By Dianne R. Davis
Photos by Dianne or Burt Davis
Last week I had one of those marathon day and night schedules. Not complaining, just sharing. After all, it's Vegas Baby!
Michael Godard Gallery at the Rio
The Michael Godard Gallery was filled with patrons at the Open House
We started off on March 31 with an Open House at the Michael Godard Gallery at the Rio. Michael is truly a talented artist and happens to be a nice guy as well. I first had the pleasure of meeting him at a charity event on Oscar weekend. That event provided funds for Variety which supports children with special needs in the Las Vegas community. This time, he combined his Open House with more charity.
In addition to the meet and greet opportunity for fans and purchasers, Michael donated a piece of art which was raffled off. Opportunity Village benefited from Michael's generosity to the tune of $1500 for the organization which provides more than 1,000 people with intellectual disabilities with vocational training, employment and social recreation services and work skills that make their lives more productive and interesting.
Michael Godard signed his work for raffle winners Paul and Melissa Phipps
It was nice to meet the raffle winners Paul and Melissa Phipps from Tampa, Florida who were celebrating their 14th anniversary. How lovely that the winners were already Godard collectors. They went from three to five pieces of Michael's work in a jump as they had already purchased another piece that day, but were moved to buy seven chances in the raffle knowing that it was going to charity. The pair said that it was coincidental that they were in Vegas during this year's Open House, but next year they will be sure to schedule their trip to be there for it again.
Besides being a talented artist, Michael is a delightful individual.
When we visited the gallery, there was a line of folks who had purchased Godard's works waiting to have their new art work personally signed. I was impressed with the structure of the event and the generosity of this artist. They had a number system -- calling a segment at a time - which kept the line to a relative minimum. Others enjoyed fruit and cheese and beverages while perusing, visiting, and awaiting their turn to meet the artist. Michael obviously has a generous spirit. He didn't just sign and go to the next patron. He gave each purchaser time to chat with him, giving them a memory to take home along with the piece of his artwork.
Since it was March Madness (basketball), my spouse started the day at the M Resort watching the first game ( Louisville vs Kentucky) in their sports book and then after checking out Godard's work, checked out the scores of the second game ( Ohio State vs Kansas) at the Rio sports book. Burt was dressed in the appropriate color red as his money was on Louisville and Ohio State.
Brad Garrett's Comedy Club
Next, it was over to the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino to Brad Garrett's Comedy Club. This was grand opening week for the Emmy award-winning comedian and actor and Brad Garrett was there to open the show in his 288 seat room. While most fans know Garrett from his role as Robert in the hit series, "Everybody Loves Raymond," Garrett actually began performing his stand-up act at LA comedy clubs and in 1984 was the first winner on the syndicated television show "Star Search." He was only 23 when he made his first appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," making him one of the youngest comedians ever to perform on the program. He also opened for some of the legendary performers including Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Julio Iglesias, Liza Minelli and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Garrett will not be a constant, but will be performing on occasion in the club that bears his name and his committment. When we saw him, he was on his game using the front row patrons as fodder for his act. The language was raw as he joked that he's in "the f***ing basement near the pretzel shop", but the comedy was on target. The 6 foot 8 comedian joked about being "hung like a light switch." The self deprecating humor moved along as he joked that if Herman Munster and Greg Brady had a child, it would look like him. On marriage, he told us, "I'd rather slam my d**k in a drawer. Clearly, the audience subscribed to his mantra, "Ya gotta laugh and have a good time."
The roster, which will change on a weekly basis, included Michael Somerville, Ralph Harris, and local favorite Geechy Guy. I particularly enjoy Geechy Guy. And by the way, he holds the record from Guinness for the most jokes told in 60 minutes -- 676! He set that record in 1993 and it stands to this day.
It isn't easy to get a standing ovation in Vegas, but when Garrett acknowledged that the iconic Dick Clark was in the audience, everyone was immediately on their feet applauding the giant of the industry. Brad Garrett's Comedy Club is admittedly off the beaten tract, but I believe his name will bring people there. The club has a nice old Vegas feel to it with tables for two and a few booths in the back. If Brad can keep the quality of the performers to the high standard of opening week, then I think the big guy will have a winner.
Club showtimes are Sunday-Thursday at 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Skye Dee Miles at the Ambhar Lounge
Skye Dee Miles at the Ambhar Lounge
Next, we moved across Tropicana Avenue to the Ambhar Lounge at the new Tropicana where the dynamic Skye Dee Miles was rocking the room backed by the Skye5 band. This woman is what Vegas is about. She may be short height-wise, but wow can she belt out a song. She is high energy and the audience loves her on stage and bringing it right to the tables. This Missouri native has been dazzling audiences for more than 15 years. You can catch her on Friday from 10 p.m. - 2 p.m. and Saturday nights from 9:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. No cover. So stop by for a drink and some great entertainment.
In addition, she is currently playing the role of Jewel (on Tuesday and Wednesdays) at 7 p.m. in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at the Plaza.
Broadway Bares: Barelesque on April 15
While we're at it, Skye will be appearing in the fabulous Broadway Bares: Barelesque on April 15 at the Peep Show Theater at Planet Hollywood at 11:59 p.m. Proceeds from the show will be donated directly to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation's leading industry-based nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. This organizations has drawn upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American Theatre community to raise more than $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. Read more about it at : http://lasvegas.broadwayworld.com/article/Peepshow-Hosts-Third-Annual-Las-Vegas-Broadway-Bares-Barelesque-415-20120308##ixzz1qx80I7.
I attended the show last year and can tell you that this once a year benefit brings together strip performers in a show in which many of them do strip a whole lot more than usual. It is a hot steaming show for a good cause and I urge everyone to come out to see Skye along with the hosts the Gazillionaire and Penny from Absinthe and a long list of other fabulous performers. Last year Tara Palsha, lead dancer at VEGAS! The Show, practically set the stage on fire with her hot number. And Travis Cloer who plays Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys really gave us the "Fever. "And be sure to check out the audience. Many of your favorite performers who aren't on stage will be there supporting their cast mates. This is a must see!
Hooters Wings are on special after midnight
The clock may have struck midnight, but the coach didn't turn back into a pumpkin quite yet. Indulging my spouse, I accompanied him to Hooters for their midnight wing special, $.25 each, minimum ten from midnight to 6 a.m. in the Mad Onion Restaurant. Other stipulations applied. Check it out if wings are your things.
Zowie Bowie at the M Resort
I did have one other item on my agenda, but had to skip it this time as the hour just grew toooo late. I think that Zowie Bowie is one of the most talented acts in town and when we have a chance, we stop by the M on Saturday nights to catch a little of the act. I admit the volume is loud and the folks there tend to be younger than me, but I love the vibe, the energy, and the talent. Check out Zowie Bowie on Friday nights at Red Rock, Saturday nights at the M Resort, and now Sunday nights at the Carnival Court at Harrah's.
Well, that's it. It was finally time to call it a day and a night in fabulous Las Vegas. If you live here, check out some of these great shows and performances. If you are a tourist, come to Vegas, and if you can't make it right now, hope you enjoy seeing some of it through my eyes. After all, it's Vegas Baby!