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

Acclaimed Broadway Musical “Wicked” Lands at the Smith Center

The national touring company of the highly anticipated Award winning Broadway musical "Wicked"  kicked off a six-week run on August 30 at Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center of the Performing Arts in downtown Las Vegas.  Locals and visitors can enjoy the show through October 7.

Wicked was inspired by Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West." The villainous character was brought to life in 1939's beloved film classic, The Wizard of Oz.



With musics and lyrics by Tony and Oscar winning composer Stephen Schwartz, Wicked tells the back story of the Wicked Witch of the West and her polar opposite, Glinda, the Good Witch.  Idina Menzel, who originated the role on Broadway, won the Tony Award for her portrayal of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch.  Although I never had the opportunity to see the show nor Menzel's performance, I must say, Nicole Parker is nothing short of phenomenal. The talented actress has a fantastic singing voice and brings everything she's got to the demanding, multifaceted, role of the misunderstood green skinned sorcerous Elphaba (the name was inspired by the initials of original "Oz" author L. Frank Baum) who is considered a misfit and outcast, but just wants to fit in.  Patti Murin also shines as Glinda, the delightfully ditzy, self absorbed blonde, shallow “Good” Witch, whose foe/friendship with Elphaba is central to the plot.

Nicole Parker

Directed by Joe Mantello, the entire  supporting cast including Kim Zimmer as Madame Morrible (Soap opera fans know her as Reva Shayne from “Guiding Light,” which garnered her four Emmys), Cliffton Hall, as Fiyero the handsome object of both Elphaba and Glinda's affection, Tom McGowan (TV fans know him as the radio station manager on Frazier) as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Demaree Hill, as Elphaba's wheelchair bound, pretty sister Nessarose are all very good.

Beautifully staged with effective scenic and costume design, no doubt Wizard of Oz fans will be drawn to this enchanting musical, that is sure to cast a spell on audiences.

Celebrity Magician "Murray" Celebrates 100th Show at The Tropicana

Celebrity magician Murray, with his trademark spike blonde hair and black designer glasses, has a lot to celebrate these days. Recently, he tied the knot with his long time main squeeze, British beauty, Chloe, who is also his on stage assistant. And on Monday night, September 3, the talented Canadian born entertainer, who wowed national audiences as a finalist on America's Got Talent a few seasons back, celebrated his 100th performance as headliner of his own show at Laugh Factory inside the Tropicana Hotel. "The last 4 months have been amazing as I have gotten married to the most beautiful girl in the world, hit a mile stone of 100 shows, and just signed on to do my own show with Discovery Television called 'Murray's "Delusional", said Murray who has steadily built a deserving fan base.

Magician Murray Sawchuck
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Among the VIP guests spotted in the audience at Murray's 100th show were musical arranger/singer Bill Fayne, comedy hypnotist Anthony Cools, singer Chris Phillips of “Zowie Bowie”, Las Vegas personality/60's icon Monti Rock III, and celebrity journalist Robin Leach.

As part of the special evening, Murray brought along several of his friends and fellow entertainers to perform. Treating the crowd to a sample of their specific artistry were British born singer Ben Stone  (host of the recently closed Vegas Magic Show), comedian Harry Basil who utilized props and a lovely volunteer from the audience for hilarious film parodies;  Paul Shortino singer from the 80's rock band Quiet Riot singing his own powerful rendition of Etta James "At Last";  juggler Nino Frediani (who performed for 20 years in City Lights and the Rockettes Show at the Flamingo), and fifth generation circus performer, Jasmine, a 14 year old Hula Hoop artist making her performance debut in Las Vegas.  Also included in the evening's festivities were Jarrett and Raja (who recently competed on  “America’s Got Talent”) billed as “Master Magician & Piano Genius”. The duo joined Murray on stage where they thanked him for his advice and wisdom before presenting him with a plaque commemorating his 100th show. Shortly afterwards, Chloe and Murray's on stage sidekick/card trick master "Lefty" (Doug Leferovich), brought out a large commemorative cake to share with everyone after the show.

Jasmine, Nino Frediani, Magician Murray Sawchuck, Chloe, Raja, Jarrett and Doug "Lefty" Leferovich
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Paul Shortino, Nino Frediani, Ben Stone, Magician Murray Sawchuck, Chloe,  Jarrett, Raja, Jasmine, Anthony Cools and Harry Basil
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Ben Stone
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Nino Frediani
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Harry Basil and volunteer from the audience
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Paul Shortino
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Chloe and Murray
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

The intimate showroom is the perfect venue for the charismatic performer, allowing him to have an up close connection with the audience.  Filled with just right blend of comedy, slight of hand magic and amazing illusions, Murray delivers a family friendly show for people of all ages to enjoy.

