Gary Lewis and The Playboys

Gary Lewis

The 60s pop classics were alive and well at the Riviera Hotel Casino as Gary Lewis and The Playboys performed their hits that were on the top 20 list in the 60s. The Playboys auditioned at Disneyland and the entertainment director liked them and immediately hired them. He didn’t know Gary’s father was the famous Jerry Lewis, he just liked them and Gary and the Playboys played to a full house every night.

                                Gary Lewis & Jerry Lewis

Gary had been singing, dancing and appearing in movies before he was 13 years old and in 1964 he formed the band The Playboys. Between 1965 and 1068 they had 10 songs on Billboards top 20 Hit Lists. Their first single This Diamond Ring went straight to number one and their second hit Count Me In went to number two. The Playboys had continued success with more hits such as Save Your Heart for Me, Everybody Loves a Clown, She’s Just My style and Sure Gonna Miss her. “Male Vocalist of the Year” was presented to Gary Lewis in 1965, winning over Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. This lead to many appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, American Bandstand and the Tonight Show.

Because of the renewed interest in the oldies music, Gary Lewis and the Playboys are sought after to play across the country and abroad. They love doing shows for the Veterans and they are constantly on tour.


The crowd loved Gary Lewis and The Playboys and stood and applauded throughout the show as they sang along and swayed with his hit songs. The show is a definite crowd pleaser and I highly recommend going to see them and reminisce about the good old days.

Rick Faugno

Rick Faugno

Photos by Nikki Artale

Rick Faungo’s one man show “Body and Soul” is a huge hit at the Las Vegas Hilton’s Shimmer Cabaret. He has mastered every musical genre imaginable in pop, blues, jazz, Latin and rock. Rick wows the crowd every night with his magical talent as he sings and dances with ease and a style of his own.


Rick weaves his self expression in the show as he covers our most beloved artists James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr. and the late and great Michael Jackson and Elvis. Not only is Rick a fabulous singer and dancer, he also plays the drums and the piano. Video 68

Rick performed a touching song that he wrote for his wife Joyce Chittick, while she was away performing in a New York Broadway show “Anything Goes”. It showed how much he missed her and loved her. It was a touching moment watching Rick and Joyce in the audience.

Joyce and Rick met while they were playing in the show “Jersey Boys”. I saw the show when it first opened at the Palazzo and I was thrilled with the production because I am an original “Jersey Girl” and grew up in the time frame of the Frankie Valli era. Rick was the original Frankie Valli and Joyce played the part of Frankie’s wife, Mary Delgado. They fell in love and got married last September in real life. Joyce will be joining “Body and Soul” in a few weeks and she will add her fabulous talent to the show. Brian Zack is the musical director of the show and he showed off his stuff to an enthusiastic audience. Video 73

                                        Rick Faugno and Joyce Chittick

Performing in front of a live audience is something that Rick loves and enjoys doing every night at the Las Vegas Hilton. Rick has been performing since he was 12 years old and he studied acting at B.F.A. New York University and landed leading roles in “Fosse” and Wonderful Town”. In July Rick Faugno won an award for “Best Performance” at the Orlando Film Festival for portrayal of Alexander Mann in the movie” Virgin Alexander”, that showed his talent as a singer, dancer and as an actor. Video 236

The fans swarmed around Rick after the show and they showed their love and admiration for his performance in a show that he has his own interpretation of his unique style of song and dance that he calls the New Classic Vegas. Verena King is handling the PR for Rick Faugno and can be reached at

                                           Joyce Chittick, Rick Faugno & Verena King

Body and Soul offers a $15.00 Holiday Special until January 1 and can be purchased at the Las Vegas Hilton box office at or by phone at 800 222-5631


Photos by Nikki Artale

There is an unbelievable magic show Illusions, direct from Europe, starring Jan Rouven, in the Fame Theatre at The Clarion Hotel Casino. Jan Rouven, a star in Germany, has brought his thrilling, heart stopping show to Las Vegas to entertain us.

Jan is joined on stage by professional dancers as he gets personal with the audience and has them participate in his acts.

He has received the Merlin Award for Magician of the Year and has appeared on many big TV productions that reached an audience of millions in Japan and France. Jan Rouven is one of the world’s elite magicians, famous in Germany, and is friends with Siegfried Fischbacher. One of his death defying acts was the saw blades which was frightening and dangerous.

Another moment when we held our breaths was the releasing of swords by an audience member as she pulled on ropes, one by one; releasing the swords onto a table that Jan was lying on.

A fascinating stunt was Jan Rouven stepping into a water tank, chained underwater as the water rose in the tank. It was suspenseful and amazing when Jan appeared outside the tank and his assistant was in the water.

Jan performed astonishing feats of magic that were amazing. He is a handsome man, down to earth and so charming with his German accent. Jan took the time to meet with the fans at the end of the show by doing some more magic tricks in the lobby.

You can see Illusions nightly at 7:00 pm, dark Wednesdays, at the Clarion Hotel Casino at 305 Convention Center Drive, Las Vegas NV.

Fantasy Show

                                             Fantasy Show

Photos by Nikki Artale

We started the evening off with a reception with the girls of the Fantasy show at the Luxor Hotel Casino in Las Vegas and were served a selection of drinks and delicious food.

