By Judy Thorburn This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock

Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks
Director of Communications - Nevada Film Alliance

Celebrity Magician Murray Brings his Show to Planet Hollywood

After ending his successful run at The Tropicana and taking a six week break, celebrity magician Murray Sawchuck, with his signature glasses, blonde spike hair, quick wit, vibrant personality and stage presence, is back on the strip, performing at the Sin City Theatre at Planet Hollywood with his beautiful wife/stage assistant Chloe and sidekick/master slight of hand card trickster Lefty (aka Douglas Leferovich).

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Douglas 'Lefty' Leferovich, Murray Sawchuck, and Chloe Louise Crawford
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

To help celebrate the Grand Opening of his show at Planet Hollywood on December 28, in attendance were members of the media and several of Murray's friends and supporters from the world of entertainment including comedy magician Mike Hammer, magician Mark Bennick, artist Michael Godard, comedy hypnotist Anthony Cools, musicians Doug Aldrich, Howard Leese and vocalist Paul Shortino from Raiding the Rock Vault, musical magicians Jarrett and Raja, several dancers from Fantasy, magician Pip and others.

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Anthony Cools
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Fantasy Dancers Murray PH 64741
FANTASY dancers
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Jarrett and Raja with Chloe Louise Crawford
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Artist Michael Godard
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Murray Sawchuck with Mike Hammer
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Tatyana Khomyakova, founder and designer of Bettie Page clothing at Planet Hollywood, and Chloe Louise Crawford
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Magician PIP (left)
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Paul Shortino
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Daniela and Doug Aldrich
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Howard Leese and family
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Chloe, (center) with stepdad Jim and mother Jane Sutherland from England and Murray with parents John and Arlene Sawchuck from Canada
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Along with a wider, larger stage and new lighting, changes to his show include new music and a few new illusions, some of which feature participation from volunteers in the audience. New magic tricks that he has added to his show include Houdini's actual handcuffs, two bandanas and a ring and watch from a couple of audience volunteers, while another “how did he do that trick” consists of a balloon and a cell phone that become one.

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Chloe Louise Crawford and Murray Sawchuck
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Chloe Louise Crawford, Murray Sawchuck, Douglas 'Lefty' Leferovich with audience participants
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Murray Sawchuck, Chloe Louise Crawford and Douglas 'Lefty' Leferovich
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The venue is different, but one vital element that hasn't changed is that audiences of all ages can still expect a fun filled afternoon of magic and comedy from one of the hottest names in magic.

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Douglas 'Lefty' Leferovich
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Showtimes for Celebrity Magician Murray's family friendly show is 4 p.m daily (except Fridays) inside the Sin City Theatre at Planet Hollywood.  

Murray can be also seen regularly on History Channel's Pawn Stars as their magic expert and on the new Reelz TV series Extreme Escape.

Additional recent and upcoming “happenings” in and around Las Vegas include:

I am saddened to report the passing of singer, pianist, actor and Frank Sinatra pal, FRANKIE RANDALL, whose long career included performing at various clubs and lounges in Las Vegas. He died at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio, California (outside of Palm Springs, where Randall lived), on December 28, 2014, after losing his battle with lung cancer. Frankie would have turned 77 on January 11, 2015. Randall is survived by his longtime companion, Melinda Read, daughters Lisa Denicola of Verona, N.J., Laura Lisbona of San Francisco and Ava Lisbona of Los Angeles; son Frank Lisbona Jr. of Maplewood, N.J.; sister Grace Elaine Lisbona of New Jersey; and two grandchildren. A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10 at Desert Springs Church in Palm Desert, Ca.