Jarrett and Raja present Murray with a commemorative plaque
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Doug "Lefty" Leferovich, Murray and Chloe with commemorative cake
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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

UNLV Department of Film Associate Professor DAVID SCHMOELLERS recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in World Cinema.  The event took place at the Fantaspoa Film Festival in Porto Alegre, Brazil – the largest genre film festival in South America – and featured the world premiere of Schmoeller’s 10th feature film Little Monsters (2012), shot on location in Las Vegas with a crew comprised of UNLV Department of Film graduates and local professionals. The feature film tells the story of two boys who are released from prison on their 18th birthdays after killing a three-year-old boy when they were 10.

Just in time for the first day of school, DA VINCI – THE GENIUS in the Imagine Exhibitions Gallery at The Venetian is offering a discount to all students with a valid school ID. For $17, local and visiting students ages 13 and over can enjoy the most comprehensive exploration of Leonardo da Vinci’s work ever created.

BELINDA CARLISLE, front woman for the 80's all girl rock band, The Go-Go’s, performs at the Henderson Pavilion for the first time on Thursday, September 6.  The concert also features A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS, singing their top 10 hit, “I Ran (So Far Away), ” and MEN WITHOUT HATS, performing their 1982 smash, “The Safety Dance,” as well as “Pop Goes the World” and much more. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are only $20.

BARRY BLACK, a young acoustic singer/songwriter highly influenced by the sounds of the classic soul era, performs a FREE concert  11 p.m. Friday, September 7 inside The Lounge at the Palms Resort & Casino.

The longest running vocal group in the world of show business, THE FOUR FRESHMEN, will perform September 7 - 9, 7:30 p.m each night at the South Point Hotel Casino. Tickets are $25/$20/$15.

The Four Freshmen

Then on Saturday, September 8, POP EVOLUTION - featuring David Perrico Band will perform inside The Lounge at the Palms Resort & Casino.  Showtime is 11 p.m. Cost for admission is $5.

The 33rd Annual SAN GENNARO FEAST will take place Sept. 11 -16, 2012, in the north parking lot at the Silverton Casino Hotel. The Las Vegas festival features more than 70 restaurant food booths, 80 amusements rides and midway games, arts and crafts booths, and complimentary headliner entertainment coordinated and hosted by Tony Sacca, who has been part of the event for more than 25 years.

Every day the complimentary entertainment starts at 4 p.m. with traditional Italian folk music and at 8 p.m. Along with hosting, Sacca will perform with the Saccettes and introduce a stellar lineup of Las Vegas Strip entertainers on the main stage in the back area of the feast. Guest performers will include: legendary accordionist Dick Contino; Clint Holmes; Society of Seven with American Idol Star Jasmine Trias; singers Mark Giovi, Genevieve, Mark OToole, Tony Pace, Ron Smith, Philly Cuzz, John Garafalo,  Shades of Sinatra, Aaron Caruso, The Saccettes, Amanda Kaiser, Robin Vincent, Annette Simmonds, Chelsea Rae Bernier and LJ Harness; “The Rat Pack is Back;” MJ Live - tribute to Michael Jackson; “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas;” and “Nunsense - The Las Vegas Production;” all backed by the Michael T Band. For the feast, Grand Marshals “Jersey Boys” from Paris Las Vegas and Grand Lady Denise Clemente will also perform.

Price for riding all the rides endlessly, is $25 Tuesday – Thursday / $30 Friday-Sunday. Moms ride free on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Dads ride free on Thursday, Sept. 13. In remembrance of the ill-fated day for all Americans, on Sept. 11 the San Gennaro Feast will honor all military, veterans, firemen, policeman, FBI, Secret Service and Homeland Security with a $5 admission with ID. Admission tickets are: $9 for adults / $8 for seniors and military at the door.

The UNLV Performing Arts Center and UNLV Department of Music debut the new Chamber Music Series at 7:30pm on Thursday, September 20. The concert – CELEBRATE DEBUSSY'S 150th! – features music faculty led by Jennifer Grim, flutist; Linda Lister, soprano; and Timothy Hoft, piano, and is dedicated to Claude Debussy’s (1862-1918) works for smaller ensembles in celebration of his 150th birthday. Tickets to Celebrate Debussy’s 150th are $25 and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 895-ARTS (2787) or by visiting Student rush tickets are $10 each (not inclusive of the facilities fee), and available one hour prior to each event, based on availability and with valid student I.D. UNLV faculty and staff discounts also are available. A $1.25 facilities fee, in addition to the ticket price, is charged on all Performing Arts Center tickets.

