Realty One Group Christmas Party 2009

Brian Hoffman as Red Skelton

Brian Hoffman as Red Skelton

Brian Hoffman has finally put a show together to pay tribute to Red Skelton at the Royal Resort Hotel. The hour long show “Remembering Red” brought back many fond memories of our beloved Red Skelton with his wacky routines, funny jokes and his pantomime classics. It was a nostalgic step back in time with his lovable characters.

The audience loved him as he went through his routine of the two seagulls, Gertrude and Heathcliffe, Freddy the Freeloader and Clem Kadiddlehopper. The jokes were funny and considering that Brian has been impersonating Red for over five years, he had it down pat. The show was 90 minutes long and it was non stop laughter the entire time. Brian not only looks like Red, he actually sounds and acts like him. I was impressed with Brian’s red hair coloring, which is a new addition to his look. He looks good.

This is a family friendly show, with no profanity so all ages are welcome, especially the senior members of our generation because they will surely remember Red and they will leave with a warm spot in their heart. The show is hilarious and everyone walks out with a smile on their face.

Brian Hoffman started his stand up comic routine 15 years ago and has performed in clubs across the United States. He has brought his comedic genius of Red Skelton as an opening act for Larry G. Jones, at the Royal Resort Hotel for over a year now. The hotel is at 99 Convention Center Drive (corner of Las Vegas Blvd & Convention Center Drive)

I must say that my favorite character is Freddy the Free Loader and in less than two minutes Brian sits on stage with his back to the audience and puts on Freddy’s face, and everyone is happy. 

I am the happiest one of all when I get a big hug from Freddy.

Slide Show

Rich Natole

Rich Natole

A Repertoire of Famous Celebrities

I met with Rich Natole last month at the Tropicana Hotel for an interview before he went back stage for the Wayne Newton Show “Once before I Go”. Rich talks off stage to Wayne as the voices of President Reagan and Dean Martin and he does a great impersonation of them.

Wayne Newton on stage

Rich was flattered when Wayne Newton asked him to appear with him in his new show. Rich remembers when his father took him to see Wayne fifteen years ago at the Frontier Hotel, and after all these years he never thought that he would be calling Wayne Newton his friend.

As I sat across from Rich I could not help but notice how young looking and handsome he was. I told him that I wanted to talk about the things he hasn’t told anyone before and becasue he came from an Italian dysfunctional family, I thought there would be a lot of great stories. Rich said as a young boy he was quiet and shy in social settings but not in large groups or on the stage.

Rich Natole

From the age of eight years old he lived and breathed baseball until he turned fourteen and then his interest changed to the stage. It was at this time that he started to impersonate his teachers and his friends told him he was very funny. Rich started to do public announcements over the loud speaker impersonating different celebrities. A favorite impression he did was of Howard Cosell among many others. Rich did stand up comedy shows in high school and was quite good at it.

In 1977 Rich got his first job performing two fifteen minute shows at $15.00 a night and a free dinner. He auditioned for a magic theater dinner house and Rich thought this was good because he was getting paid to do something he loved to do. His father was a great support in his life as he drove him to his jobs at the comedy clubs every week in San Francisco.

Rich loves to impersonate Columbo, Elvis, Jerry Sienfield, Jay Leno, Regis Philbin, Johnny Carson and many more. He also enjoys getting together with other comedians and that is when they create material for their acts. Some of their best material and jokes come from these meetings. I would like to be a fly on the wall watching and listening to all of them.

The family is proud of the children, Mia 7 years old has recently performed in her school show and showed her talent as a singer. Mickey, 10 years old does magic tricks so all the magicians in town better watch out for him when he decides to perform in one of the strip theaters. Watch out for Rich Natoli too as he will be starring once again in a major hotel with his Voices of a Generation. He will fully entertain you, so be prepared to watch a master comic impressionist.

