Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: November 1, 2009
By: Laura Deni


Led Zeppelin first formed in 1968 from the remaining members of The Yardbirds, and consisted of Jimmy Page (b. 1946, guitar), Robert Plant (b. 1948, vocals), John Paul Jones (b. 1946, bass guitar / keyboards), and John Bonham (1948-1980, drums).
What do performers owe their fans? Official entertainer website sanctioned and controlled by the artists are frequently run by fans. Because the site is termed official what is posted is taken as gospel about the performer. Being a world wide web fans controlling a site aren't always American - presenting the possibility of both language and knowledge of the law issues.

The search for proof that in 1969 Led Zeppelin played the Ice Palace in Las Vegas has the intense determination of the Search for the Holy Grail - Monty Python version.

The Zeppelin where abouts has snow-balled into a mixture of fact, urban legend, exaggeration, faulty memory and wishful thinking. It was the drug era 60s and anybody who attended those concerts would now be headed towards social security. Possible explainations; wrong group, wrong year, wrong venue.

The Zeppelin version of Where's Waldo has been going on for almost a decade.

This cold case gig got moved to the front burner in 2007 when a local publication LV Weekly published a no specific criteria (gross revenue, attendance, reviews) non-fact checked, memory driven, reader input version of their own Top 25 concerts to have played Las Vegas. Presumably intended as merely an interesting read, many of the listings carry caveats resembling "we aren't sure ...but."

The Beatles topped the list and holding down the Number Three spot was Led Zeppelin's 1969 concert at the Ice Palace.

That perked the interest of rabid fans who chart all things Zeppelin. This stop was news to them and they wanted all the details.

It appears that within the last decade almost everybody attached to the news media in Nevada has been contacted about this search. Reaction runs the gamut from taken seriously to being a nuisance.

Currently heading up the Quest for the Lost Concert Crusade is Jasvir Ghuttora. Born and raised in India she immigrated to Canada with her parents when she was 13.

A devoted fan, she is intelligent, hard working and determined to check out all leads.

A show set for Singapore in mid-February 1972 was dropped after authorities objected to Led Zeppelin's long, flowing locks. Instead, the band performed in Bombay, enroute to a performance in Perth, Australia
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page returned to Bombay after playing their final Australian date at the Festival Hall in Brisbane. They booked EMI's local Indian studios, enlisted the talents of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra and reworked two of Zeppelin's classic tracks Friends and Four Sticks.
"I immigrated with my parents in September '74 and Led Zeppelin is part of my growing up," she told Broadway to Vegas. "Their trips to India in '71 and '72 are truly fascinating. I find them incredible musicians who truly promote "tolerance" through their music as they have culturally/musically connected with many different races."

Tolerance and understanding are important to Ghuttora who didn't begin to learn the English language until after her relocation to Canada. It wasn't an easy adjustment.

"Life in Canada was extremely difficult for the first generation in the 70's, as my father, a Civil Engineer, immigrated from North, Punjab. It was extremely difficult for me, as I was not able to balance myself as a teenager in two extreme cultures east/west. In India we had next to nil exposure to Western Culture. As English was my second language, I was not encouraged by school advisors/counselors to advance. I was delayed one year in public school. This was the "psychology" that was instilled in my mind...a setback, a regret....I have learned this from experience and will never, ever convey the idea to limit anyone their ambitions. Most immigrants from India to Canada in those days suffered lots of racial verbal/physical attacks, as Canadian society was not use to immigrants. This, too, affected my generation, but as I look at my own children, they are more confident about their own identity, we were not."

Ghuttora found comfort in music - especially Led Zeppelin.

Today Ghuttora is a teaching assistant in Winnipeg. "I enjoy working with all students in every subject," she said. "I truly enjoy each and every child, as they are unique to me. Lately, for example, I am working with High School Students in Math/Sciences and Art."

When she isn't busy at school she is busy researching Led Zeppelin - contacting even the most remote possibility - including banks.

"I have tried to ask the State Bank of Nevada for any Ice Palace transactions, but they are unable to help," Ghuttora told Broadway To Vegas, meaning a local bank named Bank of Nevada.

Because some countries have centralized banking systems in which all transitions are eventually stored, banks in American using a state name in their logo can confuse a foreigner not familiar with the American banking system, or laws that prevent individuals from attempting to access accounts of others.

There is much to indicate that Led Zeppelin never played Las Vegas in 1969.

The problematic LV Weekly article lists possible dates of August 11 or August 12. Zeppelin hunters have other probable dates of July 28 and July 31. None of those dates pan out.

On July 27, 1969 there was a Zeppelin concert at the Seattle Pop Festival in Gold Creek Park in Woodinville, Washington. On July 28 they were still in Seattle staying at the Edgewater Inn - where a few years later they would be banned. This is the night when the infamous "Shark Incident" took place.

That was the fish caper involving Led Zeppelin, their road manager Richard Cole and members of the American psychedelic rock band Vanilla Fudge. Both groups were staying at the Edgewater, located directly on Puget Sound. At the time guests were permitted to fish directly from their room windows. With a fish in hand then came the problem of what to do with the catch of the day. Cole and his cohorts decided that their female catch of the day was the answer.

Rock journalist Stephen Davis, in his Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods, provided the following account of the event:

"One girl, a pretty young groupie with red hair, was disrobed and tied to the bed. According to the legend of the Shark Episode, Led Zeppelin then proceeded to stuff pieces of shark into her vagina and rectum."

Adhering to what appears to be the norm for anything Zeppelin - controversy - not about whether the incident happened but about the type of fish.

After that book was published Cole snapped; "It wasn't shark parts. It was the nose that got put in. We caught a lot of big sharks, at least two dozen, stuck coat hangers through the gills and left 'em in the closet . . . But the true shark story was that it wasn't even a shark. It was a red snapper."