The LAS VEGAS IMPROVISATION PLAYERS ring in another school year of laughs with a new show on Saturday, September 22 at 7:00pm. The “all new, every time” comedy and music improv show is hosted at the American Heritage Academy, located at 6126 South Sandhill Road in Las Vegas. Tickets are only $10 and available for purchase at the door which opens at 6:40 p.m.

The inaugural LAS VEGAS COMIC EXPO (A Comic Book, Entertainment & Pop Culture Convention) will be held Saturday and Sunday,  September 29-30, at The Riviera Hotel & Casino.  The two day family friendly event is open to all ages. Daily Admission cost is $25 or $40 for a Weekend Pass (Discounts available for advance ticket purchase).

Charles Lee, organizer of the Las Vegas Comic Expo stated, "Las Vegas has widely been known as an ideal destination for conventions. In speaking with comic book merchants and enthusiasts, there has been an appetite for such an event for a long time." This two-day event is a pop culture extravaganza touting scheduled appearances of more than 40 of the top names in comic books from the past and present. This event is spread across 3 exhibit halls and will be jam packed with exhibitors buying, selling, and trading rare collectibles, enjoying gaming areas, costume contests, entertaining panel discussions, and much more. The purpose of the Las Vegas Comic Expo is to unite the fans and the celebrities within the comic book hobby world together in a fun, family friendly setting.

Confirmed guests include Mike Mignola (Hellboy Creator); Len Wein (Swamp Thing, Wolverine); J. Scott Campbell (The Amazing Spider-Man); David Finch (Batman: The Dark Knight); Mark Brooks (X-men Legacy); Simon Bisley (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Heavy Metal Magazine); Eric Canete (Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin); Drew Johnson (Wonder Woman); as well as some of the artists behind the year’s most highly anticipated series “Before Watchmen” including Adam Hughes and JG Jones. Additionally, Iain McCaig (Star Wars Episode I-III, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) will be appearing to share about his career as illustrator, cover artist, designer, director and producer! Cost for the convention tickets are: $25 Daily Admission, $40 Weekend Pass (Discounts available for advance ticket purchase). This is a family friendly event, open to all ages.

Celebrity Sightings:

Friday, Aug. 24...

Alternative music group Julien-K made history as the first band to headline at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s newest musical hot spot Vinyl on Saturday, Aug. 25, Rock ‘n’ roll icon Sammy Hagar brought the beach to Vinyl as he hosted the Beach Bar Rum Party.

Sunday, Aug. 26...

Local rockers Sin City Sinners hit the Vinyl stage at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for the Vegas Rocks! Magazine Award Show After Party. Among the audience were DJ Ashba of Guns N' Roses, magician Nathan Burton, adult film actor Ron Jeremy, local performer Zowie Bowie, Ron Keel, Paul Shortino of Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot and King Kobra, Mark Kendall of Great White, Marq Torien of BulletBoys, magician Criss Angel and Eddie Trunk of VH1's "That Metal Show."

Photo credit: 
© Erik Kabik / Erik Kabik photography

Sammy Hagar
Photo credit: © Scott Harrison / Erik Kabik photography

Photo credit: © Hew Burney / Hew Burney photography

Wednesday, Aug. 29...

Industrial metal band Static-X with special guest Davey Suicide, 9 Electric and Bobaflex rocked out at Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Photo credit: © Erik Kabik / Erik Kabik photography

Thursday, August 30...

Actress Catherine Zeta Jones was sighted at BODIES…The Exhibition inside Luxor Hotel and Casino, with her two children, Dylan and Carys. The actress took the kids out for some fun while her husband Michael Douglas was in town filming a movie about the life of Liberace.

Actor and stand-up comedian Kevin Hart was spotted at TAO’s Worship Thursdays. Joined by friends at a VIP table he took in the sounds of DJ Eric D Lux for an early kick off to Labor Day Weekend.

Friday night, August 31...

Redfoo kicked off Labor Day Weekend with a Party Rock celebration at LAVO.  After dining at LAVO he headed up to the club to perform for the packed house.

Also dining at LAVO with a group of friends were Glee’s Chord Overstreet and Ashley Benson from Pretty Little Liars.  After dinner they checked out Redfoo in the club. Avicii manned the decks at Marquee.

