Went to the Smith Center Monday night to see Chadwick Johnson perform his new show titled, “Chadwick Johnson, Sounds of Splendor” which was written by Chadwick and Kalani Queypo, and also directed by Queypo. The show was sponsored by Yamaha Disklavier Pianos, and went out live, world-wide, for the Yamaha Disklavier home audiences
The performance was just what I expected to see. A total professional who loves to sing, and can belt it out with the best. Johnson has a vocal range that can take him easily into the standards such as, “Suspicious Minds,” by Elvis or to a song like, “All of Me,” to Roy Orbison’s hit, “Crying.” The show, which ran about 70 minutes, started off quickly with Lady Gaga’s hit, “Edge of Glory,” quickly followed by “Moondance,” Wrecking Ball,” “Since I fell for You,” and “Suspicious Mind.” The song list was designed to show Chadwicks amazing range and included 14 songs, counting an original, “Song from Another Time,” which was really wonderful, and two medleys, “Get Ready/Get Back” and the closer, “Don’t Stop Medley.”
If you haven’t been to the Cabaret Jazz Center, inside the Smith Center, then you have really missed out. It has great acoustics and this performance by Johnson (no relation by the way), and his musicians, was a great example of perfection. The band consisted of Fred Watstein, bass, Tasos Peltekis, guitar, John Plows, drums, Naomi Mauro, background vocals, and Musical Director, Yves Frulla on the Yamaha piano. If you want to see what I’m talking about catch him at the Suncoast Casino the end of December. The other great thing about the jazz center is you are always up-close-and-personal no matter where you sit.
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
On the 51st anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Nov. 22, 2014, last Saturday, “The JFK Exhibition” opened at The New Tropicana Las Vegas. The media and special guests were introduced to the exhibits, and then it was opened to the general public, so that visitors can now be a part of this unique exposition of artifacts from a historic time during the 20th century in America. The exhibit features some of the most iconic memorabilia, including two JFK limousines, a Boeing 707 Air Force One fuselage outfitted exactly the way it appeared on Nov. 22, 1963, and personal items belonging to the president and Jacqueline Kennedy that are on display for the first time ever in America. “The JFK Exhibition: Experience His Life and Legacy” is the work of one man, Jim Warlick, who has spent a lifetime collecting presidential artifacts. In 2002, he opened his presidential museum in Branson, Missouri, and subsequently took his American Presidential Exhibition on tour across America, showcasing items such as a replica of the Oval Office, First Ladies’ gowns and over 500 presidential items. The exhibition at the Tropicana features his largest collection of a single president’s memorabilia to date, and to Warlick, the most meaningful.
“Exhibiting ‘The JFK Exhibition’ in Las Vegas is the highlight of my attempt to share my collection with thousands of Americans,” said Warlick. “From those who lived during the Camelot days of JFK to those who are too young to remember but have a historical interest and fascination with one of our greatest presidents.”
Supported locally by LasVegasSun.com, “The JFK Exhibition” will also feature several items from the archives of Greenspun Media Group and Las Vegas Sun on JFK’s connection with Las Vegas. In addition, knowledgeable guides will be available to give tours and answer questions about the exhibits. The exhibition will be open daily from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 22-Jan. 3 in the Pavilion inside The New Tropicana Las Vegas. Admission is $24.95 plus fees and Las Vegas locals enter for just $19.95 plus fees. Discounts are also available for military, seniors and students. For tickets, please call 800.829.9034 or visit the Tropicana Las Vegas Show Tickets desk or TropLV.com.
(Just a little aside to the JFK item) At the time of the assassination I was a reporter for the Copley News Service in Los Angeles. We (me and other reporters) all worked to get some quick responses from politicians and people on the streets, and helped to publish two special editions. That evening a bunch of us reporters gathered at a local bar downtown and got a wee bit over the edge).
Top talent will descend on The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for Mondays Dark’s One-Year Anniversary, benefitting 24 Las Vegas charities, on Dec. 15, 2014. The showcase has announced the first half of its celebrity talent lineup, with additional presenters and performers to be named in early December. Among the list of confirmed presenters are Dot Marie Jones (Glee), A.J. Buckley (CSI: New York), Life is Beautiful Festival Founder Rehan Choudhry, Frank Pellegrino Jr., hypnotist Marc Savard, TJ Lavin and Ricardo Laguna, Chumlee (Pawn Stars), and more. The entertainment lineup will include show-stopping performances by American Idol’s Blake Lewis, Earl Turner, Edie the Entertainer (Cirque du Soleil’s ZUMANITY), Clint Holmes, and a reunion of current and past cast members from the Las Vegas production of, “Jersey Boys.” In addition to announcing the Mondays Dark charity partners for 2015, the special edition will also invite back 2014’s partners to celebrate this remarkable year, bringing all 24 charities together under one roof for the first time in the history of the event.
Returning to celebrate the Mondays Dark One-Year Anniversary event are representatives from AFAN: Aid for AIDS of Nevada, The Douglas J. Green Memorial Foundation, The Healing Curve, His Love Street Nevada, The Miracle League, Neurofibromatosis Network, NSPCA, Opportunity Village, Rudy Foundation, Safe House, Saint Therese Center, SHINE, and Vegas Shepherd Rescue. 100% of the proceeds from all ticket sales for this event will be split evenly amongst its beneficiaries.
Every month since November 2013, Mark Shunock has gathered an eclectic cast of guests including stars from Hollywood, the Strip, musical acts, athletes and celebrity chefs for 90 minutes of performance, fundraising- and a lot of laughs. Every month Monday’s Dark partners with a different Las Vegas based charity, generating funds between ticket sales and silent auction items, to directly benefit some of the hardworking charities in our community. Monday’s Dark has recently been recognized as a “Best of Las Vegas” pick in both Las Vegas Weekly and Vegas Seven magazines, and Shunock recently received Greenspun Media’s Angel Award for Humanitarian/Entertainer of the Year. General admission tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the door; with VIP tables available for $50, which includes a VIP after party in Vinyl. A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada, Shunock is a former member of the Canadian Hockey League. After his hockey days ended, Mark spent almost 10 years living in New York City performing on America’s premiere stages. He is currently starring in the smash hit, ROCK OF AGES playing at the Venetian/Palazzo. Shunock is the creator/producer of Mondays Dark, a monthly variety show where 100% of all ticket proceeds go to a local Vegas charity.
Well, gang, that’s it for this week. Here’s wishing everyone a great Thanksgiving Day.