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August 30, 2014

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Clint Holmes set for another year at Cabaret Jazz; Rick Thomas is cat-free in return

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COURTESY

Clint Holmes performs at Cabaret Jazz in the Boman Pavilion at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts on May 4, 2012.

I am buried. Where? Beneath a pile of notes from VegasVille. Sending up a flare now:

• The news was not necessarily a shock, but the timing of the announcement was unexpected. Clint Holmes will return for another year of performances at Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center. He told the audience of this near the end of his matinee performance on Sunday afternoon, a holiday-spiced showcase featuring appearances by his wife, Kelly Clinton-Holmes; longtime friend and music director Bill Fayne, and granddaughter Asia. With Holmes beaming from the side of the stage, the 8-year-old singing sensation turned in a sweet rendition of "Winter Wonderland.

Holmes will resume his performances, under the music direction of pianist and composer Jeff Neiman, Feb. 1-3. The shows will be set at Cabaret Jazz the first weekend of each month, same as before. Cab Jazz has become Holmes’ home and it suits him well.

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Human Nature's final show at Imperial Palace on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012.

• The Sands was imploded 16 years ago. I know. I was there.

But a whiff of Sands history is emanating once more whence it stood.

Human Nature’s move to the Venetian is coupled with the renaming of the Venetian Showroom to Sands Showroom. There is no serious renovation of that venue planned, however, aside from some new paint and a reconfiguring of the stage to make the room feel a bit larger. Despite the name, this is not exactly a showroom, lacking the booths and table seating common in traditional Vegas showrooms. It’s more a small theater, originally custom-designed by The Rockwell Group for Gordie Brown’s 2006-07 run at the resort.

But there are to be changes in that space when the Motown tribute artists from Australia begin their run on Jan. 22. The video screens from “Surf the Musical” will be incorporated into HN’s stage show. The boys won’t be hotfooting it along tabletops as they did nightly at the theater named for them at Imperial Palace, but they’ll be hangin’ 10 — in spirit — at the Sands.

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Rich Thomas (in white) and the big cat Samson (in stripes).

• Rick Thomas calls it, “Rick Thomas Book 2.” He speaks of his new show coming to Suncoast Showroom Jan. 19-20. He has been touring Asia for six months since his most recent headlining gig at V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Before that, he was on the marquee at Sahara and was the final show at the hotel prior to it closing in May 2011. Thomas’ show at Suncoast is markedly different for one reason: No cats. Thomas has used white tigers in his Vegas production for more than 15 years, but about a month ago he retired them to a reserve in Arizona. He has been making these cats disappear for a long time, but this time … he’s serious.

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2009 Miss Nevada USA Georgina Vaughan and local designer Lana Fuchs in March 2009.

• Billionaire Mafia founder Lana Fuchs, the central figure in TLC’s “Sin City Rules,” says she is sorry for the thumping she delivered to Alicia Jacobs in the premiere episode of the series that aired Sunday night. Fuchs’ most jarring allegations making the final cut were that Jacobs’ sleeps with married men, and has been overstating her position as an entertainment reporter in Las Vegas.

“I made a mistake and I have apologized to Alicia. I don’t know if it’s in Episode 1 or 2,” Fuchs said during the slap-dash red carpet event leading to the VIP viewing party of the show’s premiere at the Venetian Theater. There was no such apology conveyed in the first episode, but Fuchs says she apologized “because I made assumptions based on what I’d heard, not in actual reality. So I decided to get to know Alicia and decide for myself if she is or is not what I accused her of.”

Do the two get along now that filming of the series’ first season has concluded?

“Um … to be honest with you, I don’t hate anyone for any reason,” Fuchs said. “I like some people more than others. I don’t think Alicia and I are ever going to be best friends, but we’re civil.”

Fuchs’ company is, in part, a men’s fashion retailer. As something of a consumer of men’s fashion items, I asked where I might buy some Billionaire Mafia attire. She referred me to the Billionaire Mafia website, where we find a number of logo T-shirts and two additional websites where you can buy such branded items. But there are no brick-and-mortar stores or boutiques in Vegas listed, at all, selling Billionaire Mafia fashions from the woman who is billed as one of the city’s most powerful women.

Is that “powerful” claim accurate?

“You know, power has different definitions for different people,” Fuchs said. "I certainly don’t claim to be running Vegas, really. I run my own little empire, which works for me.”

As for the claims made by the show, the woman who refers to herself as God on “Sin City Rules” says: “Sometimes, show business is show business.”

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In this Feb. 7, 2012 file photo, Indian musician Ravi Shankar laughs as he speaks during a concert in Bangalore, India. Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career, has died. He was 92.

• Sitar master Ravi Shankar died Wednesday at age 92, reminding me of the time years ago when I was waiting in line at the men’s room a few minutes before the gala premiere of “Love” at the Mirage.

This was in June 2006, opening night for the highly anticipated Cirque-Beatles production, and the line to the restroom stretched along the walkway behind the theater’s lower section It was one of those dully quiet moments when you’re really not preoccupied by anything, and I turned to the man behind me. He was short and slight and seemed really familiar but I could not place who he was. Then it rung through my head, and I spat out, “Ravi Shankar!?”

He nodded and I introduced myself, and he gently shook my hand. I could feel myself becoming giddy. I grinned and asked, “You want to cut in?” There was no other offer I could make to this cultural icon at that moment other than to give him my place in line. So here I was, offering Ravi Shankar a spot in line at the men’s room so he could save, like, 90 seconds of his life.

He declined, and I asked what part of the show he was looking forward to.

“Within You Without You,” he said. That song, mixed with “Tomorrow Never Knows,” is the remarkable scene in “Love” where the white, silk drape is spread over the audience. Both incorporate the sitar, and when you experience that moment, think of Ravi Shankar. He made it possible.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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