Photo credit: Al Powers/Powers Imagery

Photo credit: Brenton Ho/Powers Imagery

GRAMMY®Award-nominee, singer, songwriter, producer and DJ Sky Blu of LMFAO hit the decks at PURE Nightclub with his DJ residency “Who Came To Party!?” while celebrating his 26th birthday. Pulling out all the stops for the last big party of the summer, Sky Blu, joined by fellow Big Bad artists Mark Rosas, girlfriend Chelsea Korka and BVillain, along with their large entourage made a show stopping entrance. Also joined by his parents, Berry Gordy IV and Valerie Robeson showed their support for their son as they were seated in the VIP booth directly next to his performance area.

Just after 1 a.m.  all eyes were on Sky Blu when resident DJ and close friend of Sky Blu, Eric D Lux sveltely switched the music to play the “Happy Birthday” song for the guest of honor who was presented with a themed-out “Who Came To Party!?” neon cake.

Sky Blu
Photo credit belongs to Powers Imagery LLC.

Sky Blu and the Smiley Gang
Photo credit belongs to Powers Imagery LLC.

Saturday September 1...

James Roday, star of the USA Network series Psych, was spotted at Hussong’s Cantina inside the Shoppes at Mandalay Place.

In the afternoon, actors Jennie Garth, Chord Overstreet, Ashley Benson and Danny Masterson partied poolside at Azure at The Palazzo.

Jennie Garth and Danny Masterson
Photo credit: Jeremy Womack, Womack Photography

Ashley Benson and Chord Overstreet
Photo credit: Jeremy Womack, Womack Photography

At night, celebrity couple Ice-T and Coco hosted the ultimate Labor Day Weekend bash at LAX Nightclub. The twosome were ioined by their large entourage including Coco’s sister Kristy Williams.

Ice T and Coco
Photo credit: © Erik Kabik/RETNA/

Solo artist Travie McCoy, lead vocalist of Gym Class Heroes, thrilled partygoers with a live performance at PURE Nightclub inside Caesars Palace.

Travie McCoy
Photo credit: Brenton Ho of Powers Imagery LLC.

“Teen Mom 2” reality star Chelsea Houska celebrated her 21st birthday with four of her closest friends at Pan Asian restaurant Social House located inside Crystals at CityCenter.

Chelsea Houska

Diddy, joined by girlfriend Cassie and 30 friends, was spotted dining at TAO Asian Bistro.

Glee star Chord Overstreet was also spotted dining at Tao restaurant and taking in the sounds of DJ Vice in the club.

In the evening Jennie Garth was spotted at LAVO. Earlier in the day Redfoo continued to wow holiday crowds at TAO Beach.  DJ Avicii celebrated his 23rd birthday at Marquee Dayclub while spinning for pool goers.

International electronic dance music phenomenon, deadmau5, made his venue debut at Tryst Nightclub inside Wynn Las Vegas.

Photo credit: Danny Mahoney/Tryst Nightclub.

Deadmau5 unmasked
Photo credit: Danny Mahoney/Tryst Nightclub.

Kaskade headlined at Marquee Saturday night.

Jennie Garth and friends
Photo credit: Brenton Ho/Powers Imagery

Photo credit: Al Powers/Powers Imagery

Photo credit: Al Powers/Powers Imagery

Adult film superstar, Jenna Jameson, was host for an evening at the famous gentlemen’s club, Crazy Horse III.

Jenna Jameson enjoying strawberries and whipped cream inside Crazy Horse III
Photo credit: Bryan Steffy/WireImage

Jenna Jameson inside Crazy Horse III
Photo credit: Bryan Steffy/WireImage

Sunday night, September 2...

World renowned DJ David Guetta took over the tables at XS Nightclub in Las Vegas for the one-of-a-kind after dark pool party, Night Swim. First to take the decks was Sultan & Ned Shepard, the Canadian duo from Montreal known for their progressive house tracks. As David Guetta took over the tables shortly after 1 a.m. to sling tracks for the crowd.

Olympic gold medalist, Michael Phelps  joined the French DJ on stage.

David Guetta and Michael Phelps
Photo credit: Danny Mahoney/XS Nightclub.

Sultan & Ned Shepard
Photo credit: Danny Mahoney/XS Nightclub.

Actor Michael Douglas, wife, actress Catherine Zeta Jones, their two children Dylan and Carys, and Baskow & Associates owner/founder Jaki Baskow attended Nathan Burton's Comedy Magic Show at Planet Hollywood.


Tuesday night, September 4...

U.S. Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps partied at Hyde Bellagio during the venue’s weekly Tuesday party, Lost Angels insider night. Phelps and girlfriend Megan Rossee celebrated friend Jeff Gross’ birthday with a small entourage, arriving at the packed party just after midnight.