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

Matilda and Patrick Murray Celebrated VIP/Media Grand Opening of Ja-Makin'-Me-Laugh at the D Hotel and Casino

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Ventriloquist/Comedian Patrick Murray and Matilda
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

After debuting at the D Hotel and Casino in August of 2014, Matilda and Patrick Murray, stars of Ja-Makin’-Me-Laugh hosted an official grand opening event for media and VIPs on Thursday, February 5. Celebrity red carpet arrivals included fellow Las Vegas performers Kathleen Dunbar, Kevin Lepine, Adam London, Kevin Burke and the cast members of Marriage Can Be Murder.

The tall, distinguished looking Patrick Murray is both a stand up comic and master ventriloquist, whose sidekick is “Matilda” a sassy, motor mouthed Jamaican, adorned with corn rolled hair, bright red lipstick and nail polish and green bling gown. After warming up the audience with his hilarious comedic observations, Murray then puts on a black glove that he uses to “practice safe ventriloquism” before bringing out Matilda.

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Ventriloquist/Comedian Patrick Murray and Matilda
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Murray plays the straight man and lets Matilda do most of the talking as she rattles off about her travels with him in places such as Los Angeles, Alaska, Australia, Europe, Mexico and Las Vegas that includes complaints about waiting in line at the airport, getting luggage, baggage handlers and going through customs. Other subjects include her deceased last husband, exhusbands, dating, and her opinon of men. “I like men rich and with a clearly marked expiration date,” she says loud and proud before proceeding to go on about cell phones and computers and drug commercials and the medications' dangerous side effects.

Patrick Murray is equipped with great, clever material that audiences can relate to either through his stand up routine or by way of his hand held puppet, whose lively persona and believable Jamaican accent makes you almost forget that she is not human.

To be truthful, I had no idea what to expect before attending this show.  So I was pleasantly surprised to experience a thoroughly entertaining afternoon show filled with plenty of laughter. Would I recommend Ja Makin Me Laugh, Vegas' only comedy matinee for adults? You bet, or as Matilda would say, “Yah, Mon!”

Before their headlining show at the D, Ja-Makin’-Me-Laugh held residencies in Paradise Island, Bahamas and Atlantic City, New Jersey. The dynamic duo also performed at colleges and comedy clubs across North America including The Improv, The Laugh Factory and The Comedy and Magic Club

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Comedianne Kathleen Dunbar with Patrick Murray and Matilda
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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'Defending the Caveman' star Kevin Burke with Patrick Murray and Matilda
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Matilda and Patrick hit the stage at the D Hotel and Casino Saturday through Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are priced at $21.95 for general admission and $27.01 for VIP which includes one complimentary beverage.

Check out Dianne R. Davis'  interview with Patrick Murray and Matlilda in this week's edition of her Views of Vegas column.

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

PT's ENTERTAINMENT GROUP operators of PT’s, Sierra Gold and Sean Patrick’s Pub & Grill taverns, held a FUNDRAISER at its four Sean Patrick’s locations from October to December 2014 in honor of Madison “Maddy” Graves, original founder and partner of Mad Matty's Casino, GeeBee's Bar & Grill, Kavanugh's, Morrissey's, Molly Malone's and Sean Patrick's Irish Pubs.  From October 1 – December 31, all four Sean Patrick’s accepted donations to benefit KEEP MEMORY ALIVE AND THE CLEVELAND CLINIC LOU RUVO CENTER FOR BRAIN HEALTH. Larry Ruvo of Southern Wine & Spirits and former classmate of Maddy, along with the Ruvo Family Foundation, matched the donation of the amount collected. During that time, $10,000 was raised in Maddy’s honor.