Which leads Broadway To Vegas to jump to the conclusion that on July 28, 1969, when the rockers were busy feeding somebody's vagina, they couldn't have been several states away, offering up music at the Ice Palace.

On July 29 the Led Zeppelin guys were on the road to Portland, Oregon where they performed a concert on July 30, 1969. The next night they had a gig in Eugene, Oregon.

Elvis Presley and his manager Col. Tom Parker. Presley's concert in Las Vegas July 31, 1969-August 28, 1969 dominated Las Vegas
On July 31, 1969 just about everybody except Led Zeppelin was in Las Vegas. That's the night Elvis Presley opened at the Las Vegas International Hotel (now the Hilton). It was a by invitation VIP opening. I was there and so were the only other members of Las Vegas based press reporting for national entertainment trade publications. I worked for Billboard while the late Mark Tan covered for The Hollywood Reporter and Bill Willard, also deceased, wrote for Variety. In fact it was Willard's specific job description to cover acts performing in Las Vegas for the first time. Variety had a section devoted to first time reviews. Had Led Zeppelin played Las Vegas in 1969, Willard would have covered it for Variety - and he didn't.

The Ice Palace, The International Hotel and the Las Vegas Convention Center were within a mile of each other - walking distance. Presley's engagement broke all existing Las Vegas attendance records and attracted rave reviews from the public and the critics. Elvis' first live album, Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, was recorded during this engagement. Elvis’ opening night is so successful that Col. Parker renegotiates his contract on a tablecloth in the hotel’s coffee shop.

The town was dominated by Elvis. During his engagement July 31, 1969 through August 28, 1969 no rock concerts took place at either the Convention Center or the Ice Palace.

Richard Abowitz in his August 16, 2007 blog for the LA Times wrote: "A rowdy Deep Purple concert, which grew large and mythic in local legend, around the time Elvis came back to Vegas in 1969 also kept the city leaders and resort owners suspicious of rock music. For years there were plenty of petty ordinances to keep concerts away from Vegas, even as rock bands toured the rest of the nation. Only the Grateful Dead (again playing off-Strip) bothered to include Vegas as a regular tour stop. For many years the Aladdin Theatre (now Planet Hollywood) was the only venue on the Strip that routinely booked touring rock bands."

The rock concert policy was adopted in December 1970 and restricted rock concerts to one a month at the Convention Center. The Grateful Dead concert with Santana played the Las Vegas Ice Palace on Sunday, March 29, 1969.

The Billboard issue of November 4, 1972 contained a rock special which I wrote titled Las Vegas Rocks. The headlined screamed - Young Adults And Their Contemporary Rock Music Are This Year's 'In Crowd.' In the section I traced the Vegas rock scene from 1972 backwards to the events which led to Sin City accepting the rockers.

The group Led Zeppelin isn't mentioned.

Taken inside the Ice Palace in December 1974 after an upgrading of the sound and seating. The purpose of running this bad photo is to show that the ice arena was small. Ice over a floor. Limited bleacher seating on two sides of the arena. Primary purpose of the Ice Palace was as a skating rink where ice skating and ice hockey lessons were taught to Las Vegas children. Entry only through one side. All venues have strictly enforced fire code limits which means you can't cram in the masses.
In the late 60's through the 70's young in Las Vegas entertainment speak meant those in their late 20's and early 30's. Las Vegas is a gambling and drinking town. Always has been. No venue was going to risk its business, gaming and/or liquor licenses by bringing in a group that appealed to the raucous teen-age market. For a venue considering booking Led Zeppelin, a group that was at the peak of their debauchery lifestyle, their chart topping record success would have been balanced against the type of fans they attracted.

From the performer's point of view concerts don't just materialize in a nano-second. Touring is a complicated process. Travel takes time. So do set-ups and sound checks. Rock bands playing Vegas in off-Strip venues also paid attention to curfew laws and disturbing the peace noise restrictions. The tiny Ice Palace was located in the Commercial Center shopping mall which was then and still is a block away from both apartment complexes and homes.

Never-the-less there are a plethora of people who claim to have been at a Led Zeppelin Ice Palace concert in 1969. All vow they are a Zeppelin fanatic, yet these devoted followers saved nothing in the way of a souvenir. These dubious fans spring forth with layered stories, all of which if taken apart sentence by sentence can be just that - taken apart. Some of their recollections are quite colorful and convincing, yet they tend to always slip up by including a memory that proves to be an impossibility.

Sam Rapallo, webmaster for the official Led Zeppelin site, only muddled the waters with his reply.

"Yes, there’s been a huge interest among fans since word of this Ice Palace gig surfaced. I agree that there’s a lot of people saying they were there, without any hard evidence. I actually have confirmed this show with one member of Led Zep and he definitely remembered performing this concert, and also recalled some specific things about the show. I’d love to find a ticket stub, ad, review, etc., but so far no luck. As this was 1969, there were some shows in the U.S. that went completely undocumented in the local media. I’m not exactly sure about the (August) 11th as the actual date though."

"We added this date in the Timeline after the LV Weekly article a while back, which seemed credible enough. Official documents from the band during this period are minimal, so wasn’t much help there. A handful of undocumented shows do pop up once in a while that we knew nothing about, and the band may have forgotten or have no official records of."

"P.S. We don’t have it on at the moment because that’s only used for his solo career. I should add a link to the Zep site from"

Bad answer - especially considering Rapallo's connection with the Robert Plant and John Paul Jones' websites, and the fact that he co-authored with Giles Chateau the book Led Zeppelin: The Montreux Concerts.