Frankie Randall

RAIDING THE ROCK VAULT” has announced that rock singer MARK BOALS is joining the permanent lineup of the show at The New Tropicana Las Vegas. The powerhouse vocalist and bass player, best known for his work with Dokken, Ted Nugent, and Yngwie Malmsteen, takes the stage Friday-Wednesday at 9 p.m. Boals joins the production’s all-star lineup, which includes Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Howard Leese [Guitar] (Heart), Hugh McDonald [Bass] (Bon Jovi), Doug Aldrich [Guitar] (Whitesnake, Dio), Robin McAuley [Lead Vocals] (MSG, Survivor), Paul Shortino [Lead Vocals] (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), Jay Schellen [Drums] (Badfinger, Asia), Andrew Freeman [Lead Vocals and Guitars] (Lynch Mob, The Offspring), Michael T. Ross [Keyboards] (Lita Ford, Hardline), and outstanding female vocalists Carol-Lyn Liddle (Masters of Rock) and Stephanie Calvert (Starship).

“Raiding the Rock Vault” brings the history of rock ‘n’ roll to life, featuring classic anthems by the biggest acts in music, including The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and many more.

TREVI Italian Restaurant, located at the heart of The Forum Shops at Caesars, will host a CHARITY PIZZA MAKING COMPETITION featuring local media personalities beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 7. John Huck and Olivia Fierro of FOX 5 KVVU, Jessica Janner of ABC 13 KTNV, Kim Wagner of NBC 3 KSNV and Doug Elfman of the Las Vegas Review-Journal will converge in TREVI’s kitchen for the pizza cook-off, allowing each competitor to choose individual ingredients and physically create the dish with supervision from TREVI executive chef, Peter Scaturro. Each pizza will be scored by a panel of guest judges, including recently-crowned Miss Nevada USA 2015 Brittany McGowan; Sean E. Cooper and the cast of FANTASY at Luxor; and Chef Jose Navarro of Grotto inside Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, owned by Landry’s Inc. The winner will be awarded $500 toward a CHARITY of their choice, along with the honor of adding the named pizza to TREVI’s official dinner menu for the remainder of the month.  Diners and fans are encouraged to attend the competition to cheer on their favorite personality and taste the unique creations.

Mecum Auctions will present MidAmerica’s 24th ANNUAL LAS VEGAS MOTORCYCLE AUCTION Jan. 8-10, 2015 at South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.  As the most anticipated antique motorcycle auction of the year, the three-day event is open to all and draws participants from all 50 states and around the world. This year will see a record 750 antique and collector motorcycles cross the auction block spanning a full century of production from 1903 to 2003. The auction is open to buyers, sellers and spectators with general admission tickets available at the gate for $20 per person, per day or $50 for a three-day pass; children ages 12 and younger receive complimentary admission. Bidder registration is $100 and includes admission for two to all auction days. Doors open daily at 8 a.m. with the auction beginning on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, Jan. 9 and 10, at 10 a.m.   An exclusive preview party sponsored by Las Vegas Harley-Davidson will be held Wednesday, Jan. 7 from noon to 9 p.m. and on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served from 5 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, and shuttles from South Point to LVHD will be provided during both preview periods. All registered bidders are invited to attend the preview sessions at no additional cost.

THE SHRINE CIRCUS returns to Orleans Arena January 8-11. Showtimes are: January 8 at 7:30 p.m.;January 9 at 7:30 p.m; January 10 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m;
January 11 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The annual family event features elephants, tigers, ponies, aerialists, motorcycle madness and many other well-known circus acts. At a pre-party event one hour prior to the show, the audience is invited inside all three rings of the circus to meet performers, ride the elephants and simply “clown around.” Tickets start at $20.
Admission for children two and under is free, but the child must sit in a parent’s lap in reserved seating. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Orleans Arena Box Office.

SHADES OF SINATRA, an original musical production celebrating the extensive music and career of the great Frank Sinatra, starring Carmine Mandia, Ryan Baker, Ron Smith, and Lisa Smith scheduled at Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall on Friday, January 9 has been cancelled. As of this writing, no reason has been given.

