of entertainment.

Ryan Ahern delights audiences Saturdays – Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. at the V Theater inside Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Tickets start at $29.99 for general admission, $39.99 for VIP seating plus a special gift, and $12.99 for children 12 and under. For tickets call the V Theater Box Office at (866) 932-1818 or visit www.pianolasvegas.com.


Ryan Ahern

Nathan Burton Adds 2 p.m. Show & Sponsors Easter Candy Drive

“Nathan Burton Comedy Magic” will be presented twice daily, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. beginning on March 29.  According to Burton, “We are really proud to say that we have been filling the theater for our four o’clock show on a regular basis.  Because of that, we have decided to add a two o’clock show.” 

Since “Nathan Burton Comedy Magic” is a family friendly show, Burton decided that a great way to celebrate his new show would be by hosting a charity drive that will benefit families.  The Whitney Elementary School was selected as the recipient of the drive.  The families of Whitney Elementary have been hard-hit by the economy with over 250 families now homeless.  The majority of these families have lost their homes due foreclosure and are living in low rate hotels near the school.

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"Nathan Burton Comedy Magic" will offer free general admission tickets to the 2:00 p.m. shows from March 29, 2011 through April 10, 2011 with the donation of Easter candy or canned goods.  Simply bring your donation of Easter candy or canned goods to the front of Flamingo showroom between 1:15 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to receive your tickets for that day's 2:00 p.m. performance. This
fundraiser will run from March 29th to April 10th .

Nathan Burton will donate all goods and goodies collected to the families of Whitney Elementary School.  Burton hopes families will bring both the goodies – candy for Easter- and the goods – canned goods to help families with meals. "Nathan Burton Comedy Magic" is appropriate for children and adults alike. But don’t be fooled.  It’s not a kiddie show. This 1 hour and 15 minute show incorporates Nathan's hilarious illusions, dazzling showgirls, mind-blowing guest acts, and fun for the whole family. And this audience-friendly entertainer is usually outside the theater following performances to pose for photos and say thanks for coming.

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Nathan is in his third smash year of performances at the Flamingo Las Vegas.  "Nathan Burton Comedy Magic" plays Tuesday through Sunday in the same showroom as "Donny and Marie."  The fundraiser is valid for the 2 p.m. performances only.  Ticket prices range from $34 to $44 (plus tax and fees). Tickets for Nathan Burton Comedy Magic are on sale now at the Flamingo Box Office, by phone at 702-733-3333 or 1-800-221-7299, or online at https://harrahs-web.vegas.com/flamingo/flamingo_nathanburton.html

This is a great way to give to families in need while giving your family with a free afternoon of fun at "Nathan Burton Comedy Magic."  Just don't bring any live Easter bunnies!  We're not that kind of magic show!

Angel Porrino is PeepShow’s Bo Peep til April 3

Meet Angel Following Show

While Holly Madison vacations until April 3, her BFF (Best Female Friend), housemate, and one time personal assistant is filling in for Holly in the role of Bo Peep, the lead in the spectacular PEEPSHOW at Planet Hollywood. Playboy called PEEPSHOW “Sin City’s sexiest burlesque act.”  Check out the show and you’ll see a lot of Angel-- in more ways than one.

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Angel Porrino
Photo credit: Shane O'Neal

In the show, the adorable, sexy Bo Peep searches for real love and discovers her own sexuality.  What about Angel? With a name like, we had to wonder, just how heavenly is this 21 year old gorgeous, talented Las Vegas native who has become a TV personality through her role on “Girl’s Next Door” and E! Entertainment’s “Holly’s World”.

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Angel Porrino in 'Peep Show'
Photo credit: Denise Truscello/Wire Image

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Angel Porrino in 'Peep Show'
Photo credit: Denise Truscello/Wire Image

We caught up with Angel long enough to get the answers to a few questions.

Here’s what we found out -

DD:  You filled in for Holly last fall.  What did you learn from that experience and are there aspects which you have changed this time around?
AP: Nothing has really changed, but my confidence goes up every show!!

DD: What challenges are there for you performing in a production of this size? (Wardrobe changes, large amount of stage time, Keeping the “high”, etc.)
AP:  I've had a couple of wardrobe malfunctions due to quick changes but I've been performing since I was two and  you learn that the show must go on...you deal with it as it comes and don't pay attention to it!

DD:.  What is your favorite scene in the show?
AP:    My favorite part of the show is the last two numbers because those are the ones I get to dance the most in!!

DD:  Do you try to mirror Holly’s creation of the role or bring a new interpretation to it?

AP:  It’s hard to not mimic what you've seen done SO many times, but I do my absolute best to make the Bo Peep character my own! I add things here and there - dance moves, shimmies & shakes, little one liners etc...It’s always an experiment!!

DD:  How are you doing at balancing your life right now with your beautiful little son Roman and your growing career?
AP:  Being a single mom is no small task, but luckily I have my parents here in Vegas and they help me out a lot. I have Roman all day then before I go to do Peep, I drop him off with my mom for a couple of hours. My mom and Roman are close so he loves it.  

DD:  What do you want your fans to know about you?
There's so much that I want people to know about me that they don't, but I wouldn't even know where to start. I'm just myself and I keep it real across the board. There's no other way to be!

DD:  And while we’re at it, what would you like to tell them about Holly?
AP: Holly is hands down my best friend!  She's such a beautiful person inside and out and I don't know what I would do without her! She's the reason I am where I am today and I am beyond grateful! She's my mentor, my big sister, my best friend and much more!

DD:   Where do you see yourself going from here?
AP:  I see big things for myself, but it's in God's hands. I'm taking everything one day at a time and walking thru any doors that open up as the come to me. You'll be seeing a lot more of me though, that I can guarantee!

Well, that’s a lot more than we knew before about PEEPSHOW’S own Angel. Check her out from now through April 3.  And don’t forget, you’ll get a free upgrade and have a chance to meet Porrino in person at a post-show meet & greet following PEEPSHOW. PEEPSHOW performs Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., with no show on Wednesday. Tickets can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit LasVegasPeepshow.com.

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