Rapallo needs to stop stirring the pot. If tickets were sold - money changed hands in any direction - then there is no such thing as an undocumented show - especially when a few hundred people were suppose to have experienced the happening. This on-going, everybody-in-the-world being contacted investigation needs to stop. The Led Zeppelin member that Rapallo purportedly talked to needs to step forward and get specific. Speaking in vague generalities or opining whatever he thinks will silence his fans is not acceptable.

Rapello is saying that an unnamed Zep member is - after 40 years of never mentioning it - suddenly recalls that Led Zeppelin performed their very first Las Vegas gig - four blocks from Elvis Presley - but can't remember that detail??? Oh, yeah - they don't remember the date, either.

Also, if there had been any Las Vegas concert prior to the negotiation for the planned April, 1970 Convention Center date, that previous Vegas event would have been used as a bargaining chip to secure the April, 1970 contract. How well they did - the numbers; attendance and gross money, both for tickets and any ancillary purchases. Whether there had been crowd control or legal issues would have weighed in.

The group Chain asserts they've shared the stage with Zeppelin but the dates don't jive, and their claim that there were three acts on the bill with Led Zeppelin as the top liner would have meant the concert - if Zeppelin had performed the shortest set of their career - would still have run past midnight on a weekday.

This Convention Center show co-produced by Dick Kanellis and radio station KLUC was cancelled.
Sam Rapallo is also the webmaster for Robert Plant's website which contains an excellent, detailed and precise time line documentation - not as Rapello claimed just a listings of his solo performances; rather a superb accounting about all activities of Led Zeppelin including: "May 10, 1974 Zeppelin attends Elvis Presley's show at the LA Forum."

The listings on the Robert Plant site are broken down into day, month and year. A sample of the numerous listings are;

December 27, 1968 Zeppelin plays at the Seattle Center Arena. It's also where Band manger Richard Cole nearly sends the car the group was traveling in down a snow embankment.

January 23, 1969 First night of four for Zeppelin at Boston Tea Party. One of these nights Zeppelin plays for about four hours

April 6, 1970 Police problems make for an eventful concert as Zeppelin plays the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, they are also made honorary citizens before the concert

April 19, 1970 The Convention Center Rotunda concert in Las Vegas is cancelled due to Plant's health

May 5, 1973 Zeppelin concert in Tampa Stadium breaks the Beatles attendance record crowd of 56,800 people

May 18, 1973 Zeppelin plays at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, John Paul Jones plays this concert with Fractured Ribs

April 3, 1977 Second concert of tour at the Myriad in Oklahoma City takes place, known for not being one of the greatest Zeppelin concerts

April 9, 1977 Short night for Zeppelin in Chicago as Jimmy Page gets sick because of 'Food Poisoning'

June 3, 1977 Led Zeppelin concert at the Tampa Stadium is halted by rain after just a few songs, the make-up date is cancelled after concert goers start a riot.

April 9, 1990 Page, Plant, and Jones perform at Jason Bonham's wedding fueling rumors of a Zeppelin reunion

In the late 60s-early 70s, the four booking agents who controlled getting Las Vegas dates for rock bands in off-strip venues were Michael Schivo, Dick Kanellis, Gary Naseef and Michael Tell. None of them ever booked Led Zeppelin into the Ice Palace.

In 1968 Led Zeppelin was created by a man named Peter Grant whom, over the years, I interviewed for articles I wrote for several business and financial magazines. Grant died in 1995.

I wasn't the only one to interview Grant who has been described by many as "one of the shrewdest and most ruthless managers in rock history". He is widely credited with improving pay and conditions for musicians in dealings with concert promoters.

It was Grant who secured for Led Zeppelin an advance deal of $200,000 from Atlantic Records in November 1968, then the biggest deal of its kind for a new band. In their first year, Led Zeppelin managed to complete four US and four UK concert tours, and also released their second album. Their first album Led Zeppelin I was released January, 1969. While on tour in 1969 the group recorded that second album Led Zeppelin II almost entirely on the road at various North American recording studios.

While the group initially started performing in small clubs and ballrooms, Grant kept track of every penny.

The claim that there were a lot of "undocumented concerts" raises red flags. If any money changed hands Grant would have kept an account.

About Grant - it has been printed:

"It is doubtful whether Led Zeppelin would have been as successful without Grant as their manager. He negotiated the group's sizable five-year record contract with Atlantic Records, and his business philosophy would eventually pay off for the label."

1998-Page/Plant returned to the MGM Grand Garden Arena for another concert and album
1995 Page/Plant play the MGM-Grand in Las Vegas and record an album
"Live performances were deemed more important than television appearances - if one wanted to see Led Zeppelin, one had to experience one of their performances."

"Led Zeppelin's particular success in the United States can partly be credited to Grant's keen sense of U.S. audiences and the vast underground movement that was sweeping the country. It was his sound knowledge of the American touring scene which thrust Led Zeppelin into the forefront of the burgeoning American rock market, and under his stewardship, by far the majority of Led Zeppelin concerts were performed in the United States, resulting in massive profits for the group. He ensured that the vast bulk of ticket profits wound up in the hands of the band rather than in the hands of promoters and booking agents. He is reported to have secured 90% of gate money from concerts performed by the band, an unprecedented feat. By taking this shrewd approach he set a new standard for artist management, "single-handedly pioneer[ing] the shift of power from the agents and promoters to the artists and management themselves."

"Grant's determination to protect the financial interests of Led Zeppelin was also reflected by the sometimes-extraordinary measures he took."

This Led Zeppelin Ice Palace scavenger hunt has to stop. It is not the job of the press to do record keeping for any performer. Performers who throw up official websites and entrust their fans with the responsibility of maintaining such sites have a duty to provide them with accurate and complete information.

Broadway to Vegas doesn't personally care if Led Zeppelin did or didn't play Las Vegas. What is of concern is that honest fans who adore the group are trying to set the record straight. Fans deserve better than the artists they created through their loyalty and support mocking their attempts at accuracy.