“Maddy's father succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease so Maddy, along with Kenny Epstein, Bobby Baldwin, and of course Larry Ruvo, were inspired to create a movement toward Alzheimer's awareness in what has grown into Keep Memory Alive. Even though Maddy passed away due to complications from prostate cancer, his charitable passion always remained with ‘Keep Memory Alive,” his widow, Susan Graves, remarked. “Maddy and Larry were childhood friends and both suffered personal loss from this dreadful disease. Thank you, Golden Gaming, for recognizing and supporting Maddy's endeavors.”

Forbes Travel Guide has honored ARIA SKY SUITES,SKY LOFTS at MGM Grand and JOEL ROBUCHON at MGM Grand with the prestigious 2015 Five-Star Award. This recognition distinguishes the trio among the premier luxury destinations in the world.

Country music superstar DEANA CARTER returns to Las Vegas for a special Valentine’s Day performance at Club Madrid inside Sunset Station on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 plus tax and applicable fees and are available for purchase today. Doors open at 6 p.m. and guests under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.

In celebration of the first birthday of The Adventuredome at Circus Circus’ newest roller coaster EL LOCO, on Wednesday, Feb. 18, The Adventuredome will offer a Thrill Seekers Discount that day only for guests to purchase 2-FOR-1 TICKETS to ride both Canyon Blaster (original roller coaster) and El Loco, like what they did for National Roller Coaster Day last year. Also, guests who wear El Loco’s colors, black and yellow, will receive a free ride on El Loco Feb. 18.

COMMONWEALTH, the stylish cocktail bar located in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, will team up with Los Angeles-based DJ crew, the THE BEAT JUNKIES, to host an unforgettable evening of music, fashion and more on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Fashion aficionados may celebrate the MAGIC convention on Commonwealth’s award-winning rooftop with cocktails, a live DJ set and official launch of the Beat Junkies’ lifestyle brand.

HASH HOUSE A GO GO will celebrate National Pancake Week next Monday, Feb. 16 through Friday, Feb. 20 with $1 of every pancake sold during the week (any flavor) being donated to HOPE FOR PRISONERS. Hope for Prisoners is a local non-profit organization working to empower returning ex-offenders and their families to create a successful future built on strategic leadership and character development. All four valley locations will be offering their famous flapjacks during breakfast, brunch and lunch. Hash House A Go Go’s fifth location in Henderson opens on Mon., Feb. 23.

THE CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER will host its first pop-up exhibition of 2015, entitled “ROLL,” at the BLVDs House, located at 509 South 7th St., Las Vegas, Nev., on Friday, Feb. 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. The special one-night event will be curated by local arts writer and community supporter, Kristen Peterson.  Artwork on display will pay homage to roller skating and the iconic roller rink and will feature numerous local artists, including Shannon Eakins, Justin Favela, Bekah Just, Alisha Kerlin, Jen Kleven, Jerry Misko, Krystal Ramirez, Lance Smith, Mikayla Whitmore, Thomas Willis, and Todd VonBastiaans.

Photo credit: Mikayla Whitmore

“Artists selected for the special exhibit include Las Vegas natives who've skated Crystal Palace and those not from here who have a personal connection to roller skating (past or present), be it memory, rink design or other relative imagery,” said Peterson. “They were chosen for their ability to personally relate the subject. The show creates commonality between artists of different backgrounds, working in a variety of mediums to reflect on an experience that for many was long forgotten."
Refreshments will be served, including cakes by Abigail Goldman.

A “FIFTY SHADES OF GREY GALA AND FUNDRAISER” will be held on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, from 1 to 5 p.m.t Eccoci Boca Park located at 750 S. Rampart, Suite 8.  The event includes a fashion show at 2:00 p.m. featuring Attitudes by Debra – Cobra  Culture; and an auction at 3 p.m. to win fashions and a date with a Christian Grey persona, with proceeds benefitting the Safe charity.  All afternoon there will be entertainment by John Anthony, a photo opportunity with the Christian Grey character, and refreshments…champagne, strawberries and quiche. The afternoon event is FREE and opened to the public.

