And speaking of well-known Las Vegas personalities, we are sad to report that Bernard Schwartz passed away at his Henderson home on Wednesday night. Most readers knew him best as movie actor Tony Curtis, who starred in 150 films, including Spartacus, The Defiant Ones, Trapeze, The Boston Strangler, Houdini, Sweet Smell of Success, Some Like It Hot, and The Great Race. He also had a recurring role, from 1978 to 1981, on the TV series Vega$. During recent years, he did more painting than acting. In 2004, Curtis was inducted into the Nevada Entertainer/Artist Hall of Fame at UNLV. Curtis, who with his current wife, Jill, had lived in Southern Nevada for the past 10 years, died of cardiac arrest at the age of 85. He is survived by six children (including actress/author, Jamie Lee Curtis) from three of his former marriages. According to KSNV-TV in Las Vegas, a public memorial services for the Oscar-nominated star will be held on Monday at 11 a.m. at the Palm Mortuary and Cemetery on South Eastern, with a reception to be held at the Luxor following the service. In 2008, American Prince: A Memoir, written by Tony Curtis and Peter Golenbock, was released. To quote Hamlet, we say, "Goodnight, Sweet Prince."
Cousin Claire had the opportunity to meet Tony Curtis twice - the first time in the 1950s, during a VIP tour of the Paramount lot in California, where Houdini (in which he and his first wife, actress Janet Leigh, co-starred), was being filmed. The second time, was about 10 years ago at the Desert Inn. Curtis was sitting by himself at a dollar slot machine, waiting, it turned out, for his wife, before going to dinner at Ho Wan's. We had a short and friendly chat before he disappeared, much like Houdini, into the restaurant. During the decade that he lived here, Curtis was very visible. He was often seen pumping his own gasoline at (lack of) service stations around the city.
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If you can't wait until August of 2012, when Broadway's Wicked comes to the new downtown Smith Center in Las Vegas, here is the opportunity to see a brand new musical about witches...sooner than later. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 16th, the Starbright Theatre in Sun City Summerlin, will present the world premiere of BOO!, a Halloween musical, starring talented Donovan sisters, Lisa and Ina Jo. Lisa Donovan has been a main room performer in Vegas, where she has shared stages with some of the top names in show business, including Don Rickles, Donald O'Connor and George Burns, to name a few. She has also worked with Rich Little, Norm Crosby, Mel Torme and a host of others. Lisa was the singing star of the long-running musical game show, Face the Music, and played "Nurse Kelly" on the daytime drama, The Young and the Restless. She also has performed in more than 100 national commercials. On the New York stage, she starred in the only production that Ginger Rogers ever directed, Babes In Arms. Lisa appears internationally as a headliner on Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Crystal Cruise Lines. Ina Jo Donovan is a critically acclaimed musical performer and stage actress. Among her many credits, Ina Jo won a critic's award for Best Actress for her performance as "Velma Kelly" in the smash hit musical, Chicago. Ina Jo has traveled on cruise lines with Lisa, where they have performed on stage together many times. Lisa says she created the show BOO! because "everybody loves witches and vampires." Just look. They're everywhere. From the number one Broadway show, now in its sixth year, Wicked, to the Wizard of Oz, and from Twilight to Elvira, and good old Dracula. "Yes, everybody loves witches and vampires," says Lisa, "And so do I!" BOO! is all fun, with a very light look into this spooky world. There is lots of music. In fact, BOO! contains some of the best and best-known music ever written - "That Old Black Magic," "Witchcraft," "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "Hotel California," "Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead," and "Thriller," among them. BOO! is created, written and produced by Lisa Donovan. Technical director and music producer is Stephen Scott, and Stan Evans is executive producer. Tickets are $15 for Sun City Summerlin residents, and $18 for non-residents. The Starbright Theatre is located at 2215 W. Thomas Ryan Blvd., west of Rampart off Lake Mead. Call (702) 240-1301 for ticket information. BOO! promises to be a frightfully fun evening!