Broadway To Vegas is supported through advertising and donations. Priority consideration is given to interview suggestions, news, press releases, etc from paid supporters. However, no paid supporters control, alter, edit, or in any way manipulate the content of this site. Your donation is appreciated. We accept PAYPAL.
Thank you for your interest.


Nick Cave the artist, not the Australian musician discusses, his amazing wearable sculptures called Soundsuits, followed by demonstrations with dancers performing in the suits at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Cave combines free-spirited motion exploratory modern dance with ostentatious sculptural detail to breath new life into contemporary art while illustrating and reflecting upon social mores and the cultural landscape.

With references to haute couture, sculpture, performance, African American culture, costume, masquerade and beyond, Nick’s Sound Suits have been described as to "defy categorization."

With a background in fiber textiles and modern dance his Sound Suits emerged out of an attempt to conflate these two disciplines.

Cave received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in l982. He then began graduate studies at North Texas State University receiving his MFA in 1989 MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

The artist takes his 90 Soundsuit performance and works with community based projects, dance companies and outreach to the public schools.

Wednesday, November 4 at the Scottsdale Museum for Contemporary Art in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Russian soprano Lyubov Petrova sits on the lap of Justice Antonin Scalia during a performance of Washington National Opera’s Ariadne auf Naxos. Photo: Karin Cooper for Washington National Opera. .
A tough act to follow.

Two non-speaking extras steal the show.

Justices of the United State Supreme Court playing extras in an opera.

Those black robed arbiters of American law are really a mirthful, opera loving, humorous group of jokesters. Not getting enough attention on the front pages, the august members have taken to being reviewed by theater critics.

Last Saturday two of the black robed legal know-it-alls, Ruth Bader Ginsburg - whose dream of a career as an opera diva was torpedoed only because she can't sing - and tin-eared Antonin Scalia had non-singing roles in the Washington Opera's season-opened Ariadne auf Naxos, an opera by Richard Strauss with a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannstal. The production depicts a serious opera company and a comedic troupe performing at the same time. Ginsburg and Scalia played guests at a dinner party and were on stage for nearly 90 minutes as Andreas Delfs conducted this fanciful production by Chris Alexander.

According to the publication North Dakota Supreme Court, "At one point, Russian soprano Lyubov Petrova sat on Scalia's lap and placed her arm around him, causing the audience to burst into applause. Scalia says he can't remember having more fun on stage.

The justices were joined by Ginsburg's husband, Georgetown University law professor Martin Ginsburg, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and arts philanthropist Adrienne Arsht.

This was a repeat gig for Ginsburg who along with Justice Stephen Breyer had appeared on stage with the Washington Opera in Die Fledermaus, about mistaken identities and romantic temptations at the hands of a friend seeking revenge.

Performing in an opera was actually Breyer's first paying gig.

When he was 12, he got cast as a brown soldier in the San Francisco Opera's production of Boris Godunov. He was paid one dollar even though he couldn't sing - to the point that he was always asked in school to just mouth the words when the class who open the school day by singing Good Morning to You. Breyer has conceded that wasn't a compliment.

Though panned for his singing ability, Breyer has never gotten over being bitten by the theatrical bug. Lately he's returned to his theatrical roots. Last May Breyer appeared as the Ghost in Hamlet as part of the Shakespeare and the Law conference at the University of Chicago Law School. Breyer's performance was part of a collection of scenes from Hamlet; As You Like It and Measure for Measure. The two performances were open to the public, free of charge, subject to space limitations and took place in Hyde Park.

Last week Scalia and Breyer were co-stars in Tucson debating before a packed crowd at the Leo Rich Theatre at the Tucson Convention Center. They were brought to Tucson by the University of Arizona's William H. Rehnquist Center to discuss that laugh riot Principles of Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation. The event was moderated by Pete Williams, NBC News justice correspondent.

North Dakota Supreme Court; reported that "U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer drew laughs from taking a few good-natured jibes at one another, while raising thought-provoking questions about how to interpret the Constitution in an evolving society.

While Scalia insists the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights needs to be interpreted based solely on the words contained within the text, Breyer believes justices need to look beyond the words at such things as tradition, precedent, purpose and consequences.

Breyer noted, for example, when the Constitution was written and people were promised “equal protection under the law.” But there was no on-going debate about same sex marriages at that time, he said. As a result, justices need to consider what the framers intended by that phrase.

Scalia disagreed. He asked the crowd to imagine having a Constitution with a footnote at the end that said something along the lines of “Equal protection means what the Supreme Court says it means from year-to-year.”


Andre Agassi. Brooke Shields convinced him to take off the wig.
causing shock waves in his Las Vegas after he admitted that he was a crystal meth user in 1997 and wore a lion mane-style wig. He'll be signing copies of his new tell all book Open: An Autobiography on November 12 at Barnes & Noble - Fifth Avenue. New York, NY. On the 13th he'll be in Toronto followed by stops in Sunrise, FL, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Menlo Park, CA before returning home to Las Vegas for a book signing at Costco on November 22.

Agassi is generally considered by critics and fellow players to be among the greatest tennis players of all time, and has been called the best service returner in the history of tennis. Known for his unorthodox apparel and attitude, Agassi is often cited as one of the most charismatic players in the history of the game, and deemed largely responsible for the increase in the popularity of tennis during the 1990s.

He is the founder of the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, which has raised over $60 million for at-risk children in Southern Nevada. In 2001, the Foundation opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, a K-12 public charter school for at-risk children.

INNOVATIVE LIVES: REMO BELLI AND KEN KIMERY In this moderated conversation, percussionist and inventor Remo Belli will discuss his experiences as a musician in 1940's Los Angeles and how his community of fellow musicians led to his innovations and inventions in the making of percussion instruments.

