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April 23, 2014

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Las Vegas hypnotists shaken by Scott Lewis’ death; Perez-Moreno in ‘Frankie squared’

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Marc Savard.

Hypnotist Scott Lewis Dies

Hypnotist Dr. Scott Lewis, a longtime performer at Riviera Las Vegas, died in a fall from a balcony on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in Sydney, Australia. Launch slideshow »

At this writing, The Kats Report Bureau is just outside Lounge at the Palms, where Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns have moved their weekly show times from 10:30 p.m. Mondays to 10:30 p.m. Sundays.

This adjustment in the calendar began this month and will require an extensive outreach campaign to retrain fans of the great show band to adjust their schedules.

So, here is that extensive outreach campaign: Santa Fe is now playing at 10:30 p.m. Sundays. Adjust your schedules.

With that, we rake:

• The death of Scott Lewis has rattled the tight-knit community of Vegas performance hypnotists. Similar to magicians, hypnotists know one another at least on a casual level. But Marc Savard of V Theater at Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood was a friend of Lewis, who died Saturday morning Australia time after a fall from a downtown Sydney apartment building. A weekly headliner at the Riviera for nine years ending in 2010, Lewis’ body was found on a fourth-floor balcony after witnesses reported seeing him fall at least six stories. He was 50.

Lewis was part of “The Illusionists 2.0” tour, which was being staged at the Opera House in Sydney. The shows opened Thursday, with the end date this Thursday. To prepare for his reduced role in the show, which featured a series of hypnotists, Lewis met with Savard in Las Vegas a little more than a month ago.

“I am devastated,” Savard said via text Saturday morning just after reading the reports from international news outlets that Lewis had died (Sydney is 19 hours ahead of Las Vegas). “He and I just met for late-night food to discuss his portion of ‘Illusionists 2.’ He asked my advice on how to approach a shortened time slot. He was only doing 20 minutes. … He and I were fairly close.”

Anthony Cools of Paris Las Vegas remembers arriving in 2003 and added, “He was a very nice man, one of the only guys who welcomed me here.”

“He was one of the nice guys,” Savard continued. “Not a mean bone in his body.”

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Franky Perez performs at the Palms and Red Rock.

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Frankie Moreno joins “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s as a special guest Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.

• Pantera’s Vinnie Paul stated it in his own affable manner Wednesday night: “Holy (stuff)! It’s Frankie squared!” They don’t spell their first names the same, but Franky Perez took in the Frankie Moreno show at the Stratosphere for the first time last week. Moreno has shuffled his show around some (the new set highlighted by “Cry Baby,” a song written in Paris last spring, and the bounding rocker “Diva” that sounds an awful lot like a radio hit).

Perez has since jetted (as he is a genuine jet-setter) to Los Angeles for dates with the similarly Las Vegas-affiliated The Crystal Method, founded 20 years ago (wow) in VegasVille by Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan. Perez fronts the electronic act Thursday night at El Rey Theater, a performance being recorded for an upcoming appearance on “Last Call With Carson Daly.” The gig is a promotional show in support of the upcoming album “The Difference,” the title track of which was written by, and sung by, Mr. Perez.

• More from the Moreno Black Room: On hand Friday night were bassist Ben McKee and drummer Dan Platzman of the Las Vegas-launched band Imagine Dragons, one of the hottest rock acts in the world right now for its Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year and Rock Performance of the Year for “Radioactive.” Moreno introduced the guys from the stage, then summoned his sons, Giovanni and Luciano, who have been performing a rap-dance number occasionally during the show.

But on Friday, he first brought the boys out to wave to the guys from I.D. “That’s all they care about, meeting Imagine Dragons,” Moreno laughed.

• Odd note from Saturday’s Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots AFC divisional playoff game: Colts cheerleader Mackinzee Love is a former backing dancer in the Donny & Marie show at Flamingo Las Vegas. This is the sort of information that network color commentators can use near the end of a 21-point blowout.

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Deven May receives a gift from Mark Shunock during "Mondays Dark," a monthly charitable event, at Body English on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, in the Hard Rock Hotel.

• Mighty Mark Shunock of “Rock of Ages” is dialing up his next “Mondays Dark” variety show next Monday night at Hard Rock Hotel’s music venue Vinyl (the first two were at Body English).

Set to perform are Adrian Zmed (who has performed in stage versions of “Grease” in five decades and was a highlight in the short-lived “Surf: The Musical” at Planet Hollywood), Jason Oles and Brandon Nix of “Rock of Ages” at the Venetian; Cheaza, late of “Peepshow”; Jasmine Trias and Ben Stone; Travis Cloer of “Jersey Boys”; Felice Garcia of “Million Dollar Quartet” (and Top 10 finalist in the 2014 Miss Nevada USA Pageant on Sunday night at UNLV); and Melody Sweets of “Absinthe.”

The band is Dave Richardson on keys, Dan DeMoralis on bass and Paco (simply Paco) on percussion. Silent auction is at 8:30 p.m., show set for 9:30. Tickets are $20, and money raised goes to the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Composers Showcase at Cabaret Jazz

Keith Thompson, musical director for Launch slideshow »

• When the Composers Showcase moved into Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts as the center opened in March 2012, event co-founder Keith Thompson was concerned about filling the 244-seat venue. Now we’ve heard, over the weekend, that the Jan. 29 Showcase has already sold out. That’s the earliest sellout ever for the Showcase, a moment marked by Thompson in an email to supporters: “Bad news first: The Jan. 29 Composers Showcase is officially SOLD OUT! The good news ...The Jan. 29 Composers Showcase is officially SOLD OUT!”

Established in the summer of 2006, the Showcase has long been one of the very coolest hangs in the city and is getting support in the entertainment community that it deserves. We are a long, long way from trying to fill 80 seats at the Liberace Museum. And an even longer way from the dank days of Suede Restaurant.

• Winding our way back to the Santa Fe scene at the Palms. Eclectic was the operative term for Sunday’s crowd. In the audience were Clint Holmes (who had earlier performed a wonderful “After Party” show of his favorite songs of 2013 at Cabaret Jazz) and his wife, Kelly Clinton-Holmes; set designer and “creative consultant” of the new Jacksons’ “Rocktellz & Cocktails” show at Planet Hollywood, Andy Walmsley; EDC founder Pasquale Rotella; Starship and new “Raiding the Rock Vault” singer Stephanie Calvert; and comic actor Ian Gomez (“Felicity,” “Cougar Town.”) The band never sounded better, and we’re expecting some interesting news (in a multimedia vein) soon from Jerry Lopez and the guys. So stay tuned for that.

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Claire Sinclair at Deuce Lounge on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Aria.

• I can’t let a Jason Sudeikis sighting in Las Vegas go unchecked. The great comic actor and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member was reportedly in town Saturday night at “Michael Jackson One” and then later at nearby Light, both at Mandalay Bay, celebrating a friend’s birthday. Lest we forget, and I nearly did, that Sudeikis was a member of the old “Second City” comedy show at Flamingo Las Vegas before he was sky-hooked to become a writer on “SNL” back in 2003.

• My best-ever explanation for an error in a headline, which we had in the Sun print edition last week with the lacking-in-e “Clair Sinclair”: When you publish a photo of Claire Sinclair, nobody notices the headline.

But seriously, it’s spelled Claire Sinclair. We regret the error … but not the photo.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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