Eccoci Boca Park will hold an “ELVIS AN YOU – THEMED FASHION SHOW AND ELVIS' MEMOIRS BOOK SIGNING”  with his former road manager and three-book author Joe Esposito on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, from 1 to 5 p.m.The fashion show at 3 p.m. will be choreographed to Elvis’ music and celebrate what would have been Elvis' 80th birthday. A pink Cadillac will be parked outside  the store and a life-size image of Elvis will be on display for people to take their  photo. An Elvis impersonator will also provide entertainment. This FREE afternoon event for the public with refreshments including Elvis  cupcakes will be held at Eccoci located at 750 S. Rampart, Suite 8.

Award-winning composer and arranger DAVID PERRICO is bringing his newest musical creation, David Perrico – Pop Strings Orchestra, to Red Rock Resort. The 15-piece pop orchestra will feature energetic performances of club favorites with modern orchestrations by Perrico every Saturday at 11 p.m, beginning Jan. 10, 2015.

BLVD. Cocktail Company, located in the heart of The LINQ on the Las Vegas Strip, will capture the essence of the roaring 1920s with MOONSHINE MONDAYS, beginning Monday, Jan. 19 from 8 to 11 p.m. Las Vegas’ own 1920s inspired cover band, The Moonshiners, will feature an eclectic mix of modern pop and jazz tunes throughout the evening. In addition to live music, BLVD. Cocktail Company will offer $10 specialty Stillhouse Moonshine cocktails to capture the taste of the era. Guests may participate in swing dance competitions and giveaways that will be offered throughout the night of throwback fun.

"Queen of ‘70s Pop" HELEN REDDY Returns to The Orleans Showroom January 24-25.Showtime each evening is 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.95, plus tax and convenience fees, and can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box Office.

TOM COTTER, the first comedian to be a finalist on “America’s Got Talent,” will perform stand-up at the Suncoast Showroom February 6 and 7.  Showtime each evening is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available from $15.95, plus tax and fees.

Celebrity sightings:

Thursday, January 1, 2015...

Celebs toasted to the New Year at TAO.  DJ Khaled hosted the festivities, enjoying dinner with more than a dozen friends in the Asian bistro before heading up to the nightclub where he did a New Year’s Eve style countdown for the night for locals unable to celebrate on December 31st.  He then treated club goers to a six song performance.

Grammy winner Drake was spotted taking in the scene with a group of friends from a VIP table in the club after enjoying dinner in the restaurant.

Also spotted in the club were music producer Irv Gotti, Nicole Murphy, Dwight Freeney, linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, NaVorro Bowman and Steve Johnson from the San Francisco 49ers and Andre Johnson from the Houston Texans.

Taio Cruz was joined by friends for an early dinner at TAO Asian Bistro.

Earlier in the day revelers partied in swimsuits under the Marquee Dayclub Dome. DJs Cash Cash and Carnage provided the soundtrack for the day as college bowl games played on the big screen.

New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31...

Newly engaged couple Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello celebrated the end of 2014 with dinner at Strip House Las Vegas inside Planet Hollywood. They were joined by Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger as well as dad Arnold and his girlfriend Heather Milligan in the lounge of the sultry steak house as friends including Jeff Beacher dined nearby.

GRAMMY award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Miguel delivered a stellar performance for a packed crowd at Hyde Bellagio . Miguel arrived at the night spot alongside stunning girlfriend Nazanin Mandi.  Following Miguel's performance,  DJ Konflikt took over from behind the turntables delivering high-powered sets for the festive club-goers.

 Miguel and girlfriend Nazanin Mandi pose on the red carpet at Hyde Bellagio Las Vegas 12.31.14
Miguel with Nazinin Mandi
Photo credit: Bryan Steffy/Wire Image

Miguel receives a warm welcome at Hyde Bellagio Las Vegas 12.31.14 Photo Credit Tony Tran
Photo credit: Tony Tran

Rock band Sevendust played a heavy metal set inside Vinyl, where they led an exciting toast and countdown to midnight. Fellow rockers Chris Kael of Five Finger Death Punch and Adrian Patrick of Otherwise were spotted celebrating in the crowd.