The program will be hosted by Ken Kimery, executive producer of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

Following the discussion visitors will be encouraged to join in and express themselves in a drum circle with percussionist and inventor Belli through the use of tuned drums and other percussion instruments.

Saturday, November 6 at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

IN CONVERSATION: CATE BLANCHETT Sydney Theatre Company Co-Artistic Director and Academy Award–winning actress Cate Blanchett sits down with director/playwright Emily Mann to discuss Blanchett's career on the stage and screen and the American premiere of STC's sold out production of A Streetcar Named Desire. November 3 in the Eisenhower Theater of the Kennedy Center. Washington, DC.


starring Tony, Grammy and Golden Globe Award winner Bernadette Peters - a long-time BC/EFA friend and trustee - is a special one-night-only concert November 9 at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre.

The concert is produced by BC/EFA with proceeds benefiting Broadway Barks and BC/EFA. The evening will be directed by Richard Jay-Alexander with musical direction by Marvin Laird.

For this special concert, Peters, the quintessential New Yorker, born in Queens, "will feature material from her Broadway career and recordings, as well as popular songs and personal favorites and will include selections by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerry Herman among them."

GOD OF CARNAGE BENEFIT FOR THE PURPLE ROSE a star-studded Gala Benefit on November 7. Hosted by the producers of the Tony Award Winner for Best Play, Best Director, Best Actress - God of Carnage. Attendees will be see the incredible play followed by a private reception with the producers and all the play's stars - Jeff Daniels, James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis.

Proceeds benefit The Purple Rose Theater which Daniels founded in his hometown of Chelsea, MI, 60 miles west of Detroit.

MISS WORLD CHARITY DINNER launches the 59th Miss World Festival. An evening of international fundraising and world class entertainment.

Miss World finalists from 120 nations will be introduced at The Miss World Charity Dinner. They will be presented on stage, each wearing a dress created by a local designer from their own country. Each of the contestants will be donating a special gift from their home country that will be up for auction All monies raised are in aid of the Variety International Children's Fund. The black tie event is November 9, 2009, Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.

FIRST ANNUAL NEW YORK MUSICAL IMPROV FESTIVAL presented by the Magnet Theater takes place November 6-7, 2009. Eleven teams from NYC and Chicago will create fully-realized musical theatre, in on-the-spot performances. Proceeds from the opening night performance of Don't Quit Your Night Job on November 6, will benefit Open Doors, Theatre Development Fund's arts mentoring program for high school students. Started by playwright Wendy Wasserstein, its goal is to explore the relevance of theatre in the lives of today's youth. This benefit show will feature special guest performers who will be announced on the night of the performance.

Don't Quit Your Night Job is where Broadway and improv meet - and make out. After the curtain comes down on their Broadway shows, these veteran performers create a late night happening of improvised music, sketches and offbeat performances you won't see anywhere else. Who needs a composer, when these Broadway actors can craft their own songs on the spot? Featuring Dan Lipton, David Rossmer, Sarah Saltzberg, Steve Rosen.

76 TROMBONES + FOUR 25th ANNUAL CONCERT where trombonists toot their horns to raise money for the Abe Nole Scholarship Fund to assist trombone players. Nelson Sardelli will be master of ceremonies for this year's event, which draws players from across the country. The program will feature soloists Bill Booth, Elliot Mason and Irv Wagner with special guest conductor-arranger Harry Betts. Presented by the College of Fine Arts, Department of Music. Art Ham Concert Hall at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Sunday, November 8.

Jason Issacs
a powerful piece of theatre fusing music, poetry and drama. An artist’s response to the price of war, which honors the fallen and counts the cost of their sacrifice.

Actor Jason Isaacs, famed for his roles in the Harry Potter films, will be reading the letters Rifleman Thatcher mailed to his parents. Rifleman Thatcher, of the 2nd Battalion The Rifles, was killed in an explosion while on patrol near Gereshk, Helmand, on June 2. Isaacs also worked closely with soldiers while filming Paul Greengrass's thriller Green Zone alongside Matt Damon recently. Other participants include actor Sam West, who will be reading Wilfred Owen's Futility, and former SAS soldier Ben Griffin, who will be reading Siegfried Sassoon's, A Soldier's Declaration. Also on board are Robert Powell, Clive Rowe, Jane Milligan (daughter of Spike Milligan), West End star Maggie Preece, ex soldier and writer Adnan Sarwar, and Palestinian singer, musician and broadcaster, Reem Kelani.

Former MP and veteran campaigner Tony Benn will again host the 2009 event, together with acclaimed actress and singer Janie Dee. The artists and production team give their time freely for the event and all profits go to the Mark Wright Project. named in honor of the 27-year-old Corporal from the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, who was killed when British forces first went into Helmand in 2006. The organization helps ex-servicemen and women overcome the mental wounds of war.

The event takes place on England's Rembrance Sunday, November 8, at the Duke of Yorks Theatre, London.

in our contest for Broadway to Vegas readers to win the magnificent Joshua Bell CD At Home With My Friends. ( See Broadway To Vegas column of October 18, 2009 ) Receiving the CD will be Abby Ann Newson of Peoria, IL and Jacob Vickers of Orlando, FL.

By the way, Bell has a date at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama continues her musical series of educational workshops and evening performances at the White house with a classical music program this coming week. Performers scheduled to take part include the Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, the Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin, the cellist Alisa Weilerstein and the pianist Awadagin Pratt.

