Photo credit: Dianne R. Davis or Burton Davis unless otherwise noted.
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party Returns to LV Sept 21 & 22
What a great night I had at the very first Cast Party in Las Vegas in August. Jim Caruso invited me to attend and I’m delighted that I was there for the first of what will hopefully be a monthly event in Las Vegas.
It’s called Jim Caruso’s Cast Party and it includes cast members from some of Las Vegas’s best shows in a setting meant to be more like a party in someone’s living room. You know - the kind where the talented party goers get up and stand by the piano and sing or tell jokes.
This is a party you’ll want to be a part of, a chance for locals and visitors to catch some of the best entertainers in town doing what they do best - and loving it. Jim Caruso is bringing his famous Cast Party back to town for two great nights, Wednesday, September 21 and Thursday, September 22. You don’t have to fight strip traffic as the party happens at the Alexis Park All-Suite Resort. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m. Why so late? So these great performers can finish their shows and hop on over for some fun at the party.
You can't go wrong with Billy Stritch at the piano and Jim Caruso at the mic
Piano player extrordinare Billy Stritch will be back to accompany the performers. Jim Caruso will be doing his magic at the mic. This is a time for cast members and musicians from Las Vegas to hang out, meet each other, and share social time before and after the show, which is what makes it a Cast Party. And the audience reaps the reward - great performances.
Thank you Jim – and thanks to Tiger Martina (Director and Choreographer of Vegas! The Show), I can say I was there at the beginning of a new Vegas tradition. Wow! What a line up it was.
Entertainers included familiar name entertainers and cast members from Vegas! The Show, Jersey Boys, and The Lion King. Let’s name a few that were there those two first nights: Reva Rice, Eric Jordan Young, Deven May, Clint Holmes, Mimi Hines, Frank Moreno, Kelly Clinton Holmes. There were many whose names were not familiar to me – yet. I know I’ll be seeing them under the lights with their names in lights in the future. This show will soon have a waiting list of performers who want to be part of the party – The Cast Party.
I met Dennis Ritz who is producing the Cast Party at the Alexis Park. “There is nowhere in Las Vegas where there is so much first tier entertainment as at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party,” he said, “and the price is definitely right” he continued, “imagine, three or more hours of star-quality entertainment for only $35 in advance or $40 at the door.”
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party in New York has been dubbed “an extreme open mic” by ABC-TV, “the gold standard of open mics” by The Wall Street Journal, and “the place to be for those with songs on their lips” by The New York Times. Now in it’s 8th year, and selling out every Monday night at Birdland in Manhattan, Cast Party participants represent all aspects of the entertainment industry. Singers from the Las Vegas strip, Broadway, the concert stage, TV and recordings are most prevalent, but there are also magicians, comedians and instrumentalists taking the stage.
Jim Caruso is a delight playing host to the entertainers, sharing light-hearted patter with Billy and creating that fun-in-the- living-room feeling. Jim made his Broadway debut in the Tony-winning Liza’s At The Palace. Musical director/accompanist Billy Stritch is a Grammy-winning composer who can play a tune and carry a tune as well.
Talented locals are encouraged to come down to the Alexis and perform. To participate in Cast Party, plan on arriving at 9 pm to sign-up and bring along sheet music for upbeat songs in the correct key.
The Alexis Park All-Suite Resort is offering food and beverage table service as well. The Alexis Park Master Chef, Joseph Rawls, has created a late-supper menu especially for Cast Party, serving from 9:00 pm until 2:00 am. Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com, or by calling 1-800-838-3006 anytime, 24/7. All major credit cards and debit cards are accepted. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Doors open at 9 pm, Cast Party starts at 10 pm until 1:00 am, and guests are welcome to continue partying until 2:00 am. Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a Dennis Ritz Presents entertainment event. So whether you are a performer or a spectator, plan to come on down and join the party. You never know who’ll show up!
