Let's begin the new year with a circus. The 2012 Circus Spectacular is set to perform at The Orleans Arena Jan. 5-8. Among the acts are: Joseph Dominick Bauer, ringmaster; Daniel Raffo, world-renowned tiger trainer; Andrea and Lluvia, a daring duo who hang above the arena by their hair juggling flaming batons; the comedy of the Christiani family; Broadway Bo, the world's largest performing elephant (he weighs 5 tons); Caroline Williams and her high-stepping Liberty Horses; and David Smith Jr., the human cannonball. Now that's a circus!
Showtimes are: Jan. 5 at 7 p.m.; Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m.; and Jan. 7 and 8 at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $18 for adults, $12 for children (12 or under). Reserved seating starts at $23. Children 2 or younger are admitted free with a paid adult. 284-7777 or www.orleansarena.com.
Happy birthday, big guy
Like many of you, I was fortunate to see Elvis perform live. It was exciting and thrilling, and I knew I was watching history. I remember Elvis and miss him. His birthday is Jan. 8, and he would have been 77. Tom Stevens also misses Elvis, and the singer-impressionist is remembering him with a special tribute show at the Suncoast on Jan. 7-8. Stevens is well-known for his celebrity impressions (Jimmy Stewart, Paul Lynde, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Robert DeNiro), but this performance will be all Elvis -- walking, talking and dressing like The King himself. The show features many of Elvis' hits, including gospel and country songs. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $15. www.suncoastcasino.com.
Another celebration is Jan. 6-7 when friends and co-stars of Elvis join together for "A Celebration of The King's Life" at the Cannery Casino in North Las Vegas. It features a performance by Elvis tribute artist Johnny Fortuno, as well as The Stamps Quartet. Special guests include Darlene Tompkins and Cynthia Pepper, who co-starred with Elvis in several films. Other scheduled guests are Sonny West, Elvis' personal friend and bodyguard; Steve Christopher, who hosts "Elvis On Air"; and a special guest appearance by comedian Sammy Shore. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. 856-5300 or www.cannerycasino.com.
In addition, the Cannery Row Buffet is honoring Elvis with a "Food That Fed The King" buffet starring deep fried pickles, Southern fried chicken, smothered pork chops, collard greens, green bean casserole, ham hocks and potato & cheese soup.
There's one more event celebrating Elvis' birthday, and that's a special luncheon for Elvis fans 50 or older at the Las Vegas Senior Center, 451 E. Bonanza Road (229-6454). The lunch is at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 10 and includes some of Elvis' favorite foods along with singing and dancing to his greatest hits. The cost is $5.
I don't think I would get much of an argument that Smokey Robinson is also a king and that he has attained the kind of success few others can claim. From 1960 to 1987, he charted 37 Top 40 hits for Motown Records, and his influence as a recording and songwriting artist is undeniable. His hits, either as a member of The Miracles or songs he wrote for other Motown artists, include "Shop Around," "The Tracks of My Tears," "My Guy," "Get Ready," "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" and "My Girl." Robinson is scheduled to appear at 8 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Eastside Cannery. Tickets start at $64.95. www.eastsidecannery.com or 856-5470.
The Outsiders Are In
One of my favorite songs back in the '60s was "Time Won't Let Me" by The Outsiders. Its lead vocalist, Sonny Geraci, who was also lead vocalist for Climax, plans to bring that song and many other hits to the Suncoast on Jan. 14. Other Top 40 hits from The Outsiders were "Respectable (What Kind of Girl is This)," "Girl in Love" and "Help Me Girl." With Climax, Geraci hit it big in 1972 with "Precious and Few." Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $15.95. 636-7075 or www.suncoastcasino.com.
Frankie Moreno and his 10-piece band are now performing all their shows at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Stratosphere. Previously, the Wednesday show was at 11 p.m., and I don't stay up that late anymore. So thanks, Frankie. The talented singer/songwriter features classic covers and original music with Moreno playing piano, guitar and harmonica. Tickets start at $29.99, and locals can see the show for $19.99. 380-7777.
Here are some perks on reaching 65 and heading toward 75:
1. Kidnappers are not interested in you.
2. No one expects you to run -- anywhere.
3. People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"
4. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
5. Things you buy now won't wear out.
6. You can eat supper at 4 p.m.
7. You sing along with elevator music.
8. Your eyes won't get much worse.
9. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them, either.
Jack Bulavsky is a 35-year Nevadan and has covered the entertainment, dining and gaming industries for local and national publications. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.