Jay White

Jay White’s Diamond

At the Riviera Hotel on December 3, 2009 the curtain came down on the final show for Jay White’s tribute show to Neil Diamond. Jay’s six month contract turned out to be an eight year run with 2000 performances. It was a magical evening and Jay White once again thrilled the audience with his songs. Jay’s vocals, mannerism and stage presence was spot on. If you closed your eyes you would think you were listening to Neil Diamond in concert.

Jay White  on stage
The band was fabulous and King Errisson was outstanding on the drums. Neil Diamond calls King the best percussionist in the world. King Errisson has been part of the touring band since 1976. King’s latest CD “Conga Serenade” is available now.

King Errisson, Nikki Artale

Jay will be touring with his show, now that he is not committed to a nightly show at the Riviera. It is exciting that everyone will remain together and the fans will be able to experience this wonderful show.

Jay has written a show, which has been in the works for fourteen years, about an immigrant boy who comes to America. The music and songs of Neil Diamond tell the story in “Brooklyn Road”. The show will be premiering in a Las Vegas Hotel very soon.

An after party was held after the show and Jay got to spend time with his band, friends, family and fans. His manager Steve Hart and publicist Terese DiMartino helped to celebrate his last show. Jay and his wife Pam were in high spirits mingling with everyone.

Pam and Jay White


Steve Hart, Jay White, Terese Dimartino

Sandy is Neil Diamonds number one fan and friend for over 30 years. She has transferred that friendship to Jay who she considers the next best Diamond.

We want to thank you Jay for all the years of memories that you haave given us. You have touched our hearts and we are looking forward to seeing you agin in your new show.
Diamonds are forever and you are ours forever.
Hash House a Go Go

6800 West Sahara Avenue

Hash House A Go Go was the place to be on December 1, 2009 because the customers got an extra treat while eating their breakfast. They were entertained by the dealertainers, the performers from Imperial Palace. General manager Jeff Solomon of Harrah’s announced the opening of a second location of Hash House A Go Go in the Imperial Palace Hotel. Jeff said they were very excited and thrilled that HHGG will be a part of Harrah’s family.

Dealertainers Imperial Palace

Jeff Solomon

Jim Rees, Jim Nyberg and Bill Underhill are the 3 owners who have been working together for the last five years. Jim Rees built and ran all the Hard Rock Cafes and he now runs the every day operations of the Hash House. Bill Underhill has a background of an MBA, working on Wall Street and is a lawyer. That experience comes in handy when he negotiates all the deals. Jim Nyberg handles the money and the financial end of it. The three men all compliment each other and they make a powerful team.

Jim Rees, Jim Nyberg, Bill Underhill

Sage Fried Chicken & Waffles, Adam Richman Man V Food, Jim Rees

I searched around the restaurant to find someone who had ordered the Chicken Benedict and I found Julie Ferguson who had ordered it and she was packing away the remains. Her husband Cory had ordered the Pancake Tractor Drive Combo and as he scraped his frying pan clean, he said it was the best breakfast he ever had. Julie and Cory came to Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo and came here early because they too had watched Man V Food and wanted to try the Chicken Benedict. She said she was not disappointed and it was beyond her expectation and it was phenomenal. She surely convinced me because I will go back and order one. The media was treated to a special giant “Strip Bound” pancake made with bananas and topped with whipped cream.

Julie Ferguson

Cory Ferguson

Jim Rees describes the twisted farm food as comfort food with a presentation. It is the freshness and quality of the food that he is proud to serve and that is why everyone keeps coming back for more. It was a busy day at Hash House A Go Go and I stopped in the kitchen to check it out and it was spotless.

As I was preparing to leave I could not help but notice that the ladies from the dealertainers were having a whole complete breakfast. You can’t resist the urge to eat food when you are there.

Nichole Shields, Lana Reiss, Kelly Vohnn
Dealertainers Imperial Palace
I will be going to the Imperial Palace next week to have one of their delicious meals and I hope to see you there too. We locals will always support them. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Johnny Cash Tribute

Johnny Cash Tribute

The closest thing you will experience to Johnny Cash is the tribute by Jimmie Ray who has been honoring Johnny Cash in his show. At Jimmie’s side is Cyndi Cantrell who portrays June Carter. Cyndi is Jimmie’s real life wife who performs with him in the Johnny Cash Show.

