A Fond Farewell

After almost 10 years of letting you know what’s happening in our town, this, my friends, is the last column I will be writing for the Review-Journal’s website. Despite the gaining strength of the R-J’s site, the economic turndown has forced cutbacks, and although I like to think I’m indispensable, that view is not shared by the powers that be when they look at the bottom line.

It has been a great run and I have made many friends from not only across the country, but around the world. And I’ve had the pleasure of working with a great bunch of people. While their numbers may be small, my colleagues who are responsible for all the things that make the R-J’s site the most read of all media sites in Nevada, do one helluva job. Particularly people like my boss, Executive Director Al Gibes, who oversees the whole operation; Tonya Carpenter, Director of Content Development; and Janet Murphy, Community Publishing Coordinator, who posted my columns and made sure to correct my mistakes. Thanks to all.

Now before you get out the Kleenex, I may be leaving the site, but you will still be able to follow my take on what’s happening in our town — and more — by going to www.LennysLasVegas.com, my own Web site, which will be up and running by mid-March. This doesn’t mean you should stop visiting www.ReviewJournal.com for all they offer both online and in the daily paper. But I do hope you will continue to read my columns and keep sending me all of those emails I’ve grown accustomed to receiving over the years. I just want to thank all of you for your support.

OK, now let’s get down to the reason they hired me in the first place.

Fator & Friends: If you’re in the mood for a different kind of show, you won’t want to miss impressionist/singer/comedian/ventriloquist Terry Fator as he takes up permanent residence at The Mirage after frequently appearing at the Las Vegas Hilton to standing-room-only audiences.

His show, called "Terry Fator & His Cast of Thousands," opened Feb. 14 with preview performances and he’ll begin regularly scheduled performances March 17. “I’ve dreamed of having my own theater on The Strip for years,“ he says. “It is still hard to believe this is my reality, but it makes me grateful for the times I pushed on and never gave up.”

Backed by a great live band, Fator lets it all out with his celebrity singing impressions and unparalleled ventriloquism. Joining fan-favorites Winston, the Impersonating Turtle, and the loveable Emma Taylor, are two new puppet co-stars. Vikki, the hot-blooded “cougar,” and The Beatle, the original member of the legendary band, were created specifically for Fator’s new show at The Mirage.

Fator brings to life his puppet co-stars through comic banter and their hilarious takes on musical superstars. Throughout the show, Fator and his co-stars perform the singing styles of an eclectic group of stars including Tony Bennett, Amy Winehouse, Elvis, Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Garth Brooks, Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole, Etta James, Gnarls Barkley, The Beatles, James Blunt, Brooks & Dunn, Pussycat Dolls, Louis Armstrong, Fergie and even Kermit The Frog. All preview performances through March 13 will be discounted 25 percent.

Liberace lives on: If you are a fan of Liberace’s music you won’t want to miss pianist and composer Philip Fortenberry’s cabaret series Feb. 28 at the Liberace Museum. The series, called "Liberace & Me" will feature the very talented Rebecca Spencer who will join Fortenberry at the 1 p.m. show. Fortenberry says “the show will offer selections from our musical collaborations, which are also featured on our two recordings, "Wide Awake and Dreaming" and "Fair Warning." (Both recordings will be available for sale in the museum store). "With continued acknowledgment and respect for Liberace’s musical influences, we will also share stories behind some of the musical selections as well as from our personal and professional experiences.”

Some of the musical numbers include standards such as "I’ve Got You Under My Skin," "Stardust," "Deep Purple," as well as novelty songs and some original compositions.

Tickets are $17.50 for the show or $20 for the show and museum admission for Nevada residents with ID. Show times are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at 1 p.m. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For tickets, you can call 702-798-5595, ext. 14, and advance reservations are recommended. The Liberace Museum is located at 1775 E. Tropicana Ave. (at Spencer).

All jazzed up: If so, you can enjoy the sophisticated sounds of classical jazz pianist, vocalist and composer Dehner Franks on Wednesday, March 11, at 1 p.m. at the Reed Whipple Cultural Center. Tickets are priced at only $5 for all seats, available by phone or at the center’s box office at 821 Las Vegas Blvd. North. Box office hours are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call (702) 229-6211 for tickets and information.

Franks will perform “Cascades Rag,” “Gladiolas Rag,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Handful of Keys,” “Jitterbug Waltz,” “Alright, Okay, You Win,” “Blues,” “Big Red,” “Caravan,” “Scrapple From the Apple,” “My Foolish Heart,” “Night & Day,” “Tango,” “Celebration,” a medley of Gershwin tunes, and original compositions. Sounds great to me.

Good luck and I will still see you on the Strip.

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