Our village and this writer has lost a great friend, a pioneer of our entertainment community, and one-hell-of-a-nice-guy.  I first got to really know Maynard Sloate (95) around 1966 when he was in charge of the “Blue Room” at the Tropicana Hotel, and I was a sports columnist for the Las Vegas Sun. Now, the “Blue Room” was not the main showroom but it was what we used to call a “Super Lounge.”  This particular room (most hotels had such rooms in those days) was curtained off, had a Maitre d’, and sat about 250 comfortably. He booked the room until 1968 when he was named Entertainment Director for the entire Hotel, which eventually included two editions of the world famous “Folles Bergere.” In  1972 the Trop was sold and Maynard moved downtown to the Union Plaza to become its Entertainment Director, where he began to book Broadway style shows, revues, and star talent into its showroom. In total I would guess he may have produced some 35 plus Broadway Productions, while also producing Broadway shows at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City.

 

The list of hotels where he was responsible for producing top-notch entertainment includes the Sahara, Hacienda, Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe, and the Showboat in Australia.  In total I would estimate he either produced, directed or was responsible (in one way or another) for some 300 Broadway style shows from 1972 through 2000.

 

One of many short stories I could tell: I remember one night at the Bootlegger, when I was there on a Friday or Saturday (who can remember for sure the night after so many years) I was having dinner with I believe a friend, Marvin Lashever and his lady, when Maynard walked in alone.  I invited him to join us.  We started telling stories and before we knew it was darn near midnight   He was a great story teller.

 

Maynard’s career actually began in Los Angeles (where he was born in 1924) as a drummer who played with such jazz greats as Stan Getz, Errol Garner and Buddy de Franco. I remember watching (didn’t register with me then) when he would sit in on the drums at the world famous “Lighthouse” in Hermosa Beach, where I used to hang out on occasional weekends before moving to Vegas in 1965. By that time, he had become a talent agent, owner or operator of some pretty well-known nightclubs in Los Angeles, and eventually moving to Las Vegas in 1965 to work at the Tropicana .

 

Maynard lived a great life.  He was a friend to so many Las Vegans, and guided a lot of entertainers along the road to stardom (to many to list). He will be missed. He is survived by his daughters, Stacey and Nicole Sloate. If you knew Maynard and would like to be with him one more time, the family has invited you to a Celebration of a Life Well Lived this coming Sunday, Nov. 17, at Palm Eastern Mortuary.  The celebration will begin at noon with viewing hours prior and a reception to follow.

 

Maynard Jay Sloate: October 31, 1924—November 4, 2019    You are now joining a list of fantastic entertainers, who have been waiting for you to produce some Great Shows on that Golden Stage above. Have a fabulous good time! I will miss you.

 

THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:

 

Tournament of Kings: ‘Twas the Knight” makes its return to Excalibur Hotel & Casino November 20 – December 31, continuing the popular holiday tradition. The Tournament of Kings Arena magically transforms into a winter wonderland, guaranteeing all a ‘holly jolly’ time during this limited engagement.  The holiday show has become a tradition for many during this festive time of year,” said Excalibur Hotel & Casino president & COO Eric Fitzgerald. ‘Twas the Knight’ builds on the success of the Tournament of Kings’ original dinner show and offers our guests an entertaining, celebratory experience.”

 

King Arthur cordially invites all to joust in the medieval merriment of his kingdom while cheering on their country’s hero in an epic battle for honor. Audiences will witness the magical Merlin summon snowfall on the Kingdom while listening to holiday-inspired music, poems and songs performed by the cast. “Tournament of Kings: ‘Twas the Knight” will feature magnificently designed holiday costumes, majestic banners, flags and a castle light illuminating the spirit of the festive season upon the lands. The vignettes created for the show include a specially choreographed ribbon dance and a skilled rider upon an Andalusian stallion.


Guests will indulge in a three-course feast which, true to the time of Merlin, will be eaten sans utensils. The festive meal includes a rich Dragon’s Blood (tomato) Soup, fresh Cornish Game Hen, tasty baked jeweled yams, freshly roasted broccoli trees, Maple Whole Wheat Biscuit and a decadent apple strudel.