Cyndi & Jimmie
Jimmie and Cyndi have been performing together since their marriage in 1994 and they are a dynamic duo. Their stage presence is powerful and the audience immediately feels the power of their music and songs.

On Stage
Jimmie’s physical presence, energy and his singing will evoke the emotions upon hearing the songs and music of Cash. A lot of people do call him Johnny. Jimmie Ray can relate to him because of his background of growing up in the Great Smokey Mountains. Cyndi Cantrell was born in Louisiana and is the daughter of a preacher. Her tributes are to Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and a cute and perky Minnie Pearl. Cyndi loves to change her outfits all during the show as she becomes the next character. It is amazing how much she looks like Loretta Lynn. She was a gospel singer and Jimmie said she is a natural born entertainer with a tender presence. Cyndi also plays the harmonica and it comes natural to her.
In a live internet web cast talk show, Live at the Studio, Jimmie and Cyndi told of their bantering back and forth in their show and how she always does something to surprise him, like the kettle corn incident. Jimmie was singing his heart out and Cyndi came behind him on stage and started throwing popcorn into the drummer mouth and caused the crowd to go wild. Jimmie thought it was for him and played his little heart out, as Cyndi described it. Jimmie turned around and saw what was happening and smiled. He never knows what to expect from Cyndi.

Cyndi & Jimmie
I really enjoyed watching them in the studio as they sang a couple of songs. I could see the tenderness and love for each other as they played. The songs are sentimental and the music touches the heart as it brings you back in time.

Cyndi, Nikki & Jimmie at Live at the Studio

Jimmie & Cyndi
The show opens with the song Summertime and then with Folsom Prison Blues and as Jimmie says, the audience gets their moneys worth in the first fifteen minutes and then the rest of the show is free. All the songs that they sing are personal to them in their lives. The crowd loves and appreciates them because they are brought back to that time and they feel it because they are in touch with Jimmie and Cyndi feeling what they sing.

As you walk into the shows you will see a table in the corner with an old radio, an old guitar and three roses in a vase. The guitar belonged to Cyndi’s father and there is a rose there for him and the other two roses are for the son of Cyndi and the son of Jimmie who passed away. It is their tribute to them as they perform their show. I highly recommend you going to see their show.
Jimmy and Cyndi will be performing at Jerry’s Nugget Casino on Saturday December 12, 2009; in the Royal Street Theater with shows at 3 p.m and 6 p.m. The 3 p.m. show will be the Johnny Cash Country Show and the 6 p.m. show will be the Johnny Cash Rockabilly Show. Tom Flagg as Willie Nelson will be making a special guest appearance.

Beaujolais Nouveau

Launch of Beaujolais Nouveau

Holly Madison was stomping grapes at the start of the festival in celebration of the harvest of the Beaujolais Nouveau wines. Holly is the former reality star of Girls Next Door and stars in the Las Vegas Peep Show. The event was held at the Paris Hotel on the Ah Sin patio on November 18. A huge vat, filled with thousands of grapes, was displayed on a harvest themed patio. It looked very inviting to eat and not to stomp ones feet in.

At long last, Holly came out and was helped into the vat and she started to dance around. A few minutes later she was joined by a Lucy look a like and they both were dancing and having a lot of fun. It reminded me of Lucille Ball in her show when she was in the wine vat.

Holly Madison

This didn’t take long to attract a crowd and the passer bys quickly joined to see what was happening. After a few minutes Holly was done with the stomping and she joined the beautiful Paris Show Girls for a taste of the wine.

Lucy and Holly
The clock has struck midnight in Paris, France and now over 65 million bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau will be consumed in the months ahead, all over the world. French law states that the wine is not to be released no sooner than the third Thursday in November.

Fountains turn to red wine

Thursday, Nov 19-Saturday, Nov. 21 from noon to 6 p.m. samples of the wine will be available in the Paris Reception area.

