It was this reporter’s pleasure to participate, as a judge, in the first week of a new entertainment venue at the Suncoast Hotel and Casino Tuesday afternoon. The showroom at the Suncoast was full (it seats around 500 for concerts), as they awaited the talent that would be competing in the first of 12 weekly shows, “Las Vegas Has Talent,” produced by Desert Productions and its leader, Ed Mathews.
Styled after the hit television show, “America Has Talent,” the contest is open to anyone 18 years or older, and you must be a resident of Las Vegas. The best three out of the six talents presented each week, will be selected from online applicants to perform at the Suncoast Showroom in a free show every Tuesday, beginning at 2p.m. Winning contestants each week will move on to the quarter finals. The grand prize winner of the competition at the end of the 12 weeks, will receive a $1000 cash prize and a guest appearance at Suncoast ’s long-running variety show,” Variety at The Suncoast.” Second place will win $250 and third will win $100. In order to compete, contestants must sign up in advance at DesertProductionsLV.com, on the “Las Vegas Has Talent” page.
“We are excited to showcase different talented locals each week at a free, family-friendly show at the Suncoast,” Terry Jenkins, corporate director of entertainment for Boyd Gaming, said.
Host for the 12 weeks is the very talented, Doug Starks, who is currently featured in the Rat Pack type show at the Four Queens, downtown. My fellow judges Tuesday were Barbara Grant, president of the Nevada Screen Actors Guild, and Genevieve Dew, a very popular Las Vegas singer/entertainer. I must say the six contestants we judged were all very talented. Thank God, we (the judges) were only asked to pick one as a winner. The audience picks the first two by applause at the end of the show. Joshua Keating, a very fine singer, and John Allen, a mixologist of sound (I mean this guy has a very complicated looking set of gadgets that manipulates his voice) were the audience picks. We (the judges) had no problem selecting Matthew Clayton as our pick. The 18-year-old violin, guitar, flute player, was always my first choice.
So, gang, one other thing: you must be a member of the “B” Club to gain free admission to the show, and you must 21 or over to attend. So, if you want to be royally entertained every Tuesday afternoon, head on out to the Suncoast Hotel, join the B Connected Club, and join in the fun.
The Adventuredome at Circus Circus has gone loco” – El Loco, that is! Only the second of its kind in the United States, the new world-class roller coaster is now open and invites thrill seekers of all ages to experience a 72-second, adrenaline-pumping adventure. Designed by S&S Worldwide, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of vertical and family thrill rides, El Loco’s soaring eye-catching structure offers a unique and exhilarating ride experience in a small footprint.
Reaching a maximum speed of 45 mph, El Loco pushes the limits with unique coaster elements that drop, turn and twist riders around 1,300 feet of electric yellow track for a thrill-a-second adventure, including: 90-foot ascent followed by a high lateral G hairpin turn and a greater-than-straight-down diving drop producing a negative 1.5 “vertical G;” Lateral floater that transitions into a 45-degree outwardly banked curve and doughnut roll; 180-degree turn that races over the edge into a barrel roll; Reverse 240-degree roll that zooms into an inverted drop before coming to a sudden and complete stop. Allowing the vehicle to make tighter and faster turns, El Loco’s small four-person cars feature an innovative open-carriage design giving riders the feeling of flying as they twist around every turn. With a surround-sound system built into each seat of the coaster cars, riders also will enjoy a custom soundtrack featuring the sounds of Latin, Hip Hop and Rock.
“El Loco offers our guests something they have never experienced before and is the perfect addition to The Adventuredome,” said Tom Nolan, vice president of operations for The Adventuredome. Worldwide, El Loco coasters can be found in Indiana, UK, France, Australia and China. El Loco is included in the purchase of a $29.95 Adventuredome Premium all-day ride pass or a $10 single ride ticket. Passengers must be at least 48 inches to ride.
The city of Henderson is seeking parade entries and floats for the 2014 Henderson Heritage Parade, which celebrates our city, our history, and our traditions. The parade is scheduled for Saturday, April 26 at 10 a.m. in the Water Street District. There is no cost to participate.
All entries should reflect this year’s theme, “Let’s Go to the Market,” which celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Henderson Farmer’s Market. Participants are encouraged to decorate their parade entry using items they may find at a farmer’s market as inspiration. Parade entries will be judged based on three categories: incorporation of theme, creativity and overall appeal. Cash prizes will be awarded to floats for first ($1,000), second ($750) and third ($500) place, as well as the People’s Choice Award ($500), where parade spectators vote for their favorite entry. All prize money is courtesy of several generous community partners. Deadline for parade applications is Thursday, March 27. Applications are available at HendersonLive.com. The parade is just one element of the festivities. The Henderson Heritage Parade & Festival also includes a two-day carnival, breakfast with the mayor and city council, and classic car show. The festival features worldly entertainment, cuisine, games and demonstrations by the International Food & Folklife Association. For more information, call the Department of Cultural Arts & Tourism at (702) 267-2171.
Genevieve Dew will be presenting her new show, dedicated to the late, great Billie Holiday, on Sunday, March 1, in the Chrome Room at the Santa Fe Hotel and Casino in North Las Vegas, with show time set for 7 p.m. This is not just a lady singing the music of Holiday, but Genevieve takes time to set up each song, perhaps with a few words about the music, or a little story about the famous singer and her many problems. “People say, ‘I Loved Billie Holiday.’ In fact, when some first saw the show, they had no idea what her life was about, and they were shocked hearing the stories that are told in the show,” Dew said. “When I first read her story, my heart cried. I love Billie’s stamina.” The odds were always against Billie, from the day she was born, to the day she died. But, she never stopped singing. She continued to do what made her happy and that was being on stage. This is a show portraying her life three-months before she passes away. It takes place in Philadelphia, at the Emerson’s Bar and Grill.
Throughout her life, in spite of her personal habits, she was weak in some ways but very strong in a lot of ways. She took the abuse and ridicule and always put up a good fight. With the stories being told in this 75 min. show, Genevieve will sing about 15 songs, including, “Them There Eyes,” “God Bless the Child,” “My Man,” “Strange Fruit,” “Good Morning Heartache,” and more. Woody Woods heads the band, consisting of Woods on keys, Fred Watstein on bass, and Charles Avery on drums. Tickets are $15.00. For more information call 800-745-3000.
The annual, “Parade of Haulers,” down the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, and a free day of NASCAR Sprint Cup testing will kick off the annual NASCAR Weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), beginning Wednesday, March 5. The hauler parade will start at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, at the south end of the Strip.
It will proceed north to Sahara Avenue, before heading north on Interstate 15 to the speedway. On Thursday, the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will be testing the new rules package from noon to 4 p.m.
The grandstands and Neon Garage will be open for free to all race fans. “These are two great fan events to start the race weekend,” said LVMS president Chris Powell. “The hauler parade has brought thousands of fans to the Strip to watch the team transporters. The test session will be very vital for the teams as they prepare for both the Kobalt 400 and the remaining superspeedway races.” Starting times have also been set for the race weekend. The Kobalt 400 will begin at noon Pacific Time on Sunday, March 9, the Boyd Gaming NASCAR Nationwide race is set for 1:15 p.m. Saturday, March 8, and gates open for Stratosphere Pole Day at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 7. Tickets for all races, as well as Neon Garage passes, Lucky 7 parking and driver introduction passes are available at www.lvms.com or by calling 1-800-644-4444.
Well, gang, that’s it for this week.