Two resorts joined forces to cook and serve a full Christmas dinner for veterans a couple of weeks ago. Chefs from Gold Strike Jean and Railroad Pass served more than 175 people from the U.S. Veterans Initiative, and their families, Thursday, Dec. 20, at the East Las Vegas Community Center. The sister properties whipped up a dinner of ham, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, yams, green beans, salad, and apple and pumpkin pie for dessert. “We traveled quite a ways, and gave up our night to thank each and every one of you for your service. We look forward to serving you in the future,” said Curt Thompson, Railroad Pass Executive Director of Operations, while talking to veterans. “On behalf of MGM Resorts, Gold Strike Jean, and Railroad Pass, we salute you.”
Volunteers included executives and other employees from both properties and representatives from U.S. VETS, who helped serve dinner and pass out gifts to the attendees. The organization was able to purchase gifts from each veteran’s wish list, thanks to donations from community partners. VETS, Executive Director, Shalimar Cabrera, said this is one of her favorite events because she sees how generous the community is and how much the veterans enjoy it. “I think an event like this means so much because it says we recognize that not all of the veterans have someone to spend their holidays with,” Cabrera said. “It’s my favorite event because you can see how happy they are and how happy it makes them.”
Entertainment at the event included a DJ spinning Christmas music, an a cappella group, a saxophone quartet, and even an appearance by Santa Claus. “They’re not serving reindeer, are they?” Mr. Claus asked. “But seriously, I want to thank you because without your service I wouldn’t be able to fly my sleigh freely.”
The first “12 Inches of Sin” international winner of Best of Show, photographer Allan Teger, will hold his own solo show “Bodyscapes®,” at Sin City Gallery, Jan. 3-Feb. 16, 2013. On Thursday, Jan. 31, he will appear at Artist Talk at 8 p.m. Teger has made his creative mark on the art scene, by using the nude human form as a literal landscape for inquisitive fun-spirited scenarios that are often creatively suggestive. Examples would be a skier going down a breast, or his winning image last year of mountain climbers going up a breast. Other images feature landscapes ranging from rolling farmlands to beaches and outer space. The art world is sitting up and taking notice of this self-taught photographer’s signature format and sexy-fun style. He was recently featured in the “Huffington Post,” and in “Juxtapoz Magazine,” and has released his book “Bodyscapes” on Amazon. The former psychology professor’s collection shows more than 100 black and white images, photographed in a single exposure without any post processing or manipulation, and is the result of a 35-year career.
“Sin City Gallery is excited to present Allan Teger’s thought-provoking body landscaping photography,” said the gallery’s curator, Dr. Laura Henkel. “Teger’s ingenious edgy images continue to add to the sexual tension that is becoming the gallery’s distinct position in the Las Vegas’ growing and sophisticated downtown art scene.” Sin City Gallery is located off the Strip in the famous Arts Factory, situated in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas’ thriving arts community, at 107 E. Charleston Boulevard, Suite 100. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 7 to 11 p.m., and by appointment during the day. The gallery’s TV exposure includes the Travel Channel’s “The Ethical Hedonist” episode featuring Las Vegas.
Bobby Rydell, the international teenage sensation of the Baby Boom era, performs his carefree chart-toppers at the Suncoast Showroom January 11, 12 and 13. With good looks, fame and talent, Robert Ridarelli — better known as Bobby Rydell — is considered an original American idol. After a teenage gig as drummer for Rocco and the Saints, where he played with trumpeter Frankie Avalon, Rydell launched his successful solo act in 1959. The hits flowed as Rydell rocked up the charts with “We Got Love,” “Kissin’ Time,” “Wild One,” “That Old Black Magic,” “I’ll Never Dance Again” and “Forget Him,” among others. Rydell recorded 34 Top 40 hits, and is recognized by Billboard as one of the Top Five Artists of the early ‘60s.
Beyond selling millions of records, Rydell enjoyed fame as a regular on 1960s television, appearing on “American Bandstand,” “The Red Skelton Show” and “The Milton Berle Show.” In 1963, Rydell was also featured in the classic film, “Bye Bye Birdie,” as Ann-Margret’s boyfriend, Hugo Peabody.
Rydell got the performing bug as a young boy in Philadelphia, doing impressions as a kindergarten student. His interest in music developed as he accompanied his father to the city’s big band hotspots. A storybook career followed, and Rydell is now celebrated for his profound influence on popular music. His impact on the era is evidenced in the hit movie “Grease,” as the producers chose Rydell High as the name of the school where the action takes place—a tribute to Rydell and the era in which the popular music was set. Showtime each evening is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available from $15.95, plus tax and fees. Tickets can be purchased at any Coast Casinos box office, by calling 702.636.7075, or visiting www.suncoastcasino.com.
And, as a wonderful surprise, Michele LaFong, host of the Las Vegas Backstage Talk Radio Show on 1230 am in Las Vegas and The Web, will be the special opening act for Rydell. LaFong has been an accomplished comedian, and ventriloquist for over two decades, having had her own running headline show on The Las Vegas Strip three times. She was mentored by Debbie Reynolds, Jackie Mason & The Legendary Senor Wences, the most famous International Ventriloquist in the World, who “passed the torch” to her, giving Michele exclusive rights to perform with his famous puppets, “Johnny,” the lipstick hand-puppet, and “Pedro,” the head in the box, as documented in March ’98 in Life Magazine. She will be performing with The original “Johnny puppet” in a “Tribute to Senor Wences,” segment, and can soon be seen with “Johnny” an episode of “The Jada Grace Show,” a new variety television series that will debut on CBS in February, 2013.
Well, gang, hope you had a great Tuesday evening, I sure did with some wonderful old friends.
I’m outa here!