NEW YORK CITY BALLET has promoted five dancers to the rank of principal dancer and that a sixth member of the corps had been promoted to soloist. The soloists Tyler Angle, Robert Fairchild, Tiler Peck, Amar Ramasar and Teresa Reichlen have been given the new rank of principal dancer; Kathryn Morgan, a member of the corps since 2007, had been designated a soloist. The new principal dancers will make their debut performances in their new roles at an opening-night benefit on November 24 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in a new work by Peter Martins, the company’s Ballet Master in Chief, set to John Adam's Naïve and Sentimental Music.

bestowed by the New Jersey Theatre Alliance took place Monday, October 26 at the Two River Theater company in Red Bank, NJ. Two companies received the stand-up oval glass award with a star in the corner. The East Lynne Theater Company located in West Cape May, NJ "for 30 years of celebrating America's heritage through productions and educational programs." Presenting the award was Steve Steiner, Artistic Director of Surflight Theatre located in Beach Haven, NJ, who noted in his speech that ELTC has produced 135 different plays and musicals, including 39 world premieres and 12 NJ premieres, and was asked by the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at Ohio State University, to house ELTC's archives. He also cited the robust touring and educational programs ranging from Elderhostels to student workshops. Accepting the award was Artistic Director Gayle Stahlhuth, who has helmed the company since 1999.

The other recipient of an Achievement of Excellence Award was Paper Mill Playhouse, for being the "guardian of the American musical" for 70 years, producing both American classics and world premiers, several of which have moved to Broadway. The Achievement of Excellence Awards are not given every year, but NJTA always honors individuals or organizations that support the arts in extraordinary ways. This year, Abby O'Neill, who is past-President of the Board of Trustees of NJTA, received the Star Award. Carol A. Herbert, who recently stepped down as Board Chair of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, received the Award of Appreciation.

The evening featured a performance by Julia Knitel who is currently appearing in the Broadway revival of Bye, Bye, Birdie. Ms. Knitel got her start as a member of Paper Mill Playhouse’s Summer Conservatory, and was the recipient of one of the Millburn theatre’s 2009 Rising Star Awards.

The New Jersey Theatre Alliance is the consortium of professional, not-for-profit theatres in New Jersey. Founded in 1981, it is the only statewide service organization for professional, not-for-profit theater companies in the United States and is viewed by New Jersey's arts community and its colleagues in the service industry nationwide as a leader in developing model programs which foster collaboration, cooperation and audience development. It exists to promote and develop professional theaters in the Garden State.


DENNIS HOPPER who has cancelled all appearance so he concentrate on treating his prostate cancer. The Oscar nominated actor was expected to attend an Australian exhibition of his artwork and photography, entitled Dennis Hopper And The New Hollywood. Tony Sweeney, a spokesman for the Australian Center for the Moving Image, said: "Obviously his health is the number one priority and we wish him a very speedy recovery."

SIR ELTON JOHN not fully recovered from the flu has had to postpone the last concert of his Red Piano tour which should have taken place last Friday. Promoters are hoping to reschedule in December. John and Billy Joel has been touring together when John fell ill last July forcing several US shows to be scrapped.


NEIL SIMON'S PLAYS Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound seem doomed. On October 30 the New York Times broke the story that Brighton Beach Memoirs which opened October 25 at the Nederlander Theatre would close Nov. 1, and that its companion play, Broadway Bound, would not begin November 18 as a run in repertory. Immediately producers of the revivals issued an evening statement that said a "provisional" closing notice has been posted for November 1.

The two productions feature many of the same cast members; Brighton Beach Memoirs features Laurie Metcalf, Dennis Boutsikaris, Santino Fontana, Jessica Hecht, Gracie Bea Lawrence, Noah Robbins and Alexandra Socha. Broadway Bound stars Metcalf, Boutsikaris, Fontana, Hecht, Josh Grisetti and Allan Miller.

"The notice can be taken down at any time and no final decision on closing will be made until Monday, Nov 2, when a statement will be issued," according to the Friday night statement.

Jim Norton as Finian McLonergan and Kate Baldwin as Sharon
with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, book by Fred Saidy and Harburg. Arthur Perlman brilliantly revised and adapted the libretto. Expertly directed and choreographed Warren Carlyle.

The original 1947 Broadway production ran for 725 performances. This production deserve to do even better.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: I once directed a community theater production of Finian's Rainbow - not the easiest musical to mount - and several lifetimes later still love the show and have the original version memorized. ) When first mounted this magical delight was extremely daring putting a sassy satirical spin on bigotry, immigration and economic greed. Given the current economic conditions the staging of this show isn't a daring financial risk, rather a shrewd investment. The audience gets the message and that message is still relevant.

What each cast member ought to do is look up the word perfect under synonyms. Then just pick any of the superlative words they prefer to describe their own vocal ability and performance.

The musical tells the story of two Irish émigrés the charming dreamer Finian McLonergan (Tony winner Jim Norton) and his headstrong daughter Sharon (Kate Baldwin) who travel to a small Southern town of Rainbow Valley, Missitucky with a get rich quick scheme -
to bury their stolen pot of gold in the shadows of Fort Knox, in the belief that money laden atmosphere will cause the bounty to multiply.

They have been followed from Ireland by the owner of the gold, a skirt chasing, mischief making leprechaun named Og (Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald) who is slowly becoming human and will stay that way if he can't recover his gold. They’re welcomed by the locals, black and white alike, which include labor organizer and town hunk Woody Mahoney (Cheyenne Jackson) and tobacco field sharecroppers headed up by no nonsense Dottie, played by the sensational Terri White who can stop the show singing Necessity.

Christopher Fitzgerald as Og
Finian and Sharon face a host of complications: a bigoted Senator, a credit crisis, that pesky leprechaun, the inappropriate granting of three wishes and, of course, a complicated love affair that gives birth to some of the most witty, charming and heartfelt songs ever written for the stage.

Finian and Sharon end up on the wrong side of the bigoted Senator Rawkins (David Schramm) who is "accidentally" turned into a black man played by Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper. None other that the exceptional blues musician Guy Davis has been cast as the harmonica-playing Sunny; Brian Reddy plays the Sheriff, and William Youmans is Buzz Collins.

