Las Vegas Sun

October 1, 2014

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Columnist Joe Delaney: Burton’s community endeavors deserve applause

Joe Delaney's column appears on Thursdays and Fridays. Reach him at 259-4066 or [email protected]

Master magician Lance Burton is now in his fifth year of an 11-year run in his Lance Burton Theatre at the Monte Carlo ... We have followed his career from a 12-minute act in the 1980s, appearing in the Tropicana's "Folies Bergere," and cheered his progress when he moved to the Hacienda as star of his own production ... His Monte Carlo engagement, in a custom-built $27-million theater, was a winner from the beginning. During the past 20 years he has won top awards from the most prestigious sources ... These have been well-chronicled in the Sun and elsewhere ... Today we address Burton, the person.

Active for years, personally and financially, with the Shriners Children's Hospitals, Burton, his manager, Peter Reveen, and publicist Wayne Bernath are now on the board of Variety Club of Southern Nevada, Tent 39 -- The Children's Charity, as well as serving 33 local nonprofit organizations.

Later this month

Burton is the title sponsor for the 25th annual Variety Club Golf Classic, a tournament to be held at the Dragon Ridge Golf Club in Green Valley on Oct. 23 ... Other sponsors include the Agassi Foundation and Relocating in Las Vegas magazine ... All proceeds will remain here and be utilized for the local nonprofit agencies serving children in need.

Variety Club, Tent 39 is a nonprofit organization, established here in 1950 by the entertainment and hotel community and has served approximately 18,000 children ... Burton will be an active participant in the golf tourney along with Danny Gans and other stars ... Call Variety Club, Tent 39 at 383-8466 for details.

Burton is also active in Variety Club, Tent 39's Sunshine Coach program, making coaches available to various children's agencies ... Very few performers who appear regularly in Las Vegas can match Burton's contributions to the community.

Anent live music

David Cassidy deserves recognition for his efforts on behalf of live music on stage, both in his "Live at the Copa" with Sheena Easton at the Rio and his production of "The Rat Pack Is Back" at the Sahara, each using full-musical complements under Lon Bronson ... "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" uses live music at the Flamingo Las Vegas, and Bill Acosta will do likewise when he opens there in November.

Last Friday's Suncoast performance with Steve Lippia, backed by Vincent Falcone Jr. and a magnificent 20-piece orchestra for a capacity audience, was another eloquent argument for live music ... Wayne Newton, back in his Stardust theater, has always used full-orchestral accompaniment.

The recently departed "Great Radio City Spectacular," starring the Rockettes, would have benefitted if those marvelous dancers could have had a live orchestra to interact with rather than unyielding audio tape.

Weekend wrap-up

Friday night's jazz is at Pogo's; on Mondays, it's the Riviera ... George "Moose" Mosse and Ronnie Di Fillips, the World's Smallest Jazz Band, now 2-5 p.m. Sundays, has been held over indefinitely at Swede's Corner ... The Mingus Big Band brings the sounds of the late jazz legend Charles Mingus to UNLV's Ham Hall 8 p.m. Saturday ... The Harry James Orchestra plays for dancing 7-10 p.m. Saturday (Stardust).

An Oboe Celebration, featuring Stephen Caplan and the Neon Double Reed Band, will perform a free concert 2 p.m. Sunday in UNLV's Ham Hall Lobby ... See you next Thursday.

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