 

General admission tickets are available at the Excalibur Box Office, online at mgmresorts.com/excalibur, or by phone at (702) 597-7600. Nevada residents (with a valid I.D.) receive a $10 discount on admission. Children three years of age and younger are complimentary while sitting on an adult’s lap

 

 

 

The movie Ford v Ferrari is out now and is getting great reviews.  I personally have not been to see it yet, but it is on my “bucket list.” The following review was authored by Mark Vaughn:

 

Ford v Ferrari is a terrific movie, which may not be all that surprising considering it’s based on an epic story. You and I know the story well, some of us a little too well. Don’t let that knowledge of the actual history on which this Hollywood fantasy is based bog you down as you watch the movie. Don’t say to anyone within earshot in the theater, “They didn’t have that brand of shoelaces until the following year, this is (malarkey)!” No one will likely care, and you will never get a second date with the date you brought with you. Just watch it and let yourself be drawn into what is among the greatest stories in racing history.

 

If Steve McQueen’s “Le Mans” had the best racing sequences but little to no discernable plot, and “The Art of Racing in the Rain” had a plot that was too long and manipulative and got in the way of the few, nicely filmed racing sequences, and if John Frankenheimer’s 1966 hit “Grand Prix” is the closest any filmmaker had previously ever gotten to the total package, despite its schmaltzy subplots, then Ford v Ferrari is your new Best Racing Movie Ever. Except for maybe “Rush,” which was also great... or Pixar's “Cars.” Go ahead and argue that one out for the next couple of weeks. But go see this new one. And bring all your non-racing friends, too. They will enjoy it as much as you because Ford v Ferrari is above all else a story, a story well told, and that is the basis of any good movie.

 

In honor of its unwavering commitment to saluting the United States Armed Forces, Speedway Motorsports was named the recipient of the 2019 President’s Veterans Recognition Award from Coca-Cola.

 

 

The prestigious award was presented at The Coca-Cola Company’s annual Veterans Day Celebration in Atlanta  to Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith, who accepted the accolades on behalf of Speedway Motorsports’ eight world-class motorsports entertainment facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.

 

“It is a tremendous honor to receive the President’s Veterans Recognition Award from such an organization as well-respected as Coca-Cola,” Smith said. “Our company prides itself on offering unmatched experiences for veterans, active-duty military guests and their families. Our initiatives are simply an effort to say ‘thank you’ to our heroes in the U.S. Armed Forces. Because of what they do, we get to do what we do. This award is a credit to the never-ending support for our military from the Speedway Motorsports family, and we are humbled by this recognition.”

 

Among Speedway Motorsports’ military support programs, the newly created Welcome Home Patriots initiative is designed to improve the lives of servicemen and servicewomen after active duty. The first-of-its-kind program salutes, engages and enables members of the U.S. Armed Forces as they transition to civilian life. Additionally, Speedway Motorsports offers military discounts at all eight venues and promotes discounted ticket purchases at Charlotte Motor Speedway through the speedway’s unique Patriot Partners program – which has distributed more than 100,000 NASCAR event tickets to military bases and the USO since the program’s inception in 2010.

 

I was invited to catch a special show last Saturday evening at Bobby Mao’s Restaurant located inside the Galleria Mall in Henderson, by the lovely, dynamic, and close friend,  entertainer Kelly Clinton-Holmes who would be hosting the entertainment that night. Kelly will also be booking the entertainment in the restaurant every weekend. This particular evening the place was filled to the rafters with friends, regulars, and a bevy of fantastic entertainers.

 

 

 

It all kicked off with Kelly opening the night with a couple of her songs, backed by her trio led by Dennis Blair on guitar. This was then followed by her first guest who started a parade of guests who would come on stage and sing a song or two.  First up was one of my favorites, Genevieve, who we first met back in 2002 when she was performing at the Rio and is a mainstay on the local entertainment scene. The dual of Kelly and Genievieve singing “Natural Woman” was one of the first of many highlights. Another highlight was Mark OToole’s rendition of “You Don’t Know Me.”  Both Mark and Genievieve will be appearing on coming weekends. Other’s in the house were Art Vargas, Don Cunningham who did a great “scat” routine with Clint Holmes, Eric Sean, and Ned Mills who was a huge hit with his miniature trumpet and a Louis Armstrong routine.  Mills will be working some of the weekends also according to Clinton-Holmes. 

 

The restaurant prides its self on serving some of the finest Chinese and Mexican cuisine in the village.  Beverages range from $5.50 for draft beer, to white and red wines at $8.00.  Service is very good and fairly quick (even with a full house). Bobby Mao’s is located at the main entrance of the Mall as you enter it is on your left. Actual address is 1300 W Sunset Rd, Henderson, NV 89014, and for reservation call 702-547-6649.

 

Well gang, see ya around the village.  I’m outa here!

 

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