Lorena Peril, who is the star of the Fantasy show welcomed the media and press and spent a lot of time talking to everyone. Lorena is a dynamic personality with a powerhouse voice and the star of Fantasy.

The show is a hot steamy adult topless review that has been on the strip for 12 years in the Atrium showroom at the Luxor. The show is done tastefully with the most gorgeous women in Las Vegas.

There is a whole lot of singing and dancing and audience participation and the scene with a wanna be Elvis was hilarious.

The high energy, steamy choreography was a hot treat and done tastefully for an open minded audience.

A highlight of the Fantasy show is Sean E Cooper who is one of the most talented entertainers on the strip. His singing, dancing and comedy is spectacular and one would wonder why he doesn’t have his own show. Sean fits perfectly with all the fantasy girls and everyone loves him. My favorite impression he does is the one of Tina Turner where he creates hysterical laughter from the audience. Video Sean E. Cooper

A knockout performance by Lorena and Sean as she rocks the house with her rendition of “Hips Don’t Lie”

Lorena & Sean Video

                                   Nikki Artale & Sean E. Cooper

                                                                                     Sheila Kennedy

Vegas Independent Film Festival

Vegas Independent Film Festival
Photos by Nikki Artale

Las Vegas filmmaker Derek Stonebarger launched the Vegas Independent Film Festival (VIFF) November 17-20, 2011 at the Century Theater at the Orleans and Theatre7, 1406 South 3rd St. Las Vegas NV. The festival screened documentaries, feature films, short films, music videos by independent filmmakers. The selected films were outstanding and many won the Golden Bulb awards, authenticated bulbs which are from the Welcome to Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas Blvd.

   Derek Stonebarger

The festival started by honoring Ted V. Mikels, an indie film legend, by having his hands immortalized in concrete. What I first noticed about Ted was his white handlebar moustache and a huge boars tooth hanging on a chain around his neck. Ted was so charming and sweet and I could see the twinkle in his eyes as he answered my questions about his phenomenal life.
At age 82, he is still making films, his latest one is “Astro Zombies: M4—Invaders from Cyberspace.” Ted has been making movies for 62 years and said he started filming when he was 12 years old. When Ted started his film career he rented cameras and then bought his first camera, a Mitchell which cost him $300,000 and took eight years to pay for it. Ted has filmed every known genre, musicals, adventure, heavy drama and horror films. As a writer, producer, director and cinematographer, he does it all and always includes his friend Dr. Wendy Altamura in his films.

 Ted V. Mikels

                                      Ted V. Mikels & Dr. Wendy Altamura

The first Red Carpet event was for the opening night feature film, “40 West”, directed by Dana Packard and featured Wayne Newton, Jennifer Nichole Porter, Brian White and Scott Winters. We are sad to announce that Scott Winters passed away a few months ago. His wife Sandy Winters came to the film festival in his honor.

                                  Dana Packard & Jennifer Nichole Porter

 Dana Packard,Jennifer Nichole Porter,Brian A White, Sandy Winters
Jennifer wrote and starred in the movie that takes place in a motel in a small town in Texas. Brian White plays her husband who tried to kill her 5 years ago; he has just been released early from prison and has tracked her down to the motel. It is a thriller and a dark comedy that touches the soul. Wayne Newton who co-stars in the film wanted to be in the movie as soon as he read the script. We loved Wayne in the movie. There were a lot of Wayne’s fans in the theater the night of the premiere and many came up to talk to him and his beautiful wife, Kathleen McCrone, while he was seated and waiting for the film to start.

 Wayne Newton & Kathleen McCrone

              Nikki Artale, Wayne Newton & Jennifer Nichole Porter

Wayne Newton lives on a 40 acre estate called Casa de Shenandoa that features Arabian Horses and South African penguins. It will soon be opening as a tourist attraction in January or February.

Two world premiers closed the film festival on Nov. 20. The Adventures of Loop & Rhett, a western short, directed by Michael Su and Bubblegum & Broken Fingers, directed by Sean Jackson. All were amazing films and I was impressed by the movies that were selected for the film festival this year.

                                       Sean Jackson

                                 Bubble Gum & Broken Fingers cast

“Hollywood to Dollywood” is a documentary about twin brothers Gary and Larry Lane who have idolized Dolly Parton for years and they embarked on a 2200 mile road trip from Hollywood to Dollywood to meet Dolly. Gary and Larry wrote a feature film story for Dolly and wanted to hand her the script to read. They traveled in their RV named Jolene. What is great about this film is that they played 15 of Dolly’s hit songs. They finally did get to meet Dolly Parton and hand her their script. A Golden Bulb award was given to them for the Best Musical Video and for best Editing.

                                          Gary & Larry Lane

Video 191

The evening concluded at the Piranha nightclub where a special performance by two Dolly Parton Impersonators put on a show for the Lane Twins. What a crowd, what a night.

Derek Stonebarger, founder of Theatre7 in the arts district created the film festival for Independent Filmmakers and Derek is on his way to make it the most prestigious festival in Las Vegas. VIFF was exciting and the films selected were great.