RASCAL FLATTS announces the addition of CRAIG WAYNE BOYD Wayne Boyd, winner of NBC’s “The Voice” this past December, as the opener for the Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot! residency at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The nine-show run will be Boyd’s first performances since his season seven win for “Team Blake” and will take place between Wednesday, February 25 and Saturday, March 14. Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot! will be the first-of-its-kind residency at The Joint as country artists grace the stage for an exclusive nine-show engagement. Tickets starting at $39.50 (plus applicable service fees) are on sale now.

The 12th Annual WALK WITH THE HEART OF A CHILD is set for Saturday, Feb. 28 at Fashion Show Mall and supports Nevada-based Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF). The walk begins at 8 a.m., with registration at 7 a.m. Walk with the Heart of a Child is a high-energy celebration including a fun walk, entertainment, raffle and the ever popular Kids Zone.  During this event, teams gather at the Fashion Show Mall to walk in celebration and remembrance of children with heart conditions and to unite the community through awareness. More than 2,000 locals support the walk each year to help generate funds that allow CHF to continue to carry out its programs, including Camp Mend-a-Heart, Smart Heart Scholarships, Family Outreach, research and more.

On-line registration is available now at . Fees are $25 for adults, $15 for virtual walkers, active-duty military, students and seniors. Community members and businesses interested in supporting CHF may phone (702) 967-3522 for sponsorship and team registration information.

The UNLV College of Fine Arts presents the 12TH ANNUAL NEVADA ENTERTAINER/ARTIST HALL OF FAME AWARDS honoring arts advocate Dr. Keith Boman; director Gary Nelson; and celebrated architect Paul Steelman. on Tuesday, March 3 in the UNLV Student Union Ballroom. Also being recognized is Jack Rappaport, who receives the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Medal for continually demonstrating commitment to education and extraordinary contributions to the College of Fine Arts, and UNLV entertainment engineering's Joe Aldridge, College of Fine Arts Alumnus of the Year. The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the dinner and ceremony at 6:45 p.m. Tickets for the event are $75 and include cocktails, dinner, ceremony, and performances. All proceeds benefit the UNLV College of Fine Arts.

Celebrity sightings:

Friday, Feb. 13...

Tyrone Griffin aka Ty Dolla $ign hosted at TAO Las Vegas. After dinner at the Asian Bistro, the hip hop artist and friends made their way to the nightclub where he treated the packed club to a performance of hit songs.

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Tyrone Griffin aka Ty Dolla $ign
Photo credit: Al Powers/Powers Imagery

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Tyrone Griffin aka Ty Dolla $ign
Photo credit: Al Powers/Powers Imagery

Thursday, Feb. 12...

Alex Len was spotted at TAO Nightclub for Worship Thursdays. The 7’1” Phoenix Sun center was joined by friends as they took in the sounds of DJ Sour Milk.
Tuesday, Feb. 10...

American mixed martial artist, Nick Diaz, who is currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), was spotted inside the sleek night spot, Hyde Bellagio, with friends.

Sunday night, Feb. 8...

Social media celebrity and lifecaster, iJustine was spotted dining with friends at LAVO.

Saturday night, Feb. 7...

The cast of the Dancing With the Stars Live! was spotted dining at TAO following their performance at The Venetian. Mark Ballas, Valetin Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Kym Johnson and Season 19 champions Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson feasted on signature selections from the Asian Bistro at a table near the restaurant’s famed Buddha before heading up to the nightclub to take in the sounds of DJ Eric DLux.

New England Patriots’ cornerback, Malcolm Butler, celebrated his team’s victory over the Seattle Seahawks during the Championship Party at Chateau Nightclub & Rooftop at Paris Las Vegas.

Malcolm Butler at Chateau Nightclub and Rooftop Bryan Steffy
Malcolm Butler
Photo credit: Bryan Steffy/Wire Image

Malcolm Butler poses in the DJ booth Bryan Steffy
Malcolm Butler in the DJ booth
Photo credit: Bryan Steffy/Wire Image