 12.31.14 Sevendust Viny Linda Evans 4
Photo credit: Linda Evans

Across the casino, Pauly D gave partygoers inside Vanity Nightclub an unforgettable year-end celebration. Playing some of the hottest hits and a few of his own mixes, Pauly D brought in the New Year alongside his MTV “Jersey Shore” cast mate Ronnie Ortiz-Magro.

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DJ Pauly D
Photo credit: Joey Ungerer

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DJ Pauly D
Photo credit: Joey Ungerer

A tux-clad Drake held court at Marquee Nightclub inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, counting down the last moments of 2014 and wowing the sold-out crowd with a medley of nearly a dozen songs. He brought his dad Dennis along with other family and friends up on the stage as he finished his performance from the draw bridge above the crowd.  DJ Politik provided the soundtrack for the evening as club goers, including fashion designer Alexander Wang partied in the tri-level nightclub and outside on the pool deck under the temperature controlled Dayclub Dome.

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Drake at Marquee
Photo credit: Al Powers

Dennis Graham and son Drake Marquee NYE 2015
Dennis Graham and son Drake at Marquee
Photo credit: Al Powers

Snoop Dogg manned the DJ booth at TAO Nightclub at The Venetian for the last Snoopadelic Cabaret of 2014.  Serving as Master of Ceremonies, Snoop greeted the crowd in the downstairs Boss Lady Lounge before heading into the club where he led the dressed-to-the-nines revelers in the countdown and then performed songs. Andre Johnson, wide receiver for the Houston Texans was also spotted at TAO.

Snoop TAO NYE 2015
Snoop Dogg
Photo credit: Brenton Ho

Snoop TAO NYE 2015 Shine Bright Moet
Snoop Dogg
Photo credit: Brenton Ho

At LAVO inside The Palazzo, DJ Khaled was on hand, toasting the arrival of 2015 with a performance of hits such as All I Do Is Win and current favorite Hold You Down.  He later made his way to TAO where he joined Snoop in the DJ booth.

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DJ Khaled
Photo credit: Seva Kalashnikov

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DJ Khaled
Photo credit: Seva Kalashnikov

Tuesday, Dec. 30...

Former contestant on LOGO TV’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Shangela, also known as D.J. Pierce, was spotted at Blue Man Group in Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. Following the show, the entertainer went backstage for a private VIP meet-and-greet with cast members.

12.30.14 Shangela at Blue Man Group in Monte Carlo Resort and Casino
Photo courtesy of Blue Man Group

REO Speedwagon attended “Raiding the Rock Vault” at The New Tropicana Las Vegas. REO Speedwagon’s lead guitarist, Dave Amato (far right), joined the band on stage for special renditions of “Jukebox Hero,” “Highway to Hell,” and “Jump.”

REO Speedwagon at Raiding the Rock Vault
(Left to Right): Kevin Krohn (for keyboardist Michael T Ross), Paul Shortino, Bruce Hall (REO Speedwagon), Andrew Freeman, Robin McAuley, Carol-Lyn Liddle, Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon), Hugh McDonald, Howard Leese, Mark Boals, Jay Schellen, Doug Aldrich, and Dave Amato (REO Speedwagon).
Photo courtesy: Raiding the Rock Vault

Stand-up comedian Katt Williams returned to The Joint with his Born Again…Again tour. He made an over-the-top entrance wearing a floor-length fur coat and had the audience aching with laughs from his jaw-dropping, unfiltered humor.

Rapper Drake met up with music producer Irv Gotti and friends at the Asian bistro. Later that night he headed to Marquee’s Boom Box Room for the club’s Hip Hop Until The Ball Drops pre-New Year’s Eve party.

Sunday evening, Dec. 28...

Actor and Las Vegas native Thomas Dekker was spotted dining at LAVO in celebration of his 27th birthday. Dekker is best known for his roles as John Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, for playing Zach on the television show heroes and most recently starring in The CW series The Secret Circle.