Former ABT ballerina Alina Faye who is making her Broadway debut does her turns to perfection as the Woody's mute sister Susan, who expresses herself entirely through dance.

The ensemble comprises Aaron Bantum, Tanya Birl, Christopher Borger, Meggie Cansler, Bernard Dotson, Leslie Donna Flesner, Sara Jean Ford, Taylor Frey, Lisa Gajda, Kearran Giovanni, Tim Hartman, Lauren Lim Jackson, Grasan Kingsberry, Kevin Ligon, Monica L. Patton, Joe Aaron Reid, Steve Schepis, Devin Richards, Rashidra Scott, Brian Sears, Paige Simunovich, James Stovall, Elisa van Duyne and Tyrick Wiltez Jones.

This new production features scenic design by John Lee Beatty; costume design by Toni-Leslie James who created nearly 200 pieces; lighting design by Ken Billington; sound design by Scott Lehrer; hair/wig/make-up design by Wendy Parson and music supervision and vocal arrangements by Rob Berman, who also conducts. The magic consultant is Matthew Holtzclaw.

The original orchestrations are used here; they are by Robert Russell Bennett and Don Walker; the original dance music arrangements are by Trude Rittman. Additional orchestrations are by Larry Moore. The score includes such classics as Look to the Rainbow; How Are Things in Glocca Morra; When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love (I Love the Girl I'm Near); The Begat; Old Devil Moon; Necessity and If This Isn't Love.

With the recent Broadway openings of a couple of musical disappointments, Finian's Rainbow which officially opened October 29, charms, delights and gives Broadway a needed boost. If you're economizing on holiday spending, get something of value for your money -buy tickets for Finian's Rainbow. As the song says - Look to the Rainbow - that would be Finian's Rainbow which can be enjoyed at the St. James Theatre in NYC.

THE RIGHT KIND OF PEOPLE by Charles Grodin. Directed by Tom Holehan.

Powerplays among the member of a New York City co-op apartment building take flight in this serious contemporary comedy.

Actor Charles Grodin, who served on a Fifth Avenue co-op board for several years, chronicles the biases, the petty squabbles and the subtle (and not so subtle) prejudices in this comic, all-too-real comedy of manners.

November 6-21, 2009 at Square One Theatre Company in Stratford, CT.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON make her Broadway debut starring in a revival of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge. Johansson will appear opposite actor Liev Schreiber in the drama set in 1950s America about a Brooklyn dockyard worker obsessed with his 17-year-old niece, to be played by Johansson. Previews will begin December 28 and the show is scheduled to run for 14 weeks.

the Tony nominated musical will premiere in Japan in a new production directed by Amon Miyamoto who was the first Japanese citizen to direct a Broadway musical, receiving a Tony nomination for his 2004 Broadway revival of Pacific Overtures. He will helm a Japanese language production of the musical about the infamous East Hampton mother and daughter, that features a score by composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie and a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright.

Frankel, Korie and Wright will be in attendance for the Japan opening.

Portraying Little Edie Beale will be Shinovu Ohtake, with Mitsuko Kusabue as the elder, Big Edie Beale. The cast also features Kanami Ayano (Young Edie), Takuji Kawakubo (Joe Kennedy), Keigo Yoshino (George Gould Strong), David Yano (Brooks), Akihiko Mitsueda (Major Bouvier), Tomoyo Kurosawa/Kurumi Okubo (Jacqueline Bouvier) and Yuka Oshita/Kanon Fujisaki (Lee Bouvier). Shigeru Yawata serves as musical director, with choreography by Chie Oka, set design by Takeshi Kata, lighting design by Ryuichi Nakawgawa, costume design by Ayako Maeda and wig design by Sakie. Grey Gardens will premiere at Theatre Creation in Tokyo opening November 7 with performances through December 6. A mini tour will follow including stops in Osaka and Nagoya in December.

THE MIRACLE WORKER the first time this William Gibson play has been revived on Broadway since the original 1959 production that starred Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft will return to the stage March 3, directed by Kate Whoriskey.

The drama will star Academy Award-nominated star of Little Miss Sunshine, 13-year-old Abilgail Breslin, making her Broadway debut as Helen Keller and Alison Pill as Annie Sullivan.

The production will be staged in the round at Circle in the Square Theater, with previews to begin on February 12.

based on the Warner Brothers Movie A Christmas Story and Jean Shepherd’s novel In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Book by Joseph Robinette Music and lyrics by Scott Davenport Richards.

This world premiere being directed by Kansas City's Rep's artistic director Eric Rosen began rehearsals last Tuesday.

The cast of 20 actors, including eight children, includes several veteran Broadway actors. James Judy plays the story’s originator and its narrator Jean Shepherd. Ralphie is portrayed by Zachary Carter Sayle, fresh from the Broadway national tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!. His parents, referred to as “The Old Man” and “Mother”, are played by John Bolton and Anne L. Nathan. Ralphie’s younger brother Randy will be played by Jake Siegfried.

The full cast of A Christmas Story, The Musical! includes Becky Barta (Miss Shields), John Bolton (The Old Man), Aaron Conley (Flick), Troy Doherty (Scut Farcus), Patrick DuLaney (Chorus), Karen Errington (Chorus), Seth Golay (Chorus), Jennie Greenberry (Chorus), Dakota Hoar (Schwartz), James Judy (Jean/Ralph as narrator), Katie Kalahurka (Chorus), Katherine McNamara (Girl), Orville Mendoza (Chorus), Alan Mingo, Jr. (Chorus), Anne L. Nathan (Mother), Kip Niven (Chorus), Zachary Rand (Grover Dill), Zachary Carter Sayle (Ralphie), Vanessa Severo (Chorus) and Jake Siegfried (Randy).