Eric Jordan Young
Anthony’s Steakhouse at The M Resort is Good Alternative to Strip Spots
You don’t have to dine on the Strip to enjoy the ambiance of a high end steakhouse. Anthony’s Prime Steakhouse and Seafood Restaurant at The M Resort and Spa in Henderson is as good as it gets. The restaurant is named after Anthony A. Marnell III, President of the M Resort. According to Marnell, "…We didn't want to have just any steakhouse, but instead, a locally-inspired steakhouse that would tell our guests that this is a restaurant that is personal…. The uniqueness of Anthony's Steakhouse comes from myself and my family's love for food."
Anthony’s features aged beef, some of which comes from the Marnell family ranch in Montana. When we dined there, we found the staff to be helpful, friendly and quick to respond to our needs. The elegant, yet casual atmosphere is created with dim light and warm amber colors with mahogany wood and imported marble and stone. The décor combines an open design with intimate booths. The restaurant overlooks the M pool and a great view of the South Strip. The view gives diners a feeling of serenity not found in the typical noisy high end steakhouse.
A 20 seat large party private dining room overlooks the pool piazza and is available for business events, personal celebrations, holiday gatherings and cocktail parties.
Anthony's is open for dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm Sunday-Thursday and 5 pm to 11 pm Friday-Saturday. Make your reservations to arrive from 5-7 pm to take advantage of the half price appetizers served in Anthony’s bar. My husband and I enjoyed Calamari ($14) with a light spicy sauce as well as a flavorful onion soup ($9) for half the regular price. We ordered Caprice ($12) and Caesar ($11) salads also at the 50% off price. The Caprice salad was delightfully flavorful.
The steak and seafood menus are extensive. Steaks range in price from $30 for the wet aged to $48 for the dry aged cuts. Since we were celebrating our anniversary, we ordered the dry aged porterhouse (24 oz) and bone in filet (18 oz). Both were perfectly prepared at medium rare and had the flavor and texture you should expect from high end beef. Anthony’s seafood selection includes sea bass, tuna, and halibut as well as lobster and crab. There is an extensive list of sides including portabella mushrooms, zucchini, spinach and a variety of potato dishes.
We indulged and ordered Anthony’s Signature Milk Chocolate Soufflé which was worth the calories. Next time we’ll check out the Peanut Butter Pie. The delicious desserts are produced on property. Wines can be ordered by the bottle, half-bottle or glass with per glass prices ranging from $8 to $20.
Bottom line is enjoy Strip quality dining without the hassle at Anthony's at the M Resort.
RagTag Brings Smokey Joe’s Café to Green Valley Ranch
The neon lights may shine bright on Broadway, but RagTag Entertainment is bringing them to Green Valley Ranch Casino with another smash hit- Smokey Joe's Cafe.
Forty memorable songs from the 1950's and 60's written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are sure to bring nostalgic appeal to every audience member. These are the top songs right out of the early Rock and Roll era that have been immortalized by great talents such as; Elvis Presley, Big Mama Thornton, The Coasters and Peggy Lee.
Director Aaron Coulson has pulled together a dynamic cast of 5 men and 4 women, each currently performing in Las Vegas , to create this multi-talented cast of Smokey Joe's Cafe. The cast includes Francesca T. Camus, Skye Dee Miles, Stephanie Sanchez, Sandra Stimmel Huntsman, Bobby Black, Brandon Nix, Lamont Russell, Lance Bryant and Ted Zervoulakos.
Smokey Joe’s Cafe will take you on a trip down memory lane with "Dance With Me", "Ruby Baby", “Hound Dog", "Fools Fall in Love", "Stand By Me", "Jailhouse Rock" and many more timeless classics. Performed in an intimate setting in the Ovation Show Room, these performers will have you clapping, singing, and maybe even dancing your way through 90 minutes of non-stop entertainment.
Ticket sales for the three performances will benefit the Olive Crest foundation. www.olivecrest.org . Tickets are only $10 dollars so bring your whole family and tell your friends. Performances are Tuesday, September 13th; Sunday, September 18th; and Tuesday, September 27th – all at 8 PM. Tickets are available at all Station Casino locations and at www.stationcasinos.com or at 702 – 547 – 5300.