We had the pleasure of interviewing Sammy Davis Jr. 's widow, Altovise, for our new television show Hollywood Marci, at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. Sammy, arguably the most talented performer ever, got his Star on the street he made famous - Las Vegas Boulevard. Altvoise related how proud she was when all the lights on the Strip were dimmed on the day of his funeral in 1990.
|Fred Travelena, Altovise Davis, Michael Colyar, George Wallace, Clint Holmes & Dr.Susan Stafford (photo courtesy of Las Vegas New Bureau)|
She told us about a new book by Burt Boyar, Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr., which shares previously unpublished images from Sammy's vast collection. So now we can add photographer, to his myriad of credits - dancer, actor, singer & humanitarian. Her lovely eyes welled up when Louie Velez, who toured the country portraying Sammy with The Rat Pack, performed "Candy Man".
|Joe Frazier modeling at Exclusive Fashion Show|
Others paying tribute included Dr. Susan Stafford, original hostess of Wheel of Fortune, Glen Campbell's daughter-in-law Trudy, who sang "God Bless the USA", Johnny Ray Watson, whose rendition of 'Old Man River" reminded us of Paul Robeson, and lovely Roxanne McPherson, who acts as Emcee for all the promotions at the Venetian. A standing ovation followed Clint Holmes rendition of "I've Got To Be Me "which certainly was Sammy's credo.
|Lani Misalucha, star of "Society of Seven|
Comedy shtick was ably handled by Michael Colyar, who can be seen in Norbit with Eddie Murphy, impressionist Fred Travelena and George Wallace, who just won the award for "Best Stand Up Comedian". Kudos to President of the Walk of Stars, Bob Alexander and Ed Swindle, for a fitting tribute to Mr. Las Vegas, Sammy Davis, Jr.
|Susan Stafford, Champion Boxer Ken Norton & Marci at The Exclusive|
While in town, we also covered a once in a lifetime experience, "Main Event", a Fashion Knock-Out, featuring the worlds greatest boxing champs modeling the world's greatest fashions. Such hard hitters as Tommy "The Hitman' Hearns, Ray "Boom Boom Mancini, and Ken Norton strolled down the runway at the Exclusive Fashion Show of the Century. The Exclusive, formed in 1997 by Hyela Makoujy, Larry Hymes and Stevi Goetz, produces a trade show that attracts quality exhibitors and buyers .Some of the designers whose apparel was modeled in the show include Continental Leather, Lorenzo Uomo, and Pangborn Design Collection. You had to see Smokin Joe Frazier strutting down the carpet, with two bodacious babes on each arm. He even sang a few hip hop songs to the delight of the SRO audience.
|President of Walk of the Stars, Bob Alexander at Sammy Davis Jr. Dedication|
And last, but not least, had the opportunity to see the Society of Seven at the Flamingo Hotel. This is a best way to spend an afternoon in Vegas, and come out a winner. Comprised of Hawaii's finest performers, the show is emceed by Tony Ruivivar, and features Lani Misalucha, truly a Dream Girl in every sense of the word. Her vocal prowess ranges from opera to a solid imitation of Shania Twain. Like the other members of the group, she is a native of the Philippines, and their combined talent and charm are infectious. They perform everything from blues, ballads, comedy and impersonations, and bring a new meaning to the word "talented". A must see for us travelers from the Hollywood Beat.
|Richie Sambora will host and perform at the "Malibu Performing Arts Center Presents Benefit Concert For The Midnight Mission"|
SAVE THE DATE: This Friday, March 23, the new Malibu Performing Arts Center will host a benefit concert for The Midnight Mission featuring performances by the best in A-list Rock n' Roll talent. Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) will host and perform along with Los Lobos, Jackson Browne, Ilsey Juber and the Zen Cruisers (Clem Burke [Blondie], Elliot Easton [The Cars], Doug Fieger [The Knack] and Teddy "Zig Zag" Andreadis [Guns N Roses, Alice Cooper, and Carol King]) at the 500-seat acoustically perfect auditorium. Platinum level tickets include a privately catered dinner in the banquet hall, along with VIP seats for $1,000 each. Gold level tickets include a cocktail party and gold level seats for $500 each, while Silver level tickets are available for $90 each and offer reserved seating. A live and silent auction will precede the performance.
Platinum & Gold tickets are available at the MPAC box office and Silver tickets at www.ticketweb.com. A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible and all net proceeds from the benefit will go directly to The Midnight Mission. For nearly a century The Midnight Mission has served the Los Angeles homeless population with empathy and respect and made available the necessities of life to the men, women and children of Skid Row, including: food, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene needs, counseling, educational and vocational training, and medical care.