Angelil and R.C. — a father-son outing to remember

My definition of a good day? There are many in this job. But having the telephone ring and hearing Rene Angelil‘s voice was always a joy.

There was no mistaking his soft French accent, and he always had news. Sometimes he put Celine Dion on the phone to fill in details or answer a question or two. Almost always, they gushed about their first son, Rene-Charles, and his love of sports.

Showing maturity far beyond his years — he turns 15 on Monday — R.C., as they called him, delivered a stirring remembrance of his father, who would have been incredibly proud, as Celine most surely was, during Angelil’s funeral Friday in Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica.

Blessed with his mother’s strength and poise, R.C. was all the buzz after capturing the hearts of millions who watched the funeral on live television.

“Fifteen years is a not a long time to get to know your father,” he told the crowd. “He had a busy life, but we were getting to know each other through golf, poker, smoked meat and other wonderful food,” he continued.

Four years ago, his father shared with me one of their best father-son days.

On R.C.’s 11th birthday, I wrote, “He’ll be celebrating as a proud member of the Boston Red Sox nation.

“On his next trip to Fenway Park, he’ll find a brick engraved with his name to commemorate the ballpark’s 100th anniversary. He’ll receive a replica brick today to keep at home.”

His father bought the brick after taking R.C. to Fenway on May 20, 2011.

“His day in the park included standing near the players during batting practice and chasing down a ball hit during batting practice (which he gave away to children who were begging him to throw it to them).

“After the game was over, R.C. told his father, ‘This was the best day of my life.'”

The scene and heard

The April 3 “Conversations With Norm” will honor comedy icon Shecky Greene with a 90th birthday celebration at Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Join me in making it a frosting-on-the-cake day for one of the city’s biggest entertainment attractions, one of the first to crack the $100,000-a-week barrier half a century ago. All tickets are $25. The show, which starts at 2 p.m., is a benefit for The Smith Center education and outreach programs. …

A factor in UNLV’s decision to take the highly unusual step of dismissing Dave Rice at midseason was, I’m hearing, part of the school’s down-the-road goal of joining the Pac-12 Conference. School officials took action amid concerns that the once-mighty basketball program was sinking while the Rebel Nation’s ire was rising. Having a declining basketball program and a struggling football program would be a tough sell.

On this day

Jan. 24, 2011: Impressionist and comedian David Frye, who mastered the voices of dozens of celebrities but was most famous for imitating Richard Nixon, dies at his Las Vegas home. He was 77 and had moved to the city from Los Angeles eight years earlier.


Elton John, on a three-hour vinyl shopping spree at Wax Trax on Thursday. His haul included albums by David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Eminem and Jimmy Castor. When a customer saw John, he bought his “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album, and the superstar not only signed it but asked the owners to give the guy a good price on it and other records. … Recently retired pitcher Dan Haren and former Los Angeles Angels teammate Jered Weaver, with friends at Strip House in Planet Hollywood before heading for Jennifer Lopez‘s show. Haren tweeted “At a J Lo concert with Jered Weaver. He throws 83 but dances 100.” … Nicolas Cage, having sausage and beans at Dom DeMarcos in Summerlin on Saturday. A short time later, he was joined by his wife, Alice, and they ordered linguine and clams. … Brody Jenner, sampling the menu at El Dorado Cantina on Friday. … Justin Bieber, dancing and singing along to Baauer at Light nightclub in Mandalay Bay after J Lo’s opening night show Wednesday. … “Duck Dynasty” star Justin Martin, dining Thursday with friends at Lavo in the Palazzo. … Singer Prince Royce, with friends Thursday at Tao Asian Bistro in The Venetian. … Ryan Seacrest, at Surrender in the Encore on Wednesday, listening to Marshmello, who was making his residency.

The punch line “Music icon Cher said recently, ‘Donald Trump can’t come up with a hairstyle that looks human, how can he come up with a plan to defeat ISIS?’ So if you’re looking for a plan to defeat ISIS, I wouldn’t count on Cher either.” — Seth Meyers

— Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or Find more online at On Twitter: @Norm_Clarke.

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