Friday, Nov. 20 inside the Risqué will be live music and world wines.

Wine tasting and a brunch are also planned.

Beaujolais Nouveau is made from Gamay grapes and is harvested by hand. This purple pink wine ferments for just a few weeks and dominates by its fruity flavors. George Duboeof, the leading wine merchant of France says it is definitely the best vintage in the last 50 years.

I can’t wait until Saturday when I will attend the wine event to swirl and sip and learn about the great wines. As I was leaving the patio I saw that the water in the fountains had turned to wine and I wondered if anyone would try to taste the water.

Martorano's Meatballs

Martorano’s Meatball Extraordinaire

Steve Martorano

The Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was the place to be on November 8, 2009 when the first Meatball Eating Championship was held at Martorano’s Café. One could not miss the wonderful aroma of Italian cooking and being it was Sunday, it brought back the days of the big pot of sauce simmering on the stove. I immediately looked for the Italian bread. I spotted owner, Chef Steve Martorano in the kitchen looking over the big of sauce and trays of meatballs.

 Steve Martorano

I instantly loved Steve as we exchanged greetings and especially when he called me “Princess”. It was sweet and heartwarming and I felt like it came from his heart. Steve’s Italian recipes come from his heart too. I can see why everyone is attracted to Steve and want to be around him.

Joey Chestnut won the Meatball Eating Contest, beating out the other 11 major league eaters with a total of 50 meatballs. Second place went to Pat Bertoletti with a total of 49 and in third place was Sonya Thomas with 42 meatballs fourth place Ben Monson ate 38, fifth place Badlands Booker ate 33.5, sixth place Rich LeFevre ate 33, seventh place Ron Koch ate 30, eighth place Damon Wells ate 28, ninth place Ryan McKillop ate 23, tenth place Jason Erb ate 20, and eleventh place E Toro ate 16.

 Pat, Joey, Sonya, Booker                             Winner Joey Chestnut

         Steve, Joey and Nikki                            Joey Chestnut

Coming out of retirement just for this is Rich “The Locust” LeFevre who has been eating in hundreds of competitive events since 1995, from hot dogs to donuts and tamales. His wife Carlene was in the audience cheering him on.

                          Rich LeFevre

Making a grand entrance was Eric “Badlands” Booker who I thought would win this event because of his large size. I asked him what he did to get ready for this event and said he went to bed early last night and got up early this morning and wandered around the beautiful Rio casino.

 Booker, Nikki & Rick Russo

A fierce contender was Patrick Bertoletti who is ranked second in the International Federation of Competitive Eating. He was one meatball behind Joey. Well at least in September he did win the Nugget Rib Eating Championship, eating over 5 pounds of pork rib meat in 12 minutes.

Sonya Thomas ranks number five in the United States and sixth in the world of competitive eaters. When you look at her small stature you do not believe that she can compete with all the men. She is 98 pounds and holds over 25 eating competitions. She says that her big advantage is that her stomach can expand because she doesn’t have rings of fat. She only eats once a day, vegetables and fruit and no junk food. That makes sense and accounts for her thin body.

After almost 10 minutes of watching everyone shoving, stuffing, drooling, drinking and jumping around eating the meatballs, I was pleased to see Angelica Bridges sitting and eating like a lady. She said she enjoyed every mouthful of the delicious meatballs. They were spicy and tasty. Angelica is performing in the show “Fantasy” at the Luxor and she is a beautiful addition to the cast. Not only is she beautiful, she is charming and gracious and everyone loved her.

         Angelica Bridges                                  Nikki & Angelica

I don’t know how many meatballs the chefs prepared but the final count that the contestants consumed were 372 meatballs and there were plenty of plates waiting to be served. Lucky for us because we got to eat the meatballs too and did not have to rush. They were so delicious and Steve can truly brag when he says that he makes the world’s best meatballs. You will just have to go to the “Martorano Cafe” to experience his fabulous Italian food. Make sure you leave room for his delicious homemade desserts.

 Steve & Joey w/Chefs