Johnson looks great in ‘Purple’

UNLV’s Zonya Johnson had a big-name cheering section on hand for her Broadway debut in "Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Color Purple."

Oprah, one of the show’s producers, was there Wednesday night. So were film stars Robert De Niro and Cicely Tyson.

Also making their debuts in the smash musical: recording-stars Chaka Khan as Sofia and BeBe Winans as Harpo.

Johnson, who has adopted the stage name Zonya Love, landed the lead last fall, after attending three years of grad school at UNLV.

She plays Celie, the role originated by Whoopi Goldberg in the film version directed by Steven Spielberg.

Also in the crowd were Johnson’s UNLV associate professors of theater, Nate Bynum and Glenn Casale.

Johnson, who grew up in Durham, N.C., "brought down the house with the encore, ‘I’m Here,’ " said Bynum. "Talk about a great night. I’m still beaming.

"She was on stage with people who were there during the inception of the show and people who make their living acting on stage, and she fit right in and excelled," he added. "She didn’t miss a cue."

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman‘s security detail had one request after a ceremony honoring the cast of NBC-TV’s "Las Vegas" on Thursday at the Palms ghostbar.

A photo with the sultry Molly Sims? Nope.

An introduction to leading man Josh Duhamel? No.

"They requested lapel pins to the Playboy Club," said Julie Cane, media director for N9NE Group, operators of ghostbar and other venues at the Palms.

Also at the Palms for the "Las Vegas" get-together: James Lesure and Camille Guaty and NBC-Universal execs Ben Silverman, Katherine Pope and Teri Weinberg.

MAY I RECOMMEND …

While checking out the $1.8 billion Palazzo, which officially opens next Thursday, complete the tour with a stop at B&B Ristorante. Food Network star Mario Batali and business partner/winemaker Joe Bastianich have assembled an adventurous (mint-filled pasta squares for starters) and reasonably priced menu. Reservations: 266-9977.

SIGHTINGS

Tennis titans Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, at the early "O" show (Bellagio) on Thursday night. … In town for the International Consumer Electronics Show: actor Michael Douglas. … Film critics Leonard Maltin and wife Alice, in a tour group at the Liberace Museum. … CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo, at the Gibson Guitars party. … At Pure (Caesars Palace): Wyclef Jean performing 90 minutes at a T-Mobile party, and Mary J. Blige, performing at the Monster Retailer Awards and Concert at Paris Las Vegas. … Celebrating their wedding anniversaries at Wednesday’s VIP opening of AGO, the new restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel: Motley Crue’s Vince Neil and his wife, Lia, and adult entertainment star Tera Patrick with husband Evan Seinfeld of the rock group Biohazard. Chef-owner Agostino Sciandri and De Niro opened the eatery in the space formerly occupied by Simon’s Kitchen & Bar. … At TPC Las Vegas on Wednesday for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Celebrity Golf Tournament: musician Alice Cooper, actor Richard Burgi, "Real TV" host John Daly, country singer Rudy Gatlin, Hall of Fame relief pitcher Rollie Fingers, Davy Jones from The Monkees, Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell, actor Robert Hayes, Clint Holmes, former Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien, Blair Underwood, Gary Valentine from "King of Queens," and John Ventimiglia from "The Sopranos." They were among a star-studded crowd that gathered at Mandalay Bay on Tuesday. Jones later joined The Scintas on stage at the Las Vegas Hilton and sang "Daydream Believer" with them. … Adult entertainment star Ron Jeremy, stopping by McFadden’s restaurant and saloon (Rio) on Wednesday.

THE PUNCH LINE

"To psych myself up for a game, I’d listen to the soundtrack of ‘My Fair Lady.’ " — From David Letterman‘s Top Ten Things Goose Gossage Can Say Now That He’s Been Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