This classic holiday tale centers around a mischievous, bespectacled boy in small town America in an earlier, carefree time. Ralphie has one dream: getting a BB-gun for Christmas, despite repeated (and now-infamous) warnings of “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” In the weeks before the big holiday, Ralphie, his friends and family get into all kinds of situations - including run-ins with a yellow-eyed bully, a tongue frozen to a lamp post, a bar of soap in the mouth, a garish “major award” in the form of mannequin leg lamp, and a Chinese Christmas dinner. A Christmas Story, The Musical! runs November 20 through December 27 at Spencer Theatre in the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

KABALE AND LIEBE (INTRIGUE AND LOVE) written by Germany’s leading 18th century dramatist and writer Friedrich Schiller. Directed by Kerstin Jacobssen. The Meininger Theater, one of the Germany’s leading theaters, makes its debut in China with this production.

Kabale und Liebe tells the tragic tale of two lovers, an aristocrat Ferdinand von Walter and the commoner, Luise Miller, who experience a vile intrigue which is dictated by an infamous political regime. By means of a compromising letter, which is extorted under duress, the lover is made to suspect his sweetheart's fidelity.

It was performed for the first time on April 14, 1784 in Frankfurt, and then two days later in the National Theatre in Mannheim in Schiller's presence. The play was a massive success, running in Berlin, but banned in Stuttgart. It appeared in print in 1784 in Mannheim; an English translation was released in 1795, and a French version followed in 1799. Schiller and the City of Meiningen have been connected to each other from the very beginning, since this city is where Schiller escaped into exile in 1783 to finish his drama and where he worked as a librarian.

In commemoration of the 250 anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Schiller, the 178 years' old Germany's leading theater - the Meininiger Theater - stages its first China tour.

Performed in German with Chinese subtitles The timeless classic drama will be played in Shanghai at the Shanghai Oriental Center on November 10 and 11, followed by performances in Beijing at the PLA Theater on November 12 and 13.

an off-Broadway world premiere by Kenneth Lonergan who also directs.

Starring Tony-Award Matthew Broderick for whom the play was spefically written. Broderick is a charming gentleman who has lately been criticized for not knowing his lines. When the production opened in previews last week Broderick was calling out for lines so often that producers postponed the official opening by a week until November 23.

In addition to Broderick the play also features Academy Award nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno, J. Smith Cameron, Stephanie Cannon, Kieran Culkin, Merwin Goldsmith, Grant Shaud and Missy Yager.

In production notes Lonergan states that the inspiration for this play "dates back to an astronomy course at The Hayden Planetarium that Matthew Broderick and I took as high school students growing up in New York City."

The play "follows an astronomy teacher whose midlife crisis is thrown into relief by an unexpected affair that changes everything. It's set in 1995, the last year before the [Hayden] planetarium - - one of the great NYC institutions - was torn down."

Sets by Derek McLane; Mattie Ullrich is the costume designer; Jason Lyons' lighting and Shane Rettig sound.

Currently in previews with performances through December 12 at The New Group Theatre on Theatre Row in NYC.


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND resume their tour following the October 26 death Lenny Sullivan, 36, a cousin of Bruce Springsteen who served as the assistant tour manger of the E Street Band for the last ten years. He was found dead in his hotel room on October 26 The group cancelled their show which was to have played Kansas City that night. The group picks up with shows November 2 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. On November 4 they are at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC. On Saturday they begin a two night stand at Madison Square Garden in NYC.

U2 will perform a free concert at the Brandenburg Gate to mark 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The November 5 gig will form part of the MTV Europe Music Awards in the German capital and precede events to mark the anniversary. The band's performance will be beamed into the MTV Awards, which are taking place at Berlin's O2 World arena. The ceremony, which will be hosted by singer Katy Perry for the second year in succession, will include performances from Robbie Williams and Jay-Z.

MARY CLEERE HARAN celebrating the Johnny Mercer Centennial November 5-7 at Feinstein's At Loew's Regency in NYC.

JERRY SEINFELD telling funny stories Friday, November 6 at the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee, WI.

NATALIE COLE on stage Thursday, November 5 at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA On Friday she entertains at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach, VA.

LYLE LOVETT on stage Monday, November 2, at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD. Tuesday the tour stops at The Egg in Albany, NY. Wednesday the show is at the Beacon Theatre in NYC. The full performance week continues with a show Thursday at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. On Friday the folks in Boston will be entertained at the Orpheum Theatre and on Saturday the entertainment is at The Klein in Bridgeport, CT.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA hosted by Dana Lorge and Richard Skipper. This week's guests include: Arianna, Moira Danis, Elaine St. George, Daryl Glenn and Lynn DiMenna. November 4 at the Iguana VIP Lounge in NYC.

LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & UPRIGHT CABARET announce the performers for their very first Upright Cabaret experience at the new Cabaret Lounge at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in LaMirada, CA. Michael Arden, Valarie Pettiford and Matt Cusson will be performing the music of Joni Mitchell, Doris Day and Brian Wilson, under the musical direction of Chris Bratten, in a one night only concert on Sunday, November 8, 2009.

LUCY SHROPSHIRE presents a new show All Sides Of Love at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, on Tuesday, November 3 David Shenton is the musical director/pianist for the program that features bass player David Finck. It is produced and directed by Jim Semmelman.


MICHAEL FRAZIER a theatrical producer, who presented Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, on Broadway, died of complications of Parkinson's disease on October 23, in Great Barrington, Mass. He was 72.

Frazier began his Broadway career in 1973 when he joined several others to present a revival of Clare Booth Luce's The Women starring Kim Hunter, Myrna Loy and Alexis Smith.

Next Column: November 8, 2009
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Laura Deni

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