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November 28, 2014

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Clint Holmes writes sequel to ‘Great American Songbook’; Penn & Teller spend $250K on elephant/cow trick

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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.

Clint Holmes

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

Le Kats Report Bureau is Le Promenade at Paris Le Vegas. Las Vegas, I mean.

The pizza in this French-themed resort is not so bad. Looking out at Le Village and wondering if the hotel still employs that terrific mime I’ve seen a few times over the years, messing with people with his wand, his feather and his unnerving countenance.

Maybe he left the Paris and got called up to the bigs. He was a real … mime-time player.

Onward:

• On the topic of French culture, here is a note that has … nothing to do with French culture: Clint Holmes is back at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The theme of his show is “The Contemporary American Songbook” filled with songs that might well be the classics of tomorrow.

“Wrecking Ball,” sadly, is not on the list. But songs ranging from such artists as Michael McDonald to James Taylor to John Legend will pepper the set.

Holmes also has been busy the past several weeks recording at Capitol Records’ Studio A, which is famous as the studio in which Frank Sinatra recorded some of his most memorable songs (“Come Fly With Me,” among them) and where Dean Martin recorded “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head.” No release date is set, but Holmes will be working on the album over the coming months. He’ll be backed by Marc Anthony’s band on the album’s first track, “The Perfect Trance.”

Holmes is working with producer Gregg Field, one of the most respected and accomplished producers, drummers and educators in contemporary music. Holmes is recording duets with such artists as jazz greats Jane Monheit (and ask me sometime about Jane Monheit!) and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Holmes also is to appear July 9 at the Hollywood Bowl, backed by the Count Basie Orchestra in “To Ella With Love,” a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, as part of the venue’s Jazz at the Bowl series. The next day he will record with the orchestra, again at Studio A.

What else? Oh! Among Holmes’ music arrangers is industry heavyweight Jorge Calandrelli, who has written arrangements for such superstars as Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Celine Dion and Barry Manilow and has worked on the scores for the films “The Shining,” “Tron” and “The Color Purple.”

Holmes hopes to have the CD finished and available for public consumption (and purchase) by October.

Meantime, this weekend, his wife, Kelly Clinton Holmes, is scheduled to perform in Saturday and Sunday’s shows. She has something big going on tonight and won’t make Cab Jazz, but, as they say at the crepe place up the way, it’s all under wraps.

• Penn & Teller are to perform for England’s royal family June 23 at Windsor Castle to culminate their tour of the U.K. (read ubiquitous Robin Leach’s note about the invitation from Prince Charles to perform at Britain’s version of the Magic Castle).

Penn and Teller 20th Anniversary at The Rio

Penn & Teller's 20th-anniversary performance and celebration at The Rio on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. The magic duo is pictured here with Launch slideshow »

Upon their return, possibly by the end of the summer, P&T will finally be unveiling an act they have been developing over the past five years. The Vanishing Spotted Pygmy Elephant trick is easily the most expensive act ever in the duo’s production, topping $250,000. I posted this a few weeks ago, and will again, this photo taken by Penn of Teller sharing a picnic lunch with what is presented as the elephant to be in the act but seems more like a costumed cow. Whatever it is, expect it to be disappearing, and soon, in one of the more memorable acts in Las Vegas.

• As has been anticipated, Gallagher is indeed serving as the official for Saturday’s wedding between longtime Las Vegas comic magician The Amazing Johnathan and performance artist Anastasia Synn, who has worked as Gallagher’s onstage assistant. The ceremony and reception originally were scheduled for the Plaza Showroom but were moved because officials at the hotel were concerned about some of the acts to be featured in the ceremony-slash-performance.

What types of acts? As Penny Wiggins, long known as Johnathan’s assistant Psychic Tanya, reports, planned for the reception are an obstacle course, a dunk tank, a Twister competition, Japanese steaks, a boxing ring and a Wonka-esque table array of exotic candy. There is likely to be fire applied to the reception, too. On purpose.

The party subsequently has been moved to Geisha House Steak & Sushi on West Flamingo Road. This restaurant is most famous as the first hibachi restaurant to open in the city, back in 1971. But it is possible, and maybe highly likely, that the restaurant will be most famous for some other reason by the end of the weekend.

• One of longtime Las Vegas resort executive Don Marrandino’s closest friends in rock ‘n’ roll is Sammy Hagar.

Marrandino is reportedly transitioning to an executive position at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Just announced this week was the concert series at the Hard Rock pool titled “Soundwaves,” which opens July 2.

Who is the artist booked to open the series?

Hagar.

Connect. The. Dots.

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

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