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Clint Holmes plants his feet firmly in New York


Clint Holmes finds himself another step closer to his Broadway dream today.

Holmes, a Las Vegas headliner after years as Bill Cosby’s opening act, has been voted “Best Male Celebrity Vocalist” in the BroadwayWorld.com New York Cabaret Awards for 2013.

“I’ve been trying to get a foothold there. This is an important step,” said Holmes, who has been grabbing the attention of New York critics and fans with his shows at the Carlyle Hotel’s Carlyle Café.

Holmes was honored for his show “Stop This Train.” He was the only non-New Yorker honored. Holmes follows in the footsteps of Broadway legend Ben Vereen, who won the award last year in the inaugural competition.

“I was definitely the underdog. But my secret weapon was Las Vegas. I think it was Las Vegas that got behind it. Friends and fans really made a difference.”

Holmes, who grew up outside Buffalo., N.Y., with his mother, a British opera singer, and his father, who sang jazz, has been eyeing Broadway forever.

“I want my Broadway show to get there,” he said, referring to “Just Another Man,” his autobiographical musical.

“It’s a long way to get to Broadway,” he said. “One of the things I know you have to do to get there is have some kind of profile in New York City. People have noticed the effort, and that’s exciting.”

It helps that the critics got his bandwagon rolling. After seeing “Stop This Train,” Rex Reed wrote that Holmes, with four decades under his belt, is “just now hitting his stride, winning new fans and sailing into well-earned stardom.”

Reed called Holmes “one of the best musical additions to the waning scene of New York nightlife.”

In between his Carlyle Café bookings and once-a-month weekends at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Holmes has found time to work on his first jazz CD “with some major players in Los Angeles. Some pretty good names.”

They are scheduled to start studio work late this month. Holmes said he’ll hold off announcing the names until the studio work begins.

He returns to Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center this weekend with his “Best of 2013” show. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday’s at 2 p.m.

SIGHTINGS

Christopher Lloyd of “Back to the Future,” arriving at the Gibson Guitar booth at the International CES on Tuesday. ... Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitching star Orel Hershiser, dining at Morels at Palazzo on Tuesday. ... “Pawn Stars” cast members Richard Harrison and his son, Rick Harrison, checking out a rehearsal Friday of “Pawn Shop Live!” The parody of TV's “Pawn Stars” opens Jan. 21 at the Gold Nugget. ... NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, turning heads when he walked into the MGM Resorts PR offices Tuesday. He took photos with staffers and signed M life Magazine covers on which he was featured. In town for CES promotional stops, he joined DJ Swiss Beatz in the DJ booth at Marquee (Cosmopolitan) on Monday. ... Leonardo DiCaprio, arriving at the Palazzo valet area Monday in a new gray Lamborghini. ... Tonight, Canon USA celebrates its 15th benefit fundraiser in Las Vegas, with its big event at Bellagio. The celebrity list includes John Walsh and sports greats Randall Cunningham, Roger Clemens, Vida Blue, Nat Moore and Tommy John. ... DJ Tiesto, doing espresso shots at Crush (MGM Grand) on Sunday.

THE PUNCH LINE

“The Winter Olympics are around the corner. President Vladimir Putin says people will be allowed to protest the Winter Olympics as long as they stay in a designated protesting zone. When they asked where the zone is located Putin said, ‘Poland.’ ” — Jimmy Fallon

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.