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

News Videos
Jim Foley talks about 30 years of living HIV-positive
Jim Foley, who was diagnosed as HIV positive 30 years ago, talks at his home in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Traffic Slows to a Crawl on I-15S Near Primm
Traffic slowed to a crawl around 2:30p Sunday, on I-15S near Primm, Nevada.
Homeless residents speak about safety
The homeless residents living at the corner of Owens Ave. and Main St. reflect on how they feel about their safety after two homeless men died, one was hit crossing the street and another was beat to death by another homeless man. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
CCSD Superintendent address alleged racially motivated threats at Arbor View
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara gives update on alleged racially motivated threats against Arbor View High School, and says such threats will not be tolerated. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Super Bloom Near Lake Elsinore, California
Crowds packed the hills near Lake Elsinore on Saturday to capture a rare selfie amidst the super bloom of poppies turning the landscape purple. The super bloom was caused by the larger rainfall this year. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fiery accident in Las Vegas
A three-car accident on Spring Mountain Road around 6:30 pm on Monday night
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Stardust implosion anniversary
Twelve years ago today, the Stardust Resort and Casino was imploded. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Lawsuits filed against security contractors at Nevada National Security Site
Two lawsuits were filed today against the current and former government security contractors for the Nevada National Security Site, one on behalf of Jennifer Glover who alleges sexual discrimination and assault and the other on behalf of Gus Redding who alleges retaliation after he gave statements supporting Glover’s claims. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New housing option helps Las Vegas moms keep kids while kicking drugs
WestCare Nevada Women and Children’s Campus in Las Vegas has added a new transitional housing wing for women who have completed the inpatient treatment at the behavioral health nonprofit to help them as they go through outpatient treatment, shore up their finances and prepare to secure long-term housing. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Teenager in critical condition after being struck by an SUV in Henderson
Authorities were called about 2:45 p.m. to the scene in the 2100 block of Olympic Avenue, near Green Valley Parkway and Sunset Road. The teenager was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Water Question Part 3: Conservation loves a crisis
Future growth in the Las Vegas Valley will rest almost entirely on the community’s ability to conserve its finite share of the Colorado River.
The Water Question Part 7: How much can we grow?
Many experts agree that Southern Nevada can continue to grow, so long as residents are willing to do what needs to be done to stretch our crucial resource as far as it will go.
The Water Question Part 6: How many people can Southern Nevada’s water sustain?
The number can swing wildly depending on a host of variables, including the community’s rates of growth, conservation efforts and the severity of drought on the Colorado River.
Mylar Balloon Demo
NV Energy presented a demonstration Wednesday to depict the damage that can be caused by the release of Mylar balloons.
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students.
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students. Educators from around the State are bringing the Red for Ed movement to the steps of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, NV, and to the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Nature Conservancy Ranch
The Nature Conservancy just bought the 900-acre 7J Ranch at the headwaters of the Amargosa River, north of Beatty. The property could become a research station, though ranching will continue.
Swift water rescue at Durango Wash in Las Vegas
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, at approximately 8:42 a.m., the Clark County Fire Department responded to a report of a swift water incident where people were trapped in the Durango wash which is located near 8771 Halcon Ave. Personnel found one person who was trapped in the flood channel. The individual was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Video by Clark County Fire & Rescue.
Flooding at E Cheyenne in N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Quick Weather Around the Strip
Rain hits Las Vegas, but that doesn't stop people from heading out to the Strip. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries. The Cleveland Clinic will begin researching the brains of retired bull riders to understand the impact traumatic brain injuries have on cognition. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Matt Stutzman shoots arrows with his feet
Matt Stutzman who was born without arms shoots arrows with his feet and hits the bullseye with remarkable accuracy. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Secretary of Air Force Emphasizes the Importance of Nellis AFB
US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag training and described how important the base is to the military.
Former Northwest Academy student speaks out
Tanner Reynolds, 13, with his mother Angela McDonald, speaks out on his experience as a former student of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff member Caleb Michael Hill. Hill, 29, was arrested Jan. 29 by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of child abuse.
Former Northwest Academy students speak out
Tristan Groom, 15, and his brother Jade Gaastra, 23, speak out on their experiences as former students of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff and excessive medication.
Disruption At Metro PD OIS Presser
A man claiming to be part of the press refused to leave a press conference at Metro police headquarters, Wednesday January 30, 2019. Officers were forced to physically remove the man. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience after the city began operating around the clock. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas parts ways with operator of homeless courtyard
Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher discusses the transition between operators of the homeless courtyard in Las Vegas, Thursday Jan. 24, 2019.(Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police and Raiders partner with SafeNest
Las Vegas police and the Raiders partner with SafeNest on Project Safe 417 (the police code for domestic violence is 417). The program partners trained SafeNest volunteer advocates with Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to domestic violence calls, allowing advocates to provide immediate crisis advocacy to victims at the scene of those calls. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
North Las Vegas police chief discusses officer-involved shooting
North Las Vegas police chief Pamela Ojeda held a press conference Thursday, Jan. 24, regarding an officer-involved shooting that took place on Jan. 21. The incident resulted in the killing of suspect Horacio Ruiz-Rodriguez. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing